Friday, June 2, 2023

me made may 2023

I’ve just wrapped up another Me Made May! This year I committed to wearing as many of my handmade items as possible, and I managed to wear something almost every day.
Top Row (L to R): Dory Cardigan, Lane Raglan hoodie, striped raglan sweater, fade pullover, Cheyenne Tunic button down

2nd Row: Breathing Space sweater, Biscayne Blouse, Julia cardigan, Cheyenne tunic, Georgetown cardigan

3rd Row: Lark Tee, Lane raglan v-neck, Bettine top, Biscayne Blouse, sleeveless top

4th Row: Estuary Skirt, Julia cardigan, sleeveless top, City Gym Shorts, Blackwood Cardigan

5th Row: Lady Skater dress, Bettine top, Helen's Closet robe, Pussy Bow Blouse, Nittany top

A couple of items are new this May. I originally bought the yarn for this sweater (Garnstudio DROPS baby merino in colorway "grey" - it's less purple than it looks in this photo) to make a "Magnolia Bloom Light" sweater, but the gauge was just too far off. Then I started a Culswick pullover but the lace pattern was just too slow-going. I pulled that out and decided to just make a simple striped raglan sweater with some black Berroco Ultra Wool Fine yarn leftover from my Fiesta mittens. The sweater is based on the "Ink and Brass" pattern, though I've been calling mine "Ink and Iron" due to the color scheme. I didn't have quite enough black yarn to finish the stripes, so I added a few purple stripes to the end of the sleeves. They turned out to be my favorite part! The yarn is really soft, and I love the fit of this sweater. Shame I only got to wear it once before it got hot out!
I also finished sewing this Nittany Top recently. I wore it to celebrate the last day of Me Made May. It was fun to sew and I love how the pleated neckline came together. This feels like a good staple wardrobe pattern, and would look pretty sleeveless as well as with the sleeves. I bought 1.75 yd of fabric (Art Gallery tinted bloom rayon in "dusk"), which was plenty for a size 4. I made the view without the keyhole; the only modifications were shortening by 1" and using french seams at the shoulders and sides.
Lastly, I didn't actually wear this in May, but I finished it just in time for Easter. (Did you notice it in our Easter photos?) This is a Style Arc Tulip Dress in a rayon crepe and bemberg lining from Harts Fabric. I didn't expect this crepe fabric to be stretchy when I bought it, since I've never worked with crepe before. It makes the dress comfy to wear, but it sags a bit in the bodice due to the weight of the material. Fortunately, the bodice lining keeps the structure and helps hold the waistband and skirt in place. I followed the Moneta Dress instructions for assembling the bodice to the sleeves, which keeps all the seams nicely hidden inside the lining. The tulip sleeves are so cute, and I love how they match the hemline!
To combat the stretch in the seams, I reinforced the pocket edges, neckline, and zipper seam with twill tape instead of interfacing. I lined the back of the skirt also. I finally bought an invisible zipper foot and it made sewing the zipper less annoying. Win! I cut the pocket from lining only, but I made the pocket bearer with a layer of crepe and a layer of lining for extra support (and slipperiness against the skin.) The pockets actually lay flat when the dress is flat, but they stick out a bit when the dress is on my body. I'd love to see how this pattern behaves with a slightly sturdier material like a cotton sateen.

I did make a muslin for the bodice (size 8 graded to 10 at the waist), and eventually decided to just sew a straight 10 with the bodice shortened 1/2" and the hem shortened a bit too. The hem is just overlocked, turned up 3/4" and stitched with a zig-zag blind hem stitch.

Lastly, I apparenty never blogged this Sew Over It Pussy Bow blouse and Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt that I made for Christmas this year. The skirt didn't make an appearance in May, but the top did. The blouse is a size 10 based on 35” bust. I did all French seams and followed instructions by Cashmerette for the sleeve splits (though I think I put them in the wrong spot - inner wrist vs. outer!) I don't love the finish at the top of the bow and had to do a little hand stitching to get it to look right. Also, the sleeve caps fit kinda weird. This is my second SOI pattern and I've had sleeve issues both times!
The skirt is made from a crushed velvet that I impulse purchased (very rare for me) from JoAnn. I lined the skirt, but the lining has a tendency has a tendency to ride up and the waistband has a tendency to roll down. Still cute though!
Phew, that was a lot of new stuff I made over the last ~9 months!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

seven years of mae

Happy 7th birthday, Mae! The best part of this year has been watching Mae's independence grow. She has her own activities, her own friends, her own secrets and inside jokes! She's building a whole life in her own world and we have front row seats to watch it all happen!
Mae has been really busy leading up to the end of school. I'm looking forward to it slowing down a bit this summer!

Mondays are for track practice. Her season just wrapped up, which means no more early Saturday track meets! Mae tried out all the events this year, but her favorites were the 50m dash and the long jump. Her free-flowing hair always makes her easy to spot on the track because she refuses to wear a ponytail.
Tuesdays are for CCD. Mae loved the calm, Montessori-style classes. She learns Bible stories and prayers while she also painting watercolors, singing, and arranging flowers. They had a family prayer service to wrap up the year, and Mae was asked to sing along with two other girls. She was nervous but very excited to use a microphone.

Wednesdays are for gymnastics. Mae's cartwheel and handstand skills have grown so much since she started last year! She has gained a lot of confidence on the beam, but her favorite activity is the vault. She was excited to show off all her skills at the showcase this spring!
I think gymnastics has helped with her resilience and determination, too. She went to a birthday party a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to do some climbing in a harness. At the top of her first obstacle, she froze in fear and I had to help her down. Instead of asking to go home, she immediately got in line to climb the next wall and made it to the top (and back down) with no issues!
Thursdays, Mae finally gets a break from all her activities. She likes to wind down after school by playing games on her Kindle. She loves reading and cannot let a new book sit unread for more than a minute. Her favorites are still graphic novels like "Catstronauts" but she has been spending more time on chapter books like "Critter Club" and "Boxcar Children." She secretly reads books in bed after we turn the lights out at night, but we secretly love it.
Friday mornings are for choir practice. Mae's choir season just wrapped up with their big spring concert. We loved the Beatles theme (although I am looking forward to not having "Yellow Submarine" stuck in my head every day).
Friday evenings, we're all worn out. Usually that means homemade pizza and TV or movie night. Mae and Colin still watch a lot of "Octonauts," but also mix in "Ada Twist, Scientist" and "Bluey." We just introduced the kids to "Star Wars" and are slowly working our way through Episode IV. Mae is absolutely fascinated by "the force" but also frustrated by its limitations, asking "Why can't they just solve the problem with the force??" Hey, I don't make the force rules, kiddo!
Weekends are for play time! She has an amazing little group of friends on the street that she seeks out whenever she gets bored at home. They like to play pretend or American Girl dolls or to just roam the sidewalks wearing silly costumes and making ghost noises. Things like that. Their latest endeavors have involved putting on elaborate "shows" with sets, costumes, props, scripts, and music. So far, we've watched one about an astronaut befriending an alien, and one about princesses going on an adventure.
This morning, on her birthday, she came downstairs and immediately sat down at the little table in our kitchen and drew out this whole picture before even coming in to say "good morning" to Colin and me on the couch. Can't wait to see next show; looks like it'll be about superheros that "fhit crim!"
She also spends a lot of time making signs for our house. There are currently papers taped all over the house with important information like "steps for boo-boo" (followed by a fairly accurate list of first aid treatments) and "Find hurt animals? Take to play room (vet)."

We celebrated her birthday this evening with a specifically requested dinner of hot dogs, cantaloupe, chips, baby carrots, and strawberry ice cream cake (my first attempt at making an ice cream cake). She was excited to open her gifts, especially the Tamagotchi, Kittycorn, and Playmobil petting zoo from GranE and Batman.
We love you so much, kiddo. You are turning into an awesome person! We can't wait to see what year eight brings for you!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

egg-cellent easter

I think the best part of Easter this year was watching Colin try to understand all the egg-related activities. I told him that we were going on an egg hunt, and we would find plastic eggs and open them. But when I asked, "What's gonna be inside?" he confidently answered, "Easter!"

I think he started to get the hang of it Saturday afternoon. We took Mae and Colin to an egg hunt at my parents neighborhood playground. Mae went for quantity and got quite the haul of eggs. Colin was a bit more particular about his egg hunting, and got a few little trinkets and some candy. The weather was beautiful and we stuck around to play for a while!
On Sunday we went to mass and then had brunch. The weather was perfect for taking family photos outside! (Haven't my stitches healed nicely?)
We dyed eggs and then hid them in the yard. Colin found out that not all eggs have candy inside. Some just have egg.
Colin enjoyed the egg-hunting and candy-eating, but his favorite part was the lawn mower-sitting.