Monday, October 31, 2011

Cookies For Halloween. Waaaay Better Than Candy.




…or Treat.


Decisions, decisions…..  I’d have to go with… trick. 

And treat.   I’m greedy.

Ok, mostly that was for Angie A’s benefit.  I was just going to email it to her.  But I figured, “Why not share the wealth?”  I’m super-generous like that.

No.  Really.  I am.

Ok, fine.  Here’s something else:


TLo was beside herself with pride about her Hermione Granger costume (she once asked me with deep concern if I would let her go to Hogwarts when her letter came--- I’m all like, “Yep.  Sure.  Off you go!  Have fun!!”)

Unfortunately, Mean Kids suck.  She was very unhappy at the end of school today because “everyone” said her costume was “the worst one”.  Although you could take that with a pretty good chunk of sodium chloride.  It’s entirely possible only one kid (who shall remain nameless) said that.   He’s like that.  They’ve gotten into serious and heated ideological Harry Potter debates before.

And then there’s the other one.  Apparently the consensus on Facebook is that The Big One is wearing a “devilrina” costume.   You know.  A devil?  And a ballerina?  That’s totally normal, right?

Well, at least it’s highly appropriate.


Next time I’ll show you pictures of the two little skirts I made for TLo.  Honest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Uniformity. It’s Still So… Uniform.

So, should I be disturbed that my post about a random celebrity I've never met (or am likely to meet) has engendered more commentary, email and excitable conversation than... anything I actually contributed to the world?  I mean, contributed other than bringing the amazing hawtness of Jason Isaacs to your attention.  I didn't make Jason Isaacs.  I didn't offer any useful addition to the world at large or even the small cosmos of our little sewing circle (again, other than perhaps my bringing the amazing hawtness of Jason Isaacs to your attention... which I supposed is worth something...).

-sigh-  Sadly, I feel this might be the story of my life. The generating of random useless pieces of entertainment is my contribution to the world.

Jonas Salk I am not.

Saying that, I have now heard three or four interesting stories about meeting super-hot celebrities-- some random and fleeting, some... not so random or fleeting.  This is pretty cool (for me).  But... useful?  Contributing to the Greater Good?  Hmmm.

To make myself feel better, I'm posting up pictures of the latest addition to TLo's school uniform.


Ottobre 1-2007 #19.  I made this in Angelina Ballerina fabric for The Big One when she was four.  It was keeeyute-cute. It suddenly sprang back to mind this past week as a more interesting option than a plain A-line jumper.  I had to grade it up in width, as TLo is now a 116/122 in length but a 134/146 in width and this pattern only goes up to 128.  Still that wasn't very tricky, I just added some width to everything down the center front and back based on the difference between the body measurements for a 128 and a 146.  Easy-peasy.

No, the big problem was the ruffles.  This pattern calls for a full back in fashion fabric and then attaching the ruffles to that.  Which when I made it in light-weight cotton wasn't a problem.  However, not so good when using bottom-weight twill.  I was worried the dress would weigh forty pounds and possibly I'd get a phone call from school saying my child was stuck on her back like an overturned turtle, arms and legs waving frantically in the air because of her ridiculously overbalanced dress.  I had visions of all the other kids solemnly stepping over her on the playground or a swarm of crazed seven-year-olds howling in panic about "that kid who's stuck on her back under the jungle gym".

Obviously the solution was to make the ruffles in something light-weight.  Except it had to match the base fabric exactly, lest I get a nasty phone call from the school informing me my child's uniform was not uniform.  (OK fine, I've never once received such a call but still... I don't want to chance it.)

Here’s an over-exposed image to show you the ruffles better:


I have thirty-three pieces of light brown, dark brown and navy blue fabric.  Not one of them matches another one.  Not. One.  Much cursing was to be heard.  And I just downright refuse to buy one more piece of light brown, dark brown or navy blue fabric until I get rid of some of that other stuff.  Even I have fabric-buying limits.

Stop laughing.

Despite the fact that I didn't think red-headed TLo would really rock a black dress, blacks are slightly easier to match.  I finally managed to match up a black twill with a black knit close enough to get by.  In the photos it looks like the knit is much darker, but that's a trick of the lighting.  It's not nearly so noticeable in person.


I also used a black-and-white cotton print to do the pockets and the little decorative bar on the front of the bodice.  Despite the above avowal of trying to avoid a distraught phone call from school about non-uniform uniforms, I feel compelled to include a small detail of pattern or color in these dumb things.


Yes.  I'm a rebel like that.

One note if you're going to make this yourself, something I realized the last time I made this and forgot about this time: the straps are crazy long.  I put TLo's buttons about 4-5 inches up the length of the straps and they really need to come up another 2 inches at least.  In fact, I had to pin up the straps this morning before she went to school because they were just not snug enough.  It's almost as if Ottobre designed the straps to use adjustable overall buckles and then forgot and did buttons-and-buttonholes instead.  Which if you want to do overall buckles would be handy.  If I make this again (I probably will, it's just too cute not to), I think I'll do that.

I like to avoid buttonholes whenever possible.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Cookie For A Cookie… it’s like Hammurabi. You know… Hammurabi.

So y’know how sometimes you think to yourself, “Self, that there actor is interesting.  And sort of… interesting.  In an… interesting sort of way…”  And then you don’t ever really think about that particular actor much ever again?

Did you watch Masterpiece Mystery this past week?  They’re running BBC’s “Case Histories”.  You should check it out.  ‘Cause seriously:


lucius malfoy

Lucius Malfoy?



Michael Caffee?


that guy from the patriot

That scary guy from The Patriot?

I mean, fine.  Jason Isaacs is a good lookin’ dude.   But….  evil villains… not really my type.


(Government-sanctioned psychopathic killers?  Totally my type.


But I digress.

You’re welcome.)


Annnnyway…. Jason Isaacs.  Case Histories.  The good guy.

case histories


I want one for Christmas.

We leave cookies for Santa.  I think Santa should, y’know, reciprocate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Angie A: I See Your Bet And Raise You…


Marlena - Red Plaid

I had these shoes in my cart.  Almost.  I went to do something else and when I came back… they were out of my size!  Seriously.  My head hurt.   I had to lie down. 

It was traumatic.



So I had to buy these instead.  They were half price. 

Had to.

Daniele - silver and black

Darcie - Red Plaid

It was also worth it to watch TLo and The Big One gleefully tottering around the living room in them this evening.  I don’t know why, but they liked these. A lot.


Hmmmmm…. more trouble…..

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Hate Linen.

No, really.  I hate it.

In case you suffered from the misapprehension that I haven’t sewn anything in the past three months, I can assure you I have.  At least one thing. 

This thing, to be precise:


No wait.  There’s more:



These, in case you were wondering, are photos of the linen jumper I made for TLo’s school uniform.  Which I took after I washed it.  For the fourth time. 

Yes.  You heard me.  I’ve only washed this garment four times.  And I’ll probably have to throw it in the trash.


I even piped the flippin’ pockets, people. 


(It’s extra-wrinkly because it’s still wet from the washer.  Also, I took a picture of my toes.  Neato.)



This is what I used to make the Evil Self-Destructionator 2000:  Ottobre 3/2011 #18.  Cotton gingham.  Outrageously poor-quality linen.

Ottobre Design 3/2011 #18


This is what a child looks like, frolicking and blithely making a mess, when she is blissfully aware that her dress has not self-destructed.

3-11-18 photo


I’m not even going to bother to show you what a child in our house looks like when her dress self-destructs.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

World. World, World, World….

World, you fail me.

Not only did you not make me a Tintin purse, but you have also failed to make me these shoes.  In a Tintin version, of course.


I’m disappointed, world.  Deeply disappointed.



Note to self: find a pair of cheap red leather wedges.  Post haste.

Note to other people: Awesome ideas for making comic book purses.  Especially the leather-and-tshirt-print idea.  Thanks!!