RA Blog Week - Hobbies #RedefiningRA

So maybe you know and maybe you don't - I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and also suffer from some other autoimmune diseases. I made the decision earlier this year to become an RA Patient Ambassador since I feel like maybe, I can inspire others to not let their RA get in the way of doing the things they enjoy.

I decided to join a group of bloggers and talk about RA for RA Blog Week.

They provided daily prompts for subjects to blog about. I've had a crazy past week and did not have time to do a daily post, but today's prompt was perfect for me - Hobbies!

This is a blog mostly dedicated to my sewing - one of my biggest hobbies. So, I felt it was perfect. What I sew has changed over time. It goes with my mood and stage in life really. When I was diagnosed with RA, I made mostly quilts. This is one I made for a friend's baby girl.


I might have made myself a top or blouse from time to time. I had a period of time where my hands could not stand the the hours on end I would spend cutting out strips or blocks for a quilt with a rotary cutter. My hips and knees didn't always like it either. So I found out that they make these amazing little devices to cut quilt squares. Many required you to hand crank and were really hard for me to crank - so those wouldn't cut it. So I started looking at electronic models and after researching for weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought one. Not my photo below - but I didn't have one handy.
Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Cutting Machine
There was definitely a learning curve - but it is so fun to use.

And then something happened. I became ill in a way I hadn't before. And my whole body was effected. I had severe gastrointestinal issues - that I still struggle with. Pants and anything with a fitted waistband became just too unbearable to wear. My waist could increase by 7" over the course of a day. Then I needed surgery and would have several incisions on my abdomen. I also was going in for a variety of ct scans and MRIs regularly. All this meant was I needed a new wardrobe. No more fitted slacks and blouses - I needed comfy knit pants, leggings, and swingy knit tops to disguise my ever changing waistline and to provide me comfort. In late 2014 I began sewing a lot of apparel and not so many quilts. I found a whole new world of custom knits and indie pattern designers. These fabric and pattern designers needed people to sew up their stuff and test it out. I wanted in on this exciting new world and started a blog and facebook page. Now I regularly test patterns for a variety of designers and routinely sew fabric for the custom knit groups that thrive on Facebook.

This is the most recent photo I have handy of an item I made. This was fabric I was sent to promote. I went with a friend to a park with a waterfall. we walked about 2 miles that day trying to figure out where the waterfall was.

Custom fabrics also let me show off my geeky side. I am a scientist and love wearing things like this shirt with an atomic molecule design to work.


I love Astronomy - and there's fabric for that too.


I'm an environmental scientist and well - this is perfect for where I work.


I also love to read! This book print was just perfect for me too.


This photo is just another that I love - it's one of my favorite tops I have made.


My other hobby I'm very passionate about is photography, and hence the "Capture" in my blog name. This is one of those hobbies that I can always work on no matter how bad I feel. I may not always feel up to lugging my heavy gear around, but I can always lay in bed with my laptop and work on editing photos. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Milky Way as seen from Fort Griffin in Albany, Texas.


The ceiling of the Bellagio lobby in Las Vegas made of Chihuly glass.


A chrysanthemum.


A field of sunflowers in Allen, Texas.


A hot air balloon as it lifts off over my head at the Plano Balloon Festival.


A tree stranded on a lonely little piece of beach during high tide in Belize.


A view of an Elephant Ear leaf in my yard.


A selection of delicious pears I bought at the grocery store.


I enjoy finding beauty in our everyday objects. Anything can become a beautiful image with the right lighting and angle. That's how I like to view my life as well, there may be some ugly bumps and bruises, but look at it from a different angle or perspective, and suddenly it becomes beautiful again.

If you have a hobby and think you can't do it anymore with RA - I'm going to say you are wrong. Look for solutions to the problems, and find aspects of your hobby that can be managed more easily when you are not feeling 100%. It's possible to find new ways to enjoy your hobbies.




Boss Lady Fabrics Scrap Busting

I got this gorgeous velvet from Boss Lady Fabrics. I used it to make this top. You can read the blog post for it HERE.


I really do try to keep my sewing room and fabric organized. I only put 1 yard cuts or bigger on the shelves in my sewing room and all smaller cuts go on shelves in the closet or bins. And I have waaay too many short cuts and remnants. I had a very odd cut of this velvet left over that was the perfect size for at least some sleeves. I had seen a photo of a raglan top made with velvet sleeve and decided to make one. I went to my closet of remnants and looked for a suitable piece for the body and found some pink french terry.


I really love how it turned out. This will be perfect to wear as the weather cools down.


I used the Elle Puls Bethouia for this top. The sleeves on it are my favorite.


If you are looking for good quality fabrics at great prices, check out Boss Lady Fabrics. There's a great variety on the website including mystery boxes. Check it out at http://www.sewlikeaboss.com/
Also be sure to watch the Facebook group for Fast Finger Sales. They are discounted pieces that go to the first to comment. It's fun and moves fast.

Jaded Threads Shoppe Back to the Beginning

Jaded Threaded is going back in time and reprinting the designs that started it all. The round is appropriately named - Back to the Beginning. This round has sooo many prints in it, it's hard to pick a favorite.

The preorder closes on October 1st. All prints are offered on cotton lycra, french terry, and bamboo lycra. Order at https://www.jadedthreads.com/collections/reprint-round

I was sent "Shot Through the Heart" on cotton lycra. This is a gorgeous and very detailed small scale print. The design shows arrows in a variety of styles and so many deep rich colors on a pretty purple background.


When I received this strike off, I decided to try a new cardigan pattern and pair the print up with a solid grey jersey knit.


There are so many colors in this print. I almost paired it with a dark teal or a dark plum - it looked great with both. I will probably find several tops in my wardrobe that will go great with this.


Cuddle Muffins Custom Printing Peppermint all the Things 2.0

If you are looking for cute holiday prints that are perfect for all winter, check out Cuddle Muffins Custom Printing. The Peppermint all the Things Flash Round just opened and it's full of some great designs. You have to see the Peppermint all the Stripes - it's Gorgeous!

The Preorder closes on September 21st - so order soon HERE! All the prints are offered on cotton lycra and french terry.

Marissa sent me Peppermint all the Holly. I love the sophisticated look of this print. The background is a dark grey with a tint of blue. The holly stems are a silvery grey and bits of blue with berries in a bright red and a darker maroon. There are also branches that are shades of brown. This is a print you can wear all winter.


I recently returned home from a cruise. When we were at the safety briefing before setting sail, I saw a lady wearing a top made like this. Hers was a solid blue and the front v-neck had a cool crochet applique on the neckline. My husband said it was creepy for me to try to sneak a photo of this mystery woman, so I sketched her top on my phone. When I got this strike off - I knew it was perfect for this top.



I love the subtle sexiness of this top and had plans to wear a red velvet jacket with it for some photos to bring out the the gorgeous reds in the holly. It was a hot 95 degrees and you couldn't have paid me to put that velvet jacket on.


When it gets cooler, I'll grab the red velvet jacket. This will be great to wear to any holiday parties this winter. Until then, I have a cute date night top.

K's Closet Fall Flash Round

K's Closet has an awesome Fall Flash Round open now. You place your order by September 29th and it will ship to you by October 15th! How's that for a quick turn around?

There are so many gorgeous prints in the Fall Flash Round. Go check them out - I'm in love with the Autumn Leaves print. All prints are available on cotton lycra, brushed poly, bamboo lycra, french terry, and cotton woven.

Order at https://ksclosethillsborough.com/

I was sent the Autumn Blooms print on cotton lycra. Since Fall in Texas is still pretty hot, I decided to pair the print with some lace.


I really love how my top turned out even though I ran into a few issues. I didn't have a pattern and was trying to recreate a shirt I saw a lady wearing on my cruise. I sewed a few pieces wrong, but in the end - it still worked out.


The lace yoke is on the front and the back. In hindsight, I should have lined it with something, but I also like it like this.


This print has so many pretty fall colors. The background is a gorgeous raisin color with buttercream and gold flowers with bright blue accents.


This print is great for your fall wardrobe. It may not feel like fall yet, but it will get here sooner or later.

Boss Lady Fabrics Sweater Knit Piko Top


I love this sweater knit I got from Boss Lady Fabrics! It was only a yard, but that's all I needed to make the top I envisioned.

I love the Everything Your Mama Made Piko Top. I've blogged about it several times - but THIS POST shows you all the varieties I have made.


I love to make the 3/4 length sleeve version for fall. That requires a bit of fabric for the sleeves and I did not have enough of this sweater knit. I dug through my bin of remnants from Made Whimsy and found a piece of the Maroon cotton lycra.  It's almost a perfect match and worked out great.



I love the Piko top since it's roomy and very comfortable.


This is the hi-low hem version and I love it with skinny jeans and boots.


I'm pretty sure this top is going to be in heavy rotation in my fall wardrobe.


Boss Lady Fabrics is great for finding gorgeous fabrics at a great price. Be sure to join the Facebook Group to join in the Fast Finger Sales - they are lots of fun!

Little Roots Fabrics Holiday Round

There's so much to love about Little Roots Fabrics.

They print in the US on domestically produced cotton lycra with organic inks.
For every order placed a tree is planted in Colorado!
They run amazing prints!

This Holiday Round is just beautiful!  The preorder is open from September 15th - October 1st! Order HERE!

I love this bird print - Dreaming of a White Christmas. It's cute and whimsical, and not overly holiday-ish. I can see wearing this print throughout winter.


This is the Patterns for Pirates Boundless Dress.  I did make a few changes to it. I used a band instead of lining the bodice and I raised the neckline in the back so that it was not the same as the front. In hindsight - I probably should have gone ahead and lined the bodice, but I'll keep that in mind for next time I use a light colored knit.


The birds are so cut and spaced out enough that it doesn't feel childish. The colors are a teal and maroon, which I love.


The Christmas Cactus though is probably my favorite print this round. Maybe it's because I'm a Southern Gal. And I did have a fake cactus once upon a time that we would decorate with lights for Christmas.


These minty green rainbow dots go perfectly with the print and the combination seemed perfect for the George & Ginger Swagger Sweater. This pattern is only $5 and I really love it.


Isn't this a fun print and a fun top?


I love the double layered skirt over my butt. I think it looks super cute.


These prints are perfect for a Southern Christmas. Be sure to grab them both. There's also another version of the dots that go with the Christmas Cactus too.


In addition to all the Holiday prints, Little Roots is celebrating hitting a milestone of hitting 3,000 members. They are almost to 4,000 now. To celebrate, they decided to release a new colorway of the original design that launched Little Roots Fabrics - Vikings. This is the new colorway - I call it Shield Maiden Pink. It's a nice coral color.


It pairs very nicely with this grey I had in my stash. This top is the Halla Patterns Agnes with some colorblocking. This is one of my favorite patterns and love that it's so versatile.


The Preorder is Open from September 15 - October 1st!. Order at https://little-roots-fabrics.myshopify.com/

Boss Lady Fabrics Chiffon and Lace Kimono

You can find all kinds of things at Boss Lady Fabrics. I happen to get this pretty fall colored chiffon and this olive lace trim. They happen to go great together.

When I saw the fabric with the trim, I knew I wanted to make a kimono. I decided to make the Simplicity 8172 version A.


I did not follow the pattern exactly. I decided to cut my fabric so that I did not have a seam down the center back. I also added the trim to each piece, before sewing them together.


I really love how my kimono turned out and now need to make a rust colored top to wear under it. In my photos I'm wearing New Horizon's Portlander Pants made with Dark Blue Heathered Athletic Brushed Poly from Zenith & Quasar Fabric.



Boss Lady Fabrics is great for finding gorgeous fabrics at a great price. Be sure to join the Facebook Group to join in the Fast Finger Sales - they are lots of fun!

The Fabric Geeks Through the Stones

The Fabric Geeks current Round open for Preorders is "Through the Stones". The prints this round are all inspired by the Outlander series of books. There are a variety of tartan plaids and each one is different and beautiful. All prints this round will be offered on cotton lycra and french terry. The Preorder closes on September 14th.

Order at http://thefabricgeeks.com/preorder/
If you want to be invoiced in Canadian dollars, order here https://goo.gl/forms/l1LzYG1EeoWbKA2I3

I was sent the Inverness Plaid and the Celtic Badges - both on cotton lycra. I cut the Inverness plaid on the bias for the back and sleeves of my Duck Butt Designs Carol's Favorite Tee.


I cut the plaid with the grain for the front yoke. While the shades of green are not a perfect batch between these two prints, they do look great together.


The Celtic Badges print has many elements you will recognize from the Outlander books - the dragonfly in amber, thistle, Jamie Fraser's clan badge and motto, and some celtic knots.


The preorder closes September 14th. Grab some and feel like a Scot when you use it.

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