Thursday, September 26, 2013

C is for Carrots...

I didn't submit an A project, and I'm not sure I'll make it all the way to Z - but I feel myself kind of getting pulled in to Katy's Sew All 26 project over at No Big Dill.  Last week B was for Berries...a little weak, I know - but it was a start.

This week is also produce based...but with an additional couple of Cs:

C is for Carrot and Corduroy (kind of) and Colossal.

"Kind of" Corduroy because I'm not sure this outer fabric is technically corduroy - or if it's just corduroy-ish.  And Colossal'll see in a second.  It was the only C word I could think of the that means "big" or "large" or "oversized".  But the carrots are totally legit...all over the lining and a little bonus embroidery, too.

The pattern is The Lucy Tunic by Shwin & Shwin.  There was no measurement guide on the pattern which is unfortunate for obvious reasons.  I cut the size two because the next option down was 12 months and I figured there's no way my 23 month old would fit a 12 month sized garment.  Hmmmm.  Hopefully she'll have grown into it by's a more appropriate carrot garment season anyway.

I didn't make it reversible because I just didn't see myself ever putting it on her carrot side out.  I did add some extra carrot lining to the pocket, though.  and I love that a little orange and green peaks out every now and again.

You may (or may not) notice that the carrot embroidery pictured at the top isn't in the modeled shots.  It was a last minute addition and I'm happy I took a few minutes and added it.  

And since a book worked so well for us during our last shoot, I had on a hand an attractive (and small!) Peter Rabbit book - appropriate, right?  Well, she wanted nothing to do with it.  I should learn to trust her, though.  Her choice was equally as appropriate, I think.

C is for Clifford and The Big Egg Hunt.

Linking up to Sew All 26: C.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lovely Red Ritas

You got a sneak peek here and for the full show!  Not that there's a ton to's just a pair of pants.  But they sure are red!!

They're Lovely Rita Skinnies from Shwin & Shwin.  I cut up an old pair of stretchy red chords of mine.  They weren't a great fit anyway - well worth the sacrifice.  For various reasons, I've taken on some more involved and time consuming projects lately.  That's not my preference...I like a quick reward...concept to cut to piece to complete in a couple of hours or days.  These are definitely a super rewarding and (relatively) quick sew.  This was such a refreshing project.

I made the smallest size available based on the measurement chart and they're still a little big (the hem is folded in one extra time in these pictures).  I was a little concerned about it at first but as she wore them I decided they're not so big they look oversized, and they'll probably afford us just enough growing room to get her through the winter.  

These and the rest that I will inevitably be making!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mad for Plaid - PR&P

My love for gingham is well documented at this point, and as plaid could be considered a close cousin it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm a fan. me some plaid.  So I was pretty excited to sew along this week at Project Run and Play.

I went digging through my stash and came across these two.  Not enough of either for a full garment, but enough to do a little plaid-mixing.  And I feel so bold mixing a navy plaid and a black plaid -- livin' on the edge over here!!  ha! 

The neckline and sleeves are based on the Oliver & S Family Reunion Dress.  The rest is self drafted, and admittedly a little hodge-podged.

The entire top with the exception of the bottom two bands is lined with a super soft navy flannel (wool + baby skin = itchy & ouchy).

I knew I wanted it to be full so I cut and gathered quite a wide piece for the "skirt", and all was going fine...until I added the band.    

I hadn't considered how much stiffer it would make the hem and all of a sudden she was wearing a tent.  I don't have any good pictures of it, but I basically pinched in the sides to effectively pleat the band and sewed just through the bands making it slightly more bubble in shape.

After I took these pictures I also added a bit of a temporary drawstring to the very bottom band (hodge-podge, like I said - you can see it in action in the pictures of the top not being worn) but I'm not sure it adds/helps anything so it may or may not be staying.  I haven't ruled out additional tweaking.

This top feels both autumnal and academic (in the back-to-school way) to me - so you can imagine how pleased I was when she picked this wonderfully appropriate book herself.  We're on the same page, this girl & me.  At least for the moment...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guest Posting at I Seam Stressed

Today my very first guest post is going up over at I Seam Stressed!  Tasha asked if I could come up with a guest post for her while they adjust to life with their newest little love - how could I say no?

The brother-sister relationship is dear to my heart, so to celebrate the even-ing of genders in her household, I put together some coordinating brother/sister shirts.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Family Reunion

I bought the Oliver & S pattern for the Family Reunion Dress at the same time as their Roller Skate Dress (which I made last KCW).  It's been staring at me ever since.

I recently spent an evening with my aunt, uncle, and cousin who I don't get to see very often.  My aunt came bearing gifts in the form of three giant boxes of old fabric.  About a third of it was definitely not my style and has already been donated.  About a third I'll hold onto for a while in case inspiration strikes, but doesn't make me itch to get out my scissors.  In the last third was this sweet strawberried fabric.  A family reunion top born of a family reunion.  Lovely.

I really like this pattern and will definitely make it again.  It was a nice challenge without being too much work.  And, of course, the instructions were as clear as day (although I do admit to taking a couple shortcuts...I'm only so particular about certain details).

The only problem I came across really, other than being disappointed that my choice of print kind of hides some of the detail, was with my interfacing.  I grabbed a piece I had on  hand that was of unknown age and origin.  It it a bit too stiff, and did something funky to my facing when I ironed it on.  It's not so bad she can't wear it, though, and I'm hoping it'll soften up a little once it gets washed a couple times.

 Today's distraction of choice was my phone.  It may clash with her navy top but looky looky - she stood on her mark!  Whatever works.

Oh - and those pants are getting a post of their own next week.  And probably a fraternal twin.

And...I'm linking up to No Big Dill's Sewing all 26 series - B week.  Because B is for BERRIES!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

M-F Self-serve Wardrobe

Raising responsible and self-reliant children is really important to me.  At this point they are mainly in charge of keeping their rooms tidy (although the big kid has a few more responsibilities downstairs, too).  Even the little one puts her dirty clothes in the hamper, puts her books away before she leaves the room, and puts her (well wrapped) diaper in the trash.

I've started a "responsibilities chart" for the boy.  Every morning before he comes downstairs he has five things he's responsible for making sure are done.  One of them is getting himself dressed for school.  One day I came across this pin and heard beautiful music.  Here's my version.

(Sorry for the terrible pictures.  It's really hard to take pictures of the inside of a closet, especially on a dark rainy day.)

I had a couple of these closet organizers sitting in a pile - they had been used in a previous home, but weren't getting used here.  There were six openings, but I cut off the bottom one as suggested.  Them my son reminded me that he needs to get dressed for gymnastics on Saturdays - so maybe an S would be good, too.  Oops.  Oh well.

It hangs right by his hamper so it's easy and almost mindless for him to kill two responsibility birds with one stone.  And we keep all our shoes downstairs, but there'd be plenty of room to add them in, too.

It was super easy, too.  I just pulled up some big letters on the computer, traced them right from the screen, then cut them out of freezer paper.  I ironed the stencil on, just used regular paint since this isn't getting washed, and let them dry.  Perfect afternoon project to make me feel really good about accomplishing something.  And getting even a little more organization going in my home always gives me a boost.

We've been using it for just over a week now and so far so good!  One less thing for me to have to remember at night or rush to do in the morning.  That's always a good thing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

She Colors

I don't know if it's a boy thing, or just a personality thing, but my son has never really been into coloring.  Once in a while he'll do some scribbling, but it's not really his thing.

It's been an adjustment (although not a difficult one) with this little girl.  From the time she could put crayon to paper she's been hooked.  Me, too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Instagrams

With brother at school, it's becoming the Lisi Loo show over on my Instagram feed!  Going to have to make diversity a priority, I think.

Happy weekending to you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dreamy in White

This is one of those projects that got made on a whim during a crazy sewing spree, photographed on the wall, then hung in the closet to be modeled...but was never modeled.  In fact, it was never even tried on until I realized summer is over next week and I better get it on her before it never gets a chance to be worn!

It was self-drafted and I kind of made it up as I went, with a few summer dressed I'd seen around on my mind.  The fabric was a curtain (should I admit I dress my kids in old home decor?) and is pretty sheer so I lined it.    Lots of gathering, some pretty contrasting lace detail, a lovely gold button.  Perfectly summer.

It's too bad I waited so long to get it on her, but it's white so realistically it probably wouldn't have been in frequent rotation anyway.  And I got some dreamy evening pictures of her in her lacey dress and I did enjoy making it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Popover Remix for PR&P

I'm sewing along for PR&P!  At least this week I am.  The theme is Pattern Remix - the pattern is (the free!) Oliver & S Popover Sundress.  Here we go...

It's not a total overhaul, admittedly, but I did make a few changes.  The most obvious being the absence of shoulder ties and the addition of buttons.  It's also a bit shorter than the original pattern.

It's going to be getting cooler here soon and I wanted her to be able to wear it for a while, since the smallest pattern size (2) is still a bit big on her, and layering a cardigan over ties can be a bit awkward. 

(Off-the-shoulder was not an intentional look on our part, I assure you.  It's just hard to keep cardigans up on little shoulders.  I usually button one button but that seemed counter-productive when showing off the top below the sweater is the goal!)

Since those changes aren't very substantial, I wanted to do something interesting with the fabric.  I raided my stash, pulled out a bunch of solids of varying textures, cut & pieced strips, then added black bias tape stripes over the seams to add more interest (because why not?).

Challenges like this are great for pushing me out of my comfort zone.  I don't know that this top is completely "my style" (that's a LOT of color mixing for me!!) but it opens my eyes to more possibilities and makes me flex those creative muscles.  Don't want to be getting creatively flabby now, do we?

I'm not sure whether or not I'll be sewing along the rest of the weeks (although I am hitting up the candy aisle today to see if inspiration strikes) but I love that the option is out there.

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day of Pre-K

Today was the kid's first day of Pre-K.  He's already had two years of pre-school, but at a different school.  I was a little nervous.  He was just excited.  No fear.  No trepedation.  Just excitement...I mean, doesn't this picture say it all?  (Read with heavy sarcasm.)

He marched right in, found the toy cars, and didn't look back.  If things had been reversed I would have been clinging to his leg, biting back tears, eyes wide with worry...  I love how like me he is, and how very different at the same time.

School is not new to him, but this is the first year he will be attending five days a week.  I think the person who will feel it most is his sister...although he did tell me on the way home (from his short one hour first day) that he was really missing her.  She's too little to get the warm fuzzies yet, but I felt them for her.

We end this post with a story demonstrating what an awesome mom I am.  He dresses himself, gets his socks and shoes on, and I even take a couple pictures of his big-boy feet before we hit the road.  We get home and while watching him walk up the stairs, I notice...they're backwards.

I let my son attend his first day at a new school with his shoes on the wrong feet.  I take comfort in the fact that they were still backwards when I picked him up...hopefully that means no one noticed!  ha!