Monday, January 29, 2007

Arrgh! There Be Pirates!!

Caleb played in the Music for Munchkins Concert yesterday. The theme was Pirates, and I made this pirate shirt for him. Well, I didn't really make it completely, I merely finished it. It's been hanging in the closet sans cuffs for a few years, and this concert was the impetus I needed to finish it. The pattern is the Costume Connection's Renaissance Common Man. I can't even remember what size this is. From what I remember, it's pretty straightforward sewing, though I think I changed the construction of the center opening a bit. It's not "offically" period, as I added edgestitching and I serged the seams.

He makes a pretty good pirate, no? He made his own leather vambraces, and one of his dad's leather vests and bandanas complete the ensemble. It was a great time -- Calvin and Connor enjoyed the instrument petting zoo and crafts. The concert itself was wonderful, with swordfighting, shark attacks, treasure, plank walking, and a superhero (yes, a superhero: String Man). Good music too! Caleb played his cello wonderfully, though I do admit to a small bias. :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Birthday Bag

Happy Birthday Julie! I hope you enjoy your special day!

This is the Amy Butler In Town Bag. I fused the outer fabric with two layers of Shirt Fuse (at least I think it's Shirt Fuse). The sides only have 1 layer. It's a cute little bag, and I filled it with some birthday treats. :) The inside has two pockets, which you can see here. I think I might need one for myself!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Signe Chanel

Last fall my SIL tivo'd this series for me (it was on the Sundance Channel). I found out today, via one of the blogs (final fashion) in my bloglines subscription that all the episodes are now on YouTube. It looks like the episodes have been broken up into short segments, I'm assuming to minimize download time. Do go have a look -- I really enjoyed the peek into a haute couture house.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


(gratuitous baby picture post)

Connor has been dropping his naps. Most days he makes it until about 5 or 6, and then either crashes on his own (sleeping for an hour or so, which totally screws up the bedtime), or he'll be kinda crabby, but won't fall asleep until 7:30 or so (but then he's usually out for the night).However, there are some days where he'll take a nap around 2:00 or so. I love these days -- a small break for me, and a normal bedtime!

BTW -- the superhero cape and cowl was a HUGE hit. I guess a few of the other kids at the party asked for one for their birthdays too. Definitely a successful gift!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Five Things

I've been watching this make the blog rounds (it's been fun to learn about everyone), and Lisa of Sew Random tagged me!

Here's the deal:
1. tell 5 things about yourself that you haven't mentioned on your blog.
2. tag 5 people you'd like to know more about.

Here goes:

1. When I was a little kid, my gramma used to take my brother and me to the zoo in the winter. It was always empty. One winter we were the only ones in the monkey house, and the zookeeper brought out the twin orangutans that had been born the previous October (on Halloween, actually, so they were named Trick and Treat), and let them run free! I was sitting on a bench and one of them was climbing the pole next to the bench, and came down and pulled my hair. (do you remember this, Peter?) Winter is still my favorite time to go to the zoo.

2. I used to be able to read all 3 different clefs of music, as I played harp (treble and bass clef) and viola (C clef). I haven't played in years, but I can still read treble clef, with minimal effort. Bass clef gives me much more grief, but Caleb has taken up cello, so I'm refreshing my memory. I don't know if I could read C clef again, though maybe it would come back if I had a viola to try it on.

3. I can sing the alphabet backwards.

4. I cannot stand anyone, including my husband and children, touching my ears. It takes all my concentration to not run screaming from the room if the doctor wants to check my ears. (I had a lot of ear infections as a child). I feel almost the same way about my knees, though not quite as extreme.

5. I am severely nearsighted. I cannot see the shampoo or soap bottles in the shower clearly, or read the clock on the nightstand. I'm too chicken to do laser surgery (th3se are my freakin' eyes! what if something happened???).

Now who to tag?? I tag Kelly, Julie, bfmomma, Nikki, and Rowena.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Calvin's good friend Ellis is eight today! I made this superhero cape and cowl as his birthday present (happily modeled by Calvin). The cape is from Ottobre 4/2004. I used the largest size (122), lengthened it to 36", and trimmed an additional 1" from the neckline. I turned the hem under 1/2" and stitched it down with a twin needle. While stitching, I kept thinking that a coverstitch machine would be sooo cool to have -- I think I'll start saving my pennies. I finished the neckline with black FOE and a snap. The cowl is sorta copied from a ninja costume Calvin has. We decided to make the pieces separate, instead of connected like our Stupendous Man cape/cowl. Both Caleb and Calvin wanted to keep this. I'll have to make some more -- can't have too many superhero outfits in the dress up basket!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Vogue Patterns

I actually don't look at the new patterns much -- I have enough as it is, but there are quite a few I like in this latest batch:

This one is a definite yes, because it is a Miyake.

I like this one a lot too -- though I so don't have the lifestyle for this. What I do have is some gorgeous red duppioni, with peep toe heels that match. :)

This Anna Sui dress is darling, but I'm not sure how it will look on someone with an actual bustline.

Dramatic! I love the sleeved blouse, but again, how will it look on someone who is fuller than a B cup? I actually would get some use out of something like this -- I could wear it to church with a tweed skirt. The sleeveless versions are v. pretty too, however I know they'd feel maternity to me.

I suppose I'll keep my eye out for when Vogues go to $3.99, and pick up the Miyake for sure.

Monday, January 15, 2007


It snowed overnight -- finally we have snow again!This is the view from the front living room window. The lake looks so gray, yet so pretty during snowfalls. No school today (MLK day), so the two older boys will be going sledding with a friend, while Connor and I take Sonja to the vet. We'll need to get her out to play in the snow too. :) I think I can get some sewing time in also.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Purple Sweater Progress

I've been slowly working on my purple sweater. I finished one front, and then started on the sleeves before working on the other front. One sleeve is completely finished, and I'm halfway through the other. Indoor soccer started last weekend for Caleb, so I have at least one hour a week of knitting time. :) I'm starting to think I might not have enough yarn. I have 2 unused skeins left, and the rest of one sleeve, one front, and the neckband to do yet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How Could I Resist?

Could you? While at my pattern club meeting last night, the owner of the shop did her usual 5-10 minutes of telling us what was new and classes that were coming up. Then she went to unpack some boxes. About 10 minutes later she came back, because she just had to show us these fabrics. I looked and said "Ooooh, I'll take 3 yards. Give me a yard each of the blue and green too. How much is it?". :)

I had no idea what I was going to make, but how cute! As I'm looking around, I ask an employee what they would do. She thought it would be a cute summer bathrobe. Yes, it would -- however, I think I'm going to do pyjama pants, like I made for Julie, with constrast hems. Although, now that I think on it more, maybe the kimono robe from In Stitches. ~sigh~ Maybe I'll just go back and get another 3 yards and do both.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Preemie Sleepers

My first finished project of the new year! A member of NMSL had a preemie baby in December. Sarah Kate was able to come home a few days after Christmas, but she doesn't have many clothes that fit. With Catharine's leadership, a bunch of us each made a few things. I made these sleepers that I didn't even have to cut out. :) I'm sending them back to Catharine for snaps, since I don't own any in girly colors, or even white! Black snaps would not look good.

It was really fun to make these -- fast, cute, and I know they'll be well appreciated. I also plan to make some newborn diaper covers for Sarah Kate.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goals Revisted, Goals Reset

Looking over the goals I made for myself last year, I did pretty good. I made some clothes for myself, I made one heirloom garment, I tracked the $ I spent, and I kept one quilt that I finished. I didn't do so well on others: I didn't do any charity sewing (I supposed I could count the quilt I made for the church raffle), I didn't get any nice clothes made for my boys, I think I only updated my webpages one time, and I didn't get any window treaments made (though I did get fabric, so I'm partway there).

Time to reset the goals! For 2007 I'd like to:

~ Put Ms. Belinda on a crash diet. (she's my body double, in case you don't know) I weighed 142 pounds when I made her, and I've managed to maintain my weight at 125-130 for 18 months now. She can go on her diet now. :)
~ Sew some nice clothes for my boys, at least 1 dress shirt/pants for each one. It's hard finding nice church clothes that aren't made like crap!
~ Sew at least 1 garment per month for myself, and keep it.
~ Do at least 1 charity project.
~ Get the window treatments done for the downstairs (living room, dining room, kitchen).
~ Stay on top of gift sewing.
~ Keep my sewing room somewhat clean, i.e. stop letting everyone use it as a dumping ground (including myself). This might involve some re-organization.

In other areas of my life, I'd like to:

~ Put myself first once in a while.
~ Repaint the dining room.
~ Be more consistent in household management.
~ Start doing Pilates again, to help my back.

I can do it, I know I can! This year I will try and check in with myself each quarter, to keep on track. :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Final Stats

Ah, the new year! Time to reflect on the past and look to the future. I've been thinking a lot this past week about what I want to accomplish in 2007. Tomorrow I'll review my past goals and set some new ones.

Today, however, I get to reset my stats! The final tally for 2006:

Yardage In: 150.5
Yardage Out: 121.25
Items Made: 33
Money Spent: $1,650.66

Considering that my favorite fabric shop closed in May (so I loaded up on stuff), and I bought 30 yards of fabric for sheers, I think my stats look pretty good. I increased my output and kept some of my goals (specifically to track yardage in/out and $ spent). To see everything I made this year, click HERE. It's a Kodak Gallery photo album, and you should not have to sign in to see it, if you don't want to.

On to a great 2007!