Coffee Date Friday!

Hola y’all! How’s it going? Things have been pretty chill in these parts. I’ve been spending most of my downtime doodling, enjoying the daydreaming process of sewing. I feel like I do that more than anything else. Always daydreaming, grading patterns in my head, picturing fabrics in my stash, wondering best ways to finish seams on this shirt or that dress. I have so many ideas that I often feel too paralyzed to start on any. So I decided to get them all down. I started doodling and all my hurried thoughts started to slow down. Now I know the next project I want to pounce on. I’ve been craving frosting like nothing else. But then…the practical side of me thinks I need some cake to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe. Oh, what is a girl to do?! Doodle some more.

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1) I must, I must, I must conqueror Darling Ranges. I’m not one to quit on a pattern. I really enjoy grading and fitting so I am happily taking up the challenge of getting this dress to fit me. Megan has provided a tutorial on how to change the bust darts to waist darts. And even how to go about making a tunic version. Huzzah! 2) A Cambie dress in a vibrant Vlisco fabric would be DREAMY. 3) Sureau. I like to call this dress Darling Ranges’s easy (not in the slutty way. More like the easy-to-get-along-with way) French cousin.

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4) My Clover pants have yet to let me down. I wear them long and hard. I end up with thigh holes in them (chub rub, anyone?). They took a while to fit but it’s my tried and true trouser pattern. We’re BFF…forever. I need a red twill pair. And a grey twill pair. And another denim pair. More, more, more. 5) ARCHER shirt. I’ve had this pattern ready to go for ages. I just need to cut up my lovely Robert Kaufman Dotted Chambray up and get to it. (Check out the denim Clovers I paired it with). 6) I’ve had the Tania culottes ready to go for ages, too. I have some cranberry rayon challis asking to be used. A pair needs to happen soon, especially with the warm days coming.

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7) Simplicity 5401 (vintage) is a sweet shirt dress that I fell in love with on Etsy. 8) Rachel helped me fit the Juniper pants and I want to re-visit them. They will have a slimmer leg. I just can pull off the baggy leg look. 9) Summers call for lovely maxi dresses/skirts. Simplicity 1801 fits the bill.

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10) The Anna dress. Am I the only person in blogland who hasn’t made it yet? 11) A nice classic khaki skirt would add a lot of versatility to my summer wardrobe. Enter Beignet. 12) Followed by a grey twill Kelly.

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Now here’s my tempting, tasty, buttercream frosting. 13) Simplicity 1803 in Michael Miller’s Park Landscape fabric. 14) Another popular blogland favorite, Simplicity 2444. I’d like this lady to be made using another Vlisco fabric I have in my stash. I’m leaning towards working on this one for my birthday. I’ll have two months to work on it here and there. And I’ll have a special occasion to wear it for. Even if that mean wearing it to the backyard to grill a burger or something.

Happy weekend!

Ollie’s Birthday Shirt

I had some reservations about making the Oliver+S Sketchbook shirt. I haven’t made one since Greg’s Negroni, and let’s just say he’s super polite to wear it because, y’all, it’s a mess. I don’t dare look at it now because I might forget all about the sentimentality it stands for and burn it.

I also haven’t been sewing as much as I would like, so I feel quite rusty. With the test garment, I decided to take my time. Well…I had no choice. I was only able to work on it here and there, in between naps and bedtime. But it’s amazing how your sewing quality shoots up a couple of notches when you don’t rush. Funny that. Note to self: TAKE YOUR TIME. I am so used to rushing through garments that most of them have cruddy innards and have fallen apart after a handful of washes. My mending pile is huge. Such a shame.

Because of baby I have to slow down and really concentrate at the work at hand. Thanks baby! Oh should I saw, toddler? Whoa.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I had a devil of a time using the one-step buttonhole attachment on my machine. The buttonholes just would not finish the process. I’m guessing the buttonhole foot just did not like the placket. Or maybe my tension was off? I didn’t try to figure the issue out. I unpicked (oh vey!!!) the bad buttonholes and you can barely see the damage they caused on the placket. With time ticking away, I grabbed my hammer. Enter pearl snaps. Months ago, when I was planning my Archer, I impulse purchased a bunch of pearl snaps. Thank goodness.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

Another useful purchase for this project was the blind hemming/edge stitching foot. So useful for topstitching the collar, cuffs, hem, and plackets. Too bad I bought it before realizing I already had one! D’oh! Silly Mela. At least it didn’t cost much.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I love the under collar so!

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I encountered a few hiccups while doing the sleeves. It wasn’t until I finally set them in that I realized I wanted to do a French seam. I could’ve unpicked them and start all over again but this shirt was the first one to give me grief when inserting a sleeve. When I finally got them in without puckers I felt quite a bit of relief. So no way was I unpicking them. I zig-zagged the edges and called it a day.

Another hiccup was putting in the snaps on the wrong side on the cuffs. The sleeve plackets should lie flat but if you look in the photo they turn up. Oh well. Not enough snaps to take them out and re-do. And I don’t think Ollie minds so much :)

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

The intention when making this shirt was for it to be made up from the inner yoke fabric. The chambray version was just my test version. Time ran out and it became the final version :) But it worked out great because it goes well with any accessories. Chambray is totally a blank canvas, a gorgeous neutral to work with.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

Using some yummy leftover Liberty tana lawn I made Ollie a bow tie to go along with his new shirt. This fabric has been such a giver. I’ve made so much from it: bibs, burp cloths, my maternity dress, and now the bow tie. And I still have scraps of it left.

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I still have to make his other shirt, the one originally set to be his birthday shirt. Now that spring has sprung I am going to skip the long sleeves and go short. That will make the process go faster. He might just get to wear it before fall!

Here’s one last shot of my boy wearing his duds.

Dapper Dude

Coffee Date #5

Hola! We got home a couple of days ago and I’m still recovering from all the running around we did. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed with your favorite sheets and pillows. My brain is very much like putty. All I can say is that we had a great time visiting family and friends. Ollie had a blast meeting everyone for the first time.

I almost thought I wouldn’t manage to squeeze in a haircut and a quick trip to the Fabric District. But we did! And Ollie did pretty well overall during the flight, thanks to all the suggestions on how to keep him distracted. He fussed more on the way back, due to missing a nap. But we all survived. I am already looking forward to returning to NYC and just playing tourist.

But anyway, here’s our week in pics!

Happy birthday? Birthday Hat hater.

Happy birthday? Birthday hat hater.

Time for some sugar, baby!

Time for some sugar, baby! Birthday cake on his actual birthday.

Yum...He was mostly an icing type of guy.

Yum…He was mostly an icing type of guy.

Birthday duds, shirt of tie made by mama.

Birthday party duds, shirt and tie (fabric also used here) made by mama

My loves

My loves

My beautiful sister

My beautiful sister

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Birthday cake part deux

Birthday cake part deux

Hairs cut

Hairs cut

I likey

I likey

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The curls trying to come back. Wavelicious.

The curls trying to come back after a day. Wavelicious.

12 month photo!

Quite the gent at 1 year old

Can't believe my little guy is  toddler

Can’t believe my little guy is toddler

Such a charmer

Such a charmer. The people at Mood LOVED him. When he became a flirt, I don’t know.

Months 1 through 12

Months 1 through 12

We have had a wonderful year with our little guy. I never imagined finding so much happiness in all the things he does, little and big. I’m really looking forward to his next milestone: walking! I think life will get more exciting and hectic once that starts. Call me crazy but I am looking forward to it. Trips to the park will be a bit more fun. I may eat my words later!

I’ll be back soon to share some detailed pics of Ollie’s shirt. Happy weekend!

Linking up with Rags to Stitches for coffee date.

Coffee Date #…I can’t remember

Hello!

Thanks so much for all the advice on cutting down on internet time. Now all I have to do it work on it, because, you know what, I haven’t. As soon as I gave myself the pass to get back online on Tuesdays I forgot about decreasing my Internet time. D’oh! Well, at least I have some great tips to work with so at least there’s that. Thanks again for those who chimed in.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that… we (meaning me. Hubbie is really afraid of flying with a toddler…toddler…what?!!) are super excited about our trip to New York. Excited about seeing family and celebrating our son’s birthday, but you know what’s not exciting? All the impending snow. I mean, really? Can the country get a break? I’m asking local mommy friends if I can borrow a snowsuit because we don’t have one. It feels silly to buy one to wear for a handful of days. Fingers crossed we find one.

One of the things I miss the most of living in NYC is the access to inexpensive haircuts. I’m talking $25 for a wash, cut, and style. Yup. I am so looking forward to cutting my hairs off. I haven’t had a haircut since I was six months pregnant. I am long overdue for a change.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetI’ve been debating going for a super short ‘do. I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to style my hair. Something short and sassy would be awesome. I *think* I can pull off a short ‘do. If not, that’s what headbands are for :) I’m gonna go for it! Here’s a picture of what I’m considering (and feel free to tell me if you think I’m bananas).

*Sips coffee*

That’s about it. My life is pretty much full of the same ‘ole same ‘ole. I made a bit of headway with my son’s wearable muslin. I’m enjoying taking my time with the shirt-making process and really paying attention to the small details. I decided on the muslin to test out all the new-to-me techniques: plackets and edge-stitching. But now I wish I made the shirts in an assemble line. I might have to pull a mini sewing marathon Sunday and put his birthday shirt together.

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And that’s it for now. I’m looking forward to sharing our trip home with y’all. Maybe I will be able to tell you all about the warm sun and rainbows we experienced. Yes? Yes. Here’s hoping!

Sunday’s Friday Coffee Date

My Friday Coffee Dates might turn into just random coffee dates at this point. I don’t know where my head is. Actually, that’s a lie. It has been in the kitchen. Surprise, surprise.

With two occasions planned for the long weekend (Valentine’s Day and my mothers’ group celebration for all the babies turning one year old), I spent Friday and Saturday baking. I swear, I do other stuff. Really. But the social events all seem to be packed together lately. Not that I mind. I do like a good bake-off, even if it’s just me I’m competing against :)

First up was a super decadent Rice Krispie and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. I made them for our V-Day dessert and took all the leftovers to the birthday party. They are bananas. Bananas in a super fun devilishly bad way. One brownie was more than enough. These would go well at a winter holiday party. Warm weather would melt these bad boys fast so serving at a summer picnic would be no bueno.

Rice Krispie and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Also for the party I made a cinnamon salted caramel macaron.

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Macaron // Pincushion Treats

Since moving back to the States I had yet to make a successful batch of macs. These were my third try, using the Italian meringue method, and it proved promising. Half the batch came out looking and having a different texture than the other half. That just means I have to keep trying until I get them mostly right (I think there’s always a few rogues shells that refuse to come out well).

In sewing news, I am giving the Sketchbook shirt pattern a go. My birthdays have always felt really special to me. Because of that I really want to start a tradition of making something for Ollie to wear on his birthday (of course, until he tells me he no longer wants me to). I chose this happy fabric. Isn’t it the cutest?!

Birthday Shirt//Pincushion Treats

Working on it will get me prepared to finally tackle the Archer shirt. I cut and graded that pattern when it was first released. Making one is so overdue.

In other news, we basked in the sunshine. After four days of rain, we happily went on walks and couldn’t believe how bad things were in the east coast when it was so darn warm in California. Now I know why real estate comes at a premium here. You pay for the amazing weather.

Sunshine Day//Pincushion Treats

Sunshine Day//Pincushion Treats

In other other news, I’ve been thinking about one of my new year goals. In the beginning of the year I decided to decrease my online activity. I spend far too much time on my smartphone or on the computer. In order to decrease my addiction (yes, I definitely look at my phone far more than needed), I decided to abstain from the internet on Tuesdays. At first I felt so free. Sure, I thought about all the blogs I was missing, or all the emails that were going unread, but I didn’t mind. I was appreciating reading a book, knitting, or just playing a bit extra with my son. I thought I would slowly, hopefully, start not wanting to go online.

Not true.

This past Tuesday I felt particularly silly, not going online when all I wanted to do was read my blog subscriptions. I wondered, what am I getting out of this experience? I still want to indulge in social media and not going online feels like I’m on a horrible diet. So yeah, that’s what I’m feeling and I am considering giving up on my goal. I just don’t see the point in doing without because I’m not seeing a change in my need to be online. Ugh. So disappointing. I really want to not want to be so connected.

*Edit* My husband gently suggested that perhaps my approach on trying to decrease my online time was a bit off. That maybe I should try limiting myself to a few hours a day. Hmmm…I might have to give that some thought. I like the idea of turning off the phone and computer for the day at dinner time.

Anyone else out there going coo coo over all the time they waste spend online?

Coffee Date #3

coffee

Hello! So I totally missed our date last week. Sorry! I was busy in the kitchen prepping for a tea party I hosted. I love hosting parties. Do you? I just wish I was better at bringing the WOW factor to the table. I always find that I need more pretty; I need to figure out how to create it.

Tea Party with Pincushion Treats

Other than replicating what’s on a Martha Stewart webpage, I’m stumped. I’m just not that creative when it comes to decorating the table. Or my house for that matter.

Our place still looks like we just moved in: no photos on the wall, no hanging artwork, nothing. It’s hard when you’re renting to make a place a home Well I find it so. There are only so many holes in the wall you’re allowed and I think we’ve met our quota with the recent baby gate installation and all the artwork hanging in the baby’s room (his room is the only one that is complete. Of course).

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What wouldn’t I give to have someone decorate our home. I’m just not into decorating. I don’t see beyond a throw or some simple pillows. Places like Marshalls, TJ/TK Maxx overwhelm me. Doesn’t help matters that I don’t know where my home decor tastes lie. Anyhoo…

Nothing much more to report other than my boy is 11 months today! 11 months! Holy schnitzel! He’s looking more and more like a little boy. Sure I am a bit sad he’s no longer a baby. But my goodness, how good it feels to finally have a boy that is sleeping longer (WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO) and can sorta communicate. And his constant showing of understanding and knowledge leaves me gobsmacked. I am enjoying this boy so so much. He’s very independent, inquisitive, determined, and quite the comedian. Being his mama is truly an honor.

11 Months!

Sorry to leave you with that sappy bit but I am off to top off my cuppa. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am hoping to get some sewing done, assembly style. Nothing exciting, just a few bits I plan to sell at a flea market hosted by my mommy group. Later gators!

Linking up with Rags to Stitches for coffee date.

A Crib-sized King Quilt

My best friend had a baby; a daughter named King. Before she was born I knew I wanted to make her a quilt. I pictured it growing with baby, from the crib, to being used to build a fort, and eventually used as a lap blanket while studying at college. I had every intent of getting it to her mama before she was born, but you know, life got in the way. Several baby naps later I managed to make this yummy wonky square quilt. I used a lovely charm pack called Nature’s Basket. Some of the prints resembled cross-stitching, a perfect reference to my new cross-stitching mama friend. She makes amazing work.

Letters from Home Quilt Pattern// Made by Pincushion Treats

I tried my hand at embroidery. Took me a couple of tries to get the stitches looking the same. This little taste of stitching makes me want to do some more. Perhaps on the couch while watching TV. That sounds super pleasant (Mind to self: work on an embroidery project).

Letters from Home Quilt Pattern// Made by Pincushion Treats

As much as I really really really wanted to hand-sew the binding, I didn’t. I was too anxious to get the quilt (and a wee outfit) to King before she got too much older. As nice and relaxing as hand-sewing can be, it takes me a long time, especially with so many interruptions.

Letters from Home Quilt Pattern// Made by Pincushion Treats

Quilts are still very new to me. This is only my second one. With that said, I really wish I had basted the layers (tips, any tips on this, please!!!) and quilted them better. But I guess those little imperfections make it unique.

Crib Size King Quilt

Not wanting to waste the extra bits I cut off I added them to the backing. I tore the grey cotton backing in two before I could think too much on how to execute the idea I had in my head. Glad it worked out!

I was super happy that the quilt arrived safely and can now keep King company during tummy time. Or nap time. Or what ever time mama sees fit.

Coffee Date #2

coffee

Coffee time!

Guess what? We finally made it out! Poor little dude did not enjoy the ride. We went out again yesterday and he cried 10 minutes in oppose to the 20 minutes before. We had to turn back. To be honest, the seat does not look comfortable; it’s not rigid. Next time I am going to try placing a rolled up wash cloth on his lower back to offer some support.

But y’all, I made it out. And no one pointed and laughed. Woo hoo! I am going to take it slow and not beat myself up if I won’t run regularly. But I will put on my running gear and just go for a walk if nothing else. I did that yesterday and ended up running here and there. Felt good.

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On the other side of things, here’s the yummy cinnamon sugar swirled pecan raisin loaf I made. I find baking to be a lot easier to do with an active baby. With the sewing room being upstairs I can’t easily look in on him while he plays. While he plays in the living room, I can pop in and check on him as I bake. It’s nice to be able to create something and the kitchen offers that outlet regularly. Do you have another creative outlet other than sewing?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs a way to get better acquainted with my husband’s DSLR I decided to take a weekly portrait of my son. This is one of the outtakes. He’s OBSESSED with water. Not a bad thing except when he decides he wants to fill up on it rather than solids. Kid can drink.

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Thanks for joining me for some coffee, or tea, if you prefer :). See you next week, if not before.

Linking up with Rags to Stitches for coffee date.

Coffee Date Friday

coffee

Katie introduced her readers to the Coffee Date Friday series by Rags to Stitches. The idea is to have a chat over some coffee, about anything or everything. I enjoy reading about Katie’s life outside of sewing, so I figured I would join in since it would be a great way to keep in touch with y’all in between projects.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I am battling with my return to running. I had every intention of starting when my son was six months. Little dude is 10 months and I have only taken the baby jogger out on a spin once. Once! I can’t help but be afraid to start. Afraid I won’t ever be as strong as I used to. Afraid I won’t see my goal through. Afraid at how I might look to others running (this is quite new to me, I’ve never been that self-conscious while training). Afraid of all the work and commitment. So yeah…I just can’t seem to gather enough courage to head outside the door. A new excuse always pops up: it’s too hot, too cold, my wicking shirts look awful on me, where can I run to and encounter no people traffic, and so on. But I can say this, I’m wearing my running gear. Baby steps ;) I’ll get started…eventually. Gotta combat the muscle in between my ears before I can flex the rest.

If we were having coffee…I would talk your ear off at how excited I am about my baby’s first birthday. His FIRST birthday. I cannot begin to tell you the joy he has brought into our lives. We cannot wait to celebrate with our family and friends in Brooklyn, in two months. There will be pizza, cupcakes, and laughter. Priorities. If you’ve taken your toddler on a super long flight, please share your words of wisdom.

And with that said, I would hope you can give me any tips as to where to shop in the garment district. You see, I’ve never shopped there. Since learning to sew back in 2010 I’ve never been in NYC long enough to take a shopping detour. And yes, I will remember my stash diet. With it being a special occasion, I can afford a souvenir or two :)

If we were having coffee…I would also mention that we’ve booked a trip to Austin in April. I am looking forward to exploring the city that used to be our home and has since grown a bunch. Tips on where to eat would also be great! Of course all our favorites will be visited, Gourdough’s, Vivo, Amy’s Ice Cream (where G and I had our first date…awww), just to name a few.

So what have y’all been up to? Pull up a chair, the more the merrier.

Linking up with Rags to Stitches for coffee date.

Pitter Patter

My first item for 2014 is complete. Never mind that I was working on these moccasins for, like, a month. They are done and I love them. I first saw the Lil’ Papoose Moccasins pattern featured in a post by True Bias. I instantly knew my little bubba needed a pair several pairs.

Lil Papoose Moccasins by Pincushion Treats

So I hopped on Etsy and purchased some lovely leather remnants. If you know of any good places to order leather remnants, let me know. I bought enough to make three pairs, or four, if I’m lucky. I’d love to make these and give them as gifts.

I used grey-lilac and black leather. I chose the most boring colors of the bunch to use as a test run. And what a test run it was! The black leather was super slick and would not feed through my machine no matter how many times I changed the settings and pleaded. I shared my woes on Instagram and Gail came to the rescue. Sandwiched between tissue paper the leather breezed through the machine. Phew. I was quite sure I was going to have to add it to my unfinished projects pile. Thanks again, Gail!

Lil Papoose Moccasins by Pincushion Treats

I sewed the top edge of the fringe using different widths, in hopes of getting the elastic through easier through the wider gap. But I much prefer the narrow gap. Looks cleaner. I’ll definitely make future versions like that.

Lil Papoose Moccasins by Pincushion Treats

I used the wrong side of the leather for the soles in hopes that would offer better traction on slippery floors.

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Ollie does not stay still. Ever. He is always going, going, gone…

Won't stay still. Ever.

Getting him to model was something out of a sitcom. I blame him for all the blur in the photos :)

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I finally got some assistance from my husband and managed to get a few shots with him actually wearing the shoes. They are about an inch too big. If I decide to make him a pair that fits it will have to be soon because I might take another month to get it done. And by then they might fit for a short time.

Won't stay still. Ever.

Aside from trying to get the slippery leather fed through my machine, I found stitching the elastic together so fiddly. It’s so narrow and it was so hard to get it under the needle just right. I might just hand sew it next time.

I totally want to make a pair of gold leather ones!