Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

On July 3, 2010, my dear friends, Courtney and Stephen were wed under an old sycamore tree in Gillham Park in Kansas City. It was a lovely celebration, and I am so happy that I was a part of the event. Everything about the wedding was so refreshingly original and lovely and…well, very “Courtney and Stephen”. From the adorable handmade banner over the wedding party to the compost and recycle tubs at the reception, the entire wedding revolved around the things that the bride and groom are passionate about.

I was honored by the bride when she approached me about making her wedding dress. Well, honored and terrified! But I think at the end it all worked out well. Just as the wedding and reception reflected the couple, I believe the dress reflected Courtney’s spunk and beauty. I am glad I took on the task, which turned out to not be very difficult. I am sad to say it is one of the last big sewing projects I have done. I need to jump back on the horse and start getting creative! I’m very much looking forward to my mom moving down to Arkansas so I can have a babysitter. Although I have a wonderful child to show for my time and energy, I miss having completed projects to hold in my hand at the end of the day. I believe I can have both!

Here are some photographs from that memorable July day.



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My last blog was in MAY!!! I knew I was officially a blog slacker when the url didn’t magically appear when I started typing “ruby” and, once I found my blog, I couldn’t remember my username. But, hey, I’m a mom. Isn’t that supposed to be my excuse? Besides that we haven’t been home much this summer. I lost a large part of my garden during a two-week trip which happened to fall during a drought here in ol’ Mountain View. But I’ve been working on salvaging what’s left. My yellow pear tomatoes are ripening and it looks as though I’ll have some Heirloom Ozark Pink tomatoes this month as long as I chase off those nasty tobacco hornworms. I am also desperately watering my forty-some sweet potato plants and I’m hoping they will do as well as they did in years past.

Henry is growing just like the weeds in aforementioned garden! He will be a year old one month from tomorrow. It’s funny how everyone says “they grow so fast” and “I bet it seems like just yesterday when he was born”. When I really think about it, it definitely feels like a year ago that he was born, if not longer! I just feel like he’s been around for a really long time and I have a hard time remembering my life without him in it. It’s been a wonderful year unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I don’t have much to show for myself except for this little growing person. I’m starting to get antsy about getting back on a productive, creative route again.

I’ve had this vague vision for a long time. It’s changed a lot and is still changing, but it’s starting to get closer to being a reality instead of just a vision in my head. I want to sew and to sell what I sew. Maybe online, maybe in a shop. I want to focus on “upcycled” clothes and, because of what my life has been about lately, most of what I plan to make is baby-related. I’ve been gathering vintage tablecloths, curtains, pillowcases, and scrap materials for a while now in hopes that I will gain the motivation and time to get creative with them.

Recently I considered submitting some photos of my creations to an artisans market, thinking I would sell my things in a booth here in Mountain View. Since then I’ve learned about a shop in town that is wanting to carry local handmade merchandise and it sounds like my things might fit in just perfectly, so I think I’ll go that route instead. Anyway, I threw some photos together for the entry and so I thought I’d post a few of them here. I made six little collages. I’ll just put up one per post. That will give me something to update the ol’ blog with.

A baby hat sewn from an old t-shirt. Hand stitched design on front. I was inspired by a hat given to Henry by our midwife's apprentice.

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Baby Bibs

Green Elephants Bib

I had the day off work today because I worked for a while on Sunday. I decided that I would take a break from all the “baby homework” (researching, reading books, etc) and just play. I looked through some of my baby clothing patterns and decided to do something simple and fun so I ended up making a couple of baby bibs. They’re old fashioned, no velcro or snaps. Simple and cute with a little pocket in the front. I used material I had lying around. They’re nothing extraordinary, and they are by no means perfect, but….hey…they’ll get puke and food all over them anyway, right?

Front view with pocket

Front view with pocket

Back View (Can be flipped around when goobered on)

Back View (Can be flipped around when goobered on)

Red Whale Bib

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Well, Christmas is over. We returned from Washington, Missouri to Mountain View yesterday. It was a wonderful holiday with my family and with Leo’s family. As usual, my family went over-the-top with piles and piles of presents! Too many to fit under or even around my parent’s tree. But it’s always fun to see what crazy things we get for each other.

Some memorable gifts I received this year: 1. a mandolin!!! from my dad…I’ve already picked out “the Merry Farmer” and several Christmas tunes. 2. some great crochet books and yarns from my mom along with a big pile of sewing supplies. 3. a fabulous seafoam green iron dressform from my sister along with some great fabrics and anthropologie clothes. 4. the perfect vintage swimsuit from my friend Janette. 5. a very cool wrap skirt from Lily in China

Just to name a few.

As for my gifts, Leo and I did manage to make something for almost everyone in my family.

For my grandma, Babo: a fleece blanket with crocheted snowflakes and names of all her kids/grandkids/greatgrandkids on it. This was actually my least favorite project. It took forever and turned out not looking at all like I planned. Luckily, Babo doesn’t have a “critical eye” and loved it.

Babo's blanket

Olive liked to help me with this project...

For mom: a quilt-like wallhanging with herbs painted on it.

mom's quilt in processquilt in progress 2mom's quilt

For Aaron: a poster with him standing in front of different famous places all around the world, including in space in front of the starship Enterprise.

Where's Aaron? poster

For Sally: a monkey dress along with a matching vest for Charlie, a pair of republican shorts, and legwarmers for her dogs.

I should have taken a picture of Sally wearing these...because they were much cuter on her...

I should have taken a picture of Sally wearing these...because they were much cuter on her...

Sally's "old man" Martin dons the legwarmer I lovingly made him...

Sally's "old man" Martin dons the legwarmer I lovingly made him...

Calvin is slightly larger than a mouse, so you can imagine how cute the legwarmers were on him...

Calvin is slightly larger than a mouse, so you can imagine how cute the legwarmers were on him...

Well, Sally definitely won't run into anyone else wearing the same dress...handmade tagcharlie's vest

For Jacob: a fancy bathrobe/smoking jacket.

JacobJacob model shoot #2Jacob model shoot #3

We also made a poster for Leo’s sister & brother-in-law, Laura & Heath. It had thousands of tiny pictures of Lucy and Lincoln on it.

Lucy & Lincoln poster

I also made a shirtdress for Lena. It was similar to the bird one I made myself, only I used chocolate brown and mint green and added an owl on a branch instead of birds. It turned out a little more “halloweeny” than planned, but it was still pretty cute.

"halloweeny" owlLena's shirtdress

I’m planning on starting my gifts for next year much earlier. I am pretty excited that I finished as many projects as I did! Not working very much helps tremendously. I’ve gotten pretty spoiled with this whole “part-time in the winter” thing. I’m pretty much loving it, but who wouldn’t?

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I like to sew things…

welcome to my sewing loft!

welcome to my sewing loft!

One of my favorite places in our house is the loft, which I’ve turned into my sewing room. I’m an amateur seamstress, for sure. I’m experimenting with different fabrics and working on following patterns in the hopes that eventually I will be able to whip something out that is in my head and maybe not on paper. Although I haven’t created as many things as I hoped I would have by now, I am improving little by little. I think I just need a little more time to really become a decent sewer. Here are some samples of things I’ve done in the past year.

Pillowcase ShirtKnit dress

So, this next one is interesting. My latest work. About half way through the project, I tried to iron the definitely-not-cotton fabric and proceeded to burn several small holes into the front of the shirt, right where I didn’t think I had any chance of covering it up. I was out of the fabric, so I couldn’t cut another piece. That’s when I decided to just cut some birds out and hand stitch those on, and I have to tell ya, I love it ten times more because of those birds! So, yay for turning disaster into creativity!

Bird Shirtdressbird shirtdress *close-up*Bird Shirtdress 2Bird Shirtdress 3

A few more samples…

Butterfly Pillowcase MinidressUnfinished ProjectsPatchwork Dress

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