Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tunic shirt

My continued experiments in making shirts for myself that have enough room in the arms and shoulders! Altered "my" shirt pattern (previously adjusted for my shoulders) mixed up with another vintage pattern that had a 'keyhole' type front.

I was trying to emulate this dress tunic on Etsy. However, I messed up the pattern on the collar and saved it by cutting it deeper and facing it simply. Also, my pattern did not want to gather well across the front and I had begun the collar too low to look much like the inspiration item, anyway. Will keep changes in mind to make the neck higher on a future project. I put tiebacks on the edges in red, which allows the front to be drawn tight and not look like a maternity shirt. My brother saw one of the shirts I had made for myself last year and thought the gathering across the front meant I was expecting. Yeep!


I always cut the sleeves generously, as it is the hardest part to fit with my very large arm muscles. I could try to take them in a little at the bottom half of the armhole next time - see how much I can cut and still lift and stretch the shoulder/arm muscles the proper distances without stressing the garment.

ALSO: Esme and I went to a crafty ladies type get together today, and we did enjoy ourselves. It was a show and tell of things that the ladies make and although I was running behind Esme for most of the morning I had her outfit, mine, and a few knitted things with us to show. The other ladies brought projects to work on - my work-in-progress was keeping Esme occupied with the right things. Miss Diana definitely wanted me to not worry about breaking anything or making noise - but I naturally wanted her to be good and not do any damage! She chased the cat around and did throw one fit about not being allowed to go chase the outside cat in the cold weather in her stocking feet. She was very good for the most part, and enjoyed lunch with us (I brought us chicken noodle soup and french bread and Miss Diana offered strawberries which are an Esme _favorite_) and drawing and playing with various toys that were about the place. Esme really does need to be around more different people, like this - as she tried to call Miss Diana 'Grandma' and her husband 'Santa' *haha*. One thing Esme did that made me doubletake during the visit was she found a large plastic bank that was shaped like a combination lock. She went over to the door of the sunroom and slipped it on to the door handle and told us we were locked in. HAHA. And she was extremely interested in the loom they were trying to repair on the main table - she tried to measure it with the measuring tape and did break that the same way she breaks my measuring tapes here at home. Miss Diana did want to have her back another day - she said it was a lot of fun and she wanted to spend more time with Esme :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pups, blanket and blurry smiles

Nova's puppies are a few days old now
not quite a week

Esme begged to have her picture taken with the flash, as well - 'see a little girl mom! see a little girl!'. Her eye is watering - hope she isn't getting a cold from all this wet cold weather.

New patterns for Esme and I

I've been working on this blanket during lunch hours,
making good progress. It is 17" now (by 48 wide)

I caught this picture of Esme this morning, and although it is very blurry, I couldn't bring myself not to post it. The crooked smile in the little angular chin. She is really becoming more of a little girl and the pictures show it - hardly any toddler look left to her at all.

She shows a lot of her Daddy here, long nose, pointy chin, 'Spock' eyebrows. And a general look like she is about to get into something and cause mischief. (his observation on that last bit!)

We are invited to a crafty ladies party tomorrow in the morning, at the house of a former coworker. As far as I know Esme will be the only child but she said she definitely wants Esme to come, chase her cat, and see all the different things the ladies are making.

Monday, March 28, 2011

found the rabbit

Esme found the rabbit toy in the cookie jar today while I was at work. Mark said she came up to him excitedly saying 'cookie rabbit cookie rabbit!' It's been three days, or less. I told Mark that after she goes to sleep tonight I should put him back in there so she has to wonder where he is. And then see how long it takes her to look for him in the original place.

I feel a little evil doing that. But.... I think it is a great idea!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things I've thought of lately

but haven't gotten around to doing yet.

Putting up a closet rod above our dresser to hold my good shirts for work. We've got a plan for that one now.

Knitting another long scarf that gets very wide in the middle and narrow on the ends - so when I'm wearing it under my jacket I can pull it up like a hood and cover my head and neck. I'm thinking grey tweedy yarn.

A large circular rug of black and white stiff fabrics in alternating rings. I think that would be cool. And washable. I wonder what I'd back it with except more thick cloth. And then it would have to be tied/quilted. Is that too much work for a rug? I usually come down to if it is that much work I won't want to put it underfoot when it is done.

Wearing my apron more that I made last year - helped the other day to get myself baking, and to do more cleaning, and I've put it on now while doing laundry. etc. It needs a pocket. It is useful, but only if I use it.

I need to do something with all of the things that just lie around the house on shelves and are hardly ever used because I forget they are there.

Mending - I mended my slipper socks the other day I think a cat took a bite out of the sole while I was at work. Growl. I have the inside of a jacket pocket I've found needs mending, as well. Will try to do that in few minutes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Esme is holding her flashlight toy over her grandma doll and telling her to sing. She was doing that the other day, too - having her kitty toys sing Pinocchio song 'I've got no Strings' under the 'spotlight.' She's a funny girl. She was pretending to sleep in our bed with us this morning - but because she wasn't really sleeping she was putting her fingers on my eyebrows and nose and tracing the scar on my cheek and asking me if it ow'd etc.

Nova dog had seven wriggly puppies last night. They are making a LOT of noise. Combine that with the hopscotch attack-your-ankles and get underfoot kittens Mitzi gave us last month and we have a very very FULL house. The pitter-patter scurry scurry wiggle wiggle SCREECH MEOW WOOF of little feet.

I bought Esme a rabbit toy at the drugstore yesterday when I got cough drops on lunch hour. I have hid it in the empty cookie jar downstairs - and nobody tell her! I want to see if she will find it before Easter. Either way it will be a grand surprise somewhere between now and then.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

80 then 48 with lawn gnomes

She told me she needed the hat and scarf after insisting to go out and play. I asked Daddy to take some pictures because the combination of it all is quite hilarious!

It was hot enough a few days ago for tank tops and shorts and sandals - and today it is 48 degrees outside. I am still enjoying the additions to my handmade wardrobe, several short sleeved 'camp' shirts (brown was pictured, red was not) and two tank tops. I'm also enjoying the tulips that were 1.00 a pot yesterday. They remind me of what my mom had growing outside our house when I was growing up. But, I think it is too cold today to plant them outside. They are spring flowers - that is probably a funny thought. I've been a lump most of the day and now Esme is bundled into long pants and a sweater to go play in the yard with her shovel and pail (which I found this morning). I really have no desire to do much right now - which isn't like me.

I'll bring my knitting project, the lap blanket, out and a cup of coffee and watch her scurry about. Grandma seemed very tired yesterday so hopefully Esme will be happy playing outside and it will warm up a little bit for us.

LATER: Made a banana bread cake and it turned out 'okay.' Esme didn't like it, would barely even put a bit on her tongue so she really didn't even try it. Mark said it was 'okay'. I think I should leave the baking to him because he does a better job. But I do enjoy doing it - and will eat that at work myself. Finished the shirt I started for Esme the other day and was interrupted on. It was made of the remnants of my red camp shirt. It is a bit too short for her, and maybe a skitch too wide - will add the ruffles to it another day and it will probably be long enough. And I should make another one out of remnants again before cutting into the good fabrics from Mockingbird Threads. She was sitting in my lap while I was sewing which was fine and good until I tried to put her ponytail back up and swiped myself through the eyeball with it. Ouch! And then she wet herself on me in the next second. Yay. Is Murphy visiting our house? We sat down to read Alice, then Daddy put the movie on, and now she is fast asleep in her bed. I am ready for sleep, too!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

tank top patterns

Very simple tank top patterns. Use the back of a t-shirt that fits you well to get the armhole shaping - then add at least two inches to the sides to make in regular cotton. Choose something very light-weight that will gather softly and breathe well in hot weather. To make the garment easy to put on and take off (as there are no buttons or zippers) make sure the bottom hem distance is wider than the distance across your shoulders.

For this style make the front and back sides alike, then estimate how large the side panels should be by holding up the front across your chest. Sew side panels to front and back on both sides.

dotted line shows facing shape

Lay flat so the armholes are in the center. Trace armholes for facings on plain fabric. Cut two facings. Zig-zag or serge bottom edges of facings and pin right-sides together with the armholes of the garment. Sew edge and turn right-side out. Sew 1/2 inch from edge to secure armhole facing down. Top edges of facings will be turned under in the elastic casings, so don't worry about finishing them.

orange dotted lines show where to turn under for casing and hem. red squares show attachment for straps after casing is elasticized

Fold top edges of front and back sides down to form casings for 1/4 inch elastic. Sew casings down and use a safety-pin attached to the end of the elastic to draw the elastic through the casing. Sew the elastic down firm at one edge of the casing and pull other end (on safety pin) to gather the front to nearly 3/4 the original distance. Sew the elastic down firm at the other end of the casing in the 'elasticized' position. Repeat for back of garment. Sew bottom hem all the way around. Make straps for shoulders as long skinny tubes turned inside-out. Measure over shoulder to find the right distance for the straps, add 1 inch to each side to give enough room to turn under raw edges and tack in place at 'points' of either edge above armholes.

very simple attachment and finishings - shown in 'whatever' thread colors as this was to be a house item for me

NOTE: I made this out of two old items, a pillowcase and a curtain sash that were both in a box of remnants I received. I used whatever thread was in my bobbins as I did not care about matching thread colors on this first run.

I really wanted more tank tops - but what you get in the stores are very overpriced for what they are, knit t-shirts that will tear up in the washing machine and start to tear out at the seams with frequent washings. Thus - this. It will work perfectly for what I've intended - walking in our yard, down to the lake and staying cool in the house in the summer and/or as a nightgown. It feels nice to be able to whip up something basic and decent quality out of what I have on hand and not have to pay money for something that will not last very long. Plus, because I made it - I can reproduce it, whenever I get some time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

bits of a rundown mom

Some harrowing never-stop-a-minute days at work this week. And yet nothing on my sales number to show for it... at least things are hanging together and this month is already 'in the black' for my quota so I'm not stressing about that last bit. I haven't done much at the worktable the last few days - started to cut out one of the new dresses for Esme and was interrupted.. haven't gotten back to it. Two days off after tomorrow and having worry dreams again so I know I need to do some things to make myself feel better during my time off - clean the house and straighten things up and do some accomplishments.

Had another 'where is Esme's sister - she was right here, I've lost her have to find her' dream last night that bothered me. I have had two of those this year and it seems so REAL. I know what she looks like - how old she is and even have a name - until some point where I come back to my real self and locate Esme and/or wake myself up. I know the dream isn't really about a second child - we barely survive the one Hurricane Esme! The dream is about something else - like my dreams of trying to save fish in a leaking tank/draining bathtub and trying to collect a litter of lost kittens are worries about uncontrollably losing things I am working for and worries about responsibilities that are building up on me and I can't juggle them all at once. I get those not as often as in previous years. The most likely explanation I have is perhaps I am worried about 'losing' Esme's childhood - being gone so much and so busy... That shows the edges wearing frazzled on me this week... today I work and tomorrow is a new day altogether.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Brown shirt

This is the shirt jacket I made for myself last week. This has been stashed fabric since our trip to Murray. It is a Civil War reproduction fabric. It is the same kimono type pattern as the gray and red 'bravest dragon' jacket I made last year and am still wearing as a lounge jacket around the house. It is comfortable and I think it will wear much better as it gets washed and softens up. There is a lot to alter on the pattern... bit by bit I'll make it what I want it to be. I put a lot of extra buttons on it and two straps so the front can be worn several ways closed or open with the straps tacked back to inside buttons. (see below)

button straps

shirt laid out
looking very much like the kimono pattern it is from

I meant for it to be a long-sleeved shirt, but miscalculated the amount of fabric :(

Pictures would be much better without as much dog butt in them... but they don't seem to take the hint and are always finding ways to get in there. It is bright outside and I am not used to it, thus the terrible squinting. It is hard to work indoors during the light hours of the day!

I took Esme to town today and we stopped by Mockingbird Threads, the Huntingdon fabric store again. Esme was a good girl there, which was surprising considering her behavior last time! I bought a few yards of blue summery fabrics for Esme dresses and a fat quarter of something bright purple which I hope to get at least the top bodice out of a dress for her. She was very good until she was getting hot sitting out in the sun eating her french fries and didn't want to get back into the car into her carseat. Two other little girls had just arrived as we were getting ready to leave and it made her very upset, plus the car was hot. After a short argument I just made her get in the chair anyway and there was a lot of fuss.

summer dress stash

But, after that bit she was a good girl in the supermarket and all the way home - we put in a movie (Great Valley adventure - dinosaurs she has come to like a lot) and made fish sticks and went for a ride with Daddy on the fourwheeler. Now my fabric is washed and dried and she is outside playing in the yard with Daddy. I wonder what I can get done before she gets bored out there?

green bubble girl

green bubble girl

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

bits and Simplicity 5989

It's Wednesday. I have Friday off and it doesn't even seem like I've had the last few days at all. I had some dizziness on Monday which pretty much wiped that day clean - spent it in bed et al. Those used to happen quite often but since Esme was born it is very rare - surprised me and was a bit humbling. Last night I took some time at the sewing machine and dropped a screw down into the casing - spent an hour and help from Mark to get it back. But it is back together now and half of a jacket for me is sewn and waiting for the sleeves to be set in.

I'm hungering for those two days off next week - doesn't seem like we'll get there quickly! Esme is still asleep and I need to get ready for work. Been looking at a lot of fabric online, trying to think of what to use in my stash, and won this pattern on Ebay:

Simplicity 5989
circa 1960s

I can see Esme being happy to have several of these in light-colored fabrics for the upcoming summer months. I am interested to see the instructions for the bottom ruffle. Sewing geek burns eternal!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

40 months

We are getting closer and closer to 3 and a half. Esme acts her age very much lately. Physically she is ready for more PT, and is making some progress with it. She has the dexterity to pick up single pins off a table and put them into a pincushion without any help. She may have had this for a while, but it impressed me when she did it. She is still trying to open the front door but can't get a good squeeze on it to turn it at the same time. Daddy says she has been making good efforts at climbing trees outside vertically and I've seen her do some impressive horizontal balance beam work the last time we all went for a walk together.

Her speech is much closer and she sings long bits of songs to us daily. She can count to ten and somewhat higher, but not reliably. She still knows all her letters and can now tell you her name, her full name, and the first names of her daddy, mumum and grandma (working on grandpa - but I'm not sure if she saying grandma's name or grandpa's name because they have a similar middle sound and she runs things together)

She is describing things to me more than ever - things she saw earlier or things she wants to do or have etc. Daddy says this morning her description of 'I want an apple jack bowl with milk and a spoon and a fork yea, I hungry!' Sometimes I understand it, and sometimes I don't get it until much later if at all. Yesterday she asked for a movie with 'baby rabbits and they make soup'.. then she asked for 'movie with fox' and we knew she meant the Robin Hood Disney classic. I still didn't pay attention if the baby rabbits really make soup in that movie.. but apparently she thinks they do. Her 'no' attitude is getting worse - she thinks she is in charge and is sadly mistaken about that. I have drug her by her pants in and out of places more in the past three weeks than I had in the month before that. Hah.. I should make her some overalls with really strong straps! But she is testing us, and trying to see how far she can get her way etc..

She is watching Crocodile Dundee right now and saying 'bad dinosaur! - it try to get the mumum and the man SAVE, YAY he SAVE! bad alligator, he save!' She is really understanding more of what she sees and relating it in her own way. She points to me while I am working on cutting out a jacket for myself and says 'You go mumum, you go over there play pe-you-ter (computer), NOW, go.' All of that because I am just slightly in the way of her watching the television screen. Brat!

There are other things I have no idea why she does what she does... like shoving her plastic toys down into her socks and then walking around, or dumping all her plastic letters down her shirt and then standing up and trying to pick them all back up after they fall through back onto the bed.

Stretch a half yard, and garter stitches

Esme is a terrible crank today. She doesn't want something, then she does, then she screams and cries anyway - and is just in a generally disagreeable mood. We were about to go to town, but then my appointment got moved at the last minute and it began to rain. So now Daddy and Esme are staying home and of course that has made her furious right at the point she was starting to perk up. *sigh* And I still have to go out in this to the appointment.

I made this dress last night, and it is stretched out of one half yard of print and some scraps of red solid. The back of it has the print going horizontal, and the front going vertical. In her bad mood, of course, Esme said she didn't like it. She said it is 'chew ball'...? That is what it sounds like, but I do not know what she actually means. She has told me that about her red duck in the bathtub lately, as well, and put the white duck in my hand instead pushing the red duck away.

It has pockets, too

I did get her to put it on after her bath and she seems to like it and the pockets. But she would not take her blue dress off before the bath, 'just chew ball'. *roll eyes*

It was hard to get all the long pieces out of the print, but I finally devised a way to do it. This was all that was left of the half yard of print after I was done. That was an accomplishment I can brag about ;)

This is the garter stitch 'throw' blanket that I've started on a circular needle. Who knows how big it might get to be... but I'll plug at it a bit with these skeins of variegated yarn I have left from something a while back.

And this is what the dress looks like on Esme.

She was in a good enough mood to earn a trip to see her Grandparents, but when Daddy had dinner ready she was a crank again and had to be drug out of the truck here at home. She did eat pizza and then more of Daddy's pizza, too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

bit of breather

This has been a hard week at work! It seems like every day there are complicated tangles and crises to solve. And tomorrow I get a day off, although there is a sewing lesson scheduled back in town. *sigh* It would be nice to stay home, as I do not get another day off until the next Friday.

Esme had a great time out and about in the yard and forest with Daddy and also down to the lake and back with Grandpa. She told me about the 'truck with hoses' that was parked up our driveway, a pressure-washer setup from the logging crew next door.

I have not had time to work with any fabric all week, but I have been knitting on a throw blanket type thing with some remnant yarn skeins. Also, I won the Alice book on Ebay for Esme :) The kittens are getting bouncey and coming out to say hello to everyone now. I have to look around for them every morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simple fabric I want, but cannot find.

periwinkle with small dots

I went to the store yesterday and did not see anything like this. I ended up buying no fabric at all, because when nothing reaches out and grabs me (like the green fabric that is similar to this and is already made into a dress) it means I have to look harder or use what I have. And I do have quite a few scraps, just need inspiration to put them together otherwise.

I also wanted something non-solid in a sunny or nearly goldenrod yellow, and saw nothing there that I liked, either, except one print that was Easter chicks and would not be seasonal for very long! I would need at least a yard of either to make a dress. I have all week of work before I get to do anything with fabric, anyway... *sigh* But it will come. Up until then I just keep knitting about a dishcloth and a half each day at work.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Spring is here and we have a few big projects we need to take care of, as soon as we can get it all together. But I always have little plans going on. By making things in the household I feel a little less stressed during my work week. There is 'something' of me there that can try to fill in gaps. A blanket or a sweater, Esme saying proudly she has a 'pretty dress' or scarf etc... It inserts both a 'warm fuzzy' feeling and a sense that there are some comforts I can provide that are not just the 40 hour work week, something beyond that. Something money can't buy, that requires time and skill and love. Something that can be touched and remembered over the years. It is hard to explain. But whatever it is I am trying to say, knowing that facet of me is here and visible at home beyond the 'mama go to work' is comforting to me both when I am home and when I am away.

I told Mark last night that I felt guilty for tacking on to our list a few already planned yards of fabric for Esme dresses and a skein of yarn to finish a project. I would like to get Esme another large drawing tablet as well. He laughed and said 'Don't worry, that is cheap (under 10.00). Just keep me out of a book store. There are NASA space programs that are cheaper than me in a book store.'

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Heartbeat and blue dress

Esme playing with the stethoscope this morning. This is one of the 8668 dresses, in blue. I do like the pattern. It is very long, but not constricting.

8668 Simplicity size 4 coat and dress pattern

A note for the future: A few nights ago I found a talent I did not know I had - imitating Mickey Mouse for Esme. Now I'll never live it down. They say what you do to your parents comes back to haunt you. My dad did a good impression of Donald Duck. I can just barely remember begging him mercilessly to do the voice. The circle comes around.

Esme: You a Mickey Mouse! No Mom. Mouse. See Mickey Mouse! Please Mickey Mouse? Mouse, come Mouse you got a tail and ears!

Also: Also, thank you Miss Florence for the popcorn :) Esme is enjoying it since daddy came home this morning with it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Rainy day

Esme is playing with markers on my sewing table and drawing on shapes I cut out and helped her paste down. She is more interested, at the moment, in counting and stacking and sorting the marker tops into lines. Accountant behavior. But she has drawn some on the paper and the shapes ;) as well as made pyramids and growled when they fell over. She also put all the tops into her dress pocket and transferred them around to a few places before settling into Daddy's lap to watch him play Minecraft. She is pointing out pigs and cows and chickens to him and telling him not to go into dark places and fall down holes etc etc... She understands the game fairly well for her age!

I am working on the green dress now after finishing the hem on the skirt. The machine's stubborn attitude last night put me in a rejected mood for it for a while this morning - which was spent drinking coffee, watching cartoons with Esme and browsing patterns on Ebay when I could have been making something myself.

With this rain outside I don't want to go anywhere. I'm not sure if I want to take my machine out to the sewing lesson tomorrow if it continues to rain!

fabric rant

I do wish we had a dressmaker's fabric shop near us, compared to upholstery and quilting shops. But I guess making clothes is just too small of a niche market now to be covered in our little area. Clothing requires more yardage than small projects, but still must be durable and affordable. And because of this, the fabrics I choose are the cheaper yardages, which definitely does not pay to have a niche shop anyway! *sigh* And I don't mean 'prom dress' type fabric... there IS a lot of that available, I mean the velveteens and shirtings and linings and tweedies and chambray etc.. real clothing use fabrics to choose from instead of 'quilting cotton' and/or satin prom skirt.

I've found some things of use at the upholstery store, and they have more trimmings... but they have no identification on any of their fabrics - it is look and touch and guess. And clothing has to be washed - they don't expect anything they carry to be washed... I do anyway, and then I look and touch and guess again to see what could be made out of the fabric. The long length of red and blue bought over a year ago have been washed about five times each have improved GREATLY from that many washings. They are almost usable to make something out of now.

I try not to let much go to waste. What I buy on the clearance yardages at WM and the upholstery store does usually get used, eventually. The fabric I made the skirt out of last night was the other half of the fabric I made pants out of over two years ago. All that is left of that four yards now is tiny strips and confetti ;)

There are a few 'later' stacks of yards picked up cheap that are on top of my shelf. I have two yards of a light brown velveteen 'pretender' fabric (2.00/yd last year) I want to make a 'riding hood' type cloak for Esme, but I'm not sure if she would wear it - so I might wash it a few more times and see if I have any other ideas for it.

Friday, March 04, 2011


I have to clean my machine and get it ready tomorrow. I worked on a skirt for myself tonight and it was acting up again but the bobbin was nearly empty which is usual for it to act up during. Skirt link to try a second one after this first one tonight. This skirt is a usable garment but I was unable to finish the hem tonight and it could have been done a lot better with the gathers if the machine was working right. My waist measurement is 5 inches more than it was before I had Esme. Yeep! And I thought I was doing good getting back to nearly the same pants size as before she was born.

I have Esme's green cotton dress cut out but did not get into it because she was begging for a bathtub.

NOTES: When Esme says 'Alice' she sounds like she is saying 'A Swiss'. It is very funny and sometimes I still don't catch what she meant and she has to go into further detail with that little scowling eyebrows look she has. She wants to see her every day now - even over Pinocchio. I stepped that up a bit myself by finding her large-format Alice picture book in the things I had put away the other day and wordlessly putting it in her bed for her to find later. She kept looking twice at her bed and not wanting to go check it out because she didn't want to be seen in her bed. But finally curiosity got the better of her and she paged through the entire thing staring at the pictures from the movie in wonder and trying to figure out what part it was. I read parts of it to her again last night before bed and she was very happy with that.

I'm trying to get her one of these books, a smaller Golden book, as well. I have a soft spot for Golden books because of the collection my siblings passed on to me. There are several I have picked up at antique stores near us and/or the library that are too delicate to let Esme look through herself but I do read to her once in a while. I think she would enjoy some specific ones we don't have, but I won't spend very much for one (not that soft of a spot!). I saw a book I liked from my childhood 'The Color Kittens' by Margaret Wise Brown (same author as the Little Bear books I used to read to her often) the other day about kittens who are mixing paint colors in paint cans, but the seller wanted over five dollars for it shipped which was too much for a vintage child's picture book when she isn't so careful with them yet and it is more likely to be delicate. It looks like that book was reprinted in 2003 with similar, but not so cute illustrations :( The original copy was the one I remember so dearly and apparently, so many others as well - because they are the ones being charged more for.


The Color Kittens 1960 edition

Thursday, March 03, 2011

not much of a bit and a bob (literally, a bob)

Two days here at work, both 'earlier' shifts. I bought some green cotton on the way home in a pastel color to make another of the 8668 dresses. The blue one she was wearing last night and most of today is doing very well on her. The green cotton was also very very soft. I didn't go there looking for green - but when I touched it I knew it would make a nice swishy summer dress similar to the blue cotton fabric. Esme and I made Nana Josie a yellow construction paper butterfly for her birthday this Sunday. It will arrive at her house late even if I send it out tomorrow - but I also printed pictures to put into the envelope. I cut the butterfly out and drew a face on it and Esme drew circles and spirals and squiggles all over the wings. Then I cut out a red heart and put some glue on it and she placed it on the butterfly. When she was in the bathtub floating around in her green ring toy I took a second swipe at cutting my hair. It isn't too bad, not as good as last time. I had more 'even' to start with last July and I kept getting interrupted by 'you gonna cut your fingers' and 'ow ow ow you alright?' from the bathtub peanut gallery. Then she broke the tail off her white horse toy (plastic molded thing) and had a crisis about that. Now she is asking me for yogurt and watching Willow that we need to send back in the mail for Grandma.

We watched Willow and Esme was fine with it up until the transformation to pigs (worried, not scared) and she was VERY interested in the 'grandma' coming from a 'no turtle it a grandma, a turtle a TIGER a grandma' etc. She really started paying attention when all the 'boys' were laughing at Willow and the 'grandma' standing alone in the field and she was sad for them they were going to get hurt but I promised her the other people had turned back to people and they were hiding in the ground with their horsies. She was happy to see them come out and help the grandma and Willow. Then when the 'bad witch' and the 'grandma' were fighting and the baby was crying and Willow was being chased by the monster robot she was scared again and even wanted us to 'all go sleep now - no save the baby all go sleep!' But I told her it would all be okay and when they did save the baby she was 'we did it - yay hurray (arms in the air) we saved the baby good job!' *giggling*

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

bit in blue

8668 Simplicity size 4 coat and dress pattern

The new dress fits well! I made the top view in two blue fabric remnants just as a prototype. I had cut it out during Esme's bath last night and then while she played outside this afternoon I finished it. I took the sewing machine 'al fresco' on the porch using an extension cord and an end table. During her bath tonight I finished the zipper and then put it on her after the bath. It looks kind of like a nightgown, but with maybe a few little alterations it would be a pretty pattern to make lightweight summer dresses...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Navy dress with pockets and Alice in Wonderland

This was an endeavor last week that was finally finished last night. It is still hard to get a picture this time of year with the morning light in my workshop - so I hung it up outside on an old tomato cage on the porch ;) Very woodsy, eh? I am hoping to convince her to wear it to town today.

These dresses (both pictured) were actually made with Simplicity 8714, altered and without the sleeve pouf. I decided to leave out the back darts and they fit her much better without them.

Simplicity 8714

I really hope the coat pattern comes in the mail today. The USPS tracking said it was sorted Friday in Memphis and then nothing until this morning it notified me it was sorted for delivery at the local post office! YAY! That is some progress!

LATER: The pattern came in the mail! All the pieces were there. The seller said she did not know if they were and had not checked. Usually that makes me not consider the pattern any further - but I really wanted that long sleeved coat! And I'm glad I took a five dollar chance on it, because it is complete with instructions. I cut it out during Esme's bath and am now halfway through a prototype dress to see how the yoke works on Esme. It is made out of the remnants of her last two dresses. The instructions have a very interesting (for a sewing geek) way of lining the sleeves and bodice. Blue dress made from 8668 is at this post.

8668 Simplicity size 4 coat and dress pattern

Esme is wearing the navy dress now after her bath and it fits really well! I caught some really cute pictures of her outside earlier this afternoon playing with the dogs and pretending she was Alice from Alice in Wonderland. She was walking along with all the dogs on the edge of a bern and I said she looked like 'Alice in Doggieland'. I asked her if she was my Esme or an Alice - and she said 'I'm an Alice TOO!', pointing to herself. Then she was trying to remember everything about the movie and play bits of it. She got a big stick and went 'da da de da! *something something* for the Queen! AHHH the Queen run run run!' She pretended to play croquet with a stick and a can, and to get me in on the act as the Queen... She was singing songs from several different movies she knows, and asking the white rabbit where he went and running around the yard looking for him.

I told her she looked like Alice in this picture

on the bern with the dogs

with Mischa and Nova
sticking her tongue out pretending she is a dog

Big smile at being outside!

Run after the white rabbit

Point at the white rabbit!
He went back that way!