Sunday, April 28, 2013

KCW - Finale.

Well, I can't say it was my most productive KCW ever. I didn't sew for an hour a day. Okay, I didn't sew every day. Okay, yeah, I didn't even sew most days.

But hey, I sewed! I'm all about defining my own success these days. The kids and dogs are fed? Yay, me! I sewed a little bit during KCW? Awesome!

As I've shared, the fact that I have very little time to sew these days hasn't stopped me from dreaming about projects. Or buying new patterns. Or finally subscribing to Ottobre (for kids).

Which is totally as awesome as everyone says!

So here is my first Ottobre pattern, the Mariken gingham dress from issue 1/2013. I was drawn to it because it's so hard to find dresses with sleeves, but a light cotton dress with long sleeves is the perfect garment for chilly SF Bay Area summers. I made it up in gingham, just like the sample in the magazine, because (a) I am not very imaginative (however, I did choose celery gingham, rather than the red in the magazine); and (b) I love gingham. This is in size 98 (about 4T), for my little niece Helen (who is a very tall almost three-year-old now).

Dress for Helen.

I am a bit gingham-obsessed lately, I admit. Every time I see nice 100% cotton woven gingham at a fabric store, I have to buy it. Fortunately for my wallet, it turns out that 100% cotton woven check is suprisingly tough to come by. This gingham is Kaufman's Carolina Gingham. It has a slightly homespun feel - it's not a smooth shirting - and is pleasantly crinkly (although I'm thinking you'd want to get it out of the dryer and shake it out right away). I love the color range these ginghams come in! I also got a couple yards of the larger scale orange gingham. Of course. I can't be expected to resist orange gingham!

This is a simple, basic dress. A good starting point, I thought, as I try to get used to Ottobre patterns and instructions. Or I should say, lack of instructions. Basically, if you like to be told exactly how to sew a garment, you might want to stick to Oliver + s patterns (and other indie pattern makers who really walk you through the whole process). Ottobre pattern instructions ... well, I don't really know, because I ended up just making the dress the way I thought I should make the dress. In short, not for beginners. But for your money, the sheer number of awesome, hip, and versatile patterns per issue just cannot be beat. Also, the size range in patterns is fantastic; it's actually pretty overwhelming. One issue could outfit your children through high school.

Dress for Helen.

Here's a major first for me: My first invisible zipper! It looks pretty good, and I only ripped it out twice!  Again, I'm defining my own success here. No, seriously, as zippers go, the invisible zipper actually went in pretty smoothly. It might - *gasp* - be a little easier than a regular zipper? That's something I did not expect.  But look, no topstitching to mess up! My biggest hiccup here was getting that back bodice seam to match up horizontally.

So I don't think that seam allowances are included in Ottobre patterns, but instead of taking a systematic approach to this and adding seam allowances to the pattern before cutting, I just eyeballed seam allowances ... in some places, but not others. Yeah, not systematic. Hopefully it won't look too wonky on.

I serged this throughout, so hopefully it will stand up to lots of washings. Below, you can see the dress inside out. When have I ever shown my readers the inside of something I've made? (Okay, maybe a few times, but not frequently.) I thought Helen would enjoy a little surprise, so I faced the neck with pink gingham and dug into my vintage bias/hem bindings stash for pink facings for the wrists and hem.

Dress for Helen.

When I see it like this, it makes me want to make a dress that has the facings "facing" out! Cute! Anyway, it's super clean inside.

Yes, yes. I'm a happy serger now.  I did great without it, I will continue to tell new sewists that they don't need one, but now that I have it, I'm using it and loving it! For any of you on the fence, the purchase is completely justified! (I also bought a dead cheap serger, and it's fine.)

In other news, I think we can safely say that Maggie likes refried beans.

Refried beans.

Refried beans.

And with that, we end this Spring (or Autumn for my Aussie readers) KCW. I sewed about the same amount that I always do, but one thing was different: I got to read all of your awesome KCW posts!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Undies: Fit.

For those of you inquiring about the fit, it's perfect! Lots of room for movement! As Joe demonstrates here (this is what happens when I say, "Joe, turn around and let me photograph your bottom!").

These are size 4 undies on my size 4T boy.

Monday, April 22, 2013


KCW Spring 2013 will go down in history as the year Inder sewed undies.


And quite possibly, nothing else.

This is one of these things. Everyone in the sewing blog universe has already gone through their "undies sewing period." Except me. And now I get it. These things are addictive! Sewing undies - it's my new "happy place." I might never sew anything else again. Sergity serge serge serge.

Undies - close-up

Since downloading the "That Darn Kat" pattern on Saturday, I've made ... *attempts to count on fingers ... gives up with a sigh* ....  a lot of undies. My sewing space looks like 500 pairs of undies exploded all over it. Which is close to what actually happened. These things are the bomb for actually using some of that "t-shirts for upcycling" pile that you may have been accumulating for the past several years (tell me I'm not the only one). So many possible color combinations!


And despite plans to sew a variety of clothes for my kids this KCW, it's quite possible that this will be it (meh, my kids don't really need clothes anyway). It is entirely possible that I will sew 600 more pairs, then completely burn out on sewing for months on end. Are they like Cheetos? Insanely delicious, followed by a sickening sensation like, "I'm not going to be able to stop eating these," followed by "uuuuuugggghhh"?

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'm taking orders from all my friends.

And here's Joe, in response to my request that he "look at the camera."

Side eyed


More side eye

What's that all over his shirt? An ice cream cone. It was delicious.

The next few nights are packed and busy, so it's not likely much sewing will happen, KCW or no. But hopefully I'll get a little time later this week! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nine Months!

Well, technically, nine months and ten days. Wow, these photo shoots get more difficult every month! It's a good thing we only have a few months left (eek!), because it's chaos, people. Sheer chaos.

First, I tried to lay Maggie down on her quilt, but she didn't really love that.

9 Months!

Sitting up. That's better.

9 Months!

 Wait a minute. What's so funny, Maggie? (Hi Crouton!)

9 Months!

Is that a very nude big brother Joe photobombing?

9 Months!

He was very helpful, actually, in getting his sister to smile for the camera. Maggie thinks Joe is hilarious - with clothing on and without!

Wait. What? Hold on, Maggie. Where do you think you're going?

9 Months!

Okay. That's better ...

9 Months!

As you can see, Maggie is all over the place these days, crawling, cruising furniture, even climbing stairs. She's fast, too. Heaven help us. 

I was lucky to be selected as a pattern tester for Laura Titchener's soon to be released "Fancy Pants Leggings" pattern. Given my love for the Big Butt Baby Pants, and for sewing with knits, you can imagine how excited I was to try these out.

Maggie has, ahem, adorably ample thighs and rear,  and these fit her perfectly. They're great for moving in.

9 Months!

9 Months!

She does have a little "visible diaper line" (VDL) here, huh? 

These are an easy fast sew, especially on a serger. And that contrast bum is perfect for using up little scraps of knit fabrics (Spoonflower, anyone?) you may have laying around. I got a few pieces of this owl fabric in a stash exchange with a friend. Cha-ching! A perfect use for them!

9 Months!

And off she goes, after a dog. Whew! She is so much fun, but this age is a lot of work!

Speaking of being overworked, I am debating participating in this Spring's KCW (Kid's Clothes Week). Initially, I reluctantly concluded that I just don't have time, what with the job, two kids, and constant chaos. But I always enjoy participating so much, and although I don't think an hour a day is feasible for me on weeknights these days, maybe I could spare 20 minutes a day to sew during the week and longer on the weekend ... ? I'd like to at least try ... hmmmm.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Joe and Mama.

Whew. This past week has been ass-kicking. I was hit by a double whammy - massive work deadlines and sick baby. Those faint, muffled cries you hear coming from the San Francisco Bay Area? That's me suffocating under the heaps of paper currently covering my desk. And Maggie got roseola, a childhood illness characterized by high fevers (that primarily spike at night, of course) and a full body rash like something out of the Middle Ages.  Good times.

She's much better now, thanks. And my project - we are so, so close! If I squint and hold my head at a certain angle (this is a bit difficult considering I'm buried in documents), I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel ...

It's all going to be okay.

So I'm just dropping in to say hello, readers! Don't take my blog off your feed quite yet! (Speaking of which, Google Reader is shutting down. Boo hiss. I am switching to the Old Reader, which has the sharing capabilities of, you guessed it, the old Google Reader. Which were awesome! So if you'd like to share links with me (and others), let me know! An additional aside: I've been reading so many posts about Bloglovin' lately. Do I actually have to sign my blog up there so that you can add it to your feed? Please advise.)

Recently, while I was at work trying to make sense of yet another Word document that was more "track changes" than original, Steve sent me a photo of Joe making a "cheese" grin.

Now, everyone agrees that Joe is the spitting image of his father, but a couple of very nice people have told me he looks like me, which I blew off as kindness (because, I'm sorry, Joe is mini-Steve). But when I saw this photo, I was like, "Ooooh. Maybe he's not just Steve's clone. Heeeyyyyyy, he kind of looks like me there!"

To wit:

Look! We have the same "cheese" face!

To my friends who have said, "he has your smile," I reluctantly concede that you may be onto something there.

(Also, seriously, who let me cut that poor kid's hair? It looks terrible!)

Hope y'all are having a great week! I'll be back shortly with Maggie's post-rash Nine Month Photo Shoot and other fun updates.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Remember that beautiful bonnet that my friend Christine made for me? From a vintage embroidered pillowcase?


It's officially the most darling thing on God's green earth. I mean, I almost have to shield my eyes from the unbearable sweetness.


The only thing cuter is Little Miss Maggie herself, of course. She has such soulful eyes and the sweetest crooked smile. And a calm and sunny disposition. She has a certain quiet, observant, peacefulness about her that people constantly remark on.

But believe me, when she wants a thing, she lets you know all about it. For example, don't even dream of eating in her presence without offering her a little something. I mean, that is just rude.

She is also saying "mama" and "dada" and clapping, and signing for "more." At least, I think so. It's a bit early to say for sure.

It is so fun to watch how siblings develop. Maggie and Joe are so similar (especially in looks!) and yet, also very different people. They love each other so. Maggie has Joe wrapped around her little finger. We spend our days trying to restrain Joe from loving Maggie too much, too constantly, and too smotheringly. In desperation, I have been known to say, "For crying out loud! Joe, can't you find something to do besides hugging and kissing your sister?!"

They spend their days making each other laugh. No one makes Maggie laugh the way Joe makes Maggie laugh and Joe delights in her giggles. They have a special bond.


This bonnet goes so perfectly with this Class Picnic Blouse that I made Maggie a while back and never officially blogged. These photos don't really show it off either, but suffice it to say, I love this pattern. I used aqua piping and facings on the hem, neck, and sleeves (which I elasticized to make them puffy), and it turned out so perfectly folksy-modern. I love it, and I want to make more. I also think it would be adorable lengthened into a dress, don't you? Stay tuned. I have plans.


My wee lassy.