Summer Time Is...


...picking your own fruits and veggies.

...feeling bugs tickle your arms.

...and having pool parties with the neighbors.

Ah, isn't life grand?

Little Ray Of Sunshine


I'm pretty sure that I've never been called a little ray of sunshine as much as I have been today.

And I'm pretty sure that it had nothing to do with my bright and cheerful personality.

If I were a betting girl (which I'm not, because I'm generally too cheap) I'd say that it had a little something to do with the bright yellow skirt that I was wearing.

Yep, it's finally done.  Truth be told, it's been done for a while now but between the cold and rainy weather that we've been having around here and having to dress up in something a bit more formal than a denim yellow skirt for work, it's been sitting on my dresser for about two weeks.

But today I said "Cold weather be damned.  I'm finally going to wear my yellow skirt!"  The question then of course was "what the heck goes with almost neon yellow?" I have no idea so I just threw on a shirt that I liked and called it good.

As for the skirt, it's made from Version 1 of Colette's Ginger skirt.  Just like the last one that I made I cut a bit off of the side to make it a bit less flared, but looking at it now I wish that I had cut off a bit more.  Perhaps for my next version (that's right, I bought fabric for one more) I'll make it even less flared.  And that one will actually be in a neutral color - gray.  Sadly, I'm pretty sure that when I wear that one no one will be calling me a little ray of sunshine.

Pattern: Ginger by Colette
Size: Cut out a size 4 for the waist and graded up to a size 6 at the hips
Alterations: Took some of the width off of the skirt to make it less flared
Fabric: Yellow denim from Joanns

What To Eat When It's 80-Plus Degrees Out


Why chowder of course!

What?  You don't crave a bowl of soup when it's sweltering in your house.  Well, what's wrong with you?

Me?  I crave soup all the time and so when I decided to make some this weekend a little 80 degree weather (which counts for a heat wave in the Pacific Northwest) was not going to stop me. 

You know what else wasn't going to stop me?  The fact that I didn't have any clams to make this clam chowder.  So instead of the called-for clams I substituted a bunch of geoduck that we've had in our freezer for a ridiculously long time, never quite knowing what to make with it.  I've felt incredibly guilty about not using it since they're such a pain in the butt to catch and they were given to us by Ben's family  so I'm glad to finally be able to say that I found a delicious use for them. 

*Never heard of geoduck?  No worries.  Nobody else has either.  It's best described as appearing like a large clam with what looks to be a horse's penis attached.  Now if that doesn't make you hungry, I don't know what else will.  Go on, now - google it and tell me that I'm right.

Driving Me Nuts


There are times when my little one drives me nuts (case in point, her "daddy's girl" issue has reared its ugly head there anything more heartbreaking than having your toddler yell at you "go away, mama!").

And then there are times when she drives me nuts in only the best ways.

She drives me nuts with her cuteness and her spunk and her giggle and her zest for life.

Oh and she drives me nuts when she wears awesome outfits like this and makes crazy faces.

Man, I love this little kid.

Putting on My Big-Girl Panties


Do people ever ask you "why?"

Why do you spend 15 hours knitting a sweater when you can buy one for 30 bucks?

Why do you spend 40 dollars on material when you can buy a dress for 20?

Why do you stay inside cooking on such a gorgeous day when you can just go out to eat?

I'll admit it.  Things just don't add up sometimes and yet I can't stop making stuff.  Stuff that I could easily buy.  Like underwear.  That's right, I made underwear (is this a new low?).  Inspired by the genius of this tutorial I cut up a pair of undies that had seen better days and made myself a pattern.  I didn't have any stretch lace hanging around and in an attempt to cut back on the spending and to use what I have, I cut some strips of cotton/lycra fabric to use as the waist and leg bindings (a la That Darn Kat Undies pattern).

The verdict?  Easy-peasy.  Seriously.

Granted, my top stitching leaves something (okay, a lot) to be desired and I think I'd like to make a couple of  tweaks to the pattern but the undies seem to fit, they're comfy, and I made them.

Those three things alone may not seem like much, but together they're awesome.

And this photo will be called "holy crap my underwear
looks big when held up by a toddler!"

Stop The Presses


O got her first haircut (finally!).

If she didn't look so darn cute with her new little bangs, I'd almost be sad about it.

Bright Yellow Pants


Oh, little yellow sailor pants, you are the bane of my existance.

It was nearly impossible to get even a "good-enough button hole" on certain parts of these pants due to the thickness of the fabric and in the end I ended up having to cut out the front piece again since my original front piece was covered with crappy buttonholes (and blood - but that's a different story).  Luckily I had just enough fabric leftover to be able to cut out another front piece and front facing.  I suppose the sewing gods were looking down on me afterall.

Round two with the buttonholes didn't necessarily go much better, but this time I knew I needed to make it work, so I did.  They ain't perfect, but they'll do.  Plus, they're hiding behind these adorable buttons that I bought in some antique shop some time ago (aren't I full of details today?).  The best part about these buttons?  A little handwritten note on the back about how they were purchased in Munich.  I hope that the original owner knows that her buttons found a good home.

Apart from the buttonhole fiasco, the rest of the pants went together just fine and dandy.  In fact, I threw them on O about an hour after I finished them (which explains why there are still some stray threads hanging off of them...I command you to ignore them all!) and she didn't scream when I put them on her so we'll consider them a success.  A bright yellow, nautical success!

Pattern: Oliver and S Sailboat Pants
Size: 2T
Fabric: Yellow denim purchased at Joanns

Famous Last Words


Me: Do you think I should bring a rain jacket?
Ben: No.  I don't think it's going to rain.

And those, my friends, are known as famous last words because we went camping this past weekend and it rained the entire time.  Okay, okay, to be fair I think there was a one hour period that it didn't rain but that was it.  Oh how I wish we had pictures of the muddy disaster that was our campsite or of O in a sleeping bag (which was ridiculously cute, by the way) but I'm afraid that I was too much of a piss ant for that - especially when we woke up and found that one corner of our tent had leaked....the corner where all our clothes were of course.

At one point Ben sweetly told me "Thanks for coming this weekend.  I know this isn't your idea of fun." 

And I, of course, replied, "Yeah, you know everything we've done this weekend.  My idea of fun would be the exact opposite." 

I swear I'll be in a better mood once I dry out.

Things I Heart - Yellow Skirts


Remember when I said that I wanted to make another Colette Ginger skirt, but this time in a more neutral color?  Well, forget I ever said that because my latest obsession is yellow skirts.  And not just light yellow skirts - super-bright yellow skirts.  So prepare to see a Colette Ginger skirt the color of Big Bird.

You can blame these two lovely ladies for my obsession - Jessica and Tilly.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I'm also slightly obsessed with the Colette Beignet pattern because

1) it's adorable and
2) I really like eating beignets

(yes, I'm obviously a very complicated person)

Take Two - Success or Failure?


While this skirt is definitely not a failure, I'm still not sure whether I'll consider it a success.  It definitely looks better than version one and it absolutely fits better than version one (although I'm thinking that perhaps I could have gone down another size...this pattern apparently has a ton of wearing ease built into the size recommendations).  I like the fabric (designed by the lovely Anna Maria Horner) and of course the pockets are girl's dream come true.

But I'm just not sure of the overall look because although it looks fairly decent in these pictures, the pleats all around the skirt make it look a little billowy (and not in a good way) at times.  I realize now that I should have taken a side-profile shot so that you could see what I'm talking about (and so you don't think I'm just nuts and overly critical).

Perhaps the skirt will grow on me.

Perhaps it won't.

Only time will tell.

I will say that when I asked my husband about the skirt he commented that it poofed out a bit under the waist band and then moved his hand to that area to flatten it down - at which point I had to tell him that it poofed out because my stomach poofed out (thank you, past pregnancy and brownie sundaes).  You've never seen a man look so horrified, wishing so badly that he could take back what just came out of his mouth.  It kind of made me giggle.

Pattern: Simplicity 2215
Size: 10
Fabric: From Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line
Alterations: Used a smaller seam allowance when sewing on the band to make the band a bit wider.  Finished the waist band using the method described in Colette Ginger skirt pattern to make it look more finished (and by more finished, I mean that it doesn't look like crap.  Woot-woot!)

Lofty Goals


Some people are spending today conducting medical research, feeding the hungry, working towards world peace.

What is my lofty goal for today?

Finally cleaning off the top of my bureau.

It's no world peace, but it'll have to do.

Ahhhh, Vacation


Where, oh where have we been?

Laying in the sun.

Dipping a toe in the lake.  (Well, I just dipped a toe.  Some other crazy people actually jumped in.)

Shoving watermelon in our faces.

Helping great-grandpa prepare dinner.

Going for boat rides.

Helping steer on said boat rides.

Playing with O.

And telling Ben ten times a day "Oh my goodness.  I want to eat her she looks so cute."

(but really, can you blame me?)

Many thanks to my kind and wonderful in-laws for such an amazing vacation.

And this post wouldn't be complete without a happy 65th anniversary wish to Ben's grandparents (who I tried to make kiss for this picture, but they gave me a look like they wished Ben had married a nice, normal gal).

Simplicity 2215 - Take Two?


I must be glutton for punishment, because after considering this skirt a quasi-failure, I cut out Simplicity 2215 again (this time one size smaller) and I plan on sewing it again soon. I'm hoping that going down a size will be just what the skirt needs to go from super-dowdy (on me at least) to somewhat wearable. I have to say that attempting this skirt again is very unlike me. Normally when something goes wrong I toss the pattern in the garbage (and perhaps stomp on it for good measure). And when things go really wrong, I swear off the pattern company for a period of time (that would be why you don't see any Butterick patterns around here…we had a bit of a falling out about three years ago and we're still not on speaking terms). If things go well, this skirt could teach me about the benefits of giving second chances and the beauty of foregiveness…but if things don't go well, then I'll just have to revert to my major grudge holding ways.

What I Learned From Me Made June


1) That I will never be a model.  Every time I had to take a picture of myself I felt absolutely ridiculous.  I worried about where to put my hands and how bad my posture was going to be.  Oh, and add to that the fact that I tend to make crazy faces in pictures and you see why I won't be quitting my day job any time soon. 

2) That my husband is awesome.  He never once rolled his eyes when at the end of a long day I told him "hey, I need you to take a picture of me."  In fact, he would often reply by shouting "MMJ!"  Now that's a good man!

3) I should make more of an attempt to make items that I will actually wear.  I love making dresses but let's be honest - I don't wear a whole lot of dresses.  There are about three months out of the year here that are actually dress-wearing weather.  Plus I work in a job that requires constant standing up and kneeling down in front of little kids and I really rather not expose myself to the children.  As a result, I wear a lot of pants and I've realized that I should probably focus more of my sewing efforts on tops and other items that I actually wear (but dresses and skirts are just so darn cute!). 

4) While there are definitely things that I've made that I never want to see again (I'm talking to you, too large denim skirt), there are actually quite a few things that I actually like (hello, my lovelies).  Which, of course, means that my sewing efforts have not been a total waste - and to that I say hurrah!

The One In Which My Two Year Old Doesn't Appreciate Me


I'm lucky enough to have a work schedule that gives me every other Friday off and because I'm an awesome mom (wink, wink) I try to plan something fun for O and I to do together on those Fridays.  Sometimes a quick trip to the zoo.  Sometimes a walk on a new trail.  Today I had the bright idea to take her to the beach.  I spent all morning packing up food, extra shoes, jackets and blankets so that we could spend a lovely morning there.  But instead of a lovely morning at the beach I ended up having a lovely morning at home listening to O throw an hour long tantrum because:

1) she didn't want to change her shirt
2) she didn't want me to brush her teeth
3) she didn't believe there was toothpaste on her toothbrush
4) she didn't want her blankie (even though she just picked up her blankie)
5) she didn't want to eat breakfast (even though she just asked for it)
6) she wanted to wear leather sandals at the beach

And the list could go on and on.  At one point I decided to give myself a time out in an attempt to keep my cool and I went in my room and folded clothes.  What eventually calmed her down?  I have no idea but when we finally left for the beach, let's just say that I was not in the sunny mood that I was in before the one hour tantrum.

But all that changed when we finally got there.  The weather was perfect.

The beach was empty.

We walked in the water, poked at objects, and I got my toes all wet.

We sat on a log and shared some cherries and apples.

Photographic proof that moms don't travel light
We talked about the birds and the waves and the sand.

And the whole time we were there she was an absolute pleasure to be around.

It almost made me forget what a holy terror she was this morning...almost....

Me Made June 29 and 30 - Going Out With A Whimper


I had high hopes of ending Me Made June with a bang, but let's be honest - I'm going out with more of a whimper in a shirt that you've seen way too many times over the past four weeks.  In my defense (because I obviously need to defend myself over the internet), I've had to dress up for work more lately than I usually do and that's pretty much limited what I can wear to about three shirts that look quasi-decent with my two suits (or as I like to call them "the clothes that make me look like an adolescent boy dressing up in his father's clothes").

Me Made June - Day 29 - My polyester version of Simplicity 2599.  What I learned about polyester while wearing this shirt?  That apparently you can have static cling in shirts too.  Besides the static cling issue and my constant worry that the collar facing is showing though, I think the shirt is a keeper.

Me Made June - Day 30 - My voile version of Simplicity 3835 that you have seen a booty-load of times.  Let's just say that while voile is not a cheap fabric by any stretch of the imagination, I've definitely gotten my money's worth with this shirt.

And that, my friends, is a wrap.  An extra-special thanks to Zoe for putting this all together.  Zoe, you rock!