Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nine Years

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary.  What the what?!?  How did time pass that quickly?  It's been a great nine years.  Because I use this as a sewing blog I'll make sure that the pictures have something I made in them. :)
The picture above is one of the four we sent out with wedding invitations.  I was too indecisive to pick just one, so we chose four and sent them out at random.  I may be indecisive about pictures, but I'm glad I chose this man and that we've stuck together through thick and thin.  In this picture I added the ribbon detail on my shirt and altered the hem on the pants.  Not that you can see it, but I did.  The shirt was a bit too small so the ribbon on the side is really there to make the shirt a bit bigger.  The ribbon under the bust was a good way to liven up the shirt and tie in the ribbon on the side seam.  Here's another engagement shot:
Isn't The Hubs handsome?

In the wedding picture I made my dress.  My mom attached the skirt to the bodice and did the bead work.  I also made the bridesmaid dresses.  My bridesmaids were my sister in law, my best friend from high school, and my best friend from childhood.
It was a touch windy on our wedding day.  My veil blew in front of my face just as we were about to have our first kiss outside the temple.  As is obvious from the picture above, I found it hilarious.
The guests that hadn't already fled to their cars to get away from the wind and cold.  This was moments before the wind took my veil and I screamed like a banshee for someone to go chase after it.  My little brother does a great job sprinting in to parking lots.
When I say it was "a touch windy" what I really mean is "the wind uprooted trees, pulled the veil completely off my head, and turned my gown into a kite."
It was windy enough that we went back six weeks later to take pictures in friendlier weather.
Now we're nine years and three children later.  I love him more now than I did when I married him.  The passing of time has added a few gray hairs, wrinkles, extra pounds, and a lot of wonderful memories.  We work together as a team and we have an eternal perspective on our marriage.  I'm so happy that he's mine forever and ever until the end of time..which doesn't exist.  How blessed I am.
In keeping with the "I made this" idea, the shirt I'm wearing in the family pictures is one I made from a McCall's pattern.
I love this man.  I recently discovered that The Hubs gets even better looking with time.  When I was in high school I had no idea why the other girls would think Sean Connery was so attractive.  I still don't.  But those few gray hairs my husband sports around his temples?  Dead sexy.  I love them because I feel like I'm a part of them.  I probably caused a few of them, but that's beside the point.  We're perfectly matched and I love being in love with him.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Love Books

Back in June of 2007 I went to a teaching conference.  There was a children's book vendor there.  I took a deep breath and went over to take a look.  It was very difficult for me to do because only three months before I'd lost my first baby halfway through the pregnancy.  I went over both to prove to myself that I could handle it and as a little act of faith that someday I would have a baby to read books to.  I ended up buying my first of many Usborne books.
This is sentimental; it's the first book I ever bought my kids
Fast forward six months and I was at another teaching conference.  I was also expecting Blue Eyes.  :)  I saw the same vendor table and went right over.  Before leaving I signed up for an Usborne Books party.  I loved the books so much that I signed up as a consultant at the end of my party.  There was a year or two that I sold the books and I really, really loved it.
A book I bought for ME and that is very well done and treats all with respect.
After I quit teaching I started my sewing business, which I also loved.  As that picked up speed I spent less time on my book business until one day I hadn't set up any more parties and then never called to make any more.  It simply fell by the wayside and I've always regretted that a little.
This is a DIY space camp.  How cool is THAT?!?
Fast forward a couple more years and a friend of mine has just signed up as a consultant.  I'm having a party to help her get started.  And because I'm more than a little obsessed with these books.  Take a look at them and you'll see great things.  Check it out here.  After counting them I have 112 of these books and that's just upstairs.  I have more sitting in boxes in the basement that the kids aren't old enough for just yet.  When it comes to books I think there's no such thing as too many.  I made a HUGE wishlist here for a lot of the books I still would like to get.

Aside from the fantastic educational books there are also some fun and feeling pictures books.  Way more than I could possibly mention.  But the one above makes me cry every time.  Every. Time.  I love it.  Go check out these books.  Seriously.  And buy some while I have my party open to support my friend's new business...and get me free books  ;)  You won't be sorry.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Early Halloween Costumes

Before I begin, let me just say that I never prep for Halloween this early.  Ever.  Though it would be smart if I did, as I spend the last two weeks of October every year in a sewing panic and fearing I won't get it all done.  And sometimes I don't.  Moving on now.  I'm not going to make the Halloween costume for Blue Eyes this year  She is old enough now that she is expressing her opinions and is set in them.  Unless she can be talked out of them.  Not that I ever try to do that.  But really, the white shoes did look better with her pink dress.  She'll be happier with the pictures than if she'd worn the black like she wanted.  Anyhow, ever since last Halloween she has been very set on being Captain Hook for this year's costume.  After at least three months insistence that that's all she wanted to be I decided she really did know what she wants.  I was pleased that I would have time to prepare so I could make her costume without too much stress.  I even knew that there was a pattern for it living in my mom's sewing room.
Aww...cute!  At includes everything but the wig.
image via sewing.patternreview.com
A few months ago the Disney Store had a 40% off sale.  Hmm...  I don't remember tattooing "STOOPID" on my forehead so I went ahead and ordered this:
LOVE the hat.
image via amazon.com
I didn't get the hook and the sword at the time, but I only paid about $40, including shipping, for the costume and the hat.  I know better than to think I could make that for less than $40.  And it looks more than a little awesome.  I'll still probably make the hook from the pattern.  Blue Eyes knows she's not allowed to change her mind about the costume and she's good with that.  I even let her put it on once.  Just once.  It's living in my closet now so it will still look good in another five months

The Pink Blur was on board with being Tinkerbell and now, months later, still talks about it excitedly.  Q-ball is young enough not to have an opinion so I am taking full advantage of this last (probably) opportunity to put him in a costume with tights.  I've already done it to him once before.  I plan on making myself a Wendy costume to go with the theme.  It's easy and would be comfortable.  The Hubs will go as Gandalf.  I'll think up a crossover somehow.  If I feel like it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chevron Tunic

Generally I'm not one to sew with the trends.  If I'm going to spend the time making something then I usually want it to be a fairly classic piece.  Were it not for the black on white chevron contest I probably wouldn't have ever purchased chevron fabric.  I apologize to those of you who love chevrons.  Now that I have made a shirt with chevrons the trend will die a fiery death and be made fun of on late night television.  That's the way it works when I make something stylish. ;)  Actually, I'm glad that this is one trend that seems to be sticking around.  It's pretty fun.  The shirt even has the high-low hemline that's all over the place.  I'm just glad that I abandoned the first attempt at this shirt.  Chicken just isn't a good look for me.
I guess my makeup had worn off by this time.  Maybe I should look in a mirror before taking pictures.
The contest flyer said to make something bold.  Done.  I thought adding in the bright green contrast and the ruffle fabric would really spice it up.  There is, however, such a thing as overkill.  The black ruffles stepped over that line in this particular pattern.  It needs a pattern better suited to the ruffles.  This pattern...wasn't.  The fabrics I used were black and white chevron, bright green solid, and black stretch ruffle (which I later replaced with an old t-shirt), all from Girl Charlee.  I will be getting more ruffle fabric in the future.  I won't let ruffle fabric get the better of me!

The pattern I used is Vogue 8817.  It is one of several patterns that has an odd picture.  I wasn't supposed to have this pattern.  When I was deciding what pattern to use with my striped fabric this one came up.  I decided against it.  My mom was at the fabric store and buying me a stack of patterns as an early mother's day present.  Darn, right?  Anyway, this pattern somehow made it into her cart even though I had taken it out of the running.  When I saw the chevron contest this shirt immediately came to mind.  The high-low hem is on trend, as is the chevron print.  Add in a couple of contrasting fabrics and you've got the "bold and beautiful" garment they're asking for.
Weirdo pattern pose.
Nailed it.
One of the things that took the most time was matching the chevrons.  Asking me not to match lines and stripes is like asking a three year old not to blow bubbles in her chocolate milk.  It is inevitable.  It goes against my nature.  Matching chevrons requires more work than stripes, but the results are so worth it to me.  They don't make perfect chevrons, but the lines are all matched up.
I can make sense of the world when the lines touch in the right place.
After making the chicken shirt (see link in first paragraph) I couldn't bring myself to buy more fabric.  Instead I refashioned an old t-shirt to be the top.  I am chevron chicken no more.  
The shirt is fun to wear and super comfy.  The only alterations I made were shortening the waist (a pointless alteration for this pattern) and shortening the sleeves.  I'm not keen on the idea of going into summer with long sleeves.  I didn't even narrow the shoulders or raise the neckline.  Woohoo!  I always have to do that.  The only problem now is that I "expect" comments from people.
This will be great for a meternity shirt whenever I need it again.
When I put it on this morning I thought it would be a perfect top if I were pregnant.  As I am NOT pregnant it's a perfect top for embarrassing people.  I wore it to Blue Eyes's preschool graduation this morning.  Her teacher asked when I'm due and was getting ready to congratulate me.  Where I live, if a woman is of my age, has kids in the age range that mine are, and is wearing a flowy shirt, everyone will assume she is expecting.  Maybe I just need to practice standing right so there is sufficient doubt.
Less bun-in-the-oven looking
The Hubs doesn't really like the shirt but, as he is not the one wearing it, I'll still be putting it into the rotation of stuff I like.  It's fun and it's super comfy.

Monday, May 13, 2013


This is my gorgeous and awesome sister in law, Shellee.  I made this wedding dress for her wedding in October of 2009.  Due to major Blogger weirdness the original post was deleted.  So now I get to add it again today and relive the fun. ☺ All of Shellee's bridal pictures were taken by Alyssia B Photography.  She's also the one who took the family pictures in the About the Goddess section.
It is honestly impossible to make this girl look bad.  She is so elegant and poised, along with having a lovely figure to work with.  Shellee knew what wedding dress she wanted, but it was only available in a size 24.  As she is nowhere near a size 24, we decided to copy the dress and make a custom fit for her.
Store version.  image via beautifullymodest.com
After several fittings we had all the elements Shellee wanted and modified what she wanted changed.
Our customized version
The original fabric was a taffeta but I made Shellee's out of a lovely dupioni silk.  You just can't beat the luster of silk.  The skirt on the original dress had large godets at the side seams, which I didn't know until I saw the dress in person, after the wedding.  That was one option I gave Shellee when asking how she wanted to achieve the fullness in the skirt.  She chose the other option of simply making the front and back pieces flare at the side seam.
For the bead detail on the petal sleeves and at the neckline we chose a beaded trim which I was able to sew in like piping.  Love that trick.  Because of the sharp curve at the neckline I had to crush a few rows of beads to make the trim lay flat.  I love that trick too.  It makes it so you have the right fit, but don't need to worry about re-securing the beads so they don't slip off the string.
The bustle of the train was also pretty cool.  It's a permanently secured bustle which adds fun detail to the back, as well as pulling the fullness of the skirt back a little.  That gives the look of a sheath with the comfort and roominess of a fuller skirt.
The girls knows how to dress her body.  This style is perfection on her.  She told me she likes that the dress gives her curves.  She's free to take some of mine if she wants them. ☺
The dress has a lace up back to be fully adjustable.  Shellee looked so incredible at her wedding and was a stunning bride.  We're glad to have her in the family.

Just because it's cute, here's a picture of my little family at the reception.  Blue Eyes thought it was hilarious to feed me and we thought it was hilarious to watch her doing it.  I also made my dress but it wasn't really a big deal.
I'm so glad I got to make Shellee's dress.  She was a great client (though making the dress was a gift) and she is a fantastic sister in law.  She's also a pretty kick-A interior designer.  You can find her stuff here.  Check it out.  She's good.  Like, REALLY good.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Who Are You Calling Chicken?

Anyone who knows me well knows I love me a good competition.  I enter my kids in the local baby contest (here and here) every summer, though that's pretty much just so I can make cute costumes for them.  Quick tangent: the "contest" has them interact with a couple of judges for about 30 seconds.  No performances or anything pageant-like.  End tangent.  There's less competition in the costume category, so my kids tend to get prizes there.  {insert sheepish blush}  Then there was the recent post for the Pantone colors of the year.  Anyway, I saw a contest (picture below) on the Girl Charlee blog that uses their black and white chevron.  I don't generally enter contests that require I purchase a specific product, but I've never used chevron before and thought it would be fun.
I had a pattern my mom bought me on accident (more on that when I post the finished product) which I figured would be perfect and I chose three fabrics that I thought would make a fun, bold, creative top.  Sometimes the reality doesn't work out quite like the vision.
Unfinished neckline
I was so excited for the ruffle fabric.  It was a good idea that exploded on liftoff.  When I put it on to check the fit I couldn't get past the look of those ruffles.  I came out of the bathroom and said to The Hubs, "I look like a chicken."  He paused a moment to really take it all in.  Then a smirk spread across his face before he said, "Now that you say it, that's all I can see."  He gets points for honesty.
This is what happens at midnight when you realize your project makes you look like poultry.  Buh-gaaak!
So now I'll be redoing the top with something less...feathery.  Not all projects work out on the first try.  Ever happened to you?  How did you fix it?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

House of Sickness

There are a few projects I have in the works. And by "in the works" I mean "sitting in a pile in the corner". We girls haven't been feeling too hot over here. My problem is allergies. I had them growing up in California and then they went away when we moved to Utah. Then I moved to rural Utah last year with a different variety of crops in the vicinity. The allergies came back and made up for all those years of relief.  Apparently allergies are vengeful.

One might think that with medication I could get through and function like a normal person.  The medication companies would have you believe that once you're on their pill everything is fine, that you no longer look like this:

image via http://lynnkerewchiropractic.com
Ha!  Lies!  I would even settle for looking like this:
image via http://cdn.sheknows.com
No such luck over here.  After a week of medication I still look like this:
Rocking the flash because I can't be bothered to open the blinds.
Sorry if I made you throw up a little--just being real over here.  I've heard that eating locally produced honey will help with the allergies, so I am in search of local beekeepers and farmer's markets.

Aside from me there's also been Blue Eyes and Pink Blur.  They've each had their share of sickness this past week.  Blue Eyes is back at preschool today with just a lingering cough.  Pink Blur has prescription eye drops for the alarming amount of green goop she was producing on Sunday.  So gross.  I had no idea such little eyes were capable of such massive ickiness.  Anyway.  It seems like the upshot of us girls (The Hubs and Q-ball have been fine) being under the weather is that I was able to spend ridiculous amounts of time on the computer looking at blogs to match bloggers with their giveaway fabric.  Here it is on the site of just one of the 18 participating bloggers.  With as much time as I spent I'm really hoping I did well.  24 yards of fabric?  I'm all over that!

Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon and be able to either fix my own broken sewing machine (insert me weeping) or borrow my mom's while she's in Ireland for the next couple of weeks.  And, because I can't just leave you with the charming picture above, here is some real adorableness courtesy of Q-ball and the photographer at JCPenney.
Seriously, how cute is this kid?  Geek chic.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Classic Chino Pattern Testing

I was so excited to test the Classic Chino pattern for Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  Some revisions are in the works so it hasn't been released yet.  I hope I didn't post this too early.  Anyway, I made it in the size 5, which is what Blue Eyes wears. 
She's super tall so I cut the length to a size 6 and that ended up being just about perfect for my growing girl.  The fabric, zipper, and button came from my stash .
Blue Eyes is a fan of the pants.  She was really excited that I made something for her.  The only hitch was when I handed them to her to try on.  After giving them a brief look she said, "These are blue but I like red." Blue became acceptable when I told her they were blue like her eyes.
Kissy face!
The pants have a fly zipper, waistband, front slant pockets, back elastic, belt loops, and back welt pockets.  Can I just tell you how much I LOVE the welt pockets?  I've made welt pockets before and the method used on this pattern is easy enough for anyone be successful.  And it looks great!
After making up the pattern for Blue Eyes I made a matching pair for Pink Blur and a pair of navy shorts for Q-ball.
I didn't take any pictures with Pink Blur because she's still sporting the last bits of black eye from her run-in with her bed frame.  But Q-ball got in on the picture-taking fun.
The shorts in the pattern are made to go to knee length and that's exactly where they hit.  I omitted the belt loops for the shorts.
He stands and walks on his own, but you get a shot of my hand because I didn't want him to fall off.
One reason I was so excited to test this pattern is because Blue Eyes is starting kindergarten in the fall and will be going to school in a uniform.  That can get super expensive super fast.  If I can make pants for her with stash or sale fabrics then it will be a lot more cost effective.  And I can be sure of quality construction.  :)  This pattern is PERFECT for uniform pants.
I had my dad come and take pictures at a local park and museum.  He actually knows how to use his fancy camera, whereas I try to get by with my waterproof point and shoot.
The kids cooperated really well for our makeshift photo shoot.  They enjoyed playing on the toys.
Here's my favorite picture.  My dad was very amused with how much Blue Eyes likes to pose.  I have no idea where she got that trait from...