Friday, May 24, 2013

Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em!

Call them what you will: Hammer pants, genie pants, harem pants, parachute pants... but I think we can agree that these pants are controversial, at best, when worn by fully grown adults.  
But on a toddler?  Dooooood:

Photo from Suburbia Soup
So cute.

So when I saw this brand new, free pattern from Suburbia Soup to make toddler sized Hammer pants, I downloaded, printed and sewed it up pretty much right away.  

Maybe it's misplaced 90's nostalgia (remember those genie pants I made you sew me when I was in middle school, Martha?), maybe it's a version of Stockholm syndrome after living in Southeast Asia on the Banana Pancake Trail for over a year and a half, constantly seeing harem pants clad backpackers romping around (a good drinking game while on the SE Asia tourist trail: chug every time you see harem pants, white person dreadlocks, or a Bintang/Beer Chang/Beer Lao/333 singlet), maybe it's just because they're freaking cute, but I love them.

Made from some machine-printed batik I had in my stash, but I can see this pattern working quite well with many of the batiks I've got.  Can't wait to see Zoe in them!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flowered Baby Romper

I can't get enough baby rompers.

This one is from an old school pattern (Simplicity 8812) than Martha gave me... it dates back to 1970 and it looked like someone had used it before, so perhaps Jennifer or Michael had a matching romper back in the day.  This one is for Mr. Ben and Erin... Tim is heading to Bangkok next week, hence the spate of baby sewing for those two.  Tim will act as our handmade baby clothes mule.

The legs were supposed to be elasticized at the bottom, but I ran out of narrow elastic and was too lazy to make the trip to Toko Maju for more.  Instead I took a cue from the Bubble Pocket Shorts I just made and sewed on a cuff, gathering the leg holes to fit.  I used flowered fabric leftover from this dress I made a few months ago.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Batik Bubble Pocket Shorts

Another cute pattern from Elegance and Elephants, made with navy batik (leftover from this Scout tee and the bandana I made Scuba Steve... I am getting my money's worth out of this piece of batik!).  I used the batik's border print for the cuffs.  I alllllllmost got the batik to match up across the seams, almost.  Completely inadvertent.

Here's a side view of the bubble pocket:

These are for Mr. Ben and Erin's baby, due in a few months.  I made the 6-12 months size and it was quite easy to put together.  The only problem I ran into is that the leg cuffs were a little large for the legs, but I am pretty sure that's due to a late night measuring error on my part.  More of these to come, for sure! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Batik Ruffle Tunic

One of my to-do list items, check!


This is the ruffle top pattern from Elegance & Elephants, the tunic version... for Zoe, of course. 
Quite cute, very easy to put together...  I made it with some bright pink batik left over from the Grainline Tiny Pocket tank that I made before Christmas.  The batik had a border print that I left off the tank top because it was a bit twee for an adult, but it worked perfectly here for the ruffles!

I could definitely see lots of variations for this top.  I love the versions with contrast side panels that I saw on imagine gnats, as well as the ruffle-less piped version at StraightGrain.

Lincoln tried it on... he thinks it's cute and comfortable, but not his color:

Batik Beach Cover Ups!

I wanted a new beach cover-up for our diving trip to Bunaken (photos here, here, here, and here, plus more coming), preferably one that covered my shoulders and chest (most commonly sunburned areas) and that was made from woven fabric, since all my knit cover ups got super stretched out after many beach and diving trips over the past several months (not having a dryer exacerbates this, for sure).

I decided to dredge up the Burdastyle Anda dress pattern (which I used somewhat successfully here and more successfully here) and grab some batik fabric from my stash... ta daaaa:

I busted this out over the course of a few hours.. using packaged bias tape helped, as did making the entire waistband elastic rather than making a tie. The dye in the fabric ran a little bit during the trip because I didn't pre-wash it.  Oops!

Colleen was digging my cover-up, so I told her I would make her one.  She picked up some beautiful batik while in The Big Durian and I rocked this out this week:

And finally, so that Scuba Steve wouldn't feel left out of the handmade party or leave Indonesia without any batik (god forbid!), I made him a bandana with some navy batik leftover from a Scout shirt I made my friend Brooke before Christmas.  Hopefully it comes in handy on his round-the-world travels!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chocolate Ricotta Pie

Mmmmm... this pie is good.

Tim and I had some leftover ricotta after making lasagna over the weekend.  I wanted to do something sweet with it (visions of cannoli dancing in my head... but that's too complicated for a weeknight), so I did some Googling and found this well-reviewed Giada recipe for chocolate ricotta pie.  I made a couple substitutions... almonds instead of pine nuts [much cheaper], milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet [it's all I had at the house] and I decreased the amount of simple syrup in light of the milk chocolate substitution.

Tim and I really liked it... the filling is creamy and light and the crust has a nice nutty crunch from the almonds and cornmeal.  Good stuff.  This would make a good fancy looking but not actually hard to make dish for a dinner party or holiday.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Outfits in Action

It's super fun for me to see my handiwork in action, particularly when modeled by such a cute kid. 
So much better than just looking at it on the hanger!

Here's Miss Z, rocking (quite literally) her goose fabric dress (from the free Junebug pattern at Craftiness is not Optional) on Mother's Day.  Adorable:

And here she is in her flowered overalls, mixing, matching, playing, pigtailing... I may have to make another pair with longer legs! Or perhaps a shorts version?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Granola Bars: Finally, a Winner!!

I have made what seems like endless granola bars, searching for the perfect combination of taste and texture...  usually the recipes are good in one department and not so much in the other.   This recipe, though, is a winner on both counts.  Chewy and crunchy (not too sticky or crumbly), sweet, salty and nutty.  Mmmm.  Thanks, Ina.

I made them last minute (hence the blurry airport cell phone pic) as a travel snack for our looooong one taxi-two flights-one car-two boats journey to Bunaken... good stuff.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Twinsie Sweaters

Over Christmas, Meg and I went to Martha's version of a kid in a candy store, WebsWebs is a giant warehouse of yarn, super fancy to nice yarn.  There I found probably 15 balls of this fun, spring time yarn that has great colors for little Miss Zoe!  Once we found out that Baby Dos was going to be a girl, I started thinking about twinsie outfits!  This was also my first non-rectangle/square knit project, so I went onto Ravelry to find this easy, but very cute sweater.

Miss Zoe's:

Miss Anna's:



 Annnnnd Miss Zoe modeling!:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Craftin': In Progress, In the Scrap Pile, In the Queue

In progress:

1. Knitbot's Spring Ribbed Cardigan (here's the Ravelry page) in Cascade Yarns Cotton Rich DK bought at Webs during their post-Christmas blow-out sale:

2. Colette Peony, perhaps in a beautiful blue Balinese ikat once I get the bodice fit right on this one-sleeved muslin (made from an old Ikea duvet cover, below).  I think I need to raise the waist a half inch, shift the bust darts slightly and take out a wedge of fabric from the back, as I am getting a massive bulge along the seam... I think it's called a swayback adjustment?

3. Diane Kimono Dress by Sew Serendipity: I have a muslin of this one made out of some crazy fabric from Martha... the top part only (below).  I'm having a little bit of a gap problem at the neckline, hate the facings, which keep popping out, and am finding the waistband to be entirely too fiddly.  When I make the tunic/beach cover-up version I am planning to make from some batik, I may skip the waistband and just sew some elastic on the inside.  We'll see.

4. Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen: I have a muslin in the works, but the bust darts are giving me a headache.  Trying figure out a) what changes I need to make and b) how to make them. 

5. Crochet wire and bead necklaces for the Jenneth wedding party... drafted, but still awaiting final instructions: 

In the scrap pile:

1. Ug, Butterick 5561, I shake my fist at you!  I'm not sure why I thought this top would be flattering, and maybe I made a poor fabric choice, but what I ended up with looked unfortunately like a hospital gown, both in shape and color.  What a waste of a pretty fabric (Lisette lawn, to be specific)!  I tried to salvage it by changing out the ill-fitting facings with some bias tape and gathering the front... no dice, neckline still wonky.  Then I decided give the waist some shirring for some shape.  That helped a little, but it still looks like a maternity shirt.  I did learn how to use elastic thread for shirring, though, which is exciting!

2. I started this "1 hour dress" well over a year ago, but it was a hot, lumpy mess for me...  I may try to turn the material into a pencil skirt a la Mimi G?

In the queue: 

1. Bubble Pocket Shorts and Ruffle Top from Elegance and Elephants... for Zoe, of course.
2. Jersey Knit Dress as seen on Prudent Baby (free pattern!), maybe from from an old t-shirt?
2. Layer Cake Skirt, also from Prudent Baby, a good use of scraps from other projects
3. High-Low Gathered Back Shirt from Cotton&Curls... maybe a modified Grainline Scout Tee or a Tiny Pocket Tank?
4.  Newcastle Cardigan from Thread Theory when it's released, maybe?  A cute hipster cardigan for Tim, a follow-up to his Negroni.
5. Victory Patterns Nicola: Perhaps using some batik rayon challis I have in my stash... 
6. Simplicity 2684: Batik ruffle pants and tank for Miss Zoe?  Or perhaps Miss Anna! Thanks for the pattern, Chazay
7. Ella Raglan Blouse from I Think Sew: simple and cute.
8. Many, many others!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rocking the Rayon

My first foray into sewing with rayon... dudes, this stuff is slippery.  Pins slide out, it slips off the cutting and sewing tables, the edges shred like crazy.  Definitely a learning experience, sewing this dress.

I bought this batik print rayon at Toko Sariniah here in Jakarta.  It had a border print along one selvage edge, which required some funky cutting to make it work.  I decided to use it with the Painted Portrait pattern that I used for a couple tops a few weeks ago, but this time I made the dress version...


I added 4 inches to the bottom of the dress so that it hits me at the knee and I cut the back yoke piece on the fold, skipping the button.  I finished the neckline with bias tape instead of facings.  Also, I sewed French seams throughout since the fabric was so shreddy.

I think it came out pretty cute- ridiculously comfortable due to the slinky rayon.  It does have a bit of a nightgown feel to it, but I think if I find the right skinny belt to pair with it, it would give it some more shape.  Here it is with a thicker belt, which I don't love: