Friday, May 30, 2014

Homemade Friday: The Minecraft Creeper that won't knit itself

Have you heard of Minecraft?  It's a game that my son can spend hours and hours and hours playing, and one that I don't necessarily understand.  There are zombies and buildings and something called a 'Creeper.'  And apparently there are good Creepers and bad Creepers and House Creepers and a plethora of other Creepers.  I think.

So Sebastian is obsessed with it.  He draws them constantly, but at least now it's on paper instead of his bedroom wall or the couch pillow. And I believe that we're also going to have a Minecraft birthday party in a month.

A few months ago Sebastian asked me to make him a Creeper toy.  I'm not sure if he saw one or what, but he was definite about the fact that I could make one.  And not one to be deterred by things like not knowing what a Creeper actually was, I googled Minecraft patterns.

Guys.  I found one.  Very easily.

And so I started it.  And I worked on it.  And then I knit a little more.

I don't know why it's taking me so long to finish.  It's a simply pattern, but fiddly, you know?  There are just entirely too many pieces that all have to be knit and then sewed together and then stuffed.

The feet?  I think?

I just don't want to work on it.

But, I do because it is a cool pattern and my son will love it and appreciate it so much.  And it will be finished soon.  Hopefully.  I say hopefully because I've taken the needles I was using for the Creeper and started another fornicating deer hat for a friend.  (The people want what the people want.)

So if Sebastian asks the Creeper pattern is very complicated and detailed and that is why it's taking so long.  He's actually been really understanding about the whole thing, which shows you how sweet he is and how much I really want to finish this for him.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Where's Berkely?

It's Thursday, and so I am throwing it back again.  
I was 15 and a half when I wrote this, and apparently was dealing with an internal struggle as to whether I wanted to be a well-known actress or stay at home mom.  Only one of those dreams materialized.  I'll let you guess which one.

Sun. Feb 23, 1997 (8:38 p.m.)
I invented Selfies in my bedroom with a 35mm camera and self timer.
Also I was probably more like 17 here.  Close enough.
I guess it's been a while.  I need to write more!  I think I write that a lot.  Gosh I'm tired.  I watched my cousin on Friday.  She is so much fun!  We read a story and played with Barney.  She was a little sick, so she wasn't as hyper.  On Saturday I went to the Imax & to St. Matthew's mall.  At the IMAX we saw something on special effects.  It was neat, we saw how they blew up the white house in Independence Day.  That would be a neat job.  At the mall me & Marilla walked around.  I love that mall.  It has so much stuff.  We went into this music store.  We were looking through music books & this guy came over & told us that we weren't allowed to.  He said "This is me, I'm the jerk, welcome to jerk express."  I almost busted out laughing.  It was funny.  He was nice about it, though.  I wanted to look to see if I could play the songs.  You know, when I'm around people that I don't go to school with, I'm a whole different person.  I'm more outgoing.  Maybe that's a good thing, or maybe it's bad.  I don't know.  It's bad, but all I focus on is wanting a boyfriend and losing weight.  I try to stop, but I can't.  I can't wait to go to college.  Sometimes I want to be this adventurous woman who travels all over the world taking pictures, but other times I want to be the kind of woman who stays at home, taking care of kids, sewing, cooking, working on a flower garden.  My mind is just one humongous contradiction.  I wish I knew what I wanted to do.  I wonder what I'm going to be doing at this exact time in 5 yrs, 10 yrs.  


Mon. March 3, 1997 (6:46 p.m.)

The grass is turning green!  I love it!  Maybe spring will get here afterall!  It doesn't seem like it now, though.  It's been raining a lot.  It rained Friday night, all day Saturday, and today.  they cancelled school today & tomorrow.  This is 'The Flood of '97.'  They've closed off roads.

I want to be famous.  I have this yearning deep inside of me to be something more.  I don't know what.  I guess an actress.  How will I do that?  There's got to be a way!  Maybe after High School I can go to Hollywood.  I could go to college there.  I've got to make it!  I just have to!  I want everyone to know who I am!  Jaime Ritter!  That's me!  I don't know.  Maybe that's not what I want to do.  I could be a singer.  I don't think I'm good enough for that, though.  I just want to be well known.  I want to be recognised as I walk down the street.  I want to have to have bodyguards.  anything is possible, right?  Gosh, where would I go to college?  Where's Berkely?  I think it's in San Francisco.  I've got to go somewhere, get somewhere better than I am.  I know I've got a good life here, but I want something more.  I'm only 15.  I've got time, I think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Motherhood and More: Parenting by the book*

In a fit of desperation and exhaustion that only comes with attempting to force my stubborn daughter to do something she didn't want to do, I bought a parenting book.

Now, I’m not normally one for self-help-type things.  In the past I looked down on that sort of thing, preferring to believe that I could fix anything that was wrong with determination and my own brand of stubbornness. 

And then I became a parent.  And lo it was hard.  And then I became a parent again and lo it was even harder.

I've attempted for years to will myself into having complete parental control.  Because that’s how I thought I was supposed to parent.  I thought children were always supposed to obey and listen and never throw tantrums.  And I do exaggerate, but when you’re in the midst of trying to separate warring children, or trying to dress a child who refuses to stop standing on her head long enough to put a shirt on, it’s hard not to focus on what you feel you've done wrong.

So I bought a book.  It’s called “Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline.”  I learned about it from another blogger who mentioned that it was responsible for keeping her from dropping her kids off at the edge of a forest and running away.

It sounded promising because, yes, I too sometimes want to drop my own precious angels off to fend for themselves after they have refused once again to eat the dinner I've cooked for them, turning their noses up and calling it ‘yuck.’

So far the book has focused on treating your children like you’d want to be treated.  Now, this may be common sense to most parents, but to me it was a revelation.  Of course.  Of course I should be treating them with respect.  I shouldn't try to force my will on them at all because, well, it isn't going to work anyway. 

I can guide them, sure.  I can show by example.  But I cannot make them do anything.  Any time I've tried to force my daughter to get in her car seat it has ended in yelling and frustration.  But if I step back a bit and calm myself down, the entire situation will diffuse. 

So that’s what I've been trying to do.  I’m trying to treat my children not like they are my property and so must do what I say, whenever I say.  I’m trying to talk to them.  To have conversations and discuss why I want them to do a certain thing.  Because no one wants to be told what to do all the time.  No one wants an inflexible tyrant standing over their shoulder.

And I know it’s not going to work all the time.  I know that we will still butt heads and there will be instances where I need to be more forceful.  But I want to give them the tools to decide for themselves the right thing to do.

I admittedly never thought parenting would be as hard as it has been.  I thought it would be easy and that I would always know what to do.  But I don’t.  Most of the time I try to do what feels right but sometimes I’m at a loss.  I don’t know if I’m parenting right, I don’t know if I’m making the right decisions.  And sometimes my kids get in the way of me being the type of parent I want to be.  When that happens I have to - I need to - step back, reevaluate and change course. 

So I bought a book.  It has helped me to focus on how I parent and how I treat my kids, how I talk to my kids and how I talk about them. 

And maybe parenting doesn't come with a complete handbook and maybe it’s never going to be as easy as I thought.  But I can still teach myself to be better.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on May 28, 2014.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scenes from a long weekend

This weekend was nice.  Like capital N nice.  (So I guess Nice?)

We had dinner with friends and frogs and worms and tick bites (okay, that wasn't Nice) and soccer games and setting up the pool in the yard for the first time this year and sunburns (just me) and a walk to a downtown festival and face paint and $4 bratwurst and margaritas and more visits with friends and sewing and knitting and digging in the dirt and fishing for the boys and craft supply shopping for the girls and hamburgers two days in a row and a trip to Caneyville to see my sister's farm and fun with family and cows and chickens and geodes bigger than your head and entirely too much dessert and beer and more margaritas and and and ...

I want more like it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Homemade Friday: Maritime Shorts from Grainline Studio

It's getting a bit ridiculous, this sewing bug.

I started once it finally warmed up and I seem to be partially addicted.  But, really, if you're going to have an addiction isn't it better to have one based on creating pretty things?  For myself? While my children moan about being hungry?

Ever since I started sewing* I've not really felt up to the task.  I started simply, sewing skirts that had two pieces and a zipper, making my mom sew in the zipper every time.

Also notice the tiny pocket tank. And the fact that for some reason every time I take self portraits I look super pissed.  Probably because I hate taking self portraits.
I moved on to dresses, but it was never easy.  The instructions were like really complicated math word problems that refused to make any sense in my brain.  I winged it mostly, believing that even if I wasn't following the instructions exactly I'd still be able to wear the finished project.

And for the most part it worked - provided my mom would sew the buttons on for me.

I put my machine away for awhile, preferring to focus on knitting in my spare time because I had babies and it was way easier to find the time to sit in front of a television knitting than hiding myself in a room far away from TV and sewing.  I multi-tasked, is what I'm saying.

In the past few years I've still sewn things for my kids sporatically, like the bags for Christmas, those demonic Easter bunnies, Halloween costumes, shorts.  But I never felt confident.  I never felt like I knew what I was doing, just like I was able to finish a project with sheer determination.

They are wrinkled because they are well-loved.
Last year I started sewing earnestly.  I'm not sure why, really.  Maybe it was because the kids were older and better able to go longer stretches without needing me at their beck and call.  Maybe it was because I was older and felt the need to connect in some way with my mother, and with her mother, my Granny, who died almost 12 years ago and who was a sewist and who I still miss so very much.

But whatever the reason I pulled my machine out and got to work.  I made dress after dress after dress for myself, and a couple of tops.  I even used a bit of that time to sew for my kids, who probably don't really deserve it on account of how little they appreciate my effort.

Everything I made, though, was simple, no buttons, no zippers, easy-to-follow.  I did put the zipper in Sebastian's Batman Halloween costume myself, so by October I was beginning to feel the urge to stretch my sewing wings a bit.

Me Made May 2014 has really helped me.  I've never participated before, probably because I didn't have enough hand-made clothes to wear.  This year, though, I've made it a point to make myself things.  It's fun, you know?  It's neat to be able to say yes, I did make that.  And I've been given the opportunity, the freedom, to spend much of my days off of work sewing.  The kids are in school and I am all by myself.  (Oh how I love being all by myself!  Introverts unite!)


I'm not sure what made me look to shorts to sew.  I know I bought the Maritime Shorts pattern along with the Tiny Pocket Tank and Scout Tee in a drunken haze one night.  Because nothing says fun drunk girl like buying sewing patterns late at night while your husband is asleep.

I spent last Friday cutting out the shorts pattern, along with the tank and shirt because I find it much easier to sew when all the pieces are already there waiting on you.  They're digital patterns, which means (I think I've already said this but bare with me) you have to print out a bajillion pages and cut and paste all of the pieces of the pattern together.  It sucks.  Hate it.  But then again, it's nice to have the pattern right there for you.

These shorts also had a bajillion pattern pieces to cut out, so once I got all of the pattern pieces cut out I still had to cut out all of the shorts pieces.

I started sewing on Saturday because I was excited about doing something new.  (All the pieces!  THE ZIPPER!)  And I just couldn't get it.  I have a hard time with shorts and pants anyway because I can never see how the pieces are going to fit together to make something vaguely wearable until the end.  These instructions made absolutely no sense to me.  So I did some searching and found that Grainline Studio did a pattern tutorial, which was perfect and just what I needed.  It was still difficult and confusing and hard to follow in some points, but I did it.  I sewed shorts.  Real shorts, not just the ones with an elastic waist.

It's a fly!  And more wrinkles!

There was a fly to insert and a zipper to sew and pockets.  Four of them.  I took it step by step and had to use the seam ripper quite a few times, but I finished.  I actually originally had the legs longer than the pattern called for, but I'd made the shorts too big accidentally so the long length made me look matronly and I'm not ready for that yet.

As I said, they're too big.  I realized it as I was going and attempted to just sew larger seams to make up for it.  It worked some, but then made the waistband wonky.  And they're still too big.  But that could possibly be because the material is stretchy and has loosened up as I've worn them.  And I have worn them.  I wore them on Monday afternoon and Wednesday to the zoo and then when I got home from work last night.

They're incredibly comfortable. I love them so, so much.  They're not perfect at all but they're mine and I made them with my own two hands and a photo tutorial.

I want to make more.  I will make more.

Watch out for my butt.**

*I'm not counting the hand-sewing I did as a kid making clothes for my Barbie dolls. Mainly because it was horrible.

**We've been watching entirely too much Frozen around here.  I couldn't help it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The margarita is completely Paleo so it balances out

I am currently snacking on animal crackers that I found in the bottom
of my purse.  I chaperoned my son's zoo field trip yesterday and one of the little boys decided he was completely done with his snack and so here, lady, hold this for me and also buy me an icee.  (I didn't buy him an icee.)

I call this one 'Sebastian at the zoo.'

I blame the (totally non-paleo) animal cracker consumption on my current coma-like state, which I blame on my husband.

He was out of town for the past few days and so hasn't been home to tell me to put down the margarita and go to bed.

I kind of like staying up late.  It's quiet, I'm alone.  I can sew in peace without my daughter 'helping' by holding the little wheel turny thing (the scientific name, obviously) that makes the sewing machine sew, thus stopping any progress.  Or without my son randomly switching out my bobbin thread because "blue is my favorite color, Mom."

Last night was probably not the best time to stay up extra late as I'd already stayed up extra late the night before.  But I didn't listen to myself because I was soclose to finishing a project.  So I ignored my exhaustion and set up the kindle to play episodes of Ripper Street on Netflix and sewed one and a half shirts.  (The half was already halfway finished before I started yesterday.  Because I'd already stayed up extra late the night before working on it.)

I told myself the entire time I was sitting there that I would regret staying up, that I needed to get to bed because tomorrow (now today) would be so much harder and also I'd have to face getting two kids ready by myself plus I needed a shower and couldn't fake it by just putting up my hair because I'd already done that one day and couldn't do it for two in a row.

So I went to sleep at 11:30 and woke up before 5 for no reason at all other than my body hates me.  Or maybe it doesn't hate me, maybe it's like a dog that can sense storms coming and woke me up early so I would be prepared for the horrible hail/wind/rain/thunder/lightning episode we were blessed with at 5:06 a.m.  My daughter woke up scared from the pre-storm lightning so I brought her downstairs and then the hail slammed against my bedroom window so loudly that I seriously thought it was going to shatter all over us.  I didn't want to leave Adele to go get Sebastian, who I was sure was peacefully sleeping and oblivious.

Once it calmed down, however, I checked on him and found him up and scared and so felt like a horrible mother.  I brought him downstairs, too, so we all cuddled together for about 20 minutes that were filled with kicks and jumps and hugs and kisses until  I couldn't take it anymore and got up to take a shower.

So really I can't be blamed for the animal crackers, is what I'm saying.

Or for the copious amounts of caffeine I will be partaking in today.

(I'm currently listening to Lou Reed's Walk On the Wild Side and it makes me feel things.  Probably because I'm in a coma.)

(Here is a picture of one of the shirts I finished last night.  It's the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio.  I'm only showing you now because I want you all to admit that I am the queen of Me Made May photos as I take them in poor lighting using my dirty bathroom mirror, which I like to refer to as 'the artistic way'.)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Homemade Friday: Maxi Dress (McCalls 6552)

I can't help it.

I love this dress.

I love the swishy fabric that I paid a whole dollar a yard for.

I love the length.

I love the fact that I learned how to sew a buttonhole on it.

You can't see it but there's totally two buttonholes behind that bow.

I love how incredibly comfortable it is.

And I know it may not be the most flattering dress on me, and quite possibly might look like I'm wearing a sheet but I can't say I really care all that much.

The pattern is McCalls 6552, from their Fashion Star line.  I guess.  That was a show, right?  Maybe?  I found the pattern in my giant box of patterns and decided to sew it up one day a month or so ago while my husband was out of town.

I made the neckline a bit higher than the picture as, well, it's kind of indecent.  Also some people have to wear a bra whenever they leave the house on account of nature and heredity.  So making the dress the way it was pictured was completely out of the question.  For someone like me.  Who has hereditarily large bubs.

The material is kind of thin so I have to wear a slip under the dress, which makes me feel like I'm living in the wrong decade because do people even wear slips anymore?  I guess I could wear my generic spanx but I also like breathing so I stick to the slip.

I had some trouble putting the drawstring through the casing in the dress because my safety pin that I was using to push it through kept breaking or opening up and sticking the dress so there are a few small unwanted holes around the waist but I figure it just makes it look well loved.  Or something.

The binding had to be hand-sewn around the neckline and I actually enjoyed it.  Hand-sewing makes me feel useful and productive, much more so than machine sewing.  However, I will not be giving up my sewing machine for a needle, thread and thimble any time soon.

I think the dress would also work as a bathing suit cover-up so it might get a lot of use this summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

'Something in me will die if I don't' (#tbt)

Hey remember when I shared all those old journal entries with you pretty regularly and we all laughed at me and had so much fun but then I just kind of stopped for no real reason and with no explanation?

Wanna pick back up?

Of course you do!


Wed. April 9, 1997 (5:53 p.m.) (Almost 16 years old)

Courtney left about 10 minutes ago.  I'm going to miss her, but I'm so jealous!  Every time I think of going to visit her in Italy next summer, my stomach knots up.  I'm so afraid I won't be able to go!  I've got to!  I need to see new things!  (Editor's note: Didn't go that summer.  Went in winter of 1998 and it was awesome.)

She came in on Tues. the 25th of March.  Spring Break was the week after that, last week.  We went shopping a lot!  Easter was the Sunday before last.  I wore a purple polyester pant suit.  say that 3 times fast!  (Editor's note No. 2: I loved that pastel suit so very much.  I have since changed my mind.)  Anyway, the first day of break we went to the mall.  (One of my favorite songs is on - Colin Ray, I'm on the Verge.  It's great!) On Tuesday she took me to get my hair trimmed.  Then she went to the tanning bed while I watched Christian.  On Wed. we went to Carnival shoe store.  On Thursday we went to Bacon's.  

Well, I got my schedule filled out.  I got on the annual staff, adn I'm in chorus for both semesters.  At first Mrs. Jones told me there wasn't room for me.  I was upset.  I cried a lot.  The next day though I went up to her and said "How come there isn't room for me when everybody else that's been in chorus before is automatically in it the next year?"  She didn't know what I was talking about, but she finally understood me.  she told me that I was right & she signed my schedule.  I was terrified about going to talk to her, but it was something I had to do.  I'm proud of myself!  It was the first time I had really stood up for myself.  It showed that I could do it.  

My other classes are Anatomy & Physiology, Pre-cal, U.S. History & English III.

Stole this photo from someone's facebook
page. Had crimped hair.  Adored my crimped hair.


Sun. June 8, 1997 (9:03 p.m.)  (Almost 16!)

I don't think I remember what a cloudless, blue sky looks like.  I don't remember what it's like to go outside and feel a warm breeze rustling my hair.  It's been raining for 18 days, Granny says, but it feels more like 18 weeks.  I don't know if I can survive much more of this.  I haven't been able to do any gardening.  I need to weed.  I'm selling vegetables for money this summer.  It's for my "vacation in Italy" fund.  I have like $114, but I have to get my cat spaid.  I can't wait until I start getting money.  I need guarantee that I'll actually go to Italy.  Something in me will die if I don't.  Maybe that's being dramatic, but I know that it's true.  I keep thinking about where I want to go to college.  There's so much out there, so many different cities, just waiting for me to come and find their true meaning.  Does that make sense?  Oh well, it doesn't matter.  I cut my hair.  It's about an inch below my ear.  Mom & Dad really like it.  I guess everybody else does.

I often find myself feeling for my pulse.  It's like I have to check to see if I'm still breathing, if I'm still alive.  That's a sad thought.

I think the reason I want to go to college so bad is that I won't know most of the people there.  More importantly, though, they won't know me.  I can be different, but the same.  I can experience things.  People won't see me as that girl that's okay, but not really cool.  I want people to respect me, to look up to me.  I still want to be famous.  I want to be an actress really bad.  I don't know how to do that, though.  Dad won't pay anything for me if I go to college in San Francisco.  Maybe I'll get a scholarship.  Maybe.  I'd like to go to New York too.  There's so much out there.  I don't want to end up in Flaherty.  This not where I want to grow old and die.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Random Wednesday: In which I discuss candy bars, sewing and temperamental daughters

1. I bought a candy bar because my credit card wouldn't work at the gas pump.

2. Makes total sense.

3. I mean, since my card wouldn't work I had to go inside to pay for the gas.

4. And the candy bar was just sitting there.

5. Also I really wanted it.

6. Also I also really want a nap.

7. Also I also want to see how may times I can type 'also' in one post.

8. That might be enough.

9. I've been doing really well with Me Made May and it's actually pretty thrilling, but only because I'm a dork.

10. I'm excited for Friday when I'll be home alone and can sew myself a tank top.  

11. And maybe some shorts? And a skirt?

12. I probably won't get all of that done.

13. I am in fact not a wizard, sewing or otherwise.

14. I also (damn it!) don't really want to buy more fabric as I've got a lot already.

15. And I'm not sure I have the right type of fabric for what I want to sew.

16. We'll see.

17. Adele threw my kindle at my head this morning because she had something in her eye.

18. Then she was mad at me because I wouldn't give it back to her.  

19. First of all, she threw it at my head.  

20. Second of all we were at her school/daycare and didn't have time for her to play on it.

21. I drug her into school, screaming.  (Dragged?)

22. Everyone thought she just didn't want to leave me and was so sad about it.

23. In reality she was just pissed at me.

24. I was not sad about dropping her off this morning.

25. God bless daycare, is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day

Many times, and for many people Mother's Day is not the ridiculous, greeting card smooshfest that we are taught to expect.

We're supposed to have well behaved children who lovingly bring us breakfast in bed with a side of diamonds.  

And when that doesn't happen, oftentimes we feel like something is lacking.

A few years ago I had an incredibly rough Mother's Day.  It was my first one as a parent of two children, and it followed the hardest few months of my life.  I had been struggling with depression, but didn't realize it.  I just figured that I wasn't very good at the whole mothering, stay-at-home thing and needed to suck it up and grow a pair and pull up my big girl panties and all that motivational crap we tell ourselves when life gets rough.

So that year when my husband picked me flowers and made me breakfast and did not get me a present because we were broke and that money would be better spent on things like food, I felt like I wasn't appreciated.  I felt like he didn't understand how hard everything was for me and was glossing over everything I did as Mama.

Obviously that wasn't true.  Obviously I had issues with myself and just projected them onto my poor husband.  I will forever cringe over the memory of that Mother's Day.

I no longer feel like I did that year.  Parenting two children is still extremely difficult, but my head is in a better place and I don't want or need a special, store-bought gift to show me that I am appreciated.

You know what I want?  I want the pancakes my husband made for me.  I want all of the handmade cards and notes my children created.  I want the hugs and kisses and time.  I want to make cakes and desserts for my own mother and mother-in-law.  I want to show those mothers that I appreciate and love them.

I want my rowdy, dirt-covered children to act just like they always do because that is who they are and why I love them.

I want to spend the day with extended family, cooking together, eating together, laughing together.

And I want to end the day with my oldest child comforting the storm-scared youngest by letting her lay in his bed and teaching her rock-paper-scissors.

And yes, there was a nice, store-bought gift.  But it pales in comparison to the rest of the gifts I was given on Mother's Day.

(I'm wearing the newly-shortened Washi Dress! MUCH BETTER!)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemade Friday: The Great Pink Washi Maxi Dress

I honestly still can't decide whether I like this silly thing or not.

In my defense, this pink, denim fabric was not my first choice of fabrics but it was the only one I had enough of, and last Friday, when I sewed it, I didn't have a car to go buy more.  (Plus my craft closet is overflowing with fabric that desperately needs to be used so I didn't want to buy more.  At least that day.  I will probably lose that resolve soon.)

I'd stolen the fabric from my mother, who had it since my sister was pregnant with my nephew.  He's 17, almost 18 in case you were wondering.  Mom had bought it to make a pair of maternity overalls for Courtney, and I can only assume that they were a bit put off by the inherent pinkness of it.

So I thought eh.  Why not?  

Because of course I did.

Actually, once I figured that my original fabric choice was lacking in a couple of yards, I pulled this one out and asked facebook what they thought.

It got a positive reception, although I was told I'd have to 'accessorize' it, which I am not the best at.  But I forged ahead anyway because I am determined.

Also I haven't learned that when there are reservations at the beginning of a project it's best not to waste my time.  Go with your gut, you, is what I'm saying.

I lengthened the bodice, as I did with the other Washi dress I made.  But I made this one sleeveless with a scooped neck as opposed to the U-shape that shows of the cleavage expertly.

The gathering in the back of this dress was the most frustrating thing I think I've done with sewing in a really, really long time.  Apparently lightweight pink denim does not want to be gathered and will show it's irritation at you trying to make it gather by breaking your elastic thread.  Over and over and over and over again.

It took me over an hour to do something that should have taken 15 minutes, AT MOST.

I had to put the dress away after the kids got home from school, but picked it up after they went to bed, so it was done Friday night.

I only tried it on to hem it (I enlisted my husband to put a pin where I wanted the hem to fall.) but I still wasn't sure.   I saved my final judgement until I could put it on in the light of day.

Here is what I saw:

I mean, it's okay I guess.  But part of me feels like it's almost "Little House on the Prairie"-like, you know?  Except it's pink and they probably didn't wear dresses that ... well ... pink because colors that saturated usually mean a person is of ill repute, right?  So maybe it's "Little Whore House on the Prairie."  Or "Little Not Proper House on the Prairie."  Or "Little Who Does She Think She Is House on the Prairie."

As I mentioned yesterday my husband told me I looked like I was going to a wedding, and I actually think that was him trying to think of something nice to say because otherwise he would have said that it just looked silly.

I think it would have looked better if I hadn't lengthened the bodice, actually, but I'll be damned if I'm tearing it out to change it because then I'd have to redo the gathering in the back and I don't have enough energy for all the cursing that would entail.

So I don't know.  Maybe I'll keep it like this, maybe it'll look better black.  Maybe it just needs a belt and a giant necklace.  Maybe I'll donate it to Goodwill.

Maybe I'll wear it to a wedding.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014

Have you heard of this?

Maybe not as I'm not sure how involved in the sewing/making stuff blog realm I am.  It's a pledge you take to wear something handmade every day of the month of May.

I didn't officially sign up as I didn't know there was an official sign up so I don't feel quite so bad about not exactly meeting that goal.

However, I do want to attempt it.  I like the idea of handmade things, as you can probably tell.  I like knitting and sewing and making jewelry and creating pretty things with my own two hands.

I'm a bit late in the game, but here we go.

I, Jaime Thomas, otherwise known as jaimalaya, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 14.  I endeavor to wear something handmade at least four days a week for the duration of May 2014.  

That sounds like an attainable goal, right? Plus it also gives me an excuse to sew myself some shirts.  And some skirts.  And some easy-to-sew/wear items.

At some point in the future (near or far?  Probably far) I hope to attempt sewing jeans.  I think I can do it with tutorials and guides and most definitely help from my Mom.  But that won't be this month so forget I said anything about it.

So far I've done well-ish with my handmade goal.

On Thursday, May 1, I wore the green scarf shown in the post on the vintagey Butterick Dress.  Here is a poor, blurry, upside down photo of it.  But it's up close and true-to-color!

It's the Clarendon Scarf from Knitpicks knit in City Tweed DK Enchanted.

Friday, May 2, I spent most of the day sewing a maxi version of the Washi Dress to wear to a Derby party, so as I was making something for me I didn't think I actually had to wear something I made.  Yes, it's flawed logic.  But I'm awesome at flawed logic so just go with it.

Here is the dress I made:

I was unsure of the pink fabric before I started but facebook told me to go with it and I always listen to facebook.  And when I was done I was still unsure of the pink. And so my husband sealed the entire dress fiasco by telling me I looked like I was going to a wedding.  He didn't say it in a positive manner so I think I'm just going to dye it black.

So on Saturday, May 3, instead of the dress I wore this shirt:

I love, love, love, love this shirt.  The fabric (TINY UMBRELLAS!)!  The design!  My first t-shirt I've ever sewn!  It's the Renfrow top from Sewaholic Patterns and I have plans to make many, many different versions of it.

Here's a picture of me at the Derby party that I stole from someone else.  Please notice that there is nothing on Adele's plate but cheetos and bread.  Later she ate two s'mores so I'm sure it all balanced out:

Sunday, May 4, I wore a store-bought dress because I was hungover and tired.  (Logic!)

On Monday, May 5, I stayed with Adele, who had a horrific stomach virus.  I desired comfort so I wore the Trapeze Sundress I sewed last summer.  I still love that dress.

Tuesday, May 6, I was gifted with Adele's horrific stomach virus so I wore pajamas all day.  No I did not sew them myself.

Wednesday, May 7, I wore a store bought dress because reasons.

And that brings us to today, Thursday, May 8.  I'm wearing the Washi Dress.  Apparently I wear a lot of dresses and I am perfectly fine with that.

So that's four out of eight?  Not as good as I'd like but not too bad.  I guess I have to up my game.  And sew some more things because I'm not sure I have enough to last me.

Oh darn!  I have to sew!