That Jumper

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Remember that jumper I designed, or rather thought up in my head and then sketched, way back in December? I can’t really say I designed it since this sort of jumper has been around since the beginning of time. I just couldn’t find a pattern for it anywhere. Everywhere I looked I found patterns with multiple parts and gathers and pleats…I just wanted to sew a simple jumper for Bug with over-the-shoulder buttons.

Well. I finally sewed it! Praise the Lord.

So many people tell me they cannot draw a straight line and I always think to myself, That’s silly. Who wants to draw a line straight? And what’s wrong with stick figures?… Well, now I understand admiring something you do not find simple. Sewing for me is not simple. This silly SIMPLE jumper was NOT simple!!!

It took me months just to get the courage up to cut the fabric and then when I did, the pieces did NOT match perfectly…and THEN I had to complicate matters by making it reversible with two differing fabrics, but still! How hard could it be? It’s just basically a tube sewed together with wingy strap things at the top.

The linen on top, the fabric you see with the super cool birds and zebras, was a little bit stiffer and less stretchy than the cotton polka-dot calico I chose for the underneath and no matter how much I pulled and pushed, it never ever ever lined up perfectly. Throw in some beginner-style stitching and it just wouldn’t be perfect. It was frustrating. The only way this simple jumper could be finished was with my mom’s help and a zillion pins.

berry picking dress detail

I had visions of sewing dozens of these dresses in every imaginable fabric and pattern. I might even make doubles and sell them on Etsy. Well, phooey on that! I know I probably only need to sew one more to get over my fear and trepidation but I don’t see it happening. I think I’ll stick to computer designs. At least on my laptop if I want a line to go straight or curvy, it does; and if it doesn’t then I shut the lid and come back to it later. No seam ripping involved. I can click and make things disappear.

I know what I really need to do is suffer through five jumpers. The only reason designing logos on my laptop is easy for me is because I used to have to design maps for eight hours a day in Illustrator. It was hard when I started but by the end of my map-making career, I could make a map a minute. Yes, they were basic two-street maps with an “x” for the store, but still I could mask and create multiple lines with just a few clicks. Something like that is probably pretty tricky for a beginner.

I don’t see myself sitting down and sewing five jumpers though. Sewing is too messy and since my living room is my sewing room, I constantly have to clean it all up and put it away. I told Toby I’d sew all the time if we had a sewing room and he said if we had a sewing room there would be a relative living in it so I dropped the subject. Maybe someday.

In the meantime, I will be super proud of this jumper and make Bug wear it every chance I can. Which should be interesting since she’d rather be a rock-star princess.

Girly Day

girly day

Bug and I had such a fun day yesterday. I don’t know what hit us but we decided to wake up and have a “girl’s day out.” We got dressed up—which means me throwing on a vintage sweater over my normal mom uniform of jeans and a t-shirt and her wearing every single pink thing she could find in her closet. At the same time. Then she wanted a pink bow in the middle of her head so we stole one out of my wrapping paper box and called it an outfit.


Going to the mall is not really an acceptable activity for us right now, as we are still recovering from the whole Christmas-Birthday extravaganza but we did have a few gift cards to use up so off we went anyway. I keep telling myself that it is possible for one to go walk around the mall without actually buying anything but I have yet to come home completely empty-handed or without my head filled with covetous thoughts so maybe that theory needs to be tested out a bit more.

We did use up the gift cards on a few cute things but I don’t think they were that important to our day. They definitely were fun but we had a grand old time not shopping too. We tested out some purple nail polish at Sephora, rode the carousel, walked along the fountains, had some free coffee (and parfait for her) care of the very nice people who fill up my starbucks card… and pretty much just had a really sweet day.

I can’t believe I actually have a daughter who likes to hang out with me and do girly things. And boy is she girly! You should have seen her eyes pop out of her head as she walked along the rows and rows of lipsticks in every color at the make-up counter. She wanted to try all of them. I tried to explain that little girls don’t need make-up but I don’t think she was buying it. It was like trying to tell her that little girls don’t need candy because they are already sweet. I did end up smearing a tiny bit of silver eye-shadow on her eyelids and we painted her nails purple. That made her day.

On a whim I decided to spring for a tube of bright red lipstick for myself. I’ve always admired the pop that classic red lips can add to an otherwise boring outfit. I don’t normally wear lipstick and I definitely can’t be bothered with all the mess and fuss of a daily make-up routine but I thought it might be fun to have just to wear now and then. So maybe you’ll see me sporting some MadMen lips. Hopefully I don’t ruin too many white shirts in the process.

When we got home, all spifified with my red lips and her purple nails, I wasn’t quite done being girly. Maybe it was the triple shot espresso in my latte, I don’t know… I was suddenly hit with the need to alter some of Toby’s old t-shirts that he didn’t want anymore. I’m not claiming to be a fashion designer or anything and my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired but I thought I’d share here.


Since they were guy shirts and I am NOT shaped like a guy at all (ie: narrow shoulders, short waist and giant pear hips) they fit horribly before I altered them. Ugly neckline, baggy in the shoulders, snug at the hips…just not flattering. But the fabric is soooo soft I just love wearing them. So this is what I did: I cut the neck hole bigger, chopped off the sleeves and created a tie at the bottom by cutting off two strips and sewing them together end to end and reattaching.

too sexy for my stupid photo shoot bow

I think it turned out cute. It’s not quite my vision (see below) but they are wearable.

shirt design

I kind of wish I was more clever at sewing and could have created some kind of yoke around the collar. Maybe I’ll tackle that next time.

flower detail dorktatude

I added some flowers along the neckline by using the discarded sleeve material and gathering it up into a circle. I’m not sure I like them or not. I thought they were clever at the time but then Toby came home and was not impressed so the jury is still out. It was definitely fun though. If any more old t-shirts somehow find their way into my hands, I will not be shy about cutting them up.