Thursday, February 28, 2008

Handmade vs. Homemade

Yesterday I got a lovely thank you note in the mail thanking me for the "homemade" gift they'd received from me. As I read the note, I couldn't help but cringe when I got to the word "homemade". I feel like "homemade" sounds so cheap. Like all I could afford to give was something I threw together at home when quite the opposite is true. I could have so easily popped in to Target and got her something there, but instead I lovingly picking out something special to make and then spent several hours working on the project just for her. I know she didn't mean to make me cringe, but it just gives me such an unsettling feeling and that dreadful word makes me feel like my efforts weren't really appreciated. I think if someone doesn't sew, they just don't realize how long it takes to make something or the thought and effort that goes into the process. I much prefer the word handmade to homemade, it sounds so much classier. What word do you prefer and have you ever had this happen to you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Printed fabrics, colors, & sewing with a plan

While exercising this morning my closet door was open and I couldn't help but notice how I have so many items that clearly don't go together. From my observation, I can see I really gravitate to printed fabrics and have lots of things that really only go with jeans (which is fine since I wear jeans 99.9% of the time). Still it seems a little unsettling to me that I have so many things that don't mix and match. Would I go to the store and buy so haphazardly? Probably not, however I don't seem to have a problem sewing in that fashion. I buy fabrics that I like without really thinking about the end result of what I'll make or who will wear it. I think it's really time I sew with a SWAP (sewing with a plan) mentality. I'm wasting my time and energy (as well as money) buying fabrics and sewing things that don't all marry together.

I also have been thinking more about color lately and what colors look good with my skin tone and hair color. Back around Christmas I was chatting with my mom about "my colors" and she gave me my late grandma's copy of Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson. My book is copyright 1980 so the pictures are a bit dated in the book, but the information is still valuable on how to choose which "season" you are. After doing some reading, I determined I'm a "winter" (what my mom and late grandma always told me I was and what "season" they are too). The colors that suit me best are cooler colors - ones that are clear, vivid, or icy with blue undertones (my palette also includes black and white). It's really an excellent book to pick up or borrow from the library if you're unsure of what colors look good on you. To reinforce the point to myself, I recently came to realize that just about every time I wear red, I receive a compliment on how great I look in that color. We all have colors that look good us, we just need to find out what those colors are and wear them. Yes, I am completely guilty of wanting to wear colors outside my palette (why do I love brown so much, it looks terrible on me???). Obviously it's not a crime to wear unflattering colors, however, I now understand how "my" colors seem to bring me to life while the ones that aren't in my palette make me look pale and lifeless.

So my "plan" is to try to sew with a plan. I want to create garments that mix and match and that are also in the "winter" color family. What is the sense in wasting my time and money making things that don't look good on me or go with nothing in my closet? I also want to have staples in my closet that help boost my wardrobe. Those "go to" pieces that I can always rely on to be dressed up or down as needed. Just because I'm a SAHM (stay at home mom) doesn't mean I shouldn't have a fab-u-lous wardrobe.

Just a little thinking out loud today.... :-)

P.S. I forgot to mention that I made four shirts over the weekend (no pictures yet). Two from Jalie 2682 (one in a print - imagine that and it's not really a flattering print for me either) and one in red. Then two from the Ottobre 2-2007-04 (gathered front t-shirt without puffed sleeves) - one in a pink print that is actually flattering to me and the other in the remainder of the red jersey.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Life's Recipe

While cleaning out my recipe box today, I found this "recipe". It's definitely words to live by so I thought I'd share it. I think it came from Quick Cooking magazine several years ago.

Life's Recipe

1 cup of good thoughts
1 cup of kind deeds
1 cup of consideration for others
2 cups of sacrifice for others
3 cups of forgiveness
3 cup of well-beaten faults

Mix above ingredients thoroughly. Add tears of joy, sorrow, and sympathy for others. Flavor with little bits of love. Fold in 4 cups of prayer and faith. Pour into daily life and bake well with the heart of human kindness. Serve with a smile.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you're surrounded by the people and things you love on this holiday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10 years later...

okay not really, but that is always what I say to DH when something is taking forever. So sorry it's taken me forever to write reviews and post pictures. It seems as tho one day leads into the next and here we are the middle of February already.

First up is an Ottobre Woman t-shirt I made from the 2/2007 issue. I made this right before our cruise and packed it with me. I love it and see many more variations of this in my future. My review can be read on PR.

Next up is another one of my Grandma's aprons. I got this fabric on clearance at Joann's around Christmas and it was in my "to do" pile so I decided to whip up a new one real quick - I need a little bright colors right now anyway with all the dull winter weather that is around.

While I was a Super Bowl widow, I got a chance to make Will a new sweatshirt (per his request). It turned out perfect and is from the current issue of Ottobre (1/2008). He adores it and has wore it countless times already ~ here is my review on PR.

My oldest son needed some new pants (as usual), so last week I experimented with a pattern from the 3/2002 issue of Burda WOF that was a pair of elastic waist pants. I made a wearable muslin first and took the alterations to the pattern (slicing and dicing) and this was my end result. He loves them and particularly loves the Pirate Ship embroidered on the pocket. I used red Jeans Stitch thread for the topstitching and added some knee patches to the front so increase the longevity of wear (hopefully). More info on these pants is in my review.

I have two cousin-in-laws who are pregnant, but are not finding out the gender of their babies. So I've been working on some gender neutral items for the both of them. Here are two baby gowns from Kwik Sew 3090 and hats from New Conceptions Baby Essentials pattern.

A sleep sack from Kwik Sew 3089

And last but not least, a shopping cart seat cover. The pink one below is one I made this past fall for my aunt's granddaughter. I'm posting them so you can see what they look like in the shopping cart. Yesterday I made a gender neutral one for this weekend's shower. I also posted a review of this pattern on PR today. It was a super easy pattern and is only $3 on eBay!

Now for a bit of family fun. DH & I have been talking about taking our kids to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, OR for quite some time. We decided to make the 2.5 hour trek this past Saturday and the kids were so excited. Unfortunately they have changed it since we were last there and there wasn't as much to see, plus the packing line is closed on the weekend. It turned out to be a dud of a trip, tho the kids thought it was fun. On the way home, we drove up the coast line, making a loop and seeing different scenery. We stopped in a little town called Seaside and walked around a bit, but Andy was getting tired and onrery, plus the sprinkles were starting to come down, so back in the van we went and traveled home. It was a fun family day even tho the tour of the factory was a bust. Here are a few pictures from our day.

Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yay Me!!!!

Well today I have the privilege of being a football widow (I'm so sad football is over - wahh!). Since we're in the midst of tax season and I got all the documents in the mail this past week, I first got that chore out of the way. It took me a bit longer than expected, however I always like to be careful and double check my work to make sure I entered everything in the program correctly and it jives with what our return looked like last year. Thankfully I got that all done and efiled (I even got an email a less than 4 hours later that the IRS accepted my return already - woo hoo!). And the best news is we get a little refund back (which means I did the math correctly when figuring out our exemptions for the year on DH's W-4 ~ they didn't get to use our money for free for the year and we didn't have to pay them anything).

So after all my tax stuff was buttoned up, I got busy finishing up some pants I made for my oldest son that I started earlier in the week (from an old Burda WOF) and then I also made my middle son a sweatshirt per his request (from the new 1/2008 Ottobre magazine). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all fits perfectly and I can post reviews and pictures in the next day or so. Hope your day was as productive as mine was! :-)