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Winter arrived here in eastern Washington last week.  One day it was beautiful fall weather, sun shining, highs in the 50s, and the next day it was lows in the teens and predictions of snow.  The snow just missed where I live, but the cold temps stayed.

Out came the fleece, the hot tea, extra blankets on the bed, and the long underwear.  Our two cats are mostly hibernating, though they seem to come alive like lizards when the sun comes out.  (That’s the good part about living in the desert–it gets cold, but the sun comes out to cheer you, even if it doesn’t really warm you up.)  I feel a bit like I’ve been hibernating, too; I’ve been struggling in the healthy eating/daily exercise part of my life, and skipped my weekly weigh-in last weekend, but I’m adjusting and things are improving.

I’ve got plenty of sewing projects lined up for the winter, so I was happy to get this one finished yesterday.


These are two blouses I made for a friend of mine using Butterick 5826.


She wanted a couple of lightweight cotton blouses with collars to layer under cardigans, so we chose the pattern and fabric late in the summer and finally got together the other weekend to do the final fitting.

I cut the pattern to her measurements and was a little worried that it might turn out HUGE on her–Butterick patterns, especially ones described as “loose fitting” on the envelope, always seem to be massive–but I only needed to take it in about 1/2″ on the sides and to cut a few inches off the bottom before hemming.  For the sleeveless one, I increased the arm hole size by 1/2″ and finished it with a quilt-type bias binding.  At my friend’s request, I used a narrow seam allowance on the binding so that a bit of it would show on the right side.  We also skipped the buttonholes; one top is just sewn shut at the front band and the other has a single large button sewn through all layers.  The style is loose enough that she can still pull them over her head when they’re sewn shut.

This was an easy pattern in general, though I must have puzzled over the front band instructions for an hour before I was fairly certain I was doing it the right way.  A clearer drawing of the step would have been helpful there.  The other hassle was the loosely-woven white seersucker, which frayed like crazy and would NOT be pressed into straight folds.  It will be lovely to wear, though, especially when it’s hot.

Next up is some work to reduce the size of the mending pile, which is frankly scaring me.


Then it’s back to the dress pattern that I’m testing.

Those who are following along at home may notice that several of my projects for FESA 2014 just didn’t happen.  I’ve decided I’m okay with that.  Those projects are  still on my mental list, but too many other things came up for me to stick with the rather ambitious plan I originally made.  The most important goal that I had for FESA, that of keeping me sewing during the fall, was reached, so I’m happy with that.