Friday, September 07, 2007

Puppy Update

My, oh, my how quickly they grow!

Abby was in for her second vet visit today, the one with her first shot, and she now weighs 20 lbs. She's not quite 12 weeks old and because she is so big we sometimes have to remind ourselves that she's still a puppy.

Sophia and Abby are becoming play buddies. We have been enjoying the cheap entertainment since they are hilarious to watch when they play. Sophia will rapidly run figure eights around Abby who can't catch her because, although she is three times Sophia's size, she does not yet have the dexterity or speed that Sophia possesses.

Even though there are six other chews scattered through out the living room this is the one they both wanted. Just like kids...or was it only my kids that were like that?

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Flashback Friday - 1990s at the Renaissance Faire

The State Fair has ended and the kids have gone back to school, but that doesn't mean the outdoor festivals are done yet. No indeed. The best is saved for last. The Renaissance Festival continues until the end of this week.

Mamafitz left a comment on my state fair post (the one with the great baby doll skirt) mentioning that she had been there with her family. Of course I immediately popped over to her blog to see if she had any photos, because you never know - maybe there was a shot of the crowd and I could have been in it, or at least someone I know.

I came across her photo of the kids in their jousting gear, which reminded me of the time my bff had a glass of wine and cheered my dh on while he fenced. She gets really, really silly after only one glass of wine and she accidentally insulted the sheriff of the festival who threatened to have her put in the stockades. We spent most of that faire looking over our shoulders ...

Anyway, today's Flashback Friday is a couple of Ren Faire photos for your enjoyment.

Ren Faire 93
1993 riding an elephant with my bff. We're both wearing gowns we designed and sewed ourselves. I loved this one - it's still in my costume box but I can't quite fit into it any longer.

Ren Faire 98
1998 - Again wearing gowns we designed and sewed ourselves. My under dress was a bright purple silk and the overdress was a deep black patterned velvet. We went for the "look" rather than authenticity. My gown was patterned after a doll's dress I had seen in a magazine. The concept was great, but the end result wasn't quite what I had envisioned. And here's proof that I didn't always need to know what an FBA was....*sigh* those were the good ole' days

1999 - I wore the overdress again and paired with a deep emerald green silk skirt and a peasant style pullover blouse. It looks as if my hair is really short, but actually I'm wearing a matching cap.

Ren Faire Brian 99
1999 - This was the year I finally convinced dh to wear "tights". Doesn't he look great? After a day of wearing this outfit he said it was comfortable but "maybe the tights should be a bit more fitted." LOL! I think it was all the women checking him out that changed his mind!

Ren Faire 99
1999 - One of my favorite Ren Faire photos because dh kissed me in public. He freely admits that he doesn't do PDAs (public displays of affection) so I especially love this public display captured on film.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Butterick 4986 Twist Top Pattern Review


Pattern Description:

Butterick 4986, pullover tops in two lengths with a wrapped (twist) front, gathered sleeves and collar variations. Fabric suggestions are Georgette, stable knits, lightweight crepe, and faille. The pattern is rated easy.

Pattern Sizing:Available in (8-10-12-14) and (16-18-20-22)

Pattern instructions - easy to follow?
If you've sewn one of the five hundred million gazillion twist top patterns out there you already know how to do the wrap/twist front. If you only collect the patterns and haven't gotten around to actually sewing any of them, let me say that these instructions are very clear on how to construct the twist/wrap portion.

It is difficult to describe with words, as I proved to myself when trying to describe the technique to a co-worker - and I was actually wearing the top at the time which provided a great visual, but was still unable to describe it clearly. Fortunately, there are many illustrations included in the instructions to assist you with this step.

Before creating the twist/wrap, the lower front portion is hemmed in a narrow machine stitched hem, ending 9" from a marked circle. The marked circle is where you'll match your collar if you decide to add one. After twisting/wrapping and sewing the front piece together I sewed the shoulder seams but left the side seams open so I could sew the sleeve in flat.

Next, the collar is sewn on and the balance of the front edge is finished with a narrow hem.

As mentioned, I sewed the sleeves in flat and eased them in without gathering the cap. That's because I didn't realize the sleeve was supposed to have a slight gather. Because I was using a knit it worked out just fine. If you are using a woven you'll want to remember to gather the sleeve cap.

Hem the sleeves and bottom with a narrow machine hem and the top is done.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
  • I not only collect almost every twist top pattern released but I manage to sew most of them, at least once.
  • The open lower front portion - love that. It hides a tummy and when you sit at a desk for most of the work day the lower portion of the top remains loose and comfy.
  • No FBA!!! Love, love, love that. Because sometimes I'm just plain lazy and I really like being able to just cut something out and sew it without having to make tons of pattern adjustments.
  • What's not to like? It fits well; it's trendy; it's comfortable; no FBA required; the back is bias cut with a center back seam giving a nice shape; it's easy to sew.
Fabric Used:
A polyester, semi-sheer knit purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics. It has a slightly raised stripe pattern which looks great with the bias cut back.

Did you make any mistakes?
Why yes I did!
  • First, this was supposed to be for my daughter but I cut it out in my size. (Honey, I promise it was accidental!)
  • Secondly, I cut the front one length and the back another length. (I thought of you Stacey and your upside down Halloween cutting extravaganza!)
(Normally I would have many more sewing mishaps to add but this was only a one hour sewing project so there wasn't as much time as usual to make mistakes.)

It's a winner - a great addition to the twist top pattern collection.


Full review is here at Pattern review.
(Which is basically what you just read here so I guess you don't really need the link there do you?) Pin It

Monday, September 03, 2007

Comment on the Baby Doll Skirt from the previous post

I'm copying a comment that was left by the designer of the sock monkey dress. I want all of you to know that she not only created all of those great sock monkey pieces of clothing, but she's the creator of that baby doll skirt as well! Talk about one creative and talented designer!

What do a circus wagon, a sock monkey dress, and a baby doll skirt have in common? Well, I'm not sure how exactly the circus wagon fits in, but the sock monkey dress (as well as the other sock monkey items surrounding it) and baby doll skirt were actually made by the same person - me. That's right - you've got a keen eye.

That skirt is one of my prized possessions. I photographed 2 plastic kewpie doll toys from various angles, created a repeat in photoshop, and applied a half-tone filter, thus giving them the "dot" effect. After which I burnt the image to a screen, and hand silk screened canvas fabric. This fabric was then transformed into an a-line skirt, and certainly was not complete until the baby "fringe" was applied. Look even closer, and you'll notice that the little babies are anatomically correct (and yes, store bought).

All in all, it's a very comfortable skirt, and it causes little to no bruising.

And WAY TO GO Knufie the clown - I'm a super fan of circus stuff, and that wagon is incredible....there were quite a few entries worthy of prizes, but all in all I would say that the judging tends to be rather "interesting."

Best regards,

Because she posted a comment I was able to follow her links and found a link to the Saint Paul Craftmafia blog.

As much fun as I've been having whipping up clothing to wear to work, it's been too many years since I've dabbled in artistic endeavors and I'm just itchin' to get back to some artsy type crafting and sewing...

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

A circus wagon, a sock monkey dress, and a baby doll skirt

What do a circus wagon, a sock monkey dress, and a baby doll skirt have in common?

That's easy. They were all on display in the Creative Arts building at the state fair.

My favorite was the hand carved circus wagon pulled by six Clydesdale horses entitled "The Circus is Coming to Town!"

Not just because I like clown stuff but because my very own incredibly talented father (aka Knufie the clown) carved and painted this entire set!

The Circus is Coming to Town!

The Circus is Coming to Town!

I wish you could see the incredible detail in his work. I know he was disappointed to not win a ribbon, especially after this won grand prize at the county fair, but I think it is a wonderful wood carving.

It would have been great to spend some time eavesdropping on people viewing his entry so I could report back to him. But there were other creative items to be seen and a lot of junk food to be eaten, so after snapping a dozen photos or so I was off to see what else I could find.

The sock monkey dresses were on display again. There was also a sock monkey chair.


Monkey Dress 2


On my way to the sewn clothing section I was distracted by some unique fiber art pieces as well as a fantastic vintage apron display.

When I made it to the clothing section, this skirt immediately caught my attention. Look closely at the print on the skirt and then peek at the fringe trim - tiny plastic baby dolls! Bizarre? Yes. Creative? Yes. Wearable? Only if you're the type of person who enjoys conversations with lots of people.



After only four hours the streets filled with a sea of people and we called it a day.

Maybe next year I'll be the one with an item on display in the Creative Arts building. Pin It


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