Friday, July 25, 2014

kcw: Stash Control & the Sea Change Dress







Ever walk into your sewing space and wonder "how did I become a hoarder?". I did a major purge at the beginning of this summer, and along with it I made a pile of all the acquired and thrifted goods that needed to be given a second chance. The first to be transformed: a skirt that a friend handed down to me- the gorgeous deep jade color and lovely embroidered pattern at the bottom were too good to be left waiting any longer. It was a piece that she was ditching after losing a significant amount of weight, a feat which I am so proud of her for, and it offered up a fair amount of fabric to play with. After some minor agonizing over what to do with it, I used the oldest trick in the book and made it into a summery dress for Phia. I kept the embroidery at the hem in tact and graded it so that it would be a more manageable amount of fabric for a shirred bodice, and I love the ultra fluttery and and ripply result. The straps came from some fabric taken out of the dress when I took out the zipper and I am kind of loving the embroidered pattern at their ends. I have aspirations to knock out the rest of the pile and hope they are as gratifying as this little frock. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Setting Standards

School wrapped up this past week and two projects were finished just in time to celebrate another wonderful year and the incredible teachers that made it happen. Even though it is slightly kitschy, I kind of loved this print used to keep the 'apple tote' tradition going. We gifted Phia and Ori's fabulous teachers with one made especially for them- my kids each adored their teachers and I hope they always know how dear to us they will be.

Our summer studies includes a journal that I am having the kids add to everyday. While there will be some standard reflective entries it is also serving as a place for them to practice some persuasive writing by making their own reviews of books, restaurants, outings, and the like. So far Phia has written about what it takes to be a good friend and Ori wrote up plans on visiting my sister in Brooklyn to get a donut.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Garden State of Mind

1. Tending to our patio nursery
2. Bikes make botanical gardens better
3. Arch ways covered in green
4. Inspiring orchid displays

Lately the place you will most likely find me at home is in the garden. Since our home-making journey began we have always tried to find time for a garden whether it be herbs crowded on a balcony or plots brimming with veggies. There has always been an insatiable desire in me to watch tiny seeds transform into crops robust and fruit bearing. Sometimes I feel it must be a Kansan predisposition- an urge too hard to fight and too engrained to question. Gardening is my zen. 

Knowing my love of plant life, Danny took us for a tour of Duke Farms last week. Once the sprawling estate of the Duke family and then botanical garden and gem of central New Jersey, it has evolved over the years into a sustainable and ecological friendly garden filled with inspiration. The expansive grounds were easily accessible by bikes rented at the garden- an idea that I loved as it made the visit feel like an adventure for the kids. It was invigorating, and when I came home I went straight to work in our little garden.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Self Making

 I learned a bit about personal style this past month. Me Made May was an enlightening experience- I not only found an inner spark pushing to wear handmade pieces that were long forgotten or suspended in the back of the closet, but also honing in on my overall look. This is an endless project and I've had lulls, tried new things, made interesting decisions and gone through the cycle of wardrobe evaluation before. I've grappled with maintaining my style, especially after becoming a mother, and have watched as my closet evolved to fit different needs. In the midst of my less fashionable phases I realized taking on a different role in life did not mean sacrificing style, and have been refining the little glimpse of me that I wear each day.




During this overhaul I purged some lazy knit t-shirts and old jean shorts that were kicking around far too long. I made room for two pairs of maritime shorts, two skirts the purple dress pictured above and have thoroughly been enjoying each piece. The maritime shorts were completely worth the wait- the red pair were actually my 'muslin' that ended up being wearable, as in I want to wear them everyday. I had to take in the sides slightly, thus the smaller scale pockets, but it just steered me in the right direction on sizing for the next pair I made. I highly suggest checking out this pattern if you are interested in learning the secret art of shorts making. I had tried other patterns years ago that didn't break it down as effortlessly as this little gem did. And grainline studios also offers super helpful walkthroughs if you get caught up along the way. If that wasn't enough to sell you, then check out all these fine ladies rocking their creations:

vintage inspired by skirt as top
little stars by miss make
amazing print at lladybird
awesomely bright by cloth habit
grainline studio's own modified hem

Monday, May 12, 2014

Me Made May

I, Lindsay of 'lindsay, etc.', sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2014. I endeavor to wear a handmade items five days a week during the month of May 2014.

So it is half way through May and after showing someone my blog at a wedding this past weekend I realized I had never posted my Me-Made-May pledge. I am excited for the challenge and have so far fulfilled my agreement- I have worn something made by hand just about everyday. These past two weeks were beyond busy with confection production; most of the jobs were scheduled in advance, they just all happened to fall on Mother's Day weekend. After a wonderful wedding for two people we love, I had a chance to mop the floors, do the laundry and lounge around on the beach with a best friend and her family- possibly the best way to wrap up a frantically busy week. And on today's agenda- vacuuming sand from my car and making some Maritime shorts.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Print

 One of my favorite sewing events is taking place right now and I am joining the top sewing frenzy with this little number. It's not a departure, but since I always avoid large scale prints, it certainly felt like one.

As a teenager I had a number of random jobs. Some were for fun like my stint as a floral assistant. My job at a local bakery shaped my life more than I could have imagined, and I had taken it on a whim. But no job proved to be more interesting than my career at Joann's fabrics- that's right, I was a Joann's team member. We had a tumultuous relationship, but I spent two years cutting fabric, organizing shelves and ringing people up as it was a great way to look at fabric most of the day while getting paid for it.
If you have ever been to a Joann's you can imagine what my co workers were like; most of them close or past retirement age who enjoyed the same perks as I did. There were some really extraordinarily nice ladies who I had the opportunity to meet, and then there were some that were on the other end of the nice spectrum. One woman in particular, we will call her Patty, always found a way to offer up a back handed compliment or wickedly snide remark all while wearing a sugary smile. After an afternoon of stocking new seasonal inventory I decided I had fallen love with a large scale print that I can, to this day, imagine vividly. I took it up to the cutting table and before I could tell Patty the yardage I wanted she told me that I would look terrible in the skirt I had envisioned making. When I asked her why, fully expecting something about the colorway and my skin tone, she rolled her eyes and replied with a disparaging tone "Because you are too short".  At 5'1" I am fully aware of my small frame and have heard an array of comments about the matter throughout my life, but I had never heard someone my grandma's age tell me that information in such mean spirited tone. I should have gotten it anyways, but instead put it back, and avoided all large prints for well over a decade.

Until I saw this print recently at Joann's- the colors and abstract floral were too enticing, and although I could hear Patty's voice in my head when I took the bolt to the cutting table, I decided to grab it anyways. I made this little drapey cardigan with bit of a kimono style as it wasn't the normal stretchy knits I choose for this pattern, and I let it go looser and airier. I used this old standby that I always find to be an easy and successful pattern.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time Management

1. Daffodils & bunnies everywhere

2. Trying to hold Campbell's cans at the MoMA

3. A new tank for Ori, without a sew along spark

I've been reclaiming my time and putting our days back together around a less daunting work week. While working I mostly gave up the fringe extras and sleep. I would go to work in the middle of the night and be done by noon, and then still be able to wade through my day filled with pick ups, drop offs, activities, meet ups, dinner, and clean up. I never felt like I was approaching anything full force, and all of my creative endeavors felt muted. It was frustrating and disheartening, but I am excited to have time back in my control, and have been reshaping our days with the realization that these moments are precious placed in my mind.

So if you are reading this, brace yourself; posting might be limitless.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

kcw & Miniature Anorak



Another kcw has come and gone and what do I have to show for it? Oh, just a little anorak jacket that Phia has been rocking. It is my interpretation of the "mini-me"project- definitely a piece I would love in my size and made from the left overs from this blazer of last year. The pictures of Phia were interesting to pick through- I find her to be the definition of my "mini-me"; just as goofy and ornery as I was at that age.

The jacket was made from a pattern drafted a while ago, with cinching at the waist and a new shape of pockets. The big rounded collar is my favorite part and I even included a flap to eventually attach a collar to- a girl can dream.