What I'm Wearing This Weekend

12:37 PM 8 Comments A+ a-

I must say I'm in a full on love affair with Sewaholic patterns at the moment. Earlier this week I posted about my love for my Cambie dress, but now I'm majorly crushing on my Lonsdale. This too is a pattern that fit me perfectly without any adjustments. (I know it doesn't look like its fits well in these pictures but that's because I can't stand up straight to save my life) Huzzah for Sewaholic! Please come out with 75 more patterns so I can just make your clothes from now on.

This dress was also an excuse to use this crazy pastel 80's fabric from my favorite local thrift store that's been sitting in my stash for ages. It's a medium weight cotton, maybe orginally intended for curtains or pillows? Not sure, but it was obviously too great to pass up, especially at $4. I debated for months what pattern to use before it hit me. The Lonsdale is a perfect springy/summery pattern to match my springy/summery fabric!

That bow is SOO hard to tie by yourself! Also, again, if I would stand up straight this would look a lot better...
Anyway, in a few hours I'm headed to San Angelo, Texas to re-unite (if only for the weekend) with the fiance and celebrate the wedding of one of our high school friends. This will be the first public appearance of the dress, although, yes, I have worn it around the house a few times. Don't judge. I'm excited to twirl  my skirt and kick my heels up with my boy toy. Plus it will be nice to have someone to help me tie the bow in the back!

Hope you all have fabulous weekends!

The Incredible Expanding Pink Clovers

3:10 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

Warning. The following pictures contain:

a. greasy mullet hair
b. a too tight, old, grimey white t-shirt
c. visible bra lines
d. my midriff
e. incredible expanding pants

Still here? You're brave. Ok, let's disuss my pink clovers. Ironically, I was planning on posting these pants today anyway, but was validated when I saw this post by Mika of Savory Stitches. So here's the deal. My pants are growing. Just like Mika's. I used exactly the same pattern as my black clovers, along with some pink stretch corduroy from Gorgeous Fabrics and they are stretching out like crazy! Even after washing them in hot water and sticking them in the dryer!

They start out sort of normal fitting in the morning, then they become this mess by lunch...

I'm sorry you have to see this. It's for scientific purposes only...
If only this problem was due to weight loss. I mean, this could seriously be in an ad for some Kardashian-promoted diet pill.
Please ignore my dying basil plant in the background. Why do I insist on trying to grow plants when my aparment is a dark cave?
So the plan for now is, like Mika, to take apart the waistband and take them in on the outside leg seams until they fit correctly again. I really don't wan't to take them apart entirely, and I certainly don't want to deal with the inseam or crotch seam. Does anyone have any other suggestions for this craziness? Or is this basically an excuse for me to eat ice cream until I grow into them?

Yay for Girly Dresses!

11:03 AM 7 Comments A+ a-

I've been on a bit of an uncharacteristic productivity streak lately and this is so far my favorite finished garment of the 10 (yes 10! can you believe it?) items I've made in the last 2ish weeks. It's a Cambie!!!

I've noticed lately that I don't really make "girly" clothing. Or at least I don't feel "girly" wearing the things I make. Sexy? Maybe. Cute? Yes. Business-lady like? Definitely. But not really girly. This dress makes me feel girly in the best way. Like I should be twirling or having a tea party. I think it is entirely to do with the sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves. Girly to the max.

Also, can we talk about the brilliance of Sewaholic Patterns fit? I'm a girl who doesn't usually make a ton of fitting adjustments. Overall most patterns fit me well enough (I know that's obnoxious), and I'm definitely not patient enough to worry about small fitting issues, so they're usually ignored. However, every time I've make a Sewaholic pattern it fits perfectly. Perfectly. Like, I put on the garment and think "this is how clothes should feel!" So props to Tasia for that. I'm hoping the streak continues with her new pants/shorts pattern.

I've had this fabric from Fabricmart for ages. I think my original intent was to make a sheath dress but in reality, the fabric is a thin, soft cotton lawn, so I don't think it would look right with the structure of a sheath. I wanted to rock the full skirted version but I didn't have enough fabric, so I used the A-line view. Maybe it's better. If I added a full skirt it might be a girly overload...

It's sort of bothering me now that those flowers don't match up...
I also lined it with a super soft, thin white cotton lawn, so this dress is cool as a cucumber to wear. Which is not something I often say about lined dresses in Texas summers. PS It's supposed to be 110 degrees today. Yikes.

I'm becoming a spoiled brat when it comes to pockets. Every dress should have them!
I first made/wore this dress for my sweet future nephew Cade's baby dedication last Saturday. Then I wore it to my 2nd day of work at the new job. The first day I wore a pencil skirt and blazer. Very business-lady. Then I switched it up and had a girly day. I like to keep people guessing...

Here's the dress in action with my future sister-in-law (and the mom of baby Cade. Yes, she had a baby not that long ago and she looks awesome. I'm sure that will not be the case for me) and my future cousin-in-law with her sweet baby.

I finally got around to taking pictures of almost everything else I've made recently, so hopefully this week will be full of new clothes to show you! Or should I hold off so I have things to post about when this productivity streak inevitabley ends?

Happy Monday!

Yet another pencil skirt...

10:16 AM 2 Comments A+ a-

So, surprise surprise, I made another pencil skirt. And I have a few more cut out, so I hope you're not sick of them yet. Pencil skirts are definitely one of my work staples and I really wanted a few in bright colors for this summer. This is a red version of the pink one below that I made for Me Made May.

Both of these skirts are based on Burda's Jenny pattern with a few modifications. First, neither of these skirts are lined. The fabric is medium weight and since it's summer I didn't want a lining that would make them hot to wear. It was 110 degrees in Texas today after all. Second, I copied Tilly's Autumn Maple skirt modification and just cut one waistband and folded it in half, instead of using two and attaching one to the lining. (not sure if that sentence made any sense unless you've made this pattern.) Anyway, these skirts gave me a chance to use this cool notion I picked up at an estate sale a while back. It's called "Perfect Waist Maker" and it's basically a strip of fusible interfacing with a serration down the middle.

You fuse it to the fabric then iron the fold along the serration and you have a perfectly sturdy, interfaced waistband. I haven't looked for this product in the fabric store yet because I still have plenty left so does any one know if this is still available? Most of the stuff at the estate sale I bought it from looked at least 10 years old, so I'm not sure if this is a contemporary product. If it is, you should go get some today!

Does anybody else have new cool notions they've tried that I should know about?

Hope you're having a great week ladies!

Summer Stripes

10:04 AM 5 Comments A+ a-

A few weeks ago I showed you my huge stack projects that took a Game of Thrones season 2 marathon to get cut out and marked. I seem to have gotten my sewing mojo back because I've been powering through the pile of projects! I'm sewing like a maniac these days! Anyway, I have a ton of things to show you but not all of them are photographed because I'm lazy and the light hasn't been great in the apartment lately. Hopefully I'll get to have a photo shoot this week but in the meantime, here's one of the things I did manage to photograph.

I've had these two dresses on my Pinterest board for awhile and I found the perfect fabric on Fabricmart last year but never got around to getting the dress made until last week.

Source: corrico.com via Forrest on Pinterest

So this is the final product. I really like the way it turned out and because it's sort of loose-fitting it's really comfortable. I used Simplicity 2054 , one of the Cynthia Rowley patterns, and pretty much followed the directions except for the neck band. I realized as I was sewing it that I cut the band in the wrong direction, so it wouldn't stretch enough and I didn't want to cut out another, so I just turned the edge and it worked out fine.

So here's the major problem, the back is crazy baggy. I thought about putting a seam down the back to control some of the extra fabric but it fits pretty well in the hips and butt and I don't want to make it any tighter in those areas. Also, I'm not sure if taking it in on the sides would do enough without warping the shape of the dress. And again, I like the loose fit and don't really want to lose that. Anybody have any suggestions?

It's not too awful looking from the side, and I've worn it twice since I made it with no "what is wrong with the back of your dress?" comments, so I might just live with it if I can't think of a good solution.

PS this is definitely one of those projects that was so fast and easy that I couldn't understand why the heck it took me so long to make it! This is going to be a great, easy, throw on dress on days I don't really want to think about what to wear...

Anyway, hope you all have a fabulous week! I'm starting my new job today so wish me luck!

As if I needed another craft related hobby...

3:06 PM 4 Comments A+ a-

So I'm developing a new hobby. Jewelry making. Not a good thing considering how much money I already spend on sewing and embroidery supplies (and I never embroider!). Anyway, I've been into this idea of making jewelry from sewing-related items, rather than traditional beads, chains, pendants, etc.

It all started with this tutorial from one of my Burda magazines this spring (sorry, can't remember which one!)

I thought this cuff looked pretty easy and cute, so I bought a doily from JoAnns and some fabric stiffener called Stiffy. And yes, I totally giggle every time I see the bottle.

The tutorial suggests dipping the doily in the stiffener but I didn't want to deal with pouring it into another container, so I just draped some plastic wrap over the bottle (which conveniently is the same size as my wrist), put the doily on top and painted on the stiffener.

I didn't take a picture of it but once it dried I threaded a ribbon through the back as a closure. I'm trying to decide if I like the white or if I want to paint it metallic like the Burda one. It's kind of huge and bold but I think with the right dress it will be really cute. Also, I'm planning to start looking out for different sizes in thrift stores (I know they usually have a million of these things), because I'm thinking this might make a cute gift...

After the success of the cuff, I started looking for other things I could soak in fabric stiffener and I found this lace in my stash with a perfect daisy design.

I basically just trimmed around the flowers, painted them with stiffener and added a jump ring and earring post. So easy and I've gotten several compliments on them.

Now I'm working on something with pom pom ball trim. I'm not revealing too much yet because I'm not sure if it's going to work but stay tuned!

Also, thanks for your input last week on whether or not I should Sew Along with Sunni! I think I am going to wait and participate in the sew-a-long. Mostly because I have 10 other projects cut out in addition to the dress, so I definitely have things to do until it starts.

Anyway, hope you all are having a fabulous day!

To Sew-a-long or Not to Sew-a-long?

6:24 PM 7 Comments A+ a-

So Sunni of a Fashionable Stitch just announced that she's hosting a sew-a-long for Simplicity 1880. Ironically I just cut out the shirt dress version of this pattern last weekend to replicate the dress worn by the lovely Kiera Knightley. I was planning on working on it this weekend but now I don't know if I should wait for Sunni's sew-a-long. She's super knowledgeable and I reference her site all the time when I'm working on complicated projects. But I want to wear this dress soon. So, to wait or not to wait?

The end of Me-Made-May

8:01 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

And......... we're done! First I'll show you my last few days, then give you my observations.

Day 28
Worn for: intense JoAnn shopping, trying to buy every
zipper/button/spool of thread I will need for the next month

Day 29
Re-fashioned Polka Dot Shirt, Pink Clovers (not blogged about yet, I'll get to it soon)
Worn for: work and vegging on the couch

Day 30
Worn for: work, yummy dinner and Game of Thrones marathon

Day 31
Pink pencil skirt (not blogged about yet but made with Burda's Jenny)
Worn for: work, really good news and a tasty, boozy, fattening dinner to celebrate!

Day 32
Bow Top (I went an extra day since I skipped so many during May!)
Worn for: work, errand running, Men in Black 3

Ok, so this Me-Made-May was kind of a hot mess for me for several reasons.

1. It was kind of a crazy month for me in my non-sewing life. My fiance moved to a different state, meanwhile, we put his house on the market so I spent many a day cleaning and reorganizing to get it ready to show. I had some family trips/obligations, I sort of worked on planning my wedding and in the midst of all of it, I was interviewing for a new job! (which I got, hence the really good news on the 31st! Yay!) This meant that I wasn't fully into the challenge like I had been previously, and I didn't have a lot of time to sew new projects to add to the rotation like I normally do.

2. I didn't create a special "challenge" for myself. I've participated in 2 of these challenges previously. In Me-Made-March 2011 I hadn't been sewing too long so I didn't have many things to wear, but I additionally challenged myself to wear something un-blogged every week day. In Self-Stitched-September 2011 I tried to avoid repeating an item of clothing. This month I didn't really put any guidelines on what I wore and that I think made me less motivated. Also, because of this I didn't have as much desire to sew new items to add to my options (plus as discussed above, I didn't have lots of time!)

3. I had a lot of "work"/casual days. Obviously on days dedicated to painting/cleaning/home repair etc. I'm not going to wear my precious Me-Made garments, and I had quite a few of those days this month. In the past, what has saved me on the weekends is going out with the fiance. I can usually pull out a cute dress or top to go to dinner or a movie on a Saturday night. The truth is though, now that he's living far away I spend a lot of weekend nights at home. It's not as sad as it sounds, I'm getting A LOT done at my apartment, but it means that I'm in comfy casual clothes all weekend, with little interruption. In the past 2 challenges, as well as in this one, I realized how little I sew casual clothes and last year I lamented that fact a lot. But I think I've decided I'm okay with it now. The truth is, on the weekends I'm usually cleaning or sewing and my uniform is thin cotton t-shirts and jeans or yoga pants. I really don't have any desire to sew those things. I can find cute, well fitting and most importantly cheap versions of these items really easily, so I don't want to take up my sewing time making them when I could make a pretty dress. Therefore, for the most part, my sewing will consist of work clothes and pretty "going out" dresses, with a few pieces that can transition from work to casual weekends, and that's just fine with me.

So those are my thoughts. My Me-Made-May was kind of meh... But June is looking much better already! I spent the weekend cutting out a ton of projects and I've already gotten to work on some of them. Plus I've been making some cute jewelry lately using fabrics, trims and other sewing items that I can't wait to show you! Here's to taking down my tripod and not having to take my picture everyday! Hooray!