A Renewed Focus, Sewing Tips and Reflections January 26 2015

A New Year, A New Attitude

    Hello! And again I say it’s been a while. Now that 2015 is here and I’m settling into my new (fixer) house, I’m feeling a little renewed and ready to focus. I had so many life interruptions at the end of 2014, I really thought I was headed for a nervous breakdown. I was planning on blogging about it however, I’m glad I didn’t. I have a tendency not to filter well and now that the storm has passed and I’ve listening to friends who have far bigger issues to stress over, it put things in perspective for me. One thing I will bring up however, is the passing of one of my best friends, my sweet dog Hoss. He was a few months shy of 14 when we had to say good-bye to him last week. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I miss him every day. After a week of pure heart break, I’m finally feeling a little at peace about it all. Out of all the dog companions I’ve ever had, Hoss really took the cake. Now he’s teaching me about letting go and being strong.

     I won’t go into details about all the other crazy things that have happened in the past 6 months or so but, I will say that its funny how we appear to others. What I mean by that is .... I’ve had so many people make comments to me such as I’m Wonder Woman or that I do so much, “how do you do it all!?”’. Well, the truth is... I don’t do it all or if I do, I don’t do it very well or I’m on the verge of a breakdown. My husband knows - he sees me as the true crazy, neurotic, wild woman that I am. Anyhow, now that I don’t feel so frantic and frazzled, I’m excited to 1. be going to Hawaii soon for some fun and relaxation and 2. get back to focusing on my new, neglected business - Sew House Seven sewing patterns. My passion for designing and pattern making hasn’t waned; I feel more motivated than ever to be working. My problem now is to prioritize and stay focused on the priorities. I tend to get side tracked with other spin off patterns.  Hopefully I will have my new patterns out sometime this spring.


Some Tips on Perfect Fitting Woven V-necks and Turning Up Curved Edges

     Speaking of patterns and sewing....... I’d like to talk about getting the V-neckline on woven garments to fit and lay flat. One of the new patterns I am working on has a V-neck. The first 2 garments I sewed up stood away from the chest a bit - just a slight bubbling up as if I hadn’t stay-stitched the pieces and they’d stretched out yet they had been stay-stitched and weren’t stretched out. Technically, there should probably be a very small dart at the neckline however, if your style doesn’t call for a dart, here is what I have done to make the fit perfect. 


1. With your machine straight stitch set on the largest stitch, sew along the neckline(inside the seam allowance) leaving the thread tails long - just as you would do for gathers. Start about 1 1/2” or 2” away from the shoulder and stop about 1” away from the center front point. Do this for both sides.


2. Pull the threads and gather slightly so it doesn’t really look gathered and there are no folds but rather you’ve made the neck edge smaller - by about 1/4”.


3. Press the neck edge carefully. You should be just shrinking the neck not pressing in folds or gathers. Press in an up and down motion rather than back and forth.


4. Now you can do your stay stitching.


I thought of another tip while working on this new pattern.  There is a curved back yoke on this new pattern.  The yoke has a facing that needs to be turned up.  Have you ever tried pressing the seam of a curved edge up only to have it look all jagged?  Here is a tip for this, if you didn't already know.


1. With your machine straight stitch set on the largest stitch, sew along the convex curve (inside the seam allowance) leaving the thread tails long - again just as you would do for gathers. 


2. Pull the threads and gather the curved edge so that it cups slightly.


3. Spread the gathers evenly so that there are no wrinkles, and press the curved edge up. The curve should be smooth. Press in an up and down motion rather than back and forth.

You now should have a nice smooth edge - sorry no image for that.  


Photo Reflections From 2014

     Well... now that I've covered some business and hopefully given out some useful tips, I'm going to reflect on a few highlighted outings of 2014 with some photos.


 Paddle boarding down wind in the Columbia Gorge with my husband kitesurfing.

 Whale watching in Hawaii.

A whale!

A baby whale jumping!

This little guy jumped for a good mile or so with his mother following close behind.  It was so amazing to be so close. 

Snorkeling was amazing.  A bat ray.

I believe it's a snowflake eel.  I didn't get a photo of the huge moray eel I almost hit with my fin (accidentally).

We saw lots of sea turtles snorkeling.

And were even lucky enough to see some on land.

Mauii - My husband made my son play for his shaved ice.

My son and my hubby at our campsite on Mt. Adams.

So proud of my kid for backpacking 11 miles up to Mt Adams without whining.

The view from our tent - from Mt Adams looking at Rainier.

The mountain goat near our campsite.

Summer yard sale with my future entrepreneur and entertainer.

Goat Rocks with the sweetest, smartest dog I'll ever know.  Happy Trails Hoss dog - I miss you so much!