Dear Cold Weather, I Miss You.

I’ve been living in Houston going on two years. They have been two LOOONG years and it’s almost summer. Dreadful, dreadful, summer. If you haven’t been here, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine that someone is holding an iron about a foot from your face. On high heat. With the steam setting on. Yes, I do not kid. It gets that hot and humid here. And I mean it’s not like I come from Antarctica, but New Mexico (aka Home) has gorgeous weather. The dry, four seasons, you won’t melt type of weather. Needless to say…. I’m homesick.

Houston weather has got me going to the fridge, opening the door, and not even taking anything out on the daily. That very activity is #1 on my top 3 favorite things to do here. I can say, however, that Houston also has the very best air conditioning I have come across. Every building is a sanctuary from the heat, but will leave you with mini sweat icicles hanging from your eyebrows. It’s cold.

 

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I see this and I want s’mores.

 

So in that lies the inspiration for this weeks pin. Check out this cozy number.

I figure if I can’t be in a mountain paradise roasting ‘mallows in this sweater I may as well make it for a day where I am sitting at my computer comfortably freezing indoors. As a plus, it’ll be there for next winter. Winner, winner!

And yes, I see that I can buy this for $13.31. Most ladies are like.. Holy Crap that’s cheap! But when you make your own clothes you control how much you spend (well most of the time) and I will most likely make this for WAYYYY less and have fun in the process. Plus, it takes over a month to get. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

 

 

 

Now let’s talk patterns. For this pinspired look I decided to go with an awesome pattern by Rabbit Rabbit Creations. Their Cowl Neck Sweater pdf pattern was perfect and exactly what I needed.

 

 

I will spare you photos of the printing, taping, and cutting of the pattern. It’s the worst. So horrible in fact, that I even offered a couple of my friends a part time job being my pattern tapers. They kindly declined. Sad face.

On with my favorite part of the whole making a me-made garment… Fabric Selection. Fabric is a word that embodies everything happy. I could be in the worst mood and a way to turn my frown upside down is to mention Fabric Shopping. My husband knows this and it’s the reason why I’m always happy and have one fat fabric stash!

For this top I chose a soft lightweight navy sweater knit. It’s still Houston that I am living in, so I had choose wisely. I almost cried when I passed the thick sweatshirt fleeces. I did pet them though. Yes.. you read that right. I pet fabric. It’s a common practice of “fabriholics” and I’m sure many of you ladies reading know exactly what I’m talking about! Haha! Though I can’t be too sad about this gorgeous knit because it’s soft, a gorgeous color, and best of all… it was only 49 CENTS a yard!!!! God bless Hancock’s spot the dot clearance section. I took the entire bolt home, washed it, and rolled in it 🙂

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A mad case of snuggles occur when fresh fabric comes out of the dryer!  

 

After the fabric snuggles were over I was ready to make something beautiful. So I sat at my cutting table and looked outside at the sky and was happy to see they were gray. I am a weirdo. I happen to LOVE gray, gloomy weather. This sweater was just yearning to be made and I couldn’t have picked a better pin to make this week. I settled in and my sewing goddess self started cutting, clipping, sewing, and serging. It’s quite the stress relief to allow my mind to jump into creativity mode. Before I knew it, the bodice was done! Just check out Gertie being a gal pal and trying it on for me!

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The process always blows my mind. I made something out of a bundle of yummy fabric!

 

Final step was adding the cowl. This is the make it or break it part of the top as it’s the focal point and the reason why I love this sweater. I cut my trapezoids and added the pattern piece to bodice. It was the moment of truth… Gertie needed to try it on! If she can’t make it look good then there’s no hope for me!

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OMG Gertie!

 

I couldn’t wait to wear this and lucky the weather has kept and picture day was just as rainy and gray as the day before. This is the equivalent of a snow day here in Houston and I will take what I can get! Not only did this sweater come out uber adorable, but it fitted to my body, in a color that I loved, and only cost me $1 and an hour to put together. Talk about a good deal! Geez this post is getting long… I will stop my little fingers from typing any more nonsense and let this gorgeous sweater speak for itself.

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Fit is amazing… the cowl is amazing… the sweater is AMAZING!

This helps me miss home only a small fraction less, but it does make me excited to think about wearing this in the future at our family cabin, telling stories and making jokes as the fireplace crackles in the background.

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

XOXO – Myrna

 

 

** Remember if you have a pin to suggest, or want to have some input on what I do next contact me with your suggestions! Or if you have a pinspired look to share send that over too!**

Testing, Testing… Is this thing on?

Here goes nothing… my first blog post. Pattern tests. Now I know this doesn’t really go with my whole “Pinspired” theme, but I really want to show you all a bit of my sewing style. And in reality… Pinterest is what drove me to really start sewing and pursing these testing calls in the first place.

So let’s dive in!

I love tests!… Said no ever. Unless of course you are a pattern tester. I just started to dabble in the world of pattern testing over the past few months and getting chosen by a pattern designer makes me feel like I’ve been personally invited to join the cool club. It’s completely exhilarating! It’s also pretty time consuming. But hey if you love to sew what else are you doing with your time, amirite?!

Now I won’t bore you with details of every single pattern I’ve tested.. there are too many and  ain’t nobody got time for that! I will however, tell you a bit about the process, who I have tested for, and let you jump on for a short ride on the Myrna’s Thought Train. Choo Choo!

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George & Ginger Patterns, Patterns for Pirates, Laela Jayne Patterns, Seamingly Smitten, Made for Mermaids, and 5 out of 4 Patterns.  

If you’re thinking about becoming a tester, the number one thing I can suggest is to take advantage of social media. PDF patterns are all the rage and that means pattern designers are utilizing all areas of technology, which include recruiting testers via Facebook. I see a plethora of testing calls ranging from children’s, women’s, and items like stuffed animals on my daily feed. So basically, you see the post, you comment, you wait ( or stalk as I do) for the chosen testers to be announced. If you have mad skills, or are just happen to be the only one in the needed size range, you are most likely getting picked (commence happy dance).

Then the real work begins. Don’t go chasing after tests if you don’t have the time. It will end badly. You won’t be chosen again, and you will be sad. Fair warning. Though it is joyful work, it is still work. You print the pattern, you tape the pattern, you cut the pattern, you choose the fabric, you cut the fabric, and you sew. Then you evaluate. This is the toughest part as I always want to say I LOOOVE IT! PERFECT FIT! But this isn’t always the case. You give your feedback, changes are made, then you do it all over again. Just take a look at this before and after… and please don’t tell my mom I posted a picture of myself looking like a total bum on the internet.

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Not so great fit to the left and I hated it, but with pattern changes (1.5 in off the hem, 5/8in taken in the from the sleeve and hemmed, and 1 in taken from the sides) the top was completely transformed for me. 

To close of the testing round, final pictures must be taken. There lies the horror for all husbands of pattern testers. I literally have to bribe Josh to take pictures of me. Though I recently found a way to bring out his inner  Steven Meisel. Competition Baby! How can my husband resist the fact that he is literally in a contest against other men to take the best photos? He brought out the fancy camera and even scouted some locations. Just look at the difference!

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Blurry, faded picture on the left! Improved photog skills on the right. Thanks boo! 

What I love most is not only the FREE pattern I get after everything’s said and done, but rather the camaraderie that ensues shortly after testing begins through forever. I mean you’re in this cool group of ladies that love to do the exact same thing you do. We could talk for days about fabric, thread, and sewing machines. Also, my new friends do great as a confidence booster. Those ladies sure know how to give a compliment let me tell ya!  BFFF’s… Best Fabric Friends For Life!

To end this post, let’s stroll down memory lane and flash back to my very first pattern test. Believe it or not it was for a children’s kimono. I don’t have kids. Want them, but that’s a whole different story for another day. Anywho. I applied to test Striped Swallow Design’s Wildflower Kimono.

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Don’t forget to accessorize!

This was completely adorable as it was a size 12-18 Months! I literally melted after making it. This was the first glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of pattern design for me. There were fit pictures, tutorials updates, instruction changes, feedback, pattern updates. It was a collaboration of sewists and the designer to get the pattern just perfect. I like when I feel like my sewing voice is being heard… and pattern testing is just the platform for that.

This first pattern was the only children’s pattern I’ve tested. It was really hard for me to get fit pictures, but fortunately I planned pictures with my youngest baby cousin on our trip back home to NM. Honestly… Thank goodness she’s ADORABLE because my photog skills on this one were NO BUENO :/

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Don’t you just want to squeeze her!

 

I do really feel like I could never do what these pattern makers do… Kudos to all you designers out there! Virtual high five!

Thank you for reading my first blog post and I hope you enjoyed it! Follow, follow, follow for updates on new posts, upcoming pinterest boards (where you get to vote for my next pinspired look), and freebies/giveaways.

Until next time!

XoXo Myrna