My page this morning has been like a dressing room montage in one of those oh-so-kooky Hollywood comedies. Boppy music playing while our heroine, visible only from the calves down, tosses clothes wildly over the door and occasionally appears to strut and twirl in yet another not-quite-right outfit. Sorry if you got caught in the chaos.
I've been wanting to change my blog name for a while. The whole Wench thing was a lighthearted joke. Over the years a boyfriend (or three) has called me that, wisely avoiding a harsher word in the hopes of maintaining good relations. When I started teaching stamping classes about 10 years ago Crafty Wench got tossed around. This blog first appeared on Blogger in August 2004 and my husband didn't expect it to last the month. The whole blogging thing for crafters was taking off, but I was only amusing myself - who was going to read this? I named it Crafty Wench because that popped into my head as a cute title. Just one month later I got this Typepad blog and here I am. Guess I can stick to some things huh?
My overall Typepad site is Craftywench. Knitting Wench was originally envisioned as just one weblog in the Wench queendom. I was going to have Scraping Wench for paper arts and Quilting Wench for all things fabric related. I figured people could visit the one that interested them. What's been great is that there's no need to separate them. Seems most of us crafty types jump around and play with all sorts of materials, and even if we don't do a particular craft, we enjoy looking a what others are doing. One blog it is.
So, all is well here, except at 42 and married for over 10 years I've found I'm growing a tad embarrassed to tell folks interested in finding me online that my blog is named Knitting Wench. Too much explanation required and it's not really who I am at this point. Also, as you readers know, I do more than just knitting, so that seemed a bit narrow regardless. Small problem is that my typepad address needs to remain as it is or all the links out there in blogland including your feeds will be null and void. So the address remains the same, but the house has a fresh coat of paint. Enjoy.
I'll be back later today with knitting content. Much more fun.
So, I'm sitting in a teeny tiny chair that's putting my bottom to sleep when the Kindergarten teacher (who's in an adult chair, no wonder she's still smiling while running overtime) tells us that each day for the next thirteen days will be a special color day. The kids will do work revolving around that color theme, so it would be great if they wore something with that color each day. Maybe it was the chair cutting off my circulation. Maybe it was the lack of adequate coffee, but I started thinking Hey, red's first and that skirt I just made has a red tier. Perfect. Red covered. But what about orange? I tuned back in and she was talking about lunchtime procedures or some such (don't think I'm horrible folks, this happens when you've been through school orientations for six years running) ... hum, back to mentally browsing my stash... Oh, I've got those orange dots!
Emily's Russian and she's loves her matryoshka dolls, so this fabric was calling out to be a skirt for her. I really like the strong, graphic dots with the whimsical, folksy dolls. That's a pink silky ruffle around the bottom 'cause my girl loves silky things and pink is always good. The shirt's a bit "ruffled" too, but we were running just-in-time and I knew this wouldn't come home any neater. Finished after midnight (oh so typical), so no ironing for me.
Found this ruffle as a ready-made with the ribbon attached at JoAnns. Seemed like an expeditious choice, but now I know better. The silky fabric was not well trimmed behind the ribbon and would have stuck out all around the top, so fussy clipping was required - at least by obsessives like me. Then I discovered that I didn't leave my self enough wiggle room, so I had to re-seam right through the middle in places to catch gaps on the back side. You can see that in this close-up, but thankfully the rayon thread I had on hand matches the ribbon well so it disappears a foot away. It's moments like that (somehow always at 11:59) that I chant to myself Remember your audience until sanity forces me to put down the seam ripper.
Day three: Yellow
The skirt is even and her shirt covered a good three inches, but she did a perfect model hip thrust and subtly lifted the shirt to show the skirt without instruction from me. Is this stuff hard-wired? The frilly bottom thing has become de rigeur and this daughter loves a touch of glam. She couldn't wear the shoes to school, but I noticed they went right on when we got home.
It twirls too. I love how this has a flapper look. Ems would have definitely been a flapper!
Technical notes: I wanted to make the most of the large sunflowers, so I made the top and bottom tiers much shorter and that middle tier longer. The bottom is not netting, but a much softer sheer from JoAnns. I cut it 4.5 or so inches wide and then folded it over wrong sides together so there was no bottom edge. It was surprisingly easy to ruffle and sew. It runs 54" wide (or so), so I decided to use just one cut and not to ruffle it as much so that this skirt would have a different look. Still, I wish there had been an extra eight inches or so to do a quilt binding finish. I was left with a measly 2 inches and rigged an overlap, closed with Steam-a-Seam Lite. Of course after steaming that seam I realized I could have cut it down to 1/2" or less. You can see it in the top photo. But it was 10 PM, and I was going to bed! Say it with me: Remember your audience. Repeat as necessary.
Day four was green, but it was also school t-shirt day, so green capris did the job. Next week: blue and purple, then on to white, black, brown, gray, pink, gold and silver. Will likely skip gray and may try to come up with multi-use color combos, but there will be at least two more. Yep, I am that nutcase crafty mom.
All this joking about my mental status aside, I am practicing to make a skirt for myself, so this is my homework. I'm very happy with my general seaming - all the quilting has paid off! - and when I join the tiers my side seams align beautifully - that's all the tote bags behind me. I now feel better about hemming and waist bands, but it's the little detail work that's still tripping me up. Still, I'm feeling braver with each twirl, so after the Kindergarten color wheel stops spinning it's my turn.
Next time... What will the magical blocking wires reveal?