Sunday, January 29, 2012

McCall's 6206

I've always needed more basics in my wardrobe.  You know, those classic pieces that I can pair with lots of outfits and that will withstand the changes in fashion.  I knew that I needed a blazer-type jacket and I finally got around to making one.  I fell in love with the peplum style of McCall's 6206 and finally found a great wool tweed to use.

The first thing I have to say about this jacket is, holy pleats!!!!  You can see a good shot of them on the shoulder of the lining.  Each shoulder had 6 pleats, but they gave the shoulder such a beautiful shape!  Not only is this my first blazer, but it is also my first time using shoulder pads.  The pattern called for 1/2" pads and bought the raglan style.  I made this jacket in an 8 and it has the most beautiful fit!  It is a bit snug in the waist, so I decided to put buttons on each side instead of functioning button holes.  There are a couple reasons I did this.  The first is because as I just mentioned, if I buttoned this jacket, it would be very snug.  The second reason is that I couldn't imagine trying to put button holes in this beautiful jacket and messing it up!  I'm not experienced with bound button holes and didn't want to chance it with my button hole maker on my machine.  Plus, I have a very basic machine and I knew the button holes would not come out nice.  (Just waiting on our tax return to get my new machine!!!  EEEEEEEEEE!!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

WIP Peplum Jacket and McCall's 6312

So I made this McCall's 6312 for my oldest in an effort to make her more excited to go to church:)
Me: "Carmella, aren't you excited to go to church??"
Carmella (in the whiniest voice): "Mooooom, I don't want to go to churrrrrrch!"
Me: Do you want to wear the new dress that I made for you????
Carmella: Yay! Okay, Mom, let's go to church.

See?  Who said bribery is bad for kids?  This is a summer dress because I made it over the summer and am just getting around to posting it.

I used a beautiful blue cotton from JoAnn's.  I think I had it in my stash for year before I found the perfect use for it.  I love this pattern and how interesting the criss cross is in the front.  It took some trial and error with the fit in the front because the dress ended up being a little too big, so I had to adjust the criss cross and then put a couple tucks in the back.  This dress does not fit right if it's too big.  But, it is definitely an interesting pattern has some cute variations.  The view B on the envelope that you see has a removable belt (which I chose not to do).

Are you waiting to see the finished Stella dress from Violette Field Threads???  Umm....well, I caught a case of sewing ADD and moved to a different project.  All I have to do is hem the three dresses, but that is so BORING.  I can't tell you how many times I have moved on from a project when I only have 30 minutes of work left on it.

Anyway, I thought I would share some pics of peplum jacket that has stolen my time.  I found this fabric a couple months ago and didn't know which pattern I wanted to use, but finally settled on McCall's 6026.  I tried to find some reviews on PatternReview, but nothing came up.  I knew I wanted it very fitted and tight, so I just looked at the finished measurements and cut an 8.

Here's a little sneaky peek!!!  I really hope to finish it this weekend.

One more thought and a question for you...can someone please tell me what purpose do these pleats near the elbow serve??

This is my first jacket, so I have never seen these and I'm thrown as to what they do.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Little Sass

My middle daughter is pure "girl."  When she was a baby I used to call her "Queen Jasmine" because she was a very high-maintenance infant.  Even now, she likes to have things just so.  She loves anything pink, anything with ruffles, and only wants to wear dresses and skirts.  I made this little jumper a couple months ago, and although it is obviously a couple sizes too big, she has been begging me to let her wear it and of course, she wanted me to take some pictures.  You can see her sass in this first shot.

(You might notice some orange paint on the front of the dress from her little craft activity today:)

I couldn't believe my luck when I found this fabric at JoAnn's.  It is zebra corduroy!  How friggin' cute is that??  The inside just has a facing, but I wish I would have fully-lined it. I forget what pattern I used, so I will have to get back to you, but I remember it being a super quick project.  It is only two pieces, front and back, has facing like I just mentioned, and then two button holes.  I put on some purple heart-shaped buttons and called it a day!  I believe there is supposed to be a panel on the bottom for contrast and length, but I left it off.  Anyway, it is successful because she loves it and I know she is going to wear this until it wears out:)

I recently purchased another Violette Field Threads pattern for the Stella dress.

I posted about the Vivienne Skirt a couple weeks ago here.  I am actually making 3 Stella dresses,  one for each of my girls and they are coming out so darn cute, I can hardly take it.  Here is a little sneaky peak.

It is a simple one-shoulder dress with a ruffle in front and a gathered skirt.  So simple, yet so beautiful.  If you haven't checked out their patterns, just take a gander.  The patterns are classic and all the instructions are explicit and perfect for beginners.  (Just so you know, they don't even know I exist and I'm not getting anything out of promoting them!  I just really think their patterns are special).

I put in the zipper on the pale pink dress and have to do the same for the other two.  Hopefully I can finish these up tomorrow and post pics of them being modeled!  Well, all for now.  Off to listen the pretty sounds of rain on the gutters.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tahoe and McCall's 6435

I don't want to make you jealous with this post, but I want to say that I had the most amazing weekend at Lake Tahoe!  It was my first girls' weekend in more than 5 years and I savored every minute!  I kissed my three little ones goodbye on Friday afternoon and took the 2 1/2 hour drive with 3 awesome ladies to this cozy cabin in Tahoe City.  We had cocktails, hung out in the hot tub, (yes, a hot tub.  Baller status), and partied at Mont Bleu on Saturday night.  I was waaaay too excited about clubbin' it up, but my dear friend Kary humored me and DD'd so I could relive my early 20's.  Now that's a good friend:)  I will not be posting a picture of myself from the club because when I indulge in adult beverages, my right eyelid gets a little droopy and I look way drunker than I really am.  But, I will share some pics from our gorgeous hike on Saturday morning and some of our cute little house!

 It was such a relaxing time, and I feel like I definitely recharged my "mommy batteries."

I got home on Sunday afternoon, so I was able to finish a couple of projects today, including two more versions of McCall 6435.  The first is for my friend (sorry it took me an extra week, girl!  I will be mailing it tomorrow!), and the second is for me:)  The pink in the first one has this subtle sparkle, which is so cute, and the second top is this pretty heather sage color.

I ended up cutting a size 8 for these second two versions and the fit is perfect!  I love this shirt and I'm not tired of making it yet!  I still have one more version in mind with a navy blue knit with little yellow pineapples all over it.  If you don't have this pattern, get it.  It is quick and so cute.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vivienne by Violette Field Threads

I forget how I came upon this site, but I'm pretty sure it was during an Etsy browse.  And I knew I just had to make this skirt.  It is called Vivienne and the pattern is by Violette Field Threads.  All of their patterns come in PDF and are emailed right to you.  I believe I received it to my inbox the same day I ordered it.  I decided to used a pretty charcoal corduroy that I have been holding onto for a couple months.  I originally was going to make a corduroy skirt for myself, but I knew this fabric would be perfect for this Vivienne skirt.  I then decided to use just simple muslin for the ruffles because it gave the skirt a beautiful rustic feel.

The instructions told me to hem the ruffles by hand, but I just used the narrow hem foot on my machine and it was way easier.

The sizing is spot on with RTW so I made a size 5 for my (almost) 5-year-old.  The back is elastic so I got a perfect fit, and there's room to grown!   I know she will be able to wear this into next winter.  I already have her sister's skirt in a size 4 on the cutting table, ready to go.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help Me Make a Decision!

So, for my birthday, my husband has said he would get me a new sewing machine!!!  I cannot tell you how excited I am, but I can't choose between a couple models.  Let me give you a little background.

I have been sewing on my Brother XL-3750 for almost 3 years now, and it has been a great starter machine.  I believe I paid around $100 for it and it has definitely served it's purpose.  Of course I will still be using it for button holes, small projects, etc, but I am now in the market for a straight-stitch industrial machine.

Now, my dream machine is the Juki DDL-8700:

 Photo from

Here is my problem, though.  We are a military family and are moving in March, and then again a year later.  And the last thing I want to do is to have to take this machine apart twice to move!!!  I just don't want to risk breaking it and umm...PUTTING IT TOGETHER 3 TIMES.

So, I've narrowed down my choices to these two machines:

Juki DL2010Q

Photo from

And Janome 1600P-DBX

Photo from

So now I need your help!!!  What machine do you swear by?  Which one would you choose?

I need a great, reliable machine that will keep an even stitch when I am sewing several layers of fabric.  Those are my bottom lines, so any advice you can give me would be so great!