Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings

I got this DVD from the library yesterday and did the two beginning sessions this morning. And it about KILLED me. But the burn is good, right? ;-)

So, this DVD is aimed at new mothers. Yeah, well. I'm definitely not a new mother, nor do I ever plan to be again, but I do have the abs in need of dire rescue so I figured what the heck. It's actually perfect for me. It's toning exercises on a mat with a resistance band, a ball or pillow, and later a 3 lb. weight, without the bounce-around aerobic stuff that I suck at and just plain hate. Plus, the "host" Tracey Mallett is Australian and I do love those Aussie accents! I will definitely do "just 8 more" every time I hear her ask. But seriously, I think I can actually follow this DVD regularly. The time went fast, and I even watched it once before I did the routines so the total time I spent this morning was really double. I did have to fight off the dogs trying to lick my face all over with me down on the floor at their level, which could be a problem when I'm flinging weights around. Silly dogs. I'm sure we all looked quite a sight. No, there will be no photos of this.

I also got a Pilates DVD from the library and I'll "preview" that one tonight. It's rated for Level 4, which I didn't notice until it was home and if the beginner stage from the above DVD killed me, this one may just close the casket and throw the dirt on top. 

I'm still waiting for the South Beach Workout DVD I ordered from Amazon. It's supposed to be short but effective spurts of interval training that I can do on my eliptical bike. Hopefully I'll like that one so it can be my cardio. I hate cardio.

I also dug out my old scale and it seems to be working. Maybe I was just wishing it was broken? I needed a starting place to figure out BMI, etc., so it was time to face the number. At least I didn't have to buy a new scale to do it. The number is still way more than I want it to be eventually, but it's actually less than I was expecting for now so I'm not depressed about it. No, there will be no photos of that either. ;-)

I'm going to start on this pattern this afternoon. It arrived on Monday and should fit nicely into my informal "Summer of Dresses" plan. There are still others I want to revisit - Vogue 1250 and See & Sew 5593 to name two, but a new pattern to try out is TOO intoxicating so that's what I'm going to work on first.

No matter what stage I'm in with dressmaking by this weekend, I'll have to clear off the sewing table and start (and hopefully finish) another one of these bags:

Another mom of another Tyler in Marine boot camp found my blog and has commissioned me to make it for her. Her son is due to graduate from boot camp on August 22 and she wants to take it to Parris Island then. Ooo RAH!

And MY mother has twisted my arm (ahem) to come back to Virginia the weekend of July 29 to teach her how to use the serger she bought probably 2 years ago now. She lives about an hour from my sister, where my Tyler will be that weekend working with my brother-in-law to put a new transmission into the car he just bought. We knew it needed a transmission when he bought it (no 3rd gear!), so this has always been the plan. And while they have the old transmission out, they will be replacing the clutch too — just because they can. (Insert manly grunting noises here.) So, I think Tyler may be close to SICK of seeing me after this, although I will never give up any opportunity to see him so my mom didn't have to twist my arm too tight. Which she knew and used to her advantage. Like all moms do. She's buying me a plane ticket so at least I don't have to do that drive twice in one month. Two-hour non-stop flight vs. 14 hours on the road? No brainer. See you next weekend mom!

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Responses to some comments/questions:

Diane: "No problem with you "singling me out" lol I appreciate your comments although I'm not convinced that you are a lazy seamstress - - - - I almost never even do a muslin. Therefore, you are not as lazy as me!"

Trust me, I am. Making a muslin is so I don't have to make something twice just to get it to fit. Muslins are fast and ugly. Making two whole garments takes a lot more time. And I don't even muslin every new pattern anymore.

KellysSewing: "Is your son still stationed in NC? Mine is headed to Camp Lejuene in a couple weeks for 2 years. Opposite side of the US for me!"

Tyler is at MCAS Cherry Point NC, which is about an hour from LeJeune (CP is south, I think, but I could be wrong). There's not a whole lot for a single guy to do around either town, but LeJeune is a HUGE base, so I'm sure he can stay busy. I hope you can work out seeing your son as often as possible. I know how hard it is when they're gone.

Cheryl: "I wanted to comment on your prospective ab workout. Don't train any muscle group more than one day in a row; the muscles need the time to recover. Surely it's got to be good news that 20 minutes every day is too much. :-)"

Fantastic news! See above comments re KILLING me. ;-)

Mel: "Terrific tutorial! I have a question though, does the panel add weight (and heat) to the front of the top? I have tops that just have a small modesty panel in the front of the neckline and not attached to the rest of the seams. Just curious as I live in the same "hot house" state that you do."


flynn37: "I love the prints you buy, but one question - I assume they are polyester? You don't sweat like crazy in the Florida humidity? I just moved to Florida and am afraid to buy anything not cotton..."

I've been in Florida for 22 years so I'm used to the heat and humidity. But today's polyesters are actually pretty comfortable to wear and do breathe. They also wick away the moisture and let it evaporate, which is something cotton doesn't do. I always feel damp wearing cotton, but usually cool wearing a good polyester. And I'm a slave to those great prints. ;-)

I suppose the extra panel on the cowl top from yesterday does add weight, but I'm not really noticing it. I wore one of them all day yesterday running errands and I wasn't any more uncomfortable in the heat/humidity of a Florida July day than usual.

Kira: "Can the gift card be used by someone in the UK?"

Yes, as far as I know, since does ship internationally.

Kris O: "I love the fabric on your newly-made top. Did you mention the source and I just missed it?"

They are both ITY knits and recent purchases from

Belinda: "Have you always loved bright colors or is this something you grew into?"

I've always loved bright prints. Which is strange considering how shy I can be in real life, until I get to know someone. Maybe it's my way of telling the world, "Hey, talk to me because I'm too shy to start the conversation." ;-) But I've also been working on that, making it a point to say hi to strangers and smile. So far, so good.

I've also had a couple questions about my dressform. It's a Dritz My Double, and I reviewed it here. In the review are also a couple of links to online discussions and tips about dressforms in general and how to pad them out to fit you (which mine doesn't anymore, but I don't really ever use it to fit me anyway).

* * * * *

And the WINNER from the July 13, 2011 Giveaway (Custom Couture) is …

I chose lazysubculturalgirl because I just couldn't bear the thought of her feeling so guilty for so long about all those Old Navy things, especially since she so dutifully spent her husband's gift card on them. ;-)

Congratulations lazysubculturalgirl! I hope we see some "refashioning" posts from you soon. Please contact me at djc at cedesign dot com with your mailing info no later than Wednesday, July 26, 2011 (after all Winners have been announced, in case of duplicates). If I don't hear from you by then, I will draw another number/name.

Fine print: For all the Giveaways last week and this week, each entrant can only win once and in the case of duplicates, I'll contact you for your choice and then draw again randomly on what's left. Clear? And if you do enter, please check back over the next two weeks to see who won because if I don't hear from you within a few days after announcing winners, I'll draw/decide again. Again, anyone anywhere can enter this or any Giveaway which is still open.

* * * * *

Parting Shot:

This just arrived in my inbox as I was typing. "Putting panels back on" is all I know. I'm assuming the panels that hold in bombs or something, since that's what he works on.


  1. I hide from the scale. My waistbands tell me if I'm tubbing up. Kudos to you for braving the dreaded number. (Sewing helps me, because I don't have to admit what size I'd have to buy in RTW.)

  2. I was told by a very reputable and fit dance and fitness instructor that you should never do pilates without an instructor- you can very seriously injure your back due to not having anyone there to correct any imperfections in technique. She said the DVD's were mainly for people who took classes and wanted to stay active between them. I've always been to scared to do it since then!

  3. For cardio, have you considered trying out a kettlebell workout? It's actually kind of fun, but you have to pay extremely close attention to your form--and I do mean extremely close! But it's kind of fun, the equipment is cheap, and it's weight-lifting and cardio all in one. Aaaaand, since you said you could listen to an Australian accent all day, I found this video on YouTube about using kettlebells and it has a cute Aussie giving you the runthrough--see what you think. ;-)

  4. I won! I won! I never win anything! *falls over in a faint* Mailing info on its way to you.

    I do Pilates and I'm self-taught. I was told that the floor exercises are ok to do on your own, except for the ones that stress your neck and spine. Basically, if something seems awkward or wrong for you, stop. I used the book "Pilates for Wimps" as a starting point, you can probably find it at the library and it has a very good rundown of the basic poses. I also use Denise Austin's Pilates for Every Body so that might be worth looking at too. More ballet based, I think.

  5. Thanks for answering my question, Debbie.

    I've been staying away from the polys, too, but maybe I'll try one to see if I'm any cooler. You've convinced me. I have a couple from, too. Denver Fabrics has had some good ones, too.

    You're a better woman than I am! I've been here in Florida (north of Orlando in Deltona) almost 40 years and have never gotten used to the heat.

  6. I am in Jacksonville....and the heat and humidity kill me,too. Have you tried yoga yet? It's fun and really helps with tightening up.

  7. "Maybe I was just wishing it was broken?"

    I love that line! I also love that pattern. Its a bit beyond my current skill level, so I'm excited to see you tackle it. I'm sure it will look awesome on you.

  8. I "suck at and just plain hate" the bounce around aerobic stuff, too. I do enjoy some cardio, but have never been one to stick with it religiously. Last week, one of the resistance bands on DH's bowflex broke and I can't bring myself to try that again. It was kinda scary. So, I picked up Calinetics from the library today which is supposed to be a method to strengthen and tone your muscles using your body weight for resistance. (I think.) Good luck finding a workout routine that you enjoy or at least can stick with. That's always been a challenge for me.

  9. Hey Debbie, besides your incredible sewing skills, I really enjoy your wit. Thanks!

  10. It's hard for me to imagine you as shy, but I am too, so I certainly understand. ;-)

    Love that HP dress.

    Warning-VA (and NC) are hotter than He!! right now, and I suspect that won't change before next week.

    I spent my first 40 years in Florida, and it was nothing like this. Maybe it was the breeze in SW Florida, but I never would have survived if it was like this.

    Luckily, I have the fall to look forward to, and it can't come soon enough. Glad you're flying and not driving this time.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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