Back to School 2016 // Take Two

The very day our boys had their “First day of school” and most notably our youngest embarked on his Kindergarten journey, we received notice they were accepted to a charter school 23 minutes away. Hmmm. What to do? What to do? The emotional trauma of starting school twice in two weeks, the being completely NEW all over again, the nagging question of educational benefits, and of course the biggest issue, the driving 23 minutes each way, twice a day and sometimes roundtrip both times. If the boys hadn’t been waitlisted, we’d have likely moved closer to the school when our lease was up earlier this Summer, buuut now….and we had one day literally to decide if we would take the two spots.

I consulted my team of experts, the Island Besties, Hubby and I discussed it at length, visited the school to meet with the principal, get the tour and meet the teachers and even ran the idea by both boys (great idea Sandra!). Brendon shed a few tears at not seeing his best friend, but overall they weren’t opposed to the idea. For me, I’m torn moving them to a new school yet again, since that is a big part of why we wanted to be done with our military life. There is a special bond of childhood friends who grow up together that can remain until adulthood – ask me how I know!

back to school boys

The school boys, last week.

The decision was made and all parties involved notified. The great adventure awaits! I give you Back to School // Take Two:

brendon first day

First day of first school

Brendon our big 2nd Grader. Loves to laugh and talk; reminds me often of a young Jim Carey, his mom and his maternal grandfather (when he’s busy getting into trouble, of course). Hopes and dreams for the school year: Making Friends.

john first day

Kindergarten take one. After we took the photos John told me he wanted to be a Police Officer when he grows up.

John, starting his official school boy career with his debut role as a Kindergartener!!! Super exciting for his parents, even if he’s not too sure about it. A shy, stubborn fella with a gentle soul. A mini to his father in so many ways, yet the jury is still out on his love of Soccer. He said he wanted to ask several times on his first day if he could “go home”, but he was brave and didn’t ask. Goal for the year: Make friends. 

mom and boys

Back to School Sorbetto Tank

And the last of Summer Sorbetto Tank Series: My Back to School Sorbetto. I fixed the pocket location, raised the neckline slightly on the front and back and also added this little collar. It didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned it, but I’d say it’s a success. Brendon told me it looked like something a teacher would wear. Definitely a win for Back to School!

Double take

Back to School Boys at their new school. They were very nervous, but had a great day. Now to see if John makes a break for it on day two…


Make it Monday // Culottes Revival

This Summer, as I’m sure some have noticed (likely the printshop folks at Ellis!), I’ve really gotten into garment sewing again. Seamwork magazine had a few dud months in the Winter and Spring, but made a comeback in early Summer, which put me back at the machine, whipping up quick sews for some instant gratification wardrobe changes. I was so motivated I even made a few tops from the Lottie pattern by Christine Haynes and an Akita by Seamwork for back to school presents for my mom.

To boost my inspiration, I was back in the thick of Instagram, from which I had inadvertently taken an Instagram vacation for a bit. There was one particular day, when I happened upon this photo and thought, “I NEED purple culottes just like these!” Purple is a new, but growing garment color for me and I was instantly smitten by these.


Fall is right around the corner, or so I tell myself on these 111 degree days, and I’m trying to focus on transitional pieces. Purple flowy culottes fit these specs.

Now despite my numerous garments completed this Summer, this is actually my first EVER attempt to make shorts of any kind for myself. I debated not making a test pair, as I can be pretty lazy about that from time to time, aka always, but something told me this was not the time to be taking shortcuts. So glad I didn’t. My test version was too wide in the waist due to a zipper installation error and also they looked pretty ridiculous from the front.

crazy test culottes

Case in point: My family showed up and I was wearing these beauties around the house. The boys are usually very complimentary, yet, neither of them said anything. I think one of them asked me why I was wearing “those” and that was it. Hubby never mentioned them. When I directly queried him, he raised his eyebrows and walked away. It was at this moment I was strongly debating my sanity.

I pretty much threw caution to the wind at this point, added some width to get a little more drape and less poof, fixed the zipper insertion error and sewed the final seams on these Winslow Culottes last night. Hubby even said they look cute, despite the pleats, although he did ask if they were a skirt or shorts, to which I replied, “yes”. Two can play at vague responses!

front culottes

A little rumpled – taken after an hour car ride and milling about, sitting, chasing boys, etc..

All in all, a very clearly written and easy to follow pattern for $15 (plus $3 copy shop printing). I sourced the purple linen on sale for $8 and zipper for $2. Putting these culottes at $28. If I make a second pair, they only get less expensive!! They can easily be sewn in one day, although I stretched mine over a few days.

Side culottes

Looks a bit like a skater skirt from the side and back.

The pattern has four lengths, my version being the shortest of the four, but I can’t imagine wearing anything longer than these…I’m just not into huge flowy pants right now. And I do think they will transition to Fall fabulously with a sweater and tights! I hope my clients and coworkers like these; they’re going to see quite a bit of culottes action!!


Another wearing…oh so comfy