Thursday, March 27, 2014

guess where Larissa is going?

That's right. I'm going to go to there. Me. Soon.

Overly excited here. Also freaked out a little, I have to admit. It's a whole other hemisphere. I began my packing panic weeks in advance. If you are going to do a thing, do it thoroughly I always say. See you soon, Robyn! EEEEEEE!

Monday, March 24, 2014

test miette

I've been busy making, schooling, and also took some time this past weekend to attend the homeschool convention in Greenville, SC. What a blessing and encouragement that was for this home schooling mom who is busy second guessing herself all the time. I feel like God led me right to the sensible women I most needed to talk with and get my focus and confidence back. Amen. It was pretty awesome, and I'm so glad I got to spend time with fellow homeschoolers and girlfriends Tiffany and Dawn. Road trip!

Above is my test run of the Miette wrap skirt pattern from lovely, talented and annoyingly wasp-waisted Tilly. She looks so wonderful in her Miette and I love the retro pockets on hers. Mine is sans pockets because I wanted to 1) get on with it 2) cut down on the bulk and tie mine on the side instead. I'm a side tie-r. Tier? Tyer. Tie-er. Hmm. Maybe not a word. One who ties. Anyways, not a big fan of centered bows. It's a great pattern by the way. Very easy to size correctly because all you need to do is measure your waist. I'm trying to drop a few pounds, which makes a wrap skirt a nice choice because the fit is adjustable. I'm hoping I'll get to cinch it tighter in a few weeks. My Schmoopie dearest needs to stop buying ice cream.

For the test run I used a cheap, eye-smartingly red cotton that I dug up from the stash but it was pretty thin and flimsy, so I ended up lining it with a handy bedsheet that was also in the stash. The lining makes it a great weight and drape but it really should be red instead of white. C'est la vie.

I'm currently making a second Miette in this great dark blue, knobbly, denim linen-blend I have in my stash and lining it with actual (matching) polyester satin lining fabric in case I want to wear it with tights. Hmm. It's a darker blue than it seems in this photo.

If you are wondering, progress on the Partridge and Pear pattern is indeed stalled. I am trying to get just the right universal method for transferring the embroidery pattern reliably and easily to felt. I've run into an obstacle to that which I need to drop back and figure out and in the process I have completely lost my momentum. I'll revisit it in a few weeks with fresh eyes. I do apologize and it will be a better pattern as a result, I promise.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

things I think about at breakfast

I would like to have been in the room during the branding and marketing meeting for this new wheat/barley/soy breakfast cereal. I imagine it went something like:

"Well, it's ready for production. We need a catchy name though. Yes, Smidley?"

"We should call it Healthy Nuggets. They look like little rocks, but they are good for you."

"Hmm. Has potential. Doesn't sound great tasting though. And nuggets is too countryfied. It doesn't play well in focus groups."

"Hey, how about nuts instead of nuggets? It's shorter and catchier. Still crunchy, and healthy but not too hicksville."

"Yes. Nuts, I like it!"

"OK, so it's Health Nuts! hahahahaha." (General amusement around table)

"Haha, yes, funny, but no. We need to add something that makes it sound tasty as well as healthy. People like the idea of healthy but we all know that what they really buy into is tasty."

"OK, so maybe something sweet? But still healthy. Like fruit."

"Yes, brilliant, some kind of fruit."

(Tentative hand raised from college intern in corner.) "Uuuumm but there is no fruit in it? Um, or nuts? Isn't that kind of, you know, misleading?"

(Silence in room. Significant looks.)

"Go get us all some coffee, would ya, kid?" (Door shuts behind intern. General amusement erupts.)

"OK, back to making money. Gimme a fruit that sounds catchy with nuts."

"Apples! Apple Nuts!"

"That's got potential."


"No, too tropical."

"Raisins? That's safe."

"No no no, they would expect to see actual raisins in there. It's no good. What else?"

"Well, what about grapes? They are sweet. Nonthreatening. They sound healthy but they taste really great. Everyone likes them. And no one would expect to have actual grapes in the box."

(Head nodding, general agreement.)

"Yes, Smidley?"

"And it kinda rhymes with great! Like you'd say Grape Nuts but what you'd really be thinking is GREAT Nuts!"

(Glancing at watch.) "Sold."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wee Princess Pea pattern review by Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World

Pattern Review - Wee Princess Pea: A Purse-Sized Fairytale Playset
 Photo courtesy of Wendi Gratz

Do you know about Wendi Gratz? She's the creator and author of Shiny Happy World, a name which aptly describes her brightly colored and cheerful softie, quilt, and embroidery designs. Here are just a couple of things from her shop:

 The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get - embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

 Winter Wear for the Dress Up Bunch rag dolls from Shiny Happy World

You can see she is quite a talented designer and maker with a lot of practical know-how and I am so delighted to share this pattern review she wrote recently for my Wee Princess Pea.

If you've been toying with the idea of making that project you'll find she's written a helpful and thorough review. I love how her Wee Princess turned out! That's a photo of her set at the top of the post. Look at the pretty contrast blanket stitching and happy colors. She made a few clever mods and gave it her own signature style. There are more great photos to see on her post.

After a look at the review, you'll thank yourself to have a look around the rest of her site for her free patterns and very helpful tips and lessons. Thank you, Wendi!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

lining for my Wiksten tunic

So I did end up lining my Nani IRO Wiksten tunic (with very purple lining fabric). You know, the one that kept crawling up my leggings. The lining makes a huge difference, not just with the embarrassing cling but also improves the drape. It was well worth the effort, even though lining it after it was already made was more of a pain.

I simply cut out another front and back from the pattern in lining fabric, then cut off about .75 inch allowance all around the neck and armholes so it wouldn't show underneath. I also cut off an inch from the hem. After I sewed the front and back together, I finished all the raw edges by zig zagging them with matching thread. Simple simple:

Then to attach it to the inside of the tunic I hand sewed it wrong sides facing just in certain spots: at the shoulder seams, underarms, and two spots close to the hem on the side seams. Voila. I will now shock you with a real life picture of my school room:

Sorry for the blurry mirror shots and also for the smeary handprints that are featured in the foreground. It reminds me of a magnet I saw the other day: 'Please excuse the mess but we live here.'