Ottobre 6/2013, No. 24

Lately I have been so inspired by Ottobre patterns.  I have a list a mile long of things I'd like to make from issues past and present.   This time I wanted to focus on Indigo.  As the oldest of our girls and the giver rather than the receiver of hand-me-downs, she is the one most in need of new clothes.

ottobre 6/2013, No. 24

It's been interesting, fun and yet stretching for me to find things that suit Indigo as she grows.

ottobre 6/2013, No 24 

Sewing for the 2-5 year old comes most naturally to me, perhaps because I have been sewing for that age range for so long.  It's my comfort zone.  Indigo now has her own taste and style, so choosing what I make for her is a team effort these days.   It's great and she is a wonderful co-planner to have around!

my indigo love

I almost passed over this dress, #24 in the 6/2013 issue, because it was sewn in a bold floral print which obscured the pattern's beautiful lines.  It actually wasn't until I saw the diagram of the dress that I knew that it was a must-make.  I decided to make it in a solid to really let the details shine.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24 

I love the curved bodice seams.  To give more definition to the seam, I added some charcoal piping.  If you've never made piping before, it really is so easy and gives you so many more options than what you can find at the store.  I always trim my piping seam allowance to match my dress seam allowance so I can just line up the edges for easy application.

ottobre 2013, No 24 

Indigo and I both liked the v-shape of the bodice's bottom edge.  It definitely gives the dress a more elegant feel, but in simple fabrics, I hope it becomes more interesting than overly formal.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24 

I was drawn to the side gathering as well.

Ottobre 6/2013, No 24 

I just think this is a pretty unique pattern all around.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24

After making two or three dresses which were too short for Indigo this summer, I learned my lesson the hard way and I am now adding length to anything I make for Indigo.  (Sometimes too much length.) Having that extra length to work with, I added a more dramatic sloping hemline with the front being 4 inches shorter than the back.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24 

Then, borrowing an idea from the Bohemian Babydoll dress, I drafted a hem facing, in the same charcoal fabric I used for the piping.

charcoal hem facing

The sleeves have darts in the back.  This was my first time sewing darts.  It turns out they are nothing to be afraid of... how about that! (I didn't get a photo of those darts!)

I referred back to the fabulous Hanimi pattern for instructions on sewing in the zipper and attaching the lining to the zipper. This is - hands down- my favorite way to install zippers.   I also love the way An has you attach the bodice to the skirt without fiddling with lining up a zipper to the skirt.  Such a clever method!

ottobre 6/2013, no 24

 I made the dress in this Kaufman corduroy in rust.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24 

My camera was determined to make the dress appear bright red and I had to do lots of color correction (editing) by hand to represent the color accurately.   Kaufman's line of 21 Wale corduroy is so soft and lovely.  Indigo says it feels like velvet.  I have used it many times and it never disappoints.

ottobre 6/2013, no 24 

Isn't Indigo looking like such a little lady these days? 

Our littlest of ladies, Hazel, is now going from crawling to sitting up. I set her down on her belly and came back to this.  She was so quiet and nonchalant about the whole thing. :)
  hazel sitting up!

I love how she sits up so straightly! It makes me want to work on my posture.

I also wanted to report back on She Plans Dinner.  This is our third week using it and so far, we love it! We have been working for years to streamline our dinner hour, planning meals and grocery lists in advance, but nothing has worked as well as this.  It's only $5 per month, and all but one of the recipes we've tried have been good to excellent. The meals have really been delicious!  We subscribed to the Fit and Healthy Plan which is almost a Paleo-style menu. That works great for our family because Dan is gluten-free and Tia has a lot of food allergies including allergies to eggs and dairy. We do usually add a starch like brown rice or bread and I often add another side dish. I love that this takes the guess work out of dinner. I like to cook, but don't like thinking of what to make... at all.   I do adapt the recipes sometimes to fit our family's taste and often reduce the amount of salt, but overall we've been so happy with our plan. Here's what's on our menu this week.

  she plans dinner 

I've also been making beans in the crockpot and substituting them for the canned beans in the recipes. My kids have loved that. Some of meals require some marinating time, but the aim is to spend 30 minutes or less on prep work. Between this and some other changes we've made as part of my new year's resolutions, we're really getting into a good rhythm.

tia and franklin  

I'm looking forward to reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I've heard so many great things about it. We ordered it, but somehow lost it!  Dan said, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is lost in our clutter. How ironic is that?!" Ha!  Still we've made a lot of progress, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself.  I've been on a decluttering mission since last fall and things are really shaping up around here!

tia, franklin and bondi


The Bohemian Babydoll Dress and Two Ottobre Tshirts

Well, we made it to the other side and I'm a little afraid to put this out there, but I think we have escaped the flu!  So this weekend I finally had some time to do a little sewing.

bohemian babydoll dress 

When I wrote my year-end sewing recap, I was really surprised I had made so many things.  I mean, really surprised.  For one, with so many people in one house, that amount of sewing doesn't go as far as one might think.  But more than that, I was surprised because my sewing time is so limited.


Hazel is Five Months Old!

This year I've felt motivated to re-evaluate the way we do things around here and put pen to paper and write down some New Year's resolutions.  In the past, I've written 'intentions' which I feel are decidedly non-committal.  Somehow, though, every year those intentions have guided me and I was able to accomplish or be mindful of the changes I had hoped to make throughout the year.  But this year I wanted to be even more intentional and specific about them.

jude and hazey mae


Christmas Nightgowns and Pajamas

By nature, I tend not to be the most organized person in the world.  I'm more of a free spirit.  I like to go with the flow.  Schedules can feel confining to me.  And yet one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that organization really is key to a biggish family running smoothly.  While it does not come naturally to me (at all!), I have learned to become a more organized person.  I find it makes things feel a lot more peaceful.

christmas pjs 


2014 : My {Sewing} Year in Review

This year (and in years past) I have been so inspired by you fancy bloggers who put together those clever year-end mosaics.  This year I decided to give it a go myself using Mosaic Maker and it turns out, it was very simple!  If you haven't tried it, you should.  It's quite fun!  I made one mosaic for each quarter of the year.

January - March


Christmas Part 1 : Hazel's First Christmas

I'm feeling this week between Christmas and the New Year is one of the best of the year!  It's slow and relaxed and I am loving every bit of it right now.

We had a great Christmas.  On Christmas Eve, we all got dressed up to go to a Christmas Eve church service.

christmas 2014