Saturday, May 21, 2011

Make it Work challenge and AJ's new do!

I have another reason to sew this weekend (as if anyone really NEEDS a reason to sew) and its the Sew a Straight Line blog's Make It Work challenge.  For some reason these types of flickr pool contests light a fire under me and help me crank out my sewing projects.  Go figure.  The first one I completed was a thrifted granny shirt that I picked up for 25 cents.  Now no offense to any one that might consider themselves in the "granny" category but the way I know this shirt is "granny" is because as I was checking out at the thrift store the cashier (who was most definitely a great grandmother) held up the shirt and said, "that's a really pretty shirt." 
It needed some de-frumping.  I took off the buttons, took off the white embroidered modesty panel and resized the whole thing. 
Scallops on garments is a trend I've just noticed.  I love the scallops on this Meghan Nielson skirt.   This will most likely be my next sewing project. 

The next top I finished I pieced together from three different patterns.  Here's the patterns:

I used the pockets from the Cynthia Rowley pattern, the main body from the vintage pattern, and the wide straps from the Butterick pattern. I also cut off the main body of the vintage pattern to make it into a top rather than a dress.  I have never "remixed" patterns before and am really glad I tried this.  I now know how to put inset pockets in the side of a garment.  Turns out its not hard at all!!
This is the end result and I'm pretty happy with it.  I probably would've taken it up on the sides had I not already sewn the pockets in.  Live and learn.  The white fabric is just white muslin and the triangle in the middle is from some fabric my Mom gave to me.  Recognize it Mom?  I am glad that I gave this challenge a whirl since it now helps me look at the individual pieces of my patterns differently.

I can't blog without mentioning the little sweet pea.  She has become attached to a new hair do and I think it is the cutest thing.
She recently watched the movie The Rescuers (a childhood favorite of mine) and the main character wears two ponytails.  AJ wanted her hair to be like "Penny's." 
Pointing and saying "I want the mickey mouse magnet."  AJ and I were making cookies for a friend that was coming over to visit and she loved helping.  The shirt she is wearing is another peasant top that I've made for her summer wardrobe.  It has these cute chickens with scarves on it. 

And here's one final photo of me during my "photo shoot" with Micah.  Whenever he takes my pictures for the blog he always does some kind of paparazzi shenanigans.  This time he was singing the song Paparazzi while clicking the camera at lightening speed.  It never fails to get to me.

Well that wraps us up for this Saturday!  Talk to you soon!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Outfits for AJ, a new skirt for the Momma, and Mother's Day photos

I am adding my pictures to the elsie marley  kids clothing week challenge flickr pool and have had fun adding a couple more outfits to AJ's summer wardrobe.   This first ensemble has the peasant blouse that I mentioned on a previous post and this time I added some white lace down the middle of the blouse, left off the ties, and added elastic to the arms.  The shorts are from this post of a tutorial on knot shorts.  Its always a new challenge for me to make my own pattern and I like it.
This in the second outfit and it is the same peasant blouse and shorts.  The shorts are made out of a pale green linen (from a thrifted dress) and the top is from a thrifted vintage sheet.
Here's the top in more detail.  I just love the florals on vintage sheets.
And here is the peasant top in more detail.  I wanted the lace to lay down flat and be a little neutral since I sometimes end up layering AJ's white shirts under her dresses.  I think this might be the completion of her wardrobe.  Although I do have one more outfit to post for her later. 

Now on to my skirt.  It is from Simplicity 2451 and I really like the way it turned out. 
If you keep up with this blog you know I like to thrift a lot of fabric and this blue was another thrift find.  I almost passed it up but am glad I went ahead and brought it home. 

This skirt was recommended on Pattern Review and was a favorite pattern and was said to be flattering to most body types...always a bonus!  The only alteration I made was to let it out a quarter inch on both sides just so that it wasn't too tight.  I wore it this past weekend and really liked the length and the pockets. 

And finally for the actual Mother's Day photos.  I thought I would first post a sweet one...

And next post a realistic one...

GOOD GRIEF this child gets harder and harder to wrestle into submission!!! Ha!  If you can notice the dress that I am wearing is from this post.  Its the Burda pattern that I just loved.  The fit was just right for me.  I still plan on making more.  Well take care and happy sewing!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mother's Day posting, just a little late!

I wanted to post for Mother's Day but am just getting around to it, hmmm guess that's part of being a mother, less time for things like blog posts!  Anyway, I wanted to post this picture of me and AJ taken on Easter Sunday.
Being a Mom is such a multi-faceted experience and would be diminished by my thinking that I could summarize everything about it in a small blog posting but I will say a few things....
#1) Its THE hardest job I've ever had- I don't think anyone can describe for you how physical it is and how physically taxing it can be what with the lack of sleep in the beginning when they are babies and the constant motion as they grow into toddlers, not to mention the terrible twos...don't get me started!
 #2) I never knew I could feel so incredibly vulnerable- as my Mom says, "its your little heart running around in the world." 
 #3) I live more in the moment now than I think I ever did before I was a Mom- I guess a child is an inadvertent way to become more Zen or more like a Contemplative! 
#4) I never knew just how much overwhelming joy I was missing from my life before I had AJ-  I've really noticed this lately when looking through photo albums before Miss AJ and after Miss AJ.  I really loved my life before her but I just have SO MUCH joy now. 
#5) It gives me a deeper level of gratuity for my parents- after all somehow they had four of these energetic things and they did such a great job of loving us all.
#6)  Family times together are even more important and more wonderful- We love having our family visit but now we LOVE seeing our parents with our little girl.  There's just something about seeing your child with your parents, it feels like a gift you give back to them for all the hard work they did on you!

These are just a few of my reflections on Motherhood and they are just a snapshot of all that I've learned these past two and a half years.  Its a wonderful ride and I'd never, ever change it for the world!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What you can get at the thrift store and ramblings...

This weekend I found some time to run to one of my favorite thrift stores for their half off end-of-the-month sale.  I always scout out the whole store and especially like to check out their fabric.  I found a bolt of fabric with a few yards of what looks like old-time scenic Missouri.
It reminds me of the fabric that I posted about this winter here.  I love the scenes but am wondering what I should make out of it in order to preserve the large scenes?  Any suggestions?  Its also vintage so I wouldn't want to make anything that would be subject to multiple washings.  I think it was decorator fabric because it feels thick.  Here's the bolt end.
At some time this fabric was 1.99 a yard.  Seems like a stark contrast to the prices of decorator fabrics now huh? 

I also thrifted some taffeta for a Christmas dress for AJ.  I looked at buying some this past Christmas but just couldn't bring myself to fork over the money.  I found two yards of this taffeta for 1.00.
Its exactly the pattern and color that I had in mind last Christmas.  I think it just goes to prove that the karma of finding something you want will eventually catch up with you at a thrift store.

I also popped in to a local church rummage sale.  I literally whizzed in and practically whizzed out which is not like my usual lolly-gagging that I like to do at those kinds of sales.  I picked up this kids craft book and was super excited as I flipped through it.  The binding is really fragile but I LOVE the activities inside. 
Its by McCalls and dated 1953.  Here are a few of the activities.

I like that the pictures/activities often include both boys and girls.

These instructions are really clear and who could resist this little Dutch girl hat? 

Now I'm going to get a little reflective, you've been warned!!!!  I feel so fortunate to have the choice to shop at thrift stores and rummage sales.  On Sunday I needed an hour escape in the afternoon and went to a thrift store that features 20 cent clothing items on Sundays.  I haven't been in a while and since I can only go later on Sunday afternoons its not always worth it (all the items are very picked over by then.)  I rummaged around a bit and then decided I'd rather spend my time at Hancock's fabrics.  As I was leaving I noticed a Mom and daughter that looked as if they had no choice about where they shopped.  I went on to Hancock's for about thirty minutes and as I was driving home I saw the same Mom and daughter walking home on the street with their bags of clothing.  My heart went out to them and I considered just how incredibly lucky I am to have a choice about where I shop.  When I go to a thrift store it is for fun and it helps me support a value that I am trying to live out of trying to conserve the earth's resources but it is not out of necessity.  Yes it does help our budget greatly but again I still have choices. 

I am reflecting on this experience because I hope to use it as a reminder of how much Micah and I have and how we can be generous and live in a spaciousness that gives us open hands ready to give.  With the economy as it is, it's too easy to live with hands closed tightly around all your possessions.  I hope that I can live with more freedom than that.