Friday, September 23, 2016

I think I'll Blog Now

I might reference Forrest Gump more than any other movie in my life. Do you remember that part when he's on this amazing adventure running across the country and suddenly one day he stops, pauses, turns around and says "I think I'll go home now".

That's how I feel about my life, our life, really lately. One big, long run filled with beauty and fun and wonderful people, but also messy days and rain and bumps in the road. In any case, I. am. tired. And, today, I feel like pausing, turning around like Forrest Gump and deciding to spend my days differently. I'm not sure what that entails, but I feel like the arrival of Fall will give me some cues. This morning, I decided a short blog post would do me some good.  

Artifact Uprising was having another 25 free prints sale, which if you have never taken advantage of you absolutely, positively should! The quality of their prints is exceptional and I find it always forces me to sort through my recent life's photos a bit. Of course, last-minute Laurel was up late last night picking out my 25 favorite pictures that encapsulated our summer. Most of them were iphone pics, but I found a few gems that I took with my big camera. It's always, always a good thing to look back at your life and pause to remember how wonderful it's been. I think I'll finish today sharing a few of my favorites. And, no, we, did not get a dog, but met a very sweet one on our trip to the river in June. Happy day, friends. I hope to be back here again soon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

That Pink Tiger Dress

So, alas, I finally sewed up Lyla's "pink tiger dress". It turned out so cute! I decided to try the Roller Skate Dress pattern by Oliver + S. I've always loved the shape of this dress and the cute neckline detail. I'm excited to check another Oliver + S pattern off of my list - they are all so well done and I learn something new from every pattern. 

These tigers are one of my all-time favorite Cotton and Steel prints, from Alexia Abegg's Hatbox collection. I can't seem to stray far from fun prints when I'm making dresses for Lyla. For the neckline detail, I used this Kauffman dot chambray in indigo. I also lined the dress with chambray, but a different one that I don't love quite as much (saving the rest of the dots for another dress).


I sewed Lyla a size 2T, based on her measurements but added about an inch to the length. I'll be honest, I don't love the overall fit of this dress on her. The neckline is a tad big and I found that the dress tends to ride up if she's sitting. Also, I probably didn't need to add the length (it's a bit on the long side), but it will give her lots of room to grow. Maggie used to grow out of things so quickly, that every few months she was changing sizes. I could never keep up! Lyla, on the other hand wears her things forever, especially dresses!

Overall, this was a great pattern to sew! I believe actually that the fit is pretty accurate and this is just the style of the dress. I think if I were to make another roller skate dress, I'd use a more fluid fabric, like double gauze or rayon and/or I'd consider going down a size. The riding up business bugs her a little, but I'm hoping the tigers will win her over and she'll still wear it. In any case, it is a really, darn, cute dress!

It was 70 degrees here yesterday, so we took a walk to the little lake in our neighborhood. Lyla is such a good little hiker and will walk all the way around the lake. She stops to take a break and occasionally asks me to pick her up, but doesn't whine too much when I refuse. I love adventuring with her!

I'm really looking forward to Spring. The days are getting a little longer and brighter down here! Hope you're all enjoying some signs of Spring as well!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February Blues

I really have no business feeling blue this February. It's been a relatively mild winter here. But, it seems there have been more gray days than not, and it's been just cold and dreary enough that I'd rather stay indoors. I'll admit - and this is a tough one for me to admit - I'm getting bored.   

That said, my time at home with Lyla has been so nice recently. She seems to have jumped leaps and bounds with her speech over the past month and it has made a world of difference. She talks, I understand (!), I respond and her face lights up with joy. We're having actual real conversations! 

We've been talking a lot about dresses lately. She loves the dresses I've made her and wears them (plus a couple more I've made over the year) regularly. Seriously, this girl is my biggest handmade supporter. So, of course I've told her I'll make her a new dress (or four). She wants "pink tigers" on her dress and she wants it done in about 30 seconds. She says "you make my dress now. OK, Mommy? I paint hearts." She paints a bit, turns to find me watching her and says, "s'ok, Mommy, you just make it." Sure thing, sweets. 

I think that soon enough, I'll be able to sew a bit with her by my side. Up until recently, I would never dream of us sitting here creating together, knowing she'd likely wander off within minutes and get into things. But, I'm noticing her becoming more independent and engaging in her own play just a little bit more lately. It's wonderful on so many fronts. I love those moments when she drifts off into her own little world, seemingly unaware that I'm nearby. What a bright spot she's been this February.

And, then, there were other bright spots, of the the impulsive purchasing type. I hope I'm not the only one who does that. Last week I added this pretty stack of indigo fabrics to my stare and gaze at on my shelf stash. Mostly all from Handcrafted by Alison Glass, but a little of Cotton and Steel's Bluebird as well. Good gracious, they're beautiful. But, what shall I do with them? That's what I'll be pondering this March while I sew dresses for my little girl.

I hope you've found some bright and beautiful spots this February!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bluebird Poolside Tote

I knew when I made my first Poolside Tote that it wouldn't be my last. This pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead is one of my favorites. It's a fun one to put together and makes a super functional bag. I especially love the shape and all of the details Anna has added to the pattern. 

The exterior of this bag features a fun print from Cotton and Steel's recent Bluebird collection. I'm slightly obsessed with this collection of blue fabrics (more on that soon). To me, this print screams summer, pool time, beach, and sunny travels. This particular fabric is printed on an unbleached cotton, which gives it a lovely natural look. Since it's a lighter weight cotton, I basted canvas to each of the exterior pieces. This adds some sturdiness and weight to the bag. It's just a bit on the floppy side, but I kind of like it that way.    

The handles of the bag and the interior are yarn-dyed Essex linen in black and chambray. The accents are Cloud9 Fabric's Cirrus Solids in Coral (which I was ecstatic to discover at Joanns!!). I interfaced all of these fabrics with Pellon SF101.

This bag is so roomy and can hold so much! I included a little leather clip on the interior for those keys that tend to disappear.

This bag was a gift for my friend Kendra's 40th birthday. This is the year my closest friends (and I) turn 40 (I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one) and I decided I wanted to sew something for each of them. Maybe Poolside Totes for everyone and then a group trip to the beach! Sounds pretty perfect to me!

Monday, January 25, 2016

My Linden Sweatshirt

I've been having fun sewing Linden sweatshirts (just one of many appealing patterns by Grainline Studio) over the past couple of weeks. I finished this version over the weekend when we were snowed (or, iced, actually) in. It was a good weekend to sew something super comfy!

I really love this pattern! It's been a happy starting place for my year of garment sewing. It is really such a straightforward, quick sew, and I still learned a bit from sewing it. For starters, I've finally switched over from using a narrow zigzag stitch to using the stretch stitch on my Bernina. This stitch uses a lot more thread but also seems a lot stronger. I also learned to use a double needle to give the neckline a nice professional finish. 

It seems that this top would be great in a wide variety of knits. My first version, in french terry (from Imagine Gnats shop) has a distinct sweatshirt look. While this version, done in some lovely new Cloud9 knits, is a little less sporty, but still so comfortable. For sizing on both tops, I went with the sizing indicated for my bust and then graded the pattern piece out to my hip size. I found my first version was a tiny bit short, so I decided to add about 1.5 inches to the length on this one. I love how the pattern pieces indicate where to lengthen/shorten!

Growing up as a brown-eyed girl, people always told me that brown looked good on me, so I went with it in many of my wardrobe choices. I recall having a closet full of brown, actually. But, then brown started to disappear and everything was grey, black and white. Recently though, I've started to see brown sneak back into fashion and color trends. So, anyway, I was pretty excited when I found these pretty brown prints by Cloud9. It's such a lovely soft shade and I love the floral + stripes pairing!

I definitely see more Lindens in my future. Right now, the two I've made are on a steady rotation. I'm looking forward to the garment pattern I'm going to try next though! Something a little dressier. I can't wait!