5.29.2013

Cool-ottes


I feel like I'm always approximately one year late to every sewing trend (case in point - the Tova top that I sewed long after everyone else had given this pattern a try), so it's nearly a miracle that I'm sewing a pattern that was only recently released.  I think that alone speaks volumes about how excited I was to sew up Megan Nielsen's Tania Culottes (or shall I say cool-ottes because, you know, they're cool).  In fact I was so excited to sew them up that I couldn't wait around to find the perfect fabric and instead I just headed to the only fabric store that is located near me - Joann Fabrics.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where the story takes an unfortunate turn because upon entering the store I became smitten with this black and beige fabric.  Sure it was polyester and I've never actually sewn with polyester before but look how cool the print is!  And look at the lovely drape! 


Unfortunately when I bought the fabric I didn't know that making a narrow hem on polyester fabric is one of the most maddening things that there is (and trust me, there's a whole lot of hem on these little culottes).  And while I had high hopes of escaping polyester static cling by just air drying the culottes, apparently that alone doesn't work (please see exhibit A - the fabric totally clinging to my butt cheek.  Awesome).  So for now we'll just consider this version my somewhat wearable muslin.


On a more positive note, this pattern really is fun and easy and like nothing else out on the market.  As for sizing, I cut out a straight size medium which is a bit bigger than my natural waist size but my natural waist is pretty high so I was thinking that by making it a big bigger it would just sit at a lower part of my waist.  Unfortunately, by making it a bit bigger the waistband looks a little bit funny where it hits on my body so for my next version I'll probably just cut out a size small for the waist.  And while this length is incredibly cute and I would have rocked it in my twenties, I'm think that the next time around I'll add a little big of length to the culottes by tracing out the length of the size large. 


But can I just finish by mentioning what is one of my favorite things about this pattern?

It only has four pattern pieces.  Four!  Now that's something that I can get down with.


5.28.2013

Roly-Poly Along Plus A Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on ImaginegnatsRoly-Poly-Along!  I'm ridiculously excited to be part of this blog tour - mostly because I love this little pattern and was really excited to get the chance to sew it up.  While this pinafore pattern is updated in many ways (hello pockets and center pleat!) I love the vintage look of a classic pinafore and I wanted to hold on to that feel for my version.  In an attempt to do just that I chose to keep the fabric very simple (just some teal cotton lawn that I purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club) and I let the focus of the pinafore be on the design and the small amount of embroidery that I added to one side of the front. 


I am no embroidery expert by any stretch of the imagination and I've just dabbled in it here and there in the past with some mixed results, but working on this project has made me fall in love with it.  Mostly because after approximately 100 attempts I have finally (quasi) mastered the french knot and I'm officially smitten with it.  In the future I shall be adding french knots to everything in sight - clothes, shoes, food, my children.  Whatever I can get my hands on.  You better not get too close!


While this pattern is perfect for allowing you to mix and match fabrics for both the outer fabrics and the lining fabrics, I chose to just use more of the teal cotton lawn for the lining of the pinafore since the lawn is a tad bit sheer and the pattern on any lining fabric could be seen through the cotton lawn (I learned this how I learn so many things - the hard way).


In line with keeping my fabric choices fairly simple, I also kept some other aspects of the pinafore fairly simple.  I left off the pockets since this version is for my one year old and she's barely learned to walk let alone put something in a pocket.  I also chose not to stitch down the pleat on the front and I instead just made the pleat and basted the top of the pleat together before sewing the lining on.  I also opted to add a bit of interfacing to the lining where the buttons and the buttonholes are to make those parts a little sturdier (especially since my fabric is fairly thin). 


And lastly, something unexpectedly lovely about this pinafore is the fact that C loves the texture of the embroidery and can often be found running her fingers over those little flowers.  And that just makes my heart go pitter-patter.


But enough of me blathering on about my little creation.  How about a chance to make your very own?  Rachael has kindly offered one free Roly-Poly Pinafore pattern in a giveaway.  To win, go ahead and leave a comment below letting me know what your spring/summer sewing plans are (or fall/winter for those of you in the southern hemisphere).  I'll leave it open until Friday, May 31st (11:59 pm - on the dot, baby!)

Now how about checking out some other stops on the Roly-Poly-Along?


5.13 Jill Made with Moxie / Stephanie The Crafty Kitty
5.14 Stephanie NeurosesGalore / Cherie you & mie
5.15 Ari Max California / Caila Caila Made
5.16 Veronica SewVery / Tara Girl like the sea
5.17 Nancy owen's olivia / Adrianna Crafterhours

5.20 Ajaire Call ajaire / Sarah EmmylouBeeDoo
5.21 Laura Craftstorming / Jessica a little gray
5.22 Frances Miss Matatabi / Nicke kiss kiss quilt
5.23 Amy formwork design / Kat Sew Chibi
5.24 Joanne Rose & Dahlia / Amanda Kitschy Coo

5.27 Celina Petit a Petit and family / Delia Delia Creates
5.28 Christy a.Amelia handmade / Carolyn Fake It While You Make It
5.29 Bonnie Fishsticks Designs / Maria La Inglesita
5.30 Jane Buzzmills / Kate Things for Charlie
5.31 Polly Jack & GeeGee / Molly Rose & Odin

(Rachael kindly gave me a free copy of the pattern to participate in the Roly-Poly along but all opinions, as always, are my own)

5.27.2013

A New Scout Tee For Me. Whopee!

I feel like I've had a bit of choice paralysis lately. 

So many patterns.  So little time. 

<< for the record, that would be a temporary tattoo on my arm.
I'm sure you can guess who my "tattoo" artist was>>

So it's a bit odd that when I'm having a hard time deciding what to make next I go back to something that I've made two times before - the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio.  I think I was drawn back to this pattern though because I knew that because it's a fairly simple top it would really let the fabric shine which was perfect for this Anna Maria Horner voile that I've been itching to cut into.  I mean, look at the color of this fabric?  Gorgeous.  Even my four year old things so which obviously makes it true.  I also chose this pattern though because I know that it's well-drafted and includes great finishes which results in a fantastic looking garment (And by "great finishes" I mean no facings.  Blah!  I hate facings!).  Plus, the previous two Scout Tees that I made are now way too big on me thanks to my ever-shrinking reduced-nursing chest so it was definitely time for a new Scout Tee.

<<sure I could have ironed this shirt before taking pictures, but what would be the fun in that?>>
For this one I cut out a size 2 but added some length to it since I typically like my shirts a bit longer.  I also chose to french seam the side seams and I made my first attempt at french seaming the sleeves which I 'm going to go on the record as saying was a huge pain in the butt.  The first one was a bit of a hassle but went in beautifully and I was so proud of myself.  The second one was also a big hassle but it went in far less beautifully and there are still some tiny puckers at the top of the sleeve.  As always, I'm hoping that people will be too distracted by my ridiculously bright top to notice the teeny-tiny puckers.  And if they do notice them - well, puck them (Yes, that would be my second sewing-related cuss word.  I'm on a roll, people.  A roll.).

5.23.2013

Me Made May: Days 18 Through 23 (The Ones In Which My Children Discover Photo-Bombing)

Prepare yourselves for a not-so-tantalizing week of repeats.

Me Made May - 18

Day 18: I think that it was this shirt that cemented my love for voile.  Now if only I knew how to actually pronounce it.

Me Made May - 19

Day 19: We meet again, ridiculously bright Renfew.  You're an oldie but a goodie.

Me Made May - 20

Day 20:  Hello again, self-drafted tee.  It's lovely to see you again.  You're so soft and drapey and the most delicious shade of purple (even though you look black in this picture).  Let's be friends forever.

Me Made May - 21

Day 21: Back to this tank, although this time with a wool sweater thrown on top because it's decidedly rainy and chilly around here lately.  Brrrr.

Me Made May - 22

Day 22: All dressed up for court - or as my child likes to tell me, "Mama, you look like a man today."  Although I'm pretty sure that a man wouldn't wear this me-made shirt.  But I guess he could if he really wanted to.  I mean, who doesn't love a shirt with flowers all over it?


Day 23: Say it with me - Tova!  Tova!  Tova!  (Get it?  You're supposed to chant it like "Toga!  Toga!" No?  I'm the only one who thinks that's hilarious.  Well fine then.)

5.17.2013

Me Made May: Days 12 Through 17


 Day 12: A me-made Tova top.  To this day it's one of my all-time favorite things that I've made for myself.  So comfy.  So wearable.


 Day 13: A me-made Renfrew top.  Can you get any brighter than a hot pink and orange shirt with teal pants?  I think not.


Day 14:  A me-made Tova dress.  I may love my Tova top but I'm not so in love with this dress.  All day long I alternated between thinking that it just looks like a sack on me and thinking that it's way too short for me to feel comfortable in (when did I get so old?).


Day 15: Yet another me-made Renfew top.  And yet another ridiculously bright outfit.


Day 16:  Hey look!  Something I knit!  A me-made sweater that I knit a lifetime ago, made from the Gathered Pullover pattern.  In wearing it I was reminded yet again that I definitely should have made it longer.  Eh, you live, you learn.


Day 17:  And we're back to the bike jersey.  It was bike to work day after all.  And I've now officially made it to work and back a whole two times.  Now excuse me while I go flex my big muscles.  Ha! 

5.12.2013

Me Made May: Days 7 Through 11


Day 7: A me-made cycling jersey that I actually made for my husband but stole from him when I rode my bike to work the other day.  It's the first time I ever tried riding to and from work and while it's not very far, we live up a very big hill and I was a little worried that I wasn't going to make it home.  But I did.  And all without having to do the walk of shame (otherwise known as walking your bike up a hill).


Day 8: Can I just say that it's a miracle that I even wore something me-made today considering that the first thing that I put on I had to be cut out of?

I put this skirt on in the morning, only to discover that it's  now super tight and the middle of the zipper busted open while I was trying it on and I wasn't able to unzip it.  Fortunately, my husband was able to rescue me from this unfortunate situation.  He's a good man, I tell you.  After the skit fiasco, I decided to wear a me-made item that doesn't include a zipper.  Hence, this shirt.  It may not be fancy but at least I didn't have to be cut out of it.


Day 9: A me-made top made from the (free!) Scoop Top pattern by Kristin.  This version is made out of a cotton/lycra knit and I think the fabric is a bit thick and heavy for the design.  Plus, I totally screwed up the neckline and it has some unfortunate puckers in two places. We'll just consider this my wearable muslin.  I'm excited to sew it up again, next time in a lighter knit and I perhaps with a tad less flare at the bottom.


Day 10: A me-made top sewn from Simplicity 2922.  I sewed this up back in April of 2012 and I've worn it exactly zero times since then since the fit is a bit wonky.  By wearing it in Me Made May I can at least say that I've worn it once.  It's a step in the right direction, right?


Day 11:  Eleven days in...prepare yourself for some repeats.  First up is my self-drafted tee.  It's nothing special, but I do love it.

5.09.2013

Four!


O is now officially four years old.

Four!

Not to be a total stereotype, but how did that happen?


I can't get over how tall she is, how strong she is, and how much she looks like a kid (where did my little toddler go?)


And I can't get over how much she acts like a kid.  She is incredibly silly.  Like can't-stop-laughing silly.


And she's incredibly talkative.  Like for-the-love-of-God-please-stop-talking talkative.


And her new favorite thing is to talk with a fake British accent while playing.  Where did that come from?


And while she's incredibly sweet and always down for a hug (especially since the baby was born), she is also ridiculously sassy.  Scarily so.


She loves to sing and much like her mother, she believes that the louder she sings, the better (I like to tell myself that it distracts people from noticing how atrocious my singing is).


She also has an uncanny ability to remember song lyrics and to make up some really creative ones.


She's still a massive thumb-sucker (even though we tried to get her to give it up when she turned three) and she still sleeps with a blankie every night (a minky one of course - the girl loves soft things).


But best of all, O just loves life and her excitement at even the smallest of things makes me smile nearly every day.


So happy birthday, O!  I may be a bit biased but I happen to think that you're pretty freaking awesome!

5.06.2013

Me Made May: Days Two Through Six

All I have to say is that it's a lot harder to get dressed in the morning when 3/4 of your closet is "off-limits."  Obviously the only way to remedy that is to up the ratio of store-bought to me-made clothes.  Perhaps even someday most of the clothes in my closet will be made by me.

A girl can dream, can't she.


Day 2: Wearing my self-drafted tee (which looks black in this picture, but I swear that it's purple.  Damn you, weird indoor lighting).


Day 3: Wearing a dress that I made back in the day (before kids) when I actually had time to make fitted items because, man, they take a lot of work to get just right.  The pattern is New Look  6799.


Day 4: Wearing my split-back Tiny Pocket Tank.


Day 5: Wearing a self-drafted dress (although I use the term "self-drafted" very loosely here considering that most of the shape in this dress comes from all the shirring).


Day 6: Wearing a me-made top, made from Simplicity 3835.

5.05.2013

This Weekend

It could not be more beautiful this weekend and we are determined to suck up every moment of warmth and sunshine while it's here.

<< that would be left-over yogurt from breakfast all over her face.  oops. >>
<< first bike ride of the season for both of us.  notice the intense concentration on my face as I try to remember how the gears work >>




<< how else do you get your kid's bike to the park>>
Now if you need us, we'll be outside sunning ourselves like geckos and frolicking in the kiddie pool.
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