Archive for December 2013

Last Minute 2013 Sewing...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I have been a busy bee the last couple of days.  I wanted to finish up some projects that I had promised for 2013.  My sweet niece, Carmen, always talks about her aunt who is going to make her a pair of pajama pants and a matching pair for her American Girl doll.  Well, I did it yesterday!

Pajama Pants

It all came together nicely since my fabric shop had a sale on flannel (I sort of went crazy for pj bottoms) and I used free patterns!  For super simple pajama bottoms for children, Create Kids Couture has a pattern called Taylor's Pajama Pants, sizes 12 months to 8!  They have many fabulous clothes, tutorials, and patterns.

Taylor's Pajama Pants is versatile, easy, and I have used this pattern over and over again.  If your fabric is prepped, this pattern comes together in a jiff.  In fact, it comes together so quickly I didn't stop at one pj bottom.  I made one for my son and had previously made two for my friend's children for Christmas.  I really love this pattern.

In my haste, I accidently cut the pattern upside down on my son's Star Wars flannel.  He didn't seem to mind.  He said, "It's ok.  When I look down at my pants, they will be looking at me!"

Pants for Dolls

What really was a difficult was making clothes for dolls!  Oh my, oh my -- I realized after I had made pants for an 18" doll that those who sew doll clothes have a healthy supply of patience.  I, on the other hand, do not possess this.

The free pattern I found was from Milo Mila.   The fabric amount is minimal (Go figure!) and the hardest part was dealing with the smallness of everything.  If you are in need of doll patterns, this is the place to go.

Free Pants Pattern 
Image via Milo Mila

By no means were my doll pj pants perfect, but I think my niece will be excited to have a matching outfit!

 Oh Heavens -- The Laurel Disaster

I figured since I was on a roll -- well, why not make a top for New Year's Eve.  I have been wanting to make Colette's Laurel top version for a while.  I even had the pattern cut and ready to go.  I dove right in yesterday with some fabric in my stash.

Everything was going so smoothly.   This should have been my clue that this experiment was headed for disaster.  I used the pattern size 0 since that is what I used in my Sorbetto top and failed Peony.   I didn't even do a muslin because, well, why would I?  Zero fit before.

Ummm, I must have gained a ton of weight over the last week or this pattern runs small (I am guessing it is the latter).  I sewed the sucker up and when I went to try it on, I could barely get the thing over my head.  And when I did, I wouldn't want to ever have a picture of that!  It took a lot of wiggling and my help from my husband.

I lowered the neckline so it had more of a scoop shape and added 2 inches to the length.  But my ill-fated try-on revealed a gap in the back.   At least I used up some of stash...

Sooooo, I am going to quickly bind the neckline and hem this to send it to my niece for dress-up.  I'll probably cut a size 4 pattern next and take in where needed.  I will also have to fix the gap at the back by adjusting fit through the shoulders.  

Happy New Year!

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2014 Sewing Resolutions

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gillian at Crafting-a-Rainbow had the great idea of urging sewing-bloggers to share their Top 5 Hits, Misses, Reflections, Inspiration, and Goals of 2013.  I have read lots of amazing posts and know that many bloggers are starting with their hits or misses.  Off the top of my head, I can think of one garment that I have worn over and over again so I figured it best to start with my goals for 2014.  

Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2014.

1.  Participate in The Monthly Stitch.  I know this will be a challenge.  It seems that between my work (I am a college professor and also a 1/2 time admin which means semesters tend to be a tad busy!), spring soccer, and the hubby's work, balancing sewing and blogging are a difficult.  Look at what happened during the Fall 2013 semester -- I did not come up for air until winter break!  I could never do a weekly challenge but a month...well, I will make an effort to work on that.  Plus it is nice having other sewing enthusiasts to cheer you on....

2. Make a Cape.  The cape bug bit me and now I want one.  Bad.

3.  Conquer my fear of sewing with knits.  The stretch, the special stitches, everyone's own unique technique -- ah, knits frighten me.  It is ironic because my first sewing project was a knit T-Shirt as a pre-teen and if my mom could teach me that, well, it gives me confidence to try on my own.  I bought some lovely knit fabrics and they are waiting to be used.   First up is Megan Nielsen's Briar.    Then if I am adventurous and I can find the right fabric: The Bombshell Swimsuit.

4.   Make a pair of pants.  It seems silly but a dress is rather forgiving if your fit is not perfect.  But a pair of pants...that means you could travel down a highway of fashion follies and not to mention that you could make your bottom look incredible bad.  It also means getting real about your waist size and hip size.  For me, that means learning to perfect pattern grading as my waist and hips always fall between two pattern sizes.

5.   Sew something for my husband.  I sew for myself.  I sew for my son.  I even sew for others but so far I have not made anything for my husband (I sound like a bad wife).  I keep telling him I will make pajamas for him but I think he has given up.  I need to restore his faith and make him something fabulous.

Here is to the 2014 experiments!

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Winter Dress

Friday, December 27, 2013

I would never call my style vintage.  I have a hodge-podge collection of clothes that make me smile whether it is an old t-shirt or a sleek dress.  I am not as stylish as Tilly or as awesome as Gertie, but I know what I like.  I will admit that I am drawn to vintage silhouettes -- there is something romantic, beautiful, and womanly.

When the Sew Weekly Reunion ended, I wanted to find a project to use a blue peacock fabric and to fill a hole in my wardrobe.  Since I moved to Louisiana, where it is warm most of the year, I suddenly find myself with a lack of Fall/Winter dresses (rather, clothes!).  I specifically love dresses because in the morning when it is chaotic (I have a six year-old who will soon to be 7 in 2014!), I can throw on a dress with shoes and a touch of mascara and be ready for the day. Whew!  That sounds like some silly marketing tagline.  It is true because if I have to match some separates then I will linger in my closet, contemplate outfit ideas, try on outfits, throw them on the bed, and generally waste time.

In the spirit of vintage dress patterns, I began to make Vogue 8615 in September.


Ooohhh, September was soooo long ago -- sorry for the delay.  I had the bodice sewn together in the fall and over the last week I have been sewing the skirt panels and finishing the dress.  All final touches were done yesterday.  It was all very last minute: inserting the zipper and hemming.  I wanted to complete the dress so that I could wear it to dinner at Restaurant CottonMy wonderful friend had a birthday celebration last night (She is the gorgeous gal in the maroon cowl neck sweater!).

I used a size 10 pattern and there are obvious goof-ups (You can see how the bodice is loose fitting in the above picture).  I should have started with a 8 at the bust and graded up to a 10 at the waist. Overall, I am happy with the result.  I would call this a wearable muslin.  I used Gertie's method to narrow hem a circle skirt which means that my dress form came in quite handy.

I lined the bodice and opted not to line the skirt but when I do this all over again, I will line the skirt and not the bodice.  I also used an exposed zipper in a very different color for contrast.  The construction and the directions of the pattern were very straightforward.

 I did get tulle so maybe I will make an underskirt to add some flounce.

The dress and the birthday celebration were a success! 

It is a shame that my husband did not get more of my fabulous pink shoes in these photos!

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The semester is over.  Finally. 

It was hectic and I am very sad to admit that I accomplished no sewing projects.  It was hard to find time between work demands and being a mom.  My New Year's resolution is to sew a project each month.

My poor Singer has been lonely.   No sewing but within the last month, I have gotten a little crafty.  For a Saturday project after Thanksgiving, my son and I made an advent wreath.  We headed to Hobby Lobby with the intent of finding an actual evergreen wreath and corresponding candles, but when we got there, my son found a red platter and round candles.  We improvised with details like sparkly jewels and evergreen to lay around the candles. 

I do find the holiday season invigorating.  I have sung in a choir holiday concert, watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and baked an obscene amount of cookies.  

To reboot and get inspired, I have planned Christmas presents for family and that means serious sewing time when I can fit it in.  My husband (and my Singer!) can attest that I enjoy sewing and it feels really good to be back sewing.

Here is a preview of a few things:

I am excited because I am starting on my first entry for the Monthly Stitch.   I mentioned above about my New Year's resolution and I think this is the perfect motivation.  I had joined the collective in September but, alas, have not gotten around to sewing or posting.

The Monthly Stitch

My local fabric shop had a massive sale and I grabbed black tulle.  The theme this month is 'Party!'.  I plan on making a tulle skirt with a red silk belt for the holiday season.   I also plan on finishing the dress I was working on in September. Hopefully, I find the time -- the holidays can be so busy!

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