Sewing project: Helen’s Closet York Pinafore

I went back and forth for a long, long time about this pattern* by Helen’s Closet (one of the hosts of the excellent Love to Sew podcast.) It was cute! But it wouldn’t suit my particular shape. But it was so cute! But not for me. I mean, it’s fine – not everything flatters everyone. But I kept going back to it. And there were two different views, one shorter with a higher scoop, and I thought that would work on me. I wasn’t sure about the “cocoon” shape of the skirt, but that could be modified easily enough. I also wasn’t sure if the width of the top would work with the width of me. Would it accentuate my width in a good way or a bad way?

Finally, I just went ahead and bought it (the day before it went on sale for 15% off, naturally – so if you like it go buy it now!) and got two yards of linen at Joann since they were having a sale.

Short version: I love it!

OH HI AREN’T I CUTE?

Long story: I cut out the XXL size, lengthened the upper bit 3/4″ to accommodate my bosoms (according to the excellent pattern instructions), and added 2″ to the bottom bit (not the hem but the lengthen line) to accommodate my height. (I mean, I wanted the short length but not THAT short.)

I went with the kangaroo pocket because it’s cute, and bought gold topstitching thread. I used it around the pocket curves and started to use it everywhere there was topstitching but then I realized it was starting to look more like a butcher’s apron or something industrial and that wasn’t exactly the look I was going for. But I like the little accent it gives. I also used navy bias tape so it blends in pretty well. It’s all on the inside anyway, but next time I plan to use something contrasting because it would peek out from the armholes especially. (Yes, there will most definitely be a next time.

After it was fully made, I ended up straightening the curve in the hips quite a bit – I’m not sure if it was the “cocoon” curve that didn’t suit me, or if the size was too big in the hips, but I think I like the straighter skirt anyway, so I think I may just modify the pattern itself. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m super excited about this. I love that I can wear fitted tops with it and not feel self-conscious about them. I love the pocket! And the length! I can’t wait to make some for winter to wear with tights and boots! This is going to be my new uniform! I’m just going to make a dozen of them and just wear them every day!

MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE????

* naturally it went on sale the day after I bought it. So buy it right now while it is on sale! Sale ends July 22nd at midnight PST.

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One twenty seven

Soccer and flossing. This is 10 years and seven months.

The last ten July 4 pictures, just for fun.

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And bonus: I made these culottes/shorts for myself for the 4th.

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The picture keeps freaking me out because the wood floor looks like my right leg, which is really behind my left leg. Anyway, you might not be able to see, but the fabric is navy with white stars. This was taken at my friend Steph’s house and I love how warm and New Orleans-y her kitchen is.

A visit to Portland, Oregon

I went to Portland a couple of weeks back for work. I really should be blogging about that part, but I’ll save that for the next post. This time, I want to talk about the fabric stores I visited! (Also what I made with my bounty so far.)

I had a few free hours here and there, and when possible, I snuck away to one of the zillions of sewing stores in the area. The first one I went to was Mill End. I had to take a Lyft there and back, which wasn’t cheap, but I’m still glad I went.

But it was overwhelming. Probably a good thing for my wallet, because I could have spent thousands in there. There was so much fabric! And types that I just can’t buy in person here. Knits and swim fabric and linens and silks and sequins and on and on and on.

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Happy Father’s Day George!

Really this is another sewing post disguised as a post about Father’s Day. Because I made George a shirt for Father’s Day, and gave it to him early because I was excited that I made a complicated shirt with buttons and a collar and stuff. (It’s Kwik Sew 3484.) Next time I think I’ll make the view that looks more like a bowling shirt, with the contrasting panels.

Anyway, he likes it. So yay!

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Tardis print, next to the Tardis at the pub.

A few other pics of George and the boys, just because.

Wrapping up Me Made May 2018

I did it! Every day in May, I wore something I made. Now, granted, near the end of the month, I didn’t post to Instagram every day because I was sick of taking pictures of myself in the same clothes I’d already posted 15 times before. (Always clean. I do a lot of laundry.)

So here’s how I rounded out the month:

May 22: The striped P4P shirt:

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Me Made May – week 3!

I’m a few days late with this post, only because the first part of the week was so busy with various anniversaries of births and deaths. (Quite the roller coaster of emotions.)

Anyway, here we go!

May 15: Plaid Cashmerette Springfield

May 16: Went shoe shopping in my Cashmerette Washington.

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May 17: Exhausted in my (wait for it…) Cashmerette Concord (I swear I’m working on another color!) Continue reading

Me Made May 2018 – week 2

I’ve made it through another week of Me Made May, wearing at least one item of clothing every day that I made with my very own two hands. Now, this week won’t be as exciting as last week because there are some repeats in here. SORRY.

May 8: One of the first things I made, a skirt out of a very slinky (but pretty!) knit that almost put me off knits forever. And then I got a rotary cutter and mat and a serger and I’m fine now.

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May 9: The back of my Cashmerette Webster!

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May 10: I got to visit my friend’s new squish, Arlo. (That’s “little fish” from last week‘s post. He’s a perfectly normal sized week-old baby, but MAN he’s tiny. And mine were like half that size? How is that even possible? (I mean okay, half that weight. Not actually half the size.) But he’s the sweetest, and I’m wearing my Cashmerette Washington.

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May 11: My first pair of shorts!!!! Linen Loungers by Patterns for Pirates. Also took it outside for a picture. I’m not always checking the time, btw. Just using my watch as a remote. Okay, not the best pic, but just trying to use a different one than what I post on Instagram, that’s all. Also, OKAY FINE. I like my legs in this one. Heh. I’m so full of myself. (Also wearing my Cashmerette Concord shirt.)

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May 12: I walked the Pink Bra Run 5k with my birthday buddy Ann Frances on Saturday. Love this child so much. We had fun chatting about this and that the whole time. About an hour before the race, I decided I needed MOAR PINK so I (ahem) whipped up a quick circle skirt out of some cheap pink polyester I had. I mean, seriously, it’s made terribly, but it was fine for this, and it counts, right?

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May 13: Happy Mother’s Day to meeee! My Leralynn dress again, and of course I forced the boys to take a picture with me. Oliver (far right) is wearing the shirt I made him too.

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May 14: George’s birthday! I am wearing the Linen Lounger shorts again. SO SUE ME, they’re comfy. Look, it’s the elusive family photo! Plus Ethan. Hence the look on my face. Aren’t three boys enough?!? (Four, if you count George. Five, including Ziggy.) (Not that Ethan’s not a great kid. He is.)

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Other sewing projects from last week include a dress I’m not done with, and these rice-filled neck pillows for the boys’ teachers for Teacher Appreciation week. Super easy to whip up, and I scented them with jasmine essential oil so they smell like springtime in NOLA. (The only good thing about springtime in New Orleans. Well, except for crawfish but I don’t think I’d want a pillow that smells like seafood but you never know.)IMG_1154

Ziggy has been keeping me company while I sew, which is nice.

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He gets a bit lonely when I sew since he’s usually not allowed in the back bedrooms because of the number of stuffed animals that live back there, but I knew he’d be okay if he stayed by me.

Onward to week 3!

Me Made May 2018 – week 1

So there’s this challenge (you know I love a challenge! How many times have I uttered those exact words on this blog? oh, okay, turns out this is the first time.) in the sewing community where you uh well I guess it’s kinda self-explanatory but you wear clothes you made in May. But well, you decide the parameters. Some people wear only clothes they made. Some people wear something different every day. Some people wear something they made three times a week, etc, etc. I decided to say I am going to wear something I made every day. There are going to be repeats, though I wouldn’t be surprised if I could make it through the month without wearing the same thing twice, except that would mean I could only wear, say, my purple Concord top once, and that would be sad because I really like it.

I’ve been posting daily on Instagram, but I’m going to do a weekly recap here on the blog of what I’ve been wearing (and making.)

May 1: Seamwork Akita, one of the first shirts I made.

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May 2: Cashmerette Concord. This was the first time I made it. Is a little more fitted than I wanted, but still wearable.

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May 3: Dork alert! The Leralynn dress by Blank Slate Patterns. You get a gallery for this one because I’m proud of all the details that went into this one. The top-stitching is my favorite. It looks like a little vine or something.

May 4: Cashmerette Washington. I think this one looks better in person. I am definitely making another one of these soon.

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May 5: Getting creative with my photography here. The aforementioned purple Cashmerette Concord.

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May 6: A Cashmerette Webster that I couldn’t get a good picture on. But I like the detail of the straps on the back. It was more complicated to make than you might think! Be impressed!

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May 7: Being a dork in another Seamwork Akita, this time one I screwed up but I don’t really care because it’s comfy and I wasn’t going anywhere.

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I’m also working on a dress for Day 19 (high school reunion) which you’ll of course have to wait and see, and I made this for my friend Aimee’s new baby and her older son Linus (all the heart eyes.) (Pattern by Patterns for Pirates.)

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On to week 2!

Sewing and soccer

I started to make this just about sewing, but there’s more to life than sewing, you know.

There’s soccer, of course.

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Speaking of, my latest post for NOMB came out today.

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Generally tongue in cheek, as I am wont to do. Check it out!

Okay, this is probably really, really wrong of me. But I was videoing some of the soccer game because I knew the boys would want to watch it, and I just happened to get a video of this kid on the other team getting knocked over by a ball. He was FINE. But the video is VERY FUNNY. SO I can’t decide if I should share it or not. Hmm. How about I won’t embed it, but I’ll put a link here so you can click on it if you want to be as evil as me and watch a little kid get conked in the head with a soccer ball? Fair enough. (And yes. I slowed it down so you could see it even better.)

Last weekend, some long-lost (not really) cousins were in town and we had lunch with them. I wish I had some pictures. We were half an hour late because the French Quarter was packed so it took us forever to park so I was too frazzled to take pictures. Except of my barbecue oyster poboy. Mmmmmm.

Oh, and my Uncle Lee was here and he showed me a photo of my Aunt Nancy from when she was younger. She was my dad’s big sister, and of course I only knew her when she was older so it was lovely to see this.

Oh, look at these adorable sailors in the FQ for Navy Week!

Sewing-wise, I made this dress and this dress and both were fails (one was WAY too big, and I don’t feel like going back and reprinting and taping the pattern in a smaller size, the other was just…meh) and then I decided I needed to try the Cashmerette Springfield top again because by golly I wasn’t going to give up on it, and I was much more successful the second time. Except the bust darts were too high and the arm holes a smidge tight.

Try three was a winner! My friend Jessica sews kid’s clothes for a living and had two full boxes of adorable fabrics that she gave me and I am in HEAVEN. I made both of those Springfield tops out of fabric she gave me. I love the plaid!

And then last night I decided to try the Cashmerette Washington dress and as seems to be the case with these patterns, they don’t fit right the first time so I am going to re-make the bodice in a different fabric tonight and see if it works better. I hope so!

I also am excited about trying out this dress pattern and this skirt pattern. This weekend, I hope I can get to at least one of them!

Oh, but my nieces’ birthdays are coming up and I want to make them things too. So much to sew, so little time!

Ooh, and look at my cute shoes!

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Also I’ve been to Orangetheory five times in a row now because I want to get this stupid t-shirt that you have to earn by completing “a marathon” in April. Which normally, fine, 26.2 miles over the course of a month’s worth of workouts wouldn’t be so difficult except that I was out for about 10 days of the month because of travel and a funeral last week. So I might fall apart by the end of the month but BY GOD I WILL HAVE A SHIRT THAT IS PROBABLY TOO SMALL.

Some nice things

I have a longer post coming soon, but for now I wanted to highlight these two nice things people said to me on Saturday.

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Nice thing #1:

Scene: The boys’ soccer game had just ended. Their team lost (barely) but they played really well. 

Coach: Pam, can I talk to you over here?

Me (thinking): Uh oh, what’d I do? I’m in trouble.

Coach: I just wanted to tell you that your boys are a delight to coach. They’re so well-behaved and are really supportive to their teammates. They just have great attitudes, unlike some of the other players on the team. I just wanted to let you know.

Me (is it dusty here or what?): Thank you, that’s so kind!

END SCENE


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Nice thing #2:

Scene: Cute little sewing store.  I went in “real quick” to pick up some fabric since they were having a sale that ended that day. Miles came in with me, the rest of the fam was in the van outside, frothing at the mouth because I was “taking so long.” Pleeeeease. But look at the pretty fabric I got!

Fancy Uptown older lady: Did you make that shirt?

Me: This old thing? (Not really, I didn’t say that.)
Me: Yes!

FUOL: That’s really nice! What pattern is it?

I tell her. She looks carefully at the seams and admires the bias binding. I self-deprecatingly say it’s not perfect, and I only started sewing recently. She says some more complimentary things, and some of my imposter syndrome around sewing fades. (Some, not all.)

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Flowers in Singapore

Yesterday we had our team activity day and one of the things we did was go to Gardens by the Bay. If this place was in the US I’d probably think it was super touristy and be sniffy about it. But the fact is, it was gorgeous and amazing and I don’t care if it is considered touristy.

I took a bunch of pictures (shocker) but the surprising thing is that I didn’t bring my DSLR on this trip. 😬 And I didn’t even regret it! I did have the lenses for my phone that George gave me for Christmas though and I especially had fun with the macro lens. Oh, and none of these photos were edited!

Behold:

And some non-macro shots of the flowers and the Cloud Forest dome that we visited next, which was lush and jaw-droppingly gorgeous:

Okay, maybe I took too many pictures of flowers.

The other thing about this beautiful setting is that we couldn’t resist taking a bunch of selfies and pictures of each other. So many nice backgrounds!

Okay, I suppose that’s enough photos for today. Tomorrow (well, to be honest, some other time) I will blog about the other adventures we had yesterday!

Oh, and in these pictures I’m wearing a dress I made by elongating a Seamwork Akita. Not perfect (in fact, definitely too big, and the pattern on the fabric not bold enough so the overall effect is a bit hospital gown, but it’s comfy and cool and soft, so whatever.)

I’m in Singapore!

After 28 hours of travel (which included maybe 20 minutes of sleep) I finally made it to Singapore late Tuesday/early Wednesday (I left New Orleans Monday at 7am for context.) And then we only had about 5 hours to sleep before we had to get up to work Wednesday morning. Thank goodness the hotel has a magic coffee machine in the restaurant so all you have to do is press a button and caffeine comes out.

We haven’t been anywhere except the hotel and the coworking place so far (and they’re only about 500 meters apart) so I don’t have much of an impression of Singapore yet but tomorrow we’re going to do fun stuff.

Some photos so far, mostly from airports.

Tokyo airport!

After the one hour flight to Houston, I had a 13-hour flight to Tokyo. I watched lots of movies on that flight. Then I had a four-hour layover where I met up with Karen and Deborah, and we walked around the terminal pretty much the entire time. We had some delicious ramen, I bought the boys some manga in Japanese (obvs more for funsies than anything) and I got my Starbucks mug. But I was so, so, so tired. Deborah and I got on the flight to Singapore (Karen was on a different one) where I slept a little, watched a couple more movies (it was a seven hour flight) and ate a little bit of a real Japanese meal (this leg was on All Nippon Airlines.)  The airplane also had the fancy bidet toilet seat too. (I keep wanting to say “I was tickled that the airplane had the fancy bidet toilet seat” or similar, but it just comes out all wrong so I’ll leave that out.)

Anyway, we got to Singapore after midnight, met up with Karen again, got an Uber to the hotel, passed out in our rooms, and basically worked all day yesterday, passed out last night, and are finally feeling a bit rested today. Oh, and so you don’t think I’ve completely forgotten about sewing, I wore a Cashmerette Concord shirt I made last week that I’m really happy with, and I made Karen take a picture of me wearing it.

My new shirt!

 

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Look how cute we are!!

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Hopefully my next post will have more actual photos of, you know, Singapore.