Sep 30, 2010

Butterflies for Lucy (The One in Which She Thwarts My Efforts)

See that face? That's the pained look my daughter makes when I'm forcing her to do something against her will (see also: eating food, wearing shoes, talking to Grandpa on Skype). Here, I am encouraging her to try on this dress I made for her this week and pose for pictures.

She's only 26 months old and already she's clued into the idea that every kid's modus operandi should be thwarting the Things That Mom Really Wants Me To Do. I thought I had a few years of co-operation before that kicked in. But so it begins. In fact, this might be the last time she wears this dress. (If she continues to refuse to wear it, maybe I'll raffle it off here. I hope your kid has skinny arms like mine does: the armholes are on the small side, and I don't have any of this butterfly fabric left to remake it. I guess I could always rip the sleeves out and turn it into a sleeveless romper dress.)

Some kids seem to live to please their parents. Mine is like I was: my mom loved pink, ergo I hated it. My mom adored watching me dance, therefore I threw tantrums on the way to ballet class. Some would call that bratty, but I'm guessing it has something to do with asserting independence, blah, blah, kill your mother, marry your father, blah blah...what was I saying?

I'm already working hard on playing it cool re. the things I hope she gets into. Like music. My one regret is that I have never learned to play an instrument. Of course I could learn now. I'm a big girl — and there are three guitars, a mandolin, a harmonica and calimba in our apartment. But thanks to that jerk Malcolm Gladwell, we all know mastering any new skill takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice, and who has that kind of time? I'm only on episode 6 of this season of Mad Men.

Anyway, though she may never wear it again, I'm really proud of this dress because it's a little shred of evidence that I mastering this new skill. Only like, 9,876 hours to go.

Sep 29, 2010

In Which I hate On Rompers

It was the hottest summer on record in NYC, and I spent most of alternately sweating and complaining to anyone who would listen about how fugly and inappropriate it is for grown-ass women to be running around in rompers. My two-year-old looks adorable in rompers. She wears them often. That's how I know for a fact that rompers give you a wedgie unless you're wearing a diaper. Need to raise your hand to wave hello? Well, now you have camel toe, young lady. Also: going to a public bathroom. Do you really want to be topless while you pee? I saw a study once about how few of those doors actually lock...

This is all a digression to explain my surrender. Go ahead: squeeze yourself into that romper that gives you uni-boob, girl. I no longer judge you. I can't, because this week I created a pattern for and sewed a mini-dress modeled on one I made for my toddler earlier this year. Yes, that one, pictured at left. (Don't I look thrilled? I just love having my picture taken.)

I'm now taking my second patternmaking class at the Fashion Institute of Technology, home to Twizzler-thin hipsters who are the only beings apparently unaffected by climate change (how else to explain leather pants in 30 C heat? Seriously, Republicans should make these kids a talking point.) I feel like such a mom when I am there. Like: "Cute outfit, lady. My mom would love it, heh heh."

Aside from my anxiety regarding my own general uncoolness, I knew I'd love it. I learned so much even in the first semester. I can create slopers (the building blocks for all patterns) and can draft bodices, sleeves, collars, etc. (We move on to skirts/pants this semester). In short: I finally learned how geometry can be useful!

The original pattern for the toddler dress (pictured at right on my girl) is from, an amazing online resources for sewers. Not only can you download patterns there, you can also learn techniques from tutorials. I basically used the sloper I made for myself to extrapolate a mommy-sized dress pattern for myself. My next project is to learn how to post my own patterns there, so I can start sharing the stuff I make. (We finally got a new computer, so anything is possible now. That's the reason I stopped blogging here last winter: my laptop was so geriatric that it wouldn't function with modern websites like That's more than six months with a computer so slow, I missed the dial-up connection of my university days.)

Anyway, I am back. I have 10 things on the go, and plan to post about all of them. Hopefully patterns one day too, for anyone who cares.

P.S. I swear on a stack of rompers that I will never, ever wear my dress on the same day as Lucy. That would just be too much.


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