Monday, June 30, 2008


Here's an exaggerated picture of the swayback.

As it turns out, I do not have a sway back. My back looks pretty normal. So I just have a bit of protruding butt. I suppose that a swayback adjustment would also work for this particular "problem." I haven't delved into what the adjustment actually is or looks like, but I'm keeping it in mind for next time.

The dress actually worked out fine. Sewliz over at PR suggested I take up some of the excess into the upper bodice and that and a good press seemed to do the trick. I need to take new pictures of me wearing it. The ones I have look like I'm wearing a mumu. Not cute at all. At least the poor pics have motivated me to get to working out again.

Dear Miss Lula

See this little face here? It belongs to my sweet, somewhat sensitive 8 yo daughter. She's a hard worker and puts all her energy and effort into everything she tries. So when class is over and as she's walking out and you tell her you need to see more effort, that she needs to try harder, it shatters her spirit. How about an encouraging word? A high five for her sore feet and limbs that have stretched deeper than they ever have? How about a smile for her making it through the day without complaint? Without tears? I understand you run a tight ship and have had many success stories. But today was her first day. All day. How is she supposed to be excited about dance? How is she supposed to want to come back tomorrow, if all she heard today was that it just wasn't good enough? You might think I'm soft. But I'm her mom. And I know how she works. She needs a gentle push and needs to hear that she is doing a good job. Somebody over there needs to learn how to talk to young kids. Something along the lines of, "Good job. Now try doing it this way" or "That was good, next time leap a little higher." I mean, really, would it be too much to preface a criticism with a little encouragement? I loved dance as a child and young adult. I want my daughters to develop that same love for this art. I hope that your school won't squash that before it has had a chance to flourish.


Omari's mom

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A little help please

So I've already let out the seams to the smallest I can go. I wonder if there's something I can do so that there isn't all that extra fabric bunching up over my booty. Should I take the side seams in from the waist up? Should I not do the gathers up on top? The last picture shows the problem the best. I tried it on w/o panties to see if that would help it slide down, but it didn't help much.

If I had a flatter booty this would have been perfect. Or maybe I should cut a bigger size. I have to admit, I'd traced this pattern out way before I learned that pattern sizes were not the same as RTW sizes. And I was too lazy to trace out a bigger size. I need this dress for Saturday so I have to make it work.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Pair of Shorts and a new Doll

I am not a shorts wearing girl for the most part. This was supposed to be the year of the dress form me but I haven't gotten around to that. Summer is here and I need to stop wearing jeans on these hot ass days! What really pushed me to make them was that I am going to a kids pool party on Saturday and the thought of walking around in my swimsuit in front of strangers was frightening.

I made these up first in a size 20 according to my waist and hip measurements but they were too big in the waist and a little baggy over the butt, hips and thighs. A belt didn't help.

This is a front and side view of the size 20.

I was determined to have a pair of shorts to wear Saturday to the beach and so I stayed up until 4 cutting out a whole new pair in a size 16. I didn't finish the waist and didn't get to wear them to the beach. But I happily wore them today. The fabric is a cotton with a very loose basket weave. It used to be a duvet cover. Very comfy.

These were supposed to have a mock fly front. Well, I thought a mock fly would not have a zipper. But it does! What a waste of a zipper! So I went ahead and made it a functioning fly. It's basically the same thing, but you open up the stitches instead of leaving them close. Dumb. Why would you want a mock fly? It's like mock pockets. Ridiculous. And why do I have a fuschia zipper? Well because I used my only white one on the size 20 pair and I wasn't about to rip them up just to get the zipper. Come on! It was 2am when I started the second pair! I am quite happy with them. Kevin doesn't like the length but it works for me. This is not the pair I'm wearing to the pool. I have some nylon supplex for those. Those will be short. I'm entering these in the beginner contest over on PR. New to me: making shorts, putting in a fly front and adding a waist band.

And here's a picture of my Omari with her new American Girl Doll she named Olivia. Let me tell you why this is a big deal. The girl saved up $100 in order to buy it. She's been wanting one for a couple of years but there was just no way I was spending that much on a doll that 1)doesn't do anything and 2) is made in China and therefore the price isn't justified in my opinion. I'm really proud of her for having the discipline to save. It was hard for her because she wants stuff all the time and so I had to keep refocusing her on what she really wanted. She's really happy with her doll and realizes how expensive it is and how expensive the other stuff in the store is. I told her she will probably appreciate the doll much more because she had to spend her own money on it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sweet Man

My man is so sweet sometimes. I came home today to find my, ahem, sewing area all neated up. If you look behind Omari in this picture, you'll get a good idea of what it looked like before. Now of course I'm going to have to go through all the boxes to figure out what's where, but wasn't that sweet of him? I know he just got tired of looking at those bags behind the kitchen table spewing all kinds of stuff. The little drawer unit in the corner was already there and I keep that pretty organized. Top drawer has scissors and the notions I always use when is sit down to sew. The second box has thread, third box has trims, buttons, bias tape and ribbon and the bottom one has pattern sizes newborn to six. The white tin on top holds elastic. The black cookie tin has more thread. And the bobbin box is typically in the thread drawer.

Tomorrow is the last day of school and I made these coffee cozies for Omari's teachers. Tomorrow morning I'll have to get the gift cards. And a cup of coffee for me of course. I made the pattern from one of the cardboard cozies you get at the coffee shop. Fairly easy but I think they need to be just a teeny tiny bit bigger so that it goes up a little further on the cup.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I believe in Fairies and Hooter Feeding and Looking Cute while you wash dishes

Omari had pajama day at school today. I finished these up for her last night. I used just the bodice part from McCall 5310 but didn't copy the bottom part obviously, as I made a dress and their's is a blouse.

. I just used the width of the fabric and gathered it a bit and added it to the top. I lined the bodice and hand stitched it down on the inside. I also had to add some elastic between the bodice and bodice lining because it was gaping a LOT. I just tacked on the elastic with a zig zag stitch to the seam allowance.
And of course, Naiobi got one too. I've decided I like making these peasant style tops with FOE. It's fast. This time I used 5/8" elastic in a shimmery lavender. This is Simplicity 4767. That's an oldie but goodie around here. I've been using it since Omari was 4. have used it to make gifts too.

That's the same pattern I used for these pajamas.

My weekend was productive and satisfying. I also made this cute apron for my little sis who's turning 25 on Thursday. I've typically sent her music. I call her up, ask her what she wants. She tells me, I pick whatever I like too and download that so I also have a copy. Two gifts for the price of one. This year I didn't ask. She's probably wondering. The apron strings match the front pocket. I used the same pattern as the one in the link above, but eliminated the flounce b/c I ran out of fabric. Oh, and I added the piping around the pocket and in between the skirt and the waist band. I stole that from my apron swap buddy who made me this cute apron.

And finally, I made this Hooter Hider for my sister-in-law in NY. It was SUPER fast and SUPER easy. This should become a staple baby shower gift now that most girls are at least trying to Hooter Feed. Unfortunately, most of my friend's are done. But you know, that 3rd oopsie baby might come along. Matter of fact, I want another just so I can have one if this cool thingies. Now why didn't I think of that instead of fidgeting with a baby blanket? Actually, I wasn't much of a hooter hider myself. Funny how it made everyone else more uncomfortable than me. This is how you'll look when you're at Borders having a decaf latte and perusing the latest book or crafty magazine.
And here's how you will check on junior.

So I actually breathed a sigh of relief at getting all this sewing done. I get pretty tense when I don't get to because I want to or really need to but can't find the time to. The girls have been playing outside more now that it's warm and it leaves me free upstairs with the machine. I even serve them lunch outside so I don't have to clear off the table. Fun for everyone!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Look at my cute apron!

Look what came in the mail for me today!! I love the way the pockets blend in with the apron but stand out just a tiny bit by the piping around the edge. I love that! My buddy was Jennie. And she also sent along a box of Brownie Mix and some Ghirardelli chocolate squares. As soon as Naiobi saw the box she went to go get her step stool to pull down her apron. That girl means business. But since we're still working on Strawberry Shortcake from yesterday, it had to wait for another day. How will I ever loose weight this way? Anyway, I just love my apron and it came out perfect even though Jennie says it caused her a headache. I appreciate it girl! This apron swap was really fun. I'd like to join another one but thinking about all the other things I want to get sewn is giving me pause.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


There are small discrepancies in the packaging of these products. I only buy Breyer's ice cream because I bought into the All Natural marketing of the item. I do occasionally have an ice cream cone from Rite Aid or Baskin Robbins, but for home use, Bryer's it is.

Now I would normally not buy Fat Free ice cream. But Naiobi only likes Strawberry and this was the only kind they had. So it came home. I noticed that the lid on the Fat Free package does not say All Natural and so I proceeded to read the list of ingredients. It has a whole bunch of other stuff that the All Natural one doesn't. Like maltodextrose, corn syrup, polydextrose, artificial color (really?), natural flavor (huh?), and on and on. Now granted, I didn't read the label while I was at the store, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. But I am upset that I'm suckered by their all natural claim that I then proceed to assume that all their products are natural.

On to another natural product that is always in my house: peanut butter. Up until about a year ago, my kids didn't know about Skippy or Jif or Peter Pan peanut butters. We used the Trader Joe's one exclusively. Just peanuts. No jelly. That's how they liked it. But then one day, my babysitter scoots Naiobi out the door with half a peanut butter sandwich for each of the girls. Now, I'm sure Naiobi knew about Skippy before Omari b/c of the sitter. But a Big explosion took place in Omari's mouth that day and she has wished ever since that we bought that kind of peanut butter (also that kind of soft wheat bread that's not whole wheat). Low and behold, I find out that Skippy has this new Natural Peanut butter. It was on sale, 2 for $5 and it came home. The ingredients in this one are: peanuts, SUGAR (that's the key word here), palm oil and salt. I wonder if the palm oil is necessary in order to keep the butter from separating. But what's the big deal? Once you mix it after opening, it doesn't separate again. Anyway, Omari loved it. Now if only mommy would buy some white bread...

I am by no means strict with my family's diet (although some would disagree). They have Cheetos and cupcakes on occassion as well as candy. But I do try to keep the bad stuff to a minimum. I don't want hydrogenated oils or artificial coloring in the stuff they eat (except for Cheetos and that's b/c I'm a Cheeto lover). Tonight they had Strawberry Shortcake for desert. Homemade following Alicia Paulson's recipe found here. Anyway, there's no rhyme or reason to this post. Just wanted to share for those of you who are interested in this type of stuff.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pajamas and another Apron

First off, thanks for the good wishes on my 9th anniversary. Had the day come a couple of days later, that post may have said something completely different LOL!

I had a fun filled weekend, starting with Friday. Kevin and I both took the day off and went to the movies. We saw the Zohan movie. Now, a few years ago I wouldn't have enjoyed this kind of nonsense, but I guess I'm getting more nonsensical with age and I thought it was hilarious. The movie fest continued on Saturday when we took the girls to see Kung Fu Panda. A little slow at first, but it picked up towards the middle. Very good message. And today, Sunday, I went to a birthday brunch at the Twin Palms Restaurant in Pasadena. Delicious.

From Friday to Sunday I made pajamas for the girls and an apron for the birthday girl. Instead of making casings for the elastic on the pajama top, I used Foldover elastic. I still have tons to get rid of. The pattern I used for Naiobi did not have elastic in the legs. I just wanted them to look a little like bloomers. Omari's pattern called for elastic around the chest, in empire fashion but I thought it more comfy without. Also, her pattern had capris. I made shorts. I'm too lazy to go look up the pattern numbers. I ran out of the princess fabric which is why Omari has white shorts. But to tie it together, I appliqu├ęd some of the prints.

This apron was fun to make. I liked the different elements it had such as the flounce and the arm bands. Alva requested this type of print. I wanted it in black but Michael Levine's only had it in pink when I went to get it.

Did you notice my self-made bias tape on the hem of the flounce?

Now, as is typical for me, I was making this apron after 10pm on Friday. At 1am, I was having a hard time getting the apron strings to fit right. So I pleated it. I stopped here to continue on Saturday morning. When I worked on the 2nd tie the next day, it went together without a hitch and I wondered why I'd had such a hard time the night before. Needless to say, I didn't remember that I had pleated it, put the second tie in straight and SERGED it all together. This is also typical of me. Can't make anything without ripping out a seam.

Oh, on Friday I also got my apron for the apron swap out in the mail. On my way to the post office, I remembered that she didn't like Olive Green, so I took that towel out of the final package.

The deadline to mail out the aprons is tomorrow. I wonder what mine's gonna look like?

Making Bias tape

So I decided I was going to make my own bias tape for my latest apron. Umm, apparently you're not supposed to fold the fabric when you're cutting it. Pretty funny HA?
Okay, so after I sewed up all the pieces together, how come I can't ever get the edges even?
One thing that did turn out well was my insertion of the fabric into the bias tape maker. It looks way more complicated than it actually is. One thing I learned. The fabric strips need to be the right size or they won't come out of the tape maker evenly. Some edges will be folded in very evenly, while others will have one end folded almost to the middle while another will just have a teensy bit folded in.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The important thing is...

this year we're on an upswing."

Our Happy 9th Anniversary.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Laundry Apron

Okay, so I've been going to the coin-op my whole life. The last couple of apartments I lived in had a laundry room on the premises. But this one doesn't. I even cloth diapered! That meant going to the laundromat twice a week to wash stinky diapers.

Anyway, very recently I thought, "Hey, I should make an apron to wear to the laundromat to hold all my crap!" Because I hate having to stuff my ipod, phone, keys and change into my jeans pockets. So here it is. It didn't work out so well because all that crap is heavy and so it just dragged the apron down and everything rolled in towards the middle. It definitely has to be made in some heavy fabric, like denim or canvas, maybe some twill. I didn't take a pic of the back. It's lined in a turquoise lining fabric.