Soccer and sewing (again)

Two things taking over my life right now – soccer and sewing.

Let’s start with soccer. I took a lot of pictures at Saturday’s game, but don’t worry, I won’t do this at every game. But it was their first, after all, and they even won! (Can’t say the same about the game on Sunday, though.)

Some of my favorite pics from the game:

Miles usually was playing closest to where I was sitting, so I got more pictures of him, but for the next game I’m borrowing a 300mm lens from a friend (this one only zooms to 105mm) so hopefully I’ll get better pics of all three. (Linus is 90, Miles is 91, and Oliver is 92.) I mean, if someone wants to buy me this, I won’t say no…

In sewing news, you know that Upton dress I made the other day? Well, I wasn’t super thrilled with the fit, so I made some adjustments and was able to squeeze the dress out of less than 3 yards of fabric I had lying around. And this time, it’s much better!

Observe:

The fit on the right is more like how it should be. I also raised the waistband an inch (well, I lowered it 3″ the first time I made it, but only 2″ the second time) and went down a size in the bodice, but up a cup size (Cashmerette patterns have different bust sizes, which is awesome.)

 

Also, I got a zipper foot for my sewing machine, so I was able to get my invisible zipper slightly less visible:

Couple more pics. Note to self: the waistband pieces should be cut upside down if they’re directional, because I have a little bird peeping down from the waist. Hee!

Next time, I think I might try the box pleated skirt version. Or add sleeves. Who knows?!!?

 

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Sewing project: Cashmerette Upton

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 11.17.19 AM.pngI’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while, but I held off for a few reasons. First, it looked too complicated, even though the skill level was supposedly “advanced beginner” (which is what I think I am.) Second, well, I guess I just didn’t think as someone who works from home and rarely dresses up, would need it. But mostly it was because it looked hard.

Well, it really wasn’t. I mean, it had a lot of steps, sure, but they were pretty straightforward, and the instructions were thorough as usual. I had bought the paper pattern because printing out PDFs isn’t my favorite (well, really it’s the taping that I hate) but since I didn’t want to cut into the tissue in case I had fit issues, I traced the pattern onto pattern paper, which took forever. Anyway.

And as far as not needing dresses, I do have an event coming up for the mom’s blog where we’re supposed to wear jewel tones (for photos) and I had this lovely fabric, so I figured this would be the perfect time to make it.

The dress has a few options – a v-neck or scoop neckline, and a box pleated or gored skirt. I decided to go with v-neck and gored, like the photo (of the designer) on the website (above).

Before I even got started, I made the decision to lengthen the bodice, so I added 3″ to it, but once I had the darts sewn into the lining, I realized they were way too high, so I moved the bust darts down for the outer fabric. (Yeah, I said lining. Another reason it was intimidating.)IMG_6695.JPG

By the time I was done, I only had to unpick stitches like five times so I think I’m improving there. 😀 And the hem is totally wonky. At that point I just wanted to be done, so I didn’t take as much care with it as I should have. On the bright side, look how well I matched up the waistband at the zipper!

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Cute sleeve!

In the end, I think it’s a bit too big in the bust so I’m going to try a different size next time, but it’s certainly wearable like this. I’m also going to reduce the amount I lengthen the bodice to 2″ instead of 3″. And heck, I might get the sleeve expansion pack next to add the cute little tie sleeves. We’ll see. I’m not really the “cute sleeve” type of person but maybe I can be, just this once.

I also was thinking of trying horsehair braid along the hemline next time to make it stand out a bit. When I first tried on the dress, I felt very…rectangular. Like, it’s not accentuating my waist enough. So between making the bodice a bit more fitted, and making the skirt flare out a tiny bit with the horsehair, I think I’ll like it even more. I just need to figure out if I can put in horsehair without lining the skirt. Hmm.

Anyway, I wore it to dinner with some friends last night, and got some pics in the French Quarter. Much better backdrop than my living room!

 

 

Version two, coming soon!

Summer of sewing and soccer

Don’t you just love an alliterative title?

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Fancy soccer training jacket

I haven’t blogged much this summer. Mostly because we just haven’t done that much. I feel bad for the boys – they keep asking if we’re going to go somewhere. And then I keep reminding them that they’re playing soccer, remember? And soccer is very expensive. (Guilt trip much? I learned from the best!)

But don’t feel too bad for them. We are going on another big ol’ family cruise at Thanksgiving, and thanks to soccer, we’ll have a few small trips to soccer tournaments throughout the year. In fact, the first one is already on the calendar.

Unfortunately for me, it’s also the weekend I’m supposed to come back from this year’s Grand Meetup for work, so I had to get permission from work to leave a day early. Get this: the GM is in Orlando this year. So I’ll fly home Friday afternoon, load everyone in the van and drive BACK to Florida that very same evening for the tournament. Ha! At least the tournament isn’t also in Orlando – it’s in Pensacola which is just a few hours away.

So what have we been up to this summer? The boys went to camp for about six weeks. They didn’t love having to go to camp, but it got them out of the house at least. And they went to a few days here and there of soccer camp as well, which they enjoyed. Of course, nothing was close to home so I feel like I spent the entire summer in my van, and not in a fun road-trip kind of way.

They also participated in summer soccer, which was two evenings a week for seven weeks. I think it was good for them – it was their first experience playing “elite” soccer, not just recreational. At first, they were kind of disheartened, but as the weeks went on, they enjoyed it more. It was mostly drills and scrimmages, so they learned a lot. Of course, thanks to our summer afternoon thunderstorms, there weren’t seven weeks worth of soccer, but whatever.

Another highlight was Aunt Jenny and Emily and Andrew and Uncle Rob coming to Baton Rouge to visit. We spent a few days at Grandee’s hanging out, visiting with my cousin Sara’s baby, and as a bonus, the boys got a haircut, which was sorely needed.

There were also playdates and me breaking a tooth and having to get it pulled (so now I have two gaps in my mouth which makes me extra classy) and hanging out with coworkers in town with their family, and saving the world, and going to visit a giant mural of a French soccer star.

I’ve been sewing a lot when I haven’t been working. I took a class at a local sewing store (blog post to come) which was amazing, but have been mostly working on sewing up household goods to sell to help pay for soccer. It’s a win-win – sewing relaxes me and hopefully, it’ll ease the stress of the endless costs of competitive soccer. (If you’re interested, you can check those out here and here.)

Movies, murals, sewing

I have a few little things I want to blog about, so I guess I should do that before too much time passes!

Last Friday, George and I went to go see the documentary Three Identical Strangers that was briefly playing at a local movie theater here. I had been hearing about it for a while, ever since it was making the rounds of film festivals earlier this year, thanks to the Google notifications I get for “identical triplets.”

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In a nutshell, the movie is about a set of identical triplets that were separated at birth and reunited, just by sheer happenstance, 19 years later. It’s heart-wrenching and emotional and funny and sad and tears rolled down my face for the first thirty minutes and then I pulled myself together. It was just so good and so thought-provoking and if you can see it, you should. If only I could have worn a shirt that said “Mom of Identical Triplets” so I could have gotten free popcorn or something. Or a free daiquiri. The movie theater had daiquiris. I could have used one.

Later that day, I went to the first day of a sewing class at a local store, which was so amazing and exhausting. The goal was to make a box-pleated skirt. By the end of the weekend I had spent 11 hours in the store, and I still didn’t have a finished skirt. I still don’t. Still have some work to do on it. Heh. But it’s going to be amazing. And I learned so much! I will have an in-depth blog post about it later, once the skirt is all finished, but I have about 20 feet of hem to hand-sew so it might be a little bit.

Sneak peek:

And then the other day, my friend Jenn told me about a mural that a local artist painted last month on the side of a building of a French soccer star. Well, obviously I had to take the boys, so we went yesterday on the way to soccer. It was pretty cool! Oliver was less than thrilled, as this guy, Paul Pogba plays for Manchester United (when he’s not playing for the French national team) and Oliver is a Manchester City fan. Kids.

 

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.

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!