Wining Wife®

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Month: November 2016

Pattern Test: Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress

Sofilanthes Foliis Jacket

Brrrr…it’s getting cold outside. Well, at least, it’s starting to here in Kansas, anyway. It’s been a good while since I’ve done a pattern test, and when I saw that Anne Jacobs of Sofilantjes was doing a call for testers for a jacket, I knew I needed to sign up.  The pattern includes directions for a cropped jacket, a long A-line jacket, and a dress. The Sofilantjes Foliis Jacket & Dress pattern has a hood and options for long or 3/4 length sleeves. I made the long jacket option with long sleeves for my gal. 

The Fabric

v3498-001Solid - Blue - Verhees French Terry KnitFor the jacket, I used this gorgeous Verhees jersey Hologram Elephant digital print I got from Mabel Madison.  Originally, I had planned to make something for little guy using this fabric and some French terry I have (also from Mabel Madison).  I wound up choosing to make the Foliis from these two fabrics instead (and I have just enough left to still make little guy the shirt I’d wanted to make him). The fabrics are soft, and while the elephant print is not sweatshirt or French terry fabric, it is thick and heavy enough to hold up for this project. 

The Foliis Pattern

In the same style as other Sofilantjes’ patterns, the Foliis is easy to follow. Anne Jacobs breaks down the steps into easy-to follow directions that are the big reason I enjoy making her designs. The Foliis itself is not piece-heavy. Every pattern piece serves a functional purpose, and the illustrations were great. I made the 18 months size for my petite almost-3 year old girl. When pinning into place to cut, it’s important to make sure the words and the graphic on the pattern are going in the same direction. I wanted to be sure my elephants would all be the right way when the project was finished. 

I used the elephants for the body of the jacket and for the outer hood and the French terry on the cuffs and hood lining. The zipper was easy to modify and install given the instructions in the pattern. I decided to add a beaded zipper pull for a little bit of flair. The whole thing was quick to sew up – but it did require a bit of hand sewing. I put on the latest This Is Us episode and stitched the hood lining to the neckline in what seemed like no time at all (in reality, it took the episode plus a little extra time to finish.)

The Photo Shoot

I finished sewing my test early, but we had to leave town. The teenager was set to visit Simpson College in Indianola and Creighton University in Omaha. I took the finished jacket with us on our trip so I could take photos on one of the college campuses. There was a gorgeous park next to Simpson College that worked perfectly for the photo shoot. The jacket fits Little Miss perfectly – AND she loves it. It’s a win-win situation. We got lots of compliments on it while we were hanging out around town. It was 40 degrees once it warmed up, but still pretty windy and cool. Even though the jacket was made of jersey, she was warm enough in it to be comfortable for photos. 

How to Order the Foliis

Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress pattern is on sale for €6.05 ($5.30 USD) here until 11/30/2016 (affiliate link).

I received a testing and final copy of the Foliis pattern in exchange for my honest feedback on the pattern. All opinions about the pattern are my own. 

I’m thinking it would be really neat in a quilted cotton jersey. 🙂 What kind of fabric do you want to see the Foliis made up in?

TLC Tours Book Review: Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

I have been dealing with nasty chronic pain for almost 5 years now. I took an antibiotic, Cipro, that wreaked havoc on my entire body. Some days, just standing up is a chore. Other days, I feel fine. When I was offered the opportunity to review the book Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White, I jumped at the chance, hoping that I might garner some new knowledge about things I can do to combat the pain in my life. 

The premise of Esmonde-White’s book is that we need to move more to combat pain using the Essentrics method. This method involves stretching and muscle conditioning. She wants doctors to pay more attention to the role chronic pain plays in health and wellness, and she wants it to become a routine part of our checkups – and one that doesn’t immediately and automatically resort to medication when it crops up. I can definitely jump aboard that ship. Prior to getting pregnant again, I was relying on the smallest dose of Motrin possible to get through the day relatively pain-free. That’s a dependency I’d rather not have. I cannot take stronger medications since I tend to be allergic to everything. 

Through the early chapters of the book, Esmonde-White talks about the root causes of chronic pain as well as the body’s built-in mechanisms for healing pain. She then talks about how a sedentary lifestyle can lead to chronic pain. Many of our modern jobs are built on sitting. She writes:

When we wake up in the morning, we usually feel a little stiff from a long night of immobility. The less we move upon waking, the stiffer we feel–but after some stretching, the stiffness can go away. 

Magnify that just-out-of-bed stiffness many times over, and you may better understand the sort of stiffness that many people chalk up to the aging process. Most people respond to this discomfort by moving less. But the less we move, the more our connective tissue solidifies, creating a chain reaction and exacerbating the problem. Remember: Pain is a message from the brain telling us that there is something dangerous happening to our body. The message of stiffness is a precursor to the pain message. (p.27)

This theory does make sense, as many times when I feel pain it is after having spent a day resting – because I felt pain! My back pain is the worst if I sleep in.  I feel like I can barely move. I also have a lot of hip pain following my last pregnancy that manifests most after I sit for a while.  

Once you’ve read through the introductory chapters, Esmonde-White introduces her readers to the exercises one can do to help combat pain. She organizes this section by area where one is having pain. This is really helpful for those who want to stick to her promise of helping you to “reclaim your life in 30 minutes a day.” You can follow her structure and focus on the areas that need to be focused on.

Overall, I’m hoping that following the guidelines in this book will help me to get on a path to being consistently pain-free. I recommend it for anyone who is looking for ways to fight back against chronic pain in low-impact ways without resorting to medications. 


About Forever Painless

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (November 15, 2016)

End chronic pain—for good—with this practical guide from the PBS personality behind Classical Stretch and author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards.

Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. Twenty percent of American adults accept back spasms, throbbing joints, arthritis aches, and other physical pain as an inevitable consequence of aging, illness, or injury. But the human body is not meant to endure chronic pain. Miranda Esmonde-White has spent decades helping professional athletes, ballet dancers, and Olympians overcome potentially career-ending injuries and guiding MS patients and cancer survivors toward pain-free mobility. Now, in Forever Painless, she shows everyone how to heal their aching bodies and live pain free.

The root of nearly all pain is movement—or lack thereof. We need to move our bodies to refresh, nourish, and revitalize our cells. Without physical activity, our cells become stagnant and decay, accelerating the aging process and causing pain. People who suffer chronic pain often become sedentary, afraid that movement and activity will make things worse, when just the opposite is true: movement is essential to healing. In Forever Painless, Miranda provides detailed instructions for gentle exercise designed to ease discomfort in the feet and ankles, knees, hips, back, and neck—allowing anyone to live happier, healthier, and pain-free no matter their age.

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About Miranda Esmonde-White

Miranda Esmonde-White is one of America’s greatest advocates and educators on healthy aging. She is best known for her PBS fitness show Classical Stretch, which has been on the air since 1999. A former ballerina, she designed the Essentrics technique, which uses low-intensity strength and stretch exercises to relieve pain, prevent injury, and slenderize the body. Esmonde-White works with professional and Olympic athletes and celebrities, and teaches classes to thousands of students worldwide each year.

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Book Review: Earning It by Joann S. Lublin


I was excited to review Earning It by Joann S. Lublin. As a small business owner, I figured there would be some tips in this book to help me succeed, and there are. But, I also found the chapter on sexual harassment in this book to be problematic. The advice? The equivalent of “Don’t make yourself easily harassed and suck it up, Buttercup.” 

Perhaps it’s the fact that so many women I know who reported sexual harassment had this prematurely destroy their careers, while they experienced backlash from not only those reported but other women in their workplace. Perhaps it’s the fact that I chose myself to not make a big deal about the fact that I was called a “dumb broad” during a presentation by a male superior, and when I took it to his superior I was told “You could have a case, or you could have a career.” Either way, telling women, “Don’t put yourself in positions where you get harassed” and “Suck it up if you want to get ahead,” are akin to telling a woman not to get herself raped. 

I don’t think that was the intent of Lublin. I believe she thinks that the advice dispensed in the chapter is sound advice – because it’s the advice that many of us have been given in our careers. I just also don’t think that the advice really helps when there is a situation where, say, a coworker is regularly watching pornography on his computer or where “locker room” banter is prevalent and makes the women in the office uncomfortable. It’s no more helpful than telling girls not to wear short skirts – because as we all know, women who wear pants get raped too. 

I think as long as one is reading this book with a keen sense of “This is the traditional advice that has been given to women,” there are real gems of advice to gain from it. But telling a woman to avoid her harasser and stay out of his way is a valid method of dealing with sexual harassment long-term just continues to perpetuate the problem. 

earning-it-coverAbout Earning It

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: HarperBusiness (October 18, 2016)

More than fifty trailblazing executive women who broke the corporate glass ceiling offer inspiring and surprising insights and lessons in this essential, in-the-trenches career guide from Joann S. Lublin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and management news editor for The Wall Street Journal.

Among the first female reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Joann S. Lublin faced a number of uphill battles in her career. She became deputy bureau chief of the Journal’s important London bureau, its first run by women. Now, she and dozens of other women who successfully navigated the corporate battlefield share their valuable leadership lessons.

Lublin combines her fascinating story with insightful tales from more than fifty women who reached the highest rungs of the corporate ladder—most of whom became chief executives of public companies —in industries as diverse as retailing, manufacturing, finance, high technology, publishing, advertising, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. Leaders like Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Brenda Barnes, former CEO of Sara Lee, were the first women to run their huge employers. Earning It reveals obstacles such women faced as they fought to make their mark, choices they made, and battles they won—and lost.

Lublin chronicles the major milestones and dilemmas of the work world unique to women, providing candid advice and practical inspiration for women of all ages and at every stage  of their careers. The extraordinary women we meet in the pages of Earning It and the hard-won lessons they share provide a compelling career compass that will help all women reach their highest potential without losing a meaningful personal life.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

joann-lublin-apAbout Joann S. Lublin

Joann S. Lublin is management news editor for The Wall Street Journal and works with reporters in the U.S. and abroad. She frequently appears at conferences to discuss leadership, executive pay and corporate governance. She created The Journal’s first career advice column in 1993. She shared its Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for stories about corporate scandals. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with honors from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in communications from Stanford University. She lives in Ridgewood, N.J.

Find out more about Joann at her website and follow her on Twitter.

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