Roly-Poly Pinafore - Take Two


Remember when I said that I was going to start adding french knots to everything in sight?  Well it turns out that I wasn't far off from the truth because I just couldn't help myself when it came to adding french knots all over my second version of the Roly-Poly Pinafore.

After making one for C, O obviously needed her very own version to rock this summer and I really wanted to emphasize the swoopy lines (yes, that's my technical term) of the back by placing embroidery up and down the outside of each back panel.  If I was just a wee bit smarter I would have left off the embroidery where the buttonholes are supposed to go (oops) but I didn't, so instead I just sewed the buttons on so that they're now not functional.  Fortunately the pinafore can still be slipped over O's head (whew!).

The fabric is a lilac cotton lawn which has a bit of a shimmer to it and would have been lovely had I not been stretching the hell out of it while putting it in the embroidery hoop.  Because I was stretching the hell out of it though I over-stretched the fabric in a couple of places and if you look closely you can see a little bit of wonkiness.  I learned my lesson there - be kind to delicate fabric.  The lining fabric is cream colored cotton lawn leftover from these shorts.

Oh, and I made this version with pockets because even four year olds know that pockets rock!

And no post would be complete without a picture of the little photo-bomber, right?  She was just bound and determined to be in these pictures.

A New Top and Some Geoducks. A Match Made In Heaven.


One of the best parts about having a blog is being in touch with other folks who share your passion because there is often so much you can learn from them.  Like the time that I was whining about not being able to find cool knits and Aleah pointed me towards GirlCharlee.  I'm not quite sure whether I should say "thank you" or "damn you" because I'm kind of hooked now.

After months of oogling their knits I finally got around to placing an order and was very happy with my purchases (well, except for one fabric which was different than I thought it was going to be...but such is life when you order fabrics online).  This was one of the fabrics that I was most excited about when I saw it online and it didn't disappoint in-person (I don't see it on the site anymore so it's possible that it's all sold!).  I chose to use my self-drafted tee pattern to make a top, only this time I added a little bit of length to the shirt and to the sleeves because I knew that I was going to hem them rather than keeping them raw like I did on my first version of the shirt.

Speaking of hemming, I finally got around to using the twin needle that I purchased over three years ago (!) and it is a total game-changer.  I am loving how my hems look now (and I'm a bit embarrassed at how they looked in the past).  All in all, I'm kind of in love with this crazy pattern tee.

So much so that I took it for a little spin this weekend when we took the ferry over to Poulsbo to go geoducking.

See Ben all covered in mud?  No thank you!  Call me prissy if you must, but there was no way that I was getting my new shirt all grimy and nasty!  Plus, I kind of think geoducks are disgusting.

And this is just a warning that the tide coming in is no joke.  Look what happens when you underestimate the amount of time that you need to dig that little sucker out!

Terror Disguised As Tentativeness


Totally unrelated picture...but totally cute baby (or at least I think so)
Just ignore the dried boogies under her nose and the scab on her chin

When I graduated from college over a decade ago (!) I told myself that there was no way in hell that I was ever going back.  My experience wasn't particularly horrible or was just looooong.  Plus I left there with two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree.  Why would I ever need to go back?

Or so I thought.

Because lately I'm been maybe, kind of, possibly, sort of, a little bit thinking about going back to school.

See all my tentativeness?

That's actually terror.  I'm terrified at leaving something that I'm pretty knowledgeable about for something that I know absolutely nothing about.  And I'm terrified at leaving a decent job for a new job market.  And I'm terrified at taking on a significant amount of debt for my family.  And I'm terrified at what the time commitment will be when I'm back in school and what that means for my girls and Ben.  But mostly I'm terrified at just plain failing.  I've always been a pretty decent student but things would be so different this time around.  I'm older, it's been so long since I've been in school, and I have many other things to focus on now besides just school work.  Plus, I'm pretty sure that having two kids turns all your brain cells into fat cells.  Although when I told Ben this theory he scoffed at me and told me that I obviously need to go back to school because that's not physically possible.

But despite my terror I've decided to put a little skin in the game and sign up for my first prerequisite class at a local community college.  So if things are a little quieter around here in the next couple months just know that I'm once again neglecting all my housework - only this time for studying instead of sewing.

Happy Father's Day...

6.16.2013 the man who has washed every load of cloth diapers for the past four years!

You don't get much better than that!

Shorts On The Line: Lace Shorts


Welcome to my little part of the Shorts On The Line series!  If you're wondering how I got so lucky to hang out with such an amazing group of crafty women, well don't worry, so am I!  So you'll just have to forgive me for taking a second to thank Carla and Rachael for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic series.  Thank you!  But in addition to that I want to thank them for giving me the kick in the butt that I needed to actually get around to sewing my first(!) ever pair of shorts (well, if you don't count culottes as shorts, that is).

I actually bought Grainline Studio's Maritime Shorts pattern several months ago with every intention to whip them up in the spring. But then I totally chickened out and the pattern just laid around our house, buried under the mounds of papers that call our desk home.

Until now that is.

See that, people?  Shorts!  For me!

Now I did do something very un-Carolyn-like in making these shorts - I actually made a muslin!  But I mostly did it out of fear because I was really worried about getting the fit right since I've never sewn shorts before.  Unfortunately I made my muslin out of some left-over quilting cotton and so I thought that the size four was going to be a perfect fit.  But when I sewed up my first pair out of a bottom weight fabric that was thicker than the muslin cotton, the fit was a bit tighter (and therefore shorter) than I was looking for.  I hemmed and hawed and groaned over it for several days and then made my peace with the fact that I just wouldn't be happy wearing shorts that tight and short.  So it was back to the drawing tracing board as I traced out a size six and kept my fingers crossed that things would go better this time around.  And fortunately they did.

I purchased the gray lace overlay fabric at Pacific Fabrics back when I went to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo and the underlining is a cream cotton lawn that was hidden in a package of fabric that my little sister brought back for me from Pakistan.  I've been eyeing the fabrics that she brought back for ages but I've been a bit terrified at cutting into them and messing something up.  I figured though that if I was eventually going to find the courage to cut into them, some plain cotton lawn was the safest place to start.  Oh, and no handmade garment would be complete without a little something extra thrown in, right?  Hence the bright pink lace hem tape.  Ka-pow!

As for the pattern itself, I love Jen's garment construction because it results in a garment that looks handmade rather than homemade.  I mean look at this fly front!

It's a little sewing miracle in itself that it looks this good considering that I've never sewn a fly front before and that I had no idea what I was doing when I put it together.  Instead I just blindly followed Jen's instructions and hoped that this little sewing trust exercise would work out in the end.  And for the record, I totally trust her now.

I did choose to leave off the back pockets because I figured that I wouldn't really use them since the pattern already has very functional front pockets.  Plus back pockets would probably distract from the lacey awesomeness of the fabric.  I also chose to hand sew the waistband and the hems on the legs of the shorts to make these little suckers as pretty, pretty as possible.  Hand sewn hems aren't just for dresses, you know.  Show a little love to your shorts!

Now go check out some of the other great posts that are part of this fantastic series.   But most importantly - go sew some shorts!

This post is part of shorts on the line sewalong hosted by imagine gnats and small + friendly, sponsored by Jo-AnnPretty Prudent/Pellon®, and Hawthorne Threads.

6/11 - Delia Creates and Buzzmills
6/17 - girl inspired and Casa Crafty
6/19 - Made by Rae and Craftstorming
6/20 - Noodlehead and emmyloubeedoo

The Porch


Today I'm guest-posting over on Vanessa's blog as part of her "Porch" series.  Want to know what I'm chatting about?  Go check it out!

What My Child Learned From Me In May


This is apparently what happens when your child watches you take a picture of yourself with a tripod every morning for a month.  Hopefully she'll learn something better from me in June.

Me Made May: Days 24 Through 31


Me Made May - Day 24

Day 24: After many, many days of repeats I feel as if this new little Scout Tee is a breath of fresh air - bright orange, fresh air.

Me Made May - Day 25

Day 25: In an attempt to mix it up I broke into my me-made items that don't get worn very often.  First up is this Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic.  Great pattern, cute fabric, blah garment.  Unfortunately I only realized after sewing it all up that this just isn't a style that I wear very often - mostly because it's not particularly flattering on me.  So sadly this little garment sits in my closet most of the year although I do plan to break it out as a bathing cover this summer.  Perhaps I'll find a use for it yet. 

Me Made May - Day 26

Day 26: There's been a run of cold, rainy, and miserable weather around here which, on the one hand, sucks because, you know, it's cold and miserable.  But on the other hand it's great because it gives me yet another opportunity to wear my glorified sweatshirt.  

Me Made May - Day 27

Day 27: Once upon a time I loved this top and wore it often but I now I just feel blah about it.  I'm not sure if the elastic stretched out or if it always looked this way, but it just seems sort of shapeless now and not flattering in the least.  On the upside though, it remains ridiculously comfortable and is perfect for eating ginormous Thanksgiving meals.

Day 28: Back to the self-drafted tee.  I'm beginning to think that I need to make another one.

Day 29: A new shirt (!) based off of the Alma pattern by Sewaholic.  I need to get around to blogging about this little sucker.

Day 30: Otherwise known as "The day that non-pregnant Carolyn wore her pregnancy clothes to work" since I made this little pencil skirt back when I was pregnant with C.  Truth be told, I still wear a lot of my maternity clothes.  In fact, I often wear my maternity leggings to bed at night.  That's right - Ben is a lucky man.

Day 31: Finishing Me Made May not only with double me-mades but also with double-orange because in addition to wearing this me-made bike jersey on my way to work, I changed into this me-made shirt once I got there.  Going out with a bang, people!

And with this Me Made May is done!  If I were a more thoughtful person I would have something deep and meaningful to share with you about this experience, but truth be told, I'm just pooped and I can barely muster up one sentence.  So if there's just one thing that I'd like to say about Me Made May it's this - the group of women in the Me Made May flicker group are some of the most of kind and supportive people that I have ever encountered on the internet and if you're thinking of participating in a Me Made event in the future, do it.  You won't be disappointed.

And The Winner of the Roly-Poly Pinafore Is...


...Monica from Adirondack Inspired!

Congratulations, Monica!  I'll pass on your email address to Rachael and you should be getting your copy of the Roly-Poly Pinafore shortly!

And thanks to the rest of you for leaving a comment!  I loved reading what everyone's sewing plans are for this summer.  It definitely gave me some ideas of things that I need to add to my own summer sewing list!

And yes this picture has nothing to do with this post.  This picture is just a cautionary tale of what happens when you leave your husband, your baby, a sweatband, and a camera together.   Don't say I didn't warn you.