Saturday, December 17, 2011

Party Dress in Action!

Well, I knew I would finish this dress in time, but didn't realize that I would be sewing it up until 30 minutes before our Christmas party!  I ran into a couple snags, but I love how it turned out.

And the open back has to be my favorite part!  It is a sexy surprise and I think it's a great contrast for the conservative front of the dress.  I was terrified of cutting into the beautiful silk, but it came out great.  Another modification I made to the Burda 7494 pattern was completely redrafting the back.  I should have listened to the other reviews about the box pleats in the back, but I didn't.  And I looked ridiculous.  I ended up following the advice of Julia Bobbin on about sewing the pleats all the way down, thus creating another seam.  I gradually tapered the seam so that I took in about 2 3/4 inches at each side of the top and about 1 inch on the bottom.  And the dress fit like a glove.   Here are some close up details.
 I added a button for the closure at the top of my cut out.  For the cut out I just traced the outline of a bowl on a piece of paper and used it as my cutting guide for the dress and lining.  I made sure that the circle wasn't too big that it would run into the seams of the dress.
 Here are the two new seams in the back.
And the peter pan collar is one of my favorite details.

We had such a fun night, and I loved being able to dress up.  The last time I wore a dress and heels was my sister's wedding in June, so needless to say, it was about time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Party Dress Progress!

Aaaahhhh!!!  I'm so excited about this dress, I can hardly contain myself!!!  So, my husband's work Christmas party in this Friday and I just had to take a break from my little business and make time to sew up a dress.  I know this is going to sound dramatic, but I literally agonized over the style and design!  Then I started over-thinking and was planning on Frankenstein-ing 3 patterns together to create the dress. But that didn't work out.  I'll talk more about that in a later post...

Anyway, so I wandered into JoAnn's (oh, by the way, if there is ever a time you can't find me, look in the fabric might be slow-developing addiction) and Burda patterns were on sale.  BURDA, people!  This never happens.  And low and behold, I found THE perfect pattern in Burda Style 7494.  With a modification, of course:)

I fell in love with the peter pan collar and the tulip skit, but it needed a little boost of "swag," shall we say.  So I decided to take my shears and cut a large circle out of the back of my expensive silk shantung and I think it's going to be perfect.  Mind you, these pictures are just of the bodice and it still needs to be pressed.

And, yes, the lining is almost the best part:)  So I'm getting my hair cut and colored tonight and then I'm going to try to finish it afterwards!!!  I cannot wait.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wearing my Summer Wardrobe in Winter

I love making cute summer dresses, skirts, and tops, but when the cold weather rolls around, I have to get creative so that I can wear my summer stuff in the winter.  I made this top over the summer using McCall's 6325 and just had to find a way to wear it yesterday in the cold weather.  I decided to pair it will a jewel-toned cardigan and dark wash jeans so that it was less summery-looking.  I call this my "love-birds top" because the print is made up of kissing birds and hearts:)

I love all the options in this pattern and I'm definitely going to make it again.  It comes with cup sizes which makes the top so much easier to fit.  Sadly, the cup size is a bit droopy on me because I made this top while I was still nursing and I have shrunk significantly, so all the more reason to make it again with a better fit!!

Happy Sunday, and I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Better Than Your Average T-Shirt

I made this shirt a couple months ago and thought I should post some pics.  I love the idea of a t-shirt having a little sass to it, so I though McCall's 6435 was a perfect pattern to experiment with.  I chose View A and then made it sleeveless.
I found some t-shirt knit in the Value Fabric section at Hancock's for $1.99 and thought it would be perfect for this shirt.  And, voila!

I did all this without a serger, too.  See, you don't need all the fancy stuff to do knits!  Just the right sharp needle and a little patience.  I love the way it came out and I'm definitely going to make a couple more in different colors.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Random Thoughts

I am a religious reader of several sewing and fashion blogs and I can across the most wonderful post today on The Elegant Bohemian.  So I just had to share!  She talks about perfume and "signature scents" throughout the years, and it really got me thinking.  I mean, I really love perfume, and I love to smell good, so why do I always save it for a special occasion???  I mean, let's face it.  I have 3 little girls, 4 and under, and perfume is not something I think about every day.  Now, make-up, on the other hand, is something I don't often leave the house without.  Sure, there are days when I skip putting on my "face," but then I feel naked all day.  So why should I skip perfume??

Wait a second!!!!  I think I have a New Year's Resolution!  I'm going to try to put on a little perfume from now on.  Even busy housewives in sweats and high ponytails deserve to smell special, am I right?  What's your "signature scent?"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Simplicity 2626

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to share with you some details on the pattern I used for the aprons I made for my craft fair.  I have so many apron patterns, so I was looking for one that was quick and easy so that I could make several of them.  I finally settled on Simplicity 2626 with a couple alterations to the pattern.  I chose View B and then modified a bit from there.
First, I knew that I wanted to line the apron.  I feel like a lining would give the apron a nice weight and feel.  Lining always makes a garment feel richer!  Then I decided to do away with most of the bias tape trim.  Each apron would use 2 packages, and I just didn't have the time to be messing with all that!  So I just used the bias tape on the neck line for the ties.  I think it came out really nice and I could make two aprons from one package of bias tape.  And since the apron was lined, the edges were finished.  Take a look!


I used 100% cotton quilting fabric from JoAnn's that I thought was just so pretty.  And I got so many compliments on the fact that the aprons were reversible.

Okay, all for now, so go and enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Second Business Event!

So today was my second business promotion event, but really my first craft fair.  And lemme tell you...I'm pooped.  But let's be honest here.  The reason I am so tired is because I completely underestimated how much time I needed to prepare for this fair!  I believe I signed up the beginning of November, so that gave me around 4 weeks to get ready...I know, I know, I'm nuts!  And let my lesson learned be yours as well!  Sure, at first four weeks may sound like a good amount of time, but there's something called LIFE that tends to throw curve balls along the way.  BUT!!!!!  In the end, I really had a great time today!  I got to meet a lot of people, hear some feedback about my items, and that in itself made the lack of sleep worthwhile.

I had so many plans!  I said to myself, "Self, let's do it big!  Let's make aprons!  And oven mits!  And kid's ponchos!  And girl's jumpers!  And...and...

Okay, you get the picture.  So what did I end up making, really?  I made a bunch of aprons, girl's jumpers, and some adorable little tissue covers.  And you know what?  That was pretty decent presentation in itself!  See for yourself:

And, as you can see on the right of my table, I brought a rack of all my custom pieces.  My business is primarily custom garments so I wanted to display my more intricate work as well.  This one lady came up to me and saw an asymmetrical t-shirt I made, asked me how much, and then said, "Okay, I'll take it!"  Doh!  Then I told her the clothing was for display and she could order one if she liked.  But, honestly, I don't know if I will hear from her!  I totally get the "instant gratification" thing, because I'm all about that, but that was my shirt that I had worn several times and I couldn't sell her a used shirt.  Sigh...well, here is to hoping she emails me and orders this shirt that she really went ga-ga over.

Anyway, here's to me!  Lessons learned and all:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pea Coat for my Sweet Pea

So here in California it hardly goes below 45 degrees, so it is pretty easy to make a warm winter coat for my kids without having to invest in goose down or heavy lining!  I chose McCall's 5743 for my oldest.

The jacket pattern is unlined, so I lined it with flannel, and the outer is a charcoal fleece. As you can see, I also used bigger button and spaced them out more.

It is warm enough for our California winter, and my daughter can button it herself with the large buttons!  Success!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back From Vacation!

What a great family vacation we had.  It was just what the doctor ordered and just in the nick of time to prevent me from short circuiting!  We took the girls and drove up to Tacoma, WA for the week to visit my husband's brother and his family.  The drive was loooong (11 hours) but the girls slept the whole way up because we drove all night.
Don't they look sweet?  Oh, and thank goodness for our dvd player on the way home!

So here is my latest and greatest project that I just completed tonight.  It is a messenger bag turned into a camera bag and I think it came out beautifully.  I used McCall's 5824 and made a few modifications here and there and then self-drafted the padded insert to hold the camera and lenses.

Above is the padded insert that is made to hold the camera and lenses and then I made another little pad to separate each item within the pouch.

I looooove the purple and contrasting pattern.  I used a plum denim for the outer and a quilting cotton for the lining and contrasting flap.  It is interfaced with fusible fleece, which gives the bag such a nice feel and weight.  I'm dropping it off tomorrow, so I hope my client loves it as much as I do!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post!  I made my daughter a new winter coat...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Phew!!!  I can't believe I actually finished the girl's dresses on time!  I've been so busy with completing other orders that my children's costumes went by the wayside until the last minute.

 Here is the BEYOND time consuming Rapunzel hair, but I must say, it looks FABULOUS.  I am really proud of this project.  I used Simplicity 2065 for the hair.  But, without this review on Kadiddlehopper's blog, I would have been pulling my hair out! (Pun intended).  The pattern's bottom braid length measurement was okay (I made it a little shorter for my 3 year old), but the round braid on top was waaaaaaay off!  The pattern asked you to cut the yarn to 18", but I ended up needing 28" strips!  And it juuuuust fit!  And my daughter has a small head!  Oh, boy.  But, like I said, I was saved a lot of headaches from the review.  Then after I was done, I just hot-glued the flowers on.  And my daughter loved it:)

The dress pattern was a very simplified version of McCall's 5731.  I liked it better than the Simplicity version.
It came together well, but the gathering of the skirt took a while, but it came out beautifully.  If I ever make this again, I want to use the looooong sleeves.  I just used one layer of the shorter sleeve cuff for my daughter's dress.

As for my oldest, she just fell in love with this hot pink satin and wanted a dress out of that, so I used Simplicity 2569 to make her fairy princess dress.

I didn't make the overlay as poofy as the pattern, but looking back, I wish I would have.  But she loved the dress and that is what is important.

Overall, it was a successful Halloween, and at 8:28PM, this momma is ready for bed.  *yawn*