Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Skirt


I'm here.  I've been sewing a little, and I've made a list of all the things I want to sew, and I'm pretty much going to be busy from now until Christmas and beyond.

*Please note and forgive the background and lighting in my pictures.  I had Grace pose for me literally 5 minutes before she walked out the door for school.  I know I could have done the photo shoot after school, but you just never know if it will happen or not.  Sew I ceased the moment.  At least now you know that I do wash dishes.

One thing that didn't make it to the list was a Halloween skirt for Grace.  I had two cute fabrics, but not enough to make anything out of the two fabrics other than a skirt.  I made it extra long, sew it will last for a couple of years.  You might think I'm kidding.  I'm not.  Grace will only be able to wear it a couple more days this year, so I'm crossing my fingers it lasts for another year or two.  I'll just make an adjustment to the elastic next year, and voila, she has Halloween skirt for another year.

The Candy Corn Shirt has now lasted 2 years I think.  

I haven't made Halloween costumes for my kiddos since Grace was my only kiddo.  I don't know why I'm just not that into sewing for Halloween.  Maybe next year I'll get all creative and go big for Halloween.

However, this year a Halloween skirt is about as good as it's going to get.  Oh, I have made some simple trick-or-treating bags that I need to take pictures of, and then I'll share.

And, I did pull out a box of handmade items I've made, and I found the Halloween costume I made for Grace for her 2nd Halloween when she was the only child.  I made it back before I really knew what I was doing with a sewing machine.  When I get Henry all dressed up in it, I'll share it with you.  I think he'll be pretty darn cute in it.

Off to dreamland.  Good night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Progress Report

Sew this is my Flea Market Fancy quilt.  Or rather, what I've done so far on my Flea Market Fancy quilt.  I laid this all out thinking I had so many wonky stars that I was for sure done making them.  I now think I'm going to make about 20 more.  20!!!  If you've ever made a wonky star, that might make you feel a little queasy.  I mean it will be sew pretty when it's all said and done, but from dreaming up the idea to executing it and finally seeing the finally product, quilting is always a journey.

I'm also thinking, and so far it's just a thought, of trying to back this with minky.  The minky blankets that I made my kids for Christmas last year are some of the most used quilts in the house.  This nice big quilt backed with minky would be the best accessory for curling up on the couch with this winter.  We'll see if the dream becomes a reality.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on the progress.  For now I'm off to cut squares.  Sadly I finished Lost today.  (Flori, I hope you're enjoy it.  I loved it!)  I've got one episode of Flipping Out and Parenthood to keep me company.  Oh, and I guess I could download the book club book for this month and get started.  Hopefully my entertainment options will help motivate me to cut more squares.  Lots and lots of squares!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

KCWC Day 7

Pattern: I shamelessly copied THIS adorable hoodie from Etsy.

Fabric: Circo brand hoodie from Target and felt from JoAnn's.

Sewing:  Sew darn easy.  I made a pattern, cut it out, pinned it to the hoodie and stitched around it.  I think it was the best project for the last day.  Oh, and this is for Henry which means all of my kids got at least one new item this week.  I'd hate for things to be unfair because life is never unfair.  I'll be sure to take a picture of him tomorrow in it.

I'm done friends.  I did it!  I took the challenge, and I managed to sew something every single day for a week.  I have to say I'm pretty happy with myself and all that I did.  It also gives me great hope for my new sewing space.  I was starting to think my new set up just wasn't going to work, but I think I proved to myself that any space will work.  Sure I'd love a big dedicated room or space to sew in, but it's a want not a need.

Now that I'm friends with my new space hopefully we'll spend more time together on a regular basis.  I have lots of ideas, because when you start sewing your mind starts going crazy with all the possibilities of things to make.

Thanks for all the kind compliments this week!  I really appreciated it!!

Good night!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

KCWC Day 6

I probably sewed the least amount today then any other day of KCWC, but today's finished creations are some of my favorite.

My inspiration for both the Bird Skirt and the House Shirt come from Mini Boden.  I love Mini Boden, but I'm not in love with the price tag.  I pinned the Bird Skirt inspiration months ago, and thought for a fraction of the price Boden wanted, I could make my own.  True all of my supplies cost less then what I would have spent, but the detail in their clothing make the price tag completely understandable and realistic.  I would know.  It just took me three days to re-create a knock-off.

For the House Shirt, I first created my mini houses.

Next used Steam-a-seam to adhere the houses to white fabric.  I also did all the detail stitching of the house doors and windows while unattached to the shirt.

I also found a striped shirt at Target for $1.80 to create sleeves for the Bird Shirt.

Lastly, I sewed on the sleeves, and then I stitched all around the outside of the house scene.

Then I recruited my model.

The shirt is a little big, but that just means she can wear it thru the entire fall and winter season.

The shirt and skirt go so nicely together if I do say so myself.

Both of them in action.

I totally love this outfit.

Most likely I won't be buying any Mini Boden any time soon, but next time I browse their catalogue or website I will not cringe at the prices.  It's pretty darn fair if you ask me.

However, I'm a DIYer at heart, so why buy something when you can make it?!

One more day left to the challenge.  Tomorrow is church and then an afternoon social.  I have a simple project that could be completed in an hour should I find an extra hour laying around in my day.  I have to do it.  I mean I made it this far.  Granted I've probably neglected a thing or two in my house, my email inbox has been ignored, and cooking meals hasn't been my strength, but everyone will live.  I WILL sew for an hour tomorrow even if it's from 11 p.m. to midnight.  

Peace out!

Friday, October 12, 2012

KCWC Day 5

I thought today was the last day of the challenge, but turns out I have two more.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad.  It's the weekend, and I'd love to sew my heart out, but my kids might not be sew understanding.

Today I finished the Birdie Skirt.  I'll do a full photo shoot and reveal tomorrow, but above is the appliquéd shirt I'm working on to go with it.  It might be a bit much, but I'm going for it.

It's early and I could keep sewing, but I'm sew tired from a long week and busy day.  Tomorrow I'll be back at it.  After finishing the shirt above, I need to figure out what's next!?!  It's either a pair of pants for George or appliquéd hoodie for Henry.  I'll keep you posted.


KCWC Day 4

I'm too tired to say much.

One picture and just the basics.

Pattern: I was going to do a Lazy Day Skirt, but decided to follow the same pattern I used for the Ring Around the Rosie Skirt.  The design is Mini Boden inspired.

Fabric:  Jean fabric with stretch.  I bought it at the Michael Levine Loft this summer.  It was $2/lb.  I think I paid $4 for 3 yds.  The cotton prints are all from Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy.  One day, I pray sooner rather than later, I will reveal the quilt I've been working on for months with this fabric.

Sewing:  Those little birdies took me FOREVER to cut out and sew around.  Then at the last minute I switched from a Lazy Day Skirt to a Flat Front Gathered Skirt.  My gathering technique on my serger wouldn't gather the skirt material because it's too thick.  That means it will be gathered by hand.  At midnight I decided that meant the skirt wasn't going to be finished tonight.  I'd be sad, but I'm too tired to care right now.

Lights out.  I'll sew on tomorrow...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

KCWC Day 3

Today started off a huge high.  Grace was thrilled with her new outfit.  I believe she said something like, "Mama, it's more beautiful then my princess outfits."  Then she spent entire too long staring at herself in the mirror, and told me, "I just can't stop staring at myself because I look so beautiful in my new outfit."  It totally made my day.

The skirt is adorable, and after seeing it in action on my model, I have a feeling I might make another one of these some day.  It's such a cute design, and it's full and good to twirl in which little girls like.

Also, one other thing I forgot to mention yesterday about sewing the Ring Around the Rosie Skirt was how I gathered it.  I used THIS method.  It's the second time I've used it, and it worked perfectly.  This will definitely be my go-to method in the future.  If you have the Brother 1034 serger, try THIS!  It won't disappoint.

Sew, I had a fabulous photo shoot, and that was sadly kind of the end of the sewing high I'd been on for the past couple of days.

Today I attempted to make leggings.  Sounds simple enough, right?!  I thought it would be a totally easy day.  However, I underestimated leggings.  Totally underestimated them.

Pattern and Sewing:  I started off thinking I'd use the Make It, Love It legging tutorial.  Her tutorial required drafting your own pattern.  I drafted a pattern, but I accidentally cut two right legs.  It was tragic, and kind of took the wind out of my sails.  The saddest part was that I used my CUTE, GOOD knit to tryout my drafted pattern, and tragically I didn't have enough fabric to make a new leg.

I managed to *convert* one of the legs to a lefty, and sewed up the leggings, so I could see if the pattern was going to work.  My mini model let me know they were too tight.  Total bummer.  I'm thinking I should have started with the Lil Blue Boo pattern that I have.  No use crying over spilled milk.

I did make a couple of adjustments to my pattern and made another pair of plain red ones tonight.  Grace has a hard time falling asleep, so I had her come and try them on for me, and they worked.  Sew, I guess the pattern I drafted wasn't entire a waste.

Fabric:  Annee kindly sent me the red flower knit for my birthday.  It was the only actual present, besides money, that I got for my birthday this year.  It was special knit.  Boo hoo it didn't work!  The plain red fabric I used has been in my stash for a couple of years.  I bought it at the Michael Levine Loft in the LA fashion district.  It cost $2/lb.  I think it worked better then the red flower fabric, because it has more stretch to it.  There's a wide variety of knits out there.  The plain red I had definitely makes for better leggings.  However, I still have one more cute knit print that I could make leggings out of.  It just might happen.

Lastly, I had to make a little something for Georgie.  I was going to do a reverse appliqué, but after all the experimenting on the leggings, I was done trying out a new technique and/or pattern.  I'm not sad.  This shirt is totally cute.

Two more days.  I'm feeling kind of tired, but I'm not giving up!  I can do this!

P.S. - There's HAS to be a faster way of uploading pictures to blogger.  It's SO slow.  It's killing me!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KCWC Day 2

Day 2 is done, quite a bit earlier than yesterday, and I'm just as happy with my end results.

Before I show you my Day 2 project though, I had a photo shoot after school with my mini model.  

It's such a simple dress, but so lovely at the same time.  I love the simple details as well.  Like the knife pleats.  Who knew they'd be so smashing?!

Grace was a little hesitant at first that the dress is a wrap around style, and I most likely won't be sending her to school in this little number, but there is no worry for exposure.  There's plenty of overlapping in the back panels.

Overall, I'm so happy with the Paper Fan Dress. Thank you, Anna Maria Horner!  As always, I'm in love.

Now for today's rundown...

Pattern:  I was going to make a simple 3 tiered gather skirt.  Then I sadly realized that that fabric I'd selected was about a 1/4 to 1/2 yard too little to make all three tiers.  Sad.  However, I then remembered the cute color block skirt that Annee made for sister's wedding.  Adrianna of Crafterhours created the look first and then very kindly wrote out instructions for Annee to make her own.  I surfed my way around the web until I found Adrianna's post and detailed comment on how to make my very own color blocked skirt.  If you've sewn a skirt or two before, I bet you could figure it out with Adrianna's instructions.  The design is unique in that the skirt is gathered, but the waistband has a flat front.  There is an elastic back sew your little one can get in and out of it, but the flat front gives a more polished look.  Dare I say it looks a little more professionally sewn and maybe not handmade?!  Not that there's anything wrong with handmade!

Fabric:  It's from Aneela Hoey's Little Apples line.  I'm in love with the quaint details of the children playing.  I'll call this skirt the Ring Around the Rosie Skirt because of the little kids all holding hands.  The red fabric is from the same line as well.  I bought this fabric at Michael Levine's in LA.  There was so much fabric in that store, and I must have had my hand on 20 different bolts.  I loved this fabric, but I didn't know what I was going to make with it, so I only got 1/2 yd of each.  I totally should have gotten a yard of each.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

Sewing:  Friends, I was on fire today!  I had a ton of house work to do today, but I made a list like Santa does, got it all done, and put my head down and kept on sewing until I had a skirt AND as a bonus a coordinating shirt.  It was the perfect storm tonight.  It all came together sew well.

Tomorrow I've got 4 items on my TTS list.  Two leggings and appliqué two shirts.  Nothing too complex, but I'm toying with the idea of throwing in a pair of Sandbox Pants for George.  I think there are only like 10 steps in the pattern which is unheard of in most of the Oliver & S patterns.  I wonder what the catch is.  I'll let you know should I take on trying to sew them tomorrow.

Tootles for now!

Monday, October 8, 2012

KCWC Day 1

Just a stroke or two before midnight, and I'm signing in for my share and show for the night.  I'm going to follow Elsie Marley's simple blogging suggestion and just give you the basic rundown:  pattern, fabric, and sewing.  That way I can go and get all the beauty rest I need to sew some more tomorrow.  And clean the bathroom, do some laundry, errands, oh, and I have three kiddos, but making time for sewing will happen!

Scene from today:

Awesome sewing space.  I kept giving myself the Tim Gunn pep talk all day, "Make it work!"

Also, just know that since it's "real time" over here, I don't have day light hours to take pictures with.  My bright white bathroom is as good as it gets.  Maybe I'll get lucky and do a photo shoot tomorrow.

The Pattern:  It's Anna Maria Horner's Paper Fan Dress pattern.  It's free and you can find it HERE.  Anna Maria created this pattern for Janome. As always I learned a couple of new things from Anna like under stitching (I had to YouTube it) and knife pleats.  I'm also always in awe and maybe frustration (when I can't figure out how to do it) of how she hides all her seams.  I have a serger, so my first instinct is to serge my seams and be done.  I'm sure I could have used my serger, and maybe I will in the future, but where's the challenge in taking the easy way out!

Knife pleats on the back of the dress.

The Fabric:  The little birdies come from a line called Heaven and Helsinki by Michael Miller.  I bought it this past summer.  And the pin dot is also a Michael Miller print.  I've had it for over 3 years now?  Or maybe just 2.  I'm not sure.  It's in the stash.  I love the pin dot, but it's been a hard color to match, but I thought it complimented the Heaven and Helsinki perfectly.

The Sewing:  Let's just say my sewing skills felt rusty today.  I mean I know I know how to sew, but it's been a couple of months since I read a pattern.  I felt like it showed today.  I'm still not sure I finished the bodice and skirt correctly (pictured below), but it's function, and you can't see any seams.  Sew, I'm calling it good.  I also intentionally chose what I thought would be the hardest project for today in case I needed to take more than one day to finish it.  I'm proud to say I finished at 10:15.  Not too bad.  I'm hoping the skirt I have on the agenda for tomorrow goes quicker, but who knows.

That's a wrap for today!

Fingers crossed tomorrow is as productive as today was!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

KCWC - Are you in?

I didn't realize that Elsie Marley did a fall time Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  Maybe it's new this year?  I'm not sure.  Anyway, over the past couple of weeks on Pinterest I've seen lots of good inspiration coming from the KCWC Community board, and I thought nothing about it until Friday (or maybe Saturday).  I followed a link back to Elsie Marley's blog and realized that the week long challenge was this Monday through Friday. (10/8 - 10/12)

Then my wheels started turning.  I haven't been overly productive with my sewing, but maybe this would be a good way to jumpstart my creative juices.  Not to mention I have lots of ideas of things I've been wanting to make, but nothing motivating me sew them.  I'm hopeful this week long challenge will be the motivation I need.

Sew, last night I sketched out a game plan for my week.  I'm hoping to make at least one item a day.  I'm not doing anything too challenging.  No Oliver & S dresses this week.  I tried to make my plan realistic.  I know an item a day sounds like a lot, but simple leggings shouldn't take too long, right?! I'm also going to spend some time tonight drafting a pattern and cutting out some fabric.  With any luck, I'll even be able to sew a little during the day during nap time.  Sounds dreamy.  With my game plan and early prep, I should totally be able to do this.  (So long as my kids cooperate, I get my chores done during the day time hours, and I don't need to go to bed can be so complicated as an adult!)

Pardon my seriously poor drawing skills.  This lame sketch sheet is what I'll be working towards.  I also 
 grand ideas of doing a share and show every day.  A daily progress report if you will.  I might not have the greatest pictures, but some accountability for me hopefully will be helpful.

Wish me luck, and if your feeling up to a challenge, come sew along!
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