Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sew Geeky Episode 8: EPIC FANTASY!

It’s the 25th!!!  So you know what that means: SEW GEEKY!  This month’s theme is Epic Fantasy inspired.  Think Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or really anything that would conjure up visions of enchantment. 

First and foremost, I knew I wanted to make Akira a faun… Just the thought of her little chubby belly rolls brings a smile to my face. Next I thought about this Elm poncho I had just finished making Azriella.  Being a Portlandian, rain gear is not a fun accessory, it’s a necessity, and the one I made is a bit on the fanciful side I think!  Lastly, I thought, well, Sephira should be something!  And, honey, let me tell you, she is not a fan of anything that not Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, or anything with flowers.  FLOWERS! Yes!  I’ll make her a glorious, super girly, faerie dress.  Something that embodies the word ethereal. She oddly enough doesn’t have a ton of frilly dresses so I thought that this was a great opportunity to remedy that! 

So I am just going to let the pictures do the talking.

Sephira’s Faerie Dress

Dress Pattern- Figgy’s Ethereal Dress with double bodice frill and edited skirt to feature an off center square circle skirt with a gauzy ivory circle underskirt. Hems were bound with vinyl, stretch, copper binding.

Chiffon Butterfly Wings- self drafted

Floral Crown- self constructed

Azriella’s Woodland Poncho

Poncho Pattern:  Petita Petit + Family’s Elm Poncho with Velcro closure.  It features welt pockets and bear ears in this pretty Tula Pink laminated cotton.
Akira’s Faun Outfit

Pants Pattern: sized up from Sew Much Ado’s Footed NewbornPants (love!) to approximately 9 months.  I also added a little faun tail.

Hat: Fur Hood pattern by A Lemon Squeezy Home in size extra small.  I lined it in floral broadcloths and used the wolf ears but brought them down a bit and pleated them.  I also made little quilted brown antler nubbins. 

Look at dem rolls! I love em!!!!  We did manage a few out-takes as well.

So!  Go and check out more Epic Fantasy wonderments sewn by our guests below!

And that's a wrap!  What do you think?!  
Next month:  Tim Burton  inspired just in time for Christmas!!! 
Until then!

-many many smooches,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rowan Tee Tour!

So check this out, guys.  I'm on this super cool tour for the Rowan Tee by Titchy Threads!
  What makes it different from your average tee pattern?  Well, because it is customizable in 144 different variations! Isn't that crazy?!  All truth, folks, I tell no lies :-) 
I wanted to incorporate pleather because I'm reeeeally into pleather these days.  
I picked variation 72 which is "neckband option with shoulder and arm stripe, long sleeves, cuffed sleeves, cuffed hem, and kangaroo pouch".  So that, translated into:
I got the deer fabric from Bolt in the Alberta Arts District of Portland.  Trying to put together the color scheme was a little tricky.  I wanted to make it look autumnal, chic, but cozy.
I am such a sucker for a good t-shirt pattern.  This one is so good because it incorporates, hoods, pockets, cuffs, stripes... so much variety! And the fit is not to tight but not loose which is perfect for school!
 I will highly recommend this pattern!  It was a very fast and easy, satisfying sew.  It is going to totally be one of my "go-to" patterns in the future.
This photoshoot was so much fun!  It was quick, but Azriella was in such a giggly mood!

I'm sure it had nothing to do with this one trying to crash the photoshoot!
 Ha!  Whatever it takes, I guess! 
 So yeah!  Go buy it!  There's a discount for existing and new subscribers to Lauren's newsletter, and then go off and get inspired by all the other guests on the Rowan tour! 
 And thank you so much for thinking of me Laura, and having me on your tour!  I really love the pattern!!

Until next time!
many many smooches,

Friday, October 31, 2014

PPP #6 Ladies Edition! My Mikey Outfit (featuring the Julia Cardigan, and Neutral Milk Hotel Skater Dress)

Happy Halloween everyone!!  I am excited to go trick or treating with my kiddos tonight, how bout you?!

Today I am on the Perfect Pattern Parcel #6 tour, Ladies Edition.  If you are not familiar, here is how Perfect Pattern Parcel works:

"How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!
Parcel #6 includes: 
Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose
BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll
Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's only $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll. Vintage inspired silhouette is had two flattering necklines and a gorgeous skirt. The Odette Dress pattern goes from a size 4 through a 24!"

  So originally I planned on making the Hudson Pants because I love me some sweatpants, sorry I really do! 
But, if you have read any of my recent posts, you'll know that I lost a dear, dear friend this month in a tragic act of gun violence and it has left me reeling. I know some of you know the story and some might be tired of me posting about it, but it's a part of who I am now, and I am hoping that blogging about it might be cathartic. In any case, I don't want to let any little details slip away from my memory because that's what worries me the most. 
With that being said, I was at Jo-Ann's looking for fabric for my stash, when I happened upon a grey and black knit fabric. I had told my husband, Jon, that I wanted to make a "Mikey" sweater sometime because we both really miss him and like surrounding ourselves with elements of him when we can. Mikey's sweater was multi gray and black, knitted by his mother, and was how I'll always remember him. He was wearing it when I met him two years ago when (I hadn't even gained employment at Hair of the Dog at that point) Jon pulled me over to meet him and told me to turn around and show him my Chobits tattoo on my back. Mikey's eyes lit up so sparkly, he held his oversized sweater sleeve cuffs over his knuckles and clinched his fists to his mouth and just giggled and told me how awesome it was.  I'll never forget that moment because it was the start of what I knew would be a treasured friendship. 
The Julia Cardigan pattern that I used for my "Mikey" sweater was just perfect in a girly interpretation of his sweater, at least to me. The pattern was super easy to not only assemble but also to sew. I had zero problems with it and sewed it in only a couple of hours. 
 I made it in a size Large with the long sleeve and doubled cowl option. 
 Let's see, I finished on Tuesday and have scarcely taken it off since then. I friggin' love the thing! It's so cozy and I love the look of it so much. 
 The sleeves are just exactly how over-sized and glorious as Mikey's were. It makes me feel comforted wrapping myself in his memory if that makes sense. 
 This cardigan will be something I wear to pieces and will always make me think of my friend. 

Now the Skater Dress I am wearing is not a part of the Parcel tour but I really really needed to blog about it and I thought since I was blogging about a Mikey inspired cardigan that I might as well blog about the memorial dress I dropped everything to make in time for the event.
Besides Akira's moogle outfit which was a must to have for his memorial, I quickly decided to make a Neutral Milk Hotel dress since it is a band that we both really love. 
I've always loved the imagery of the song, In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, and it contains some of my favorite lyrics of all their songs. I told him how I like listening to NMH and how Jon really dislikes it and we'd laugh and make fun of him about it (it's okay because we all actually work(ed) together and at Hair of the Dog the staff are all like family ^_^). 

"In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"
What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me

What a curious life
We have found here tonight
There is music that sounds on the street
There are lights in the clouds
Anna's ghost all around
Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
Soft and sweet
How the notes all bend and reach above the trees

Oh how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
But now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
The one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all

One of my all-time favorite quotes is "Let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see."  I always imagine laying in the grass amongst a field of wildflowers looking up at the clouds, just being filled up with happiness.  So when I went out searching for fabric, I knew it had to be a vibrant floral print.  Stamping the dress was a hard decision on how to do, but in the end, I decided to use a letter stamp set that I have and just print directly down the front, like a newsletter.  There's a hidden message in red letters scattered through the lyrics on my dress that, when you put them together, spell out "FOR MIKEY LOVE KAT".  It took a solid four days to just stamp the dress which I used black Slick fabric paint to do.  Each letter was carefully sponged with paint, and before sponging, I used an Exacto knife and my fingernails to scrape around each stamp to lift any of the previous paint.  

 There are so many memories when you work with someone for two years.  Jon and I are such homebodies when we are not working, generally requiring no more than our own company (and the girls of course).  We always talk about how he needed to go sing karaoke with Mike soon or how we should have people over to our messy house for wine more often.  I regret with a heavy heart that we those moments were never fulfilled.  There are countless moments that I will go to when I think of Mikey:
  • the long list of anime he needed to watch, talking about Attack on Titian and how good it is.
  • the countless Disney riffs and 90's songs he'd sing to and with everyone.
  • the way he'd interact with Chuck, our chef, his best friend and roommate, when we were at work.
  • talking about Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts and Silent Hill (Pyramid Head!!)
  • the way he got so concerned when Jon and I had a teeny tiff once and how relieved he was when it was resolved (which was pretty much immediately)
  • the night he, a little tipsy, came over while I was cleaning the mop bucket and asked if I was pregnant (I was, with Akira, shh! ;-)
  • The way he made sure I didn't even exert myself when I was pregnant.  To which I would always say he needed to knock up some sweet lady so that he could go and be that amazing dad I always anticipated he would be.
  • "Oh, it's pickled food."
  • "Ow, stop pulling and twisting!"  [got his finger stuck in a bottle, I was helping, lol]
  • the Potatoes are Inert song.
  • meep.
  • Adventure Time.
  • "WHAT TRAIN?!"
  • when I'd tell him of all the things Sehpira says and showed him the cute pictures of Akira he'd say "Ow my ovaries."
  • duck sauce Brussel sprouts and potato salad with crushed potato chips
  • the 8 minute whistle song that comes on the blues station that plays at work
  • his love of Doggy Claws, our Barleywine, and Fradam ( mix of two of our other beers at Hair)
  • “many many smooches” was what he’d say at the end of the night when anyone one would leave.
  • his love of Firefly and him trying to get me to watch it.
  • saying meow in place of regular words all the time and changing lyrics of songs to sound like a cat was singing. He tried stopping at one point because he saw a little girl do the same thing and he got self-conscience. Haha.
  • Him saying that Azriella wanting to be a Pokemon trainer when she grows up was the best thing he'd ever heard.
There's just SOO much more too.  Countless wonderful memories.  Jon and I were talking about it a couple of nights ago and I said I hated that I took for granted that Mikey would always be around.  Jon said no, you relied on him being around; that he didn't think I ever took him for granted.  Some weeks are better than others; this week happens to not be as great as the last.  Hardly a minute goes by where I don't think of him.  He was a good friend and the best person.  I know it may look like I'm overindulging in his memory but he seriously touched everyone he knew.  No lie.  He wasn't someone you didn't remember.  He was always genuine and always witty and always open to everyone.  His death, so sudden, so disgustingly tragic will forever haunt me and it has most certainly changed me.  If it weren't for my kids and for Jon being there I’d be an even bigger mess than I am, I know.  I'm extremely grateful to have them in my life.  They are my everything. 

I miss Mikey.  Every. Day.  But I feel eternally privileged to have gotten to share so much time with him, albeit 99% of which was at work. 
I'll leave you with this, a little video Chuck took of Mikey singing karaoke.  All that awesomeness in one person is just pure magic.  

That video... I don't think I will ever be able to watch it without bursting into rivers of tears.  Also the ending makes me giggle so badly!!!
 Thank you JILL for letting me be on your Perfect Pattern Parcel Tour and being the catalyst for this sentimental post!   

Until next time,
many many smooches,

Dedicated to Michael W. Olson (1983-2014)

let others know!

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