Saturday, March 24, 2007

Finished up some of Ivy's Spring/Summer wardrobe. It's probably going to be a while before she can wear any of this--despite the warm weather today I suspect there is still one more snowfall due to us here in Cleveland.

This is from ISBN 4579110919. It ties in the back so will probably need to be worn with shorts or pants.

She loves having her picture taken

I don't like this book as much as I thought I would. I think I need to play around with the patterns a bit--I think I just don't like the fabrics they chose for many of the dresses and that's affecting how I perceive the style.

This is from a vintage pattern I found at a nearby antique store. I really like it--it's actually a very simple pattern but I love the look, probably from the 1920's. There are bloomers to match.

This is a blouse, pants and skirt set. The grosgrain ribbon around the bottom of the first tier really makes the skirt stand out nicely, as if it has a crinoline under it. The skirt and pants are just basic patterns, the blouse is from this book

Mitsuna, the Japanese student who is visiting for a week, will arrive on Monday and we are busy preparing for her stay:

Sign for the airport. It says "Welcome to Cleveland" in Japanese. At least I hope it does.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sometimes I need to remember it really is less of a waste of time to fix something properly, then try and "fix" it. I am making a dress for Ivy, well, really a petticoat. I was at Joann's on Saturday, walking around with my 50% off a cut of fabric coupon, when I found some eyelet. Normally I don't like polyester blends, but I thought the fabric would make a great slip under a spring dress. Then I decided, why not make a full slip, that way she can wear it as a dress if she wants. Oh, I really hate working with synthetics. It frays, it's slippery, it just doesn't feel as nice as cotton. But the eyelet embroidery is pretty and it's going to look nice peeking out under the hem of a dress. I had attached the skirt to the bodice and was going to handsew the lining down, when I decided to try it on Ivy and realized it was much too long. I didn't want to redo the skirt, so tried to make a few tucks, but the fabric was difficult to work with and after redoing them several times and still having the tucks pucker in spots, it was obvious it would be easier to just redo the skirt. Which I did. And while I did waste an hour on the tucks, I know in the end I am going to be happier with the way the dress looks.

We moved into this house in the fall, and there are a number of trees on the property I can't identify. In the front yard I was pleased to discover a pussy willow tree, or so I thought. A few weeks ago I brought a few branches in and put them in water---and apparently they aren't pussy willows after all, since they bloomed. I can't figure out what it is--is anyone familiar with a tree that gets fuzzy gray buds similar to pussy willows, but bloom with a multi-petaled white flower with a touch of pink? It's really beautiful, but I kind of wish it was a pussy willow; I really love them.

Any clues?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Exercise Incentive

There is a Joann's fabric a little more than a mile from my house, so today I decided to walk to it. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and even though it was cold, it was still a pleasant walk. And I felt entirely justified in buying fabric after saving money on gas and being ecologically-minded. Surely what I spent on fabric was far less than a health-club membership. Now all I need to do is walk to the Joann's at least three times a week.

Miranda reminded me of this doorway puppet theatre I made a few years ago, after seeing a similar one in the Magic Cabin catalog. I'm not sure why it's been packed away for so long--all it needed was three wooden dowels to help it hang straight. Or maybe it's just that no one really showed any interest in it up until now. Whatever the reason, they are ready to play with it now.

This is at a bad angle because there was a shelf of fabric in the way.

If I can figure out how to put together a tutorial, I will post one because it really was quite easy to construct.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The State of My Sewing Room

In previous pictures of my sewing room I cleaned it up before taking the pictures. This is what it really looks like:

Pile of new fabric that has been washed, needs to be ironed.

Projects that need to be pressed. I am trying not to have the ironing board be a permanent fixture, but since I am making clothes right now I have lots of seams to press

I'm trying to keep current projects in this basket. There is a dress and blouse in there, as well as fabric for another dress

Stack of Japanese craft books, coffee mug

Pieces for a doll and a bunny, collar for a blouse

Fabric scraps. I need to find a way to store these, they are rather fiddly and odd shaped to fold, but I want to save them. I need a bin. And a piece of linen that may become a cat sometime soon. I found that linen in the remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics, on sale for 75% the already marked down remnant price.

It's a gorgeous day, the first real Spring weather so as much as I would like to tackle the multiple projects I have going on here, I need to push myself to be a good mother and take the girls to the playground or something.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Home Couture For Girls

Guess what arrived in the mail today! The post office did forward my package from Yesasia.

Craft Cafe Kids ISBN 4529043320

I think Craft Cafe is a magazine, this is a special issue focusing on kids. There are patterns for a number of skirts and tops, a few recipes, a weeks worth of bento lunches, ideas for decorating kids rooms and a short story from a well-known Japanese author.

Home Couture For Girls ISBN 4579107802

I really love this one. The clothing has a classic, somewhat retro feel. I particularly like the little plaid school dress on the cover. There are patterns for 19 different outfits, as well as a little stuffed bunny with a few articles of clothing.

Now I can start putting some of my stockpiled fabric to use!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Arggh, I hate when I waste a lot of time struggling to make due with something. I am attempting to make a doll and for economy's sake, decided to use an old t-shirt (well, truthfully it wasn't that old, but Brian has tons of t-shirts and won't miss just one). It's just not working right, it doesn't have the proper weight. What I really wanted was some of this fabric but I figured I would work with what I have-- it just isn't the same.

Although I just remembered I have an old waldorf doll I was never quite happy with, but put away because I figured the cloth might come in handy...

It's been a frustrating evening in general, I have several doll projects going, I tried making one with muslin and it's lumpy and the seams are pulling. And recycling the waldorf doll isn't working either. My sewing room looks like something exploded, it's nearly 2AM and it may be time to give it a rest and go to bed.