Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flower girls

I realized I never did show proper pictures of my nieces in the flower girl dresses I'd made them. The girls wore Oliver + S dresses that I made from turquoise silk taffeta (Kate) and navy blue silk taffeta (Ana), along with yellow rose flower crowns and carried (more like twirled and bounced around (; ) pomanders that I'd made.

The dress pattern is The School Photo Dress from Oliver + S. Definitely one of my favorite patterns! If you ever make it, it has one of the most ingenious ways to incorporate an invisible zipper, a collar, and a lining. I've followed this method of assembly for a few other dress patterns now since it works so nicely!!


pictures by Stephen DeVries

The girls LOVED the flower crowns. They were definitely the big hit with them. All the time I'd spent picking out cute blue hair bows on etsy.... they just wanted the crowns on!


The dresses were actually very easy to sew, but I'd made this pattern a couple times before. I still adore the little kangaroo pocket it has, although the girls were busy with the flowers and didn't end up using the pockets much that day. We had matching white cardigans and little lacy white socks for them that I found on sale on And adorable little black maryjanes. I definitely had a lot of fun picking out their little outfits. It made the day really enjoyable to have the munchkins around. They were interested in what was going on, got really into dancing after dinner, and stormed the reception in their PJs before going home, which was just too cute.

I'm thinking that Christmas dresses this year might be white silk School Photo dresses. Maybe with some red piping across the front yoke seam?

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Quilting

What I did with my weekend... I worked a little on a quilt:


Kate was very very busy running around playing space wars with her little brother, but she did consent to show off the dress I'd sewn her. She allowed that this was a nice pattern and I could make another one for her. ;)

Kate in the Pears dress

And I missed my friend. I took this picture in 1998 with a twin lens roloflex medium format camera - if you were my friend in college, you had to sit for frequent portrait sessions for my photography assignments and art shows. This is my friend Esther, putting up with me needing another portrait again.


I didn't post this weekend about why the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is so incredibly painful to me. A few days after it happened, my dearest friend Esther was killed in a car accident. We met in college in 1995, and when I was living in Seattle in the summers working at internships, and she was living with her grandma in Portland, we drove up and down the coast to see each other. We lived in the same dorms in college. We took computer science classes together, hung out in the photography studio together, and most of all we baked and cooked dinner together as much as we could. We cooked so many Thanksgiving dinners together in those years, always with lots of college friends around. We had grand plans to grow old together.

The weekend before 9/11, she stopped by my apartment in Seattle with her dad. We sat around on my sofa and chatted about nothing in particular. I think I'd just made a blueberry coffeecake and we were eating it and talking about the recipe. I never saw her again - a few days later her father called me to tell me that she had been hit by a car and died. She was 25 and I was 24. So there you go - I really flinch every year when 9/11 rolls around, because it means in a few days it be the anniversary of losing her. She loved quilts and sewing. She would have gotten SUCH a huge kick out of the sword arch surprise that my sailor pulled off at the wedding. Brian and I were talking that day about how much she loved boats and would have loved the waterfront wedding we had. I miss her to pieces.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Aren't these Sandi Henderson prints gorgeous? I bought a half yard of each recently from Pink Chalk Fabrics with the idea of making some new cloth grocery bags. Most of my supply of cloth grocery bags has been swiped by my sister, my nieces, and my mom! I do need to pick up some more canvas webbing to use for straps for them when I get into the garment district again. Hopefully soon.

I really love all the prints in this line, and I'm debating buying a jelly roll or some more half yards, but then my "to make quilts" box is already overflowing. Hmm....

Next, you may remember from my wedding day write up that my sailor had a big surprise to me at the ceremony. My uncle recently sent me this little video clip he shot of me walking out with my dad & seeing the dress whites for the first time. The sailor has been getting a big kick out of watching my reaction here. ;) I will warn you if you click play, there are some VERY LOUD BAGPIPES in there. My family is scottish, you have to have loud bagpipes at the wedding or it isn't a real wedding!

The tenth anniversary of Sept 11 is in just a few days, and since we live just across the river from the WTC site it's been a bit unescapable. Looking at the wedding video and seeing my best friend in it reminded me of that day. In the early 2000s my best friend (who was my "Man of Honor" at the wedding) and I were sharing an apartment in Seattle, since we both worked as programmers for the same Seattle dotcom. I was up extra early the morning of Sept 11, 2001, for work and saw the whole thing on TV. It was unreal. I'd been to the observation deck of the towers & been through the PATH station downstairs many times as a kid, and I remember at first explaining to him what the area was around the towers as they showed commuters pouring out of the buildings. Then we saw that something happened to the Pentagon and got really worried, because both his parents worked there. I remember we were unable to reach them for hours, which was just terrible. We eventually got them on a phone landline, and they were fine. Neither of them had ended up going to work at the Pentagon that day because their jobs sent them elsewhere for the day. They were lucky.

It was... well, weird, being on the West Coast but having grown up so close to NY, and watching TV all day. At some point I remembered that I had to walk my dog, and we went out to go around the block. The dissonance of doing something that normal - just strolling down the sidewalk like we'd done hundreds of times - and what we'd seen on TV all morning - it felt so disconnected. And of course I never in a million years would have imagined that 10 years later I'd be married to a USCG captain who worked in NY Harbor, or that I'd be living only a few hundred yards away from the towers. Life is crazy. We will be having a quiet weekend- I'll be trying Kate's new corduroy dress on her and helping my dad around the house. I hope you all stay safe and have a quiet weekend with those you love!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pear Dress

This is a little dress up day at school dress for my niece, Kate. I used New Look 6907, view A and some adorable baby cord fabric from the Lisette fabric line at JoAnn's. It's got little green pears mixed in with the blue polka dots... so sweet.

Other than the corduroy and the pattern, everything came form my stash. I used a tan colored invisible zipper and lined the bodice with some quilting fabric scraps. The sleeves were hemmed with some bias tape scraps and the trims are all from my big "ziploc bag stuffed full of random trims" stash.

The assembly was pretty straightforward so it went together quickly - no fussy leaf shaped pieces to cut & sew for this skirt, unlike the Tinkerbell costume yesterday! Just a very simple A-line dress for Kate to wear to school on dress up days when she doesn't have to wear her uniform.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seeing Green

It's that time of year again... time to visit JoAnn's during the Labor Day sale and purchase sparkly cheap costume satin.

Fight with wiggly polyester...

And sew up Halloween costumes for the nieces!

Here's the pattern I used:


Ana asked to be Tinkerbell this year, so this is Simplicity 2872, a Disney fairies pattern. Honestly, I didn't look at the directions other than identifying which pattern pieces were necessary for view A. I ignored their facing pieces and fully lined the bodice. I'm planning to sew in a snap or two at the neckline to close it- the mantra here was "costume not couture!!" which I had to keep reminding myself of. The "leaf" shapes in the skirt were a little annoying just because there are eight of them and the poly kept threatening to melt onto my iron. And of course the crystal bits stuck to the underskirt made sewing the underskirt a massive pain.

The costume calls for sewing a green belt, but I'm fairly certain that my mom has some green grosgrain ribbon floating around, so I'll find some of that to use as a belt. And instead of sewing wings I will be buying some cute Green Pixie Wings for $6 from amazon. I figure that's worth it to not fight with wing construction!

Kate has asked to be a ninja - I might just make her black leggings, tshirt, and a ninja hood.