Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dolman Top in Stripes

Teal is one of my favorite colors, or for sure my favorite shade of blue at least. So this 2 tone stripe rayon blend knit from Girl Charlee is awesome in my book. This simple dolman top was cut with the stripes on a 30 degree downward angle.

The pattern is Simplicity 1805. I think. I made it 2 weeks ago and I already can't remember for absolute certain. Geez. Just about every PDF designer has a basic dolman top pattern though so I'm not going to worry about it. It's just one piece. Same front and back. I obviously cut mine in half to make the chevron effect. I shortened it by about 3 inches and I took at least that much out of the arms too. I think it's more flattering this way. I'm an "hourglass" and this shape, the stripes and the bootcut jeans show it off.

There isn't much more I can say about such a simple top so instead I'll tell you about these pictures and how my 4 year old photographer helped me out.

I need simple clothes to help out in a complicated life. We all know the pressures of marriage (19 years now) and children (senior and sophomore in high school and one in pre-K) and money (never enough). For the kids alone, there are always school projects, what to do after graduation (that's kind of a big one), mandatory service hours for school and swim team, and travel for sports. I'm in my mid-40's now so there is also the aging of our parents, our own health to maintain, a vegetable garden and yard, mounds of laundry, constant grocery shopping, and then throw in Elena's food allergies that make it tough to eat out or eat quick and daily life is very full. That's why the capsule wardrobe has become so important to me. I need simple, quick, comfortable clothes.

On top of my own life, I help out a lot with my husband's brother because has a brain tumor. He was diagnosed some 14 years ago after a seizure. They removed as much of it as they could at the time. Two times over the last many years, it has started growing again (slowly) and he has undergone a year of chemotherapy each time. Each time, the treatment was successful in terms of knocking it back. However, it is incurable. We have always known it would morph into a grade 3 tumor at some point and become aggressive, but kept praying that day would come much later.

This summer we found out that it has become that aggressive, malignant tumor. It's sort of funny because up until then, it was considered "benign" but the doctors will tell you that no tumor inside your brain is benign. It's very being there and the results of removing most of it in the beginning surgeries, has left my brother-in-law disabled, mentally. He has a problems with making decisions, following through, remembering, and opening his mail to name a few.

I have attended all of his medical appointments with him for at least the last 10 years. I've been there at all the meetings and court dates for his divorce and all the times since then that the county has pulled us all back to court because of her failure to pay child support. I find a sitter for Elena and drive him downtown and help him make decisions when they ask him if he would like them to put her in jail for failing to pay. (No, by the way. At least so far.) I pay his bills. I do his taxes. And currently, I take him to daily radiation treatments and lots of doctor appointments.

So when this morning, 10 minutes before time for preschool, I decided Elena was too sick to go to school, that meant she had to come with us. But with her runny nose and cough, I can't very well take her into the radiation unit where there are people with compromised immune systems all over the place (and besides that, it's a scary place even for me somedays) so we spent some time walking around the main campus of the world renown Cleveland Clinic. The place is like an art museum, seriously. There are art pieces everywhere lining every wall. Even this tunnel that connects one of the main buildings to a parking garage is not just a block wall. There are LED lights that make a rainbow effect that travels down the wall changing colors as it goes. Plus there is a long escalator to get to it so that adds to the fun (for Elena).

Since I realized that I was wearing a top I haven't photographed yet and we had some interesting backdrops, I thought I'd pay Elena her usual posing fee of one marshmallow to shoot some pics of me. There were many pictures of my legs and my shoes and lots of blurry ones too, but she did manage to get a few. It's just an example of "making it work". The whole deal takes about 2 hours out of my day for a 15 minute radiation treatment and about 4 hours when there are other appointments afterward like there will be 2 days this week. It's not wrong to take advantage of the situation and cross something off my list. It's making lemonade. :-) And do you now see why I've had time for hand-sewing projects lately?

Elena's second favorite place is this tree that is projected onto a wall. Its branches sway in the wind and it goes through all 4 seasons of the year. There are benches across from it to sit a while. Elena had a yogurt snack there since we had already packed her snack for school.

That Jalie cardigan is still up next, unless Elena has to come with us tomorrow. If she does, I should dress her in an outfit that still need to be photographed. That way, we can work in another blog post maybe.

And next week, JEANS! I made jeans. I still can't believe it. 


  1. Ok, I don't quite know what to say. I enjoyed reading your post even though some parts of it were a bit sad and made me think about my mom who died in brain cancer 7,5 years ago. Her tumor(s) was very agressive, she only lived one year after we found out. You Angela are a good and strong woman/wife! What you are doing for your husband's brother is really admirable. Definitely not everyone would be doing that.

    And what comes to this top , it is just looking amazing on you. Elena has taken some really good pictures! I can't wait to see the rest you have made! Have a good weekend!

  2. You are such an amazingly strong woman! Proud of you girl, for putting your family first, and STILL finding the time to treat yourself to a well-deserved (and well-fitting) wardrobe. Hope Elena is feeling better tomorrow!

  3. Yesssss girl, on this whole post. Yes to being a great mom and teaching your daughter what family means. And yes to lemonade!! Side note: still excited to see the Jalie cardi, love your top, and OMG jeans?!!


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