Posts filed in: Fabric and Sewing

Still Summer

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Wah! Here, there, and everywhere. Often in the kitchen. I'm surprised, with all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, and the broken dishwasher, there's been time to go anywhere, seriously. And yet, I have a moment every single day where I ask myself, "Can what I'm about to do wait until fall?" And if the answer is yes (and it's almost always yes, though I'm so anxious for it), we go back outside. These days. There is so much to do. Andy's two-week vacation starts today, and we are staying home this time. Already, most of the days are accounted for. I picture myself running around a track, knock-kneed, arms flailing wildly; I cross the finish line, and fall dramatically to the ground then do a really fast volleyball roll where I land flat-out on my back, and then someone pours an entire bottle of water directly onto my face — and that's September. I bought Amelia her new yellow raincoat and she put it right on. It's very wishful thinking but we girls can dream. We had one lovely, rainy moment that we watched from the kitchen door and I tell you, no two-hundred-and-fifty raindrops and ten whole minutes were more appreciated in the history of the world.

THANK YOU thank you for all of the party hat kit (and pattern) orders. Thank you!!! Things started slowly but have been rollicking along, and I truly thank you. It's a weird time of year to be launching a new kit, but I have so many plans and projects coming up. I'm sort of just whacking at things and hitting them back over the net. But I'm so excited that these hat kits are out there, and I hope you like making them. I'm already working on stuff for Amelia's birthday in October (that embroidery project above, which will be a quilt, bumped the log cabin out of the queue, and that's now planned for Christmas). I absolutely love where her birthday falls in the year. I think it would be my favorite day of the year anyway, but this is the first special occasion we've ever had that falls in October, and wow, what a treat.

Is this not an insane amount of cooking above? Agreed. And much of it repeated recipes, which I'm finding is, as you mentioned, the way to go. I'm ridiculously happy with how this is all going. Above please find blueberry custard pie (without the streusel this time and just a sprinkle of demerara sugar; much improved, in my opinion), chicken with peanut sauce and ginger rice (and steamed broccoli; and I have made a LOT of peanut sauces, and this one is my favorite by far), Sarah's quinoa salad with tequila shrimp added, my dad's Chili Lobo, and another round of blackened fish tacos (which I now make regularly, baking the tilapia in parchment paper at 400 degrees F for twenty minutes, and serve with my dad's coleslaw, avocado, and mango). Amelia and we are in negotiations for a big-girl chair, so she can sit at the table and not be in the high chair. I have mixed feelings about this, as it will change dinnertime from what is now a pretty relaxing scene (because she is fully restrained in her high chair, and seems rather content to be once she is actually in it) to one where she constantly wants to leave the table (cue ensuing negotiations, etc.). She may be ready but I'm not sure I am. Especially with all this 4:00 p.m. cooking, I really can't even express how much I love collapsing into my chair for dinner knowing that she's happily strapped in, unable to destroy anything else. We successfully negotiated the stop-throwing-your-dishes thing (which was a big problem here); I used my Parental Reverse Psychology on her (yay!) and bought a bunch of Very Fancy china salad plates and bowls at Goodwill ($1 a piece, cheaper than plastic, quite frankly), explaining that she now had her own set of Very Fancy Dishes and needed to take care of them, and could not throw them, drop them, fling them, or otherwise. Weirdly, this totally worked. She carries them in to me after dinner as if walking a petri dish across a crowded lab — very, very carefully (she assures me). I make a big deal over this, and she is proud. And I am so proud of her. Any advice for the chair?

Also, yes, I should advise you that I intend to fully embrace the whole toddler bento phenomenon when she starts playschool two mornings (including lunch) a week next month. Whaaaaaa? What is happening here?!?! How have I never heard of such a thing? It's too adorable. I'll now be spending approximately all of my free time in the kitchen cutting stars out of cantaloupe and piercing hotdog bites with dry spaghetti. I can't wait.

***Garter scarf to go with new toddler raincoat. Not at all impressed with my edges or weaving in of ends. May rethink concept, or actually Google proper way of doing this. Go through back loop on first stitch? You can't slip it, when changing colors? . . .

***Her coat is from here.

Prettiest Party Hats Sewing Kits and Pattern Now on Sale!

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BeautyBlog

Hi! Here are some party hats! Do you want to make them? We have a kit!

It's the PRETTIEST PARTY HATS SEWING KIT and it is now available!

This kit will help you to make the FOUR party hats shown above. It costs $36 plus shipping. The printed pattern, included in the kit, includes templates for numerals 0-9 as well as the entire lowercase alphabet, in case you want to put the birthday girl's initial on her hat, instead of her age. :) I thought what would be cute is that you could make all of them the same number and give them away at a party, or you could make one this year and save the others for next year, and next, and next, and change the number. Or you could make all of them with different initials for different people whose parties you are attending. You could also attach the circle/number patch with Velcro if you wanted, and change it out every year. Oh, the possibilities are just endless [wink]!

Approximate finished size: 7" (17.5cm)

This kit contains:

  • Stitching instructions for hats with color photos for each step
  • Illustrated embroidery tutorial
  • Printed pattern templates
  • Templates for numerals 0-9 and the entire alphabet
  • 31 pieces of wool-blend felt in various sizes and colors to complete hats
  • DMC embroidery floss
  • 2 yards elastic cording for chin straps
  • Clear sequins and clear beads
  • 4 metallic tinsel poms
  • 30 tiny black poms

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You will need:

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These hats are sewn entirely by hand — you do not need a sewing machine to make them. They are fairly simple, and the hardest part is stitching up the back side of the hat, but I show you how to do that so don't worry about it too much. They are so much fun to make. The flowers are very simple and come together easily, and if you just practice your blanket stitch (instructions included) beforehand you'll be fine. They're just sweet little hats. I'm really happy with them!

Here are some detail shots of the four hats:

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We have made a limited number of these kits, and once they are gone, they are gone (in these exact colors, at least, because I know that this mauvey color above is already discontinued [and that was my favorite, naturally]).

We do ship overseas! To place your order, you will be required to read this information, which contains details about international shipping and customs fees you may incur when ordering outside the U.S. (If you are overseas, the shipping cost charged by Posie does not include any further charges you may incur when importing goods.) To see the shipping-only costs for your order and location, just place the items in your cart and choose your location (or enter your zip code, if you are in the U.S.) and it will tell you how much the shipping is. As usual, I have a sincere request: Please check on and update your shipping address correctly in your Paypal preferences so that there is no confusion when we go to ship. If you do need to add things to your order or change your address after you've placed the order, just email me and we'll figure it out, no worries! I just like to remind people of this ahead of time, because it's a bit easier.

There is a downloadable PDF pattern available here if you have all the supplies and just want the pattern. The pattern lists the exact color names from National Nonwovens (the brand of felt I use) as pictured in these hats.

Okay! If you have any questions, please ask them here in the comments and I will get back to everyone here. Thank you ever so much, as always, for your enthusiasm and support for the things I design. I truly appreciate every single order and kind word you give. Thank you, very, very much, most sincerely. It honestly means the world to me!

Berry Hot

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Meems and me to Smith Berry Barn, Hillsboro, Oregon; July 8, 2015.

Yes, that's string cheese in the candle holder, "just like Mommy's."

Her dress, made here, exactly five years ago. Never, never, never give up.

Hello, Heatwave

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We alternate between pool and air conditioning. The air feels, as they say, like a blanket. I know exactly which kind of fluffy wool blanket, too. Soft and thick and pale gray and vaguely fuzzy. Water, water everywhere. My yard absolutely feels like August, not June. It's dry, and there are things blowing around, dry things. There are plums already falling, and smashing, and smearing the front sidewalk and the stairs. There is brown grass and brown plants. But we have apples, for the first time, in the backyard. The Cox's Orange Pippin tree we planted I don't know how many years ago — it has apples the size of billiard balls on it, and that's a first. Usually they all fall to the ground when they're the size of golf balls. I don't know why in either case. The climbing hydrangea on the garage wall, once lush and so green it didn't look really, looks like it's hanging on for dear life now. Sigh. This is too hot.

Strangely, with the heat, over the weekend we had clouds. Don't let them fool you; it was still hot as a gray blanket. At the pool our girl is so happy, and so are we. We might have been there four or five times this week. I think I was born to be a pool bum. I think I was actually born to be a ski bum, believe it or not, but oh, right now, I love the pool so. Not that there's much bumming with a two-year-old (well, there is for Mama when Daddy's there). When he's there, I sit in the shallow water and never want to leave. My tolerance for pool time has always been high.

Back in the studio, I have an idea. Usually I have a lot of ideas and no time to work. Yesterday I had all day to work, and a bunch of party hats burst forth. So weird how that happens. I was going to do something else, actually. But then, these came out. I try to go with it. I'm thinking kit, actually. No ribbons on the hat, but elastic instead. Off to find the right kind. And poms to top.

Basil Fox Back in Business

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Beauty1HorizWeb

Just a quick note to let you know that dapper little Mr. Basil Fox's softie kit is back in the shop with several shirt options (even a new, 1/4" magenta gingham, which is adorable). I also added some fabric/yarn options to Maggie Rabbit (who was sold out, too, in case you were waiting for her) and Juniper Kitty. Just click on the little thumbnail photos on the product pages to see the options, and be sure to choose them from the drop-down menu when ordering!

Thank you! I'll be back soon with a post, but I'm doing some housekeeping today, so . . . working on my to-do list! :) Feels good. Xox

Flowers Featured

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The sun shines, and flowers abound. We're mostly outside; occasionally we come in. I open all the windows and doors (did you know we don't have mosquitoes here?). Amelia goes to bed around seven or eight. I sew or knit. My Ramona sweater is making me HAPPY. Even though my stupid ear is still messed up. It's better, but not completely; apparently, according to the ENT doc, it can take six more weeks to clear up. I knit and knit. I cannot believe I'm actually making a big sweater. Turns out I'm not sure that an adult sweater knit in aran weight has that many more stitches than a bitty sweater knit in, say, fingering weight??? Either way, man, I am enjoying this more than I could've predicted.

I made a new Midsummer dress for my boo. I made the whole thing up myself. It was based on the first one I made for her (and more info about that one is in this post) when she was a baby boo (oh, and look how leeeeeeetle she was then!!! Sigh!!!). I'm a bit proud of it (them), I confess. The new one came out exactly the way I was hoping. Please regard the beauty of my invisible zipper. [Puff puff.] Guys, that was EEEEEEEEASY. I really had no idea. In over thirty years of sewing, I'd never put in an invisible zipper? SILLY. The bodice of this dress is fully lined. You do the embroidery before you cut the bodice pieces out. No, no stabilizer or anything like that. I don't want to make my hands do anything harder than they have to (I find stitching through anything more than linen or cotton just too hard on my wrists and fingers). I'll be doing a pattern for this. I'm a little excited.

It's just — isn't it a cool feeling when you have an idea for something and then it just turns into exactly what you were trying to do? That doesn't always happen but sometimes it does and it is cool!!!

And now, my boo is knocking on my door

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and trying to get it open

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so I gotta go! Have a great weekend, everybody. I hope it is filled with sunshine and flowers!

***Andy says thank you very much for all of your kind birthday wishes!!!

***The quilt under the sweater is my Ollalieberry pattern.

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Ah, there's a fair amount of dishevelment among our number this morning. Runny noses, sneezing, coughing, and general incapacitation. Andy has it the worst. I have never, ever, EVER been sick as much as I have this year. Ever. It's possible we're on the other side of it, or possibly possible this is only the middle. I think tomorrow will tell. I'm picking up very hot, very spicy Tom Yum soup with tofu and plan to knock every germ out of my system with a blast of chili. Right? Gah.

This past week, when I wasn't watching Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery while lying in a tangled pile of quilts and feeling like a battered sweat sock (?), I wasn't cleaning out drawers or reorganizing shelves or going outside, either. I was making a bodice sloper (fever-induced mania? I am bewildered by my own self). Do you know what a sloper is? It's a basic custom fitted pattern that allows you to design whatever you want (in a nutshell). I ordered and used this one. I don't have any pictures, or any current thoughts about the process because I was essentially in crisis (both sewing-wise and sick-wise) the entire time I was doing it. It's actually really hard to do it by yourself and I don't recommend it. BUT, I finally got a really nice fit (and wow, am I crooked, and wow, my boobs are bigger than I thought — no wonder nothing fits — hello, full bust adjustment, as if I didn't know that).

Completing it successfully was nothing short of seriously empowering!!! [Cue sputtering germ-spreading coughing fit of enthusiasm.]

No, really. I haven't made a sloper in twenty years. If I were to do it again, I might use this blog post to help me draft it from scratch. (I might still do that when I feel like I can lift my hand to do more than change the channel or cuddle Meemers.) The coolest thing about it is just that you learn so much while doing it, and clothes suddenly seem much less mysterious, and you really do feel like it's just all a bunch of measurements and adjustments that you can make based on those measurements, and not that you are somehow a human anomaly that just shouldn't wear clothes.

Do you know what I mean? Have you made one?

Oh jeesh, and THANK YOU so much for your very kind comments about my new quilt!!! It's been making me very happy as I sit under it shivering and sneezing. Thank you! :)

My Quilt is Finished!

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My quilt is finished! I love her. I think she came out so nice. I had her professionally quilted by my friend Sherri at Bumblebee Quilting. She did the quilting and the machine stitching of the binding, and I stitched the back side of the binding down by hand. It was really nice to finish that part myself after making this thing. It's definitely one of the fanciest things I've ever made in my whole life, and it's by far the most (only?) traditional quilt I've ever made. It's nice and big — a very generous square throw. I can't remember the dimensions. I don't like throws that are small. I've been carrying it around with me — sitting under it on the sofa at night, carrying it up to the bed to go to sleep, snuggling under it with the crew in the morning, dragging it back downstairs during the day. I love it so much. It got super puckery and poofy after washing. I used cotton batting this time because I happened to have some; for the past few years I've been using wool batting and . . . I probably still prefer it. It's lighter. But I was surprised at how fluffy this got after its wash. I'm one of those people that never pre-washes any fabrics for quilting. I make the quilt then wash it on hot and dry it hot. One of my favorite things in the world is taking the quilt out of the dryer the first time it's washed (and subsequent times are pretty awesome, too). Ah, that's the best! Fluffy wonderfulness! I love my quilt. I'm so happy.

Grandma Paulson is here visiting so I've been generally goofing off, doing all sorts of things I don't normally do, fabric shopping by myself, going to Knittn' Kitten where the ladies let me look through several huge boxes of '60s and '70s patterns (seriously awesome), going to a MOVIE with Andy where I completely freaked out over the fact that they were serving ice cream — like, the kind that you scoop — at the movie theater: "Oh my goodness! Is this new? Did you just get this? I haven't been to a movie in a long time! Oh wow! How exciting!" And the dude's like, "Uh, no, we've had it for . . . a long time." Me: "Oh!!! Really? Oh my! I need to get out more!" Bounce bounce bounce, down the aisle to the auditorium. We saw The Age of Adaline and we loved it! I'm not going to tell you anything about it because it's better if you don't know. But we both loved it. We're sappy like that.

Rainbow! And sun-lit rain! I love spring.

Edgefield

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Spent the day with my sister Susie at Edgefield; April 6, 2015. Spring there is green, soft, quiet, a little enchanted, a little haunted, a little empty, certainly lovely. I've been to Edgefield many (wonderful) times in full summer, on golden evenings, with beers and bands and blankets. But now, in the spring, on an overcast afternoon, you can see its dim, gentle, melancholy beauty, and I almost prefer it.

April Flowers

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Oh my goodness, thank you for the sampler orders. Thank you VERY much!!! I am so happy. I truly appreciate your orders and all of your sweet words. I'm really excited about this project and this kit and I really can't wait until they start arriving in mailboxes and you get stitching. Stacy is packing and shipping like a rock star. I'm very proud of this one and I truly hope you'll be pleased! Thank you so much for your interest and your enthusiasm and your support. It means the world to me.

Answers to questions, mostly about what was represented by certain letters: Yes, J is for Jam (or Jelly, or Jar); V is for Violet (after my sweet Violet girl); P is for PIE (blueberry, in this case). AND yes, there is a PDF pattern available if you have floss and fabric of your own — it is available for immediate download here.

As far as making the design in a fabric of a different count (i.e.: one with fewer stitches per inch, presumably), yes, you can do that. Please read through my tutorial which includes a discussion of stitch count (and how it's related to the "thread count" of your fabric). Theoretically, you can work a counted cross stitch pattern on any thread count evenweave fabric you prefer, though it's important to have an understanding of how changing the thread count will change the look and the overall size of your motifs and your entire design. Most cross stitch patterns will give you the dimensions in stitches, as well as inches (or centimeters) on whatever count fabric has been used for this sample. In this case, the finished size of the design area (that's from stitch to stitch, not including any margins) on My Sweetiepie is 13.1" x 10.3" (33cm x 26cm); that's 210 stitches wide x 165 high on 32-count fabric. If you are using a different thread-count fabric, it's important that you recalculate the dimensions in inches or centimeters so you know how much fabric you will need (plus framing and handling margins). For instance, if you are using 28-thread-count fabric, that's 14 stitches per inch; divide 210 stitches by 14 to get the width of the design area in inches, and divide 165 stitches by 14 to get the height (of the design area) in inches. It works out to be 15" x almost 12". So you'll just want to make sure you understand that before you use a fabric with a different thread count.

Ahhh, the days have been busy! Four days, no naps. You know what I mean. Funny things being said. Yesterday, after dinner, I'm in kitchen loading dishwasher, Mimi's in high chair in dining room, starting to wimper.

Me: "Meemers, are you sad?"
Amelia: "Yes."
Me: "Why, honey?"
Amelia: "Because I want to go to sleep in my little crib!"

Later, we're both lying in the big bed and she's pretty much completely asleep. She suddenly pops straight up and says, loudly, as if startled, "I love APPLES?!?!?!"

I whisper, "Yes, you do." She lays back down and goes to sleep.

Easter was lovely. On Saturday there was a neighborhood Easter-egg hunt, which was very sweet. We had brunch with my family on Sunday and then spent the rest of the day gardening and going to the park. She got a watering can from the Easter bunny and watered in all the new plants. Remember my wildflower garden from the seed packs in the parkway beds last year? Well, tons of those flowers were perennials, and they're coming back. I threw a whole bunch more seeds in, too. I thought they were incredibly pretty, though the beds got pretty scrappy as the really hot weather moved in. But, what didn't. I get pretty scrappy when the really hot weather moves in. 

Today, though, it's wonderfully cold. Birds are singing. Flowers are blooming. Leaves are busting, so juicy looking you want to munch a mouthful like a little bunny. Favorite spring dinners? Any suggestions? I need cooking inspiration, yet again. Last night I made my shrimp bowls. Thinking about doing that again, with quinoa and chicken. What are you making? What's good?

***Her sweater details are here, and her dress and pinafore here. :)

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.