Made with Moxie: July 2014

July 10, 2014

Girl Charlee French Terry Prefontaine Fabulousness

I am very excited to share with you that you can now buy Made with Moxie patterns when you shop with Girl Charlee! If you don't know Girl Charlee, it's a fabulous online shop with all sorts of knit fabric gorgeousness.

Ethnic french terry fabric from Girl Charlee & Prefontaine Shorts for Women pattern by Made with Moxie

In the past, I've been a sucker for the Bargain Lots, but recently I couldn't help but notice their swimsuit fabrics! It's the summer of sewing your own swim suit and I've got my eye on an adorable retro fish and shell print. (Though, if you are too, do hurry. It looks to be going fast!) The best part of their vintage inspired swim collection is that they are all exclusive Girl Charlee designs and made in Los Angeles. I'm seriously going to have to pop in to say hello the next time I visit Long Beach. ;)

Ethnic french terry fabric from Girl Charlee & Prefontaine Shorts for Women pattern by Made with Moxie

But I digress. I asked Heather if I could try some of this Black Ethnic Diamond Baby French Terry Knit Fabric for a pair of Prefontaine Shorts for Women. I've really love the weight of french terry and this print was just such graphic awesomeness.

Ethnic french terry fabric from Girl Charlee & Prefontaine Shorts for Women pattern by Made with Moxie

Not to mention that the hand of this fabric is soft as butter. Wouldn't you just love adorable shorts that feel like your wearing pajamas? Baby French Terry Prefontaine Shorts people! I just sit and pet these shorts when I wear them. I wish I could some how let you all feel the texture of these shorts. Just heavenly. Nevermind that you could totally dress these shorts up to go out as well. I'm in love!

Ethnic french terry fabric from Girl Charlee & Prefontaine Shorts for Women pattern by Made with Moxie

Next up, I've got some of this Teal Orange Cream Mod Squares Peach Skin Fabric to make a slinky pair of Prefontaines with. Hubba hubba.

Retro print peach skin fabric from Girl Charlee

Until then, go get yourself some baby french terry and a copy of the Prefontaine Shorts pattern before they're all gone. Tell Girl Charlee that Moxie sent ya! And happy weekend!

Ethnic french terry fabric from Girl Charlee & Prefontaine Shorts for Women pattern by Made with Moxie

Girl Charlee sent me these fabrics to make Prefontaine Shorts with. All opinions are my own and are the truth. I won't do business with companies I don't respect or tell you about products I think are anything less than awesomesauce.

July 9, 2014

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...or so it seems, I wore well cut wool suits, authentic cashmere pashminas and Italian silks. Each day I was a fashion plate with a triple shot latte. As a retail business manager, I lead a stellar team and was a killer saleswoman. Working long hours, late night happy hours, my life was a career filled adulthood and I longed for nothing more.

Change sneaks up on you. I met Danny and together we decided to have babies. I wanted to have a family with him. We'd be kick ass parents. It was our opinion that our mothers did us right by staying home with us during our early years, and despite all my ambition, was the low earner on the totem pole, so I became the designated stay at home parent to our babes. I kissed my department store wardrobe goodbye (not very practical and hell, they don't fit postpartum), and said hello to things you can easily launder spit up and poop off of.

Triptych of myself as a maker.

No one will ever call me a graceful mother. (Or graceful at all, for that matter.) Stay at home motherhood is daunting. I felt alone. And fat. And hormonal. I was just not me in my own skin. But I don't make commitments lightly and was determined. Every single day, I got up, showered and dressed. I tried my damnedest to be a good stay at home mom knowing the whole time that a finish line was in sight.

I am a fantastic mom to our kids. I know that. But "stay at home mom" is never a hat that fit comfortably on my head. I resented my husband for business trips. At company happy hours I was sure his coworkers made assumptions of me. I used every creative way to say what I did without saying "stay at home mom", including but not limited to the time I recorded my profession as "retired" on a form. (I am truly sorry for that as I am now hounded by the AARP. Seriously. I had to tell them I was going to report them for stalking and to come back in 20 years.)

Somewhere during my tenure as the stay at home parent I decided to change careers. The retail management requirements of worked holidays and weekends don't jive well with family life. Despite not ever feeling comfortable as a stay at home mom, I was very interested in being an active parent to my kiddos. I just needed the adult interaction. I needed validation. I needed recognition and to have goals to work towards. So we decided I'd go back to school when the kids were old enough to go to school.

Images of my life as a stay at home mother.

But what about my blog? My shop? I've sold a variety of things I've made through my shop the five years I've been the stay at home parent, but I like being able to make and sell what I like. Any time I start mass producing something, I quickly grow to hate it. My blog has always been about me. It's my expression. It's where I show off what I make and teach you to make them too, if you want. The 'ads' I post are my friends and shops I respect. The sponsored posts and tours I do are for patterns I'd have bought anyways. My opinion can't be bought. I'm far too mouthy to lie to you all and to be honest, I don't want to shill stuff to you. This it my place and I'm humbled there are so many of you still listening after all these years. Thank you.

Becoming a mother has taken my former self and stretched and confounded and shaken her up until she has settled and grown into this new person. A women with the skills and obstinance from before, but with the mighty roar of a bear. Motherhood tried to break me but I have emerged victorious! I am bigger and better and stronger. I have broken out from my cocoon to stretch my wings.

Images of my life as a stay at home mother.

If you've be around here a while you know I've been taking some classes here and there. Prerequisites for the sonography program I have been accepted into. (Sonongraphy = ultrasounds. Not the people who write down everything that's said in court. That's a stenographer. Think Aquaman, but more badass. Also, it's not just for pregnant ladies. Far from it.) It's going to take me 13.5 months of full time, hard core schooling. From here on out, it's all highlighters and ramen, baby.

This week was the big week. My babies had their first day of pre-K on Monday, and Tuesday was my first day of full time school.

My stay at home motherdom is over. It's gone.

I've been looking forward to this moment for years. I can leave the house without diapers and wipes. I get in and out of the car and don't have two little ones to help. I can walk as fast as I like when I'm late and not have to hustle anyone else up. I'm smart and my peers and professors assume exactly that. No one looks at me and only sees a mom.

So why does it feel so bad in my heart? Why are my eye leaking? Damn my non-robot-ness!

I had the privilege of having dinner with Shalagh last week. We talked about many things, but one of the nuggets she left with me was to look up this poem by Khalil Glbran:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I am strong enough for myself, but am I a strong enough bow? An ache hollows my heart to know that I must set my arrows to fly, but I know I must. How is it that I've been looking forward to this for so long and now that it's here I feel guilt and fear? Damn you, motherhood. You've done this to me.

And so I embark upon this new chapter of mine. To master a new skill and learn a new trade. To hone myself within motherhood, so that I can be the strong and stable bow. May my aim be true and my arrow fly straight. There's no turning back now.

July 7, 2014

Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files

I distinctly recall the conversation I had with my mother when I realized the awesomeness of sewing. It was after finally finishing my first handmade garment from a pattern; a black knit elastic waistband skirt. I was excited at the seemingly limitless possibilities of sewing your own clothes.

"You can sew whatever you want?!?" I asked my mother with anticipation.

"You can! Clothes, curtains, quilts. Everything except bathing suits." she tells me. She went on to elaborate that she'd tried to sew herself a bathing suit once and it just came out, well, wrong.

I carried on merrily for twenty plus years of sewing, happy with this limitation. That is, until last month, when the Pattern Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour started. I'll be honest. I was surprised at the number of bloggers who stitched up the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern. I mean, you can't sew bathing suits on a home sewing machine and have them come out right....or can you?

July 4, 2014

Waterfall Blouse by Make It Perfect

I'm a jeans and tshirt girl at heart. Every color Boyfriend tee that Target has made is in my dresser drawer. But a solid colored tee and jeans leaves me feeling like a Lego mini fig some days. I feel like I need to dress my every day wardrobe up a bit, especially with school starting up next week.

Comfortable, effortless hippie chic woven cotton blouse looks cute with jeans and is a quick, satisfactory sewing project.

Peasant style cotton blouses like the Waterfall Blouse are my favorites. It's got enough movement to be comfortable, but fitted enough to not be sloppy. Super added bonus: I get to sew with my quilting cottons which you know I love.

Waterfall Blouse by Make It Perfect || I freaking love this pattern!

The fabric is a block printed, border print cotton from India. Yes, from India. And no I can't tell you which stop I got it from. Sorry, loves. A friend of mine took a trip to that corner of the world this January and I begged her to buy me block printed cottons in three meter cuts. No budget, I told her,and boy did she deliver. When Toni asked me to stitch up on of her patterns, it seemed silly to not dive right into these babies.

Stack of block printed cotton fabrics from India for me. Woot!

I cut the body out with printed border of the fabric on the hem and left the raw selvedge edge. I also lengthened it 1 1/2 inches to accommodate my long torso then vented the side seam 3 inches from the hem so it was not too snug around my hips over jeans. The second alteration I added was a double pointed dart down the front center to take in some fullness (which was easy to hide in the paisley print). It should be noted that these changes to the pattern were for fit and personal preference and not a fault of the pattern design at all.

Waterfall Blouse by Make It Perfect || I freaking love this pattern!

As you see, I'm kind of in love with my Waterfall Blouse. This pattern is going in the Need to Make Again pile for certain. I've got a double gauze washed up and ready to go. School supplies can wait...I've got some more sewing to squeeze in before classes start next Tuesday!

Waterfall Blouse by Make It Perfect || I freaking love this pattern!

Thank you, Toni, for another great pattern! (Did you miss the vintage inspired Poppy Tunic I stitched up? Another recommended Make It Perfect pattern.) Make sure you enter the contest below to win a copy of any PDF pattern in the Make it Perfect shop .

Make It Perfect Pattern Parade || This stop: Made with Moxie

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces...