Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

A dress!

So, I made a dress.

Vogue 8469
I finished the dress a couple of months ago but didn’t hem it until this weekend.  Thankfully the weather is still pretty warm here so I was able to wear it at least once before the season really changes.

The pattern I used was Vogue 8469.  I had to make an adjustment to the bodice–adding about 4 inches to it in order for the waist band to actually make it to my waist (I did a muslin of the bodice and everything!)  The fabric is cotton but with a titch of spandex so it has a nice body to it.

The dress is far from perfect–if you look closely it is clear I am not an expert seamstress.  Putting in the zipper was my least favorite part (and now that it is done opening and closing the zipper by myself requires some serious arm bending).  The waist is pretty snug so gaining weight is not an option (which I suppose is a good thing).  As for the pattern itself, the sleeves turned out a little shorter than I was picturing and I wish they were a bit longer as I don’t love short cap sleeves on me.  Overall though, I am happy with the way it turned out.  And while I won’t be appearing on Project Runway anytime soon…I am pleased with my sewing progress.

Vogue 8469 close

Now that this dress is finally finished I can’t help but think of what’s next.  Ideally something without a zipper.  I mean really, do our clothes actually need zippers?  I think a lot more people would take up and stick to sewing if zippers weren’t involved.  Just saying.

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More lounge pants

So, I like lounge pants.  Sue me.  My latest pair was inspired by a fabric find:

How much do you love those owls?!!?

The problem with falling in love with uber cutesy fabric is that it often has limited application.  I mean, if I love this fabric and want to make something with it that I can wear, what else am I going to make?  Lounge pants it is.

Not the best picture in the world but you get the idea.

These are (yet again) the Wide Leg Lounge Pants from Amy Butler’s In Stitches.  I made some adjustments to the pattern by trimming about an inch off each side of the leg to make them slightly less wide-legged and put in elastic instead of a drawstring tie for the waist.  This in fact is my most favorite modification.  Turns out, I love elastic waistbands for lounge pants.  They are just more comfortable to wear and much easier to sew then having to make buttonholes and a drawstring.

I promise I will sew some other kind of garment next.  I actually have the pieces all cut out for a dress but just haven’t gotten my act together to start sewing it.  I have been knitting quite a bit.  I ran into some issues (read: ran out of yarn) on my Vivian.  I was maybe 3 inches from the end of the hood.  Ugh.  I am using Knit Picks yarn and so I went to the site and ordered a new skein of  but then got sucked into ordering yarn for another project so I could get free shipping.  Side note: free shipping offers work really well on me.  I’ll reveal the yarn and new project very soon.  Back to Vivian though, I got my extra skein in the mail a couple of days ago and have been working on finishing.  I may just have an FO soon.  Shocking, I know.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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Sewing machine cover

I made a sewing machine cover a couple weeks ago.  I am not going to lie, it didn’t turn out awesome.  It had all the makings to be great.  A pocket!  Beautiful fabric!  Custom made-for-my-machine design!

I thought I was being smart.  I decided to add interfacing to the fabric I was using in order to give my finished cover a stronger body.  I went to Joann’s to buy some interfacing and picked out what looked to be the perfect product.  The first piece I adhered to my fabric came out very different from what I was expecting but had a cool quality to it.  It was almost like it turned the fabric into something resembling oilcloth.  Turns out, instead of buying fusible interfacing, I bought paper-backed fusible web which is used for creating appliques.  Now, I liked the way the fabric felt and it sure gave the cover some great body BUT, sewing these pieces was a nightmare.  A NIGHTMARE.

I had to change my needle twice as the residue from the backing would get all gunked up on my needle.  When stitching, it kept getting stuck and I would have to push the fabric along leading to uneven stitches.  Due to inconsistent stitching, the pieces refused to match up evenly when sewn.  I had to rip and re-sew several pieces of this project. Ugh.  In short, it was a huge pain to sew and I am shocked I managed to finish with something usable.

I know you can’t really tell what is wrong with it by this picture but if you were able to look closely you would see uneven stitching and some wonky gathering.  My perfectionist nature is driven a little mad by having to look at the not so great parts, but really, it could (and probably should) look so much worse, I still love the fabric, the cover fits perfectly, and I think I would rather die than rip the project and do it again.  So, I will live with it as is.  For now.

Permit me to leave you with some words of wisdom: don’t ever buy a product just because it has the word “fusible” in the title.  Just a little tip from me to you.

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Meet Twinkles the Bear

So this past weekend Kara and I hosted our 6-year-old niece Ellie for a sleepover at my house.  Here is Ellie being officially welcomed via the vinyl chalkboard on my kitchen wall:

We picked up Ellie on Friday night, dined at Applebee’s, painted toe and finger nails, played the Fancy Nancy card game, made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream shakes, watched the new Tinkerbell movie, and then all settled down for bed.  Come early Saturday morning, Ellie and I were watching cartoons and the thought came to me that perhaps it wasn’t the most exciting use of our time together.  I suggested a couple options for her to choose from (continue to watch TV, drawing pictures, perhaps a small sewing project) and she immediately jumped on the chance to sew.  We pulled out several sewing pattern books and started looking for the perfect pattern.  At first she was thinking she wanted a purse but then she saw a stuffed animal pattern and our search quickly narrowed.  Kara had joined us at this point and all three of us decided on this pattern:

The pattern is Peg Bear from One Yard Wonders.  Cute right?  Next step was picking fabric.  At first Ellie REALLY wanted the same fabric as the red polka dot Bear pictured in the pattern.  I actually happen to have that exact fabric in my stash but it is being saved for a particular project so I was hesitant to use it.  Luckily we found some other fabric in my stash that we all determined was even better.  Ellie was able to quickly see the vision of how cute the different fabric would be.  She is creative like that.

After a quick trip to JoAnn’s for some materials, we got started sewing in earnest.  Ellie helped with the pinning:

And the stuffing:

She had moments of pure happiness:

And even got a little stressed out:

In then end, it was all worth it for our work resulted in Ellie’s newest best friend, Twinkles:

I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun on a Saturday.  Ellie is a girl after her Aunts’ hearts as she kept exclaiming, “This is so fun” and “I LOVE this!”  Looks like the creating gene has bled to another generation.  We simply had a blast.  (The only damper on our day was knowing how much fun Ellie’s older sister Emma would have had if she too was with us.  Next time it is Emma’s turn.)

Ellie loves Twinkles for her perfectly hugable size, her adorable belly button and sparkly button eyes, and I hope partially because we created her together. We love you Twinkles.

Fun Fact: When Kara was little she used to have a pet bunny named Twinkles.  Ellie remembered the name and out of the blue decided to name her bear Twinkles in honor of her Aunt’s deceased pet.  She is a cute one that Ellie.

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Before I started sewing, one of the projects that kept tempting and wooing me into the craft was the Colored Pencil Roll pattern found in Last Minute Patchwork Gifts.  About a month after I started sewing I realized I could totally make it now.  I immediately thought of my niece Ellie’s birthday coming up and knew she had to have a custom colored pencil roll made by her Auntie Erin.

I started to collect fat quarters and found a bunch of great ones at this quilt market my friend took me to.  Next step was to buy the colored pencils.  I then painstakingly went through all the fabric I had in order to match the right color tone of the fabric with the different pencil colors.  For those that I didn’t have the right matching fabric for, I took to the fabric store and matched the pencil to the bolts of fabric.  I learned A LOT about color with this project and it really made me want to try my hand at other patchwork and quilting projects.

I found this great Little Red Riding Hood fabric (actually Kara was with me at the time and she spotted it) that was perfectly suited for the backing of the roll.  Every step of this project was fun to create from the patchwork front to attaching the little ties to the side.  I love the result.  And I hope Ellie does too.

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Baby Kimono

First off, thank you so much for all your kind comments and condolences on my grandfather’s passing.  I really appreciate all the love and support I feel from friends–both in real and blog life.  In about a week I will be heading to Hawaii for the funeral to say goodbye along with many members of my extended family.  I’ll try to give a full report on my time there.

Now…the baby kimono.

I know right? 

My friend Jennie is having a baby boy in April and I was having some trouble deciding what I would make for her.  I thought about something knitted but then thought something sewn would be a better choice for a spring and summertime baby.  Plus there is this book… 

I bought the book Weekend Sewing the minute I knew amazon had stock–I had seen a preview copy a couple months ago and like its sister book (Weekend Knitting) I fell in love right away.  This is the first project I’ve made from the book and so far I am very pleased and can’t wait to try more. 

I love this kimono jacket.  There is something so wonderful about miniature anything.  The pattern size is for newborn to 3 months which makes for an especially tiny garment.  Like with most baby things I make, I had a hard time giving it away.  If it didn’t sound so weird and unhealthy I would decorate my house in miniature baby knits and sewn items. 

Project Stats

Pattern: Lucy’s Kimono

Source: Weekend Sewing

Fabric: Moda, Urban Chiks SWEET collection, Icing

Size: Newborn – 3 months

Mods: Maybe?  I don’t know…I did have a couple questions about the pattern.  I just don’t know if I found errors or if my questions came about because I am still fairly new to the sewing world and thus didn’t get some of the instructions.  One in particular was about the side ties–the pattern seemed to say that the two ties added to the sides of the kimono are done the same on both sides.  However, I believe you need one to be accessible on the outside of the kimono and the other on the inside.  Either way, the couple questions I did have I was able to work out on my own which in the end was a good learning experience for me to do some sewing troubleshooting. 

As a side note…Some of you have asked me where I get my fabric.  Most of the fabric I have featured so far I bought at this really great craft store in Denver called Fancy Tiger.  They have a small but fantastic collection of fabric (mostly cotton) as well as yarn, stuff for embroidery, felting, spinning, and other craft projects.  I love going there and want to buy something new every time I go.  So next time you are in town, you should for sure check it out.

Next up: a newly finished sweater…yes, I really mean it.

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Kimono Robe

A couple weekends ago, I made this:

You all probably think I only wear lounge clothes.  At the rate I am going, I just might try it.  Admittedly, I do love sewing some lounge wear.  I think it is in part due to the fabric.  There is such great fabric out there but not all of it translates from the bolt to out-of-the-house wearing.  But with lounge wear…you really can play around with just about any fabric.

Here are the stats:

Pattern: Kimono Robe

Source: In Stitches by Amy Butler

Fabric: Anna Maria Horner, Good Folks AH24Sea

Size: M

Mods: None

I love this fabric.

I know it seems like all I am doing is sewing but that is just because 1. I am sewing a lot and 2.  it doesn’t take as long to finish stuff.  As for my knitting, I am currently working on seaming my latest sweater…this WIP has been a long time coming and if all goes well I will be able to reveal it this weekend.

Okay, that’s all for now.  But trust me, there is fun stuff coming up. Blog soon.

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