Archive | April, 2012
27 Apr

Issues of labor practices aside, t-shirts don’t really seem worth making. You can buy them for $5 at Old Navy, and there are certain markers of professionalization–double stitching, etc–that are hard to replicate at home. (Which raises the question: why do we assume that replicating factory stitching is the goal of home-sewing? But I digress.)

I am SO GLAD I broke down and tried my hand at 1) knits and 2) the Flashback Tee. I’ve consistently loved every Made By Rae pattern, and this is no different. It’s super simple, just two pieces, and it just looks awesome.

I only ran into two problems putting it together: I cut the pieces out with the stretch going the wrong way and had to reboot; and I had to redo the neckline twice, because it was too big. The final result is three inches shorter than the neck measurement.

Not happy about this final set of pictures

I’m going to make a hundred of these.

Most of the rather unsuccessful “photo shoot” took place at Congaree Swamp, so here’s a little quotation from Gene Stratton-Porter’s Freckles that expresses something of how I feel when I realize that the natural world is basically a giant book that I can’t read:

The tide of Freckles’ discontent welled until he almost choked with anger and chagrin. He plodded down the trail, scowling blackly and viciously spanging the wire. At the finches’ nest he left the line and peered into the thorn tree. There was no bird brooding. He pressed closer to take a peep at the snowy, spotless little eggs he had found so beautiful, when at the slight noise up raised four tiny baby heads with wide-open mouths, uttering hunger cries. Freckles stepped back. The brown bird alighted on the edge and closed one cavity with a wiggling green worm, while not two minutes later the blue filled another with a white. That settled it. The blue and brown were mates. Once again Freckles repeated his “How I wish I knew!”

Pattern: Made By Rae, Flashback Skinny Tee

Fabric: Jo-Ann’s finest

Notes and Mods: I had to cut the neckband down twice, so the final measurement is three inches shorter than the neck measurement. The neck fabric is much stretchier than the pattern fabric–I’m not sure what either is, since I don’t really understand knits yet. But I do know that I love not having to finish the seams.

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FO: Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

17 Apr

Even better the second time. The last one I made was an 18-24 mo and it just fits her now:

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So I went up to the 2T for this one. The airplane fabric (Moda, from Purl Soho) has been sitting in my stash for a long time, since way before A appeared. I originally meant to make something boy-related, but, well, I didn’t have a boy.

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It was going to become an Oliver + S bucket hat, but after tracing and cutting the pattern, I realized the print needed a larger canvas–perfect for this dress.

Not our cacti.

Then I couldn’t figure out what fabric to use for the yoke and hem. I bought some gray and pink solid cotton that I was going to use, but it was a little too lackluster for me to get excited about.

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Pretend you can't see the gathering stitches that I forgot to remove.

Enter the bright red cotton. This was in a stack of remnants that my mom passed along, and I was afraid the whole time that the color would end up too bold. But I actually love it! She wore it yesterday to the park and already got a compliment. I took these pictures at the end of the day, hence the wrinkles and mac + cheese stains.

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Mac + cheese stains optional (I hope).

The next one is going to be the colorblock version. I’ve already got the fabric laid out, but it’s going to have to wait until I get back. I’m leaving early tomorrow morning for whirlwind West Coast trip that’s going to involve three meetings, two presentations, and one video interview. (And hopefully one visit from my sister!)

A has learned to smile on command, with questionable succes.

Oliver + S is genius. Their patterns are so well made and so carefully explained that the finished product is just guaranteed to come out beautifully. Expensive, sure, but I think absolutely worth it. I can’t make up my mind which one to buy next. I think maybe the puppet show blouse, especially because A is currently obsessed with puppet shows.

This Moment

7 Apr

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FO: Oliver + S Bias-Trimmed Apron

5 Apr

Oliver + S are true to their word: these are little things to sew,with small amounts of fabric and manageable construction. I want to make everything, but I started with the bias-trimmed apron–not because A needs an apron, but because I had these two fabrics lying around and I’m desperately trying to destash.

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Look, someone else's backyard for a change!

The polka dots are leftovers from a fairly successful pillow project, which I’ll post eventually. Now, four and a half yards of bias tape is a lot of bias tape, but, with my trusty bias tape maker in hand, not so bad. Here are a bunch of versions, super cute!

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That red car in the background is hot property.

I could *not* get the wrinkles out of the canvas. I also am not very good at applying bias tape, unfortunately. It’s always a lot harder than I expect it to be. Other than the bias tape, this was a very easy project. When I held it out for A to try it on, she screamed, “No! No!,” and I had to bribe her. Luckily, she’s easy to bribe: I said, “Put it on and we’ll go outside,” and then she didn’t want to take it off.

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My mom informed me that A needed a haircut. That makes two of us.

And in exciting circle-of-life news, I think we found A’s nursery school: Namaste Montessori. It reminds me so much of my childhood Montessori School that I got a little teary when the director was describing the toddler class.

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OMG, look at her adorable little scrunchy face.

And just a short quotation today, from the perennial Happy Golden Years:

“I’m so glad Ma told me to bring this big apron … I like a real big apron that covers your whole dress, don’t you?”