Tag Archives: sewing

2013 Resolving


I already have the stereotypical bucket list on my blog, might as well throw in some new year’s resolutions, too!

  • Blog More – I know, I’m a broken record with this one but I really do want and need to get back on it. My job involves a lot of writing and usually the last thing I want to do when I get home is to write more, but my mind needs a more creative outlet. I hope to turn this blog into something more than just rants, I would like to start writing about my favorite hobby (sewing), my favorite job duty (social media as a PR tool), and my life.
  • Accept the Fate of My Uterus – Many of you might know that getting pregnant has not come as easy as Shaggy and I had hoped and it’s been tough for me. I have spent my entire adult life trying to NOT get pregnant and now that I want it to happen, I should just get what I want, right?! In 2013, I am not going to feel sad or guilty about what does or does not happen in my uterus. Shaggy and I have already decided that in vitro is not for us so, if things don’t happen naturally, adoption would be our other option and even that is not something we would do without a lot of research and thought. So, “worst” case scenario, I get to have a great life with my awesome husband, and the wonderful children of my family and friends. That’s not such a terrible scenario.
  • Be Healthier – When I was living in San Clemente, I was in love with my tiny gym (BT Fitness) and would usually go five days per week. I loved the way I felt and looked. Unfortunately, when we bought our house BT was just too far and didn’t fit into my new budget  and I really fell hard off the workout wagon. I have finally accepted that I will never find another place like BT (trust me, I have tried!) and that I need to work with what I have. I want to feel better in my skin, get stronger, and start eating healthier. My goal isn’t to lose weight (although that would be a great side effect), it is to stop being a lazy bum! If I am lucky enough to raise a child, I want him/her to be raised in an active and healthy family.
  • Sew More – I love sewing and once I  sit down at my machine I can sew for hours but sometimes it is hard to get that first stitch started. I need to start “dragging” myself into my awesome sewing room and stop making excuses!
  • Take More Initiative at Work – I like my job and my boss gives me a lot of freedom to try new things and this year I really want to take advantage of that. I want to explore new social media tools and try to save enough money to start the Social Media program through UCI’s Extension program.

Welp, there it is. I hope writing these out will help to hold me more accountable. 2012 was my best year yet, here is to 2013 being even better!

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Not Everyone is Mean

Recently, I signed up for a handmade holiday gift exchange through one of the sewing/crafting blogs I read Craftaholics Anonymous.I made a Christmas tree garland for my partner. It was a pretty cool garland, with quilt batting, a shiny green ribbon, and green and red fabric with gold thread.

I was feeling pretty good about my gift, until yesterday when I received my present. Check out my partner’s blog about what she gave me, it’s amazing! She gave me presents that reflect my loves and personality more than gifts I have received from family members! Aren’t the vintage pillowcase bags to die for!? And she made a Raggedy Ann makeup bag out of some fabric that her mother gave her. That’s crazy sweet.

And I feel like a big jerk for being so proud of my damn garland! Sky – 1, Amy -0.

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Sewing Patterns Offer a Peek into History

I got a sewing machine from my mom a few years ago and I had dreams of finding vintage frocks and altering them to fit me. This is all well and good except that I have kind of fallen in love with creating my own pieces from scratch. Sure, I have altered a couple things, most notably my mumu turned super cute top, but even more alteration projects sit in my closet waiting until I finish sewing my next garment. Still, there is no reason I can’t combine the two. Enter the vintage pattern. I’m not talking vintage reproduction, no, it is the true original, vintage pattern that has captured my heart. Feast your eyes on the newest beauts to grace my sweatshop.

That’s right, baby. A pattern for every decade between 1940 & 1980. I love them.Don’t they look like Halloween costumes? I mean, that’s how people REALLY dressed. I showed them to my mother and she said that she’s pretty sure my Grandma Jackie had a dress exactly like the one on the 1960s pattern cover. A-freaking-dorable! Look how all of them are ladylike and compliment a curvy girl’s body. They just don’t make them like that any more. Everything now is a mini something-or-other and one must decide if they would rather their boobs or butt (or both!) to be on display when trying to find a dress. So, screw it all, I’m going back to the days when women were ladies.

To me, these aren’t just patterns, they’re pieces of history. Each one tells a little story about its respective decade. Look at the price increases, see how the diversity of the models changes, the hairstyles, the colors. For me, this is better than any museum and I cannot wait to recreate just a little portion of that.

The best of all are the mail order patterns from the 1940s and 50s. Not only is it cool to think about ladies sending away for the patterns, but the envelope are just full of stories and history. Below is a closeup of the envelope from the 1940s. This thing is 70 years old and it’s sitting in my apartment. That’s something that is tough to wrap my head around. Check out the stamp price of one penny! Notice the lack of zip code.

The address label is a piece of lined notebook paper glued onto the envelope. And, notice the name – Mrs. Robert V. Nelson. To me, this brings to mind the ugly side of those times, Women did not have their own identity. They were their husband’s property. I couldn’t not know whose patterns I had. So, the bf and I did some investigation, 2011 style and I would like to introduce you all to Florence. She is Mrs. Florence M. Nelson, the original owner of both of the mail order patters. She was born on Christmas Eve in 1919. She married Robert when she was 19 years old, was a homemaker and had a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren. Her husband was a Mason and she was a member of both the Loyal Workers Club and the Abingdon Order of Eastern Star.

Florence Nelson died on July 1, 2006 at the age of 86. And, now I have two patterns that she cut out, and (presumably) sewed. She probably wore those dresses on dates with her husband or to take the kids on play-dates. No matter how many museums I visit, how many famous dresses I am able to look through bulletproof glass, nothing will be as cool to me as being able to use a pattern that someone used decades before I was born. It’s humbling and exciting and I cannot wait to get started.

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I Don’t Know What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Is almost-30 too late to start figuring out what you want to be when I grow up? How about after already receiving an advanced degree? Yeah, I figured. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m still trying to decide which shoes to wear! Sure, I mostly enjoy my current job (public relations), but it’s extremely political and I just don’t have it in me to take people out on my trek to the top. Plus, I am not sure I ever want to be management, which is probably my next step. Who aspires to be in charge of disciplining other people, sounds awful to me but my wallet would really love a management salary.

So, I have been thinking a lot about making a career move. While I would probably just tweak my current career path, it is always fun to consider something completely different. Here are some options I came up with that all sound extremely appealing, minus the whole going back to school part.

Wine Connoisseur – True story: I took a career aptitude test my senior year of high school and this was at the top of my list. It’s a shame that I was a complete square and would wait three years before tapping my first box of wine and falling in love with the drink of the gods. I will say that the aptitude test was pretty accurate as this sounds like the perfect gig: drinking, traveling, AND criticizing! LOVE it.

Math Teacher/Basketball Coach – One of my favorite high school teachers was my statistics teacher (and of course I cannot for the life of me remember his name! Any Marina Vikings out there…who taught AP Statistics in 1999-2000?) and he told me that I should become a high school math teacher slash basketball coach. Ignoring the fact that high-school-aged kids are pretty much the worst people on the planet, this also sounds pretty legit. I would have loved to get into coaching and, despite denying it and the fact that I am a girl, I really do like math. Good thing I got a master’s in communications, right?!

Consignment Shop Owner – I recently told the BF that my ultimate perfect job would be to own a consignment shop. And I’m not talking about those crappy shops that stock clothes from Forever 21 and Old Navy, I am talking about a shop that carries mainly vintage frocks. This job would let me combine three of my amazing skills – public relations/marketing, my perfect fashion eye, and my sewing skills… I figure I could offer tailoring/alteration services on my store items. Apparently, this job is for old rich women who have nothing to lose. At least that’s what the BF tells me. I’m out.

Other – Other professions I have considered: nursing, blood doesn’t bother me and I don’t get too attached to people, but I am horrible at anatomy and don’t like the idea of cutting a wittle froggy; journalist, sort of in line with my current profession except it’s way more unstable, I would get paid jack, and I have to ask people how they’re feeling after their baby just got snatched by coyotes; dog walker, Indy would get pissed when I came home every day smelling like dogs; animal shelter director, I would need to move to a farm to have enough room for all of the animals I adopt; housewife, I am way too boring to hang out with me 24-7.

So, after talking myself in circles, I end up right where I started: my job is fine. *sigh*
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Questionable Stains are My Limit

In my quest to completely take over the bf’s apartment, well I guess it’s OUR apartment now (and for the last 10 months), I am converting the guest room into a full fledged chick room. I am tired of men getting their man caves, I need my woman niche, or something that sounds less like I am talking about my vag.

ANYWAY, I have filled the room and closet with my clothes, added a sewing table and put up little wall stickers my sister gave me. My next step in ultimate domination is getting rid of the mattress! Now, don’t look at me like that. It’s not a nice mattress, it’s not even Shaggy’s mattress, it was his old roommate’s mattress that got left behind when he went on the run from the law or something (I’m pretty sure that’s not how it went down, but that’s what I choose to believe). The bed had these orangey sheets on, they were such an ugly color that one of Shaggy’s friends drunkenly devoured Gold Fish in bed, smeared his hands on the sheets, and you couldn’t even tell where the fish dust ended and the sheet began!

Long story short, the mattress had to go.

I fretted over how to dispose of this mattress for awhile. Should we go out in the dark cloak of night and throw it next to CVS’s dumpster? Strap it to my car and take it to the dump? Try to cram in in our trashcan (is a mattress recyclable?)? Well, it turns out the bf was right all along (yes, I can admit it) and our trash company would do a special pickup – for free! We took it to the curb last night around 9pm and that’s when I saw it – THE STAIN!

Now, this stain is questionable at best. I’m not sure if this mattress was the location of a murder, a period gone bad, or a spilled bowl of hamburger helper, but there was a rusty red stain right about where the shoulders would be. (And to think, I offered this mattress to my sister!). Well, I was mortified that I had myself slept on the mattress and was even more happy that it was getting out of my house and far away.

Now, I love me a deal and I buy things that a lot of people wouldn’t buy used, including shoes, but a bloody mattress might be my limit. Not so for everyone. The second we were done putting the box spring and the mattress on the curb, our across-the-street neighbors asked if they could have it. I strongly recommended that they NOT take it because of the aforementioned stain.Wouldn’t you know, that in the time it took me to go get Indy for a walk, they had the rape mattress halfway across the street. I won’t say what ethnicity they were, but let’s just say they probably covered the stain with their wolf blanket.

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