give me liberty

Here’s a question for you–how are some women able to wear these gathered, loose-fitting, tunic-y tops and not look maternity? I am attracted to these gathered shirts, but I don’t think Clinton and Stacy would approve. Regardless, let’s focus on the positive, one of which is that this is Hello Kitty Liberty of London fabric, and it is lovely! I made this top from one yard of fabric! I used a pattern from a great Japanese mook called I Love Liberty Print (ISBN 978-4-408-63261-2). The pattern was even more billowy and maternity than it is here. I had to bring it way in! It is really comfortable and perfect for hot days. I just need to kind of hold in the sides so I don’t look pregnant.

Posted in sewing | 11 Comments

This is for Carolyn

made another t-shirt, originally uploaded by super eggplant.

My sole reader was bugging me about not blogging, so here you go, Carolyn! So, I don’t know about you, but I am always searching for the Perfect T-shirt Fit (TM). Unfortunately, I can be a bit finicky, and what is perfect one day may not be so perfect the next. Anyway, I decided I needed a comfy, not-super-fitted T-shirt, so I made a pattern based on a T-shirt I have that I really like. I used some leftover fabric (some cotton blend) and used the flatlock on my serger, and voila. The shoulders are actually a bit big, so I sized the pattern down a little bit for the next attempt.

I got a new sewing machine–an industrial machine by Sailrite–so my jeans experimentation should continue if I am not too lazy.

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

placket crazy

I got drunk and put the placket in the wrong spot. Kidding. I MEANT TO DO THAT (does anyone recognize that line? It’s from one of my favorite films). Anyway, I had some nani iro knit sitting in a pile, so, yes, I made another t-shirt. And, yes, it is also in that rather unflattering dirt color. Apparently I have been attracted to this color as of late. Clearly I need a personal shopper.

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surprise cookies

These are actually Fake Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars. Now, I realize that I am in the minority because I genuinely like Lofthouse Sugar Cookies (you’ve all no doubt seen them in the grocery store–sugar cookies with day-glo frosting and sprinkles, packaged in those clear plastic clamshell boxes), but when I saw the recipe for homemade ones, I had to give them a try. I took them to a gathering, and I thought most would consider them too sweet and just generally too repulsive looking to even try, but you know what? They were universally liked! Very surprising! The cookie part is soft and delicious. I think next time I might try them with chocolate frosting. Mmmm. I used this recipe from Cookies and Cups.

Posted in baking | 8 Comments


Hey! I made yet another t-shirt! This time I added a fancy little placket. It actually is not very fancy, and I screwed it up, but I kind of have a thing for plackets, so I was willing to suffer a bit for it. The shirt is a double-layer cotton knit. The inner side is a super soft pointelle knit. It is super cozy, so I don’t really care that this color does nothing for my skin tone. Hey, I’ll just put on brightly colored lipstick, and nobody will even notice!

Posted in sewing | 8 Comments

fleet week

Hey, sailors! I finally managed to get to the sewing machine this weekend. I had been hoarding this double gauze for years and decided it was high time I used it for something. I had also been meaning to make the sailor collar top from Machiko Kayaki’s “simple but good looking” book (Kinokuniya has it available here). I frankensteined the pattern a bit, since the original pattern is for a top with a French sleeve (I think that’s what it’s called), and I wanted long sleeves. I struggled a bit with the neckline (the V part was a bit tricky for me), and it requires some contortionist moves to get off (I already got lipstick on it while taking it off), but overall I think I like it.

Oh, here’s a shot of the collar:
By the way, it is merely a coincidence, but my nail polish (Deborah Lippmann “mermaid’s dream”) matches the blue in the double gauze perfectly. I cannot tell you how much I love this nail polish. Well, I guess I just did.

Posted in sewing | 9 Comments

Good idea, poor execution

Some people don’t mind running in the rain, but I don’t really care for it; however, since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t really avoid it (though I confess to spending a fair amount of time on the treadmill!). I have a rain jacket and a rain hat, but that means my legs get all wet, and it can be a tad unpleasant having wet quads. I made a rain skirt, so I wear that sometimes, but it twists around while I run. So, I figured, hey, I will create a rain dress/jacket for running! I am a genius! I got some great lightweight waterproof fabric from Rose City Textiles and sewed away. I even tricked it out with some reflective piping and a hidden credit card pocket. The dress/jacket turned out pretty much as I had envisioned, except it doesn’t fit properly! I made it too small, so I can’t move my arms around in it, so it won’t be practical for running. It fits like a dress, so I suppose I can wear it to a science fiction convention or something. I still think it is a good idea, but my poor spatial skills foiled me once again!

Posted in sewing | 15 Comments

glitter shoes

I am all about flat, wide, comfy shoes. I do not wear fancy shoes. Lately, though, I find myself attracted to heels, heels in bright colors, the more sparkly the better. Is this a midlife crisis? At any rate, I think the whole glitter shoe thing is awesome, but seriously, just because I am attracted to heels doesn’t mean I am actually going to wear them. And then I saw Susan’s post about making your own glitter shoes, and I was sold.

I started with these shoes, which I bought a couple years ago and have never worn. Not once. I had just tossed them into the Goodwill bag when I saw the glitter shoe post, so I dug them back out and headed to Michael’s to find some Martha Stewart glitter.

I pretty much followed Susan’s instructions exactly. I used Mod Podge in “sparkly” (because who wouldn’t want maximum sparklage?) and some sort of bright pink glitter. The ratio of Mod Podge to glitter is tricky. I wanted my shoes to be SUPER glittery, so I think I went overboard on the glitter. It is counterintuitive, but I think it is better to use LESS glitter so you have a thinner consistency. Mine was too gloppy. I ended up doing about three coats. Over the black shoe the pink glitter looks almost blue. Anyway, I did a pretty crappy job on these, but from far away they are passable. I haven’t, though, worn them yet.

Comment from Peter: “Why don’t you just go buy some glitter shoes?” Translation: “You are doing a really horrible job on those.”

Posted in other crafting | 14 Comments

Muji ripoff tunic thingy

On my last trip to Japan I spied this cute wool tunic at Muji. I didn’t buy it, though, because I am often captivated by these tunic-y things and think they are cute, and then when I put them on I look like an indentured servant or something. It looked easy enough to copy, so hey, that’s what I did.

In keeping with my doubleknit fabric theme, I used some coffee-colored ponte I acquired in the fall from Denver Fabrics (I think it was Denver. I can’t remember. Ponte is readily available). It was great to sew with–heavy and sturdy! There are no set-in sleeves, so this was basically like making a long t-shirt. The underarms came out a tad on the snug side, but it didn’t bother me when I wore it. All in all, I am happy with the way this turned out, and it is super comfy.

Happy 2012!

Posted in sewing | 13 Comments

berger cookies

If I were to dwell on the negative, I would think about all the years I was deprived of Berger Cookies. Instead, though, I will look on the bright side and just be grateful that I have a good friend who hails from Baltimore, Maryland, who was kind and generous enough to bring me some Berger Cookies on her last trip. People, I am telling you, if you used to eat spoonfuls of chocolate frosting from a can like I did, then these cookies are for you.

They are very sweet, but they are cookies! They’re supposed to be sweet! I had to set myself a limit of one per day. When I ran out, I wept for a day, and then I realized that someone must have thought about trying to make these things. All hail the internet! I checked out several recipes then went with the one from King Arthur Flour. I opted for the sequel rather than the original, I think because the sequel has more frosting. Heh. I have to confess I was worried that the fine folks at King Arthur Flour would try to make the cookies more, you know, organic or whole grainy or something, but thankfully they did not. Give ‘em a try!

Posted in baking | 6 Comments