Pattern: Uniform Project LBD

A few days before Thanksgiving, my Uniform Project LBD pattern finally arrived.  It appears that this well-intended project ran into a number of obstacles and in the end there were barriers to doing the right thing for those in need.  Printing and mass producing a pattern wasn’t as easily accomplished as originally envisioned, resulting a time-span of several months from the time of the pattern release until it was in the hands of those who placed orders.  During these months, there were frequent and apologetic messages from the team at The Uniform Project.

Not Just any Pattern

Having received a notification email with the USPS tracking number, I was expecting a package rather than an envelope, similar to how most patterns arrive.  What a surprise when it arrived.  The package was an inch thick and here’s what was inside:

The pattern was printed on standard paper and came packaged in a tote bag.  What a nice touch.

Now I can’t wait to make a wearable muslin for one of my daughters.  Do you also wonder if it really will be able to be reversed and still look fashionable?  What type of fabric would you use?  Would it be odd to make a red LBD?

Of course, that’s in line after the 6 or 8 current projects which are in the queue.

Free Child’s Crinoline Pattern

One of the fascinating things about a blog is taking a peek behind the scenes of a website.  As the blog owner I have regular access to the type of searches and other sites which refer users to the blog.  For me, this experience provides the same level of intrigue as other “back stage” experiences; maybe like being in a cockpit of a plane or in a production studio.

You Asked: Free Crinoline Pattern

For me, a peak into the wonders of the internet revealed that the most common word searches for my blog are submitted by sewists seeking a (free) crinoline pattern for under a child’s dress or a wedding dress.  About six months ago, I posted a brief tutorial for a wedding dress crinoline, which is what the search engines are targeting.  I understand why that posting gets a lot of hits, because when I tried to find a free crinoline pattern online, I struck out – hence the reason for the post.

Last week as my good friend Barb, was making a flower girl dress for her granddaughter, she asked me for directions on how to make a child’s crinoline.  That request reminded me that I’d started this post a long time ago.  Because of the number of photos and the length of the text, this would have been a really boring and long blog post.  Instead I put the instructions and photos into a really long and boring document.  This is hardly high fashion, but it’s a try at writing instructions.  Now I understand why there are so many patterns which are poorly written – It’s really tough to describe how to sew a garment, even with a lot of photos.

Click below to open the pdf:

Childs Crinoline Pattern

Please leave a comment with feedback on whether this give you the needed information.  Enjoy!


Does Practice Make Perfect?

Now that I’ve made the decision and my retirement date is set, I regularly find myself dreaming about what life will be like when I:

  • Don’t need to get up and go to work every day
  • Will no longer have a professional identity
  • Can wear blue jeans every day
  • Have the option to accomplish the goals I set for myself
  • Will have much more time to sew, read, travel, bike and cook

A Dry Run

This past week Kevin and I took a road trip to see autumn in the Carolina’s .  We drove down the eastern shore to Charleston, SC, retreated to North Carolina’s Smokey Mountains and drove back to Philly by way of the Virginia’s, Maryland and Gettysburg.  This was a wonderful fall get-away and an opportunity to begin the process of separating emotionally from my job.

This week was a time to think and talk about what it will be like to be retired. I found myself wondering what will fill the spaces in my brain which are currently occupied by work-related content.  What will I do each day? How will my wardrobe needs change?  What will I do with all of the shoes that are now taking up residence in my office? What can I realistically add to my bucket list?

Let’s consider the past week my dress rehearsal for retirement. For nearly all past vacations, I would have my Blackberry nearby and would check my email at least once a day (no lectures needed, I know, this isn’t a healthy practice).  While I would always enjoy vacations immensely and wasn’t consumed by thoughts about my job, it was always in the back of my mind.  Does this mean I wasn’t really on vacation?  I don’t think so.

Bayou in N. Carolina

The Results

Hmmm.  If this was “pass-fail”, I would give myself a “pass”.  One whole week without work-related email; it was easy to push thoughts about work out of my mind as we traveled through miles of mountains at the peak of their fall color.  My thoughts were consumed with how wonderful it will be to have the gift of time.  For now, that alone is unimaginable.  Admittedly I was and am self-absorbed about this whole thing, often rationalizing that “after 40+ years in healthcare, I deserve to retire before an arbitrary age set by our social security system”.

The real test is less than 4 months away but in the mean time, I think I’m getting ready for this huge change in my life.  For those of you who have preceded me in taking this step, I’m eager to hear about your journey.

Now, enjoy a few of Kevin’s photographs:

Charleston, SC
Smokey Mountains
Maryland forest
Gettysburg, PA