Hello all, yes I have been MIA as usual but to be honest I really haven’t been doing much sewing lately. I refuse to sew any garments until after the baby is born (gotta get this big belly under control first!) and as far as sewing baby clothes we have received soooo many in our showers and from our family that the motivation is just not there. As a teacher my time is already stretched thin, and with baby preparation, baby classes, baby showers, thank you notes, doctor appointments, etc.. its all I can do to just kick my feet up and relax at the end of the day while I can. I will save my baby sewing for Halloween, which I am super excited for! Imagine the possibilities..
I have however made a couple of stuffed animals for the baby’s room. We are doing sort of a sock monkey/sock animal theme so I wanted to make a sock animal addition. I found this adorable pattern online for a sock lion and I had to give it a go. Mine isn’t quite as cute as the one in the tutorial, in fact I’d say he is bordering on the line of slightly ghetto, but that’s okay. It is the first sock animal I have attempted and I found him to be a little challenging, mostly in all the hand sewing and hiding seams, particularly the stuffing seam at the crotch. I tried to use a slip stitch for this part but the hole was just gaping as this point (that’s what she said) and the sock was wearing thin so I had to just make it work. I also chose to use safety eyes since I had a bag of them from previous projects and I wish I had just stitched some eyes on instead, as they are a bit too big for his head.
The most fun part was obviously the mane, this involved wrapping yarn around a piece of card board and sewing it together in a string and attaching around his face. It is the final touch to making him an actual lion instead of a skinny cat! Despite his short comings, he fits in nicely with the other sock animals in our baby’s collection. I may or may not attempt another, there are so many great sock patterns out there!
The second animal I made was a big crocodile from an old pattern found at a yard sale Simplicity 5778. I have previously made the hippo for another friend for her baby which turned out pretty cute so I thought we’d give the croc a go.
There were a lot of pieces to cut out for this gal (I made a lady crocodile) but I found that it all pieced together nicely with no major issues. The only trouble I ran into was inserting the mouth piece, somehow it ended up a bit too small so I had to alter it and add some length to fit in the head.
I made a few changes along the way, mostly just to give the croc some more personally. I gave her eyelashes and again used the safety eyes I had on hand. I put a tongue in her mouth, and for some reason the pattern only had the gator with two teeth which I thought would look strange. I made a bunch of other teeth but still fell a bit short, she has a “big bubba” grin, at least its a bit comical. I used soft minky fabric in bright green and hot pink, and pink rick rack for her back scales. She is pretty large, almost three feet long. Since she is so big I am planning on using her for monthly baby photos to use for a scale of how big the baby gets.
The nursery is just about ready and stocked with plenty of diapers and wipes and supplies, I will post some nursery pictures soon! We only have three more weeks until her arrival, it is pretty surreal to imagine having a daughter in such little time. We are getting both nervous and excited! Getting sleep while I can…zzz..
It s time again for my favorite holiday and ridiculous costume making! Even though it is Halloween, Chris and I decided to borrow a couple Christmas characters this year. My all time favorite Christmas movie is Rudolph the red nosed reindeer (the stop motion animation, not the cartoon) and the Bumble is by far the coolest character, Yukon Cornelius is a close second 😉 I figured we could double up and make some fun Christmas cards with the photos in a couple months.
See the resemblance? These were actually pretty easy costumes to make. I made pajama pants with an elastic waist out of white furry fleece from joanns. I just used an old pj pant pattern I have had forever, pj pants are so easy and comfy I really should make some flannel ones for the winter. For the top, I just used a long sleeved shirt in my drawer as a pattern and sewed it up super quick. I serged all the seams inside so that it wouldn’t be itchy from the fur edges.
Obviously the Bumble head was the challenging part, but I got him put together in just a day. I started with a cheapo hat that had a brim, and I glued blue felt around the mouth area. Then I cut two pieces of the furry fleece, each big enough to stuff with polyfil and stand up, I glued these on the brim as well. Then I stuffed them full (well, not TOO full- it was kind of heavy!) and sewed the head closed. His face is a piece of foam with blue felt glued on and white felt for the eyes. His nose is another smaller piece of foam with blue felt t give it dimension. I sewed this piece on the head, and glued on white felt teeth. Voila! The Bumble was born!
Yukon Cornelius was much easier, mostly because i didn’t have to make most of it. We just found an old blue jacket in Chris’s closet, and I had a black elastic belt. I made his ice pick out of cardboard and duct tape (very fancy) and found a toy gun at the dollar store. His beard is actually crocheted, I found this free pattern online and my mom crocheted it up. She modified it by making his mustache longer with some wire to make it stand up, and she made a red hat with ear muffs to attach to the beard. I think it turned out great, it was pretty hilarious!
We wore our costumes to a party at glassworks, and we had a total blast! Now that Halloween is over, I am hoping to get in some regular sewing time, my school schedule has been very time consuming so far this year and sewing has been put on hold out of pure exhaustion. Who’s ready for Thanksgiving break? This gal!
I am reeeally digging the color blocking trend this season, so I got pumped when I saw Vogue 8805. I wanted to make this dress because it looked like something quick that I could throw on over some leggings and boots or transition into warm weather nicely. I read a bunch of the reviews on it and it seemed easy enough to put together. I’ll say it was quick, but for some reason halfway through the process I got in my head that it was going to turn out horrible. Not sure if it was the fabric (slinky ponte knit for the top and middle color blocks- I wanted them to be more of a heavy jersey knit) or because my serger started getting all cranky on me, but I got the maybe I should throw in the towel blues on this dress. Luckily I stepped away and took a little breather before finishing it, I think it turned out cute!
I cut a straight size 10 which ended up being the perfect size. This pattern had custom fit bust sizes, I am usually a C-cup however after reading the other reviews and going by the sizing on the pattern I went ahead and cut the A cup because this pattern runs pretty big apparently. I think I made the right choice.
I have a ton of the red knit that I used for the bottom block, I plan to use the rest for a full dress. Not sure what just yet…. For the middle and top I ordered pone knit from fabric.com and although they both had the exact same description the ivory knit was much more light and sheer than the brown and they were both slinkier than I had anticipated. I guess that’s the nature of the beast when ordering fabric online without a swatch first It worked out ok though, the brown knit is heavy and doesn’t show too many lumps and bumps.
I picked these colors because I just bought this rad metal necklace on my trip to Nashville with my hubs last month and I thought they would go nicely. The necklace needs a high neckline or else it just goes straight down my cleavage! I love it though, had to bring it home with me.
Have you ever made an outfit specifically to go with one accessory? I feel like I have done this a couple times, but I am a sucker for statement jewelry!
Heeeey–ooo! I’m still alive! I started a new job teaching sixth grade about a month ago while doing my student teaching simultaneously so needless to say I’ve been one busy bia! The kids are crazy but its going smoothly, and I have a great supportive staff. I have also lost about 5lbs from running around and not having time to snack or eat a big lunch all day! My sewing has slowed down but I am hoping that once Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks come up as well as my much anticipated graduation I will have some more time on my hands.
I finished this Cynthia Rowley dress a little while ago and I think it turned out pretty cute. I used a super soft knit in a floral/paint splatter print. Its super cozy and the knit material eliminated the need for the zipper.
I left a bit of room around the middle where the band was because I didn’t want it to cling on too tight. I love the pockets too! I almost left the sleeves off but since its getting cold real quick here I figured I might as well make this a Fall dress.
In other sewing news I have begun our Halloween season of costumes! This year I decided to let the hubs pick out theme, so he of course being the nerd he is chose Star Wars. I think he was hoping I’d roll with the slave princess Leia “outfit” but unfortunately for him I ain’t baring all in public. So be ready for some ridiculous photos to come!
Oh and our chickens finally started laying eggs! I’ve been making all sorts of delicious egg foods- steak and eggs, quiches, egg salad, baked goods, etc.. and they are delish!
My husband and I had our own little Christmas tonight before all our family celebrations the next two days and he got me the bestest gift ever…. drum roll…
My own adjustable dressform!!!
Her name is Evangeline. Oh my.. what project to pin on her first…
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!
Last night I had a bunch of my girlfriends over to bring their sewing machines, wine and snacks and we had a fabulous Stitch-N-Bitch evening! There was some good projects and sewing instruction, as well as some good ole gal bitching time 😉
Check out all our machines! This is minus my Babylock and my serger since they didn’t fit on the table. It was like a sweatshop in my crib!
Two of my friends Sarah and Rachel are rookies and came over to learn the basic mechanics of how to load the bobbin and how the machine works with tension and stitch lengths, how to feed the fabric through, etc… One of the projects they tried out was a scrunchie “10 minute scarf” that Rachel found on Hope Studios blog. This was an interesting project for them to start with since it required for handrolling elastic thread on the bobbin and taking the tension to zero, and using a baste stitch in order to create the gathers. The scarves ended up turning out pretty well in the end though! Here they are in action:
Purple knit fabric, pre-cut:
and… the final product!
My friend Jackie is probably the most experienced sewer of all of us, she went to SCAD and knows al sorts of techniques and has her own industrial sewing machine at home. She wanted to try out one of our fancy schmancy elctronic commercial machines, so she brought over some projects to test out. One of them was a bright pink bridesmaids dress that her sister asked her to make into something wearable (AKA make it super short for the clubs)
And here she is taking in a sweater, something I have never tried to do before
My friend Jo who I’d say probably has the most comparable skill set in sewing to myself. She brought over her Mom’s Husqvana Serger that she is borrowing, this is new territory she’s trying to conquer! Her Mom’s machine was crazy complicated, I felt silly ever thinking my serger was confusing because compared to this beast my machine is like the hooked on phonics version. She had to sit down with the manual and get out the tweezers and thread through all sorts of hooks and holes, it was like a logic puzzle. She got a little frusterated to say the least, this is where less “stitching” and more “bitching” came into play-
Reading the instructions…
On a happier note, Sarah completed her first placemat- check it out!
Finally my friend Anne who doesn’t do too much sewing, but does do a whole lot of crafting brought over some coatsers shewas making for her mother for Christmas. She just used white tiles (like you would use in the bathroom) from the hardware store, and decoupaged them withdesigned paper. That is she glued them onand added another glue coat on top to give them a protective seal and add some shine.
The coasters looked super cute!
I didn’t get too much of my own Christmas craft projects done since I was helping out with the others, but that’s ok because it was a blast! I highly recommend getting together with your sewing friends and having a sewing night, its the perfect way to trade tips and knowledge base as well as ideas- sewing CAN be a fun social event!
Yay!! I was just notified that I tied third place in the SuedeSays Rock Your Look Contest! I’m uber excited! Suede is a former contestant on Project Runway, and he now has his own line of patterns through Simplicity called SuedeSays. He had a video contest from April- May for everyone to use one of his patterns to make a design and show how you add your own spin and rock it. I debated between the romper on his pattern 2222 and then decided to go with the dress version since I can get more wear out of it, I don’t think I’m much of a romper kind of gal.
This photo is a little grainy, it is a still from my video submission (please ignore our roomba and the dog to the right). I found a really cute sparkly linen to use for my fabric, and it ended up looking kind of like suiting material (though much more fun). His patterns have 3 different looks to each; Edgy, Flirty and Classic. My look was more classic for sure since I could actually wear this to work with a sweater thrown over it. I replaced the buttons with some white pearl snaps. I didn’t add any studs to the look as the pattern called for, because studs just ain’t my thing either.
The pattern was easy to follow, the racer back and armhole were supported with bias tape ( not listed on the notations so keep an eye out) the skirt and the bodice were attached with both a drawstring and elastic in the channel. I opted for twill tape for my drawstring, but I the closest I could get to matching my fabric was just plain black. It didn’t quite look right, and I think the belt pulls the look together better so it just got covered up in the end.
The only complaints I had about this look was that the armholes were pretty big, so when I adjusted these it ended up making the bust much smaller. The linen I used had zero stretch so each adjustment I made it pulled in the front, and it was a battle to find a happy medium between not pulling on the front opening to having gaping armholes. My finished look was a smidgen too tight in the bodice. Also, the bodice piece was very long and I have a short torso. Somehow I didn’t notice this until it was too late, so the top billowed out quite a bit, but I think different fabric could’ve made this effect work- the linen was very stiff. This was remedied again by my big belt, I just tucked all the extra fabric and drawstring under it and no one was any wiser.
The prizes I won included a Simplicity Autumn 2011 Catalog, and two patterns from the SuedeSays Autumn collection signed by Suede himself. I feel so honored to have been chosen as one of the winners! Although truth be told I am a little embarrassed of my video, I am no actress! I even wrote myself a little script so that I would cover all my bases when explaining my dress, and I wouldn’t allow my husband (who usually takes all my project photos) to tape it because he would have teased me. My very cool and nonjudgemental friend Ashley AKA Miss Jackson filmed it for me- thanks Miss j! If you would like to view my video checkout this link to Simplicity http://www.simplicity.com/rock_your_look_contest_spring_2011_winners.aspx
Simplicity has a Project Runway line (LOVE that show!) and they rolled out this tunic. I thought it looked so cute- maybe I just really like the blue floral satic fabric they showcased it in. I couldn’t find any fabric that resembled this, but I did find this pretty black and turquiose charmeuse- the last bit on the bolt!
The tunic was relatively simple to make, it was a big rectangle with a hole for your head- kind of like a poncho. The sides sewed up to make it more fitted. The neckline had casing around it which I always seem to struggle with, I just can’t ever get it to line up and not pucker. The tunic also had a drawstring, there are two buttonholes which I always have fun making. To make the casing for the drawstring they called for bias tape to be sewn on the inside with a channel left open to pull the drawstring through.
I think my tunic resembles the pattern photo, however I don’t know if I am really crazy about the look. My husband thought I had made a kimono, and not that there is anything wrong with kimonos but that wasn’t really what I was going for with this piece. It was fun to make though, and it was cool working with a satic which I haven’t used too much up to now.
There is a one shoulder cheetah print dress that Victoria’s Secret has had in their catalog forever, I have been drooling over it and waiting for it to go on sale (it was like $88 BEFORE taxes and shipping!!) I can’t justify spending that much on a little dress, especially one like this that is really only appropriate for going out to the clubs which doesn’t really happen for me much anymore. However, as I said in a previous post my friends and I were throwing a surprise Bachelorette party for my friend Jo- the surprise being the location in Nashville TN. The red Simplicity dress I had made with this event in mind didn’t quite work out as I had planned, so needless to say this dress would’ve been perfect!
Soooo instead of ponying up $88+ for the Vickies dress, I went on the hunt for a pattern to attempt to replicate it. What I found was McCalls 6240, and it is quite possibly the easiest dress I have ever made. The pattern is just three pieces, the front, back and the sleeve. It was all cut and sewn in about an hour and a half. I used the shorter sleeve and straight hemline, and I just made the dress all one piece instead of using the contrast band.
I found a really fun red leopard print from Fabric.com in a very sleek soft rayon knit, I actually like my print better than the Vickies version. It goes great with my red high heels too, LOVE red! I did the math, and I could’ve made three of these dresses (possibly more) + the cost of the pattern for less than the Vicky’s one too! Not too shabby…
The theme for Jo’s party was hot lady gear and WIGS! We all went out and bought ridiculous wigs, and we had an absolute blast in Nashville! Here we are all hanging out in front of Elvis and out on the town, and one with Captain Morgan!