Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A prototype

Fiddling around in my sewing room today, I came up with this:

This is just a prototype, so I don't have the finishing details all worked out. Though I kind of like the rough, wonky look. It's made on 1/8" thick industrial felt so it's fairly sturdy. I'm thinking it needs a pin back to make it a brooch?

I've been busy on some other projects, too. Including a supposed-to-be-easy dress for my daughter that nearly ended up kicking my butt. Will post them tomorrow, along with my excuses about how I got busy with schoolwork and neglected my blog for over a week. Or two weeks? I don't know. Too long. Right now I'm off to go pick the child up from school, and then to the park so she can play in the pretty spring weather.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

On being a soccer mom

It was nearly 7 years ago that we bought our minivan. You should have heard the snickers when our friends and familys heard the news. The guffaws. The doubled-over-laugh-till-you're-crying. I kept saying in our defense that with a baby on the way, we needed to have one car that had 4 doors AND air conditioning. And it was a bargain, thanks to a tornado that hit the car lot. But I digress...

When we got the minivan, we endured comment after comment about me becoming a soccer mom. "Hey, I'm gonna get you one of those soccer ball decals!" Yeah, funny. Hadn't heard that 50 times in the past week already.

Well.... Fast forward 6 years plus some months, and I took the plunge. We never played team sports in my family. We don't tend to be a physically coordinated lot, nor are we particularly social by nature. But Liv had been itching to do some sort of organized activity, and I had just recently had a conversation with a park mama about the social skills kids can learn from team sports. Things like working together toward a comman goal, losing with grace, stretching their sense of their own abilities - how could any respectable mama deny her child this experience.

And so we signed Liv up to play soccer this spring. In place of snickers and chortles and eyeball-rolling, our friends and family have become Liv's own little cheering section. For the first game we had my mother, my father, my father-in-law, my sister and her husband, and my dear friend Summer. And of course Tony and me. All to cheer for Liv and her little soccer team as they ran around on a field, running after the ball and playing a game that looked only vaguely like soccer.

There were cheers. There were atta girls. There were the urges to "Get in there, girl!" and "Kick it hard!". There were also quick with a "Nice try!" when the foot didn't necessarily make contact with the ball. And when it was all over, they were of course all ready to give her a hug and tell her what an awesome soccer player she was.

I know that by the end of "soccer season" I'll be ready to have my Saturdays back, but for right now I am totally diggin' this whole soccer mom thing. It's not about my kid being the best on the team (she's not, but she's not the weakest player either), or about keeping score, or about bragging rights with the other mamas. It's about my little girl running around out there on the field, taking chances, doing her best, and knowing she's a got a cheering section ready to back her up. After all, that's what life is all about, no?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Aftermath

Typical scene in my studio after a feverish sewing session.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Groovy Girl got a track suit and a long-sleeved tee

When I said I'd become obsessed with making Groovy Girl clothes, I wasn't kidding. Today I'm posting showing off her new track suit.

The track suit all started with a little sleeveless cotton top for the Groovy Girl. It's a basic gathered-fabric-on-a-band-with-straps style, except that the band and the straps are made out of the ribbing from an old pair of Liv's socks. It turns out that the ribbing works wonderfully for Groovy Girl clothes! And since I had plenty of socks that we're getting rid of, my mind set to thinking about all the other ways I could use the ribbing in a Groovy Girl garment.

First to mind was as a waistband on a pair of pants. Liv's old size 24-36 month Children's Place socks are exactly the right size to go arouned Miss Groovy Thing's waist, so all I had to do was zig-zag the pants body to some doubled-over ribbing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I made the pants to match the little cotton top, but as I was looking at the ribbing on the waistband I was struck with how much they looked like yoga or athletic pants. Which got me to wondering if the sock ribbing could be used to make little tiny cuffs at the neck, wrists, and waist of a shirt. If so, turn it backwards so the slit that I usually put all the way down a shirt is at the front, and you've got a track jacket to match the pants.

And of course, if you have the track suit, you need a t-shirt to match. I already had a basic t-shirt pattern sized for a Groovy Girl, but setting in the sleeves on something that small usually involves repeated uses of the seam ripper and me cursing like a sailor.

A raglan sleeve tee, I thought. That would be MUCH easier! And so yesterday I drafted and tested and drafted and tested, and made a long-sleeved raglan tee for Miss Groovy Thing.

The gray shirt was my first prototype, and it's a bit snug. Groovy Girls have mighty big hands that are difficult to pull through a more fitted sleeve. A few pattern adjustments, and now I have a pattern for a long-sleeved raglan tee. It's SOOOO much easier to put the sleeves in now!!

Oh, and see that pretty binding at the neck and wrists? That's courtesy of Naomi's tutorial.


Friday, March 5, 2010

A-line skirt for a Groovy Girl doll

The pattern & tutorial for the A-line skirt is now up at Craft Gossip. This is such an easy sewing project! Just 4 seams and you've got a new skirt for a Groovy Girl. Make it from a cotton print or from a heavier fabric. I bet it would awesome out of denim. Though I think the next one I make will be out of white flannel-backed vinyl. Space age.

Next up - the little halter shirt!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Groovy Girl clothes, part II

So I've gotten myself caught up with my schoolwork again. At least temporarily. It will all hit again in a week, but for the next few days I can pretend that I have no teaching responsibilities.

And what did I do with my temporary freedom? I made Groovy Girl clothes, of course! Want to see?

And the close-ups.

Of the shirt:

And of the skirt:

The skirt is made from brown velveteen. I free motion stitched the flowers and reverse appliqued the centers. I know. A little over the top for doll clothes. But I just. can't. help. myself.

This is actually the same pattern as the previous Groovy Girl outfit I posted. Though this time around I paid more attention to detail and I took pictures at each step along the way so I could share the pattern & tutorial. I'm in the process of writing it up. I expect to have it out on Craft Gossip in the next day or so. I'll link to it from this blog, though, so it will be easy to find.

I also made a little strappy top for a Groovy Girl out of one of Liv's old socks and scrap of fabric. I would have taken pics of that as well, but it's just a top with no pants to match. And Liv has already requested the pants, "so it will be, you know, a whole outfit she can wear to school."

In other crafty news, I finished the Shutterfly book about Mama Kitty. I got a little obsessive over the details. I'd be mortified if I got my pretty printed book back in the mail, only to find a typo or a glaring grammatical mistake. With the help of some friends with some very sharp eyes, I was able to finally let go enough to submit the order. It will be here in a week. I can't wait!!