Monday, August 30, 2010

Just wondering...

If the enchilada sauce came out of the bow shirt.  I was so sad to hear the new creation got stained, but I totally understood.

Moments after I took the above picture of Grace in the A-line dress she got dry erase marker on it.  Black dry erase marker to be more specific.  I immediate went to work on it trying to get the stain out.  I got it to fade, but dry erase is synonymous with permanent.  Oh well.  I mean I did make the dress for a four year old, so what did I expect!?!  I think I expected at least one wear out of the dress before it got stained.

But I'll get over it.

As for the back of the A-line dress, here's a pic for you!

The pattern called for elastic cording and a button to close.  I used the patterns placement for the button and cording, but it was all wrong.  Next time I'll just place it closer to the neckline.  I also had to use bias tape for the cording because I only had black elastic cording, and that just wasn't going to match!

This weekend I started it of by making the most delicious whole wheat pizza.  The Italian is bit of a health nut, so I've been searching for a good whole wheat pizza dough that tastes as good as white dough.  I think I've found it.

I'll post the recipe another night.  I have to wake up early tomorrow. Sorry!

Next I made another bow pillow.  Remember when I made this one?  I've been wanting to make one for myself since I saw the cute one I made for my mom at her house.  I thought it would be the first thing I made when I got home from my vacation in the South.  Guess that didn't work out the way I thought it would!

Maybe a bit too much to have the brown animal print next to the black and white one??

I'm almost done with making pillow for my couch.  I have a rectangular pillow form that I want to make a cover for, but I just haven't been hit with the inspiration of what to do to it.  Stay tuned!

I didn't make this next item, but I'm so excited it arrived in my mailbox on Friday.  It's another B to add to my B wall.  I found it here.  I love my new B, and if you want a letter or two for yourself just know that shipping is free!

Lastly I whipped up a quick banner tonight for a friend.  Just a little *celebrate* love being spread from the west coast MOM headquarters.

And that's all!  I'm off to bed right at midnight.  That's early, right??

Friday, August 27, 2010

I sewed something out of knit.

Dear Liz-

I told you I was going to try to make a knit dress today, because "why not?!", I said.  You told me I could totally do it.  

Thanks for believing in me.  

You can totally make one too, if you want.

For my first effort, it's not half bad (I hope).  It's late, and the ladies are asleep, so I'm holding off on hemming everything until someone can try it on for me.

The hardest part?  Probably two things.  1) the neck.  I don't know if I did it correctly.  The instructions were vague.  Or rather, I think I did it correctly, but I'm not sure if I made it the right size.  There was gathering involved, but how gathered?  Perhaps if the girls had been awake, I could have sized it on them.  Oh the perils of sewing in the wee of the night!  2) the sleeves.  They aren't that tricky persay, but sleeves are always a bit nerve rattling, no?!  The little ruffle band on top help to hide any flaws, but man, I was sweating a little bit as I did that step.

Okay, want the details of how you might be able to make a "Go To Dress" too?!  Here come the links...

First of all, it's a FREE pattern/tutorial.  Available to anyone who wants to give it a go.  How truly kind is that?!  It's why I love the online sewing community so much.  It's just bursting at the seams with kind hearted people giving free patterns away!  Thank so much to Andrea from "The Train To Crazy".  (Love that title) 

A few final notes, be sure and read through the FAQ section at the end of the tutorial page.  It really was essential to getting the dress done.  Tons of helpful tips and links!  Wonderful.

Secondly, I don't remember how I found it, but my knits came from Chez Amis, here in Raleigh.  A great find.  These were really nice knits to sew with at really nice, factory wearhouse prices.  They open to the public only once a month, and I just happened to stumble upon them on the week they were open!  Coincidence?  I think not.  But I actaully checked Joann's first and really, they had tons of great solid colors, and I think even a few prints.  So there are options.

I hope it fits well.  I'm worried it's a bit short, but I'm all about laying it up in the fall/winter, so I guess that won't be the end of the world.  If the neck is too big, that might be the end of the world!  That would entail a whole lot of seam ripping!  Pray for me. 

I'm off to bed.  Knit sewing attempted and conquered.  Bring on the "90-minute shirt".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My model.

Here is my finished "come back" outfit on Jane, last Sunday.  It looked darling.  I was especially fond of the bow shirt.  I was not fond of it after she got enchilada sauce on it that night.  It's still soaking in water as I type.  I hope it comes out!  One wear was not enough for me to be done with this outfit. 

After this effort, it was time to turn my attention to our last two days of summer vacation, and everyone (including Dad) returning to school.  That took me away from the sewing room.  However, on the Kindergarten supply list, there was a need for "nap towels" with the student's name on it.  I was determined to simply send in a towel as requested on the list.  But when I was putting away all the fabric the other night, I was slightly overwhlemed by how much there is.  I need to seriously use it up!  How can I ever justify further fabric purchases with so much in the stacks?! 

Way back when, the girls each picked out fabrics from Happy Quilt that I was less than fond of, but that they really loved.  What better way to use it than to send it off to school for the "nap towel"?  (Never mind the fact my girls haven't taken a nap in over two years!)

This project was so simple, if barely qualifie as a  MOM showcase, but the thing is, it meant a whole lot to my little girls in the morning when they woke up on their first day of kindergarten.  They didn't know what I had in mind, and when they saw their custome made MOM towels laid out with their backpacks, they were so joyful.  And that made them beautiful to me, even though I didn't like the fabric.  Now, when they are off at school and it's "naptime", they can lay down on their special towel and think of their MOM back at home who loves them very, very much. 

(And guess what Jane told me when she got off the bus today?  With utter shock in her voice she said, "Mom, I fell asleep today on my towel!")

And finally I leave you with the latest project in the works... just a little tiny glimpse... it's supposed to be a gift, shhh...

Good Night. (a whole lot earlier than Liz, but I've got four kids to send off to school all by 7:10am!)

A Simple A-Line Dress

I saw this dress a while back.  (The first dress that is harvest yellow and white.)  I love the simplicity of the design.  Today I couldn't get the dress out of my mind.  I just kept thinking about it.  I knew it was a simple dress to make, but I didn't have an A-line pattern.  After some quick research online, I found this Simplicity pattern.  I loaded the children in the car and off we went to JoAnn's crossing our fingers they had it in stock.

They did!!  For $2.99 even!  You can't beat that!

While I love Katie's fabric choices for her dress, I don't own solid color fabric.  Not one single yard.  I mean I probably have some white muslin, but that is it.  So I chose two fabrics that I thought were complimentary and not too loud.

When cutting out the front of the dress, I moved the pattern which was to be placed on the fold about a 1/2 inch away from the fold.

Then I carefully trimmed the very edge of the front dress piece creating 2 pieces for the front of the dress instead of one.

I cut a strip of my blue coordinating fabric 4 1/2 inches wide and however long my dress is (sorry I didn't measure).

I then sewed both of the front dress pieces to the blue middle piece and did an inverted pleat at the top.

I followed the rest of the instructions that came with the pattern, and here's the finished product.

Now Grace has a new dress to wear on her second day of school.  She wore the Jump Rope Dress on the first day.  Should I try to make her a new outfit for every day of school???  Totally kidding.  I'm not that crazy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just like old times...

Here it is, past midnight I'm covered in string and making a blog post.  It feels like I'm finally home.

We moved into our new house just over a month ago.  Maybe closer to six weeks ago.  It's taken until now to have the leisure and the space to create.  It came just in the nick of time, it feels like it's been forever.  I've had  some time to think about what my first project might be, and I decided assuredly that it should be something for my little girls.  Sewing for them is what got me started two years ago in Korea, it seemed fitting that it's what would get me started again in North Carolina.  Sure enough, miniature outfits are my favorite things to make!  

But first, want a little tour?!  Of course, this sewing space is only barely functioning.  It still has a ways to go before it is fully the sewing studio of my dreams.  But for six weeks into the house, I think we're off to a good start! 

The house was a former model home, so the garage was completely finished as the design decision studio.  So we live without a garage, but it didn't take me very long to fully appreciate this fact.  It could be my sewing space, since Darin kind of hates co-habitating with little bits of sting all over the house, this might just be our perfect solution...

I step outside my kitchen door, and go out to my "garage" :

For now I have to walk around a 6 foot tall stack of collapsed moving boxes.  Once I figure out how to give them away, I'll have more room for another table.

In the mean time, it's not an entirely bad corner I have carved out for myself. 

The "expedit" from Ikea has proven to be an excellent way to organize the fabric.  I dream about having time someday to refold every single piece of fabric into a matching size and having perfectly stacked piles of fabric.  But who am I kidding?! 

Messy stacks of fabric and all, I was still able to sew my way through a little outfit today.  What a joy to be back in my creative place. 

Inspired by the "Bloom" skirt on the "Make It Perfect" blog, I just added some ruffles to our otherwise basic tiered skirt.   Super fun!  Forgot how time consuming it can be to sew stuff, seriously.  The little fairy fabric is a Tina Givens print, found on my very last visit to Happy Quilt. 

Finished it up with a little bow shirt, can't wait to have somewhere wear it to church tomorrow (or tell me all the reasons they won't wear it to church because it's not quite right, sigh).  These ladies can sometimes be little fashion divas!  Hopefully I'll follow up with some modeling photos. 

Liz's recent Jump Rope dress has me wanting to make my Oliver & S Ice Cream Dress again.  Maybe that will be next?! 

Hip, hip, hurray.  I'm back. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Birthday Outfit

Unfortunately the way things worked out, Grace's birthday outfit wasn't even started until late last night around 10 p.m.  That means that I needed something quick and easy.  Annee, bless her heart for having to move from Korea to North Carolina so she's been absent for a little bit from MOM, made Grace a tiered skirt almost 2 years ago and Grace loves it and still wears it.  So I took the skirt Annee made, took the measurements of each tier, and made this:

Sadly, Grace's birthday shirt fell short in my opinion.

It's supposed to be a cake on a cake stand, and on the cake there is a number 4 for Grace's 4th birthday.  If I fix this shirt or use this design again, I must use a more contrasting color for the 4.  It just blends into the cake too much in my opinion.  I would have changed it last night, but I started the birthday shirt around 12:30 a.m. and there was no time to fix anything!

Please don't worry too much that people might have been confused her shirt.  The birthday crown I started at 1:30 a.m. clearly shows what birthday Grace celebrated today.

This is the best picture of Grace I could get with her in her birthday outfit.  I had 4 hours of sleep last night, so I apologize for the poor quality.  It was taken 5 hours after I had laid myself down to bed, and sadly I was awake and kind of wishing I wasn't!

Don't go feeling sorry for me at all, but don't expect any creations from my sewing room tonight!! It's 9 p.m., and I'm barely keeping my eyes open!!

Good night!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Was kind enough to try on the dress that I made her.  I may or may not have bribed her with a little chocolate first thing in the morning to put it on and model around for me.  And then I made her take it off.  This dress will be a special dress!!  Maybe the first day of school outfit??

A view of the Jump Rope Dress from all angles:

I love this dress so much.  I'm definitely going to make another one soon I hope.  Also, if you are thinking of buying the pattern and making one, the sizing is true to size.  Grace is a 4T, and I made the 4 pattern, and it's a perfect fit.

And now I must get back to birthday prep.  Grace's 4th birthday is on Thursday, and I've promised her a brown party.  Brown is for chocolate and she loves the stuff.  Here are my decorations so far.

I have a LONG way to go.  I've used this tutorial to help make the tissue pompoms.  I only have like 10 more to make and I need at least the same number of brown circles.  The celebration is going to be a family thing, but Grace has talked about her brown party for so long, so I had to do something!  It going to be a busy next couple of nights.  I also need to make a birthday outfit before the big day.  I've definitely got my work cut out for me!!

Now presenting the highly anticipated...

Oh this was a labor of love.  I mean that not because anything was particularly hard, but rather the whole thing was just kind of time consuming.  There was a collar, a placket (that still needs buttons but I can't remember how to make my machine do those), two sleeves, two pockets, 4 belt loops, and all the finishings.

Sleeves with cuffs and buttons

Not the average pocket

I was at first intimidated by Oliver and S's rating of 3 out of 4 scissors for level of difficulty on this pattern.  However, I'm pretty positive that is more for the amount of time that you had to spend than anything else.  I've never used an Oliver and S pattern before, but I will for sure buy another pattern from them in the future.  It was so well written, and really there was never a moment when I felt like there wasn't enough information given for me to complete the dress.

I used a Blake Riley fabric from the line Rainy Days and Mondays.  I love this fabric, but adding a second fabric for the inside of the placket and the sash could have made this dress even more smashing.

I hope to get a picture of my little model in this dress tomorrow, so come back for an update.

P.S. - This pattern was time consuming, but I got sick this last week, and that is why it might appear to have taken me a week to sew this dress.  Realistically it is a two night sewing project.  You could feasible cut the pattern and fabric and get the dress started one night, and then finish it up the next.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm back!

We spent a couple of days in the High Sierras.  It was beautiful, but the entire car ride home (7 hours) I couldn't stop thinking about what my first sewing project was going to be after being gone for what feels like forever.

The Jump Rope Dress it is!!  I traced and cut the pattern out last night as well as the fabric I'm using to make the dress.  With any luck it will be done in the next day or two.

I'm hoping I'll start sewing it tonight, but I just took some Advil because my head and throat hurts, and I'm feeling a little achy.  Hopefully the meds will kick in and I'll get my second wind!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

College Advice

ONE - Don't study too hard.  You wouldn't want to miss out on some fun because you were in the library.

TWO - Ice cream is its own food group.  Eat lots of it.  Preferably with friends instead of studying at the library.

THREE - I'm all out of advice at this wee hour of the morning.  Sorry.

The pillows are finished and ready to adorn a college dorm twin bed. 

I opted for rick rack instead of a fabric flower.  In the end, it all came down to time, and adding rick rack was like 1000 times faster than hand sewing 3 fabric flowers.  While the rick rack was a time saver, I have to say I really like it.  I'd be happy to have one of these decorating my dorm room.

I'm going to be out of town again for a couple of days.  The Italian's parents has reserved some rustic cabins in the mountains for us.  Wish me luck roughing it with my little ones.

When I return I promise to make the Jump Rope Dress (!!), and I also have an idea brewing in my brain for a new window treatment for my sewing space.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Trying to make a comeback.

This really isn't that big of a comeback, and I feel kind of lame posting an unfinished project, but I'm moving slowly these days.  I've been adjusting back to life in CA, and since being home I've fallen asleep for the night on the couch two times.

Today was Sunday, so after church I made a nice lunch and then just let everyone do whatever they wanted to do.  I, of course, ended up in my sewing room.  I work with Young Women at church and for a graduation gift for our Senior girls I'm making them personalized pillows.  I had them help me select their fabric, hence the Alexander Henry Regent Skull fabric.

I like this rectangle pillow, so I copied the style.  This pillow is for a married couple though, and I can't decide if the teenager girl pillows need a little something more.  Do I add a fabric flower??

The purple flower is just an example.  I'd make a flower that coordinates with the colors of each of the pillow, and I'm not sure I'd do felt.  I'm just not sure.  The Italian gave me Tim Gunn advice - keep it simple, have an editing eye - NO flower.  He says it's too much.

I'm hoping I can find the answer to my big dilemma in my dreams tonight.  Or maybe someone out there reading this has some great insight for me???
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