Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vogue 8379

You might not believe it, but this is also a second! I made a version of this dress with 3/4 sleeves and a collar back in the fall. At the time, I had also ordered this fabric, so here is my summer wrap dress.

It's a jersey knit, and I love the colors, so I'll overlook the fact that it's 100% polyester. I have often wondered whether I could make this dress with woven fabric--maybe if it were cut on the bias...

(This is my "skinny" pose--there is some twisting going on here!)
The waist is a bit high, so when I make it again, I think I'll add an inch or two to the bodice, but other then that, I love this dress. Vogue promises that it's "very easy," and it is!
Gratuitous shoe shot.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sheet Dreams

I seem to be making things in twos around here. Two summer blouses, now two sets of sheet-pajamas.

I found this sheet at a thrift store. They only had the flat sheet--if they'd had the whole set, I'd have put them on Caitlin's bed. But they didn't, so yay for me.

I made my own bias tape for this--actually, this bias tape is left over from a project from last summer, so I'm kind of stash-busting here (*wink*--I'm just justifying my awful habit of saving every scrap of everything--because you never know when you can use it!)
And here's the finished product. I went with ruffles, because they're my pajamas, and if I want them super-cutesy, I'll make them that way! Now I'm all ready for bed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fun in the Kitchen: Orangette-style

Last week, I checked out A Home-Made Life from the library. That Molly Wizenberg sure has a way with words--I mean, I wanted to rush out to the store to buy a cauliflower so I could roast it and eat it with salsa verde. Cauliflower! A few bloggers who have read this book made the coconut macaroons first, but I started with some dinner entrees.

Tonight, we had the Bouchons au Thon.

Wow, was it good. It's basically a meatloaf muffin, only with tuna instead of ground beef (or meatloaf mix). I don't eat tuna very often, but this will be added to the rotation from now on. So yummy!

Over the weekend, I browsed through my sister-in-law's copy of Bon Appetit and found this recipe, also by Molly Wizenberg. We just love us some wild-caught sockeye salmon, so I was all over this one, too.
That's Creme-Fraiche Roasted Salmon. Start with Salmon. Add salt and pepper. Coat with creme fraiche. Cook for 15 minutes, and then ... Rob said, "what are you going to eat?"
So very delicious! There was no time for an "after" picture--it smelled heavenly, so we dove right in.

I will be sad to return this book to the library. I know I can get the recipes from Orangette, but I just love reading her stories about the foods. I will share more of my experiences as I make the recipes--that chocolate cake is going to be made soon!
After all, we do have a birthday coming up. Someone is going to be turning NINE, which I cannot believe! I have a luau to prepare for and hula hoops to purchase.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fun in the Kitchen

Fun? Not all the time. Sometimes deciding what's for dinner is the toughest chore of the day, and actually preparing it is also just another chore. Sometimes you need a little help to make it fun.

I have really scored at the Goodwill lately. I usually only come away from there with books, but in my last two trips, look what I've found! Fridgies! And the white ones were $.97 and $1.97!I decided I needed a new apron for spring. I've participated in many apron swaps in the past year, so I have an assortment of lovely aprons. However, most of them are half-aprons. Because I tend to be a bit of a spaz, I prefer full aprons. I've had my eye on the Provence Smock in the A is for Apron book, and I finally made it.
It's not so flattering--I mean, where's the waist? But it does enhance the girls, so there's a trade-off. I love this fabric. John sent some of this fabric for last month's Sew Connected, and the next time I went into Joann, I had to buy some of it.
The smock has a cute criss-cross back, and I'm violating the eleventh commandment (Thou Shalt Not Take a Photograph From Behind) in order to show it to you. Focus on the apron, please, and know that I'll never do this to you again!

Now that I've traumatized all of us, go enjoy your holiday weekend! The kids are off tomorrow and Monday, so there's lots of family fun to be had!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Blouse--take two

I told you I liked this blouse.

For this one, I shortened the placket even more, and I also shortened the sleeves (though they're rolled way up in this picture). Turns out I didn't really shorten them enough. They're so long in the pattern that I would have had to take another 3-4" off to get them to a 3/4 length. Oh, well--not the end of the world.

I used a vintage button. For the bias tape, I got all excited about using this cherry print fabric. I folded all of it inside at the neckline. The directions tell you to fold it in half so some of it is exposed, but I thought that the white would be too distracting. So I hid it all inside like a yummy surprise.
I used the bias tape along the hem of the bottom and the sleeves.
This is a fun pattern that sews up quickly. I reserve the right to make this again!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sew Connected: May

This month it's Amy's turn for Sew Connected. She requested blocks that are 15.5" square. The fabrics she sent were, of course, beautiful. I had many different ideas of what I wanted to do. But I didn't have enough fabric to do those ideas.

I was getting frustrated--after all, this was requiring way more time with the calculator than I wanted. All I can say is Thank God I didn't just start hacking into it--that would have been very bad.
I finally decided not to ask Amy to send me more fabric. I decided that for me, this month's challenge would be to create a block that had elements that I wanted but that could be done with the amount of fabric I had--no extras. After all, I could churn out fun stuff all day with unlimited fabric. I really felt like I had to flex some muscles to make this happen.And the main element I wanted to be in this block--a disappearing 9-patch--made it.

And with careful measuring and cutting, I was able to complete the block with only the fabrics I had.

And this is all that was left. I am pleased with how the block turned out, and I'm proud of myself for using what I had and not asking to be bailed out--and for holding off with the rotary cutter until I had a plan!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekend Sewing: Summer Blouse

I bought Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross a few weeks ago. I feel like I must have been the last person on the planet (or at least in blogland) to get this book. And I'd been wanting it for a yesterday I made the Summer Blouse. I used some pink and green seersucker that I bought last week at Joann's. I added an inch to the bottom of the shirt--Mama's gotta have full coverage, don't you know.

For the placket, I cut a piece of the fabric on the bias. I also shortened the placket quite a bit, but I cut the opening too wide. Since I couldn't slip-stitch the bottom of the placket together (as the directions tell you to do), I used a strip of fabric to fill in the gap.And I absolutely love it! The whole thing went together pretty quickly, and the sizing was good (I made a small). Over the weekend, I had tried to make the Yard Sale Wrap Skirt, and that was almost a complete disaster. It was great to have a good experience with this project.

In fact, I raided my stash and found more fabric to make another! It's already cut...this could be my new summer wardrobe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hello, again

Ack! Another week gone by! Where to start?

Since I haven't been on the computer, I've been sewing like a madwoman. I could put on a slide show with all I've been doing, but I think I'll dole it out in small bits--that way I can make short posts more frequently (like when I get a five-minute window of time on the computer).

Let's see...where to begin? Okay, here's a short one. I have a favorite set of summer pajamas. My mom gave them to me when I was pregnant with Bobby. That was six years ago, so the jammies are looking a little worn. What to do? When hubby is unemployed, and all I've got is this sewing machine and this serger and this bias tape and this vintage sheet I thrifted last year... what on Earth will I do?

I will make pajamas from that thrifted sheet! I'm all kinds of pleased with myself, and I'm just dying to get my hands on more sheets. I feel like Fraulein Maria when she decided to make the playclothes from the old curtains!

Finally, I had to share this. I think I've killed it. I know I over-watered it, but then I put it in a bigger pot and added dry soil to it. I waited a week, then I watered it--sparingly. It's not looking good. Should I just toss it, or give it more time? I haven't killed a houseplant in a while. Bummer.

If I'm lucky, I'll share another sewing post tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sew Connected: April

Confession: No Sew Connected activity happened here in April. John sent his fabrics in late March, and I was so excited about these fabrics that I made these all within a few days of receiving them. And this also means that I have yet to mail them to John...

He asked us to make log-cabin inspired blocks, and he also encouraged us to try sizes other than 12.5" square.

I don't know why this was so exciting for me, but the freedom to make a 6.5" square (or 9.5" or 6" x 12") just seemed to make the whole process much easier.
Maybe it was because I had so much wonderful fabric to play with.

Honestly, I could have made double the amount of blocks (and probably still have left-over fabric), but even good things must come to an end.

Amy's fabrics have arrived for May, and I must get these blocks to John...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday already?

I tell you, we are still trying to get into a groove with the computer-sharing. Looking for a job clearly takes precedence over my posting my latest crafty endeavors, but I'm blown away by the fact that yet another week has passed!

As you know, May is Birthday Season around here, so I've been sewing like crazy. Here's the latest:

I finally bought Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. The large Everything Tote is a beach bag for my mother in law. The smaller version is for my niece. I love, love, love this pattern--both sizes, and I hope to make one for myself one of these days.
Our neighbor across the street is receiving her first communion tomorrow, so I made her a doll. The pattern is from Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson. A mom from Bobby's preschool class asked me if I would make a bag for her to be a gift for her niece. Pay me? To SEW? Um, yes, please! If the economy were better (and Rob were employed), I'd seriously consider making a whole bunch of bags and hitting the craft show circuit.

And this is a linen tote...this was originally going to be the beach bag for my m-i-l, but it came out way smaller than I'd envisioned. Lack of foresight on my I will find another home for this one. Possibly on my shoulder.

And that's pretty much it for this week. I'm working on several other projects--there's Mother's Day and another birthday party next week, so I'll be happily busy. And I'll probably get back here around the same time next week.