Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Masterpiece Classics

I'm not a big TV watcher.

In fact, we've lived in this house for nearly two years and have never bothered to get cable. I love it, but my husband not so much. Sydney makes do with PBS and I am grateful every day that we don't have to contend with the constant barrage of commercials and licensed products.

But every winter, the television event of the year (in my book, at least) begins. I look forward to it with great anticipation. I start checking PBS's schedule in the fall, hoping to catch a glimpse of what's to come.

Masterpiece Classics

Oh how I love costume dramas. Their "Jane Eyre" is one of my favorite movies. Last year's "Little Dorrit" was excellent. It also doesn't hurt that they have done quite a bit of Jane Austen in recent years.

And this year it's "Emma"

And I am in love.

This is such a good adaptation. I tend to collect Austen adaptations. I think that I have seen every Jane Austen inspired movie that is available here in the states. And truly, Hollywood never holds a candle to the fullness and thoroughness of a job done by the Masterpiece Theater crew. This year's "Emma" is a gem. I cannot wait for part three this Sunday night.

Right now, you can watch the first two parts online.


Don't miss "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion" later this winter. They are also worth the watch!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Socks! Socks! Socks!

My newly organized sewing room has me revved up and sewing away. I have several projects ready to show you guys and I can't wait to finish more!

Today's project was inspired by Disney over at Ruffles & Stuff. Oh my, do I love this blog. Disney is a wonder at reconstructing clothing. And the pink! Oh the pink!

So here goes:

Knee Socks From Tights

Sydney wears a lot of dresses and jumpers, and here in the chilly north, that means lots of thick cotton tights. And as anyone who deals with tights knows, they aren't always the most comfortable things to wear when you are an active little girl. Half of your day can be spent hauling the waistband up with both hands and scratching in less than polite places while in public (much to Mommy's chagrin, lol). Plus, heavy tights can be pretty pricey, and as with all children's clothes, they grow out of them faster than you would like. So a solution; turn them into knee socks!

This pleases Mom because she gets more life out of an item and it pleases Sydney because knee socks are infinitely less baby-ish than tights (so she tells me).

Supplies You Need

A pair of tights
1/4" wide elastic, or whatever will comfortably hold up your socks

Step one

Have the owner try on the tights and mark, with a safety pin, where you need to cut them off, remembering to leave enough extra to fold over and cover the elastic.

Step Two

Cut off the tights at your mark. (Whew! This is a tough project!)
On a side note, I highly recommend trying this the first time with a pair of striped tights. They have built in measuring marks!

Step Three

Wrap the elastic around the calf (or thigh, if you are doing over-the-knee socks like these)and decide how long of a piece you need. You want it snug enough to hold up the sock but not too tight.You also want to leave a small amount for seaming the ends. Overlap the ends and sew with a wide zig-zag stitch, making a loop.

Step Four

Place the loop inside the top of one stocking and fold over to cover. This is where you would use pins and measuring if you were a good, non-lazy sewer.

I am neither of those things.

It is important that you use a zig-zag stitch here, so that it can stretch with the fabric. A straight stitch will snap the first time that your child puts on the socks. Use a fairly long and medium spaced stitch, and sew along the open edge, folding as you go. Be sure to catch the elastic in the stitch, so that it doesn't roll or bunch up in the wash.

When you are finished, it should look like this:

only, less blurry.

Repeat steps three and four to complete the second sock.

And there you have it:

Socks instead of tights. If you take a look at Disney's blog, you will see that there are all sorts of cute little embellishments that you can add to make them extra adorable, but because the tops of these will never be seen in public after this photo (not on my watch anyway), I didn't bother. I have a few ideas about some shorter socks and bows, but that will be for another post.