Mar 30, 2013

seersucker sailboat pants

Rounding out the Easter finery is a sweet pair of pants for Mister Colin. Boy's clothing can be a bit limited, even in sewing patterns; fortunately, Oliver and S never does me wrong.

For his special outfit, Colin has a pair of Sailboat Pants in seersucker.  Nothing says SPRING! to me like seersucker, and I love the classic "little boy" look of these pants.  They are supposed to be cropped, but they actually hit around Colin's ankles.  That's okay; he'll grow into them over the summer.  

This is such a well-written pattern.  The instructions are clear, and these little pants turn out perfectly every time.  I should know...this is the third version I've made.  Cara has a denim Sailboat skirt and a pair of corduroy full-length pants that she loved this winter (she called them her "soft pants"), but in the rush of life, neither of these made their way to the blog.   This is definitely a pattern that I've been able to use over and over in many different ways, which is why I love Oliver and S!

Mar 27, 2013


Licorice is the one pattern from The Colette Sewing Handbook that I didn't love at first.  I'm not sure why, but this dress didn't really strike me as something that would be flattering, and I wasn't a fan of the collar.  HOWEVER, I was so totally wrong.  Licorice turned out to be the perfect Easter dress for me.

*side eye

I cut this dress in a size 2, which made me super nervous.  Everything else from my Colette Sewing Handbook has been cut in a size 4, but based on my experience with the Taffy blouse, I suspected that the shoulders would be too wide.  This dress has a little more ease through the waist than the Truffle dress, so a size 2 worked perfectly.

just be glad I cropped out my head...

I used a voile with a basic lining fabric for this dress.  It works really well with a slightly sheer, floaty fabric.  Since the print is pretty bold, I decided to forgo the collar, but I will probably add the collar the next time I make this one.

I really like the Licorice sleeves.  They make this dress a perfect transition dress for spring.  Which is wonderful, since spring doesn't seem to be making a strong appearance right now...

This was my first time trying out a hand picked zipper, and I may never sew in another zipper by machine.  This is my best zipper insertion so far.

an invisible zipper could not be more invisible

Without the belt, I can tell that the fit of this dress isn't quite perfect.  The next time I make this pattern--and there will definitely be a next time--I will probably shorten it at the waist by about half an inch to remove the extra fabric that folds and bunches right under the bust.  Other than that, I am really happy with how this dress turned out.  The only pattern I have left from The Colette Sewing Handbook is the Pastille dress.  I have been most intimidated by that pattern, but now that I have a little more experience under my belt, I'm feeling more confident about tackling that one.

Mar 24, 2013

Cara's Easter dress

Are you ready for a parade of Easter outfits?  'Cause I'm totally turning into a full-blown sewing blog this week!  First up is Cara's fancy dress:

For Cara's Easter dress, I used the Oliver and S Bubble Dress pattern, minus the bubble hem.  I know that seems odd since the bubble hem is kind of the selling point of that dress, but Cara requested a twirly dress for Easter, and I aim to please.  Omitting the bubble hem turned out to be such. a. pain.  I hemmed the dress (what I thought was) evenly, then tried it on my child only to discover that it was not, in fact, even in the least.  I ended up ripping out the hem and re-measuring with the dress on the child. It looks like the dress is longer in the front than in the back, but I promise that is not the case when the dress is on.  Just trust me.

I added a row of pearl beads around the neckline to fancy things up a bit.  If you know anything about my girl, you know that she is as princess-y and fancy as they come, so the addition of jewels seemed necessary.

I rather love the turquoise buttons on the back too.  I'm particularly proud of managing to get the back seam to "kiss" below the buttons.  The last time I made this dress (if you click the link, scroll down a bit to see the dress), I ended up with a gaping hole and lots of confusion.  In the end, I let it go, but this time, I wanted to fix that problem.

Those of you who have been reading a long for a bit might recognize this fabric; it is the same fabric I used for my Truffle dress.  I'm sure some of you are eagerly anticipating a picture of Cara and me in our matching dresses, since we all know I'm not afraid of dressing like a bridal party.  Unfortunately, that picture will never exist.  My polka dot Truffle shrank like a boss the first time I washed it because I did not prewash my fabric.  It was an excruciating lesson, but a necessary one.  My one consolation is that Colette Patterns most definitely overestimates the amount of fabric needed for their dresses (more on this later), which means that the polka dot Truffle can live on with Cara's non-bubble Bubble Dress.

colin likes cake

Mar 21, 2013

dear colin

because we all know the box is way more fun than the present...

My sweet boy,

This one-year-old business is golden.  You are in a sparkling moment between the twilight of baby and the dawn of toddler.  One minute, you are almost 24 pounds of soft, snuggling, squishy perfection, and the next, you are a wild babbling boy, all toothy grins and mischief.  I love this moment.  

You are so proud of your new tricks lately.  You can high five with the best of them, and you give hugs and kisses generously.  You carry your ball around the house squealing "BAAAAAALLLL" because you can.  You like to look at me as I say "no" and nod your head "yes" and giggle.  Your cuteness is killing my discipline. 

Even though you can wave and say "hi" and "bye," you still like to be rocked and snuggled to sleep.  Tonight, you wanted to rock for half an hour.  I kept thinking you were asleep with your little head on my shoulder, so quiet and still, except you weren't.  You were just content.  And so was I.  My prayer is that you are never too cool to snuggle with your mama.  

The doctor says that you have big hands and feet, which makes me wonder who you will be when the rest of you is big too.  I pray that you will seek the Lord with your whole heart, that you will protect the weak and love the unlovable.  I know your Daddy will teach you to be a gentleman, to open doors and bring flowers.  Your sister is already teaching you to be a comedian.  She is also teaching you to be tough and stubborn and curious.  I hope that I will always make you feel that you have a home where you are unconditionally loved.  I hope you feel loved and safe enough to mess up and get hurt, to triumph and celebrate.

I am so thankful to be your mama.  I cannot imagine my world without my two babies, my sweet boy and girl.  Happy first birthday, baby Colin!

Mar 18, 2013


Loving:  Everything that came in my last StitchFix box.  Seriously.  I kept everything again.  StitchFix = best birthday present to self ever.

Loving:  Teaching Jane Eyre to my advanced students.  Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time, and I was worried that they would hate it and ruin it for me.  As a group, they all say "nah, we don't like this book," and yet, their conversations in class imply otherwise.  It kind of makes my day when one of them sneaks over at the end of class to tell me how much he/she loves the book.

Loving:  Three-and-a-half-year-old logic.  Cara (our resident princess) looked at PJ a few weeks ago and said, "Daddy, princesses don't have to listen to anyone, and princesses don't have to go to time out."  PJ scored some major dad points with his reply: "Princesses have to listen to the king and queen, and guess who the king is?"  And then, this morning when Cara woke up with a tummy ache, I told her to eat some yogurt to help her tummy feel better.  She asked me how yogurt would help, so I told her that yogurt has probiotics that help tummies.  She said, "Ooooh, is that like magic?"  Yes, babygirl, tummy magic. :-)

Loving:  Watching Colin walk everywhere.  The boy is so over crawling.  He looks a little bit like a cute version of a Walking Dead zombie, but he's quickly picking up speed.  I let him walk himself in to school sometimes, and he thinks he's a big boy now.

Anticipating:  Easter dresses!!  Mine is almost done, and I can't wait to start on Cara's dress and Colin's pants.

Anticipating:  Warm weather!  We had a little taste of the 70s this weekend, and it just makes this cold, dreary day that much more unbearable.  I need some sunshine!!  And so does my grass.  Look how brown it still is!  This has been the coldest spring I can remember, but I know the flowers are just around the corner.

Anticipating:  My big boy's baby's first birthday tomorrow!  He's such a joy, and I can't wait to celebrate with our families this weekend.
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