the tits

Today I finished up a sewing project! It was about time. One of those which had languished overlong on my table. Phoenix was gracious enough to grab a picture of me how I’m happiest – cup of coffee at my elbow, hair tied up, 80s Johnny Depp t-shirt, and messing about with my Pfaff.

Speaking of sewing, my post 3 in the Gimme Some Slack sew-a-long is up; tomorrow I will be posting the fourth post whereupon we install all darts, and both front and back pockets. After slack-sewing (and tutorial-ing) I have quite a bit lined up. I’ve been asked to put forth a piece for an online publication, today I had a nibble on a custom request, and I’ve a shower curtain and blouse I owe myself – plus a blazer to finish before the 12th!

So, life has been full. Enough so that on Saturday I was double-booked in the morning in both volunteer and family commitments. This, after a poor night’s sleep! Today I caught up on rest – a little – before more sewing, writing, family dates, and volunteer work. In the works: considerations for Father’s Day, a gift and a special evening for my daughter upon the completion of her first year of school, planning for Ralph’s birthday, and putting together a movie event for late summer.

Yesterday on a lunch date my mom apologized to me for not letting me know in a timely fashion, about my grandfather (and grandmother’s) ash-scattering in Southern California. This, from a woman who has had a hard time apologizing to me, her whole life. You just never know what’s coming in life, do you? I won’t be able to be there next week, but I will light a candle and meditate here in Washington state.

For now? Hot shower, large glass of water, pajama pants, and some husband-movie-date time – PRONTO

Gimme Some Slack

gimme some slack! post three: cutting, marking, and interfacing

Gimme Some Slack

Hello my awesomesauce stitching fiends! Today we get to handle our fabric in earnest. This is big fun as it turns out!

To bring you up to date: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern.

Remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

Gimme Some Slack

gimme some slack! post two: making our pattern; prepping our materials

Gimme Some Slack

Hello my awesomesauce stitching fiends! This is our first get-to-it post! I am really happen to have you join me! Both of you! I jest, I jest.

Last month I posted the supply list and timeline so y’all should be ready to get going. Today we’ll be fondling fabric (a little) and doing some tracing (a lot).  Before we start, I’m going to talk briefly about what to expect in undertaking this project.

Remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

home dec

Today one of my little household projects came to fruition: new curtains for my bathroom. I think… well… some of my friends might have heard me swear I’d never sew curtains again. Maybe I even shook my fist. Nevertheless, I am pleased with these. The fabric was only in my possession a few hours before it was sewn up. Last night our friend E. accompanied Ralph, Nels and I up to Olympia where I found a really lovely seaweed-y floral on sale:

 

I also picked up the framing job I’d coupon’d and saved up for – for a screenprint by my friend Robin:

 

So. Bathroom pix it is. Above one of the doors, the little figurines a friend dropped by a little while back – love them!

 

A sculpture up by the light – also by Robin:

 

The little enamelware cups I use to store a few items – our bathroom is very small so we need to be creative to keep things tidy:

 

And of course – a figure of the Buddha (above our mirror). I have been (slowly) collecting Buddha figures that reflect the character or sentiment of the room they adorn. I think of our bathroom as being full of light and water, so a wooden effigy seemed apt:

It’s wonderful having a space that feels calm and nurturing.

i just can’t get enuf / i just can’t get enuf

Blooper Hoodie!

Soooooooo basically I’d like to make colorblocked hoodies all day long. The only thing that would make the experience more perfect, is to have a home screenprinting lab set up. But I’ll settle for how things are going now – a wonderful jersey fabric with just the right amount of recovery, and the ability to slash lines here or there and make up whatever kind of design I feels like!

Blooper Hoodie!

I also colorblocked the waistband to match the design lines of the garment. BOOM!

A white-lined hood, and a handknit drawstring. Notice the little “blooper” elements on the right arm – a Mama and three babies, all hand-cut and free-motioned darned.

Blooper Hoodie!

Blooper Hoodie!

With summertime approaching, what is more lovely than a super-soft custom-fit hoodie?

NOTHING

 

a tender shoot

Frost Flower Hoodie

My son *thinks* this is his birthday hoodie; however, it is a decoy hoodie. I was drafting a deep hood and a tall, slender fit. I am waiting on fabric for his actual birthday hoodie. Let’s hope it all works out before the birthday party on Saturday!

A roomy hood:

Frost Flower Hoodie

MacGuffin or no, this hoodie is fabulous in its own right. It is constructed of luxurious 100% cotton fleece – very soft on the inside. I pieced the body using the “mock-serge” on my Pfaff (tutorial here).

Two appliques: the “frost flower” on the right arm – using knit and woven scraps, matching zig-zag topstitching, and paint/thread drawing for the “eyes”:

Frost Flower Hoodie

The left arm – more subtle still. Nels’ name in a “Super Mario U” font – self-appliqued.

Frost Flower Hoodie

Frost Flower Hoodie

For the hood drawstring, I first constructed eyelets free-hand on the Pfaff, made a casing using a 2.0/2.0 zig-zag topstitch, then knit a cotton i-cord for the drawstring itself. Ralph knit about half the i-cord yesterday – after I taught him how. The yarn itself was a gift from my friend Tammy at Main Street Books.

Frost Flower Hoodie

Piecing knitwear as a home sewist is really wonderful. I am able to line up the grain perfectly which is not something you will see in ready-to-wear construction. The result is a garment that feels, fits, and wears better – while looking fabulous for a lot longer.

Cutting knit pieces so carefully would be tedious if not for the fact that knit garments are usually made with far fewer pieces than woven ones. That said, some of y’all remember that I am willing to go balls-deep in fussy-cutting. It really does make a difference even if people looking at the garment can’t tell exactly why it looks so good.

Spring is here, spring is wet, and my Little Guy looks all set!

Frost Flower Hoodie

OH SNAP! THIS YETI BUNTING WINS

Itty-Bitty Yeti

Have I  not been threatening for some time, to make a tiny yeti bunting for a baby? Shown here: exhibit Audra, 15 lbs. 5 oz. of adorable. Audra was a champ. Word on the street is she doesn’t like cameras, but she kept her cool today.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

Audra plays innocent here but you know she’s the type of abominable snowman that could straight-up rip your arm from your socket. If by “arm” I meant, “tea scone”, and by “your socket” I meant, “a table of modest height that she was clinging to earlier today”.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

A horn! Done up in melton wool with yarn applique. Pattern designed by Ralph AwesomePants Hogaboom.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

Feet. Designed by MOI. Watch out for those claws!

Itty-Bitty Yeti

What’s the happs? Pearl snaps. BOOM

Itty-Bitty Yeti

So who doesn’t like daddies-holding-babies pictures? If you don’t, you have a lot of growing up to do.

Anyway I wrote a bit about construction in the captions of the Flickr tagset. This bunting is listed in my wee Etsy shop and is scheduled for display at a local business – along with two other “monstrous” offerings I’m currently cooking up.

#babycreeps

what you need is a jolly good murder!

Last night I made Ralph one of my favorite arid, incredibly civilized, faultlessly prosaic British television shows – in this case, “Foyle’s War”. I laughed in silent delight the entire hour and a half as basically almost nothing happened, in the way that I love “nothing happening” in these kinds of dramas. After almost an hour of talking a statue on a manor’s roof fell and actors looked pained and dyspeptic and disapproving. Ralph valiantly kept his eyes open and pretended he wasn’t in agony; eventually his efforts were rewarded when someone finally got murdered in the most parlor-room non-grisly sort of meek way. I WAS DYING because Ralph watched this dry crumpet of a show just for me because he loves me. And I love him very much and there is literally no one I’d rather watch telly with.

Ralph spent our last $20 on trappings for lasagna tonight: a hearty meal to share with my mother next door. I took a break from my usual sewing flow and helped my son learn a bit on my machines – serging yardage, winding a bobbin, threading the machine. Nels was at first irritated I was asking him to learn these tasks; but within a few minutes he was quite skillfully managing the very exacting and precise hand movements needed to sew with accuracy. He made his father a “quarter holder” (a very small fabric sleeve) and is now excited to sew much more elaborate items for his Daddy.

The kitten No-No bandies about on bow-legs, now running through the house following Ralph, or one of the children. Only a few ounces of swaggering hubris, she surprises us all by LEAPING off our king-sized bed and waddling after Ralph with her round, tight belly hindering quick progress. Her appetite has increased to ravenous and she is more adventuresome, less likely to want to cuddle. She lays on her back between our legs and lets us pet us, then “attacks” with these tiny, useless paws and teeth so small they don’t count.

Nevertheless: no biting, No-No! We are quite stern. We’re not running a charity here, you know.

Parseltongue!

Slytherin Coat

As some of you may have guessed, I sewed and knit and cooked and crafted an awful lot for Christmas. Most of these items I sent off and wrapped up and gifted without taking photographs because I have been one busy – and often overwhelmed – Little Mama since October. However today on our errands I grabbed a few pictures of a couple of the little ones’ gifts.

As per usual, if you click on the photos my Flickr page will give a little construction background, for those interested.

Slytherin Coat

Phee is actually a Hufflepuff but I had a deep green hi-lo 100% cotton corduroy I was dying to work with. I underlined the coat in wool so it is very warm. It is fully-lined and fixed up with a shiny, “scale”-like snakey vintage button!

Slytherin Coat

Slytherin Coat

AND the Slytherin breast pocket patch. Because it is too cool. No, I did not make it but had it made by SewMagicStitches on Etsy.

Slytherin Coat

I also did not knit Phee’s scarf and mittens (not this time anyway!) but ordered them from nuclearkitten, another Etsy shop. I enjoy supporting other crafters and I try to always link back to them to give them credit.

And then there’s Nels. Nels who I am always wanting to grab up. So I had to make him shark mittens. Because I want to bite him.

"Grabbers"

By the way, I can’t help but notice Nels’ hat is handknit (I bought it from an alpaca farm in Oregon, a while back), and I sewed him his jacket and his pants. AND on the other side of the crafting gives-a-shit spectrum, Nels’ father “fixed” the cuff-latch button with a safety pin, instead of needle & thread. #boo

"Grabbers"

"Grabbers"

"Grabbers"

"Grabbers"

The mittens were based off Ravelry’s “Deep Blue Sea” pattern (you have to be a member to see the pattern, I think) and were constructed of 100% wool – except for the yarn used for “teeth” – that was cotton. I really enjoyed these mittens and I think I should make a super-tiny pair for someone. AMIRITE or what