Winner winner, chicken dinner!!

We have a winner!

Wait, we have TWO winners!  I decided to pick a winner for each palette!

Drum roll please…..

   

I will be coordinating with the two winners to get measurements and go over styles and prefs.   Thanks to everyone that entered the contest.  Remember, I am available for commissioned pieces, if you are so inclined.

In the spirit of Me Made May, here is a photo of my first outfit for the month.  The kiddo took the pic and yes, I’m holding containers of fruit.

 

I’ve been making simple, stretchy pencil skirts.  I can make them the correct length, they don’t wrinkle and they are a wardrobe staple.  The top is $3 thrift store find that I altered down to the correct size.

Yeah for Me Made May!  More to come!

Grandma’s Bunnies

It’s been a while.  Work is busy.  Family is busy.  Ok, who am I kidding?  I’ve been binge watching Kimmy Schmidt and Poirot (don’t judge).

I’ve been doing some of my favorite sewing over the last week.  A friend asked me to turn some of her late grandmother’s night gowns into something for her two boys and two nieces.  She chose bunnies and since we are so close to Easter, it couldn’t get any cuter.

Making new things out of old things can be a bit of a challenge, but those things are easily resolved with a little patience and planning.  I had to piece together the fabric since the pattern I use has you only cutting out four pieces.  No worries, that’s easy enough.  I monogrammed patches for the bunnies and embroidered the grandmother’s name on one of the ears.  

All in all, a sweet addition to anyone’s Easter basket.





Everyone enjoy the first week of Spring!  My next posts will be about our family adventure.

The Rhino Dress

A good friend of mine just had her 40th birthday, as well as retired from 18 years of midwifery. She asked if I could make her a dress for the party, if she found the fabric she wanted. She wanted rhinoceros fabric. Not fabric made out of rhinos (who does that anyway?!), but fabric with rhinos on it (there is a story there as to why the rhino is important to Jennifer and her midwifery, but that’s her story to tell). We were dealing with a tight turnaround and the holidays, so the fabric sourcing fell short. Not to let a little hiccup like that get in the way, I thought it might be an opportune time to try out something I had been experimenting with…painted linen. I decided to paint her a dress.

I started with a lightweight dark navy prewashed linen. I cut out the pattern (very simple, swing shift), basted the side seam and went to work with some chalk from my kiddo’s art drawer.
IMG_4838.JPG
I then used soft fabric paint from the craft store to make the design permanent. I decided to use bright colors and really had no what it would turn into.

IMG_4844.JPG (paint is not my go-to medium…can you tell?)

I let the paint dry overnight, ironed the backside of the fabric to help set it and finished sewing up the dress. Voila! Not the most technical of sewing, but finished in time and, it’s a rhino!

IMG_4948-0.JPG

IMG_4949-0.JPG
Congratulations Jennifer! You’re going to rock 40 and you have left a legacy of dozens of happy babies and families. You make our community a better place!

IMG_4944.JPG

Test Day!

When I was a teenager, someone gave my dad a Hawaiian shirt with cars on it. That was the start. Over the years, he received more Hawaiian car shirts until he had quite the collection. Dad teaches high school auto mechanics and started wearing the shirts on days he was giving a test. Students would see him walking down the hall, wearing a bright flowery shirt with Corvettes, and lament about how they forgot about the test and weren’t prepared. The shirt collection continued for a number of years until the high school went to a more “standardized” faculty dress code. At that point, the shirts were boxed up and put in the attic. A few months ago, Dad gave me the box, thinking I might be able to do something with them.
So, this is what I came up with:
IMG_4794.JPG

IMG_4841.JPG
It wasn’t anything very technical, but still enjoyed. Vroom, vroom….

IMG_4800.JPG

Teachers Love Caffeine

I almost dropped the ball with the teacher gift, but I got it together and whipped something up the day before the party. I was pretty proud of myself until the morning of the party when I forgot the aide….argh.
IMG_4771.JPG

IMG_4773.JPG

IMG_4772.JPG
I had a couple of reusable ceramic coffee cups in my stash, so I fashioned a personalized quilted cup cover and added a monogrammed zipper bag. When I bought my embroidery machine, I had grand ideas of uber-artsy embroidered designs rendered from more uber-artsy photography and graphic design…. Nope, I just monogram stuff. Oh well, if it earns the kid an “A”, then I guess it was worth it.

Tea Time

My office is on a downtown square and over the last five years, some great little shops have opened. One of them is Savoy Tea Company. They have an amazing selection of teas and accouterments and are some of the nicest folks. With their help I was able to accessorize this fun travel tea portfolio I made for a friend’s birthday.
IMG_4598.JPG

IMG_4596.JPG

IMG_4594.JPG

IMG_4595.JPG
The portfolio has a zipper pocket to hold all the loose teas, pockets for the spoon and diffuser, monogrammed leather coaster and personalized linen napkin. This was a fun project and one I think I will be repeating!

The Maker Movement

I recently visited with two different people involved in education and they both referred to “the maker’s movement.” I guess kids these days don’t know how to make things, so we need to set up maker spaces and give special instruction, etc. In my day, we called them home economics and vocational classes….guess that isn’t cool anymore.

I like to think The Lazy E (our home) is a giant maker space.
Want to dig a hole? Grab a shovel. Want to carve a spoon from a fallen tree? Grab a saw and a knife.
Want to whip up a new outfit? Head up to the sewing loft and plug in the machines. This is how I grew up and this is how we are raising the kiddo. It makes me sad to think of kids not having the chance to create and succeed and fail.

The kiddo turns six in a couple of days and a special gift came in the mail this week…her own sewing machine (thank you Aunt Gloria). She saw someone wearing a sweater poncho and was determined to have one for her own. Let’s “make” one!
IMG_4673.JPG
She did a good job with the project and, although the seams weren’t straight and things weren’t perfect, she made it and she loved it.
I can’t wait to see what the kid comes up with next!

The Next Betsy Johnson

The kid loves to create. She makes a lot of things (apple doesn’t fall far from that tree). She has also been unfortunately conditioned to think that my sewing studio is a place that churns out finished product at a moment’s notice. She makes many requests for clothing, accessories, etc. Very few of these ideas ever get past the drawing board (mommy likes to sew what she wants, when she wants…it’s therapy). This has been causing the kid some frustration and I have been encouraging her to take matters into her own hands. What has come of this, has been really fun to watch. Organically draped and hand-stitched couture designs. Incorporation of all kinds of materials and methods. I try very hard to not qualify the product, but the effort that she is putting into it. It’s really great to see her work out challenges with math, physics, and language, as well as develop her opinion about aesthetics and function.
A project from last week:
IMG_4336-0.JPG

When it came time for a Halloween costume, she said she wanted to be a witch. I wasn’t super-excited, but then I decided that a witch was better than a princess because at least it’s a profession (I’m not a princess-hater and Queen Latifah is one of my favorite people, but raising a girl in the Disney princess day and age can be a challenge). I told her to sketch out the costume idea and we would work on it together. Here is her sketch:

IMG_4413.JPG
Pretty good, huh? She’s in kindergarten and not yet a full-fledged reader, but they are already journaling and writing. I love the way she was labeled the different elements.
We worked on the costume together and here is the finished product:

IMG_4387.JPG
Here she is with her best bud:

IMG_4400.JPG (Check out more of these crazy two over at Musings of Motherhood)

This kind of creating does come with a price. Listen up Pinterest Moms: the finished product looks like crap (see this post’s first photo). They are kids. If the kiddo is going to do the project themselves, it’s not going to be to your standards. That’s ok. Let them do it, let them color outside the lines and hot glue stuff to themselves. You may lose a couch cushion or two, but your kid won’t be paralyzed at the thought of a blank canvas. I’ve hosted a lot of adult craft parties (not parties for kinky crafts, just adults making crafts) and I’m always dumbfounded by the number of adults (especially women) that say, “I’m not creative. I have no idea what to do. Can you just make it for me and put my name on it?” Argh!!!! Pick up the scissors and damn glue stick and get in there! It’s not a heart in a cooler. No one is going to die. Just start cutting! Anyway, I digress.
Creating with the kid is fun. It’s not always relaxing, but I can see her mind at work and her excitement.

It makes me happy.

Columbus Day Dress

The kiddo came out of her room one day this past weekend wearing a dress I made her last year.
IMG_4263.JPG
I was trying out a pattern I had come up with and wanted something that was cute and comfy. I made it big last year because the kid grows like a weed. This year it fits her just right and is very cute. She asked if I could make her another one…how could I refuse.

Long sleeved, stretchy with a fun pocket in the front and a double-thickness skirt for playground fun. I think it turned out cute and my model loved it!

IMG_4279.JPG

IMG_4278.JPG

A Herd of Memories

I love the special sewing projects. Someone comes to me with an idea and allows me to take a little creative licensing with the end product.

A friend asked me to alter a robe that belonged to her grandmother. The robe was very long and she wanted something shorter to have with her at the hospital for the birth of her first child. She then asked if I could make some stuffed elephants with the leftover fabric to give to her sisters as gift.

I love these kinds of projects. I love hearing the stories about the items and I love hearing the reactions of the recipients.

Sewing makes my heart happy.

IMG_4158.JPG

IMG_4159.JPG

IMG_4153.JPG