Bad Blogger Award

3:42 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

Source: via Forrest on Pinterest

I've been practicing this thought a lot lately. Perhaps to my detriment...

Sewing machine acting up? Give up and have a margarita.
House/sewing area dirty? Give up and have a margarita.
Take a bunch of pictures of a bunch of things you've made for your blog and then realize they all turned out fuzzy? Give up and have a margarita.
Feel guilty about not blogging for forever? Give up and have a margarita.

So basically, sorry I've been a big jerk and have ignored my blog for a while. I've been busy drinking margaritas. And sometimes red wine. And sometimes home brew beer. (yes, we brewed our own beer using this kit! it's awesome!)

Also, it's going to get worse before it gets better. The fiance and I finally decided to move in together, so I'm spending the next 1.5 weeks packing and moving and not sewing. Then a trip to Dallas that will hopefully include fabric shopping. Then unpacking and organizing my new sewing room! Then maybe I'll get over my laziness and retake all the pictures I mentioned above? The point is, give me a few more weeks and then I'll hopefully have oodles to show you! In the meantime, I'm still reading all your blogs and drooling over their greatness. Definitely inspiring me to pack faster so I can get back to sewing soon!


Fall Sewing Plans

4:25 PM 11 Comments A+ a-

If y'all know anything about me by now it's that I am not an organized, thoughtful blogger who plans out posts, takes beautiful pictures and creates lovely graphic designs. I'm mostly just a lazy girl who occasionally likes to have people appreciate her sewing (or at least know that she made what she's wearing), since no one I see regularly really cares.

So rather than show you my fall sewing plans in some beautiful way (like those ladies who take the line drawing from a pattern and add in the fabric in photo shop so you can see what the piece will actually look like), I just dumped the fabric on the floor of my living room last night and took pictures with my iPhone. Also, the lighting is terrible. I'm amazed you people put up with me!

So this (with the addition of these two coats) is my fall sewing plan. Or maybe it's more like a wish list. There's a lot of projects and I'm pretty sure I won't complete them all, but this gives me plenty of options depending on my sewing mood (aka: do I want to sew something difficult or easy, a dress or a top or a skirt or a pair of pants, do I want to make something to wear to this weekend, etc.).

First up are PJ's. I've actually already made pants (view F) out of all three of these fabrics from Joann's,
but 2 of them were close to the end of the bolt so I got extra fabric and I think I'll make the short sleeve top (view A) from the same pattern with the extra fabric.

These will become Anise jackets. A mustard one with black and white polka dot lining and a black one
with a red and black polka dot lining. (not sure you can tell there are polka dots on that fabric, but there are). Both of these outer fabrics are medium weight suiting. I know that the suggestion for the pattern is for wool but it's not often cold enough here for too many wool jackets.
Medium weights are better for South Texas.

These will also become jackets. A light grey blazer, view A (with enough fabric left over for maybe a pencil skirt) and something else with the black and white stripe.
Maybe a blazer, maybe another Anise, not sure yet.
Skirts, all pencil skirts, except the grey, which will probably become a Beignet.

These will be tops. The butterfly print on the left will be a tunic like this, the grey/blue polka dot
will probably be this button down, the black/white polka dot something like this,
and I'm still not sure about the fabric on the far right. It's from my New York fabric buying binge and I've never been sure what to do with it...

Next up are dresses. This pretty teal will be a Nicola wrap dress, the grey plaid a simple pullover dress, 
the grey and black floral will be a wrap dress like this, and finally, the pretty mustard floral will be a remake of this dress, probably with a dirndl skirt.

These 2 will be pants. The plaid will be these Vogue trousers and the hot pink corduroy (this stuff is BRIGHT PINK in real life) will be another pair of Clovers.

Finally, these might end up as some combination of suiting pieces. They're all pretty large pieces, so I think I can get a few garments out of each. The left piece might be a dress and maybe a pencil skirt. The grey linen in the middle might be a pair of wide legged pants with a matching vest and the black wool on the right will probably be the Starlet Suit Jacket from Gertie's Craftsy course, (I can't find the link to this class on the main website! wonder if it's no longer available?) with a pencil skirt rather than the one from the course...

I would like to add this last piece of fabric to the project list, but I'm not sure what to do with it. It's a really loose weave knit, that has pleats ironed into it. It's pretty see-through, so it would have to be lined if it was going to be a dress or something. I bought this from Joanns a few months ago. Anybody buy the same fabric or have any ideas?

Oh yeah, I'm also making a quilt but this crazy cat keeps sleeping on it so it's slow going!

So that's my fall/winter sewing plan. I'm sure it will change, things will be added and subtracted, but it's definitely enough to keep me busy! The cutting out starts this weekend...

Cynthia Rowley Take 2

10:00 AM 6 Comments A+ a-

I'm finally getting around to posting the last of my summer dressmaking! Now I have 4 or 5 "fall-ish" dresses I need to photograph and post. Yikes.

This is take 2 of Simplicity's 2250, yet another Cynthia Rowley pattern! I do love my Cynthia Rowley! I've already made this dress once, but something always felt a little off about that version of the dress. I think it had to do mainly with my fabric choice and the length. I used a really light weight broadcloth for my first dress and it always felt a little too wispy and young. Plus the bodice never looked totally right to me because the fabric didn't press well. I ended up giving the dress to my sister though, so I won't talk to much trash about it ;) Hi Allie!

This time I used a heavier weight teal cotton, which pressed much better and even though it might not look like it, the hem is a little longer. Those 2 things have made all the difference, this time around I really love this dress! (PS this has a weird pleated skirt like the dress in my last post. Seriously, check out the line drawings. Not normal...)

Alright, now I'm done with bad pictures and unseasonal clothes! My lovely boytoy has moved back to Texas officially so he can become my permanent photographer! Hopefully next week I'll have some better pictures of my fall sewing!

Happy Weekend!

Polka Dot Dilemma

3:26 PM 8 Comments A+ a-

I'm just going to come out and say it. I think I look like a child in this dress.

This is the dress I was originally going for(on the right), from the Spring/Summer Clarks advertisements...

And here's what happened...

I used a white with pink polka dot quilting cotton I thrifted a few months back. I also used Simplicity 1873, a Cynthia Rowley pattern. Here's the good news. It fits really well in the bust and I think I did a pretty good job making it, if I do say so myself. It's fully lined with white cotton and I think that, combined with the thickness of the outer fabric and the pleated skirt, is my one problem with the construction. The skirt feels a little heavy and I think the pleats hang a little funny because of the weight. I probably should have just gathered the skirt, instead of using the typical, weird Cynthia Rowley pleated skirt. (is this just me? I feel like every dress I make with her patterns has a weird pleated skirt, either asymmetrical pleats, or just a lot of them. It's never just a gathered or simply pleated skirt. I'm not really complaining though, I usually think they're cute, just not with this fabric)

So, when I comes to the pattern, I will most likely be using it again. In fact I think I already have some fabric in mind for a fall version. I like the shape and I think it fits well. But with this specific dress, something (maybe the polka dots?) makes me look like a little girl. It just feels sort of juvenile, so I haven't actually worn it yet. I was hoping it would be a great work dress but, I'm already pretty young for my field and my position so I usually try to dress a bit older and I feel like this has the opposite effect. I can't figure out why it looks so cute in the advertisement but I don't love it in real life...

What do you think? Mid-20's working lady or 5 year old going to a birthday party?

Colette, You Did It Again!

4:20 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

Colette's new patterns are up and I've already purchased the Anise jacket and the companion guide which I'm really excited about! I contemplated getting the Juniper pants but I have a million pants pattern and I've only made 2 pairs so far, both using the same pattern, so I reigned myself in...

Anyway, I'm already brainstorming what fabric to use. Maybe I'll start it this rainy weekend. I feel like Fall is going to be the season of the jacket in my sewing room...

Parade of Dresses Day 3: Bombshell Take 2

4:40 PM 6 Comments A+ a-

A million years (or 1.5 weeks) have lapsed since I showed you my gingham Hazel that I wore to the rehearsal dinner of my fiance's cousins wedding. (is that confusing?) I've been hesitating on posting the next few dresses because the pictures are so blurry but I figured I would probably never get around to re-taking them, so maybe blurry is better than nothing? Anyway, now I'm finally showing you the dress I wore to the wedding and it's take 2 (here's my first attempt) of the Bombshell dress from Gertie's Craftsy class...

The fabric is a medium weight quilting cotton I picked up from a quilting store outside of Fort Worth last year. It had Bombshell written all over, especially since I used the sarong skirt from the pattern. It's a little kitschy maybe but I love it. (PS you can see the fabric better in the close up pictures at the end of this post. damn the blurriness of these pictures!)

The only modification I made was to add about an inch to the top of the cup so it covered a little more. (that's for you mom!) To add the extra inch I traced the top cup pattern piece on a plain sheet, marked one inch from the highest point of the cup and drew a curved line to connect that point to the edges of the pattern piece that connected to the side bodice and center bodice pieces. (does that make sense?) The coverage was a lot more appropriate for a family wedding than the first bombshell I made. Also, I noticed that my hand stitching and general construction of the dress improved a lot the second time. Obviously that had to do mostly with the fact that I had made the dress before, but I also think this fabric helped...

Here are some closeups of the fabric, lining, zipper guard and waist stay.

And here's a shot of the dress in action. Obviously it holds up well to dancing like a maniac!

Now that the season's are changing, this dress will probably end up in the closet until next spring/summer. I'm sad to see it go, I'm definitely a big fan.

PS Here's another picture from the wedding (specifically the photo booth at the wedding). It doesn't show the dress at all but I felt like you needed to see it...

Why I Love My New Sewing Machine.

8:45 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

Reason #451

Stitch #16. The perfect way to finish a facing without a serger...

Happy Friday!

PS how much are we all geeking out over Gertie's new book? Can't wait to make the zipper front dress!

Parade of Dresses: Day 2 Gingham Hazel

1:03 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

Confession time. I made this dress to wear to a "western" themed rehearsal dinner for the fiance's cousin in mid-July and I'm just now blogging about it! Yikes y'all.

Anyway, the invitation said western so I immediately thought of this piece of pink gingham quilting cotton that's been hanging around in my stash for a hot minute. It's medium weight and a little stretchy so I thought it would work well with the Hazel pattern. Plus I think I saw someone else make it in gingham. Maybe? Can't remember...

As always with Colette patterns, the dress went together really easily, I even was able to use my favorite french seams on the bodice pieces (although it wasn't easy, see picture below). I'm really appreciating the fact that my skills have finally caught up with my need to sew things really quickly (aka my ADD). I'm able to turn out garments that are finished really nicely in SO much less time than it used to take me! I guess practice does make perfect(ish)!


So here's my complaint. You knew I'd have one right? I can't remember what size I cut but I know it was a size smaller than my measurements said it should have been. I checked the finished measurements and thought it would fit snug-ish but with enough ease in the bust and hips for comfort. I even used less of a seam allowance at the waist to make sure I could breath easily. Turns out, I should have listened to Sarai and gone with the size she recommended. This sucker is tight! And a little shorter than I like too. I felt slightly hoochy hanging out with the future in-laws in this dress. Luckily they've known me long enough to know that I'm not too trampy...

Here are a few detail shots that are way better quality than the full body shots. I seriously have to figure out what's going on with my camera...

A few more dresses to show you, then maybe I'll be back to real time! Hope you're having a good week! I'm working from home with an eye infection. Yuck. At least the week is half over!

Parade of Dresses Day 1: Darling Ranges

3:08 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

So today starts the Parade of Dresses that will be taking over my blog in the next week or so in order to catch y'all up on the sewing I've done over the past month!

The first dress up is the ever popular Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen. (Please forgive the crummy pictures)

I made my version sleeveless out of a thin, poly navy and white polka dot material (from an estate sale) that I'm pretty sure was supposed to be lining fabric but I couldn't resist the print. The material was a NIGHTMARE to worked with! It pulled and picked and the buttonholes are the worst things I've ever done in my life but I've still worn the dress probably 6 times in one month, so obviously I like it anyway.

I cut out 2 more of this dress in more appropriate, less miserable fabrics that I think we'll be perfect for fall!

All in all, as everyone knows it's a great pattern and I can't wait to make more!

In other news, did you see Gertie' new line of patterns for Butterick? I just got the email from Amazon saying my copy of Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing shipped today, and then I check Google Reader and now there's even more Gertie goodness hitting my mailbox soon! Congratulations to her, what an accomplishment!


9:52 AM 7 Comments A+ a-

Ok, so I've been pretty MIA lately. I've been sewing and cutting and buying fabric and such but somehow the blogging part has been left behind. So in the next few days I'll be photographing my latest projects and writing posts and hopefully by next week I'll be back to posting regularly, but a girls gotta take a summer vacay sometimes right?

Anyway, despite my lack of blogging lately, I couldn't help but post this the minute I saw it. Victory Patterns has released their new collection! It's called the Niagra Collection and it's fabulous!

There's the Satsuki...

the Simone...

the Roxanne...

and the Nicola!

Aren't they lovely? The Nicola is my favorite (in part due to the fact that my middle name is Nicole), but the Simone is a close second. They're coming home with me today! Once again, the patterns from Victory are beautiful and super unique to the pattern world. It's so nice to see unusual  silhouettes and such on-trend styles! As always, lovely job Victory Patterns! Can't wait to see what the sewing world does with these patterns!

What's your favorite?

Somewhere over the rainbow

3:43 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

For some reason I've had it in my head for months that I wanted to make a rainbow striped skirt. I don't know why but I scoured Etsy forever looking for just the right fabric. This was not necessarily it, but it is cute, and this end of bolt piece was really cheap, so I went with it...

PS It's Michael Miller's Spa Scallop Stripe.

I originally thought I wanted a more a-line shape but there wasn't much fabric (like maybe 3/4 of a yard), so I went with a simple pencil skirt pattern with facings, New Look 6107. This is actually one of two pieces I've made recently from this pattern. The second is coming up soon.

I'm pretty pleased with this pattern overall. It fits well, better than some other pencil skirt patterns I've used in the past and it's obviously very easy to put together. The one problem with this skirt is revealed below. My stripes don't match in the back! Or rather, they do at the top (as seen in the picture below the one below), but then they pass the zipper and get a little wonky. It's especially disappointing because this is the only part of the skirt where I even tried to match stripes! I didn't have enough fabric to match the sides, so I lined up the stripes, but the colors don't match up.  

See how they matched at first?

I can't remember now if the waistband is cut sideways in the pattern or if I just did that as a design element... Either way, I think it looks pretty cool. You can also see my polka dot facing, proving that I barely made it with the amount of fabric I had...

So there you go, yet another pencil skirt. My love of them will never falter. Sorry I've been a bad blogger lately, there's been some stress and craziness in my life lately but I'm hopefully back on track to show you the abundance of dresses I've made lately.

Enjoy the last day of July lovelies! We're on the downhill slope of summer...

Happy Birthday To Me!

9:24 AM 9 Comments A+ a-

Pretty soon this beauty will be stitching together pretty dresses, pencil skirts and maybe the occasional pair of pants or a swimsuit on my dining room table. Can't wait to welcome her to the family!

Source: via Forrest on Pinterest

Turning 25 on the 25th. I think that deserves a new sewing machine right?

Vintage Sheet Project

10:49 AM 0 Comments A+ a-

Found this recently through icandy homemade. It's from June of last year so I'm a little behind, but I think this dress might make an appearance a few times this summer in my sewing room. The lovely lady who created the dress and is modeling it here is Kayla from Freckles in April. This is literally 2 long skinny rectangles sewn together with a space for the neck, then folded over and sewn up the sides. So easy! And I love that she uses a vintage sheet since I have a few in fabric stash... Here's the tutorial. Now go make one for yourself!