Have you seen these silly little things?
Today was a long day of short fuses.
Micro building block puzzles designed for older children did not help.
Still we waddled through. Turns out a seam ripper is really handy when you need to pull a tiny little misplaced block off of another.
I am about to enter a weekend long sewing marathon. After these little creatures, I'm sure it'll seem easy peasy.
Part One : The Dress
"Is that red velvet? Real velvet?"
This is the first thing girl child said to me this morning, as I was working on the sash for her new dress.
"Can I touch it?!"
Yup, really real red velvet. Girl child has a love for velvet for the way it feels. It follows that she completely loathes more affordable velveteen. Absolutely beyond my regular means, but I acquired two and a half meters of this vintage fabric as a trade for some chauffeur work.
Though they are but a few meters, I have some really lovely fabrics that I can't seem to bring myself to cut into. I am either waiting for the perfect design or really don't want to ruin it in a sewing mishap. The red velvet is one that I have been afraid to cut - it feels so divine - but really do want to make a hooded jacket for the girl.
I decided to make a little cut, just enough for a sash, to get over my hesitation.
This cotton print was sent to me from a reader in Japan a few years ago. I have been sitting on it, unsure how to use the pretty fabric. I didn't want to botch it. Having shifted it a hundred times to get at lesser fabric in my stash, I decided it was time to get over myself.
I'm happy I did. I love this little number, twirly and flowery for the summer, and, if all goes well, we'll put a blouse under it and call it a winter holiday dress too.
Girl child is also happy I did.
The dress pattern used is a modified Chopin (28) from Ottobre, Summer 3/2010. I'd like to take a moment to let you know that I completely nailed the zipper. Really, it's a work of art.
Part Two : The Photo Shoot
But I won't be able to show you any zipper close ups. While taking photos, we fell victim to the little brother photo bomb. Behold.
Here is girl child. Posing.
And here is the boy child. Doing his best to mock us and our silly, girlie photo shoot.
Girl child tries to move boy child out of the frame.
But that doesn't work well.
If first you don't succeed, try try again.
Boy child is thrilled with all the free rides.
This time she tries pushing him out with a booty block.
Which he counters by getting right in front of her and sticking his arse up at me.
But here's the classy bit. Girl child figures out that she probably won't win this one, so she just accepts and works with it.
Girl child and boy child. Posing.
Mother's Day today, otherwise known around here as Leave Mommy Alone Day.
No, really, I planned for today. This is a serious day. If someone tried to get me to a luncheon or interrupted me to present me with flowers, I'd only irritated. I only get one day a year to do as I wish (or need), I have to make the most of it.
I was up early this morning (quite by accident, I'll confess - I'm not fan of early wake ups) and began my day of sewing even before I ate my traditional Mother's Day breakfast, made by The Man. It's been so long since I've done any real sewing. I've missed it.
I also, by accident, took a huge number of bad photos. I was feeling all smug, learning how to manually set my digital camera, but today was nearly a complete fail on that end. Apparently I am not the all-knowing awesome photographer I believe myself to be (yes, no one here is surprised, by my illusions seem quite real to me). Still, I do have a couple photos to share. I made them black and white and added text to compensate for the eighty unusable photos I took for future tutorials.
I spent my day doing a lot of things that I didn't get finished. The big, ongoing (never ending?), task is the costuming of the Mother Gothel character for girl child's theatre group, who are preforming an original adaption of Rapunzel in June. Here are a few things that I worked on:
Do you like how my sewing studio looks a lot like my living room, book shelves and Tinker Toys included?
For the Enchantress (Mother Gothel), I started on the (bum bum ba da!):
I don't want to give it all away, since it's a reconstructed garment and I'd like to wait to show you when I'm all done. But, here is a:
Yup. It's a golden shower of ruffles.
I also managed to do a little bit of sewing for the kids.
I have a pattern for a dress (classy twirly, summer party style) almost done for girl child. I hope to get it started tomorrow. And I even manged to complete a whole pair of capris for the boy, who is, as always, nearly bottom-less as he grows faster than anyone, ever.
If I can sneak a picture or two of Birdie wearing them tomorrow I will share them. If not, you'll have to be assured that they fit most excellently and I have my old stack of Ottobre to thank.
These are the Ottobre Autumn 4/2010, Orava (13) pattern. I used a summer weight knit instead of fleece or velour, ditched the leg cuff and shorted the pants to just below the knee. Perfect for summer play. Perhaps I should note that the waist elastic was recycled from an old pair of boy child's undewear. I have miles of the stuff that I freed from it's previous life one day while watching The Incredibles with the kids. I am ever so grateful that I did that - they are all perfectly sized already for the boy.
I will be making a few more pairs of knit capris once Birdie wear these a few times. He can be particular and I've learned to wait to see before I get too far ahead of myself.
Three years of an Ottobre subscription has pretty much given me all the patterns I could ever need for my children (when I'm too lazy to make my own), who seem to fit the European design sizes much better than North American patterns. If what I want isn't there in my stack (including swimsuits, hats, diapers, formal wear and super casual sweat clothes), there is something close enough to alter, and can be deconstructed into limitless options. If you are a new sewer and have decent eyesight - pattern tracing must! - I highly recommend getting a hold of a few issues.
Happy Mother's Day! Hope your day was filled with delicious free time!
To sew for your kids with.
(Hey, wait a minute...)
There are some days when I think, 'Damn, if I wasn't already homeschooling, I'd be sure I should doing it because it's super easy and I'm awesome at it!'
Okay, that doesn't happen very often. Once in a blue moon. But when it happens, it feels like magic. Having a kid in school (boy child) and one at home (girl child) now, and having girl child go to school just as often as she has been home, I can tell you that both streams are equally labour intensive and both have their rewards.
I love these days at home where everything seems to click. The best ones are when they are both involved in their own self directed projects. Today boy child took apart a wind up alarm clock and set himself up a tool box (aka, empty ice cream container).
Smootch has been planning a party for the past week. Here she is putting her make up on just before the guests arrive (seven children between the ages of eight months and twelve years, plus a couple of their adult handlers).
Here are the lemonade cups for the party. Smootch figured that if she marked the bottoms of the jars we use for drinking glasses with nail polish, guests could identify their own cups among the crowd.
Smootch was at it all day preparing signs, decorating and setting up tables. It seems she may have a natural flair for party planning in addition to being a good hostess. The only thing I offered to do was to put out snacks. She did the rest.
Her introverted, anti-social parents want to know where this strange gregarious being came from?
In case you are wondering, this is what face panting looks like:
Happy weekend everyone!
I have a beautiful new friend.
She's actually an old friend, given to me by my mother who spotted her at a garage sale a few years ago. I believe she paid five dollars. Then, she who is yet to be named, stayed with another friend for a few years.
I've never used her. But I'm excited to see what happens when I try. It's going to be a job just to get her to the right size.
First project up is to complete the rather time urgent enchantress costumes for the youth theatre. I need to alter a jacket, a sleeveless slip, create a caplet, a shrug, and two skirts. Oh, the bustle needs finishing touches also.
I suppose making a cover should be the next thing I do. Although I believe this dress form possesses a dilapidated sort of beauty just the way she is, to protect her from further damage and because I will never get all the dust out from the inside, a cover seems reasonable.
Then, who knows? Maybe a little light draping? If I can figure out what I'm doing.
If you love dress forms but hate pinning, do not go here.
If you know of some helpful online tutorials for getting started, please share.