Sunday, January 01, 2017

The First Day of Twenty Seventeen

I'm sitting in the Sewing Cave today after 9 days on vacation and I haven't sewn a thing...not one thing! I bought some fabric and I'm putting it away but that is the closest I've gotten to sewing.

I don't know what it is with me and the end/beginning of the year and getting sick but another year end/beginning and yet again I'm hacking up a lung. I know I don't feel well when I have no desire to sew. I didn't even start on the afghan that I want to crochet up in time for my daughter's birthday.

Actually I came home Thursday afternoon wrote a blog post about my adventures with Gaylen and went to bed. I'm just venturing out today and can tell that I'm headed back shortly. Yes, that means that I spent New Year's Eve in bed watching the ball drop and poor Mariah Carey's awful performance. I'm scheduled to go back to work on Wednesday so may yet get a little sewing done but I'm not counting on it.  

Chico's Chic ~
So the point of this post is not to discuss my lack of sewing but to discuss why I call my sewing style "Chicos Chic."  First let me say that Chico's uses no such term. I coined that term to try to describe the style or type of sewing that I'm doing now.

To review, I work in a very relaxed workplace with a lot of 20 and 30 year olds. I haven't worn jeans every day since I was in college 40 sumthin' years ago. When I started working, "professional work wear" was encouraged in the workplace. Women wore stockings and heels, jackets with skirts and dresses and NO jeans. 

I seem to have more challenges sewing for myself when the weather gets colder. I want to be stylish and current yet not dress better than my boss. I also don't want to look like a 20 year old. I know that I prefer classic styles to trendier styles. I like my trend to be on point with colors and details, that's why I've gravitated towards sites like Chicos, Talbots, Lafayette 148, Coldwater Creek, JJill and The Avenue & Torrid for a plus size point of view. I use these sites for ideas only since I have no desire to purchase clothing from them. 

Pictures of a few pieces that have caught my eye ~






Some accessories pictures ~


I want to wear more of my pearl necklaces


Another comment made was that I sew a greater variety of pieces now and that is true. It's also the reason why it takes me longer to complete an outfit. Most of my garments are no longer made from TNT patterns. As we know a pattern fresh out of the envelope comes with fitting challenges that must be addressed.

Goals for 2017 ~
I'm stating these sewing goals here because I want to be held accountable. I'm hoping that will help me stick to it.

  1. No fabric buying until July.
  2. Along those lines no more denim purchases. I have quite a bit of variety in the collection now and need to use it instead of collecting more.
  3. No pattern purchases until Memorial Day weekend/early June.
  4. More discriminate pattern purchasing...after seeing Gaylen's stash of patterns, I own way too many.
  5. More sewing for the grand babies.

I don't have any sewing challenges or techniques that I want to use. I don't even have any special fabrics I want to work with since I either own it already or don't particularly like to sew with them. Truly the results of having been sewing for years. 

However, my main sewing goal for 2017 is to enjoy the process more. Reworking my TNT patterns and developing a new style have truly zapped some of the joy from my sewing. Hopefully now that I've been in this space for a minute, some of the joy will return.

I hope 2017 brings all of you ~ many sewing journeys full of discovery, joy, creativity and much fulfillment!

...as always more later and Happy New Year!





53 comments:

  1. Dear Carolyn, I also wish you all the best for 2017 and many happy hours hidden away in your sewing cave. Good luck with the abstinence of buying fabric and patterns. I have nowwhere near as much but still more than enough. Yet tomorrow I will (must) go to a half price fabric sale at Pitt Trading. The fabric on offer is soooo beautiful and soooo hard to resist!

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    1. Therese - I hope you got some great things at the sale!

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  2. Happy New Year! I hope that you recover quickly, and I like a lot of elements of your Chicco chic style. The coat is really nice! Also, I love your sewing goals, especially wanting to enjoy the process more.

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    1. Vanessa - I don't need as many clothes as I did before so I really want to emphasize enjoying the process since it's something I love to do!

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  3. Happy New Year. I have just stopped (to procrastinate) cleaning out my wardrobe. I have so much stuff. Yet can't let it go.... With so much stuff I have no desire to sew, or shop. Trouble is I keep so much for YEARS. I have so much fabric too that I don't enjoy buying that anymore either. Need to let go so I can find some joy in sewing or even getting dressed. Good luck with your resolutions and hope you are feeling better soon.

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    1. Vicki - I hope that you are able to donate and give some of the things away. I always look forward to donating because it gives me space to sew more and thus buy more fabric. That's my solution to the having to much stuff quandry!

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  4. Happy 2017 and good luck to you with the goals you have set. I have not sewn in at least 6 months. A new job always seems to put me in an emotional tailspin as far as sewing goes. I finally purged my pattern stash today from 500+ (yes 500 ) to 200. I am so pleased with myself!! My fabric stash is next. I think my goal is going to be "do with less".

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    1. Eileen - you are better than I am because I would be a basket case if I hadn't sewn in 6 months. Sewing is the place that keeps me grounded and on an even keel. Hopefully you will get a chance to sew soon!

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  5. Happy New Year Carolyn! Hope you feel better soon.

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  6. Happy 2017! Sounds like a blizzard of beautifully handmade clothing is coming, to work down that stash and make room for a major buying spree during the July 4th sales. Good luck with your impressive resolutions -- you know we all support you. Hope you feel better and get that sewing cave humming with creative joy. Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)

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    1. Happy New Year Carolyn. Although I don't comment very often I find your sewing incredibly inspiring and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you create in 2017. Hope you feel better soon!

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    2. Cindy - I'm hoping that I get so used to digging in the fabric collection to make something that I won't want to buy as much. I know that I have a lot and am not complaining about it but truthfully am worried about the times ahead so I need to be saving more money as a safeguard against what's coming.

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    3. Robyn - thanks for leaving a comment! It is appreciated!

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  7. Get well soon!, and happy sewing year!

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    1. Thanks Faye and I look forward to your sewing journey this year too!

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  8. Happy New Year & good luck with your goals and looking forward to your creations.

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    1. Happy New Year to you to Sheila and you know I'll be following along with you're sewing and copying whenever I can! :)

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  9. Hope you feel better soon! Enjoy some days of healing. I love your inspiration for the new year. You always have such a good eye! You have helped me "see" and now I people watch and look at catalogs with a new perspective. Happy New Year!

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    1. Patricia - people watching is the best! I hate when the weather gets so cold that I can no longer see what people are actually wearing. And I'm thrilled that you're inspired by creations and postings. Happy New Year to you too!

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  10. Exactly! and your goals fit me to a tee! Happy New Year, feel better soon :-)

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    1. Patty - hopefully we are both successful this year with our goals! Happy New Year and thanks!

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  11. Love your blog. Chico Chic is a wonderful name for your style. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Lorrie! Those Chico models are always so well put together and I hope I can model a little of that in my own life!

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  12. Carolyn, good luck with no fabric buying until July! Tee Hee! �� I think your illness is messing with your head! Kidding aside, get well soon!

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    1. Barb - I hope the medicine isn't messing with me since I decided this back in November...so hopefully I've set a course that I can follow! However, I will keep you updated!

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  13. Sorry to read that you have been sick. My DH has been sick also. I like you am holding off on making pattern and fabric purchases this year. I did buy a bunch of both at year end. Unlike you I did not put an end date on that, perhaps I should to hold myself more accountable. I have way to many patterns and this past two weeks I have sewn two of my favorite oldies and pulled out some older patterns that I have the urge to sew. Wishing you a Happy New Year and as always look forward to reading your posts.

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    1. Linda - I thought an end date would give me something to look forward to and not make it seem like a punishment. I'm hoping that by my end date, I will be so deep into sewing from the fabric collection that new purchases won't matter.

      I'm not as worried about pattern purchases, because it will be spring time and I will have time to honestly think about what patterns I should actually buy. I'm trying to make that my method from now on...instead of pulling the trigger on new patterns at the first sale right after they come out. The only patterns I'm allowing myself to purchase are the Simplicity ones from the last post because I've been to sick to get out to Joann's to get them.

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  14. I too have been suffering with a cold the entire month of December. I get better, and then it seems to come back with a vengeance. Who feels like sewing or creating when they're sick? Hope you feel better soon.
    Great goals for 2017. Happy New Year!!!

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    1. Rhonda - that was me last December. I just couldn't get rid of the cold/upper respiratory infections until the middle of January. I'm hoping this one doesn't last as long but I'm respecting it a lot more than I did last year. Feel better soon!

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  15. Carolyn, you are one of the lovely bloggers I truly enjoy reading. All year, you have great creations and I find myself thinking, "she must spend countless hours" in her sewing cave! I love your "Chicos Chic" style! (I love Chicos clothes too!) and am so looking forward to your 2017 creations! Happy New Year!

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    1. Myra - Happy New Year to you too! One of the things on the top of my list is to copy your amazing vest and I do spend a lot of time in the sewing cave since it's my favorite room in the house!

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    2. LOL! I can't wait to see your version of that vest! I plan to make another Spring/summer version too.

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  16. Hope you feel better and have a wonderful 2017. We were with tons of family over Christmas and survived with no colds or the stomach bug going around. We laid low New Years and it was when all family was sick with the bug. Hopefully we excaped any new germs.

    I have to say I dress better than my boss. It was an issue, not with her, when I started work and when one of our younger employees asked me straight on "why do you get so dressed up?" I looked her in the eye and said "It's what I do. You'll have to get used to it." Now they all know I sew and just love wearing lovely clothing and they totally accept that as me so at this point it is totally comfortable for my style of clothing. But I totally get what your saying. It all depends on the work culture and adjusting to that culture is really important. I wish you a great New Year and hope the germs go away and the mojo returns.

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    1. Bunny - thanks so much for that last paragraph. The relaxed dress code is a huge part of the culture so I need to make my style work in this culture. I love my job, the people I work with and my boss so working out a clothing challenge is a minor thing.

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  17. You can do it Carolyn! I'll be cheering you on!!

    Hopefully you're well on the mend!

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    1. I will be cheering you on too! We can encourage each other not to spend!

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  18. Happy New Year, Carolyn, and get well soon! I like your Chicos Chic style and have enjoyed reading about your new creations and the challenges associated with your transition to a more casual work wardrobe.

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  19. Thank you for sharing what it is like to dress for your workplace. I take such inspiration from you, Carolyn. Recently I got a part time job that requires I wear the company uniform, and I am considering a supplemental part time job running my own business as a fencing instructor. Yes, that would entail another uniform. We are close in age, and I too grew up as a professional during the power suit days - I made my own clothes but also loved Kasparov suits, so stylish and complimentary, with the huge padded shoulders and lovely wool crepe!

    Because I work in the airline industry, I will be taking my creative side on the road when I take advantage of wonderful flight benefits. So I will continue to make and wear dressy clothes that inspire me, and others too. I want them to say to themselves, who is that well dressed woman? Isn't it great fashion still matters?

    Please feel better soon. Perhaps the annual illness is just your body's way of getting a fresh start for the year 🙂

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    1. That should have been "Kasper" suits

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  20. Happy New Year Carolyn! I sure hope you're feeling much better by now. I enjoyed reading your post and had no idea what Chico's was until you explained. LOL! I love some of the pieces you shared, especially that first coat. Oh gosh, I would love to see you create that one.

    I totally get what you mean about the shift in business dress code. I like dressing up. I prefer to dress up.

    I wish you much success in meeting your goals in 2017.

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    1. Thanks Anita! I love the coat but I actually love it as a vest. It would be more practical for me and I miss dressing up. Happy New Year to you too!

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  21. Get well soon Carolyn (if you aren't already). I hear you about just enjoying the process. Have a happy 2017.

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  22. Carolyn, I hope you are feeling much better and wishing you an amazing 2017. I enjoy reading your transition from corporate to casual work environments. One of my biggest challenges is finding the right jacket.

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    1. Sharon - finding a good jacket/topper is my constant challenge too. It's one of the things I plan on working on this year.

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  23. Hope you feel better soon! For you to not want to sew.... shows how awful you must truly feel. Really like the styles you show here and look forward to seeing what you do in 2017! :)

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  24. Carolyn, are you well yet?? I surely hope so...a sick adult is pitiful thing to behold.

    I read your blog quite often, rarely comment, tho' when I saw your Goals for '17, I admit, I fairly chortled. No fabric buying until July??? Do you know how long it is until July. Oh, honey. Maybe you should change that to February.

    I love your blog and I am so envious of your talent; I fizzle terribly, but it doesn't stop me from trying. Keep up the good work. So many of us are inspired by your talent!

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    1. Melinda - you're right, I love fabric. However, my answer to you and what I neglected to put in my post is that the current administration scares the heck out of me. I have ALOT of fabric and I really feel that I need to save even more money than I've been saving. I have a fabric cushion I need a money cushion against the craziness that is to come.

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  25. Too sick to sew...that's bad. I hope you bounce back soon. I agree with your 'Chico's Chic' term to be a place to find inspiration to be dressed up yet casual with a classic look that remains sophisticated and current. I also find those sites a great place to get ideas to sew my own clothes and make my own jewelry.

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  26. Carolyn, your blog is one of the few blogs I follow consistently. I admire your style and your ability to relate to so many. I look forward to seeing what you will make in 2017. Get well soon. You have truly become my SHERO!!!!

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