Laura H. Sunday, April 29, 2012

I feel like such a slacker today! The only thing that I finished was an oliver + s popover sundress. But in my defense, I hadn't even cut the pattern out when I started. It had actually been laying in the printer tray for about a week when the Boy Scout found it this morning and asked me what it was. I showed him and he said, "You should make one."

For the record, that is his response to every pattern we own. You Should Make One. It ought to be tattooed on his forehead.

So here it is. On the intended subject, Elizabeth. Note to self: Watch this one. She already enjoys squishing ants.

 This little pattern is soooo easy to put together. The hardest part of it was trying to figure out what fabrics to use. In the end I chose some loosely woven cotton with a tiny floral pattern on it from my grandmother's sewing room and some blue quilting cotton from the remnant bin at Hobby Lobby. Elizabeth is quite happy with it and I'll admit that I am too. I got to really try out my bias tape maker it isn't that bad. Not really amazing, but definitely faster than doing it myself and burning my fingertips. And I can always crisp up the edges while I iron the thing in half.

And here's a little shoulder detail. I ended up with the white thread because of all my blue thread, there's not a single one that is anywhere near this color. And I had to tie the straps a little tighter than usual. Narrow shoulders!

But we are all happy now. And according to the button, tomorrow is the last day of the Kids Clothing Week Challenge. I have no idea what I'll make, but I'm sure it will be pretty simple. And then I'll do a nice round-up and try to get pictures of Elizabeth in everything. HA!

Laura H. Saturday, April 28, 2012

Are we really at day 6? Really, really? Weeks always feel like they fly by around here, but this one has been on super fast forward. Ahh. Two days left though. And guess what? I don't have a clue what I'm doing for those two days! Yay me!

So here are today's completed items. Two pairs of jammies and two skirts to complete the top-and-shirt outfits I started earlier in the week.

I must have taken 40 shots of these jammies in every light imaginable and every single one came out dark. So If you would like to see this fabric, it's flannel from JoAnn! The pants are Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants and the top is a modified Simplicity 2377. The butt panel on the pants is the same red as the sleeves of the shirt. This really came together quickly and I can't wait for bedtime tonight! I want to try these on her and make sure they fit. If either piece is too short, There Will Be Ruffles.

But these jammies! These are really my favorite ones. Again, Flannel from JoAnn, red sleeves and butt panel, same patterns. But just look at those fish! They seem so happy to be on a pair of jammies. And I know that Elizabeth is going to like these best - she loves fish. And to hear her talk about the 'fiss!' is too funny. I'm sure she will be thrilled to have lots of fish on her clothes. Only trouble will be getting her out of them. I may have to resort to trickery or bribes.

 Both jammie sets came together a lot faster than I had planned. So I had just enough of my hour left to do two skirts to match a couple of the tops I did up earlier in the week. Very simple skirts, too. A couple of rectangles and some elastic and about 10 minutes later, two skirts. And I've *still* got sizable bits of these fabrics left. Anyone got any ideas on what I can do with scraps that are too small to make a whole something but too big to be tossed blithely away? This fabric is so crazy-expensive, I hate to not get every inch out of it that I can.

I think the only thing in my stack of stuff that I was going to do this week that isn't finished is the blue and white shirred dress for niece E. And I'll be really honest here. I don't see it getting done. It isn't hard to do but the thought of sitting in one place doing the same thing for an hour makes me was to go poke my eyes out with a spork. And some friends of ours are getting married in a couple of weeks and I want Elizabeth to have a new frock for the occasion (like she really needs one!)

Laura H. Friday, April 27, 2012

Yesterday was busy. Busier than I anticipated. But everything came off without a hitch and the class that I gave - while sparsely attended due to weather - went well and I think some people ended up with some new ideas.

So yesterday's hour only ended in having two pairs of jammies cut out. Terribly cute, of course and I really intended to sew them together today. But while yesterday was very busy and successful on one score, it was also tiring and deflating in other ways. Nothing earth shattering, but after a disappointing day, I decided that cute jammies are not OMGDOITNOW necessary so I could indulge in some silliness. And my hour today was spent doing this.

I call it the Sweet Crustacean. It is Kristin from skirt as top fame's Sweet Tartan pattern. And this is the fourth one of these bad boys I've done. Two of them have been given away, and one other plus this one are for Elizabeth. I used an old guys top that I got from a yard sale and there just wasn't enough of it to do the print all the way around the back. But I don't think Elizabeth will care and I sure don't mind. The other fabric? Oh, that's an old sheet. HA! Luck favored me there. I had NOTHING else that went with it and the sheet was piled up and covered in cat hair in our bedroom closet.  I panic around the house and finally find it. Yay! the Sweet Crustacean lives!

If we head to the beach this June, this is totally going with us.

Now, my need for funny has been satisfied. And I've had a productive hour. It's been GRAND today! Hurrah!

Laura H. Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two days a week, Elizabeth heads to playschool at our local Birth to Three Program. She has a BLAST for three hours while I come home and do things I want to do. Like shower. Or vacuum. Or, you know. SEW! So I got my hours work in early today! Whee! And after last night's internet stupidity and not getting to upload pics much of anywhere until past midnight, I'm quite pleased to be getting this days job done early.

And as a side note, if anyone knows why our router will red-eye like a grouchy Ood please feel free to let me know. It just seems so random. I tried to blame the Boy Scout's obsessive Netflixing of Mythbusters, but the Boy Scout is having none of that.

Anyway, so the little tops are finished! Hurrah! Look how cute they are.

All three took more than the hour, but I'm soooo not going to stop after an hour if there's still time to keep going. I enjoy this too much. Dedicating a solid hour of it to the task per day can be a challenge (tomorrow, I'm looking at you!)

 The cream colored one is meant to go with a plaid skirt I made before I realized that we didn't have anything that really went with any of the colors in the plaid. And come fall, the skirt will still fit and we have a long-sleeved job that will match okay. But it is 70 degrees today and it is not summer yet. So, a remnant bin yard of fabric and TA-DA. Problem solved. It's a wee bit short, but hopefully that won't matter too much. It's sized a three and Elizabeth is only in a 2t right now.

The white with the plaid sleeves was one of two maternity tee shirts that I found on clearance at JoAnn's for less than $3. So I bought them. And even making these two tops, I have enough left over to do something else with the remains. What that is remains to be seen though. And the sleeves are scraps from another dress that I made for niece E a few weeks ago. WHOO SCRAPS!

The purple one is that other maternity tee I found for cheap. And the sleeves there are left-overs from the birthday dress. This one is going to be cute because there is plenty of that cupcake print left over to do a skirt or some shorts. Hurrah for cupcakes all summer long!

I've got a pretty neat idea for tomorrow's hour. It involves bright ribbons, black fabric, and some ruffles. I'm very excited. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it big. This poor child is in no danger of going naked any time soon.

Laura H. Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today my sewing has been strictly limited to the one hour. I spent most of Elizabeth's naptime working on my presentation outline for the Upcycling class I'm doing on Thursday night. So. One hour only for today.

And I spent it doodling up a pattern and cutting out three peasant-type tops for Elizabeth. Here they are laid out neatly and looking like a pile of fabric!

The sleeves for the white and purple will be a contrasting fabric. The off-white is a top to go with the little plaid skirt from my lineup post. I've managed to get one sleeve in the white one, but I'm not getting any farther tonight. Elizabeth has school tomorrow morning, so it will be up-and-at-'em earlier than usual.

 But as an extra added bonus (and to make everyone reading think i'm super organized) here's my pattern box. Look at all those lovely folders! And on (almost) every folder that has a commercial pattern in it the front of the original envelope is on the front of the folder and the back envelope is on the back of the folder! Just ignore the big, whopping pattern bits handing out and the stray patterns wedged hopelessly at the front. And there is absolutely NOT a whole other box full of patterns scattered willy-nilly off stage right! Oh, no! Never!

Laura H. Monday, April 23, 2012

Today was not nearly as productive as yesterday. I've been viciously impatient with everything, Elizabeth fell over in the tub, and everything just started way too late for my liking.

Now, before someone calls the authorities on me, Elizabeth was not standing up in the tub. She is permitted to stand in the tub two times per bath - once for me to scrub her bum and again before getting out. Both times, she clings to me saying 'nit nown! nit nown!' (translation: 'sit down!') She fell while she was sitting. That's never happened to her before. But she got a little overexcited about the bubbles, overbalanced, and SPLOOSH! She's fine. I'm thinking with as fast as she recovered that it was all a ploy to get to run around the house naked before lunchtime.

Because of all that, we were late getting started on our errands. That threw everything off by about an hour and a half. Thirty minutes, I can handle no sweat. An hour makes me feel rushed. But an hour and a half throws off meals and naptimes all day. And let me tell you something - when naptime is off, bedtime is off. And when bedtime doesn't happen between 7 and 8pm, no-one is happy the next day. However, I think I reined it in pretty well and managed to get our small girl in bed about 8:10pm.

But, here's today's sewing. Not wildly impressive, but considering what it took, I'm surprised I even managed to get it done! Overall I don't know how I feel about this one. Part of me thinks it is adorable. Part of me wants to throw it on the fire. I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it on our girl.

 So, this dress began life as a white sheet from the thrift store. Then it was meant to be a muslin for Rae's Spring Ruffle top for me. HA! I look stupid in ruffles! There is far too much of me to make that work *at all*, so I scraped it. Then I thought about it - the ruffle trim is from my grandmother's sewing room and I was not about to just toss it all away. Oh, no. So, I reused the original straps and chest band, altering them to fit a not-2-year-old. I added a little more of the ruffle to the bottom of that and stuck a barely gathered skirt on it.
The back turned out pretty cute. I knew struggling to get a fitted band over Elizabeth's head would be about as popular as nail-clipping day, so i skipped that and left the band split down the back. This little button was an obvious choice since it also came from my grandmother's sewing room.

Laura H. Sunday, April 22, 2012

Well! I'm rather proud of myself! I waited until Best Baby Elizabeth was asleep and started sewing at 2pm. At 3pm, I had three of the projects in my pile finished and another within 10 minutes of finished. Yeah, I finished it and kept sewing. Why waste good napping time, right? Here's some pics.

This skirt. It came to me as a well-loved set of pillowcases found at the thrift store. The other pillowcase was used as part of my Lenten activities (that's a talk for another post.) But this one was in pretty rough shape. You can sort of see the discoloration on it at the waist - but the design is too cute to NOT use. Oh, and there's about 3 more inches of skirt tucked into the waistband. That way, I can pop the stitches, cut new elastic, and have it for a taller Elizabeth.

And the birthday dress got its hem! I like how this pattern looks. It's Simplicity 3859 and while I like it (especially with the piping all over it) I want to take this opportunity to decisively declair that I HATE CURVED HEMLINES. I think I hate them more than I hate cooking. So the inside of this hem has all sorts of puckers and ripply bits. Ask me if I care. Go on, ask me. Anyway, this little dress is made from fabric that my mom (Granna Extraordinaire!) and Elizabeth picked out. I decided on the lime green piping because my mom really likes lime and she really likes this fabric. I may have to take up the hem again before the birthday - I have no idea what size Elizabeth will be come August.

These two dresses I made for my niece, E. Her mom picked out a load of fabric and some second hand stuff that she wanted me to make in to dresses and stuff for E. So I've been slowly whittling away at the pile. The one on the left was a skirt, and I've got a tutorial on how I turned it into a halter sundress coming eventually. The other is just a normal pillowcase dress made from a fabric cut. The nice thing about doing the dresses for E is that her mom is cool with me keeping all the scraps. So that bee print? Yeah, You'll see that again. The scraps! I LOVE SCRAPS.

All together, not a bad day's work for my first day of my first Kids Clothing Week Challenge. And I'll work on some more stuff tonight, but that will probably be me sitting in the floor tracing out patterns for myself.

And I apologize for the draped-over-the-lawn-chair pics. It's stupid cold and windy for late April in Tennessee. I'm going to have to put Elizabeth in tights to go out this afternoon. And that is idiotic. Two days ago, it was 80.

Laura H. Friday, April 20, 2012

I've got such a nasty backlog of projects for my Best Baby and her 3 year old cousin that are in various states of finished. My goal during KCWC is to finish a LOT of them, poor things. And the reality of it is that I could have all of them done in a day if I wasn't constantly getting distracted by... well. Anything really.

This pile of stuff needs finishing. The white with the flowers on it is going to be a skirt once there's a casing and some elastic happening. The plaid skirt needs a top out of some off-white knit that is presently located *somewhere*. The bright dress with piping all over it needs a hem and will have one even if I have to rip it out and drop the hem in August for Best Baby's birthday. The nuts-o print thing needs to be cut down from it's present adult skirt to a 3 year-old's sundress (and use those extra bits for the straps.) And the two blue prints will be dresses for the same 3 year old as the weird print thing. I hope that sewing for someone else's kids is permissible. If not, OH WELL. Doing it anyway since Best Baby doesn't really NEED all that much more for the spring and summer.

And to add another layer of complexity to the whole thing, I've got a sewing class I'm doing on Thursday night! It's a fundraiser for Best Baby's playschool and it seems to be growing quickly. I don't mind - since every warm body is funds for the school - but I gotta tell ya. Speaking in front of people is not my most favorite pastime and I don't think I'm all that good at it. I volunteered to do it 'cause it's really all that I've got that I can give.

I don't know important people, I don't have scads of money. I've got my brain, my hands, and an imagination that won't stop. And I firmly believe that you have to use what you've got. SO! Big girl panties! Smile on my face! Not even going to glisten! And I'm going to have loads of information, be light and funny, and walk in there wearing a whole new outfit made from bedsheets that I haven't starting making yet!

Wahoo! How many days do I have?

Laura H. Sunday, April 15, 2012

Next week starts the Kids Clothing Week Challenge. One hour a day of sewing for my little? Count me in! I only hope I can do a hour *each* day. Some days around here, things get bonkers.

And on the 26th, I'm doing a fundraiser class for Best Baby's playschool. Maybe I can plan something properly in advance and get in an hour that morning while she's at school.

I wonder if the KCWC organizer realizes that they are having this event during the Week of the Young Child?

It is still pretty cool, intentional or not. The two really do go together for us. And with the fundraiser class being during that week, too it sort of feels like Little Kids Week around here!

I have a week to plan. Right about now would be when I'd get the urge to watch every episode of Highlander: The Series again. Or take up skydiving. Or knitting.