Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Summer Clothes with My Small Pieces

Last winter when I was sorting fabric, I realized I had lots of small, pretty pieces, approximately 1-2 yards. More than I would ever need to make Phoebe little girl clothes (and have you seen her recently? She's basically a grown up). 

I printed out the Sorbetto tank top pattern, and was pleased with the resulting tank top (made that laborious pattern printing, taping, cutting process worth it). 
This summer when I pulled it out to wear it, I really wished for a dark denim skirt to go with it. I had another small but pretty piece in my stash, wouldn't you know. So I made a little denim skirt, shorter than I would normally wear, but it was a small piece after all. This is the same pattern I used for my yellow skirt, different view. 
 I used a navy calico inside the waistband and at the hem for a private pretty for me, but also to stretch the denim as far as possible. I always put pockets in the clothing I make, but I literally had a few scraps left from the denim piece. I held them up to the skirt a couple different ways and just made up a pocket! I top stitched the heck out of everything with red thread, and I am really happy with this comfortable skirt. Bonus: it matches the Sorbetto tank! 

Genevieve floated the idea that maybe I could make her a denim skirt and I was all, well, you look in the fabric cupboard and see what you find, but I am sewing down my stash, so good luck.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Our Really Big House

 Living in close quarters through a pandemic changes how we think about our houses, doesn't it? I always liked the open floor plan of our first floor - made it easy to supervise little kids, seemed light and open.  But in the pandemic, we realized we didn't have doors to close on spaces when a number of us needed to be on separate screens, on separate Zooms (oh, Zoom, how we hate and need thee). 

My husband and I crunched the numbers and decided to take over the rest of the second floor apartment. When we bought our three-storey house, each floor was an apartment. When Genevieve was a newborn, we renovated the house to add interior stairs and create a first floor apartment for us that included part of the second floor. Over the years, we have gradually nibbled away at the second floor apartment until 2 weeks ago when we swallowed it entirely. 

Glory be, we added another bedroom, a family room, and a bathroom! Now our girls have separate rooms, which is a wonderful development in their relationship. Now I have an actual desk in our family room instead of just a drawer next to the dining room table. 

It feels incredibly luxe to not have to wait for someone else in the bathroom, to have masses of storage in the new bathroom, to have a second fridge in the apartment kitchen (and sink and stove, but the fridge is what I immediately put into use). We even have a second staircase to access our new space. 

It's disorienting, honestly. The first night in the new bedroom, I kept worrying about my babies, spread out all over this huge house. I'm still a little puzzled about how much desk stuff to take up to my desk and how much to leave in the dining room, which I have realized is the nerve center of the house.

We had to acquire some more furniture and organizing things. I did my best to buy second-hand items from local sources. The way I see it, not only is this cost-effective, but better for the planet than manufacturing new (cheaply made) stuff that is shipped from everywhere. But oh my, I am also now experiencing the big-house effect, where I have doubled the bathroom equipment, added more bedroom furniture for Genevieve, and considering how many duplicate desk supplies I need upstairs that are already in use at other desks. We have another air conditioner in a window, too, now, which I recognize as really helpful in our swampy summers, but hate the enlargement of our carbon footprint. Living in small spaces makes us efficient, for sure. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Little Red Elephant Shirt

We got an interesting bag of hand-me-downs for dress-up from another family when Genevieve and Ben were small. I pulled out a little appliqued skirt for real clothes because it was so charming. 

I am avoiding buying new fabric, even new-to-me, until I really use up some of what I have. So I poked around what I had and came up with this red-striped fabric. It also starred in the Swedish summer pillow. I used the same shirt pattern from Phoebe's anchor shirt (look how little she is!), and just as I was finishing up the facings, I recalled that I had some vintage elephant buttons that my mother-in-law gave me a while back. Oh, how I love matching up disparate things to make something I love! My brain shuts down at the thought of selecting all the notions and fabric and patterns from the universes available on the internet. Truly. Much easier for me and more fascinating creatively if I poke through my own collections to design a garment. 

So I came up with these two little red elephant buttons and sewed them on the front, and I just love them. It's a whole elephant ensemble, with the appliqued elephants on the skirt.

I forgot to take  a picture of the pretty zipper pull on the vintage zipper. It's a nifty little ring. 

The big sister has requested a dress. I am thrilled - she is not into mom-made clothes much anymore. Stay tuned!