Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summery Skirt

Hi guys! A lot of you know that I love to sew clothes. It was my first hobby, before quilting and before knitting. Even though I sew a lot of my clothing, I have rarely blogged about it; I just didn't think people would be interested.

But I have had more compliments on this skirt than probably any other clothing I have ever made--literally, every time I wear it, strangers say "cute skirt!" so I thought I'd share it.
It's the Barcelona skirt from Amy Butler. The fabric is Amy Butler too- from the Lotus collection. I made this skirt last summer from a fabric I bought in April 2007, but I noticed that the fabric is still available at Hancock's of Paducah, and probably other places too. (And speaking of Amy Butler--have you seen this new pattern? Cute!!)

It's just a basic a-line skirt, but the unique and fun detail is the way the skirt panels are layered and stitched, so you get a frayed edge on the outside. Here's a close up.

Today is my last day of preschool for this year! I have two hours to myself and I'm torn between sewing and planting. Then, when I pick up my preschooler I'll be saying goodbye to a wonderful teacher that all the kids have had --five years in a row. Pass the tissues.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day and This and That

First off, a big shout out to MOM! Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you!
I don't think I mentioned that within this last year my mom got her first computer--so now she reads my blog! That has been a really special treat for me. (Although I can no longer pull something like this.) She now "gets" how fun blogging is and what it means to me.
I got a special card today and opened it up:
I read outloud "Mommy, your ok." That's nice, I thought, albeit a little less enthusiastic than their usual Mother's Day greetings. How happy I was to be corrected: No! Mom! It says: "Mommy, you rock!" (Whew! What a difference a little translation makes!)

In some sad news, I was talking this week to a knitter-friend of mine at church, the lady that I mentioned before who lost her niece on Valentine's Day. I didn't know that her niece was also a knitter. She had 8 projects on the needles and my friend is working through them one by one to finish them. I guess this is a way to work through grief but I can't even imagine how difficult that would be. Prayers for her family would be good.

And I also learned this week that UMCOR is a good agency to donate to if you wish to help people in Myanmar. 100% of your donations go to the relief effort, since all administrative costs are paid by the church. And they are one of the few agencies that already has people in place and permits to be working there now. FYI.

On a completely different thread, I found myself making last minute teacher gifts before school on Friday. Clarification: these were not the big end-of-year teacher gift. That is yet to be determined. (Teacher Gift Guru Kay, please bestow on us the wisdom that is this season's best idea for teacher gift!) This was a little trinket that they were supposed to bring in for teacher appreciation week, to be contributed to a big class basket. I used some of my favorite fabric purchased at Paducah, to make tissue holders from this great tutorial.
It is especially appropriate for our 2nd grade teacher, since their class had caterpillars this month. The "theme" wasn't as pertinent for the kindergarten teacher, but I figured, who can resist the hungry caterpillar?! He is just the cutest. There is a whole line of Hungry Caterpillar fabric
(see some here and here) and I'm hoping to make a picnic quilt out of it before the end of school. (As if!)


Speaking of kindergarten, their science project this spring was hatching chicks. My girl was so excited. She dressed up in a dress the day the eggs were delivered. Every day I got an egg report. In honor of the hatching, we made a shirt. Which led to another shirt.
And another.

Wonder-under on the fabric, iron it to the shirt. I recommend a small piece of fusible interfacing on the underside to help stabilize it. Stitch around the shape, adding details as you wish. Couldn't be easier! (Seriously--it's embarrassing that I just typed out instructions.)

I guess that's it, sorry for the jumble. New knitting projects and FO's up this week. Today I'm giving thanks that, in someone's eyes, "I rok", and wishing you all a rocking day too. Happy Mother's Day.

p.s. I almost forgot to mention a little is my birthday! What a difference a year makes. Last year I was completely freaked! 40 is hard! 41 is nice and mellow! I'm having a wonderful mellow relaxing day today, and as soon as hit publish post, I'm going to go make myself a delicious birthday pie. Happy day to you all!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Magic Ball Fever

Hello! Since I have an etsy shop update tonight, I thought I whould show you something I finished last month from a Magic Ball. (Tonight will be the last of the Magic Balls until fall--I need to rest my winding arm!)

I was so taken with Jodee's Baby Suprise Jacket that I wanted to make one myself. I was possibly the only person on the planet that hadn't made one and I wanted to see how it was constructed.

Fun! Quick to make, fun to figure out, and adorable finished project. No wonder they are so popular! If I am wrong, and YOU are the only person on the planet who hasn't made one, go forth, now, and make thee a Baby Suprise!

Add some wee buttons and revel in the cuteness.


Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Suprise Jacket from The Opinionater Knitter, also available as a single pattern from Schoolhouse Press.

Yarn: Sophie's Toes Magic Ball, color Pastel Baby. It only took 1/2 of the ball.

Buttons from Wool and Company.

Notes: I was determined to use the Magic Ball as is, with no "engineering" of how the stripes would be placed. But when I got toward the end, I could see that the only pink section was the one around the sleeve edge (the same stripe that goes across the upper back). And I thought it would look really nice if the pink was repeated. So, I did break my "rule" of leaving the ball alone and just doing whatever came along. When I could see that the last stripe was going to be purple, I took the ball apart and got to another pink section so the front/bottom stripe would be pink. Some rules are meant to be broken--I love the way it turned out.