Jalie3669 Nico Raglan tee and a new year

Jalie NicoJalie Nico

Jalie Nico Raglan men’s tee in Merino Wool jersey from my fabric sponsor, The Confident Stitch. Sewn in size V.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday and Happy New Year to you!

 I managed to get three sewing projects finished for Christmas out of the seven I had planned. And two of those are these Jalie Nico raglans I made for Oliver.

I didn’t realize how wrinkled this top would look in photos, as Oliver had wadded it up as usual after trying it on. I guess I forgot the rules from Sewing Blogging 101. But this is how he will wear it, and he refused to wait for me to iron it, as he is a very busy guy when he isn’t just hanging around in my shed.

Oliver loves this sweater, as it’s so soft and warm, yet lightweight enough so he can wear it as a base layer for his winter climbs. He’s already taking it on a test run at Joshua Tree. That’s another great fabric from The Confident Stitch! They are batting 100 so far.

I cut a size V according to his measurements, but we both thought it was a little too loose. I did pre machine wash and shrink the Merino Wool, but I have a feeling one more wash will shrink it to the perfect fit.
Jalie NicoI made him a second version of the Jalie Nico with some performance knit I had in my stash from JoAnn. This one I made a size smaller, and the fit looks better. I did get slightly wavy neckbands on both versions, so If I could make these again, I might make the neckbands shorter or use a rib knit. This is a super quick sew, and makes for a nice basic men’s tee shirt for activewear or just casual wear.

I ran a bit short on fabric on this version and had to cut one sleeve on the cross grain instead of the lengthwise grain. Can you see it?

Jalie Nico

And here we have Gigi in her maxi dress I made her two years ago, which still fits with Oliver’s lovely girlfriend. They get along so well!

I for one, am hopeful 2018 will be a positive year. It will be following on the heels of a very rough year for me and the kids, which ended with my dad’s funeral on December 29. If you read my last post, you will know how close we were. He lived ten minutes away and was an integral part of mine and my kids’ lives. I miss him so much, already.

Last month our community was devastated by the Thomas fire. From my porch, I watched the fires across the river rage from a tiny patch to the largest fire in California history, feeling helpless and sad for those in it’s path. My own dad evacuated with his wife to a nearby ranch only two hours after returning home from the hospital with a colostomy bag, not being able to walk. Over 1000 homes were lost in the fire, including those of friends of the kids. There was so much smoke. The kids have been out of school since December 4 because of it.

I am glad to turn my back on 2017. Like Gloria Gaynor’s words I danced to with my mom and kids in the kitchen on Christmas Night, sauced on Isabelle’s jalapeno cucumber margaritas…. I will survive.

But not everything was all bad, of course. There were some good things too, Like Gigi running Cross Country at the Junior Olympics in Florida, and bringing home first place with her team; Isabelle finishing UCLA with almost straight A’s, despite having to be in the hospital with pneumonia and missing her on stage graduation last summer; Oliver finding meaningful work, taking inner city kids on wilderness backpacking excursions in the mountains; Alana finding happiness with a wonderful guy;  Our insane grandmother, mom, and grandkid road trip to Montana. Fraught with laughter and tears and 117 degree weather through the desert; Meeting new friends on my tennis team; finally winning my first match at the end of the season;

And then I met a brother I never even knew I had, who flew from across the country to be at my dad’s deathbed last week. A gift to both my dad and to me, since I have been an only child since 1989, when I lost my own brother.

That’s life in a nutshell. Pain, grief, happiness, joy. And always time for sewing.

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  1. Natasha says

    Thanks for sharing all of that. I appreciate your honesty. Losing a parent is so difficult. I’ve been through it, and all I can say is, whatever feeling you are feeling at the moment is the valid one. I wish you all the best in 2018. God bless you and your family.

  2. says

    I’m so sorry to hearing of your father’s passing. It sounds like a whole heck of a lot went on in 2017 for you and I hope you are off to a great start for 2018. I still haven’t gotten this Jalie pattern. I need too since I have my husband and a 16 year old boy to sew for! These kinds of patterns are great. It’s so RTW but even better when they can be sewn up in our fabric of choosing.

    • says

      This is good one Shirley. Have fun pattern testing for Jalie. I always look forward to their new releases.

  3. Sandy Osborne says

    Wow – what a year you’ve had, Justine. Wishing you lots of wonderful things in 2018!

  4. Carol says

    Justine. Happy New Year. Here’s to new beginnings and joy. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. In following your blog I could tell what an important part of your life he was. While it doesn’t seem so now, the pain will lessen but you’ll always think of him, and be grateful for having such a remarkable person in your life. Wishing you a fabulous 2018!

  5. says

    I’m very sorry to hear about your dad and I wish you much happiness in 2018. I was attracted to your post because of the Jalie Nico pattern. I’ve made it 3 times for my husband but he’s only wanted it as a baseball type T. I have been wanting to do it all in one fabric and see it looks as great as I thought it would. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  6. Pamela H. says

    2017 threw every aspect of life your way. It is admirable you are choosing optimism, as I believe it is a choice to be happy. I am also quite optimistic for 2018, and currently cutting out pieces for an upcoming sewcation! Though I don’t blog, I feel I’m sharing my sewing journey with wonderful bloggers like you when I visit your site. Many, many thanks!

  7. Brenda says

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad, I always enjoyed the little bits you shared about him in your blog.

  8. Carol says

    Justine, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, he will be missed. I’m glad you were able to spend time with him and make many precious memories. I hope your 2018 year is smooth and trouble free and that you have plenty of time to sew since I love seeing your projects and your progress. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Dee says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I just read your beautiful post with all your dad’s photos. It’s wonderful you were so close.

    I hope this year holds more joy for you. I’m hoping for a better year, too. My mom and my only pet passed very suddenly and I am still reeling.