Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Sweet Robe for my Sweet Omari

I am in love with this robe and I just know Omari is going to love it. It's pink and girly and sweet. Just like her. I made this with love and I'm excited for her to have it. BUT, it will have to wait 3 months b/c I'm saving both robes for Christmas. I can wait, I can wait, I can wait. I'm trying to show a close-up in the next pic but I didn't do that good a job.

Here is the lace beading. Okay, I didn't even know what that was. I had to go online to see it and then went downtown to the garment district to buy it. It was like 50 cents a yard or something ridiculous like that.

And here's a closeup of the collar. Yes, that is a single strand of hair that you see there. I did notice that hair seems to cling and weave itself easily into this material.

Here's the ruffled trim on the sleeve. I had to go back and stitch it down b/c it flipped down on the inside and that just bothered me.

I didn't do any of the handstitching that the pattern asked for. Neither did I use the seam binding. I think you're supposed to use that to kind of make the seams sturdier. I think I would do that if I make this again.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Well I've been tagged (aka "memed", what is that?) by default by Katie to write 8 things about me that you might not know. Well, the people that I know read my blog are non bloggers themselves and probably know most of these things about me. For anyone else who happens upon this, here it goes:

1. My employer would be appalled at how much time I spend on the internet

2. I used to sing in a band when I was in college

3. I like raunchy, ghetto rap

4. I like the disgusting mole I have on my shoulder. I've never considered removing it b/c it grosses little kids out and I think it's funny. I can imagine my grandkids someday saying, "Have you seen that gross mole that grandma has?"

5. I play Sudoku b/c I feel like I've lost too many brain cells. I'm trying to exercise that muscle to make me smart again.

6. I want to take a writing class for the same reason as #5. I just don't feel smart anymore! I feel like my writing skills have deteriorated to elementary level.

7. I really, really, really dislike cooking but do it at least once a week b/c it's better for my kids. Although, to be honest, I think that Trader Joe's frozen foods are just as good as homemade. hee

8. I love baking but don't do it b/c of my expanding waistline! In addition, I now work all by myself in a little office and I've no one to share my treats with.

So there. I'm now supposed to tag 8 people. But like Katie, I don't know if anyone other than my non-blogging friends read it. So if you read this and haven't yet been tagged, leave a comment and then write your 8 things.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A little bit at a time

Well, I'm almost done with Omari's Robe. But Tuesday got taken up with making Table Runners for Caroline's baby shower. I made 6. Easy but time consuming and not satisfying my creative nerve. I added 1 sleeve to the robe. Was all excited to finish it last night when I discovered I still had 2 more table runners left! Okay, so I finished those, added the other sleeve to the robe and finished them with the lace trim. I was about the add the zipper when The Man came home and so that was that. Not that he asks me to stop. But one has to spend time with their spouse when they've been apart all day. I felt bad for him b/c he got home around 10 pm and had to get up at 2:30am for another job. Plus, Naiobi said something hurtful and I knew he felt bad/sad about it. Anyway, I hope to finish the robe tonight. All that's needed is the zipper and the lace that goes around the waist area.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Wearable Blanket

I've had this in mind for many, many months. Finally got motivated because the weather is finally cooling down. I've walked into the girls' room a couple of times and Naiobi is curled up in a little ball with her blankets in the corner. Sometimes she gets up around 5am and when she crawls into bed with us, her clothes feels so cold.

So the purpose of this was to make a sleep sack that she could walk in. There are sleep sacks available up to size 5t, but it doesn't allow for the child to walk. And although the traditional blanket sleepers are effective, the kid has to strip down completely to use the bathroom. So I wanted something she could walk in and take off easily on her own to use the potty. This is basically pants that extend all the way up to her armpits. I also wanted it to be easy for me to slip on her while she slept.

I slipped this on her while she was sleeping.

This was super easy to put together. I attached all the ribbing in flat so that made it even easier. It doesn't solve the problem of her exposed arms, but I'm hoping it will keep her mostly warm. She typically wears long sleeve pajamas so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

UPDATE: I will have to add some elastic to the ribbing at the waist/chest area. This morning it was all wobbly and had slipped down to just above her waist. Omari said it was funny looking. Naiobi didn't say much but didn't seem to mind it.

Scrapdown #6

At least I think it's number 6. It might be 7. Anyway, we got together in Whittier again at Irene's. Lot's of people there this time. New scrappers that joined us: Michele, Rebecca, Letty and her friend (didn't catch her name). In addition, the following non-scrappers showed up: Elena with daughter Sofia, Alva, Monique, Carol, Monica S and Genie! We had a good time, although Alva kept complaining that there was no room for the non-scrappers.

And what do the kids do? Play and watch lots of tv. Some fall asleep. I got 3 layouts done and left pretty early, around 12:30a.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh, how cute is this?

Well, I think it's cute and I hope Naiobi does too. This is being entered in the Sewing Vintage contest at patternreview. I was going to only work on it for 1 hour but it turned into 3.5. All that it needs is to be hemmed. This is going to be a Christmas present if I can wait that long to give it to her. I will be working on Omari's on Saturday.

In this picture I was trying to show what the fabric is like. On the outside it's like a baby towel, with soft short loops. On the inside it's a little like sherpa, but not as tightly woven and softer. This was under the "sweatshirt fleece" section at Michael Levine's downtown.

I needed to get this done b/c there's another Scrapdown at Irene's on Friday. I only have this weekend to get my Vintage Sewing done b/c next weekend is Naiobi's birthday party and the likelihood I'd get them finished during the week is nil.

And here's a picture of the pattern I used. It was super simple to put together. What made it difficult to sew was the material. I had to be careful not to stretch it as I was sewing. I'm very happy with it and would definitely make it again in a woven fabric. The only 2 things I changed were that I inserted a zipper instead of using buttons because Naiobi can't do buttons and in addition, the prospect of having to make buttonholes was putting me off. And the other change was that I tapered the sleeves because they were HUGE. I mean, huge even for an adult garment.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I couldn't wait

Well, here's Naiobi in the suprise bday dress. I decided to her 3rd year portraits done and made an appointment for tomorrow. I wanted her to wear it and needed to see if I needed to make any alternations. She loved it!


OH hey! I made noodles! From Scratch. They came out way too thick and they weren't at all squirmy but they did taste good. Practice makes perfect. We'll be trying again this weekend. The girls and I.

The Shrug that didn't fit.

Despite the disappointment of this not fitting, I LOVED IT. This red fabric is soft and cozy and I've had it for about 4 or 5 years. I love how it feels. The shrug is too small b/c the piece I had only allowed for this size to be cut. It's a xs which I will be giving to my sister Gazel. This was so easy and fast! It took me just over an hour which was fabulous b/c I started it at around 1am after watching Pan's Labyrinth. You're probably wondering how I could possibly drag myself of the couch after watching that, but I needed a pick me up and this did it. The only thing I'd do differently is make the sleeves longer and narrower around the wrist.

An apron for me

So after I gave my sister her apron, she said she kept trying not to get it dirty. Well, now that I have one for myself, I don't want to get it dirty either!

I've had this material in my stash since Omari was a baby. I liked it but didn't know what to make with it. I was going to make a throw blanket but it was too girly for my living room. This is perfect b/c it's something I get to see daily. Hopefully, it won't get too stained.

Of course, my husband made the comment that people who wear aprons usually cook (grrr), so it might not be too bad. The bottom picture shows the curve of the hem.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Birthday Dress & 2 skirts

OOOOH I'm so happy with this little dress for several reasons: 1) I didn't use a pattern 2) It came out well despite not using a pattern and 3) I have a feeling she's going to LOVE it!

I am not the kind of person who does anything without first plotting it out. I get NERVOUS when I'm going to make something without following instructions or, in sewing, without a pattern. I started this dress at my sister's house. But I got so much anxiety about it that the only thing I did was sew the pieces for the skirt. It's about 1 1/4 yards of the dot fabric and the white quilting cottong I used for the lining. This was great b/c I just sewed the 2 pieces right sides together and turned it out and I had a hem!

The top was a purchased t-shirt I bought from someone on ebay. I chose the wording. This is what the t-shirt looked like as I was chopping it up.

Once it was done I thought that it might be too wide. I can't try it on her b/c it's a surpise and if she sees it she's going to want to wear it. So after it was finished it added these ties.

I think she'll be quite pleased with it.

Well then, Omari was all pouty b/c I hadn't made anything for her. I asked her if she wanted a skirt and of course, could she really say no? Naiobi picked this material out when I went to a fabric store with my sister up in Berkeley. I can't remember what it's called, something with Mountain in the title.

So I start the skirt. It was easy enough. I had 1 1/2 yards of fabric. I cut it right down the middle. I used my handy little ruffler foot to create pleats.

Then I used a wide double fold bias tape to add to the top of the skirt. I did not further ruffle the material any further as I added the bias tape but I wish I had. It would have given it a little more fullness I think. I did that with Naiobi's skirt and liked it better. Then I just threaded the elastic through the casing made by the bias tape, joined the seams on the side(or back), and then used a decorative stitch to hem it up.
ONe thing I learned about using this decorative stitch is that it uses a LOT of thread! I ran out of the green but had enough left in the bobbin. I used a different color for the needle but it doesn't show through on the underside, so it worked out.

Although in the picture you can see the orange better than the green, in person, you can't see the orange at all. It just blends in. The orange is for Omari and the green for Naiobi.

These were finished just before bed. I let them wait up for them to be finished. Naiobi was not going to be outdone by her sister and not have a skirt of her own! Here they are in their pajamas, teeth brushed and just waiting. See how happy Naiobi looks? She started crying immediately after I asked her to take it off. She must have been imagining that she was going to sleep in it. I still wanted to cut all the threads and serge the seams so she could wear it this morning.

So I made 3 things without a pattern! I must admit, that I do read alot of blogs and tutorials and that I did have some idea about how to proceed. The thing I overcame was not panicking b/c I didn't have the computer up to that site or the instructions printed out. So I can say that I "winged it" kinda. Gazel (that's my sister), would be so proud.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Berkeley Visit

I spent the long weekend with my sister and her family in Berkeley. Naiobi and I drove up on Thursday and Kevin met us there on Saturday. We all drove back home on Tuesday. We had a nice relaxing time. This is a picture of the apron I made for my sister's 30th birthday. I used one of those pre printed fabric panels. I love those things. It was pretty straight forward. The only thing I'd do differently is sew the flounce on to the apron first, before doing the edges. I think it would have been much easier to get it to meet up at the ends that way.

And here's a picture of my sister and I sewing late one night. I didn't get much done. I thought I was going to make Naiobi's bday dress but all I did was sew the skirt piece together. Her husband got her the serger for her birthday and she was having fun using it.