"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sewing With Easter In Mind

I've got big plans this Easter and it's getting down to the wire with very little time to finish.
I should probably be sewing instead of blogging about it... so I'll make it short.

I'm using the Glitz line by Michael Miller (and I know I'm not the only one) for my girls' dresses.

Not only are they each getting a dress, but the plan is for each of them to have a lavender coat with blush pink lining as well.  I'm using a vintage pattern that has really been a pleasure to sew.  I even did the interfacing as it instructed out of reverence to the awesomeness of vintage.

I'm 3/4 of the way done with my own dress for Easter as well.  I cut into my prized Amy Butler challis and only had scraps left over after very imaginative cutting.  I'm using an OOP Simplicity pattern with a great yoke detail on the front that I'm afraid I wasted by not adding some piping or using a contrast fabric.  Oh well.

Already completed for my girls are some t-shirts that are a collaboration between me and my dear friend Gifton Gammon, who is also the graphic designer for all things Molly Blossom (my pattern company).  I had an idea to combine bunnies and Christ's ressurection and she made it happen with a happenin' design.  I printed a yard of these vingettes on Spoonflower and made shirts available for sale as well.  

The shirts are all winging their way to their new homes now, but I think I'll offer them again next year.  I just love the meaning behind this super-cute design.

Alright, back to sewing, or my visions for Easter dress perfection won't be realized.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A New Space

We moved last weekend and we are trying our best to find a place for everything and put everything in a place in our new rental.  Good news:  there's a finished basement where there is plenty of room to spread out my sewing stuff.  Bad news: unpacking and organizing is slow going with two little ones and my sewing mojo is waning.

Here is what my sewing space looks like currently.

It will still not be the cutest thing ever when it's finished because we are just renting and we are trying to save money right now after all the moving expenses.  When we get our own house and have a bit more cash flow, there will be cute rugs, paint and more organizational furniture involved.  I'm just glad to have plenty of space.

I just discovered that Kids Clothes Week, the challenge where you sew one hour a day for seven days for your kids, begins next week.  I signed up today to try to give myself a reason to get things organized quickly so that I can devote some time to sewing and not be consumed by unpacking.

I have a few things already planned that I can go ahead and cut out in my down time to make and I also have at least four previously cut things still waiting for someone to put them together.

kid's clothes week

You should go check out the KCW blog.  There's tons of inspirational posts about patterns, color, spring, and other stuff to get your wheels turning as well as GIVEWAYS!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jocole Ladies Quick Dress and Top

New pattern available today from Jocole!  Jodi, of Jocole Patterns is so throrough with her drafting and testing process.  I have been honored to be a part of her testing group twice and it is just a wonderful experience.

I'm not actually the most fabulous tester ever because my mind immediately begins thinking of variations and ways to use a pattern to make something that exactly fits my needs.  The really great thing about this pattern is that there are so many variations (cap sleeve, extended sleeve, sleeveless and long sleeved and three or four different necklines you can choose) that you really can use it to make your vision.

The pattern is called the Ladies Quick Dress and Top and here are my two makes from it.

So that's how I wore it for pictures on the day I finished it, but then I wore it the next day with jeans and my fave lime green cardi.

The second version I made using the rest of my rayon challis from these pants (which I am drafting the pattern for RIGHT NOW....finally!!)

Here's the top.

I made my own hi-lo hemline and I used this facing method from the Salme blog. 

Yay for using all the fabric up that I originally just had in mind for pants! 
And here's how I wore it the next day...

with a cardi and my wide-leg pants in chambray (same pattern I'm working on drafting right now).

This might be the last round of pictures you see on this wall because we are moving to another rental at the beginning of April.  That means packing up all my sewing things pretty soon. :(
Don't expect any fabulous sewing room picture when we get moved either.  We are hoping the new rental will be quite temporary and that we will be house hunting for our very own place very soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Simplicity 2246


I have a basket of UFO's.  Things I have cut out to make it easier to sew them up quickly when I have a chance.  This is generally a good strategy, unless I then cut something I am more excited about sewing than the last thing I cut.  Then the original cut garment sits, waiting.... and waiting.  Kind-of like this one that has probably been cut for over a year.  I finally determined to give it the attention it deserved and I'm glad I did.

This is my third use of Simplicity 2246, this time in a hot pink polka dot rayon challis.
I don't have anything in particular to say about it, except that collars and button plackets still aren't my favorite.
How about I just show you some pictures?

I had a little helper today with the camera remote and I kept having to tell her not to point it at me, but at
the camera.


Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Friday, February 28, 2014

Vogue 1378 In Purple

Fresh out of the shower and modeling the pants I finished today before I put on what I'm really going to wear for the evening... while I tidy my house because the home inspector is coming tomorrow.  We are renting currently and our landlords have decided to sell.  We have until April 15th to find a new place and hopefully, I will be able to say that my husband has found a job with a Radiology group by that time as well.  
In the meantime, we can keep ourselves occupied with Vogue pants.
Shall we?

I ordered a couple of fabrics from Fabric Mart to remake these, one black and grey zebra print double knit and this purple ponte knit.  Once I had them in my hand, the purple wanted to be pants and the zebra didn't.

I made the changes to the pattern pieces that I talked about in my last post and, overall, achieved the results I was looking for.
This ponte is MUCH softer, so that helps tremendously with comfort.

See?  I told you I was fresh out of the shower.  Anyone else have to just take a shower when they can get it?  For me it is often mid-day during my girls' TV time.

Even after shortening them more, it was like they magically grew as I sewed and I still lost a lot of the overlap detail at the bottom because I had to cut about 3" off of these before hemming!

Knees are still in the right place.

Flats are exactly my style, so this length is perfect.

I thought this pattern might be the kind of pattern that, once I got it to fit me, I would make it again and again in different fabrics.  But, I don't think that's going to be the case with these.  I just don't feel really really ME in them, so I don't want a bunch of pairs.  I also need to figure out how to best style them.  I threw on this shirt really quickly, but I need to do some experimenting to see what will be flattering with them.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway

Monday, February 17, 2014

Accidental Goodness for Valentine's Day

I have two identical dresses cut from some gorgeous blue and pink Jennifer Paganelli fabric that I was planning to sew up to dress my girl's identically for church and lunch with the family on the 16th.  
I never got inspired to sew them, though.  I wanted to do some embroidery on them and just couldn't get a vision in my head.

So, this is what my 6-year-old wore instead.

It's an Old Navy white shirt that I cut off the bottom of and added this remnant of oh-so-soft watercolor knit I found fabric shopping in DC last year.

I have to be totally honest with you.  The whole reason I cut off the bottom of the shirt is because I embroidered a bird on it, but it was sideways.  I hadn't used the pattern before and didn't know which direction it would face in the hoop.  I guessed wrong, so I had to cut the bottom off, cut the bird out and sew it somewhere else.

It ended up on the sleeve and, thankfully, this was a happy accident with a lovely ending.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Let's Get Real

We are going to have a "let's get real" post today.  I am honest about things here on my blog, but I don't post much on total faliures.  This isn't really a faliure because it was technically a muslin, but I always hope a muslin will be wearable.... Not so much in this case.

I spent all afternoon yesterday on Vogue 1378 pants.  There are a LOT of pieces to cut out to make these pants.  
Let's go back to the beginning, though.  First, I had to find and cut out all the pieces from the tissue.  Yes, LGR (Let's Get Real) I cut them right out of the tissue most of the time instead of tracing.  I gamble and win most of the time, but it's also a consolation that if I need a larger size and can't alter the cut pieces myself, I can just wait for another $3.99 sale and get another pattern and try again.
After cutting them out, I started looking for the shorten/lengthen lines.  Aha!  Found them!  Only between the waist and crotch... none on any other pieces.  
Next, I tried my best to assemble all the pieces so I could measure the inseam.  4-5" too long!  I had to shorten these somehow!
I ended up drawing a line across all the pattern pieces in the top half and across all the pieces on the bottom half.  LGR, I really have no idea where the best places are to shorten pants so you maintain the placement of the knee and the correct shape to match your leg.

Here is what they looked like after I shortened the pieces.

Back to cutting the fabric.  There are lots of pieces and lots of grainline markings to pay attention to, so it took quite a while to carefully line up and cut each piece twice.

Now let's talk about sewing them.  It is very important to pay attention to right side and wrong side of fabric. (well duh) But my fabric didn't really have a right and wrong side, so I had to lay everything out by shape.  LGR, I'm notorius for cutting or sewing two of the same leg and I really didn't want that to happen.  There are two to four rows of decorative stitching on practically every seam and I was not interested in spending a significant amount of time with my seam ripper that day.
Once you get each leg constructed then there is just a traditional inseam and crotch seam to sew and elastic waist to add.

I sewed the inseams and then put one leg on.
Y'all, LGR, it looked like scuba pants, so tight.  Maybe I should just do another pair in Neoprene.

I don't really know at this point if I picked too small of a size or if my ponte knit doesn't have enough stretch.
I ripped out the inseam and sewed it with 1/4" seam allowance instead of 5/8".  That's all I could do.  Not much help.  They don't cut off my circulation, but...

I know, I know, you are going to say, "Sara, you are being too hard on yourself and your sewing.  These look great!"  But I'm really not being hard on them.  They do LOOK pretty ok, from far away...or just laying on the floor,

 but they do not FEEL good.

See all the little wrinkles?  All evidence of the way my pants are squeezing me like a sausage casing.
Then can we mention that I couldn't even get the camera straight today? (and apparently the lamp was more important than I was?)  Here is an appropriate pose I found when editing my pics.
Looks like I'm losing my balance on my crooked floor. 

And let's have another LGR moment here.  I will not be wearing these with platform heels typically, so they are really still too long.  
Here's a closer look at the seams since you can't see them in the other pictures.  I used olive thread instead of brown because I wanted to highlight the lines since they are the coolest part of the pants.

Ouchy!  It hurts me to even look at this next picture.  Can you see the sausage effect now?  
And they are not hemmed to different lengths, it's just that once they wrinkle and ride up, they get stuck.   

Looks to me like the seams are in the right places even though I really have nothing to base that on since you can't see the seams on the pants shown on the pattern cover.  I'm assuming that sideways "v" shape is supposed to have the back of my knee in the middle and it does.
That means that I shouldn't make these any shorter in the thigh, only below the knee.
As far as the tightness, I will probably just add some extra on the side of each piece that ends up being the inseam, which is probably harder than I'm thinking it is.
So, LGR, I'm kinda supossed to be on a fabric ban, but I don't have anything else in my stash to try a second pair of these with, so I have to buy something, right?  Please say yes, because, LGR, I already did.
Building a Better Wardrobe Giveaway