Monday, September 30, 2013

LBJs

LBJs as in little black jumpers.  My friend Meredith recently gave me a huge amount of fabric that she  had planned on using but hadn't.  Her only request was that I turn the 2 yards of black minky into jumpers for her 2 daughters to wear this weekend.  Her plan is really rather brilliant.  She wanted plain black jumpers so she could but different turtle necks under them for the holidays.  Her plan is to start with orange in October, then red for Christmas or maybe green, and then hot pink for Valentines day.  The challenge here for me was one I've become familiar with lately.  I needed to keep things simple and neutral.  I used the Carla C A-line pattern that I've used bunches of times over the years and got pretty black buttons for the shoulders.  
I know this is the last day in September but since I didn't get through my plans for this month or even get pictures of everything I made I'm just going to keep remaking for a while since I have such fun projects planned out.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Simple but Sweet

Emily is at a bit of a transitional age when it comes to just about everything and clothing is no exception.  She still loves her fancy dresses some days but she's also starting to want some more big girl clothes.  Oh joy I love trying to dress a little girl like a slightly more grown up girl not like well you all know what is out there these days.  With this going on my current favorite not so little anymore girl pattern is the Oliver and s Music Class Skirt.  I will try the blouse at some point but let me tell you the skirt is near perfection.  It has pockets, a bit of a ruffle, and is straight but not so straight that she can't sit on the floor.
I used the last of the denim from these shorts which as a side note have become pretty popular with Emily and a bit of floral bias tape.  I just couldn't stand the idea of making an absolutely plain denim skirt so the bias tape was just the thing.  I got mine in a swap but this etsy store has bunches of it and as soon as I run out I plan on ordering some from her.
Isn't she cute getting ready for to go to school in the morning.  She seems to really like this one so hopefully she will wear it though the winter.  I made a size 6 just like last time and I'm pleased with the whole thing including the length.  That said by the spring I bet I will be adding a bit to the length.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cherries and Lace

I seem to be having a bit of a love affair with Jalie 3245.  I find this funny because I was entirely unimpressed with it when it first came out.  That said this is my 6th version total and my first go at the raglan sleeves.  What can I say I'm in love and I'm sure there will be more of these this winter. I've already got the fabric to make another one with lace sleeves.
Both of these fabrics are from fabric.com I think last summer.  I originally ordered them to make underwear but decided I prefer cotton lycra for that so I sat them aside to be some sort of shirt.  
I really like everything about this pattern but mostly the fact that its got a girly cut but it isn't skin tight.  I think with my chest I look better in a shirt that curves in under there but I'm much more comfortable in a shirt that isn't super tight.

I will say the down side of remakes is that I don't always have much to say.  It went together well.  The only real change I made from the pattern was cutting the neck binding a bit wider so that it was easier to bind the neckline
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jenny Jo's Sassy Skirt

I got an email earlier this week from Jenny Jo showing me the awesome fruity outfit she made her daughter using the Children's Corner Sassy Skirt pattern and a smocking pattern that I totally wish weren't from a magazine so I could just click on buy it now.

I've got some posts coming just as soon as I get the pictures up and ready.  In the mean time feel free to leave me links to things you've made for the second plus time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Days 1 and 2

Its another Paris post.  I know you want to hear about sewing as well but I hope this is fun too.  So here's the scoop on our first two days in the city of lights and love.
As I said when we got there it was cold and raining.  Let me tell you how unprepared we were for this.  We had no umbrellas as we figured we'd buy them if we needed them and no jackets.  Let me tell you how much I was wishing for an REI and some of those great rain coats they make.  What we ended up with were umbrellas sold technically illegally in front of the Louvre.  They were complete junk but a total life saver.  We also wandered into a department store and got the kids long sleeve tops.  Neil and I just tuffed it out but boy were we glad to get into the museum.  We  had museum passes so we got to go in the shorter blue line but the metro stop under the museum was closed so we all had to stand outside in the rain.
 Once in we just sort of walked in a direction and ended up in sculptures.  They were unreal.  I mean the detail was shocking as is the shear volume of art in the Louvre.  That said we have a boy and a girl so they have a good idea of what people look like but if you were to have kids who didn't you would want to cover that before checking out the sculptures.
After that we were really tired.   The first day just sucks because of the time change so it was time for lunch. Then we went back to the apartment and wandered the neighborhood.

Day 2 started with a ride on the hop on hop off bus tour.  Both kids really liked this and it gave us a great chance to see some things that we weren't going to visit but still wanted to see.
We decided to hop off at the Arc De Triomphe.  This was a great first climb to the top as they are old windy stairs but are not nearly as bad as the ones at Notre Dame.  Plus you can see most of what you will be going to see from the top and there is a lot of space to move around up there.
Then it was off to lunch with our untours rep.  A little note we were 30 minutes late bc while the bus tour was super fun it was not fast.
Here I am eating my fish.  I did have to put the lemon over its eye while I ate it but man was it good.  This was actually the only super long french meal we took the time for.  The kids did well but 2.5 hours for lunch was pushing them pretty hard so we ate in cafes the rest of the time.  Still great food but not quite such a time commitment.

After lunch we headed up to the Luxembourg Gardens so the kids could play.
I think the big sail boat fountain was one of Elijah's favorite things.
As always Emily liked the flowers.  I will point out though parks in Paris are different then our local parks.  Part of why the grass is so green and the flowers are so pretty is bc you are not allowed on them.  This was fine and there are plenty of places you can walk but also plenty that you can't.
Emily liked the swing as well.  Again though another difference is that you have to pay a little bit to use various things like the boats, swings, play ground, cars, and the bathroom.  A friend told me to pack a change purse and I'm glad I did bc you need some single Euros at all times.
Then we headed back to the area around Notra Dame to hang out for the evening before we walked the rest of the way back to the apartment.
Part of the fun was checking out the street performers.
We also went to the place everyone seems to say has the best ice cream.  It was really that good.  We went 3 times in one week.
During our walk back we ran into a mime who was great to the kids.  Emily wasn't sure about him but Elijah played along well.
Emily bought her pink Eiffel tower from one of the book sellers along the river.
Then we realized it was late and we were all tired and hungry so we stopped that what seemed to be the equivalent of a fast food joint.  Lets just say I wish we had these little places where you could get 10 different kinds of crepes plus soda made with real juice and no hfcs.  At this point we walked/stumbled back to the apartment to put the kids to bed.  Then Neil and I stayed up for a bit to drink some wine and eat some cheese.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Another Paris Post

In some ways our trip already feels like a distant memory don't you just hate how that happens?  I still would like to do some more posts about it though mostly because people still seem shocked that we took our kids to Paris and had a great time.  So here are a few of the basic bits.

The flight was my biggest concern.  I had spent a day traveling before but never been on a flight that long.  The kids hadn't even come close.  We had been in the car for that long with my son before and it was awful.  When we booked the trip I sort of blocked the getting there and home part out of my mind but of course as it started to come closer I had to face it and make a plan.  We backed two tablets loaded with games and movies, a bunch of quite educational toys, clean clothes for everyone, and some snacks.  We also got seats on the side so that each of us could sit with one kid and have no one else right there with us.  Turns out most of what I packed we didn't need.  Each seat came with its own touch screen tv that was loaded with way more movies and games so the kids pretty much just used that.  Emily changed movies constantly but that was fine.  I also think she watched the Croods 4 times.  I was glad to have some snacks though bc neither kid ate much of their airplane dinner.  Not that I blame them it was pretty nasty.  The only hard part really was the timing of all of this.  Paris is 6 hours  ahead of the East coast so we left at about 5pm here and got there at about 6:30 am but had not really slept.  Most of us tried at some point but sleep just did not come.

Our first few hours were a bit nerve racking.  We arrived way before check in time at our apartment and the property manager was having car trouble so our untours rep had the car service take us to the cafe across the street to wait for him.  There were about 20 minutes there where I was beginning to think we had really screwed up.  It was cold, it was raining, we had all our luggage with us, and we were sitting at a cafe waiting for someone we had never met.  the food was great though and after airplane food that sure did help.  Thankfully about the time I was really starting to worry Mi-sour Eve hopped out of a taxi and took us up to our lovely apartment.

I didn't take many indoor pictures of the apartment which is too bad because it was beautiful. One of the things that puts me off to traveling in general is putting all 4 of us in one hotel room for a week or well really even a night.  Emily won't sleep unless she is running me off the bed and then Neil is to far away to easily knee in the back if  he starts snoring.  That lead us to a company called untours.  They help you a bit with trip planning, rent you an apartment, pick you up from the airport, get you settled in the neighborhood complete with groceries, take you to dinner or in our case lunch the 2nd day to see how you are doing and help you figure things out, and then when its all over they take you back to the airport.  Not a guided tour but it was great to have someone we could call for help when we needed a bit of input.  Here is a hopeful link to our apartment in Lescot.

Here are some photos of our neighborhood.
We were actually one of the first families that untours Paris had worked with which I found a bit sad.  I know not everyone can go to Europe and I'm not suggesting otherwise.  What I do want to show you thorough these posts though is that it is possible to take a family somewhere other then Disney World and have a great time.  I'm glad we decided to go and I'm glad we took the kids.  Seeing things through their eyes was one of the best parts of the entire trip.  While they caused us to speed through some things we could have spent hours at they also caused us to stop and see so many beautiful things that we could have just sped through.  Plus the insisted that we have ice cream almost every day and believe me that is a must is Paris where the ice cream is unreal.  Sadly much like the wine and cheese it may ruin your relationship with the American version.
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sunny is Resewing

I've got some more remakes coming but my husband/camera man is out of town for the week so those will have to wait.  In the meantime I'd love to know what you have been up too.  So far I have one link for you so hop over to SunnySewing to see her Jungle Stripe dress in the fabric her daughter requested.  Then hop back here and post a link to something you've remade.

Monday, September 16, 2013

One more try.

You may remember the lace tank I made from an old tablecloth a few months ago.  After I made it I liked it so much I ordered some navy blue lace to make another version.  Good thing too since the original ended up falling apart after a few wearings.  The fabric was just too fragile to handle being worn.  Oh well here's take 2.
These are the best pictures that we got not that they are great pictures.  I had been wearing this outfit all day and it was one of those really hot  humid days that come at the end of summer here in the South.
I used Jalie 3245 just like the first time.  I did not add any volume to the back this time though.  I'm pleased with the fit of this pattern and think it will get used quite a bit.  I don't necessarily think I look my absolute best in tank tops but sometimes its just too hot to wear anything else.
 Here is a close up of the lace.  I got it from fabric.com a while back but I don't remember which one is was.  I didn't line the top so I could wear different color tank tops under it depending on my mood and what not.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

old and new for K

Emily had her official first day of K last week and is doing quite well as am I though it is quite an adjustment. Don't get me wrong I am finding ways to fill the time but our family schedule has completely changed from the summer and to put it nicely everyone is adjusting.

I actually started this outfit last month but didn't get it finished until almost right before school started.  With that disclaimer the dress is from a new pattern that will most likely never be used again but the shorts are from the Lil Blue Boo leggings pattern that I have used twice already and will no doubt use again.
I usually don't even bother to look through the pattern books when I go shopping during the sales.  I always have a running list of which big 4 patterns I like bc I refuse to pay full price for them when they go on sale so often.  That said during the last Simplicity sale I decided to thumb through the book and came across what at first glance looked like a modern smocking pattern.  Once I got over the initial excitement I looked more closely and discovered that no you were just supposed to do some gathering and sew sequins over the stitches but I bought it anyways.
The pattern is Simplicity 1596.  I cut a size 5 but added a good bit to the middle front panel so that I could smock it and still have it be the right width for the dress.  I did not use a smocking plate and just made up the pattern as I went a long.  This was especially necessary since I also forgot to thread one of the rows on my pleater and did not notice until it was too late.  For the nonsmockers out there too late is the moment the fabric hits the pleater unless you want to start all over again.
 Lastly, here she is in her classroom.  She was really ready for mommy to get out of her hair and let her enjoy being a big girl by this point and her face certainly shows that.
Next up some stuff for me the grown up mommy lady.  Well technically is already been sewn but has to be photographed.  Sometimes that is the hard part.  I got a new camera recently and I'm thinking of asking for a tripod and remote for Christmas so I can just do that last bit myself.  My husband is very tolerant but he does not enjoy taking the pictures of me for the blog.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Great Vacation Pictures

I'm sure by now all of you who diligently read my blog or even stop by from time to time have noticed that while my husband and I are improving neither of us are great photographers.  We're trying I promise but in the mean time we occasionally want better pictures of our kids, our family, and well just life in general.  So about a week before we went to Paris I decided that I wanted to get some family pictures taken there.  I did a google search and none of the people or sites that popped up there ever got back with me so I hit craigs list.  There I found Lauren a lovely expat who lives in Paris with her husband and works as a photographer. We met her at the Eiffel Tower on day 3 of our trip and she took all of these lovely pics and many many more.  She was also great with the kids and new some cool spots that allowed her to get us and the tower in the same pictures which is not so easy since it is huge.  Like seriously if you haven't seen it in person its really really HUGE.


See aren't they great and there are more lots more.  This is by far my favorite memento from the trip and that is including the fabric I bought.  I'm so glad we took the time to do this and it really didn't even take that much time our session was for up to 2 hours but we had so many great pictures plus to kids that were done getting their picture taken in less time then that so we said so long and went to lunch.

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