Monday, September 30, 2013

Eli Baby Top

I whipped up a shortened version of this knit Eli Baby Dress for Anna... it came out pretty cute!  I love how the lacy leaves form the neckline.  It'll probably fit her in the spring/early summer.

I made it into a top rather than a dress by stopping at row 60 and then adding the seed stitch hem.  I also sewed a button on the back and crocheted a tiny button loop with the long tail left over from my cast-on rather than using ties.  

Made with Plymouth Yarn's Grass (a cotton and hemp mix) in a blue/gray color.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last Minute Batiking

Who went a little crazy with the last-minute, pre-move batik shopping this weekend?

This guy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

See Kate Sew's Easy Summer Baby Dress

Whipped up this teeny baby dress for Mr. Ben and Erin's little one using See Kate Sew's free and awesomely easy pattern:

Same fabric combo as my pleated playsuit.

Can't wait to see it on her in a month or two when it fits her!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shiitake and Pumpkin Ravioli

I'm cleaning out my cabinets (as well as the freezer and fridge) this week because.. wait for it... Tim and I are moving to Bangkok, Thailand.  Woo!  More details to come soon over at the other blog.  For purposes of this blog, moving means cooking and eating through the substantial pantry I have built up over the past couple years here in Jakarta.  This meal made a dent, taking care of: a can of pumpkin, half a container of walnuts, parmesan cheese, and a pack of gyoza wrappers from the freezer.

I used this recipe for shiitake and pumpkin ravioli, although I changed it up a teeny bit, using regular soy sauce in lieu of tamari and rosemary in lieu of sage.  Also, for the sauce, I browned the butter with a handful of chopped walnuts and minced rosemary.  Awesomesauce.  Literally.

I highly recommend this recipe- it's super easy and quite a tasty delight.  The sweetness from the pumpkin is great with the savory/umami of the mushrooms and soy.  Perfect!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cucumber Mint Martini

Cucumber, mint, gin, lime juice, simple syrup.. mmm.  Tim made this martini, AKA "The Ellison," minus the bitters (because we didn't have any), last week.  Fresh and tasty!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

By Hand London's Victoria Blazer in Balinese Ikat

I missed jumping on the initial By Hand London bandwagon, but my patterns have finally made it around the world to me and I am running to catch up and jump on! 

The Victoria Blazer sewalong was held in July while I was on the road with Martha, so I wasn't able to join in, but I was thinking about their cool and casual blazer constantly and admiring others' versions as they popped up on ye olde interwebs (this one and this one and this one and this one... I die.).  Since I couldn't get the blazer off of my mind, while in Ubud, Bali, Martha and I picked out these two pieces of gorgeous hand-woven Balinese ikat fabric specifically for the Victoria (as well as a shit ton of ikat for other purposes!).  A beautiful patterned ikat for the outside and a coordinating "solid" for the lining, lapel, collar and cuffs.  I say "solid" because the fabric is woven from at least 10 different colors, giving it a slightly stripey appearance and picking up all the colors of the pattern on the shell fabric.

I love my new blazer!  It's the perfect blend of slouchy and stylin'- I think it will look equally good with jeans or to work with a pencil skirt.  It's definitely got a little bit of an '80s vibe to it that I dig.  I also adore the permanently turned up sleeves.  The fabric works well for this pattern, I think- it's super light and airy, perfect for sweaty southeast Asia days.  I love how the pattern on the ikat jived with the Victoria: I centered the pattern down the center of the back, down each side front and down each arm.  Looks pretty badass if I do say so myself!:

My version came together really quickly- it was so easy!  I've never made anything even remotely blazer-esque and yet this process was totally smooth sailing (it helps that there are no closures and not any significant tailoring).   I can't wait to make more!

And finally: please excuse these photos... there are several things going on here that make them kooky: 
  • It's 7 am, which turns out to be the only daylight hour that I am awake with someone to take my photo since the sun sets at 6 predictably every night on the equator.  Hence the sunglasses to cover my sleepy eyes.  But it kinda goes with the Miami Vice shape of the blazer, no?
  • I just got my hair cut the day before, which explains the too-short bangs and weird waves, since my hair dresser insisted on styling it with the big curly waves favored by the wealthy Indonesians.  But anywho...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hosh Pants + Bimaa Sweater = Eeeeexcellent

I'd had my eye on LouBee's Hosh pants and Bimaa sweater patterns for Zoe and Anna for a while now... I ended up buying them for two completely different reasons: 1) a Labor Day sale (I love a good sale!) and 2) I learned that Sarah, the designer behind LouBee grew up in Western Massachusetts. Shout out to Western Mass!  I may not have lived there (Springfield, specifically) since I was 19, but I still have pride.  Gotta support my peeps!

OK, so anyway, the patterns: stretchy skinny pants with a cool adjustable waistband?  Don't mind if I do.  I know the Hosh pants are fairly similar to the Lovely Rita pants I've made recently, but they've got a couple cool factors: they have no side seams, which means the pattern on your fabric can run uninterrupted around the leg aaaaaand it means two less seams to sew, bonus.  Plus the adjustable waistband, as I mentioned.  Score.  My version is made from some stretchy bottomweight in shades of purple paisley, care of Martha's stash.  

And the Bimaa sweater: so cute!  When I read that it now came with a hoodie option I was sold.  Plus the other two variations are equally awesome: cowl neck and shawl collar.   I went with the shawl collar this time because of fabric limitations.  This is a nice soft, thick ribbed knit that I bought at Joann's last time I was in the States.  I had intended it for a Briar t-shirt, but as much as I love the idea of that pattern, it's not for me.  So Bimaa it was!  It helped that the purple knit perfectly matched the purple paisley pants.   The Bimaa was super easy to put together with the serger.  Zip, zip, zip, done.  And so cute! Perfect for fall:

An outfit Theresa would have loved!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Batik Kimono Frankentop

Remember when I said I was struggling with the Diane Kimono top from Sew Serendipity?  Well, I had a mini-epiphany and decided since I hated the waistband so much and wasn't feeling the tie waist anyway, that perhaps it would work to combine the Diane bodice with the bottom of the Meghan peasant blouse that I love so much.  The Meghan has sort of an ingenious way of making the casing for the waist elastic... it's pretty awesome.  So I put them together and tried to make it work:

It actually worked out pretty well!  I still had a bit of trouble with the kimono top: lots of gaping at the neckline.  I ended up cutting some of the fabric off both sides of the neck, using bias tape instead of facings (which I loathe), and wrapping the two sides further across each other than called for in the pattern. The bottom was pretty foolproof, so I must be beyond a fool since I accidentally cut and sewed the back piece on upside down.  But the fabric (a piece of hand stamped batik from Pasar Mayestik) is busy enough that I don't think you can tell too much.  I think...

Not too shabby!