This has been one of those weeks where you wake up for work and it turns out it’s Saturday already. Which is nice of course, but somehow I went all week without posting anything, even though I spent Sunday afternoon taking pictures. Prima and I went to the zoo, and after spending a while watching the baby otters play, we took pictures of her latest projects.
The zoo is a difficult place to take photos. It is almost all direct sunlight, especially in front of the animals (which were the whole reason Prima wanted to take pictures there). The parasol helped, but I will be insisting on shadier locations in the future. I’d rather worry about what color sets off the dress than how to keep the shadows from hiding all the most interesting parts.
These dresses make up Prima’s summer collection. I don’t know much about how they’re made, but if you have any questions, leave a comment. I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you all about them.
I finished these pants about two weeks ago, and I’ve worn them almost everyday since. I love how they look. I love how the breeze goes right through them on a hot day. They keep me clean when I have rats on my lap at work. They’re a bit more reasonable than my other summer pants, but they still have the wide leg and high waist I like so much. So every morning I try to find something else to wear, but I end up putting on these jeans again. Time to make another pair.
This is the first pair of jeans I’ve ever made, and it was quite a project. I skipped the front pockets, but even so there were a lot of details to figure out, and a ton of top stitching. It was slow and involved a lot of ripping things out and starting over again. But now I have a better idea what I’m doing, so I’m working on another pair, this time with all five pockets, and taking pictures of the process. Instructions for some of the trickier steps are on their way.
Rosalie cut her hair! Isn’t it cute? The best thing about her new hair cut is it looks like this when she gets out of bed, no brushing required. Almost makes me want short hair. But not quite – I cut it for a while, and I never got used to it being short. I liked how it looked, but every time I saw myself in the mirror I was surprised. Even after four years. Now I look the same in the mirror as I do in my head, which is reassuring.
Rosie made her necklace from part of an old broken watch. The shirt is one of the half dozen or so we’ve made from this pattern.
Isabel’s shorts once were unflattering mom jeans that she found at Thrift Town. She cut them off and folded the ends, and now she has cute high waisted shorts, which she wore to the county fair last week.
For the Fourth of July we went to visit some friends who live up in wine country, like we do every year. I’m feeling a bit sick, so I spent most of the day napping on the grass by the pool, but after dinner I took a walk with my mom and we took some pictures of a dress I made this weekend.
I finished this dress on Sunday, so I would have worn it for the Fourth of July no matter what it looked like (well, not if it looked terrible). But the pattern looks like fireworks to me, so I think it was the perfect occasion.
It is listed in my Etsy shop.
I found this linen knit at the fabric store on Tuesday. It’s the most comfortable hot day fabric I’ve ever felt. Any breeze goes right through it, even walking cools you off. I went for a long hike in it yesterday, and it’s like not wearing a shirt at all, only you don’t get sunburned. Perfect. The bad news is, it’s a stretchy fabric with no memory. The edges unravel and have to be properly finished. It stretches as you sew it until every sewn edge is pulled to it’s longest possible length. I did my best with rolled edges and the loosest, drapiest, simplest design I could come up with, but it was still a pain to work with.
I wouldn’t go hunting down a linen knit if I were you, but the style of top is really easy to make and nice on a hot day in any fabric. Buy 3/4 of a yard of fabric and wash it. Cut it lengthwise so that one piece is a few inches longer than the other. I used about an 8 inch difference, which made for a very low neckline. Finish all the edges if the fabric you’re using needs it. Pin the two rectangles together so all the corners line up. One piece will have a bit of extra fabric in the middle. This is fine. Sew up the short sides a bit more than half way. These are the sides of your top. Sew up the top of the shirt (the long side that does not share corners with your side seams) From each corner. Leave a 5-10″ neck hole in the middle. Wear your shirt!
An entirely different set of photos from later in the afternoon can be seen in the Etsy listing.
I love this summery a-line skirt of Rosie’s. She made it from a light weight cotton muslin and a column of small white buttons. I think those buttons are the perfect touch – they give the skirt a bit of character without detracting from its simple twirly shape.
Everything about the last few days has felt like summer – the hot weather, the lazy days at work, the pretty skirts I see everywhere, but the way I know for sure that summer is here is the ripe plums on our trees. The basket of plums Rosie’s holding looks even more like summer to me than her white cotton skirt.
Someone asked how I made my new pants. I wouldn’t recommend trying to follow these instructions unless you’ve made pants before and have a pattern for them (or are comfortable making your own pattern, but in that case you should use these instructions).
Trace the crotch and waist from the front and back pieces of your pattern. For each piece, draw a slightly angled straight line down from the outside edge of the waist. This line should be as long as the outer leg seam on your pattern. Draw a line at the same angle from the edge of the crotch. This line should be as long as the inseam on your pattern. Draw a curve connecting the two lines.
Cut out two front pieces, two back pieces, and the waistband (details here). Sew the two front pieces together at the crotch. Sew the two back pieces together in the same way. Sew the front to the back along the inseam and one outer seam. Put an invisible zipper into the remaining outer leg seam (I just learned how to do this right! I’m very excited and will be sharing a tutorial soon), and sew up the rest of the seam. Sew the waistband to the top. Hem the leg openings.
ETA: Invisible zipper tutorial is up.