Saturday, September 7, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The "Best Intentions' Blouse

The Facts

Fabric:  100% Thai silk
Notions: Pink thread
Pantone Challenge colors:  Acai, Mykonos Blue, and Turbulence
Pattern: Burda 08/2012 #112A
Year: 2012
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn:  To work
Wear again?  Maybe
Total Cost: Free!

Well best intentions are pretty close but in the end don't really cut it, huh?  I was planning on using notions and patterns from my swap partner for the Sew Weekly Reunion but alas I was laid off at work and all hell broke loose.  You'd think with no job and the kids in school that I would have all of the time in the world but the last two weeks have gone by too fast!

So before I received my swap goodies, I made this blouse from fabric that my mother in law brought back for me from Thailand.  It has a beautiful print of elephants and pottery and who knows what else.  Plus I could get credit for the use of Pantone colors Acai, Mykonos Blue, and Turbulence - if you can use your imagination!

This blouse was marked as "easy" as it should have been but not enough fabric lends to some issues.  Notable, the ties are a bit short.  I also washed the the washing machine...and therefore it is a little stiff.  I pressed the hell outta that fabric!  Hopefully some wear will soften it a bit.

Even though I'm late, didn't use my swap notions or pattern, and fudged the colors a bit -  I hope I'm not kicked out of the club!  There is always next time!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vogue 1679 - TSW Reunion Inspiration

Ms. Veronica sent me the vintage pattern Vogue 1679 for TSW Reunion Pattern and Notions swap.  I am striving to make View E (i.e., the multi-colored, short sleeved, knee length dress without cowl on pattern front) for the challenge.  I've opened the pattern, ironed the pieces, and started looking around the interweb for inspiration.

Guess who loves this pattern? Kazz! She's blogged about it here, here, here, and here. This girl really loves her some Vogue 1679! And what is best is that for each one she has used different types of fabrics, made different views - all making each and every one unique. Inspiration overload - just what I needed! Thanks Kazz!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sew Weekly Pattern and Notions Swap - Receiving

As you know I signed up for the above mentioned swap.  The swap was round-robin style:  the person who I had wasn't the person who had me.  About a week after the packages were supposed to be sent I wrote a calm and collected (read: worried) email to the swap organizer, Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes, who graciously replied with the following:
"Your swap package has quite a distance to travel, so I suspect it'll take a couple of weeks to arrive with you! The person who it's coming from it very reliable though, so never fear - I'm sure it'll get to you safe and sound. :-)"
(read:  calm down girlie, you'll get your package - what, is this your first swap or something?)

So of course, I immediately start thinking of the places it could be coming from and the only person that popped into my head was Adey from The Sew Convert who lives in Singapore.  Adey was one of the five talented women who sewed a garment a week for The Sew Weekly in 2011.  ANWAY.  I was beside myself fantasizing about what I was going to be getting, who it was going to be coming from, what I would make, would it be good enough, would I have time, and on and on and on.

Nothing.  Nothing came and I really started to worry.  Was my swap partner lame?  Did they forget about me?  You know, all of the really dumb things you start to think when you are new to something and don't know what to expect.  How naive of me!  How utterly STUPID of me.

So I kind of forgot about the whole thing until one night my husband casually told me that I received a package from Australia.  AUSTRALIA!  Um.  Australia?  Australia, as in, where VERONICA DARLING is from?  As in, Toni calm down, you might be touching something that Veronica Darling touched?  (OK, really - I'm not this crazy or stalker-y).  So I picked up the package and saw this:

Then I turned it over and saw this:


Then. I. Opened. It.

I am one spoiled gal, fo sho!  Veronica (yes VERONICA!) sent along homemade bias tape, self cover buttons, an emerald zip, a Vogue pattern for me, AND a very thoughtful pattern for my daughter, Roya.  Look how happy she is to be included:
Roya is holding a beautiful card from a local artist that Veronica wrote a cute little note inside.  Thank you so much to Veronica for the lovely goodies.  It was well worth the wait and I am so excited to started sewing!  And now I am so addicted to swaps.  How could you not be when your first was so awesome?  I know each and every one will be as exciting as this one was.  How could it not?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sew Weekly Pattern and Notions Swap - Giving

Yeah!  Tanya recevied my package!  I'm so glad she 1) received it safe and sound and 2) that she didn't have the patterns I sent!  I can't wait to see what beautiful pieces she makes from them.  Now for me to patiently await my goodies!  Waiting. Is. So. Hard.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The "Copycat" Dress

Fabric 2.5 yards of navy blue knit from Joann's
Pattern: Simplicity 2443, View A, Size 14
Notions: 7" invisible zipper, thread
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: To work - July 22, 2013
Total price: $1.99 for the pattern, maybe $4/yard (?) for the fabric: <$10
Wear again? Yes, after some minor alterations
As I have said before, I tend to copy the pattern exactly on the cover with respect to fabric.  I'm not very savvy when it comes to fabric and I have a ton of quilting cotton in my stash (when I was starting to sew I was doing a lot of crafty sewing and making children's clothes).  So when I bought this pattern at Joann's I immediately purchased the same navy blue knit to go along with it.  Unfortunately, Joann's is the closest and cheapest place for me to buy fabric.  Its not the greatest for quality and options in apparel fabric.  I wish I had a Michael Lavine's or a Mood right around the corner but I don't (Have you seen these places?  Where does one start?!).  Plus I'm a tightwad when it comes to buying fabric and those 50% coupons really come in handy.  We do have a local fabric shop in Salt Lake City called Yellow Bird Fabrics, but fabric from there comes with a hefty price tag that I can't splurge for right now.

I'm going to have to work on the photographer!  Or is it the model?
I completed all but the hem on this dress March and just now finished the hem.  It was staring at me hanging in the laundry room just begging me to be worn.  So I whipped up the hem the other night and voila, here she be.
I love this dress.  Except.  There is some strange bunching up on the side of my bust that drives me insane.  I think that I need to clip the seam allowance a bit more and hopefully the seam will lie flat.  A colleague at work said this is happening because I'm not full on the sides - duh.  I'm not full anywhere!  I'm pretty pleased with the results.  One thing I learned is to let the dress hang for a couple of days before hemming.  It helps a lot with the drape in terms of hemming!  Who would've thunk?
Closeup of buldge on upper corner of bust.

Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge and Pattern and Notions Swap

I am a swap virgin.  I have no idea what I am doing.  But I am giddy with anticipation and nervous for the reaction of my swap partner.

The four Sew Weekly gals from 2011 have resurrected a theme based sewing challenge in a reunion and swap.  I heard about this by clicking away at the 100s of sewing blogs I follow and am so glad that I stumbled upon it (if I spent half of the time sewing instead of stalking, I would be an expert seamstress by now!).  The theme this time around was inspired by the new Pantone fall color scheme.  Anyway, you can read more about it here so that you don't have to read my ramblings.

I just packaged up my goodies to send along to my swap partner.  I hope that she enjoys them!  I am anxious to see who had me for their swap partner and what goodies they thought of just for me.

Swap Package Ready to be Shipped!

I'm already working on my item to submit for the Sew Weekly Reunion challenge.  I hope it goes well.  I'm a little out of my league but there are some great sewists out there who I truly adore, even if I have never met any of them.

Using this 100% Thai Silk for my challenge

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film Petit Sewing Series: Back to the Future

Just ask anyone what my favorite movie of all time is and without fail they will shout "Back to the Future".  And I'm not alone!  Check out Skirt As Top, a little gray, and MADE.  I am so totally doing this.  I have my own little George McFly at home!

At least now I know that I'm not the only one with a slightly crazy love obsession with a movie from the '80s.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Local Fabric Swap

If you are in Utah, head on down to Provo for a fabric swap on March 30th.  I will be out of town and am really bummed to miss out on meeting some local sewists.  Have fun and let me know if you make it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Bowie Leotard

I love my daughter. Ever since she saw The Labyrinth she's been a David Bowie fanatic. She begs to listen to "Changes", "Young Americans", "Fame", and "Golden Years". Oh, and did I mention she's 5? Here is a video of her zoning out to David live.

She is currently in tumbling once a week and has been wearing the same leotard for six months now. So the other day we were at the fabric store looking for something for me and I spotted the lycra spandex fabric and asked her to pick out one she liked. She went for the most sparkly thing she could find - she might love David Bowie and Star Wars but she still loves everything girly and princess-y.

A few days later I was surfing the web scouring the 50+ sewing blogs I stalk when lo and behold I see that Tempest of is holding a Bowie sewalong during the month of March. What a coincidence! What a thing of beauty! I knew just the thing to contribute and since I told my daughter about this sewalong she's been chomping at the bit to see what I come up with.

Well my weary readers (you didn't know where I was going with this did you?) I present to you The Bowie Leotard - a combination of the album cover for Aladdin Sane and those crazy leotards Ziggy Stardust wore:

The pattern is Kwik Sew 154. I scored it from my husband's grandma - she sewed all of her children's clothes until they were in college. She gave me about 100 patterns that I'm trying to get through before my kids grow out of them. I cut a size six and had to take some of the extra length out of the shoulders. The back scoops a little too low so next time I will accommodate for that. Other than that it took me about 25 minutes to cut out and sew. The bead embroidery took me an hour.

I hope that this lives up to all of the other fine assembles that will be sewn this month as tribute to a fine musician. I know that my daughter loves her leotard. I can't wait for her to explain it to her teachers and teammates in her next class.  She struck these poses for the camera long before she ever saw the pictures of David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust above.  She's a natural.

Thanks to Tempest for hosting the sewalong AND commenting on my blog! There are so many fantastic and inspiring sewists out there and I am truly grateful that my attempt at a sewing blog has been graced with such talent!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 2013 Bowie Sew-Along

Need I say More?

Update: If the host of the sewalong that you posted about comments on your lame sewing blog then you best get your act together! Please click on the pic below for more information on the Bowie sewalong that Tempest from Fanbloomingtastic is hosting. I have something planned to contribute - post coming soon!

Bowie Sew Along on

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The "Surinam" Skirt


Fabric:  1.25 yards of lightweight border print from Surinam, South America and lining
Pattern:  McCalls 3341, View D, Size 14
Year:  2007
Notions:  7" invisible zipper, thread
Time to complete:  4 hours 
First worn:  To work today!
Total price:  $0.99 for the pattern, fabric was a gift
Wear again?  Yes!

My husband was is Surinam, South America three years ago for my MIL's 60th birthday.  I couldn't go because I was eight months pregnant at the time.  When he came home he presented me with about four yards of a red/brown border print as a peace offering for leaving me and my daughter in the very pregnant state I was.  He's been hounding me since then to make something with the fabric.  Until now, I haven't been confident enough in my sewing abilities not to f@#$ it up.  This pattern was really easy and I didn't even make a muslin since my changes to Butterick B5466 were very minimal.  Although, in hindsight I need to remember to make adjustments for my long torso!

I even learned my lesson and inserted a lining right off the bat.  Except that the skirt still bunches/catches with tights.  I think it is because the lining I bought is cheap/manmade.  I am such a cheap ass sometimes with regards to fabric and I need to learn that sometimes its worth spending the money for a quality garment.  I think it will be better in the summer when I can wear it without tights.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The "Sew Easy" Skirt

FabricAbout 1.5 yards of a stretch gabardine from Joanns.
Pattern:  Butterick B5466, View E, Size 14
Year:  2010
Notions:  7" zipper, hook and eye closure, thread
Time to complete:  Maybe 4 hours over many days 
First worn:  To work a couple of weeks ago 
Total price:  $0.99 for the pattern, fabric was maybe $5
Wear again?  Yes after inserting a lining

I bought like 3 yards of this magenta, stretch gabardine fabric from Joanns last year - it has a bit of stretch in it and I thought it would be a nice candidate for a fall/winter skirt.  I don't know when I picked up this pattern but it must have been during one of the $0.99 sales since that is the only way I buy patterns.  I chose view E in a size 14 to sew and KNEW that I should put in a lining but I didn't listen to reason/intution and forged on.  The photo below shows a lot of puckering in the fabric on the back that doesn't really show when worn.  Also the zipper is a bit low but with a hook and eye this is kinda fixed.

I made a muslin and adjusted the front darts longer by 1.5 inches to mitigate the bagginess in the front.  I didn't know if I was doing the right thing but it seemed to work so I guess I'll be doing more of that in the future until someone tells me otherwise.  I recall having a serger malfunction at some point, but my mind has forgotten all about that horror and I won't be repeating the story here.  I hand stitched the hem and am very proud of the way it looks!

I love the skirt - just love it.  Except.  One.  Thing.  It needs a lining.  So before I wear it again, I'll need to insert a lining.  Should be easy enough - I just have to get over that hump of going back to a "finished" project.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Patterns to a good home

Anyone want these:

Serendipity Studio, Butterick 5439, and Mcalls M5608 patterns have not been cut.

Simplicity 9911 has been cut at a size L

Simplicity 2767 has been cut at a size 3.

Oliver + s pattern has been cut at a size 3.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Revenge of the Serger!

Stay tuned for a post about a skirt I made!  OMG - I actually made something.  You/I only had to wait a year.