Archive for June, 2009

Summer Fun: Slip and Slide

I have to admit that this slip and slide was worth the $10.99 we paid for it.  The kids tried it out and all had a blast, as did half the neighborhood yesterday.  I had fun playing with my new camera trying to get pictures of the water splashing.  Here are my three monsters.



And E-boy:

Summer Fun: Hitting the Trail.

Here are some pictures from a hike our family took last week.  It was a 6.6 mile round trip hike, up a creek to a lovely little alpine lake.  We came prepared to have lunch on the trail, and brought our water shoes to splash about in the lake when we got there.  Let me tell you, that water was COLD!  The kids had fun, though, and handled the hike really well.  We weren’t sure how long they could go without whining, but we didn’t hear a single complaint until a thunderstorm came up on our way back down about a half mile from the trail-head.  Luckily we made it back to the car before the real downpour hit us.

Here we are along the trail.  Yes, E-boy rode most of the way.

Here are the kids at the little lake, which we came to about half a mile before reaching the bigger lake.

And this was our destination:

Here are the kids splashing around in that cold, cold water:

An Unwelcome Visitor

So, do you want to see who was practically ringing my doorbell last week?

We found this rattlesnake in the rocks right next to our front porch.  It was actually the kids who spotted it earlier in the day.  A. told me she heard a rattle and E. said she saw the snake, and described it to me, saying its head was bigger than its body and it had a diamond pattern on its back.  I believed they had seen a snake, but told them it was probably not a rattlesnake, since we’d never seen one before in our neighborhood.  When hubby got home from work, we were telling him about our day, and he began questioning E. about what she’d seen.  He asked her to show him where the snake was, and when we all went outside to see, A. spotted it in the rocks flicking its tongue at us.  Then the hunt was on.  It took hubby and a couple of neighbors, all armed with shovels and rakes to kill the snake and remove it.  Sure enough, it was a rattlesnake, with four and a half rattles on its tail.  Needless to say, the neighborhood kids no longer play rock-hopping in my front yard.

SWAP Sewing: The Wardrobe

Here it is, my whole SWAP wardrobe in one place:

And, guess what!?!?!  I won!  You can click on the badge to see my entry on  Click here to see all of the fabulous contest entries.

This sewing contest was so much fun to participate in.  It really gave me the motivation to try some new things, and I found they really aren’t that hard after all.  I now have a wardrobe of handmade clothing that fits my style, and pieces that mix and match well.  It is fun to look in my closet each morning and choose what to wear.  Not that I’m wearing 100% handmade, I’m not giving up my favorite blue jeans, but most days I choose one of my SWAP pieces.  And I’m super proud of the accomplishment.

SWAP Sewing: Swing Jacket

This jacket has some serious vintage style!  Of all the pieces in my SWAP, I think the jacket was the most intimidating for me.

I waffled on the fabric, and finally settled for this stretch cotton.  It has a nice weight for a summer jacket, and the color matches my other pieces beautifully.  Then, I had to decide about lining.  While I tried and tried to find a lining that seemed right, I ended up leaving the majority of the jacket unlined.  In the end, I’m happy with that decision.  The buttons were a lucky find, as they match the color and style of the jacket pretty well.  In fact, these are the only buttons on all of my SWAP sewing that I had to purchase, the rest came out of the button box.

SWAP Sewing: White Swiss Dot Blouse.

This simple top is super versatile, as it’s plain white, it goes with everything.  I love this dotted swiss, but it was pretty sheer, so I lined it with white batiste.  I added a keyhole detail at the neckline, which can be tied into a pretty bow, or left undone.  I think these peasant tops have brought me out of my tee-shirt rut. 

SWAP Sewing: Crossover Dress

This dress is modified from Jalie 2804, the empire crossover top pattern.  I changed the pattern to add a skirt below the empire seam, and made a simple pullover style dress.  The neckline is trimmed with some picot edge elastic, but I didn’t have enough to trim the armholes.  I like that the trim emphasizes the crossover.  After the initial try-on, I also added a bit of elastic at the empire seam to provide some subtle shaping and help with the fit.  The fabric for this dress is a nice, thick cotton french terry, which makes it perfect to throw on over a swimsuit on the way out for a day at the pool.

SWAP Sewing: Twist Front Top

I used Jalie 2788 to make this top.  The pattern is a keeper, for sure!  I’ll definitely be making more of these in other colors, and in the short and three-quarter sleeve versions.  I used stretch bamboo jersey from for this top.  I adore the color “glacier blue”.  I’ve found, however, that the fabric is prone to pilling as it’s washed.  In the front detail, you can see that I bound the neckline and armholes.  The pattern called for narrow hems, but after trying and failing three times to sew them down neatly without too much stretching, I gave up and went for binding. 

SWAP Sewing: Denim Miniskirt

In all seriousness, it’s not really mini.  I am over thirty, after all.  For this skirt, I was experimenting with the sailor-front style of closure.  It’s one way of having a fitted skirt without dealing with sewing in a zipper.  The buttons at the front open into the pockets, allowing ease to put the skirt on and off.

I used the striped shirting for the pocket facings here, and also as facings for the hem.  Five rows of white topstitching accent the pockets, waistband and hem.  Incidentally, the silver buttons I dug out of the button box say “baby Gap” on the other side of them, they came off of a pair of overalls my eight-year-old wore as a baby.  They were the right size, style and color, so I simply sewed them on upside-down so as not to advertise. 

SWAP Sewing: Khaki Poplin Capri Pants

The pattern for these pants came mostly from the latest Ottobre Woman magazine.  When I made my SWAP sketch, I noted that I would use pattern #13, it was only when I went to trace my pattern that I realized this particular pattern was in a larger size range than I needed.  So, I switched gears and traced most of pattern #12 and changed the details to be more like #13.

I used green gingham as the waistband facings, and green thread for all the topstitching.  These are made of a stretch bamboo poplin fabric from JoAnn’s, part of their short-lived eco-friendly fabric line.  I’m not too happy with how much this fabric wrinkled as I sewed with it, and it’s a tad lightweight.  I almost thought my gingham pocket facings were going to show through the fronts of the pants.

Flickr Photos