Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brooklyn Sewcializing: Sewing Club & Colette Party!

The Brooklyn Sewing Club

Brooklyn Sewing Club May 26 meet-up (L to R): Lee with Cabarita, Clio with hippo dragon friend, me and my Hummingbirds, Valerie in a Lisette skirt, Cindy and her watermelon socks, Nettie and her Tiny Pocket Tank/Meringue mashup, Liz w/ a Simplicity mock-wrap dress

Even in the darkest depths of my no-sewing-possible illness and fatigue, I tried whenever I wasn't super ill to make it to the monthly Brooklyn Sewing Club. Even when I had nothing to show during our latest projects go-round, I think it helped keep me grounded and hopeful and inspired.

But this time was WAY more fun because I actually had several finished objects to show off!

We had a little potluck feast... mostly cookies, fruit and tortilla chips. You know. Dinner. (Everyone was so awesome and carefully avoided bringing nut or sesame-containing products that would be dangerous for my daughter, and many people even brought specially allergy-safe items so she could eat them too!):

Brooklyn Sewing Club go-round

(That's little Z in the foreground eating a strawberry).

We did our usual go-round, shared our latest sewing and knitting projects and plans for upcoming makes. We also discussed sewing and fitting challenges, and I think next time we might do a more fitting-oriented session (it can be SO hard to fit yourself, especially in the back... I cannot count the number of times I have stuck myself with pins as a result).

Then there was a dive for the fabric and pattern swap piles—we hadn't done either in a while:

Fabric swap

I think I gave away two pieces of fabric and four or five patterns, and I took home two of each. How fabulous is this Simplicity 1653 mock-wrap dress with flutter sleeves? And that blue and purple print knit p is just right for it, too!

Simplicity 1653, Butterick B5749 & fabric from the Brooklyn Sewing Club fabric & pattern swap

The Butterick B5749 is also really cute but I've seen reviewers complain it is complicated to make and there are errors in the instructions. (But isn't this version by Rachel at Prismatoria AWESOME?)

Cocktails with Colette!

Also, a few weeks earlier, some members of the club went to the Colette Patterns cocktail party at Brooklyn General. Sadly I had no actual Colette to wear, but it was fun to see most everyone out and about in their best Macarons and Gingers and Laurels.

Here's Sarai in a lovely eyelet dress (and two fabulous women whose names I didn't catch):

Colette Party at Brooklyn General

Brooklyn Sewing Club members, including yours truly:

Colette Party at Brooklyn General

Oh look, it's Bright as a Button and GingerMakes:

Colette Party at Brooklyn General

Anyway, a lovely time was had by all, and the drinks were nearly as fancy as the pretty dresses!

And I'm actually not sew sure if I like the word "sewcial" or not, but I think I just need to give up being sew picky and embrace all the "sew" puns already. Ahem.

P.S. Speaking of sewcializing, I believe there's some big NYC meetup happening Saturday at Prospect Park in Brooklyn... but I'm going to be in Massachusetts celebrating my 33rd birthday and attending my 10th Harvard Reunion (in a $4 vintage strapless black velvet peplum dress, if you must know).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brights and Prints Overload (Me Made May Week 4)

Me Made May 23: Green and purple

I may be a week behind in getting up these blog posts, I may be tired, my photos may be degenerating and me-made-May posts may be the least commented on of all posts on this blog ... but I am NOT giving up on this challenge. SO THERE.

Day 20: Bright Green and Blue Day

Me Made May 20: A Bright Green Day
    Me-Mades (just one):
  1. Jalie 2921 scarf-collar floral poly knit top
  1. Thrifted J. Crew green cotton lawn polka-dot skirt (similarish style here)
  2. Wurishofer 711 ridiculously comfortable granny sandals, black leather version

Day 21: A Little Sparkle

MMMay 21: A Little Sparkle

Who says sequins aren't daytime/work appropriate?

    Me-Mades (just one):
  1. Cake Patterns Tiramisu knit dress, adapted into a top
  1. Sequined inset lined gored blue skirt
  2. Turquoise necklace made by a dear friend
  3. Some old Clarks leather sandals, super comfy (similaresque)

Day 22: A Peplum & a Circle Skirt

Me Made May 22: A Peplum & a Circle Skirt

Here's my black & white polka dot Hummingbird peplum top again, this time with a big blue circle skirt (not me-made). I typically think of peplum tops as only going with pencil skirts and skinny jeans, but I see a lot of peplums and circle skirts in photos from the 50s, so trying a new silhouette! Think the skirt is maybe a bit long, though...

    Me-Mades (two):
  1. Hummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns with four-leaf clover peplum in polka dot ITY jersey.
  2. TARDIS socks in blue, black and white merino wool (held in hands, near completion).
  1. American Apparel blue circle skirt, awkward midi length — originally bought for TARDIS Halloween costume that never came to fruition
  2. red coral necklace bought at Renegade Craft Fair ages ago, can't remember maker
  3. The Sak orange leather handbag (the only handbag I own, so I wear it regardless of outfit color.)
  4. Wurishofer 711 comfy granny sandals, red leather version

Day 23: Green and Purple Love

Me Made May 23: Green and purple

This is a bit of a cheat—I was sick most of the day, ended up working from home and didn't get dressed until 5:30 p.m. when I had to get my daughter from preschool. Those are my fabric and yarn drawers behind me—all six of them.

    Me-Mades (two):
  1. Self-drafted reversible shirred skirt.
  2. Striped undies, not visible.
  1. Surplice green and white printed knit top.
  2. Turquoise necklace made by a dear friend.
  3. Clarks Privo black leather Mary Jane flats scuffed to shreds over past 6 years but still going. (Super similar here).

Day 24: Scarves Upon Scarves

Me Made May 24: Scarves upon Scarves

This colorblocked second-hand cardigan is actually really awesome, and in real life without a bad flash photo the flower rosette thingies do NOT look like pasties. Just saying. But I don't know if this silhouette really works for me.

    Me-Mades (two):
  1. Jalie Scarf-Collar top in red and cream polka dot knit
  2. Monkey socks in kettle-dyed merino wool
  1. Second-hand purple colorblocked cardigan from friend who was cleaning out closet
  2. Pink silk rib knit lace-edge cami
  3. Not Your Daughter's straight-legged black stretch jeans (Marilyn style)
  4. Arcopedico Flower black leather Mary Jane cut-out flats

Day 25: TARDIS socks for a journey to the stars

Me Made May 25: TARDIS socks for a journey to the stars

Finished my TARDIS sock disaster just in time for a family outing to the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, where we saw "Journey to the Stars." (Toddler was scared sometimes but overall loved it and can't stop talking about how "stars are big hot balls of fire—don't touch!")

    Me-Mades (3):
  1. Georgina cardigan by Alexis Winslow in chartreuse hand-dyed Swans Island merino wool
  2. Falling-down TARDIS socks.
  3. striped underthings (not visible)
  1. Not Your Daughter's straight-legged dark blue stretch jeans (Marilyn style)
  2. Arcopedico Flower black leather Mary Jane cut-out flats


Who else is still hanging in there for the challenge?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hummingbird Peplum Top II: Hummingbird Colors

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top—in hummingbird colors

A new Hummingbird joins the flock!

So the moment I saw this hummingbird-colored fabric, I just knew it had to be my second Hummingbird peplum top, to follow my first black & white version.

In fact, most of the time involved for this super-quick sewing project was in the cutting—I had to work REALLY carefully to make sure that none of the little round flower things ended up over either "bust apex."

The pattern: Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top and Straight Skirt 0289. (Hummingbird is shipping now in paper, by the way, or you can buy the top-only PDF for instant peplum gratification).

Fabric: Soft, stretchy and super light-weight rayon/spandex blend jersey from Mood. (I bought extra because I knew the large-scale print would be a challenge.) It doesn't have quite as crisp of a drape as my previous fabric, so the four-leaf clover effect is a bit lost.

It does catch the wind nicely, though:

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top—in hummingbird colors

Also, this fabric is so bright, it is scientifically impossible to be unhappy while wrapped in it.

Back view of Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top—in hummingbird colors

Differences from version 1:

  • I used the second sized peplum length to make it a more comfortable top over jeans or any bottoms that don't sit at the natural waist. I like both lengths on me, however.
  • Since this fabric is so light and fluttery, I finished the sleeves with a magenta rolled hem edge on my serger for variation.
  • I shortened the back by a little over an inch around bust level (because the top length is sized by front waist length, you may need to do this if you are quite full-busted).

I love many things about this top, but I am most proud of the...




Nice flat neck binding on my Hummingbird top

I don't think I've ever really managed this before. The key was to stretch the band quite a bit tauter over the most curved areas, and just moderately over the straighter areas (Threads has a fantastic video on this from Sarah Veblen, and this one is pretty great too). The topstitching Steph recommends in the instructions helps a lot as well—I did mine in pink.

I'm also pleased with myself for once again getting out of the apartment for a photoshoot—this time the courtyard of my apartment building. (I did worry that the neighbors were wondering what I was doing out there by myself with a tripod twirling around, but oh well.) No idea what those chalked numbers are there for.

Side view of Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top—in hummingbird colors

Honestly, I feel like this neckband trick is life-changing. I have never really gotten any knit neck bindings to properly cooperate before—they tend to ripple and sag and wibble and wobble all over the place, which is one of the reasons I have made the Jalie scarf-collar top twice—no binding necessary.

In fact, I went to see the Star Trek movie with my husband last night and had trouble concentrating on the film because I kept touching my neckband to see if it was still lying flat and crisp—which it was.

What's your favorite tip for taming knits?

P.S. Full disclosure again, in case you've missed the million times I've mentioned it: I'm the envelope illustrator for Cake but I am NOT paid to sew or blog about Cake!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

TARDIS sock disaster + swatching my Delancey cardigan

TARDIS socks

It seems the Doctor and his TARDIS have landed on a planet populated by gigantic adorable toddlers...

Yeah, so, if you've watched any Doctor Who at all (latest episodes available on iTunes if you don't get BBC America), you know that the Doctor's time-traveling spaceship—aka the TARDIS for Time and Relative Dimension in Space—has a curious feature. On the outside it appears to be a small blue wooden British police call box...

But it's MUCH, MUCH bigger on the inside:

Which brings me to my TARDIS socks (full details here, including some mods I made), which, unfortunately are bigger on the OUTSIDE. See how they slouch and bag around the ankles?

Me Made May 25: TARDIS socks for a journey to the stars

They fit fine while I was knitting them (just the right amount of negative ease), but after I gave them a gentle bath, they started to grow...

TARDIS socks

And now they look good for a second when I tug them up...

TARDIS socks

But quickly slouch back into saggy baggy land within moments:

TARDIS sock bagginess

I really don't know what's going on here. I used a non-superwash 100% merino wool yarn, and knit them on the smallest sock needles I have (size 0). I've never had baggy socks before but they always had a bit of nylon in them, so maybe it's because these socks have no nylon content?

Anyway, all hope is not lost for my Time and Relative Dimension in Socks—the excellent Tech Knitting blog recommends a fix using elastic thread or an elastic garter at the top of the sock, so we'll see how that does!

Meanwhile, I swatched for my Delancey cardigan by Alexis Winslow. Here's the sketch (on bottom right) as you may remember from my Sweater Showdown decision post:

Sweater Girl Showdown 2013: Which Cardigan to Knit Next? (Polka Dot Overload)

And here's my gauge swatch:

Delancey gauge swatch

I'm using stash yarn, so my color scheme is based on what I have available. The main color is going to be the eggplant, and the sets of triple stripes will be in the gray, periwinkle and light purple. The aqua will be for the shawl collar and sleeve cuffs.

I'm going to knit a 33" bust size (even though my bust is 38.5") as I'm not getting exact gauge. I'm hoping it'll come out around 35", giving me 3.5" negative ease. I'd much rather it be a bit on the tight side than loose and slouchy (see my Not-Goldilocks and the Three Sweaters fitting post for more on this).

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Makes in the Mix (Me Made May Week 3)

Me Made May 13: I Need to Sew More Things

One of the awesomest things about Me Made May is that the sheer boredom of wearing the same few me-mades over and over again has forced me to finally get back into sewing and refashioning with a vengeance!

Last week I sewed not one, but TWO new tops. And my mind is just buzzing and humming with sewing plans, and the refashion pile is overflowing, and... yes! Thanks, 'So Zo.'

Day 12: Mother's Day

Me Made May 12: Mother's Day Outfit

I nearly took a break from me-made-maying for Mother's Day, but just couldn't bear to give up so easily. So out came the Georgina, yet again!

    Me-Mades (just one):
  1. Georgina cardigan in chartreuse.
  1. Sparkly striped surplice knit top, thrifted.
  2. Not Your Daughter's Jeans Marilyn Straight Leg stretch jeans with natural waist (made in USA).
  3. Privo by Clarks super-comfortable falling-apart purple Mary Jane sneaker flats I've worn to shreds over the last five or six years. (Similaresque here and here).

Day 13: Color Injection

Me Made May 13: I Need to Sew More Things

So yes, I like orange. And chartreuse. I wish I could say I made this skirt, but I did not.

    Me-Mades (2):
  1. Jalie Scarf-Collar top the 2nd.
  2. Georgina cardigan in chartreuse.
  1. Orange scribble-print skirt.
  2. Spanx reversible tights, the black side.
  3. Chartreuse 40s-style ankle-strap heels from ages ago, by the defunct Gentle Souls (similarish by Miz Mooz).
  4. Pink silk rib knit lace-edge cami

Day 14: A Taste of Cake

MMMay 14: Cake Tiramisu Top & Vogue Trousers

SEWING. FINALLY. Just a tester top for a dress, but wearable on its own, too.

    Me-Mades (four):
  1. Cake Patterns Tiramisu knit dress, adapted into a wearable muslin top version.
  2. Vogue Elements 9745 wide-legged corduroy trousers
  3. Waving Lace ombré knit socks
  4. Not visible: striped undies in the same fabric as the top (shown flat here)
  1. Arcopedico Flower leather Mary Jane cut-out flats in black.

Day 15: Flutter Sleeves

Me Made May 15: Flutter Sleeves

Here's my refashioned me-knit cardigan again—still slightly baggy, but I hesitate to slice into it again, so I'm going to go with this look for now.

    Me-Mades (just one again):
  1. Flutter-Sleeve Cardigan, me-knit and then me-refashioned.
  1. Merrell "Angelic Peak" black leather near-knee-high flat boots (waterproof). The only flat knee-highish boots I've owned since 2009 and still going strong!
  2. Polka dot knit top
  3. BCBGMaxAzria knit pencil skirt, thrifted (similar on Ebay, or you can, you know, make one!)
  4. Cheap plastic turquoise necklace
  5. Daughter's hair clip

Day 16: Just the Underpinnings

Me Made May 16: Just Underthings

Yeah, so I actually wore a RTW dress too, but I didn't photograph it. So. Homemade underpants, that was my contribution for the day.

Day 17: A Little Hummingbird Told Me

Me Made May 17: Hello, Hummingbird!

You are clearly already aware of how much I am loving this new me-made slice of Cake.

    Me-Mades (one):
  1. Hummingbird knit peplum top by Cake Patterns.
  1. Not Your Daughter's Jeans Marilyn Straight Legs, high-waisted enough to rock a peplum.
  2. Arcopedico Flower leather Mary Jane cut-out flats in black.
  3. Hue polka dot socks.

Day 18: Dress for a Big Day

Me Made May 18: Special Occasion
    Me-Mades (two):
  1. Polka dot ombré surplice knit dress (McCall's 6070 top, self-drafted half circle skirt bottom).
  2. Georgina cardigan in chartreuse.
  1. Spanx reversible tights, the black side.
  2. Camper Kim Mary Jane heels in sturdy red leather.
  3. Second Base Brittany demi lace cami (made in USA).

Whew! I have to admit, I'm starting to get a little exhausted mixing up my tiny collection of me-mades, and my photos are getting more random. I do have a skirt and another Hummingbird top I'm hoping to finish before the end of the month, though... we'll see!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from some hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (quite likely to be spent on more patterns, yarn or fabric for me to blog about!).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Colorful Shoe Showdown: Which Comfy Yet Cute Flats to Buy?

Sadly, reviewers say these adorable Miz Mooz chartreuse ballet flats smell so bad they cannot be worn.

Readers, can you help me? I have no colorful flat shoes and I'm really struggling to find some good ones. Please help my feet find their own happy comfortable rainbow... Why must I choose between comfort and color?

I realized this while trying to put together outfits for Me Made May. I've got one pair of flats in black, and two in brown, and they're all pretty much falling apart and a bit on the chunky side.

Mostly because I have some pretty strict criteria for shoes. I once broke the same foot twice in one year (the first time while pulling on boots... I lost my balance, fell over onto my foot and CRACK!), and I used to have to wear orthotics every day. Anyway: Here's a typical conversation in a shoe shop:

Mikhaela: Hi, I'm looking for some cute, comfortable well-made sturdy flats with really good arch support that can be walked in for long distances but don't make my size 10/11 feet look like boats.

Helpful salesperson: [searches store up and down, finally emerges with several promising pairs of black and brown shoes] We have these, our customers swear by them!

Mikhaela: Do they come in any other colors?

Helpful salesperson: Nope.

Mikhaela: [sighs deeply, leaves shop empty-handed, buys boring black shoes or buys colorful heels instead].

Most ballet flat styles don't work for me at all—I find the flat inside way more uncomfortable than even a low heel.

Anyway, my mom got me a gift certificate to Amazon for Mother's Day, and I was hoping to punch up my wardrobe with some eye-searing (or at least vaguely colorful) shoes and I am really struggling here. Readers, can you help?

Here are my current top contenders, but I'd also love suggestions if there are some brands of shoes that might fill in this gap. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE COLORFUL, please. Red, blue, or chartreuse would be especially nice... Vintage-inspired is good, too.:

#1: Arcopedico Flower Flats in green leather.

  • Pros: I know they are really, really comfortable... because I own them in black.
  • Cons: On the pricey side, hard to say what shade of green they are (on some sites they look chartreuse, hurrah, but above they look puke-colored) and they are rather Frankenstein chunky.

#2: Clarks Aldea Tribe flats in Fuschia (or the Palm in Coral)

  • Pros: I trust Clarks to make comfortable shoes that I can wear into the ground over the years. And the flower detail is great.
  • Cons: Come on, is that REALLY fuschia? Seems kinda bland from the website image... My eyes aren't bleeding yet. Skeptical of the arch support with such a flat heel.

#3: Miz Mooz Delma ballet flats in a bright shade like aqua or chartreuse.

  • Pros: LOVE the color, and I have a pair of Miz Mooz heels that are on the walkable side.
  • Cons: May be too flat inside, and some reviewers have returned them complaining of an unbearable odor.

#4: Patagonia Women's Advocate Mary Jane flats in pink

  • Pros: Super bright, super cute. AND Patagonia is serious about workers' rights and environmental responsibility.
  • Cons: Some reviewers complain of poor support.

#5: Arcopedico Scala Mary Janes in red leather

  • Pros: Red! Comfortable? Less chunky than the Flowers?
  • Cons: Still kinda boat-like... my feet may float out to sea, and not sure if they're delicate enough to wear with a frilly dress.

#6: Keen Women's Sienna Mary Janes in various colorful fabrics

  • Pros: Colorful and presumably comfortable.
  • Cons: I know they put that big toe there to protect your feet, but... why couldn't it be a coordinating color with the shoe fabric? It's like a rubber duck is eating your toes.

#7: Ahnu Karma Flats in various not-very-bright colors

  • Pros: They look super comfortable and rather cute—I like the crossed straps.
  • Cons: The colors are all a bit faded, dark or granola-earthy, not BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT.

Oh, wait! Lookee here... available in citron and orange (and recommended in a blog post on Already Pretty by Kirsten of barkingdogshoes.):

#8: Softwaves Wave Mary Janes in orange or citron. Had never heard of this company, but they seem ergonomically focused (and they make cute bright heels, too).

  • Pros: I'm seeing spots they're so bright. The ruching is cute, too! Plus: comfort?
  • Cons: Or is it cute (the ruching)?

I know it probably seems like I'm over-agonizing, but I walk EVERYWHERE, I need to chase after my toddler when necessary and I take the wishes of my poor, delicate twice-broken feet very seriously! And I'm on a super-tight budget, so I generally buy only one or two pairs of shoes per year (as my old shoes wear out).

Which would you buy, if you were me? OR do you have the inside track on something better?

Update... and now I just found these two Clarks styles I missed somehow... And you all have some great ideas in the comments for brands I had never even heard of ... My despair has now turned to indecision!

Clarks Poem Journal Flats in red—great reviews, too.

Clarks Artisan Aldea in cobalt bue

Final Update: What I actually bought! So I may later get one or two of the other styles pictured above or in the comments, but what I actually ended up buying was a bit random. I was trying to decide between the different options, when these Tsubo Aftenia fashion sneaker Mary Janes popped up as a suggested item... in red! For just $69:

I happen to have the exact same shoes in brown, and know they are comfortable as all get-out. There was one pair left in red, and it was my size (10) so ... done! For now, anyway. Amazon only has black or brown ones now, but you can still find them on eBay.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (and quite likely spent on yarn or fabric).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello, Hummingbird (Cake Patterns peplum knit top, #0289)

Hummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns in polka dots by Polka Dot Overload

Instant peplum gratification—this little Hummingbird took maybe me two hours to sew up, INCLUDING basting it together first to check fit!

A properly fitting peplum (seam snug at the waist, skirt at the right length and proportion) is a thing of wonder. It can suggest an hourglass figure, or accentuate one that already exists. Even better if it's in a forgiving, comfortable knit and can be whipped up in a single evening for a quick sewing high!

Me Made May 19: A Little Hummingbird Told Me

My mother has actual live hummingbirds in her yard, but try as I might I could not get one to land on me for my photos!

The pattern: Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top and Straight Skirt 0289. It's shipping this week, in case you're wondering! (Full disclosure: I'm the envelope illustrator for Cake Patterns and I designed the envelope and instructions along with my husband ... but I only work with Steph because I love me some Cake, and I sewed this top on my own time!)

Pattern Description: Knit top with horseshoe-shaped neckline, cap- or elbow-length sleeves, and four-leaf-clover-shaped peplum with different length options and optional dickey and cuffs. (There's also a woven skirt which I haven't made yet). I made the top in View Green (cap sleeves, no dickey or cuffs).

Pattern Sizing: The top is sized for a 30-59 inch full bust, and is also customized by actual waist size and front waist length (to ensure the peplum sits exactly at the waist).

  • My full bust is 38.5", so I chose the full bust size 35, then selected my actual front waist (17") and waist (29") sizes. Thanks to this size magic, the bust and waist fit perfectly in front, no FBA needed!
  • For the peplum, I chose the 20s size (proportioned for waist sizes in the 20s range), which created a neat little peplum perfect for wear over skirts. I think next time I will make the slightly longer 30s range peplum, for extra length over jeans... though it works fine as is, too... here it is at work on Friday:

Me Made May 17: Hello, Hummingbird!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Again, rather surreal following along with my own illustrations (and Steph's instructions), but I find them quite clear and thorough if I do say so myself!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? My favorite part is the unique little four-leaf-clover-shaped peplum drape (in both front and back).

IMG_4546_editedHummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns - side view

Fabric: Soft, light-weight black & white polka dot ITY jersey from Spandex House, leftover from making maternity tops some time back. Excellent stretch and recovery, and it drapes nicely for the peplum (which I did not hem, as this fabric is not prone to fraying).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Zip. Nope. None. A first for me, really!

Hummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns - back view

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Oh yes and yes! I'm going to make my next version in true Hummingbird colors, I'm starting to get bored with all my monochromatic sewing I've been doing lately... this is a rayon-lycra knit I got at Mood last weekend:

Hummingbird-esque rayon/lycra knit large print

Wear for: Everything all the time. Dress it up with a pencil skirt (like the matching Hummingbird skirt I'm working on now!), dress it down with some jeans. Also good for hanging out with bubble-blowing toddlers:

Hummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns

A final thought: You know, I was looking again at the tagline for Cake and it occurred to me why I jumped on board so enthusiastically when Steph approached me about working on the art and design. "Sewable wearable basics for busy women—always with pockets." (What she doesn't need to say there is that Cake Patterns are fun, vintage-inspired and figure-flattering, too!)

Well, that busy woman is me—I sewed this top after a long day of work, followed by a long evening of trying to get my toddler to do all her medical treatments and finally go to sleep ... I didn't start sewing til past 10, so didn't finish til past midnight. But the satisfaction of being able to wear it to work in the morning was so worth it!

P.S. For those of you who bought the pattern during the presale or since, and are wondering when you'll get your itchy hands on it... it's shipping this week, in big pretty green, pink, orange, and blue envelopes!

P.P.S. I'm feeling seriously pleased with myself for already sewing two tops and refashioning a cardigan this month–so good to get back to my machine after my ridiculously long hiatus!!!

P.P.P.S. In case you're wondering why my photos look so much better than usual, I was visiting my mom in Massachusetts... so I borrowed her porch and her Canon Rebel camera! She's promised to let me hold onto it a few weeks more, too.