Sunday, September 25, 2011

Diane Kimono Dress fix

A few days ago, I posted about my Diane Kimono Dress from Serendipity Studio. You can read my pattern review and the problems that I had here.

I had intended to make an above-the-knee dress with contrast on the bottom, but I messed it up royally. It was pretty unflattering.
Here is the hideous before:

For one thing, the dress is bunched up and I just look terrible. I was feeling pretty dejected when I saw this picture.
I had to do something about that unflattering skirt, but I didn't have it in me to spend more money on it and redo the bottom. I had serged the seams already. I decided to give up on the dress concept and go for a tunic I could wear with jeans. I simply cut off some of the bottom band and rehemmed it.

Here is the after:

Oh, do I like this so much more! Much more flattering as a top. I wish I'd had this all summer! Now it's going to go and get cold on me. Eventually. For now, it's still in the 80s in Albuquerque.

The fabric is Joel Dewberry's Aviary II, which I also used to make my mom's quilt (in another colorway).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yarn dyeing supplies for sale

I'm selling a big lot of yarn dyeing supplies and undyed yarn. Lots of info can be found here.

The Diane Kimono Dress and a bad modeling session

 UPDATE: I have fixed this dress. See this post.


You know what it's like to sew when you have a toddler? It means that you grab a moment when you can, you're always rushing through and you don't have time to really stop and think about what you're doing. At least, that's how it is for me because I should really be working instead. And so mistakes happen.

I decided to try the Diane Kimono Dress by Serendipity Studio. It's one basic dress with lots of length and trim options. To be honest, most of the options seemed a bit frumpy to me, but I did like the shorter version in the straight skirt (bottom right in photos below), and I thought it would be cute with tights and boots or with leggings, maybe a fitted long-sleeved tee underneath for winter.

One reason I picked this dress was because my butt is a little what I call "sticky-outy" right now and I'm also sway-backed, so I'm not really liking how dresses look on me right now. I thought the relaxed fit of this dress would be nice.

The fabric is Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2, which I got at Hip Stitch. The fabulous Suzanne suggested I use the lighter one for the main fabric and the darker for the trim. I was initially thinking the opposite, and I really like it this way. Thanks for the consultation, Suzanne.

By the way, have I mentioned that I invented the concept of yellow and gray being stylish right now? Yeah, I liked it several years ago, before everyone else did. I made these horrid socks out of yellow and gray and then decided I hated it. But now I like it again.

I have a few things to say: First, this might not be so flattering. I think in this photo, I really needed to adjust the dress and pull it down a bit. It seems bunched under my bust. Who decides to haul a kid around and do this and that before modeling for a picture and not even adjust the dress? Second, I made a mess of the bottom of the skirt. More on that below in my pattern review.

PATTERN REVIEW for Serendipity Studio's Diane Kimono Dress:

I know what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to sit down with your new pattern and read all of the instructions start to finish. I rarely do this. I was cutting my fabric out and I got rather confused about how to cut out the skirt. There are a whole bunch of options between a full skirt, straight skirt, tiered skirt, long skirt, short skirt, skirts with contrast on the bottom in any number of width, etc. But there aren't all of those options in the pattern. The cutting instructions gave no information about how to do the contrast fabric, so at first I just cut off one of the tiers and used that to cut my contrast fabric for the bottom and the top part of the skirt that was remaining I used for my main fabric.

Of course, later I realized I had this funky curved edge on the top of my contrast piece/bottom of my tunic that was going to form a very odd bottom. That's because the hem is curved and that's what I was working with instead of a straight line. I'm sure this is making no sense to you right now, but suffice it to say that I ended up hacking and cutting and praying I'd get something I could fit in. So the bottom part of my skirt is obviously rather strange. The bottom trim is too wide and cuts across me in a weird place. And it's too short.
I later found the instructions for cutting the bottom trim and the sleeve trim -- it was way toward the middle of the pattern instructions. I found this odd, since don't you usually cut everything out at the beginning? It also saved the cutting instructions for the tie until you got to that part. I would have appreciated if the pattern had a note in the cutting section referring you to these parts. It would have saved me some trouble on the skirt.
Also, the instructions for the armhole binding were lacking. It was something I figured out on my own, but I found the instructions really confusing there, too.

Now I'm wondering if I should buy some new fabric for the upper skirt and do that part over, lengthening it. I could still use the same bottom band shown here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I thought I remembered being the mother of a baby. But it seems like there is no baby 'round here. He is a little boy now, and he's rocking the Bieber look. Sorta.

Yes, Daddy has hair envy and likes to spend time blow-drying and gelling Brock's hair.

Brock is 14 months old. He runs around like a pro. Well, actually, he falls down at least once every minute. I attribute much of this to the fact that he carries a receiving blanket everywhere he goes like Linus. This is a relatively new thing since I now allow him to have one in his bed when he sleeps. When he starts to fuss, I hand him the blanket, he pops his thumb in his mouth, and it's whimper, whimper ... breathe, breathe ... calm, calmmmm ... everything is better.

He also drags it on the floor and trips on it constantly. He doesn't really speak at all yet, other than "dad" "hi" and "hey." Mostly he points and says "Ss" if he wants something. I recall back to when my brother started to talk and then regressed, deciding it was easier to have your entire vocabulary be grunts and make everyone else decipher them. A few times it seems Brock has said "dat?" when he heard something that made him curious.

He has become the world's worst eater. We're down to fruit, lunch meat and oatmeal, mostly. Put something in his mouth he doesn't want, and he pushes it right back out down onto his shirt. The rest goes on the floor. Since I am also an irritatingly picky eater, I try to keep my patience.

He's also been picking up colds a lot (twice in a month) and teething his molars, so things have been a little rough. He's a trooper, though. No more play places where all the babies lick all of the items!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Who" hates owls? Me? Hmmm

I've always been a bit frightened of owls. They are creepy to me. Especially barn owls. But for some reason, despite the shudder factor, owls are unbelievably cute in cartoon form. My son's infant carrier, stroller and high chair are the Little Hoot print from Graco.

It wasn't until I was knitting up this hat for Brock's Halloween costume that I remembered my feelings of terror lack of fondness for owls. This hat, though, is not scary. And I'm sure Brock will make a very appealing owl.

 The pattern can be found for free at Hammer & Thread
For those on Ravelry, my project can be found here.

This project was cheap, quick and pretty easy, if you read directions. I made mistakes because I didn't read directions carefully enough.

It's much cuter on a baby's head, so I'll share some pictures of that later. I'm going to make him the wings out of felt. Brock is in a hat-refusal stage, so if I can just get a few pictures out of this, I'll be thrilled.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Last month, my brother and his family came from Maine for a very rare trip. We had to do more than our fair share of photos. Of course, our parents are divorced, so we ended up with two photoshoots.
This first one is done by my friend Sonya Cogan of Sonya Cogan Photography. I really like how the reeds look behind us and all of the color. She can also be found on Facebook.

These pictures are with my family, my brother's family and my mom.

All of us together

A couple of my mom with her grandkids. Brock is the only one she gets to see regularly.

Below are a bunch of Mark, Brock and me. Brock was sick and not his usual jovial self. He wanted to suck his thumb the entire time. Then there were the ants biting us...

The following pictures were taken with my dad and stepmom's side of the family. They involve my Dad and Vi, my stepsister Carlene, my stepsister Josette's kids (she had a delayed flight and didn't make it to the pictures), my brother and his family and the three of us. I don't know the photographer's name.

Dad and Vi with all of their grandkids, above.

The whole family, except my stepsister Josette, who had a delayed flight. Her kids are in the pic, though.

Mark, Brock and me.

The three of us with my dad and Vi.

This one is sweet!

Daddy and Brock

Ryan, Charity and their kids. (My bro)

All the grandkids, ages 1-19