Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yee Ha!!

I've lived in Calgary on and off for almost 20 years (wow, that long...) and in all that time I have never had any Stampede clothes. If you've never been to Calgary during the Calgary Stampede, this doesn't sound that amazing. But, during the 10 days of Stampede it's like a western wear store exploded with all the contents sticking willy-nilly to anyone within the city limits.

Well, thanks to Sew U by Wendy Malin, I now have a "Western" shirt!

Western Shirt

I'm ridiculously proud of myself for this shirt. I've never sewed a collared shirt before and I think it turned out great (aside from a minor glitch with the collar stand, which was my own fault). The pattern is great and the instructions and all the information in the book were very helpful. There are so many little things with patterns that I was never really sure of, and this book really helped me with explanations.


This is also the first time that I've attempted a garment with a plaid. I am amazed at how well it turned out.

Pocket detail

Some of my stitching lines wouldn't win me any ribbons at the craft fair, but mostly I'm very pleased.

Hem detail

It fit me perfectly as written. The sleeves are the right length (a first for me) and the shoulders are the right width. I should have added an extra inch or inch and a half to the length, as it was just the right length without hem. I decided to use bias binding for the hem in order to preserve the length. It's a bit bulkier than a nice hem would have been but I don't plan to wear it tucked in so I think it's workable. I got pearl snaps at Fabricland and love the way they look (plus I wasn't looking forward to all those buttonholes... eep).

I think I'll be using this shirt pattern again (and again and again). But for now, I have something to wear for Stampede stuff. I'm sure this shirt will get lots of wear.

I have other sewing to show from last weekend. I just was so excited about this one I had to show it off first.

OH! And in other news: I finished my 30 Day Challenge on EA Sports Active! It took me 32 days due to a sprained ankle from a hike but I did it. I"m pretty excited about that. I've never really stuck with any exercise program before so this is a first. I plan to do the Intermediate level next.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Altered & Dyed

I had this white, long-sleeved, gauzy top hanging in my closet for a couple of years now. It was a gift from a friend but I was always afraid that I would destroy it within minutes of putting it on. White clothing seems to attract any food or drink I may be in the vicinity of.


It was really pretty but, like I said, me+white=not a good idea.

I had seen a few shirt remakes around the blogiverse lately (but I don't remember where) and suddenly had the urge to alter this shirt.

I chopped off the sleeves, hemmed them, removed the ties and dyed it.


I wish I had another one. I love this shirt.

Now I'm looking at my closet and wondering what else I might have that could benefit from a pair of scissors and a little dye...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Superhero strength

I bought and started the EA Sports Active for Wii about 14 days ago (actually, exactly 14 days ago). I meant to post about it when I started it but I was scared I would wuss out and quit right away and that would have been embarassing. Also, it made me nearly weep the first day and that too was embarassing. Now it's just funny.

I've never really done any strength training or consistent exercise (other than the year where I was pretty faithful with my stationary cycle) so I wasn't sure how I would do with this. I'm doing the 30 day challenge (today was day 14) and I can't believe I haven't quit. I'm doing the easy setting, so really, that would have been embarassing if I had quit. But even on the easy setting, my legs were cramping and I yelled at the TV when it made me do another set of "inline skating" towards the end of workout #1.

I'm pleased (and slightly ridiculously proud) to report that I'm actually looking forward to the workouts now and I feel stronger in my legs and arms. I didn't feel like I was going to die from lack of oxygen in the running (in place) portions today and my recovery time afterwards is pretty quick. Who knew that consistent exercise would yield results? huh. Strange.

My goal is mostly to build a habit of exercise with any weight loss and muscle tone being side benefits. (Yeah that totally sounds like a lie. I want to lose weight. I also want to get rid of the flabby jiggly arms I noticed the last time I saw a picture of my back/arms. My friend Sheri calls them the "Double Bye Bye" arms.) Mostly though I'm just pleased that I'm starting to notice the benefits (and that I no longer am in pain when i try to use my thigh muscles for strenuous activities like sitting or standing).

I'm pretty sure everyone who knows me is getting sick of me talking about this. I've turned into some crazy EA Sports Active Evangelist. I think it's mostly just me being amazed that I can do this. Yes, I know, I'm on the Easy level. But this level is a lot harder than the "sitting on my couch with my knitting" level I was on before.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Dr. Doolittle lives in my neighborhood.

The following is the incredible (and incredibly well illustrated) account of events that occured at or around noon (MST) today.

I was driving back to work from lunch and this truck was ahead of me at a stop light. I was trying to figure out what the box was on the back. It had portholes along the length and a locked door.

Suddenly this dog popped his head out. Oh! Cool. A box for a dog.

And then, I saw something that kind of freaked me out. The dog started to pull his head back in and at the same time …

A two headed dog!!!

Then the light turned green

And the first head was almost all the way inside.

And they drove away.

The end.

PS clearly I have missed my calling as a computer graphic artist.