Dare 180: Felines Happen To You
Her Royal Chaos, Calliope

Her Royal Chaos, Calliope

Things have been quiet on the blog because at home I’ve been handling a 2.5 lb furry whirlwind named Calliope. The two weeks has seen my household turned upside down thanks to a little grey kitten that showed up at my workplace. She caught a ride in the wheelwell of a coworker’s Toyota sedan and after trying to place her and finding her a home where it didn’t work out she ended up with me. Having a kitten all of a sudden is like someone just handed you a toddler, said “Here you go.”, and walked away. My house wasn’t ready for a kitten so I’ve spent the past weekend kittenproofing. Which is just as well because there were many things I needed to sort through that she could kill herself with (Kittens are quasi-suicidal by nature.) in my guest room which is now...her room. It has been my experience that cats just happen to me. I have never once gone out to get a pet cat. They have always come to me one way or another and now here we are.

Since I already have a geriatric cat riddled with infectious disease who has long been established in my home it is going to take some doing getting them both adjusted to one another. Plus, it puts my cleaning schedule into overdrive. I do not need my small home smelling like there are two litter boxes in it. That is beyond not cute.

What all of this means is that many of my projects have been put on hold while I get two cats trained not to kill each other. It’s a lot of work considering I don’t think pets were even a thought when my home was designed, but it will be worth it to figure out how to make it work. Little Calliope is such a delight. She’s friendly, sweet, and fearless. I suppose one would have to be to ride 40 miles inside the wheelwell of a car. Life keeps delivering these obstacles and I’m doing my best to face them head on. I think that after another week I’ll have figured out a new schedule and can post regularly again. 

Floral Linen Suit: Concept
 
 
 

Initial concept. Although that jacket may turn into a vest as I discovered I have 2 1/2 yards of this fabric and not 4 like I thought I had. I forced myself to render this quick sketch for practice and yeah it's okay. She was supposed to be more brown and then I got tired and didn't render her face or hands. I'll have to try out some deeper tones later and give myself more than hour to color next time. 
This is the first contender in the Fabric Stash Challenge 2017. I'll be working on a pattern draft this weekend and next week with, hopefully, a muslin on the way by next weekend. 

Dare180: Knocked Down
Australia, 2017

Australia, 2017

Regrouping is hard. It is damn hard.

I have been metaphorically run over by a bus. The view under here is quite lovely as from this position you can see bullshit much more clearly when you’re sitting in it. In a matter of a few days all of the plans I made for myself through the end of this year have been effectively pushed off the table. Though I won’t go into details about my specific situation right now, I’m sure anyone who has worked hard and played by the rules only to have their ass handed to them and told to be grateful for the opportunity will understand how I feel right now. It has taken a lot of energy to keep myself from completely wallowing. It doesn’t change my Dare180 Challenge but it does change the scope of it. The only good thing I can see from this upset right now is that it is the perfect opportunity to try to implement one of the changes I wanted to make in myself: not letting roadblocks completely derail me.

 Who knew so soon in my challenge I’d have to come up against one of my greatest weaknesses?

I’m tired of the constant barely up and nearly always down of finding my footing as I try to blaze my own path in this life. It is ugly and my particular route is full of disappointment and heartbreak. I’m not unique, I’m sure, but the frustration and pain is my own to bear. I know the sooner I do begin dealing with it the better off I’ll be, but I think it is okay to take a moment to catch your breath when you’ve had the wind knocked out of you. I’m not sure I still know how to breathe. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but the feeling is real.

I think it’s necessary for me to share this moment with you as much as I can. It’s a part of the process and without it what I’m aiming to inspire would be hollow. I wish I could use these times as a power source. Level up someway and keep my stride no matter what gets thrown at me. I’m not strong enough yet. Not yet.

New Direction

I thought that I wanted to blog again starting in October. I was wrong. It seems I needed even more time away. I have written tons of posts but they tried too hard. This space isn't meant to be "aspirational" or a magazine. I kept losing sight of that. I just want to learn and share what I've learned. I'm working on a schedule to do just that. Currently, I don't have any sewing projects on deck. Possibly a gown for my birthday in January is in the works, but I have no solid idea yet. 

I'm also branching out more into woodworking and I'll share that here too. Along with whatever else I decide to create such as calligraphy and working small faux leather goods. Firstly, this space is for me, but I hope others might get something from it too. 

Here we go, truly,

Claire

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While I've Been Away | Instagram

The most I've done in my studio these past few weeks is walk through it save for the random small progress I make here and there on my  Burda 7123 pants. I'm growing more and more frustrated that I haven't had time to myself to do as I please. Now that Labor Day weekend has past I'm looking forward to quiet evenings and maybe just perhaps a weekend all to myself with no major social demands. I may be outgoing and I adore being with my friends and family, but I am quite the introvert and need time alone to regroup/recuperate.  Though I haven't been posting here as often as I'd like I have managed to post on Instagram. If you want to keep up with me even when I'm not here you can find me there @trulyclaire or www.instagram.com/trulyclaire. Above is a feed of my latest posts. Take care and I'll see you there!

Truly,
Claire

P.S
I'll be posting frequently on the blog again starting in October!

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Double Breasted Rehab
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I haven't done much of anything in my studio this week. Let's not even talk about the Burda 7123 pants. The most I've done is cut them out and pull out the binding fabric for the waistband and stared at it. What I did do was buy new buttons for this Goodwill treasure that was missing two buttons and has been languishing on my spare form for months. There was a whole button saga, the details of which I'll spare you; but essentially I was holding out for a set of crossed revolvers that to my chagrin aren't available in 1" diameter. 

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So I went to my local Hancock and picked these. They are called "brass pointed shield" and are a classic style if not a little boring. The good thing about buttons is that they're an easy and quick change so if  I ever do find 1" diameter crossed revolver wonderfulness I will not hesitate to swap them out. I just can't stand to wait and not have an opportunity this season to wear this great jacket. It's another $5.00 USD find that can do so much. Now, with the way my schedule has been I don't know if I'll even have time to sew on these buttons, but at least they'll be ready for when things slow down again; fingers crossed: will be soon. 

Truly,   

Claire

 
New Little Brother

I've had this little gem in my studio for the last two and half weeks or so.  I have no need whatsoever to own four sewing machines....and yet I do. Now, let it be known I have a great animosity towards modern Brother home sewing machines. I will not hesitate to bad mouth them in polite company. They are temperamental,  a right pain to calibrate, and have let me down far too many times, but when my friend sent a picture of this while she was shopping in Goodwill I couldn't say no. It was only $40.00 USD including the table.  I wanted it because of the table, but this little Brother is from the old school complete with metal body (not that flimsy plastic crap) so it holds more favor in my eye than it usually would.

Sure the table is missing knobs and is made of wood composite, but it's adorable and with a little elbow grease and maybe some paint can be made even more so. I have high ideas for this little treasure, including replacing the Brother machine. I haven't taken the machine for a run yet, but it came with accessories and a sign saying that it is fully functional. No instruction manual but that won't be problem. 

Also, by a sheer stroke of luck I've gotten the day off so everything I couldn't get done this weekend due to a terrible allergy attack (sewing those Burda pants) I'll get a chance to do today. Wish me luck!

Truly,
Claire

Burda 7123 First Fitting

I was not happy at all with cutting the size 12. This after I carefully measured the pattern. My deduction is that Burda doesn't cut for curvy body types as a default. This of course is always a possibility as the average body type pattern companies cut for is not curvy. No reflection on actual bodies in society but there it is. Next time I sew a Burda pant I'll cut the 14. It will be easier to fit that way.

So what I'm going to do is undo the side seams and sew them a little smaller, maybe leave a quarter inch behind. I think that's all I need, but if that doesn't work then I'll just re-cut the pattern right around the hips because surprisingly I'm satisfied with the fit around my thighs. The center back seam should be reshaped but I think the crotch depth is fine. Hopefully, I'll have time this week to do all this and crossing fingers that next week I can cut and sew these in the fashion fabric. If I can get these done sooner I'll be shocked. Shocked I tell you.

Truly,
Claire

Barren Studio

I haven't done any of this in nearly three weeks

I knew my schedule was about to go into overdrive but I had no idea that it would take me away from my creative space for so long. Though I've been busy with lots of really wonderful things like baby baptisms and new jobs and spending much needed time with friends, I have been hankering to get back into my studio. I've barely had time to blink let alone work on my current projects and start developing new ones. I managed to sew a muslin of the Burda pants and be really, really unhappy with the fit before everything went full throttle. I should have cut a size 14, but I'll put all of that in another post. I won't apologize for leaving my blog for so long because my non-virtual life will always come first, but I am so very sorry for myself that I haven't been creating. Very soon I'll be back at it and will be posting my updates more regularly once again

Truly,
Claire.

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New Hair | Breeze

In the studio taking pictures instead of working. I got as as far as doing my eyes and then gave up. Let's be happy I got this far. Let's be happy I had the wig on inside the house because that wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the blog.

I wear wigs from time to time to give myself a break from my hair and give my hair a break from myself. We're both grateful for the time away. This particular wig is by Motown Tress and it is called "Breeze". I'll be wearing it throughout the summer. It will be this or a bandana because my Summer should be spent being carefree and not fussing and primping over my hair. The humidity where I live will wreck any style I try to do  anyway.

I've worn it off an on for about a week and a quick review is that: it tangles like a beast, is a little snug on my slightly large head, but wears delightfully well. For thirty dollars I'm okay with all of that.  It's a bit wiggy of course being that the damn thing is smoothly extruded plastic so it shines like a disco ball in a hall of mirrors even with a generous helping of dry shampoo (cornstarch). Also, I don't bother much to keep my hair underneath very flat. I like it wigginess and all. I'm not trying to convince anyone it's my hair only that I cared enough not to wear a bandana that day.

Truly,

Claire