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My girl loves knits. She’s nine now, but ever since I can remember, comfort has been her style priority. More often than not, this means knit fabrics. I really hesitate to buy her anything that’s made of wovens.
Occasionally, though, I have trouble finding as much variety as we want. (okay, there’s Mini Boden, which I love, but I’m not in love with their prices). This tunic was an experiment that started out as a dress in my mind. Until I ran out of fabric. Actually, I think if the pattern sizing was anywhere near the mark it probably would’ve made a dress, no problem.
I thought I’d try making a raglan T-shirt into a dress by lengthening the bottom, since raglan sleeves can be easier to deal with than the standard set-in kind. I used See & Sew B4322, which is really a pajama pattern, but that was the closest thing to what I wanted that I could find in the fabric store.
The directions are nice and straightforward, but like I said, the pattern sizing is off by a mile. I know my daughter is slim, but she’s not far off normal store-bought sizing. We ended up with, like, six inches of ease on the sides and a Flashdance neck.
But anyway, I made it work. I hacked off the sides, took in the shoulders, and gathered the neck (this was pre-finishing). I added a wide waistband what I had leftover, and I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s long enough that she can wear it with leggings, which was the goal in the first place.
I realize I could’ve done a better job with the bow pattern (I’m pretty unexperienced with patterned fabric) but Little Miss doesn’t seem to care, so I don’t, either. Next time, I think I’ll just trace clothes she already has, rather than use that pattern (though the directions are still helpful).
The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I’ve been enjoying sewing with their fabrics. They are good quality and very reasonably priced, cute selection. If you’re a beginner with knits, I’d recommend going with medium weights. They are easier to work with. I do love these bows!
For more of my sewing adventure, click here. Hope you have a great weekend!
By: sketched out
Blog: sketched out
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Sheila finally solved the mystery of that wet dog smell in her closet.
Felt like it was time for a nice animal idiom.
“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:
One would use this idiom to describe a person or thing appearing to be good but is, well, not so much. There seems to be a few different ideas about it’s origin, but here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.
My little guy (4), who has seen me make lots of things for his older sister, asked if I’d make him some pants. I was touched, but I hesitated.
“Pants are kind of hard,” I said. I mostly make really simple skirts for my daughter.
“But you could do them like this,” he said, pointing to the elastic waist of the pair he had on. How he knows anything about garment construction is beyond me, but he had a point. Why not? I started them during Kid’s Clothing Week Challenge (when I made the hats and nightdress also).
I think he even picked out the fabric, the same linen I made this dress from. I used this pattern, which is super simple and has very good instructions. I lengthened it a little (it’s a size 3 I think) and added a little width. I made a very wide hem so I can take them out again when he grows.
I’m really happy with how the pants turned out. They look so comfortable I almost wish I had a matching pair for me. They would also be really easy to make as shorts.
I just finished re-reading What Happened in Hamelin. It’s out of print now, but I’d read it as a kid and had to find it again since we are now living close to Hamelin. It’s a realistic retelling of what might have actually happened with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Pretty dark and a bit scary, which I think is why I liked it in the first place. I was surprised at the images that had stuck in my mind for so many years—don’t want to spoil anything for you by hints, sorry. It’s definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it. I donated my copy to the international school here.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
2 Comments on Child’s Linen Pants
, last added: 6/11/2012
We just cleaned out our house for a yard sale and I really got into the spirit of things. So much in fact that when I went to get dressed this morning I realized I have almost nothing left. To Buy -
I love the women's dresses at Shabby Apple and could easily fill my entire wardrobe from their site.
One of my favorites is the Spanish Steps Dress that retails for $86. I love the color and the mix of different fabrics. It's just so Audrey Hepburn.To Win -
I'm really jealous because one lucky person is going to win this dress that I love so much.a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines
The school year always brings an end to the hot dry season in Utah. Temperatures cool off, and we finally get some rain. And if there's rain we must play in it.
My favorite place to get children's rain products is Kidorable.com.
They have a fun selection of umbrellas, raincoats,
and even backpacks.
Rain gear can be uncomfortable. Because Kidorable products are so whimsical and fun not only will my girls wear their gear, but they ask too.
Since we'll be walking Kik to the bus stop this year, I thought that Bid needed her very own pair of rain boots. And since every walk we ever take turns into a bug hunt, I thought the Ladybug Boots
would be perfect for her.
When we got them in the mail, she insisted on putting them on and modeling them right away.
She loves them!
They are always quite an attention grabber. Someone almost always stops me to ask where we got the girls such cute rain stuff.
To Buy -
Not only are Kidorable Boots adorable, but they are durable as well. Kik has had the same pair of boots for more than a year and they are still in great condition. The boots retail for $29.99, but are on sale right now until Aug. 31st for 20% off
. Just enter code SCHOOL888
at checkout on Kidorable.com
I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.
Here’s one of my best sewing creations yet, from this Lisette pattern (the Traveler dress). Yet another pink-ish dress!
It took me a long time, but I did it! The buttonholes were the scariest part, but turns out my sewing machine salesman was right: if you practice twelve times (on the appropriate fabric) you can make them beautifully.
I made no alterations to the pattern other than to leave off the bottom pockets and to use two different sizes for the top and bottom (aha! That’s why I have trouble fitting in store-bought dresses).
Didn’t my kids do a good job with the photos?
Pattern: Simplicity 2246 by Liesl Gibson
Fabric: pinklish oxford cloth from an open-air market in Germany
Earrings: Ron Cravens
Boots: Bruno Premi (no, you can’t have them!)
I’m popping in to let you all know that everything in my vintage shop is on sale: 25% off!
I’d like to send this stuff to good homes so that I may focus on other things. That being said, I’m totally open to a little haggling, flea market-style, so if you see something you like make me an offer via the “contact” link in my Etsy shop.
If you think you have a friend that might be interested in something here, please spread the word, thanks dears!
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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I started this dress for my daughter way back in September, during kids clothes week challenge hosted over at elsiemarley, one of my favorite blogs. The idea of the challenge is that for one week you’re supposed to spend an hour a day doing some kind of work on your sewing projects for kids. I did work on the dress every day for a week, but I didn’t get so far, and since then have been pecking away at it for a few minutes at a time. Finally my daughter said, “Why don’t you just give it to me for Christmas?” Ummm….okay. She’s six.
This was my first time sewing anything much with knits. The free pattern is from the blog The Train to Crazy, which has lots of other great stuff as well. It’s a really cute pattern—–the trickiest part is getting the waist elastic done properly, which requires zigzag topstitching, gathering, and elastic placement, all at the same spot. Mine is definitely not perfect in that area, but you know, it’s knit, it’s a playdress, and who cares. I’m sure you can find other mistakes if you’re looking, but please, don’t look that closely. I don’t think my daughter will. Sorry I can’t show a picture of her in it since she hasn’t seen the finished product yet.
I got the fabric from the local stoffemarkt (fabric market) in Hannover, which comes through a few times a year. It was a good deal, and I have the mirror image of the dress already cut out and ready to go, if I can get motivated. I didn’t end up being in love with the color combo. I think I might like the mirror image more.
I read up on knits before starting: good tutorials here and here. It boils down to using the right stitch (according to your machine), a special knit needle, and a fabric stabilizer. I couldn’t find any fabric stabilizer in Hannover, so I used a lot of regular old starch, which worked fine. It definitely made a difference in the ease of sewing. I have a very basic Necchi sewing machine, which has a few stitch options which are great for knits. Love that machine. If you live in Charlotte, NC, you can buy one at Himebaugh’s. They are so nice there.
2 Comments on Go-To Dress, last added: 12/8/2010
My daughter has narrow feet so she must deal with limited options when it comes to purchasing shoes. But that doesn't stop her from dreaming. She likes flashy even when it comes to sneakers. If she could somehow figure out a way to make it happen, all of her clothing and accessories would sparkle. So, when a new, sparkly book called Shoe-la-la! arrived in our mailbox last week, she snatched it up with glee. Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious and now Shoe-la-la ... her glamour girl books.
Shoe-La-La! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Leuyen Pham. Scholastic Press (January 2011); ISBN 9780545067058; picture book
Book Source: Review copy from publisher
At the corner of Hightop and Oxford streets sits a fancy shoe store called Shoe-la-la with aisles and aisles of shoes galore. Four little girls -- Emily, Ashley, Kaitlyn, Claire -- have a party to attend and need shoes to match their fancy outfits. They decide to visit the posh shoe palace, each in search of the perfect pair. A mountain of shoes piles up, and they have a splendid time as they try on pair after pair after pair, ones with leopard spots to shoes with taps. But, they never find exactly what they need and leave empty-handed, much to the frustration of their exhausted salesman. Undaunted, the children-turned-designers use their imagination and crafty talents to fashion their own fabulous party footwear.
With all the glitter on the cover and all the dress-up fun inside, this one is a not-to-miss for every little girl. Shoe-la-la! comes with a full seal of approval from my daughter. The rhyming verses make it a supremely fun read-aloud (wouldn't expect less from the brilliant Beaumont -- love Ain't Gonna Paint know More! & now love Shoe-la-la!) and the text is short and interesting enough to keep the attention of toddlers on up to early elementary. LeUyen Pham's illustrated array of shoes is dizzying! My daughter delights in picking out her favorites from all the piles. She'd be in heaven if she could try them on herself. Pham gives the four multicultural girls their own distinctive styles and personalities. And, her drawings make it easy to get swept up in the girls' enthusiasm for shoes. Even my toddler son can't resist.
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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This project looks simple, but it has taken me many months to complete. Okay, I have to admit, over a year, but I wasn’t working on it that whole time. I haven’t sewn much for myself in the last few years, mostly for my kids and our home. Part of that has been not wanting to spend so much time on something that might not fit me in the end. So when I heard about Cal Patch‘s book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes, I fantasized about making something to fit me perfectly.
I really like this book. The instructions are clear and written with a sense of humor. The projects are just the right speed for me——beyond beginner but simple enough not to be intimidating. But my favorite thing is that the book leaves lots of room for experimentation. So I like to flip through often and just dream about what I might create. For me, dreaming is more than half the fun.
That said, my first project doesn’t involve a lot of experimentation, besides the pattern drafting itself. It’s the first project in the book, with very little deviation besides the added waistband.
I crossed off a lot of firsts with this skirt. Besides my first self-drafted pattern, I also made my first muslin (trial run of the pattern in a cheap fabric), sewed my first invisible zipper, and used my first French seam. I now realize flat-felled seams would be better here, but oh well.
I’m not completely crazy about the skirt. There are a lot of flaws you can’t necessarily see here, and although the fabric is lovely and soft, I’m not sure what to wear it with. Just having made it feels like a big accomplishment, though.
Since I had plenty of fabric left over, I offered to make a skirt for my daughter, too (just a simple gathered rectangle). If you know me well, you know I’m really not a matchy-matchy type. Our bridesmaids didn’t even match. But my Little Miss loves matching, so she was totally hip to it, especially when I offered to add a floral strip at the bottom.
I love her styling choices here. She’s a bold little fashionista. I feel a mother-daughter matching day coming on. Oh, the things we do for our kids!
3 Comments on The Great Pattern-Drafting Experiment, last added: 5/19/2011
Tick… Tick… Tick… I just can’t wait for this afternoon…
I’m going into school for my weekly story+craft session with 5/6/7 year olds and today I’ve got a corker of a book to read with them. Sir Scallyway and the Golden Underpants by Giles Andreae and Korky Paul is going to take the kids by storm, I’m sure of it!
Told in undulating rhyme, Sir Scallyway and the Golden Underpants is a rip-roaring read about the theft of King Colin’s “underpants of power”. One night they are stolen by a wicked giant (who walks away wearing them on his head) and in order to restore them to their rightful owner, the King’s bravest knight, six-year old Sir Scallyway (and his loyal steed Doofus) enter in to battle with the thief. But how can a six-year old defeat a giant? Will things turn out all right in this hilarious David and Goliath-esque tale?
Quick thinking, cunning and guile do of course save the day, but along the way readers are treated to hairy, bare bottoms, the threat of heads being chopped off and flushed down the loo and the sight of a poor defeated giant sucking his thumb as he cries for his mummy. I just know the kids are going to adore the pint-sized hero in this story and its perfect mix of rude naughtiness, adventure and laughter.
Text and illustrations © Giles Andreae and Korky Paul
Giles Andreae is a master at writing books that want and deserve to be read out loud – I think he’s a “knack” for apparently effortless rhyme and rhythm that easily matches Julia Donaldson. And Sir Scallyway and the Golden Underpants is no exception – it’s a whole lot of fun to read aloud, to “perform”!
Korky Paul’s illustrations, which have always reminded me a little of those by the late, great Ronald Searle, are delightfully messy, grotesque and detailed; a perfect match for this flamboyant and comical caper.
In the interest of getting kids REALLY excited about books and stories, whilst reading Sir Scallyway and the Golden Underpants this afternoon I shall be wearing some underpants on my head.
Yes, that’s right. I’ll be making the staff wonder why on earth they have this madcap woman come in and tell stories, by going around for the afternoon wearing pants on my head. But these are no ordinary pants. They are underpants of pure gold!
Here’s M modelling them:
They were simple to make – I
Because of my job I get to travel around to conferences and meetings and talk with librarians all over the place. Wherever I am I spend a lot of time discussing advocacy and the importance of helping members of a community understand the value of teen services. We frequently talk about the image that people have of librarians and how that image is often not based in reality. We also discuss how hard it is to change how people see librarians and libraries.
During these trips and in these conversations, it often feels a bit strange because I’ll be talking to someone about library and librarian image and that person will be wearing a book t-shirt with a cute saying, or book earrings or necklace (or both), or a book themed-watch, or….. you get the idea. I don’t believe I can say during these conversations, “Have you ever thought about the image you portray by wearing book related clothing and accessories?” Even though I really really really want to.
I know it’s fun to have these pieces of clothing and accessories. Sure, it’s entertaining to see them at conferences. But in the outside world when we are working with community members and need to be seen as professionals who are knowledgable about teens, the world they live in, and the way to help connect them to an array of “stuff” (from people to materials to each other to librarians), the book-themed clothing and accessories just has to go. I’d say when at work, whether hanging out with teens or at a meeting with the town council, even wearing just one piece of jewelry that has a book theme is not going to help you gain the respect you deserve.
Think about it: if we want people of all ages in the community to stop thinking of libraries as a place just for physical materials, then we have to stop promoting the library that way. If we want community members to see librarians as well-educated in all things teen and as people who have a strong understanding of education, youth development, and so on, then we have to stop dressing up in book-wear. Cute, book-related attire is not the way to get the message across, to anyone and everyone, that the library is a place that supports teens in their acquisition of skills of all kinds and is a strong and important educational link in the community
For those who know me and are asking, “Would she say the same thing about cute technology-based clothing and jewelry?” the answer is “Yes, I would.” Anything that focuses on one aspect of what a library staff member is passionate about, whether it be a social media t-shirt or a book necklace is a bad idea. Just think about who that clothing or accessory connects to in the community. It likely only connects to one portion of who you serve – teens or adults. If wearing book-themed attire is common in your library, what does that say to teens who are not book focused?
Making sure that community members take libraries and librarians seriously is a key aspect of the job of all library staff members. It requires being able to talk about what teens get out of what we do for and with them. It requires an understanding of youth development, education, literacy, and more. It requires holding back on tendencies to show your passion through clothing and accessories. It requires knowing what not to wear.
Innovation in the clothing of those working with teens doesn’t mean dressing like a teen and it doesn’t mean wearing cute theme-based pieces. Instead, it means getting outside of the library and book box in your dress and thinking about how you present the value of teen services to community members through your wardrobe. It may seem crazy to call this innovative, but if you’ve seen as many library-themed outfits as I have you know that it certainly is. Take the plunge and be professionally innovative in your wardrobe. It will be good for you, and for the teens that you serve.
Aztec mask of Xiuhtecuhtli, c. 1500, of Mixtec-Aztec provenance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m using this poem of mine to lead into my subject of the day.
Window to the Soul
My presence acts as a window
To the human known as me.
Through that window you
Can see masks I wear eternally.
This mask reflects where I’ve been,
Still more show what I do with time.
Another suggests secrets held within;
Each mask a new persona.
Feathers, sequins, jewels, glitter
Before the beholder’s eyes,
Dropping hints about who I am,
Yet leaving me secured, invisible.
Each of us has gone through cycles within our lives. The practice is normal and human. We start as children learning all the lessons that will take us to an age where driving and dances are the norm. Some of us also take a path, somewhere along the way, that forces us to grow up all the sooner.
Once we have the ticket to responsibility called “a license,” we move on to planning the next decade of our lives; college or a job, singlehood or marriage, childless or not. They all make it into the mix of aspirations and goal lists.
Rules guard these bastions of normal living in our world. Each culture has its own signposts and traffic tickets. Once in a while, cultures crossover into each other, and create mutual signposts and tickets. It’s up to the average human to learn all of these and navigate the highways of modern living.
For all of the meandering we do in our lives, how much of ourselves do we really put out there for others to see or know?
“Plenty,” you say. But, do we really? The internet has made a public forum of many of our lives’ aspects. We blog, comment, dole out pieces of ourselves on Facebook on a daily basis and think nothing of it. It seems expected of web users to be “Transparent.”
The question remains. How much of our true selves do we reveal to the public?
Are we not merely shedding our masks, one at a time; those masks that protect us from revealing too much of the one who resides within the core of self?
I am a writer. I write about many things for many types of readers. My public image reveals those aspects of my writer’s mask. I’m female. Enough said on that score. I’m opinionated because I was taught to be so. Education will do that when it isn’t stifled by arbitrary bureaucratic controls.
Yet, within all I’ve revealed about who I am, few really know me, and I prefer it that way. Our deeds reveal more about us than anything we can say about ourselves.
My poem says a bit more in its way. It intimates that masks are all we see of each other. We all do it, and we do it because the world isn’t always the safest place to live.
0 Comments on Questions of the Day: Personal Transparency as of 5/2/2012 4:56:00 PM