Tried and True Review: A Big Bag of the Blues - Part II

A Tried & True Review, where I look back at old project and discuss how it's held up since I made it, both successes and closet rejects, in an attempt to show how my projects have stood the test of time and/or to learn from the mistakes of my yesterdays.

 I recently took a big bag of clothes, mostly handmade items, to a local consignment store and I thought, true to the spirit of the Tried and True Review, I'd take some time to share with you why I was ready to let them go. Also, if you're in the Portland (ME) area and want to grab something sewn or knitted by me, now's your chance!

There's a lot of items there, so I'm going to break it into two parts. Here is  Part II (Part I here). 

Cookie Monster Cardigan

The Original: Cookie Monster Cardigan

Made/Age:  July 2012, 3 years old.

Update: Accepted for Consignment.

Fit:  It's just too big in the bust. I kept it around because I was pregnant at the time and though it would fit well later in the pregnancy, but it never did. Because it was that big. It looks okay in the photos, but I always felt like I was swimming in it. 

Style/Materials: Cookie Monster Blue Berrocco Vintage. Because it's a superwash wool/acrylic blend I couldn't even shrink it to fit. 

Construction: This sweater had it going wrong from the get go. I recalculated the yoke increases from the pattern, because as originally written it made the sleeve have weird "wings". It looked like a circular yoke construction, but all the increases were centered over the sleeves. I restarted the yoke again and finished the sweater, but I didn't have the heart to knit it again, when it was too big.

Final Verdict: When in doubt, rip it out. 

Vogue 8184 by Ms. Cleaver

The Original: 4th of July Dress

Made/Age:  July 2010, 5 years old.

Update: Rejected from Consignment.

Fit:  The fit is fine (I think), the truth is I just didn't wear it all that much. I have another rather similar blue sundress (that I got at the consignment store oddly enough), that I preferred to wear. I can't really pin down why, but this one just never seemed as flattering.  I didn't need two, so off this one went.

Style/Materials: Quilting cotton. 

Construction: I added horsehair braid to the hem which was fun, but maybe made it a bit too costumey?

Final Verdict: This is another go with your gut one. There's no reason not to like it , but because I don't, there's no reason to hang onto it either.

Burdastyle Alexis by Ms. Cleaver

The Original: Alexis Skirt

Made/Age:  December 2008, 7.5 years old.

Update: Accepted for Consignment

Fit:  This one always falls under my pencil skirt sewing deficiency. It sits too low on the waist to be flattering. 

Style/Materials: Some vintage brocade. Fabric was beautiful, but I find it harder to wear lighter colored items on bottom. Also it has a kangaroo pock on the  front, which makes it pooch out weirdly.

Construction: I seem to recall it being quite well made, but it was early in my sewing career, so it probably was less so. 

Final Verdict: I need to take a class on making a pencil skirt or something. it is my sewing waterloo. 

The Original Ms. Cleaver Photo from 2007!
The Walkway Dress

Bonus: The Walkaway Dress

Made: Sometime between 1998-2001

Update: Accepted for Consignment

Fit: To finish up, the bottom dress in that pile is actually one my mother made for me in high school. The photo on the left is from 2004 and may be one of the last times I wore it (for my original Ms. Cleaver portrait at that!) . The dress is actually pretty flattering on, but is generally impossible to wear due to the narrowness of the front skirt panel. One stiff breeze and you have an embarrassing situation on your hands. Also, the quilting cotton print made it look like it belonged on a preschool teacher. 

Final Verdict: If you can't wear something without fear of repeatedly exposing your underwear, you probably shouldn't wear it. 

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Lent Day 43

Lent Day 43 The pollen levels in town today are 10 on a scale from 0-12, so I am unfortunately a booger factory today :(

Despite my seasonal sniffles, I popped on a cheery summer dress, made seasonal with a wool cardigan and boots. Lent Day 43

Cardigan: Forecast, made by me.

Dress: 4th of July Dress, made by me

Belt: Off a shirt I got at Sears. No longer have the shirt.

Wool Tights:

Boots: Naturalizers

Lent Day 43

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Birthdays (of the Spousal and National Persuasion)

What a wonderfully busy weekend! Between Mr. Cleaver and the country - we spent our whole weekend in celebration. Not that I'm complaining :)

After a leisurely morning on the 3rd, involving the farmer's market and the bakery and a new fishing pole for Mr. Cleaver, we lazed away the afternoon ( I finished my dress) and headed out to eat around 4. We grabbed a meal and some bird watching at The Good Table (our favorite) and then drove down Highway 77 to Prout's Neck for a trek around the Cliff Walk.


The cliff walk is one of those hidden gems that I'm sure everyone knows about, but I didn't until about two weeks ago and Mr. Cleaver didn't know about it until I took him there this weekend, so maybe it is secret. In any case, to take the cliff walk find the house above, right next to the Black Point Inn,  and find the small stone path that cuts across the grass. This will take you out to the Cliff Walk.


The Cliff Walk is stunning.  There are rocky crags, pink sand beaches, and a beach entirely of smooth round rocks that rattle when the waves recede.




The walk takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Afterward we stopped at the Black Point Inn for cocktails. The bar was busy so they sent us down to the Adirondack chairs on the front lawn (too bad, right? :) ), where we sat and sipped and watched the sun set.


Mr. Cleaver declared the birthday a success. On the way back to town we stopped by the side of the road to snap a few more shots of the sunset.



For the Fourth, I spent the morning baking a belated birthday cake for the Mister, which we had delayed because we knew it would take a while to make this much cake! Though it did mean I had our tiny oven running for a few hours on the hottest day of year thus far!


After all the baking I finally got to put on my new dress!

IMGP8033.JPG[Dress: Vogue 8184; Modifications: made band from contrasting color, skipped boning, added in-seam pockets, added horsehair band to hem]

All snazzed up, we headed our to my Mother-In-Law's for a cookout with the family. Mr. Cleaver's older brother offered some hints and tackle for the new pole.

Once we were stuffed to the gills, Mr. Cleaver and I joined half of Portland for the Portland Symphony Orchestra pops concert/fireworks show. The addition of PSO to the festivities was a great touch!





I hope every one else had an enjoyable weekend too!

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Roadtrip: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

On Saturday, Mr. Cleaver and I made the drive up to Boothay to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. This was our second visit to the gardens, the first being in the dead of Winter back in 2009.  THe cold tuend us out of the garden that February, but we vowed to return when the place was in bloom and it was well worth the return trip:

The Rose ArborThe blueberries were close to ripe and since you were encouraged to pick the ripes ones - we managed to fine one or two

Little Bug

My Dad always called Lamb's Ears "Cowboy Toilet Paper"

Water's Edge

Maybe the most beautiful shade of blue I've ever seen:


Is it weird to take a picture of yourself with a sign with your fake last name?

Cleaver Garden

The Gnome Depot

Some red, white, and blue....

Red, White, and Blue

Which reminds to post a sneak peak of my 4th of July dress!

4th of July Dress Sneak Peak

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String and Strawberries

String I:

Tuesday - Ironing ScottyI finished this dish towel at the beginning of the month, but for one reason or another it's sat in my photos for about three weeks. It's not as though I have a backlog of a bazillion projects to post, but as cute as this piece of embroidery is (it's an ironing scotty dog!), I didn't think it warranted a whole post to itself, so I'm lumping it together with a few other bits and pieces.

The Scotty Dog Pattern is from the Hoop Love Vintage Transfers Group on Flickr, which has a treasure trove of patterns you can print out an stitch. They have an especially large collection of mostly complete days of the week patterns like the Scotty above.  I'm alos planning on doing Wednesday (mending) and Friday (baking).

I worked on this mainly while my bum wrist kept me from knitting and in the after period  when I struggled to get my knitting mojo back (which happily it has, thanks to Kate Davie's Manu and some Malabrigo Silky Merino). I haven't yet done the pattern transfer for the second towel, but if our current levels of humidity hang around for much longer I will, since they're only so much wool I can handle in humidity :)


    On Saturday, Mr. Cleaver and I picked four pints of strawberries at Maxwell's, two of which went to his mother and the other two which ended up on my cereal and this strawberry shortcake I made last night.

    The recipe is from Posie Gets Cozy and the only changed I made/would recommend is to make 6 or 8 dough "blobs" instead of the listed 4. mine were doughy in the middle until I cut them in half and baked them some more, and the smaller biscuits (it's a very biscuity shortbread) were about all I could handle to eat at once.

    String II: Tissue Fitting

    I have plans for a fantastic Fourth of July dress from Vogue 8184. It's a fairly simple dress (especially since I'm skipping the boning- since my version has straps), so I 'm taking the time to do my first go at tissue fitting, especially since I fell in between two of the multi-size envelopes.  I'm somewhat obsessed with fit these days - what with the pattern drafting I've been dabbling in and all (and I'm close with another sundress I drafted). Since the Fourth is only ten days away, we'll hopefully have results soon!

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