We’ve been down to only the toddler since last Wednesday, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.

I tend to feel guilty if I’m not spending time between 8 and 10 pm with the kids (if they are in the house), so these nights have been very productive after Mila goes to bed.

I made a darkening shade for Mila’s bedroom window. She wakes up too early from the sun…one morning last week, she was up at 6 am! I used a brown quilting cotton I got for $3/yard I think for the front and a batik I’ve had for years and years and years on the back. It is very effective, and I am mostly pleased with how it turned out. (Ignore the Marimekko butterfly hanging in the middle.)

I tied to create a Roman shade. I used twill tape along the back for the ribbon rings, but ran out of rings and have to get another package.  I threaded ribbon through the rings and it works really well, except when it is pulled all the way up. I did sew a bit of velcro to secure it in the up position, but the velcro was too small to hold the weight of the double layered fabric. Suggestions anyone??

I also started a belated Mother’s Day project that I think is going to work really well. It requires that I learn how to make bias tape with my (birthday) new bias tape makers.

I also changed my mind three times on which skirt I was going to make this week, but finally decided on a grown-up version of this one from Dana.

I’ll be using a Marimekko inspired tablecloth my BFF brought me last time she visited. Boy was she thinking when she viewed it as usable fabric instead of garage sale fodder!

Itching to make this top from the recently discovered Bitty Betty.

How great is that?! I have a lovely summer weight fabric that will be absolutely perfect!

I gave a sewing lesson on Saturday. What fun! She made herself a reversible table runner. Starting with squares or rectangles is always my best advice! Can’t wait to see pictures of her homework completed! I hope she wasn’t too put off by my frenetic fact throwing and loud talking (so says the hubby). I’m a loud talker, whachya gonna do about it? If she can get over the loud talking bit, we’ll make an apron next time.

I mentioned before, I think, that I signed up for Deborah’s sewing buddy match-up this year. You provide your name, sewing level and your favorite color, she uses her magic to match you up with someone who can help you plow throw the sewing projects that you HOPE to get through! Amber is my buddy, and I’ve got to say that I have been more productive in my sewing because I’m answering to agreed upon sew alongs with her. It has really been a terrific time! I’m truly amazed at what she accomplishes in the span of a day.


loving this fabric!

My friend Sheri wanted me to make her a purse and a matching insulated lunch bag which is ironic because her sewing adventures several years ago greatly impacted my willingness to start sewing seriously.

She chose fabric I bought a couple years ago for MYSELF, specifically for a purse! I offered it up to her because I figured if I hadn’t done anything with it in that long, it was time to go to someone else. I didn’t mind one bit. Until I started sewing the purse she wanted! Then I was sad that I hadn’t made a purse for myself because it looks EXACTLY how I thought it would. Which is to say GREAT!

I tried a few new things with this purse…elastic cased pockets and water bottle holder

and funky flower pins to add some detail to the bag.

The lunch bag is channel quilted…my new favorite! I just love how this looks!

Enjoy, Sheri, enjoy!

What can I make from the scraps?

Sew Along Day 3…or 7

All sorts of things came up between day 3 and day 7 including urgent work that required hours of my evening sewing. I was able to complete the tank on day 7 though!

Yay to completing SOMETHING!

I mostly like the way the tank turned out. I think the ruffles are a bit large though. They do, however, cover the straps of a nursing bra which I’ve found to be unusual in a tank! Because my torso is so short, I cut the tank length from 20 to 14 which is much better. I also did not add the pockets.

I really like the square top since scoop necks seem to be too revealing for me when I bend over.

I also added another topstitching detail because I didn’t think it looked as professional with only the one.

Lastly, I used a rolled hem foot to finish the bottom.

It takes practice to get it right, but it is so worth it! I used to spend a HUGE amount of time ironing the hem twice for the hem to be straight. I had the foot, but didn’t know what it was until I saw posts popping up all over the place a few weeks ago. Now, I’m hooked!

Amber’s shirt turned out great AND she paired it with a pair of jeans she scooped up from The Gap for only $2.37!!


Hey, Amber I LOVE those shoes too! I can’t believe they are crocs!

Emma got a bit frustrated with her pattern and hasn’t posted her final top yet. I’ll keep you posted!


Brief Interruptions

The splendid life of a 10 year old boy here has been briefly interrupted for one main reason: a teenager’s attitude with a mouth that has left me speechless.

Those of you who know me know that this is no small feat.

It isn’t swearing. It is ridiculously know-it-all-especially-you-loser-mom mouthiness.

This kid has NO idea how easy he has things.

Except today, he got a little glimpse when he woke up and learned that mom was no longer going to provide assistance until his attitude changed. No cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no assistance with ANYTHING unless life or death issues are involved.

The battle continued most of the morning, so he spent it in his room. After lunch, things turned around. He folded up the Therm-A-Rest he used over the weekend which was the object that sort of projected the trouble into the stratosphere. He made his lunch (a corn dog with a string cheese).

By 4:00 he learned that iPod downloads were done because only mom knows the password.

He learned that his baked goodie supply took a sharp turn south since he couldn’t eat mom’s food. Initially, this was a benefit until he learned it included cake batter cookies, chocolate chip cookie bars and pancakes.

He learned that making his own cookies and brownies was far more complicated than he anticipated.

He learned that you can’t just buy taco meat. (Admittedly, you probably can, but not in this house!)

He learned that trips to Target and other such places were curtailed.

I suspect that his attitude will change within days, but I don’t really believe he will have learned his lesson in fewer than seven days.

That is enough time to require him to do his laundry and to get tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and corn dogs.

A friend wished me luck this way: “may the force be with you.”

I am going to need it.

sew along day 2

I made some good progress last night on the spring tank for the sew along, but it doesn’t really look like it. I ruffled, then added them to the tank straps, created the arm divots in the chest band and pleated the front and back.

I am really excited to finish tonight! I am very surprised at how long it is taking each night for some pretty basic techniques. I found the ruffle attachment instructions very confusing, and ruffling is always a pain for me. I seem to always break a thread during the process which creates all sorts of problems.

Amber’s tank is going to be absolutely adorable. Those pleats are perfectly placed to stop at the line. I think it is interesting that we both chose plaids.

Emma’s shirt is really looking great too! I love the gathers in the front! And, you can’t even tell she made a cutting mistake!

sew along

I’ve got a special sewing buddy. Her name is Amber. We met via Deborah’s sewing buddy meet-up thingy.

Turns out Amber is able to churn out a LOT more than I am, and she churns out a lot of clothing. We decided to do a sew along to get us back on track with our sewing goals. We both have some big stashes, so we are going to use what we have.

I’ve also invited Emma, a local sewer I know, to join us.

Amber and I both are sewing Rae‘s spring ruffle top together. Emma has chosen a different pattern.

Monday’s goal was to take measurements, select fabric and cut out the pieces.

I’m using an old Pottery Barn sheet I had that is super soft for the main part and a lilac coordinating print for the straps.

I had it in me to get the strap placement correct since I have a meeting tonight and will have limited time. I think it is going to look great despite the dark photograph.

Amber’s tank is going to be adorable too!

Check out Emma’s progress here!

Tonight is bodice assembly. Fingers crossed!


I’ve been busy…

busy unexpectedly ripping a kitchen floor out because of water damage,

busy ignoring the drywall dust ALL over my laundry room and finding irony in the fact that my clothes actually enter the room to get clean,

busy getting out of town for a long weekend so the hubby could (unexpectedly) tile the kitchen floor,

busy returning to clean grout dust off of EVERY surface and enjoying the new floor,

busy doing less gardening than I should,

busy hosting dear friends for food and sewing and fun and chatting,

busy reviewing papers to see what was learned in school,

busy being sad about my oldest baby graduating from FOURTH grade. How did this year go by so fast?

My cousin’s wife Shannon told me at the beginning of the year that fourth grade is a game changer…they change SO MUCH in so many ways. You think you have more time with them when fourth grade starts, then it ends, and they’ve matured and changed and grown and inched away from you just a little bit more when June arrives.

I didn’t believe her then.

I believe her now.

I started to cry when his teacher sent an email about a zoo field trip this month. There was absolutely nothing in the email that should have led a non-hormonally charged woman to begin crying. Except I’m a mom of a fourth grader who can get on a charter bus at 6:45 am for a field trip to a zoo almost three hours away and return home at 5:45 pm exhausted and weary and thrilled that this milestone has passed. (I was the one exhausted and weary and thrilled BTW.)

I HATED fourth grade. Mrs. Hallow threw Amy B’s desk against the blackboard just a split second AFTER she jumped out of it. Her books went flying. It was shocking for so many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Amy’s mother was the Police Chief of the neighboring town.

I learned that kids die too when a neighbor kid who was in the other fourth grade died along with his mom in a car crash.

Fortunately, Jack thrived in fourth grade: the teacher, the curriculum that incorporated kinesthetics and art regularly, the reading.

At least I have all summer to prepare for fifth grade. My favorite grade.