Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dressember: What and Why

I've posted a few of my Dressember pictures in the last couple weeks on Instagram, but I wanted to explain a little more about what Dressember is. (Sorry this post is so link heavy, but I wanted to make sure what I say is legitimately backed up for you!)

It begain in 2009, although this is the first year I've heard of it. The idea is that women commit to wearing a dress each day (not necessarily a different dress each day). The goal is to raise awareness of women captivated in the sex trade, and raise money for their rescue efforts and rehabilitation through agencies like International Justice Mission

Here are some of the statistics that have been shared with me though Dressember (sources: IJM, REST, Walk Free Foundation) in the last month or so, leading up to Dressember. 

  • $200,000 at IJM can do one of the following: pay 10 attorney salaries, cover trial fees for 888 victims, or provide 10,000 hours of trauma therapy
  • an IJM rescue mission costs about $4500
  • according to the Walk Free Foundation, there was a 23% increase in modern day slavery this year around the world
  • 65-90% of women sold for sex are victims of incest, 80% are victims of rape, 70-90% have a trafficker selling her as a commodity and keeping all or most of the money, 72% are or have been homeless, 75% have considered suicide, 68% suffer from PTSD (2x higher than a soldier in a war zone). On average, a woman who is sold for sex will die within 7 years after entering into prostitution. (Source here.)

So, while it is fun to wear a dress, the dress is not the answer. As Dressember puts it, #itsbiggerthanadress. The idea is that with thousands of women in multiple countries making a point of wearing a dress every day for 31 days and posting pictures, we collectively raise awareness of the needs of these enslaved women, raising money to help free them. 

This isn't raising money for me in any way. All money goes to the efforts at the International Justice Mission. If you would like to donate under my profile, this is the link! Please feel free to share my link and this blog. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sewing Stream: Second Skater

I loved the Skater Dress that I made during Kid's Clothes Week so much that I had to make another! Again, I used an organic cotton from Birch Fabrics. I made the same 3T/4T size. I'm inclined to think this pattern runs large as Miss H is wearing mostly size 5 dresses. This time I used a serger for all of the seams and just used a sewing machine with a jersey needle for the neck and hem top stitching. I added an extra little bit of what is probably ribbing around the middle with a little bow for fun. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

First Day of School

We started slowly working our way through some homeschool kindergarten 
curriculum a couple weeks ago! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids Clothes Week: Unicorns

This is my last Kid's Clothes Week project! My mom found this cute unicorn fabric by Heather Ross in Santa Cruz last month. Miss H is fascinated by unicorns right now, so this dress is a hit.

I used the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress pattern. I haven't made it since Miss H was a baby, but I love the pleats! This is a size 4. It will work well now that the weather is getting cooler with leggings and sweaters.

I think this fabric is a voile or something similar. It is so soft and much lighter weight than quilting cotton. The neck contrast are some Essex yarn died scraps. I finished the back with my favorite snap source snaps rather than pesky buttons.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kids Clothes Week: Deer in the Wood Dress

I am in love with this pattern and with the finished dress! I've seen this dress around the blog land and finally purchased the pattern last week. This is the Little Girls' Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo. Miss H loves all things that involve deer, elk, and moose, and this fabric fits perfectly with one of her favorite books right now; A Deer in the Wood, one of the My First Little House story books.

I used some organic knit by Birch Fabrics that I found in Santa Cruz last month. This probably took just about a yard. I have no complaints about the fabric. It isn't flimsy, didn't stretch while sewing, and didn't roll back up on itself! I am looking forward to making more with Birch Fabric knits. (Their store is about a 4 hour drive from us, hoping to visit some day soon!)

I made a 3T/4T after comparing measurements. This sounded a little small for Miss H, but it is actually just a bit roomy. I am hoping to make a few more in this size for this fall and winter.

The sewing went pretty quickly, but could be oh so fast with a working serger! I ended up zig zagging all my seams after stitching the pieces together to get a more finished look. I'm glad I did it. I attempted a double needle hem on the dress skirt, but either I didn't read enough about using double needles, or my machine just wasn't made for them. I didn't have any issues with the pattern pieces or instructions, other than a few typos that I'm surprised haven't been fixed by now


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kids Clothes Week: Peacock Costume

This year, rather than just choosing what Miss H will be for Halloween, I let her pick from a couple options I knew I could manage. She chose to be a peacock because she loves to look at the peacocks at Grandpa's work. After looking at different ideas, I decided against using real feathers. I saw a few ideas using felt, and I loved the colors from the Eric Carle peacock illustration, so that's how I started pulling my idea together.

I used the tutu pattern from the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew book. I used the pattern a couple years ago and loved the result. This time, rather than use 5 layers of tulle, I used 4 in typical peacock colors. Each layer is cut to be 1.5" shorter than the previous for better color visibility. I made a tying band out of chambray because I don't love using grosgrain ribbon.

I cut 28 peacock feathers out of felt and pinned them to just the folded green layer of tulle. I sewed them on in lines with my sewing machine. Then I stacked all 4 layers of tulle, pinned, gathered, and sewed into the waist band. I love the way it turned out!

I decided to make a little felt mask for Miss H rather than decorate a headband. She still doesn't like to wear headbands, but loves masks. I sewed the outline using my machine with a walking foot to keep the layers all together.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baby Sprinkle

Last Saturday a couple ladies from our small church group threw a little baby sprinkle for 2 friends. We had so much fun coming up with ideas and implementing them. Having people over made me remember how much I like hosting. Here are a few pictures from what we pulled together! 

We did a lite brunch theme for the snacks.

This table was set up with some sprinkle favors for everyone to take home and a bunch of branches for both moms we honored. Guest wrote verses or notes of encouragement on paper shapes and clipped them to the branch trees with tiny clothes pins. 

Recipes used and recommended: 

Sewing Stream: Hide and Seek Dress

I love the way this Hide and Seek Dress, pattern by Oliver + S, turned out! I traced it 3 months ago, cut the fabric out last month, and finally got the sewing done this last week. I was not sure what size to make. We have been buying sizes 4 and 5, but I know Oliver + S runs big. I ended up making the 4. I'm pretty sure the 3 would have been fine if I added length, but this way it will fit longer! The pockets on this dress are a hit with Miss H.

I used a chambray of some sort, maybe from Robert Kaughman, that I picked up at Bolt on our drive through Portland in July. The hearts are a quilting cotton from Anna Maria Horner. Dress construction was very basic, but a little bit more time consuming since the front and back are both basically 3 panels wide. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apple Picking

Last weekend Miss H and I joined some friends in Watsonville to pick apples. It felt funny to be picking apples in California when we are from Washington! Watsonville is an agricultural area closer to the coast. Miss H and I picked 50 pounds of apples in about an hour. It would have been easy to keep picking, but I would not have been able to carry more. We picked Galas for apple butter and Pippins for pies! Our car smelled so good on the way back home! 

Sewing Stream: Oliver + S Lullaby Layette

I recently completed my first Oliver + S Lullaby Layette set as a gift. This is one of the easiest patterns to put together, it would be great for someone's first clothing project! I sewed up a size 3-6 months. I can't remember who made the little origami fabric, but the solids (lining and pants) are a Kona cotton. I didn't want to mess with making my own bias binding, so this little jacket was finished with some basic packaged binding.

(Sorry about the lighting quality in these pictures, I really can't figure out indoor lighting!)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Los Gatos

We enjoyed a fun family day getting lunch and wandering around downtown Los Gatos, and walking through Vasona County Park a couple days ago. Even though it is still very warm here, the nights are starting to cool off and the leaves are starting to fall! The park has a small railroad that was no longer running for the day and some fun play areas for Miss H. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ten on Ten: September

It has been quite a while since I participated in Ten on Ten
but today seemed like a great opportunity to jump back in!