Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Look at all of the pretty green!

The warm weather is still taking it's sweet time but I'm not complaining. For starters, our AC unit needs a tune up, and secondly, the peas and the lettuce like it a bit cooler. We've also had quite a bit of raining which has resulted in all of this gorgeousness cropping up every where.

All of my tomato plants have blossoms. As does one of my squash plants and my tomatillo. The peppers like hale and hearty, the lettuce is growing more quickly than I imagined.

My only loss was that of two broccoli plants. They were wee little things without even enough for one serving so I let them go thinking they would grow bigger. Instead, they became spindly, woody, and eventually, blew up into a bush of pale yellow flowers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who referred to them as trees as a kid. Well guess what? Those aren't baby leaves. They are little flower buds. I was committing floricide in my mouth.

The horror!!

Anyway, we've pulled it. Nothing to see or eat there but hopefully, space for a watermelon plant.

In the meantime, let us remember poor broccoli, who did such a wonderful job growing nice and strong but unfortunately, suffered at the hands of a gardening newbie who let him go past his prime.

I'm sorry, mr Broccoli. I'm sure you'd have been tasty had I picked you when I supposed to. Instead, you've shrank away into a woody stem.

RIP, my brassica friend

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Audrey Dress

Every year on Palm Sunday, our church does an Easter egg hunt. Since we weren't going to be in town for Easter this year, I decided this would be the perfect occasion to make Pinky a dress for spring. Unfortunately, you won't be getting an Easter egg hunt shots as it's difficult to coordinate an event and take pictures at the same time. It's one of the drawbacks of being so involved with a church ministry.

I do, however, have pictures from Sunday when Pinky decided to wear the dress for her first youth class appearance since her confirmation. (More on that to come, btw. I outdid the hell out of myself and I'm pleased as punch. As a bonus, it fits in with the Historic Sewing Fortnightly. Score!)

So let's talk about the details, shall we? To start, it's the Audrey pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, a company that makes PDF patterns for children. Now I won't lie. I have beef with the majority of PDF pattern companies. We'll just say I'm generally not a fan. However, the offering for patterns in pinky's size are rather slim from the Big 4 and can be rather expensive from other companies. I also didn't relish the idea of tracing out an Ottobre pattern given the time constraints I gave myself so the pdf would have to do. They are quick to download, easy to print out, and since the pattern that caught my eye had limited pieces it went together nicely.

So without further ado, here's my review of The Audrey Dress by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

Pattern Description: Audrey is a faux crossover bodice pattern with a full skirt and bias tape binding.

Pattern Sizing: It comes in sizes 3 months - 12 years and I cut the 10 for Pinky.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much

Were the instructions easy to follow? They would have been if I used them. But I really wasn't thrilled with the way the dress was meant to be worn and changed it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't like the lack of real closures. This is considered one of the bonuses of these types of patterns, that you can assemble them with no zippers, no buttonholes to make, no plackets to fuss with. It has a small opening in the back that closes with one button But quite frankly, I don't think that suits a dress that's meant to have a defined waist and a full skirt.

Fabric Used: aqua batiste from a local quilting shop and white eyelet from Joann's. The ribbon at the waist is also from Joanns. I believe it's made by Offray.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I omitted the bias binding. The ready made stuff sold in the big box stores is stiff and the color selection is limited. I decided instead to treat the batiste as a lining and used traditional methods to attach it. I also turned it into a real wrap dress and I added snaps to fasten it at the waist. I messed up my snap placement which has turned it into an adjustable waist should my child decide to grow out instead of her usual out.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: I'm not sure I'd sewing again and I'd only recommend it to a newbie sewist I couldn't convince to give Oliver and S a try.

Conclusion: This dress was a sweet project that sewed up quickly. But I found myself wishing I'd stop being such a wuss about pattern drafting. A couple lines with a ruler and I could have taken the pattern for one of the traditional bodice dress patterns I own and come up with the same result.

Suffice to say, this pattern hasn't converted me to the world of pdfs. I'll use them because they're convenient but there are easily obtained and explained patterns that result in a much better fit.

Would you like to see a bonus shot of the baby?

He's not much of a baby anymore, is he?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Burdens of My Heart

It's the season of Lent, a time to let go of our frustrations and focus on the good things God has done for us. Focus on your children, your health, the roof over your head and not the one and only corner of the online sewing community that has really worked to piss you off royally in this last three months.

Where do begin, where to begin? You see, I don't enjoy ranting and raving on my blog. I admit that it's one of my favorite pastimes and I excel in it, no really I do, but the internet is a cautionary tale in online rantings. You never know what will go viral. One day you're posting about organza vs organdy, and the next . . .

However, going on my third busted attempt to buy some damned fabric on FB and I'm really failing at my Lenten promise to give up yelling. This is actually my third blog post on the subject. The other two were just rambly as hell and made me look every bit as looney tunes as the people I'm dealing with.

What I'm struggling with here is how to explain the process of buying custom printed fabric via Facebook and you know what? I give up. I really, truly do because the hard truth here is despite the fact that these fabrics would make baby Jesus in the actual manger want to trade his swaddling clothes for brightly printed hipster foxes and mustaches, it should not take lines of text to explain how to order. If it does, you're doing it wrong.

And I was doing it wrong.

I'm still mad though. We'll talk about it later.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring, Spring, Spring!

The garden has been planted. Light and airy fabrics in all sorts of pastel shades have been floating through my doors. The windows are open. The days are warmer. And now, there's a beautiful spring wreath on my door.

And a pretty floral arrangement on my bathroom sink.

I'm just going to pretend that spring isn't the time of year that ruins my sense of smell and causes my eyes to leak death and destruction.

Instead, we'll focus on the positive.


Joffrey better bite it.