Thursday, May 23, 2013

13.1 at 13

Do you remember what things you were interested in or the kinds of activities you were doing at the age of 13?  I don't remember any specifics but I do know one thing, I wasn't out running 13.1 miles, the distance of a half-marathon.  Zachary on the other hand will be able to say I ran 13 miles at the age of 13.  Can you imagine?!?

Last weekend we drove down to Fredericksburg, VA for the Historic Half Marathon, part of the Marine Corps Marathon series of races.  Which by the way DH and Zachary are registered for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27.  So, you will hear more on that later.

DH and Zachary are running buddies.  They started running together when Zachary was 7 years old and we lived in CA.  As part of the Big Sur Marathon, a 3K kids run was held the day before the marathon.  The 3K was part of an iniative to get kids running called Just Run for Kids.  There were other kids run runs associated with larger 5K races around the area and Zachary ran in several of those. When we moved out to the east coast the boys started running 5K races together.  They then started going longer distances; The Navy 5 Miler, Shamrock 8K, Marine Corps 10K, and now a Half Marathon.

To say I am proud of Zachary and this accomplishment is an understatement.  I stood at the finish line waiting for them to cross with a huge knot in my throat, my heart was so swollen with pride.  The boys finished the race in 2 hours 15 minutes.  Of the 7,700+ runners at the race, 44 of them were under the age of 14.  Less than 200 were under the age of 18.

People all along the race course cheered Zachary on.  After the boys had finished and were resting a bit a gentleman came up to Zachary and asked his age.  When Zachary told him he was 13, the man shook his hand and said "do you know what I was doing at the age of 13?"  He told Zachary how impressed he was by doing the race at his age.  Sometimes, as parents, we wonder if we're doing a good job it moments like those that confirm to us that we're doing okay.

Here are a few photos from our weekend:

Start / Finish Line

Piper w/ the dog Piper the girl at the Race Expo

Race Expo

Race Expo, I imagine someday Piper will be joining the boys on the races.

Race jerseys

Monkeys jumping on the bed.  I don't think this is the best way to rest up for a race.

Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment Buddy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rainy Day Tea Party

Last weekend, Zachary was supposed to have a soccer tournament so we had nothing else planned to do for the weekend. Lucky us, the tournament was rained out. That gave me an entire day with no plans, I took advantage of this time on my hands and put together a dress that has been on my mind for a while.  What do you think of my rainy day Tea Party dress?

I think this was the dress that made me fall in love with Oliver + S patterns.  I love the unique shape and the little details that make this dress what it is.  Like the curve of the bodice where it meets the skirt:

I tried to add in some flat piping for a pop of color but I can never judge it correctly when cutting, folding and or pinning it to the garment.  It never fails to be either too wide or too narrow.  Maybe someday I'll get it just right.

The bottom of the skirt is finished with this genius little hem band, making the curved skirt easier to hem.

I did get a little lazy when finishing the hem band.  Per the directions, the hem band should be finished with a hand done blind hem.  We all know my feelings on hand stitching.  I avoid it at all costs.  Yes, so maybe I gave up some of the clean look of the dress but I didn't have to hand stitch by throwing it on the machine to finish.

I love to see how people mix and match fabric patterns and colors.  I wish I had more confidence to do it myself.  I generally stick to fabrics from the same line when mixing and matching.  That's the case here.  This is one of my favorite fabric lines, Riley Blake Dress Up Days.  The skirt is done in floral and damask prints.  Piper's favorite color is purple so, I'm pretty sure she loves it too.  What do you think?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Library Wednesday / Lola Inspired Dress

This is our last library story time for the season, so there wasn't a theme today but I made Piper a special outfit anyway.  Let me give you a little back story before I show you what she wore.  A while back Piper picked out a Charlie and Lola book to check out from the library.  At the time, I didn't really know much about Charlie and Lola but it was love at first "read" for Piper (and myself).  Each story starts out "I have this little sister, Lola.  She is small and very funny."  Piper likes for us to replace Charlie and Lola's names with Zachary and Piper when we read the stories.  Ever since that first book came home, each week Piper asks for another "Lola" book.  There is also a BBC cartoon series for Charlie and Lola that we've watched on YouTube a few times.  Needless to say, Lola is one of Piper's favorites and I enjoy it too.

Lola wears these adorable shirt dresses in her stories.  I had seen a few of them pop up in the Oliver+S Flickr group in the past and was truly inspired to make Piper her own Lola dress.  It took a bit before I found the perfect fabric but once I did, I couldn't wait to get started.  The fabric is Cold Springs Dreams Floral in Cream:

Look how cute the finished dress is:

I am thrilled with the finished product.  This is the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress (View B w/ View A sleeves).  I made a standard size 3 without any modifications.  While I was making the dress I kept thinking to myself that I should have added some length and in hindsight, I wish I had. Piper is 39 inches tall so it's just perfect right now but if she grows at all I'm afraid it will be too short.  

The Jump Rope dress has a few details that require a little extra time, like the placket, which I put on backwards.  I could have done it correctly, as I caught my mistake early but out of shear laziness just left it as is.  There is a great Sew-A-Long found here, that has pictures to help with things like finishing the placket correctly.

The collar also requires a little time, but the end result is a nicely finished collar.  I would highly recommend taking the time to hand baste the collar before sewing it on.  By doing so I was able to avoid any puckers or tucks and had a nice finish on the first try (something that rarely happens for me).

The sleeves have this adorable cuff, that I also did incorrectly.  I was in a hurry to get finished so Piper could wear her dress today and did a quick scan of the pictures and directions without truly reading what to do.  The result is a finished sleeve that is wrong.  It wasn't really a big deal, or so I thought, until I got her dress out of the dryer and went to do a final pressing.  It took me nearly 5 minutes to fiddle w/ the cuff and get it looking decent enough to press.  I will likely go back and fix it.

I have learned from the past few dresses I did that didn't have pockets that they are a requirement.  When you are 3 you have lots of things to carry that require pockets like; lego's, rocks, sticks, etc.  So far I have found no living creatures in pockets but it's only a matter of time.  I have a big pet peeve about "unmatching" pockets so I did my best to fabric match, but this type of pocket doesn't really lend itself to matching very well.

Piper was so excited to have her own "Lola" dress.  What do you think?  Good likeness?