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.

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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.

Not totally about sewing

I’m going to try to blog about other stuff for once. I will probably fail.

Let’s see.

Okay, well, how about I get the sewing stuff out of the way first, and then I will talk about other stuff? Okay.

I currently have a wealth of fabric. Definitely not complaining! I don’t have plans for most of it, I’m just going to wait for the right project to come along. I am going to make another Akita shirt out of some teal linen for my upcoming trip to Singapore, though, and I want to make a dress as well out of another linen I got. (Okay, since I started this post, I made the Akita shirt, and I even made my own bias tape for it and NEVER AGAIN at least not until I forget what a pain THAT was.)

But the dreamiest is this gorgeous Art Deco rose gold sequined fabric. I don’t have the skills to use it yet, but I will one day. It will need to be lined in satin or something, and zippers might need to be involved. So it will have to wait until my skills have caught up. But it’s going to be amazing. And I’m going to wear it every day.

I had a pretty bad fail this weekend. I have been dreaming of this Charlie Caftan for a while and finally bought the pattern and made it with some fabric that I was given and liked but wouldn’t be devastated if it didn’t work out, and guess what, It didn’t work out. It looked like a hospital gown. Probably partially down to the fabric, but also the fit just isn’t great, and I think the pattern just isn’t for me and I just need to accept it and get over it and deal with it. Probably because I’m so cheap the hardest part to swallow is the $14 loss on the pattern – since it’s a PDF pattern it’s not like I can just give it to someone like I could if it was a paper pattern. But it’s a lovely dress on plenty of people. Just not for me.

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Recent sewing projects

My sewing obsession hasn’t waned, and here is proof.

My friend Robyn had a baby girl last week and as soon as Sabine was born (they didn’t know she was a girl until she arrived) I went to the fabric store and picked out these:

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I mean RIGHT? So cute. So I found a couple of patterns (free!) and with my handy dandy new serger, got to work. I mean, how hard could it be?!?

Cut out everything, check! Used the serger to sew up the pants. Check! Put the waistband on. Okay, it’s a little wonky. Check…ish! Uh oh. The unicorns are upside-down. Meh, let’s say it’s so the baby can see them. (Thanks Kiki for that.) Ooh, was I supposed to cut an inch off the bottom of the pants if I was going to use cuffs? Oh well, too long is okay. Why are these cuffs so narrow? Oops, sewed them the wrong way. No problem, I have plenty of fabric, let’s try again. Okay, pants done! I mean, they’re not perfect, but they’re certainly wearable.

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On to the shirt! This is a little scarier, all those bits and pieces and necklines and sleeves. But everything seems to be…going…okay. I mean, not perfect, but it’s starting to look like one of those baby shirts! The first sleeve is on, and it’s great! Woot! I can do this! Now for the other sleeve!

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&#$@*&%$.

Well. One downside of using a serger is that it cuts the fabric as it sews. Which means that when I take this sleeve off to put it on correctly, there will be less fabric to attach it to. Which means Sabine, if she could talk, would be like “Mom, what is going on with this shirt?!? It feels very off-kilter!” but instead she will just assume shirts are supposed to feel funky and will grow up with a complex all because of me. UGH. (I also forgot to stretch the arm cuffs when I sewed them on so they’re kind of weird too but whatever.)

But I carried on and just added an amusing note in with the package and hey, it’s the thought that counts, and thank goodness Robyn is such an understanding friend.

Project 2:

Hank turned 5 and he loves Paw Patrol so I made him some pajama shorts and he was very underwhelmed as I predicted so I also got him a Paw Patrol plush, but he was also underwhelmed by that, but he’s cute so I forgive him.

Project 3:

Something for myself! I found a lovely knit at Joann and this pattern (now I am realizing that all of the patterns in this post are from Patterns for Pirates) and I am 95% pleased with how it turned out.

Pros:

  • I used the serger, of course, so the seams are all very neat!
  • I aligned the pattern nicely I think with the center of the neckline, instead of just placing the fabric all willy-nilly. That said, I could have done a better job of placing the neckline fabric.
  • I like the fit, overall.

Cons:

  • Hemming knit makes me want to curse a lot. I got the washable tape that was suggested, and it made me curse even more. But I successfully hemmed the bottom.
  • However, when I got to the sleeves, I nicked the fabric with my scissors. So I had to cut an inch and a half off of each. And then I went to hem them and everything was getting wonky and so I just left them serged. I may just leave them. I just cannot deal with them right now.
  • There’s a little puckering in the neckline. I may remove it and redo it to deal with the puckering and the pattern issue. Or not.

I am leaving for a trip to Singapore in a few weeks, and I’d love to make a few more things to wear. I got some linen blend fabric which I think would be great to wear over there, but maybe not so much to put in a suitcase. Hmm. We’ll see. I am full of ideas of things I want to sew, and I got a great deal on some fabric that’s arriving Thursday, so stay tuned!

I got a serger and now I have questions

So yeah, I start a hobby and less than a month later, I have a mountain of fabric (thanks in part to Goodwill and friends), I have two sewing machines (to be fair, I didn’t buy either one of them), and I can’t sleep at night because my mind is racing with ideas and plans and questions.

So it shouldn’t come to any surprise that yesterday I bought a serger. Not a new one, but an old model that someone had posted on FB Marketplace and since I happened to be in the area, and since the seller agreed to my lower offer, and because knits are hard, and because I am Pam, I came home with this baby:

 

The baby pun above was kind of intended.

I don’t know much about sergers, but I mean, I’d heard of the brand, and a quick google didn’t bring up anything negative, and it’s older, which I like to think means quality. Who knows. So far so good. It was already threaded (whew!) and look how pretty!

But I’m not exactly sure where to go from here. I want to try to make something easy with some cheap knit fabric I have but:

  • What about seam allowances? The serger has a little marker for seam allowances but it’s not very useful since the fabric is just kinda flopping around over there. Someone suggested I baste the fabric at the correct seam allowance and then use that as a line. Which makes sense but ugh, so much work!
  • Do I use the serger to actually sew seams together? I feel like I’ve read conflicting info on this. If I’m not, I assume I have to use my sewing machine for the actual seams. Do I have to use a twin needle or zig zag stitch in that case?
  • What about hems on knit items? Say I want to make the boys shorts. So I serge the edge of the fabric to make it nice and neat. But how do I sew the hem? On my sewing machine, right? But not with a straight stitch. But a zig zag would look weird as a hem. So I guess the twin needle? (You can’t hear the whiny voice in my head when I type “twin needle.”) I feel like the twin needle option doesn’t look right, but maybe I just don’t know how to use it.
  • Okay, so I was wondering about woven items and using the serger to finish the edges (how do you take that into account with seam allowances, but as I was trying to fall asleep last night, it came to me in a flash – you do that after you’ve sewn the garment. Right? Or wrong? See why I can’t sleep?
  • Do I need special needles for this? I am working on the possibly erroneous assumption that the current needles in the machine are appropriate for knit fabric but who knows.

So if you have the answers to any of these questions, please let me know!

Oh, also, I moved everything up to the bedroom so we have a dining room table again. Need a better solution for Mt. Fabric but for now this will do.