When we were young - October 2013: Hungie Gungie

October 13, 2013

Hello....this is the first of my monthly ongoing posts for my When we were young series.  As you may have read here, I have decided to continue my series on an ongoing monthly basis.  On the 13th of each month, a surprise guest will pop up here at sewpony to share their nostalgic creation.  Fun!!

This month's guest is the lovely Caroline from Hungie Gungie.  You may have seen her sister Erin's gorgeous Debbie dress she posted for my pattern blog tour.  Well Hungie Gungie is two sisters who make great stuff for their kids.  Erin and Caroline share the posts on their blogs and for me, being one of four sisters (and two brothers), I love the sisterly creative blog they share.  Caroline and Erin have three children each.  Here are some of Caroline's makes...

I emailed Erin and Caroline a couple of months back to see if they would be interested in contributing to my series...Here is Caroline's awesome post....


Where were you born/where did you spend your childhood?                                                                                                                                                                                
My sisters and I were all born in Los Angeles, CA.  We moved to Chicago for a couple of years, and back to Southern California (Laguna Niguel) before moving to West Hartford, CT when I was 9.   we stayed put.  I just realized that I attended 5 different elementary schools!
Who did you grow up with?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
My mom and dad and two sisters.  I am the middle child (Marsha Marsha Marsha!).  Erika is two years older, and Erin is two years younger.

Did you have a childhood ambition?

My family loves to remind me that I wanted to be a school crossing guard at one point.  For a long time, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, especially after I was in the dolphin show at Sea World on my eighth birthday.  I loved doing everything...drawing, digging, roller-skating, swimming, ballet, and of course, making things!  I thought being a kid was the best thing in the world!

Do you see any similarities between yourself and your child/children?
Besides looking just like me? He he.  Jet is surprising me with his craftiness lately.  Like me, he is very resourceful with his materials (i.e. using garbage to create rocket ships).  Avery, my only girl, has my fighting spirit and sense of humor.  I can see a lot of athletic ability in her, and she has very skilled hands for her age.  We shall see!
Do you live far from where you grew up?                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Yes.  But I get to visit California quite a bit, as my in-laws live there.  I miss my Connecticut friends desperately!
Where do you live now and who with?                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Erin and I followed our retiring parents to Charlottesville, Virginia about 7-8 years ago.  We both started our families here and continue to love it.  I live with my husband, Pei and our three kiddos -Jet (6), Avery (almost 4), and Wes (11 mos).


Erin and I were so pleased that Suz decided to continue her sweet When We Were Young series.  We were even more excited when she invited us to be her guests for the month of October!  The best month ever, if you ask our mom, Kate!  She kind of owns this month- with an October birthday and a love for all things Halloween.  She would dress up and act the part of The Wicked Witch of the West every Halloween, ordering trick-or-treaters off our lawn, and demanding they turn over all of their Butterfingers!  She freaked some kids out.  But most of them got into it and loved visiting our house every October 31st.

This photo of me is one of our favourite family photos, and is always on display when Kate decorates for Halloween.  We are so lucky because when we were little kids, our mom was a budding photographer.  She took classes, and we were her subjects.  So even though it was the late 70s, we have some gooood family photos.

I personally loved this photo of me because of my adorable cast!  The story goes that I fell down a stair at my aunt's house.  One stair.  I was almost two.  I don't remember it at all.  But this photo documents it.  It happened, and I was proud of it.  Here's another shot...

Our mom made many outfits for us when we were very young.  She probably made the outfit that Erika is wearing in the photo above.   It seems that overalls and rompers were her specialty.   And a lot of Halloween costumes too!  The sewing did not continue though.  I have a feeling that her photography hobby took over.   Every now and then Kate would bust out the old Singer to make curtains or Christmas stockings, but it was not a fixture in our home.  Its funny, now that Erin and I have become interested in sewing, she is back at it, producing beautiful garments and quilts.  In case you aren't getting it: OUR MOM IS AMAZING! 

Okay, back to the outfit.

Since denim shortalls are all the rage right now, I was psyched to sew a pair up for Avery.  However, as I sat with the photo and this Burda pattern, I found myself losing my mojo for this project very rapidly.  The pattern wasn't a perfect match, and I'm rather inexperienced with patterns anyway, and ugh, why would I ever want to sew something so boring???

Something kept staring at me out of the corner of my eye:  Jet's back-to-school slim-fit jeans that he refuses to wear.  Can you blame a 6 year old boy for not wanting to wear skin tight denim?  I consulted with Erin,   "What if I hacked up Jet's jeans?  Does that count?  Is that a cop-out?  Would Suz be okay with that?"  Erin assured me that it would be very "Hungie Gungie" of me to do an upcycled look.  Phew!  That's what I needed to hear.  Now I'm inspired!   I made the cut, and there was no turning back.  I was doing this!

Erin was right.  This is why I sew.  I love to make something great out of something not-so-great. Suddenly, this project became so much fun!  I bought denim thread, and a denim zipper.  This was my first zipper installation EVER!  See, even though this was a hack job, I was still challenging myself!

I strategically used the fabric from the pant legs to create the bib and straps.  I also fashioned Avery's (Flashback Skinny) tee-shirt out of one of my husbands' old tees.  Yes, it would have been much easier to throw her in a white tee shirt that she already has.  But, I wanted to be authentic, and I needed an opportunity to try Rae's puff sleeve tutorial.  Cute!

White knee socks worked to recreate the cast.  And Suz can attest to those T-strap shoes being just right for that era!


So what do you think?  Is Avery the Asian Caroline?
I think there's a little something there!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Thank you so much Caroline!!! These photos are absolutely gorgeous.  I hope you will treasure them for years to come!!

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  1. CUTE!! A very clever up-cycle Caroline and totally in the spirit of the series. So glad you're keeping this going Suz, it's such good fun:)

  2. Caroline - Such a cute post! Love how you up cycled the jeans to a romper. And your mom does sound amazing :)

    Suz - so glad you are continuing this series! It's so fun to see what everyone comes up with and it's like a little walk down memory lane. I wore a lot of similar things growing up!

  3. Thank you so much for featuring Hungie Gungie! It was a really fun project for me, and I am so happy with our photo shoot. You are awesome Suz! -Caroline

  4. Very fun! And this is a great series!

  5. Caroline, your mom sounds awesome. ;) And I love that you used something that was unused and made it into something adorable!
    And Suz, so glad you are continuing this series!

  6. Clever outfit! Looks so great on both of you!
    And thank you Suz for keeping this series running (it's a favorite)

  7. Great outfit. I'm not even a sewer and I love this series!

  8. Great job sis! That picture of Caroline is such a good one- i'm so glad she got to re-create it! And the upcycling of the misfit jeans is so her! :)

  9. Suz, great idea to continue this wonderful series!
    caroline, I love this outfit!

  10. Yes she is and she is adorable! Great job with this outfit!

  11. YES! Love it Caroline, and love the little bits of childhood history that come with this series. Thanks for continuing it, Suz!

  12. Caroline - this is FANTASTIC! I love that you stuck to the HG way of repurposing - it's one of the things that I love most about your creations.

  13. Yes! So glad this series is continuing cause I love this series so much! Thanks, Suz! And this outfit is super cute! Perfect for fall outdoor fun:) Want to make one!


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