mad mim skipper top 05 The Skipper Top

Sad to say, but the third child really does get the fuzzy end of the lollypop sometimes. Although my little Tiny has commandeered much of time over the last two years, she has benefited very little from my sewing talents. She got priority numero one in a lot of things, but clothing wasn’t one of them, poor little Dear. This girl has been toddling around in rags, and that’s the honest truth. She has one halfway decent shirt (that’s not completely stained gray or completely to small), and nary a pair of leggings without some serious knee nastiness or holes. She’s a regular ragamuffin, and she doesn’t even know it. So as soon as I was done with Sewing Summit and back to school sewing for Twinkle and all the other sewing obligations I had, her wardrobe finally reached it’s rightful place at the top of my to-do list.  When Abbey emailed me about joining her Skipper Top pattern tour, I immediately agreed because it looked like a quick, comfortable, cute and customizeable staple for her. I love this shirt!! I’ve already made three versions of it for her, and know I’ll use it again and again. And it’s so fast! I can make it and a simple pair of leggings (like the ones she’s wearing, pattern from Ottobre), in under an hour for sure!

mad mim skipper top 04 The Skipper Top

After I had traced the pattern for this top, I looked down and this beautiful Marc Jacobs cotton from Mood was peeping out from my fabric storage at me. I only bought like a 1/3 of a yard of this beauty (and was planning to make something like this for myself with it), but after a quick mental mock up it seemed like a perfect little fall piece for Tiny. And I think I’ll still have enough (hopefully) for my project.

mad mim skipper top 02 The Skipper Top

The only changes I made were to flare out slightly the back piece in order to accommodate for the woven fabric, and I twisted the neck band piece because I’ve been into that lately (tutorial forthcoming!)

mad mim skipper top 03 The Skipper Top

mad mim skipper top 01 The Skipper Top
Adorable, right? Of course right. She was totally rocking it today, and now she has FOUR decent shirts, which makes me four shirts closer to being an adequate mom. This perfect little shirt may be my easy ticket to respectability!

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mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 06 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

One of the gems from my LA trip, was a dinky little wrist pin cushion I got at Golden Cutting and Sewing Supplies.  I just grabbed it last second before we were leaving, and it came to pass that it has been one of the handiest little thing! I love it! No more searching for you pins only to discover you left it at the cutting table, and then when you’re at your cutting table you have to go ALL THE WAY OVER to your sewing table to retrieve them again.  Back and forth, back and forth, the pin cushion fetching never ends.  It’s unreasonable. So at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I’ll say this sleek little sewing accessory has simplified my life significantly. PS I know it’s not sleek at all.

Which is why I decided to whip a few up for some friends! Besides the fact that mine is WAY cuter than the one I bought, it was a fun little project–my six year old made one along with me, and enjoyed the simple hand stitching.

Round up:

  • a couple different complimentary scraps of fabric (about 5″ square for the larger piece)
  • some stuffing
  • a bit of elastic
  • a bit of ribbon
  • a juice lid
  • a glue gun
  • and a needle and thread

Cut out your circles using this amazingly complex circle template. Gotta remember to copyright that masterpiece. You want to use your really spectacular fabric for the larger circle. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 03 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Take your smaller circle and baste all around it with a needle and thread. Make sure you start with some really secure whip stitches, a simple knot isn’t sufficient. Cinch it up tight around your juice lid, whip stitch again, and then stitch across it several times to really secure that bad boy in there. *Note that my fabric shown here is melon colored on one side, and bubblegum on the other, just didn’t want you to be confused.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 04 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Cut a length of elastic that fits comfortably around your wrist with about an inch overlap. You want it snug, but don’t go crazy, eh? I don’t want anybody’s circulation to be cut off. Stitch together.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 01 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now repeat the whole whip stitch, baste and cinch process with your larger circle. Stuff it within an inch of its life, and then whip stitch and cross secure several times. After I got to this point I continued to stuff it through the stitching til it was tight and firm just like my bum. HAH! You’ll have to do some adjusting to get a nice even flattened sphere. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 02 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now. Wrap your elastic (centered) around your juice lid, and then sandwhich it to your cushion. Secure by whip stitching around the whole thing (base fabric to cushion fabric). Go around twice if you like to reside on the safe side. 
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 05 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Bust out your glue gun and carefully glue a pretty ribbon over the gap between cushion and base. Or not, this step is optional, but i think you’ll sleep better if you go ahead and do it, just saying.  
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 07 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Ta daaaaaa. Say that Miranda style just for me. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 08 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

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mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 102 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 103 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
Nothing like a 15 minute project to get your heart pumping. This little bear tee is so simple that you can have it done while you wait for your oatmeal to cook. Okay okay, on the stovetop. But seriously, this is an easy technique using a cool cool product that I’m super excited to show you (my new fave for sure).

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Grab some:

The skinny:

Draw or print (with a printer) a large design on some freezer paper. I used this big bear, which you’re welcome to as well, don’t mention it. A shortcut I always use is to cut a piece of freezer paper exactly 8.5 X 11, and then throw into the paper tray of your printer and print straight on it. Cut out the design with a utility knife, being careful to always pull your blade down. Iron that bad boy (shiny side down) onto your tee or what have you. You’re effectively masking off this design so you can now print or stencil over it.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 07 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Cut a long length of masking tape and stick to a cutting mat. With a rotary blade, cut down the center of it. You could also use a utility knife if you find yourself  rotary-bladeless. The goal is to have very thin cuts of tape.  Tape in a stripey pattern all over the the bear, cutting more tape as needed.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 06 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 05 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Now for the cool juice. Here’s the 411 on Color Magnet. It’s a color attractant that when applied, dried, and then dyed, will magically attract more dye creating a completely permanent (won’t fade and creates no stiffness whatsoever) two-tone effect, which I really just can’t get enough of. I LOVE THIS STUFF! It comes in a pen with a foam pad tip as well, which is perfect for stenciling. Apply this stuff on your masked out bear, and allow to completely dry.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 03 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 04 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Once dry, remove all tape and freezer paper, and then dye according to manufacturer instructions.  I used this Hanes Youth Beefy Tee, and fiber reactive dye in Chartreuse.  You’ll end up with something like this.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 02 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 101 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Fun, right? This masking technique also works really awesome with small scale pattern stencils (like this insane tribal stencil I recently made). I used this technique for my very own bear tee (pictures forthcoming), as well as a top using color magnet and this masking tape design, which is rad and I can’t wait to share.  

My little man Tito LOVED this shirt, but I’m sad to say, I lost it! Somehow or other, it didn’t make it home from Sewing Summit with me, (!!) which he and I are really bummed about. I also never got a picture of him in it, which is doubly unfortunate. Luckily it’s easy, and I can quickly do it again if it never surfaces.

PS. Sewing Summit was fantastic, and I’ll put together a recap post soon. My hand printing class was a blast!

Since I got home though a little over a week ago, I think I’ve spent more time in my bed than out of it, Ain’t No Lie, Baby Bye Bye Bye. Jeez Oh Man, I got so sick of lying down, and I was too sick to even hold up a book for half of it. I was just a-trembling and sweating and I’ll spare you the rest. I got REAAAL sick, the most severe case of strep I’ve even had. But I’m pretty much better now, and I think it’s done plowing through (and over) our family. My very first act as a semi-healthy adult (AFTER I cleaned up my house in a hazmat suit) was some late season canning, which like always, is rewarding but a crapload of work. I did Peach Pineapple Mint Jam, Raspberry Preserves, and Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, all three recipes come from the Uh-MAZING book Canning for a New Generation.  My garden is just about done spewing forth good things to eat, and I think we’re about to lose the rest to frost anyway. Now all I have left are the grapes.  I’ve got literally bajillions of grapes that want juicing. I haven’t ever done them before, but I’ve heard it ain’t no thang. That’s one rumor I hope is true, because I am bushed!

 

 

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I spied this classic 80′s bed sheet at DI nearly a year ago, and was in love. It’s so undeniably late 80′s/early 90′s  (I mean it totally looks like that couch I grew up with), and yet? And yet I totally love it.  I mean, my last name ain’t Tribe for nothing. I decided to make it shine with Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges pattern, as I have long long wanted to give it a go, and was very much inspired by this look by Steven Alan.

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 05 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

I did make some alterations to the Darling Ranges pattern, as my muslin (I made a muslin!) had some issues. I adjust the dart angle and position (still didn’t nail it as you can see), and angled the side seams WAY out (like 2 inches on each side!) because it was pulling the back piece forward and my side seams weren’t straight down. I removed the added width I now had by adding darts in the back. I also raised up the neckline by one button, and lengthened the hem.  Oh, and I cut a size up in the sleeve (as per several reviews I read), which fit perfectly. I also added a cuff, because the elastic sleeve wasn’t gonna fly with my thicker cotton and edgy (hah!) pattern.
mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 01 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

The real bonus of sewing with a sheet is that it’s so so soft from lots of washings. I try not to think about WHY it was washed so many times, and just focus on how dreamy it feels. This dress is so comfy, and that alone will qualify it for some guaranteed game time this Fall.  But really, I love it all around, and dig that it’s gonna dress up or down easily.

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 03 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 02 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition
mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 04 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

I’m definitely going to make this dress again, especially now that I have adjusted the pattern to be just about perfect for my shape. It really is a great design.

I’m in Sewing Summit crunch time, and have about 2,387 projects to do before next week. I try not get stressed, but I can’t help it; house shopping, school starting, trying desperately to preserve the abundant fruits and vegetables from my garden, planning for my Sewing Summit class, AND take care of and feeding my family have sort of just sent me over the top, and I’ve been staying up way late. My body apparently needs more sleep that I’m giving it, because I got sick today which is a real bummer.  Hopefully I’ll bounce back soon, because really, I just have to bounce back soon. I need your tips on keeping your calm and dealing with stress! I am not a high stress person, but over the last couple years I’ve started really physically responding to stress like for instance I get lock jaw or get sick when things become hectic. It’s no fun, and I am really trying to deal with it better. I know everyone is different, but what works  for you?

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mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 02 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

New Fave, in the hood. I’ve been planning a floral blazer for Twinkle for like light years (almost as long as I’ve been planning a blazer for myself which still hasn’t materialized), and it took a whole week to tackle. It wasn’t easy folks, I really had to muscle through some sizing issues, and I can assure you my seam ripper got lots of game time. But zoo-ee-mama, how I do love it.

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 06 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

Deets: I used this sweet sweet floral that I found at Michael Levine (I bought it at their storefront, but it’s on sale online!), and it ended up having great body for this project. The pattern is Kwik Sew K3697, with a few alterations. First of all, I chose a size that was really too big, and so I had to take everything in. BOO. In tailored sewing, that is a big fat pain in the arse. I added a fitted curve to the back and side seams, brought up the hem, and added a contrasting lining to the the sleeves, which is just a bomb little detail in my ‘umble opinion. But you know what is an even cooler detail? The tags. The first one is my token Mama Loves You tag, and then instead of sharpie-ing her name in like her school asks, I made her a custom name tag that I can only partially show you, cause I’m mysterious like that.  SO SWEET!! I had a mini-stroke making her name tag, I just really out did myself with that one. PS Melly has a really great blazer pattern that  would adorable in girl version as well, and I don’t think you’d have to make many (or any?) alterations.

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 10 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 03 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 04 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

A couple more things. I totally ran out of fabric (sad!), and had to piece the inner front panels, AND (much like my first version of this pattern) I had to cut it off grain!! Oh the horror!!
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 05 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First DayThe skirt is self-drafted (if you can call it that); it’s just a rectangle with a paper bag elastic waist, fake placket and rectangle pockets. Super easy, and she chose the triangle buttons which I think are pretty cute. The fabric is a heavy seer sucker that a neighbor gave me. 
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 08 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

You know who is pretty cute? This girl. And her new glasses?? Adorable.  She loves this blazer–she’s been sporting it half-done around the house all week and asking me WHHHHHEN will it be done!!??!  Not for the first day of school, I’ll tell you that much. But now she’ll look fantastic for her second week of school, which is nearly as good. I actually don’t want to talk too much about her first day of first grade, because it was a sad day for me. I think I cried for an hour straight the night before, and swore up and down I was just going to home school her. The actual morning though, she was really really excited. I kept on asking if she wanted to stay home, and although she had mixed emotions, she was really pumped to go. After a week we’re already in a new groove, and she’s loving it.  I’m okay, but it is a really long day.  Anyone else have a hard time sending your kids off to school?  I was home schooled all growing up, so I think that makes it extra hard for me, although I know homeschool isn’t right for our family, at least not now.  I guess it’s just an end of a chapter and that’s always sad.

In other news, I’m SO excited for Sewing Summit, and things are crazy around here with preparations and trying to find a new house because WE’RE MOVING AGAIN. Allan just got a new job down South, so it looks like we’re going to be calling Utah county our home again. I’m excited, but have lots of mixed emotions to leave a lovely home and family near by.  I will have family near by down there as well, but it just feels like we didn’t get quite enough time here. But we’re hoping to actually BUY a house which is pretty fun and so grown-up. Lots of change on the horizon!
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 12 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

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mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 07 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Now, you all know pretty well by now that my love and loyalties lie with the rubber block and carving tool–I really really love me some stamp carving. BUT! Who can resist the clean, crisp lines of stenciling?? So clear! So sharp! Stenciling is like block printing’s perfect older sister who gets all A’s, and who is kinda OCD–She’s maybe a little less exciting, but you gotta appreciate that predictability! Handprinting, although not hard, does have a lot of variabilities that can affect the crispness of your results. Stenciling on the other hand, is so straight-forward; just keep in mind a few techniques, and you’re gonna come out a winner.

Steps for stellar stenciling:

  • Use good stenciling film. I’ve used everything from cardboard to contact paper, and although anything will work, a good quality stencil film that is transparent, thin, yet sturdy will make all the difference in getting good, clear prints. I do love using freezer paper, but it’s a one time deal, and can’t be reused. When I make a detailed stencil, I want to be able to use it again!
  • When cutting out, use a good, SHARP utility knife. Don’t waste your time with a dull one, you’ll end up cursing obscenities under your breath. If the blade isn’t sharp, you’ll have to pull too hard, and won’t be able to stay ‘in the lines’, which will be sad.
  • Always (try to) pull your knife downwards–you’ll have the most control that way.  Avoid sideways or upward cuts by continually rotating your design. Oh, and use a cutting mat!
  • Don’t load your brush/sponge with too much paint! When you first load, blot it out a couple of times on your paint tray before applying to your project.  Less paint over more passes prevents bleeding underneath your stencil.
  • Repositionable adhesive spray is your friend. It temporarily sticks your stencil to your printing surface so nothing seeps underneath, and then you can just peel it up, reposition, and use again.  I typically reapply every few passes.
  • Always make sure to have some scratch paper underneath your printing surface so your paint doesn’t bleed onto the other side!

This design was inspired by some doodles I did a few days ago when I was trying to draw flowers without any curved lines. I’ve got a thing for hard and soft together,  it’s just so bangarang. Anyway, I had just been reading the super awesome book A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight, and was all pumped up to turn my doodle into an all-over-print.  I’m so excited to do more with this, and actually, I’ve been scheming about how to flesh out a quote un quote collection of designs to go along with this.  What?! You heard me. Until then though, I’ll hook you up with the design template so you can make your own! Don’t mention it.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 05 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1302 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

To make these pretties (my favorite is the all-over-print), start by tracing the design onto the stencil film, and cutting it out with a (sharp!) utility knifemad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 12 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 02 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Then prepare your printing surface. I used these  zippered, blank pillow covers and dyed them a soft Kilt Green (diluted the concentration to make it more subdued). Do as I say not as I did, and press your  printing surface  before printing (check out all Dharma’s blanks!)

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 06 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateDon’t forget to put scratch paper inbetween so nothing bleeds to the back!

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 01 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateNow using a stenciling brush or sponge, apply the fabric paint (I used Jacqurd Textile Color in Spruce), being careful not to pick up too much paint, eh? For a set pattern like the first pillow, it’s wise to mark out where you’ll print before hand. For the all over design, I packed in the stencil as many times as I could fit into the space, and then filled in the remaining spaces using sections of the stencil, no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I was filling in just the tiniest empty spaces, so for that I ripped the end off my sponge so I could print just a single flower or leaf or whatever without printing into the other parts of the design.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 07b Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 10 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 101 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Doh! My paper wasn’t butted up to the very edges and it bled through onto the back, so I turned that frown upside down by making it into a border. Bazinga.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 09 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Heat set your design with a quick pass of the iron, slap that baby over your pillow insert, and stand back and listen to the hallelujah chorus sing.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1304 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1305 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

And what about that awesome ikat pillow, you ask? I got that gorgeous print at Michael Levine, and a 1/2 yard of that masterpiece gave me two amazing pillows! (similar drool-worthy ikats found here). mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 11 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateAnd just like that my couch is my favorite part of my living room. Pencil, stencil, paint and faint, I always like to say.

I have SO MANY juicy back to school specials to show you, so stay tuned. I’ll leak them slowly over the next few weeks as I get a chance to photograph them. Now (after I whip out a few funny tees for the boy), I’ll be turning my mind and creative energies towards getting all ready for Sewing Summit, which means more handprinting.  I’m on a hand printing rampage! Don’t be surprised when I instagram hand printed toilet paper, I’m just saying;)

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I have been wishing upon a star for the last five years that I could get my mitts on a tailor’s ham and sausage. I learned how to sew on a couple of these babies (way back in 4-H by my fantastic teacher Cami), and ever since I’ve fantasized about them–especially in those desperate moments of particularly difficult pressing fixes.  I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. One time I saw one in a thrift store;  it smelled like moth balls and was ugly as sin and even then I barely passed it up. I’ve just kept on sewing and fantastizing until I just couldn’t take it anymore.  That was like, last Tuesday, case your curious.
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 01 Tailors Ham and Sausage

Do you sew with a ham? It’s for pressing curved and hard-to-get-at seams, and anytime you can’t get your garment to lie flat. The ham is great for darts and princess seams, and the sausage is perfect to slide into a sleeve for that wily shoulder curve.  And wowee, are they fun to have and to hold. If nothing else, you’ll want one to canoodle with next time you settle down to watch your favorite movie.

mad mim tailors ham and sausage 03 Tailors Ham and Sausage
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 06 Tailors Ham and Sausage

I used Kristiann‘s pattern and tutorial, and packed those suckers with sawdust (that I got free from the nice fellows and Home Depot) within an inch their lives.  It was a messy and time consuming and a real good time. mad mim tailors ham and sausage 02 Tailors Ham and Sausage

Pretty jazzed about my new  meat. So tight, so firm, so heat-ready with it’s cotton and wool sides.  Like Katy so aptly put it: serious seamstresses use a ham. 
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 05 Tailors Ham and Sausage

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About a week before my bro-in-law’s wedding I asked the bride-to- be what I should put the kids in for the big day (I was a bride’s maid), and she said anything in the wedding colors would be fine. Well, don’t you know, I didn’t have single article of clothing for them in mint, coral or even grey and the words weren’t even out of her mouth before I knew I was gonna bust out a whole new ensemble. I could have whipped up a bow, or maybe a  sash, but why do that when you have some pretty swiss dot organza that the neighbor gave you just lying around and some dye, and a week!? I mean, I had to go the distance, and make a couple of fancy little dresses for my girlies and a bow tie for the little man (he always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop, poor kid). I had plenty of time so it wasn’t a marathon or anything, but still. Silly me. At least it all turned out super cute, and you know, we all were matchy matchy which is weirdly fun sometimes.

mad mim wedding best 03 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

I used Ottobre  Spring 1/2013 #25 for the starting point of Twinkle’s dress, although I did make some basic changes to it (no button-up, short sleeves, no collar). I really like it because of the pretty princess seams. I also added the skinny and long ties from Ottobre Summer 3/2013 #17, and a little more fullness to the skirt.  mad mim wedding best 02 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy
mad mim wedding best 04 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Bub got a little bow tie, and I threw him some handsome little white linen trouser shorts I made him for easter (and still haven’t blogged about). I used a real bow tie pattern I got from Miranda (something like this  I would just enlarge it 150% rather than 200%). Anyway, I make the two sides, tie the bow tie, and then add velcro or a safety pin the back.

mad mim wedding best 07 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Girly Girl got Ottobre Summer 3/2012 #12, which is such a sweet little pattern–the fit is perfect.  It looks a little balloony in this picture, but it’s really just perfect, very sweet.

mad mim wedding best 05 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

And just look how close I matched the dye to my bride’s maid dress, I nailed that one. And I did it so ghetto too! I was just dumping in the color to the washer like a crazy woman.  Little green here, little yellow there, and boom. Perfecto.

mad mim wedding best 06 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

And I just had to throw this one in cause it’s sweet.

mad mim wedding best 08 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Ah, nothing like family sewing and that’s a fact.

IMAG0284 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy It was a lovely day, she was gorgeous, he was handsome, and it was great to see and be with Allan’s wonderful family. We’re so happy that Brittany has joined The Tribe! (Hehe, pun always intended).

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So I’m pretty sure I was certain from about 1990 to 2011 that swimsuit peplums were reserved for toddlers or Grandma’s.  It wasn’t til pretty recently that I spied this beauty and started to think that maybe I was mistaken.  This suit definitely still has an old-timey feel but I think the mini peplum adds a youthful flare to a 90′s special. Maybe? Puede ser?  I love the vintage swimwear trend, and the added coverage doesn’t hurt my feelings either.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 03 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

And I printed it! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? On a whim I decided to see if my leaching technique with discharge paste would work on my swim fabric, and I was kinda amazed to see it did! As you see it wasn’t as clear or bold a result, but I dig the sort of faded look, which ironically won’t fade because the color has been leached out.  It’s kinda crazy and maybe a little bit  hodge podge (still not sure about the stripes in back), but I do love it, I think it’s my favorite suit to date.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 02 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 05 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

I started with a vintage gem of a pattern that I thrifted– Sew-Knit-N-Stretch #151 by Kerstin Martensson, who I’m a big fan of. It was a GREAT pattern, and I just lengthened through the trunk, added a waist seam, brought up the back and made it a V, and went up a size in the bottom. For chest support, I actually sewed in one of my old bras! Wasn’t sure it was gonna work, but it wasn’t super padded or absorbent and I figured it would be fine. I just positioned and pinned it in there, cut it off at the straps and sideseams, and then sandwhiched it between the lining and shell and zig zagged that sucker in.  No biggy.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 04 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

I seriously DO NOT go swimming enough to validate making another suit (I’ve only worn last summer’s a couple of times!), but I love swimwear because they’re pretty fast and super fun.  Don’t judge.

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So as some of you know, I’ve been contemplating a big haircut for the last few weeks. I’ve always wanted to go short at some point, and although I’m not one of those people who get super attached to their hair, I was just waiting for the right time, ya know? I did actually have a super short haircut in college for like 2.5 seconds, but I hated it and grew it out immediately. I’ve always thought though, that the infamous short-period was  just a bad cut, and I thought it deserved another go. By the time I was done pinning and obsessing over a million different styles, I had the feeling that everyone was like just do it already, Mim. So I decided to go for an asymmetrical pixie, and peeps, I actually got butterflies walking to the salon from my car which is so not me. I mean I used to be known as “Double Dare Mim”, so I was kinda ashamed to be wimping out over a haircut. But I muscled through the consult just hoping I wasn’t making a massive mistake, and as soon as my hairdresser (Cynthia–who was amazing) started snipping I was at peace with the world and my hair.  The two words people have kept on saying is that it’s “modern” or really “80′s”, which are the same thing I guess–I’m just a little insecure that people don’t know that.  I’m hoping that everyone isn’t like, wow, that was soooo 30 years ago. 

mad mim triangle scrap blouse short hair 04 Triangle Scrap Top + Short Hair!

I love it though. Love it love it love it. It’s a pretty unique cut, I haven’t seen anything exactly like I don’t think (especially the back which I didn’t get a full on shot of, but it’s sort of like a duck tale back there), and it feels a little edgy but still feminine. Hubs loves it, and so do my kiddos which matters to me for some reason. Overall I’ve gotten positive reviews, except for a girl at church who said my husband would kill me if I did anything like that.   To each their own [80's haircut] right?!

mad mim triangle scrap blouse short hair 02 Triangle Scrap Top + Short Hair!

Now about this shirt. Isn’t cool?? While deep sea diving at  Michael Levine Loft, I found this itty bitty piece of floral that I LOVED. I think I initially just boo hoo’d that there wasn’t more of it, but then I decided to take it anyway—maybe I could make it shine despite its lack of yardage. It was probably around a 18 inches by 12 inches, although I didn’t measure. When I was looking back through my Ottobre women’s issue of Spring/Summer , I saw this triangle blocked blouse and thought it was just the ticket (design #9).  And man, I just eeked that sucker out (I had to piece the button band), but am so happy with how it turned out, it’s just my flavor.

mad mim triangle scrap blouse short hair 03 Triangle Scrap Top + Short Hair!

The main fabric is this unbelievable rayon lawn (on sale for $4.02/yard!) that’s so pretty and floaty and drapey I wanted to wrap up in it, turn on a fan, and sing You Were Meant for Me if you know what I mean. It looks and feels a lot like matte silk, and was a bit tricky to cut out–I had two yards to work with hallelujah,  because I ended up cutting several pieces twice because I didn’t get them exactly on grain the first go round. I dyed it Havana Brown using my beloved fiber reactive dyes, and it matched so perfectly with my floral that I knew it was providential. I also love that even though it’s light as air, it’s completely opaque.  The only alteration I made was to slash and spread the back just a tad to give it a bit of flare. The simple striped pencil I whipped up the morning of my haircut, because I swear, I can’t make myself wear pants of even shorts this Summer.

mad mim triangle scrap blouse short hair 05 Triangle Scrap Top + Short Hair!

So speaking of Summer, this one is fading away from me, and I’m mad about it. I’ve been busy with my fruit trees and garden, and it’s passed so quickly without my permission. It’s been such a low key, lovely couple of months, and I find myself not enjoying it because I am sad it will end. Do you ever do that? I do, all the time. I get this way especially during Summer and Christmas time–every nice thing has a twinge of sadness because somewhere inside I’m thinking it’s almost over! One bright spot of getting ready for the Fall is sewing for Twinkle’s back to school wardrobe, but that too is bittersweet because that means she’ll be gone for a full day this year. I’m already missing her, and think it might be a hard transition for me.  But I’ve heard the elementary is a good one, and she’s so excited about her head is gonna pop off. Ah, these new chapters and changing seasons! I can only hope it will be as nice as the last.

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Green has always been my fave (although orange has sort of taken over my life lately), and today I’m over at sweet Delia’s to share my tutorial and pattern for an easy swing tee in her and KoJo’s rad Color Your Summer series, which I’m assuming you know about and love already (if not, buckle up!).

mad mim color my summer green swing shirt 02 Easy Swing Tee in Green // Color Your Summer

mad mim color my summer green swing shirt 03 Easy Swing Tee in Green // Color Your SummerThings around here are chugging along. I’ve almost finished unpacking (just barely got my sewing room/office in working order), and now have the daunting task of decorating the place.  It always takes me a bit to jump in and decorate because its such an overwhelming task. For me. AND, I feel like I need a ton more art, so that’s holding me up. AND, I want to make some of that art myself. AND we have next to no furniture despite our 7 1/2 years of marriage, and I am filled with aspirations to build some like for starters a dining table, sewing desk, and craft hutch. Ambitious much? Yeah, I know I know. But the house we’re renting has a couple really nice table saws, and I feel I would be wasting an opportunity to learn a craft I’ve always wanted to if I didn’t at least give it a valiant effort. So I’ll be switching it up around here, which will be F. U. N. and maybe a little dangerous.  And thanks for all your encouragement for chopping my hair! I’m gonna go the glory and do it (I think)!

 

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This dress sort of just made itself. And what I mean by that, is that I didn’t intend to make it, it just sort of happened. I had been planning, for some time, a dress using that striped knit. I had sketched it a number of times, and knew just what I wanted. And then mysteriously, when I went to cut into it, I started cutting out a different dress all together.  Como se wha? I know! Quality scope for a juicy sewing novel, for sure.  I honestly don’t know what came over me, but suddenly I was cutting out a completely different design that had just materialized in my head at the moment of contact. It involved a small bit of this 80′s floral knit that a neighbor had given me, and I was halfway finished before I was like wait, what? How did this happen? At that point I was filled with remorse, because I really did want the dress that I had planning on making, and the one that was coming together wasn’t feeling very me-ish. When I finished, I was still feeling like the whole affair was sort of a bummer–I really liked the dress, but wasn’t loving it for me. I think I even threw around the word hate a few times, which may have been in the heat of the moment, but you know, this dress had hijacked my plans and I was feeling cheated and defensive.

mad mim floral and stripe knit dress 01 Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over

Buuut, turns out I really like it. I know, because I’ve worn it a ton. True, it t isn’t completely me (I think it’s mostly the circle skirt that just isn’t my flavor), but it can be really nice to wear something that is refreshing and different from the bulk of what I have. And it’s reeaaally comfy, so that gives an unfair advantage over the rest of my dresses.

The deets. I think I used the Renfrew as a starting point, and just added the buttons and collar.  The collar gave me some grief with gapage and what not, so I actually fished some elastic through the facing seam (my trusty old trick), to reign that sucker in. Worked, but not perfectly, as you can see in some pictures it kind of gathers where it ought not. The skirt is just your basic circle skirt, I tried to make it a  bit hi-low, but that was mostly a fail as you can barely notice the difference. Not the first time I’ve under hi-lowed myself.

mad mim floral and stripe knit dress 02 Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over
mad mim floral and stripe knit dress 05 Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over

mad mim floral and stripe knit dress 06 Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over

mad mim floral and stripe knit dress 04 Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over

So your dying to know about my origional sketch? Patience, young ones.  It turns out I had more than enough fabric to make it too. But I actually wear this one more though, funny enough; I think it’s the waistline on the other one, which I gotta fix that before I show you here. Also. How do you feel about my grown-out bang look? I felt just like Becky (Jessie’s wife)  from Full house all night. I’m growing them out so I can chop my hair really short. I want it to be longer in front, and I think I’m almost there. Still nervous about it (you can see my current hair fantasies here), so tell me if I’m cray cray.

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      all the stuff (photos & tutorials etc) that you see around here is copyrighted by me (miriam tribe) for madmim.com. when using any of my stuff (photos & tutorials etc) for your stuff (blog, website or forum) please cite my website & work by linking back. thanks!