Cut and sew just got cuter

One of the (twenty) projects I’ve got going right now is the Luka Hoodie from Sewing for Boys by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage. It’s gonna be great, but for now it’s deep in to to-do pile.


I found this awesome, fantastic, marvelously clever fabric that was done (by Tangerine Samurai) in tandem with Shelly’s raglan tee pattern. The print is actually the pattern. Check it out!

Okay, so I looked around and realize that lots of designers have done it on Spoonflower, but I’m still super psyched about it and think it’s the cutest thing ever! So much better than those cut-and-stuff panels of my childhood.

From her point of view

Cleaning out the storage closet to fill with my sewing goods, we came across all sorts of things including a French magnetic vocabulary set I’d bought for my daughter a couple years ago when she had a semester (or two?) of French classes. They never were used, but she couldn’t bear to get rid of them. Last night she asked if she could use them on the door and in my bleary-eyed exhaustion I conceded. I woke to find this neatly arranged by her. It says so very much in few words.

Create H.O.P.E.

Create Hope DesignsIf you know me at all, you know I have a deep love for the orphans that my kids and I worked with in Vietnam. I always wish to do more. Always.

For work I follow Doohikey Designs (Shari designs the absolute cutest fabrics!) and she made note of this new organization of creators and designers working together to raise funds to help orphans around the world. I couldn’t help but volunteer.

So, that wallet design I’ve worked on will be released as a pattern for Create H.O.P.E. Designs, a downloadable PDF pattern. I’ll let you know when it’s up, but for now you can visit their website and see what they have at their Etsy shop.

From their site:

Create H.O.P.E Designs is an organization that was started in September of 2011 by a group of women with a collective desire to make a difference with their talents. It was obvious what could be done, we all shared something in common, we are  designers.  We are a collection of artists selling our patterns to those crafters in the world that share our need to beautify our surroundings.  It was with this goal in mind that Create H.O.P.E Designs or Create H.O.P.E was launched.  Our goal is to provide beautiful patterns or tutorials for a very affordable price.  All of the designs are downloadable PDF files, ensuring that Create H.O.P.E will operate overhead-free.  100% of all funds generated will benefit designated foundations serving orphans and their communities.

Remember that Rooibos Sewalong?

I barely do and I’m the one who was so gung-ho about it. Of course, that was two months ago and everyone else has long ago finished their dress. I just started on my muslin version of the Rooibos pattern last Saturday morning. The kids weren’t up yet so I had time to lay out white fabric across the floor without any “oops! sorry, mom” incidents.

One little complaint is that I didn’t love the way there are so many sizes on one pattern. On a few pieces they split it up by sizes. Like the Bodice Front, for example, has one piece that is size 0-8 and another that is 10-18. This makes following your size’s cutting line a whoooole lot easier than when size 0-18 are on one piece. I just did a little guess and go on that mass of cutting lines and hoped for the best. {shrug} It worked.

I didn’t have time to sew it on Saturday, but thanks to a bout of insomnia yesterday, I finally got to stitch the muslin. I did a full-on version of it, just didn’t finish seams or back-stitch and the dress took me just about an hour to make. Sweet.

The super awesome thing about it? It actually fits really well, right out of the box. I will have to make a couple small adjustments–the back dart is weird and sticks out like a bust dart on my back. Fixed that little oddity. And then I’ll be adding six whole inches to the hem line so I can do a more than 5/8″ seam as suggested and so it will hit my knee when I’m standing. But that’s it. Two little changes.

Bring on the linen! I need a new love and I think Colette Pattern‘s Rooibos dress is gonna be it.

Sewing for Boys?!

I wish these ladies had been around about 17 years ago when my son was young and I could sew for him. Okay, well, I still do sew for him sometimes, but not the cute little clothes that they have in Sewing for Boys. The book just slid across my desk at work a few days ago and I’m pretty stoked to put it to use. I think I’m gonna try the Luka Hoodie for my little nephew in Cali. Seems like it would be light enough for southern California winters–a bit more than a windbreaker, but waaaaay cuter!

Ohhh, right, weeknight dinners.

I used to see the headlines on the women’s mags at the grocery and never could understand what difference it really made if it was a weeknight or a weekend dinner. Crazy publishers had something of the sort on every cover.

They still do, but now I get it. I understand how moms don’t want to get home from work at 6 p.m. after nine-plus hours away from home, just to start chopping, boiling, and baking for the evening meal. When I worked at the school, I was always home by 4:30, long before dinner needed to be served to starving kids. If it takes an hour to prepare and cook, who cares?!

These days the evenings are a bit more squished. After picking up and fighting through traffic for an hour, we finally get home sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. All I can think of to feed us is whatever is quick and easy. Rice with Trader Joe’s Madras Lentils. Spaghetti. Quesadillas. Now, I finally understand the difference between the weekends and the weeknights. And I think I’ll pick up a copy of Real Simple, with its Month of Easy Dinners.

And, of course, there is always my sister’s offer to help me cook up some big batches of freezer food. Maybe next month.

Halloween is coming!

Okay, so both kids are a little old for trick-or-treating (though that won’t stop the daughter this year) and it’s too small for the candy haul they usually end up with anyway, BUT this fabric was just too cute to not put to use.

Love it, but who’ll use it?