Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bedside Inspiration

From top to bottom

I have been literally buried in new books from the library...thought I'd share a few lovely pictures with you!

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a shirtdress, a maxi dress, an empire gown, a ball gown, and a cocktail dress?  Find out all in Fashion 101.  Great for the budding fashion designer and the sew-it-your-self types...  I wish I had this dress back when I was designing hundreds of paper doll dresses as a kid.  It would have been my constant companion. 
Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner.  I LOVE it all!

I want to make this... (I have some vintage scraps that would be perfect!)
and this...
...and these.  To cute!!

Material Obsession....sounds like me, right?

I literally gasped when I saw this quilt.  I adore purples and lavenders anyway, but the combination of colors and prints in this one blew me away. I just love simple quilts. Oh, I want it!
I have some fat quarters that will be perfect for this fat quarter quilt...
whenever I get around to it, that is!
 Finally, a trio of very lovely, restful pictures from Home Sewn.  I wish I could step right into this book and live in it.  The photos took me to another world and I came away relaxed and refreshed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stacking Coins

I didn't plan to stack coins today, but I'm glad I did. Now I just need to find the time to quilt it. :) Details to come soon.

happy quilting,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gently and Sweetly

I'm so excited about the fabric that came in the mail this week that I just have to share! Let me tell you about Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. On
her blog, Randi recently held a giveaway in which she gave one randomly chosen winner a $50 dollar gift certificate to her store. I won! Can you believe it? I rarely win anything, and I won $50 of free fabric from this wonderful online fabric store. You can imagine my difficulty in deciding which fabric to choose!

It took some time, but I finally decided on the Dolce line from Grand Revival designer, Tanya Whelan. I almost chose the Nicey Jane fabric (it comes in my favorite fabric colors---green and pink), but I decided to go with something totally different than what I'd usually choose. And I ended up with Dolce. Thank you, Randi!

Ah, sweet Dolce, in shades of aqua, green, tan, and pink. I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet, but I'm open for suggestions. Oh, I received 1 yard each of 9 different prints, and yes, I exceeded my $50 spending limit, but I'm okay with that. :) By the way, in musical terms, dolce is pronounced dol-chay and means "gently and sweetly." How fitting for this beautiful Dolce fabric.

The day after Dolce arrived, I received a package in the mail from Sew Mama Sew bringing me the lovely Ava Rose fabric which is destined to be a wholecloth quilt for my bed. One side will be the red damask print and the other side will be the floral. I'm excited about making this quilt but don't plan to start it for a bit. Along with the quilt fabric, I received 6 free fat quarters from Sew Mama Sew, and I think they are just beautiful!

Ava Rose: Red Damask and Kitchen Rose

Six Fat Quarters: Which fabric line?

Lastly, I'm also excited because I earned enough Amazon gift cards through Swag Bucks to purchase a clock radio with an iPod dock to put on my nightstand. And it was totally free, thanks to Swag Bucks! The Amazon tracking information tells me that the radio will arrive on Saturday. This definitely has been a good mail week for me!

And now I think I'm going to get off the computer and go stare admiringly at my new fabric. How corny, huh? Just kidding, I'm going to go up to my sewing room and see if I can get some sewing motivation going. : )

happy sewing,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God knows how to make me feel loved...

Look what He gave me on Sunday, via two sweet older ladies from church?  This made my day!! 

These ladies had a big bag of extra minky pieces and a big box of fleece pieces...for me!  Most are 1/2 to 3/4 of a yard, full width. 

Any good project ideas for the fleece? 

I picked a reader for the Cloth magazine. It's Adin from It's Sewtastic!  I love her sewing blog, by the way...definitely full of creativity and craftiness!

 FINALLY, I got a picture of Marie and I in our matching jackets.  I LOVE that we match...hehe!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cloth Review and Giveaway

Last week I won a lovely set of fat quarters from Allegro Fabrics. I was so excited!!  This is a new (to me!) shop that I stumbled across one day from a link on another site.  They have a lovely site and some great fabrics.  Check them out HERE.
Speaking of giveaways, one of the publicists at Cloth magazine kindly sent me their latest issue to look over.  A new UK based magazine, Cloth's focus is unique to the craft world...it's all about up-cyclying, creative fashion, and learning new crafty skills. 

Definitely useful for the beginner crafter, I liked how this issue had articles and recommendations for choosing and using your new sewing machine, and photo tutorials showing how to sew on buttons and do basic hand stitches.  Some of the other fun features include zipper necklaces, paint and stencil re-makes for your favorite tops and shoes, interviews with trendy designers and vintage clothing shop owners, and how to-s for recycling thrift store treasures into modern day, edgy streetwear.

Overall, Cloth is a lot of fun, especially for the young and trendy folks.  I'd love to pass on my issue to one of you!  If the sound of this magazine appeals to you, leave a comment and I'll pick a reader on Wednesday.  


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

McCalls 5791

I still haven't gotten any good pictures of Marie in her Easter dress.  I completely missed the boat with taking them Easter morning before we left and the few snapshots I got after church, she has was so grumpy looking...anyway, the pattern was McCalls 5791.

(Mom, Katie, and Miss Grumpy!)
I love this dress!  It's has a super full skirt and a few different options for personalizing.  I made the sleeveless option and added tucks to the front bodice to give it a bit of design detail.  Overall, I wanted it to be pretty simple because of the fabric...I adore the fabric...a soft pastel vintage style rose print.  I felt like it really made the dress.
(The only happy picture I could get was when she was in the bouncy house after the church potluck. She thought that was amazing!  Fabric is a Tanya Whelan print from Marie Madeline Fabrics.)

 I finished the dancewear shrugs I was working on for my teacher friend.  Oh my goodness...my new coverstitch made sewing this material a breeze!  I couldn't believe the difference it made in hemming around the tops and bottoms of these...and they look so professional!!  Now that I've finished these, I'm looking forward to working on some projects for myself and the kids using knits.

Last, I have to share a couple of kid pictures!  This week we were so blessed by our neighbors who gave us this swing for the kids...they are in heaven!! First thing after breakfast, we have to go outside and swing!  The swing on the left is just the right heigth for Elliot to get onto it by himself and even swing himself a bit.  Of course, he prefers Mom to push him. =)
Happy Spring!!

(Elliot has been spending lots of time playing with his little tractors in the back of my little garden bed. I am planting herbs in the front part of it, and the back part is his "dirt box" for now.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

And the winner is....


I wish I could make a set of pattern weights for each of you who commented on my birthday giveaway. I've enjoyed visiting all--yes, all--your blogs and catching a glimpse into your lives.

Alisa, from
Making More with Less, is the winner of the pattern weights. Visit Alisa's blog that she shares with her sister Suzanne to see all the pretty things they make. Alisa, I really like the red "Miss Mary" dress that you sewed for your daughter last month.

Email your address to me and I'll pop these pattern weights in the mail.

Happy Sewing,

And just because I have a hard time writing a post without a picture, here is one of my family (missing just one daughter) taken on Easter Sunday by a very talented young lady, Tyna. I love the bright colors--this picture reminds me of spring and colored eggs. :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review of Simplicity 2701

Pattern Description:
Misses' Jacket with front, collar and sleeve variations and skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
Sizes 4, 6, 8,10, and 12. I made a straight size 10.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is the first time I've used a Project Runway pattern, and I was pleased with the in-depth instructions.

Fabric Used:
I used a textured cotton woven from Joann's.

Changes made:
-one button on the front instead of two
-lengthened the back facing as mentioned below

Construction and Conclusion:
I liked everything about the style the first time I saw it on Sharon's review, and I knew I wanted to make one in red.

I cut out this jacket 5 months ago, before Christmas. However, it got pushed to the back burner, and I didn't make much progress on it. Every time I walked into my sewing room, the pile of red fabric mocked me. Well, Easter has come and gone, and I knew I couldn't sew another thing before finishing the jacket. At this point, I decided to simply serge the seams instead of binding them as the pattern instructed. I just needed to get the jacket off my work table!

THE BEST CHANGE I made to the jacket was actually a suggestion that Lori made in her review of her lovely jacket: I lengthened the back facing to cover up the back seam and to conceal the top of the pleat. Why the pattern maker didn't do this in the first place is beyond me as it makes the jacket so much nicer on the inside.

I half wish I had taken the time to bind the seams, but really, I just needed to get this thing done. I'm happy with the finished jacket, even with the serged seams and my slightly crooked welt pockets. This was the first time for me to ever make welt pocket openings, so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. : ) And yes, there are real pockets under the openings.

I like the button tab on the back, directly above the pleat.

The fabric is a deep red like in this picture.

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Just a few more days until I draw a name for the Birthday Pattern Weights! Leave your comment on this post from a few days ago for your chance to win. Also, if you are a follower of SewChic, leave a second comment telling me so. Don't forget to leave your email address or link to your blog so that I can contact you if you are the winner. I have noticed that several of of the comments do not have any contact information. If you win, I need a way to notify you. :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Fabric Flower Tutorial

When I decided to add a big flower to Emily's dress, I searched online for a tutorial. Yes, a bazillion fabric flower tutorials can be found on the web, but I didn't find one quite like the way I made mine. So, ta-da, here is Fabric Flower Tutorial Bazillion-and-One! Maybe somebody will find it helpful. :)

Step #1: Cut fabric into a 2.5" x 45" strip using a rotary cutter.

Step #2: Turn under both short ends and press.

Step #3: Press fabric lengthwise.

Step #4: With a needle and strong thread sew gathering stitches along
the long, raw edge of fabric strip. I used upholstery thread.

Step #5: Pull up gathering stitches, being careful not to twist the fabric strip.

Step #6: Form the gathered strip into a flower.

Step #7: Secure the layers together with a number of stitches.

Step #8: Sew a button, flower, or some other do-dad on the front.
I decided not to use this ribbon rose but used a button instead (next picture).

Step #9: Last step, and I forgot to take a picture of it, but sew a pin-back or a safety pin onto the back. To prevent the flower from sagging, don't sew the pin at center back, but sew it upwards of center.

This could also be made into a hair clip instead of a brooch.

I am very happy with the way this Miss Madeline pattern came out. For it's simplicity and ease of sewing, I think it turned out quite beautiful. I will definitely be make more dresses from this pattern.

happy sewing,