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Sew Paradise

Two bundles of joy

As I bounced my infant daughter on my knee, lunching with my friend, the dogbell rang. I fended off the dog’s curious nose with my knee and signed for a big gray bundle from the mailman. I was practically giddy as I brought the package back in.  Even prettier than the swatches. As I unfold each of them, projects spring to life. Denim shirtdress with tall boots for fall. Fluttery knit tops in sorbet colors worn under cozy sweaters in the winter. Sleek sheer tops worn over black trousers with high heels and a trendy bag for summer.

Since my daughter was born in late March, I have made five things – a wrap dress, a pair of washed linen pants, a tube top, a linen summer swing jacket and a pair of linen capri pants.  Next up are a couple of summer nursing tops, and a pair of pants in the pants challenge (see post earlier this month). I’m positively prolific. And I’m loving it.

Hubby is almost done with a superbly gorgeous sewing workstation in oak. A giant work surface, my machine recessed, a leaf and a cabinet for my serger, and drawers for my notions. It’s beautiful, a substantive piece of furniture. How many halloween costumes will this see? sundresses, denim jumpers and jeans, appliques on the knees of my daughter’s worn corduroys, and, eventually prom dresses. It will probably see a grandchild’s quilt, halloween costumes, sundresses and jeans. And then, as hubby says, if she has a boy, it might end up as a superfancy router table (though I hope not). I hope her children’s grandchildren are still passing it down, saying my great great grandfather made this for my great great grandmother way back in 2007. How many happy years of sewing will this see? many. I love sewing more now than I did even ten years ago, or even twenty. As I close in on 30 years of sewing, I marvel that I’m still passionate about it.

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Sew Paradise

Grand Prix Fabric Shopping

We went to the Toronto Grand Prix this past weekend (more on how much I hate homeland security in a moment…) I had heard from online friends at Sewing Refuge that (twenty years ago) there was a cool fabric district in QueenStreetWest area, near Chinatown. So I googled it and found a canadian craft blogger who listed addresses. At first, walking by where Designer’s Showroom should have been, it looked closed, paper on the windows, I thought, uh oh. So I moseyed on, E. in the stroller. On the way back, I found Designer’s Showroom just by accident.

It’s quite a store. The fabric are displayed in large swatches hung on pant hangers. You select what you want, in a big, open, airy showroom and they look it up in the computer. You buy, and they ship. I got some dress weight denim (Hot Patterns P&S shirtdress, or similar from my pattern stash), two rayon lycra knits, two cotton lycra knits, a sheer textured striped knit and a linen-look woven. Mmmm. And, I fed E. in the red dupioni sling I borrowed, but am going to copy.

There were a ton of button, trim, bead, yarn and fabric stores, all mixed in with an uber-trendy neighborhood, but sort of a blue-hair, multi-pierced sort of trendy. Not a H&M trendy, though one of those is opening there too.

So, am I sold on the Toronto grand prix? We had a nice enough time (shopping, an art festival, the race – watched from jumbotrons inside the Expo center). The drive home sucked. Stuck at the bridge, dived out to friend’s in Sarnia, then south to the ferry at Sombra/Marine City (who knew 65 other cars also knew about it, 12 at a time, we were there 2 hours anyway). Intermittent bouts of screaming baby.

But yeah, she’ll be 15 months old, past the screaming baby stage. And we could go shopping with the sling next year. And really dive in to the stores we had to pass by, because I had the SUV stroller. Some of the stores had fabric  packed to the ceiling, with bolts scattered, stacked, draped and shoved in every available space. Warren-like ‘aisles’ of fabric. And trim stores with stairs to get in, bead stores too tightly packed for stroller, and maybe even a bit dangerous for 15-month old hands, but we’ll try next year.

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Sew Paradise

What if I didn’t buy any clothes…

For the next six months. Nursing bras don’t count. But what if I sewed everything I’m wearing for the next six months. Use up the stash. Post a SnS on Sewingmamas and SewingRefuge every week. What could I make? The BurdaStyle Anda dress with nursing overlay. I am sure I have a knit that would work (hey, that b&w diagonal stripe…) The HotPatterns Sugar Babe outfit with green ombre knit tube top, black linen pants, and green linen jacket. The flare leg pants in capri length in lime green linen. That sounds like a summer capsule.

Then, into fall. An auburgine sweaterknit Cardiwrap. Navy and camel wool flare leg pants. B&W houndstooth flare leg pants. Iridescent denim flare leg pants (love the flare leg pants!) Auburgine paisley tube top (cut down the burda top I didn’t like) or super simple Anda tee. Slate wool knit Sugar Babe pants. Lilac princess wrap with 3/4 sleeves. Peach floribunda nursing top. Black and brown mesh knit reversible tee.
And that’s just the surface! I haven’t even thought of the fabric I have stashed. Honey brocade, tissue linen in aqua, floral linen for a baby sling.
I’d be super stylish, that’s what I’d be…

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Sew Paradise

The Pant Challenge

http://www.cjpatterns.com/pat1010.html

So I am setting up a new blog when I move this server for sewing and motherhood, thrifting and style. And as part of that I’m setting up a sewing challenge: can I make the above pants in less time than it takes to wash and dry a pair of pants.

I am going to set up the challenge like this: set washer for 16 min. cycle. Toss in jeans (or khakis) and have pattern and fabric laid out to cut. start washer. Cut pants, sew pants, switch clothes to dryer, dry pants. I think I can do it, since I think our total wash cycle is 30 min, and I’m sure a pair of pants in the dryer is at least 30 min to 45 min.

I’m also not making something easy like a one seam knit pant. That I could surely do, but a trouser pant, with a CB invisible zipper.

I’ll move the server, move the blog and start the challenge next week after I sew the first test pair (the lime green capri length pants). So I’ll know how to sew the pants, and perfect the technique before I start the challenge.

We are up north, baby is sleeping in the bouncer and all is well. I brought knitting, knitted in the car on my part of the ‘ride’ (as opposed to drive) up. I have on a pale blue nursing top with the tan sweater with pale blue blanket stitch edging, and my super skinny boot cut black denim jeans. Perfect. With a vintage orange and white/turquoise choker necklace.