For the past couple weeks (every since I finished my awesome ostrich dress) I have been feeling pretty much in a sewing rut. Remember how I said I never have UFO piles? Well, scratch that fact. It no longer exists. The past couple weeks I’ve been trying to muster the excitement to sew something. I cut out all the little pieces to sew Quinn a new Hawaiian shirt (because he will never have enough of those) but I realized I don’t have any interfacing, which I need. But I TOTALLY don’t feel like driving to Joanne’s to get some more. So now all those little cut pieces of fabric are just sitting on my ironing board waiting.
Then I thought I might participate in the PR&P signature style week. So I printed out a pattern, traced it, cut it all out… When I realized I don’t have enough of the fabric I planned on using. Plus I just wasn’t that into it. So now that pattern is sitting next to the cut out fabric for Quinn’s future shirt.
Then I thought, “you know what? Maybe I just don’t feel like sewing for the kids, I’ve been having way more fun sewing for myself! Let the selfish sewing commence!!!”
I have dress that I bought from H&M when I was in Jersey last time that I really like. So I decided to draft my own pattern from that existing dress! It was actually really fun, especially figuring out how to draw a dart in the pattern without having to take the actual dress apart. I had this awesome ponte knit that I bought in my last NY shopping trip, which was in the wrong section so she only charged me $5 a yard instead of the $10 (WOOHOO!!) I had orignally planned on making a fun pencil skirt with it, but I TOTALLY was able to make this ENTIRE dress out of just ONE yard! How awesome is that??
This actually went SUPER fast!! I traced the dress onto freezer paper on Tuesday, cut and sewed it together Wednesday and then hemmed it onThursday. All during Quinn’s nap times :) It felt SO good to be able to whip something together this quickly! I LOVE KNITS!!!
I didn’t really think about making it chevron-like but I sort of had to do it that way in order to get the pattern to fit on the one yard of fabric. Turns out I LOVE the look! The pattern I drew out was supposed to have the front cut on a fold but there just wasn’t room for that nonsense. Yay for happy accidents!!
This was a pretty fun little photo shoot. I was having a play date at a park with a friend of mine and her two kids, I asked her if she could snap a few pics of me since Jake has been working so much lately (I’ve had a small taste of what it is like to be a single mom.. much respect, that shite is HARD) I knew I wouldn’t have been able to get photos of me for ages if I didn’t have someone else do it. Also, how do you like those gorgeous flip flops? This isn’t a fashion blog, people. It is a sewing blog. REAL LIFE.
Anyways, she made me feel pretty awesome, since she loved the dress anyway and was totally surprised that I made it, but I was telling her how I initially wanted to bind the neck and armholes, but then just got lazy and folded them over and sewed them with a double needle.. She was like “Um yeah, you were LAZY when you were SEWING YOUR OWN DRESS. Whatever, Michelle” Hahah it really made me think, sometimes as a sewist you get a little caught up in the details of perfection, when people who don’t sew just see what you make and think it is absolutely amazing and professional looking.
This might actually be my most favorite dress I’ve made to date. (I know, I know, I’ve been getting more and more excited with every new garment I sew myself!) I finished it, put it on to pick Millie up from school, and both her teachers were like “wow I love your dress!!” Like a dope I was like “WOW thanks!” without ever mentioning that I actually made it. I need to be okay with letting people know I sew!
I find it funny how not too long ago (only a few months ago) I was SUPER afraid of sewing for myself, now it is the only thing I want to do! It is so much fun being able to create something specifically made for your body! I feel a little bad that my kids aren’t getting tons of outfits like they used to, but seriously. They have tons of clothes. They really don’t need anything. My closet is barren!
This is me like “oops where did the kids go? MILLIE!!! QUINN!!” photo shoot over, back to being a mom :)
I’m sure some people expected me to have something posted for this week’s Project Run and Play since I’ve participated in every one since I started blogging… This week was denim week though…. And I’m just NOT into it.
I started looking around the internets for some inspiration, and I kind of stopped when I found something that looked kind of like a denim sea creature, but more like a denim vagina… There is no going back from that image burnt in my brain and seeing that is when I decided I was SO not doing this week. I like to sew because I enjoy the act of sewing, but also because I really like to see my kids wear the outfit. But when it comes down to it, I’m just not a denim person. I won’t enjoy seeing my kids wear it. I don’t actually own a pair of jeans that I like. I am not a denim jacket girl. It just isn’t gonna happen. So maybe I’ll be doing the week four “signature style” thing, but maybe not… We’ll see… Jake is working ACL this weekend which means I have free tickets which means I’ll be hanging out listening to live music and stressing about losing my kids in a ginormous crowd and definitely NOT sewing… :)
OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE THIS DRESS.
This was selfish sewing week and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have sewn this up if I hadn’t had that in my mind. How fun to declare a week to sew for yourself? I used the Gathered Sundress pattern by Pattern Runway again. I really love the other dress I made but there were a few fit issues that I wanted to try and fix. So I did something I’ve never done before, which was to wear the dress and pinch out certain places and figure out how much to alter and where and then I just sort of altered the patterns from my measurements of the problems areas..
With the other dress, the armholes were kind of gapey in the front and the bodice was too long. So I took off a whole inch from the armhole part and redrew the curve from my bust point to the arm pit on the princess seamed bodice and I shortened all my bodice pieces by an inch and a half. I am SO happy with the results!! I’m really learning how NOT scary it is to alter women’s patterns :)
The pattern calls for a lining, but I skipped that part, mostly due to utter laziness… I didn’t FEEL like sewing EIGHT curved seams so I cut that number in half by eliminating the lining. The fabric is thick enough as it is and not at all sheer so I figured “whatever yay!” Around the neck and arm holes, I just made me some bias tape, finished the seams with that and tucked it all in so you can’t see it. ALSO can we talk about this fabric for a minute? OSTRICHES. Purple ostriches. I got this fabric not the last time I was in NYC, but the time before that. I had no idea what it was going to become, but I NEEDED IT. I don’t even like the color purple. Or I didn’t before this dress.. I think I’m changing my mind about the color. Apparently it looks good on me! I have never owned a purple garment before! I’m really sorry I have no idea who makes this stuff or which store I actually got it from, it is just mystery goodness.
Sorry for the wrinkles in the back, but LOOK! I’m getting better at invisible zippers!! Mostly due to the fact that I bit the bullet and bought an invisible zipper foot.. Those things are actually very necessary. And amazing. I actually found a purple invisible zipper for this dress, which probably wasn’t even needed due to how awesome I set that thing in there :D Ahh little victories!
As for those wrinkles.. I wore this out on the town (SANS kids!! I’m still recovering..) on Friday night so in order to get these pics taken today, I pulled the dress out of the hamper.. I know, gross but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?? It is normally a little smoother :)
I’m pretty sure I found my go-to pattern in this dress. It is fairly simple to put together, especially now that I’ve done it twice. The first one took me 3 weeks (but that included printing out and taping and tracing the pattern plus making 2 muslins), this one only took me 3 days! I think the cut of the dress is pretty attractive on me and I really like the style of it. I often peruse the internet for dress patterns that would look good on my body and usually come out empty handed. It is hard to find things that don’t make ladies with big knockers look bigger than they actually are around the middle.
I actually have some GORGEOUS (and slightly expensive) fabric laying around waiting to become one of these dresses. I was just waiting to make sure I had the perfect pattern and fit before cutting it up :) I know everyone is starting to sew for the Autumn/Winter season right now, but dude. I live in Texas. We are still in the 90’s and I can’t even think of warmer clothes. Plus I can just throw a cardigan over a dress and BOOM: winter wear. Hooray!
Here we go, on to week 2 of Project Run and Play! This week’s theme is “The hand-me-down makeover”. I have TONS of old crap from Jakes wardrobe and my own closet, but just the other week I had to go through Quinn’s drawer and take out all the clothes that he recently grew out of that were just taking up too much space. There were certainly a few sentimental outfits that were a shame to put away into the “giveaway bin”. So when I was thinking of ideas for this project, I couldn’t help but to think about Quinn’s shark shirt that was a favorite of EVERYONE’S. I don’t know what it was about this shirt that we all loved. it is just a simple polo shirt with little sharks all over it. Even Millie loved it, she went as far as to ask me a while back if I could find shark fabric to make HER a dress with. Sharks rule!
I know I’m not reinventing the wheel over here with this project, it was very simple, but it does make me very happy! The reason this shirt went in the “out” bin is because it sadly had gotten way too short. The actual fit of the shirt is spot on though. It just needed a little length :) So I chopped the shirt in half, and, using some blue from a superman shirt that as also in the bin and lengthened it to where it could fit him better. I was pretty excited to find a shirt that had the same circumference so I wouldn’t have to pick any seams! :)
I couldn’t just leave at at that, though. I wanted to throw a little fun piece of creativity into it so I did some free motion embroidery on the blue part and drew a little shark with red thread. Can I just say, drawing on fabric with thread and a sewing machine is SUPER FUN!!!! I did the same thing as this which works great on knits, the paper stabilizes it and I can just trace my drawing on the paper. Getting the paper OFF the fabric is a bit tricky, though.. I realize I should probably just invest in some tear away or wash away stabilizer but I’m both lazy and cheap so printer paper works just fine for me :)
As for the pants, I did the same thing and again, was super happy to find pants that were the same circumference :) It is amazing how quickly pants become too short!!! After I sewed these up, I wasn’t THAT excited about them, but then I had Quinn wearing them and Millie was like “WOW!! Are those Quinn’s pants?? They are awesome! Did you do that?” So having my 5 year old’s glowing opinion just made my eyes see them in a much brighter light!
I love how .0045 seconds after I took him outside he got into the dirt and started eating it (typical boy?) and you can totally see it around his mouth in most of these pics, lol! Germs are good! Antibodies, right???
I know this challenge was for “hand me downs” and this is more like a “hand me laterally” but it all works out the same and this way we get to keep a favorite item of clothing :)
Gosh, just LOOK at this stud!!! Ladies, in 15 years you better watch out for your daughters!! lol
Man! I bought this really adorable yellow flower/ pink strawberry fabric last week in NYC, super excited to make something cute for Millie out of it…. Want to see what happened after I washed it?
The color completely faded out and the outlines are grey now instead of black :( What the hell?!
I guess you really are taking chances when buying fabric at tiny little stores, you really don’t know what you’re getting until you get home! At least I only paid $6 for it :/
So I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the Blog Hop that has been going on around the ol’ blogosphere lately, but every Monday people from creative blogs have been answering a few questions and then nominating other blogs to so the same :)
I was actually nominated by TWO wonderful bloggers for the SAME day, which was totally awesome and made me feel in shock and amazing!
Bianca from Vintage on Tap is very sweet and has a great blog with lots of awesome vintage style inspiration and sewing tips.
SOoo here we go!
“Why do I write?”
Honesty? I have no idea, haha! I just really enjoy rambling on and on at the keyboard. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m a pretty big chatterbox by nature, and being a stay at home mom, I don’t do as much socializing as I used to.. I need to let it all out!
I think at first, I started this blog wanting to document my creations and also help other people out there who wanted to learn something about sewing. I originally wanted to have a lot of information and tools and tips and tutorials here. But MAN that got difficult fast, finding the time to really do that. I also kind of found my groove in just talking about the stuff I’ve made without actually teaching HOW I made it.. I guess I find more pleasure in bantering vs. teaching.. I also really like how having this blog has made me feel like there is more of a fire under my tush for actual sewing. When my friends or family ask me why I haven’t blogged, I feel like YES I need to sew more!!!! Thank you for reminding me! It holds me accountable :)
I think once my kids start giving me a little more time again I’ll be able to expand a bit more than what I’ve been able to do so far.. I still really like the idea of being a resource in some capacity, it just really takes a little too much time and right now I’m in a place where I’d rather focus on the kiddos.. That and I find it impossible to distract Quinn.. What kid doesn’t like TV?? My kid, apparently!
“What am I working on?”
Well, since this is Project Run and Play month, I have a lot of that on my brain. But I’m not currently at home, I’m visiting my family so there isn’t a WHOLE lot happening. I’ve been REALLY into learning how to sew for myself so I guess you could say I’m currently working on finding the next pattern I want to sew for myself! I’ve been searching the internet ravenously for a dress pattern to match this AMAZING fabric I bought a little over a month ago.. There is no such thing as a “UFO” at my house because I’m the kind of person who only likes one project at a time and I finish it before I start a new one.
I AM at my parent’s house right now, though, and that is where that Juki is, so I might try to clean it out and see about shipping it back home to Texas with me… That will be a MAJOR project!
“How does my blog differ from others of its genre?”
Um, does it? There are TONS of sewing blogs out there, so the idea is pretty unoriginal, but I guess every blog stands out in its own way because people are different. This one is unique because it is coming from MY personality and it features MY super amazing kiddos :)
“How does my writing process work?”
There really isn’t much of a process.. I kind of just blab on. I have a project that I’m excited to share, so I take some pictures and then sit at the computer and talk about it. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write until I do… I guess I’m sort of having a conversation right then and there.. So I guess that IS my process, just talk as if there is actually a person in front of me :)
So that is that!
Oh and by the way, I know these photos have nothing to do with this post, but I like having things to look at in blog posts so I put up some pictures of our apple picking adventures yesterday (poor Quinny slept through it all!)
My nominations for next week are Raphaelle from Deux souriceaux, she makes beautiful clothes for her children and has some gorgeous photography. She even makes her own knits and then sews with them, whaat?? Color me impressed!
My other nomination is Susie at SusieDDesigns’ Blog. She makes incredible bags, which are not my “bag” so therefore they impress the heck out of me!
I also tried to reach out to Hungie Gungie, which is two sisters who blog, but they didn’t respond so I’m not sure if they will participate. I love the gorgeous lines and fabrics they choose when sewing for the kids. Also, beautiful photography.
So next monday check out who they nominate!
Can you even believe it is time for Project Run and Play again?? And just like last year, I am making my life difficult because I am out of town, lol! Oh well thank goodness my sister has a sewing machine so I can get down to business here! Anyways, this weeks theme was “inspired by 80’s cartoons”, which is AWESOME because seriously, cartoons don’t get better than that era.. Actually.. I’ll admit…. The My Little Pony of Millie’s generation beats the one of my generation… But back to this sewing project. :) Probably not original, but Rainbow brite was my absolute favorite when I was a kid. I had the sheets (canopy bed top and everything!) and the curtains and my biggest aspiration in life was to BE Patty Green. So I decided to use that as my inspiration!
I actually had this design for a dress drawn out a couple months ago. Millie recently saw it and was like “Is this a dress for me?? I love it! Make it now!!” I recently realized that part of the reason it takes me so long to sew for myself is because Millie has no respect for selfish sewing. It has to be all her, all the time lol! Quinn, of course, always hates when I’m at my machine, but if I’m sewing for Millie, at least she will be helpful and try to occupy him!
I drafted this out all on my own, which I love doing for Millie’s dresses. SO satisfying! I made the gathers 1.5x the width of the top. I didn’t want the skirt to be SO gathered where you would loose that POP of the diamond on the sides. I got the fabric from my little trip to NYC last time, and I’m REALLY excited about that rainbow FOE (fold over elastic)! It is the first time I’ve ever used it and HOLY cow, how fun and easy!
I’ll be perfectly honest, those corners do NOT match up everywhere. Normally I’d be a little more anal about it but seriously, the kids were all over me when I was sewing that part. Quinn wanted to be on my lap, Millie was RIGHT on top of me “sewing” with safety pins and wonder clips. Also, the fabric is that SUPER soft but super slippy kind of knit, which is REALLY comfortable to wear, but pretty difficult to sew with. In the end, Millie REALLY loves this dress and will never notice my flaws, plus honestly, I think I’ve gotten more complements from strangers on this little dress in one day than any other one I’ve made. So YAY!
So I just need to talk about the *non existent* photo shoot that this was.. I was super excited, the stars aligned and Quinn was asleep as I showed Millie the finished dress. She was excited to model it for me because she was excited about the dress.. So I grab my camera, take her outside and snap a couple adorable pictures.. When I realize my camera doesn’t have a memory card in it :/ So I tear apart my house until I find one, snap a couple more pictures when the camera battery dies.. UGGGH! So I grab my phone to take pictures, last resort.. MEMORY FULL. At this point, Millie had lost all interest of being a model and just wanted to play with bubbles. Oh well. You get what you get in life, right??
OH and if anyone who follows my blog is wondering what the heck happened to Millie’s hair, she cut it HERSELF as I was putting Quinn to sleep about a month ago!! I nearly fainted, but she was SOO proud of herself and she loves it, haha! She came running up the stairs saying “Look, Mama, I cut my hair! Are you so proud of me?? Can I cut yours now too? I learned how!!” I’m still not over it!
I’m sitting here at my parents house with extra eyes on my kids, which lets me have more time to stare at my computer, woohoo!!.. I was going through some old pictures when I found THESE gems! I totally forgot to post about this shirt!
Remember way back in the beginning of the summer when I was trying to alter the Oliver and S Raglan Tee a million different ways? Well this was one of them, I made it into a little boy tank for Quinn. A super easy hack on the pattern, I just cut a curve into the sleeve portion and folded it down, hemming it into the shirt portion all around… If that makes any sense…
There isn’t anything super special about this, but I just wanted to share it. He wore this shirt quite a bit on our hot summer days! And mostly I just wanted to share THIS FACE.
Anyways, I’m off to NYC today for a major fabric shopping trip and I am SO EXCITED!! I might have to give my niece some more of Millie’s clothes to make room for the fabric haul I expect to bring back :D Wish me luck and restraint! (or not!)
Heyoo remember a couple months ago I posted about being in a call to action for the Mara Blouse by Compagnie M? Well there was a little competition over there and I WON THIRD PLACE!!! Seriously, out of over 100 bloggers who participated, you have NO IDEA how excited and proud I am to have been placed! There were so many awesome versions of the dress! Anyway, to celebrate, I decided to “bring it home” and post it here on my page so you can see all the pictures in their glory, right here. ENJOY! :D
Hello! I am super excited to be here for the Mara Action! My name is Michelle and I have a little blog over at Sewnhenge. I had been eyeing this Mara Blouse for a while and when Marte picked me to be one of the people involved in this, I nearly did a flip!
My first impression of this pattern was just how easy it was to put together with the pdf file. I have had some patterns in the past that required me to print FIFTY pages. This was an absolute TREAT only having 16!! Everything lined up perfectly and easily. Only having a 4×4 block to square up and tape together was SO awesome! The options are nice too, you can either take it to a local printer to have the large format, or do at at home, with OR without seam allowances! Pretty nice if you ask me!
Millie is a big 4 year old, so I always just sew up a size 5 without even measuring her, but this time I actually took her measurements and she fit into the 4 perfectly. I realize that usually it is the height that throws her into the size 5 and even 6 sometimes, so I’m really glad I checked it all out since this fits her better than I would have hoped!
Since we live in Texas, I thought the sleeveless option fit our lifestyle better than any of the sleeve options. It has already hit 99 degrees here so we want to avoid as much fabric as possible :) To add interest, I finished the arm holes with a fun embroidery stitch and golden thread. I used some leftover fabric from the back of the quilt I made a friend of mine. It is Sweet Serenade, Rough Dot Cotton Fabric in Teal Designed by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics. It is a super soft quilting cotton and sewed up deliciously for this dress. I just happened to have all this gold trim laying around and I thought the teal plus the gold would be so pretty.. I think I was right! I got those pretty delicate buttons from Joanne’s.
I really wanted to show my original version of this dress, which I was really excited about but Millie nixed the idea, only after it was completed, of course. :/ I wanted to put a ruffled bottom on the dress, thinking that is what she would love, plus I thought it would be adorable… So I sewed it all up and when I showed it to her she refused to even try it on. Apparently Millie is over the ruffles and just wanted a plain A line dress. So I painstakingly picked out all those seams and hemmed it up into a simple dress. I wanted to add a little fun to it so I used the same subtle embroidery stitch on the hem as I did on the sleeve(less) part with the gold embroidery thread. I couldn’t get a sharp picture of the finished hem so you’ll have to use your imagination :) If I want to be honest with myself, I think she was right about removing the ruffle. The dress looks fantastic as a simple A line.. What a little designer I have!
I’m so happy she approves of the new changes, this dress has quickly become one of her favorites :) She has worn it for a couple days in a row, even refusing to take it off to put on pajamas!
The construction of this dress went very smoothly, the pattern directions were superb and everything lined up exactly the way it should. You can tell a lot of care went into the designing and instructions of this pattern!
I absolutely love and recommend this pattern and plan on sewing up more in the very near future! I don’t often use trim or piping in my sewing, but I think that will change, it was super easy and it adds such an amazing dynamic to the design!
Thanks for having me here!
I bet you thought since summer is over and Millie is in school that I’d be posting more often… Well considering I went a whole month between posts last time, one week later is pretty good! Honestly, this week with Millie gone has mostly been me getting used to an emptier house during the day, catching up on trashy TV that I can’t watch with Millie home or in front of Jake (haha) and running errands in the blissful state of only having to haul around ONE child instead of two :) Anyways, I’m REALLY excited to share my most current make, the one that took me THREE weeks to sew (mostly due to the insane amount of interruptions that children are extremely good at providing).
The dress is the Gathered Sundress from Pattern Runway. I am not even sure how I found this pattern, but when I did, I just HAD to own it and sew it up immediately. I’m not sure if the company is now defunct, it doesn’t seem like they’ve updated their blog or FB page in almost a year, but you can still buy the patterns and that is all that really matters to me!
This was the first time I’ve sewn princess seams, and so it was also the first time trying to alter a princess seam bodice. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my body is NO WHERE NEAR the target body when people are designing patterns. My bust point is always INCHES lower than the patterns and I always have to do a FBA (full bust adjustment). Muslins are the accepted way of life for me. I’ll admit, however, that altering a pattern to fit my body is actually super fun and I get a lot of pleasure tweaking things out and making them my own :) I went through 3 different muslins to get this where I wanted it. (Thank goodness I have so much ess ayche eye tee fabric laying around!) The bodice is still not 100% perfect, but I’m super happy nonetheless. I figure if I bought this dress instead of made it, I would never even notice the fit issues.
This was also my first time REALLY trying to sew an invisible zipper. It came out pretty decent, not perfect.. but I absolutely decided it is time to invest in an invisible zipper foot!! I sewed over the teeth a couple times by accident using the regular zipper foot and even still you can see the zip.
Let’s talk about the back for a moment… and the fit.. I’m starting to get pretty good at the ol’ bust adjustments, but I still have yet to even dabble at back adjustments.. There is obviously something going on there, but I’m not really sure how to fix it.. any ideas? I guess I have a short back? What is sway back? Is that what I have? Ugh. Whatever I still love the dress, and much like the awful tattoo I have on my back, at least I don’t have to look at at (unless I’m staring at pictures) so WHATEVER NO REGRETS!
The fabric is a voile I bought at 30% off during the Austin Fabric Shop Hop this time around. It is from Westminster Fabrics, Ikat Damask. I LOVE it and was so excited to get such a great deal! I lined it with some cotton batiste I had lying around. Voile has quickly become my favorite thing to sew for myself. It is just SO soft and light and airy and wonderful!
I want to show you guys the guts, which is something I NEVER do! But this dress is so darn clean on the inside!! I took the time to hand sew the waist band lining with an invisible stitch on the inside so you wouldn’t see any seams at all.. You have no idea what kind of satisfaction that gives me. It is the same obsession I had back when I was doing hair. I would give someone an updo and you couldn’t see any bobby pins, like the hair was just magically suspended in pretty curls on someone’s head.. yeah. I can be an obsessive weirdo. Sometimes.
I Thought about how when I talk pictures of Millie, I’m always asking her to dance or twirl or jump around, so I decided to include a little action shot in my own photo shoot :) I do look a bit like I have nubby legs and I am strangely floating in air, but the expression on my face shows how I feel about the dress : )
Unlike THIS hilarious outtake, LOL