Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mr. Fancy Pants

B made his own pants! He apparently inherited my dad's sharp dresser gene, and is way into special occasion dressing. A few weeks ago he told me he wanted to make his own pants and matching bow tie for his aunt's wedding. The notion of a vest has been tossed around too, but I'm hoping he forgets about it. Now he's all worked up about getting a collared shirt. I had to bribe him with peanut butter pie just to get him to model his "special pants" without his "special shirt." Even with the pie, he's a pretty reluctant model, but at least I have something to post.This went along with the whole fabric de-stash as this seersucker came out of the drawers. I originally bought it to make some pants for myself, and seeing how cute these are on B, I'm a little torn. On one hand, I wish I had followed through and made some sweet seersucker beach pants for myself, on the other I fully recognize how much cuter these are in little boy form than in grown woman form. I do love little boy fashion though. I swear if I had the time and opportunity I'd regularly dress like a newsie.

The next few days are packed with crazy, so I won't have too much time to blog. I'll try to sneak a little in. Otherwise I'll be getting back to my list of 7 on Monday. I saw a great stripe jersey the other day that hurt a little to walk away from, but I stayed strong! 6 more to go!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I'm sorry for posting another photo-less blurb here, but things have been crazy. We've spent much of the last week playing and nature hunting and otherwise gleaning the most from the waning Summer. Beckett's good friend Caleb and his family were back in town too, whipping me into a mad frenzy as we tried to get as much time with them as possible. I've done no sewing, no reading, no drawing, nothing but play hard and come home with aching feet.

Now I'm in the big gear up for my sister's wedding next weekend. Last night I block printed favor bags till 3 am, and today I became a cutting, stamping and raffia tying super woman. Tonight I'm cutting out the pieces for Beckett's special wedding pants. Basically I've been super productive, but I have no photos to show you. Stick with me, kiddos, and I promise I'll get the goods up and posted on the interwebs soon. This bustle won't last much longer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Big Sleep

I may be too busy for blogging or sewing these days, but I'm never too busy to watch Humphrey Bogart get slappy with out of line broads. "Get up, Sugar, you look like a Pekingese!"

Friday, August 20, 2010

1 Down, 6 to Go - The Scarf Wrap Cardi

This cardigan is a lot more highfallutin than what I usually play with, but this fabric is so sumptuous and the color begs for the royal treatment. Besides, I could use a little elegance in my world. So, I'm calling it the Date Night Cardigan. Now if only we could actually have a date night.I love this thing. I've had it on all morning and fancied myself quite the sophisticate while changing diapers and vacuuming. Old Helen and I almost scrapped over it after this photoshoot. Oh yeah, Helen? Wanna arm wrestle for it? Didn't think so.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sewing like a Grown Up, Eating like a Child

B decided he wanted to spent a few days with his grandparents, so Calder and I have had the place to ourselves for the past 2 days. I miss Beckett, and tend to talk to myself a lot in his absence, but this little break has afforded me some lovely baby time. Plus I've been eating all kinds of garbage that I generally won't even allow in our house (I actually had Lucky Charms for breakfast this morning. How gross is that?) And, of course, it's also given me the chance to get started on my sewing list.
Today I washed, pressed, drafted and even made a bonafide muslin of one of my newly created patterns. No real sewing just yet, but I'm pretty impressed by my own huge leaps in sewing maturity. A year ago I had no clue that an iron could be the Bonnie to my sewing machine's Clyde, let alone that pants could be patterned up right here at home. Amazing what a little time and patience can get you. Now I have 4 of The 7, pictured above, washed, pressed, cut, pinned and ready to be stitched up and crossed off the list.

I'm hoping to get one garment, most likely the purple number up there, done in the morning. No promises, but I'll do my best.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Magnificent 7

Here they are, in no particular order. Remember, I must complete all 7 of these garments with fabric from my giant stash, purchasing only notions or the odd trim, before I can buy any new fabric.

~Short Sleeve Wrap Cardigan - one of my cardigans with wide shawl collar and printed cotton details.

~Lounging Trousers - wide leg loose pant with a wide elastic waistband encased in rib knit.

~Thermal Tee - basic tee made from light waffle knit.

~Two Piece Tank Dress - knee length "guillotine dress" made with a soft knit tank and 30's reproduction print cotton.

~Scarf Wrap Cardigan - another one of my cardigans with an extra scarf attachment at the neckline.

~Boatneck Tee - simple loose fit 3/4 sleeve tee.

~Muslin Skirt - basic panel skirt with deep pockets, bias tape trim and maybe a stencil or two.

I had a hard time not making a "magnificent 15" but maybe this little experiment will just be a springboard. I'd love to keep going and fill up my closet whilst emptying my fabric drawers.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm sick of our living room and have plans for redecorating, my kids need wedding attire, and I'm redrafting my cardigan pattern for my mom's birthday. And I'm really wanting to get my etsy shop up and running this fall. That's a lot to accomplish in between breast feedings and Hot Wheels monster truck rallies. But we'll see.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Looks like Summer

I jut sent this photo off to my sister in regards to some wedding business, but it looks so sweet and charming that I wanted to post it. The zinnias are from the roof garden and the seersucker fabric is part of the great de-stash project. I'm thinking about making the boys some wedding garb from it.

The sewing project list is coming along, but it needs to be cut way down. It hard to decide on the 7 best garment ideas. Do I base it on creativity? practicality? utility? I don't know yet, but I hope to have the final list posted in a day or two.

And, here's a brief Summer observation, in honor of mothandsparrow's 200th post: In the heat of Northwest Summer it becomes exceedingly difficult to distinguish hipster dads from redneck ones, as aviators, greasy hair, wifebeater tanks and scrawny jeans are all pervasive. When in doubt, check the shoes. Unless, of course, those scrawny black levis are tucked behind the tongues on a pair of classic 90's Reebok Pumps. Then all bets are off.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Little Plan

I horde fabric. I also horde the sketches and sewing ideas that led me to buy said fabric in the first place. As my drafting/ sewing skills have grown, and my tastes have matured, this habit has become increasingly expensive. And we're broke. So, I'm putting myself on restriction.

I'm making a list of 7 garments pulled from my sketchbook and to be made with materials in my stash. I must complete all 7 projects before I can buy any more fabric. Bam! I can still buy the odd notion, etc. And I need to pick up something for my mom's birthday gift, but no fabric for me until I have 7 new things made from 7 nearly forgotten ideas. More details to follow, once the list is complete.

This also comes at a time when, even as an adult, I crave back to school shopping. So hopefully I can kill two financially unsound birds with this here one stone.

In other news, still no word from my wilder, artist half. Though I did spend a few minutes staring at a blank sketchbook page trying to will her into appearance. Really, it's just standard 6 week post postpartum weariness that has me itching for the freedom to be a little unpredictable. To, say, take a shower without making plans to facilitate it, but I might as well ask for the moon.

Despite the pervasive claustrophobia, I'm honestly just too damn tired to do much about it. But it looks like B will be starting preschool next month so maybe I can get crazy then. In regimented 3 hour periods. Ha! Until then, away we sew.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter to the Editor-in-Absentia

Dear Moth,

I've reached the end of my patience, sister. I don't know where you've flitted off to this time, but I'm too busy to keep up your end of this blogging bargain. There's only so much of interest a happy avian mother can say before she grows tired of even herself. How many cardigans do you expect me to make? How many anecdotal bits about family adventures do I have to write before you come swooping back in with your passion and mysterious nocturnal behavior? Can we get a little x-acto work here? Maybe a drawing or two? Something not necessarily kid friendly?

Please come back. The lights are on and the window is open.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Play with your Food

There isn't much that gets Beckett to let loose and really giggle. He's a pretty serious kid, and can be totally humorless at times. When I found him uncontrollably laughing over this book from my collection I was way beyond thrilled. So this morning we went out into my parent's yard and picked apples, crab apples, plums and figs and grabbed a particularly expressive bell pepper from the fridge. What an awesomely ridiculous project. The plum frogs were especially beloved. I'm partial to the apple mice. We did our best with what we had on hand, popcorn kernels, coffee beans, etc, but I cheated and used a little sharpie to give the eyes some definition. I'd like to stock up on black eyes peas for the next time we do this so we can forgo the unnatural entirely.I'm such a huge fan of Joost Elffers and have been for years. I, too, can look at his fruit and veggie creatures and crack up for hours. I'm happy to discover that this is not one of those things that skips a generation. Even happier to discover that the creatures my own son makes make me laugh even more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Day at the Cabin

No electricity. No running water. Just 4 walls, a roof and a ridiculous view of Mt Rainier. My family's cabin is a cabin in the true sense of the word. And though it has marks of civility, like the lovely pear, plum and apple orchard, it also has plenty of wilderness for little boys to go primal.

We chased frogs and lizards, explored overgrown trails, spotted baby raccoons, drove heavy machinery, ate fruit right off the tree, drummed and chanted around the fire pit, speared our own food and cooked it over the embers. Like a non threatening Lord of the Flies. With s'mores. And a tractor. And no conch.