Sewn: Black Jersey Culottes

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Culottes, I never thought I'd enjoy them, but these days I commute by bus almost an hour each way. As much as I love a good maxi skirt, all that fabric swooshing around makes it a bit hard to do things like climb escalators, and shorter skirts mean watching my legs when I sit on the bus. This was a remarkably good compromise. If I stand still it really looks very much like a skirt, but it's one that moves with me and I don't ever have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction.

These culottes are actually a reincarnation of my black maxi skirt. I didn't like the extra bulk around the hips, since mine are fairly wide to start. Thankfully there was a generous amount of fabric to play with, and I could reuse the elastic waistband.


I used this free pattern as a starting point: Knit Culottes, but I skipped the fold over waistband. Instead I dropped the crotch 3 inches, and used a 3" wide elastic instead. I also lengthened the pattern to fall at a midi length for my height. (Unrelated grumble, since I'm not that tall, all midi skirts in the stores fall at a strange length when ever I try them on, so unflattering! Also, not midi at all!)

P.S. I'm wearing the culottes with my strappy crop top.

Sewn: Ruffled Halter Top

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Ruffled Halter

I messed up on this sewing project big time. First of all, it wasn't supposed to be a top, but a summer dress. When I cut the fabric I didn't mark the bust darts, and wondered why the pattern pieces didn't match up, so I trimmed it, thinking I might have messed up taping the pdf printed pages together. The resulting top was way too short to be attached to an elastic waist, and there I was wondering what in the world went wrong, because it was also looser than it should have been.

You see, I was SO busy improvising how to add a full lining for the top, because my fabric was a bit sheer, that I completely forgot the darts. The lining now, oh that lining, is beautiful. It's perfect. It worked out exactly as planned. And I loved that open back! I'd never made one like it before, and the back also turned out beautifully. But WOE! How could I salvage all that hard work?

Ruffled Halter

The solution I came up with was to add a bit of length with a ruffle. I'm not really a ruffle kind of girl, but I think it works here, and I like this top more than I ever expected. So there's another one for my handmade summer wardrobe.

I wonder if I'll ever get any winter sewing done. One day, maybe, but I'm just too happy to wear sweaters and leggings all winter long.

Sewn: Mommy and Me

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Matching Tops

What do you do with leftover fabric? Make your kiddo really happy!

One thing she loves is to be 'like mommy' so she got to look like mommy today too. The dress is a variation on a pillowcase top, only long enough that she can wear it as a dress. It was super simple to sew up, and perfect for those super hot days of summer, because the kiddo gets really hot and sweaty.

I used the same fabric to make this dress, and the top you see in the photo. The adult top I made has a more complicated back side. The toddler version has an almost identical front and back, but the back is narrower than the front, and the strap ties to one side of the neck. It's all adjustable so maybe in a year or two she will still be wearing it as a top instead of a dress. Gotta love pieces that last a long time, especially since kids grow so fast.

I've also done a bunch of quick sewing projects that don't warrant a blog post. I've been taking old shirts that I can no longer fit and turning them into sleeveless tees and tank tops for the kiddo. They're getting almost daily use around the house. How did the kid turn out so hot blooded when I'm always cold?!

August 2017 Garden Update

Thursday, September 7, 2017

It's been a weird weather year and the garden has suffered for it. The winter was endless and the snow was thick. We couldn't plant until mid-June which is too late for most things, because the summer season is so short here. Some plants like the basil, just didn't sprout. The hydrangeas had only two blooms each. The giant rosemary bush died except for a couple of branches. But the currants had a spectacular year, and the nearly dead bay leaf we planted two years ago finally started growing new leaves.

August Garden

We tried a new garden box planting layout this year. We made east-to-west rows of vegetables, and it turned out both easier to pick and maximized sun exposure. The zucchinis were massive. I swear those things grow giant overnight! We ate zucchini every day, but I don't mind that at all. I've been enjoying them in salads instead of cucumbers, because they have so much fibre they leave you feeling full.

August Garden

The tomatoes did okay, but not as well as the previous year. The beans were fine. We tried planting kale and it got infested with aphids. I think I'll plant swiss chard instead next year. We tried planting curly leaf parsley instead of the flat leaf, and it's still growing really well! I'd given up on my chives but they grew better relocated to the front of the house instead of the back.

So we're learning, and trying new things. We'll get a hang of this. Fresh veg from the garden is one of those really great perks of having a bit of land. I really missed this when we lived in an apartment, and now the kiddo gets to learn about where food comes from too.
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