channeling my inner liberace

today's me-made outfit consists of the recon jeans (again) plus an old favourite: the purple ruffled tux shirt:

i had looked for a vintage one for ages that was roughly my size before giving up and diy-ing it. i don't think i'll ever do this kind of ruffle again: they were annoying! but, years later, still love the shirt.



if my pics are blurry normally, they are much worse with the participation of the kiddo!

i think this dress is my favourite thing i own that i've made. and on the subway tonight a stranger stopped to say "i love your dress!"


i finally committed the lace trim for my bed jacket to memory! woo hoo! did 4 repeats on the morning commute; at this rate it will just take... 10 or so more business days to finish this thing? at any rate it will certainly be done well in advance of my end-of-july deadline, and i think i'll enter into the fenelon fair as well!

in me-made news, i'm wearing one of my favourite me-made dresses today! will post a photo later. it's made of the cutest fabric ever, a pink and orange gingham printed with butterflies and dragonflies!


strawberry party

strawberries are in season! yay. we had a second breakfast (after the kiddo's karate class; we had homemade cinnamon buns before) of pancakes with strawberries and chocoloate syrup!

i am trying to remember if i have posted my recipe for pancakes before...

our last wintry dinner (inspired by the cold and cloudy weather we've had here lately) was coq au vin with mashed potatoes. those herbs are from our back yard:

for dessert we were back to strawbs, with a strawberry rhubarb pie. the rhubarb came courtesy of amylovesred, and the green sugar on top was the kiddo's idea.

looks gorgeous, but i'm sad to say that even though i let it cool for hours, it was awfully runny when we sliced it up. recipe was from the usually-reliable joy of baking - use at your peril!

graduation day!

a quick snap of the family on graduation day! the skirt is from this tutorial. the top is a linen/cotton blend; i made a pencil skirt out of the same fabric, too (still haven't finished the hem though). tg's shirt is also one i made from scratch. sadly, the kiddo had taken off his vintage bowtie by this point.



i cleverly forgot my camera at home, so no me-made photos today. but here's a fuzzy mobile snap of the almost finished collar of my bed jacket!


a quick and easy me-made tutorial

here's a terrible photo of today's me-made outfit:

the jeans are actually a recon job from a couple of summers ago. the top is probably the easiest-ever thing i have made: two identical pieces of fabric, stiched up the sides and shoulders, with turned-under edges at the neck, armholes, and hem. here's a quick diagram showing how - n.b. the fabric must be stretchy!

tomorrow i'm planning on wearing my flowered half-circle skirt along with a top i made on the weekend, but i don't know if i'll have time for photographs/blogging it till the end of the day - the kiddo is graduating pre-school! kind of ridiculous, really, but we're having fun with it. his bowtie is ready to go!

elvis lives

most kids' clothing in the stores is crap, i think. if i had my way, the kiddo would be dressed like the beav. well, actually something a bit more rockabilly. but certainly '50s-inspired.

so i was very excited to find elvis fabric!

i dithered for a while, but ended up deciding on a classic short-sleeved shirt, with a yoke (the pattern is simplicity 3852). i did the yoke on the bias, because those elvises (elvii?) are tricky to line up. i did a pretty good job on the front patch pocket though!

sadly i had to give up on getting a good smiling face shot of my young model, he was being too silly! the candid is almost as good though.



i'm a little in love with yellow lately. there was an episode of mad men - i've no idea which, as i watched almost all of them in a marathon a number of months back when i was sick or something - in which betty draper had a gorgeous dress printed with yellow roses and with a black band around the bateau neckline. and after a bout of fits and starts interrupted by the rest of everyday life, it's finally finished!

it took me a while to find the fabric, but i did (thank you king textiles)!

i am very happy with it. the basic pattern is one i drafted from a princess-seamed shift i have; i cut & basted it together and made some alterations before cutting the lining and sewing it all up. the black at the neckline is simply an overlay which i basted in place carefully, before sewing from behind. no visible stitches on this baby.

the hem was fun - i had to gather the edge to take in the extra fabric (the skirt is roughly a half-circle) and used a lace binding. two-and-a-half metres of it! and then all hand-stitched!

the black border at the bottom is actually attached to the lining of the skirt, and cut to be just a bit longer than the skirt itself so it shows a little.

but i still wish i could remember which episode this is from.


i need to sleep

did a whole ton of sewing today, and finally finished a mad men-inspired dress i started ages ago. and i've wasted an age now trying to find a pic of it online, to no avail! i don't even remember which season it was let alone which ep - maybe season 3 sometime? who knows! anyway i'll post a pic of my dress tomorrow when the sun is up. it's chintz with yellow roses, and i'm pretty pleased with it.

also did a two-piece dress in black linen/cotton blend; pencil skirt and boat-neck top. it feels like ages since i have done any real sewing so i am excited at progress! it almost makes up for missing maine. and, so much more prepared for the rest of me-made june.



so, roadtrip maine didn't happen. tuesday night i picked up the kiddo from school and he was sick! after a miserable night at the hospital and a couple of days of gravol we got word that he has strep. which he undoubtedly got from me, since i'd been nursing a sore throat and upset tummy for over a week. so now we are both on penicillin, and definitely not crossing any borders.

not fair!!

the only upside is that between sitting in the various waiting rooms and staying home with the kiddo, i've got the back of the bed jacket done, and i'm working on the fronts now (doing both at once - also trying to be clever and instead of doing the increases as cast-ons, i'm picking up stitches along the back piece to avoid seaming later). and i have the collar a quarter of the way done, since after i started shaping the sleeves - the sleeves and bodice are knit all of a piece - i decided it was far too awkward to carry around, so switched to working on the collar on the subway. really pleased with how quickly this is going after such a slow start!



it's been a little chilly here lately (boooo) but today i decided to wear a skirt anyway!

i made may of last year (and fixed may of this year) from fabric i ordered from runner girl. i am hoping that by this afternoon the weather will be more suited to the clothing!


oh em gee.

so, i'm going to maine this week for the hands & voices leadership conference, and i thought "maybe i'll hit up a few yarn stores on the way there and back." so i got directions thanks to google and headed over to knitmap to see what was on or near my route.

well, wowsers!

they have an awesome new crawl feature where you can create a map with driving directions of all the stores you want to hit. which i obviously did. and no, i probably (definitely) won't have time to hit all of them, but i will definitely hit a few!

meanwhile, i have to start packing, and sorting out what me-made stuff i can pack my suitcase with that will suit the weather - it's going to be on the cool side, looks like. may have to dig out some stuff i packed away for the season! i'm thinking this sweater could definitely make a reappearance:


summer dress weather

it's me-made month!

today i'm wearing an all-time favourite - polkadots and bows! so comfortable and girlish. the dress is lined with the same blue cotton the bows are made of.

i've also been busy with my knitting despite two needle crises - one circ that vanished, and one circ that broke. replaced both at knitomatic last night, where i also picked up some mission falls for $3.50 a ball! i'm sad there will be no more mission falls, but boy was i glad to get some for that price!

so this morning i got my spring dreams dress off the broken needle and onto the new one (knitpicks harmony - have't tried them before, but i'm kind of excited that i can get them at my lys!), while waiting for the bus:

and last night i moved my swooner bed jacket from a too-short circ to a right-sized one. this is my "sweater" for the knitomatic sweater-along:

i will try to be more consistent with posting for the rest of me-made june 2011...


what i want for christmas

whoops! i started this post last week and it somehow got lost in the "drafts" folder... found it because i am home sick today!

this. and more realistically, this book! all about saul bass, the amazing graphic designer who did the credit sequences for so many brilliant films in the 1950s and truly created the aesthetic.

in other news, it's me-made month!

i will confess this morning i completely forgot until i was already on the road. did not sleep well last night is my only excuse. but yesterday i wore my new favourite skirt, a high-waisted half-circle in a floral print!

(note to self: hands too shaky, drink less coffee. or, get a tripod.)

i think the fabric was actually meant to be for upholstery, but the weight means it drapes nicely instead of flying up in the air all of the time. love this skirt! and was easy to make, too. here's a brief diagram of what i did:

n.b. all sides need seam allowance added!

make sense? one quarter-circle is the front of the skirt, the other is the back; the rectangles are for the waistband, one front and one back, and the line down the middle is to show that it's folded in half. first, sew one long side of each waistband to the smaller curved edge of the skirt piece, right sides together. then place the two combined pieces right sides together, lining up the waistband seam. sew the entire side seam (waistband and skirt) on one side, and on the other, sew the side seam only from about 5" from the waistband down to the bottom (to leave room for the zipper). fold the waistband down in half on the inside of the skirt, and sew through all layers "in the ditch" of the waistband seam. insert zipper, hem, and you're done!

i got a little fancy with mine; since it's a fairly wide waistband, i through in a couple of darts like this:

sorry i wish i was better at tutorials!


20000 leagues

20000 leagues under the sea is screening at the tiff bell lightbox this weekend, and it reminded me that i never posted the pics of the final sweater!

i think the model is the best part, natch. wish i could quit my job and just knit movie-themed curling sweaters full time! anyone willing to pay me to do that?


the pain of lace and joy of waffles

ok so last week i alluded to the knitting tragedy which was really a case of my own hubris returning to haunt me.

someone had posted on ravelry about having an extra yo which made a little hole in their work-in-progress, but she'd knit a row of eyelets before she noticed, and how to go back and fix? "tink it back carefully and re-knit the section on dpns," i said. "it's tricky but can be done."

no sooner had i typed it than i realised i had messed up my own project. which is a dress, knit in fingering using the frost flowers lace pattern.

the trick with this pattern is that just when you're used to it, just when you've figured out that it is actually quite straight forward and it is actually just the same 4 rows repeated, you get to the part where the rows stagger, and you can't go by feel anymore, and it's like the key-change in your favourite song when you're singing karaoke and all of a sudden you've missed that crucial note and there's nothing for it but starting over.

at which point, what you really need is coffee. and waffles.

that was almost tragic, too. i'd been wanting waffles for an age, but couldn't find the cord for my fostoria waffle iron, which dates from about the late 1930s at a guess. but guess what? when i found the cord and plugged it in, i discovered that one side wasn't working! it stayed cold to the touch, which made me forget that the working side was hot to the touch, so i burnt my thumb. so, pain and waffles made verrry slowly one at a time.

but still, waffles.

and i did eventually get through tinking and re-knitting 3 rows x 2 full pattern repeats (and a pattern repeat is 34 stitches across!) and i don't think you can tell it happened at all!


2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
3/4 cup melted butter + more to brush waffle iron

whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla (i keep wanting to type vanilly). add milk.

sift together flour and baking powder, whisk into batter. whisk in melted butter.

i find a third of a cup of batter fills my waffle iron perfectly, and it takes 2 minutes to bake when the iron is hot. but each is different of course!