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Friday, June 13, 2014

What I've been up to

Believe it or not I have been sewing things. I just haven't had the time to take photos and edit photos and write posts, etc. But, here are a couple of things I've been up to

A friend of mine has an adorable little Girl, Cora, who was having 1800's day at school where they were supposed to dress like they were from the 1800's. She bought this adorable turquoise floral cotton and a white muslin and I whipped up a little dress and apron for her. This was her before she went to school that day. I made sure I added a wide enough hem that it can grow with her, since she said she wanted to wear if for next halloween as well. She's adorable.

 And then there was Prom. A good friend of mine has a daughter who just graduated. Back in April (was it April?) It was 3 days from Prom and the dress they had ordered weeks previous had not arrived, and they had no hope of it arriving before Prom night. Dun dun dun da! I magically appeared on the scene with a couple Joann coupons and some sewing machines. Want to know what a house looks like when you have to make a prom dress in a day and a half?


I am not even sure what my family ate during that period of time, But they were great sports. My husband was out of town on business as I recall so it was NETFLIX MARATHON!
But, it turned out pretty good. Emma chose a pink chiffon. She looked lovely. Here are some photos her mom took. 

Sewing is really my only skill... as far as useful things go. So I'm glad I can help other people with it.

But sewing that prom dress I had visions of many many prom dresses to come... I have 3 girls, if they each go to two proms, plus homecoming dances, or things like that, thats 12 formals... Oh my.

Monday, March 17, 2014

This is NOT the End

I have to admit something, I love sewing.

I know, you're thinking "Nuh UH!"

But I don't know if I LOVE blogging, primarily because I feel like I am "supposed to" promote my blog. And said promotion means a lot of time on the computer… or at least more than I'd like. Plus I don't want to be a salesperson. I don't want to have to push my product.

I blog to share. That's it.

And I will continue to share.

But fair warning it might not be as frequent as you might want. for a few reasons.

     #1. I only like to make things when they are useful. And I don't always have a need or use for new 
             things. Making them just for the blog seems wasteful. 

     #2. My husband and I have decided to homeschool our children. Which means a lot less time for    
            sewing and blogging about sewing.

But I will continue to sew and love it, and try to take pictures and share them. I might even do a tutorial every once in a while. :)

This is not the end, just a change in direction.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Girls without all the PINK

Sorry for my absence from the blog. There are two reasons for this:

#1. We are hosting some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I currently don't have a sewing room. it will only last for 2 more months, so maybe i'll get back to my regular schedule by then

#2. I'm conflicted. I don't want to be on the computer all the time and blogging is requiring more computer time than I'd like. I'm considering shutting down the blog, but I'm not there yet.

But I have been sewing! Here is a little project I made a few weeks ago.

I have never considered myself VERY girly.

When I found out my 2nd chid was a girl I was a little disappointed… what am I going to do with a girl?

But I realized this week that I am much more girly than I thought I was…. I just don't like pink. Maybe it's my three girls that have girl-ified me. I don't know.

I still dislike pink.

This week I had a challenge. My husband was going to a baby shower - yes, that's right, I was staying home and my husband was taking my three older children with him to a BABY SHOWER. A colleague of his was having a baby… a girl… but this colleague did not like girly things, he made sure to mention this several times.

I knew three things about her:

She has a lot of tattoos
She loves Star Wars
She likes to punch people.

I'm not sure about that last one.

This is what inspired me:


How to dress a girl without all the PINK: 

1. Focus on comfortable fabrics
2. Use play-friendly styles, with plenty of give and wiggle room.
2. A GIRL CAN WEAR ANY COLOR, and won't look the least bit masculine as long as the style is right.

The difference between boy clothes and girl clothes:

The Cut: girls clothes are just a tad slimmer through the body, or the legs. (and its easy to take in boy clothes to look for feminine without give up comfort or awesome color variation)

The Sleeves: Girl's sleeves are about an inch shorter (depending on size) than boys sleeves. Again, super easy fix if you have a girl who thinks the boys get all the cool clothes

The Color: you very rarely see pink boys clothes, but the colors they do come it are amazing and are as broad as the rainbow. Then how come pink and purple seem to be the only colors for girls clothing (especially in the infant sizes, under 2 years old!) I say, lets give a little more variety to our girls and show them that a sporty or geeky girl is just as girly as a frilly girl. 

This is what I came up with, all for a total gifting budget of $0 (well, it was probably $10, I just already had the fabric):
This was made from a great sweater knit that is as soft as cashmere. No really, it's amazing and I want to make all my pajamas out of it… and my clothes. I thought the yoke and ruffled bodice made it just a smidge girly without being pink and frilly.

For the t-shirt I used a great slub t-shirt that I thrifted. It was in great condition and had a great texture to the fabric, but the style and shape was ridiculous. So I quickly re-made it into an itty-bitty newborn shirt. Then I traced on the words with a sharpie… yep, I'm fancy like that, and I don't have a cutting machine like a silhouette, nor did I have the time to do a freezer paper stencil.  It took me about 20 minutes to trace the letters… praying I wouldn't mess up and ruin the whole thing. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Crown Headband

"You know what my kids need more of? Girly things"

Said no one with 3 girls, Ever.

But I love to please and there are a few things that please my girls: picnics, baking with mom, playing with water when and where they shouldn't, and a new hand made something-or-other to add to their dress up collection.

This crown headband would also make an excellent gift, or a party favor at a birthday bash. Easy, and inexpensive. And I'm going to show you how to make it!

What you need:
  • Gold or silver vinyl fabric. This piece was picked up in the remnant section at Joanns. It's small by their standards, but a little gold vinyl goes a LONG way in my book. :)
  • Iron-on Interfacing
  • Cheap headbands - I'm fairly certain mine came from the Dollar store in a group of 100… just kidding, I think it was 5. 
Step 1: Lay out your really shiny gold fabric and put on your sunglasses. Luckily if you're only making one of these then it won't take too long, but if you're making more, prepare yourself for overexposure to shininess. 

 Step 2: Lay out your headband. Yup, you might need a doctorate degree for this project. It's SOOO complicated.

 Step 3: Bend your headband out just a little, so that the sides make a straight line (rather than slanting in)

 Step 4: Trace that line.

 Step 5: Free-hand the shape of your crown. I marked the center and just went from there.

 Step 6: Cut out your crown. You can fold it in half before you cut so that it is symmetrical.

 Step 7: Cut out your iron on interfacing in the same shape of the crown and iron them together. I made sure not to iron directly on the gold vinyl side - I wasn't sure how it would take the direct heat.

 Step 8: Hot Glue it on to your headband - Sorry I didn't take a picture of that part.

Step 9: Get ready to play dress-up, tea party, or "I'm the princess and you're my kitty cat". Take your pick.

When I wanted to make this for C I searched and searched to find a tutorial for it, but no luck. So I played around with the curve so that the crown stood upright, but still had a nice curve to it. I hope you found this helpful. 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wool and Leather

There are a few types of fabrics that I never purchase at the fabric store because of the insane prices. You know I'm sort of a cheapskate so I would never be caught buying any fabric for $25/yard. 

This is where the thrift store becomes my best friend. I buy things for the fabric, not for the style. Wool, Leather, Linen, Silk, all things to be on the look out for when I head to the local Goodwill. 

This was a wool wrap skirt with leather trim that was actually given to my by a friend (who had thrifted it).  This is a poor picture (we're working on J's photography skills) but it was big and frumpy and thick and not flattering.

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

Now it's a cool wool vest for J! He loves it. I used the leather on the waist and on the pockets. I had never sewn with leather before, but it wasn't too bad to work with. 

Another thing I had never done before: pants. For real, I had never sewn legitimate pants with pockets, and a zipper fly, and belt loops. I learned a lot and it was great fun. I used a thick cotton twill from Joanns. His shirt was thrifted.

Both the vest and pants patterns were self-drafted (thats fancy for "I made them myself")
I know! You want detail shots!

He loves it. He has worn it every day to school AND church. He says it makes him look like an adventurer. I agree. All he needs in a crocodile dundee hat.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Linen and Lace

I recently stumbled upon a new sewing blog that has quickly become a favorite of mine, Lexi Made. She makes the most adorable clothes for her kids and the thing I immediately noticed about her clothing is her fabric choice. It inspired me… What's the point of making something mediocre? I made some sewing goals for the new year:

It's pretty simple really.  I typically sew from my stash - one of these days I will show you what my fabric stash looks like… it's the most bizarre assortment of fabrics that have been given to me over the years. I am a firm believer of using what you have and not wasting. But it's hard to get excited about sewing clothing from a bright yellow John Deer tractor fabric. :) So I've been on the lookout for great knits, rayons, linens, wools, etc.  

Secondly I want to become a better seamstress, a more technically skilled seamstress, and the best way to do that is to stretch myself a little and make things I might not otherwise.

And last, if I'm going to spend money on great fabric, and take the time to learn new skills, I'm going to make it count. I've been spending my evenings filling my sketchbook with designs, ideas, and concepts, and I'm taking the time to do it right, and not take any shortcuts. 
But don't worry, I'll still teach you plenty of shortcuts this year, just in different things.
Enough blabbering - On to some pictures!

Here are some details:

The ikat linen is from Joanns, the lace trim was taken from another skirt that was no longer worn, the green cotton was given to be ages ago by a friend, it's fantastic and gauzy. The lace on the yoke is a doily that I received for my wedding, but I'm not really a doily on the dining table type of girl, but I saved it because it was so beautiful and I knew I would find a use for it some time. And yes, I've been toting it around with me for 10 years and just now got the guts to sew with it. 

There is much more to come. I made clothes for all the kids:

Happy weekend! Hope you're not expecting 6 inches of snow where you are! We're hunkering down and planning of a lot of soup and fresh homemade bread. :)