Sometimes you just know

morning

Before I went to bed last night, I checked my trusty Mindbody Express app to get a look at how many folks would be in my 6:15 AM class. I was pleasantly surprised that it would be a full house, so I got to working on a challenging, but adaptable workout for the crew.

There is a method to my madness when I’m creating a workout. Although I don’t repeat many moves week in and week out, I do try to allow for strength progression that always manifests into other moves. As I was typing up my routine and setting my workout timer for the timed circuits, I felt like this would be one that folks would enjoy.

When I got there, I was really siked! My energy was on 10. Once of my favorite little powerhouses, Genevieve, was on the list and LOVES this type of stuff (WIN!). I knew she’d be as siked as I was. It was warm enough for sprints, so we’d be taking our cardio to the streets. (WIN!) and a few folks cancelled at the last minute, so there would be more room to move around and coach everyone one on one. (WIN!)

Never Give UP
Never Give Up

As the workout when on, folks were OWNING their movements; strong, determined, game face ON! It was pretty amazing to see. There were 2 moves in the workout that were going to be a bit different for most. I added more weight to the dead lifts and put some handstands in the mix. The guys had no problem with the dead lifts, but for the women, they’d never lifted this much weight before and I could sense their apprehension. As each one stepped up the the bar, I coached them on form, movement, hand placement and breathing. As usual, the first few reps are rocky, but as the reps and rounds came and went, each one had a little gleam in their eye. The eye of the tiger if you will. Genevieve was beasting those bad boys OUT! I had to clap and cheer as they dropped the weights and moved to the next exercise! They DID THE DAMN THING! The handstands got more upright too. Chins tucked, hands moved closer to the wall and they held it until the bell sounded. They took everything I threw at them and did it with power & determination.

I love being a fitness instructor. It touches a part of my soul that nothing else can reach. The camaraderie, the genuine willingness to work hard, the strength that increases week in and week out, the sweat and the accomplishment of each individual in the room gives me the greatest feeling. It’s hard to get up at 3:30-4:00AM and then have to work all day then gear up to teach some more after work. It’s not because of the money (but it helps) It’s the feeling that you’re doing something right. They’re there for your class. With all that is going on in people’s lives, they’ve made time to workout with ME! It’s a remarkable feeling and it’s something I do NOT take for granted.

As they cooled down, toweled off, cleaned their mats, racked weights, talked among themselves then bid their farewells, it felt right. Sometimes, you just know.

Challenge #7 A Simple Jumpsuit

Challenge #7: A Simple Jumpsuit

Welcome to Stitch Once, Rip Twice sewing challenge No. 7!  We had a close vote for this one, with three options to choose from.  A tunic, a jumpsuit/romper, and a beautiful piece of art for inspiration!
Presenting…

jumpsuit-badge2

 

The Rules

 

  1. Your simple jumpsuit can be for yourself or someone else, and there’s no restriction to which pattern, fabric, or style!
  2. It can be made from scratch or refashioned, just as long as you use your sewing skills!
  3. Share anything you would like on your blog or on the group’s Facebook page along the way. That includes patterns, techniques, inspiration, project ideas, problems, and in-progress pictures.

Have your finished garment done and posted by August 10th September 1st either on your personal blog or on the Facebook page. The week after the deadline, I’ll put together a wrap-up post with everyone’s finished garments so we can all see!

Let’s get our machines fired up, and have fun!

Also, if you have a blog, post the badge above by grabbing the code here!

 

p.s. Val and I are just handling the details for Diane. This is still her baby, we’re just members that jumped in to help out this fantastic sewing group.

 

 

Flat Pattern Making I Class Completed

For the past 10 weeks, I’ve been learning flat pattern making. It was course number 2 of the fashion studies certificate program in the apparel construction track at Moore College of Art & Design. Having only been sewing since October, taking on pattern making was very challenging. The terms, the skills needed and even understanding the language was proving more than difficult in the beginning.  With hard work, one-on-one instruction, plenty reading, YouTube videos, Craftsy classes, patience and several days off from work, I’ve completed my class and my final project.

My 1/2 scale final project
My 1/2 scale final project

 

The design is basic but very classic, very Michelle Obama (IMO).

Mrs. Obama’s dress inspired my design.

 

After 2 unsuccessful attempts at a muslin, I purchased a 1/2 size dress from from PGM with a 20% student discount. With this little helper, I could see what I was doing much easier. I installed a zipper and fitted the dress pretty darn accurately IMO. After the final review (my teacher LOVED my work and the fit of the muslin), I was all in to make my dress in this lovely African wax print fashion fabric. I took a day off work and really took my time. Hand basing everything was key to pulling it together, not missing a single notch and feeling comfortable about the process. It took a little bit longer, but the results were the best I ever had with sewing a garment with clipped or chalked markings.

 

Muslin
My Final Muslin

 

Colleen teaching dart manipulation
Colleen teaching dart manipulation

 

With this class behind me, I’m ready to move on. I want to take flat pattern making 2, but I’m missing a prerequisite that I really want to take before moving on. I’m going to miss my classmates who are moving on without me. We’ve learned so much and really have grown as designers. I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you all.  Until next time, keep sewing!

 An extra special THANK YOU to Colleen Moretz for a great class, Mina Dia-Stevens, adjunct professor at Moore who gave me one one one instruction on how to make a better garment and the ladies in class, Stephanie, Elle, Christina and Regina.  You ladies BALL so HARD!

 

The ladies of Flat Pattern Making 1
The ladies of Flat Pattern Making 1

Pattern Making Final

 

 

 

 

Quick Quilt Saturday-Tissue Holder

I joined a cool new Facebook group called Quick Quilt Saturday who’s mantra is to do “In your PJ’s Quilting Projects”. Every Saturday, they come up with a quick, simple project that you can bang out in an hour or so.  My first project this past weekend was 3 tissue packs made from scraps left over from my Riki bag project from last week.

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I chose to snazz them up a bit using a embroidery stitch on my machine that I never used before.

Great to give as stocking stuffer’s or make enough to go into your many bags. For me, that would be my purse, work book bag, school book bag, and my gym bag. Last week’s project was a mug rug and fabric box. I’ll definitely get to that as soon as I can, I just need some batting. It’ll make super cute gift for a tea drinker along with a super cute tea cup and saucer.  This weekend is a pot holder, it’s sort of lame, but anything that I can get my sewing skills up is good for me.

My New Hobo Bag

My New Hobo Bag

Crafted from Bags – The Modern Classics: Clutches, Hobos, Satchels & More

 

A friend bought me a book called,”Bags – The Modern Classics: Clutches, Hobos, Satchels & More” by Sue Kim and I’m totally loving all the projects I could potentially churn out. There are so many wallets, wristlets, clutches and big bags in there. You could make a different bag for every look in your arsenal.

This is my first project from the book.  I used quilting fabric from Joann Fabrics as well as the notions. This project called for bias tape, but gave instructions on how to create your own. I’d never done this before, but I was game.  I had to supplement the book’s instructions for a great tutorial from Colletterie.com to make the strips line up perfectly without those pesky tiny triangles.

DIY bias tape
DIY bias tape

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I hope to make more bags from this book. Don’t be surprised my friends, if you find some under your Christmas tree this year.

1-2-3 Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial (Sewing)

I just tried this tutorial and BOY did I make mistakes! I can’t wait to try this again so I can catch the gotchas before the last seams go in.
1) The pockets don’t meet up at the seam.
2) I added buttonholes for the drawstring and one was too low, so I sewed the right through it for the casing.
I used nylon webbing for the strap and I really like that touch. The pockets are great for a water bottle and cell phone.
All in all, a wonderful tutorial.

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This and That

Finished Yoga Mat Bag

I call this the 1-2-3 Yoga Mat Bag tutorial because it has three steps:

  1. Cut
  2. Press
  3. Sew

I don’t have enough space to keep an ironing board and sewing machine set up. I also don’t have a lot of time, so fast craft projects are perfect for me. This bag took me less than 2 hours from start to finish, once I’d figured out the method and measurements. I made a bag for myself out of scrap fabric. When Edna, my yoga teacher, admired it I offered to make her a bag if she provided the fabric. She was delighted and the fact that it gave me an opportunity to photograph and write up this tutorial was an added bonus!

Requirements

  • Fabric – firm woven cotton or cotton/polyester, 26″ wide x 43″ long
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine

1. Cut

Cut out the pieces according to the diagram below…

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Merry New Year!

Wishing everyone a Merry New Year!

2013 for me was filled with so much love and fun and plenty friends, but it was also filled with  tears, surgeries and pain. As with the end of every year, we all tend to look back and reflect on all that we’ve experienced. Some people had additions to their families, some lost dear family members and everyone made mistakes and learned a little bit more about themselves.

My wishes for 2014 are simple:

  1. I wish to grow spiritually and learn more about my faith.
  2. Grow my sewing skills.
  3. Spend quality time with my youngest son before he’s off to college.
  4. Go on vacation with my husband to a warm climate.
  5. Get healthy & get back to weight training.
  6. Curse less!

I don’t make resolutions anymore, they really don’t work, I just focus on little things that don’t require a total 180 degree change in who I am, rather, just small gestures that make me a better all around person.

I hope you have a magnificent year that is filled with all the love you can stand.

Merry New Year!
Merry New Year!