Saturday, July 5, 2014

It is Finished!

As of 10:00 this evening, the Lily Chin Lace Dress is finished.  Pics and a full write-up to follow.

Friday, June 6, 2014

This Is What 60 Looks Like

I believe Gloria Steinem said that when she turned the big 6-0.  At 60 you can no longer fool yourself that you're middle aged. At 50 you think, "more and more and more people are living to 100 so maybe..." Almost no one lives to 120. There's more life behind me than in front and that's a sobering thought.  Thanks to God and modern medicine I'm in relatively good health and have few material worries.  The number doesn't bother me so much as does the passage of time.  I can't believe I'm 60. People say it all the time, but I don't know where the time has gone.

I'm grateful that my mother is still here to celebrate with me.  I think of my father everyday and today will be no different.  I miss him everyday and regret not telling him how much I loved and respected him. I have a good husband who loves me unconditionally. And shows me how much he loves me everyday, in ways both big and small.  I gave birth to two wonderful daughters, who have never given me a minute of real worry. I am in awe of them and feel privileged to have had a part in their lives. They are phenomenal women and I'm so proud of them.  I have two more daughters by marriage.  Beautiful, smart young women who are good mothers.  I've got siblings who love me, even though at times we act as the children we once were. Family and friends galore. I an one blessed woman.

I've been very reflective the past few months.  Interestingly enough, I haven't thought about the good times, but every mistake I've made, every regret, every hurt I've received or given, every missed opportunity.  All the ould'ves:  could've, should've, would've.  And I've made a decision.  No more regrets, no more excuses, no more explanations.

We don't eat bananas, but if we did I'd still be buying green ones.  I believe I've still got a some years left, maybe not 60, but some.  I'm making everyday count!

TTYL,

Melodye

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Dress Update

Sadly, the dress is not going to be finished by the big day tomorrow.   I was actually shooting for yesterday as Harold took me away for a surprise birthday gift.  But first the dress. This is a beautiful dress, the pattern not so much.  I'm going to make a huge leap here and say it had to be the be the editing.  Having written a grand total of 1 pattern I know how difficult it is to convey in writing what you want stitchers to do.  Lily Chin has been in the industry for years and is well regarded in the industry and by her peers.  It's hard to believe that she would knowingly release a pattern so full of errors. Ravelry and all those who posted their notes and pictures were a lifesaver.  Without them, I would have thrown in the towel on this dress a while ago.  I'm still going to finish it, there will be plenty of opportunities to wear it this summer.

But that's not the only reason I'm not finished.  We had a long, wet spring and yard work was delayed. I dug up one side of the front beds.  I'm working to make those beds as maintenance free as possible.  I also planted my container garden.  I've come to the realization that I really only do have 2 hands and that try as I might I can only do one thing at a time.  I can't tell you what a shock that was!

But that's not all.  I'm the oldest of 5.  One sister is chronically ill.  I do her shopping and take her to the doctors and any other general running around.

Another sister fell down her basement stairs and tore up her knee in February. Subsequent to surgery, she developed blood clots in both legs and her lungs.  I added her doctor and physical therapy visits to the other sister's.

There's more.  The last sister got up to go the bathroom one night and tripped over a rug (that's been in the same place forever!!!)  She broke her left elbow in two places and her baby toe on her right foot.  No driving for her, so I picked up the other chores she was doing for the other two.  She's married so her husband did her doctor and physical therapy runs.

You knew this was coming, right?  Just after Mother's Day, I came down with whatever upper respiratory  crap is going around.  If you even hear that someone has this crap run in the opposite direction as fast as you can.  I still have a cough and am just beginning to feel human.

Thank God our mother was visiting to attend my oldest niece's graduation.  Who'd have thought that at 80 plus she'd still be taking care of sick kids???

I said 5 right?  Our only brother is a campus policeman at a different local college.  This is graduation season and is one of the busiest times of the year for him.  He couldn't get off.  When he isn't working he's doing house repairs on our chronically ill sister's home.

It has not been fun.  I'm not a statistician but I'd love to know the odds of all four of us getting sick at the same time!!!

Harold started planning my birthday surprise months ago.  And what a surprise!! We went to New York. We had an excellent meal, spent the night in a small hotel a 1/2 block off of Times Square and saw, "A Raisin in the Sun", with Denzel Washington.  I was absolutely gobsmacked.  We had a ball.  The actual day is tomorrow.  I don't know what (or if!) anything else is planned, but I've had a ball already.

Since the dress was unfinished, I went shopping.  I found this in the second store, but kept shopping.  I couldn't find anything.  I thought it was a little "young".  I'm still not sure, but I wore it.  As a fall back plan, I was going to wear the black jumpsuit, if I hadn't found anything, but I really wanted something new.  This is a milestone birthday. Tell me honestly what you think.  Is it a little "too mutton dressed as a lamb"?  Other than Harold I'll never see any of those people again. If it  really is a looser, it only set me back $8.49 plus tax so it's no big loss.


And the happy couple:




That's if for now.  More about the birthday tomorrow.

TTYL,

Melodye


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Dress - Bodice Part II

Redid the bodice going up one size and repeating row 1 until the piece measured 4". Then proceeded with pattern until underarm shaping.  I tried it on with the bra I'll be wearing (no pics) and am pleased with the fit overall. I'm always amazed at the difference proper fitting undergarments make.  I no longer look like a stuffed sausage!  I'm going to proceed with the rest of the bodice pattern.  I may have to rip back 5 rows of this first piece and work even.  I have narrow shoulders and have to move the straps to compensate.  It's interesting to see the same fitting problems I have in sewn patterns presenting themselves here.  I will admit it's easier to correct them in crochet than sewing!

TTYl,

Melodye

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Dress - Part I

I knew going in that I would have to redo the bodice at least once, maybe more.  The sizing goes up to a 42 but there are no provisions for anything larger than a "B cup.  This is a problem my 30 year old self could never have imagined.  Here's me wearing the first draft.
As you can see the bodice stops mid-bust whereas the pattern has more of an empire line.  The straps are also too far apart.  I didn't complete the lace detail above the bust in this one, but I will in the final.  

To add length I'll work row 1 for 3 1/2" before I move onto row 2.  Ideally it should be short rows, but I'm not going to take the time to figure it out now.  I'll widen the shaping for the armhole to shorten the width between the straps.


Except for the width between the straps, the back looks good.  I'll be wearing a strapless bra and Spanx so the straps won't show and neither will the bulges.  

I did swatch and got stitch gauge using an "E" hook.  The row gauge was slightly off but nothing to account for the shortage of length.

It took me about a week to get this far.  So I'm estimating another week to make the changes.  Most people that have made this dress have had to redo the bodice more than once.  Some 3 or 4 times so I'm in good company.  The good news is that the body of the dress itself goes lickety split!

TTYL,
Melodye


Melodye's Needle Notes