It turned chilly again (probably our last gasp of winter) and I had to get these fast before their toesies froze. The sword was from a parade we went to last week. Miles didn’t turn into a knight or anything.
I have so much to blog about, it’s pathetic. But I go back to work one week from today, so you’ll have to wait until I’m used to sitting in front of a computer again. But I mean, I have to cover:
days out with each boys individually
the other two snorkeling at the aquarium
stuff I did on my sabbatical
stuff I didn’t do on my sabbatical
other random things I’ll remember once I get started
One year ago I walked into Joann’s, picked out a pattern and some whale fabric and painstakingly sewed a skirt.
Backing up a little…a few days earlier, I posted on Facebook somewhat reluctantly looking for recommendations for an inexpensive sewing machine. I was reluctant because I knew my mom was going to bring up the old machine she had given me years ago. That machine scared me. It was old! It needed oil and stuff. I wanted something shiny and new that would have videos on YouTube and lots on online resources.
But I’m also impatient and cheap so I figured I’d just pull out the machine and give it one more try, and this time with the manual, before ordering something online.
Okay, this story is getting too long and I have a feeling I told it all before. So let me just cut to the chase. On February 18, 2018, I sewed my first item of clothing, and an obsession began. It didn’t turn out all that great. I didn’t know about finishing seams, so after I washed it, they all started fraying. Oops.
I made shirts, more skirts, pajama pants for the boys. I was pretty fearless. I discovered the world of indie sewing patterns and bought a serger off Facebook Marketplace so my seams stopped unraveling. In May, I participated in Me Made May and wore an item of clothing I sewed every day for the whole month. And I kind of never stopped. Even now I try to wear something every day that I sewed. Sometimes I forget, but it’s not a big deal. My wardrobe is probably 80% handmade by now, so it’s almost inevitable.
Back to that old sewing machine – I love it. I now realize that any sewing machine I could have afforded would have been a cheap plastic wobbly thing compared to this tank. Sure, it has its issues – I have to special order bobbins, and it doesn’t do fancy things like automatic buttonholes and it gets cranky when the bobbin thread runs low, but I’ve learned to deal with its quirks.
So what are my favorite things I’ve sewn so far?
Helen’s Closet York Pinafore
Patterns for Pirates Linen Loungers
Cashmerette Upton Skirt
Circle skirt with horsehair
60s dress out of a curtain
But those are just the things I’ve made for myself. I’ve also enjoyed sewing for other people.
Rompers for my cousin’s sons
Pants for Ellie
Outfits for my friend’s sons
Unicorns for my friend’s daughter
PJ pants for the boys!
Mario shirt for Miles
Doctor Who shirts for George and Neil
Unicorns and rainbows for a friend’s baby
And I’ve had fun sewing bags and scarves and scrunchies and pillowcases too. Why not?
So what’s next? I have bins and bins of fabric and probably a dozen patterns that are waiting to be used. I’m most excited about the Cashmerette Ellis denim miniskirt – I even have rivets! And a bathing suit pattern that I’ve been sitting on, but definitely want to make it for this summer. And a pretty border pattern fabric that’s probably destined for a skirt, but I kind of want to make something more unexpected with it, but I’m just not sure yet. And that pink art deco sequin fabric that I bought almost a year ago but I’m terrified to mess up, oh and there’s the silk brocade that I bought in Singapore…and on and on.
So yeah, I think I have plenty to keep me busy for another year of sewing at least!
All in all, I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come in a year. I’m not scared of knits or zippers. I have come to embrace my shape instead of being ashamed of it. Instead of dreading trying to find a dress or a skirt, I can just make one! It’s incredibly freeing. I was in Real Simple! I helped bring attention to an amazing online community! It’s been so great, and I can’t wait to see how much I can do in the upcoming year. (Let’s see if I can tackle that bathing suit…)
(Is is the middle of my sabbatical? The exact middle? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. If it’s more than halfway done, I’ll be sad. Okay, I don’t think it is. But it’s close. That’s okay! As long as it’s not actually halfway over. It’s not. Whew.)
I want to open with this really exciting work thing – I know, I’m not even working! But I haven’t been able to talk about it until this month. Ages ago, I mentioned to our marketing team that sewists use WordPress.com for blogging about sewing a lot. And they paid attention, particularly my friend Michelle, who is on the editorial team and is one of the most amazing and funny and coolest people I know. We chatted a bunch about it at a lunch at the GM, and then she brought it up at one of their meetings. And things led to things and I told her about The Sewcialists website, and then they created this really amazing list called the Anything is Possible list, and look, I don’t want to take too much credit, but I mean, I want to take a little credit, but who ended up on the list but The Sewcialists! And check out this video, which gets me choked up every.single.time!
On the other hand, yesterday was a horrible, terrible, not good, very bad day. The van has been not wanting to start sometimes for a while, but it always would start after a little while with some prodding. (I feel bad now that I never named it.) Yesterday, it just wouldn’t. After some coaxing and sweet talking and banging on some parts, and trying to jumpstart it, I finally gave in and had it towed to the mechanic. Fingers crossed it’s not too expensive. I’d just like one more year out of it. At least. George’s car only has one more payment, and it sure would be nice to have no payments for a while, eh?
When I came home from bringing the boys to the bus stop (where it died, which was not convenient) I found that Ziggy had snuck into my bedroom and was curled up on my bed, which was cute. But the puddle of pee on my bedskirt, where he has peed a few times now, was most decidedly NOT CUTE. Taking the bedskirt off a king bed to wash is not fun, but I’m looking forward to putting it back on even less. Argh.
One positive part of the day was taking the ferry across the river to the aquarium to see Linus giving a presentation with a group of his classmates on the Gulf of Mexico. Thank goodness we got in for free again. The aquarium costs THIRTY DOLLARS if you don’t have a membership. Ridiculous.
Anyway, while I was at the aquarium, the school nurse called. Of course. Because Miles’s asthma was flaring up. Of course. Fortunately, she was able to get it under control. But I stressed hard about that for the next several hours.
But that’s enough about yesterday. Today I’m stuck at home so I’m going to tackle the reorganization of the upstairs bathroom. Time to throw out the makeup from my wedding, finally. Ha ha! I kid! Um yeah! For sure, totally kidding!
What else has happened? Well, the Saints game. I’m not even going to talk about that. I made some scarves with pockets and sold them to neighborhood moms and, well, I guess I won’t be selling any more until next fall. But they are super cute. I’m going to try some Mardi Gras prints next. The pockets are super handy!
Black and gold Art Deco – $22
hidden zipper pocket!
Linus had a disgusting bump on his arm and we had to get it…dealt with. (Any other words I could use in conjunction with that are too gross.)
Soccer started back up for the spring.
We went to visit Granny and Grandpa, and the boys are very very very close to being as tall as them.
My kitchen is still clean from Kiki’s visit! And yes, I have cooked!!! (and yes, that is clean!)
I ordered new glasses.
Okay, no more procrastinating via blog post. Gotta go tackle the bathroom!
It’s day 2 of my sabbatical. TIME IS FLYING. Just kidding. It’s 10:30 in the morning and I’ve been up for hours and have already gone to Home Depot for some random things, made a tree skirt, trimmed the Christmas tree (I mean literally, the branches at the bottom were too low to allow gifts to fit), trimmed the Christmas tree (I mean, I put a few ornaments on, but outsourcing the rest to the boys), and made a to-do list for stuff I need to sew.
I think it’s time for a Christmas movie on Netflix and hot chocolate.
Friday night, I had my second awesome fortieth birthday party. This time, with my girls from the neighborhood. I didn’t want anything super fancy, just a meal at a local Mexican restaurant and margaritas. And everyone had to wear sequins and sparkly things. And obviously there had to be cake.
My lovely friends came through in spades.
First, Tee and I went to get our makeup done. I was extremely nervous, because I don’t generally wear a lot of makeup, but I mean, if I’m going to get my makeup done, it needs to be DONE, right? Well, it was certainly done. I got the full smokey eye. It was pretty amazing.
I looked fierce.
Meanwhile, Tee got some super glam sparkly gold eyes.
After we got all gussied up, we met everyone else at the restaurant, where I was given a GINORMOUS margarita and a TINY glittery sombrero.
Yes, I’m looking down in pretty much every picture so you can admire my eyes.
I really don’t feel like that photo captures the true size of that margarita. It was glorious.
After dinner, I ran into an old friend.
and then we went back to Jenn’s house where we drank more margaritas out of sparkly lip straws…
and danced and played some game and ate cake.
We took a group picture in front of the most excellent banner, and then I snuggled with Jenn’s dog before heading home. At 3:30 in the morning. YEAH!
Inside the box, which jingled intriguingly, was a set of thick, copper rings. The paper he handed me along with the box informed me that my gift was a custom-made ring from the local jeweler (and friend) Lil.
After a series of appointments (okay, that makes it sound more dramatic than it was – really two visits to her studio) where we discussed various options, my ring was made!
The spinny rings have the boys’ names on them, and the inside has a little message from George, as well as the boys’ birthdate.
The spinning rings are great for someone who already likes to fiddle with her rings when bored or nervous. (Me!)