Monday, May 28, 2007

Little boy shirt: take two

Work in progress continues on the little boy shirt. So far I have it mostly done - but I sized the yoke down too much, so the front has a gap. Good news: we have plenty of fabric to practice on!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Works in progress

Potential dress for wedding festivities in July.
I'm still wishing on that Prairie Girl dress from Favorite Things. But it so did NOT fit right. And looking at the pattern again, it never would.
Wishing I knew more about pattern drafting.
Changing rounded neckline to V-neck is no problem.
Changing the rest of it? Questionable.

Darling boys shirt pattern I found at Poppy & Ivy on Alberta St.
Sadly, in size 10-12.
That is approximately 8 sizes too large.
Once again, wishing I knew a bit more about pattern drafting.

Progress on outfit numero uno for the wedding festivities.
This is the New Look skirt for which I just got the pattern last week (or so).
Of course, I didn't have as much fabric as the pattern required.
Luckily I didn't want that long of a skirt.
Also luckily, I know enough about modifying the fullness of a skirt to make it fit on the amount of fabric I did have!
The fabric shows thru a bit more than I like, so I think I'll tuck in a little lining/slip/petticoat before I finalize that yoke.

Hands at Work: Textiles from the Columbia Stitchery Guild

Exhibit to attend:

I was only vaguely aware that this was going on, and have learned little about it. From what I can tell, it is a fantastic exhibit of textile art! For all of you in the Portland area - go support the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. They don't charge admission, but ask for a donation. And if the Columbia Stitchery Guild grabs your interest, check them out here. One of their members is Barbara Shapel, a quilter and teacher in the Portland area. I took her machine quilting class last year at Fibers in Motion and loved it! She is very talented and is known for making two-sided quilts, where the front is a mirror of the back, such as a sun image on the front with a moon image on the back and the circles are in the "same" place on front and back. When the images are quilted, the quilting looks equally good on both sides. Very cool. Very challenging. Or as I tell my students, it's not hard to do, it's just hard to make it look good!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My take

I gave the Lotta Jansdotter reversible apron a try. I changed the design of the straps, partly because I dislike the strap tied around my neck, and partly because I couldn't bear to make as many inches of straps as that would require! So I improvised, and then decided to make the straps intentionally asymmetrical, so that the orange peeks through on the blue side. I made it for my mom, and thought she'd probably have the orange side showing more, so I made the straps cuter on that side!

I like the pattern, aside from the straps, and it's totally worth doing again! The side seams give it a little shape, instead of the traditional tube-o'-apron. And it was super easy! From cut out to finished and topstitched, it was probably only 2 1/2 hours! Not bad for the night before Mother's Day, eh? (We celebrated a week late, I'm not that late posting this!)

edited for typo

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Power to the Cannon A75

Back in camera battery business, today's adventure to downtown Portland was fantastic! Cecily had a flight to catch at 1pm, which gave us the perfect opportunity to play downtown. After an unexpectedly deLISHious breakfast sandwich, our first stop was Josephine's Dry Goods. Now, if I had a scanner handy, I'd post a photo of me in my prom dress - not to show off fashion of 1994, but to show off the gorgeous-ness of fabrics that Josephine's sells. This is THE place to go for that $28/yard Italian cotton you've been dreaming of! And they are so super nice and helpful, and will give you little snippets of fabrics that you are considering! While there, I picked up the recent issue of Threads magazine because it has not one but TWO articles on knits. And since I'm teaching that class on knits coming up this weekend, I thought I should learn how. ;) Seriously though, there is always something new to learn or new photos to showcase examples.

I also got this skirt pattern. My goal is to have two or three new skirts done in time for my brother's wedding in July. I dearly love the Favorite Things Cute Skirts, but one can only have so many of the same skirt, eh? And I got one of those adorable Heather Bailey big floral prints and didn't want it cut into 8 panels. So I'll try the New Look one and see how it goes. I'm hoping it doesn't look quite so big in real life. The sample at Josephine's looked better. Maybe someone should just tell that model to untuck her shirt, hmm?

After the Josephine's adventure (which also included much excitement over the passing streetcar by my little one), we walked to the Button & Ribbon Emporium. Such beauty does not always come by the yard! And the women working there were so super sweet, especially to the little boy with buttery hands (I mentioned those breakfast sandwiches were good, right?).

They have a whole basket of goodies that they let him choose from. They even had a tractor button! He was in heaven! For such a little store, they have an (almost) overwhelming amount of inventory. Every imaginable color, style, size, and fiber content of ribbon! And I don't use a lot of buttons on the garments I make, but if I did... Or if I knit well enough to make a sweater worthy of the buttons they carry... Oh wow.

With only 15 minutes left on our parking "meter" (how are we supposed to refer to those little stickers now?), and only 15 minutes left until we needed to leave for PDX, we hopped next door to Fabric In The City. Sadly she doesn't have a website for me to link to. What it would say is that she doesn't open until 11am on weekdays and that her store is delightful! The store is worth so much more than our little visit allowed! She has a lot of fantastic quilts on display, as well as great handbags and other crafty items.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The newest member of the family

Meet Nadia the Pfaff! She joins big sister Birgit the Bernia! She is amazing and wonderful and most importantly, predictable!!! I spent yesterday afternoon (read: naptime) devouring the manual, editing the manual, and finally, following the manual to get it properly threaded and working. I have a long history of not knowing my left from my right, but they really did have a typo and switched the left and right loopers. But I triumphed! I tried to take a picture of the two happy sisters-in-craft, side by side, along with the pants I whipped up for little O.

Now then, everyone can share what they name their machines. I mean, everyone else names them, right??

Monday, May 14, 2007

Some good things

Embarrassingly, still no batteries for the camera. But I have this for you! Click the photo to go to Camilla Pentti's site. Amazing illustrations. If you click the images, they shuffle through a lot of her work. Very cool. Makes me wish she designed fabric!

Other good things: Whip Up is doing a May Challenge of small quilts! Do you wonder what you would do with a mini quilt? Do you think to yourself, "But I don't have anyone in my life who plays with dolls..." If so, check out Weeks Ringle (one of my favorite authors), and her tutorial on placemats! She discusses the emotional attachment we make to the things we use and love in our homes.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What day is it?

We had a crazy weekend, with 10 grown-ups, 2 toddlers, and 5 dogs on a trip to the beach, followed by non-stop movement that included a trip to the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego with my mom, a fantastic bridal shower for my sister-in-law-to-be, and the beginning of the Cute Skirts class at Bolt Fabric Boutique. I got home in time to empty out my suitcase and fall into bed. Then yesterday the sweet family of my husband's twin brother met us at the Zoo for a full day of animal loving. After naps, there was much playing and eating, and more playing. For 1 yr, 2 1/2 yrs, and 4 yrs, the cousins all got along fabulously! This morning they headed home to Ashland and my little one is down for what I think will be a very long nap!

Alas, our camera batteries died (I really thought rechargeable double A's would have a longer life than 3 years, but I guess not), so I have no real life photos to show you. But I will say that the new Katie Jump Rope line from Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit is fantastic! The whole line is available at Bolt, and I was a little sorry that I'd already gotten some at the Pine Needle, because Gina's selection at Bolt is so much better! Not only does she have the whole collection, it's nicely grouped together and just looks so cute!

Other Free Spirit fabrics now available include the highly anticipated Chocolate Lollipop from Anna Marie Horner. Click the image and you can see the whole collection.

And Follow Your Imagination by Prints Charming. Look at the hearts!!!

Urban Gardens by Portland local, Erin McMorris.

Mod Girls by Sis Blooms

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Crafty good times with the girls!

Last night was craft night with my mom and Cecily! Cecily showed up with the good idea of making these darling Mother's Day cards, and had all the supplies. What did I supply? Some thread, the machine, and a little scallop stitch! And the flower stickers are from the Martha Stewart collection at Michael's!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Early morning work

My honey had to leave realllllllly early this morning. As in, it was still dark outside. Do you know how early you have to be awake on May 1st for it to still be DARK?! Yikes. Really early. Anyway, since I was awake, and the little one was still asleep (it being 2 hours before even HE likes to wake up), I took to the little red bag and got it finished. It's that Amy Butler bag I started over the weekend and now it's done! I added some Timtex to the bottom, to give it more shape, and I maintain that the stuff ought to come with a bottle of wine (or at least a cup of coffee) because it is such a colossal pain to work with. If I'd thought of it, I maybe would have just tacked the Timtex to the bottom, sandwiched in between the bag and the lining, instead of sewing it in. Maybe next time. For now, it's finished, and that makes a girl happy! The fabric handles were much easier than I thought they would be, but that might be related to the fact that my cording seemed much too skinny, so I put two lengths of cording thru each handle.

Edited to add: I never really thought about the leaves on my living room chair before. Now I'm pretty sure they are the same swiss chard as that red fabric!

All in all, I liked the pattern well enough. Amy Butler patterns annoy me a little, because she gets so chatty about how to thread a needle for hand-sewing, and then simply says, "using your zipper foot, sew the handle channel of the lining". As if the person who doesn't know how to thread a needle even knows what a zipper foot is. (And if that person is you, just shoot me a little email and we'll get you signed up for a sewing lesson!)

Anyway, we made it through the early morning and then ventured over to Michael's to take a peek at the new Martha Stewart line. I'd heard so much about it here and here and here. Now, I may have missed some of the offerings, and it did look a little picked over, but they didn't have the "bones" that I expected. I thought I could swing over to get some cute stuff for making Mother's Day cards. And while they have some cute stuff, especially kits, they didn't have the card-making supplies I'd hoped for. I will, however, be anxiously waiting our next little kid birthday party to get these Monkey Party Kits - they are darling! They include these great little cupcake decorations, paper cups that have monkey ears sticking off the sides, and super cute invitations!

Rick-rack: The gallery

Super cute stuff to be seen at the Tie One On gallery of aprons! The theme of the month was rick-rack, and if you look, you can find my orange one. The hostess of this fantastic sew-along is the very talented Amy of Angry Chicken. She is full of good ideas, including the idea that the next apron theme is POCKETS! I can't wait to see how they all turn out!