Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lazy Days

The bridesmaid dress is approximately 80% finished. All to be done is attaching the skirt lining and hemming both dress and lining. This picture was taken before I put in the side zipper (yes, I sewed my first-ever side zipper!) and before I made a few minor fitting alterations to the bodice. More pictures to come after the dress is completed.

I've been knitting a bit lately although I really do feel like sewing. Before Christmas, my husband commented that he needed a hat that covered his ears when he takes walks in the cold. So shortly before Christmas I knit him a hat with ear flaps. I think he likes it! :-)

I've also been knitting wrist-warmers...a quick, last minute gift for Jessica (can't find the pictures I took of them), and now I've started a pair for myself. These last few days have been lazy days for me...just sitting around knitting, reading, and listening to my iPod. Lazy days, but so relaxing.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Our table centerpiece this year is this yum-delicious gingerbread house made by Ellen. She spent a lot of time baking and decorating the house, and I just love it!

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Bonnie Skirt

I should be sewing the bridesmaid dress, but I haven't dared cut into the satin fabric yet. Instead, I decided to make a quick and easy skirt for myself. Quick and easy, ha---not. Who in their right mind can call working with plaid fabric quick or easy? So, I spent way too much time sewing this skirt and I've postponed the bridesmaid dress until another day. (Hopefully not the day before the wedding, right?)

But the skirt is finished, and I must say, I love it! I love the purple plaid fabric, and I love the style of the skirt. Here's a brief run-down of the skirt...you can read more details on Pattern Review if you're into that kind of thing (like me).

Ottobre Woman 5/2010, design #9, the "Bonnie" skirt

Sizes included:

34-52 (I made the size 36.)

Design details:
curved waistband

front zipper and fly shield
belt loops

inverted pleats

Okay, my next post should be about the bridesmaid dress. :-)

Happy sewing,


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tools of the Trade

Thank you for all the comments on my last post about whether to use a side zipper or back zipper in the bridesmaid dress I'm making. I am still undecided, ha ha. And I'm afraid, really afraid, to cut into the satin fabric. I guess I just need to go at it. I got sidetracked yesterday and sewed a winter skirt for myself instead---just need to hem it and then I'll post pictures. So anyway, wish me luck in overcoming my fear of satin and cutting out the bridesmaid dress. By the way, what is the best type of hem to use on a tea-length satin dress?

Because I can't seem to post without including a picture, here's one for you. Last month I made over 30 sets of pattern weights for a group of ladies in one of the sewing co-ops I belong to. Today I received an email stating that one of my pattern weight listings from Etsy was featured in an Etsy treasury. I found the collection of photos of "Tools of the Trade" to be delightful, so I'm posting it here. :-)

Happy sewing,

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sewing Again!

It's been such a long time since I've posted. Such a long time since I've sewn. Of course, I've missed sewing, and I've missed blogging about my sewing, and I've missed your comments. But I'm back again, at least for the moment.

The impetus to get me sewing again is that my almost-15-year-old daughter is going to be a bridesmaid in a January wedding, and I get to sew her dress. Oh the happiness of sewing again!

Today, aforementioned daughter helped me clean up my sewing room, and then I cut out the muslin for her dress. The pattern is Simplicity 2692. I am making View B---sleeveless, and with or without the sash (hasn't been decided yet). The dress has gathers at both the front and back shoulder for a Grecian-style dress. The fabric for the finished dress is a beautiful blue satin.

For the mock-up, I used a piece of calico from my stash. It doesn't have the same drape as the satin will have, but for fitting purposes, it suits just fine.

The neckline is too low for Ellen, and so I raised it following the detailed instructions at Gorgeous Things' blog. The picture here shows my new cutting line after I raised the neckline two inches.

The new neckline is better. Here, the seam allowances are turned under at the neckline, but not at the armholes.

From this next picture I see that I need to take in the side seams directly under the arm but keep them the same width where they meet the midriff band.

The pattern calls for a side seam zipper. I have never put a zipper into a side seam, so now I must make a decision. Should I take the easy way out and put the zipper down the center back? Or should I learn something new and place the zipper in the side seam? Are there any advantages or reasons why a side zipper is preferable? If you can give some insight on this, I'd like to hear about it.

By the way, Jessica is making a dress for another bridesmaid in the same wedding. The bride-to-be has allowed each bridesmaid to choose the design elements of the pattern she likes best...sleeves or no sleeves, long or short skirt, sash or no sash. I hope Jessica posts about her progress; it will be fun to see how these two dresses turn out. Jessica has much more experience sewing formal wear, and I am a little apprehensive about the satin. I may be calling you, Jess, to help with Ellen's dress. :-)

Happy sewing,

Monday, November 22, 2010

stopping in here....

...to say hello!  Wow, we haven't been around here much lately...Sorry about that!  I've been busy living life with a little sewing thrown in here and there.  I've got a craft fair next weekend (I know, the day after Thanksgiving!), and I know Mom has been busy working on more pattern weights among other things.

A couple things I wanted to share from my e-mail box:

J&O Fabrics, a new-to-me fabric shop, recently contacted us and wanted to pass along a coupon code just for you.  STITCH will give you 15% off any order with them!  Enjoy.

I love all the free patterns and tutorials at fabric.com...this little shrug is so cute.  I'd love to make it really soon...we'll see if that happens!
 Lastly, I came across this amazing purse during some blog hopping last week. I love, love, love it!!  I even have just the fabric for it, a tweed that I bought last year for a skirt and never made, and I am completely planning hoping to make this purse asap for this winter.  =)

Tutorial is available HERE.

Lastly, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Purple Hiatus

I've been taking a hiatus from sewing. Not an intentional break, but a break nontheless, ever since returning from Switzerland.

Now I want to sew again. Yea for sewing! I bought a couple pieces of fabric to make some winter skirts, and I'm excited to start sewing again.

In the meantime, I've been knitting a PURPLE sweater for 5 year old Emily. When I took this picture, I instructed her to hold the yarn carefully so as not to tangle the yarn or let the needles fall out of the unfinished sleeve. Emily replied that the yarn looked like a giant purple peanut, lol. Such a silly goose of a girl; she makes my heart smile.

happy sewing,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We have a winner!

Thanks to all who commented on our Sew Tina blog post...we have a winner!

Using random.org, the winner of the Sew Tina prize pack is number 30, Leslie, who commented "I like the idea of kids clothes that are a little bit different, at least as long as the kids are little. The designs seem to be easy fit and very cute."

Thanks again to all who commented, and be sure and check out some of the other stops on the blog tour for more chances to win the book!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Sew Tina!!

Sew Tina, 30 Cute Projects and Adorable Decor Items
Yay! Today's the day for our Sew Tina book review and giveaway.

When Lark Crafts asked me if I'd be interested in being part of the blog tour for Tina Given's new book, I was jumping with excitement! Not only do mom and I love to sew adorable clothes for our kids (and grandkids in Mom's case!), but I know that many of our readers are also sewing for little people and would love a sneak peak into Tina's new book.

Tina Givens, as many of you know, is a talented fabric designer and artist. Her energetic and free-spirited prints are perfect for kids clothes, but they still have that modern edge that make them appealing to adults as well. The projects in her book all feature her fabrics and they definitely inspire me to sew.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. I know you want the details!

There are 30 projects in all, divided into projects for infants and projects for older kids. There is a good mix of clothing, decor, and fun kids items (sleeping bag, backpack, jewelry etc). There are three clothing items (excluding hats and infant booties) that are geared for the boys, one in an infant size and two in the older kids sizes.

One thing that you'll find with these patterns is that they are truly different, but in a really fun, unique way. Tina Givens style is definitely non-traditional with little twists and surprises to make you smile, and her patterns will have much appeal to the free-spirited and whimsical ones among us.

The clothing patterns are sized in a general S/M/L format for both the infant and kids patterns. The infant sizes range from 3 mo. to 18 mo. and the kids sizes range from a 2T to a size 7 and are purposely sized generously to allow for freedom of movement and growing room.

*Directions and Illustrations
The direction and illustrations are not fussy or perfectionistic, yet they seemed to be really forthright and clear. In the two projects I sewed up for this review, I didn't have a single snag with the directions. Tina believes that charm lies in handmade imperfection and one of the goals should be to create something that is unique, special, and uncomplicated. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I really like that.

For this review I made up the Brookies (bloomer pants) and the Bouncy Beret Hat. Below they are pictured on my spunky little Jaidyn Marie.

Both patterns went together easily came out so adorable. Marie loves the beret had and actually wore it for more then a couple of minutes!  The fabric I used is a soft, mini wale corduroy.

It's difficult to see in the picture above, but the bloomer pants have little side ruffle pleats on them. They remind me of an alligator's back, hehe! I love these on her. They cut is slightly oversized and the style a little bit funky, but it's perfect for her personality!

Note the yellow binding the used on the inside of the legs. It's just for fun!

Now for the fun part! The giveaway! Leave a comment, let us know what you think of the book, or just say hello! We'll draw a name next Monday the 11th, exactly one week from now.

Check out it! One winner will receive Tina's new book, 4 yards of fabric, 2 boxes of stationery, and 2 extra sewing patterns...

I want to be sure and give a big thank you to Tina Givens and Lark Crafts for sponsoring such a generous giveaway and for letting us be involved in the fun!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Knit T-Shirt Updo

Cheap $7.00 t-shirt from Target. I love the stripes but it needed a bit more to give it some punch...
Simple circles cut out of black, grey and red knit fabric, sewn on by hand...less then 15 minutes of my time and now it's perfect for fall!

Tutorial inspiration HERE.

Don't forget to stop back by on Monday for our Sew Tina blog tour stop and giveaway!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fabric Stores in Switzerland

I am back! My 3 week visit to Switzerland was oh-so-wonderful, but it's good to be home! I found several fabric stores in Switzerland, but truthfully, I could not afford to buy much. (Along with the Alps, prices are STEEP in Switzerland! Ha, ha, that's a joke, and you're supposed to laugh.)

This store was in Zurich.... Look at the zipper collection! I was amazed at the selection. Oh, and the fabric was all so luscious....you can imagine how excited I was. See the purple bolt of print fabric in the next picture? I bought one meter of it---will show you pictures later---and I
only paid 34 francs per meter, yes, mucho expensivo. Think of it as paying $34 per yard. But in defense of my splurge, I really did HAVE to have some fabric from Switzerland, and it is purple (my new favorite color), and it is a lovely knit with a soft drape, and I LOVE IT! Betcha can't wait to see pictures, huh? (another post on another day....)

Another fabric store I visited was in Luzern, and oh, you should have seen the beautiful knit and corduroy fabrics there. The fabrics were wonderful, but I resisted the temptation to buy any.
Oh, at the suggestion of a Sew Chic reader, I visited another fabric shop that was fairly close to my daughter's apartment in Zurich. Apropos had rolls and rolls of fabric, more than any other fabric shop I'd been to. Again, I resisted the urge to buy.... Thank you, Alvertern, for telling me about Apropos. Yes, I had a good time in Zurich!

Alvertern said:
A beautiful Fabrik Store in Zürich
Holhlstrasse 201
in Zürich

Ich wünsche eine gute Zeit in Zürich!

(Hilco fabric? at the shop in Luzern)

While I was in Switzerland, I didn't have time to miss sewing. We stayed busy with sightseeing, climbing the Alps, shopping, and visiting museums. Oh, and I spent a lot of time (but never enough!) loving on my sweet granddaughter. It's good to see my daughter and her husband so happy together. This last picture is of my grandbaby and me standing on top of the world (so it seemed!) in the Alps.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming soon...Sew Tina Blog Tour!

Oh, I am so super excited...Sew Chic is going to be part of the debut blog tour for Tina Givens new sewing book Sew Tina! 30 Cute Projects and Adorable Decor Items for Kids

The book releases at the beginning of October and we're going to be showing off a couple of projects made from it and hosting a fabulous giveaway as well. I'm really excited and just had to share the fun. Now you have something to look forward to in the next couple of weeks!

yay for sewing!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's County Fair Time!

Last night we had a fun family evening...
Elliot got to ride in a little water barrel train...he loved that!

Marie had to content herself with sitting on a really big tractor...she was just a bit too little to ride in the train by herself.

Justin liked the bunnies...just kidding!  The kids loved the petting farm though!

I was pretty excited...this year I won two best of show ribbons!  One for Marie's Easter dress and the other for my chocolate chip cookies. I've been entering sewn items in our county fairs since I was 16, but it's only in the last couple years that I've started doing some baked good too.  I'm really not a huge baker, but I do have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.  =)

Have a great week, friends.  Mom is getting back in the middle of next week, so hopefully soon she's do a recap of her Switzerland trip.  I'm excited to have her back again...3 weeks is a long time to go without talking to your mom! 


Friday, September 03, 2010

Summer Sewing Wrap-Up

Whew! What a summer it's been...long and hot!  Cooler weather is finally starting to breeze through Oklahoma this week.  Today was the first day we didn't have to run our air conditioner!  

Mom keeps reminding me that I haven't posted pictures of my summer sewing (all 3 projects, haha!). Most of my sewing time this summer was spent getting ready for the craft fair I did last weekend.  That was a blast and now I'm ready to do some fun sewing for the kids and myself, but first I really do want to wrap up with reviews of this summer's projects.


First off my was my Easter skirt...that got finished in June!  I actually only wore this once this summer...I don't know...it was just so white, and a bit too full.  I think I'd wear it more if I had a colored top to wear with it.  Oh well...maybe I'll wear it for Easter next year!

The fabric is from fabric.com...a sheer print with little chenille circles that add texture.  Any ideas of something fun to do with the scraps?

Next was sort of a refashion project that Marie and I have both actually gotten a ton of wear out of.  Exibit A (below) is Liberty of London print dress from Target. It was clearanced for $8.00  It's a girl's size 16, and it fit me but was too short to wear as a maxi dress.

I chopped the skirt in half and re-fashioned the top part into a sundress for Marie. The remaining skirt portion became a summer skirt for me!  It's fun to match sometimes!
Marie is such a spunky little girl.  I love her!!

Finally, in July, a special friend of mine got married and I sewed my bridesmaid dress and the dress for another friend who was also in the wedding.  

There were 11 bridemaids total and each girl used the same fabric but had a different pattern and style to her dress.  The variety was really fun and refreshing.  

You've seen the pattern for my dress, McCalls 5804, before HERE and HERE.  I loved how it came out made in formal fabrics.

Here's the closeup detail of the rose flower at the waist.  I used this tutorial for my inspiration.

Hopefully soon I'll have some fun fall sewing to show off.  Tonight after the kids went to bed I got a pj set cut out for Elliot.  I'm excited to use my coverstitch again!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm in Switzerland!

As promised, I took a picture of my 4 month old granddaughter wearing the Ottobre jacket I made for her. As you can see, the size 68 jacket is big on her. But she'll grow. In the week since I've been here in Zurich she seems to have grown bigger right before my eyes.

I will be here in Switzerland for a total of three weeks, and I'm having a wonderful time with my daughter, granddaughter, and son-in-law. Zurich is beautiful! Switzerland is beautiful! We have kept busy every day, sightseeing, picnic-ing, shopping, and visiting castles, old churches, museums.... And of course, I am finding time to hug and kiss on the baby. Oh, she is so adorable, so sweet, so good natured, so absolutely precious! I am savoring every minute with her because I don't know when next I will see her.

Zurich along the Limmat River

If you care to see pictures of my travels in Switzerland, I have them here on Flickr.


p.s. I've not yet found a fabric store in Zurich, but my daughter promises me there is one or two that we'll visit.

Ottobre 04/2007 Design#8 "Hooded Velour Jacket"
Size 68 (6 months)
Fabric: velour outer, jersey knit lining