Wednesday, December 26, 2012

happy happy joy joy

 Here's hoping everyone had a merry whatever you celebrate (we do Christmas round these parts but as long as you are on board with handmade matchy-matchy baby pajamas then we'll get along fine.

I just drew up the patterns for the baby's PJs.  They're made out of an old knit sheet and scraps from my PJ pants.  All the other PJ stuffs you've seen already in spurts around the blog.  Mission matchy matchy Christmas PJs: accomplished.

By the way the quilt in all these pics is what has been killing my will to live I mean blog I mean taking up all my time for the past month week or so.  With the exception of that baby shirt and a little baby jacket for our Christmas voyage to the mountains.  \Pics of the jacket still to come but it's way cute.  As for the quilt; next time I'll do a regular one this one (a rag quilt) took for freaking ever.

Hope everyone is having a peaceful and safe holiday.

wip wednesdsay

with christmas over i can't help but breath a sigh of relief.  no more deadlines, no more shopping, no more getting all kerbobbled...

and now i can spend my time being selfish.  sweater #1 of (hopefully) 12 to be finished in 2013.  

i've got half a sleeve and a few inches of the body.  i love colorwork and i think it looks really good in these neutrals.

Friday, December 14, 2012

christmas bread and butter flies

crinkly and sweet, almost good enough to eat

i followed the tutorial here pretty much to the letter except, duh, i accidentally cut the the first two wing pieces as pieces and not on the fold.  i just used the opening to stuff in the chip bag and hid it under the butterfly's body.  by the way some parts of the instructions i thought were pretty vague.  like sew butterfly to wings.  wtf?  don't even get me started on those felt faces.  hell.

how's that for a face only a mother could love?  well hopefully baby girl will love it too.  even if those red eyes are a bit demonic.  i only had red, green, and white felt.  walk to the fabric store for one piece of felt?  apparently not.

all materials were scraps though, so yay for free goods.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the great northwest cinnamon forest

This week at the Sew Weekly we got to pick whatever theme past we wanted a crack at.  I picked refashion since, well, that's kinda what I do.  Relove.  Get it?

the before
How distracting is this backdrop seriously?  I rearranged my sewing room and it's like a sewing block has been lifted.  All kinds of inspiration is brewing.

I refashioned this lovely 100 % cotton tee using the same not a Renfrew tee shirt block I used here and here.  But I couldn't just make a simple brown shirt and call it quits.  Oh no not me.  I decided my wardrobe is in all seriousness in danger of chronic boredom.  So I decided to try bleach painting.  I plucked some plant parts out of the backyard, found an orphan spray bottle, and boom.

I have ferns in my backyard obviously
Well.  I think the shirt fits pretty well.  And, umm... it's different.  Except it's not really because I see this kinda crap at the mall all the time.

And dammit the one place I didn't want any bleach was the neckline
All in all not awful for a first attempt but I went a bit heavy on the bleach in that one spot and I think if the design continued up the shoulder it might look a bit more congruous.  Those randumb bleach spots were an accident doh.

But here it is inside out.  Much better no?  I'm not sure this shirt ought to be worn inside out with it's big ugly seam allowances but maybe if I tack them down with a zigzag stitch or a twin needle.

There's a good reason I do not look amused.
It's more what I was aiming for.  Vibrant, interesting, but not huge and sloppy.  The leaf outlines are kind of lost but I think it looks like some sort of heavenly body.

C'est la vie?  What would you do?  Rock it proudly or wear it inside out?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

whadda ya mean christmas isn't during winter in oz???

Wait, winter isn't synonymous with Christmas?  That's just wrong.  I guess that makes it pretty lame that the Sew Weekly winter challenge said one thing to me: cozy flannel PJs.  In Christmas prints of course.  Which means: I'm finally done with all of the Christmas pajamas.  Forever?  We'll just have to wait and see...

Meet the most unflattering pants that ever did.  The tiny busy present print (butit'ssocuteandpink).  The unisex oversized pattern (why, just why?  was it not awful enough last time?).  The lack of length (I didn't buy enough fabric. doh.).  The weird pocket poof (cuz I cannot have PJ pants with no pockets).  

Those are little pink, red, and green presents.  OMG it's so cute I could barf.  In a good way of course.

 And to get just a wee bit more painfully cute: the cuffs, waistband, and pockets are all this white and rainbow heart print upcycled Care Bear sheet.  That I actually used to have on my bed once upon a time.  The pattern doesn't actually call for cuffs but I really didn't have even close to enough fabric to cut the legs in one piece.  Is it wrong that I die a little bit on the inside every time I see the lack of pink (or red) piping around the cuff?

Feeling queasy yet?  No?

There are matching baby pajama pants.  Whabbam bitches.

What possessed me?  I'm not sure.  I assume it's hormonal.  Or maybe the brand new baby girl with all her little pink outfits.  I'll try not to do it again kay?

Just a bit more cuteness.  I need a tripod.  Meet my new photographer.  Just his foot though.

That one is actually pretty good for a 3 year old I think.  He takes much better pics with my Iphone but it doesn't take low light pictures well.  You can see here just how awfully unflattering they are. 

I'm thinking hard about a new setup for picture taking.  I'm going to have to do something soon, that awful green wall in the kitchen just makes me look ill.

The Facts

Pattern: McCalls M5248 again

Fabric: 1.5 yards of Christmas print flannel from the local fabric store.  Which was like $12 on sale.  Ouch.  And the neverending Care Bear sheet for lining (again)

Notions: elastic

First worn: Just for these pics.  They're about to get washed, wrapped, and stuck under the tree with the rest of the Christmas PJs, a Christmas movie, and some mini marshmallows and hot cocoa mix.  (It's a new tradition I'm trying to start).  I won't lie, though: awful as these pants look I will wear the hell out of them.  Just around the house though.  I'm not one of those people to go out in my pajamas.  I'm not that trashy thankyaverymuch*.  

*(If you are one of those people and were offended by my last comment: seriously.  How hard is it to put on real pants?).

Friday, December 7, 2012

the pants that defy photography

i will only apologize once for the horrendousness of these pictures.  my bad.

Installation #2 in christmas pjs.  These are for hubby.  I used McCall's m5248, the same pattern i used for my robe, but obviously different pieces of it.  These have been done for awhile but I cringed at the thought of putting these pics up on the interwebz.  Time gives perspective I suppose, or perhaps just a sense of levity, so here we go:

The pattern does not call for pockets, but it's not a single pattern piece.  To me that's just begging for a pocket.  As you can see these are knee pockets.  As in they tickle my knees when I'm wearing these pants.  I don't know why they gape as such.  I just don't know. 


The pockets are too low.  Too bad those sides are French seamed and I don't feel like unpicking that mess. 

I can't recall the massive earthquake that threw the house on end, but here I am apparently hanging on to my hat so as not to lose it in the shuffle.

And to remind you of installment #1 in matchy matchy Christmas PJs:


Hopefully everyone is nearing the end of their Christmas crafting (or shopping).  I know I am ready to move onto things for me!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

the most wonderful time of the year...

we got our tree earlier this week and for the first time the boy really got into helping

of course now that it's fully decorated he's been very busy undecorating it and scattering the ornaments throughout the house

if he doesn't pull the tree down on himself this year i'll be happy

Friday, November 30, 2012


ok so maybe that was more of a 70's thing, I don't really know.  Then again, maybe this is more of a 70's bodice with a 50's skirt... but that averages out to be 60 so either way I'ma call it good for this week's sew weekly challenge.

This dress has been 90 % done for months.  All it lacked was neckline elastic and (dramatic dum dum dum) a hem.  The original pattern (vintage from the thrift, I think it's dated 1969) had a dirndl skirt but I thought I'd rather test drive this circle skirt thing I've been hearing so much about.

It needs to hang before hemming for... oh, I think one month probably would've done it.  But I like to be thorough so I let it hang for three.  I should've gotten a picture of it before I hemmed it; it was craaaazy uneven.  I couldn't figure out how to hem it without a dummy or a buddy.  My mom agreed to be my buddy but she didn't even wanna touch it it was so uneven so in stepped my dad, the former seamstress assistant.

I think it turned out pretty even.  I actually really like the way it came out, but it looks totally cray-cray without a belt.  It might as well be a separate blouse and skirt.  The top is jersey from a thrifted tee shirt and the skirt is a super soft sheet with lovely drape with a pale yellow, white, and brown geometric print (it's very subtle though so it doesn't quite show up in these pics).

I think this dress deserves a coordinating belt.  I'm on it!  Although I'm kinda likin' the contrast of the green...  I'm surprised but I really like this silhouette and I think there may be more circle skirts in the future.

The Facts:

Pattern: Simplicity 9164

Fabric: tee shirt and sheet, total cost $3.50

Notions: 1/4 inch elastic

Time to Complete: three months

First Worn: To the store

Wear again: Yes!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

christmas robe

His new clothes modelling face?

Technically this is supposed to be a Christmas present, but I had to get a post up before the end of the month and I just wasn't feeling the empty robe pics.  On the bright side he seems to like it which rather surprised me.

Just give me the cookie!

Despite all the holiday madness which has overtaken my house I'm trying to keep up with the Sewing for Boys sew-along as well as Sew Weekly challenges (why I decided to join the Sew Weekly right before the holidays I can't remember but I am enjoying it so far).

mmm... cookie

This is installation 1 of coordinating Christmas PJs for the whole family (omg I'm so excited to make everyone wear their PJs on Christmas!)  Hopefully I can piece together enough fabric for some matching pants.

that's right, I'm a professional model

This pattern is divine!  Much better than the pattern I used for my robe with well written instructions.  Of course that's exactly what I've come to expect from Sewing for Boys.  If you're at all on the fence about buying this book just do it it's worth it!

I get paid in cookies
The fabric is some sort of flannel I got at the thrift.  It was wonderfully cheap (about 5 yards for $2.50) so I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth.  I'll be even happier if I can eek out those PJ pants though.  I already made a pair of PJ pants for hubby out of this fabric so I really didn't have enough to do the full lining nor did I have any flannel in the stash so I just cut the two front pieces to do a facing.

Umm.. yeah.  I'm really short on fabric at this point so I used that fleece for the bottom front lining pieces.

I machine sewed the side seams of the lining down by stitching in the ditch and they hand sewed it down around the sleeve and collar.  I love the clean finish of the hand stitching.  All in all this robe is a win and I'll make this pattern again whenever I have the occasion.

see my beautiful hand stitching?  that's right: you don't cuz it's invisible!

always reading mitts

pattern: suzie's reading mitts

yarn: alpaca upcycled from an unwanted sweater

a christmas present for my mom.  by request...  although she so casually asked for both fingerless mitts and a ruffly apron that i wonder if she'll even remember.  

this is the third time i've made this pattern and it never fails to please.  these gloves are so simple and elegant but quick to knit.  a perfect last minute gift (not that christmas is that imminent but it is officially looming!)  these gloves are officially wrapped and under our christmas tree!  it's a regular santa's lil sweatshop around here.  the boy and i have been making christmas ornaments and wreaths, decorating, making christmas cookies, breaking ornaments, and all sorts of other holiday stuff =)

i've been soo busy doing all this christmas prep stuff as well as making christmas presents that i've got quite a little backlog of projects to photograph and blog.  if only the sun were ever to grace our seattle november...  i love christmas, i live for it i really do.... but all i want to do right now is knit myself a sweater.  i imagine it will be cast on before christmas; i don't have many more christmassy items to knit =)

everybody else getting amped up for christmas?  or foiled in their blogging attempts by the wintry weather?

Monday, November 26, 2012

what's black & white

and not terribly interesting?  this week's meager offering to the sewing gods.  it's a pretty simple a line skirt in a 
very heavy synthetic floral print.  i got this fabric second hand.  it's so heavy i would assume it's upholstery fabric if it was a greater width.  it may be...
this skirt gave me an inordinate amount of trouble.  i had an a line skirt pattern cut out... somewhere.  and i have several skirt patterns still in factory folds.  why didn't i cut one out?  because i'm out of tracing paper and good little seamsters trace their patters.
so i tried to copy a rtw skirt in my closet.  everything was fine until the waistband... and then the zipper.  eventually some darts were made and one pocket sacrificed but it all came out ok.
i can't say i'm fully satisfied with this skirt but it seems wearable enough.  now to see if i actually wear it.  i used to wear skirts and dresses all the time but since baby #1 it's been tough learning to dress my new (oft changing) body.
the facts:'
pattern: self drafted nightmare
fabric: second hand mystery fiber
notions: one of the many zippers i picked up at the thrift recently.  99 cents for 11 - 12 zippers?  yes please.
time to complete: for the first time i actually tried to keep an eye on the clock and i was pleasantly surprised; i only spent about 2 hours sewing... so let's say 2.5 including cutting
total price: about $4 for fabric and 10 cents for a zip... let's round to $5
first worn: just for pics
wear again? hopefully
final thoughts: i feel like i got a pretty decent return on investment... but i think next time i'll just cut into that tissue paper and save myself a headache 

on a completely unrelated note: i wanna love these boots and i just can't do it.  i just can't seem to style them right.  no matter what i feel like a wicked pointy toed witch.

do you do the pointy toed heels? yes? no?

i think maybe tights would save this outfit, but i'm not convinced.  i think only time will tell... or my husband.  he's usually the one who stops me from leaving the house in questionable garments.  although to be honesty the longer he knows me the laxer his standards get.  (and they say you can't change a man, hah!)

but back to the question at hand:
what's black and white and black and white and black and white?

a nun rolling down a hill

i went to catholic school and that's my favorite joke. ever.  that's for you sister helen.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

horse of a different color.

Another tee much like the first.  Except, as is usually the case...

different.  This one is purple with a black geometric print.  I couldn't get any half decent photos (when you see that hat it's cuz my hair is a hot mess) but I had fun playing with the special effects in Picasa.

This time the source fabric was a very large shirt donated by my mom.  As a matter of fact here's the before pic so you can see it in all its sloppy, oversized, turtlenecked glory.

crappy iphone before pic
It's better now, no?  The fabric is a poly cotton blend.  I both love and hate poly cotton blends.  It drapes beautifully and doesn't wrinkle, but I keep melting that shit with my iron!  Seriously.  Hopefully one day I'll be grown up enough for a nice iron.
I love the fit of this new tee shirt block (is that what you'd call it?) and I foresee lots of new tees for me.  Especially now that I know it's possible to make one from a larger tee shirt.  I did have some trouble cutting the sleeves (turns out the sleeves on the RTW shirt were quite different which led to some fancy cutting on my part) and I ended up cutting the original neckline ribbing in half horizontally and piecing the new neckline from the resulting pieces.  It was a bit messy but I think it came out ok.

myspace caliber self portrait
This is just about the only shot in which you can see the print (and my super messy living room floor).  I think the print is kinda (hella) 90s but hopefully the new shape gives it a modern feel (can anyone believe the 90s are no longer modern or current?!)

BTW if you'll forgive a little bit of shameless self promotion that scarf is for sale here in my Etsy shop.  C'mon, you know you want it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

look look look what i did!

that's right.  it's a quilt.  it didn't even fall apart in the wash

now i can say "oh yeah, i've made a quilt... no big deal"

but secretly i'll be like that's right bitches, i made a quilt.  ha ha!

it's unapolagetically imperfect but i love it anyway.  hopefully it will be loved in it's new home.  it's a gift for my best buddy from high school's new baby (due in december).

now i just see quilt potential in everything: fabric, scraps, my family's clothes...

somebody stop me!