Thursday, July 31, 2014

Get out of town

In a move that surprised no one more than me, I decided to go on a getaway weekend...camping. This is surprising because I'm not what anyone would consider...outdoorsy.

I also do NOT pack light. My sister goes backpacking. I don't even know how we are related.

Because we don't camp, we have not much in the way of gear and had to borrow most of it. Thanks guys! My neighbor let us test out both of her tents.

We had actually decided on the larger one hiding behind the sheets (man I love the smell of line drying, and we even get pretty lucky with the birds not leaving us presents despite the lines running right below a huge tree), but we were told it wasn't quite waterproof. We ended up bringing both (see, I don't pack light), but only pitching the little one on the right because there was a 50% chance of rain. It was....cozy, but considering this was a little getaway, we didn't mind the close quarters. I never come out on the right side of 50% crappy weather odds, but we did this time. Probably because we prepared!

We also borrowed these sleeping pads, and I will say that the blue one (similar here I think) was SO comfortable! It's self-inflating, and while I felt sort of like a moron watching it because I wasn't positive it was actually inflating, I wasn't sore at all after sleeping on just that. My husband layered two of those foam pads and said his arm and hip were falling asleep laying on his side. I took this picture to send to my backpacking sister, who also thinks the foam mats are uncomfortable. Look, it's just as small!

Anyway, I did basically no research on the park we decided to stay at, which is also a change for me. The times I've camped in the past, I spent a ton of time looking at maps and reviews and pictures of the actual sites. This time, I simply picked a weekend, found a place that had available sites that wasn't 4 hours away, and just booked it. While we did have a really nice, relaxing time, that may have been a mistake. Our site was totally not private, was mostly pit toilets, and they didn't allow alcohol?! I don't remember seeing that on the website. We went ahead and operated under the assumption that no one would care as long as we didn't bother anyone!

Isn't it strange when the man-made influence becomes so obvious even when you're supposed to be in nature?

We did manage to catch a peek of real nature as well. Two little fawns, one quicker than my camera. We didn't see her, but figured the mother must have been there as well.

Another crazy juxtaposition of the quiet and pretty empty forest to the left of the bridge, and a floating redneck trailer park on the right. I totally didn't understand all the people partying on boats...right next to the road. Trust me, you're glad I didn't take a picture.

Our exhausted little buddy. He's not been feeling so well lately, so we didn't take a very long walk. Three weeks ago he started not walking on his back leg. We had him examined, but he still wasn't using it after a week and a half. I scheduled an x-ray, so of course he started walking normally again. Luckily I was able to cancel and save a couple hundred dollars, but it would have been nice to get his teeth cleaned while he was knocked out! Oh, the breath! He's still acting sort of off though...I hope he gets better soon!

 This last one is a joke for those who know and love him - the breaker of all the things struck again! He's lashing together his folding chair with string. I guess it was "time for it to break." In the interest of full disclosure, the chairs cost about $7 each a few years ago, and the fabric on mine MAY have also ripped that weekend. I still maintain he must have sat in mine too!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Golden Rippy's Delilah Top

A few weeks ago, the lovely Rachel of  Golden Rippy  put out a call for bloggers to participate in her very first pattern tour (including a giveaway at the bottom of the post!!) in one of our Facebook groups, and I jumped at the chance. I haven't had the opportunity to sew much for myself in recent years, so I thought this would be the perfect excuse. In addition, I've never sewn with knits before, and, well, no time like the present! In hindsight, I also don't have much experience matching up stripes, so choosing a striped knit (from Joann's) MAY not have been the wisest move. It turned out well enough in the end, but I could still use practice.

This is a great casual top, but I've actually worn it to work as well, dressed up with some black pants. I opted not to add on the bow or flowers for my version, but I plan to make the little girl version as well (the Dalia) and will likely add a little something to that one.

I must have been subliminally influenced to choose something with a little sparkle by the cute cover photo!

Rachel's directions were really clear, and it was easy to lay out the pattern sheets with the translucent numbering and arrows on the sheets. I often have trouble finding tops that are long enough, which is why women's top patterns are appealing to me. I decided to make this one per the pattern, and quite like the length! It's great with jeans, but I could also see making one several inches longer to wear with leggings.

I did my best to keep the fabric from sliding around as I cut the pieces in an effort to match up the stripes, which was moderately successful. Not perfect, but pretty good!

As far as sewing on the stretchy fabric, I played around with many of the stitches and tension, length and stitch width on my machine, which is a basic Brother PS-1000. I've heard things about knits being difficult to sew without a serger, so I was a little worried and tested out some of the stretchier stitches. For the most part though, I ended up just using straight stitching and didn't have much trouble with it. I just made sure to adjust my length and tension enough on a scrap piece of fabric so that I didn't get any bunching or loose threads on the back side.

Overall, the sewing went really smoothly, and adding the trim along the neckline and sleeves was really simple with Rachel's instructions. The only bump I ran into was with the waistband. I got the whole top together, tried it on, and it just wasn't quite snug enough.

I had hoped for it to be tight enough to be able to stay up on my hips. (On the plus side, check out those matching side stripes! Not quite as nice on the shoulder, but oh well.) I must have lost my mind when I took it off, because I made it about 6" shorter! It DEFINITELY didn't need to be taken in that much! I did quite a number pulling on the shirt fabric to get it reattached, that when I ultimately realized I'd made a mistake in taking it in too much, I was worried that I'd stretched it out beyond repair. I cut a new strip for the waistband just an inch and a half shorter than the pattern calls for, and that was just right. Luckily the fabric bounced back after a trip through the wash!

I love this top. It's so comfortable! The drape of the fabric and the little gather at the waist give it enough shape and movement without being tight, which is awesome.

So here are the details if you'd like to make a Delilah Top of your own. The pattern includes:
  • illustrated instructions
  • six sizes  XXS to XL
  • 2 sleeve lengths
  • 2 embellishment options
  • printing guide
  • pattern layout guide
  • grainlines
  • 28 page PDF pattern download to make the top
  • fabric yardages for 45″ and 60″ widths
  • pattern pieces with seam allowances
  • professionally designed and graded pattern
Want to win the pattern? 

Prize Package & Rules

Two winners will each win:

            * 2 Patterns of your choice from Golden Rippy


The Contest Rules:

You must be 18 to enter.

You can gain entries by entering the Rafflecopter Prompts.

Giveaway ends: 8/6/14 at midnight PST.
Two winners will be chosen and announced on 8/7/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also be sure to check out the pattern on these other blogs in the next several days!

Monday- July 28

A Vision To Remember

Fabulous Home Sewn

Tuesday- July 29


Cozy Cape Cottage

Gracious Threads

Wednesday- July 30

The Sewing Geek

Sprouting JubeJube

Thursday- July 31

My Taylor Made

Mimi's Mom

Rebel & Malice

Friday- Aug 1

Stitchwerx Designs

E-beth Designs

Saturday- Aug 2

Marmalade Forest

Ali Cat & Co

Sunday- Aug 3

Monday- Aug 4

Tuesday- Aug 5

Mae & K

The Crazy Tailor

Blogs Like A Mother

Wednesday- Aug 6

Bebe Lambs

Lady and the Gents

Thanks so much to Rachel for providing me this cute pattern! All opinions, mistakes and rambling are my own.