Friday, May 30, 2014

Me Made May 8

Another skirt today! Yay! Seriously, I need to branch out more in my sewing!

Today I needed to wear something that would take me from grocery shopping, baking, be comfy for a long car ride, and be dressy enough for an outdoor gathering tonight. Versatility is the key, and this piece fits the bill. Again, I put a yoga waist band on the top, but just cut off the bottom for the hem.

I'm off to conquer this mile-long to do list!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Me Made May 7

Thought I forgot about the Me Made May Challenge, didn't you? I haven't, but I also haven't found something handmade to wear each day this week. This exercise has really opened my eyes to the gaps I've got in my handmade wardrobe. Apparently, I really like to sew skirts, but tops not so much.

Today was an exceptionally cool day for late May in the South, so I took advantage of it in order to wear a spring sweater! Here's another Me-Made handknit...

The party in this sweater is all up around the neckline - isn't that pretty lace?

The rest, just a plain vanilla stockinette stitch with a bit of a picot hem.

You can read all about the woes and trials I went through knitting this on my Ravelry page. The sizing is really off - it came out much too large around the middle, so I put it under the sewing machine and took in the side seams a couple inches. I'm still not convinced it fits properly, but it's done and I'm 90% happy with the finished product.

I'm currently knitting another sweater - hopefully this one will turn out better!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

MMM day 6 - flower power

Hi again! Just a quick post to show this skirt, made 6 or 7 years ago. It's a basic 6 gore skirt with a waistband and side zip. I don't remember which pattern I used, or if I drafted this on my own. Made from a heavy cotton poplin with a bit of stretch, it's super comfy. This one gets lots of wear during the hot Southern summers!

Friday, May 23, 2014

MMM5 - hand knit happiness

We're having out of town guests stay with us this weekend, so today is full of cleaning and cooking. Having guests means I get to make some extra special dishes that we normally wouldn't enjoy. But when the flour is flying and I need to do some serious scrubbing to clean this joint up, the last thing I want is for my crazy hair to get in my way.

Enter in today's Me Made May article - my favorite headband!

Yes, these curls can be quite unruly at times. I never quite know what they're going to do on any given day. As a kid, I heard way too many Little Orphan Annie and Shirley Temple remarks. As a teen, I even tried chemical relaxers, which didn't work and left me with burns on my scalp. Ouch.
Recently, I've found the book Curly Girl to be of immense help. Oh, why wasn't that information available years ago??? If you have curly gals or guys in your life, buy them this book!

I love this hairband because it's knit! The cotton yarn has just enough texture to hold onto my head without slipping off, and it's nice and stretchy. I made this last year while waiting for my kids during swim lessons - the perfect summer knitting project.

My Ravelry page with all the details is here. This was such an easy project - go knit yourself one today! Don't worry about mistakes, nobody will ever see them once you tie it in your own hair!

(PS - the yarn was leftover from these Cape May socks - so now I literally match from head to toe!)

I'd love to hear about what hand made items you're wearing. Leave a comment telling about your favorites!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MMM day 4

This skirt started out as a few yards of jersey knit that I found at a thrift store. The deep teal color caught my eye. I love this color so much - I even painted a wall in my house this same shade! Honestly, when I bought the fabric, I had plans to make a drapey dress with it, but it didn't work out. So I scrapped the top half of the dress and turned the skirt into this super comfy maxi! The top is finished with a yoga style waistband.

I need to train my children in photography a bit better! Apologies for the waste bin creeping into the frame.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MMM day 3 - Strawberry crazy

It was strawberry picking day here today! The kids and I met some friends at a new-to-me patch. It turned out to be such a lovely day with breezes blowing in off the water. Just about 40 lbs of berries came home with us.

All those berries means LOTS of jam to be made! So today's MMM is a bit of a stretch - not a garment per se, but something I sewed that I will definitely be wearing a lot over the next few days. I present the humble Chicken Apron.

This fabric caught my eye at a thrift store - isn't it just too kitschy and fun? I think it had been sewn into some kind of wrap around skirt (which I couldn't figure out), so I cut it apart and sewed a quick and basic apron. Not so pretty, but very functional.

Here's a close up of those darling chickens, pecking away at the straw. I have a feeling that this is a vintage fabric. 

And now back to our strawberry goodness! I'm really looking forward to making my great-grandmother's recipe for strawberry shortcake. She was a tough Dutch woman who cooked for a family of six kids. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it. Enjoy!


1/4 butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk

Sift flour 2 times and then measure 2 cups. Sift salt and baking powder, stir into flour. Set aside. In a bowl, beat the egg then add the melted butter and milk. Slowly add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring as little as possible. 

Pour into a greased 8" or 9" cake pan and bake 25 to 30 min at 400 degrees.

Top with mashed strawberries sweetened to taste with sugar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Me Made May - day 2

Study Hall Skirt. Pattern by Anna Maria Horner.

Made this back in 2011. This pattern reminded me of school...the name (duh), and the box pleats are similar to those in the cheerleading skirts I wore. So I went for total kitsch with my fabric choices! The fabric inside the pleats is a cursive handwriting and the bottom band features math facts and flash cards. Maybe I thought the kids would learn something just by sitting next to me? Here are some detail shots from then, complete with little child sneaking into my photo frame:

Study Hall skirt

Study Hall skirt

If you've never sewn box pleats, this is a great skirt to try them!  There's only four to make. They are so crisp and tailored, and I love how they add fullness to a skirt without adding bulk around the waist. I think next time I'd make the bottom band fold all the way up to be doubled over, instead of just the narrow hem the pattern calls for. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Me Made May - a late start

Hi there! We've been on vacation for the first part of this month. A lovely but cold trip to see the Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. Spring has been cold and slow in coming there, so we saw a lot of this:

It's a celebration of Holland, MI's Dutch heritage. Lots of folks were in costume to be part of the Volksparade, which begins with a good ol' street scrubbing. The Dutch really like things to be clean!

And of course some kids got cleaned up too!

There were even "Dutch Dogs"

Now that we are home, I can get back to all things arty again. For me, sewing - especially sewing clothes - is as much of a creative endeavor as painting. I admit I'm still learning a lot of garment construction, but the mere challenge of taking a 2-dimensional piece of fabric and crafting it to fit around a 3-dimensional form is intriguing! And since ready-made clothing in stores never really fit well, I thought I'd partake of the Me Made May challenge: wear something handmade every day in the month of May.

I'm getting a late start, but that's ok. I'll focus on the remaining part of the month, since the idea is to enjoy sewing clothing and actually wear them! 

Here's today's stay-at-home-and-chill-with-some-coffee get up. Esme top squeaked out of one yard of chambray left over from my daughter's dress. It was a trial run, so it's not perfect, but I still like it!