Mccalls 6744

My summer is quickly coming to a close with the new school year approaching in a week.  I have definitely enjoyed my time off this summer, but I am ready to get back into a work routine.  After a while one feels the need to go back to being a productive member of society!  Well I say that now,  bet I change my tune in a couple months!  But anyhow, I am now on a mission to sew projects that I can wear to school and be cute but comfortable while I work.  I keep seeing fellow bloggers whipping out Mccalls 6744, it is a super easy dress for knits.  It has an elastic waist,  I made the version which is a faux wrap. I love the gathered detailing on the shoulders and how it isn’t too fussy to wear, a lot of times wrap dresses just get annoying with all the adjusting and ties.

 

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This was soooo easy to make! The elastic casing just sews into the seam allowance , and the shoulders are gathered together with small channels of elastic.  I didn’t bother sewing the “wrap” part of the skirt because it crossed over far enough that here was no fear of flashing anyone!  I made this in a super soft rayon knit from fabric.com, I think they still have it if you are interested. It is a navy blue aztecy type print on cream. It is very opaque, so no worries on your undies showing through!

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I think it would look cute with a belt, but last night I just wore it with this bright necklace and some flip flops to a picnic/fair in town. It is so hot and muggy right now, I just didn’t feel like messing with accessories!

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I think this will make a great dress for the school year and it could even go into the fall season with a sweater and boots.  Done and done, on to the next project!


Zig zags and paint

Last night I attended my friend Tina’s surprise birthday/painting party, and it was a total blast! She loves dressing up so everyone was to show up in cocktail attire for the occasion. This of course made me excited because I just finished my chevron “zig zag” dress, and I was itching for a reason to wear it. I found this retro inspired polyester material at our local Hancocks and I couldn’t leave the store without it, even though I generally avoid working with this type of fabric. I decided to make McCalls 6115 which is about as an easy of a dress to make especially with this finicky fabric. Its pretty much two panels with a channel to run the straps through. I did my darndest to match up the stripes, however this dress is a pretty big sack when its all said and done so I had to take it in quite a bit. Matching up the stripes became less of a necessity and more of an impossibility. I ended up belting the dress anyhow so I don’t mind it too much.

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I really love how it turned out, I think this dress may be coming with me on my trip to Europe. Bonjour!

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While at the party, we all had to cover our sophisticated outfits with aprons to avoid getting splattered with paint. It was well worth covering my dress, I forgot how much I enjoy painting. I used to do quite a bit of oil painting, but when I started school a couple years ago I just didn’t have the time for it anymore. It can be a very time consuming hobby! However, now that I will have the summer off and I finished graduate school I plan to get in at least a little painting time! The theme for the painting party was the Louisville skyline with bubbles floating about in the sky. I decided to deviate my theme because I wanted to hang it in my sewing room, so instead of bubbles I painted spools of thread.

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It turned out kind of meh, we had to finish within a limited time frame as it was a painting party and it ended up a little sloppy and kindergartenish as a result. I may go back and try to fix it up later on, although this was done with acrylic paint. Here are all the other painters’ finished masterpieces, they all turned out great and we had so much fun!

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I really enjoy painting natural scenery and using a lot of texture when I paint. Here are a couple of paintings I have done that are hanging up in my house:

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All this art is really getting my creative juices flowing, I’m really getting excited to start creating this summer! Oh and on a completely unrelated side note, check out who I met at a local art fair recently- Gunnar from project runway! He was so friendly and kind, he didn’t even mind me asking for a creeper fan pic 😉

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Love local celebrities!


Yard sale steals

This weekend was the big yard sale event for my local neighborhoods, over 100 houses particiapted this year. I went with my mother in law, Chris, my sister in law Rachel and a couple friends to find treasures. I was not disappointed! I just accepted a position teaching math (which I am super stoked about) so I was mostly looking for math games and tools for my classroom, but then we ran into a woman who was selling bins of fabric and patterns. I pretty much squealed and started diggingthrough them like a little kid. The lady seemed pretty ready to get rid of all of it so she offered up the whole lot a $1 a bin. We pretty much got them for free, it was ridiculous!

Now don’t get me wrong, not everything in this grab bag was a winner but I did find some cute stuff (and some pretty hideous stuff too).The majority of the patterns are mostly little kid items which I don’t have too much use for yet, maybe someday. However, get a look at these gems buried in the stash:

Now I am certainly no belly shirt kind of girl, but I do like the simple button down on view D. Who can’t use a button down shirt or two?

This pattern appealed to the Paris Hilton dress up my dog part of me. Look at that raincoat, how stinkin cute! I also like the t-shirt with the frisbee pocket on view F. However, I don’t know if view B is supposed to be a hoodie or maybe a ghost costume, but the dog looks like a member of the KKK in the picture. That just ain’t right.

Ok so I am a sucker for cheesy Christmas crafts. Look how cute they are! Meet Mr and Mrs Claus! I am so making this in December…

This Santa on the other hand is just down right creepy. I mean he doesn’t even look like santa, he’s a full size elderly man wearing a bathrobe. He’s definitely not pulling off the Hugh Heffner look well.

Hey girl, check out my demented dolly hair bow! don’t I look fly?

This is actually a pattern for Barbie clothes, there were a couple in the bin but I thought this one was too cute. How stylish are these Barbie outfits? I wish they were actual people patterns because I’d totally rock these looks!

This was the oddball lingerie pattern that just didn’t fit in with the rest. Its pretty zsa zsa though. Mee-yow!

I don’t know what is more awesome, the fact that they have 100 pictures of this boxer short pattern of the two 80’s models with matching haircuts. Just wow

The fabric selection had a few conversation starters too, besides the 5 different cat prints that I found. This was a pattern printed right on the fabric with directions for making “Mama Bunny with babies”. Though a bit strange, I have never seen something like this before.

There was two panels of this dogs playing poker print. Again, just wow

My mother in law also found this fabric at another yard sale, $1.50 for 3 yards of vintage yellow and turquoise gingham. I absolutely love this! I may have to whip up one last sun dress before it starts getting chilly out.

Good day of bargains in the neighborhood! I’m looking forward to the next one 🙂


Mad Men, and mad chickens!

In honor of this evening’s new Mad Men episode I decided it was time to post my “Peggy Dress”.  I think I’ve seen about 5 other versions of Peggy’s infamous black and white plaid dress, but my favorite is hands down the dress made by the lovely Julia Bobbin. I love her modern take on the sleeves and the buttons but maintaining the shape and the curved collar. This is a dress I had to have in my closet!

To make my dress I used McCalls 5792, the view in the lower right hand corner with the collar (funny enough it is in a black and white houndstooth in the drawing… destiny?)

I had to make a few alterations in order to capture the essence of Peggy that I was going for. In this pattern the collar meets in the front on the left side of the neckline, but I wanted the collar to curve around the front and meet in the back. This was a pretty simple fix however, I just swiveled it around to the back and lined up the closures in the back center. I also had to create my own little sleeves for this dress, this was also rather simple to do, I just used the sleeves from another pattern and made my own, and altered them down until they fit just right. Finally, I had to create my own bias belt for the dress, this was a little challenging because I ended up having my belt come out a couple inches too short due to a lack of a beefy piece of fabiric left over after cutting out the rest of the dress. I made the belt line up in contrast to the rest of the plaid so that it would stand out, so I ended up having to match up the extra inches and sewing them justright so they would belnd in. It certainly didn’t turn out perfectly but it isn’t noticable.

A few dislikes/ issues I had while making this dress was obviously the plaids not lining up perfectly. This is always a struggle I realize and the back seam not matching up I can live with, but the collar ended up being on an angle from the rest of the dress, I was hoping it would mimic the belt. Oh well…  Also this dress had a side zipper, this wouldn’t have been a big deal but I don’t particularly like side zippers. On this dress it was especially a more annoying installation since I added the sleeves. In the end I was pleased with how the zipper turned out though, so no harm no foul. Lastly the bodice ended up being bigger and more bunchy than I would have liked, I think this is what bothers me most about the dress. I may try to take it in a bit later on but for now I have other projects on my list.

Issues aside, I still am fond of my Peggy dress and I will wear it proud as Peggy would at Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce. In fact I wore it today at my Honor Society induction, here a picture my Mom took (though it was quick and not the best view)

In other news, our little chickies finally arrived last week! Unfortunately of our 6 chicks we ordered, one was left off the shipment, and one didn’t make it through the first day so we have four girls for now. We will be getting replacement chicks in a couple weeks though, so our brood will be one happy egg laying bunch! Meet our chicks Farrah, Frankie, Pumpkin and Jamal:

And the cluck hut


Houndstooth coat for my favorite hound

I realized today that I have not made any new posts lately, and ironically I have a bunch of finished sewing projects to add but I haven’t had much to time to coordinate with my man and take photos of them yet. So on that note today I am adding a post of a project which I can be the photographer, Harper’s new dog coat! It hasn’t really been all that cold this winter (not that I am complaining) so she hasn’t gotten much wear, but she still looks cute.

I used McCalls 6455 which is a very easy pattern, great for a beginner. One thing I will say is that this is the first dog outfit pattern I have used that I actually had to size down, usually these patterns are small even when they say that they can be used for “larger” dogs. This pattern had huge sizes and even an extender to add to the belt for a larger chested dog (or more ahem… rotund dogs). So for those of you who have Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes or any other massive breed of dog and you like to dress them up then this pattern is perfect.

I used a faux houndstooth fleece, and a lot of black bias tape around the edges, and velcro for the closures. I am finding that velcro isn’t the best bet for Harper because she has such a thick neck it comes undone pretty easily. I’ll probably add snaps or buttons to this to make it more secure.

On unrelated non-sewing news, my husband and I decided to jump on the backyard chicken trend and start our own little flock. Fresh eggs coming our way! We started building our coop, which we have dubbed “The Cluck Hut” and painted the frame today since it was so gorgeous outside.

We ordered our chicks, 4 different breeds, which will arrive mid April to their new digs. We wanted to wait until it warmed up a bit since chicks are sensitive to cold weather, we figured it would be good and warm by then. Three of the chickens will be our good eggs layers, one buff orpington and two plymouth rocks. The other breeds we ordered for fun- one is an Easter Egger which is of South American decent and can lay green, blue or pink eggs. The last two chickens are  silkie bantums, they look like little muppets! Check it out:

Hee hee hee.. can you tell I am excited about these chickens?? More to come on the ladies later!


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!


Santa Dog is coming to town! McCalls 6259

Ho ho ho!!! Give me some bacon!

Ok I know the dog costumes are getting out of hand especially since I have an 80 lb labrador retriever that most people probably wouldn’t dress up like a Paris Hilton dog, but this Santa costume was too cute to pass up. Our local JoAnns had a $.99 McCalls pattern sale the other week and I wanted to stock up on some craft patterns, especially Christmas decor since we don’t have much other than our tree and some nutcrackers. So while looking through the Holiday patterns online, I stumbled onto McCalls 6259. This pattern is obviously for a much smaller dog so I had to make “big” some adjustments.

For the body I referenced her jaildog costume to scale it up. The fabric I used was a stretchy red velvet so it had much more give that just a plain cotton. For whatever reason I have had a huge stash of this white fur material in my sewing closet, so it was time to be put to good use! The belt was black bias tape that I doubled up, and the buckle was off an old belt that I was planning on giving away. 

The construction of this costume was very straight forward. I didn’t even bother hemming parts of it because the material doesn’t fray or curl, and let’s be honest.. its a dog costume. I don’t think Harper will be too critical about it. I used velcrow for the enclosureunder her belly and the hat. I think she may need some help from safety pins on Christmas day though since it pulls open when she sits or rolls around.

I think she looks like one festive doggie and I anticipate many treats in this Santa Dog’s future!