Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sew it begins

Aren't puns fun?

Okay so the word I was looking for is lame. Anyway, on with the post. Today I began my Easter sewing. Just my luck, I'm getting an extra week since we'll be at my in laws' house on Easter Sunday and won't be getting all dressed up until the Sunday after . . . or the Sunday before if I hustle my behind.

Yeah, fat chance, right? We'll just plan on the Sunday after then.

Here's your preview.

Just a little taste and I fell in love

Sometimes a line drawing just doesn't do a pattern justice. Take this unassuming little number from Burda Style.

The dress looks shapeless despite the thin little tie and the neckline looks like it might choke you out if you sat down too quickly. I'm not even sure why I clicked through the search listings to see more. But when I did, I was brought to my knees by a wave of desire I haven't experienced since I woke up this morning and remembered there was German chocolate cake on my counter top.

It's called Gail and it has something of an Art Deco feel to it or is that just the vaguely Egyptian looking thing on her head giving me that impression? I don't know, I don't care. I just know that I must have and make this dress.

I may or may not be furiously ordering up some cranberry silk georgette as you read this.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pink: It was love at first sight

This is what happens when you can't find your camera and let your ten year old take your picture with your crappy cell phone instead. Or maybe this is all part of my evil plan to hide the poorly blended metallic charcoal eyeshadow I was too lazy to fix.

The world may never know.

Both my blouse and my skirt were free downloads from Fabric.com. The Bossa Nova skirt is made from a Joann's plisse I bought on sale last summer. This has to be the easiest skirt I've sewn maybe ever. If you can sew a straight line, you can make this skirt. There was no swish thanks to the stiffness of the plisse but the overall line is great. It's also the first skirt I've ever made that was the perfect length as is. I think I'll definately be sewing this again.

The Fringe(less) Festival Knit top however . . .


Between my genius idea to use a slinky slub rayon for my first knit garment and the nonsensical directions for how to sew in the scarf tie, I was ready to throw the entire hot mess into the nearest fire and piss on it for good measure. In the end, I'm glad I didn't, not just because third degree burns to my rear end sound like the opposite of a good time but because, miracles of miracles, I actually love this top. This probably isn't the best way to style it given that it's making me look a little pregnant in this picture, but I think hemming it up to hip level will fix that.

The color just so happens to coordinate perfectly with my favorite shoes, shoes I couldn't find because they were hidden under the girlchild's bed.

She's lucky I love her.

I'd tell you all about her outfit but there isn't much excited to tell. I didn't use a pattern, just cut and sewed some things together until I liked the look. Thankfully, she agreed. Other things I'm thankful for? A little girl who doesn't mind going to church with her mama in matching outfits.

How much longer do you think I have before she ashamed to be seen in public with me?

No, really, I need to know when I get to start to embarrassing her in public. That is, after all why you have children, yes? It certainly isn't because I enjoy playing 20 questions with an eight year old who is supposed to be doing her homework.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh the horror!

Today, my son misidentified Take It On the Run as a Beatles song.

Three of the Fab Four just rolled over in their graves.

Oh, Ringo's not dead?
Someone tell his eyes.

My friend Elizabeth is going to drive her happy behind all the way from Connecticut and burn my house down unless I rectify this unfortunate situation. Despite being perfect for pretending you're an 80's front man while booking 75 on the highway, on no planet does REO Speedwagon sound like the Beatles.

No way, no how.


It's a long way to the top if you're going to rock n roll, especially if you can't tell one era from another. I wonder if Dewey Finn might be willing to live in my sewing room for a few months. I'm pretty sure I can manage to scrounge up enough Mountain Dew, gummy peaches, and a couple months of WOW subscriptions with which to pay him.


What up? Level 80 paladin the house!

Speaking of 80's front bands, please, please, please explain to me who told Tom Cruise he could be a rocker? He couldn't be mistaken for a roadie and yet someone cast him in the role of a rock god.

Really? I mean really???!?

I'll petition the court myself to get Russell Brand half of Katy Perry's money if it will keep him from selling his soul to a certain Xenu loving pygmy. But clearly it's too late. Instead of gifting Tommy boy with the derision he deserves, Russell is actually starring in Rock of Ages along side Catherine Zeta-Jones and one of the proactive girls.

It's too late for that face, Russell.
You already took the money.

To make matters worse, it looks like Tom Cruise is going to spend the majority of the movie sans shirt.

Tom Cruise:
More effective than ipecac syrup since 1987

It's a shame Justin Timberlake's too busy seducing dukes, romancing penniless writers, and singing about diamonds. Someone needs to bring sexy back again and it shouldn't be Tom "don't mind the lifts in my shoes" Cruise.

"Don't tell him I told you about the lifts."

Sadly, judging by the girlchild's response to the Rock of Ages trailer, I suspect I'll be forced to watch it. At least the music will be good. Too bad my powers of make believe will be challenged and my eyeballs assaulted by Tom Cruise's sweaty nipples. Whatever will I do to clease my brain of such horrific sights?

I'm suddenly feeling a lot better.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin and a Sewing Project

Because of gas prices and my old ass needs to be replaced car, my family and I have been doing a lot more walking and taking more public transportation. My kids, eight and ten, wear hoodies like its their damned underwear. They both have at least three of them. In fact, I'm usually screetching at them because they never seem to make it into the washer and I can't stand how gross hoodies get at the sleeve.

We walk to the corner store, to the library, to pinky's dance class, or even just downtown to do some window shopping. They both wear their hoodies. Hell, I wear a hoodie, H wears one too. Pete likes to wear the hood pulled up because he says it's warm and comfy in there. I always tell him not to wear it up unless it's raining.

As all you moms can attest, there's nothing more annoying that repeating yourself so I got irritated last time I had to tell him yet again to pull down the damned hood because it's not raining. He looked at me like I'd lost my ever loving mind but he did what I asked. Meanwhile, because he looked so confused I thought, well maybe I'm just being stupid. Who cares if he wears his hood up?

Guess what??

People like George Zimmerman care. Simply because of the color of his skin, people in this world will look at my son and assume he's not just up to no good but that he's a danger to the community, so dangerous one needs a gun for protection, so dangerous that he could not wait for the police to respond to his call. A danger to the community for what? For being in a nice neighborhood while wearing the same article of clothing every other kid wears???

Just a few months ago for Christmas, I sewed my kid a hoodie. I bought the fabric on Black Friday from Joann's, cartoon aliens on black fleece. I was careful with all the seams, spent days trying to decide what size to cut since my kid is skinny but tall. It might have thrown it across the room once or twice when the zipper refused to go in nicely. When he put it on Christmas morning, he looked pleased as punch. In fact, he looked a lot like Trayvon Martin did in the picture that's being shown with the accompanying news articles.

According to Geraldo Rivera, an article of clothing that I labored over for my son is justification for chasing him down on a public street, standing over him, and shooting him despite his screams for help.

I always knew I'd have to explain to my kid that this world doesn't treat black men well. I just didn't realize I'd have to teach him that black little boys are just as feared.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Green was my valley


Last spring was my first foray into the world of gardening. I started a slew of container gardens featuring annuals, herbs, and veggies. There were beautiful green vines falling from my patio. Pinks, purples, and bits of blue blossomed along my back steps. I even helped the kiddie beans dig out their own little spots where we planted watermelon, peppers, and eggplant. By June, everything was going grand. They even survived a one week trip out of town where I fretted the whole time that the sun was scorching my precious babies.

Sadly, all my efforts were ruined by the spawn of satan lodged in my uterus. Despite making it through two pregnancies without a twinge of nausea, my third child decided that I'd gotten entirely too complacent and rained down on me misery that would be best read in the voice of Sam L.

And so, while I lay on my bed, trying not to cast up my much craved for limeade, my plants died a horrible, thirsty death out in the backyard. I'd like to think they didn't suffer but my son occasionally gave them false hope by sprinkling a wee but of tepid water over their poor, formerly glossy little leaves. It wasn't enough to keep them from wasting away, just enough to prolong the inevitable.

Someone really should have called Plant Protective Services on my neglectful behind but since they did not, I figured I'd give it another go. There will be no more babies this summer so that should take care of one problem and the kid might have been a terror in utero but he seems to have gotten over himself post birth. I think I can manage some decent watering at least once a day.

As if punishing me from the grave, the mosquitos were out in full force last night while I replaced the lost souls of last year's forgotten efforts with newer models fresh from the wally world gardening department. I'm missing a couple pints of blood but my containers are blossoming once again.

Rosemary, basil, oregano, tarragon, and thyme

Dusty miller, snapdragons, petunias,
and two plants whose name I can't remember

More petunias, dusty miller,
and snapdragons
with a few violas thrown in for good measure.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday Kind of Love

Oh there was so much to adore today. For starters, I made it out of wallyworld with my sanity in spite of teetering on tiny heels with a honking seven week old draped over my shoulder. And when I say honking, I mean it. This kid sounds like a goose when he starts feeling hostile. He was in no mood to pushed along sedately in his car seat and he certainly wasn't obliging of my need to browse the pattern catalogs in the fabric section.

Babies really do cramp your style. Good thing they're cute.

To make up for throwing down between the bobbins and the bias tape, little man took a nice, long nap, giving me time to enjoy the sunshine and look over the remnants of last summer's garden. Between morning sickness and my ten year old's inability to comprehend how to fully water potted plants, the only things that survived our neglect are a scrawny rosemary that only Charlie Brown could love and a beautiful draping bit of unknown bursting with pink blossoms and a red ant colony.

Just when I was starting to feel depressed about the demise of so pretty a plant, I remembered my slab of beef thawing, and everything else faded away.

Mesquite steak, bernaise sauce, sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, and tarragon buttered potatoes . . . well, a meal like that makes everything better. Not even finding the asparagus all wilted and useless could dim the sense of contentment that comes from cutting into a perfect steak.

Oh how I love Sunday Dinner.

Wearing O' the Green

Once again, I waited until the last damned minute to work on a sewing project for a deadline. We'll pretend it's the baby's fault and not the fact that I am a procrastinating heifer who can't do anything without added pressure.


Kids are useful. You can blame them for so many things and then threaten not to feed them if they even think about revealing your secrets.

Plus you get to dress them in cute outfits.

Pattern: Sweet and Simple Baby Bubble
by Jeanne Baumiester
Microcheck from Baltazor Fabrics
Buttons and whipped piping from Farmhouse Fabrics

Pattern: White Waves Sundress (modified)
from Sew Beautiful Issue # 140
Tea Green Broadcloth from Baltazor Fabrics
Swiss laces and ribbon from Farmhouse Fabrics

Miss Ma'am looks like a Shamrock Shake, doesn't she?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lookie, Lookie!

My friend Elizabeth decided that little skunk/raccoon/squirrel looks like an Emma and thus, this is the Emma dress that I hurriedly finished this morning. I'd forgotten all about Daylight Savings Time otherwise, this dress would have been sitting under my presser foot still and I would have made it to church for Sunday school.

The pattern is vintage Simplicity 7466, purchased from The Quilted Heart over at Etsy. It's sewn from cream Imperial Batiste purchased from another etsy seller whose shop seems to be inactive. There was supposed to be a pretty embroidered collar with lace trim but it would have hidden Emma's sweet face. I'm saving it for another project I guess, maybe a little blouse? I trimmed it with brown and pink piping leftover from another project. Since piping is made from bias tape, I took apart some of it and used it to bind the armhole openings.

We won't discuss all the mistakes I made. Suffice to say, once all my Easter sewing is completed, I'll be taking apart at least the back bodice pieces and redoing this properly. But at least the smocking looks good, for a first attempt anyway.

Overall, I do like how this turned out and I think it will look faboo once I've fixed it, including lowing the collar as my kid has informed me that the neckline is choking her out.

Good! It's authentically vintage now since poor little girls in the 50's had to sit in church wearing uncomfortable dresses and praying for the sermon to end so they could get out of it.

Next up, St Patty's outfits!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's a squirrel, it's a raccoon, it's a skunk...

random forest creature

I'll be honest. I have no idea wtf this is. Neither do my ever so reliable facebook friends. What I do know is I embroidered it, I like it, and it's going on pinky's dress.

This dress right here:

I have a soft spot for vintage patterns. This one came from etsy forever and ever ago. I didn't realize it involved smocking and at the time, I didn't know how to smock. So I tucked it away, figuring pinky would grow out of it before I got around to it.

But thanks to a lovely lady I've never met named Gail Doane, a book called Sew Cute Couture, and likely the only New Year's Resolution I'll ever keep, I know how to do this:

It's 9:40pm and I plan to slap this dress on a kid in twelve hours. Explain to me why I'm such a procrastinating hussy?

Please and thank you

If at first you don't succeed

They say the third time's a charm, yes?

Lord, I hope so. Otherwise, wth am I doing with myself?