PLAIDitude

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I love bad puns. The title of this post reminds me of one of my favorite puns. I'd like to believe I coined this one. Please don't crush my dreams, if it isn't true.

Colleague: How're you doing Marnie?
Me: Just ducky, thank you.
Colleague: Ducky?
Me: That's my duck-billed platitude.

Your eye roll is compliment enough for me.

Anyway, plaid:

Vogue_8701_15

It's Vogue 8701. I talked about the nuts and bolts here.

It's got a wide ballet neck in front and deeper v-neck in back

Vogue_8701_28 Vogue_8701_27

This is my first try matching plaid. It's not for the faint of heart, but I loves me some plaid so it won't be long before I try it again.

I find the best solution to plaid that might not perfectly match, is to show it next to something cute and distracting.

Vogue_8701_35

Admit it, it totally worked. Slip me some skin, Thea.

Vogue_8701_33

Even better, just leave the dress out altogether.

The pooches

TA-DA!

Free to be you and twee*

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Last year, I made some reusable shopping bags that I shipped off to loved ones for the holidays

Reusable Shopping Bags_21

Reusable Shopping Bags_05

It's from a fantastic pattern I picked up at a local quilt shop, but which you may purchase here, if you're so inclined.

While I was sad to see them go, I knew I'd make more, I just didn't know (though I should have) that making 12 of the same item is a special kind of torture for me. It's not that they are hard or laborious or anything, it's just, well, more and more of the same thing.

But after sitting on these half finished bags for months, I finally found the motivation to finish them up, in all their glorious adorableness.

Woodlands_Reusable Bags_17
Six folded bags and a sash to keep them tidy. Don't mind the wonky hook and loop tape.

Woodlands_Reusable Bags_20
The sash can hold up to 6 bags...

Woodlands_Reusable Bags_27
...or as few as 2 bags

Woodlands_Reusable Bags_19
Templates for the tree and leaves are included in the pattern.

And seriously, how fricken cute is this fabric?

Woodlands_Reusable Bags_08
The squirrels are killing me

I believe it's now discontinued so you'd have to hunt around if you wanted to get some. it's called Woodlands from Anthology and I made the whole set with 1 half-yard bundle of the entire line, along with a few yards of bleached muslin to line the bags.

And before you ask, yes, I still knit. I even have proof:

some knitting


This one isn't even a deadline project, just something that might end up being self published.

This and that

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I've been sitting here for minutes trying to come up with a blog post title so I could start writing this post. I've decided to give you a crappy post title so I can just get on with it.

Last weekend, Kate and I went to Madison to present a Twist Collective fashion show. Kate blogged about it here. It was a heck of a lot of fun. The folks in Wisconsin are friendly and welcoming and clearly appreciate knitting. Go...um...Badgers, I guess. I think that might be one of them there sports teams out yonder.

Speaking of badgers, you might as well watch this:

We are crazy busy with Twist stuff right now, and I have a few other secret knits in the wings, but I've fit in a bit more sewing. I mentioned with my last post on sewing, that I'd taken the Bombshell Dress course at Craftsy. Well, I signed up for Susan Khalje's Couture Dress class and instead of using the included pattern, I went with something a little more my style, if I had a style, and any occasion to wear such a dress.

McCall's 6350_03

If you are into sewing, you can read more about it over here. I'm also signed up for the Starlet Jacket class, which is good because my sleeve setting in skills are pretty lacking. Also, I'm unreasonably excited to try my first bound buttonhole.

And, of course, we try to put aside a little time and money to hit the coast with the beasts.

Oregon Coast_March 16, 2012_74

Rain or shine, it's always gorgeous there. Also, seriously, look at this face.

Oregon Coast_March 16, 2012_78

Ridiculous.

Yah yah yah, cue the double rainbow guy

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Last weekend was my birthday; one of those unremarkable, mid-decade, you're-too-old-to-care-about-your-birthday-still kind of birthdays. We're still eking by on a single salary, and unemployment has dried up so there were no big plans. We figured, being our frugal new selves, that we'd lump my birthday, Thea's 5th birthday, and valentine's day all into one "celebration." I think we managed to pull it off on a shoestring budget. Check out the decorations at our fĂȘte!

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon52


D-dog provided streamers

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon29


There was an air show

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon16


Panda entertained us with her acrobatics

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon46


And the other birthday girl seemed utterly pleased with the whole day.

Febrary 18, 2012 -- Depoe Bay, Oregon47


I guess it works out that the things the birthday girls want to do most, cost us very little. I believe they call us "cheap dates."

If you average out for dog years, Thea and I are about the same age, this year. As a pup, she was such a handful, unfazed by reprimand, destructive, and mischievous. She's matured into one of the most sweet, loving and playful girls you could ever imagine. I love her so much and am glad to have an excuse to share my birthday celebration with her.

Here's to many more years to come.

All dressed up and no place to go

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I've read a good number of books on sewing, over the years, including an 80s era edition of Vogue Sewing and while doing so has certainly been helpful, when it comes time to actually sew a garment, I'm often at a loss to remember which couture tips should be employed and how. I end up sewing garments just as the instructions tell me to, not that there's anything wrong with that.

To be honest, though, I have tended to pass up patterns that require things like linings or boning or other more advanced construction features because I still feel like a real rookie at the whole process. What I needed was a good class but time and money make that a bit tough.

Lucky me, Craftsy offers some online courses and one of them is all about making a well constructed, perfectly fitted, couture style bombshell dress. Yes please, and may I have some more?

Bombshell Dress_13

The class was a lot of fun. I worked on mine over the holidays so I really didn't get the benefit of the direct interaction with the instructor. On the one hand, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't ask questions and get answers but in truth, even without that feature, I learned so much and the class was so comprehensive that I still think it was well worth the money and since I got the class while it was nearly half price (and as if this moment, it is still only $29) I really don't think I have much room to complain.

I hear she's working on another class and I'll definitely check it out when it is available.

For those of you who might want to try the class out as well, the largest size available for the pattern is only 39" at the bust (100 cm), though the instructor does walk you through a draping technique for fitting a fuller bust, it may not work for you if you are substantially larger, all over, than the largest size. She does make recommendations for other patterns, but you'll have to pay for those separately, which will increase the overall cost of the class.

I went through the details of my project, over on Sewing Pattern Central. I talked about some of the construction details covered in the class and the modifications I had to make to the pattern. I don't really think I'll wear this dress much. My life involves a lot more pajamas and jeans than bustiers and boning. But I think I'll be able to take a lot of what I learned and apply it to other projects I sew.

Of course, I had to have my quality assurance team inspect the work. Thea weighed in on the hem.

Bombshell Dress_10


I think she's not impressed.

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