Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Sewer. Say It Like "Sower".

Just wanted to chat about some of my recent and ongoing sewing projects.

Here's the dress I wore to Stanley's and my wedding rehearsal five years ago. (Obviously I didn't make the dress. Got it at Nordstrom's.)

(By the way, it was quite a treat going through the old wedding photos looking for a shot of the dress. It inspired me to get some new prints and frame them, or at the very least, to put some wedding pics in the lineup on the computer screensaver. These photos are for looking at, not for archiving and forgetting. But I digress.)

I haven't worn that dress in five years. I like the dress a lot in theory - it has cute pictures on the toile, like women washing clothes, but the waistline is too high, and the neckline is too low for my liking. Hence my not having worn it. I was inspired by the DIY dress magic in the blog New Dress a Day, recommended by my sister Jasmine*, as well as an entry in the blog Make It and Love It, to cut the top off the dress and make it into a skirt. Ta Da!

I sewed a black waistband to it because this was the quickest way to stop the zipper since I cut off the stop when I cut off the top, as well as because I was finding it difficult to pin all the layers down at the top of the skirt to sew the cut off end fabric. I just now remembered that while I was sewing the skirt, we were watching Inglourious Basterds, which was a great flick, and not overly violent as the reviews led us to believe. It was gruesome in parts, but I wouldn't call it gratuitous, and I've seen much worse.

Another alteration experiment. Stanley's mom once suggested that when Blueberry grows out of her clothes, some of them are amenable to increased longetivity simply by sewing elastic into the shoulder straps. So I attempted this on the romper (I think it's a romper. I'm calling it a romper) below. Here's the front view, sort of a before pic since you can't see my alterations.

And the back. See the new shoulder straps? Better hurry and look because she's about to flip over again.

More room to grow! Should fit her for at least another 15 minutes. I tried to match the fabrics as best I could, but it's darker, and denim rather than corduroy, but with a similar flower pattern. What would really make it work is if I sewed new pockets or ruffles or a fake waistband/belt in the dark fabric; then the shoulder straps would at least be connected to some other aspect of the romper. Romper. Romper romper romper. What a dumb word. Romper.

Another project, currently in progress: Our friend Kate* made this terrific quilt for Blueberry. She gave it to us before Blueberry was born, and I had been "protecting" it by not using it. It was carefully draped over the back of the crib. It looked lovely. Then one day, Kate came over to share her knowledge of quiltmaking and to help me with the logistics of a big new project which we shall call The Norway Quilt and which shall be blogged about in a later post. OOOH suspense!! I'm a regular Steven King. In the course of things I brought the quilt she had made down from the nursery and she made me feel better about actually using it. And since then, Blueberry has thoroughly enjoyed looking at it and playing on it.

I decided to make a quilt for Blueberry, mostly as practice for the Norway Quilt because, for reasons which shall become clear in a later post (dun-dun-DUN!), I really don't want to screw up the Norway Quilt. Kate kindly let me borrow her rotary cutter, cutting mat, and big ruler thingy, and people in the neighborhood kindly cut up squares and bought fabric and then kindly put the already-cut-up squares and cute fabric up for sale in their garage sales, so I didn't have too much cutting to do to get all the squares and borders ready for piecing. Here's the basic design, before piecing the blocks together.

Since the above photo was taken, I've since pieced the whole front together and about half of the back, which is basically leftover fabric scraps randomly pieced together to make a rectangle. I've really enjoyed making it so far. It's got some adorable blueberry printed fabric, lots of different violet fabrics since Violet is Blueberry's middle name. I based the overall design on this quilt. I'll post a photo once the Blueberry quilt is finished. Normally I only like to post about things I've already done, not things I'm hoping to finish, so this really puts the pressure on.

If you are new to Hazel's House Blog, please know that Blueberry is not her real name. Just thought I'd get that said.

Another project killed two birds. LITERALLY! No not really. I had this Old Navy t-shirt which I never wore because it was too tight all over.

And Blueberry was in need of some warm weather pajamas. So I cut up the skin-tight t-shirt and made some baby jammies.

I had enough of the t-shirt to make a top and some shorts. You might be able to tell from the photo that it wasn't a simple matter to make the big shirt fit a small body, and I had to make some ugly folds and tucks, but these are just for wearing around the house, and posting on the internet for all to see, so it's okay.

And another project was inspired by a handmade gift that Blueberry received from a nice lady from church. It's the item on the left in the photo.

It's based on a trademarked/patented design called a Taggie. Blueberry loves her knockoff Taggie. She likes playing with the tags on toys and this toy has tags in spades. I wanted to see if I could make one myself (the one on the right) and it turned out to be pretty easy for an amateur sewer. That's sewer as in "one who sews", not as in where our fluid waste goes. I gave the Taggie knockoff knockoff to Blueberry's friend Sclera*. I'm pretty sure it's okay to make one as long as I'm not trying to sell it.

*Names changed.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Chunk of July

I haven't blogged in a while because there's a lot of little things going on in my life that I want to write about and the task seems overwhelming considering that I have a lot of other little things I'd also like to be doing. But writing to you makes me feel good so I told myself I would break it down into chunks. Maybe even just one chunk. This means it will be incomplete. For example, I don't plan to mention any sewing because I don't have any photos ready, and this bugs me because I am still really excited about my sewing experimentations. Anyway, let's begin.

On a walk around the lake, Blueberry and I saw a black-headed night heron. First time I ever remember seeing one.

I love butterflies and try to take pictures of them when I can.

We went camping a couple of weeks ago.

Blueberry got her first professional portraits taken at Penney's. It was a good experience and I like the pictures but I'm highly interested in tackling the portraits myself next time, to save money and stress and to allow more time and creativity. Here are some of the low-res screen grabs that I couldn't help but steal from the Penney's website. I put some of them on Shutterfly and ordered 4X6's and, not surprisingly, they look pretty grainy. I may still try for some wallets because why not?

Hey look, another butterfly.

Blueberry is sitting up well now for 10-15 minutes at a time. Here is video of the second time she sat up for a good length of time.

And we've started giving her solid food now and then. Here is the first official "meal", which is actually a highly stylized and over-produced ceremonial event. Stanley's dad remarked that I should have given her more food or just put all the food in front of her and let her go for it but I saw no need for that at this point. It was the only chance I had to film her with her first food so I wanted it to be special. Time got away from me so it's over 4 minutes long (another complaint from Mr. Spupspe) so you might want to take a bathroom break before you watch it. Also, it's not messy, so don't get your hopes up. Still want to watch it?

Do you like how I displayed the avocado as a visual aid? You're welcome.
Since then I've offered her banana several times, which she always spits out, and I let her lick other fruit when I'm eating it, which she grimaces when she tastes but always comes back for more. We're going to start offering her sweet potatoes as well pretty soon. She doesn't seem to need solid food right now but we're letting her practice for when she does need it.
I've got sewing project photos on the camera right now so maybe I'll post some of them soon. Hope you all are having a wonderful summer!