Friday, June 22, 2007

(Un)Finished Friday

Wedding attire continues (for my brother's wedding next month). We have the rehearsal dinner, the everyone's-in-town dinner the night before the wedding, and then the actual wedding. That's THREE things to look moderately cute for. I know, I know, it's not about me. But still, there will be many photos taken.

So I have the green button down. Still to be added: flutter sleeves (think Prairie Girl dress) and buttons down the front. Both of these cards are from the most recent stash that came down the pike to me. I'm leaning toward the ones on the left. Neither match perfectly, and the ones on the right have holes that show, thus are sportier looking.

Boy Shirt #2. Still needs the other sleeve and some buttons. I haven't checked the stash for boy buttons. We'll see what I come up with.

And the final project of the week: straps for the wedding dress! In case my brother's reading, these are just to augment the pink sequins, poofy sleeves, and 12 foot train. (For everyone else, the dress will have these cute little straps and not the other stuff!)

I'm leaning toward the one on the far left. It's the skinniest, and has cording in it, which gives the strap some nice shape and dimension. But it's up to the bride to choose. Now that I've mastered a) polyester on the bias and b) corded straps, we're all good. No matter what she chooses.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Coffe anyone?

In my quest for creative uses of cast off/handed down/thrifted/vintage treasures, this one takes the cake! Or perhaps the coffecake? This quilt is made of used coffee sleeves! Click the top photo for more of the finished project. Click the photo below to see her work in progress. See more at their blog Magpie & Cake.

Peanuuuuuuut, peanut butter... JELLY!

Ok, in this case, JAM! So Boy Shirt #2 is under works, and has one sleeve. But this, this jam here, is what's been occupying my hours of late! Somehow we ended up with a flat of strawberries and most of a flat of raspberries. Well, I know exactly how we "ended up" with them... I couldn't resist the roadside stand on the edge of town selling strawberries. And DH and DS went raspberry picking on Sunday while SIL-to-be and I shopped for wedding supplies. But we'll get to that part later.

Jam. Oh sweet jam. Raspberry jam. Strawberry jam. Strawberry freezer jam. More strawberry freezer jam. Low-sugar raspberry jam (that was the result of "oh dear god, we're out of sugar"). It's all delicious. So good. And so plentiful. Either all three of you readers will be getting some for Christmas, or I will have eaten approximately 10,000 grams of sugar by then.

And that one lone greenish jar? Oh sweet goodness of rhubarb from my garden. Words can't say how disappointed I was when it cooked down to just one and a half sad little jars. It's a food of my childhood, that rhubarb sauce. I remember the first time I made it myself, sometime in college, using store-bought rhubarb. I was so startled to see the crisp pinky red stalks turn such a sickly shade of green that I called my dad. He's the one who I always remember making the rhubarb sauce, and between being highly educated in the sciences and astonishingly good at making up answers, I knew he would tell me why it looked like I ruined it. The somewhat sheepish answer: food coloring! I was stunned and felt more than a little deceived that he'd tinted our childhood food.

But now having a somewhat picky eater of my own, I completely understand making food appeal to the masses. Nonetheless I left this batch of rhubarb unadulterated. I'm likely to be the only one in the house eating it anyway. Regardless of color. And that's ok with me. ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ahhh, retail

I just learned that not only can we buy Kaffe Fasset fabrics, we can buy ready made stuff of his design! Oh the relief! To think that we could have this gorgeousness without the labor... That's dreamy! I'm not sure it's affordable, but didn't I just say DREAMY?! :)


Skals Handarbejdsskole

Is it too late for me to study abroad? My friend Katy would say no, it's not too late.
If that's the case, I've found my next dream study abroad project:
Skals Handarbejdsskole in Denmark. It's a boarding school devoted to textiles and handwork. For real. Students of all ages are welcome, most students are between 19 and 35. (So I'm still "young enough"!)

There are three core classes:

Garment making

These are the other classes they offer:

Bookbinding – Calligraphy – Dress form making – Fashion drawing – Hand-knitting – Machine embroidery – Handmade paper - IT Photoshop – Straw binding – Birch bark work – Wicker

Then they have Project Week where they focus on a theme. "During Easter we have worked with willow, birch bark, wire weaving, paper and plaster under the theme ‘containers’. In this way we experience different methods and techniques of working with the hands, and at the same time broaden the notions of the textile."

Yes, please, I'd like to sign up for all of that please.

I've toyed with the idea of going back to school ever since I graduated from Willamette U back in '99. Back then I thought I wanted to teach higher ed, maybe even be a professor. The idea is still so enchanting and romantic. What I have now is similar in that my students are super motivated and really want to learn what I teach. And I love that.

Then for a while I thought maybe midwifery or nursing school. Having a baby jolted me to the reality that I would need on-call child care, like a live-in nanny. Not for me.

And so the fantasy of continuing education keeps percolating.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A little snippet of me

These pictures are two corners of my sewing studio. I love how the one above is a little out of focus, and that you have to use a bit of imagination to figure out what each item is. It seems that's how most of the projects are these days as well.
This picture (above) also shows off one of my new corner shelves that my husband put up last week for me. They are helping me cope with the loads and loads and loads of goodies that were handed down to me last week by my mom and Gram. This corner of the studio is still seriously under construction, but there are some gems I have to point out. First, the knitted doll. Could she be any cuter? My great Grandma made her and I just love her. All the way down to her as-yet-unfinished-seams that need the yarn ends woven in. I got her around my 10th birthday I think. I remember the room I had, so it might have been a little earlier. This doll was the last one she knit before she died, when I was in 7th grade. She has a little teacup next to her, in case she needs a little cuppa. Or if she needs something more serious, there's always the cigar box (full of empty vintage thread spools) or the bottle of wine (mailed to me from Portugal by a super sweet friend!)

Another noteworthy find in the stash from my mom: Friendship Dolls. Perhaps they've always been named that, but they coincided with the Friendship Bracelets of my youth and were equally loved. When Angry Chicken did rag dolls in her mailorder, I totally thought of these girls. And then, tucked in with the dolls I remembered, were the actual Raggedy Ann and Andy that my mom had made. All circa 1986 - the date I wrote on the bum of the girl in pink. Is time now moving so quickly that the things of my childhood are ALREADY back in fashion?!!! Please say I don't have to resume wearing those white Keds. I never kept them clean enough.

Monday, June 11, 2007

10 things I love

1. My son
2. My son spending the weekend at Grammie's house to allow the following:
3. A date WEEKEND with my husband.
4. Eating at a fancy restaurant on Friday night and chewing ALL my food.
5. Sewing all day Saturday with Cecily, making her one Cute Skirt (totally forgot to get a photo)!
6. Staying up late on Saturday night at a friend's birthday party.
7. Sewing more on Sunday, working on a tester pattern for Pink Chalk Studio.
8. Eating at a super fancy restaurant on Sunday night that is so not child-friendly. Not in a naughty way. In a chopsticks meet raw fish way. The best restaurant in all of Hillsboro, hands down. Syun. Once again, getting to truly enjoy every little morsel. Realizing I am sorely out of practice with chopsticks.
9. Sewing more on Sunday night, getting a pair of pants done for the little boy. He just outgrew everything he owns. I swear it happened overnight.
10. Having a morning "off" before picking up the little man from Grammie.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Little boy shirt: FINISHED

The "fancy" shirt is finally done! And you can see by his grin that he's as happy about it as I am! The buttons are little red trains, which are a little tricky to actually button, but look pretty cute! I think all together, the shirt took me about 10 hours to make. Which is just shy of ridiculous. And since it's a little tight getting over his head, I'm not sure if I'll make it again.

And the irony of pretending my fusible interfacing was sew-in interfacing?... Oh me oh my. Since I was using the shapes of the old pattern, it made perfect sense to use their directions as well. And for the most part, the directions were much more clear than modern patterns, which helped, since the concept of the shirt was so different from a regular button down. It was all going well until the facing on the collar (which tucks under and around and actually gets sewn in with the sleeve). I didn't have any sew-in interfacing on hand, so used my fusible interfacing and it worked great. Until I was supposed to iron it. In the end it worked so well that when I had to redo the whole collar because it was too small, I still used the fusible. But I got quite the chuckle out of the whole thing.

My recommendation: just buy a pattern. In the right size.