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In the summer month I tend to favour sewing projects over knitting but I was feeling the need to keep my hands occupied during our marathon Dexter watching sessions so I cast on a little sweater for Kate for the coming winter.

This Cascade 220 Superwash Sport was a backup choice for her Pickles Vest. I was worried that the sweater was looking a little small so decided to add an extra repeat (or two? can’t remember) and I ended up having to go back to Wolesley Wardrobe to pick up a third hank.  The garter stitch stretched like crazy in blocking so I needn’t have worried.

I bet you’re wondering what it would look like modeled first thing in the morning over wiener dog pajamas. Wonder no longer:


I decided to be self-sacrificing and focus on a project for Kate. The prospect of working with jersey again on a dress for myself may have also helped make my decision.

This project caught my attention when it popped up in my blog reader from Aesthetic Nest. I asked Chris to pick up a beach towel on a trip to Winnipeg on Wednesday, then I made a side stop at a tiny quilting shop in Gimli during a beach visit on Thursday and by Saturday it was complete, as was my lexicon of swear words.

While this project definitely wasn’t difficult I found it a bit tricky for a few reasons: I’m not accustomed to the very detailed, prose-style pattern format it’s written in, I didn’t realize until after I had purchased the pattern and the towel that it suggests using the thinnest towel you can find and while this one wasn’t super plush my machine definitely did not approve of it, and I suck at sandwiching and stitching binding without it looking totally home ec.

The lining fabric is some Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton that I picked up in Portland two years ago to gift to friends with a little bonus for myself.  I love the yellow and turquoise together.  I copied Anneliese’s idea of lining the sleeves but winged it having lined something last in 2008 instead of stepping back and looking it up.  Let’s pretend the exposed seam doesn’t drive me bonkers.

Perfect for grilling poolside

The pattern includes up to a 4T size so I’m looking forward to making one each year for Kate with a thinner towel and clearer head.

Perhaps it’s also time to make her a new sunhat instead of jamming the one I made last year on her head but that jersey needs to be dealt with eventually.

Of all the garments I’ve made over the years I think the one I actually get the most wear out of is this self drafted tiered skirt from thrifted fabric that I made three years ago. It’s not the most stylish or flattering piece of clothing I own and it’s starting to fall apart a bit but it is comfy and light, perfect for sticky summer days when you spend all your time at home.  In keeping with the super comfortable, but not the most flattering vein comes this paper bag waisted skirt.

It was super duper windy, as it often is here on the prairies with nothing to block the gales. Most of the photos made it look like I was wearing culottes with a long crotch seam.

I love, love, love this fabric.  It’s a cotton / linen blend chambray with a bit of stretch that I picked up at Mitchell’s last week.  I think the pockets will also be appreciated for walks with Kate so I can bring my phone with me and store some of her special rocks.

This project was a nice change of pace in that I didn’t do a muslin or make any major fitting changes.  The only thing I did differently was to blind stitch the hem by hand because I thought it would look a little neater.  I probably could have handled making the large instead of the extra-large but the roominess is nice too.

I had some trouble fitting the waist band to the skirt body and thought initially that the pieces were horribly drafted but I think I had improperly folded the pocket which caused the body piece to be much larger.  I also had a heck of a time stitching in the ditch to catch the waist band facing but that’s completely user error.  One issue that I think was present in the pattern is there are no instructions to stitch the opening for the elastic closed.  I stitched it up by hand.

I realized when I was almost done that I don’t own any shirts that look great tucked in, probably because I haven’t tucked in a shirt since I was forced to at a Catholic high school in grade nine.  Most of the time I’ll probably wear the skirt hiked down a bit and with my shirt slovenly cascading over the ruffled waist band, anyway, like this:

Up next I’m either going to be a nice mom and make Kate this adorbs beach robe or be selfish and make myself a jersey maxi dress.  Only time, the supply of beach towels at the grocery store and my fickle whims will tell.

If you like fresh out of the shower pictures of me first thing in the morning have I got the post for you!

My wardrobe could definitely need more summer separates so I’m focusing on that in my sewing plans for the next little while.  I decided against making the raglan blouse with my precious Liberty Mirabelle after the disappointing muslin but I feel like I may have settled a bit with the pattern I chose. I think coordinating prints with appropriate patterns will be a new focusq1.

This out of print blouse definitely needs the belt to liven it up a bit.  It was nice, construction wise, to not have to worry about collars and other doo-dads and I do like this neckline.

I’ve been experimenting a bit with tissue fitting since they promote them so much in Fit for Real People but it doesn’t really give me a clear enough idea of the necessary tweaks.  So, I ended up making two muslins.  I may start doing more complete muslins with both sleeves and even buttons to get an ideal overview. In the end, I did a one inch full bust adjustment and lowered the darts a bit, which I think will be my official pattern adjustments from now on.  If I were to make this again, I would try to add a little bit of length which would require adjusting it to fit over my butt without bunching.

I’m hoping to get some work done on a skirt this weekend but that will depend on miss Kate and her nap, singular. Sigh. Happy weekend!

A few weeks back I spotted this lone top at Gap and I loved the print and weight of the fabric so much that I bought it even though it wasn’t a style I usually wear and it was a size too big. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to return it for a few weeks

Not wanting to give up on it and being too lazy to drive to the city and make the return I decided to turn it inside out and take in the seams, praying that I wouldn’t have just wasted forty-five dollars. I think it turned out for the best.

It may have been a good idea to insert a zipper in the side seam because it is so close fitting now it’s hard to shimmy into.  It’s also best reserved for days when water is not retained in my midsection. Good times.

Our new couches arrived two weeks ago and it’s taken this long for me to shove the toys aside and snap a photo. How do people with more than one kid get anything done?

Still forgot to move the clashing nursing pillow


When they first came I had to stand back and think a little on them.  We hadn’t actually seen them in the show room (here’s what they look like in the catalogue in a different colour) so seeing them in person was a bit of a shock.  They’re a lot taller than our old Ektorp and the high arm rests makes them look even bigger.  There’s also the fact that we didn’t have a love seat before and our living room is tiny.

Choosing these was a bit of a taste compromise for us.  Count yourself lucky if you have one of those partners who could not care less what your living space looks like.  Chris is a big mid-century modern fan while I lean toward softer styles and these ended up being a bit more masculine than I had imagined.  I think things will come together better when we get an ottoman or coffee table that actually goes with them and when we get a rug that punches the colour up in this room, which is veering very close to tan and beige territory.  I’m also planning on making a few throw cushions that tie the blues from the curtains in a bit.

I think they’re growing on me and they’re definitely comfy.  I wish we’d had them when I was pregnant so that I could get have gotten off of the couch unassisted.  Although in that case they’d be covered in regurgitated milk by now.

Do you ever do something and the process is so frustrating that you find it hard to enjoy the results? I’m glad I gave this dress a time out for a few days or it would have ended up as the wardrobe equivalent of the vacation that is overshadowed by the douchebag who was drunk for the entire twenty-hour flight.

Fact: I am not this pale. It was starting to rain and the grey sky was reflecting off my face. Swear.

I’m happy now with the fit (especially when I stand up straight and wear a better bra – sheesh) but getting there was a headache. Changing the neckline and doing the full bust adjustment meant redrafting the collar and placket pieces which may not have been such a big deal for the competent but it took me three tries each to get there.  I would measure, check and measure again, cut the whole thing out, fuse with interfacing, only to end up with a still too short piece. Me + math = huh? The collar is still too short but I gathered the back neck edge a bit and I don’t think you can really tell.  I also serged the sleeve seam to the sleeve body and had to cut a new piece. Instance #342048 of me swearing off sewing forever.

When everything was together except the buttons I slipped it on and was instantly worried that it smacked of Soviet factory worker but I think the buttons and the shoes help.  The metallic thread that’s visible from close up also downplays the eau d’sadness.

In the end it was a good thing that I always forget to buy notions with my fabric (in this case at Mitchells) because my trip to the city to buy buttons meant that I was nearby mere hours after Adam and Michelle of baby shower fame welcomed their daughter Sydney! I’ll let them share the photos and details but I’m so excited for them and it was super fun to cuddle a newborn again.

June 2011
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