11.26.2012

8 months


My friend likes to say that C is the second child who should have been born a first child because she wants nothing more than to just be held and snuggled all day long...and who has time to do that with another child running around at home? 


I have to say that for me, though, C was born at just the right time.  I was far too overwhelmed with being a new mom the first time around to appreciate all those baby snuggles.  And I was often more interested in moving on to the next stage than appreciating the one that we were in (mostly because I was hoping that the next stage would mean that I could finally get some sleep!).  But knowing that C is most likely our last little one makes me appreciate the here and now of having her in our family.


I love snuggling up with her at night and petting the soft little hair on her head (yes, I realize that that makes her sound like a cat, but seriously, I do love petting her head). 


I love making her laugh so that I can see that one little tooth in her mouth.  I love when I look back after I walk away from her and I see her crawling, commando-style, after me.  And I love that as sweet as this little baby is, she still has the most bad-ass mean-mugging face. 



We like to say that this is the face that she pulls out when she's not impressed with our awesomeness.  Apparently, she's practicing for her teenage years.

11.21.2012

Opa!

For all the times that I call my dad asking for something, ("Hey, can you watch the kids?,"  "My dishwasher is leaking.  What do I do?,"  "Can I borrow your saw?") my dad rarely asks for anything in return.  So when he called the other week asking me to make a dress for the daughter of a long-lost cousin who lives in Greece, how could I say no?  His only requirements were that it be a sundress and that it have some sort of label in it indicating that it was made by me.  Of course, that was the perfect excuse to finally get off my butt, follow this wise woman's advice, and order some fabric from Spoonflower to make into labels.


It was my first time using Spoonflower or even attempting to "design" anything on the computer (and I use that word very loosely) but I have to say that Dana put together a great tutorial on how to design a graphic just using Word which is fantastic because I don't have any fancy programs on my computer.  I ordered my labels to be printed on the cotton/linen fabric to make them a bit more substantial and I love the look of the fabric.  I did learn that small writing on the labels is essentially illegible.  You see, there's a tiny little line under the main text that reads "Made by Carolyn."  Oh you can't see it? Yeah, that's my point.


But back to the dress.  So besides the whole label issue my dad pretty much gave me free reign which actually had me turning in circles for a while trying to figure out which direction I wanted to go.  It's hard to make something for someone that you've never met when you have no idea what their personal style is.  Plus I felt a sense of added pressure because my dad has never asked me to make anything before and I didn't want him to regret this decision.  Which is all to say that I spent way too long pouring over patterns and picking out fabrics.  And once I finally picked out the fabrics I changed my mind about five times on how I wanted to put them all together.  Initially I thought I would go with a solid on the bodice and a patterned fabric on the skirt, but just as I began cutting out the pattern I became convinced that I wanted an all-over patterned dress with some colored flat piping.  And in the end that's what I ended up doing.


The main fabric is Birds and Berries designed Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda, the bodice lining is a coordinating blue from Moda, and the flat piping and hem lining is a coordinating golden yellow fabric from Moda.  As for the buttons, I ended up making some fabric covered buttons which blend into the pattern of the dress so that they don't distract from the beautiful lines of this pattern.


I have to say that this version of the dress is much simpler than what I originally imagined but I like it so much more.  I think that only now am I beginning to realize that I'm generally drawn towards simpler, cleaner styles.  Given that I've been sewing for probably five years, you'd think that I would have figured this out a long time ago.  Hey, I never claimed to be a fast learner.

And speaking of how long I've been sewing I actually made this pattern once before - back when O was a baby.  I broke out that version the other day when I was trying to figure out what to make and I promptly hung my head in shame as I looked at my past sewing efforts.  Don't get me wrong - I'm no sewing genius now, but I'm happy to say that it seems like I've gotten at least a little bit better in the last three years.

And to that I say, "opa!"

Pattern:  Oliver and S Tea Party Sundress
Size: 12 - 18 months

And to all those celebrating this weekend, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you!  When I asked O what she was thankful for today she told me that she was thankful for candy.  Those priorities sound about right for a three year old.  See her hoarding her candy on Halloween...


11.14.2012

Tova Dress / Night Shirt

Precious fabric.

I know you all have it.

You know, the fabric that sits on your shelf for years because you're too afraid to cut into it.

Many of the fabrics that I consider precious are actually beautiful batiks that my mom bought back when she lived in Indonesia in the 70's.  I'm terrified of cutting into them and messing something up...probably because that's already happened.  My other precious fabric though was a couple of yards of a cotton/cashmere blend that I bought at Bolt two summers ago.  Can I just tell you how luscious this fabric feels?  It's incredibly soft and ridiculously drapey.  Oh-la-la!

So needless to say, I was a bit terrified when I finally made a decision that I was going to cut into this fabric to make a Tova dress.  I figured that it was a pretty safe plan given that I had already made two tops that I loved from this pattern.  Plus I thought that this fabric would be perfect for a loose and flowy fall/winter dress.  So I carefully hand washed the fabric and pinned everything out only to realize after I cut out the fabric that I didn't cut the front piece on the fold as I was supposed to.


Seriously?  This is my third time making this pattern and yet I made the most basic of mistakes!?!  I think I was about to cry when I realized what I had done, but given that sewing time is extremely precious around here nowadays, I took about 3 seconds to wallow in pity and then sucked it up and decided to move forward.  So now my Tova dress has a tiny little seam that runs down the front of it with some edge stitchign on either side.  For the time being, we're going to refer to it as a design element, okay?  Okay.

The rest of the dress came together rather easily (although for some reason I always have a hell of a time figuring out how to sew the inset in...every time it's as if my mind just doesn't understand how to put those pieces together) and I was able to finish it up within the weekend (which is lightening speed for around here nowadays).


Imagine my surprise when I put it on though and all I could think of was that it looked like a man's nightshirt from the 1800's (although a quick google search has informed me that apparently they still sell such things.  You know, in case you were looking for a Christmas present for the special man in your life).  Fortunately, once I put on a tank top underneath and some boots it looked like something that I could actually wear out of the house.  And in fact, I wore it out for a little anniversary celebration with Ben.


Here's to 8 fantastic years together (and to night shirts)!
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