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 😉


Colette Iris shorts for one HOT July

Happy 4th of July Yall! Man it is hot, I drove by the big time/thermometer that flashes outside our neighborhood the other day and I kid you not it read 106 degrees! That just ain’t right. Our chicken’s eggs will fry on the way out their butts! They have been broadcasting extreme heat warnings on the local stations and while I appreciate their concern I have say no sh#@ sherlock, just walk outside! Weather of these temperatures require lots of AC and smaller clothing, in which I will now present my take on the new Colette Iris shorts.

I made these in gray linene that I found at good old Joann’s, hence why they are wrinkly as a rhino’s tookus. I actually ironed them right before putting them on, but I guess that’s the name of the game. They ended up slightly baggy however I am pretty happy with them. I am not really a short coochie cutter tight shorts kind of girl, I prefer them a bit more modest and comfortable these days.

I read the reviews that people have written on these so far and many people said how quickly they came together. I didn’t  really find that to be the case with these, however I did spread them out over a few nights so my total sewing time may be skewed in my mind. The directs were easy to follow as most colette patterns have been for me so far. I am getting a lot better with invisible zipper even though I don’t have an invisible zipper foot. (I did go order one on Amazon this week though for like $12, why not?) I love the pockets and I really like the button detail, I think they would’ve been rather plain without them, however mine are in a blah gray where a bright color would pop fine without buttons. I just really wanted to go with a neutral so that I could wear them a lot.

Everything was smooth sailing until the facings came into play. I decided to forgo the interfacing and just do a self line because I didn’t want them to be all stiff. They are shorts afterall! For some reason my facing was a hair too short and I couldn’t quite get it to reach all the way to the zipper so I had to stretch it a bit- the top corner ended up getting funky. It also threw off my side seam and they don’t quite line up. I guess its not a big deal because I don’t generally tuck shirts into my shorts, the mess ups will stay hidden 😉

Instead of hand tacking the facing down (I HATE hand tacking) I just top stitched right over the seam. My thread blended in really well so you can’t even see it, and once again my shirt covers it anyhow. The leg holes were reeeeally big and I ended up taking them in about an inch at the crotch area before I hemmed them. Overall I am pretty happy with these, I wore them out to the bar with my friends and nobody asked if I made them, which to me is always a good sign that they look well made!

Maddie assisted in the construction of these, but only because I had the AC cranked up. Ain’t she sweet?

Christmas Crafts: McCalls 5205, McCalls 6219, and McCalls 3777

As I was putting up my Christmas tree this year I noticed that I really don’t have many other Christmas decorations for our house.  We don’t even have a wreath for our door anymore, it somehow disappeared over the years. This made me a little excited however, because McCalls had a $0.99 pattern sale a few weeks ago and they have so many cute Christmas crafts! Our house isn’t very big so I picked out decorations that would fit into specific spots in our house and I really wanted to make a wreath for the front door. The Santa wreath on the McCall’s pattern 5205 was sooo cute, I had to make it (even though it looked pretty complicated). He ended up being fairly step by step easy to follow, but very time consuming and used all sorts of different fabric, remnants and other craft materials.

And here’s my version hanging on our yellow door:

Besides the pure time alone I spent cutting out all the tiny pieces to sew and glue, the patchwork hat probably took the longest amount of time to sew. The pattern called for decorative stitching to sew the pieces together. Although I could have omitted this step and just sewed them on with straight stitches and called it a day, I thought the decorative stitches gave it much more depth and character. The beard also took a fair amount of time, it was made of 32 round circular curlicues that each had to be sewed into loops and hot glued individually. I ended up cutting a few extras to fill in bald spots and in the process I think I have third degree burns on my fingers. That part really sucked!

His eyes were blue buttons that I had, they were smaller than the ones the pattern called for but oh well. I thought it was strange how the instructions said to sew the button eyes on but then you turn around and glue his wooden ball nose on… it would be much quicker to just glue them all on at once, but hey what do I know? I substituted the little star ornament and just cut up a fake branch of pine needles and holly which were at the craft store for under a $1.

I couldn’t find little glasses anywhere so for now this Santa has 20/20 vision. My favorite part of this Santa was putting real blush on his cheeks to make them rosy.

Despite how much time this project took, I totally had a blast making it, and I would definitely make it again as a gift for someone worth the time, like my Mom. There is a witch version for Halloween included in the pattern which I plan to make next year for sure (she looks much less time consuming too).

For my next project I wanted to make something for the kitchen, and I noticed the little gingerbreadman and santa chef dolls on McCalls 6219. These seemed like they would be much quicker to make since they were much smaller, however these little guys also had many little pieces and steps that soaked up some time. The gingerbread man went quicker than the santa doll since he was more or less one big piece and the apron and hat were the extra separates to make. Santa had the boots, the pants, the shirt, head and hands that all had to be pieced together. Plus he had much more stuff to be glued on with his beard and hair, and the fur around his sleeves and boots.

One thing that was odd about this pattern was that it said to draw on the mouth and eyes for both dolls, but I thought this would look kind of crappy and unfinished so I stitched these on.

This pattern was also easy and fun to make, the only gripe I have is that there was a lot of hand stitching involved, the legs, arms and hats all had to be hand stitched on to the dolls.

Finally, I wanted something to put up on our breakfast bar that would be more of  bigger centerpiece, and I saw a review on this Christmas tree on McCalls 3777 so I gave it a shot. This pattern also came with a tree skirt, ornaments and a stocking so I think I got more bang for my buck (literally, a buck). This was a super duper easy pattern, just cut out 6 trees from your fabric, 3 each contrasting and then you just sew them all together straight down the center and stuff them. I used red and green velvet material. I omitted the lace on the edges and added jingle bells on the branches instead. This was such an easy and cheap decoration to make that I made one for my friend Katie as a Christmas gift. She is a University of Kentucky fanatic so hers is of course UK themed.

I think that the cotton or more sturdy fabrics are better suited for this project since they don’t stretch out when you stuff the tree and they maintain their shape.

I had so much fun doing these Christmas crafts but at this point I am all crafted out for a while! I am looking forward to some new projects I have lined up, one of which is a coat. I have never made one before so this should be a new adventure for me!

Summoning the Sun!!

It has been raining cats and dogs here in Louisville and I have just about had it! I decided it was time to make the Simplicity 2362 pattern I have had in my queue for a while now. I picked out a bright yellow fabric, maybe it will inspire the sun to come out!!

This is probably one of the easiest dresses I have ever made. It pieced together like a puzzle, especially the front pocket pieces. Although I made one rookie mistake, when I was cutting out my interfacing for the bodice I didn’t have enough to fold over so I cut the bodice pieces on the single selvage. I must’ve been in lala land because I didn’t even notice I had cut out two right boobs until after I fused the interfacing to my lining! Woops..  Easy fix though if I had more interfacing on hand I would’ve just redone it, however I didn’t and I am lazy. So I just applied more lining to the opposite side and flipped it over. Tada! good as new. I ended up shortening this dress about 2 inches and as you can see its still pretty long with heels on. I love how it flares out towards the bottom, its a great dress for those days that you plan on eating a whole bunch (think cook out!) and want to wear something light and not too clingy. I added some wooden buttons on the bodice pleats to add a little bit of detail.

I give this pattern an A+, I would even go as far to say its a good beginner’s piece. I would definitely make this again and I love the black version in the photo on the package.

Funky & Fun House Warming Wreath

My two friends Jo and Dave (who I mentioned in a previous post) are moving back home to Louisville, and are schedule to close on their amazing new house next month! I am so excited for them to move back and they will be really close to Chris and I so we can hang out. I wanted to make them a fun house warming gift, and I was inspired by my friend Andrea’s awesome talent for making door wreaths. They are not your everyday Hobby Lobby style wreath, she makes them all by hand and adds fun accessories and themes to each one so that they are unique to the person who owns the door in which they hang 🙂 Check out her designs on her Etsy site at http://www.etsy.com/people/WishWreaths.

The best part about her shop is that she donates 10% of the price of each wreath to the Make a Wish Foundation, which is so awesome! Here is a Derby inspired wreath she made that I think is absolutely adorable, how stinkin cute is this?? She is so creative!

Although I don’t have as much experience making wreaths I thought I would try my hand at it, it looks like so much fun! I have a big jar full of different colored buttons so I thought I would use them as the theme for Jo and Dave’s wreath. Jo is an incredible sewer and I thought that buttons would be appropriate. Since the buttons are so bright I picked out some thick navy blue yarn that would make them stand out. I started with a foam wreath ring from the craft store and used quilting batting cut in strips to wrap around the foam to bulk it up bit. This also made it easier to wrap the yarn around too.

After I fully wrapped the wreath with yarn I busted out the old glue gun! I found some wooden letters, painted them orange and used them to add their future newly wed’s last name. While I waited for these to dry, I started gluing on the buttons, I just picked colors at random, gluing some together stacking them and leaving some loose.

When the letters dried I glued those bad boys on too.

And that was it! Very very easy, and minimal glue gun burns. I pat myself on the back. Here is the finished product:

I hope that they like it! I also made one for my house too, Chris and I have a deep love for owls as we even had an owl theme to our wedding. I made the little owls out of felt as well as the orange and green flowers.


Not your everyday run of the mill Grandma wreath ay?