So much sewing

In spite of my lack of blogging, I’ve actually been sewing a lot lately. In between sewing costumes, I made Linus a Go To Jacket with a hood, but without a chin guard (it was too fiddly when I made Miles’s, so I decided it would be okay to go without. And it was.) He loves it, even though it’s inexplicably too big. I think because the fabric I got (a 97/3 cotton/lycra blend) was a lot stretchier. Miles’s was made of ponte and lined with a knit, so it definitely didn’t stretch as much. But I’m sure it’ll shrink and/or he will grow into it. 😀

Oh. And I have no idea where I went wrong with the pockets. This version had inseam pockets, but as far as I could tell, there was only one pocket piece, but I couldn’t find instructions on how to close the top. So I top stitched it to the front piece, which looks weird and I may re-do later. 🤔

Oh and I messed up one of the front pattern pieces but didn’t have enough fabric to cut it again so I re-cut the messed up bottom half, and then cut the other side in the same place to make it look “blocked” and on purpose instead of an accident.

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Anyway, it’s super cozy and he’s happy so win!

The other fun sewing project was making a dress out of the sequined fabric I bought a year and a half ago. This fabric is so dreamy that I couldn’t bear to cut into it. And also I was terrified of sewing with sequins. And also I wanted a pattern that would have relatively few seams and nothing fiddly. At first I was going to make a skirt but the thought of putting a zipper in made me back off. Then I remembered the pattern I’d bought for me and Kiki’s Arsenal dresses this summer – the 100 Acts of Sewing Dress #1. It’s basically a shapeless trapeze tank dress but only one pattern piece so perfect! Who’d be looking at me with that fabric anyway?

I decided to line it with pale pink satin, and basically I just made the dress twice. I attached the lining at the neck, where I used bias tape to finish the seams. And I finished the arm holes of the sequined dress with bias tape (but the satin dress was just serged in matching thread.)

It was a bit big, (obviously this was before I made my Ellis skirt) but it worked well enough. I don’t have any great pictures, but I got a lot of compliments on it and it was comfortable and easy.

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Pre-event, when I was still wearing heels
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Oh look, there I am. Looks like I should have paid more attention to the side seam. Oops.

So what’s coming up?

Well, I need to make my own Halloween costume, but it should be fairly easy. And I’d like to make another Blackwood Cardigan, and another York Pinafore, and maybe some joggers, and this jacket looks intriguing but I haven’t had a ton of luck with Seamwork patterns. I really want to make the Tillery skirt out of denim, maybe? Or corduroy? Possibly the canvas I got at IKEA? But then I saw the new skirt pattern from Grainline yesterday and I’m a bit starry eyed over that. But maybe I’ll save that for the spring. Maybe they’ll finally expand the sizing on the Farrow dress that I’ve been dying over. And I’ll reward them by purchasing two patterns.

Oh shoot! And I just forgot I got the new Tobin Sweater pattern from Cashmerette, and they threw in the Appleton for free! That said, I’m not really into the idea of a wrap dress for myself, but I might try making it as a top instead. So yeah, I’m gonna be busy. 😀

(Speaking of Cashmerette, the most exciting thing happened this morning – I opened an email newsletter AND THERE WAS MY BUTT! Normally, I wouldn’t be excited about seeing my butt anywhere, but I was very honored that the designer chose to feature my version of her skirt! YAY!)

I’ll finish off this post with a photo of my (very tiny) closet. I took everything out of it that I didn’t make. So yeah, this is all me-made. (Not all of it, either, by a long shot!)

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Making Halloween costumes

I’ve told this story before, but I started sewing right after Mardi Gras last year. Right after I spent a day frantically buying random things and hot glueing and doing anything I could to avoid a needle and thread for our Mardi Gras costumes. All things considered, they turned out pretty well. But then within a week I fell headlong into this sewing obsession, and I had to wait until Halloween to get an opportunity to finally make costumes for the boys that didn’t involve tying fleece together or safety pins.

But they just wanted to be soccer players, and as you might imagine, we have plenty of soccer uniforms floating around. No sewing required. And then Mardi Gras came around again and they could not be convinced to go in costume (tweens, amirite?)

Now they are nearly 12 and my chance to lovingly craft costumes for them is probably nearing the end, so I hounded them endlessly for ideas that I could make. Inexplicably, Miles came up with a penguin, and Linus decided he wanted to be the Easter bunny. I mean, of course.

We had an event yesterday (Sunday) and these decisions came on Friday, so I didn’t have long. I could have made Oliver’s costume as well, but I was not unhappy to see that we could buy it at Target. So we did:

Hilarious, right?!?!?

So back to Miles and Linus. We went to Joann and bought a bunch of black, white, and pink fleece. I’d make Miles a tunic he could wear with black leggings, but I’d need to make Linus pants as well.

Since a penguin needs flippers, I didn’t want to just use a standard shirt pattern, so I thought the dolman sleeves of the Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates would work well. I printed out the smallest size and got to work.

Boy, it sure is easy to sew when you don’t have to worry about finishing seams!

Miles also needed a hood for his penguin head, so I used the pattern pieces from the Go To Jacket I am working on for Linus, and just used a pajama pants pattern for the bottoms. (I would have used the P4P pattern for this as well, but I had a Simplicity pattern for kids’ pajamas that was just as easy.)

Then I cut out a white chest piece and sewed a red bowtie (guess where that pattern came from?), stuck that on, cut eyes and a beak from felt and voila! We had a penguin!

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Next up, the Easter Bunny!

This bunny got a pink belly and we made him a Halloween-themed bow tie. Because the Easter Bunny respects holidays that aren’t his own. He didn’t need a hood since we’d purchased ears. I used eyeliner to paint on whiskers and we dug out Linus’s Easter bucket and filled it with eggs. I also found some gloves that belonged to a Mario costume from a few years back. Too bad one was lost at the mall. Oh well. But still, the cutest Easter Bunny ever (promise he and the penguin weren’t as grumpy as they look here.)

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Since Halloween isn’t for another couple of weeks, I have some time to adjust and finish their costumes. Miles needs shoe covers for penguin feet, and he wants the belly to go down further. We need to attach a tail for Linus, and maybe figure out how to secure the ears onto his head better. And of course I need to make my costume (no spoilers.)

Sewing the Ellis skirt, take 2

Back in March, I made a test version of the Ellis skirt by Cashmerette. I had bought a kit from the designer with nice denim and all the accoutrements (rivets, button, topstitching thread, etc.) but I only got around to using that kit last week or so.

The problem is, I gained a bit of weight since March so I wanted to size up a tad. But long story short, I sized up too much. Why do I always do this? Plus, I didn’t seem to learn anything from the mistakes I made the first time. If I decide to make this skirt again, though, I know exactly what to do.

  1. SIZE DOWN.
  2. Sew the ding dang zipper closer to the center front seam! Don’t line up the edge of the zipper with the seam, but line up the zipper teeth.
  3. I realized that when the zipper is lined up the way I did, the waistband ends up being too short. So then I had to take apart the waistband and add more length to it.
  4. And then LATER when the waistband was too big, I had to take it apart and remove that length.

So, don’t look too closely is all I can say.

But in the end, it fits okay, not great, but well enough, and it looks like a denim skirt and I love the topstitching I did on the back pockets. 🇬🇧

Look! A weird picture of my butt! (I lightened it so you can see the stitching.)

Oh and the lining fabric went with my pocket theme…

(Like before, this is view A in the length of view B.)

Coming soon: More sewing posts, because I’ve been sewing a lot!

Month 142

I am amused when I look at this month’s picture next to last month’s. Finally some consistency from month to month!

Except this time Linus is a blond, and a few differences in jacket situations. But still. As close as we can get.

I want to include Ziggy in this month’s post because he’s so darn cute. He probably warrants his own post because look at that face. Those ears!

I think he was looking at a squirrel. I mean of course.

Things that are good

Okay so I started this a while ago, but I still want to post it. Better late than never!

New (old) alarm clocks.

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Sesame noodles (and drooling over the recipes on my New Orleans Mom teammate Shannon’s blog.) Also these Pork Dragon Noodles, which since I started this post a month ago, I’ve made a few times.)

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Buying a cheap phone for the 11 year olds.

Because 11 year olds now want to wander the neighborhood with their friends.

Fun: stalking the 11 year olds on their first neighborhood wander. (Shh.)

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Even better: getting pics from friends in the neighborhood of my kids on their walks. (It takes a village.)

Seeing my niece AND getting to eat an amazing lamb wrap for lunch. (Hair dye would be a good thing, too.)

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Sewing and 40th birthdays and good friends. (Gonna have to post more on that dress later.)

Dogs in sunglasses:

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Smiles with teeth:

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Friends who drop off a bag full of sewing goodies from an estate sale (not shown: a zillion packs of bias tape, dozens of zippers, elastic, etc etc etc:

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And getting to see 800+ of your closest coworkers. But that’s for another post. 🙂

 

2019 Grand Meetup – the details

Usually I just write one big massive post about the GM, but I’m not mentally ready for that yet (still tired) but I do want to highlight the amazing details that went into it. Kudos to our amazing events team!

Mostly, it centered around the Automattic creed, which you can read in full here.

It was always handy, in the form of the room key cards…

And more:

First day of middle school!

Middle school. I sure hope it’s kinder to them than it was to me.

I promise, they’re happier than the smiles (or lack thereof) would indicate. Especially Miles. That’s his “smile.”

They enjoyed looking at all of their past first day of school pictures, so I had them re-do this one from 8 (eight!!!) years ago.

They’ve changed a little.

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Sigh.

For now, our bus stop is literally a block and a half away, which is amazing. But we will probably move to one a bit further away so they won’t have to be on the bus for two hours (!) every afternoon. I’ll enjoy this little walk until then.

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Getting on the bus!

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Sewing tangent: I made Miles’s jacket and Oliver’s leggings. The jacket was a real labor of love, it’s the Go To jacket by Patterns for Pirates. I’ll post more about it later.

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There’s that smile again!

Sewing project: Akinori dress

I’ve made a few Wardrobe by Me patterns – notably I’ve made the Tropical shirt about fifty times (well, really more like five) for George and the boys but I’ve also made the Linea skirt twice, both times as gifts. So now it was my turn to make something for me!

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When I saw the Akinori pattern I loved it, but wasn’t sure it was for me. Mostly because of the waist tie. Pam doesn’t do belts. It’s one of my cardinal rules. (I also don’t tuck things in and I also don’t eat celery.) But if I didn’t do the tie, it would be too loose. And loose dresses, I have learned in time-consuming and expensive ways, don’t work well for my shape.

But…well, maybe I’d just give it a try. I didn’t have to wrap the tie around my waist twice. I could just tie it in the back.

Backing up…

I decided to use the linen print I bought last summer at Mill End in Portland. I wasn’t sure if it would be flowy enough, but what the heck. If I didn’t use this fabric now, it would be another year before I could, since summer was technically ending soonish. (I mean, not really, this is Louisiana, summer is year-round, but I like to pretend it’s cool in the fall and wear seasonally appropriate clothes.)

So I got to work sewing up the pattern. Pleats always confound me, but I figured it out (with a little help from the designer and other sewists in the Facebook group.) But then I got stuck again with the semi-circular front insert piece. It was tricky because it uses a sort of burrito method (which I used in the Tropical shirt as well) but I was okay with that.  It’s when I got to sewing around the front insert piece and it was just waaaay too big.

I asked for help, unpicked those pleats like fifteen times, tried easing the fabric around the circle, etc, etc, etc. Finally, I just said “screw it” and cut about 1/2″ from the insert pieces all the way around and sewed it up. I figured if things were off down the road I’d deal with them then.

Hooray! I made it work!

But it all worked out from there! Everything went smoothly! And I put in one of my new labels I got in Virginia.

I put it on and decided wrapping the tie around my waist twice added too much bulk to my (nonexistent) waist, so decided just to tie it once in the back. Much better! But now the ties were almost dragging on the ground. I wore the dress out last weekend and just tied a bow. Later, I cut about 18″ off each of the ties. May have to cut more off, we’ll see.

Also, the neckline is way too low for my comfort, so I need to tack it in place a bit. I used a safety pin when I wore it.

I made Terry take a picture of me at her house, so here you go!

Voila!

The Great Road Trip of 2019: Part 2 (off the road)

So I’ve already blogged about the two days we spent in NYC as well as the fun we had getting to Virginia. But most of our trip was actually IN Virginia and we did a lot there, so I need to post about that now!

So uh let’s see. We arrived in Virginia Thursday night and were all pretty exhausted. Dinner. Wine. Sleep.

Friday we walked to Chipotle for lunch. Then we got ready to go our first professional soccer game. The boys were very excited. We went to Audi Field to watch DC United play New England something. I can’t remember. The boys got free scarves! The sunset from the stadium was gorgeous. Anyway, ultimately the game ended in 2-2 but we didn’t mind because it was exciting.

Saturday, the boys and I drove to my sister’s in Clifton. It’s about half an hour from Kiki’s, and it’s a pretty drive if you take the shorter (I think) route but it’s also windy and hilly so I prefer to take the boring highway route. I know, it’s bad but what can I say?

I’m going to put the rest of this behind this link. There’s a lot.