Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lounging Pants

Yeah, I finally got to sew this morning! I made these corduroy pants for Saga. I cut them out without a pattern, and luckily they fit nicely. After I went to Joann's for more corduroy and found that it was on sale for $3 a yard. So now I have a stack ready to be made into pants. This means I have plans to get up very early tomorrow to get a head start.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pink and Fuzzy

Even though I got early and cut out a pair of pants for Saga I never got to them. Today she wore a little dress I made for her last December. It is more of a tunic now. The cutout is from a cloth napkin I bought at a tag sale 10 years ago. My husband told me she looked like a Viking baby in this dress. Okay, I see he has a point.
Here she is wearing it last January. She was proud of those new teeth you can see

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I survived the move, but just barely. Most of the house is together except the sewing room which is filled to the ceiling with boxes. I hope to make a sizable dent in it this weekend, fingers crossed. We moved back to the town where I grew up. If you would have told me I would be living in this town again I would never believe you. This morning driving to work a packed bus of teenagers rode past. I knew they were on the way to my old high school. That was the same bus I took to school. Yesterday Saga and I went for a walk along the creek behind our house. I grew up along this creek. Saga loves birds, and the creek and nearby lakes attract many migratory birds. She had a great time bird watching, and I thought about how funny it felt to be back at this place. Strange, but comforting. I was the mom now, and I didn't have to think of an excuse of why I was late for dinner.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let Me Explain

I admit, I made Saga and I matching tops. I bought this Erin McMorris fabric and thought I would make a shirt for myself. I ended up making my standby, and I felt bad to keep this awesome fabric all to myself. This is how Saga's top came to be. This is the part I can't believe I am going to reveal. We have worn them at the same time, but just once. I was visiting my mom and she reminded me how she would make us matching dresses every year for the church tea. I remember one of the dresses, long and green that a had a 70's vibe with its belt and huge collar. So that day for my mom's benefit we wore our matching tops, and I found out people really notice that type of thing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beginning of Fall

This weekend we went to a harvest festival. We had a lot of fun, and there was finally a chill in the air. We walked through a cornfield collecting Indian corn, and listened to some old time music. Saga was dancing and dancing and we had to stay until the music ended. On the way home we enjoyed beautiful views of San Francisco and the bay. Excellent fall weekend.

Can you guess what Saga is going to be for Halloween? I had to hurry and make this Little Red Riding Hood costume because I need to pack up my sewing machine. We are moving in less than two weeks. I am so excited that we are moving to a larger place. While my husband stayed at home with Saga for a year and a half money was tight. Now we have the opportunity to move to a more spacious home, and I will have a room dedicated to sewing! I will share some photos when all is settled.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hope I will need this soon...

I made this scarf in an attempt to welcome fall, but it is still no go. It did rain in San Francisco on Saturday for the first time since May, I believe. Saga was amazed and went out to walk around just saying, agua, agua, over and over. The scarf was a my bathtime project. Often after work I just can't sit still, so while Saga is in the bath I crochet. The funny thing is I get tennis elbow from crocheting. Obviously, I have bad form. I need to experiment with different positions to see if it improves.

This weekend Saga and I went to visit my mom in the Central Valley. We went to a small fabric shop that carried many designer fabrics. It was great to see them in person. I bought the ones above. The first 3 were in a group labeled 1940's prints. They were all on sale that made them even more attractive. I was also excited to find 100% cotton gingham. It was wonderful to be in a fabric store with my mom again. She is an amazing quilter, and I must of asked her a hundred questions. I actually keep a list that I go through when I see her. Just a great weekend overall...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Present for a new friend.

Today is one of my colleague's birthday. She is an amazing teacher who has helped me heaps since I started at my new school. She is the type of teacher parents hope for, and the type that young girls imitate at home teaching their younger brothers and sisters. As I was sewing this I knew she was at home going through student data and making a strategy how to teach the next lesson. I knew I wanted to make her something for her birthday. I settled on this tote bag with a elongated pocket on front to hold pens and pencils. I know she is going to stuff it full of books and papers to take home for the night. I am so lucky in my new position. I have made wonderful new friends, and feel like I have been there for years. There is nothing like sitting with fellow teachers at lunch eating school pizza, laughing and laughing until the bell sends you all back to your students. Happy Birthday Kelly!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Get your dirt on.

A couple weeks into the school year I realized I need to make Saga some play clothes. Specifically tops she could wear and I would not gasp when I say how dirty they were at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong I love that she is gardening and playing so freely during the day, but the condition of her clothes is scary. So, I made her a few basic tops out of old German duvet covers to wear over turtlenecks this fall. They are all bright, cheerful, and ready to play in. As you can see, she had this one on for an hour before she was wearing cinnamon. See they work perfectly.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last one, for a long while. (I promise.)

I finished this shirt a few weeks ago and packed it away in my closet because I was a bit angry with it. It had to do with the sleeves. Now you can guess why it is wearing a cardigan. I love this fabric, but I need to learn that I should use "safe" patterns with expensive fabric that I am in love with. I have made 3 other shirts with this pattern which you would think would make it safe. This time I went for a better fit and ended up with a slim silhouette, yet funky sleeves. So, unfortunately I will have to cover up my fitted look with a cardi. Maybe soon I will get over it and just redo the sleeves. In the meantime I am cutting out some more love fabric using a sure thing pattern. I bet you cannot guess what pattern I am going to use. Thank you all for the nice comments about the skirt:)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The 50 minute skirt!

Okay, my plan worked! Cut out a pattern on the weekend and sneak in sewing time at night. I was able to get this skirt together quickly. As you can see it takes 10 minutes more than the 40 minute skirt, it's the trim. I wanted to use this fabric for myself, but I knew a whole skirt made from it would be too much. So, I just did a cutout. I never sew with black fabric so that was a little strange. It felt like I was making a witch's costume or something. When I added the color it started to look like an Amish quilt to me. (I love Amish quilts!) But I have to say that I am the least precise "seamstress" ever. I swear it would kill me to use a measuring tool. I am sure stone age women were more accurate in their sewing of animal skins. If you look closely you can see the pieces in the front are not even the same size. oh, well. I added the bias trim because I don't like to wear black skirts and black tights together. The trim breaks the two up, and the fabric is very lightweight so the trim gives it some heft. I won't be wearing this skirt anytime soon because it is 85 degrees here! I am not a fan of the Indian Summer. I can see how fall in approaching through others blogs, and I am jealous.
*Disclaimer* I realize I made Saga and I garments using the same fabric, but I promise you will never catch us wearing them at the same time...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Dress for Saga

I made Saga another one of these dresses. I love how it turned out. I wasn't sure if the fabric combo would work. I wanted to make her a dress she could wear with her favorite patent red shoes. I had her try it on over her clothes and she wouldn't take it off. This is a good sign. She really enjoys putting her hands in the pockets. Other than sewing we have had a busy week. I finally have my work stamina, and can get so much more done. On Wednesday we went to the Mexican Independence Day celebration in our city. It was a great time with an amazing atmosphere. I saw so many families I know, and Saga danced the night away.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So good to be back.

I can't tell you how excited I was to sit down at my machine and make this tote bag. After 2 weeks of a serious dry spell, it was heaven. I have been so busy getting back into the swing of things. I have not been able to keep up with my fave blogs, and having the energy to sew was out of the question. I now have more of a handle on things, and I have been daydreaming about sewing all day. Let me tell you a little about this simple tote. I bought the fabric at the Alameda Flea Market last weekend. It is a nice canvas, and I love the print. The pocket is made from one of the many German, gingham duvets I bought. I really like how it turned out. I always use totes. I have so for so long that having to use a proper purse feels very fancy.

Even after posting this sign in my classroom, I got a cold. The first one this year, but it was not bad. It moved through the classroom like wildfire. Colds are just considered an occupational hazard. I also saw this sweet doll at the flea market. I have had this same doll since I was four. It surprised me to see it sitting all alone. I took the picture to show my mom because she saved my dolls for me for so many years. Saga plays with them, and that makes me so happy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Endings and New Beginnings

So the summer is over. It was wonderful, and I can't wait for next years. I am excited about working in a new school, and meeting 20 new children that I know I will love and grow with throughout the year. Over the past weeks I have been working to prepare my classroom, and let me bore you with some photos.

Here is what the room looked like when I moved in.

Remember how I made a goal for myself to make 6 shirts. I thought I was going to have to settle with one short, but I got this one together over the weekend. I end the summer with a BBW just like I started. BUT, I have learned so much between these two shirts. Now it is time to set new sewing goals, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

40 minute skirt!

Here is my 40 minute skirt. Yes, 40 minutes from the first cut to the finishing the hem. I just used another skirt as a pattern, and wished for the best. I actually made 2 skirts. You can see the first blue one peeking out on the side. After that one worked out I was brave enough to cut into this beautiful fabric (Kaffe Fasset, Verbena Trees). Oh, If I were to design a fabric it would look just like this one. I can't wait to wear my skirt with brown tights and a cardigan. Since it has been near 100 degrees the last few days I think I will have to wait a little longer. The funny thing is that I made these two skirts on Monday, but I just have been so busy I didn't have time to photograph them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall, Where are you?

I am officially tired of hot weather. I can't wait for the chill of fall. I will need to wait a while longer because we always have a long Indian summer in California. What is making me happy is making this new dress for Saga. It felt so wonderful making her something again. I have so many ideas right now. This is the simplest dress, but I love how it is so easy to add layers. A red turtleneck would be so cute. The trim on the neck came for i heart linen. I just love it, I wish I had more. When Saga wears this dress I know she is going to look like the big girl she is quickly becoming.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Last One

I have been working on this shirt for more than a week. It gave me quite a fight too. I am happy how it turned out in the end. It was so nice to sew on the buttons while it is on the dress form. This first night I had the dress form Saga walked into the bedroom and quickly ran out after seeing it out of the corner of her eye. I guess I am not the only one that finds it creepy. I have been working so hard in my classroom, and I am finally done. I have never finished early. Usually I am running around finishing in a race with the security alarm the day before school starts. Now I have next weekend to relax and spend the last restful days with Saga. I will try to make something for Saga this week. I so miss making a new dresses for her.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Almost there, #4

Surprise another shirt. This is one of my favorite fabrics. I have had it for years. I used it to make my ironing board cover a few months ago. Here it is finally a shirt. I really took my time with this one making adjustments to get the perfect fit. It was the first time I used this pattern and next time I will make a smaller size. I finally lost all my baby weight and have to realize that I don't need to make everything so big. I have transferred to a new school this school year which is life changing for me. This week a friend helped me move my classroom, and now I just need to to go organize the "mess". This is a lot of work. That is why I have been a little absent. Sunday is usually my sewing day, but today I need to work in my classroom. Believe me the move is worth all this work. I have one more week of vacation, 2 more shirts to make, one classroom to organize, and one sweet girl to hug every moment.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Etsy Fabrics

So they have arrived and I love them!
These two are Two Young Street-Hugs and Kisses and Alexander Henry-Bijoux Dot
Heather Ross-Mermaids Mendocino line This will soon be a little dress for Saga. Two Japanese fabrics Little Red Riding Hood (be still my heart!) and Animal Village (This reminds me so much of 70's wallpaper, which is a compliment.)My Folklore from Lecien
I can't wait to use these, but I am happy just looking at them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And another...

Here is another school blouse #3. I love the tie sleeves, and will use them again with a more fitted pattern. This shirt is the one that finally convinced me to order a dress form. I can never get the fit right by the process I use now; try on, alter, try on, fix alter, try on, and again and again. The only issue is my sewing table is in my bedroon and having that dress form in there is kinda creepy. I am I the only one that feels that way? I may need to cover it at night. Officially two weeks left of my summer vacation. The bummer work news was thankfully a false alarm, although it gave me quite a scare. I am starting to look forward to a new school year. If I could only find a way to sneak Saga in with me each day all would be perfect.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

L'odeur de boutons

These are the vintage buttons I bought about 6 weeks ago. I finally got around to taking them out of their ziplock bag today. The reason it took so long is they have a serious stink on them. It is an old, musty, stale smell with a kick of something worse. I don't have a lot of experience with vintage buttons so maybe this is just how they smell. Today I washed all the loose ones and discarded the random nonbutton pieces I found in the bag. After I washed them the colors were so vibrant, but they are still stinky. If you have any advice please tell me! I am still trying to finish my school blouses, but I have been so distracted with organizing my home. There is not a nook or cranny that has been overlooked, everything now has its place. I am convinced the more organized I make our home will translate into an easier transition back to work. Well we will see how well it works soon enough.
Now I have those shirts to finish.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another Blouse...

Who knew getting bummer news from work and getting up at 4am because you can't sleep can lead to so much productivity! I cut out two more blouses, bought fabric on ETSY (a first for me, too fun), bought a watch on Amazon, and caught up on my blog reading. I should get up at 4 more often. Yesterday after hearing the bummer news I came home, and made this shirt in 2 hours. Saga thankfully was spending the afternoon at the babysitters, where she has the best time playing with her buddies. I love the two fabrics, but they would be too matronly alone. So I made a contrasting collar. You will soon see as I finish these blouses I am very conservative, in clothing only that is. Remember my fashion icon is Caroline Ingalls, although I also love the stylings of Eliza Jane Wilder Walnut Grove's favorite teacher. Thank you sewing for being there when I get down, you are such a good friend.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Option #2

This little dress had a change of plans. After I put on the collar I just wasn't sure. So I looked at it for a few days and knew I really didn't like it. So I made it into this top. I have made so many of these for Saga and I adore them. I can whip one of these up in no time.
Now I need to get going with my blouses for work. It is hard to find time to sew with my husband away working. Above you can see what Saga does when I sew. Three more weeks before I go back to school, so I better squeeze out some sewing time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Flea market treasures.

Early this morning Saga and I went to the Alameda Antique-Flea Market. I found a few things that I really love. I love this one stall that sell old nightshirts. She has the unbleached linen ones that are over 100 years old. I love just touching them. She also sells bolts of vintage linen. I finally bought a nightdress. I can't stop looking at it, with its beautiful French seams and sweet collar.
I also bought these gingham duvet covers and one sham. They are from Germany, and were just $5.00 a piece. I wanted to make a shirt for me and a dress for Saga, but I can't imagine putting scissors to them.
I picked up these vintage knitting and crocheting books. They have wonderful patterns. I have to make this coat for Saga. What a day. It is funny because it is always freezing there. Located on the bay, and always under the fog. I can't wait to go back next month.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Excellent news, minor freakout

Whoa, this is the longest I have gone without posting this summer, but I have a good excuse. My husband accepted a job and he begins on Monday. We have been running around buying everything he is going to need, like $175 boots. I don't know what happened, but I got so, well I had a minor freakout because so many things were changing in one week. My husband will be traveling for work and will be gone for 4 days each week. I also had to accept Saga will have to go to a babysitters during the school year, and summer is almost over! I also received an email I have been waiting 3 months for that will lead to an exciting (but challenging) change for me.

My freakout consisted of me not being able to sew. I was working on this shirt, and I just couldn't finish. Instead I started organizing the house with a mission to end all clutter. I gave myself a pep talk, and made myself sit down and finish this blouse. I like it, and it is comfortable enough for the classroom. I have vowed to upgrade my work uniform this year. I want to make six blouses for the start of the year. So I better get out of my, "Oh, my gosh summer is almost over!", funk and get sewing.

I was tagged for the first time, yeah~ Thanks Lisa. I will start working on that now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My favorite dress yet.

This dress helped me face another sewing goal. Decorative Pockets. I bought this pattern (Butterrick 4172) and said I don't care how long it takes me I am making those pockets. It wasn't difficult at all, and they have great possibilities because you can use contrasting fabrics for the inside and outside. I used restraint with this dress. I always want to use so much color. I love the clothing made of muted linen fabrics that you see in Japanese craft books, but I just can't do it. The fact that this dress is just two colors is progress for me. I wanted to slap a green button on the front at the end, but I made myself just walk away. This dress is also the best fit I have managed for Saga which I am very happy about. So another goal down. I should face making a romper again.