Saturday, November 27, 2010

A little bitty sewing project.

Ever since I got the latest Anna Maria Horner sewing book, these pants have been on the "to do" list.  First obstacle, no baby to sew for.  Lucky for me, that doesn't stay the case for very long in my family!  There is almost always a new baby in the works :) 

I picked up a yard of this precious Japanese print when I was in Korea.  Japanese fabric has been all the rage for a while.  I wasn't sure I understood why.  But when I saw this bolt, I kind of understood.  And the longer I have had this piece in the stash, the more meaningful it becomes. 

Funnest part about these pants?  The little insert on the back side.  It gives you just one more chance to pick another favorite fabric to use. 

The giraffe was too cute not to notice, amidst all the other quintessential Japanese details,

So I made a matching giraffe shirt!  Perfect. 

Did I mention the pants are reversible?!  They are.  Thereby doubling the wardrobe options for your miniature person.  If only I had a little model. I hope this outfit greets the newest member of our family with all kinds of handmade love. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A certain little girl at our house had a big Thanksgiving performance at school today.  She was to be dressed up in a brown paper sack vest, as a Native American.  We had a good time making the brown paper bag vest, but somehow, I just couldn't leave it at that.  I just felt the vest needed a cute tiered skirt to go with it:

The skirt was inspired by the 1/2 yard piece of Alexander Henry apples and pear fabric that I've been hanging onto in the stash for well over a year or two!  The super jumbo ric rac was such a fun addition to the hem.  I picked that up at the 1/2 price ribbon sale at Hobby Lobby while in Arizona.  I have to say, the part I am most "thankful" for is when a project comes together entirely with material and stuff had on hand.  Nothing additional needed to be purchased!  Even I am a little impressed when I can pull a skirt like this out of the fabric stash (starting at 10pm!). 

In case you have a little girl who wears a size 6, I'd be happy to pass along my dimensions for the three rectangles that I used for this skirt, just leave me a comment if you want my numbers.  If you don't have a soon-to-be 6 year old for whom you'd like to make a skirt and still want to make one, THIS remains my favorite tiered skirt tutorial and method of construction.  I don't have to figured out the math anymore, and I do think there might be more straight forward ways of getting the dimensions (remember you can always round up or down to simply).  But, I do know that when I have gone through the numbers carefully with my waist measurments, I have been happy with the fit and fullness of the final skirt product. 

Hope that helps.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The latest, but probably not the greatest...

I promised Liz that I'd have a sewing update by the end of the weekend.  I'm even a little impressed myself that it's not 10pm yet, and here I am.  but I'm not impressed with my pictures this time around.  And were I totally crazy, I'd wait to make this post, and re-take pictures in better lighting.  But did you know that it's Thanksgiving this week??  That means, it's time to be looking forwards, not backwards.  Here's what I made, even though the pictures are lame (not the model, just the pictures!):

Another Go-To Dress, but without the elastic empire waist. 

I tried a new applique technique this time around.  This is called a reverse applique.  I found a helpful tutorial HERE.

This is what it looks like inside the dress: 

So, you sew it to the dress on the inside, and then you cut the fabric away on the outside of the dress.  It was fun to try something new. 

 Speaking of trying new things, I made a pair of leggings to go with the dress:

I thought the green waist band was a cute addition.  I used the legging pattern from Lil Blue Boo, HERE.

The pattern was great.  I was worried about sizing.  I sewed the size 7/8.  My girls are almost 6, but we're definitely on the tall side.  As you can see, these leggings are none too big.  And Ruby was complaining about the fit as the day wore on.  I saw her a few times trying to pull them up.  So I'm not entierly satisfied wtih them yet.  But, I have a few ideas for improving the fit, and I'm sure I'm going to try to make them again.  They came together so quickly, that before I added the ruffle at the bottom, I was about to say it was the best pattern in the world!  Then I added the ruffle, and it kind of ruined the process for me.  I'm not sure that the ruffle was worth it.  I kind of hate the ruffle, but I'm trying to ignore that detail.  Hard to do though, they're so ruffly, and in-your-face!  Next time...(also, I kind of hate the green, also trying to ignore that.  Anyway, it doesn't have to be anyone's favorite anything.  It was just to get me warmed up and sewing again!)

So that's my big "come back" outfit.  It works like a charm every time, whenever I worry that perhaps my sewing days have come and gone, I always seem to get inspired by my little ladies.  Then suddenly I want to sew a whole closet full of clothes, all over again.  I hope I'm back for a while. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dinner for 2

As you heard earlier this week, I met up with Annee in LA for her little sister's wedding.  I didn't have a chance to make a wedding gift before I left, but I believe etiquette says I have a full year after someone gets married to give them a wedding present.  While that gives me lots of time to make a wedding gift, I decided to not procrastinate.

Last night I set up my computer so I could sew AND watch Grey's Anatomy.  Annee's sister, Rachel, likes to cook, so I made her and her husband two placemats.  I figure Rachel can make a romantic dinner for two and use my placemats to help set the table.

I patterned my placemats after the Picket Fence Pillows I've made, and all the fabric I used is from the designer Riley Blake.  Well, all the fabric expect the brown pin dot on the front side of the placemats (JoAnn's) and the fabric on the back.  The back fabric is Vera Bradley.  Vera Bradley isn't selling her fabrics, but the fabric is made in Korea, so on my trip earlier this year I picked up some of her fabrics.  Shhh!  Don't tell Vera!

So here's to romantic, home cooked, newlywed meals for 2!!  Congratulations Rachel and Ken!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Market Skirt

The night before I left for LA, I had a Girl's Night In and invited two girlfriends over to sew the Market Skirt.  They both know how to sew, so we set up our machines at my dining room table and took turns at my serger.  It  was so fun to sew and chat and eat chocolate and feel productive as well as social!  Lamely I didn't snap one single picture of our sweet sewing set up!  Next time!

Here's the fruit of my labor.  I bought the owl shirt on sale at Target.  I probably picked up that shirt 2 or 3 different times while in Target, but I wasn't sure I had anything in my sewing stash to match it.  Finally when I went to the clothing display and there was only one owl shirt left in Grace's size, I decided to risk the $3.96.  I'd say the fabric I chose goes well enough.

My all time favorite part of the outfit...the brown cowgirl boots!

I'm hoping to make it to my sewing room to do something other than laundry soon.  But, I have discovered Grey's Anatomy, and I paid for a Hulu Plus subscription, so I can watch ALL 7 seasons on my computer without going to Blockbusters or mailing DVDs back and forth to Netflix.  Grey's Anatomy has pretty much taken over my life these days.  Maybe tomorrow night I'll settle down and give sewing a chance.  I mean I do have a wedding present to make, some birthday gifts to sew, and a quilt to try.  I have things to sew, but I also have surgeries and love stories to follow!!

For now I'm debating whether or not I should start another Grey's Anatomy episode before I fall asleep!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everyone should have a friend like Liz.

When Liz got married almost six years ago this November ( or was it December?  It was freezing!  That much I am sure of.) I was mightily pregnant with twins!  Mightily.  The twins were later born in February.  But I wanted to be helpful to Liz on her special day.  I pleaded with her to give me a job, any job!  Just let me help in some small way, contribute to the magic of her wedding day. 

She finally thought of something for me to do.  Move her suitcase from one hotel to the other.  I like to think I performed my duties in such a way that only a best-friend could.  My heart was in that job!

Six years later, Liz heard that there would be a family wedding in Los Angeles, and she decided to show up and be helpful at every turn!  At one point she had a baby strapped to her front, and about ten other little ones trailing behind her with markers and coloring books in hand.  I'm just saying, there is very little, if anything at all, that Liz isn't capable of doing.  I feel like my meager job of suitcase transporting was hardly sufficient to warrant all the jobs she did for me and my family this past weekend.  But what can you do?!  When you are best friends with Liz, you have to accept the fact that she will out-serve you at every turn.  I'll forever be indebted. 

It was such a treat to see you this weekend in L.A. Liz!  Thanks for making the trip.  

We even managed to rendez-vous on Maple Avenue (how ironic!), in Los Angeles and meet up at the Michael Levine fabric warehouse store.  We had a grand time walking up and down isles.  Watching the mega purchases of fellow seamstresses.  But we were both trigger shy as we reminisced about the fabric prices of Korea.  When we crossed the street and went to the Lavine loft where you make your fabric purchase based on weight, our wallets were both a bit freer.  All in all, Korea is impossible to top in the fabric arena.  But being in that particular part of downtown LA was in all other aspects so remarkably similar to being in Korea, that one of my little boys said to me, "Mom, it's like we pushed a transporter button and we are in Korea again." 

I couldn't have agreed more.

My only crafty contribution over the last several weeks was sewing up this collection of bowties.  I went with the Sunday Best Bowtie pattern purchased on Etsy.  I wanted an authentically tied bowtie for my sister's uber elegant wedding.  Thank goodness I have a brother who actually loves to wear bowties, and consequently was an expert bowtie-tier. 

The weekend before the L.A. wedding, we were in Phoenix for another sister's wedding!  Two weddings in six days has had me out of the sewing room for what feels like months!  Let's hope now that we are back, and life will return to "normal", that there might be something special finding itself made out in the sewing garage soon!  Fingers crossed. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We'll be out of our sewing rooms.

My Sew Sister has a very busy week which included 2 big weddings, sew she's a little preoccupied.  I'll be joining her later this week, and we're crossing our fingers and holding onto hope that we'll get to visit a fashion/fabric district together while we're in the same town.  I'd kill to find a warehouse like this

Happy Quilt, somewhere in S. Korea

and I'd love it even more if we found fabric at Happy Quilt pricing.  Some days I think my trip to S. Korea wasn't nearly long enough, but now I'm getting sidetracked.

Sew, I might not be sewing for a little while.  Unless I find some extra time between doing laundry, cleaning the house, packing, and possibly searching for a new dress to wear to the wedding, MOM might be a little quiet.  

Tootles for now!  Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Teeny Tiny Post

This skirt speaks for itself.  Maybe you can't tell by the picture I'm including, but it will fit a 6 month old.  When's the last time you held a 6 month old??  They are teeny and so is this skirt.  Like Annee did a few weeks ago, I used Handmade By Jill's tutorial.  This was a very easy skirt to make and the tutorial is perfect.  I did add a little extra width and length to my skirt.  I bought a 6 month onesie to go with it, and the dimensions that Jill gave weren't wide enough, so I added a little extra.  I also added some length, because the baby who will wear this, well, let's just say I think her mom is almost a foot taller than me.  The little baby is going to be tall.  I'm all most positive!

Night night form the West Coast!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Tired!!

I've been feeling extra tired the past week, so I put myself to bed early which means I wasn't able to sew anything.  This starts to stress me out after a couple of days, but when I sat down to finally sew something last night I had a moment or two (or 30) of sewing block.  I looked through my patterns, online tutorial skirt links, and I really thought that I was going to make Grace something to wear last night.  But, I just wasn't feeling it.

And that's when I decided to step out of the sewing room/laundry room.  I really thought I wasn't going to sew last night.  And then I started to take down all 2 of my Halloween decorations, and put up some Thanksgiving decorations.

My Fall Table Runner.  See our *Tried and True Tutorials* on the sidebar for a link to the tutorial.

My *Give Thanks* banner.

I put up a couple of other store bought decorations, and that's when it hit me.  I knew what I wanted to make.

A few weeks ago, I saw this fall party garland.  Gorgeous, huh?  I knew I wasn't going to be able to top it especially since hand sewing all my leaves together could never be an option for me!!  I don't have the patience and my hands would be crippled by the end.

Sew, last night I decided I'd make my own version.  Maybe not as cute, but slightly easier and I'll even share the template.  I was a little sad when Emily of Ravenhill didn't share a pattern for her leaves.  That's the hardest part in my mind.  So go HERE and print out your Fall Party Garland leaves template if you are like me and need a little help with the leave patterns!

I made this party garland the same way I made the Halloween Party Garland.  First I cut out a ton of leaves.

Then I sewed them together, and then hung it up!  It's that easy.  The only thing I think I would have done different is how I sewed the leaves together.  I think it would have been interesting to add some dimension and overlap the leaves as I sewed them together.  I had this thought half way through sewing my garland together, and I wasn't in the mood to undo what I'd done and I knew I'd need more leaves.   Maybe next year??

 That's all for tonight.  Maybe I'll go and sew something else.  Or maybe I'll be in bed at 9 p.m. sharp like I told my Sew Sister I would be!!!
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