Friday, October 30, 2009

Because we must live, and because I say so.

At 9:00 PM eastern time, Necessityisthemother will be immersed in the thralls of a HUGE 15% off EVERYTHING sale.

What's the occasion? Well...
I want to buy a cottage. A little brick cottage on the edge of Pittsburgh with a huge yard and woods to the back. I've told Husband that if we can buy this little dwelling surely all of our troubles will be over and we will be contented for the rest of our days.
Of course we both know that once we commit financially and geographically to one place, it may well be that all of our troubles will begin...

but it's so cute. Help us on our journey to adulthood-- and help yourself to cheap, handmade fashiony goodness at the same time. Nesty!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nancy Drew and the Mystery of What to Wear...

I've always had such a soft spot for Nancy Drew...
Who can resist a brainy redhead, ready at a moment's notice to avert crisis, unravel conundrums, and entrap crooks? As an ode to the Girl Detective, I'm excited to introduce the Nancy Drew Jumper!! This design features big, roomy pockets (perfect for stashing clues), a sensible cupcake shape, and handmade buttons. Lovely!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There's no place like home...

when you have a new one every 6 months! I've thought alot about the definition of home lately, particularly as I've packed and unpacked my sewing scissors, bias, buttons, and odds and ends so many times this year. There are certain possessions we've carried with us back and forth across the country-- little things I would sorely miss if they were lost (as so many things have been) in our endless shuffling.

One of my prized possessions is this watercolor painting of Paris that my mum and sister gave me. It's graced every kitchen I ever burnt a dish in!

This funky little toaster, also a gift from my mum, is another deeply emotionally pertinent item. It's probably nothing like energy efficient, and lately the toast has been a bit black, yet I love it dearly.

My conclusion is that, appliances and wall hangings aside, Home is where the Husband is. For me, at least.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And away we go...

Today we've said goodbye to our friends here at home, packed up the last of our odds and ends, and turned our faces East. It's all very dramatic. I think I heard the dart-thrown-at-the-map joke at least ten times today. I'm feeling a bit forlorn, as I know one always must when leaving loved ones behind. To Pittsburgh...

In other news, the Tramp Sale is in it's last hours-- EVERYTHING in the store is 15% off until midnight (or so) tonight!! Come take advantage of this crazy free for all, and help lighten my load!



Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm OK!

I'm excited to have just finished a wholesale order for the lovely Lindsay of Collected Thread in Oklahoma City, and here are pictures of some of the pieces that will appear there!

It's such an honor to have Fancy Clothing carried by Collected Thread, and after discovering these adorable "I'm OK" t-shirts, I'm just about ready to head to OKC myself! Can you move to a city just for a boutique?

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's a Fiesta, my Loves!

Etsy has this adorable and yet not actually utlitarian function wherein users can "heart" or favorite items and shops that suit their fancy. Etsy addicts are well familiar with what I'm referring to, and those less well-adjusted and more insecure Etsy sellers among us know the warm glow of earning a new heart, which acts as a sort of balm to our tender senses of self-worth when no new sales occur that day...

In celebration of Necessity is the Mother's reaching the 5,000 heart mark, I'm launching the

***Fabulous 15% Off Everything Fiesta***

Come share the love! Everything in the shop is 15% off, and the fiesta lasts until Friday night. Buenos Dias!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hello, Blog! Remember me?

Wow. In utter shame do I notice that my last posting was in April. I can recall sitting on my bed at my last house, finishing up the text and pushing the Publish Post button... and it really doesn't seem that long ago. It's a sufficient example of how ridiculous this entire year has been, and I do mean to detail the latest wild and crazy adventures of the Traveling St. Lawrence Show... but not today. Ugh.

Instead, I'll tell you about the new Sheath Dresses! As the crippling heat began to roll over Western Washington early this summer (we're talking, you know, upper 70's) I frantically tried to piece together a new summer dress design that could fit a range of sizes easily, and would be comfortable on the hot days. I wanted to depart from the babydoll design of last year, which was cute enough, but imprecise and difficult to fit to larger sizes. Ruffles and appliques have also been on my mind, and this design has been a great canvas for such details. Hope you like them!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I will rejoice and be glad.

Happy Easter, ya'll!!

I'm excited to announce that after much sisterly prodding, pushing, and coercing on my humble part, my artist sister Natalie is finally almost ready to start stocking her shop! Almost is major progress, trust me.
These are a few pieces she'll be carrying initially:
This is my all-time favorite so far. He reminds me of my husband, Caleb...

So exciting!! I'll post her Etsy shop address very soon!
And in other exciting news, Necessity is the Mother is celebrating one year on Etsy!! Come visit the shop and take advantage of some of the cheap goodies... some of these prints make you itch for the promise of warmer weather!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Now I lay me down to sleep...

Before I went to sleep tonight I thought I'd send a general Thank You out to anyone who might read my little blog-- just for all the kindness and encouragement that came this weekend! I'm overwhelmed (as always) and incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunity Etsy has provided. Working from home? Who knew?

This is an amazing example of my sister Natalie's artistic skills. She's moved from one medium to another-- watercolor, pen and ink, and most recently, embroidery. I'm striving to help get her confidence and sale-able stock Etsy-ready!

Can you believe the detail?

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a day...

Hey, want to hear a funny story?

Once there was a girl named Arielle who had plenty of time to plan for her very exciting yet intimidating Featured Seller spot. Indeed, she did her best to plan. She sewed and sewed, and bought extra fabric ahead of time and told her mother and sister all about it. With great anticipation she watched each featured seller that came before her, trying to pick up tips and learn things here and there. She tried her best to overcome her intrinsic procrastination-esque impulses, and be keep everything orderly and ready, and looked forward to her Big Day. And then this morning, three days before the date that she had fixed in her mind, she came home from the Post Office to discover her own sheepish face, her own unstocked shop featured on Etsy's Front Page! Hilarious. Sigh.

Story of my life! Sometime I'll tell you about my wedding dress, and how it was finished hours before the ceremony...

Well, I'm so excited and honored to be the current Featured Seller on! I'm struggling to keep up with requests and emails, and best of all, custom orders! In an effort to clear up any measurement issues or questions there might be, I coerced my sister Sadie into donating her body to Fancy Clothing, for your measuring purposes.

When taking your measurements for a pinafore, first measure the distance from the top of your shoulder to just under your bust.

Then you'll want to measure your underbust circumference, like so:

Next, decide on your preferred waistband width (2"-4" is usually best) starting from the underbust point.

Finally, decide your preferred waistband width (measuring from your underbust down), and then your preferred skirt length (measuring from the bottom of your waistband down). And there you go!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Perhaps I have a problem with over-thinking the fabrics I work with, but I have always felt that patterns and prints carry distinct tones and even messages. Just as colors communicate and affect moods, so do patterns and color arrangements speak about the person wearing them. The trick as a seamstress is to cultivate the proper message.

Florals are my particular bane and burden. How often have you looked at floral-- perhaps something your mother holds up for your approval from across three clothing aisles-- and wanted to like it? I want to like florals, and indeed, I make myself purchase fabrics printed with over-blown roses and wildy lilies and whatnot out of discipline. But there is a distinct reticence. Too naive? Not quite dignified?

The solution, I have decided, is to treat them with a teensy bit of sarcasm. Add a bit of quasi-feministic eyebrow cocking and you're in business.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


After much procrastination and shilly-shallying, I have decided to introduce my clothing line, Fancy Clothing, to the blogging world! Being a colossal techno-dolt and queen of demurral, I can only look beyond my current e-failures as I take on yet another networking site-- Twitter is proving too much of a time commitment (all of those tiny little posts!), and Myspace makes me feel old and crotchety. Sigh. Enough about me. Let's talk about Fancy.

Fancy Clothing was born out of the desperation that resulted from 2 months' unsuccessful job hunting in Portland. My husband, Caleb, and I had just returned from our 3 month residence in Eldoret, Kenya, and had (randomly) picked Portland as our next place to live. After papering the streets of downtown with my impressively perky resumes and receiving nary a bite, I began to sew in earnest. I lobbed wads of my clothing at every boutique I came across, and in the cutthroat fashion climate of Portland, I was fortunate to eventually worm my clothing into three stores. Meanwhile, my sister Natalie whispered the sweet sound of Etsy in my ear, and with the substantial help of that herculian bazaar of handmade bliss, Fancy Clothing was off!

Materials for this line have always been scavenged from church thrifts and rumble sales, but most recently The Bins in Portland have been my deep and true love. Going there is always an adventure, but I like to think that I've earned my little niche in the ranks of regulars that line up on either side of the raised rubber dividers with hungry looks in their eyes, almost salivating as that new cart piled high with discarded whatever comes rumbling down the aisle. These days I have a nodding acquaintance with nearly every shift's cashiers, and my faithfulness has earned me preferred customer status, which equals not necessarily being price checked on every item in my cart. I always wonder if they ever question what I might be doing with the pounds and pounds of fabric that I extract almost weekly from their bins; but then, a rumpled-looking redhead with a penchant for outdated curtains possibly does not arouse the curiosity I hope for. Oh well...