Thursday, 16 June 2011

What I would be working on if I weren't feverish. Again.

Caftan cover-up from by Adey's tutorial here.  
Swahili translation needed for this voile scrap I picked up at VV.  The only Swahili speaker I know is out in the field now, and the closest I can get from online translation is, "One who talks to himself can't be wrong", but who knows if that's even close?  It could say something I wouldn't be caught dead wearing, so I'd better verify before I leave the house in it!

Simplicity 2591 in blue + white shwe shwe.  It looks black and white in this close-up, but that's just a photographic artifact. 

I'm off to bed with a mug of Neocitran and Project Runway Australia season 2.  Hope your evening is going better! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Unworn pillowcase dress

After last week's pillowcase challenge fail, I decided to redeem myself and whip up the ubiquitous pillowcase dress for Tashi.  30 minutes, a 50 cent pillowcase and some leftover notions = one supercute dress.  

Only problem is she fought like a demon against wearing it this morning. 
Maybe she'll come around (like she did for the '70s calico skirt I made her), or maybe not. Either way, pillowcase challenge done and done.   

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Boring Top

This should have been my challenge.  I'm a linens addict.  I can't pass by a loud, mid-century top sheet or pillow case at Value Village.  They call out to me.  It's kind of weird.  Here's a sampling of a few I have in my stash (and by stash, I mean pile of stuff in the corner of the basement that looks like a garbage tip):

And since I'm airing my (un)dirty laundry, I have to confess that the pink,white and brown daisy print in the upper left-hand corner was made into a skirt by putting an elastic in the top and actually wearing it out of the house.  Once.  

And here's a muslin for a '40s dress that I've had hanging on the wall for around 4 months.  I can't decide if it's too much sheet to be a dress.  Farah made a great dress a few challenges back from this exact sheet, and hers looks great.  Hmmm......

I even made a pillowcase tunic last week before Mena announced the challenge, so I thought I would whip something up in 30 min. max.  Aaaaaaand then I made this:


Does this face say "Meh" loud enough?

I thought it would look cool and crisp, but it just ended up looking like a pillowcase with blue bias bindings.  And into the donate bag she goes.

To counteract the blahdom of that top, here's the sorbetto tank I made a couple of weeks ago from an old sheet and some thrifted narrow bias tape:

(note to self:  get a better camera and stop taking grainy flash photos at night.)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

(Im)perfect Summer Dress

This week's sewing was trumped by house cleaning for the first time in a while.  My man was leaving town for a few weeks and my parents were coming to help pick up the slack on those days when I get stuck late at work.  I also have to prepare a 20 min. talk for the Center for Host-Parasite Interaction Conference next week.  And I need to get some more data for said conference talk.  And I may have to go to Michigan for a training session.  Whew.

The Sew Weekly theme this time around was a fairly loosey-goosey "Perfect Summer Dress".  You would think that between the two '40s dresses I have hanging up almost completed, the '60s linen shift I have cut out and the caftan I've already marked, I would be able to whip something up in a couple of hours.  But nothing seemed to catch my fancy.  Then I read Mena's post on xoJane about making the Sassy Magazine Pillow Case dress from 1992.  If you were a teen or young adult in the '90s, you probably loved Sassy.  Like I did:

(Yeah, that's me back in 1993 reading Sassy.  Sorry for the crap photo-of-a-photo, 
but I don't have a scanner anymore.)  

Now Jane Pratt has launched xoJane, and if you haven't seen it yet, go look now.  Go on; I'll wait until you get back.

And so I was suddenly gripped with the urge to make a pillowcase dress too.  I had a big blue batik pillowcase from Value Village that would probably work.  I should mention that I have a weird affinity for anything blue and batik.  I don't know why.  Here are a few shots from around my house, but believe me, there is more evidence of my strange obsession around here somewhere:

Tablecloth from India that I use as a sofa cover

Duvet cover

Detail of a jacket I bought 8 years ago in Saigon, in a great shop called Sapa Fashions.  They use tribal textile scraps to embellish modern pieces.  I also have a red silk skirt with silver bells and Hmong embroidery on the hem that I bought at this shop.  

This is a length of printed fabric that I got in South Africa a few years ago that I turned into a wall hanging for my daughter's room.

See what I mean?  I must have had some kind of indigo batik bed cover as a kid, and it has crept into my subconscious as The Perfect Textile.  Anyway, back to the Sassy pillowcase dress.  I basically just took my favourite neckline and traced it onto the top of the pillowcase, traced the armholes and tilted the shoulder seams a little bit (about 30 degrees).

Then I just had to take it in a bit on the sides and finish the neck and armholes with pre-made bias tape, et voilĂ . Before you scroll down any further, let me warn you that it is short.  I mean the length is OK for standing up and taking a photo, but you Moms know that we spend about 75% of our time either bent over or picking something up, and like Celie, I'm not one to show off the good china anymore.  

"No Tashi, I don't want the piece of your popscicle that fell on the floor."

Lulu and Tashi both get in on the shot.

"Please don't touch Mama's camera with those sticky popscicle fingers!"

Those photos starting to delve into Beangirl territory.  So then I had to resort to my usual photo in front of the bookshelf shot that I do every week ;)

The only way I'm wearing this out in public is with leggings or my nice white linen trousers that are in the wash right now.  So I can't rightly call this "The Perfect Summer Dress"; maybe The Perfect Summer Tunic.  Hell, I'm going to post it to Sew Weekly anyway.

Yay!  I made the Sassy Pillowcase Dress from a Value Village 99cent pillowcase!  and I didn't even catch lice or gonorrhea!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Geneology for IAAT

OK, so Katja gave me some press by including me in the IAAT meme that was going around last month.  Then I had to do my taxes.  Then I went to Cuba.  Then I joined Sew Weekly.  Then I made a bunch of stuff with them.  Then I got caught up in the daily get up-get the kids ready for daycare-get to the lab-get to the High Throughput Centre before it's too late-get home-get the kids from daycare- dinner - bath - bed - read too many blogs-fall asleep on the sofa that is my daily routine these days.  So better late than never, here are some of my favourite blogs that I think you should check out:

Academomia:  a great blog about being an academic and a mom (duh; I guess that was obvious from the title; guess I'm too tired from trying to be an academic and a mom at the same time)
Wry and Ginger:  a fellow sarcastic Nova Scotian.
verypurpleperson:  I'm sure you all know Novita, but I recently went back and read all her posts, right from the beginning.  Totally worth it.
mokosha:  new blogger with a cool site.
my other blog:  mostly family photos for the grandparents back home on both coasts.  I may be one of only 5 people on the planet that is interested in looking at countless photos of my yard apes, but whatever.

I won't pass it on to these blogs because one is me, two are non-sewing and will wonder what the heck is going on, and everyone already knows Novita and she's probably gotten every blog link out there.  Also, I think the red carpet season is over now that we're getting hail and thunderstorms.  But you should definitely go look at these blogs, because they are all that for a variety of reasons.

In lieu of passing it on, I'm passing it back:
I got my link from Katja  Of Dreams and Seams, who nominated these bloggers...
  1. Honigbärenbiene
  2. Another Sewing Scientist
  3. Yoshimi the Flying Squirrel
  4. Farmhouse Garden
  5. Pedilu
...and she got it from Oonaballoona oonaballoona from kalkatroona (and roxietoxl too) ...who nominated these bloggers.....

"  emilykate: emily kate, beth: modern jax, reana louise: curves pattens and pins, katja: of dreams and seams, laurwyn: quirky pretty cute, lisette: what would nancy drew wear, and meg, of meg the grand, who actually awarded me a stylish blogger award, because as i have stated before i am so very awesome. and bratty. bratty enough to take the award, but not so awesome that i can think of seven more facts.
(but i can think of more blogs. want more sassiness? debijorthdontanit-isispatty. oh go have a look at my links list, godsakes.) "

....who got it from the originator Beangirl at beangirl: the blog

Angie A. at Quality Time
Big In Japan at Big In Japan
Laura at Edgy June Cleaver
Heather at Li’l Miss Muffet
Tanit-Isis at Tanit-Isis Sews
Oonaballoona at Oonaballoona From Kalkatroona

So if you like reading too many blogs and falling asleep on the sofa, by all means, make like anothersewingscientist.....
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