Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vogue 1091--progress

I was excited to get my dress cut out yesterday and unexcited that I'm having a Serger Threading Challenge.  haha  Well, I hope a little break will solve that and then I can start stitching!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cupcake Pincushions Prep for Class

Here's an assortment waiting to be stitched up and filled.  The pink topped one is awaiting its filling.  It just got a little makeup with some beads which I have not photographed yet.  My camera is doing seriously weird things--the view screen will show waves of color.  Wacking it a few times seems to help, but now other color is not photographing well particulary white. 

I have cut out extra pieces so that I can demonstrate as the class progresses.  I'm also making 3 to fill with 3 different fillings so I can try them out.   The lavendar one above is already done and has crushed walnut shells.  The pink one I will fill with sand and I will fill one of the brown ones with emery since it is really dark colored.  Sorry, the brown fabrics have not photographed well.  They're actually rather pretty and have some gold metallic which is attractive with the greeny color.

Up next will be some photos of the other two finished cupcakes and hopefully some progress on the knit dress a few posts back!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Snoop Shopping

Perhaps I should say 'Idea Shopping' rather than 'Snoop Shopping' because somehow the latter sounds illegal to me at the moment.  Anyway, in shopping at our local mall, I went into the Ann Taylor Loft store and immediately saw a couple of dresses that I liked.  I tried them on and still really liked them, or should I say the idea of them! 

Wish I could get these pics the same size, but I can't!  Anyway, I just liked the wrap dress a lot.  It's made out of a lightweight cotton and was more flattering that I thought it'd be--except for the gaping neckline when I tried it on!  So, yes, I need to look for a pattern like this!  The next dress was a super soft knit and I loved the navy color and the bling at the neckline.  That was probably my favorite of the two.  The back was deeply scooped and had a wide grosgrain ribbon tie.  Kinda neat and different but not very practical if you want to wear a bra!

When I started blogging, I wanted to mostly be able to see what I'd planned and what I'd done.  I know I always have more ideas running around in my head than I'll ever have time to make.  I also thought this might be good stash control:)  However, I've had some other good insights from this.  First, wait until your brain is awake before typing so you can spell!  haha!  Second, most of the blogs I enjoy reading are about the clothes the blogger sews for herself--the fitting, the frustration, the happiness, and the success.  So I think I need to work more in that direction and see what happens!  I like to sew for the kids, but since I got into smocking many years ago, I have a tendency to want to decorate everything in some way with some form of embroidery!  That takes me forever sometimes, but at least if I'm sewing for myself I won't have outgrown it by the time it's finished!  The final insight is to stop making little stuff!  In many ways, it is nice to complete a project in a short amount of time.  But the flip side to it is that it does not necessarily fulfill a need either to create or to wear! 

That's it for the morning philosophy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back to Sewing

Does anyone else subscribe to swatch services?  I've gotten swatches from Gorgeous Fabrics, Emmaonesock, and Sawyer Brook (and, no, this isn't an ad!  No affiliation, etc.).  It is exciting to be able to see the real fabrics rather than the view on the computer screen...and to be able to touch them!  It is equally exciting to have other choices available rather than the rapidly deteriorating big box fabric/craft store.  I won't even go into what dh calls it!  But he is right--it is a scary place.

Anyway, I have been enjoying getting regular swatches via Sawyer Brook (sure beats the bills and junk you usually get in the mail).  The most recent mailing has some very appealing fabrics and I think I might finally spend some of my Christmas money!  Loved the turquoise grouping--a floral or two and this neat woven silk with a ribbed texture.  Don't know what I'd do with any of it, but it's fun to look and plan!

Now, back to cupcakes!  I have to sew more Cupcake Pincushions as samples for the class next month.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Award Passed On...

Okay, here goes!  I enjoy reading LOTS of blogs.  I haven't been blogging for very long but I can say that it is hard to choose!  I think I will do what Julia (see previous post) did for me--pass it on to others who don't have many followers present because they are new(ish) bloggers.  I know I *love* getting comments (and followers!  Thank you for reading and participating.)  But, I also blog primarily as a record and memory of my work.  I keep hoping I'm more prolific than I am!  haha!  Onto the award and in no particular order:

Cindi's sewing--Great blog, dedicated sewist!  Interesting assortment of projects!

made by meli88a--Lots of variety and besides, who doesn't want to make her own jeans??!

little el--Fluchtasche.  Gotta love it!  Read the blog to find out what 'fluchtasche' means!

MushyWear--Ah!  To just be there! Sewing by salt water...and such lovely things, for kids and self!

SlipStitches--Great ideas recently for recycling/repurposing clothes!

Thank you for feeding my sewing passion!  I hope you like getting this award and will pass it on to 5 other bloggers!  Here it is!  The Premio Amigo Artisano Award!

An Award!

I got this last week, but have not had time to post it! 

Julie, from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com/ gave it to me!  Thanks so much!  I will have to post some pictures soon of my smocking since she so generously mentioned it.  I haven't done that much of it to post on the blog yet, so I will pull out some dresses from the past.

Now I am supposed to pass it along to 5 other bloggers.  Remember, I'm still new at the blogging thing--can I just choose anyone at all?  Or are there rules about that?  Don't want to offend anyone!  So as soon as someone can help me out with my question, I'll be happy to pass the award along!  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Idea on Knit Dress

I am waiting on the knit fabric that I bought yesterday to dry...and I'm going to wash it yet another time or two and let it air dry to make sure it won't shrink!  I think my new t-shirt shrank a little and I'd prewashed, line dried it.  Oh well, it did look cute w/ a white tank undernearth which is how I planned to wear it anyway!

It is dangerous to make me wait too long since I was all ready to go on the Vogue 1091 pattern.  I get ideas!  First, I checked out all the reviews and blogs to see what other people said (did I mention I also over-research, too?).  Then I got to thinking...  Several people had commented that it needed a print and I bought a solid.  I'm not a print kinda gal except on occasion, plus there weren't any at all at the store yesterday that were likeable:(  One thing that I really liked about the pattern was the gathering at the top and then I thought it reminds me of pencil pleated draperies or smocking!  Perhaps I will try to do a little smocking like you would do on a drapery or just even sew a bead on top of each of the gathers to draw them up more distinctly almost like smocking a beaded dress, but not having the embroidery show just a small bead.  That would involve a little extra work (like measuring and getting that gathering to be even once the elastic is in), but give some simple, interesting detail.  What do you think?  I might not have explained well, but I'd love to hear any thoughts on that!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Knits

I took a run to Joann's and picked up some of their sale patterns.  I wanted one more Vogue pattern but they had this HUGE gap in pattern numbers.  When I asked about it thinking that they might have them in the back, I was told no they just don't have them.  I've read on other sewing blogs about having a hard time finding patterns in stock at Joann's and the value of mail ordering them.  I might need to ponder that some more!

Here's what I picked up:

First up, this looked like a great everyday summer top pattern with lots of variations.  It's McCall's 2818, a Palmer/Pletsch.

This is Vogue 8182.  I liked it as a summer church dress and for those all too seldom date nights!

Vogue 1091--Yes, for knits!  It looked cool and comfy for hot summer days.  I used to wear dresses a lot more than I do now.  I think it's time to enjoy them again.  And it's a knit!  Here's what I got to sew it up, a rayon/lycra in a deep teal (the pic looks more turquoise to me):

They really don't have much for knits there and the quality is poor--I noticed this one had holes in it before it was cut.  I just hope there aren't more that I had not noticed!  I definitely need to explore other fabric shopping options. 

Finally, an insane moment.  The kids' piano recital this year features Disney music.  The teacher suggested it might be fun for the students to dress like a character in their song.  Well, it seemed like a great idea at the time and now reality is looking me in the face.  We'll see if I can pull off a blue Giselle dress from the movie 'Enchanted'.  Roger from '101 Dalmatians' will be MUCH easier!

Now, off to hem that lavender t-shirt!

Got 'Er Done! (Almost)

Yes!  I did get some sewing time in yesterday after lunch.  It was wuuunderful after the stress of the clogged kitchen sink.  Sorry to bore ya'll with real life issues!  I did get all but the sleeve and bottom hems done on the Simplicity knit top yesterday.  I wish the fabric was a little heavier, but it is so soft and silky like butter it's an okay trade off!  And it fits pretty well without any adjusting!  Here it is on the dummy:

Wow, that dummy makes me look slim.  I like it.  haha  I got really excited to be able to nearly finish a project in an afternoon that I pulled out the rest of the knits I have.  They were all given to me by people who know I sew...not sure at all about their quality.  Quite a bit of polyester, but since I'm still new to sewing knits, I might go on and work them up.  That makes me sound like a snob, but I really do like natural fibers since they breath so well when you wear them. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Would You Believe It?

It was a good thing that I did miss the Fashion Designers meeting this morning.  The plumber called at 9 and said he'd be early!  Wow!  All fixed and ready to go so we can finally get the dishwasher run.  It really is the little things in life.  Even though it's a Monday and I should be working more with the kids on their studies, I think some de-stressing is in order and what better way to do that than to sew?  I hope to show some progress tomorrow!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On Many Things

Well, I would love to say that I have the blue smocked dress done, but I don't.  Due to an extremely stupid mistake I need to be really creative so it will take some extra time.  Plan B was to cut out another knit top for myself from Simplicity 4076.  I opted for View D and started cutting some knit from Gorgeous Fabrics.  My test muslin for View A turned out well enough (and knits seem to be forgiving enough) that I figured that it should fit okay, certainly as well as RTW. 

I was happily working on Sunday dinner and nearly done w/ our snack when our kitchen sink backed up.  sigh.  My dh worked on it, but to no avail.  sigh.  We do have a great plumber and he's coming tomorrow.  He's reasonably priced but the thing I really like about him (aside from never having to call him except for the last couple of years!) is that he gives a time estimate of when he'll be here and then calls if he's going to be late.  How delightful and refreshing is that?  I guess you have to look at  the silver lining in every cloud, eh?  So much for my sewing guild's fashion designer meeting tomorrow morning though.  I'd rather make sure I'm home...just in case the plumber's early!  There's nothing like being kitchen sink-less!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Budding Smocker

I took youngest dd to the neighborhood smocking group of our sewing guild.  They always have Wee Care gowns available to smock and I thought they were just the right size for a small beginner to try.  If you're unfamiliar with Wee Care, read this website:  http://www.smocking.org/weecare_program.php.

She's caught on very quickly and the tiny gown is perfect for both her tiny hands and attention span!  This makes her stitches look wobbly, but they really aren't.  She's stitching on top of the neckline casing so there are several layers of fabric--difficult but it will look very nice once completed.  I've been smocking on the mermaid plate--it is the boring but quick and necessary backsmocking.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Basic Square Yoke

To answer kbenco's question, my daughter only has a small stash.  She does raid mine but since it is stored in a big old trunk, it isn't very accessible.  Plus I don't really stash quilting cottons since I don't quilt.  I guess that's a blessing, since it's one less category to acccumulate!  We won't discuss the home dec stash...!

Slow and steady goes the sewing.  Life has been busy so I've only had time to sew a few minutes here and there on the blue dress.  I am pleased that I've made progress although it is slow!  However, I am also making slow but steady progress on sanding walls--a yuck job, but someone has to do it.  Wallpaper stripping is easy, but you never know what you'll find after it's off.  I found I still had lots of glue stuff.  This happened on my last project, too.  So I sanded and then primed the walls (and the  paint has stayed on so I guess that worked!).  I only have 1 wall left on the foyer now!  yippee! 

The Random Automatic Pruners, otherwise known as deer, have made several swipes at my poor, pitiful azaleas so that this is all that's left:

sigh.  A little spray from the home improvement store and they seem to be leaving them alone...for now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How Easy It Is to Stash

I took oldest dd to one of the local quilt shops where she promptly selected 2 sets of fabric to make Mini Bow Tucks purses.  It is expensive to 1.) have teenagers and 2.) to be in charge of programs for your sewing guild!  Here are her fabrics (which seem to be on the way to stash...how easy it is!):

Pardon the wrinkles!  She's washed her fabric, but obviously hasn't ironed it yet!

Friday, April 2, 2010

I was wrong...

Fabulous day!  HA!  For the deer, maybe.  Can you believe that they've ALREADY eaten my azaleas????  I drove back after a very quick errand looking forward to admiring them under the dogwood tree....what?!  Where are they?  Those?!  Surely they were bigger!  Yes, they are all down to about 4" high now.  Boo hoooooo!

I thought deer didn't like azaleas?!  I should've known.  Yes, they eat EVERYTHING!

A Fabulous Day...

It is just a fabulous day here--a beautiful spring day!  It promises to be more like a very hot summer day, but it is so welcome after what seemed like the longest winter ever.  I planted 5 azaleas this morning with the kids.  Dd loved having an earthworm tickle her hand and was reluctant to return it to the ground.  They are neat little things that are underappreciated.  Perhaps we can even get some mulch soon for around the azaleas and to cover up the corn that our neighbors (???) have put in our yard to feed the deer--very annoying, since it also attracts crows!  And whose yard is it anyway?

Since it is supposed to be so hot today, it felt good to get a little gardening done this morning because that leaves the afternoon open for sewing time!  I've been working on the light blue dress and have gotten the piping done.  Hope ya'll enjoy the weekend!  Happy Easter!