Sunday, June 11, 2017

Luna Lapin: A Bunny for my Maggie Bunny.

Meet Ms. Luna Lapin,  a "quiet and kind rabbit with impeccable taste." Maggie and I discovered her through this lovely book, which I grabbed on impulse when I was browsing the local bookstore on my lunch break. This is a British book, with full size patterns for the bunny and her extensive wardrobe (and brother's wardrobe), included. Luna Lapin seems to have a bit of a following in the UK, based on my google search results, although I had never heard of her until I saw the book.

Maggie was immediately captured by this book, which provides a sweet narrative for Luna as well as lots of pretty pictures of Luna in her many dresses and adorable accessories and immediately started planning for her own Luna.

She selected a snowy white wool felt for Luna's body, and we selected a pretty Liberty print for Luna's ears and the pads of her feet. Maggie preferred the look of small safety eyes to the buttons used for Luna's eyes in the book, and I found a soft browny-pink for her nose.

Luna is partially sewn by machine, and partially by hand, using regular polyester sewing thread. She has moveable arms, with buttons used as joints, and a separate bottom piece that allows her to sit well. It took me a couple nights to finish her body, with Maggie acting as a tireless and relentless taskmaster. Then it was time to work on her wardrobe!

Luna's first outfit is a simple shift dress with neck bow, with mary janes and a lace shrug. She has cute knickers underneath.

 We chose a cute Cotton & Steel Lucky Strikes print for the dress and swiss dot for the undies. Maggie and I made a special trip to Stonemountain & Daughter to source bunny supplies, including lace for the shrug, tiny bunny buttons and snaps for the back of the dress, and lace to trim the knickers. Maggie charmed everyone in the store with her cute self and her bunny!

So I know that the sewing blogosphere is alive with adult underwear sewing, but I'm here to tell you that sewing bunny knickers is THE MOST FUN THING EVER. Seriously. Maggie was especially delighted with the little rose, which I found in my prodigious stash. Note for next time: Cut a slit for the bunny tail.

The book calls for a yard of scalloped lace to make the shrug, but it would be a terrible waste, since the pattern only uses the edge. Instead, we were able to make the shrug from 3/4 yard of a 5" wide, scalloped on both sides, lace trim. The pattern for this was pleasingly origami-like and fun to sew! I used a narrow zig zag to sew the lace seams, and based on how hard it was to seamrip one seam I did by mistake, I'm going to to say that it's very sturdy!

 Aren't the shoes adorable? They call for little miniature buckles, but I used small buttons instead. Ridiculously cute.

 I am happy to say that Luna is a well-loved member of the clan. She is a happy bunny, as far as I can see!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Me Made May 2017.

Well, I did it again, folks! I participated in Me Made May and posted pictures of my outfits (with at least one item I made myself every day, and multiples on many days) on Instagram every day in May. Some of these pictures included beverages (coffee, smoothies, and IPA). Others included stuffed animals when dictated by Joe or Maggie or photo-bombing kids and husbands. Taking daily selfies definitely gets tedious - a good sense of humor really helps!

I'm not going to get too navel-gazing about this process, but I do have some observations.
  1. Prints vs. Solids. Styles have changed a bit in the past couple years, and my many printed t-shirts and blouses are starting to feel dated (in addition to worn to shreds). I find myself wanting to wear solid colors (or stripes) more. Maybe it has to do with the sedate (depressed?) mood our country (and world) is in right now, or maybe it's the influence of the many capsule wardrobes the sewing bloggers have been working on lately, but I seem to be embracing the all neutrals minimalist trend. (Let's just pause for a moment to reflect: I have been sewing for myself long enough that some of my me-mades feel outdated!? Yay, me!) Some of my most-worn items this month were the new cream Hemlock tee I just made, my black herringbone Pleated Pencil Skirt, my beloved black and cream striped Mabel, and my cream sleeveless Archer. I have several more neutral or semi-neutral items in the pike. I'll probably look back on this two years from now and think "BORING," but right now, it's what I'm enjoying, you know?
  2. Mustard Yellow. And yet. I made a mustard yellow Mabel Skirt and sleeveless Hemlock tee this month, which I hope to blog soon. I'm taking the position that mustard yellow (or "golden," as my kids call it) is a neutral. 
  3. Business Wear. I wore suits or at least a blazer frequently this past month. With greater responsibilities at work come more formal meeting situations, which means wearing a suit more (blah, I'm not a fan). I knew going into this May that I didn't have enough simple blouses to wear with suits, and in fact that was the biggest struggle. Because I have a large bust, I have historically favored a loose drapey shell under blazers rather than a button-down shirt. The Maya Top is probably my favorite top to wear with suits, although I'd like to branch out a little bit. Recently, I've been noticing some Josephines with released pleats or pleats converted to gathers that look really pretty, and I am considering making one in a very drapey (solid, neutral) fabric. On the other hand, I really like the way my cream Archer shirt looks with suits, and one of the advantages of sewing for yourself is that you can avoid gaping or too-tight button downs. Sewing up more button down blouses to wear with suits is also on my list. 
  4. Casual Wear. I'm doing pretty well with me-made casual weekend clothing. I love my t-shirts and sweatshirts to death. One issue I noticed this month is that I like to sew casual skirts that I don't wear very much, because they aren't formal enough for work, but nor are they ridiculously comfortable and easy to wear, which is a requirement for weekends. Here, I'm talking about my Moss Skirt and Brumby Skirt. I love both these skirts, and I do wear them, but not as much as I would if they were either more work appropriate or more appropriate for actual house and gardening work. For someone else, these would be wardrobe workhorses, but they languish in my closet. On the other hand, t-shirts, and anything with an elastic waist gets worn to death. Lesson? I guess I should embrace my Fred Rogers-esque costume changes and make more pencil skirts and work-appropriate blouses, as well as more t-shirts and elastic waist pants, and less "middle ground" items. 
  5. I still don't wear dresses. I mean, hardly ever. And that's okay. I have a uniform, and it works for me. Separates FOREVER! I'm eyeing my Alder Dress, thinking I might convert it into a blouse. Stay tuned. 
  6. Simple shapes. I do want to keep trying new techniques and more challenging makes, but it should be noted that my most worn me-mades are very simple shapes. These aren't always the most exciting things to sew, but are so very versatile and practical!
The best thing about May Me Made this year was how inspired I was to sew some more clothes for myself! My feed was SUPER INSPIRING, I started following a bunch of new-to-me IG feeds, and I sewed no less than four tops and one skirt this month (and made good progress on a button-down shirt), which is more selfish-sewing than I've done in a year! A huge part of that was the excitement and camaraderie of seeing what all of my sewing friends were wearing this month. To all of you who participated in MMMay17 or liked or commented on my posts this past month - THANK YOU! 

Did you participate in Me Made May? Any big takeaway lessons?