One Garment - Two Days Late


My latest creation? 

A shirt made from Simplicity 2593.

The shirt is beyond simple.  No darts.  No pleats.  No shaping.  Just a bit of gathering around the front of the neckline.  It's exactly what I wanted for this fabric which has such a pretty little pattern on it.

Please excuse the wrinkles...this was a end-of-the day photo

The shirt came out just how I hoped.  First of all, it fits - and the joy of a project that actually fits in the end should not be underestimated.  The binding on the neckline certainly could have been put on a bit better but I'm going to go with the assumption that nobody is going to be examining my neckline that closely while talking to me.

I'm realizing that as much as I generally dislike making shirts they're actually what I get the  most wear out of and I'm thinking that this little shirt will probably get a lot of wear in the coming months.  Yipee!

Oh, and this would be Me Made June Day 28 (for those poor souls still counting!).

Me Made June - Days 24, 25, 26 & 27


Me Made June is rapidly coming to an end and so you all can take heart that you will only have to see the following much worn/much loved items for a couple more days.

Me Made June Day 24 - Vogue 8380 made into a top.  Um, I love this top.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to wear it much since it's a little "risque" for work, but with a sweater on top it works just fine.  Hurrah!

Me Made June Day 25 - Top made from Simplicity 3835 that gets worn a ton.  Simple but adds a splash of color to my normally drap wardrobe.  I heart it.

Me Made June Day 26 - Dress made from Simplicity 3803.  This actually hasn't been worn all that much, but I'm hoping that it will be once the weather gets a bit warmer.

And if I'm being totally truthful here, I should probably add that I changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt about half way through the day so that I could take a bike ride since I got the grand idea to suggest a ride up the huge hill near our house.  What I learned from this grand idea?  That I'm in much worse shape than I was last time I rode up it three years ago.  I'm pretty sure that Ben thought that I was going to go into cardiac arrest on my way up, but I made it.  Another hurrah!

Me Made June Day 27- Top made from Simplicity 2599.  You've heard me rave about this top already.  If I do it again I have the feeling that you may strangle me with one of my sassy blue ruffles, so I'll spare you usual blathering.

The One In Which I Hand Out Parenting Advice


You typically won't find me doling out parenting advice because really, what the heck do I know?  But after one month of O in her "big girl bed" I can tell you this - leave your kid in their crib for long as they'll have it because these past few weeks have not gone well. 

The first couple of nights consisted of thumps in the night as O fell out of her bed and one of us rushed in to comfort her and put her back in her bed.  The real problem though was that during this time we began to brag to people about how good she was about staying in room and how she really understood that she couldn't come out at night.  The lesson here?  Never brag about your child because as soon as you do they will begin to do exactly the opposite because all she does now is come out of her room after bedtime.

She runs out of her room.  She crawls out of her room.  She sneaks out of her room.  And the times that she actually stays in her room you can bet that she's not sleeping in here.  Oh no!  She's discovered all of the toys in her room and is having either a tea party or a dress up party every night which means that she's going to bed around ten and is waking up in the morning in the most foul mood known to human-kind.  Seriously.  I have seen the most amazing tantrums lately (and by amazing I mean "Dear God, make them go away!").  We have tried explaining.  We have tried cajoling.  We have tried bribing.  We have tried threatening.  And I'm now breaking out the silent treatment after bedtime, a la Super Nanny.  So far nothing seems to be putting an end to the utter nighttime madness at our house.  Oh and did I mention that there's also morning madness too?  Because guess who got  up at 5 a.m. this morning.  That's right - my child!

And yet she look so sweet and innocent...

Sh*t Our Parent's Give Us


In general Ben and I have a policy that we refer to as "NMS" (No More Sh*t) - mostly because my mother is constantly trying to send us home with stuff that she recently bought at a garage sale but now realizes that she has absolutely no use for.  Now I should say that she has actually given us some great things from garage sales (an awesome grill, a gorgeous leather trunk, and a ridiculous amount of clothes for O - thanks, Mom!).  That said, she has also tried to send us home with all sorts of other crap and I can usually be found running from her house yelling "NMS!"

In this case, however, the violator of our "NMS" policy was actually Ben's mom, who recently moved overseas and as a result, left us with boxes and boxes of Ben's childhood belongings which have sat untouched in our garage for way too long.  In attempt to do something useful this past weekend we cracked open one of those boxes and had a ridiculous amount of fun looking at artifacts from Ben's childhood.

A crap load of childhood trophies (oh my God, look at what a disaster area our garage is!)

His high school letterman's sweater (that's right, a sweater...because apparently it's 1954).

Some creepy doll that apparently meant something to him at sometime.

And my favorite item?  A journal from his high school trip to Nicaragua in which he wrote all about a girl that he liked (there are no pictures of said journal because I'm pretty sure that he snatched it out of my hand and hid it somewhere).

I don't think I've ever had so much fun looking through dusty piles of crap.

Woe Is Me


My biggest problem right now?

Trying to find a minute each day in which my husband can take a picture of my me-made outfit without my mother-in-law (who's staying with us) finding out and thinking that I'm a narcissistic idiot.

(That's right.  I obviously have a very difficult life.)

Me Made June - Days 21, 22 and 23


Me Made June Day 21 - Look how fancy I am...I'm wearing my me-made-dress to court.  Wa-hoo!

Me Made June Day 22 - A dress made from Simplicity 2444 in March of this year

This is actually the first time that I've worn this dress since I made it because

1) it's such a different style from what I normally wear and
2) there are a couple of "issues" with the dress and I've been worried that it looks like I just graduated from Home Economics 101

In fact, the morning that wore it my husband and I had a conversation that went a little something like this:

Me: Does this look ugly?
Him: No.  It looks good.  That's one of my favorite dresses that you've made.
Me:  But does it look totally homemade?
Him: No.
Me: Can you tell I made it?
Him: I don't know.
Me: Does it look like sh*t?
Him: No.
Me: Are you sure?
Him: (walks away totally annoyed...bless his heart for putting up with me)

Me Made June Day 23 - Another blouse made from Simplicity 2599, except this one is made from some polyester fabric that I bought at Joanns eons ago. 

I really don't have much experience sewing with fabrics other than woven cotton so I was a bit nervous about how this would come out...and apparently rightly so because compared to the other blouse that I made from the same pattern this shirt feels way tighter due to the lack of stretch in the fabric and the collar facing tends to hang down and over the front of the blouse due to the weight and thickness of the polyester fabric.  Fortunately, even though the shirt is a bit tighter it still fits.  And as for the facing issue, I solved it by sewing the facing down in a very effective yet aesthetically unappealing manner.   So there.

Me Made June - Days 18, 19 and 20


Me Made June - Day 18 - Pajama pants made from some long out-of-print New Look pattern that I bought for my first sewing class four and a half years ago.  Now I should note that these are not the actual pajama pants that I sewed in that class.  Not that I'm any master sewist right now, but let's just say that my sewing then was less than awesome and the pajama pants developed a large hole in the crotch.  I thought about fixing them for about 2.2 second and then didn't, because I'm lazy like that.

Me Made June - Day 19 - Hey look, it's another sweater that I made and yet never wear (ravelry link).  Actually in going through my me-made clothes and looking at what I make vs. what I actually wear I'm beginning to learn some things - like the fact that I suck at making button bands on hand knit sweaters and I therefore rarely wear the cardigans that I've made (which is a bummer because in general I love wearing cardigans).  In all honesty though the problems with this sweater go above and beyond the button band.  In fact, this sweater is a manifestation of one of my greatest flaws - my utter impatience in life.  I made the armholes too short because I was too impatient to get to the body portion of the sweater, I made the body too short because I was too impatient to get to the sleeves, and I made the sleeves to short because...well, you get the point.  As a result, it looks like it was knit to fit a twelve year old and my husband kindly commented "The shoulders look a little weird on you.  Like you're wearing shoulder pads or something."  Not the look that I was going for but because I'm utterly committed to Me Made June I wore my five-sizes-too-small sweater (all the while feeling slightly self-concious).  Now that's what I call committment.

Me Made June - Day 20 - Deja vu once again.  My Colette Ginger/Teletubby skirt with a plain white blouse.  I need to get my butt in gear at some point to make some more of these.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again


Despite my last failure of an attempt to make a hat for O, I set out to make another one (hoping that this one would actually fit her).  Truth be told, I erred on the side of safety a bit which means that the hat came out a wee bit big (but that just means that it'll fit her for longer, right?)

The hat is the bucket hat from Oliver and S Little Things to Sew, which you've probably seen approximately one million times all over the internet because it's just that adorable.  The fabric is Georgina by Tina Givens and it just so happened to be sitting on my shelf for the past two years or so.  I couldn't find anything in my stash that coordinated well with the fabric so I took the lazy man's route and just used the same fabric for the inside and the outside of the hat (which totally defeats the whole point of it being reversible.  Oh well).

What cracked me up while making this hat was that when I showed O the fabric and asked if she would like a hat made out of it, she look at me as if was crazy and said "No!  That's for dolly!"  She then ran into her room and pulled out a doll that was wearing a little dress made from the same fabric.  How the hell did she remember that?  (And for the record, that little dress was actually supposed to be for her, but there were some "sizing issues" and so it ended up on the creepy looking doll instead).

Personally I think the two of them look pretty damn cute together!

A Very Happy Father's Day Indeed


I've said it once, I've said it twice, and I'll say it a million more times until you're sick of hearing it - Ben is an amazing father.

He is patient in all the times that I'm not.

He is lively in all the times that I'm tired.

He is fun in all the times that I'm a curmudgeon.

He is the best person to have by your side through this thing we call parenthood.

Happy Father's Day, Ben.  And thank you.

How You Know It's A Good Day


When you can eat your lunch in the grass

And feel the grass between your toes

Me Made June - Days 14, 15, 16 and 17


Remember my bah-humbug attitude from last week?  Well, you'll be happy to know that I am no longer filled with Me Made June angst.  In fact, I quite like what I've worn lately (shocking, I know).

Me Made June Day 14 - a dress made from Simplicity 2209 back in March of this year.  I'm sad to say that this is actually the first time that I've worn this dress since I've made it since it's sleeveless and made with light cotton fabric and summer has yet to fully arrive in my neck of the woods.  In fact, when I wore this dress I still had to wear a sweater with it, but that actually worked out pretty well.  In wearing it, I realized that I wish I would have hemmed it to be just a little bit longer because I'm apparently 80 years old and feel that above the knee dresses are inappropriate.  But seriously, I did feel that I would have been more comfortable if it was a bit longer.  Unfortunately, there was an "incident" in the hemming process (long story that I won't bore you with), but suffice it to say that this is actually the longest that I could have made the dress.  I guess I'll just have to get over my prudish ways.

Me Made June Day 15 - back to my Simplicity 2599 blouse.  Um, can you tell that I love this blouse?  Because I do.

Me Made June Day 16 - a dress made from Simplicity 3774 probably about four years ago, during the time when I had the time and the patience to actually fit things to my body.  And it does certainly fit like a glove, which is great because it actually fits, but is also not so great because it's not always the most comfortable thing to wear (like when I overeat at lunch...not that I would ever do that).  This was also one of the first times that I made an alteration on a garment (I turned the pleats on the skirt portion of the dress into darts) and man I thought I was bad-ass.

I'm a bad mommy...I cropped my child out of the photo!

Me Made June Day 17 - my Anna Maria Horner Museum Tunic which is basically like a muumuu only slightly more stylish.  Seriously, this dress is so incredibly comfortable (I could totally overeat in it).

The Best Kind Of Mail

Allow me to reminisce for a moment...

When I was a wee little 12 year old I entered a "Pretty Woman" contest at a local video store and won (for the record, it was a called the "Pretty Woman" contest because the movie had just been released and my winning had absolutely nothing to do with my looks.  You would know that if I ever showed you a picture of my 12 year old self.  Can you saw awkward?).  I remember getting the phone call and jumping up and down afterwards, screaming "I won!  I won!"  My parents asked me what I had won and I had to admit to them that I was so excited about the prospect of winning that I didn't even listen when they told me what I had won.  It turns out that I had won a free perm (supposedly so I could look more like Julia Roberts I guess...yeah, that wasn't going to help).  It also turns out that my parents decided that they weren't going to let me get a perm so that was the end of that excitement.

Fast forward about two decades and I've won something again.  Hurrah!  Thanks to the lovely Jodi at Come Tarry With Me I am now the proud owner of two beautiful fat quarters.

which apparently make great toys when you put them on your head and run around.

Given that I'm trying to rein in the fabric purchases lately since I seem to be hemorrhaging money around here, this was a lovely and much appreciated gift.  Thank you, Jodi...truly, thank you.

An Announcement


Excuse me while I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a special announcement:

Me and the little sis circa 1980 something
My little sis is graduating with her masters today!  That's right, folks, she's awesome like that.

Congratulations, Sarah!  And you better come visit soon because Ben's about to eat all your Girl Scout cookies.

Good, Clean Fun


There's something you should know about me - I love to relax.  I need to relax.  I live for relaxing. 

I love to sit around and read. 
I love to lounge around and eat.
In fact, if I'm relaxing you will hardly ever find me in the up-right position.

Now, meet my sister, Debbie.  She loves to "go." 

When she asks me what I'm doing for the weekend I reply "just hanging out."

When I ask her what she's doing, she tells me "Oh, we have two birthday party's on Saturday, we're going to the beach Saturday afternoon, we're in a race Sunday morning, and then we're having a bbq with some friends on Sunday afternoon."

The very idea of that exhausts me and yet Debbie's a good person have around at times because she gives me the kick in the butt that I need.  Like this past weekend she gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to finally hop in the car and drive to the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.  Now I should probably tell you that I love zoos so needless to say I had a great time. 
Eep!  Baby bison!
Plus, O got to hang out with some cousins and they got to teach her all sorts of bad habits - like jumping off of poles.
Fortunately, they also taught her many good habits too - like working it for the camera

and walking on logs.

Now that's what I call good, clean fun.

Me Made June - Days 11, 12 & 13


Somebody recently said that once you get into the habit of wearing me-made clothing it's easy to keep going.

Um, I think I may suck because I'm certainly not finding it easy to keep-on keeping on.  In fact, I have to say that I'm giving far more thought to what I'm wearing each day than I usually do, which may also be a testament to the sad fact that I give approximately 1.2 seconds of thought to what I put on in the morning.  I will say though that I'm appreciating the challenge of digging into the back of my closet for all those me-made clothes that never see the light of day.

Speaking of which, here's Me Made June Day Number 11 - the day I let my cobblestone sweater out of the closet (ravelry link).  I made this about three years ago and while it's okay I don't love it (plus a couple years ago I got a black ink stain on it thanks to an improperly installed ink cartridge, compliments of my better half).  I will say that it's extremely warm and comfy, but as for how it looks - bleh, I could take it or leave it.

Which is about how I feel about Me Made June Day Number 12 too - it's just a super-simple shirred top dress with some crisscross straps added.  No pattern here, folks...that's just how easy it was to make this dress.  Again, it fits okay, but it's not particularly comfortable (despite the enormous amount of elastic thread in the dress) and I feel kind of ehhh about it.

As for something that I actually do love, perhaps this shirt looks familiar and perhaps it's because I wear it all the time.  It's nice to know that of the many things that I've made, I still like at least one of them.

* I should probably add that I've been sick for the past week and that may account for my bad attitude and my dislike of most of my me-made clothes.  Don't worry, "Happy Carolyn" should be back shortly*

Old Pattern, New Garment


Me Made June Day Number 9 - Rusted Root sweater made with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn.

I hardly ever wear this sweater and I'm not quite sure why since I actually like it.  Hmmm, perhaps I'll have to make sure that it gets back in the rotation of clothes that are actually worn.

And for Me Made June Day Number 10 , a new garment!

I realize that Simplicity 2599 has been around for quite some time but it definitely slipped under my radar during my two year sewing hiatus (you know, the time where I sewed nothing for myself because

1. I was growing human being and therefore growing myself and

2. I was breastfeeding and didn't want to invest the time and energy into making something that I knew wasn't going to fit anymore once the girlies shrank back down to their usual size).

But the pattern caught my attention recently and so I picked it up at the most recent 99 cent pattern sale at Joanns.  And then I proceeded to sequester myself in the basement for several hours and I didn't emerge again until this was all sewn up.

Please ignore the wrinkles and the awesomly bad
posture...I blame both on the fact that this picture was taken
at the end of a particularly long day

As for how it came out, I think it came out just how I hoped.  It's light and playful and seems to fit fairly well.  I think it would fit a little better if I sewed the back button on in the proper place (oops!) but I'm too lazy to cut it off and sew it on again.  I have noticed that with most garments that I've made I seem to have extra fabric in the back between my shoulder blades.  Any sage words of advice on what sort of alteration I should be making to get rid of that fabric?

As for the size, based on reviews that I read around the Internet and the size of the finished garment listed on the pattern package, it seems that the pattern is meant to run a little large and since I'm not a fan of over-sized shirts I went down a size or two and ended up cutting out the size 4 which I think was a good move.

And the ruffles?  Well, they were super-easy to make and sew on and I love them.  Enough said.

The fabric is one of the shirting fabrics that I picked up at Bolt on my way back from the Oregon coast.  It's light, airy, lovely and I love the shade of blue.  I have a small amount left over....which probably means that there will be a shirt for O coming down the pipe at some point in time.  Which is good because after seeing my new shirt O turned to me with a sad little look on her face and asked "where's my shirt?"  Apparently, it's quite upsetting when I actually make something for myself.