Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vacation Wrapup

Well, it wasn't much of a vacation if my goal was sightseeing around LA. I was feeling poorly the whole time; we can't be sure if I was suffering from pollen allergies or had some sort of infection. It didn't matter because I am supposed to rest whenever that happens.

Iris was happy to spend a week at home without any plans. She read, played inside the house and around the yard, surfed the internet and watched a little bit of TV. Of course, there was Lego action.

See those three vases of white flowers in the background? They all came from one monster Nantes carrot that I let go to seed. One kid, over here for a playdate, told me that the carrot would not taste right if we let it flower. I told him it was OK because I always let one or two plants go to seed so I can collect the seeds for the next crop.

That is one funky carrot! It looks a bit like orange ginseng.

Iris also made some very imaginative art projects with materials found around the house. I was very impressed with what she can do with toothpicks. The piece in the dining room reminds me of a work in the national gallery with pieces of rope, tacked up to the wall in a gentle wave.

We never got around to the mommy and me dresses. I took her to Joann's for dress patterns and it became clear that we had different ideas about how we wanted to look. I guess that is to be expected because we do have different figure types. She also had no interest in the swatches. Instead, she reminded me that we already have a fabric store in our house.

I did do a little bit of sewing and wardrobe refashioning. First, I hemmed up a couple pairs of pants that had been languishing in the mending pile for two years. Palazzo pants are not my thing so I turned this pair into gauchos.

The back to school sales began this week. An organized mother would have gone through her children's wardrobe and figured out what was needed in advance. In a parallel universe, I might have done that. Instead, I went to a two day painting class and then rushed her to the stores on Friday to buy shoes. I didn't buy her any clothes because she was eager to get out of Nordstrom and explore the rest of the mall.

Only after returning home with the haul did I look through her wardrobe. I hauled some stuff to Goodwill and returned with a few items. I also discovered, on the shelf in her closet, some clothes from Goodwill that I had bought and set aside for when she grew into them. Iris loved her denim skirt trimmed with pink fun fur so much. She squeezed herself into them even though they are two sizes too small. (She is willing to suffer for fashion.) We retired that skirt, putting it in the bag bound for her cousin.
She can now wear this. (Skirt from Goodwill, trimmings from my stash.)

Next up, we want to make a skirt from this cotton sateen (left over from a dress I made 10 years ago) and attach it to the Iris' tank top at the waist to make a swingy dress. It looks like there is enough to make four flared skirt panels. Iris dove into the stash closet and pulled this out immediately. What great taste.

I found this pair of denim shorts at Goodwill. I cut off the bottom hem.

Then I undid the crotch seam and auditioned some fabrics for the skirt bottom.

I quite like the colors of this, but there is not enough fabric left. They were really cute when I made 20 month-old Iris a pair of zebra pants and appliqued a zebra on a t-shirt to match. But, for this application, the zebras might draw attention to areas that I don't want to emphasize. (FYI, I got a lot of use out of Kwik Sew's Sewing for Babies book. I must have made a dozen pairs of the baby pants from that book. I used the Sewing for Toddlers book much less and I have yet to use the Sewing for Children book. Partly, that was due to my declining health but it looks like I will be sewing again. Yippee!)

The next candidate for the skirt is a geometric pattern. Iris says that she will not let her mommy go out in this. I asked what she had against the fabric. She said that it was not the fabric, it was the weirdness of the cutoff jeans thing. She does not like the deconstructed look.

I did want to show off that, in healthier days, I sewed quite a great deal. Mark pulled out this shirt for our outing to the Pantages theater to see Ratatouille. There is a trick to getting the pattern to match at the center front and pockets. I learned that by watching a cutter/pattern maker work. Of course, as a college student and wardrobe mistress/dresser, I was not allowed to cut fabric or to even sew anything that showed on stage. I was allowed to watch and hand him implements as if he were a surgeon.

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