Oh my. The word is spreading!

First I found this and it made me pretty happy to see folks were re-pinning and posting about my little sewing drive:

Then I got a comment from Trinh saying that she’d found out about the sewing drive thanks to a post on Rashida‘s blog. Rashida? As in I Heart Linen‘s Rashida?  I had to check it out. And sure enough… she did!

Squeal! I cannot thank her (or Shelly or Kim or PMQG) enough!

I am awed, really.

(If you’re new to this project and want to get involved, you can join in on the sewing or donate cash–just email me and let me know!)

Does the editing ever end?

I am fairly certain that the answer is no.

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It’s amazing how many times I have revised sections of the book. Now, in anticipation of having a professional editor read it, I am petrified that I am doing it all wrong.

The real struggle is keeping the voice, my voice consistent. I fall back into business writing sometimes–cold, but detailed. I can write scenes just fine (even Cheryl Strayed told me that when she read an excerpt) but getting the emotions in there is a different story.

That’s the thing about memoir; it’s all about admitting your weaknesses, your pain, your failings. Without them, it isn’t nearly as enjoyable to read. But putting them in is a constant struggle for me.

Rest assured, dear reader, you’ll know more about me and the things I have done, both right and wrong, by the end. You can thank the myriad writers and friends who have made me promise to edit and add and re-word until the pain shows through. I thank them profusely.

The first pair!

Okay, how freakin’ awesome are these shorts?!

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Recognize the fabric? It’s one of my favorite designers–Laurie Wisbrun‘s Urban Circus line. And get this…

SHE MADE THEM.

For my little orphanage project!

I’m so incredibly grateful for Laurie, and the half-dozen other ladies who’ve contacted me, wanting to help out. And then Threadbias had me do a guest post, which was fairly awesome in and of itself.

Just pluggin’ right along. A donation of shorts here, a few dollars there. Thank you, each and every one of you.

P.S. Laurie used the tutorial from Dana Made It, here.

How to: Make Popover’s bias straps and hem

So we got the Oliver + S Popover Sundress side seams finished and added the yoke, now we get to finish it off.

Now time to do the bias straps. You can do them with self-fabric or be justifiably lazy and use 1/2″ double-old bias tape. I bought a bias tape maker not too long ago and will be trying that out on the next dress. For this one, I just followed the directions.

Fold the bias strap in half lengthwise, then in half again, on one side only.

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I followed their directions, but also added a step. The stretch of the bias and the stretch of the underarm curve made for some frustration for me. I had to re-do it on one side and decided to just stay-stitch to avoid the double stretch.

Continue reading “How to: Make Popover’s bias straps and hem”

How to Make: Popover’s bias straps and hem

So we got the Oliver + S Popover Sundress side seams finished and added the yoke, now we get to finish it off.

Now time to do the bias straps. You can do them with self-fabric or be justifiably lazy and use 1/2″ double-old bias tape. I bought a bias tape maker not too long ago and will be trying that out on the next dress. For this one, I just followed the directions.

Fold the bias strap in half lengthwise, then in half again, on one side only.

20120819-080300.jpg

I followed their directions, but also added a step. The stretch of the bias and the stretch of the underarm curve made for some frustration for me. I had to re-do it on one side and decided to just stay-stitch to avoid the double stretch.

Continue reading “How to Make: Popover’s bias straps and hem”

How to: Start the Popover Sundress

finished Popover dressI wanted to find a quick and easy pattern for the orphans’ dresses, so when I found this one from Oliver+S, I thought it might just be the one. I’ve used their new Straight Stitch Society patterns [did I really not take any photos?!] and really love the way they put them together and explain the construction. I figured same people, different name–it’ll be good.

I was right, the Popover Sundress pattern is quick to assemble, the instructions are easy to follow along and it’ll sell you on their patterns.

The pattern is a downloadable which means you are going to have to tape it together to get the full-size pieces. Normally, I hate this and refuse to do it. For the sake of this project, including being able to share it all with you, I did it. I pulled out the clear tape, lined up the grids and taped it together. Just because I did it this once, don’t be expecting me to do it much more. I’ll take tissue paper patterns any day.

Anyway, you end up with three pieces: dress, yoke and ties. They also give you a matching pattern for a doll dress, which I may have to do with my scraps. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Continue reading “How to: Start the Popover Sundress”

How to Make: Start the Popover Sundress

finished Popover dressI wanted to find a quick and easy pattern for the orphans’ dresses, so when I found this one from Oliver+S, I thought it might just be the one. I’ve used their new Straight Stitch Society patterns [did I really not take any photos?!] and really love the way they put them together and explain the construction. I figured same people, different name–it’ll be good.

I was right, the Popover Sundress pattern is quick to assemble, the instructions are easy to follow along and it’ll sell you on their patterns.

The pattern is a downloadable which means you are going to have to tape it together to get the full-size pieces. Normally, I hate this and refuse to do it. For the sake of this project, including being able to share it all with you, I did it. I pulled out the clear tape, lined up the grids and taped it together. Just because I did it this once, don’t be expecting me to do it much more. I’ll take tissue paper patterns any day.

Anyway, you end up with three pieces: dress, yoke and ties. They also give you a matching pattern for a doll dress, which I may have to do with my scraps. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Continue reading “How to Make: Start the Popover Sundress”

Getting started on some orphan dresses

So I got this fabric about a month ago. I’d ordered from Strawberry Patches, three yards of it to make a wrap dress with. Well, I thought I ordered the red version of Darlene Zimmerman‘s Betty Dear fabric. This pink is what showed up. I emailed Suzanne at the shop and she took care of everything asap, sending me what was left in the red. (Not as much as I had hoped for, but enough to make this Joel Dewberry pattern!)

I wasn’t sure what to do with this pink version. Three yards of a fabric I would never wear. And then I realized, I can use it for the orphans! Duh.

The pattern I used is a downloadable pattern from Oliver + S, scaled from size 2 to 8 in one pattern piece. You just print it out, tape the pages together and -bam- super simple sundress!

Continue reading “Getting started on some orphan dresses”

Sewing for Orphans

One of the projects that I’ve really wanted to do for a long time is to have things made for the orphans in Tam Ky. I’ve made a few things and we’ve been lucky enough to have people donate clothes, toys, books and money that we brought along on our last two trips to the orphanages.

But I always wanted to make it bigger than me just sewing a few things for a handful of kids. That’s where you come in.

Affectionately known as The Tinies, we worked with them at the Home of Affection.

As part of our Pho for Three fundraiser, I’m heading up a charity sewing drive to get quality, handmade items to these kids I love so much. There are five things, in particular, that I’m asking for: shorts, dresses, messenger bags, pencil pouches and simple diapers. Depending on your time, sewing abilities, spare fabric, etc. you can pick whichever one you want to make. With more than 100 kids ranging from newborn to 17 years old, there’s plenty of opportunity to help.

Continue reading “Sewing for Orphans”