Dress Book Giveaway! [Closed]

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway, hasn’t it? As it turns out, I was wildly optimistic about my ability to juggle a book, illustration clients, a blog, other secret projects to be revealed soon, and teaching. Not to mention this somewhat important factor called family. I had to hang up my cape and retire the chipped faux-superwoman badge and reassess the situation.

After some serious analysis of weighing pros and cons, I opted to let go of teaching sewing classes. Keli of Drygoods was incredibly gracious as always and has extended an open invitation for me to teach at her lovely studio when I’m ready, but for now, I’m taking a sabbatical from my short-lived career as a sewing instructor.

This means that I have a couple of extra Japanese sewing books to give away which were originally going to be part of my class. Again, in my wildly optimistic way, I was planning on providing a comprehensive translation of the steps for all the patterns to go along with the giveaway, but I was clearly delusional. BUT. The winners should definitely contact me with questions any time (in fact, I hope you all know that if a Japanese sewing book stumps you, I’m always happy to translate/help). And I mean that. Who knows? I may still have time to include translations to ship out with the books. Famous last words…

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The book comes with 20 patterns, and I’ve made variations of the dress from the cover three times here and here and here. These are quick, simple and stylish dresses and come in three sizes (9, 11, 13). The 11 fits me well, and in terms of western commercial Big 4 sewing sizes, I’m between a 12 and 14.

A while ago during one of my sewing marathons, I listened to a podcast or interview or something that now escapes me, but what I do remember is this one statement: “I chose to do art because it was the one thing I knew I would never get bored or tired of. That it would always surprise me.” I chewed on that and decided that for me, writing, sewing, photography and drawing made the cut.

So, to enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment answering this question: What is something that you know you would never get bored of? More than one thing is perfectly fine too!

There will be TWO winners which I will choose randomly, and the giveaway is open until Friday, April 18th (updated!). As always, I’m happy to ship internationally. Good luck!!

 

 

Instagram + Green-Eyed Monster

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Instagram! Are you in on the action? I just started (@sanaeishida) but I don’t know what I’m doing at all. I couldn’t load it on my iphone for some reason, so it’s on my ipad, which makes picture-taking a rather awkward ordeal. I took a profile pix of myself when I was trying to do something else, and “liked” one of my own photos by mistake. And what’s a private user? I’m basically a mess.

I tentatively selected a few folks to follow and then had to stop and ask myself why I wanted to plunge myself in what seems like another time-robber. I love Pinterest for the visual inspiration that floods me, but I often have to step away from all the prettiness to dial down the expectations of how my own life should look. I’m digging the idea of capturing photo-based moments easily in a communal way. But I think what could make Instagram dangerous — much like any social media — is the feelings of inadequacy it can generate, more so than blogs or Pinterest because IG posts are supposedly instantaneous, real-time depictions of one’s day-to-day. It’s easy to forget that it’s another way of curating our lives for an audience. For example, I started following Alice Gao, the it girl photographer with talent oozing out of her pores. And then immediately, my little sewing-drawing-blogging-writing existence paled in comparison to the beautifully composed shots of her jet-setting, glamorous life. And is it my imagination, or are some of the photos from DSLR cameras? They look too perfect.

On the flip side, I’m also fabulously inspired – the woman creates art with photography whether it’s with a mobile device or fancy camera, there’s no question. It totally makes me want to up my photography game. That initial feeling of “why is my life fuddy duddy and why do my ipad images suck!!??” made me ponder the whole notion of jealousy.

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Have you ever wondered why jealousy and envy are associated with the color green? Some posit that Shakespeare coined the association through The Merchant of Venice and Othello, others cite Greek origins of the feelings inducing bile, hence the hue. To break up the text because I’m blathering on and on yet again, I went around the house taking photos of green and green-ish household objects…

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Lately, K has started to remark, “I feel jealous!” about certain things. When we go buy a gift for her friend’s birthday, for instance, or if I pay more attention to someone else. It’s actually one of the reasons I wrote my “enough” post, but the green-eyed monster is a big subject. It all falls under the same general topic I’m aware, but there’s something particularly taboo about jealousy, don’t you think? In many ways, I find it so refreshing that K openly declares her feelings because we all feel it.

Okay, so technically, coveting a friend’s birthday present would fall more into the envy arena, where as jealousy is often defined as a fear of having something we value taken away (e.g. a romantic partner or a parent’s attention). It could also be the fear of being replaced, as in “she’s a much better version of me and people will like her more”. Be it envy or jealousy, it’s all coming from a place of lack.

I remember when I was about six-years-old, I used to draw princesses all the time. It was an obsession. Crowns, gowns, sparkles and more. It was the only thing I could draw well, which is why I did it over and over and over. And I had this friend (also age six), who one day decided she wanted to draw princesses too. Swiftly, she wielded her pencil and produced a princess remarkably similar to mine, and I was mortified. Princesses were my thing.  How dare she draw one so well without any practice (at least I didn’t think she had practiced)? I worked so so hard on my princesses. My six-year-old self couldn’t have possibly articulated the feelings in any mature way, so I refused to speak to her for days. Jealousy. I was threatened by her natural talent, annoyed that I wasn’t special, worried that I could be easily replaced should there be a need for sparkly princess illustrations.

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On the envy side, I distinctly recall a period from about 2007 to 2008 when it seemed like everyone I knew was buying a house. We, on the other hand, were bopping from one apartment to another, each one more dismal than the one before, and florescent green coursed through my blood. I pestered M about buying a house because we could have certainly scrounged up enough for a down payment, and thank goodness for his financial savvy because he had predicted the bubble and recession eons before (I call him “Muffy” – a play on my nickname for Warren Buffet: “Buffy”). I was thoroughly operating from that thing people call the “scarcity mentality”. I would troll real estate listings, drooling over turn-of-the-century Craftsman homes completely updated with charming details intact, and bemoan how awful our apartment was. M turned a deaf ear to me.

So a couple of interesting things happened in relation to those two tales. Once I got over princess-gate, I realized I needed to expand my artistic repertoire. I started to practice drawing animals (wearing princess gowns, but still). I practiced sketching anything and everything that caught my eye. I also thought about what else I could be good at despite my tender six years. I explored, and it was fun. It turned out that I was good at many things, like telling stories and mopping and creating pretend make-up from plants.

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In 2010, we found our current house through a series of mishaps, which I might tell you about one day, but it was a pretty depressing time and it’s not very interesting. Our house is a rental, but it’s just right for us. Sure, it could be spiffied up a bit as I’ve mentioned, but we love living here. The envious feeling? Poof. Completely gone.

It’s not breaking news that the envy and jealousy we feel has everything to do with what we perceive to be missing in ourselves. There was plenty of room for multiple princess-drawers in our neighborhood when I was six; what I intrinsically felt was that without that particular skill — if anyone could do it — I wasn’t unique enough. Because deep down, I was and am afraid that I am unremarkable and forgettable. I know that’s not true and it’s not true for anyone, but believing in oneself has got to be the hardest human task out there.

As for the house-envy, it was never about owning a house or keeping up with friends (at least not much). It was about feeling settled and free and part of a community. In our prior residences there was an inherent sense of impermanence and restrictiveness, so I was untethered and stifled, if you will. K’s cries would bother neighbors and I tiptoed around, feelings of resentment building. We still rent, yes, but we’ve landed on a spectacularly unusual situation in a great area – here we feel settled and free and part of a community.

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Essentially, I’d love to be like K — so open and accepting of her feelings. “I feel jealous,” she says, in the same breath as, “I feel hungry” and then she just moves on. Jealousy and envy frequently invade my emotions and my reactions to them are more complex. Over the years — through hits and misses — I’ve been working on trying to identify what’s missing in me when the feelings take over. What is it about the other person that I want? What’s the need in me that is coming up empty? It’s tough work because sometimes the answer isn’t straightforward, and it’s so very unpleasant to feel the emotions, but it can be a propeller of positive actions too. Perhaps with instagram the green-eyed monster will take up semi-permanent residence, but I’m already seeing the potential for magnificent inspiration. I’m excited by the prospect of using technology and connectivity to share my own unique perspective .

Jealousy and envy — they are teachers that ask the important questions: What do you really want to pursue? Who do you truly want to be? What do you need to do to make your life better? And perhaps the most important questions is, What can you be grateful for?

And it’s my job to answer them.

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Pancakes: Banana Oat vs. Chocolate Chip

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K made an unusual pronouncement on Sunday that threw me for a loop. “I want something different for breakfast, Mommy,” she said. For the past five years, I’ve been serving up buckwheat pancakes every Sunday. It’s like clockwork: wake up, brush my teeth, make pancakes.

Turns out that my routine girl didn’t want to deviate too much from the ritual. She just wanted different pancakes, so we thought it might be fun to each make our own version. K created a chocolate chip concoction and I investigated our cupboards and pantry for ingredients that might work. I found a bag of oat flour and some super ripe bananas, and hazily remembered pinning a banana pancake recipe, but my gargantuan board proved to be too much work to sift through and the search function wasn’t too helpful, so I googled “Banana Oat Pancakes” instead (must address the Pinterest issue). Voila! I had all the ingredients, and though I forgot to include the cinnamon and nutmeg, these were delectable!

My pancakes were fluffy and virtually sugar-free:

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Her pancakes were a sweet tooth’s dream and more like crepes:

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Guess which one she preferred?

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“Here, Mommy, you’ve gotta try these. My recipe is awesome.”

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And you know what? She was right. She made the batter entirely by herself, so I have no idea what she put in there, but they’re soft and airy and marvelous.

Of course, I was partial to my own, much healthier version. Okay, I did drizzle a teensy bit of extra maple syrup on my tower of (mini!) oat pancakes, but these are fairly guilt-free as far as pancakes go:

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Oh! I completely forgot that today is April Fool’s!! May your day be filled with gentle pranks that make you chuckle.

 

 

Monday Outfit: Necessities

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Good morning! I hope you had a delightful weekend – ours was busy but happy. What you see above is a small segment of K’s wardrobe, “small” being the operative word here. There is a dresser stuffed with more knits and pants/shorts/skirts, and at least one large basket brimming with K’s outfits, waiting to be laundered.

It’s becoming a situation. A quasi-problematic one.

I’m all for slow fashion, but I have a feeling that I’m slapping that whole concept in the face and upside the head (have I written that before? I feel like I have). Admittedly, the pile-up is due to the fact that Japanese patterns are inherently generous in sizing, and in some cases, she’s still able to wear clothes I made two years ago. So that’s both good and bad. Good because longevity is totally sustainable and cool. Bad because then I feel guilty for making more clothes that are not strictly necessary (the necessity ship sailed a long time ago for me, I realize, but I do think about it. Sometimes).

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If it were up to me, I would sew up fanciful, vintage-inspired-yet-modern outfits made out of linen and double-gauze every week. However, there are times when I have to be practical. Faced with the increasing number of wedgies K seems to suffer through, I sighed with resignation and pulled out the underwear pattern she loves so much. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is awesome — if somewhat boy’s briefs-esque —  and the fit is amazing. K has declared them the most comfortable underwear ever. It’s just that it falls under the dutiful/pragmatic section of my patterns like pajamas and long sleeve tees that are fun but not as fun as, say, a dress with multi-directional stripes or a reversible coat.

undies-take2-1So I’m making undies again. I have a bin that is chock full of knit scraps, and K has chosen these below (she said she doesn’t like the butterflies or the gold dots, which is a tad hard to see up there, but I think she’ll end up loving them):

undies-take2-2And this incredibly plain, nude-colored one is also one of her picks, currently under construction:

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Here are a few others fabrics I’m planning on transforming to cute underpinnings. K loves stripes.

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It seems that the pattern is no longer for sale, but I just discovered that Anna of Noodlehead made the darling-est versions without the front panel – must try!! I also must get my hands on more whimsical knits – those dogs are fantastic! Have you sewn any underwear lately? I think it might be time for me to attempt grown-up ones very, very soon…

Happy Friday + Randomness

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Happy Friday! I sketched this illustration while thinking about the poem K wrote below. I have it taped above my sewing table, and she also made that “I lov u” note for me using a stencil book.

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Wondering by K

I wonder about the sky
I wonder how birds can fly
I wonder as I watch the world go bye

I wonder about stars
and the planet mars
I wonder how I last
and the wonders of the past 

 

Isn’t she a wonder? I love that she included that little rhyming aside, “Have a good time with rhyme!”. KCL are her initials, by the way. I know I am repeatedly posting these little notes by K, but I’m just in awe of her developing writing skills.

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Relentlessly, the topic of my chest keeps coming up. As I leaned over to tuck K in the other night:

Mama, I don’t want a perfect view of your boobies. Put them away.

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Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend, friends! On our agenda: lots of snuggling, our weekly brunch at the local cafe, an American Girl Doll birthday bonanza for one of K’s friends.

It’s the final phase
I need to complete my book
Diving into it*

*So I always say that I might be scarce here, but I just like to put it out there to make me feel better in case I do miss a post here and there. If there’s one thing I love more than creating picture books, it’s blogging.

 

Sewing for Me: The Easiest Top

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Picasso and Mondrian would be proud of me for my abundant usage of blue and color-blocking. I’m calling this the easiest top ever because it’s literally four rectangles plus two ties. This top was part of my pre-spring plan, and hey, it’s solidly spring now and I’m finally ratcheting up my sewing mojo to make the plan a reality.

After all that body-hugging business with the Lady Skater dress, I’m back in my comfort zone and frolicking in loose, hospital/maternity garb. Here’s what the top looks like in the book:

tsukute-kitai4Here’s the back of my version:

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Isn’t the fabric lovely? It’s a Nani Iro Muji — and I think it’s a gauze, but it’s not double-gauze. The texture is absolutely luscious. Light and floaty and ethereal. It already came color-blocked, but the white edges were along the selvage so I had to cut the skirt/lower bodice section cross-grain.

It’s pretty hard to mess up four rectangles, and I believe it took me all of one hour from start to finish (no pattern to trace!). The other key factor that made this effortless was that I used the selvage for the sleeve edges and hem. Perfect.

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I get sad every time I see the chicken coop that’s in the background. The former occupants (three hens) became dinner for raccoons, and it just isn’t the same without them clucking around our yard.

Anyway, I already have plans to make this top again with a silk I’ve been hoarding, and I just might be able to share it next week! We shall see…Many thanks to my my capable photography assistant, who couldn’t help but photobomb time and time again. Notice anything different about K?

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Avocado Chocolate Cookies

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I keep a loose sort of blog schedule — every Friday, I list out potential post ideas for the following week and most of the time, I don’t follow the schedule at all because I’m always way too unrealistic and wait to create my post the day before. I’m pretty much a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal. On rare occasions, I will list the same topic over and over, carrying it through several weeks without making it happen even though it’s completely doable. These avocado chocolate cookies are an example of that.

I’ve been wanting to make these cookies for months. I love avocados. I love cookies. I especially love healthier options for sweets. I have all the ingredients for this recipe at all times (avocados, coconut sugar, egg, cocoa, chocolate chunks, baking soda and water). Seemed like a sure winner, yet I couldn’t muster the energy to make them.

Part of it was because I knew it would be yet another challenging photography project. Here’s what I mean:

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I tried all sorts of things to make them look less cow-pat-esque, but what can I say?

Just as I thought, the recipe was so quick and easy, and within half an hour, I had 18 cookies cooling on my rack. Having had success with avocado chocolate frosting before, I assumed I would adore these. They’re not bad, but some tweaks are in order. I wasn’t sure how much 50grams of chocolate chips would be (I don’t have a scale) so I tossed in a 1/2 cup. Should have added more. Also, my avocados weren’t totally ripe, and this was an issue. There’s a distinct guacamole aftertaste, which, for an avocado aficionado, isn’t such a problem, but it’s definitely weird in a cookie. So super ripe avocados are necessary.

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The recipe does state that these taste better cold and after chilling overnight in the fridge, so I’ll test that out tomorrow morn. I just had my second cookie, and you know, they’re growing on me. Guac-cookies they may be and a little odd, but they’re palatable. I like that the batch I made doesn’t use any flour, and coconut sugar is supposed to be a decent sugar alternative, but out of curiosity I might try this recipe next – this one sounds promising! I’m still trying to cut back on sugar, but sometimes chocolate is mandatory, don’t you think?

Giving Back

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My first job out of graduate school landed me in jail. The brisk and humiliating body search. The clang of the barred door. “What have I done?” I thought, numb and disoriented.

I’d committed no crime, at least none that I knew of, and certainly none that would put me in the slammer. Somehow, though, at age 27, face covered with adult-onset acne, I stood toe-to-toe with glaring, orange-clad inmates.

What I had done was find employment with an arts non-profit in the Bay Area. I’d been accepted into Peace Corps, but at the same time, I got a job offer as a director of operations for a theater company that had made a name for itself with innovative collaborations involving the San Francisco County Jail and at-risk youth, and I just couldn’t pass up the offer. The pay was the pits, the benefits laughable. But I’ve always been a dreamer and overly idealistic, and I convinced myself that I could help more in my own country than in Central Asia through the Peace Corps. And truth be told, living in San Francisco was on my bucket list, and I rationalized that I could go dig ditches in third world countries when I retired.

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In retrospect, it was probably the most character-building experience I’ve ever had. Its uniqueness came in multitudes. The non-profit organization was housed in the Center for African and African American Art and Culture (CAAAC as it was known back then, but they’ve since modified their name slightly). The center was in a part of town where people instructed me to never walk alone at night. I was one of three non-black people in the entire building. Clearly, my new employer was hell-bent on diversity, as his other employee was also not of African descent (a Caucasian Yale grad with an amazing knack for grant-writing. A super nice guy, by the way). The vibrant environment resonated with music (including a lot of rap) and dancing and glorious art.

It was also the only workplace in which my boss would show up in a zoot suit. He favored metallic blues and purples, though my personal favorite was the gold one. He wore many hats — sometimes literally — as executive director, theater company head and father figure to masses of displaced children, but most notably, he was a saxophonist and tap dancer. And he performed both simultaneously. In contrast to his wild outfits, he was a reticent and quiet man, pragmatic and kind.

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I actually had two bosses, and the other one was a firecracker who kept me on my toes. She invariably burst into rooms, her red hair glowing, commanding attention with her gravelly voice and dramatic turn of phrases. A stage actress by training, she was fierce and bold and inspiring – a lioness. Legions of young actresses sought her out to train under her. Her life mission was to work directly with female inmates, extracting and crafting their stories, then teaching the women how to perform these stories and to heal themselves.

That in and of itself was pioneering, but what raised the stakes was that the performances were held outside of the prison cells at a public venue. The shows starred the incarcerated women themselves, and some of these women had committed murder. Not a group to be messed with. A large part of my role was to coordinate all aspects of this public performance from booking the venue, working with the Sheriff’s department to ensure maximum security, dealing with city ordinances and endless bureaucratic red tape, and interfacing with the women in the jails.

High stress. Funnily enough, one of the hardest tasks for me was to organize the post-performance gala. We had no budget so this required soliciting for pro-bono help and free food. Basically, I had to beg. I begged one of the moms of the afterschool program I oversaw to cater the event. She looked at me dubiously and asked, “Did you say 200 people? How you gonna pull this off with $100?” Somehow I convinced her, and I went around imploring restaurants, shops and bakeries to donate food. I beseeched stationery stores, florists and party shops to lend us decorations and platters and champagne flutes. My love of Trader Joe’s started then because they provided almost all of the ingredients and beverages for the gala, gratis. I am a woman filled with pride and begging is antithetical to my nature.

In the end, the performance culminated in success. Many tears were shed, excellent reviews written up, and all the rest. But the gala was my pride and joy, a thing of pure beauty. I remember taking all the foodstuffs to the caterer the day before the event. ”Girl,” she said with a look of wonder, “You NICE, but you ain’t a pushover.” Very few words have made me as happy as those. I hold them dear, as a personal motto. The caterer did a phenomenal job with all the TJ supplies, whipping up mini puff pastries, pint-sized crab cakes, crudites, dips and an enormous array of mouth-watering food. She even made a gorgeous cake and the whole set up was fit for an exquisitely tasteful wedding.

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I wish I could say I had a thriving career as an arts administrator, but I didn’t stay at the organization very long — I lasted about a year. Mostly it was because my heart couldn’t take it, and I was burnt out. I was too young, too naive, too disappointed by the injustice. Yes, the organization and programs helped many people, but it was such a small percentage compared to the constant recidivism, of the endless revolving door of crime, despair, abuse. Mothers addicted to crack would stumble into my office to randomly drop off young malnourished children, barely stringing together a coherent sentence. It broke me seeing and taking care of those kids. I lingered many, many extra hours in the office for them.

I also don’t think I was whole enough myself to withstand the sorrow and distress that my job entailed. At the same time, I was afraid that I would become desensitized, which was something of a commonality in that line of work. Even after I quit, I continued to volunteer for literacy groups and assisted homeless shelters and substance abuse programs, but I knew that these were under the umbrella of “safe” volunteerism, the kind that kept me at arm’s length, away from direct involvement and emotional commingling. I could put in my couple of hours, paint a wall for habitat or tutor a kid once in a blue moon and call it good. The sort of charity work I observed the well-heeled doing when I lived in Los Angeles: the auctions held at four-star hotels, the sunny afternoons spent picking up a few pieces of litter while wearing designer gloves. I’m not saying it’s wrong and I’m not trying to judge, because I think any form of a helping hand is admirable and necessary. In fact, growing up with immigrant parents, my family had very little money and though I didn’t know it at the time, I was a beneficiary of those well-heeled folks on many occasions. And I am grateful.

I guess I just felt like I wasn’t doing enough to be of service after I left the non-profit. Defeated that I couldn’t handle the hard stuff. I’ve been thinking about those days at the theater company a lot lately; I faced adversity and joy and hope and hopelessness and foibles and strengths. Oftentimes all at once. I want to give back again — the dreamer and overly idealistic self is still there and I’ve noticed the void of service acutely these last few years. Sure, I’m trying to juggle family and regaining my health and cobbling together some semblance of work, but I sense that I’m presenting this weird life in which all I do is sew pretty clothes and draw cute pictures and compose dorky haikus and talk endlessly about myself. Can I contribute something worthwhile and do those things? Well, wouldn’t that be grand? I’m not sure how to make it happen yet, but the idea has lodged into my thoughts…

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P.S. If you’re curious about the organization I worked for, it’s still around! Idris and Rhodessa are amazing!

Monday Outfit: Oliver + S Garden Party Dress

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Good morning! Since this new spring pattern from Oliver + S is called “Garden Party Dress“, it seemed necessary to find some kind of floral fabric. I’m trying to challenge myself more these days, so I ventured into my bin labeled “silk and silk-like stuff”. As soon as I saw these bright orange poppies, it was a done deal.

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Back in the days before I was trying to bust my impossible stash and when I used to buy fabric (a trickle of nostalgic tears here), I would take K with me to one particular fabric store. It’s a small shop nestled in our former neighborhood, and there is a big table smack dab in the center of the store with all the catalogs splayed out. K and I had a routine: she would plunk herself down at the table and start paging through the catalogs, looking for kids’ costumes. I would then run around the store to snatch at whatever fabrics caught my eye — I usually had approximately 10 minutes before K would start an epic meltdown.

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But one day, I decided to let K choose fabric. “Whatever you want, honey,” I said magnanimously, and then proceeded to say no to the leopard fur, the shiny (and outrageously expensive) silks, and the garish cartoon-ish prints she inevitably gravitated toward. Finally, at the sale corner, she spotted the poppies and the $5/yard price was acceptable.

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This is actually lining fabric and some kind of cheap-o polyester. As such, it’s sort of plastic-y and sheer, but it looks a lot like silk if you don’t stare at it too long. Using the front bodice from the Garden Party Dress as a base, I quickly assembled a slip because I couldn’t be bothered to attach a lining to the dress. I figured that since I make so many sheer dresses for her, she ought to have something to wear underneath.

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I’m starting to sound like a broken record with how excellent the instructions are, etc., but what was interesting about this dress is that I’ve made one that is extremely similar from a Japanese pattern book before here. Oh, that jacket – I love it so. Anyway, the dress was not a success, and I remember having a bear of a time understanding the instructions and couldn’t get the gathers quite right. K rejected is as itchy and I was very sad to have wasted that beautiful pink linen.

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This time, the fit is fantastic and K was eager to try on the dress. Huzzah. She even chose the button for the back, and I approve of her choice wholeheartedly. This here is a size 7, and I used far less than the 2 1/4 yards of fabric required. So effectively, this dress cost less than $10 if you don’t count labor. We won’t think about the labor, though making it hardly felt like work. And maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s boutique-worthy and looks pretty expensive. K wore the dress to a birthday party that was held at one of those ceramic painting places in the local mall – as we walked through the fancy, enormous mall, I was surprised by how many people stopped to compliment K on the dress.

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Another awesome pattern from Oliver + S! So fun to sew up and this one came together even faster than the hide-and-seek dress since I didn’t attempt any piecing together. I’m so grateful whenever I get the chance to try out these amazing patterns. Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t branch out from my Japanese sewing books, and how sad would it be to miss out on all these fabulous indie patterns? Thank you, Liesl!

Side note: K is reading Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events right now and is completely immersed. She refused to put down the book, but obediently followed my instructions to turn, give me a side profile, sit, etc. The girl is a professional.

Happy Friday + Randomness

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Happy Friday! Last week, I found a note K had written, crumpled and forgotten in a corner. I love it to pieces and its sweetness bowls me over. It inspired me to digitally paint a bluejay, but I think her rendition is about a jillion times better:

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*That last line is “I can hear my neighbor playing music” – gah, it kills me.

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Have a spectacular weekend, friends! Yesterday was the first day of spring. Can you believe it?

O cherry blossoms
flittering amid the winds
a carpet of pink