Monthly Archives

July 2013

July Moments

Another month come and gone…

This was one of those strange months where it went by in a flash, but when I think back to the beginning of July, it’s this hazy recollection of events that surely must have happened much longer ago than a few weeks. 

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Adirondack Inspired….now guest posting!

Hi! If you’ve popped over from Caila-Made, I’d like to say hi! Also, stay awhile…

Bloglovin

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, today is my first guest post (ever!) over at Caila’s place (cailamade.com).

** Go check it out!**

It’s an image-only interview.  Well, I wrote a little line after each one, but tried to let the photos speak for themselves.  I loved every part of it!

And a little about Caila….she is a California girl who knows a thing or two about sewing! The best part is that, like a lot of us, she’s self(internet)-taught. I love that. It makes it all seem a little more do-able… Oh, and she has three quite adorable small children at home AND manages to do a LOT of sewing. At first I was jealous, I mean, I’m not coming close to her sewing capacity with my three at home…and then I read the little bit about her getting up at 5:30 every day. Well, then. I’d get up that early, but I’d hate to neglect something I’m really good at. Like sleeping.

Here are two of my favorite Caila-Made items (it was hard to narrow down…)

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I love this fabric, with that beautiful trim.  One of my favorite Washi’s…ever!

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And this itty bitty dress is the sweetest!  Caila drafted the pattern from baby clothes her grandmother made her.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Thanks, Caila, for inviting me over to your little corner of the blogosphere!

Explore With Me: Christine Falls

Time for another exploration!  This time, to Christine Falls, located in Wells, New York, situated just off the main road for your convenience.  That mother nature, she’s a great hostess, no?  (The link above provides exact detailing on location and other technicals…)

Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks

Christine Falls is a great little swimming hole, known for it’s fun cliff jumping.  The cliffs aren’t that big, although if I were to jump (which I have not) I would stick to the small one.  If you visit this little watering hole, I recommend finding someone to talk to–or better yet, join you–in your first experience.  Jumping off of cliffs should be done with caution, after all.  I asked my husband where exactly you jump, and he responded with the super-technical, “right into the foamy spot.”

Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks

Of course, our kids are not yet of cliff jumping age, so we explored the area a  little more sagely and found a little creek area perfect for the 90+ day we were having with 147% humidity.  Actually, it was so hot we almost didn’t head out this day, but the shaded woods and water made it the perfect place to find a little relief.

Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY AdirondacksAnd once again, I was loving just watching the kids play and explore.  Above the falls is a big damn that they were all impressed with, but they were equally impressed with the flowers, rocks, and sticks to gather.  They loved climbing over the slippery, moss-covered rocks to see what was on the other side, and wading in a shallow rock pond filled with water bugs (water striders).  The smell brought me back to exploring my own creek as a child, walking up waterfalls, and finding crayfish and other treasures to store in buckets until the end of the day.  The kids need no direction, require no guidance, prompting, or cajoling to have fun.  Personally, I think they like it because they navigate the woods better than Mom and they know it.

Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks Christine Falls, Wells, NY Adirondacks

Happy adventuring!  What are your favorite outdoor places to wander…?

 

Sewing Summer PJ’s

Project #2 of KCW resulted in a pair of pajamas, although that wasn’t quite the intention at the beginning.  I kind of love when the process sets the intention.

The pajamas started with me trying to draft my own pattern for this simple, breezy summer shirt that my daughter has and I love.  I didn’t quite get it right, but I also did it in a bit of a rush one morning, without the right tools. (I was down to measuring with my seam allowance gage at the moment.)  The shirt I wanted to copy was also on my daughter, and she was, well,  not really in a cooperative state of mind.

I am trying to use up stash fabric (aren’t we always trying to do that??), and since I was winging it, I chose a vintage sheet I picked up at our local thrift-type store last summer.  For the yoke I used some summery blue gauze fabric.   Once the shirt was complete, I knew I wanted to make her a pair of shorts.  I blame Sanae for this.  She of the complete outfits, and often times more than one.  She’ a bad influence (in the best kind of way).

Anyway, a complete outfit it was.  I used more of the blue gauze, probably because it’s just been so damn hot.  I mean, seriously.   My sewing space was just moved to the loft (from the kitchen table), which I LOVE, but also, heat rises.  I used Dana’s KID shorts pattern once again, cutting them wider so I could do a bubble hem.  I kept the bubbly-ness at a minimum, though, since my girl doesn’t really like anything too ‘different.’  And this is where I realized I made pajamas!

Works for her.  Works for me.  On to the good stuff…

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…and of course we have to test the jumping/spinning capacity of the garment….

pj7 (Large)

Question for you all:  Do you pattern draft or stick to your patterns?  Any recommending reading for pattern drafting out there?

pj6 (Large)

KCW: Summer kick-off!

Wow, Kids Clothing Week hit pretty fast, didn’t it? I kind of thought I had an extra week to prepare for it, though. I really should pay more attention to the date on the actual calendar instead of the date I pretend it is in my mind.

Kids Clothing Week is (now) a seasonal sewing challenge to sew for the kids one hour a day for a week in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. I’m hoping to plan a little more for the fall version, but for this summer, I figured I’d do some basics and try a little pattern drafting.

On to today’s sewing! I had the patterns all cut and ready to go, and honestly I sewed most of the top last week, before realizing my 2-year-old only has two pair of (pink) shorts to pair with it. Luckily, I had bought Dana’s shorts pattern as soon as it came out. Well worth the six bucks, since she offers several styles for boys and girls. I’ve only sewed up this version, but they are simple and perfect. I didn’t think I would love something so much that was so basic, but love it I do.

The first (of many) versions, is this basic chambray, wear-with-anything pair of shorts. I’m glad I didn’t go for the flat front version for these. I do like how professional a flat front looks on my bigger kids, but the 2T version really doesn’t need it. At least this pair didn’t!

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The top is Sarah’s Doli Tank, and I’ve already shown a little Doli love back in this post. Its a sweet little pattern that I especially love on my older girl!

And voila, one summer outfit down! And, honestly, probably the bulk of what will be actually stitched up for the week. I’m sure I will be intensely inspired in the coming week, and spend more time reading others work than doing my own. This is how it worked last time, and then I had a little mini-explosion of sewing about a week and a half after KCW. Does this happen to anyone else??

What are your fave summer patterns? Your ‘go-to’s?’

 

Edelweiss Dress

I’m back!  The fourth of July week is always a crazy busy time.  We live in a vacation community, so all of our summer friends visit during this one, insane week of visiting and boating, parades, and fireworks.  The grand finale is always a BBQ birthday party for our oldest.  She is a girl who looooves her a party.  This year I asked her if she wanted some sort of theme for her party, and she replied– “yeah, like I want a LOT of people.”  Okay, then…

It’s one of the best weeks of the year, but I do love the day after (today).  When a few simple summer activities start to put us back in a routine.  Routine is too strong of a word.   More like a rhythm.

Also, blogging can re-enter my life!  I’ve missed it.

Let’s kick things off with the Edelweiss Dress, shall we?  Have you seen this pattern?  It’s was floating around blogs this past June with some really fantastic combinations.  I love when a pattern goes on tour–so much inspiration!  The pattern, I should mention,  is from the lovely Adrianna from Crafterhours, available at Hey June.

Here is my version, modeled by the newest 6-year-old on the block!

Girls Dress Pattern DSC_0112a (Large)

The pattern details how to sew on ruffled straps using fabric, but I have been on an eyelet kick after these pajamas, and I love that it’s 1.) incredibly sweet and 2.) an easier option.  I bought this particular eyelet at a garage sale, but when I was browsing that section in Jo Ann’s, I saw wider, softer eyelet that I think I’ll try out for the next version…

A bit about Adrianna’s patterns…I LOVE them.  She is incredibly detailed, and taping them together is a snap because everything is so beautifully labeled.  Putting together PDF’s is a pain, and I’ve had some (albeit free) versions that I’ve actually just tossed aside because I could not figure it out.  I am incredibly lame at puzzles and spatial reasoning skills, so I have a special appreciation for Adrianna’s patterns.  If you’ve never done the whole download-and-print PDF pattern deal, I highly recommend starting with hers!

And back to the Edelweiss dress…  I can’t. wait. to make another.  I love how simple it is to sew, I love how it feels like something really special, I love the exposed back, and I love that you hum the Edelweiss song from The Sound of Music the entire time you sew.

The skirt for this dress should be fuller than the version I made.  There are skirt pattern pieces, but there are also just rectangle sizes listed, and I used those but forgot to cut it on the fold.  Whoops.  To make up for this I only gathered it in the front.  I think it works just fine this way, there’s still plenty of room for trampoline jumping…

Girls Dress PatternLet’s look at those straps again…

Girls Dress Pattern Girls Dress Pattern

The fabric is all from Jo Ann’s, too, although I forgot which specific line.  I loved the combo for Fourth of July festivities!  The closure is supposed to have two buttons, but I had one big one in my stash, and was finishing this baby up at the 11th hour, so one button it was.  Two would be better, though.

Girls Dress Pattern

This dress has already been worn three times, which means it is a HUGE success.  I love that it is summer and dress weather for my little girl.  The school year doesn’t lend itself well to dresses, so it’s been a treat to see her (willingly) choose to wear something I’ve made her.

Girls Dress Pattern

So, that’s what I’ve been sewing, can’t wait to catch up with all of YOU.

Who’s participating in Kids Clothing Week for SUMMER??  I just bought Dana’s shorts pattern, so I’ll be trying some of those versions out…can’t wait!  What patterns do you have your eye on?

Six

Happy sixth birthday Chloe!!!

Six.  As in one more than five.  As in official big-kid, first-grade territory.

How did that happen?  When did it shift from that time when we were counting down the days until you were three months, then four, in those endless days where there were no nights.  No nights how nights used to be, anyway.  You know, full of sleep and such.

These days, you still find your way into our bed more nights than not.  You are our #1 cuddler, and I wished I could have realized back then that it was just who you were.  That you need to cuddle in that way you need some air to breathe.  If I could go back to that time and whisper in my own ear, I’d say enjoy sleeping with this little baby and snuggling her close.  And then I’d warn myself that when she gets bigger she will eventually kick you in the face while she sleeps, so be ready.

This was the first full year of school, where you spent more of your awake hours there than you did at home.  At the end of the year there was a video, and it was strange seeing all those photographs of you flash by.  Moments I knew nothing about, moments that belonged just to you.

You are still so innocent, still content to be your age.  You like princesses and magic, and while that sounds ordinary, it really is not.  Girls grow up quick, and kindergarteners are now too savvy for Cinderella or Mickey Mouse Club House.  But you are still hanging on, able to stay a little younger a little longer.  You asked a lot about what was ‘real’ this year.  Is Tinkerbell real?  What about princesses?  Peter Pan?  I’m never quite sure how to answer them, because I don’t want to take away any little bit of wonder and magic, but I know you are asking because you want to know the truth and are trying to organize this world a best you can in your active little mind.

We hear people say the same things about you over and over….  What a bright light…so much enthusiasm…great laugh…  You are up for anything.  You’ve been doing sleepovers since you were two years old (younger, if you count the one’s at Dee Dee’s house).   You especially love music and theater, and your favorite songs are from the Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, and of course, Mama Mia.  You ‘write’ music in your little notebooks and hang them on the refrigerator.

I can’t wait to see what this sixth year of your life brings us.  We share these years, together, for each year of your life is new to Daddy and I as well.  We have never been parents to a six-year-old before, your firsts are ours as well.

Thanks for sharing it all with us.  We love you.

 

Love,

Mama

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Launched!

Hi there!  It’s been awhile, no?

Quiet on the blogfront means incredibly busy in the real-life-front.  Summer vacation began for us last week, and we kicked it off by leaving town and staying with friends.  It was the most relaxing week I’ve had in a long time due to forgetting my meticulously packed sewing supplies, and friends who took care of all our meals and packed my daughter’s lunch every day.  It was glorious.  There is no bigger thrill than to bring your kids to another house full of new toys and old friends to play with.  (Want to know how to stop sibling fights?  Distract them with other new, shiny kids!  And maybe throw in a treehouse for good measure.)

Okay, and in sewing-related news, I decided to launch my sewing line, now officially known as Pine Needles.  Let’s call it a soft launch, as I decided it so very last-minute and have been scrambling to find time to sew.  I launched it on consignment, in a local brick-and-mortar building, and plan to set it up on Etsy as soon as life slows down a bit (heh).   Wish me luck, friends…   I’m excited.

These photos have been shared on my Facebook page…and Instagram…and Flickr, but we all know things aren’t official until they are blogged…

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