This is the cutest thing I've ever seen...

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Have a Happy New Years Eve with someone you love!
(or with Zooey and Joseph)


2011 Top 5

12:37 PM 6 Comments A+ a-

I've gone back and forth with the idea of doing a 2011 wrap up post, mostly because I'm lazy, so I decided instead of going back through everything I've made this year I would give you my top 5 favorite makes (in no particular order)... 


Since I started sewing in 2009, I would say this has been my most productive year and a lot of it has to do with starting this blog in February. Not only has the amount of garments I've made grown significantly, but the quality of them has as well. Also, I find myself wearing them on an almost daily basis. It was interesting the first time I woke up and put on a dress I made, not because I wanted to wear something that I made, but because I just wanted to wear a cute dress. The moment handmade clothes move from "something I made" to "something I just like to wear" in your brain is pretty cool...

This blog has been such an awesome outlet for me in the last year. As I mentioned above, it's certainly upped my productivity, but it's also such a great place for support. All of my readers are so kind and encouraging in my sewing forays and it's really special to me to be part of a community of people who love the same thing and who support each other in our collective hobby. A few months ago I was gabbing to my sister about some fellow sewing bloggers and projects they'd posted and she said "I'm so glad you've found this group of people to do this with." I'm so glad I've found you too!

I know 2012 is going to be amazing for all of us. I've decided to commit more time and effort to this blog and really make sewing a bigger priority in the next year. I hope to re-vamp the blog, start some weekly series, work on my photography, work on busting my stash and hopefully get to know more of you! Here's to a great next year!

XOXO

FNA

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

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Hope whatever holiday you're celebrating,
it's very very merry!

One more top before Christmas...

11:05 AM 1 Comments A+ a-

Here's yet another top I've made with in the last few weeks to beef up my separates wardrobe...

It's a blouse version of Simplicity 2497, the pattern I made my cocktail dress from! I have to admit, modifying this pattern to a blouse was stolen from Sew Tessuti. It was a really easy modification, I just measured the length of a shirt I liked, then added the difference to the bottom of the bodice front and back pieces. I didn't even trace it on to new paper or anything, just pinned the original pattern piece to the fabric, measured down, drew a chalk line and cut.

I went back and forth on the details of it for a while. First I was going to make it sleeveless with the ruffle detail, like the Tessuti version, but then I decided I might want sleeves too. After going back and forth on using one or both elements, I finally ended up with just the sleeves because they have a really pretty detail, and I worried that with the ruffle it would be overkill...
Love the pleating! (even though it's crazy wrinkled!)
Here's a more color accurate picture on leopard-print me. The color is really pretty and vibrant. I think I look best in jewel tones, so I should probably make a few more like this!
Sorry for the wrinkles!
I really adore the fabric, which I bought from Fabricmart forever ago. It's a charmuese and it was so easy to work with! Suspiciously easy actually. Maybe it's made of rayon? I bought it a while back so I can't remember for sure...
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Now back to my endless Christmas sewing that must be accomplished in the next two days! Ahhhhh!

Spoiling Myself Rotten...

11:03 AM 5 Comments A+ a-

It's ridiculous how much sewing stuff I'm buying myself for my "Christmas present" this year. Does it make you a bad person to spend more money on Christmas gifts for yourself than everyone else on your list combined? Maybe. But if this is wrong I don't want to be right...

First up, 2 vintage patterns from Etsy:

First Simplicity 7845, which I saw on someone else's blog (can't remember who now) and then immediately snatched up the first one I saw on Etsy. If I can get my butt off the couch this morning I'll be making the cream colored version in maroon for Christmas.

 
Second is Simplicity 6912, which I purchased from a fellow Texan, Christa, who has a million great patterns for really decent prices, so go over and get some! I'm crazy excited about this pattern because I already have 50 different ways I want to make it for summer!
In other pattern news...

I shamefully have never purchased any Colette patterns, although I have used and loved the Sorbetto, so I bought the Colette Sewing Handbook as well as the patterns for the Clover pants (I've been wanting to make these forever!) and Jasmine blouse. Can't wait for it all to come in!



Then, this morning I discovered (via Lazy Stitching) another fabulous independent sewing company, Victory Patterns! I immediately purchased the Ava Dress/Blouse, which is too fabulous for words and it's now patiently sitting in PDF form on my computer, waiting to be printed out!
Finally, to round out the "printed materials" category, I bought the famed Fit for Real People a few weeks ago and have been gobbling it up ever since! I've heard so much about this book and I'm super excited to use the techniques in it, however, I have to say, the pictures and styling make me laugh every time. Especially this one...


Finally, the sister and mom came to the city yesterday for some craft store/pet store shopping and since JoAnns was having a huge sale and I had the coupons, they graciously invited me along. So I ofcourse bought a ton of fabric, as you do...


And I finally caved and bought the Martha Stewart glitter glue pens I've been lusting after for almost a year. They're $35 normally, but I had a 40% off coupon, which brought them down to around $20. Maybe after another year of convincing I'll buy the loose glitter collection...

Here are all 24 of them in their glittery glory...

I've already used them to give myself a glittery Christmas manicure that I'm not sure you can see in this picture. Suffice to say, my nails are super sparkly, just the way I like them!

Hope you're spoiling yourself a little (or a lot) this Christmas too!

Sweater Weather

11:15 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

Seriously, you need to make Butterick 5394 (view E) right now. This sweater is awesome. Super warm, cute and kimono-like and crazy easy to sew. Like, less than an hour easy...

I've had this pattern forever but never did anything with it. Then I bought this grey and black checked fleecy softy warm stuff from JoAnns (don't you love my fabric descriptions!) and decided I needed a snuggly warm wrap because I am such a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I'm also a sucker for kimono's and this sweater is definitely in that style...
Huge Sleeves!
Anyway, it goes together crazy fast, needs no alterations and was super warm on a rainy San Antonio day...
Close up of the print...
Hope you have a warm Wednesday!

Baby It's Cold Outside

10:35 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

I don't know if the boyfriend has ever really cared whether or not I sew for him until this pair of pj pants. We were visiting his aunt and uncle a few weeks ago in Fort Worth and we soon discovered our South Texas bodies were not prepared for the North Texas chill of early November. (I know if you live anywhere that gets actually cold you're rolling your eyes right now) The boyfriend borrowed a pair of wind suit pants from his uncle and finally discovered the joy and comfort of an elastic waisted pant. Because he didn't own any elastic waisted pants, including pajamas, I'm proud to say before this he would NEVER be the type to wear pj bottoms to the store, out to eat, etc.
Quick rant: I HATE when people wear pajama pants in public, yoga pants are only slightly better... The rest of us get out of bed and put on pants with a button and a zipper and you can too! I'm all about pjs for lounging around the house. In fact, they go on as soon as I get home from work, but when you're in public, join the rest of society and wear real clothes!
Anyway, I thought I should make him a pair to wear around the house in the chilly weather for his endless Saturday football watching. (unfortunately I got these finished a bit too late for Saturday college football... oops!) As soon as I told him he perked up (he hates the cold as much a s I do) and kept asking me when I was going to get them finished, which I finally did this afternoon. I used a teal and grey plaid flannel from JoAnns and I actually pre-washed it because it felt a little stiff. I know that's a big confession... I almost never pre-wash my fabric. I pretty much only do when it's from an estate sale and smells like mothballs. I should probably be kicked out of the sewing community for this offense, but so far (knock on wood) I haven't had any problems.
Post wash the fabric is lovely and soft and fuzzy like flannel is supposed to be. I used Simplicity 2317, a multi-sex pajama pattern. I cut a medium, which matched all his measurements, but they're still a little baggy in my opinion. I guess because they're lounge pants it's not too big of a deal. Also, I used the elastic guide in the pattern and the elastic turned out too big! Like falling off his hips too big. That's the second time that's happened to me with a Simplicity pattern. Ugh! I'll try to fix it if I can tear them away from him for a few minutes. Anyway, I took them over to his house this afternoon for a pj/movie watching party and after he tried them on he said "well if I was planning on getting any work done today, it's not going to happen after putting on these pants." I guess that's as good a review as I could get, saggy elastic and all!

PS You really should get this pattern. The pants are crazy easy to sew, and they have you attach the crotch seam first instead of assembling the legs and doing that mind bending right side out inside the inside out leg thing... Even with adding non-pattern sanctioned pockets I turned these things out in less than an hour and a half.
Hope you're staying warm wherever you are!

Thanksgiving Dress!

10:02 AM 3 Comments A+ a-

Finally got around to taking a picture of my Thanksgiving dress. Don't know why I look so angry about it though...


For the about a month before Thanksgiving, I was lusting over the idea of a cream colored, drapey sort of dress to wear with fun heels for the big day. I was mostly inspired by the images below...
Not sure where this one is from...














 
I used McCalls 6200 for this dress because it had a drapey feel to it, a lot like the first dress above. The pattern is made for knits, but I didn't really know why it had to be since it's so loose, so I made it with a piece of woven, peach-skinny stuff from JoAnns. It's a super easy pattern and I had no problems using woven material, especially because I decided to use the bell sleeve version, instead of the one with cuffs. I was initially worried that it looked a little like a choir robe, but I've since been reassured that it does not. I've worn it a few times to work, meetings, dinners, etc and it's really comfy and easy to throw on. It does require a slip of some kind, right now I'm using one that came with a RTW dress I bought this summer, but down the line I might make my own. I just ordered some new tan boots, and I'm thinking this dress with a tan belt and the new boots will easily  move me into spring.
Promise I wasn't angry when I took this...
Here it is in action on Thanksgiving day...

Now I need to figure out my Christmas dress! Happy weekend darlings!

Toppers

5:19 PM 7 Comments A+ a-

I still haven't taken pictures of my Thanksgiving dress because I'm super lazy, so that will have to wait a few days. In the mean time, I thought I'd show you two tops I made a few weeks ago.

I, like most seamstresses, tend to make mostly dresses because, well, they're more fun... But I've been trying to up my separates game, especially when it comes to tops, so I have something to wear with slacks when it gets cold. Here are two steps in that direction...

First, I made a Pendrell! I'm going to be trite and reiterate what all the other bloggers have said, this pattern is fabulous! It was easy to put together and I really like the way it fits and looks. I finished the inside with french seams, which I know is crazytown on a princess seamed blouse but it worked out all right. It's made with a poly charmuese (sp?) from JoAnns.


 
So here's the problem... I didn't notice until it was already finished that I inserted the sleeves unevenly! Luckily you can't really tell because of the pattern, so I pointed it out for you. Yikes! Somehow they're even on the back but not on the front! I asked my co-workers if it was super obvious and they said they couldn't really tell so I'm going to ignore it, instead of ripping it all apart and re-doing it.


Next up is a tie-front blouse from the 10/2010 issue of Burda. This was made with yet another poly charmuese from JoAnns. Clearly I have an addiction to super difficult to work with fabric.


I think I like this blouse in theory more than in actuality. Even though I cut the tie smaller than the instructions called for, the slippery, heavy fabric is making the bow hang strangely. I think overall it's fine, but I don't love it the way I thought I would.


Despite the problems though, yay for new tops!