Friday, September 28, 2012

I hated it

It's been a while since I've done a Project Runway post but last night's episode was all about KIDS! And it was awful. Let's talk.
If you haven't watched yet....SPOILER ALERT.....go watch and then come back. The designers had to create a look for a toddler (an 18 month old). And when I saw the previews I thought, finally! Project Runway Kids. It's something I've always dreamed of. But they totally botched it up. The winning look was the only one I liked (actually I loved that little sweat suit) but I hated the rest.Now, just a disclaimer before I go around offending people on my personal style opinions. I assume some of you stop by here because you appreciate my style and design. It's something you relate to and you like or you'd like to incorporate similar ideas into your own fashion. You know I love making kids' clothes. And simple/minimal is my favorite. If you're a more "gussy it up" kind of gal I really don't mean to hurt any feelings...just want to talk about kids clothes from my perspective.So...the designers had to create a look for Heidi Klum's new kids line for Babies 'R Us called Truly Scrumptious.....which is, eh. Not my style at all. Too messy, too many do-dads and embellishments, too many character faces, too, too, too. I'm just a simple girl! Give me solids, stripes, dots, and we're good. Now I know not everyone is like that. But the advice Heidi gave the designers made me cringe! They were making some cute/decent things in the work room. But then Heidi turned up her nose at them saying things like, a mom wants to feel like she's getting her money's worth out of a design, so amp it up. What? Good design doesn't mean splatter it with fabric flowers....or embellish a sequins monster face on the back just so someone feels like they're getting a good trade. Again, all my opinion. But I could tell the designers weren't going with their gut instincts because Heidi lead them to think that all moms want gooey stuff. Ugh. No gracias.As the judges critqued, I felt like the one person in the room who couldn't see the emperor's clothes. Chris's flowery dress looked very Ross or TJ Maxx (not that that's bad. I shop there! The dress just looked cheap and way overdone for my taste). Elena's jacket was actually cute but she ruined it with a bunch of embroidery flowers on the back. Dimitri's kid looked like Super Mario. Melissa's vest was cute till she monsterized it (and I'm not anti monsters. They can be done in a cute way). Fabio's look was so-so. And Sanjia's suit was the clear winner (though these runway photos don't show it off very well). But the icing on the episode was Heidi's idea to give all the designers fake babies....those dolls that cry every so often till you give them a fake bottle, or hold them, etc. You know, like real babies. Haah. It was SO obnoxious. As a mom who lives that life, I couldn't stand the constant crying in the work room. This was my evening to escape from kids!I also have no idea how it was helping the designers to understand children's clothing. They weren't designing for infants. It was a pure nuisance. Though the best line of the night came from Christopher, "Now I know why Judy went off the deep end with Liza." Life is better somewhere over the rainbow, indeed. But back to clothes....Man, I sound so crtical. I guess I am. I just love kids clothes and they made some really lame stuff.And when I look at the stuff you guys make and the stuff in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge flickr group, I'm wowed and inspired! (more on KCWC here).And when I look at what the ladies are doing online at Project Run and Play (a weekly competition) I'm impressed again! From the current season and past, they're churning out amazing stuff like this....(above photos by ISLY, A Little Gray, Lindsay Etc, and Skirt as Top)I'm pretty much in love with anything Danielle from My Sparkle makes. I'll take one of each please.The same goes for darling stuff from Delia Creates (current season):And cool boy looks from Running with Scissors, Elegance and Elephants, and The Train to CrazyNow compare those to the real Project Runway photos above? These blogging ladies are stealing the show. I'm done ranting. What did you think?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

7 months old

Time for the monthly update. Guess who's sitting up? And loves it! Such a new perspective on life (and ability to reach for toys). Oh Clara. I love, love, love this little girl! I loved my other babies too. But I'm enjoying this one even more (since she's probably our last)....rubbing my hands in those leg folds, smooching the squishy cheeks, letting her climb all over me and trying not to mind. The other day Lucy and I grabbed a onesie from her room and smelled it, just to get a dosage of Clara while she was taking a nap. How ridiculous is that? But you see what I'm dealing with?Happy girl. And hitting all the normal milestones. Chewing everything in sight? Check.Old man combover? Check.Chubby cheeks? Double check.And guess what else happened this month? First tooth! She's been running her tongue over it for weeks, trying to understand life. There's a little peek.... Just a bud so far. It makes me a bit sad that the toothy grin will be gone forever. But then I remember how freaking cute they look with a tooth duet on the bottom. Now I can't wait for the other one to break surface as well. Since I'm always talking about what a good girl she is, it's only fair to mention that YES she is human. She gets cranky, frustrated, flails, cries (but still looks so cute doing it).And typically she's back to this again.....coerced to smile for Instagram photos (find me at danamadeit) We're truly blessed to have a sweet baby. Please don't grow up too fast (but get working on that 2nd tooth. Thank you)Here's the 7 month comparison! Check out the other months here:
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a buncha stuff

Just a grab-bag of things to share....  

• Thank you for your input on the kid photos last week!  I appreciate that 3rd party perspective.
I've already purchased the canvases from Paper Coterie (they were having a huge sale so I bought two canvases)...and they're here!
I chose one photo I haven't shared yet: me and the kids at the lake, maybe to hang above the chair? (read about the china cabinet and chair here. And the rollie pollie here)

As for the kid picture, I went with photo #1.  It was my favorite.   I may hang it in the studio where you can still see it from the front room but not sure yet.  Decisions....
• Update on my poor camera Well.  I put it in the rice for a week.  I turned it on.  And screamed with joy! worked!  But, only 90% worked.  The aperture settings were wonky and the lens wouldn't talk to the camera.  Error messages.  So it's currently at the Canon warehouse, awaiting repair evaluations.  The future is potentially bright. But let me say this:
I. Miss. My. Camera!

iPhone has been a good fill-in.  In fact, I did the entire Red Dress photos yesterday with my phone!  So we're having make-it-work kind of moments.  And friends have let me borrow their cameras here and there (book signing night, etc).  Yay!

But on too less boring conversations.  Here's what we've been up to....

• I bought these tangerine lamps last month.  And a friend gifted me a cute tote.  I'm loving both.
• Then look what I scored at Forever 21!  Colored blocked tote with a pleather bottom.  I may have to try that.
• And I definitely needed more colorful skinnies while I was there too.
• The kids have gone nutso with Perler obsessed.  This is only 1/4 of their collection.  The self-portrait Owen and "Stewie Darth Vader" are my favs.
• Our pretty garden much died when we traveled this summer.  But cute chairs make it all better, right?
• Bought this thrifted pillowcase for a project and Lucy snatched it up saying it was the prettiest thing she'd ever seen.  Reminds me of tulip fields in Holland.
• Little piglet continues to melt our hearts.  She's such a doll (update soon!)

• Been sewing tons of garlands for friends with birthdays, babies, and family losses. My favorite fast project
• Owen's favorite Texas shirt is so short it needs to retire. But he just can't resist.  It's his soft woobie.
• Been doing some fall baking (in 90 degree weather). Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting? 
• And of course I'm always instagramming up a storm.  Follow me at danamadeit.

Hope you're having a good Tuesday!
See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Impromptu sewing: red lace-y dress

Yesterday Lucy reminded me that she needed to wear red to school today, for Clifford the big red dog's 50th birthday!

She didn't have anything red in her closet.
In fact I only have one red shirt.
And I only had 2 red fabrics in my sewing stash.   Weird.  I really do love the color.
So at 4pm I got busy....cause in the back of my mind I've had this image of a red stretch lace dress just waiting to be sewn.  I bought the above fabric 2 or 3 years ago at M&L Fabrics (maybe?) and then this summer Target had the very dress I was imagining! but it was too short for me and too large for Lucy (photo further below).  So this dress needed to happen.  I love it when a fabric finds it fate....or destiny?
I sorta made things up as I went (yea. constantly crossing my fingers with each section I sewed and cheering when it worked!)  I knew the lace needed a lining so I also found a dark red/mauve knit in the my stash. Then I used an existing dress to measure the bodice and arm holes.  I added a zipper in the back though it didn't really one....I just liked the stylized touch.  And I really wanted to an exposed zipper but was too tired to figure it out.  Next time. 

I made the skirt a bit larger than than the bodice and sewed all three together with elastic in the middle to give it a bit of stretch.  Sort of worked but something I need to play with and improve.

I've always wanted to make ruched sleeves.  So I looked at one of my own shirts to figure out the shape, cut them from a single layer of the lace (no lining), sewed some elastic thread down the middle and Hooray!  I kinda can't believe they worked.  Yay!  A cute red dress!  She and I both loved it.  In the morning I added a keychain ring to the zipper back for more bling.
And then I couldn't stop singing this song all, night, long.
 We even gave the dress the playground test. 
And compared it to the Target version (left photo via instagram @danamadeit)
Ready for Clifford Day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tired of baby losing her binky?  Making a pacifier clip is easy! 
And once you’ve made one, you’ll want to make 20. They’re the perfect accessory for any baby shower gift.  The clip easily attaches to a carseat, shirt, or stroller.
And the pacifier pops right into baby’s mouth.
Life just got a whole lot better.
Let's get started!

You can easily make pacifier clips using existing ribbon, twill tape, or canvas trim.
But today we're using fabric and we'll show you two methods: with a Serger and with a standard machine.  * Don't fret if you don't have a serger! Both ways look cute and tidy.

• Rectangle of fabric cut to size 14 x 2 1/2 inches (14 x 2 1/4 inches if using a serger).
Cottons work best – simple cotton, seersucker, corduroy, denim, etc. 
14 x 1 1/8 inch rectangle of interfacing (sew-in type, standard to lightweight, nothing too heavy.  Iron-on adhesive can be used but you'll need to improvise the cutting/ironing steps a bit)
• Small piece of velcro  
• Suspender/mitten clips (like these)
--Even if you plan to use your standard machine, read these instructions first--

• Cut fabric and interfacing rectangles. If you’re using a heavier cotton or corduroy, omit the interfacing. It simply adds thickness and strength to your fabric part of the pacifier clip.

• Your fabric rectangle should be 14 x 2 1/4 inches. It will eventually be folded in half to make a 14 x 1 inch long ribbon. The interfacing is half that width and will only be a single layer.

Now, instead of cutting the interfacing piece separately, Ive found that this is the easiest method...
First cut your fabric rectangle.  Then cut an interfacing rectangle larger than the size needed.   Fold/iron the fabric in half, sandwich the interfacing inside, then trim the excess interfacing from the edge of the fabric.
Now you have a fabric sandwich with a single layer of interfacing inside.  Perfecto.

• Place your serger on a "roll hem".  If you've never done one it's very easy!  Look in your manual for the settings.
• Serge down all four sides of the fabric with the roll hem, trim the tails, and dab a bit of fray check on the corners to keep them from unraveling.
• Separate your piece of velcro and sew one part to the end of the fabric.  Then sew the other part about 3 inches down (wide enough to hold a pacifier inside when folded and velcro'd together.)
NOTE: You will see the bobbin stitching on the outside of the fabric, so use a thread color that blends in.
Now attach the suspender clip.
• Thread/loop one clip through the other fabric end (the end without the velcro).
• Fold it over about 1 inch and sew the end in place.
• Cut your fabric and interfacing as we did above, only cut your fabric the size of 14 x 2 1/2 inches.  In my photos below, I actually chose to use two different fabrics, so instead of one large rectangle of fabric, I cut two skinnier ones, sewed them together, then ironed the seam flat. 
• Iron the long edges of the fabric under about 1/4 inch, lay your interfacing strip inside the folded edges, fold the whole thing in half and use your machine to sew around all 4 sides, about 1/8 inches from the edges.
NOTE:  If you're using iron-on interfacing.....iron it to the fabric first, then iron the fabric edges under, enclosing the interfacing.
Finally, sew a tight zigzag stitch on the two ends of the fabric to finish them off.  Trim the excess fabric.  Then continue with the steps above, sewing velcro and the suspender clip to the fabric.
And you've got some cute looking clips.
Now churn out 20 more and your gift pile is stocked!
NOTE: If you're having deja-vu-tutorial on this....yes!  I shared it two years ago on Sew Mama Sew but never shared it here on MADE.  So this is the new and improved (and consolidated) version. I've added it to the Celebrate Baby archives page as well.