I love to sew, which is probably obvious from reading this blog! Having said that, there are some parts of the process that I love more than others. For example:
Narrow hems (I’m weird)
I… don’t love:
Cutting, both the pattern and fabric
Sewing on buttons
Trying to adjust gathers evenly
Out of those, I hate cutting the most. In fact, when I’m not sewing it’s often because I can’t face up to the idea of cutting something out! I use a rotary cutter, which is easier than anything else of course, but even so I hate all the pinning and marking. Patterns are tedious too, but not as bad as fabric. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about this issue – I hate to miss out on sewing time because the part I don’t like comes first!
I’m off work all week, as I don’t teach on Thanksgiving week. I am not going out of town for the holiday this year, so I decided to try an experiment:
I brought my cutting table into my living room, put on some tv I’d been meaning to watch (Stephen Fry’s “In America” on Netflix) and set myself to cutting. Cutting is much more fun with something to watch! I’m also trying to train myself to use pattern weights for smaller pieces, to avoid pins. I don’t have a cutting mat that is as large as my table, so that only works with small pieces, as I need to scoot the mat sometimes. I’m way to cheap to pay as much as the large ones cost so far, but eventually I may get one!
After I cut the pieces to a pattern, I marked them (with my chalk pen) and removed the pattern pieces. I put them in zip loc bags with the pattern.
This way, when I want to sew I can just pull a the pieces out. I’m still working on cutting my winter wardrobe today, and then I have a rehearsal tonight, but tomorrow I plan to start some sewing!
Finally, I thought I would post a little update about my progress on the exercise program I committed to (Ballet Body Periodization.) I’ve completed 2 months of the program out of 6. Each month gets a little harder, but I am (mostly) enjoying the challenge. I’m very excited to have upper body strength for the first time ever (thus this ridiculous photo!)
Ok, so I won’t be winning any bodybuilding competitions, but if you look really closely you can see actual muscles! I don’t have a body type that builds easily on my upper half, as it is naturally small, so this is exciting. The plan has a ton of plank and pushup work for upper body. At first this made my wrists ache, as I have tendinitis, but after awhile I actually felt my wrists strengthening. It has actually aided in my playing – I used to get aches in my wrist after a long session, but not anymore!
I also made a full body collage of the changes I’ve seen. Having a visual record of progress makes it easier to continue on days that I’d rather just nap!
The biggest change is core strength, as I think you can see in the top row. You should be able to click and make the photo bigger, I know it’s small. I’m not dieting (or changing my diet really) so any change is due to the plan. I actually know singers who refuse to do core strengthening exercises, as they believe it will form a ring of muscle that will impede their breathing and lung capacity. I don’t find this to be the case, though I suppose it’s possible that overtraining might cause a problem, especially if you overtrain only one part of the core, if (for example) you only did traditional crunches. My knees have strengthened as well. I used to get pain in my right knee sometimes, but as I’ve strengthened the muscles around the knee that has gone away.
The biggest change, though, is in how I feel. I have more energy overall, and my self-esteem has increased. I think my body is healthier – I got my usual November/change of the weather cold this week, and it was gone in 6 days (plus I never got as run down as I usually do.) I exercise for an hour on average, 6 days a week (it’s actually longer than an hour on strength days, and less on cardio (I do 40 minutes, as I’m still working on endurance.) I am telling you, if I can do this anyone can. I have not seriously committed to a plan like this in my entire life! I used to dance, but that was different – and I was not a super great dancer either! I did exercise when I was dating a trainer, but it wasn’t for me, and I didn’t see great results. I plan to continue with the plan, and after that is over try a different plan. I’m trying to make this a lifestyle change! I’ve bought way too many exercises dvds, and my husband is getting me an x-box Kinect for Christmas. I tried out one of the dancing games, and it’s a great workout – I love to dance, even if I’m not the best!
I hope to be back later this week with some completed garments – hopefully even some pants!