Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Neighbor Totoro

Check out this friendly spirit of the forest Zion and I happened upon whilst trekking through the woods at Larrabee State Park today.I made the egregious error of talking to B about Halloween a full 2 months early. Woops. He was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of dressing up as Totoro, (his current favorite character) and absolutely devastated that he had to wait for his costume. So, to tide him over, I put Totoro's face onto an old hoodie.
It's just felt and a pair of buttons, all stuff I had around. This is the kind of work I'd have normally done by hand, but since I've been getting so friendly with my machine lately, I gave it a go and it totally paid off. I was able to do this whole thing, from first sketch to last stitch, in the duration of one nap (and surprise the hell out of my son.)
He had what one might call a spaz attack - running to the mirror, squealing with delight, and then demanding that I sing the Totoro theme while he jumped on the bed. He patently refused to take it off, only agreeing to lower the hood on rare (and often sweaty) moments. This is easily the most successful 45 minutes I've spent in some time. Maybe ever. Did I mention the squealing?

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Stitches

I may be an artist, but I am no craftsman. Most of my sewing is something more like Pacific Campaign medical tent sutures. But this is the first time I've made a series of garments instead of sending my sewing machine back to the closet abyss after the first passionate and fumbling project. Lo and behold, I'm friggin' improving. I can actually sew a straight line today, which I couldn't last week. My pattern drafting is getting better, too. So today, I made this skirt. It's corduroy. Made with 6 skirt panels and a waist band, and even features ornamental stitching (which I definitely couldn't do last week.)

Round 2

Here's my second attempt at a top. Much more successful. I'll actually wear this baby out into the world. I did the bulk of the work on this last week, and stared at it for 5 or 6 days. It's pretty cute, but it's also pretty rough. Particularly when you compare it to the skirt I made today. Which I can't wait to post, so I think I'll do that right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everything That Can Go Wrong...

Over 5 weeks ago the quintessential clothes horse, Amelia, started this new experiment. No buying clothes. Which, for her, has been torture, and as she's my #1 partner in shopping crime, it's been a little bleak for me, too. But it has kicked started this whole sewing frenzy, making new things, altering old ones, and updating a few bargain thrift finds. Unfortunately, this first attempt was an epic disaster. I'm talking the Day After Tomorrow of sewing projects. Seriously. At one point, the tidal wave in Manhattan point, my machine started hemorrhaging vital steel organs. To make matters worse, I had cut into this fabric that I'd been hording for years, so I couldn't just throw in the towel. I stuck with it and, many choice expletives later, I had this top. It's cute on the hanger, not quite cute on the body, and nowhere near cute enough to be worth the ordeal, but it's done. At this particular era of my life, that's a tremendous achievement.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Color Theory

So, I promised myself I wouldn't post again until I had legitimately made something. And, while I still haven't technically made anything, I have started many many things. I suppose that's close enough. After a few trips to thrift stores and a thorough delve into my own closet, I have a number of alteration projects going, plus a few "from scratch"sewing machine battles currently being staged. I even busted out the RIT dye today which, maybe more than anything else, makes me feel like my old self again.

What's extra fun is that the majority of these things are within a certain color concept, making me feel like I'm working on a Fall Collection, instead of a housewife's to-do list. I'll post more as these things reach completion.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Let's Get in a Cab, I'll Buy You a Kebab"

It's literally been months since I last made dinner for my family. Zion's been the Brewer family chef ever since I had a little melt down about the great mediocrity of my cooking and my general lack of house-wifing skills. I'm not planning any lasting return to the kitchen, but I had a friendly visit tonight. I made honey mustard kebabs with chicken, vegetables and big chunks of ridiculous sourdough. Mmm.
So good. And so impossible to not sing this. Successful as it was, I'm still happy to relinquish culinary control to the master for tomorrow's meal. I figure if I just cook once every 4 or 5 months I'll always have beginner's luck on my side. That'll work, right?

Lola - If you come visit for more than an hour, I'll make you these with potatoes. You'll love 'em. Fo reals.