Thursday, December 31, 2009

My sister's wedding

Everything was perfect and absolutely beautiful.

Here they are in the elevator of Hotel New Otani, on the way to the wedding breakfast.

In front of the Tokyo Temple.

My parents sitting down to get ready for some family pictures.

Dress details.

I am so thankful I could be there to witness it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Turtle Hood" Pullover

My baby sister is getting married, and I am leaving on Thursday for Tokyo to attend the wedding.

Alison suggested I sew something comfortable to wear on the plane, and this is what I came up with. It feels like pajamas, and that is just what I will need on the 11 hour flight.

pattern: Turtle Hood pullover from hibi+

size: medium (I am a large on the Japanese size chart, an 8 in the US, but this medium fits OK as long as I don't wear anything bulky underneath. The sleeves could have been a little longer.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter coat for Kai - Oliver and S, school days jacket and coat

He is so happy that he has been wearing it since nine this morning.

Pattern: Oliver and S, school days jacket and coat (link to the pattern here)
Their blog had great fabric suggestions for their patterns. I have bought two more patterns from them, and can't wait to get to work. Here is a Flickr group where you can see what other people have made using Oliver and S patterns.

Size: 4
Kai took after his father, and is very lean. Although he will be five in May, the measurements suggested I make a four. I am glad I did.

outer- thick dark denim with some stretch (Wal-mart, $3/yard) I should have bought the rest of the bolt. It was sold out when I went back. That was after I washed what I bought and decided I really liked it.

lining- thick fleece (the kind you see on sporty pull-overs) This one came from a fleece warehouse in seattle that has since closed. Since I wasn't sewing much back when Scott's sister took me there, I just picked up a kitchen garbage bag sized remnant bag for $10. I am proud to say that the piece I used for this coat was the last piece of that bag, and now it is all gone. It only took me 11 years and 9 moves.
lining for the hood- fine wale corduroy from the RS closet clean-out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Dress

This dress had been on my sewing planner since summer, but I didn't get to it until the day before the first Sunday of December. Talk about procrastination, and thank goodness it was a quick project.

What makes this dress unique is cutting the fabric on the bias. I love the slimming silhouette and how it moves.

The book tells you to roughly cut the main pieces out, hang them on a hanger over-night to let it stretch on the bias, and then cut it out exactly. I should have taken that seriously. I did 4 hours. The wool stretched another third of an inch while Asha was wearing it, and covered the ruffles more than my liking. I am going to take the blind stitches out and hem it shorter for the full effect.

Pattern: Style D-1 of "Concert and recital dresses for sisters" (link here)
Size: 130
Fabric: The grey wool came from the thrift store. You can't beat $2.37 for 3 yards. The black satin used for the lining and the ruffles came from Joann's.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My little boys...

... keep me hopping.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Burda Top

This is a pattern I had been wanting to try for a while. I just love the sleeve detail. It should have been an easy/quick project, but I had a hard time getting the tension right on my serger after Quinn played with the dials, and that resulted in lots of picking of the stitches and resewing.

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion Jan 2009, style 106B
Fabric: Premium stretch cotton from

In the magazine, the model is wearing this shirt with a wide enamel belt. I love that look, but my black belt was too dressy for this cotton. I am going to make another one with shimmery stretch fabric.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This year I told the kids that they have to come up with their own costumes. After all, our costume box is well stocked, and I didn't want to use my precious sewing time for something I will see once a year. They didn't mind at all, and we had a happy Halloween.

Aunt Trisha brought these cute, and yummy, cup cakes.

This was taken after Trunk-or-Treat. Quinn threw up shortly after this... on me and my kimono. Scott's sister, Karine, reminded me later not to pick up a whiney kid on Halloween. I need to remember that.

I got to host Kai's pre-school party.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Turtle neck and Camisole

I am finally back on my own computer. While my hard drive was being replaced and the OS upgraded, I had more time to create instead of admiring creations of others.

This is the closest to the true color.

turtle neck - premium stretch cotton knit (10% spandex)
camisole - Liberty Tana Lawn

Everyday Girl Clothes from Pattern Label
I graded up to size 130

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Winter jacket for Quinn

Quinn had a Gap corduroy coat last year that I loved.  It could be dressed down for jeans, while also looking great with church clothes.  Now that he has grown out of it, it was time to sew one up for this year.  I started with suiting fabric I had bought when Jerome was little.  I was pleased that I still liked it after 9 years, while fashion trends have changed quite a bit.  I added a lining of sweatshirt fabric for warmth.  I made a label out of the tiger in a Echino scrap fabric Alison had given me.  It pulled all the colors together and gave the jacket that little detail I was after.   


The mustard corduroy came from what was left of Asha's bubble skirt, and the sweatshirt fabric for the lining came from Scott's old Cougar sweatshirt.  

Size: 90

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Layered puff-sleeved T

We have been enjoying a Saturday with no obligations for the first time in a long, long time.  We tidied up the yard in preparation for the snow, made salsa with our last batch of tomatoes (Thanks for the idea and recipe, Kersten!), and played with the kids a lot.

I made this layered shirt while Quinn was taking his nap.     
Pattern: Milimili Girl's T-shir set, the dog appliqué is from a quilt book, White Design - Simple Quilt 
Size: 130
Fabric: Navy with white dots from Fabric Fairy, and white sleeves from Alison.  Check out Alison and Paul's new bike here.  It is the coolest bike I have ever seen.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smock dress

I finished another school outfit early this morning.  My sewing area is right next to our workout room, and it was too hard to resist putting elastic in the leggings to finish up this outfit after my workout. 

Smock dress
Pattern: style "g" of Mom and Girl Matching Clothes size 130 
I took out about 4 inches off the width because I didn't have enough fabric, and also added a waist band.  I think it is a better look for older girls.     
Fabric: Japanese lawn from Hobbyla Hobbyle

Pattern: Everyday bottoms 
I added some ruffles at the bottom.  
Fabric: Cotton Lycra from a fabric store in Salt Lake City (Thank you for getting it, Alison!)

Kids after church.  

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Asha's baptism was very special.  I loved watching her beam with excitement to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  I looked around the room and felt so blessed when I saw faces of Asha's favorite people, including grand parents, ants, uncles, cousins, teachers, and friends.  I know that with the help of those wonderful people, and many more who couldn't be there, Asha will continue to have a joyful life.  

Alison sketched the dress and gave me trouble shooting sessions on the phone.  Scott's mom found the fabric.  Thank you.  

Here is a picture of the pleated skirt and leggings on her.  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pleated denim skirt and leggings

With the dress out of the way (I was planning on making some flowers for it, but that may or may not happen.), I am back going down the list of fall/winter clothes I had planned to sew.  It is so much fun to work on items I can complete during one nap time of Quinn's.   

I am hoping the leggings will keep those legs warm and extend the wearable time into the early winter.  I used cotton interlock for them, and they are a bit snug.  I have a few more pairs cut out using cotton lycra, and that should work better with the extra stretch.     

skirt - Everyday Girl Clothes, (Click here for all the clothes Alison made for her girls out of this book.) view 29, size 130 (The book only goes up to 120, so I scaled it up.)
leggings - Everyday Bottom


skirt - denim from NPS Store in Salt Lake City (Thanks, Alison!)
leggings - cotton interlock from Fabric Fairy

Sunday, October 4, 2009


My mom made two beautiful nightgowns for me right around the time I was Asha's age.  I finished this nightgown for Asha today, and enjoyed watching her excitement as I reflected on my own. 

It is interesting how my prospective has changed over the years.  When I was in college and was taking all the childhood education classes, my judgmental eyes and immature prospective led me to make a list of what my mom was doing wrong.  I often got in trouble for giving parenting tips off that list.  I felt excited to raise my own children so I could try the new and better way of raising.  Once I had Jerome, I quickly gained respect for my mom's selfless act of going through the pain of bringing me into this world and caring for me.  I was humbled and determined to work as hard as she did.  Now that I have four, I am constantly in awe of what my mom has accomplished.  Raising five children in suburbia Tokyo while working as a nurse was no easy task, especially how she did it.  She never cut corners and always strived for excellence.  I would be happy if I could pass along to my children even half of what she has given me.  

Perhaps that is one of the reasons I sew.  I am trying to carry on the heritage.    

fabric: double gauze
pattern: vintage Simplicity pattern from etsy
size: 8 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baptismal Dress

I am almost finished.  Covered buttons, snaps, and some flowers left to do.  10 days left until the special day.     

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The canning is mostly underway.  I did peaches, pears, and LOTS of tomatoes.   My sister suggested I make tomato sauce.  With the strainer we borrowed from Scott's mom, we have been having a lot of fun doing that.  I love it that we can reduce the amount to half before we bottle it.  

Kai started pre-school this week.  It is a co-op one, where we moms take turns and host.  Twice a week for a couple hours each is just perfect for us.  Kai said it was the "bestest" day as he came out of the first day of school.  Our goal is to not drop out this time.  With Jerome, the three moms decided to quit after a few months.  Alison started teaching early morning seminary, Nary was my counselor, and I was the RS pres. in an inner city branch in Philly.  We just didn't have the time or energy to stay on the Joy School curriculum.  It still turned into a lasting friendship, so something great came out of it.  Asha dropped out when Scott got a new job in San Diego and we moved.  

Asha is getting baptized on October 10th.  I started sewing the baptism dress, now that I have a deadline.  The last few days were spent making the muslin to test the fit.  It took a few tries.            

I based the bodice pattern on her Easter dress but changed the sleeves and added the cross-over.  The shoulders needed a little widening, too. 

Now I am ready to cut out the fabric and start sewing.