Monday, July 24, 2017

i've got a secret

so when my co-leader and i find ourselves wanting to work on a new sewing project but lack the proper fabric to get the job done, we hop in the car and make the drive out to our most favorite local source.  hidden away at the very end of this small building in alhambra (812 south date avenue, suite g to be exact) is the home office and warehouse of purple seamstress, one of the best sources anywhere for knit fabrics.


when you walk into the warehouse, you're greeted with stacks and stacks of giant bolts of fabric sorted by type, like versatile cotton lycra in every color of the rainbow:


need stripes?  mel's got that too.


she keeps a carefully curated selection of licensed fabrics with all sorts of familiar faces printed on them:


super soft brushed polyester, which has become crazy popular and in-demand since a certain leggings company burst onto the scene over the last year:


if you're so inclined and are willing to put in about an hour of work, those leggings that are $20+ a pair can be made with just one yard of fabric...which you can scoop up for under $8.  it's actually pretty fantastic.

she's got swim fabric year-round:


it's hard to focus on sweater knits when it's a zillion degrees out, but she's got those too:


and if you have time to browse, there are racks and racks of precut fabrics in various lengths.  they're mostly sorted by type - stripes, floral, polka dots, characters, holidays, chevron...you name it, it's here somewhere.


so if you're local to the l.a. area, purple seamstress is open seven days a week from 9:00-6:00.  mel and her super friendly staff are always so helpful and are great about offering suggestions for coordinating fabrics or what to use for a specific project.


i probably shouldn't even be sharing our best fabric secret, because now when we go see mel and flor they'll probably be busy with all of you...but that's okay.  i'm a giver.  

you're welcome.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

more slime than you can shake a stick at

so if you have elementary-aged kids at home, you've probably come into contact with this year's summer craze...homemade slime.  now, i know homemade slime isn't a new thing.  the bean actually made slime a couple of years ago and lost interest in it fairly quickly.  but with her addiction to youtube videos and chatter with friends and all of the ingredients for slime being displayed together at stores like target and michaels, her interest has been renewed.  with a vengeance.

she's experimented with different ingredients like borax and shaving cream and lotion and glitter glue and liquid starch and little foam balls, and she has her eye on a recipe that involves baking soda and contact lens solution. it's all so weird, and yet since it's science related i don't really have a problem with it.  i DID have a problem with her using all my stuff to make her batches of goo, and so i hit up the dollar store awhile ago and picked up a bunch of cheap utensils so she'd have all her own stuff.  you know, like measuring cups and plastic spoons and containers to hold it all.  best $10 i ever spent, let me tell you.

like, she's so addicted that even when she was at grandma camp she got MIL to pick up some supplies  so she could make some while she was out in texas.  sheesh.  although i will say that her texas creation was pretty cool.  MIL got her some clear glue, and it turned out like this:


too bad that TSA wouldn't let her bring it home.  oh, she was so bummed when she told me about how they took it away when she went through security.  i bet those fuckers sat there and played with that slime when she left.  okay, not really, but still.  big bummer.

and it's actually turned into another creative outlet for her, as she brought a batch with her when she came with me and the hub to lowe's to look at boring home stuff.  it was pretty funny to watch her sculpt it into all sorts of different things:







and the salesman we were talking to was pretty amused when he looked over and saw this:


she's got containers stacked on top of each other with different colors and textures, and she even put together a little sampler pack for her friend mini cee the last time we saw her:


look for her etsy store, coming soon.  heh.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

more sewing than cookies these days

it's been pretty quiet on the cookie front lately.  i suppose that's not a terrible thing considering it's been so hot, but i kind of miss working with fun designs that people come up with.  like, i got to do this set for a bunco party:


and these for a superhero birthday party.


the bean's cheer coach managed to get us access to a local hall to use for extra practices for free, and so when she asked us to help put together a gift basket for the owner as a token of our appreciation, i threw a dozen of these together:


with all this time freed up from baking and decorating cookies, i've turned most of my attention to sewing.  i have an insanely large stash of fabric and a whole bunch of patterns to use on them, so i'm trying to crank out as many pieces as i can.  i should probably work on clearing out my closet of stuff i don't wear anymore so i have room for the new things, but that's not as fun.  heh.

i'm not a huge romper fan, mostly because i don't like having to practically get naked when i need to hit the potty.  but i decided to give it a shot with this fabric i got in a monthly subscription that gets me two "mystery" yards of material.  july's box contained this lovely liverpool fabric that has a nice stretch with a nice weight to it.  i used the made for mermaids mama lea romper pattern for this:''

for a visit to disneyland, i threw together this tank top using a star wars-inspired panel i'd forgotten that i'd ordered till it arrived in the mail.


and this is a dress i'd cut out probably a good month before i finally sewed it together.  as soon as it was done, i realized that using red for the neckline and arm holes pretty much cut down my shoe choices to like one pair in my closet.  d-oh!


i have a major shortage of comfortable shorts in my wardrobe.  i've seriously been wearing the same pair of denim cutoff shorts from the gap for probably four summers in a row, because i love them and they're comfy - and also because they seem to have discontinued them.  bah!  anyway, i decided to try my hand at making a drawstring-waisted pair using new horizons' "portlander" pattern in a fabric from sincerely rylee called "genevieve."  i love these:


also using sincerely rylee fabric, i busted out this dress that was a collaboration between them pattern maker george & ginger.  this is before i added the final tier to make it a mini-length dress, and although it took what seemed like forever because of all the pressing and strap making, i love it.


i've seen really cute knotted tees online from nordstrom and other places going for like $50.  i love the look, but i refuse to pay that much for what basically amounts to a t-shirt.  luckily, there's a pattern for that, and with this fabric i scored for $5 a yard i have my own version for under $10:


this dress was somewhat of a fail.  the construction of it is correct and follows the pattern exactly, but i don't love it on me.  the line drawing on the pattern description was super cute, but i think this one is going straight to the donation pile.  WOMP WOMP.


i replied to a call for testers for a new women's board shorts pattern, mostly because i'd mistakenly bought some fabulous board shorts fabric thinking it was actually swimwear material.  i found out over the weekend that i'd been chosen, and so i've been working on my tester shorts for the last couple of days using some crap fabric that's been stashed for a couple of years now.  i've cranked out three pairs of these things so far (because when an updated pattern with bug fixes comes out, you have to re-test it out), and the third pair came out almost perfectly.  it's really comfy, and now i'm ready to cut it out with my final fabric.

wish me luck.  if they turn out the way i'm hoping they will, they're going to be SUPER cute.  we'll see.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

superheroes wanted

after cheer practice last monday the bean got in the car and said "mom, on wednesday practice is superhero-themed.  can i be wonder woman?"  and of course i was on autopilot and said "oh sure, no problem!"  and then got home and realized i had nothing to work with to accomplish that.  one trip to joann's yielded the perfect material, though:


except that we were running out the door for one activity or another, didn't get home till late and i promptly forgot about it until i got up the next morning and found that ^ still sitting on my table, untouched and waiting to be sewn up into something wonder-ful.  crap.

luckily, i'd already given it some thought and had a good idea of what i wanted to do.  i figured i could just make a fitted tank top, adding an attached cape to the back of the neckline, and a simple circle skirt.  so i pulled out my patterns, cut out the fabric and sat my happy ass down at my machines and got to work.  and of course it didn't go as smoothly as i'd hoped, with fit issues and other things that i had to scramble to fix so that it at least looked good from a distance.  with about half an hour to spare i managed to pull it off:


she was super happy with the results, and scampered off to practice rocking her new threads.

speaking of superheroes, we got to participate in a fun outing with some local girl scouts for the opening day of the marvel live show at citizens business bank arena in ontario.  they were going to do some sort of media event/pre-show activity with the girls, and then follow it up with tickets for the show.  and it was all free!  i can't pass up a freebie, you know.  a lot of the girls in our troop were out of town or unavailable for one reason or another, and so it was a pretty small group of us that got to go.  


we checked in here to get our tickets:


and then headed upstairs for some fun photo ops.



there were a few of the show's performers warming up not too far away, and a few minutes later one of them came over to welcome everyone and start the preshow activity.


they did a cool fight scene demonstration, and then got the girls up to do some warmup.

video



for some reason my girls were being shy, and none of them volunteered to participate in the demos.  they practiced some fake hitting and kicking and some sword fighting, and it looked lots of fun.  they were happy to just sit and watch though, and then when the demos were over they lined up for another fun photo op.  i'm not gonna lie, thor's hammer was kinda heavy.



the girls each got to pick from captain america, spiderman and hulk masks for the next photo op.


the old lady declined, but i totally jumped in.  would you expect anything less?


downstairs, the event staff was gearing up for the doors to open and the stampede of marvel fans to enter the arena for the show.


with our preshow activities complete, we headed downstairs to have our tickets scanned and find our seats.  the old lady and i split up to get the girls a snack, and i eyed this longingly as we passed by.


the girls' dippin' dots ice cream was served in a fun light-up cup.


we had some pretty decent seats, especially considering we were using comped tickets.  this was our view without zooming in:


the show was just as you'd expect - super cheesetastic and entertaining for even the slightest of marvel fans.






and then when it was over, we headed to the nearby in-n-out for some late-night (haha, it was 9:00) grub.


it was a fun evening, and we all had a great time.  not to mention, yay for the new junior vest debut out in the wild!

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