State Fair time!

Its that time of the year for giant vegetables, livestock, krispy kreme bacon cheese burgers, and deep fried everything… the Kentucky State Fair! I love going every year and checking out all the exhibits. My stomach doesn’t take too kindly to the midway rides anymore, but everything elsemakes for a great day. One of my favorite exhibits to spend hours marveling at is the quilt and textiles. Although, the textile section is usually more for a good laugh as opposed to inspiration.Literally anyone can enter just about any sort of item or animal in the fair, and it certainly shows! Here are a few of the clothing items that were on display:

Check out this blue ribbon winner. I get that this is a child’s overall outfit, however my question is how old is this child? The pant legs were nearly as long as a pair of my own pants (spare me the short jokes) but I don’t see any kid over the age of 5 to be willing to sport this in public.

And how about this gem, a fringe skirt made up completely with felt and bedazzled with matching buttons. Yeah girl you know you want this look!

I found this dress which is actually pretty nice, I like the vintage shape and the button cuff sleeves. It was by far the winner in my book. Perhaps I will enter an item next year, you do get a free ticket to the fair if nothing else!

There were tons of quilts, probably 15 aisles full. Many of them are so intricate and were made with meticulously placed tiny pieces of fabric it blows your mind how much time is spent on them. The quilts are also divided into categories of machine sewed and hand stitched. I think I would go bonkers hand stitching a huge quilt for probably over two years, as that’s how long many of them took. Unreal! Here are a few of the fun and kooky ones that I enjoyed the most, as well as some more modern ones.

You aint nothin but a hound dog!

You ain’t nothin but a hound dog!

Hmm.. an alien holding scissors while being pulled on skies by a couple of kegs. Nice!

Ay big Durl! Tell ma to git her stewin pot, I shot me a critter!

This tree quilt was really cool, it almost looked like a painting on the wall from a distance. I happen to love trees too, so maybe that’s why I like it so much.

Pretty pretty angel kitty

This was one of the grand prize quilts which they showcased behind glass. It was an impressive work of art, I couldn’t get over the insane detailing that was put into the stitching. Almost made me want to start quilting.. almost.

And of course it isn’t the state fair without oversized vegetables and crazy farm animals! We even stayed for the rooster crowing contest.

Haha ok I think I took waaay too many pictures at the Fair this year. But it sure was a rootin tootin good ole time!

Lobsters, delicious and fashionable!

Oh no I didn’t! Oh but I did… I made a lobster dress! After seeing Karen’s lobster version of the Hazel dress blogged here, and Adrienne’s lobster print shirt dress  I knew that I needed to add some crustacean life to my wardrobe. I found a different lobster print that was a little more cartoony than the print that these ladies used, but I loved the pink/red color scheme. I decided to use my old standby Lisette passport pattern, I just LOVE this simple dress, it might be my all time favorite (but don’t quote me on that!)

For this version  decided it was time to add some pockets, itis the only thing this dress is missing!

I also want to point out this anthropologie lobster dress, I believe it is from a couple years ago. However, circa a couple years ago this bad boy was going for $130 give or take. I mean its is certainly a cute dress, but for real?? Another reason to learn how to sew ladies!

This past weekend was the annual Brew at the Zoo extravaganza here in Louisville, so I wore my lobster dress to stick with the animal theme. 🙂 Here I am with Chris and our good friends Dave and Jo.

Aww we match!

The festival started early evening, so a lot of the animals that are more active at night time were out and about. We have a huge gorilla exhibit and this lady was sitting right next to the glass, isn’t she beautiful!

And this jaguar was out showing off his spots, I am feeling some print inspiration from this guy!

It was a great day, we all had such a fun time! There was even a lady who stopped me and wanted to know where she could find my dress because it would be perfect for a lobster festival she attends each year up in Maine. If she is willing to bring me along, I think I could whip one out for her!

Peony dress… ready for a horse and buggy

I finally got around to making the Peony dress which I have had in my stash forever. I love the simplicity of this dress and the high neckline. However I used the rest of the pastel plaid cotton I bought at mood, and it ended up looking rather drab. Almost Amish…


At least it fits nicely and I like the pockets. Next time less drab, more fab!

Thurlow Jeans :D

Here is my second attempt at the Thurlows, I found this very light weight denim in almost a baby blue hue. I used to have this awesome pair of flared light blue vintage jeans that I found at a thrift shop and I LOVED them, but I somehow lost them during those college years. My goal was to try to recreate these, and I think these are close enough!

I’d like to say that this second go went off without a hitch, but we all know that’s a big fat lie. I will say that I cut these 4 sizes smaller and they fit much MUCH better than the first. However, since this denim was much less sturdy than the denim material I used last time I had more problems with the welt pockets. I had to put in stitching along the sides and it came out kind of lumpy. meh… and then the worst part, somehow I misaligned the pockets in the back and they are totally uneven, I have a crooked butt!

I tried to fix it by shortening the waistband which got a little pinched and weird too, so.. yeah, kind of a mess. But I will say that I I moved the placement down more and I think that it looks more flattering than the last pair. My zip fly turned out really well, I need to move my button down a hair to line up my band better but other than that I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Despite my crooked arse, I think I’ll still wear these- why not? Nothing a long shirt can’t handle.


50’s style dress? or Keebler elf doppelganger

I’m sure some of you all have discovered Kollabora by now, its a newer website that is sort of a Pinterest for sewing, craft and knitting projects. I’d tell you to follow me on there but I haven’t posted anything, not sure if I’ll ever get around to that. Anyhow I found this amazing 50’s style dress made by Allyson at By a Thin Thread and I basically became obsessed, the side scallops, the flared skirt, the jungle green cotton… gah! I had to make it myself, an exact replica of course. I hunted down the pattern on etsy, Butterick 5772  circa 1951. It buttons down the sides with scallops and flares at the hem

The assembly of this dress was interesting… I made scallops when I sewed up the Colette Meringue skirt but the technique used was completely different. Here’s a picture of my meringue skirt, I wasn’t too crazy with how it turned out so I never got around to blogging it.

The scallops on the Meringue were actually cut into the pattern and you invert them with the facing and press. I had some trouble getting mine to look more rounded and less pointy at the ends, I think cutting the pieces more defined and prominent would have remedied the problem. For the Butterick dress the pattern istructed to interface the sides, draw the scallops onto the dress, sew through the line drawing and then cut them out around the stitching. At that point you invert the scallops and press them in place. Seems a little counter intuitive but surprisingly I found that this technique worked very well and my scallops looked way better than the skirt did. I’m sure the interfacing stablized them and helped out too, but still.

I ended up removing two scallops off the bottom (I am a shrimp afterall) and the bust was way huge, I took in the darts and sides a lot, and probably could take them in even more to be honest. The buttonholes and buttons themselves were definitely time consuming as you can imagine. I think I should have saved all this time and worked on something more practical because as soon as I put the dress on my husband started laughing and said “You look like a Keebler elf!”  At first I was offended but then the more I looked at it I realized, yeah he’s kind of right. Maybe its the neckline, or (obviously) the green, or maybe I need to ditch the belt but the overall effect definitely has that Keebler feel to it. Maybe I should wear the dress to the grocery and carry around a tray of cookies and be the Keebler sampler lady. I wonder how much that gig would pay?

See the resemblance? eh… oh well c’est la vie. I did like how the scallops turned out, button placement might be a little off but an easy fix.

I did enjoy the process of making this dress and learning some new-old techniques, it was rather interesting. But probably won’t attempt this one again, at least not for a while. For now I am on to go eat some softbatch cookies 😉


Jumping on the Thurlow band wagon

I have seen Sewaholic  Thurlows popping up left and right so when my copy arrived in the mail I was super motivated to try it out myself. I really had wanted to make these in a light weight vintagey looking denim but since the odds were I’d probably screw these up the first time around I just went to the big box store Joann’s and found this stretchy turquoise denim. It appeared to be denim in the store, it was in the denim section afterall. While I was cutting it (forever) it looked  like denim, but once I started sewing with it it started feeling more like some 70’s synthetic polyester… not sure what’s up that. It wrinkles easily too, mystery fabric!

Anyhow, this pattern was pretty time consuming from start to finish. As many of you other bloggers have said, there are a bijillion pieces to cut out. I have seen some comment that the cutting process is a relaxing, therapeutic activity prior to sewing, but I personally fall in the other spectrum on the pattern cutting process. I find it to be a pain in the ass, mostly because my sewing room is small and I end up laying my fabric out in the kitchen and scotting around the hardwood floor. But hey, to each their own- I’d love for one of you all to come cut my patterns for me, I’ll provide the vino!

This is the first pair of pants I have made that aren’t pj bottoms or shorts so this was a welcome challenge! The first mistake I made was waaaay over estimating my size. I cut an 8, but I was swimming in these things when I tried them on. To fix the problem I took in the sides A LOT (like 3- 4 inches) and it pulled my back welt pockets pretty far apart. In hindsight (no pun intended) I should have taken in the butt area a bit too. I hate when my back pockets are far apart because it gives the illusion that you have a huge arse, in an unflattering mom jeans kind of way.

The other issue I ran into was sewing my zipper too close to the edge of the fly. I was following the directions step by step so I didn’t even notice until too late thatthere was not enough flap to cover my zipper. I could go back and redo it, but I’m a little burnt out on these pants for now. I moved my button over further to try to hide it for now 😉

The lining I used was the plaid from my mood fabric I bought in New York. I thought it looked cute with the turquoise

Finally, These pants were LOOOONG! I took them up about 7 inches. Its funny I don’t feel like I’m that short, I walk around and feel like I’m eye level with people when I talk to them (unless they are freakishly tall). Then I see photos of myself standing next to them and I realize I am a shrimp. Oh well, at least I can wear high heels with no worry!

Overall for my first go at this pattern I think these turned out ok. I will probably wear my shirts over the top portion to cover my mistakes, but they are comfy and a fun color. Mark my words these will be made again!!