Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Around noon today I decided that Grace and George need Easter quilts.  You know because that's a totally normal thought to have.  Around 10 p.m. I started cutting all the necessary quilt pieces.  You know all 192 pieces.  I think that's right.  It's way too late and I just had to do regrouping addition in my head, so that could be off a little.  Anyway, we are headed to the in-laws for Easter, so I thought this would be a good project to bring with me.

Then after I had cut out all the quilt squares, I decided that I needed to finish the second Schoolhouse Tunic that I started a couple of days ago.  I mean who likes to go out of town and come home to an unfinished project?!?  That would be simply crazy.  The first Schoolhouse Tunic I made will be worn as a dress with cute heals or flats.  I added 2 inches (approximately) to the length because modest is the hottest.

I totally used to be a model.  Can't you tell?!?

However, the second tunic I sewed tonight is the length of the tunic dress pattern.  This loud and beautiful tunic will be worn with black leggings and some hot pink flats.  I have the leggings.  I'm working on the flats.  I have the vision in my head of what it should look like, so hopefully somewhere out there I'll find the flats of my dreams.

This picture doesn't do the tunic justice, but it's late and dark.  Please forgive me.

For now I must go and dream.  I have workers coming in like 5 hours.  Night night!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

To the Bay Area, With Love.

Dear  Liz,

I hope the burning eye syndrome has gone away after a night or two of good sleep.  Your tunic would surely make the lack of sleep all worth it.  It's so cute. 

After I finished cutting out all 480 pieces of my quilt commission, and after sewing the 96 blocks, it appears I needed a bit of a break from the quilt project.

Of course, it is just now that I begin to get very excited about the quilt project because I can really start to see it coming together.  But after doing all the before mentioned work, you sort of feel like you should be more than 1/3 of the way through the project! 

By Saturday I needed a bit of a diversion.  We had a birthday party to attend, so a quick apron was sewn together.  Which got me started sewing bright and early in the morning.

And then from there, I got the idea that I wanted to use the remaining bits I had left of some Heather Bailey Pop Garden fabric and make another Bo Peep Skirt, from the Seams to Me Book, by Anna Maria Horner.  (Have I mentioned how much I love this book??  I think I've made more projects out of this book, than any of the other sewing books I have.  AND, she has another book coming out this spring!)

Right after I dropped the girls off at the party, I rushed home to start cutting it out.  As is mentioned in the instructions, it's just a bunch of rectangles sewn together.  But honestly, I can't imagine a funner way to sew together rectangles.  And why haven't I made another one of these skirts sooner?  It's so easy (although, it doesn't seem like it would be.  It seems like it might take forever) once the cutting is done, the skirt actually comes together rather quickly. 

Am I allowed to say that I think the ladies looked smashing in their Bo Peep Skirts today?!  Well, I said it.  At first Darin made the mistake of asking if Ruby got dresses herself.  He didn't totally understand the vision.  But once he saw the two girls together, he realized how very out voted he was!  They were like an explosion of color, in a good way (I hope).

I'll call that my intermission from quilt assembly.  Let's see if the quilt top can't get pieces together before the end of the week.  Or should I sew Easter dresses?  Only time will tell...


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Burning Eye Syndrome

This occurs when you stay to 1:30 a.m. sewing a Schoolhouse Tunic or sewing anything for that matter.

I just have to hem the sleeves and the skirt.  The skirt is a little short, but I'll make the hem really small.  You'll see.  I'll have a better picture with out the vacuum and laundry basket in the background.  I'm excited about the way it's turned out so far.  The fabric is part of Amy Butler's Daisy Chain collection.

For now I must go to sleep to cure my burning eyes!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Madness on Maple!

I've been sewing like mad for the past couple of days.  I asked the Italian if I could sew last night, and he said, "You sew every night." I got worried he would ask me to close up shop.  Then he said, "Why would I care if you sew tonight?"  That is true love!

I started the madness on Thursday (I think?) with the Sweet Little Dress pattern.  It is one of the first patterns that I bought, and it is super simple.  I believe there are only 10 steps to the dress and there are only 4 pieces of fabric to cut.  Grace might be too old for this pattern after this summer, so you will probably see this pattern several more times. 

I changed the sleeves this time. Sorry, I don't have a picture of what they should look like, so just refer to the link to the pattern.

The Sweet Little Dress looks so sweet!!  I love it.

After I made the Sweet Little Dress, I felt like I needed a folklore bag from The One Yard Wonder's book.  I made one a little while ago, and I knew when I sent the bag off to my friend, that I needed one for myself.  I chose my all time fabric Anna Maria Horner fabric.  I have 6 yards of this fabric hanging on my front windows for me to stare at all day long.  Now I can take the fabric with me when I'm on the go!

After my tote, came a banner for our friend.  I used this fabric banner tutorial!!  You should try it.  It's especially easy and quick when the name you are spelling is only 4 letters long!

Another felt fabric hair clip came next and was given away with some delicious rice krispie bars.

Then I had to make a quick birthday gift for a friend.  These patchwork dish towels are a dream to make.  This tutorial made it on our Tried and True Tutorial list because it is so easy!  I didn't time myself, but I'd be willing to bet I made both of these towels in about an hour.  The white dish towels came from Wal-Mart.

The last project I have to share took up the better part of my Sunday afternoon and evening.  This Thursday my Relief Society is having a Humanitarian night and needed help sewing quilts to tie at our event.  I signed up having never made a quilt this large.  Let's just say this quilt doesn't look like much, but there was a LOT of TIME that went into it.  The quilt was only supposed to be two 90 inch sheets sewn together, but the sheets shrunk considerably in the wash.  I added some of my own fabric and some of the extra length of the sheets to make the perfect size square. 

Up next??  My Schoolhouse Tunic.  The pattern came and the pieces are cut.  The fabric has arrived and is washed and pressed.  Maybe I'll get lucky and the Italian won't mind if I sew again tomorrow night!
Tootles for now!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Done well before Easter!

I am now in possession of the happiest girl you've ever met. And that, my friends, is the magic that comes along with the hobby of sewing.  The simplest thing, can make your little people so very, very happy.  She's been wanting a chef hat for a quite some time.  I've been looking at the tutorials online for quite some time too.  But then, last night it all came to a blow when she was heart broken that I wouldn't buy her a gazillion new Barbies.  I know, I'm so mean.  But through her tears, I told her, if she would stop crying about Barbies, I would put all other sewing projects aside, and finally make her her longed for hat.

The tears dried instantly.  Fabrics were selected and arranged.  I fell asleep on the couch before I could get to it, but this morning, I made it up to her by teaching her how to iron, and letting her stand by my side the whole time.

She picked out the props herself, and was more than happy to pose for this picture.  And don't you know, as soon as she showed her siblings her new hat, I had two more orders placed.  All this before 11am on a Sunday morning. 

Guess what, it's so easy to make a chef's hat.  And what a relief, seeing as I have more to make.  In the end I went with the tutorial by Joanna at Stardustshoes blog  (which incidentally also has a great tutorial for little baby cloth shoes. You should make those too, I've made them a handful of time.  Delightful each time!).  I followed the tutorial exactly.  My only complaint, I didn't like drafting my own cicle.  But I couldn't find anything in my house big enough to make a 20" circle.  But that's a minor annoyance.  Once everything was cut out, the whole thing was done in about 45 minutes.  Of course, I had a helper, so it might take you a bit longer :) 

I treasure these times in life when happiness is secured over the simplest things. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where is the time going...

It almost feels like it's been months since I've posted here.  And it certainly feels like I should have more to show for myself than I do.  But that's just the way life goes sometimes, isn't it?! 

Here's a another Toddler Pinafore Smock Top.  This is currently my favorite gift to make for the 5 and under crowd.  Paired with a matching little tote, what more could a little birthday girl hope for?!  Of course we fill the tote with chocolate, just so she knows how much we love her!

Pattern is from One Yard Wonders.  Fabric is from the Alexander Henry Collection 2005, called "starling".  It's a really sweet print.  I've been holding on to it for a while now, just waiting for a special project to suit it. 

Although I can't really explain where the time has gone between now and February 20th when this project was first conceived, I'm glad none the less that it's complete.  Let no one accuse me of not fully appreciating the gift of fabric!  Of course, you know what Ruby wanted me to make with it?   A chef's hat (it's just so random the stuff that she comes up for me to make for her)!    Anyway, I've promised her, I'll still make one.  At my current pace, she'll maybe have it by Easter. 

So, that's it.  That's all I have to show for myself.   Sunday will be lovely.  I can't wait to see the girls side-by-side in these frocks! 

I have a few more projects in the works.  Including lots of ideas about the spring and summer dress collection we need.  I hope my energy will return when spring decides to show up. 

Good night. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Milkmaid Skirt

As promised I have skirts to share tonight. With sick kids on the couch and inside all day long, I just kept coming in and out of my sewing room working on my Milkmaid Skirts.

I think I need to redo my measurements and pattern for this skirt. My first attempt was the Michael Miller Carnival Bloom skirt. I felt like the pockets were too big.

My next attempt I used Robert Kaufman's Sugar and Spice. I have very little of this fabric left, so I was trying to not make any mistakes. Some how the waist ended up smaller than the first one, but I was able to remedy the pockets looking too large.

I'll probably attempt this skirt again. It's really a simple skirt to make. I'm just not sure I like my measurements. I think I would add at least an inch to my front panel pattern piece. Maybe I'll change my mind once I see it on Grace, but for now it just looks a little on the small side to me.
BUT, my Schoolhouse Tunic pattern arrived in the mail today. That might need to be my next sewing project.

Maybe tomorrow I get Grace all dressed up in a new skirt and we can go find some cows to milk or at least see how her new skirts fit!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Emmeline Apron

Raise your hand if you are going to buy yourself the School House Tunic Pattern!?! Mine is already on the way. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will get here in time for me to sew myself a tunic for church Sunday morning.

I second Annee's praises for Meg of Sew Liberated. I bought her Emmeline Apron pattern two Christmases ago, and I've made it half a dozen times at least. The pattern is well-written and easy to understand. Every time I make it I'm reminded of why I think it is such a beautiful apron, but I'm also reminded that it is a labor of love because you are essentially making two aprons.

Here's the Emmeline Apron I made over the past couple of days. The only major modification I make on my apron is the width of the band beneath the bodice. I make it 2 or 3 inches wider than the pattern says.
Sorry my pictures aren't the greatest. The Italian is on a business trip and he's my personal photographer. I was forced to learn the timer on my new camera, and the results were less than awesome.

I'm a little slower than Annee. I'm starting to think she really does have a sweatshop set up over there in Korea! This apron was made many months ago, but it is my all time favorite Emmeline Apron that I've sewn. I *heart* Anna Maria Horner. It's made entirely from her fabrics.

Maybe another reason why I can't keep up with Annee is that I've been eating too many of these.

Try them. They are delicious.

'Til tomorrow friends! I have sick children on antibiotics who by my orders will be doing NOTHING tomorrow, so I have high hopes of making this skirt!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Schoolhouse Tunic, shirt version.

I need to hurry and sew something for my girls, or for my house, so I can quit being the main subject of my show-and-tells.  Here's the shirt version of the tunic.  I really liked wearing it today.  It's super comfy, and I think cute.  I'm surprised how unembarrassed I felt about wearing something that I made myself.  Maybe because I really don't think it looks too "homemade".  I shouldn't be embarrassed.  I know I'm just silly like that. 

And yep, that's the elevator behind me.  I keep my full length mirror in the public hallway, right in front of the elevator.  You know, one last glance before the doors shut, etc.   (wink, wink)

My fabric is from Amy Butler's Daisy Chain line.  Maybe Liz can elaborate for me (can you Liz?).  She used it recently as well.

Also, the pattern says you need more than two yards, I sewed this is in the size 6/8 and I used less than two yards.  Just FYI.  I would definitely buy two yards to make the shirt, but you'll have some nice, big pieces of scrapes left over. 

Okay, until I make a third one, I think I'm done talking about the Schoolhouse Tunic.  It's a great pattern!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Schoolhouse Tunic, etc.

I thought of something to make with the latest Riley Blake fabrics!  I've made this pattern before, but only once.  And every time one of the Ladies wears the jumper, I've thought to myself that I should make more.  Finally inspired by this new fabric, I pulled the pattern back out, and set up my own Cottage Industry sweatshop.  The rule was, I could not move on to the next step, until I had completed the previous step on BOTH dresses!  I knew I wanted two complete dresses by the end of my endevors, but sometimes it's just too boring to completely finish one dress, only to have to start all the way over on the second.

Guess what, it's still boring sewing two of the exact same thing this way too, but by following my rules (I'm so strict sometimes), I had two darling jumpers for Sunday, and that wasn't boring at all!

McCall's pattern 5694


I can endorse this pattern 100%.  It gives me very little to complain about.  The instructions are clear, and even come with a few helpful illustrations.  Who can resist a pattern that doesn't call for any notions?!


My only caution, this is the size 4, with two inches of added length!  My girls usually wear a size 6 at Gymboree.  I think that means this pattern runs large?  I could have probably sewn the size 5, but I like how it's so fitted in the bodice.


Inspired by this unknown piece of fabric that I stumble upon, I even sewed myself something this week.  First of all, I still love the fabric!  That's huge for me.  Often by the time I've made it into something for myself, I get to the end and I've lost the love I once had for the fabric.  But not so with this one.  I LOVE THIS FABRIC!  

At first I thought it was going to be a table cloth.  And to tell you the truth, I've used it as a table cloth twice before I realized I wanted to wear that table cloth!  So for that reason, I felt a little bit like Frolign Maria from the Sound of Music, when she turns her old drapes into clothes for the children. 

Secondly, this is the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern by Sew Liberated.  I endorse it 100% as well!  I have long been a fan of the Emmeline apron.  Liz and I have each sewn it several times.  The Emmeline pattern is perfection.  And I think the designs that come from Meg of Sew Liberated are truly lovely.  So, I confidently bought the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern a while ago, waiting less confidently for the courage to wear one of my own creations.  After seeing this fabric neatly folded in my fabric stacks, inspiration hit, and I thought, "I would wear that as a Tunic!"  
The rest is sewing history.

Thirdly, I really, really, really hate posing for pictures of myself in something that I've made.  I've been trying all day long to find a shot that I wouldn't be too embarrassed to post.  These ones only barely pass.  

I thought the addition of the ruffle band on the sleeve, in the contrasting border color was just the  finishing touch I was looking for.  Maybe I made it two inches too short?  Other than that, the pattern is once again amazing.  The pieces fit together perfectly.  The instructions never once left me in tears.  Once I had everything cut out, I think I had my first version complete (photos of that one on a later date) in very close to two hours.   And best of all, I've made two already, and can think of making at least one more.  The options really are endless. 

And yeah, all three of us in homemade clothes for church on Sunday does leave me feeling ever so slightly like a pioneer.  But I hope I've done my pioneer heritage proud by kicking up the fashion a few notches.

P.S.  Isn't that awesome that Ruby is patting my belly as if she is reminding me, "don't forget to suck it in Mama!" 

P.P.S.  I offered to make Henry and George ties out of the Riley Blake fabric.  Can you believe they turned me down?!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mama Edition

A couple weeks ago a kind reader passed along a link for an elastic waistband skirt tutorial for a little girl. A couple of days later Freshly Picked posted a tutorial for the same skirt but for a Mama. Being a mama and a girl, I'm always wanting a new addition to the wardrobe, and The Elastic Waistband Skirt - Mama Edition Tutorial had my brain going crazy on Tuesday.

I used a 3 inch elastic waistband instead of a 2 inch. I felt it would be more flattering on my mama curves. While this tutorial is extremely simple, sewing the elastic to the skirt is tricky. Real tricky. You have to stretch the elastic and sew all at the same time. The line of my stitches along the waistband is so crooked, but once the elastic gathered up the material you can't tell my line is not straight.

My fabric, which was also used on the back of my Thursday pillow, is a Brandon Mably Flora print. Also, the bow shirt I'm wearing is from Anthropologie and is the orginal inspiration for our profile shot on the top of our sidebar. Stay tune for a Bow Shirt Tutorial!!

Lastly I had two baby showers to go to today, so I made Strawberry onesies and burp clothes. The strawberry pattern is courtesy of The Handmade Dress. I found a strawberry ribbon in my stash to tie up the onesies and burp clothes. So sweet!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Rock Star!

On Friday I had a baby shower to attend.  But the mom is super hip, so no ordinary outfit would do for her first little girl!  While I was slightly nervous that a precious newborn wouldn't want to sport a skull outfit, once I saw it all put together I thought it was perfect!

With the addition of the cuddly blanket (in case she's scared of the skulls??), this new mom was thrilled to death (ha!ha!) about her baby rock star outfit.  Perhaps in the near future I should throw up the proportions for making this super easy tiered skirt.  Spring is just around the corner, we should all have closets full of tiered skirts, don't you agree?!

Baby shower gift, checked off the list!

Thanks for the tutorial, Banner Queen, it came just in time for another friends' birthday. 

This pillow has been on my to-make list ever since Liz sent me the link.  Thanks for letting me copy you Liz!  I will give a follow up report on how well felt flowers hold up under the traffic of four children...and, that was my last pillow in the grand living room overhaul.  It's taken me nearly 8 months to recover all nine pillows (!!), but the end results have all been worth it.  Now, how long until I decide to cycle back through remaking them?

Speaking of spring, look what I found this week at Happy Quilt...

This is from Riley Blake Designs, and apparently hot off the presses!  Now I'm rather distracted with what it should become.  Any ideas??  Happy Almost Spring!
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