Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sewing for me!

UPDATE: See more information on these projects at my new sewing blog, The Itinerant Seamstress.  

Since May, I've lost 29ish pounds.  It's the thinnest I've been since about 1/3 of the way through my pregnancy with Natasha, and only 10 pounds away from my pre-kids weight.  It feels pretty awesome, but it also means that I don't have any clothes that fit.  So I've been motivated to try sewing for myself, with some wearable results!

This is the new Liesl & Co. Late Lunch Tunic.  It does not fit me quite right, and the pattern itself is, I think, not the best shape for my body type.  But I sewed it and I think that is pretty cool.  (Also, look - those are skinny jeans.  My first ever!)

I sewed this top from a pattern I drafted myself, using a top I already own.  That top is the miracle top - it fits across a 20-lb range.  I retired it only because it developed a few holes from so much wear.  This purple top is made out of a rayon lycra knit and was my first "draft" of the pattern.

I was pleasantly surprised by how this one turned out: the Lisette Traveler Tunic/Simplicity 2246.  I want to make another one in a more fun fabric and maybe with a different collar.

I think this is my biggest coup - skinny cords from the Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans pattern.  I had to make a bunch of modifications to the pattern to get it to fit me, but even with all of that, it probably took me seven hours from start to finish.  I had to let out the legs on the sides, but (yay) I had to take in the waist and hips A LOT.  I also had to lengthen the pants about five inches and raise the back yoke so they wouldn't be totally indecent.  They work with flats and boots, and after a full day's wear they still stay up!  Hopefully they will hold up in the wash too.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sewing again

In an effort not to turn this into a sewing blog, I haven't been blogging each individual item that I've made lately.  But I do want to show them off, so I will cram them all into this post.  Of note is that I've been trying to sew more for myself lately.  I will save those for another post (check back tomorrow!)

Kwik Sew nightgown in flannel.
I made three of these - one for each
daughter and one for my niece.
My new favorite pattern - the
Oliver+S Playtime dress. This one is in
interlock knit.
Another Playtime - embroidered corduroy. 
Playtime back.

Fleece mittens from Little Things to Sew book

Oliver+S Music Box jumper, modified, for a friend's daughter.

More Playtimes in fine-wale corduroy.
Oliver+S Art Museum vest
and trousers for G for Christmas

A Davy Crockett costume for a friend's son, sewn using
the Oliver+S Nature Walk pattern and some finicky
faux suede.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ballet bunnies

A couple weeks ago, the girls' ballet class performed a short dance to the Dance of the Snowflakes from the Nutcracker.  Natasha is one of the more advanced dancers in the class (I swear, this is what the teacher told me -I'm not just bragging), and so she was supposed to be a snowflake.  But she was sick and missed three rehearsals.  Since she didn't have time to learn the snowflake dance, the teacher had her be a bunny instead (Zoia missed a few rehearsals too, but she was always destined for bunny-dom).

Neither girl was very pleased about this, as the snowflakes got to wear proper tutus and the bunnies had to wear ears and made-by-me bunny tails.  I thought they looked adorable but they were very grumpy.  We used the camera to take video (which I can't get to upload for some reason) during the performance, so all I have is this photo of my reluctant rabbits.  I was so proud of the tails (which I made out of tulle), but they hated them :(

Monday, December 23, 2013

First snow

Maybe the last, too.  Tbilisi isn't a particularly snowy city.  But on December 12, we got about 3/4 of an inch.

To say Natasha was thrilled would be a major understatement.

The kid covered the playground with snow angels.  She wasn't even wearing snow pants - when I let her out it was already pretty late and I figured she'd play for 20 minutes.  Wrong.  Wearing just jeans and tights, she laid in the snow and flapped her little arms and legs for nearly an hour.

I was cold just looking at her, but she reminded me of the days when I could run around in the snow until I couldn't feel my rear and still have to be coaxed to come inside.  Kids really do keep us young.  Younger, anyway.

Zoia wasn't really into it, but now I know that she was just about to get sick again.  I'm sure she would have enjoyed it more, had she been healthy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thanksgiving and visitors

Yeah, I know it's almost Christmas.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, first Natasha, and then Zoia, came down with a nasty bug that resulted in the TV being on all day for a whole week while they lay on the couch and I tried to come up with new and interesting ways to get them to drink something - anything.  

The illness, and then another one, is still making the rounds through our family.  It has been a long, long, LONG month.  So apologies, again, for the blogging hiatus.  This post is brought you by a sore throat, wooziness and general head-to-toe achiness that has had me laid up in bed for the last day.

So Uncle Jamison and Aunt Michelle came to visit for Thanksgiving.  It was nice to have family in addition to a few friends for our festive meal.  We cooked a 20-lb turkey and enough food for 30 people (we had eight adults, three little kids and two babies).  This year I tried brining for the first time, and also made an herb butter to rub under the skin.  Michelle volunteered to apply the butter.  I told her she might consider a career in midwifery.

The turkey was pretty tasty.  I think I might actually like turkey - this is the first time I've ever said that! Must have been the brine.  And probably the butter.

M&J dutifully did their part in entertaining and helping with the kids.  Michelle played human Barbie doll and story reader at the same time.

Jamison fed the baby and had many tea parties with Zoia.

We also found some time to hang out as adults.  We went to a wine tasting.

We conducted scientific comparisons of fraternal forehead wrinkles.

And we taught M&J how to eat khinkali properly (if you don't look stupid, you're not doing it right).

Oh yeah, and there was a little sight-seeing.

It was a great trip!  Hope to do it again soon.