Crazy about Stripes!

I think that stripes are so much fun, they can be casual or dressed up and they can also make you look thinner (or fatter ūüôā¬† Simplicity released their new patterns for summer 2011 and I absolutely loved this new pattern 2177 with the striped view. I didn’t care too much for the photo view, the girl looks like she is in a getup Holly Hobbs would wear and the little jacket looks a bit cheesy to me, but hey to each their own.

This dress was very easy to make and I actually used¬†Michael Miller’s Clown Striped¬†knit fabric in black and white. The back of the¬†envelope suggested cottons, gauze, linen type blends but the knit worked out just fine. This pattern does run pretty big though, I actually ended up having to cut out about two inches from my perfectly¬†finished straps so that it wouldn’t be hanging on me. The finished product didn’t look terrible, but I knew it would bug me so I used some left over material to ring around the striped and simulate gathering. I think it gave it a sailor type look which looks pretty cute! Although its hard to see them in these pictures, my hair covers them.

This dress has pleats at the top where the skirt met the bodice which I love because they are great for hiding any tummy issues ūüôā

This dress makes me excited for the summer! Since I didn’t end up using nearly as much fabric as the pattern called for, I had enough left over to make this striped skirt from Kwiksew pattern 3003.¬†I think this pattern has been around for quite a while given the illustrations on the front, the 90’s called and they want their rooster¬†ponytail back!¬†This is a very casual skirt with elastic at the waist so you can be liberal with sizing up and down.

One thing about this pattern to watch out for is matching the stripes. Since its virtually the same pattern for each skirt, the second view just has an extra cut down the center. This means you have to match up the stripes to the opposite side that what would have been pieced together with just two pieces as opposed to four. This means that the length will be a bit off when you do your hemming. I am only 5’2″ so I usually end up hemming quite a bit of length anyhow so it wasn’t an issue for me, but if you are tall you may want to compensate on the length when you cut¬†your fabric.¬†FYI please excuse my nasty thumb burn in this photo, be careful with those irons kids!

Here is one that I made for my friend Jo as part of her Bridal shower gift. My Mom crocheted the orange flowers that I added to the hem.

I would definitely recommend both these patterns- very easy to use and versatile, they are great for stripes but not limited to them.

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Green dress for an orange poppy flower wedding

This May my best friend Jo is getting married to a wonderful guy Dave,¬†and I am so so so¬†excited for them! They have dated for almost 8 years (just like Chris and I) and Jo will be the first to tell you that its about doggone time! I’m really excited for their wedding which is taking place at Jo’s parent’s home in New Castle Kentucky. They have a gorgeous home and acres of land, which is perfect for an outdoor spring wedding. They decided on an orange California¬†poppy flower theme as they have lived in California for the last couple of years and are finally moving back home. Hurray!! Since it is a more casual wedding, I wanted to make a dress that would suit both a formal and a casual setting for the event. I also wanted something light because in Kentucky it goes from winter to summer over night, and Kentucky summers are HOT! I found some light rayon material in a beuatiful green color, and decided to make the Cynthia Rowley dress from pattern 2406 (can you tell I’m a fan of the Cynthia Rowley line from Simplicity?) I love how unique the cut out sleeves are and the open back which makes it a bit more formal.

The pleating around the neckline was a new trick for me. I sewed interfacing on and flipped it inside out with facing on the inside and it worked like magic! The back was done with the same method and is enclosed at the top with a hook and eye. Here is the back view, keep in mind you’ll need a good sticky cup bra for this dress!

Here is the pattern I used too:

I can’t wait to see Jo looking gorgeous in her beautiful wedding dress, it is going to be a very special and unforgettable day!


A Birthday Dress

My Birthday was just a few weeks ago, but I had been eyeing this Cynthia Rowley pattern 2586 from Simplicity for a while and thought what a better occasion to make this dress for? I really loved the way it looked in the dark blue fabric they pictured so I tried to replicate this. I found a stretchy midnight blue nylon/polyester blend fabric and it worked perfectly! The dress consisted or rouching around the neckline and on top of the sleeves at the shoulders, and ruffles around the hemline which were so much fun to make and look super cute and flirty.

The part that I found the most difficult was the bonding around the neckline, I ending up having to remove the seams and redo this twice because I could not match the stitching up to the front. Now that I have run through this, I think the second time around would be much easier as I would cut the pattern piece wider and just sew the front to the back simultaneously.

I also think I may add some little buttons to the sleeves to add a bit of flare. It was a fun dress to wear and people were asking me where I bought it all night!


A Union Suit for a hot Kayaker

My husband’s most passionate hobby (much like my sewing/craft hobby) is kayaking. And I mean serious kayaking, he throws himself down class 5 rapids in tiny little playboats- thank goodness he has a good life insurance policy. Hee hee, I kid, I kid! Anyhow, he goes kayaking all year long, all around the Southeast where the water is running. Needless to say, the water can get COLD no matter what time of the year it is. So he asked me to sew him a Union suit, it is a stretch full body suit that he wears underneath his dry suit to add an extra layer of warmth. He actually got online and found this Kwiksew pattern 2335 to use as a template, its pretty much a wetsuit but clearly this pattern has been around since the 90’s judging from the neon green and electric blue color they used.

Lucky for him I let him pick the fabric he wanted to use or he would’ve ended up with a 90’s hot pink version. He found a synthetic rayon/polyester blend material (in solid black of course) not waterproof but would absorb sweat and provide some insulation. It was surprising easy to sew, Kwiksew patterns are very clear in their instructions. I did end up using bright orange thread which actually looked pretty cool, gave it a sporty look. The most fun part was putting in the 24″ zipper, I used a sports version but they do have waterproof ones. It turned out good though a little snug and short, this is just the prototype though according to Chris.

For the next one he wants to order Neoprene which is a rubberbased fabric that flicks sweat away from your body. Our good friend DJ who is also a big kayaking enthusiast is in line for one too. ūüôā Here’s a picture of Chris in action.

He has used his Union suit for 2 boating trips and it has kept him nice and toasty!


Hello creative friends!

Hello all! Welcome to my first ever creativity blog! I really excited to begin sharing all my sewing projects and crafty designs and projects with you. I was married to the love of my life last November, and I received a new Singer Sewing machine as a wedding gift from my wonderful Italian Aunt Ida from New York who highly encourages domestic skills and old school traditions. Although it is a pretty standard machine, (no fancy schmancy computerized screens or buttons), I have been able to make some pretty impressive and diverse items if I do say so myself!

This was one of my first projects,¬†it is a long drapey vest that I¬†made from¬†a soft¬†rayon blend material, it is a pretty plum color that I found at Joann’s Fabrics (with a coupon of course). It was a pretty easy sew, I used the Simplicity pattern #2283 although it is funny how seemingly easy directions can stump you! I was on a roll until the point where the neck band attached to the back of the vest. I read it over and over for an hour and looked at the black and white illustrations and just couldn’t comprehend how to roll it a certain way and match the notches (that I forgot to mark- go figure). I had to just step away and finish it the next day when it finally clicked. I¬†opted out on hemming the garment as the material is very flowy and thin and it just didn’t look right to me with a hem.

I think it turned out pretty cute! Great for hanging out on the weekends with my buddies or going to grab a casual drink.