Monthly Archives: August 2008

Market Saturday

We had a great time heading downtown to Eastern Market in Detroit.  We went looking for some locally grown kale, but unfortunately they were all sold out.  We went also to see Gregg and Angela, and pick up some dressing.  Ella loved it so much that she actually wanted to drink it from the bottle!

One day in, and already 1/4 gone!

The coolest thing about these dressings is that if you sign up for the newsletter, Evolve Detroit! you can get the recipe to make them yourself!!  Open Source food.  LOVE it.

(Yes, I already know how to make some of them, but I like to buy them, too, knowing Angela crafts them with such love!)

Plus, I don’t have cool labels and cute bottles at my house.

(Look ho much is gone already!!!)

When we went for “Vegan” pizza beforehand and the new pizzeria, Ella was less than enthused, though she generally loves pizza…The shop was cute enough, but after we ordered our meal, I heard someone in the kitchen say “Wait, she ordered it with no cheese,” and expected someone to come to our table to let us know they had made a mistake and would be a few extra minutes, but instead, a pizza came out so I assumed they were talking about someone else’s dish.  Ella didn’t like it, and after eating two pieces, I noticed little bits of cheese on the slice.  They must have actually scraped it off (mostly).  This is really irritating to me.  I would have had NO PROBLEM waiting for another pizza, or coming back after crossing the street to do some shopping, but the fact that they didn’t communicate and then tried to pass off a pizza with hidden cheese as “vegan”  whatever.  I won’t be going back.

Ooooh Sour

After we picked up a dressing and some cherry tomatoes, we headed back to the car, but stopped at the new Ethiopian Restaurant next door to the pizzeria and WOW was it delicious.  Ella was still hungry, having not liked any of the pizza, and only having drank some orange-sparkle-water at the other place.  We ordered the Ethio Plate and Ella ate ALL the spicy lentils and mouth-watering injera (bread) as little bite-sized sandwiches that I made her.  She usually loves greens, but left those for me.  We will definitely return there, especially since they offer scrambled tofu for breakfast on Saturdays (yippee!)

Also started working on this:

Latest Project

More later, when it’s done.

All in all a wonderful Saturday.



Filed under community, cooking, life, motherhood, sewing


Please forgive the worse than usual lighting in these photos. I was too impatient to wait until morning! Tomorrow is a sweet little Sophia’s 5th birthday.  I’ve been saving this fabric for back-to-school time.

Sweet Sophia is turning 6

I hope to get a modeled picture soon.  I know it will be darling on a little dark-haired beauty!

Ella tells me all dresses need pockets.  So, I couldn’t leave them off here.  I found some gingham ribbon for an extra sweet touch:

Pocket Detail

..and after rummaging around in my button stash I found the perfect complement to the little animals dancing across the dress:

Headband Detail

I hope she likes it as much as I do!  (I also hope her mother doesn’t read my blog tonight!!)

I guess I should hit the sack since it’s 2:40 in the morning.  I do love staying up late to finish projects.  It’s most definitely my creative time.  A little somafm in the sewing room, cup of sweet rose Tulsi Tea and some incense burning…heaven!


Filed under sewing

Peter the 6th grader is ready for middle school

or so he thinks….he does love his new shirt, though:

I straightened the yokeSide View"hem"

I’ll need to find a photo of him wearing it. I’m so happy he’s home.  We all missed him last week while he was away with his dad.

Ella was a disaster in the stroller (and being held, and running around) for hours during naptime while we got Peter registered and situated. He managed to lose his schedule and planner while he walked away with his dad to sign up for choir and Lego Robotics for 15 minutes. How does that happen??? We already made our first trip to the office to get an additional schedule.

It’s hard for me to witness Middle School all over again. it was such a painful time for me. Constantly self-conscious, struggling a lot to figure out who I was, and generally lonely, even though I had good friends (one of whom I till see regularly!) Peter seems positive, though, excited even….and he has good friends too. And also it seems the “don’t care what anyone thinks” upbringing of him appears to have sunken in. He rarely does worry about “what other kids will think.” I hope that continues.

Ella was wearing her new dress, so at least she looked like a sweetie, even if she acted like a monster. (well, like a nearly two year old whose mommy was too stupid to realize attending the orientation would be too hard on her tired little one! It’s not her fault. I’m the monster for stealing her nap.)

J is leaving for Australia very early in the morning. I hope I can get some sewing done while he’s gone.

Now for some non-sequitors

I’m going to be making up the Bonnie Dress is Red. I’ve also put together a sweet little bag to go with it, but the first one was snatched away by Julia immediately upon my offer, so I didn’t get a picture yet!

Does anyone have a favorite headband pattern? I’m going to be trying to work out my own tomorrow while Grandma is here…but just in case ….

Have you all seen the sweet tutorials on Sandi Henderson’s website? My favorite is the rolled roses tutorial and I will be using it tomorrow for sure! I’ll be using the time during which Grandma is here to see Ella for clean up in my sewing room and prep of some hand sewing projects for the week. I also want to make up some toddler pocket pants for the shop.

I’d love to make up some more Little Woos in bamboo knits for my shop over the weekend so I can clear my plate to participate in the September sewalong from Wondermommy.

I plan to finally approach the local boutique owner about carrying some of my things. If anyone has any helpful information on how to make that a successful conversation, please share!

I want to thank everyone who contacted me to express their sympathy over not being accepted into the DUCF this year. I knew there was a danger of not getting in when I announced my efforts, but this is a blog about my real life and slow, sometimes painful start to realizing my dream. Thanks for listening to the all jubilation and the whining.

…time for sleep!

1 Comment

Filed under creativity, life, motherhood, sewing


So I received notice from the Detroit Urban Craft Fair that I was not accepted as a vendor for this year’s exhibition.

I’m trying to not take it so hard, but I really feel like crawling under the covers and crying for a week.


Filed under community, creativity, life

Japanese Fabric, Japanese Food

Tonight we took Ellabella and Jack to our favorite restaurant, Shiro, here we all ordered exactly what we usually order.  Ella had a bowl of steamed rice (with “shaush” of course), some edamame, and pickled ginger.  The child is definitely my daughter, though she looks just like daddy….she eats like me.  BIG flavors.

We went to our favorite little coffeehouse afterward for some super-spicy chai for me and dessert for the boys. Ella loves “runnin’ way” outside the coffee house, so we sat outside, where she could safely run ‘way from us and return for some more “tease you” which involved getting up and pretending to chase her for a couple steps.

.  Ella in Bonnie Dress

She’s wearing the Bonnie Dress which I have just listed in my shop. I love how this dress turned out, especially since I was terrified to cut into the fabric!

It’s full of surprises, and I’m as proud of the inside as I am the outside!  All the seams are bound, flat-felled, or otherwise enclosed.  I hope this dress will be the one that is put away for the grandchildren after many years of play.  It certainly won’t wear out, even after being handed down to younger siblings.

I’m especially fond of the pleat in back:Back - pleats

And the secret pockets for little treasures (or little hands):

Secret Pockets!








I’m in love with the covered buttons and the way the sweet polka-dots that peek out from the hem and the collar.

It was difficult to find a matching velvet ribbon, but I think I’ve hit the mark. And the pleats in the sleeves give a beautiful sense of volume when the arms are lifted.

Sleeve detail









I wish I had enough of this gorgeous Ouka by Kokka fabric to make a Bonnie Dress for myself.  Who am I kidding?  I barely have time to look for things at Target for me.

What a segue….I did find some lovely items at Target.  This Dress:

Target Dress

And these FANTASTIC shoes! (I swear they are straight out of the Mad Men costume trailer…)

Mad Men Shoes!

Back to Japanese fabric….and shop updates….I’ll soon be listing a local favorite: Little Woo.  I’ve made it up this time in a Bamboo Knit with the same gorgeous Ouka flower circle fabric as the Bonnie Dress.  I’m giving the arms a little more room, so it can be worn as a jacket or as a sweater. 

Ella loves hers!

Ella  at Sunset in Little Woo Bamboo

Each one will have a different set of buttons, as I’m finding all sorts of appropriate goodness from my grandmother’s button stash.


Filed under creativity, life, sewing

small magazine fall 08 is out! (and an update)

if you haven’t read it, you must.

Why not start on page 18 where you will see Martha of Uniform Studio’s beautiful creations in denim and her signature green.

I get so excited when I see this in my inbox.

In other news…..Julia and I have been sewing together.  She’s my 17 1/2 year old stepdaughter and she’s getting ready to start her senior year of High School.  But first, she’s making her own costume for the Renaissance Festival in town (called RenFest by teenagers..) and is totally motivated to enter the Innovation Generation contest for the American Sewing Expo in Novi next month!

Lori’s podcast about helping to teach young people to sew couldn’t have come at a better time! I have to say, though, that it really doesn’t feel like all that long ago when I myself was sewing my prom dress (I’ll have to find it: a Belleville Vogue pattern) on my mom’s kitchen table.  Here at our house, it’s Julia up until 2:30 a.m. in my sewing space.  Doesn’t hurt that J hooked up the cable and replay tv last night.

I’m finishing up the final touches on the new and improved Bonnie Dress for Fall!!

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, inspiration on the web, life, motherhood, sewing

Today she wanted to wear her hat

Her “Cars” hat.  And she kept it on her head.  Amazing.  I wish I had a picture, but I was afraid she’d take it off if I tried to get one with the matching motor city kid dress.

Here’s one from the other day (Still in jammies):

Delicious Baby

And here’s the dress as she was “helping me” on my cutting table:

Helper (?)

What she’s doing is not actually helping (big surprise), rather she is breaking my label-maker (again).

Peter is starting (middle) school in a couple weeks, and so had a special request for a new shirt to wear for pictures.  I love that my kids love that I make them clothing.  Peter treats the items as special heirlooms, which I imagine is rare behavior in a little boy, and always has. 

Whenever anyone comments on Ella’s clothing she responds “Mommy.  Soo-ing. Fo’ me.”  Isn’t that sweet?  She’s proud of me! Either that or she’s complaining, but I don’t think so because she will run up to J when she’s dressed in the morning and say “LOOK!” until he responds with “Isn’t that a lovely/pretty/cool/nice ___________”  I love it.

I also love that Peter wants a remake of this shirt.  I think I’m going to trace it off in 2 sizes larger than last time from the Ottobre 02/03 issue, because he is growing SO quickly and he insists on wearing his handmade clothing until it barely fits anymore.

I miss sewing up Ottobre for my kids, but I’ve been so focused on getting my OWN designs on paper (and in fabric) that I just haven’t taken the time recently.  Sewing for Peter from Otto is perfect, though, because it’s really the only pattern company I’ve noticed that makes such fabulous patterns for boys in his size.  If only I had known about the when he was younger, he’d have had a far nicer wardrobe…much more of it handmade.

I suppose that while I can’t sleep, I’m going to go down and work on the little Fall Jacket/Winter Shirt or clean up my sewing room (if I were cooler, I would call it my “studio” but I’m not cool, and I never was).

1 Comment

Filed under creativity