HOLY MOLY has it really been a month since my last blog post?? I knew it had been a while, but that is kind of crazy! Summer obviously took over around here, leaving me hardly any time to sew and even LESS time to blog about it. But that is all changing TOMORROW, summer is officially over and Millie starts kindergarten!! I’m obviously mixed with crazy emotions, super sad to not have her around me at all times, super excited for her to be learning and making new friends.
But this fact brings on the perfect time to share with you my little creation! About a month ago, I was asked by Amy of Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop to test for the School Belle Skort :) You have NO idea how excited it was! This is my first time testing any pattern, which is SUPER exciting anyway, and I couldn’t even believe how PERFECT it was since Millie is starting Kindergarten in a private school and needs skorts for her uniform!
For the pattern, I bought some thicker bottom weight fabric from Joanne’s, kind of like khaki material. I decided to use the same for the skirt and the shorts since I was testing and I wanted to be a good little tester and make sure all the pieces matched up without any weird stretch on one fabric that wasn’t on the other. I’m happy to report everything matched up perfectly!
There were a couple confusing parts in the instructions, but they were all quickly fixed. Honestly, I was really impressed with how awesome Amy was about all the constructive criticism of the testers. She immediately fixed all the issues and confusing language, there was no arguing, just quick fixes. She really listened and I totally respect that. I was also super impressed with how quickly she got the pattern up for sale, I think she put it out the day after she got all our results! It made me want to support her and buy more of her patterns :) I’m also super impressed with HOW MANY patterns she has and how quickly she pumps them out! Amy must seriously be playing around tweeking and creating patterns all. the. time!
OH my absolute favorite part!!! I decided to embroider the hem of the shorts with a really cute heart stitch I have on my machine. Having gone to private school myself, I know how awesome it is to have a tiny bit of the uniform stand out from everyone else’s. And the hearts just get to remind Millie of how much I love her :D CHEESE but for reals.
I know I made a uniform bottom and it is called “school belle”, but you don’t have to use this pattern for uniform skorts. Lots of testers made regular skirts out of quilters cotton and it looked really cute that way too. This would be a fantastic run around/ hang upside down on the monkey bars play skirt for those kids who do not require uniforms :)
You don’t have to press the pleats all the way down like I did, you can totally leave it more flowy and casual. I just really wanted to make this skirt super preppy and pressed because, even though I’m super sad about my baby leaving me FIVE DAYS A WEEK, I’m still also super excited to see her all dolled and uniform clad!
I wanted to do this cute little school themed photo shoot for this. My parents bought the house across the street and are trying to rent it out, so until someone actually moves in, I have a great empty space with lots of natural light to take pictures in. Unfortunately when I took these photos, Jake had taken my camera with him to work and left me with his super high tech fancy shmancy camera that I have no clue how to use. And then the battery died almost right away, with the charger in his studio.. So most these pics look like of white washed.. I’m certain that if I had the camera I know or more time to figure this one out, these would have been much sharper photos! Just goes to show, no matter how great your equipment is, it is no good unless you know how to use it!!
So anyways, please wish my sweet angel good luck on her first day of Kindergarten!! (And also wish me luck handling it!)
I know Jake told me I couldn’t sew this weekend, but I TOTALLY cheated! I didn’t wake up early, but EVERYONE else in the family slept in, so I had a couple hours to myself, then once Jake DID wake up, he kindly fed the kids breakfast and let me finish my little project :) That project was the brand new Myrtle dress by Colette Patterns! When I saw this pattern, I knew I needed it and immediately bought it. I’ve been really into sewing knits lately and this dress looked like it would be pretty flattering on most people :)
I traced the pattern out this week, then cut all the pieces out on Saturday morning and finished it all up on Sunday morning. There are two versions, one with shoulder tabs and one without, then also two lengths. I made the long one with tabs. The material I used was some SUPER soft slinky yet heavy (difficult to work with, honestly) knit I bought while in NYC. It was SOO slippy to work with! But totally worth it in the end because this dress is a DREAM to wear! I swear I feel like I’m in pajamas and I never want to take this off. Even with this ridiculous fabric, it was a SUPER fast sew. WELL, once I decided to NOT use the knit for the tabs. It took me over an hour trying to fiddle with the damn things. My machine was NOT cooperating, totally stretching the material out and making it super ugly, then once I actually got the general shape of the tabs together, the buttonhole situation was a total disaster. This is when I decided DUH! I can use some extra woven scraps from my stash and add a dash of color and interest! I used some of my leftover material that I had from my Briar Rose triangle quilt. I absolutely love the pop that orangey pink gives to the blue of the dress. Once I got that all figured out, the dress came together super fast. Even with the annoying issues the whole thing took about 3 hours to sew (half of which was spent fiddling with said tabs)
I made the pattern exactly as drafted in a size M, which is where my measurements put me. It has pockets, which are totally fun, but I think next time I’ll omit them if I use this same material. I’m not sure how well slippy knit handles pockets. Also, it will make it an even faster project :) I liked the way they make you install the elastic at the waist, I’ve never done it that way and it makes it pretty nice, even on the inside:) The pattern calls for 1 inch elastic, but 3/4 is what I had so I used that and changed the seam allowances accordingly.
So there we have it! I love wearing this dress!! It is so ultra cozy! Looking at these pictures, my boobs look kind of gigantic, but I guess they are gigantic so that is to be expected! Until I sew more of these dresses, this will be the go-to thing I wear from now on. I seriously never want to take it off. You know all those moms in yoga pants who like to look like they are going to or coming from the gym but in reality are just basically wearing PJs all around town? That will be me in this dress :D
Anyways, like my Elsa braid? Lol, getting styling advice from little girls and cartoons over here, apparently. And I kind of love it! :)
Heyooooooo! Here I am on the internets showing some skins! Thank goodness they are a bit of modest skins though, thanks to Closet Case File’s Bombshell Swimsuit! I have had this pattern for a while, just waiting to buy fabric for it then build up the nerve to actually sew a bathing suit!
The pattern has 3 options- 2 necklines and then just a high wasted bottom. I was battling with which style to make for myself. I was magnetized towards the halter top but every single person I spoke to about it suggested I do the other one. My mom even said the halter top looked “slutty”, lol! I thought that was hilarious because of just HOW MUCH SKIN IS COVERED in this suit compared with the string bikinis of our time. The halter is very Marilyn Monroe and I think it is awesome. Anyways, after reading MANY people’s experiences, plus the designer herself talking about it, the other version apparently doesn’t have much support and I didn’t want to deal with extra cup/wire/crazy upheaval issue with my massive boobs. So I went with my guts :)
I do LOVE the other version too, and since I accidentally bought WAYYYY too much of this AMAZING peacock feather spandex while fabric shopping in NYC (for some reason I had 2.5 yards in my head… yeah. that was for a dress pattern I have, not the bathing suit one, LOL) I most certainly have enough fabric left to make the other one too! I think I can figure out the cuppage thing if I really try.
As for sewing this up, I decided I wanted to add 2 inches to the bodice AFTER I had already cut out the main fabric that was to be ruched. So I SHOULD have added 3 1/4 inches more to the ruchey bit (the ratio is 1:1.6), but I didn’t, so there are less gathers in my suit than there are supposed to be. I figure NO ONE will notice that and I’m totally okay with it :) The designer is 5’6 and I am 5’9 so I figured I needed some extra length in the torso for my extra height. The fit is spot on in that area, I am SO glad I did that! Especially since I didn’t make a muslin, which was suggested, OOPS, teehee!
The pattern was very straight forward and easy to follow, and I LOVED her little personality and funny things she said in the pattern. The only thing that caused me a little strife (though not enough to unpick seams because it looks fine once worn) is that I think there may be more stretch needed for the elastic. She calls for 70% in the butt area, which works, but there are a couple places where she says not to stretch it at all and it seems a little funny when I’m not wearing it.. especially around the front skirt portion. And she says to use 80% for the halter parts around the boobs.. I think it would have worked better with 70% there… But then again, it could just be my boobs, or my machine, or the elastic I used. Either way, next time I make this suit (which I think I will since I feel FANTASTIC for the first time ever wearing a bathing suit!) I will add a little more stretch as I go :)
The measurements put me in a 12 at the bottom and a 14 on top. When tracing out the pattern, I actually widened the chest pieces even more because I wanted to make absolute SURE my girls were completely encased in the suit. The whole thing fits me like a glove and I couldn’t be happier :) Speaking of the bottom, DUDE everyone’s bottom looks fantastic in this suit! Even mine!
I made this suit in a weekend (poor Jake was left handling the kids) and because of that (I was super focused) Jake forbade me to sew this weekend, LOL! He wanted to make sure we actually got some family time and spend time together instead of us both trying to focus on our own singular pursuits while he is home. So it was actually quite fun when I asked him to try to take some pictures of me. It was his idea to put me in front of our retro trailer since the style of the suit is super retro and it was pretty fun! I tried to be silly and pose old- timey but honestly I think I am too ridiculous to pull it off! But I bet you can’t even tell I have a fever today! Those sunglasses help the death feeling in my eyes from showing in the pictures, ha! Also, what the hell, summer fever? Unacceptable!
Sweet Millie came out while we were taking pictures, she wanted in on the action. Actually that is a lie.
“Those are my sunglasses, mommy.”
“OH, can I just wear them for a couple minutes please?”
“NO. They are mine and I want them now.”
Little love. Photo shoot over. lol
Also I apparently have an aversion to putting pants on Quinn, sorry and you’re welcome :)
I sewed this shirt up over a month ago and it has been on heavy rotation ever since. I also took these photos over a month ago. I have been VERY bad at keeping up with my blogging… What can I say? Summer is here, Millie is home from school every day and I have a hard time getting my tush in front of my computer.(and sadly, my sewing machine) Can’t say I’m not enjoying myself though!
Anyways, back to the shirt.. It is another Oliver + S sketchbook shirt, sewn in the 18 month size. I shortened the sleeves again because I just think the length of the sleeves in the pattern is a little too long. I DO love this pattern though, the way you put the yolk in is AWESOME and clean. It seems a little confusing in the directions, but when you figure it out it is like YES.
I bought this fabric at my local quilt shop, A Quilter’s Folly. I saw it and immediately NEEDED it. I want a dress out of it too!! But I thought it would be amazing to make a little Hawaiian shirt for my little man. I mean seriously, HOW GOOD DOES HE LOOK IN FLAMINGO?? Jake said now that he has this shirt, I have set the precedent and Quinn forever needs all Hawaiian shirts. They are amazing.
I actually sewed this up in ONE DAY, which was only possible because my parents were in town and the kids were properly distracted :) I even got the hand sewn collar down… I have to say this has been the best one I’ve ever done! I guess practice makes perfect because I’ve made quite a few collared shirts and there is always a little wonkiness in the collar, but this one looks fantastic! YAY!
UGH just look at this handsome kid!! Those buttons are some awesome pearly things I got in a huge lot of randoms I bought on Ebay. I’m going to have to do that again soon, I am running VERY low on buttons…. It is always nice to have some perfect buttons right on hand, no trips to Joannes!
Teehee, look at those little legs! I really want to take a bite out of them. This is kids clothes week and so far, day 5, I have barely even looked at my sewing machine. And when I did, it was for me, oops! :( Maybe next time.. I imagine some people see the summer as a time of relaxation and delving into hobbies, but I really have just been trying to keep the kids busy without relying on too much TV time.. And the kids are super brown and blonde to prove it, ha!
Anyways, I do have a few things I’ve made and not blogged about yet.. One is SUPER exciting, I just need Jake to take some pictures for me.. Yes, it was something for ME, YAY! Stay tuned!
Hey folks!! I’m happy to be over at Compagnie M today showing off my version of the adorable Mara dress! Come check it out, lots more pics and details over on her blog :D
There is a sew-along going on over there where you can even win some prizes (fun!!). Details on that are here.
AND there is an awesome discount code for 10% off if you want to purchase the pattern and participate!
Honestly, I can’t even believe it. I am unsure how I lived THIS long without knowing there was an Industrial leather Juki sewing machine in my parent’s basement! It has been there for probably more than 25 years and I had absolutely NO IDEA! I just thought there was a big table covered in crap and random other more crap on top of it! (and yes, that is a velvet painting of Elvis) Apparently years ago, my parents offered to store some stuff for their friends when they downsized their house and it has been sitting there ever since. The original owner used to sew leather purses all the time.
The other night my parents and I were talking and out of no where they casually mentioned about it, I was like HOW DID YOU NOT TELL ME BEFORE?? So I ran down there to check it out. They didn’t even know what brand it was or anything. I started to remove all the random stuff that was all over the table and when I saw it I nearly jumped out of my skin!
I have a Juki overlocker and I LOVE it and am very aware of what great workhorse machines these are! I think I actually shrieked when I saw it, hah!
Unfortunately, since it has been under covers for that long, the only creatures that were able to acknowledge it’s presence were the mice and chipmunks that sometimes take up residence in that basement. So there is a bit of “bedding” and nut shells (and an old blue balloon??) at the needle plate, which I’m sure can be cleaned off pretty easily. I was just happy to not see any poop!
I guess I’m trying to decide if it would be worth it to actually clean it and oil it/ get it serviced by a professional and actually keep it (and ship it back to Texas). Also wondering if it is even possible to restore it. I tried moving things around and it all seemed pretty stiff, it has been in a moist basement that sometimes gets flooded and it hasn’t been touched in 25 years. Also, if I WERE to restore it, where the heck would I put it?? The thing is GIGANTIC. It is actually the entire table.
The other fun things I found were BOXES and boxes of leather, zippers, zipper pulls, SO MANY templates for the purse designs, HUGE amounts of thread, I’m talking the biggest thread spools you ever did see!
There were also boxes of baby tee shirts, I guess ready to embroider or applique in pinks blues and yellows. There are 2 huge bolts of black and brown velour and a huge bolt of interfacing. I also found all the specific Juki oil, which is awesome, but I have no idea WHERE on the machine you are supposed to apply it (or if it is too late to do so).
I confiscated some of the rulers I found to bring back home with me, one was a bust dart altering ruler, the other was a smaller french curve. I just bought a big one recently, but this small one will come in handy for my kid clothes :)
I seriously have no clue how this gem was hidden for SOOO long, but as I was going down to the basement, I had a slight idea that maybe it was this HILARIOUSLY creepy light switch to get there…
This is was SO much fun finding all these serious treasures. I felt some some sort of archaeologist uncovering a special discovery, I know not everyone would get as excited as I was, but I swear my heart was aflutter the whole time! SO what should I do? Anyone have any experience with restoring old machines? Specifically Juki LU-563… What would you do?
I know there has been some radio silence on my end lately, but that is because I’ve been visiting my family in NJ the past week. They ever so conveniently live 14 miles from NYC so therefore I HAVE to go visit there while I’m here. And this trip is no exception!
A few months back, someone gave me free tickets to go on a tour of the Garment District through a company called “Seek“. I had no idea what to expect, but I figured I was planning on doing some major fabric shopping anyway, so why not attend? Growing up so close to the City, I never ever took any tour of any kind. So why the heck not now that I’m no longer an East Coast resident? I tell you what, after Tuesday I am TOTALLY into taking more tours! It was SO awesome!
I had two tickets, so I took my sister Lisa with me for fun. She has an interest in sewing and plans on immersing herself fully when she finds more time. (she already has QUITE the fabric stash!) We were supposed to meet the tour guide outside of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) at 10am sharp. No easy feat for two girls who share 3 kids between them, traveling from New Jersey, lol! We missed the first train we planned on taking by the skin of our teeth and thought we would be late, but thank goodness made it EXACTLY on time.
Liz was our tour guide and she was AWESOME. Super friendly and open and immediately made Lisa and me feel at ease and excited. We had one other girl on the tour with us, who came from LA and was absolutely HILARIOUS. I was so happy to have such a small group of wonderful people! And we all had the same interests so there was not much time wasted for anyone who wasn’t interested in something the other one was.
We learned a LOT about the beginnings of the garment district and how things got brought over and by whom, how it deeply affected the women’s union and labor laws, the histories of big stores like Gimble’s Macy’s and Saks, and lots of other very interesting facts. Our guide went to school at FIT and she also talked about Parson’s School of Design. It was cool for me, since I *almost* went to FIT, but decided to go to beauty school instead at that time. I am happy to have gone down the path that I did, but this also made me wish maybe I had gone to school for sewing and design too! Especially since I do hair about 2% of the time now, and sewing has become my most passionate activity :)
We walked all around the area and went to a few amazing fabric shops, where I totally went overboard (and then when I got home I wished I had gone even MORE overboard!). Let me tell you, going back to Austin where apparel fabric is $10-$25 a yard vs. these shops where it was more $3-$7 a yard… Well let’s just say I hope what I bought this week will last until my next trip out here!! Our last stop to shop was Mood, where everything is more like the prices I am used to, so I bought nothing because it just seemed so much more expensive than the other shops.. Well, I bought some trims and zippers, but no fabric there.
The tour was supposed to be 2 hours, but ended up being probably over 3 hours since we were all having SUCH a great time! It seemed Liz, our tour guide was having just as much fun as we were so the time just slipped away quickly!
Anyways, I FULLY recommend doing one of these tours with Seek! I learned so much, got to see shops that I would never have known about, and just really had a fantastic time :)
By the way, these people have not asked me to endorse them in any way possible. Yes, the tour was free for me, but it wasn’t given to me by the company, it was given to me as a gift from someone else. As a matter of fact, like a ding dong, I never even told Liz I have a sewing blog. For some reason I always feel bashful about telling people about it. So my opinions are completely my own, I just wanted to shout off from the rooftops (or blog page) about what a great time we had :) I just wish I had taken more pictures! I never ever think of taking pictures!! Oh well.
It was romper week over at Sewing Mama Raeanna and now there is a linky party competition filled with adorable rompers! I added my Little Sack of Potatoes romper and it would be SUPER cool for you go to vote on it (click on the little red heart on the photo)!
There are some pretty awesome prizes for the winners and it would make me so happy!
Of course, no pressure, if you think another romper is cuter, go ahead and click on that one instead…. Just don’t tell me, LOL! There is some fierce competition, as they are all amazing!
Vote here, I’m number 19!
THANK YOU A MILLION! :D
Hooray! I finished my quilt! It actually went relatively quickly, I think the fastest one I’ve made yet! And for the first time I LOVED every second I put into this one. There was not a single step that I felt like I was trudging through, even the squaring up! Which is totally crazy! I guess it really does feel good to know for SURE that I’m making it for someone else. The only other quilt I gave away (to my sister), I wasn’t sure if I was going to be selfish and keep it or not until I was almost finished..
I knew from the start that I wanted to give it to a sweet friend of mine who just had a baby. She is a kind and giving person, so I felt if anyone would appreciate the gift of a quilt (and who deserved one) it would be her. Especially since months ago we had a conversation in which she was talking about how amazed she was that anyone ever gave quilts away because of how much work they are and how special they are :)
Picking out the fabrics was kind of difficult, the typical pastel blue/ baby truck/ cheesy typical baby decor on fabrics for baby quilts is not my (or my friend’s) style, plus it was difficult to find something that wasn’t flowery or majorly girly. But then I saw this gorgeous jelly roll, which was SO perfect since the baby’s name is Clay and those oranges are exactly the color I imagine when I think of clay. The fabric roll is Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey for Moda. I went ahead and got coordinating backing and fabric for the binding in the same pattern family.
I used this tutorial for the Strip Twist. I really like all the movement in the pattern and how the diagonal squares look like they are the main blocks, giving a little illusion. And don’t you just LOVE when all the points match up? I certainly do!
I decided to just stitch in the ditch vertically, horizontally and diagonally instead of doing fun free motion because I really wanted to have lots of softness and drape since this would be a baby quilt (a REALLY big baby quilt, lol) I have found that more quilting makes a sturdier and not quite as soft finish, even though I love the look of it. I also thought that by doing it this way all the stitching wouldn’t distract from the fun pattern of the piecing itself.
OH and remember that horrible binding cutting mishap I had the other day? Well I fixed that right up and you can hardly even tell :) It actually took quite a few shots of the camera before the photo would even pick up those stitching lines!
I wish I had taken more photos, but the quilt was delivered to the little sweet baby yesterday and is much appreciated in it’s new home :)
As much as it is hard to let go of something you spent so much time and energy (and money- quilting is NOT a cheap hobby!) on, it also feels REALLY good to give it away to a sweet and thankful family!
This was actually the FIRST flipped raglan that I made, it just took me forever to get the camera in front of Millie while she was wearing it!
Again, the pattern is the Oliver + S raglan tee. All these could easily be done with any raglan pattern, that is just the one I happen to have :)
I can’t believe how hilariously perfect this photo shoot was, and I didn’t even realize it until editing the pictures! While we were at Joanne’s she REALLY wanted a bird house, so I had her pick one out with some paint. The deal ended up that she would pose for pictures as soon as she finished painting it. She then made sure that said birdhouse would be a photo prop since she was so excited about it.. HELLO, bird house? Bird shirt? Can’t be more perfect!
When Jake saw her wearing a bird shirt, he of course quoted Portlandia and said “Put a bird on it, Millie”. She of course didn’t recognize the joke so she so innocently replied “But already has birds, Daddy!” Hilarious.
Doing this flip was fun and easy. I wanted a little more structure than just a gather so I made little box pleats in the front neckline. I just took the front bodice pattern and laid it a few inches away from he fold in the fabric and just cut it wider than it should be. Then I eyeballed the little box pleats until they fit the width that the neck should be normally. I pressed the dickens out of them and then basted them in place before putting the rest of the pattern together.
Again, since it is summer, I just shortened the sleeves. Very basic alteration there.
The bird fabric I used was leftover from my plantain tank (got it from a local shop, not sure the make) and the blue was leftover sparkly knit (Joanne’s) from the Culebra dress I made her. Woohoo, I love being able to squeeze out extra leftovers to make something else awesome!!
I don’t know why I never thought to take pictures in “sport mode” on the camera before. Kids move FAST and most of my photos come out blurry. Not with this setting! I got fun shots of her jumping in the air, “fly like a bird!”
My other raglan flips (so far) are here and here. I already have another sewn up waiting to be blogged :) This really is fun making lots of different things from the same pattern! I certainly have gotten my money’s worth, lol!