Thursday, December 6, 2012

Simple and True

The open auditions for Project Run and Play are here again and I really, truly, was going to sit this one out. I have Christmas photo dresses to make and Christmas skirts to sew and a banner for the window and random little girl gifts. I have to whip up some hardcore winter pajamas for our upcoming trek to Maine.

But....there was this fabric. Two fabrics, really. Winter blue with big white polka dots and a yummy vintage tone floral print with more polka dots. I had eyed that fabric every since I saw it in the remnant bin a few weeks ago. It called to me. I loved the warm tones of the reds, yellows, and oranges against the softer blue background. I loved the tiny polka dots mixed with the big polka dots. and as luck would have it, I had to return some corduroy. Which meant store credit!  That fabric was mine and, of course, I immediately ditched all Christmas sewing to play with it. I love how the two fabric has winter tones-- the white polka dots and icy blue-- but also warm summer colors. Almost like something you wear in the wet, rainy cold while thinking of the sun.

I wanted to sew a simple but cozy little outfit so my baby could keep up the cuteness in the Frosty Northern Wasteland. And since she's going to be held and cuddled within an inch of her life by all the relatives we haven't seen for way too long, why not put her in fleece? She'll be even more teddy-bear like :)

I frankenpatterned a simple A-line dress and some basic leggings to match. The body of the dress I drafted using an existing jumper as a model, and the sleeves I took from one of the many random patterns cluttering my craft area. While I was sewing, I kept hearing Jewel's "Simple and True" playing in the back of my head, so I finally looked it up on Youtube. Even though it's a song about a woman and her man, part of it very much reminds me of my littlest girl.

How soon spring comes, how soon spring forgets
I want to hold back time, say it will never begin.
Old Man Winter be our friend
The more I live, the more I know
what's simple is true
I love you.

 Because I've procrastinated, my photos are terrible due to it being dark when I took the outside photos. My camera doesn't do too well with inside lighting either, but we muddled through. I am very happy with the outfit because it is exactly what I love to sew. Things that are simple. True. And loved.

 By the Christmas tree....and sitting still for about the only time in the photo shoot.

On the porch, with terrible flash lighting. This shows the whole outfit best but does not do justice to the color. The reds and yellows are much softer.

And my favorite....

I wish I had better photos but that's what you get for deciding at noon that you are going to sew an outfit and photograph it by evening. 

There lots of cute designs up on the Project Run and Play audition linky so stop by and get inspired!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Little Holiday, A Little Handmade


I have almost come to dread the phrase "handmade holiday". It speaks of some other alternate universe in which Ever Single Thing about Christmas in ones household is beautiful, handcrafted, and perfect. The ornaments. The Advent calendar. The nativity scene. Every gift thoughtfully, lovingly, flawlessly created....and all wrapped and under the tree by December 1st. Instead of lawn ornaments. there's a chorus of Victorian-era carolers on hire. They sing perfect four-part acapella and bring their own hot chocolate.

But, when I'm not freaking out over Visions of Unattainable Perfection, I do really love the idea of adding small handmade touches to the Christmas season.  And I love the idea of getting together with friends to share those handmade touches. Which is why, in a moment of rare bravery or not so rare insanity, I'm having a party.

I refuse to call it that, really. "Party" is serious. Throwing a party is something that was probably covered by a college course back in the 1950s. Handmade gift swap get-together" takes up more words but is so much more humble and friendly. So I am hosting a handmade gift swap get-together which should, in theory, be simple. A huge pot of chili, a group of friends, and cute little handmade or semi-hand made gifts. This way each of us can enjoy a bit of handcrafted goodness in our holiday but we each only have to make one gift. Even I, despite my procrastination and general phobia of trying new crafts, can manage to come up with one handmade gift. I think.

I promised everyone (two weeks ago) that I'd put up some easy gift ideas to get our collective creative juices flowing. And here, fashionably late, is that list, culled (where else) from my favorite Pinterest boards. Sorry that I don't have pictures to accompany them but I have dishes to do.

Yarn Wreath

Tinted Mason Jars

Fat Quarter Clutch

Scrapbook Paper Envelopes

Banana Bread Jars

Tea Towel Wrapped Bread

Lemon and Thyme Salt Scrub

Scrapbook Paper Coasters

Apron In A Jar

Custom Candle Covers

Embellishment Assortment

Jersey Knit Lace Trim Scarf

And one more link, to a roundup of fabulous and frugal handmade gifts...

25 Gifts Under $5

Happy crafting to all and I'll see you at the not-party.