Thursday, August 26, 2010

friday dance: volcanoes & raccoons edition

(i'm posting this on thursday night, 'coz imma be busy tamarra... and it's friday somewheres, right?)

a week or so ago, i was working on these two t-shirts to give to my friend M. he turned 8, this past monday. he loves raccoons and volcanoes.

i moseyed on down to my local Michael's craft store and picked up some blank tees and some fabric markers... (click on pics to enlarge)

i used a grid to freehand draw the "happy volcano" with a vanishing ink pen. then, i colored it all in...

i used a light box to trace the image and text for the raccoon tee. although you can't tell - the t-shirt is heather grey in color... y'know, raccoons are grey... :

paloma and i were very happy with the results:

and last but not least- my offerings for FrIdAy DaNcE!!!

veruca salt's "volcano girls":

and ben folds' "rocking the suburbs": (ok... so the only raccoon that came to mind was the raccoon from the kids movie over the hedge... the song is from that film.)



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maclaren Triumph Stroller (2003 - 2010)

ever since i discovered that my kids' photos on my flickr account were being favorited by users who liked "blindfolded kids in closets", i slowly stopped posting about my children on my blog. i really have missed writing about them and how they astound/confound me on a daily basis...

however, not too recently, i wrote about getting a little weepy when we gave our bassinet away, so i thought it only fitting that i give the stroller a similar eulogy...


7 years and 2 children later... our trusty Maclaren stroller finally gave up the ghost... (actually the frame and cloth parts were fine, a little sunfaded, etc... the wheels however were shred to ribbons...)

in my third trimester, i remember researching strollers online and reading that the maclaren triumph was a favorite for urban dwelling moms who didn't drive because it was very light and folded easily with a hand and a foot - perfect for us subway moms! :)

i also read it was preferred by tall folks like my husband.

so, thin man and i cruised over to the local babies r us and took their floor model for a spin thru the store. he noted it didn't hurt his back and i folded and unfolded the model, with a hand and a foot, while cradling a stuffed animal from the toy section in the other arm.... sold, we took it home...

that stroller went with us everywhere... planes, trains, automobiles, boats, hay rides, etc... its little mesh basket (and sometimes even the hood) held toys, goodies from garage sales, groceries, library books, etc... as a new mom, it helped me get acquainted to a different kind of independence and as a result, i was enouraged to stretch the boundaries of my new life.

the maclaren was my other constant companion in the summer. we had the babyjogger for the winter and the sit and stand double stroller for longer walking trips... neither of which were as easy or light...

i remember many early evenings, watching paloma or porkchop's little head, darting around at random moving objects (dogs, bugs, leaves) and giggling and pointing. then, nodding off a bit... and finally, falling asleep... i will always treasure witnessing someone so fragile, trusting me... the stroller facilitated so many quiet opportunities to be close to my child, even if only connected by metal and fabric...

although it was beyond our budget as new parents, to purchase in 2003, i'm immensely grateful that we did. i don't think we'll have any more children... but, i probably shouldn't tempt fate by saying so... but if we were blessed with another child, the first thing i'd run out and buy (and hug): a new maclaren. :)

ennywey.... i hope you're having a tolerable monday!! :) thanks for coming by and reading.


Friday, August 20, 2010

friday dance: golf edition

(i usually post these friday dance interludes to my facebook wall... i figured today, i should share the furry wealth...)

sometimes, i feel like the golf ball...
in a water hazard...
filled with crocs...

sometimes i feel like i'm carl spackler...

but more and more often, i feel like the dancing gopher. or i desperately try to channel the gopher... :) here's a gentle reminder to reassure myself (and you), "i'm alright!" :)

happy friday dance!!!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

my "green acres" camisole

i know... this japanese pattern stuff is probably getting stale for you... so, thanks for indulging me another post about it... :)

below, the "town camisole" (G3) from jinko matsumoto's book feminine wardrobe:

so, i discovered something even more confusing about these pattern books... in american patterns, i can count on the sizing (S, M, L, XL) to be "standard" across the board. however, in this japanese book i found two different size charts in the book. one is front and center in the beginning of the instructions portion of the book. however, when you look at each pattern instruction separately, there is another size chart...

for example: i was a M when i made the ruffle blouse (F3) & dress (F2). i was a S when i made the town one-pc dress (A1). then, i noticed my bust size didn't even register on the size chart for this camisole. if i read it correctly, the size LL was for a size 30" bust measurement. (LL!!)

i figured out (for each size) that the designer multiplied the bust measurement x 2.4. so, i made a pattern for me using that formula.... (yes, i kept in mind that maybe i'd have too much fabric round my bust and look like a balloon...)

i got this unique farm scene border fabric from my mother in law's vintage stash... i really like how it turned out... i think it may look kinda cute over a jersey shirt in the fall/winter too.

in the future, if i feel like i resemble too closely a thanksgiving day parade balloon, i made a belt with a bakelite buckle that i purchased from ebay a while ago. so, i have the option of comforting my vanity if/when i have to:

oh come on... you didn't think you'd get away without hearing the theme song:


thanks again for reading/stopping by!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

chasing fireflies

unlike me, my children LOVE bugs...

so it should not surprise me that they like the chasing fireflies catalog - despite the absence of actual fireflies to chase... and the over abundance of really cool kids clothes...

i just recently received the fall/winter 2010 issue. paloma likes to dogear pages of dresses she likes and then, slowly points to each one just to make sure i can knock them off for her... :)

she didn't ask for this lovely ruffle front corduroy jumper:

they had me at the silly ruffle... and corduroy... i'm such a 70s child... :)

i had some grass green corduroy in my stash and simplicity pattern 9854 for a simple jumper. it was so easy to do...

i eyeballed the ruffle and i liked the idea of making more of a bib shape to mimic the neckline... each ruffle is about 1.5" wide after turning the sides and bottom... the length is the neck measurement(s) x 1.5.

happily, paloma loves it... too bad it's a little too heavy/warm to wear while chasing fireflies... :)

thanks for reading/stopping by!


Monday, August 02, 2010

"resort" dress & "town" dress

i finished two dresses from jinko matsumoto's book "feminine wardrobe":
(click on pics to enlarge)

the "resort" F2 dress:

from book: mine:

the "town" A1 dress:

from book: mine:

i love these dresses! they're perfect for these hot & steamy summer days in chicago... i made a small (1" wide) matching belt (w/ vintage MOP belt buckle) for the F2 dress because it was a little too billowy. now, it looks more like a tunic... the A1 dress is very vintage looking, can't wait to try it out dancing...

both dresses were very easy to make... for the F2 dress, i only had to draft the extra ruffle and lengthen the front and back pcs i'd aldready made for the ruffle top. the A1 dress required only one pattern to be drafted - the belt - all other patterns were included with the book.

the only thing i thought really confusing was how to apply the facing to the A1 dress... so, i've included how i sew a facing below, just in case anyone else needs some tips:

here's the back facing and the back:

i mark the seam allowance at the shoulder seam as a guide. then, sew the armholes and necklines, stopping at the seam allowance, clipping curves, trimming seams:

turn it inside out and press:

after doing the same thing to the front, pin the front and back together at the shoulder seam. IMPORTANT *DO NOT PIN THE FACINGS!

this next part is tricky (and so i sew the slowest i ever sew...). sew the front and back together at the shoulder seam WITHOUT catching the facing. you create a "facing sandwich" sorta :

press the front seam allowance down and fold/press the facing seam allowance over it. and then slipstitch the facing seam:

ennyhoo... i hope you like my dresses... :) thanks for stopping by!



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