Bijoux.

Bib Necklace Inspiration Source: Unknown

Bib Necklace Inspiration
Photo Source: Unknown

“The things you fear are undefeatable
not by their nature
but by your approach”
Jewel

04 September 2013 Evie wanted to show her Auntie Jaymi the necklace that she made.

04 September 2013
Evie wanted to show her Auntie Jaymi the necklace that she made.

My daughter loves puzzles, patterns and building things in symmetrical structures.  Teaching her how to make her necklace look symmetrical and having all the gems fit like a puzzle on the felt didn’t take long.  She wasn’t sure how this would end up into a necklace, but I told her that I would finish it when she woke up from her nap.  I left the final product tied around the neck of her pink pony.  When she awoke, she saw her pony wearing her necklace, and smiled. “Aww… my pony is wearing my necklace!!!”

She wore her necklace to dinner on Labor Day, and seeing it on her made me proud to know that she designed her own jewelry.  I would have never thought that all those pink gems would make the emerald and amber ones pop out so perfectly.  Believe me when I say that I did tell her, “Perhaps you should try to use some other colors…?”  She responded with, “Umm… its okay mommy, I just want all the pink ones.

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BIB NECKLACE:
“A style of necklace that mimics a baby’s bib, with a thick section on the chest and a thin cord going around the back of the neck.”

090413-Evie-BibNecklace-3SUPPLIES:
A creative child
Hard Paper to make a template
Scissors
Glue Gun

NOTIONS: 
Gems
Beads (Optional)
Thread
Ribbon (Satin)

FABRIC:
Felt

DO-IT-YOURSELF:

1.  Fold paper in half (I used the thick back cover of an old magazine), and draw your own template on the fold.  Cut template out.  This is where you can make adjustments if you don’t like the shape of your template.

2.  Fold felt in half, and place template (on fold) on felt fold.  Cut felt out.

3.  Design the layout of the gems on top of felt. Take a picture of it just in case it falls off (mine did) as I was taking it to the glue gun.

4.  Carefully glue each gem onto felt.  It helps to align the holes of the gems so they are in a place that can easily be threaded from one gem to the next.

5.  Secure each gem by threading each one into the pre-drilled holes.  You will want to start from underneath threading up into a hole, and coming back down through the felt for each hole.

6.  *OPTIONAL*  I hand-sewed each tiny black bead individually to cover up the felt to make it look more elaborate and less like a Sunday school project so that she could wear it to parties and not just for fun.  This will take up a couple hours of your time if you have that to spare.  I did this all during Evie’s nap time.

7.  I used black ribbon (cut 2) and hand-sewed it to the edges of the final product.

Miraslava Duma Russian Bazzar Editor

Stylist | Miraslava Duma
Former Harper’s Bazaar Russia Editor
Photo Source : Unknown

xx
JENA

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A Pocket For Mousey.

Pattern : McCall's M6274/CCE Style A

Polka Dot Shirt : Sewn by Me

My dear friend Nancy-Josephine and her husband Patrick made the move to Goleta in Santa Barbara this past weekend.  We spent our Thursday evening gathered with friends in their humble cottage tucked away in Old Town.  Nancy had a bag full of clothing and holiday decor that she was giving away.  I coveted a knitted black turtleneck sweater that I am o so eager to throw on when the weather drops.  Evie adopted a stuffed mouse, now going by the name of “Mousey.” She is fond of little creatures, and once she gives them a name, it becomes a part of the family.

31 August 31 Morning Dots at Balboa Park

31 August 31 Morning Dots at Balboa Park

Evie’s hair is getting very long, and I have been growing her bangs out so it can be pulled back for ballet.  When daddy undoes her braids and buns at the end of the day, he likes to say, “Bobby lives in your hair!”  (meaning: why do you have a dozen bobby-pins in your hair?)  I never quite understood why they make brown bobby-pins, until I had a daughter with brown hair, and then it made a lot of sense.  We have our own tiny jars in the bathroom; one full of Bobby Blacks, and one full of Bobby Browns.  Bobby has been serving his purpose during this unbearable heat-wave, and we never leave the house without a troop of him standing by.

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Gathered at the sleeve

Despite the temperature rising as we near the end of Summer, my thoughts have already moved on to fall and winter projects.  I imagined our fall full of dots, and it hasn’t been easy looking for a polka dot knit.  Evie loves polka dots, and I think it’s because of Minnie Mouse.  It couldn’t have been more ironic that on this day she had Mousey.

The woman at the fabric store told me that these polka dots just came in and I may have been one of the first to buy a yard of it!  I was tempted to buy the white dots, but Evie preferred the black dots… of course it was the better choice.  When I made this shirt this past Friday, we were on our way to Auntie Bee’s surprise birthday party at Mission Bay.  She had just awoke from her nap and I had just finished modifying the stitches at the hem.  Her eyes widened when she saw her new polka dot shirt with a big patch pocket on the front.  She immediately gathered 1. A painted wooden duck that daddy gave which he got from Korea 2. Lip gloss — and dropped them into her pocket.  Her head would nod down every few minutes to make sure that they were right there where she put them.  Patch pockets are quite simple to make, and I will have to add them to several more of her shirts because of her affection for holding her treasures close to her heart.

Modified Hem Line + Tuck & Button Tab

Modified Hem Line + Tuck & Button Tab

A Pocket For Mousey

A Pocket For Mousey


SUPPLIES:
A little girl fond of little creatures + A Mouse
Sewing Machine
Pins
Paper Scissors & Sheers
Tissue Paper, Straight + Curved Rulers, Pencil (to trace out pattern)

NOTIONS:
Thread
Two 1/2″ Buttons (I used silver stud shank buttons)

PATTERN:
$1 McCall’s M6274/CCE Style A
*Bottom hem manipulated by me
Discount Fabrics

FABRIC:
Polka Dots (I bought 1 yard, but you end up using less)
Discount Fabrics

Near the Dog Park | Prado

xx
JENA

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.

082313-Evie-5

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