Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't make a costume for Leith this year. No gumption, mostly, but also she's still just a little too young. She doesn't understand Halloween (neither do I!), and dressing up is an every day event for her. We went to Target on Sunday and got her a Thomas the Tank Engine costume.

Then on Wednesday, I got the current issue of Ottobre magazine. They have the best clothes for kids! The patterns are not too difficult, some more intensive than others, but this issue has a hooded cape that is Oh. My. Gawd. cute. Make that Cute - with a capital C. So, that night, I traced the pattern and made it from red fleece. Can you say *adorable*?! Was so excited about it that I took Leith to the fabric store on Thursday and had her pick out more fleece - she chose 'tiger' so she could say "rawr" lol - and whipped up another one before going to "Boo at the Zoo" that night. It literally took 20 minutes from start to finish! I am totally in love with this pattern.


Not a great shot, unfortunately. I also made the skirt! She wore it all day and got tons of compliments!

This one shows the pointy hood.


Isn't that adorable!?!

"Please, no more pictures!"

Hope your bag gets filled with lots of snickers and very few sweetarts!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wide-Legged Lounge Pants and a cute shortie robe

First off, here's a link to a blogger who's made wide-legged lounge pants for her tyke out of a vintage pillowcase! What a great idea. I lurve pillowcases, and have a couple that will be perfect for this project. I don't have Amy Butler's In Stitches book, but I can probably figure out how to make them...or I can get a copy from the city library!

Secondly, and more importantly, here's my tyke in her cute little shortie bathrobe. She picked out the fleece herself! Pink! With Dalmatians! gee, who knew she'd like that?! lol


Well, it didn't start out as a bathrobe. It was supposed to be a fleece jacket. Smart me, I thought, gosh, I'll just make a size 4 and she can wear it over a sweater. ummm, no. Wayyyyy too big. *sigh* But, smart me, I thought, gosh, that looks like a little bathrobe. So I added a couple of belt loops and a belt. Ta-da. The shortie robe. Oh, and I stitched down the loops over the belt (does that make sense?) so the belt's no longer removable. Seriously, the jacket took less than an hour and making it into a robe took all of five minutes.

Tyke's been sick the past few days. We're all exhausted and some of us are more cranky than others. I was hoping to get a lot of sewing done Sunday, Monday and today...but illness intervened. John's going to be out of town for a few days this week, which is all right, but makes for very long days, on top of the very long days we've already had....I'm hoping she'll feel well enough to do a few fun things. She enjoys going into my sewing room and 'helping' me sew. I hope we'll be doing some of that, and not watching a lot of Curious George.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


It's happening! The sewing room is really coming together! Now I'm wishing I'd taken some "before" pictures. Not really. It was sooooooo messy and awful. Just drained away my creative juices and caused a bit of anxiety. Not at all conducive to creative genious-ness.

What's been accomplished? Most of the fabrics have been "put away" for now, at least. The buffet's been brought in - and put to good use already. The cutting table's nearly clear, and so many things have found their place! I really feel like I can breathe in there now, and I *want* to get creative. No more just feeling like I *should* be creating, but actually being stifled by the surroundings.

I did put one shelf unit in the basement, and moved another to it's recently-vacated spot. Was able to sort through the "stuff-to-recon" and separate out the "just needs appliques" - then the recon stuff got its new place. Rather than being simply stuffed into a corner.

How did I tame the fabric beast? Well, I decided that there are a lot of fabrics that I definitely won't be using in the next three months, so I put them in a couple of large totes. The holiday fabrics have come out, and are happily residing in a tote that is happily residing in the buffet. I took the drawers out of the buffet, and the tote fits neatly into the bottom! Other fabrics that I'm planning to use for wrap dresses, wrap tops and skirts are now in a laundry basket. An empty basket is at the ready for the cut-and-ready-to-sew stuff. That way those things won't just get piled up on the cutting table.

My theory is that in three months I'll pull out those totes and trade out some fabrics. Stuff that's too autumnal for spring sewing, too heavy for summer, "definitely won't use it in the next three months" stuff will all go away for a while. That way, I keep rotating my fabrics. It'll be like having "new" fabrics without the trip to the shop!

Will post pictures in the next couple of days. Rather dreary, rainy days here don't make for good pictures.

All in all I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along. Not done yet, probably never will be! How long can I call it a work in progress? lol


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The List

Gosh, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cleaned up sewing room? and lots of items completed and ready for the upcoming craft fair? Not to mention how nice it would be to have the painted buffet off the porch. Finally. Sheesh. I *know* all these things (and so many other little things in order to get these things) need to be done. Plus I know that if/when they're done, I'll feel so much better about them, myself, the world in general....

So. Here's my list. Obviously this isn't *everything* that needs to be done. Heck, it probably isn't even half of what needs to be done. But it's a start. Since I'm not getting *anything* done at this point, maybe this list will be the kick in the back of the pants that I need to get moving already!

In no particular order:

*clean up sewing room
In order to achieve this goal, I will need to do the following:

**organize fabrics - knits with knits, wovens with wovens
That sounds easy, but I make it much harder than necessary. How about this: laundry baskets. Put the loose fabrics in the appropriate laundry basket and then make the decisions about where do the knits live? and how to organize the wovens? That way, they're not just piled willy-nilly and there's some semblance of order. Yes. Laundry baskets it is.

**organize patterns
There's a great start here already! The ottos are in a file system. Just need to add the farbenmix. The Big 3 patterns do need a place to live. How about de-stashing some of those? Like most of them? Good thinking. Time to be ruthless again.

**clear off cutting table
Again, this goes with the whole laundry basket scenario. Some things are already cut out and waiting to be sewn. Mostly it's just auitioned fabrics that really need to be put away. Getting this done will go a *long* way toward doing some actual sewing.

Be ruthless. You know you're not going to use that super-thin, poly (no, it's not a blend), baby pink stuff. Not even for stuffing something else. Just put it in the bag to take to the Goodwill. Then keep being ruthless and pare down some of that massive collection.

*bring in buffet from the porch
This is going in to the aforementioned clean sewing room - okay, mostly clean sewing room because I simply cannot leave it on the porch for as long as it may truly take to clean that sewing room. Besides, it'll be fun to have it stocked with nicely organized patterns.

*actually sew
Yay! I can't wait to get back to this.

As an aside, I'm wondering about a different name for the kids' clothes stuff. "refibered" is perfect for the totes/bags/recons, but what about the great things I make mostly from new fabrics? the stuff for kids? Those things are not exactly 'refibered' but I'd like to use something to keep it in the refibered family. Any suggestions?

Now I'm off to start clearing the jungle....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mojo? Is that you?!

I finally feel like maybe I'm getting back my mojo! Saturday was a LNKhandmade Team crafting meeting. We got together to work on our our banners for group sales/gatherings. It was so great to talk with other creative people, bounce ideas off each other and just craft.

Later on Saturday, I was feeling like dump. Scratchy throat, just general malaise. Sunday bounced back a little, and Monday, well, Monday was laryngitis. Still don't really have a voice. Just that breathy/husky sounding voice. John thinks it's kinda sexy. LOL.

Monday was also a fun, creative day for me. I made a cute tunic for Leith from a thrift store t-shirt and pair of 3T leggings! Johnny Depp was so *young* when the picture was taken, very 21 Jump Street. (Does that show my age? lol)

Self-drafted pattern. Using the leggings felt like I was cheating! I even used part of the waistband for the neckline (just removed the elastic). Next time I'll be more careful about cutting pieces so I won't have to frog an entire waist!


This picture gives you an idea of the length:


I was looking through her drawer for leggings to wear with the tunic, and found the pink w/ hearts! Hadn't put them away yet (it's just getting too cold for capri length), and they are *perfect* with this top!

One more picture, because this one shows you just how pretty (and slightly petulant) a just-awakened Leith can be:


I'm still not sure about the neckline. I kind of like the larger-but-not-quite-boatneck-ness of it, but not positive. Actually, it happened like that because the pink fabric is too long -- didn't take off quite enough. Still, it's not awful, that's for sure.

So? What do you think?


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

Today is the 45th birthday of the finest husband and father on the planet (no offense to other fine husbands and fathers). Yes, John, I'm talking about *you*!

He's the greatest thing to ever happen to me; he's given me the whole world (I've got the passport to prove it); and he's been a terrific step-father and fantastic father to our kids. He really deserves so much better, but he insists he's the lucky one! He's brilliant, funny, charming, handsome and sexy - not always in that order!

It's been a quiet-ish birthday for him, Leith's been in a mood, just sort of "off" from her usual bubbly self. Hopefully she'll be feeling better soon.

Love you honey!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday doctor who?

DH isn't a real doctor, merely a PhD Wink (inside joke)

Anyway, we're big Who-ligans over here, so what better than a TARDIS cake for my doctor. Carrot cake from scratch - first time *ever* - and instead of one big loaf, I made nine individual loaves. Eight of them were regular, but one was special:

It's not bigger on the inside, just yummier!

We had company last night for a Dinner, Dessert & Debate evening. The regular cakes were a big hit. I was in a hurry to do the TARDIS thing, after company left and before DH came into the kitchen, so it's not ideal, more like a prototype for the 'real' cake on Sunday.

Oh, can't forget the recipe. Lots of raves. I used Walnut Oil and it is fantastic! Also, I lurve carrot cake that doesn't have raisins!