Friday, May 27, 2011

Make it Work!

If you're popping over from Sew a Straight Line, welcome! If you're a regular reader, I'm thrilled to be taking part in Sabra's Make It Work series today!

Several weeks ago, Sabra sent me this this pattern in the mail, and asked me to make it work.

My first thought when I got it?

Why hello, Dorothy Zbornak

Something about the oversized shirt screams Golden Girls to me. 

But after I thought I continued to think about this pattern for a week or two, and got over the styling and fabric choices on the pattern cover, I realized that there are really quite a few current styles that you could create with this pattern. For instance, with the addition of a button placket and a ruffle, you could have this cute skirt from Anthropologie.

I might be sort of obsessed with this skirt. I LOOOVE it. Totally do-able, using the pieces from this pattern and a few modifications. 

And wide leg pants are sort of everywhere right now - you could totally make these Anthro pants with this pattern, and they would cost a bunch less than $118!

But in the end, what stood out to me most was the tank top pattern. Not because it's exciting - because it isn't. It is a totally classic tank pattern, and even if the rest of the pieces in the pattern are hideous, having the tank pattern for your stash makes this pattern worth picking up. 

Inspired by this dress from Spool 72 (found via Erin on Pinterest),

I made this little number.

It's still not perfect (like, I did a TERRIBLE job of binding the arm and neck edges) but I think it is cute and totally wearable - and it all came to be because of a totally 80's Golden Girls style pattern. Don't be afraid to look past terrible floral fabric and outdated styling on pattern covers! You might find a classic, usable pattern inside!

Thanks for having me, Sabra

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My favorite thing about spring


Thank you, across-the-street-neighbor, for growing these for me to enjoy. They are fantastic!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KCWC day 2 - Plaid Pants with Exposed Zipper Pocket

For KCWC Day 2, I made these pants for Riley.


They have back bias-cut pockets,


and an exposed- zip cargo pocket on the side.


Tomorrow, these pants become zip-off convertible pants. Riley has requested the zip-off pants so that they can also be worn as shorts in the summer. He also would like front pockets added, so I'll do that too.

You can read about this tie here.

Side note: Does anyone else's kid make this face about 1) button-down shirts, or 2) getting their picture taken? Geez. He's acting like a moody teenager these days. 

Fabric: Black and white check shirting from the Lisette collection by Leisl Gibson

Crochet Bracelet Pattern

This weekend I needed a little break from making all those granny squares, so I make these crochet bracelets. I sort of love them. My kids can't rip them off and break them! The kids in my class (I teach at THE large university in Ohio) thought they were cute! Riley requested one for himself! So, they're a hit around here. 




They were super easy to make. All you need to know is chain, single crochet, slip stitch, and a puff stitch.

For the puff stitch: Yarn over, insert hook in stitch and draw up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over again, insert hook into stitch and draw up a loop (5 loops on hook), yarn over again, insert hook into stitch and draw up a loop (7 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all 7 loops on hook.

Be sure not to pull the loops in the puff stitch too tight or it becomes difficult to pull through all the loops at the end of the stitch.

I used acrylic yarn, but in the future I might try cotton to get rid of the "fuzzy" factor. I think I'd like them even more in a smoother yarn. I also think the puff stitches might look sort of "bead-esque" in a cotton yarn.

To make your own:

Chain 30 (I have huge hands and wrists, so if you are daintier than I am, chain 25 or even 20), join with a slip stitch in the first chain
Round 1: chain 1, SC around, join with a slip stitch in the ch1
Round 2: Chain 2, Puff stitch around, join with slip stitch in ch2
Repeat round 2 as many times as you want.
Final round: SC around. I also threw in 3 random decreasing stitches in this round to make the final round a bit tighter, since the puff stitches are pretty big.

You're Done!


Way to go! You look super cute in your new bracelets!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 1

Today is Day 1 of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley.

All I have to show for it is a pair of pants. One tiny pair of pants. 


At least Sawyer looks super cute in them. But he could make a paper bag look cute, so, yeah. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mom for 26 years. 

Mom, me, and Grandma - 2004

She was gorgeous and funny and silly and sassy, and everyone who met her instantly loved her.

For most of my life, it was just me and her. She was really, truly, my best friend. She was a fantastic friend, a loving grandma, and an all-around fantastic woman. There are no words that could really capture and describe her spunky nature. She was just awesome.

This year will mark 5 years since she died. It was sudden and awful and she was taken way, WAY too young.

Even though I've become a mother three times over, this day will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS feel like it is supposed to be about my mom. I miss her her even more today than I do the other 364 days of the year, if that is even possible.  

Ha! That is me, mom, and Bryan in 1995!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you and miss you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Make It Work!

Sabra over at Sew A Straight Line is kicking off an awesome series called Make it Work!

I love this concept. She and her guests are spending this month talking about taking ugly clothing and/or patterns and transforming them into something fabulous.

AND she's also hosting a contest for YOUR transformed patterns and clothing with some great prizes. Check it out!

Last month, Sabra sent me an awesomely 80's pattern and challenged me to Make It Work. I'm excited to share my creation later this month!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Square-A-Day in May - Day 4

Yesterday, for my fourth square, I did the Starfire square

So, my color changes and joining stitches are super obvious in all of my blocks. Anyone have any tips on making them less so?

Mother's Day Cookie Pop Tutorial with Thistle Confections

Did Mother's Day sneak up on anyone else this year? It totally snuck up on me! Luckily my friend Hilary from Thistle Confections has got plan to help you surprise the moms and grandmas in your life with a sweet treat. 

Hilary and I met in graduate school, but she later decided to chase her dream and opened her own bakery! She has a lovely etsy shop where she sells her gorgeous baked goods, and you can also find her goodies in coffee shops all over Dayton, Ohio. 

How gorgeous are these cookies? If I had known in grad school that she could bake, I would have forced her to bring cookies to class every day. 

Today, Hilary is sharing with us some great tips on making iced sugar cookie pops for mom. Wouldn't these look adorable in a vase, cookie bouquet style?  Head on over to the Thistle Confections blog to check out her tutorial, as well as other recipes and cooking tips!

Let's hear a bit about Hilary, from the baker herself:

Emily and I have a little history, and I am sorry to say that I likely disappointed her. Emily worked very hard to recruit me to her Sociology program. And indeed, I did go to graduate school with Emily. But I left-to bake cookies. Okay, well that isn't 100% true. I actually left graduate school to work as a government analyst, a job that drove me to make more and more cookies. The stress of it all had my sobbing into huge mounds of dough. I frequently yielded an antique rolling pin (now deceased), pummeling the dough into submission. Cookies, cakes, and other treats started piling up in my house. I made so many cookies I gave them away to friends, family, co-workers, strangers on the street. Anyone! who would take my cookies. When the neighborhood children started to identify me as "the cookie lady," I knew I had a problem. So when my job was transferred to a new city, I decided not to move with it. I stayed in my kitchen with my cookies. And I've been super happy ever since. I still occasionally bang around cookie dough, but I try to be gentler about it these days. 

Today, I've got a tutorial for fun cookie pops, in bright and beautiful shapes, just in time for Mother's Day.

Thanks, Hilary! Side note - totally not disappointed in Hilary. I think many, many people would agree that STAYING in grad school makes ME the crazy one. :) 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Square-A-Day in May - Day 2 and 3

The square for day 2 was this Kata square. I sort of love it, despite having made some mistakes that made finishing it uber-frustrating. I'm too lazy to rip out and fix it, so I powered through until it was done.

I love it so much I made it again for day 3.  I'm tempted to make it for days 4-30. Such a pretty granny!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Square-A-Day in May

Because I'm insane, and CLEARLY not busy enough, I've decided to jump on board with Hooked on Handmade's Square-a-Day in May project. I've been itching to make an afghan out of granny squares. This is my very first square. Notice that it's, well, not very, uh, SQUARE. I think I need one of those blocking boards to help even out these edges. 

I've been sort of obsessed with Craftyminx's granny-a-day project, so I totally ripped off her color scheme. This square is made with I Love This Yarn in hot rose, sungold, and peacock.

Wanna granny along with us in May? Click here!

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