Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork Magazine

Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork Magazine

Yes, another Seamwork Magazine pattern.  I was just gifted a subscription from my sister for my birthday a couple months ago so I can’t help myself. 😉

Anyway, Wembley has caused me some troubles which is unfortunate because I thought it was going to be super easy. 🙁

It really isn’t Wembley’s fault though.  It was totally me.  First off I didn’t notice that the fabric that I bought was slightly stretched out in one area.  It wasn’t terrible but because the fabric has a stripe print it becomes very noticeable when you are trying to cut the fabric out while making sure the stripes match up.  I spent too much time trying to fix this but it was important because what is the point of sewing something up only to have mismatching stripes. If I left it as is I’d never end up wearing it and it would be a waste.

Unfortunately, that ate up a few mornings.  I moved on though and kept sewing. Everything seemed fine until I noticed the very next day after I sewn on the waistband that the notches weren’t sewn into the seam allowance so there were little holes on the back of my cardigan. 🙁 So out came the seam ripper and another morning.

Finally I got the waistband and the cuffs squared away but I still had the neckband. Everything seemed to going well.  I double checked my measurements BUT once I pinned the neckband to the neckline it was much too long…  So I sewed up and cut off what I needed to.  It still ended up slightly long but much better it be too long than short.  I ended up covering up the raw edges of the ends of the neckband where it met at the waistband by just folding them in and do a few hand stitches to hold it in place.

Wembley was a pain but I do love how it turned out and I want to sew up another but probably in a solid color next time.  I’m thinking black for special occasions. 🙂

Happy Sewing!

Fitness Progression & Strawberry Almond Smoothie Recipe

Fitness Progression & Strawberry Almond Smoothie Recipe

The last 6 weeks I have been using the Tammie Hembrow Program and let me tell you it is tough.  I was so unbelievably sore the first week.  I stuck to it and slowly started adding more weight each week as I got stronger.

Tammie’s program is a 3 day a week for 8-weeks program focusing on your bum.  This may sound silly but this area is very important to me and I feel it is often neglected in most workout programs.  The reason why I am pursuing it is for several reasons.  First, I want to work out every part of my body equally.  I don’t just want a strong back and then weak legs, that doesn’t make sense to me.  Second, as you age your glute muscles get weaker and your bum flattens out so naturally I want to avoid that.  Third, I have sciatica and it stems from my piriformis muscle which is basically in your glute.  For whatever, reason whether it be stress, improperly lifting something or lack of exercise my piriformis will squeeze my sciatic nerve and cause pain and weakness in my right glute and leg.  The best way I have found to deal with this is consistently working out and de-stressing which I combat through daily meditation and of course my sewing hobby.  Fourth, workout programs have an ending, a goal, something to work towards.  I like that, I thrive on that.

In this program, you do need to use a gym.  I don’t have all the exact equipment in my gym but I make due.  This program focuses on the smith machine, leg press, arm pull down machine, barbell and free weights.

I also decided to use her arms and abs YouTube video 2 days a week.  That exercise probably lasts about 30 minutes.  It’s pretty simple but it burns. I do find myself plateauing a bit so I will be upping my weights pretty soon.

I’m just about done with week 7 and after this program I will be taking a vacation so when I get back I will start up a new program or repeat this one.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I’ve been pushing clean eating although it can be tough.  The days where I don’t follow it well I find that I am sorry not too shortly after eating as the bloating, nausea and headaches kick.  I’m still associating the “bad” foods with pleasure but soon enough I’ll have to condition myself to make more and more better choices.  I’m not aiming to do this perfectly but I am aiming to do it in the best way possible to fit my lifestyle.  It will always be a work in progress. 🙂 I am loving my morning routine of making a Strawberry Almond Smoothie.  I’ve changed this up to cater to my tastes.  It is very filling at about 200 calories and slightly sweet. (My recipe below.)

Finally, I’m also trying to eat more because the more you lift the more calories you need to turn into muscle.  In order to do this, cardio is no longer a part of my work out because it burns off too many calories.  However, I do take enough steps in the day to keep my cardiovascular system healthy.  Right now, the best way for me to do this is to add a protein shake to my daily calorie intake.  I’m only doing half a serving at the moment but soon enough I will need a full 310 calorie serving.  In time… 😉

Strawberry Almond Smoothie Recipe

1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

5 frozen strawberries

2 tablespoons flax seed

Blend!

Lotus by Valentine & Stitch – Free Pattern!

Lotus by Valentine & Stitch – Free Pattern!

***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***

Who doesn’t love a free pattern??  I got to know the lovely Helen of Valentine & Stitch during the #sewapril17 challenge and I’m so happy that I did!  Not only is Helen super friendly and kind but she and her husband are talented pattern designers so of course I was delighted when she announced that they would be releasing their first free pattern!

Lotus was recently released at the beginning of May.  It is a versatile blouse in two versions.  Version A being an off-the-shoulder tunic with a dipped hem while Version B has a narrower neckline and falls at the hip.  It is an easy and satisfying sew that can be made an afternoon.

I sewed mine up  in a lightweight jersey knit that I purchased at my local fabric store Fabric Planet.  I picked a neutral gray because I want to be able to wear this with a variety of outfits.  It has the right amount of stretch and drape for this pattern on top of the fact that it is really nice to the touch.

I decided to sew up Version B in XXS size and it fit like a glove around my bodice but I found that at this size for my body type the length did not hit me at the hip. That was totally fine though because it works perfectly with mid to high-waisted jeans which are very stylish right now.  I went for this size because if I don’t go for the smallest size I end up with a garment that is too big.  However, there will be plenty more Lotus’ in my future and the fun part is that I can play with the length to my liking.  I think for my next one I will go for the XXS but cut the length at an XS or S instead.  Either way I can’t get over how cute Lotus is! 🙂

Don’t miss out of this fun and easy pattern!  Check out Lotus from Valentine & Stitch and give Helen some love on Instagram @valentine.and.stich

Happy Sewing!