I have a blog?

Oh, hello.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t been blogging. (Perhaps you didn’t notice. I sure didn’t!) I spent a lot of energy trying to figure out what I want this space to be, and I didn’t come up with an answer, so I just kind of faded away.

I’ve been active on Twitter, and am sending TinyLetters every so often, and still write for Book Riot. I have a chapbook out of the 55-word stories I first wrote here.

Sam is ten and Grace is six and a half and the world is spinning faster than I can keep up.

Today is the fourteen year anniversary of my first post here, which I didn’t realize until after I started writing this little update. Huh. (I initially wrote twelve, because time is hard, and then I couldn’t figure out how that’s possible when it’s nearly our twelve year wedding anniversary, and also Sam is ten and how is that possible?)

The Perfect Pairing

I knitted Teresa Gregorio’s newest sweater pattern, TPCT (The Perfect Crop Top), and I love it. It’s fun to knit, easy to modify, and look how cute!

TPCT

I’m wearing my crop top with Liesl & Co.’s Everyday Skirt, which I made with Essex Linen. It’s a great match, and all I can think about it what else I want to sew to wear with TPCT!

salon trousers empire waist trousers

Decades of Style Salon Trousers
1930s style trousers with a comfortable fit and high waist. I have this pattern and am just waiting for the perfect linen to show up for me to make them up in.

Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers
These 1940s style trousers look like they might eliminate the belly gap that makes so many women nervous about wearing crop tops!

colette beignet colette iris

Colette Beignet
I can picture this skirt in a solid fabric, paired with a TPCT in a gradient or with some colorwork in the yoke!

Colette Iris
I’ve never thought of sewing shorts before, and now it’s all I can think about.

roberts spin skirt

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection Dungarees
I’ve just printed and put together the coveralls version of this pattern, but I think I’ll make the dungarees (overalls) next. How cute would they be over a crop top?!

Sew Chic Spin Skirt Skirt
I have some cotton print set aside for this pattern, white with cherries, and I think it would look amazing with a red crop top!

A few other ideas: Colette Ginger, Sewaholic Hollyburn, Tilly & the Buttons Miette, and Megan Nielson’s Kelly Skirt.

Did I miss anything?

Fashion Revolution Week

I just found out it’s Fashion Revolution Week, like, this morning. So here are some hastily thrown-together thoughts on clothing and where it comes from. For more information you can check out Fashion Revoluntion dot org, the documentary The True Cost on Netflix, and #whomademyclothes on Twitter and Instagram.

I make my own clothes for a lot of reasons. The big one (pun intended) is that store bought clothing doesn’t fit me very well. I’m right on the line between ‘regular’ and ‘plus size’, my bust is significantly larger than the standard ‘B’, my waist and ribs are small, and my booty creates a sway back. RTW clothing is either too big around my shoulders, too tight around my boobs, or tent-like around my middle…often all three. When I make my own clothing, I make it to my measurements, not some industry standard that doesn’t match any real human bodies. (Also, I put pockets in my dresses.) I get to choose fabrics that feel good in colors that I love and styles that suit me, not whatever’s popular. And did I mention it fits?

A lesser concern (but not by much!) is knowing where my clothing comes from, and that it was not made in a sweatshop in a country with no workers’ safety regulations. Now, I am fully aware that I don’t always know the source for the fabrics and yarns that I buy, but I’m trying to be mindful there as well, and as more people do the same, I think companies who care will become more transparent about their sources, which will make it easier.

One of the best things about making my own clothes is supporting other women. I buy sewing and knitting patterns, fabric, and hand dyed yarns from small businesses. I will have suggestions over the course of the week, as well as some fun stuff. Tomorrow I will post about Teresa Gregorio’s new knitting pattern, TCPT, and my ideas for styling.

I wear something handmade almost every time I leave my home, and many days I wear all handmade. (Well, I haven’t made my own undies yet. Or shoes.) There’s nothing wrong with wearing RTW, of course! But for me, handmade is where it’s at.

Sewing round-up

Yesterday (or the day before? Who remembers that far back?) I was feeling bad because it seems like I’ve had a super unproductive couple of weeks. But then I looked in my closet, which we spent the whole weekend cleaning and reorganizing (it’s the only closet, so it’s shared by four people + all our holiday decorations) and I realized that I’m really close to my goal of a handmade wardrobe. Like. REALLY close!

image

So I started working on a wardrobe/sewing plan. I haven’t found a digital tool (maybe you can recommend something?) so I started sketching.

image

I have plans for tops, pants, and linen coveralls. I have FOUR more Dress no. 2s in various stages of making, because it’s my favorite. All I need to buy is undergarments, and frankly, I might start making those, too.

image. image.

image. image

Things I’ve Crowdsourced Today

1. I’m making a chapbook, and I need a way to mail it. It will be 8×8 so I figured the best option would be an 8.5″ square envelope. Of course I can’t find an eco-friendly option, but I did find some relatively well-priced options. So do I want white, red, or brown paper bag? White is the cheapest and paper bag is the priciest.

envelopes

Images are from envelopes.com. Twitter voted unanimously for red. What do you think?

2. We’re planning to spend our tax return getting a few new pieces of furniture to round out the sad selection of seating in our living room. WE NEED A SOFA. Well, a loveseat, since the space isn’t wide enough for a full-sized sofa. I’m thinking we’ll get the Ikea Ektorp. It’s cheap, comfortable, and not hideous. But what color cover? The beige/off-white is $100 less than the other options, but it’s also OFF-WHITE. At least it’s washable.

sofas

I like the red stripes, but I guess I should consider the rest of the room? We have a red TV stand and a lot of turquoise in the room, and I am buying this no matter what couch we pick:
strandmon yellow
3. We also need a rug. The wall-to-wall carpeting is getting pretty nasty. I want something bright and geometric, so of course I love this one:
valloby-rug-low-pile-beige__0428150_PE583372_S4
The price is right ($69 for 5×7 or $129 for 6×11), unlike this beauty:
stockholm-rug-flatwoven-green__0167777_PE321685_S4
$300, totally perfect in every way but budget.

4. I have seven (!!) credits for patterns from Seamwork Magazine. Can you help me choose which ones to get? I already have Astoria, Camden, and York.

5. I need jeans. I would like mid-rise, straight leg, and as little stretch as possible. They need to be comfortable and make me feel cute. I realize I am asking for a unicorn but I BELIEVE THEY EXIST. Jeans, not unicorns.

5a. I would also like to get a field vest like this one, but preferably somewhere local (LL Bean doesn’t have stores in California). Also I would not be sad if it cost less but that’s negotiable for quality.

261600_222_42

Please be my personal shopper.

Photo Friday

Is that a thing? Photo Friday? I bet it was once.

(not actually) Manderlay

(not actually) Manderley

My mom sent me a picture of the house.

Littlerock, CA

Littlerock, CA

Also, here is a picture I took on Valentine’s Day.

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

I grew up in a big house on the top of a small mountain in Woodstock, New York. We moved in the summer I turned nine, and my mom and stepdad sold it 15 years later, in the spring of 2002. (Rumor has it that the new owners immediately rented the house to Matchbox 20 for the summer, which is…interesting.)

It was a great house. I dream about it sometimes, and last night I had the most realistic dream about it yet. I dreamed that I was walking through it, showing my mom what Will and I were planning to do with the rooms, because we’d just bought it. The best room in the house (which was my room for several years) was going to be Grace’s bedroom. My sisters’ old room would be Sam’s. The spare room between them would be a playroom with a projector set up for movies.

I woke up pining for the house in a way I haven’t ever before. I texted back and forth with my sister, drawing sketches of the layout and showing her what I’d put where. I am sad because we aren’t actually buying it.

I can't find a photo of the house, so here's the stream that ran through the property

I can’t find a photo of the house, so here’s the stream that ran through the property

Maybe I should buy a Powerball ticket.

hair today

Day 1: I get my hair cut short short short and revel in the freedom of Almost No Hair.
Day 2: this is the best, I am never having anything but a pixie ever again.
Day 184: oops, I am very overdue for a haircut.
Day 199: I HATE MY HAIR OH GOD.
Day 200: I trim it myself.
Day 241: this is awful, I hate my hair.
Day 258: you know, if I just get it shaped properly, it’d grow into a lovely bob…
Day 277: I cut it myself, into sort of a pseudo-bob.
Day 300: my hair is nearly long enough to be a proper bob!
Day 311: I miss having a pixie.