Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sewing adventures...

While I'm a fairly competent maker of patchwork and bags and misc. stuff like that, I've never been able to sew clothes. I've found pattern instructions gibberish, and complicated, and I don't understand notches, markings, or any of that stuff.

But seeing all the cool clothes people make really inspired me to try again. (I once made a sack-like dress in some sack-like fabric, which I promptly threw away. Lesson learnt - I must like the fabric. Complete waste of time otherwise.)

I was especially inspired by this shirt...

So, I re-dipped my toe into the sewing clothes pool. I started with a skirt, Simplicity 4036. And it worked! (Mostly. Can I insert a gripe here about pattern sizing vs. clothes sizing in retail stores? I mean, I know its the retail stores that keep changing the sizes, but still. I measured and guessed at a size... the skirt is a tiny bit snug, but more or less ok.)

Inspired, I made more. One for my friend Jeeva, shown here.

Which I was very pleased with.

So, I kept sewing. A couple of disasters, (not in my sewing, I don't think, but in the fitting? see above gripe about sizes.) I don't have pictures of these, but they are worth sharing. I should take pictures of these.

Ok, conclusion to this long, winding story, I promise. Being a little ambitious, I thought I'd tackle New Look 6672 (view C)

And I'm actually fairly pleased with the way this turned out. If I had to do over, the only thing I'd mess with is the bodice, I'm not super happy with it, and its drawn a little tight, making my arms look fat. (They don't really need extra help.)

Plus I don't really think I should do gathered skirts (hips - I have them.)

But all in all, nice. (Fabric note: I used some cotton I bought in Jo-Anns a while back. Its a little thick, which made the dress easier to sew, but a thin cotton would probably drape much better.)

Oh, and taking pictures of myself is very hard.

And I wish I could say my house is a mess because I'm moving. But the unfortunate truth is, my house is mostly always a mess. The only difference is that right now, I have an excuse.
Post Karte

I signed up for this fun swap a while back, and I've been quite awfully procrastinating about it. (And the apron swap.) Gina was my partner, and sent me a ton of pretty stuff, which I'm yet to take a picture of. (Bad, bad Reethi.) Tomorrow, I promise.

Anyway, one of the parts to this was to take pictures of 5 things that made you happy. I cheated and sent this to Gina electronically. (Bad, bad Reethi.) Still, it was worth sharing, I think. (I tend to share more projects here, and less about me in real life, mostly because I like to keep them separate, and besides, my life isn't really that interesting...)

Ok, onto my 5 things that make me happy:

1. Coffee. In particular, this coffee, both because it reminds me of a vacation where I sat in the tent at Café du Monde and ate beignets and drank this very good coffee, but also because this is very good coffee. Also, the tins make me happy. They are so colorful!

2. My new bag – especially the colors, and the pom-poms. This bag is a bit of a departure for me, since the goal was to make it from what I had lying around, but also just play with it. I love how the colors ended up working together, and the pom-pom trim just added a bit of kickiness. (I also like saying pom-pom, and making up words like kickiness.)

3. My cool dining table light. A find at the clearance table at Urban Outfitters, $10, and its given me three years of pleasure. At night, it casts this beautiful orange glow, and my apartment looks warm and inviting. Looking up through the window, I want to go in and ‘be in’ my life.

4. Vacation - I’m always dreaming of vacation, or planning a vacation, or basking in the glow that comes from a good vacation… Recently, I was able to sneak away to Key West for a weekend, this was in early April, when Michigan was experiencing a super-cold weekend, which made this extra special. I stood at the water’s edge, and took this photo to remind me of how warm the sun felt, how welcome-cool the water was, and how lucky I was to be there.

5. And last, but not least. Harry Potter. (The book, not the movie.) For years now, I’ve been reading the series, waiting with huge anticipation as each book comes out, devouring it in instants, and then waiting again… And now, less than a month to go before the final book is out! Hugely excited!

That's it. 5 thing that make me happy. Although, to be honest, a ton of things make me happy. Coffee's probably always number 1 though. (How did shoes not make it to this list, anyway? Shoes make me happy too... very, very happy. Even when my toes are in agony, happy.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Woo hoo!

So, I noticed today on bloglines that I have 7 subscribers. How did that happen? The 7 of you - thank you for putting up with my almost-never posting... And hey! This will be my 25th post!

I should have a give-away. (I have to warn you though, I'm not one of those super-neat sewers. My work does not hold up under close scrutiny.)

Ok, giveaway. I'll give away this tote, inspired by my Simple Sewing book to a random commenter, if you comment on this post. The tote itself is a combination of new and thrifted material. I think its kind of cool and funky.

EDITED TO ADD: Oops, forgot to mention, I'll draw names next Monday, July 2nd...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Old stuff

I think I've mentioned here before that I used to quilt (or rather, just make the patchwork tops) a lot, once upon a time. And I would sell stuff on eBay, and get heartbroken when stuff wouldn't sell well, and my hours of effort, not to mention fabric, would get bought for $20. Or less.

Anyway, I was browsing through an old backup, and found these pics, so I thought I'd share.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My grandmother's birthday quilt...

When I saw this beautiful quilt at Amanda's blog, I was choked up a little by the post and the thought. I also filed it mentally away...

Until last week, when I made a similar quilt for my grandmother's 90th birthday. She's my only living grandparent, this birthday is a big deal, my parents will both be flying to India for it, and I wish I could be there too.

The quilt... (apologies for the ridiculously large picture, but I'm too lazy to resize)

I twisted my family's collective arms for the pictures, with me calling my parents in Canada to ask for pics, and they calling across the world to India. Sheesh, you would think collecting photos would be easier.

Close-up of my grandparents...

Thank you for the inspiration, Amanda. And the entire blog world, that is so generous in sharing everything that they create. I'm very grateful.