i like my beer cheap & domestic, same way i like my men

today during ramona’s nap, i drafted two patterns. neither is terribly sophisticated, of course, since i don’t have much experience crafting garment patterns from scratch. one is a pair of tap shorts. you know, like slinky, silky shorty-shorts. i’ve decided that might be a good project to use up some lightweight tricot i’ve had taking up real estate in my garment fabrics bin for nearly a year. i figure tap shorts are a good self-drafting experiment because they are not at all fitted. & i can wear them as pajamas when it’s hot out!

the other is a six-gored skirt with a separate waistband & side-slant pockets. i’ve made a gored skirt before, but it had an elasticated waistband. this time i want to do an actual fitted waistband the closes with (gulp) a button. i feel the need to confess that i have never sewn a buttonhole. granted, i have been sewing for less than two years, but still! i’ve sewn things that called for actual buttons with buttonholes & i always fudge it with some other kind of closure (usually a snap).

honestly, the primary thing scaring me away from doing a buttonhole is the fact that so many people grouse about how their machines suck at doing buttonholes. i have a $100 basic computerized brother machine. it has yet to do me wrong, but i’ve somehow convinced myself that it’s not going to be able to handle a buttonhole. i’m actually kind of thinking about doing a bound buttonhole so i don’t have to use the buttonhole attachment on my machine, but i also want to make a shirtwaist dress & i have zero plans to do bound buttonholes on that.

i guess, best-case scenario: everything works out fine & a whole new world of buttonholes opens up to me. worst-case scenario: i guess i have to think about a machine upgrade?

anyway, i have also never drafted slash front pockets, even though i prefer the way they look compared to side seam pockets. to be honest, i got really frustrated with the various tutorials i was reading online about how to do it (& none of my clothing construction books had any tips on drafting this sort of pocket–it was just all patch pockets all the time), so i just winged it & i guess i hope it pans out.

i’m planning to make this skirt out of black boiled wool, so…i guess i should get on that. it’s not going to be cool enough in lawrence for a wool skirt for much longer.

i’m also trying to figure out how to muslin the vogue pants i’m planning to make. i want to make them out of some very stable but thin ponte de roma. i don’t really want to go out & buy new fabric (even for cheap) just to muslin something, but this is my first try with actual pants (not just pajama pants) & i want to do what i can to produce a wearable garment. i have some other ponte in my stash that i’ve decided i hate & would happily sacrifice to a muslin, but it’s a lot squashier. not sure it would give me an accurate assessment.

jared got home from his conference the other day. he was supposed to get back at around 1am. i woke up at 2:30am & he wasn’t in bed! i jumped up & raced out to the living room &…there he was, laying on the sofa with no pillows or blankets, fully-clothed. he said he was worried he would wake ramona up if he came into the bedroom, even though we go into the bedroom to go to bed literally every night of our lives after she’s asleep.

i’m so glad that he’s back because now i don’t have to cook anymore! i’m actually a pretty good cook. i just don’t like doing it. ramona surprised me though. i thought the dinner-making hour was going to be the worst part of solo parenting, because she’s usually especially desperate for attention & adventure after her nap. but every night, she just sat in the kitchen with me & played her ukulele while i listened to music or podcasts. i made tuna casserole our first night. jared HATES tuna, so that’s not something he would ever make. ramona loved it! the next night i had a craving for french toast but we didn’t have any syrup & i didn’t have the energy to go to the store, so i made french toast caramelized with cinnamon & topped it with powdered sugar, fresh whipped cream, & sliced bananas. ramona wanted no part of it.

the next night i made roasted tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, & sea salt. this is one of my favorite things to eat when it’s warm out. while i was cooking, ramona couldn’t get enough of the raw tomatoes, but once they’d been roasted? forget it. poor me, i had to eat three whole tomatoes all by myself.

my final dinner was chicken tikka masala. i even bought fresh organic chicken breast specifically for this purpose. usually when jared makes chicken tikka masala, he loads it up with mushrooms & broccoli stalks & diced sweet potatoes & all kinds of weird crap. (i have this weird animosity toward sweet potatoes. i really don’t like them.) i just put in diced onions, peas, & broccoli florets. it was DELICIOUS. i literally licked my plate clean. i don’t think ramona ate a single bite.

anyway, now my long national nightmare of competently cooking for myself is over, & jared is in the other room reading to ramona, & he took her for a bike ride & they got caught in a thunderstorm. reports ramona: “the sky is making a scary noise! ramona is SOGGY! want to go outside! want to see the scary noise!”

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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