Easy As π

Evie in her full-circle floor-length skirt

Evie in a full-circle floor-length skirt

Evie calls this place “The Berrious,”  and I’m not sure why.  It is a secluded part of the Presidio that not many people pass through, and it has become our secret wonderland.  It is a hillside of green grass, encompassed by tall pines and wild daisies, under a picture framed blue sky.  It is the most perfect place to lay our blanket in the early evening, when the air is cool and the sun passes over the Mission.

She brought her ponies and unicorns, and I brought a book called, “Anthology of World Poetry“, edited by Mark Van Doren.  My mother-in-law, Sherry, gave it to me two Christmases ago.  I turned the pages to French poetry and found the most beautiful stanzas of life.  I then decided to read to Evie a few Psalms which is listed under Hebrew poetry, and there we stopped at Psalm 8.

She blinked... and it was perfect.

She blinked… and it was perfect.

My bundle of joy.

My bundle of joy.

THE CHILD READS AN ALMANAC

The child reads on; her basket of eggs stands by.
She sees the weather signs, the Saints with awe,
And she watches the fair houses of the sky:
The Goat, the Bull, the Ram, et cetera.

And so the little peasant maiden knows
That in the constellations we behold,
And markets like the one to which she goes
Where goats and bulls and rams are bought and sold.

She reads about the market in the sky.
She turns a page and sees the Scales and then
Says that in Heaven, as at the grocery,
They weigh salt, coffee and the souls of men.

LUDWIG LEWISOHN

Top : Zara Kids

Top : Zara Kids


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SUPPLIES:
A little girl with a pony
Sewing Machine
Thread
Paper Scissors & Sheers
Chalk
Pins
Measuring Tape
Chiffon Fabric (or any sheer woven)
Jersey Lining
Elastic
Tissue Paper, Tape, and Pencil (to draw out pattern)

WAISTBAND FORMULA
pi : π = 3.14

1.  Waist Measurement + 2 = x

2.  x / 2π = Radius of Waistband

The Radius of Evie’s Waistband:
19″ + 2 = 21″
21″/ 2π = 3.34 (or about 3 3/8″)

HOW-TO MAKE A FULL-CIRCLE SKIRT

1.  Lay out the tissue paper on your cutting mat aligning it to the grids.

2.  Take your measuring tape and place the 1″ mark to the corner of the tissue paper.  Find the measurement of your radius of the waistband and like a protractor, take your pencil and while the 1″ mark is held in place, create dotted lines across the tissue paper while dragging the measuring tape.

3.  Do the same thing with the length of the skirt you’re making + 1/2″ (hem that will be taken under).

4.  Cut out your pattern.

5.  Take your fabric and fold it in half, and in half again.  Place it on your cutting mat so that the folds are on both sides of starting point.

6.  Place pattern on top of fabric and pin down.

7.  Cut out fabric to pattern.

8.  Repeat steps 4-7 if using lining.  You can make the length of the lining about 2″ shorter than the chiffon.

9.  Pin chiffon to lining, and sew at waist with a 3/8″ seam.

WAISTBAND

1. For Evie’s waistband, I put elastic in the back half of the waistband (11″).  First I took the waist circumference of the skirt I made and used that as the length + 1″ (seam allowance).  The thickness of the waistband depends on you.  I made Evie’s about 1″.  So you would take that 1″(2) + 1″ (seam allowance) =  3″.  Evie’s waistband pattern was about 24″ x 3″.

2. Sew together your chiffon to lining on both length edges with a 3/8″ seam.

3.  With right sides facing, sew waistband into a circle.

WAISTBAND TO SKIRT

I am not the best seamstress, so ironing, basting, and lots of pins at this point is a lifesaver.

1.  Take your skirt and waistband, and with right sides facing each other, pin all the way around.

2.  Sew 1/4″ seam together.

3.  Take two pins and mark the side seams.  The front half of the waistband will be a smaller measurement and it will not have elastic.  Evie’s front half measured about 11″.  Everything else will be gathered with the waistband.

4.  Take your elastic and sew it at one of the side seams (where you marked with a pin) on your waistband.

5.  At the raw edge of the waistband, you will fold about 1/4″ under.  Sew 1/8″ seam from fold.

6.  You will be now closing up the waistband.  Fold the waistband in half, and pin so that it is aligned to the front.

7.  Top stitch from the outside of the waistband about 1/8″ from edge.  When you start getting to the end, leave about 1 1/2″ opening.  Pull the elastic until it reaches the other marked side seam.  Sew the elastic down to the inside of waistband.  Then close it up waistband by sewing the last 1 1/2″ of the waistband.

8.  I went back and secured the elastic by making stitches from top of waistband to bottom of waistband at the side seams.

HEMMING

The hem of the chiffon will can be challenging if you don’t iron and pin.  There are a couple ways you can do this, but I chose to do a basic hem.  I folded 1/4″ under, and another 1/4″ under.  Sew with folds faced down about 3/8″ from hem bottom.

The jersey lining will have a raw edge and will not need to be hemmed.

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xx
JENA 

How To Take Your Waist Measurement!

Forest green floral printed chiffon

How to measure your waistline for a full-Circle Skirt

Thursday morning, I decided to make Evie a full-circle skirt, similar to a skirt that I am actually wearing at this very moment, which I’ve wanted to duplicate for the past few years.  My sister bought me this high-waisted flower bud crêpe skirt for my birthday, and its the most versatile (casual and eventful) and complimenting thing next to a tee or a blouse.  I want this skirt in every color, print, and length.

I bought the last few yards of this beautiful chiffon earlier this Spring, which I found in the scraps of the Discount Fabric Store in Normal Heights off of Adams Avenue. However, Spring had come and gone, and my determination to make spring skirts for the both of us delayed. Then summer passed, and Autumn will arrive in about a month (and so will my one-year wedding anniversary!), and the thought of Fall inspired me to start making Evie new pieces to add to her very minimal winter wardrobe.  Once I told her that I needed to measure her for a new skirt I would be making for her, she got ecstatic and began to throw out her embellishing ideas– “We need to put some glitter on it!!!

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Measuring the circumference of your waist:

You will need a cloth measuring tape, and not a hard plastic/metal one. Many people mistake their hips as where they should take their waist measurements.  Bending to one side will show you a crease that will form your natural waistline which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage. Evie is wearing a shirt just for the picture, but you don’t want to take measurements over your clothes. You want to make sure you don’t suck in your stomach because that can give you false measurements!  Wrap the measuring tape around your waistline and write this number down because you will then use that number to calculate the radius for your waistband!

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 DIY Full-Circle Skirt Tutorial Coming Soon!

xx
JENA

LBD

Little Black Dress Upcycled Fashion

Little Black Dress
Upcycled Fashion

My sewing machine is plugged in and left out on my desk, loose threads, scraps of fabric scattered, rulers and chalk– decorating Evie’s bedroom carpet; this mess is a good sign.  It is the scene of craft, and evidence that I am making use of all the expensive tools that I bought while going to school, especially the now priceless knowledge of applying fashion in my life.  Clothing that I once thought we could not afford, was always in a pile meant for a clothing swap, at a tip of a needle, and under the presser foot.

18 August 2013 Spending a beautiful day at Presidio Park

18 August 2013
Spending a beautiful day at Presidio Park in her LBD

“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.”
-Coco Chanel

Sewing dresses and tailoring Evie’s clothes to fit her petite body gives me a satisfaction as though I am fulfilling my major duties as a mama.  I remember being a little girl, and my mother would spend hours in the night sewing the inseams of my jeans to fit my toothpick legs, just so that I would actually wear it the next day for school.  If there is one thing that causes me to feel in-confident, it is wearing clothing that does not fit just right!  When it comes to clothes, Evie is very similar in stature.  Her shoulders are not broad enough to hold up straps, shoulders on any garment are about 1/2″ too wide, the only jeans that fit her will always be one or two sizes down, which gives the impression of capris, and her leggings are the same story.

I found a plain black medium dress (once owned by my friend Britnie S.) that was a size too big on me, but I figured that it would be perfect on Evie because she loves silky lightweight and flowy dresses.  I began with a small pencil sketch to show the possibilities to Evie of what something can become.  I enjoy having her beside me and a part of the sewing process.  She stands by to wait for the first fitting.  Her ideas are lovely, and it always includes embellishments.

Before & After

Before & After
Evie always manages to get into my work!
“Thes jres es gon bee Evie jrees” written by Evie

Evie in her upcycled LBD

Evie in her upcycled LBD

On the first day I worked on her little black dress, I made spaghetti straps out of the extra fabric which could tie criss-crossed in the back so it wouldn’t fall off her shoulders. The neckline ended up still being too big.  However, she wanted to wear it immediately, so I let her.  She gets really excited when I make things for her.  Its a blessing, because now when we walk into a store, she finds something she likes and asks if we could make it instead of buying it!

A couple days later, I ended up taking off the straps and sewing it into a halter to keep it from drooping in the front and back.  I also had a roll of black ribbon that was given to me.  Everyone tends to give me their untouched crafts and materials knowing that I will use it… and sure enough, there is a purpose for everything!  The only other thing that I wanted different was the size of the scallops on the edge. I wanted them bigger, but realized that it would take too long to hand draw it out and sew it to not fray. So instead I used the small scallop stitch which looks a lot more feminine and less of a statement.

Scalloped Edging

Scalloped Edging

Hi-low dresses and skirts are a huge trend today, and its time it leaked into children’s wear. I love the construction of a hi-low garment because it creates the impression of shorter legs actually looking longer. I had my wedding dress cut this way because we had decided to walk barefoot, and whenever I wear a floor-length dress without heels, I look extremely un-proportioned and very short.  (That’s a little style tip for those who want to appear taller!)

She loves ribbons

She loves ribbons

xx
JENA

Her First Capezio’s.

Baby Capezio's Media : Pencil & Watercolor

Baby Capezio’s
Media : Pencil & Watercolor
L-R : Evie trying on her first leotard, In the studio, Baby Capezio’s

I wander around searching for a place to sit and wait for my little one to finish her ballet class.  The morning air is fresh, the grass is full of dew, birds are chirping, and the sun has begun to light up the east side of each building.  I find a table and chair underneath an umbrella, one of many scattered around the recently enclosed parking lot, which now is a big open space; I love it.

Morning on the Prado

Morning on the Prado

So many things distract me from the very thing I want to do.  I blame the combination of motherhood + creative genes… this mind just can’t be still.  It always takes a moment of focus to even turn the page to where I left off in my current book [The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges].  Its chilly on the Prado, and I begin to wish I had brought a sweater.  I thankfully have my tumbler filled with a fresh brew of coffee which should keep my insides warm until the sun delivers its afternoon heat.  My thoughts are fixed on how this would be a perfect time that my husband and I could spare with one another.  He has been on a trip over the last couple of weeks, and we shortly await his return.

On Pointe Media : Tablet in Photoshop By JSK Keep Calm Source : Unknown

On Pointe
Media : Tablet in Photoshop
By JSK
Keep Calm Source : Unknown

One thing on my mind is drawing and painting pieces for my home.  There are some significant things that I hope to someday begin to sketch out, and Evie’s first pair of ballet slippers was one of them.  I finally managed to unleash this urge to draw, and Evie sat beside me doing a painting of her own– she loves to paint “Sunny Days.”  I am still continually learning how to paint, and I haven’t yet took even a day to find the patience to learn the basic fundaments of paint brushes and mixing colors.

Needless to say, the painting of her first “DaisyCapezio ballet slippers is close to completion.  It isn’t quite how I preferred it to look.  I ended up painting the background black after I took the photo of it being grey, and I truly wish I had stopped at the grey.  Evie also agreed in the final critique.

Sucre!

Post-Ballet Sucre!
El Prado, Balboa Park

xo
JENA

My Botanist.

Balboa Park Botanical Garden

Balboa Park
Botanical Garden

Ever since I became a mama, my curiosity grew, and so has my fascination with plants and flowers.  Part of it is because I am asked these questions on the daily, “What is that? Why does it look like that? How does it do that? etc…” by my daughter.  And sometimes I know the answer, but most of the time, we’re searching for them together.

There is a very large botanical garden at Balboa Park, in front of the iconic lily pond full of Koi fish and turtles.  It was built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition [the reason why Balboa Park was built], and apparently it is one of the largest lath structures in the world.  It is quite an incredibly sight.

I spent a lot of my childhood in my grandma’s garden on the North Shore of Oahu.  She grows her own orchids, ferns, fruit trees, vegetables, roses… and more.  I know that if she ever visited San Diego, she would fall in love with this park in a heartbeat.  The entrance to this botanical garden is vibrant of the most perfect orchids, and it all reminds me of my ‘small grandma‘.  Kindred spirits.

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These pink bromeliads are paralyzing. Its radiant tropical colors in contrast with its green leaves. I couldn’t help, but mentally draw a print of this on a breezy summer spaghetti strap dress sweeping the floor.

Color attraction

Color attraction

koi fish in the lily pond

koi fish in the lily pond

That is “Marigold,”  the very yellow-orange medium sized fish in the pond.

Love,
JENA

Our Secret Place.

Evie running up the staircase to get to her class on time. Poloroid : She carries her mini-tumbler full of cold water.

“Second star to the right, and straight on till morning!” – Peter Pan

Five minutes before class begins, and we arrive.  She holds her tumbler full of water and soars up the flight of stairs in those adorable ballet Robeez, her hair tightly braided and bobby-pinned into a bun, as I follow behind her staring at her Peter Pan jacket– I silently think to myself….

“Never Grow Up.”
-Peter Pan

These toddler times are so precious, those infant stages like a blink of an eye.  I adore her run that doesn’t fully stride, her skip and spins– imperfect, her lion claws so graceless, her curtsy– unbalanced.  Everything about her little body is so darling, that I cannot help but daily capture her essence.

As I await for her class to end, I sit in our secret nook, undiscovered by those who never explore this marvelous place.  I have begun to read a book that was recommended by my Elliot, of which he has never read, but I take his word for it.  Every book of his was collected or given to him, therefore, I take its spot on our shelf a sign of good review.

The Pursuit of Holiness By Jerry Bridges

“The Pursuit of Holiness”
By Jerry Bridges
1978

Our secret place.

Our secret place.

Dreaming up a Hopeful Home

Dreaming up a Hopeful Home

Inspiring Textiles

Inspiring Pavements

1x1 Basket Weave in Bricks

1×1 Basket Weave in Bricks

 

Like Mama, Like Daughter.

Evie measuring how big her feet is next to mine.

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I find most of my inspiration for design in this park, and even my escape to another country.  It is my France; Le Louvre.  If we ever designed and built our own house, it may have much of Balboa influence.  I thank Kate Sessions, for dreaming landscapes of which my mind could never dream of.  She is the brilliant mind behind all the flowers and trees that grow in this park.  I have fallen head over heels in love with this place after almost two years of living in San Diego.  Everything inspires me here: the architecture, botanicals, museums, trails, history, and the memories we have made here as a family.  We have even named the fish in the pond.

Love,
JENA