My New favorite, The Super Sweet Ileana Dress!

Ileana Dress

When Marte from Compagnie M asked me to test her new pattern, I was all over it. I knew I didn’t have much time because of the whole sewing competition, but I’ve tested for her a few times now and I just love her patterns, they are so sweet! When I saw the style of this particular dress, though, I was so excited and knew I had to make room in my schedule! The Ileana Dress is AWESOME.

Ileana Dress

The Ileana dress is a vintage style pattern with a fully lined fitted bodice with an invisible zipper closure combined with a full or half circular skirt. You can choose between a raglan or regular bodice, three pockets, four collar and three faux button placket options. If you have her other patterns the Louisa dress, the Mara blouse or the Lotta dress you can mix and match all the sleeves and skirts and pockets. One of the pattern testers did the math and figured there were over 896 unique combinations that could be sewn with just this pattern!! Crazy!!

Ileana Dress

But the fact that you can have either a raglan bodice or a regular bodice really means you are getting 2 very different dress patterns in one, which is amazing.

Ileana Dress

When I first tested the pattern, we realized the bodice was a bit too big (Marte adjusted the pattern around so it is great now! This is why testing is so important, to make sure everything is perfect!) So I sewed another dress with the new dimensions while in New Jersey with my family. I didn’t want to be cooped up in the house sewing, so I brought the machine outside and hung out with everyone and watched the kiddos swim. Sewing outside is AWESOME!

Ileana Dress

Millie’s measurements put her at a size 5, but she is very tall so I cut the dress at a length for size 7. This is one of the reasons I love sewing! Most people don’t fit into just one size all around, you can mix and match and customize to whoever you are sewing for to make it absolutely perfect.

Ileana Dress

Millie’s new smile- she lost her first TWO teeth last week!!

With this version, I sewed up a very stripped down and simple version of the dress. Regular bodice, no sleeves. I left out the button placket, used the sweet rounded peter pan collar, and did a full circle skirt. This pattern comes together surprisingly quickly!! I traced the pattern, cut it out and sewed it all in just one afternoon! With distractions!

Ileana Dress

Millie picked this fabric out and when I finished it she was SO HAPPY and put it on immediately. She is a huge fan of fancy dresses and this dress is no exception. That red makes it look SO formal, I love it! The full circle skirt makes it super twirly and fun, and what little girl doesn’t like to twirl her skirt around? Love it.

Ileana Dress

The hem of the skirt is finished with bias tape, which I find to be SO MUCH EASIER than trying to press up and hem the vast circumference of the circle. It also makes it look very clean and nice:)

Ileana Dress

I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of Millie at the bay beach down the road from my parent’s shore house. The sun was setting and it was so gorgeous out there! She didn’t want to get in the water anyway so wearing a dress was totally perfect. I love how wearing this pretty little number didn’t stop her from playing in the sand. I was laughing at how funny the setting was, I feel like this dress should be worn to a wedding or something, lol!

Ileana Dress

Honestly, I feel like I’m always searching around for a dress like this and Marte nailed it. I’ll be making many more of these, I’m quite sure it will be a go to pattern for me since it is such a classic style with so many different options.

Ileana Dress

There is a 10% discount code that is valid until August 11 if you want to snatch it up in her shop. It is available in both PDF and printed, which is awesome. The code is ILEANA10

Ileana Dress

Even though the original version I sewed is a bit too big, Millie adores it and she has had many compliments on it anyway. I’m going to try to get some photos and blog about it next week :)

Springtail Sundress Happies

Since I’m no longer consumed by the sewing competition, I figured now I have plenty of time to actually blog about some things I’ve sewn but never got around to taking photos and sharing them! I know I’ve only been sharing things I’ve made for myself recently, but I do still sew for the kids and here is proof!

Springtail Sundress

A few months ago, Rachael from Imagine Gnats asked me to test a new pattern, the Springtail Sundress. I was really excited because the dress is ADORABLE and exactly the kind of thing Millie would want to wear. It is a sweet comfortable A line dress with a bodice ruffle and a peek a boo back tied with a bow that can be sewn in either knit or woven, which is awesome.

Springtail Sundress

I chose a Girl Charlee knit, purchased at a local store The Cloth Pocket at $6 a yard,woohoo! This fabric kind of thinks it is a woven because it has almost no stretch, and it was perfect for this pattern. I love love love the pineapples!! So fun and summery :)

Springtail Sundress

I honestly don’t remember too much about the details of making this dress because it was SO LONG AGO and I have been sucking at keeping up with blogging all my things. But testing for Rachael was great, she was so fast and open and receptive to pattern and instruction tweaks. I also know I sewed this up in one morning and part of an afternoon, and that was with some confusion. So I imagine the final pattern to be a really fast and fun sew!

Springtail Sundress

I’m in New Jersey right now and we just got to my parent’s beach house so the kiddos were enjoying throwing all the stale and moldy bread left here to all the seagulls. It is so fun watching my kids get so much excitement and joy from something so fun and simple and I remember having JUST as much fun when I was a kid! There is something magical about having 50 gulls swooping around you trying to eat your food! (until you get pooped on, but that happily didn’t happen today!) I thought it would be a great opportunity to snap some cute pictures :D

Springtail Sundress

Anyways, back to the dress: I sewed up the size 5 and everything fit perfect around her little arms. A line dresses are easy everywhere else! I know you don’t have to finish the hems of knit fabrics because they won’t fray, but I had just purchased a rolled hem foot and I wanted to see how it would work on this fabric. It is so great! It cleans up the edges without bulking them up, I love it!

Springtail Sundress

Mille has worn the dickens out of this dress so far and I’m happy that it isn’t starting to show too bad, lol! She actually just happened to be wearing it when I figured I could actually document it. I figured a dress this good needs to be seen!

Springtail SundressI’m honestly in shock that I haven’t made another one, this is one of my favorites of hers and she gets compliments every single time she wears it. I better get on that before summer is over! 

Womp, Womp

SOSMII2

I got an email last night from the girls of Sew Mama Sew informing me that I would not be making it on to the next round of the Super Online Sewing Match.

Of course, I’m super sad I’m not continuing on, but I’m also very proud of how far I came! I was grouped in with some seriously talented women and I’m honored to have been among them.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I met some awesome people, got introduced to new blogs and learned some invaluable new-to-me sewing techniques.

Marianne Dress SOSM

I was introduced to three patterns I would have never sewn and I now have a blouse, a dress and a bag that I adore to show for it.

SOSM Caravan Tote

I poured my whole heart and soul into that bag and I can honestly say I’m very proud of it and will love using it. But sewing bags is totally foreign to me! I absolutely prefer making clothes!

So I guess now I can get back to being present to my family and not be totally obsessed with this for the rest of the summer! And that is actually great since I’m currently visiting my family in New Jersey and I would be in Colorado for the last round if I had made it that far. Now I can just relax and enjoy myself! I can also get back to all the summer sewing I had in the queue before all this started :D

I’ll be watching the next rounds and good luck to all the remaining girls!!

But for now, my sister and I are going to New York today for some fabric shopping- retail therapy!!

Super Online Sewing Match Round THREE! The Caravan Tote

I can’t even describe how awesome it feels to have been put through into anther round of the Super Online Sewing Match with Sew Mama Sew. From the start of this whole adventure, I knew there would be a bag thrown into the mix somewhere. I was not so much dreading it, but I was a little scared of it!! Bags are not exactly “my bag”, so to say!! I made one or two terrible ones when I first started sewing and decided after those disasters that I should stick with apparel and quilts, lol!

SOSM Caravan Tote

I’m so happy to have been forced to sew the Caravan Tote from Noodlehead though! This was a seriously challenging feat for me, I swear I worked on this bag every single day that we had to make it. I had to stretch my brains in ways I never imagined to figure out how I wanted it to look. I wanted a professional looking bag that I could be proud of, not a cutesy crafty home made looking one like the others I had sewn before.

SOSM Caravan Tote

The whole day we found out what the sewing challenge was, I was freaking out. I was totally out of my element and completely out of ideas on how to make it awesome. But after Jake got home and we were talking about it, the best idea hit me!! Jake is an artist and prints his own photography on canvas to stretch them onto frames every day. I got SOOO EXCITED when I figured I could use one of his art pieces on my bag!!! Hello, he prints on CANVAS! I seriously did a little jig, for the first time I was actually excited to be sewing a purse! I went onto his personal art page for Austin Art Garage and picked the one that I liked the best and would love to wear on a bag. I decided on this sweet bear one, I know that he took the picture of those trees when we were in Portland for a family trip last year. Millie is in the background of the real picture, and if you can believe it, the trees are actually miniature! A bear is Jake’s spirit animal and I think the whole art piece is so sweet and so meaningful to me because it makes me think of my family. I just had to use it :) Jake was awesome and came home the next day with 3 different pieces of canvas, printed exactly to the size I asked for. He had made an extra one just in case I wanted to play around or if I messed up somewhere.

SOSM Caravan Tote

That day I went to 3 different fabric stores (with my poor children in tow) to find the most perfect fabrics for the innards :) I Thought it would be fun to play off the bear and forest theme, so I found some sweet bees (bears love honey! Bees make honey!) to use in the zipper pocket and some cool blue and gold pattern that reminded me of honeycombs for the pocket inside. The main lining is a bunch of interesting bugs. Bug prints make me think of Millie, she is my crazy girl who loves nature and her happy place is my nightmare- bugs crawling all over her skin :O I knew I wanted to frame the picture with some other fabric and I decided keeping it canvas around it would work great. I thought brown would keep with the woodsy vibe and using that color could make me be able to wear this purse with almost any outfit without it clashing.

SOSM Caravan Tote

I was wondering what the heck I was going to use for the handles of the bag, when I remembered all the leather in my parent’s basement that I found last year when I discovered they had been holding on to a friend’s old industrial Juki for the past 25 years. I made my sister send me a huge box full of random leather scraps to play with. Boy did she come through!! I have SO MUCH LEATHER now, woohoo!! And one of the pieces was large and dark brown with gorgeous suede that is so rich and soft, it was definitely the one :) I also used it for the pull tab and added some fringe to the zip.

SOSM Caravan Tote

After I sewed the main pieces together, I decided that I HATED the color of the brown canvas with the art piece. It was such a bland mild poop color brown. I was having heart palpitations about having to do it all over again. The idea of starting from scratch was insane to me, it took me so long to do what I had already done and the thought of all the wasted hours with my ignoring the kids for nothing was getting to me. You see, Jake was out of town this weekend so instead of having lots of time, I just did what I could do while Millie and Quinn watched Frozen fan fiction on youtube. By the way, that stuff is insane. People REALLY want Elsa and Jack Frost to get married.. I kind of recommend it, and also warn against it, your kids will be crazy addicted!

SOSM Caravan Tote

Anyways, instead of starting all over again, I thought I could maybe dye the canvas a nicer deeper brown. So I went and bought a few different colors of Rit dye and tested them on scraps of the canvas. Turns out the brown was AWESOME and so I did something crazy and very carefully painted it on, avoiding the actual bear art part. HOLY MOLY what an amazing difference!!! The deeper brown is exactly what I was looking for and it turned out gorgeous! (Thank goodness!!!)

SOSM Caravan Tote

This is supposed to be a bag for knitters...I don’t knit. So instead of making little slots in the zip pocket for knitting needles, I made them big enough for my personal needs; pens, a notebook, my cellphone. I had no need to add the grommets in the main pocket because I was never going to put a skien of yarn in there, but I thought they looked cool so I put them in there anyway :) 

SOSM Caravan Tote

Since my leather was so soft and kind of thin, I made the straps by following the same instructions as if they were just woven fabric. So they are 4 layers of leather sewn together, much like you would so bias tape. The problem was, trying to imagine how to put the handles on the bag was bothering me. I wasn’t happy with my options. I didn’t like the look of sewing them directly on to the bag, it made it look weird in my imagination. I needed something to break the canvas from the leather. That is when I thought of the genius idea to use some awesome gold hardware :D Gold rectangles hooked from leather pieces make it all mesh together nicely and I love it.

SOSM Caravan Tote

 I was so happy to have my workhorse of a Singer 201 for all the crazy thick layers that were going on. There were parts of the bag that were almost impossible to sew through, and I’m positive that my Pfaff would have said “NO” while seizing up and breaking needles. That being said, even my Singer couldn’t handle 8 layers of leather. She said “HAHAHAHAHAHA You fool!!! NOPE..” I was like *panic* How the heck am I going to get these straps on the bag?? So last minute I went running around the city of Austin trying to find some gold rivets. Crazily, it seemed that silver was the only option, and that was just not going to work. Luckily I found this amazing leather place up north (I live south so it was like 40 minutes away) with ALL SORTS of animal hides, on top of any rivet you could imagine. YAY GOLD RIVETS!! And now I have a daughter who wants a rabbit pelt. But anyways…

SOSM Caravan Tote

I didn’t top stitch anywhere on this bag. The canvas is SO THICK plus all the interfacing. I was worried it would be too much and look weird. There was also the thought that once I sew the art piece with a top stitch, there will be forever holes. I didn’t want to chance it. There was a part of the instructions where you are supposed to sew through all layers of the front piece through the zipper pocket piece. I really didn’t want that to be the only part that was top stitched, so I was trying to figure out WHY that needed to be sewn. Then I realized, OH that way the things in the pocket won’t fall to the bottom of the bag! So I just sewed the pocked pieces instead of all the layers. Problem avoided :) I WAS going to top stitch around the top, but no machine was going to get through all those layers. There are like 12 at the side seams. I tried. Needles broke. I cursed. Then I shrugged my shoulders and said OH WELL. But I really like how the whole thing looks without them so it all worked out :D

SOSM Caravan Tote

The pattern also came with this little pouch, and since Jake had printed 3 pictures for me, I figured I aught to use them all!! So I made this sweet little clutch for myself and backed it with some of the awesome suede. I can’t even handle how awesome adding leather is to bags, it totally brings everything up a few notches! I love it and I’m sure I’ll be using it as my main bag when I go do things without the kids and only need a few items.

SOSM Caravan Tote

I learned SO MUCH putting this bag together and developed a few new skills!! I can now say I’ve sewn leather AND used hardware in a project! SO MUCH HARDWARE lol! Using hammers while sewing is pretty rad! Conquering fears left and right over here!

SOSM Caravan Tote

YIKES I can’t believe I have so much to say about putting a bag together, haha! Honestly, I’m sure I would never ever have put this much effort into something if it weren’t for this challenge and I am so happy with how this turned out!! I’m loving putting so much energy into one piece, it makes me so much more proud of it than I could have imagined :) And it is so perfect, I needed a new purse really bad, I’m still carrying around my nasty stained diaper bag. Now I get to switch everything out and use this one, woohoo!

 SOSM Caravan Tote

This has been such a fun and challenging round :) Head on over to Sew Mama Sew and check out the bags the other girls have sewn!

Super Online Sewing Match Round TWO! The Marianne Dress

Marianne Dress SOSMI was SO happy to have been pushed through onto the second round of the Super Online Sewing Match with Sew Mama Sew! This time around we were given the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. It is a casual and comfortable knit dress, which is awesome because I love sewing with knits! I am already a fan of Christine Haynes, two of my favorite dresses are sewn from her Emery pattern, here and here. So I was pretty excited to try another one of her patterns!

Marianne Dress SOSM

The dress comes with a couple different options, short sleeves with a peter pan collar or 3/4 length sleeves with cuffs and a color blocked top. I thought about what do do with the pattern for a while, and decided that I needed to sew the short sleeves because I live in Texas and I can’t even imagine sleeves right now. The problem was, I ADORE the cuffs on the longer sleeved option! I wanted to incorporate that into my dress so I decided to add it at the hem! While peter pan collars are cute on some people, they are not my personal style so I left them off.

Marianne Dress SOSM

Something funny- We went to South Padre for the July 4th weekend. We left on Thursday, but I didn’t find out until Friday whether or not I made it into the second round. I was freaking out that I would lose 4 whole days of the competition while we were there so I brought my computer and printer, along with my paper cutter and tracing paper! I almost brought my machine and some muslin fabric but Jake flat out refused to let me haha! It worked out well that I didn’t bring it though, as this turned out to be a knit challenge and I wouldn’t have been able to really utilize the machine anyway! I was so happy to have brought the printer though, I managed to figure out what I wanted to do, trace it all out and draft the hem pieces all while on vacation. It helped that I’m an early riser and woke up before everyone else in the house every day so I got to work on it without too much interference :)

Marianne Dress SOSM

My measurements threw me between sizes 10 and 12 and since it is a loose fitting dress, I just cut out the 10. When I sewed up the muslin, the dress seemed huge!! I pinched in 1 inch on the waist at each side, which helped define my shape better. The fabric was pooling at my lower back and I realized that if I lifted up the fabric by the shoulders it would relieve the drape. So for the final pattern, I chopped off an entire inch on the shoulders of both front and back. I kept the armholes the same size, just drew a curved line about 2 inches from the sleeve down to the new lower neckline. Speaking of the neckline, I found that again I didn’t like the feeling of the high crew neck, so I lowered it by 4 inches, widened it by 1/2 inch and made it a soft V. I LOVE THE NEW NECKLINE!!!

Marianne Dress SOSM

Fabricworm gave us each a gift certificate this round. I have used them a bunch before, they have a nice variety of knits and especially children’s fabrics. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to use them or not because of all the kid friendly designs, but I totally fell in love with this Charley Harper print. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not afraid of a ridiculous print on a dress. I’m actually wearing my purple ostrich dress as I’m writing this post. So I went for it :) I bought 3 yards, which at first I was like HOLY MOLY that was so much, why did I buy so much?? (possibly the holiday boozing?) But then as it turns out, I’m SO GLAD I did. As much as I love the print, I don’t know if I’ll be buying any more Birch Fabrics. I love how they are organic and the design was printed on grain, which was great, but the selvage was off grain?? It was so weird, like there wasn’t even a selvage, it was just sloppily cut on the sides, making the width vary from 43-45 inches.. With the large print, as much as it was impossible to match the birds, I did take care to match the stripes on the sides. That made me have to utilize more than I thought. My muslin only needed 1 yard, but this took almost 2.5 yards!

Marianne Dress SOSM

my little buddy wanted in on the posing action

I am confused though, because I bought the coral fabric for the hem and neckband, which was also Birch organics, and it is awesome. Maybe I’ll just stick to 60 inch Birch. I love how the coral perfectly matches the birds :) I wanted to find some buttons that went well with everything and I audibly gasped when I saw these coconut ones :D They are so perfect, they go with the nest so well and I feel like they just tie the whole dress together! I also had fun while sewing them on, I randomly woke up at 5 am and had all this time to myself, so I watched some Downton Abbey and got a little creative with the stitching :)

Marianne Dress SOSM

It was pretty fun trying to figure out the best way to make the button placket on the hem. I tried 2 different ways on the muslin, but then decided to do a completely different thing for the actual garment. I think it came out much cleaner this way :) I kind of did something similar to what we did on the hem of the Sutton blouse.

Marianne Dress

The instructions were great! And you know what else is awesome? Second round of SOSM and this is the second time I’ve done something new!! I’ve known about reinforcing certain seams with invisible elastic, but I had never actually DONE it before this dress! It really makes a huge difference in stability and I will for sure be adding it to future garments. French seams and now this. What next??

Marianne Dress SOSM

I serged all the seams and when I sewed the hem and sleeves I used a twin needle on my machine. I thought about using thread to match the coral of the dress as well as matching the teal, but then I thought it would look REALLY nice to add the decorative effects of the teal thread on the coral. I am super happy with the results! Something SO simple adds such a nice design element. I decided against top stitching around the neckline and hem band because I prefer the clean look without it.

Marianne Dress SOSM

I contemplated for a long time whether or not I should add pockets. I LOVE pockets and I always figure if I’m making my own clothes, I should incorporate these things. But I only have one other knit dress with pockets and to be truthful, they are a bother. They are flimsy and are always popping out to the front and I hate that aspect of that dress. I end up not wearing it very often because of them, even though there is a convenient place to put my phone/keys. I was also concerned that since this is an a line dress, the outlines might show on the outside of the dress and be an eye sore.. So I decided to just leave them out.

Marianne Dress SOSM

All in all, I am super happy with this dress! I was scared at first because, again, this isn’t my normal silhouette, but after pinching and pulling the fabric in a bit, I love it. It is SO comfortable, like secret pajamas! And it ended up being super flattering (or at least I think so)!

Marianne Dress SOSM

Check out the other girls at Sew Mama Sew and wish us all luck!!

Super Online Sewing Match II Round ONE! The Sutton Blouse

EEP! This is the first challenge of the Super Online Sewing Match II with Sew Mama SewWe were presented with the Sutton Blouse by True Bias, a loose style blouse with a V neck meant for soft drapey fabrics.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I initially thought to myself that I needed to switch it up a bit, as I’m not usually the type of person to wear loose tops. I’m always afraid they will billow out and make me look bigger than I actually am because of my bosoms. I thought about turning it into an actual kimono, but then this is a competition and this blouse deserves to be sewn as drafted :) As it turns out, I love it! After taking pictures, I went out on a date with Jake and it was so comfortable and I felt really good in it, which is always something you want in a garment, right? Also, thank goodness I got pictures before our night out because after Jake dropped queso on me, I totally dropped pizza on it!! :\ 

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Using my measurements, I was between the 10 and the 12. My bust always throws me into a bigger size, but I usually pick the smaller size and do an FBA so everything fits everywhere else. The pattern suggests to cut the smaller size since there is so much ease in the pattern. I went ahead and just cut the size 10 and made a muslin with it to make sure. The fit seemed to be great, I just felt a little choked out with the v neck, so I deepened it by 2 inches and also widened it by 1/4 inch. I find I have this problem a lot, where some people report a neckline to be too revealing, I feel like I’m wearing a turtle neck. Maybe I just have a long chest? I don’t know. But I love the new deeper V I made for myself. I expected to want to add length to it since I’m 5’9 and it was drafted for women who are 5’5, but I actually really like where the length falls so I kept it as is. The other MINOR change I made was making a box pleat in the back instead of the inverted pleat. I don’t know why, but i just prefer the look of the regular old box.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Confession time: I’d never sewn a french seam before sewing this shirt. I KNOW! Crazy town. But this pattern calls for them all throughout and guess what… THEY ARE AMAZING. I will absolutely be using them more often. The insides of this blouse are so neat and professional! Looking at the inside is almost as satisfying as looking at the outside!! I love it.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

The directions on this pattern are so awesome and so straight forward. I think I had a major advantage with my actual garment because I used the most obnoxious slippery fraying cheapo fabric in the world for the muslin. I usually sew muslins with basting stitches just to see the fit, but I decided to sew it exactly as described so I could have some experience while sewing the actual finished product. HOLY COW sewing with quality fabric was like a gift from the heavens!!! It was seriously such a pleasure to sew this up after the all day stressful event of putting the flimsy muslin together.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Harts Fabric generously gave us a gift certificate to use their fabrics for this challenge. They have some pretty amazing fabric choices there, but I was too nervous about having enough time to buy online and have it arrive at my house in time (where was this part of my personality in school when I had term papers to write and saved them for the night before?) so I went to a local shop here in Austin, The Cloth Pocket to buy something. I saw some of the other challengers got their fabric in the mail from Harts Fabric REALLY FAST, which was super impressive! The fabric I used for the bodice is a super soft cotton lawn print from Japan, I LOVE the birds on it! I wanted to add some pizazz to the blouse so instead of using the lawn throughout, I chose a nice beige lace for the yoke. I love how the beige and the brown and the blue all complement each other. It makes it a nicer looking top without being too formal, I could wear it out to a nice dinner or shopping at the grocery store. Pretty awesome! Hooray for versatility!! 

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I had some sweet Art Gallery voile in my stash that i decided to use for the bias binding. I thought the softness would be nice around the neckline, plus I love the print and I always like having a secret little fabric pop that only I know is there on the inside of my garments :D

SOSM Sutton Blouse

I wanted to make sure all the stitching on it came out really nice and clean, so you bet your bippy I changed the thread from brown to beige when sewing around the yoke by the neckline and sleeve :) I’m really happy to have taken the time to do that because I love the end result.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

One sweet detail of this whole top is the high low hemline. I said it before, but it is true. The instructions are so clear, this little bit was so easy to execute. The lines are so clean and professional.

SOSM Sutton Blouse

Over all, I’m pretty stoked about this new top! It fits so much nicer than I could have imagined :) I can’t wait to see what the other girls sewed up!

SOSM Sutton Blouse

The Super Online Sewing Match!!!

I still can’t even believe it!!! Last week, Sew Mama Sew put out a call for people to send an email and audition for The Super Online Sewing Match. I was thinking of entering, but I was being too chicken to even try. But then I was beating up on myself for being to afraid so I bit the bullet and wrote them an email. The only way I even had courage to do that was by convincing myself that there was going to be no way in the world I would be picked anyway, so I was safe, lol!

SOSMII2

Well on Tuesday I got an email saying I WAS ONE OF THE 10 PEOPLE WHO WERE PICKED!!!!! My heart started racing like crazy, HOLY MOLY I couldn’t even believe my eyes!

I’m still freaking out about it, but I’m SUPER excited and have already gotten started on my first project. There are some talented ladies in the mix and I’m thrilled and honored to be grouped with them! Check everyone out here :D

Crossing my fingers that my entire summer will be consumed by this sewing match!!! :D :D :D

Wish me luck!!!

Getting my Summer Sewing Jollies On

Didja miss me? I tell you what, I’ve missed sewing clothes!!! My machine was in the shop for over THREE WEEKS which was absolute TORTURE. They were waiting for a part from their distributor, my needle threader broke off.. It still hasn’t come in, but I couldn’t handle not having my machine any more so I went and picked it up so I could have it in my possession while the part took it’s sweet time getting to the shop. It still isn’t in, but the machine is home and that makes me happy!! When it finally gets there I’ll just bring it back in so they can put it together.. I figured Murphy’s law would have it come in the afternoon I picked up the machine, lol.

Belladone

I’ve wanted to sew this little number ever since I saw the pattern. It is the awesome Belladone by Deer and Doe. I’m not really sure what the heck I was waiting for. Fear of the back detail perhaps? I don’t know, but I’m SO happy I finally made it because it makes me super happy!

Belladone

Do you recognize the fabric? You are not crazy. I used the exact stuff to make this fantastic Hawaiian shirt for Quinn last summer. I’ve been jealous ever since and so last week I finally went out and bought enough of it to make a dress for myself, woohoo!! I actually freaked out for a minute because I couldn’t find it, when I always see it in the store, but I asked and thank goodness they had just moved it somewhere else. I wanted to dress him up in his shirt and take a picture of us together, but dude. I’m amazed I was able to get ANY pics at all. And these days Quinn is not the biggest fan of wearing any clothes at all, so there’s that.

Belladone

I can’t even believe how simple the construction of this was. I did my usual FBA, made a muslin and the muslin fit PERFECT so I went ahead and cut out the real thing. I guess working with patterns that are built for the curvier (they draft to a c cup and for ladies with hips) works in my favor! That and I guess I am learning a lot of what my actual body needs in a pattern before I even start the muslin now, which is awesome. I read a lot of bloggers had problems with how the back fit, but I had no issues, I made the back exactly as drafted.

Belladone

I wanted to get some hot pink fabric that matched the flamingos and do some piping around the waistband, but I just wanted to GET TO IT and not have to go to the store, so I nixed the idea. Seriously, sewing is my stress reliever and I just wanted to zone out as soon as I could! I made this up in a day and a half. Seriously. My house can attest. I allowed myself the privilege of sewing guilt free while the kids were home, which was AMAZING. I paid the price, though… the house was covered in fish food and cereal. Top to bottom. Crazytown mess. But I have a new dress and it was totally worth it!!! :D :D :D

Belladone

Taking photos today was kind of difficult, we tried 3 different locations, the sun was either too bright or things were too shadowy, Millie wasn’t really in the mood and Quinn was naked in more shots than not, lol!! Out of over 200 photos (rapid fire thanks Millie) there were like 12 that weren’t cropping my head off or fuzzy. So sorry for the lack of clarity! Plus I kind of used up my personal time sewing and not making sure photos were awesome. Win for me, really.

Belladone

Anyways, I plan on wearing the poo out of this dress all summer and I’m really excited about it!! I’m also excited to have my machine back and make more things, SEW ALL THE THINGS, yay!!

Belladone

OH, Home on the Range!

Howdy, Pardner!

Darling Ranges

Participating in Me Made May has gotten me really excited about sewing for myself again. I peruse all the Instagram hashtags and find all sorts of awesome things, and make note on which patterns I really need (or just want but who’s keeping tabs on things like that?) If you don’t follow me on instagram, I’m michellebryer and I’ve been pretty good about posting every day with something hand made! One of the patterns I decided I needed was Megan Nielson’s Darling Ranges dress. So I bought it immediately. Plus, who could argue against that ridiculous Australian Dollar to American Dollar exchange rate? MUCH nicer than the Dollar to the Pound!! For once a conversion works in my favor!

Darling Ranges

I had quite a time doing my FBA on this bad boy! The pattern had a dart coming from the waist, so I had to move it to the bust to alter it. Then I moved half of it back down to the waist so that the darts wouldn’t be too wide and pointy. I had to move the apex all over the place and also the darts and then 3 muslins later, I was finally happy with my result! Although, looking at these photos is making me realize I could have given the girls just a teeny bit more space.. OH WELL!! It was funny, I ended up matching it up to the darts on my Emery pattern and they were almost identical after all the toiling. Makes me want to bite the bullet and make myself a proper bodice sloper..  Anyways, the paper pattern ended up looking a little hilarious, especially since I was using painters tape (Quinn is always stealing the scotch, I swear I buy it ALL THE TIME and can never ever find it)

Darling Ranges pattern alterationsI did end up retracing it and perfecting it so the pattern piece is a little bit less chaotic for my cutting needs!

Darling Ranges

The fabric I used is from Art Gallery Fabrics, I don’t know, they must spin their cotton with clouds.. every time I’ve used Art Gallery it is the softest fabric ever, whether it is quilting cotton or voile.. This stuff happens to be voile and I love it! I bought this stuff at 50% off when one of the stores near me was closing.. It was pretty sad, for a little while it seemed like all the local fabric shops here were closing down all at the same time :(

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I bought these sweet buttons at Joannes with the help of Millie. Actually, Millie was ZERO help in that department, she kept suggesting the most RIDICULOUS buttons, which was hilarious. She actually poopooed on my choice, but I don’t care, I love em’! ANyways, other than the millions (3) of fittings I had with this thing, the actual construction was cake. I obviously omitted the sleeves because, you know, Texas. It is hot here. I didn’t even mind sewing on those 12 buttons!! I had Quinn asleep on my lap while catching up on some Outlander and couldn’t have been happier stitching away :)Darling Ranges

I should really start ironing my outfits and doing my hair before these photo shoots… Or not, whatever! ha! Anyways, I love the yellow, I love the style of the dress. It is super springy and happy and it is exactly the kind of thing I want to wear this time of year :) I think I’m going to tweak this just a teensy bit more and make another one :D

I know, I KNOW!!!

ANOTHER Emery dress!!

Another Emery Dress

But for real, when you love a fabric, you want to make sure you are sewing up a pattern you know is awesome, right?

I bought this amazing Cotton and Steel double gauze at The Cloth Pocket here in Austin. The buying experience in itself was wonderful, I freakin’ love that store. All the wonderful ladies there tried to occupy Quinn while I perused, and I was there for an hour, just hanging out. It was awesome. I had a hard time deciding on the colorway, either mustard or pink, but in the end, the pink won :)

Another Emery Dress

I bought 2 yards because the other double gauze emery I made was squeaked by with just that. Now I don’t know who I sold my soul to on that other dress, but 2 yards just WAS NOT GOING TO WORK this time. I spent 2 days trying to manipulate the pattern pieces on the fabric to get a dress but it just wasn’t going to happen. So I improvised. Luck be it, the pinks in the flowers on the other double gauze I had (Nani Iro) left over from my other emery matched the pink on the dress PERFECTLY. So I cut some panels and gussied up the zipper area. I am a fool and STILL you can see the white selvage of the pink next to the blue, but whatever, that is just another design element of awesome home sewn clothes, right??

Another Emery Dress

It was a fairly easy hack, I just drew a line where I wanted the blue fabric to be on the pattern piece, then measured my seam allowances on either side. I simply folded the pattern to cut the proper fabric.Another Emery Dress

I gathered the skirt this time, just to make sure all my clothes are just slightly different (and to be real, I was feeling lazy), but honestly I kind of wish I pleated it.. OH well, it’s not like I’m going to unpick it and fix it, I’ll still wear it and and still love it with the gathers. But I’m not really the biggest fan of poof in my belly area… Although, looking at these pictures, everything seems to be laying down quite nice!

Another Emery Dress

Again, I used some leftover bias binding I had from my first quilt I made for the neck and arm holes.. Obviously I had NO idea what I was doing when I made that binding because I have used it SO MUCH, there must have been like 100 yards of it, but that has proven to be extremely helpful in all my latter projects so YAY! The pockets are made with extra voile I had left over from a dress I made Millie last year. It is great since the voile is a bit slippery on a sticky gauze dress, they work perfectly. It sure is fun being able to use whatever you have on hand to make something awesome for yourself! Hooray for being a fabric hoarder!

Another Emery Dress

Quinn got upset at Millie being my photographer, but she ended up getting some cute pictures of me consoling him, I love his little hand around my neck here as I’m pointing out the birds :)

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