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Chris and I decided a few months ago that we need to accept that we’ll be renting for the next few years and moving around a bit for his work but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t commit to spiffing our accommodations.  The first room to tackle will be the living room because we spend the most time there and it really needs some work.  Here it is today in it’s “before” state, although, full disclosure, here our roman blinds have already been removed and a curtain rod installed for the curtains I finished this afternoon.

This room gets a lot of light and I love that.  I find the fact that this area is so open concept a bit challenging.  It’s nice to be able to talk to each other when one of us is cooking but if you’re lazy with tidying the kitchen you have to stare at the mess while you watch Teen Mom 2. The couch is a disaster. A replacement plus a new love seat is on the way.  We have one huge, white wall and I’m still not sure what to do with it. I love an ottoman and it’s nice that Kate can’t crack her head open on it but I think a coffee table will be more practical.  Our side tables are cheap Ikea pieces of crap that were meant to be a temporary solution but we all know how that ends up.

I think I’ll document the overhaul as we work on it.  It will be slow going but I’d love any suggestions you can offer!


My Citronille patterns came lickety split. When you pay a pretty penny for shipping that’s a nice touch.  They each came in an eight by eleven glassine envelope and the pieces were hand drawn on paper rather than tissue.

Kate’s dresser was pretty well stocked for her first year what with gifts and my splurges at Baby Gap while pregnant.  I was excited to start from scratch with her summer clothes and not feel like I had to use clothing that I really didn’t like but didn’t want to waste.  So excited was I that I headed out the morning after a blizzard to do some fabric shopping.  I literally almost died for my craft.

I started with Rose and my least favourite purchase from Mitchell, a poly-cotton blend calico (I think, I’m still a little fuzzy when it comes to fabric terms) from the bargain basement.

My CORE French and Google Translate did me fairly well with translating the pattern, but it really helped having some experience with putting a yoked garment together.  I made a few mistakes but the major one (not stitching the yoke to the yoke facing due to misunderstanding the instructions) was fixable and the minor ones (some weirdness with the yoke, possibly not attaching the sleeve with the mid point matching the shoulder seam) are hopefully not noticeable.

I didn’t realize until I was pretty much finished that the back is left open so it’s like a pinafore, which I think will be adorable when it fits her. I considered shortening the sleeves but decided against it so that she’ll have a little sun protection in the summer and a little warmth in the fall.

My machine seems to make huge buttonholes. I'm not sure if there's anyway around it.

I’m most proud of the seams and facings that I hand blind stitched.  It took a long time but I could plonk myself on the couch and do it with my feet up and I was happy to be doing something the right way for a change.

We also have bonus wardrobe items with dresses turned into shirts!

Remember when I could get it over her giant head without forcible tugging?


Tuesday I got a very heavy parcel load at the post office so I’ve now got my hands on Real Fit for Real People and some general sewing books courtesy of Melina! I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the reading that awaits but that and watching Teen Mom 2 are what nap times are for.

I actually sprang back well from my little sewing meltdown last week. I think you’re all right and I do need to shelve the knit fabrics for a while.

I motivated myself to get back in the game by ordering several patterns from Citronille for Kate’s summer wardrobe. I had been coveting them for months but balked at the shipping cost. I can’t wait to get them.

I’ve also recommitted myself to study how to sew properly. I think learning how to sew at twelve really hampered me in terms of committing time to proper fit and finishes. I’ve been really inspired by Gertie’s blog and her enviable ability to fit dresses to her shape. I’ve ordered this book on fit that she recommended. While I wait for that to come and for an upcoming fabric shopping trip I went ahead and made a muslin using one of our old sheets for Kwik Sew 3682.

It's probably for the best that I need a remote for my camera so I can take in-focus self-timer shots because I am giving the camera some major 'tude.


Before I focus on the fit I noticed some major process issues that I really need to address.  I have a lot of trouble with properly marking my pattern pieces. I often leave markings off entirely and I also need to start marking the centres and even which piece is which. This would solve me a whole lot of grief.  I should also be more diligent about tracing patterns before cutting into the original in case I need to size down entirely or if I need the other sizes in the future. I sometimes do this but didn’t here.

In terms of fit I’m actually fairly pleased. I think the length is good and while the bodice isn’t entirely flattering the finished garment will have a v-neck which will be much more kind.  I pinched the waist in and it looked much better but I couldn’t pin the seams in on myself. Maybe I need to make a dress form.  I’m wondering if I need to lower the bodice a bit above the waist inset so that my boobs don’t look so droopy, even if they are after ten months of breastfeeding.

It just now occurred to me that I should probably get some photos of it from other angles so I can better see potential issues.

I’m also wondering if I don’t mind this sheet fabric for the final piece. I did love those fancy Mexx sheets. It’s hard to see here but it has a little geometric pattern of white dots. Thoughts?

March 2011
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