Me-Made May 2016, part four: food clothes

I’m a little behind in documenting what I am wearing. I’m sure all four of my faithful followers have been feverishly refreshing their browsers for the last week in anticipation of an update, so let’s get to it.

Tuesday, May 17


A nice chilly day, perfect for getting all cozy in a long-sleeved top & a sweater. I even had my act together enough to actually wear one of my matching bra/undies sets. Now that I have six such sets (a couple are still unblogged) in my regular rotation, you’d think I’d be doing it everyday, but it’s astonishing how often that ends up not being the case. I wear this sweater less often than I expected to when I made it, & I realized it’s because I had this idea that the knit was too loose & a little bit fragile. It definitely snags easily, especially when you have an asshole cat who spends at least two hours a day attacking you for no reason, but it’s a lot cozier & more stable than I remembered. I bought six yards of this stuff (at $2 a yard! I will miss you, Hancock Fabrics Spot-the-Bolt sales), so I instantly cut out a cardigan from what was left. I did end up going for a walk in the rain with Ramona, flower-peeping on the Kansas prairie (really–how is this my life?), but this outfit handled the elements pretty well.

Wednesday, May 18


Jared & I took Ramona to her first baseball game this afternoon, the Red Sox versus the Royals at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. Jared had always maintained that baseball is wasted on children, but she has been watching games with him on TV since she was tiny, & she is a really sports-oriented child. Taking her to an actual major league baseball game was an experiment (they can be a little dull sometimes), but in this case, it paid off. She was really into it. I wore this dress over old RTW leggings left over from a short-lived period in my life when I thought I was going to take up running (note: it was August 2010, & basically making any resolution to move in any way in August in Kansas is going to result in a total fail) because I wanted something really comfortable & easy, since I expected to be in & out of my seat a lot, attending to the whims of a three-year-old at a major league baseball stadium. I paired it with a railroad stripe engineer hat, because we only have two Red Sox hats & both had been claimed by Jared & Ramona. We weren’t even inside the stadium yet when someone made fun of my hat.

I just want to add: I had a jumbo stadium hot dog & a platter of nachos for lunch. Oh God, I fucking love baseball lunch. The only thing that would have made it perfect was if we had been staying for the second half of the doubleheader & I could have had a beer or two. But drinking when you still have to contend with a preschooler is a recipe for disaster.

Ramona handled the game like a total champ.


Here she is, taking in the action.


This is the closest I have ever been to the field. (Though, granted, I have only been to like eight games.)


Unfortunately, the end of the game coincided with her usual nap/quiet time, & by the top of the ninth, she was really feeling it.

Thursday, May 19


I busted this dress out after a long hibernation in my dresser. Um, why do I not wear it every single day? I love it! I think I semi-retired it two years ago because I put it on one morning & busted the zipper. I replaced it right away with a harder-wearing metal zipper, but I think I assumed it was too small. But it’s not. It’s just right. Obviously it bears the marks of my sewing inexperience (I made it not too long after I started sewing), but it’s perfectly serviceable, cute, & comfortable. I paired it with my Blanc tee, with which I am currently having a torrid love affair. & also, those undies have not been blogged yet. They are the partner to a bra I sewed up & will be blogging about next month. The real excitement of these undies is on the back, but we’ll have to wait for the big reveal (uh, not on my butt, just for the record).

Friday, May 20


I was exhausted all day today (which always makes me panic & think I’m pregnant–don’t worry, I’m not) & I discovered the next morning that it was because I only drank half my coffee! I always make a big six-cupper brew of espresso & drink it in two cups, but I only drank half of it today & didn’t realize. Anyway, Jared roused me out of my slumber so we could go out to eat & I suggested barbecue so we could go to this place that serves a pulled pork sandwich slathered in BACON JAM. It’s jam made out of bacon! It is so delicious. The restaurant is called Mr. Bacon & has a semi-confusing pigs-&-Bruce Springsteen decor situation happening, so I wore my bacon dress in homage.

I feel like I am writing a lot about food lately. Which also always makes me panic & think I’m pregnant. Basically, if I am ever hungry, tired, or overly warm, I freak out & think I’m pregnant. Even though the last time I was pregnant, I chugged along for two & a half months without even realizing it. Which is probably why I am so ridiculously hyper-vigilant about it now.

Saturday, May 21


I didn’t mean to spend all day in my jammies, but that’s what happened. Luckily, I made them myself. I was wrapping up some commissioned sewing & just never got around to getting dressed today. But here’s what I made:


It’s a pretty simple elastic waist skirt, but I made the waistband a separate piece, enclosed on the inside, & the sides are French seamed. The whole thing only took about 45 minutes, start to finish, but it’s a pretty tidy little bit of sewing.




& a little clutch. The woman who commissioned the projects chose the fabric. It’s not my particular jam, but I still think this came out really cute.


This godforsaken zipper pocket gave me no end of trouble. Maybe it was my experiment in accidental caffeine withdrawal, but I sewed the lining in & ripped it out literally like five times before I got it in the right way. Of course, now that I know how to do it, I kind of want to make one for myself, even though a clutch is not really appropriate for my lifestyle.

& one more thrilling bit of news: I got a new sewing machine!

It’s a Pfaff Ambition Essential. I bought it off Ebay for a pretty nice price. I had to take a coping saw to my sewing table to get it to fit, but it’s all tucked in now & I have been playing with it. The stitch quality is absolutely to die for. It’s such an amazing change of pace to trust that the stitches will look as good on the back as they do on the front. I cannot wait to sew jeans on this thing & see how they come together. A new machine was really not in the budget, what with our impending move to Old West Lawrence, Ramona starting preschool in August, the fact that I personally boosted Canada’s economy by about 5% with all the bramaking supplies I’ve been buying, etc. My savings account is on life support. But I love my new machine!



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.

5 thoughts on “Me-Made May 2016, part four: food clothes

  1. I’m a binge blog reader, so go at your own pace with the updates. 😊 It takes me like 6 weeks to get around to reading all my blogs.

    I thought Lilian’s first Red Sox game was going to be a disaster (it started right at nap time), but it went really well. It helped that she had just learned to clap, so she was super into all the cheering. We were behind a pole, but she didn’t care.

    I stress-bought my sewing machine a couple year ago, but it ended up being the best purchase ever. It sews faster and more consistently. It makes sewing both more fun and productive.

    1. What machine do you have?

      I am obviously still learning my way around the new Pfaff. The biggest thing I have learned so far is that the bobbin case is a wee bit tempermental. I have to be really careful pulling the thread through the mechanism or my lower thread will rise up in protest. But I’m sure that will be second nature before long. The thing that’s really blowing my mind is how QUIET it is. We looked at a house at the beginning of the month, & the only place for my sewing area was right on the other side of the wall from Ramona’s bedroom. I was like, “Uh, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” but with this machine, it would be no problem.

      Ramona is giving up her nap (though I still enforce daily quiet time, which she seems to enjoy), which is why we thought she could handle the game. It seems like you can either take them when they’re tiny babies (very portable at that age), or you have to wait until they’re like Ramona’s age.

      The thing I was really worried about was the potty. Ramona is kind of potty-trained, by which I mean, she rarely has accidents. But she doesn’t really let us know if she needs to pee. We have to stay on the ball & suggest it. & until that game, she had never peed in a public bathroom. (She would agree to sit on the potty, but then nothing would happen.) So I packed extra undies, extra pants, even some diapers just in case. & instead, she told me she had to use the potty for only the second time ever, & then peed in a public bathroom for the first time ever! Of course I feel weird writing all this on a public blog (even in the comments), but you’re a mom. You understand how monumental this is.

      1. I’ve got a Viking Sapphire 875. It retails for $2k+, but I got it for less than a thousand because it had been lightly used and then returned to the store. The woman who originally bought it wasn’t sure if it could handle all the leather she apparently sews, but I didn’t have any problems when I sewed the leather skirt for LJ’s halloween costume last year. I’ve been really happy with it so far.

        1. Oh, and congrats on no accidents at the game! That is a big one! Public toilets are terrifying, especially when they flush with no notice. LJ once yelled “hey! it stole my pee!” when one went off on her.

          1. I think I mentioned that I am still learning my way around my machine. Today I figured out how to move the needle! My Brother had three different needle positions. I assumed, for some weird reason, that the Pfaff only had one, & I was like, “Okay, I guess I can work with this,” but I had to install a zipper today & was like, “How the hell do I put in a zipper if I can’t move the needle?” Turns out the Pfaff has 29 needle positions! So that’s a game changer.

            No unexpected flushes yet, but Ramona hates those automatic hand dryer things. & it’s not like I can issue a request to everyone in the bathroom to just not use them while we’re in there. Oh well.

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