Monday, April 9, 2012

Ice Cream Dress

So excited to have made something I've had in mind forever! When I saw the fabric, I immediately knew what I was going to make with it - an ice cream dress, and I managed to crank it out just in time for Easter (so technically an ice cream Easter dress)!

The fabric is a beautiful poplin and is from the Little Lisette line - I loooove the print, the color, the feel, everything. The print also comes in white - I'm going to have to get some! (As a side note, Lisette's parent Oliver + S has a great series called Principles of Fabric Selection that I have found wonderfully helpful in picking prints for apparel - I highly recommend it.)

I followed the tutorial for the Leah Tunic to create the pattern for the dress. It was a bit snug at first, so I had to extend the opening in the back to help make putting it on a little easier.

 I cut some extra bodice pieces from a white muslin to line the bodice as well.

Ester girl loved it and showed it by jumping and twirling on the coffee table for a good bit, "I cream! I cream!"

Here she is all styled up for our Easter morning breakfast at the diner - it was pretty chilly and windy so we had to bundle her up a bit, but I think bare legs would be cuter with this dress!

Hurray for ice cream dress! I can't wait to make this pattern again.

Hope everyone had a cozy Easter!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Just a short note...

To let you know I'm still around! I haven't forgotten you, my darlings. March has been a whirl, with appointments, play dates and getting outside to enjoy SPRING! I haven't been able to sew a lot, and what I have has been mostly odds and ends, a few favors, some tailoring and hemming. Nothing exciting, that's for sure! I am hoping to make Ester an Easter dress (say 5x fast) this week, as well as finish a tutorial I have been trying to put together for you guys (my first evar! Eek!). To the fabric store I must!

Whipped up these quinoa rasin muffins yesterday and just wanted to share, as they were quite delicious and equally as healthy.

So amazingly better smothered with butter - isn't everything, though?

E gobbled them up!
I got the recipe from Hillbilly Hosuewife, you can find the recipe here. Scroll about halfway down the page for a quick recipe. I added raisins, but next time I think I will opt for chocolate chips!

Until next time, keep sewing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

1920s Items Added!

I am obsessed, really, really obsessed with Boardwalk Empire, so when I came across these vintage 1920s objects, I jumped all over them to add to my shop!

How awesome is the art work on the packaging? I wish our products were that awesome these days! I wonder what the woman that these came from was like - how cool to have these little pieces of history!

You can check out all my vintage stuff here!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hallway Gallery

At the end of our hallway, there was a great, empty spot, perfect for a little frame gallery.

Decorate me!
After months of collecting frames (meaning dusty piles of frames stashed here and there) and spray painting them a bright, glossy white, I finally got around to hanging them! 

I started by tracing each frame onto brown paper, which I then cut out and taped on the wall
And arranged...
And rearranged, until I had something I liked.
And then let it sit for a day (or two) to be sure I liked it enough to live with it, and then hammered some nails up, hung the frames, and wah lah!, a simple easy way to display our favorite photos.

We all love to check them out in passing, especially this one:
And now just to find a runner and we are in (hallway) business!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making Room for New

I won't deny it - I've been in quite a sewing slump lately. Projects pile up and bury each other, and I can't attempt to finish one without bumping into another one - the guilt and need to do. it. all. now. prevented me from even beginning to work on a lot of things in the first place. There are so many ideas floating around in my head, as well as tons of ideas for my Etsy, but I have a hard time getting started.

I decided a big part of my lack of sewing motivation was my sewing set up - I sew at my dining room table with a large sliding-door armoir right next to it. The armoir stashes all my fabrics, scraps, notions, interfacings, patterns, and the like, as well as shipping supplies, paper crafts, you name it. It was all crammed into those shelves in a very inefficient organization. 

Do you see all those bags of fabric scraps?!
What a frickin' mess! No wonder I never got anything done. Nothing had a logical place and was jumbled in with everything else.

First I tackled my fabric stash. I weeded out some that I never really loved, but had accepted because they were free - back to Freecycle they go! Knits, minky and felt stacked at the bottom, and then cottons organized by color. I hope by condensing my fabric to fewer shelves, I'll be tricked into thinking I have so much fabric and using what I have instead of buying more!
My scraps were condensed, my Etsy inventory organized, and I also dumped a lot of yarn that I will never get to (sorry, knitting, but you've been replaced!). Do you see that free space? grow!

The other side was a bit more involved - lots of sorting, piling, and things to throw away. I also started a running list of supplies I needed and ideas for better organization involving a trip to a store. Take my thread storage, for instance:
Not the most efficient use of my space! What is even in that box? Once clearing the junk out, I realized how sorely I needed lots and lots of thread, and added that to my list. Another motivation-stealer - not having the right supplies on hand. Earlier this week I broke my last needle and had to run to the store, but of course I put that off for a couple days, at least. While cleaning, I, like three packs of needles! Wow.

Whenever I wanted to make a covered button, I never would, because where were all of my pieces? Problem solved, and they are all now jailed in a baby food jar.
And done for now, at least!
A trip to Ikea is definitely in order - have you seen their 'box' department? Awesome! Boxes for interfacing, lace, patterns, paper - boxes! I also definitely need a thread rack in there. Not the most blog-worthy makeover, but my motivation is already kicking back in and it's quite refreshing to actually see what I have to work with. Thanks for peeking!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tatanne Bag

I've had the Tatanne Bag pattern saved for years in my sewing bucket list, and the day finally came! My old purse was an ancient threadbare wreck, so it was desperately needed. I already had the materials on hand, so the cost was relatively free, and it felt great to take several hours to make something for myself.

I used a vintage boucle weave menswear for the exterior and a yellow vintage snakeskin print on the inside.
Add a fun vintage brooch for some flare...
For a better idea of bag-to-body ratio:

The bag is big and roomy with two exterior pockets. I can fit diapers, my wallet, library books, and packages all inside, and still have room to grow. One thing I would change next time is the strap - to make it a tad longer, and, although the current strap is interfaced, I can't help but feel leather handles would be much more durable.

I am extremely pleased with how it turned out, although the pattern itself was very difficult. For one, the pattern, tutorial and photos are in three different places - one online, and the other two in separate PDFs. This results in a lot of running around to figure how many of what to cut for each pattern piece, what photo example coordinates with each step, etc. The resulting tutorial is very unorganized, and the directions are random and hard to follow (I ended up with an extra pattern piece at the end?).  I would definitely not recommend this for the novice sewer,  but there are a lot of online resources for help figuring out the pattern.

Now that  I've actually made one, I might give it another shot when summer rolls around, maybe in a light linen with extra pockets added inside? It really is a great bag, despite the headache!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ester & Duncan's Birthday (A Very, Very Late Post)

Let's close our eyes and take a trip, shall we? Come on, now, just close your eyes and humor me. Close your eyes and let's travel back to October 2011, and visit two little toddlers on a special, special joint birthday party.

 Ester looooves Duncan, and Duncan loves Ester, and with their birthdays one year and five days apart, a joint celebration seemed fitting. We went for a fiesta/cumpleaños theme, and we think it transpired well!
 The community room we rented was huge and perfect for kids to run around and burn energy.
My favorite - papel picado! I saved this and we will put it to good use for years of birthdays to come.
 Instead of gifts, we asked for books to donate to a local homeless children's shelter. They got some good stuff!
 A burro piñata, and a children's Spanish mix as a party favor (you can find the playlist at the bottom - if anyone has any recommendations for uploading a free playlist somehow, I would totally be up to that too!)

 And my favorite - sugar skulls! I bought a mold of Etsy, and after a few trial runs, perfected the technique. It was really fun to learn and we will make these in future years as well!
A few completed sugar skulls - we decorated with royal icing (what a mess! probably won't use that again), feathers, beads, gems, etc.

All the food - quesadillas, homemade salsa, chorizo, and this AWESOME Elmo platter I found on Pinterest!
It was a great party and big thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating. And big thanks to you for taking a time journey with me and pretending this is not three months late!

Happy 2012 everyone!

*Fiesta de Duncan & Ester Playlist
Jose Gonzalez & Banda Criolla - Come On In
Topo Gigio - La Fiesta del Gigio
Bomba - Pomodoro
Sarah Lee Guthrie And Family - 'Cuz We're Cousins
Basho - Buenos Dias
Los 50 De Joselito - La Araña Picua
Jose Conde - Cumbamba
Whistlefritz: Jorge Anaya - De Colores
The Mighty Buzzniks - Agree & Disagree
Triocephale - Sur Le Pont d'Avignon
Jorge Anaya & Whistlefritz - Los Numeros
Billy Jonas - Cabeza
Baby Loves - Bailar Rapido
Lewis Franco & The Missing Cats - Stomp, Stomp
Omara Portuondo - Guantanamera
Meow, Meow, Meow (artist unknown!)
Victor Hugo Santos - Arroz Con Leche
Omara Portuondo - Manicero
Guy Davis - I Will Be Your Friend
Jose-Luis Orozco - Las Mañanitas
Feist - 1234 (Sesame Street version)
Basho & Friends - Hello, How Ya Feelin?
Magdalena Para Chicos - Arriba Juan
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