Takin’ it old school

Remember the days of roller skates? Not roller blades, the real deal skates with fat wheels, a stopper and most notably obtained from a wall of skates behind a carpeted counter. Oh the memories.

wall of skates Last night was Family Skate night, organized and likely partially funded by Neighborhood Church in Redding, as it was only $1/skate rental. This was a trip down memory lane for me. It is the very roller rink, I went to as a child. Brendon asked me why it wasn’t “all broken down” by now when I told him this on the way there. I don’t see the connection!!! Grrr.the walls

The place has not changed one bit. Still the same blue/green slightly patched rink, same art work, same carpeted bumpers (probably the same vintage carpet) and the same skates 30+ year leather uppers. We had a great time looking at the photos of skate competition past on the walls- Redding is a bit of a time warp and skating lasted well into the 90s. The only thing missing for me was seeing Teddi Epps skating backwards with ease; I was always so jealous of her skating prowess.

blue coat going

Where is that blue coat going?? This is when I turned around to find John trying to enter the rink right before we left. He has such a spirit for adventure.

skate feet

Now how was it for the boys? Hubby and I had both individually pictured skating slowly, holding their hands around the rink. How fun and what great visions of family memories. No such luck. John attempted the rink only briefly – had to keep that one on the carpet. Although, he did pretty well; even giving tips to other youngsters. Brendon did make two laps around the perimeter with intermittent falls. After that, we were pretty much done. An hour plus of picking the boys up over and over was a workout in it’s own right. I can definitely see another visit to the rink in the near future.

skate boys

Skate boys. Sometimes found near arcade games when they are supposed to be skating. John is yelling “skate night” for the photo.

On the way out, in true kid fashion, Brendon was lured by the “Party Room” and commented how he could have has birthday there next month. Dare to dream!! I know I did…..


Christmas Frock

One of my goals for Christmas was to tackle an item on my ever growing sewing list. After busting out a muslin test dress two weeks ago, I knew it would be Colette’s new Phoebe. Between opening presents, making a mound of Cinnamon Bun-Bites, visiting with family and taking a nap, the Phoebe was completed.

christmas morning

Thanks to the quick muslin dress of weeks past, I was able to alter the pattern to a perfect fit. Started with a size four; modified for a size 6 waist and skirt (I sit at my job 90% of the time and need ample ease) a size 2-4 bodice, trimmed down 1” at each armcycle (fancy word for arm hole). I found them too gappy for my personal taste and bust size.

made pheobe

Photo courtesy of Colette Patterns. Example Phoebes.

The dress is a nod to a 60s mod jumper. I loved the button version, but knowing myself, decided to keep it simple on the first make. The dress also features a surprise Hong Kong finish on the interior exposed seams, which were completed with moderate success. Not sure if it’s a misprint on the pattern, but double fold ½” bias tape does not yield 1” bias tape and I had to cut down all the bias tape. The first two sections I cut too narrow, so I had to sew on top, not as professional looking, but still pretty tidy.

hong kong

Photo courtesy of Colette. Click for link to the tutorial. Why is it called Hong Kong finish? I can’t remember, if I ever knew. But I have always envied this finish on my nicer clothes and now I know how to create it.


front face

I know: the fringe, the face…. I was having a morning. But it is much better with a belt.

There was a bit of a mishap at the zipper, as sewing fatigue and grandpa’s cough medicine were settling in, but regardless, I think it was a fantastic first Phoebe. I also found out how hard it is to unpick stitches from flannel (why was it set so tight on the zipper?? Boo!!), so likely I will never take out the extra line of stitching there, but hardly anyone will notice.

back zip

That’s the best shot I’m showing of the back zip. I tried it with this striped shirt, which Vance said was too distracting, but turned out it really needed a belt. Still a bit too shapeless without it.

It’s a pretty versatile dress – jumper with sleeves, skirt when paired with a sweater, sleeveless dress with tights and booties….a worthwhile sew!


Necklace by Noonday. Earrings by the one and only Steinen. (I dubbed them “Sriracha” in lieu of their given name, which is similar, but I can’t remember at the moment. Plus, I really like using the word sriracha.)