Friday, May 27, 2011

Hot Pink With a Ruffle

I finished my first project for the Summer of No Pants! It took MUCH longer than I had hoped.  Here's why:

My first mistake?  Cutting one of the pieces too short.  Then, of course, I had to cut them all shorter to match, so the knee-length skirt I had hoped for turned out to be above the knee. 

Mistake #2:  thinking my ruffle attachment would work on this very thick, almost like denim fabric.  Ugh!  That ruffle took me forever.

On to mistake #3...forgetting that my hips are narrower than average.  I made sure the skirt fit at the waist, but didn't consider the hips so much.  So, when I tried it on AFTER it was finished, it was way too wide!  With this heavy duty fabric, it stuck out and looked ridiculous. I had a very nicely constructed skirt that did not fit.  So I did a lot of fitting, pinning, and basting until I got it to fit a little better.  It's kind of cute now, and it has pockets, which I love.

On a slightly different note: soon I will be a little better with making things that actually fit me; last week I ordered a dress form.  After looking at the ones at the fabric store, I decided that they weren't worth the money.  They seemed a little cheaply made, and I know they wouldn't come close to having my figure, even if the measurements were the same.  So, I did some research to see what other dress forms were available at a reasonable price, and I found the Uniquely You brand.  I ordered one, and I am so excited!  The form itself is made of high-density foam.  They send you a cover with it, which you (and some lucky person who gets to assist you) alter to fit tightly to your own body.  You then squeeze the cover onto the form, zip it up, and you have a dress form that looks just like you!  You can stick pins in it too, which will be nice.  Mine should be arriving in a few days.  I can't wait to get it!  Now...we'll see who I can get to help me with this.  Hopefully I won't have to bribe anyone :) 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Wardrobe Revolution and the Summer of No Pants

I am officially tired of jeans.  Jeans, jeans, jeans.  Every day, everywhere, everyone.  They have become a uniform for people of all ages and walks of life.  Bo-ring!  So, since I can't go back in time to when people actually dressed with care, purpose, and originality, I have started my own little protest.  A rebellion.  My personal Wardrobe Revolution!  I have gone through my closet, pulled out all of my skirts and dresses, and I've begun to wear a dress or skirt at least 2 or 3 times a week.  I am loving it!  I like my skirt outfits so much more than my jeans!
I've decided to join Marigold over at her blog, "Hideous, Dreadful, Stinky" for the Summer of No Pants.  The challenge is to sew one skirt or dress per week for the month before summer begins (May 23-June 17).  Then, go the entire summer NOT wearing pants!  For my Summer of No Pants, I will only wear jeans for things like camping, gardening, and cleaning the house.  After all, aren't those the things jeans were designed for in the first place?  The rest of the time, I will be cool, comfortable, and feminine in my pretty dresses and skirts.   
Here is a simple A-line skirt I made for spring:

I love this skirt.  It has so many colors in it, that it goes with just about anything.  In the winter I can wear it with my black boots, and in the spring and summer, it goes perfectly with my pretty red polka-dot shoes.

Soon I will have four more skirts or dresses to show you!  I'm so excited about the Summer of No Pants!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthday Bunting and a Button for Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday.  Any of you who know him are already well aware of this fact.  He likes to make sure everyone knows when his big day is coming up!  I wanted to send him a handmade gift, but I couldn't think of what to make for him.  There are only so many things you can make for a guy, but handmade gifts are so much more meaningful, don't you think?  I saw an idea online for fabric bunting that you can use over and over for special occasions.  Great idea!  So, to help him celebrate his special day, I made him the bunting pictured above.  I sent him that, along with this giant button to wear, in case anyone doesn't know what day it is:

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers' Day

This year for Mothers' Day, my sweet daughters worked together to make me a fabulous breakfast!  I absolutely love strawberries, so breakfast was crepes with strawberries and a cream cheese filling, chocolate covered strawberries, cheesy scrambled eggs, and turkey bacon.  Yum!  It was delicious!  Those two are becoming quite the gourmet chefs!  Everything was served beautifully, with a lace tablecloth, specially folded napkins, and lovely flowers on the table.  Later they gave me some nice little gifts and handmade cards.

 I also had a nice long phone conversation with my mom, across the country in Washington state. I wish I could see her more often, but I am very thankful for modern technology that allows us to keep in touch. 

Later, my wonderful husband took us out to dinner at Olive Garden.  He deserves lots of credit for making this a great day (making sure the girls remembered Mothers Day was this weekend, taking them shopping, doing the dishes, and I wouldn't even be a mom without him!)

Thanks, family, for a happy Mothers' Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Last Week: Favorite Places, Yard Labor, and Center Stage

Last week was spring break for us. In years past, we have gone away on various vacations, but this year was a little different.  We had a lovely visit from my mother-in-law for most of the week, and we took her to some of our favorite places.  In the photo above, we are standing (with the sun in our eyes) at the beach at beautiful Cape Henlopen, a place we love.  We'll be camping there in June, and we can't wait!  We also took a day trip to another favorite: Mount Vernon.  Such history and beauty there!  We happened to walk by the area where they keep the sheep when they were feeding the little lambs.  They were so cute, wagging their little tails as they ate!
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is another place we love to visit, so we drove up there to visit our favorite tourist traps and a few out of the way places, too.  It's always a nice, refreshing change of pace to be among the horses and buggies, clotheslines, and plainly dressed families.  We took a different route home, and visited the Delaware Welcome Center where "Postcards From Delaware" is located.  I found a pleasant surprise as I entered the shop: my bags now have a center display!  They used to be back in a corner, but now they have center stage!
The rest of the week was spent working outside.  The whole family was put to work (even Haley's boyfriend), except Mom Z.  She offered to help, but we told her to sit and relax and enjoy a book.  Now we have a big garden in the back yard, another little herb garden, nice neat flowerbeds, a clean garage, and a new clothesline! 
What a great week!