Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dress C: Girly Style Wardrobe

This was pretty simple. I even goofed up a couple of things (due to the translation/adding seam allowances/where is my mind conflicts), namely: I forgot to add the seam allowances and decided to carry on. Worse things have happened.

So I chopped up some Amy Butler Sandalwood fabric from Love in Tangerine. It's a crazy print. Tangerine, Lavender and Cream. It's nice, but this is the first time I've thought of using it for anything. I have a whole bolt, people - BUY SOME.

As I was sewing the arms in, Mira decided it should be for her instead of her cousin Eloise for whom I was sewing it... 4th birthday, size 110cm, hem drastically shortened.

I decided that it was a little larger than life as a dress and this version should be a pool cover up. And for that, it is perfect.

Naughty Secretary Skirt: Made

I've gotta tell you, I'm quite pleased with myself. You see I sewed something for myself. Yes, just for me. I think this is a first. How envious I've been of all the beautiful dresses some ladies have time to make for themselves. I've wanted to. But the stars had not quite aligned for me until last week. The sewing machine cooperated, the children napped. I sewed a straight skirt.

I used the pattern from Diana Rupp's Sew Everything book. And I'll update this with a better pattern review. It was my first project from her book and went well enough. There were a couple of parts where I was more than a little bit lost. I'm sure it was all my mistake but sometimes when I'm reading about a project my brain just shuts off and all I can do is think, there's no way I'm ever going to understand this... so I hop off the exit ramp and DImYself. Scary. 

So what happened with this pattern was that I had no idea what she was talking about with the whole invisible zipper joining the back seam thing. Partly my fault because I did not buy the invisible zipper foot. Amazingly I made it work, but after wearing the skirt today I think I could probably stand to reinforce the area back there with the INVISIBLE ZIPPER. Never thought I would do that!

Second part was the issue of the slit. Whaaa? I couldn't figure this out. Not enough illustrations, not enough close up photography... not enough people on Flickr posting their project photos. So I totally made a suburban ghetto mess of that. It functions but let's hope no one gets *that close* to my rear. If I make this again I will be reconfiguring the pattern to go with the enclosed slit that I found in the Oliver + S "A-Line Skirt" pattern. It is so MUCH BETTER, CLEANER, MODEST, etc. Because seriously, who wants a slit up their backside? I don't. It's one more vulnerability for me to worry about children exposing my body parts in public.

So here you have me modeling the skirt. I've never been a fan of these downward angles so popular in the nineties... but hey, you get the whole body in and it makes my hips look small... so there. I held the camera all by myself and then I gave myself a nice, golden glow.

Here are the stats and my review:
Pattern grade results: a B-.
Size Small.
The print: Far Far Away Chapter 2, Roses Natural Basecloth, Aqua Colorway.
Bias Trim - Scrap from Stash

Free with purchase but ultimately not polished. I'm going to give one of her bags a try because I do like the style in which the book is written; however, I don't like the lack of close up photography or illustrations. I'm visual, I need details.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

G to the Genevieve who eats Japanese bookmarks

This last image is from Good Girls Cute Clothes. After I made the pink apron with tulle {two posts below} I knew I also had to make this shirt because it was pictured with it. Looking back, I feel like I was inspired several months ago by something I saw on the Katie Did blog. I'm not sure what it was anymore, but I sense it involved yellow buttons or colorful buttons used as an accent on an otherwise simple design. I remember that being part of the reason why I had to buy them. I'm sad that her blog is on hiatus because I was truly inspired by her beautiful children's clothes.

The pattern is the 100cm size, I had to make some corrections after I misinterpreted the pattern and pulled too tightly a strip of 1/4" elastic within the sleeve seams. It made for some cute puffy sleeves; however, the effects of me eyeballing resulted in sleeves more akin to a tourniquet than a puffy sleeve for a three year old. In future incarnations I plan to add some ruffles. I could see flowers, a sleeve embellish or even something front and center anchored by a placket. (Assuming Mira gets over the sleeve incident and allows herself to try it on again...) I'm going to make this shirt five times. Maybe more. 

In this simple version on white Kona with yellow Dritz sunflower buttons I added some hand sewing on the back and at the bottom hem with a denim thread that was in my drawer. It may have been nicer to whipstitch and it's possible I'll change it if I ever have the kind of free time that allows for corrections instead of manic project completions. I can't get over that I sewed four projects since last Saturday. I feel like I owe somebody something. Thank you, husband! Thank you, children! I'm sorry for letting the TV watch you.

This is Pattern G. It is featured underneath the adorable apron tutu number that actually appears on the cover.

You're probably thinking about how much you love that green bookmark in the photo. I am. Well Genevieve ate it while I was tracing patterns. I think it had useful information like ISBN numbers. Well La-Ti-Da.

Girly Style Wardrobe... every letter in your book

And then there's this project... {Pattern A} my first one from the aforementioned shipment of pattern books from Japan. I loved this look, how adorable with the ties, but I thought it was reversible. When I realized it wasn't I opted to make a simple change that could change the history of family photographs For. Like. Ever. After all, who doesn't have a toddler that spills her ice cream all over herself?  Well, I do! And this creamy color may not hide chocolate but at least it can be turned for a cleaner look, if need be.

So what I did was double the pieces, eliminate the partial lining pieces and enclose the bottom with careful ironing, pinning and ric-rack to hide the blemishes. I couldn't have been more pleased with myself and this pattern was as easy as it looks. It is the 100cm size, and may be a little big for Mira (3t). She's tiny and if she weren't so tall she would likely be wearing her old baby clothes. Not kidding, but back on point: the beauty of a shirt like this is that it probably has a bit more longevity than most, with the ties allowing for simple lengthening adjustments. 

So rock on Girly Style Wardrobe. I think I'm going to love every last letter in your book.

Far Far Away. Chapter 2: the affair begins

This addiction all started in my head a few months ago when I ordered two Japanese pattern books, Good Girls Cute Clothes and Girly Style Wardrobe. And then the Charm Stitch Far Far Away order arrived last week and I knew what to do.

Lately, I love working with the materials that I have on hand. And every time I pick up a project I think about using something that may promote sales in the Charm Stitch shop. So just that much reasoning was a big enough excuse to tear into the bolts of Rapunzel in Pink... and then Rapunzel in Green (Meadow) and the Roses, which are a bit coral with green, yellow and natural tones. I can't help but think that the moons are next. How cute they will look as an Oliver + S skirt; you know, the one that goes with the brunch jacket.

I have to admit, I didn't know if I would like the cotton/linen blend. A month or so ago I was at the Purl Soho new store opening celebration and felt the Nani IRO 2010 lines and thought it felt a little rugged. And it is, I suppose. But it also lends itself to all kinds of projects that can benefit from larger scale prints (like jackets, bags, pillows, aprons, skirts and I don't know what else, but I will find out). I'm addicted to flipping through my books looking for ways to use the other prints. I almost used the owl and the pussycat for this jacket but I let Mira choose the fabrics and she really wanted another Rapunzel. No one had to twist my arm to put those coral roses alongside her. One confession: the pattern calls for a wackily creative long strip of bias trim on a single cut of fabric. I am very conservative with my cuts and I decided to see what would happen if I cut on the grain instead of the bias (using only 4-8 inches instead of a yard and a half). And I have to say that the tie is heftier than most, but it is fine. I saved oodles of fabric and no one will ever know the difference.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

pickling, preserving and fermenting

Lots of ladies in blogland have been making food from scratch. Ever since I watched HOW TO EAT YOUR LIFE and immediately ordered the TASSAJARA BREAD BOOK I've been on a bread kick, major. I have almost memorized the recipe and would be happy to eat bread for all three meals, including snacks. I'm planning to take the girls to the strawberry fields this morning to get some berries in our basket. Then I want to make preserves and strawberry rhubarb something. I've also been DYING to pickle things. Mostly jalapenos since I can't stop eating them out of the jar (can you wrap your head around two jars in 10 days? I think it's 40 servings). So pickling something, that's important. But I have been planning another something special, yogurt after reading this.

I believe I read something about making ones own butter somewhere, too. This strikes me as possibly up my alley. Martha Washington made her own after all, the mother of all Marthas.

Pickling resource at NYTIMES.
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