Sunday, July 22, 2018

Self Care Over 60

I was thinking last night about a new post for here, and I think the perfect subject would be self care.
 I am currently inching my way towards changes, changes that will improve my quality of life now that I have reached a milestone of being over 60. Now let me just preface this by disclosing that I have never spent much time taking care of myself, only doing the usual wash my face, brush my teeth, use lotion maybe I was never much of a makeup girl.  I will discuss my own routine that works for me. 

On my face, I suffer from keloid scarring, which according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, an estimated 10 percent of people experience keloid scarring. Men and women are equally likely to have keloid scars. People with darkly pigmented skin, such as African-Americans, are more prone to keloids. I always thought that any type of scrubbing would cause more to form, I have since learned better.

My morning routine for my face is I wash my face with Philosophy's daily exfoliating wash followed by a small amount of renewed hope in a jar refreshing and refining moisturizer. Teeth: I brush with Tom's of Maine Botanically Bright fluoride-free Whitening Toothpaste.  My night routine for my face is I wash with Philosophy's purity one-step facial cleanser followed by a small amount of renewed hope in a jar overnight recharging & refining moisturizer. I stack the jars white on top for morning black on bottom for the evening, then reversing, so at a glance, I will know that I did each step. Teeth: I use a pea size amount of Crest pro-health toothpaste followed by a tiny swish of the pro-health mouthwash.

Bath time is another self-care routine for me using Archipelago Botanicals Milk Bubble Bath, body wash and a scrub of the Milk Soy Protein Exfoliating Body Polish using one of my own 100% cotton spa cloths followed up by a generous amount of coconut oil from neck to toes. 

Hand care: Butter London Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator on Sundays followed by Hardwear P.D Quick Topcoat for the next 7 days before bed.
Now before you say I don't have time to do this, it takes a total of 10 minutes, 5 minutes wash and moisturize face, 2 minutes to brush teeth and finally 3 minutes to polish nails and allow to dry. I have also recently removed all electronics from my bedroom except for now my phone, which I keep under my pillow,  after having watched Open House on Netflix I'm too  scared not to hahahaha. I also started walking 4 miles 3 times a week, try to get 8 hours of sleep, and to drink at least 12 glasses of water everyday. I'm not here to tell you it's not hard sometimes, I hate getting up at 6 a.m. three times a week, but I feel I'm worth it.
This is not a paid advertising I am only passing on information about what has worked wonders for my health and well being. Remember it takes 90 days to form a habit, Ask yourself this If you don't take care of yourself who will. Find your ritual and give it time, and be good to yourself.

Be well

Saturday, July 7, 2018

A Summer Of Reading

If you follow my Instagram account you have will have noticed a serious uptick in my reading. I have always been a voracious reader, and I recently discovered Overdrive, an online source to not only your local library, and others as well. I also returned to my local library with a renewed sense of wonder. My journey down this reading rabbit hole all started with 3 free books from Audible, yes they snared me with Cassandra Clare's Lady Midnight a prequel to her YA City of Bones series, next David Lagercrantz who took up the task of continuing the Lisbeth Salander sagas, then finally Stephen King's 3rd book in the trilogy End of Watch.
 I've always maintained two cabinets filled with books that serve as nightstands, so a bit before summer began I sorted them not only according to authors but also in series order and I began to read. I am not going to give reviews, but I will give you the titles so that you may explore them if you wish. 

Here is a list of what I have read or listened to:  The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye David Lagercrantz, Immortalist by Chloe Benjamin, Deja Dead, Death Du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, and Monday Mourning Mourning all are from a new series to me by Kathy Reichs, Stephen Kings Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch the Bill Hodge trilogy. I have been reading the Alex Cross series by James Patterson since forever so I pick them up where I left off and started with Cross, Double Cross, Cross Country, I Alex Cross, CrossFire, Kill Alex Cross well you get the idea I have finally made my way through to this year The People vs Alex Cross that I am waitlisted for on Overdrive. Along the way, I have discovered two more series The Women's Murder Club, and Private both by James Patterson and other authors. I've rediscovered Dan Brown's, Robert Langston's series after having read the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons so long ago. I read this series totally out of order, turns out it didn't make too much of a difference. I started back with Origin, then Inferno, and I am currently reading Lost Symbol. Finally, my returned to Dean Koontz with The Husband, The Good Guy and I am waitlisted for The Darkest Evening of the Year.
I have about three more weeks before I return to work so I hope to get a few more books in before closing out my summer of reading. I hope you give Overdrive a try it's truly life altering. If you still like the feel of holding and reading physical books do like I did visit your local library and fall in love with books all over again.

Happy Reading

Saturday, May 26, 2018

PDF Pattern Printing

Many of you have heard me voice my dislike of PDF patterns. My dislike stem from the fact that upon purchasing the said pattern, you are then directed to print for use. For that reason alone I flat out avoided PDF patterns until now! I have finally found a solution to this dilemma and I am going to talk about three here today.
One PDF pattern 96 pages

First up is Staples who offers Blueprinting service here. You can upload the item you want to be printed and have them printed in three standard sizes 18 x 24, 24 x 36, and 36 x 48  with the pricing starting at $1.79. This is great but because I wasn't always sure of the size to choose and the only way I could be sure is to go to the store, which was an hour drive one way, I admit I have only used their service once, the prints were nice and inexpensive, just one large sheet of what feels like rolled copier paper.

Staples blueprint pattern the crumpled one on the far left

Next up is Patternsy run by a lovely couple Mark and Su in the UK. I had first discovered them through a mention on Instagram, so at the time I had just a few patterns in PDF form, but I had just purchased Sew Liberated's Metamorphic Dress pattern so I uploaded that to be printed. Now they provide, what I call, the Cadillac service of pattern printing. When the pattern arrived folded and in a plastic ziplock. I discovered it was printed on a not too heavy tissue paper. Perfect right, but unfortunately this perfection came at a price £11.40 GBP or $13.29 US which for a pattern that cost $14.95 bringing the total to $28.34 for one pattern, ouch. Way more than I could afford on a regular basis. The silver lining is, I happened to win 50% off of printing on their IG feed by being the first to comment, so I decided to go for it, getting 10 patterns printed at the discounted cost of £35.33 GBP or $46.98. Which when averaged brought the cost per pattern down, also most were free downloads, to about $5.00 per. I discovered they are also able to print tiled patterns and put them together on one sheet like you see below with my very first PDF pattern purchased. As I said the Cadillac pattern printing.
Tova Top and Dress Pattern Tiled pattern

My latest Patternsy haul

My final discovery is PDF Plotting who is located right here in Virginia and have great customer service by way of Mike Barnes, Vice President of Operations. He walked me through all the steps of ordering. Your patterns will have to be AO or print shop ready for them to print, however, they are unable to print the tiled ones. They also have a minimum shipping of $6.99 so I wanted to order enough to justify the shipping. The site is very user-friendly I needed help because unbeknown to me I need to view the patterns in Adobe to find the size and page per pattern, I work on a Chromebook and Adobe is not available as an app. I ordered a total of 10 patterns one of which happened to be the Sorbetto and somehow requested all the sizes. even at that, the cost including shipping was around $15 US. They arrived fast in a cardboard triangle shipping box and in perfect shape.

PDF plotting printed pattern

PDF Plotting Patterns are the three neat printouts to the right
I hope this helps in making a decision on what to do when you love the pattern but don't want to spend time taping 96 pages together BEFORE you can begin to cut out your fabric.
 I have also added a few pictures of how I store my patterns once they have been cut and used. 

Happy Sewing

Swedish Tracing Paper

Previous PDF Patterns

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Me Made May

I love when May rolls around for two reasons 1. It heralds the beginning of warmer weather. 2. #MeMadeMay the one month I consciously think about what I need to add to my #handmadewardrobe.

 The patterns I used from the left are: Lisette Diplomat Simplicity 1878, 4 Cynthia Rowley Tea Dresses Simplicity 2215, 2 Scout Tees Grainline Studio, 7 Dottie Angel Frocks Simplicity 1080, 1 Carson Dress, and 1 Carson Dress Coat Paddleboat Studio, 1 Self-drafted Denim Jacket, 1 Tamarack Jacket, 4 Archer Button-up Shirt and 1 Archer Alder Mashup all Grainline Studio, 4 Lisette Portfolio Dresses Simplicity 2245 (out of print), 1 Self-drafted summer top and pants, 1 Denim Skirt again the Cynthia Rowley pattern, 2 Marcy Tilton Pants Vogue 8499.

I will continue to make more adding and subtracting as I go, but so far I am very proud of my effort at having an entirely handmade wardrobe. I also have a growing sweater chest, but that will have to wait for another post.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Carson Dress

Sew Days

I put off making the Carson Dress pattern for a while because it only comes in PDF form. Now the last thing I want to do is tape a bunch of 8x11 pages together, but I kept seeing all these really cute versions on Instagram I decided to go for it. After I taped together the 38 pages for the pattern I proceeded to cut out the L first for the dress, then size XXL for the coat hack. I had some lovely olive linen and Lotta Jansdotter print both from Fabricmart. Directions are very clear and it would be a great pattern for a beginner. I chose to do pleats, to add fullness to the front and back I moved the pattern pieces 2 inches from the fold on the skirt pieces.
*UPDATE* the Carson Dress pattern is now available in AO shop printing version.
Finished Carson Dress

Contrasting pocket

Carson Coat Hack

Instead of placing the front pieces on a fold, I put the pattern pieces, both 2 inches from the selvage this would now become my button plackets. I also made facings the fronts and back. The finished pieces went together very easily, I clean finished all the edges with a  zigzag stitch over all the edges.

Front Facing and Button Placket

Side View
Back Facing

Finished Carson Dress and Coat Hack
Finished Coat Dress
Back Detail

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Catherine Socks

This is a recipe more than an actual pattern for a pair shortie sock.

Cast 64 stitches on 2.50mm holding two needles together. Divide the stitches like this: needle 1 22 st, needle 2 20 st, needle 3 22 st. Join being careful not to twist.

With needle 4 knit 2, purl 2, for 6 rows to form the cuff.
Set up for the heel move 6 st from needle 3 to needle 1 and 4 st from needle 2. Now you have 32 st on needle 1 these will form the heel. Wrong side sl 1 purl across for this and all wrong side rows

Eye of Partridge heel.Each initial (k) is knit (s) is slip at the beginning of each right side row. The pattern is done over 32 rows. 

S1purl across
S1 purl across
S1 purl across

Heel Cup
S1 K16 K2tog K1 turn. S1 K4 K2tog K1. Continue knitting until you have 18 stitches left on your needle. 
On the left side of the heel flap with needle 1 pick up 18 stitches. Needle 2 and 3 alternate purl and knit rows on the front 32 stitches, needle 4 pick up 18 stitches continue with needle 3 knit 9 stitches from needle 4. The final 9 will be knit along with the first 18 picked up stitches. You will have 27 stitches on needle 1, 16 stitches on needle 2, 16 stitches on needle 3, and 27 on needle 4.
Continue decreasing at the last 3 st using k2tog on needle 1 and the first 3 using ssk on needle 4 until you have 16 stitches on both needle 1 and 4. Knit to the length of your foot, then start shaping the toe, use any method you like.

Foot setup

Beginning the toe shaping

Spiral toe directions 

Enjoy Catherine


 To my journey in making. Here you will find the posting of current and past makes. 
Thanks for stopping by.

Let's start with my #2018makenine list :Marcy Tilton Pants v8499,Grainline Studio Scout Tee, Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs, Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket, Closet Case Kalle Shirtdress,, Grainline Studio Lark Tee, Paddleboat Studio Carson Dress, JoJi Locatelli Grandpa Cardi, Grainline Studio Alder/Archer Mashup, Shannon Cook Sew Liberated Metamorphic Dress, Heidi Kirrmaier Harvest Moon, Jennifer Steingass Arboreal, Grainline Studio Linden, Seamwork Oslo Cardi, Jennifer Steingass Tenga, PetiteKnits No Frills Cardi, DottieAngel Frock, Caitlin Hunter Kodikas, Lisette Portfolio, Cynthia Rowley Tea Dress, Marie Greene Stillwater, Andrea Mowry Free Your Fade and Comfort Fade Cardi, Shannon Cook Veronika Cardi, Jennifer Steingass Tegna actually I guess my list is more like make 25.

My first project completed was the Alder/Archer Mashup I took the top of Grainline Studio's Archer Button up. The fabric was from 
 I used the project plan pages from Colette Patterns to document each make.

Next finish was Grainline Studio's Tamarack Jacket. The outside fabric is a lightweight denim from, the inside fabric is Rifle Paper Co Le Fleur.

Excuse the terrible bathroom selfie