Friday, August 28, 2009

Nervous Excitement!

Tomorrow is it! My first arts and crafts fair! This month has been a crazy whirl of planning, sewing, and quilting...and it has all finally come together. Everything is packed and ready to go in the quilts, chenille backed baby blankets, burpclothes, baby bibs, appliqued onsies, and some random little items.

Sorry I never got any pictures of my progress, but seriously, every spare moment I've had has been getting ready for this, and I simply haven't had time to blog or take pictures. I'll be sure and take lots of pictures of my booth and stuff tomorrow though, and I'll definitely do a post-show update!

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emily's Vintage Sheet Quilt

You may remember this picture above from the post Jessica wrote over a month ago when she was making baby quilts from vintage sheets. Soon after, the two of us got together and pieced a twin-size quilt for Emily's bed.

Let me tell you, I love, love, love this quilt, and I wish we had made it big enough for my bed! Well, then, poor Emily wouldn't have a quilt for her bed, so it's best that it's only twin-sized. :)

I have a wonderful neighbor-friend who has a long-arm quilting machine, and today she finished quilting the top for me. The quilting is absolutely beautiful! Debbie does fabulous work, and I recommend her highly if you ever need some quilting done. Debbie has another quilt top of mine that she plans to quilt soon--I'll post pictures of it when I get it back.

Now, all that is left to finish Emily's quilt is to bind the edges. Hopefully I'll start and complete the binding tomorrow, and then I'll be back with more pictures.

What do you think? Should I keep collecting vintage sheets so that I can make one for my own bed, or is one vintage sheet quilt enough? :)


Monday, August 17, 2009

Wearing of the green (dress)

(Thank you, Kristin, for taking the pictures of Katie!)


Friday, August 07, 2009

Dustbowl Arts Market and Facebook fan page

Hey, it's been awhile since I've posted....I think Mom does about 10 posts for my every one!

I have been busy, busy though....I'm going to be doing a craft fair (in 22 days...yikes!) and have been sewing up a storm getting ready. I've been working on bunches of quilts and whole piles of baby bibs, decorated burp cloths, and chenille backed baby blankets. I'm using a bunch of really fun, trendy fabrics for the bibs and burp cloths, as well as making 7 vintage sheet baby quilts. I'll share pictures soon!

The Dustbowl Arts Market is going to be held on Campus Corner on August 29th 10-6. If you are going to be in the Norman area on the 29th, be sure and come check it out! I'd love to meet any blogreaders.

This is my first arts and crafts fair, and I'm super excited and a bit nervous. Have any of you ever done anything like this? Please share any tips or experiences you have with craft fairs in the comments! I need all the advice I can get.

On another note, I just got a facebook fan page set up for my etsy shop. If you're already on facebook and would like to see occasional (and I mean occasional...I don't intend to bombard fans with continual "junk mail") updates and pictures from my etsy shop, just click on the "become a fan" link at the top of the fan page.

Have a great day!!!


The Green Dress: Simplicity 2591

Katie's dress was finished just in time for her trip. I hemmed the dress at midnight and took a few pictures, and the next day I drove Katie to the airport. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures taken of Katie wearing the dress--Kristen, that's your job, lol--but I'll post some when I can.

The pattern:
Simplicity 2591

Description: "Misses dress with bodice variations." Not very descriptive, I know. What the envelope does not tell you is that this dress has such interesting design elements: a side panel cut on the bias that extends into the skirt creating wonderful big pockets; soft gathers, not pleats, at the neckline of view C and D, and (view C) short raglan sleeves pleated at the hem, not at the shoulder. Views A and B give the option for a boat neckline and side darts.

8-16; I made a size 8 in View C

I made a muslin of the bodice first. I'm so glad I made a muslin! Fitting is a new skill for me, and I had so much fun making the muslin and figuring out what needed to be done to make the dress fit properly. I don't have any training, but I have a couple of good reference books. So I'm learning by trial and error. Fun!

Changes I made:

~ I raised the neckline by 1 and 1/4 inch. In hindsight, 7/8" would have been better. Because of the raglan style, I also raised the top edge of the sleeves, and the back neckline by the same 1-1/4".

~ The muslin showed too much fabric on the front raglan seam, and so I took 3/8" off the pattern piece just on the front piece where it meets the sleeve. I did not take any off the sleeve piece, and this adjustment seemed to work. I'm still learning about fitting/alterations, and I think this means that the bodice was too wide on Katie. Not sure about that, though, but the alteration helped.

~ I cut the bodice at a size 10 at the sides. Katie needed the additional width through her ribcage.

~ I shortened the dress by 1-1/2" because Katie is on the short side (she gets that from her mother).

Katie likes this dress even better than the dress I made her last week. So do I---it looks great on her! Now that I've made the alterations to get a good fit on her, I definitely would like to make another dress from the same pattern. Unfortunately, school starts in one more week, and I've got to start planning for that. No time to sew for a while. :)

I don't know if my sister-in-law reads this blog or not, but I'm so glad that she made this pattern for her daughter, and I'm so glad that my girls saw it and liked it. Patsy, if you do read this, I'd love to show both the blue and yellow dresses you made. Email pictures to me if you like.

Thank you for reading,

~hidden pockets~

~sleeve gathers~

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Simplicity 2591 & Pattern Weights

This evening I cut out another dress for Katie: Simplicity 2591. I never would have chosen this pattern from the envelope photos, but my sister-in-law sewed up this pattern for her daughter, and Katie just loved the dress so much that now I'm making it for her. It's not very obvious from the envelope or even the line drawings, but this dress has wonderful deep pockets. The front side panels are cut on the bias and form pockets in the skirt. What a great dress design!

When cutting out the dress, I tried out some of the new pattern weights I'm making for a group of ladies from the This-End-Up co-op. I had orders for 31 sets of weights, and I still have 5 more sets to finish up. The green weights seem to be the most popular; I never would have guessed. :)

Several readers have expressed interest in these pattern weights. The weights are simply metal washers wrapped with fabric. You can make your own, and smaller washers can be found in most hardware stores. It can be rather difficult, however, to find the large 4.5" washers that I use. You can use plain washers, but the fabric keeps them from clinking and from sliding around.

If you have ever used weights to hold down your patterns, you probably realize how much easier and less time-consuming it is than using pins to hold the pattern pieces in place. The only times I use pins anymore is around detail areas such as darts or pleats.

Okay, enough of the weights. I'll be back next time to report my progress on the dress. Katie is going out of town in a few days to visit a friend, and I'd like to have the dress finished so she can take it with her.

happy sewing,

Pictures and a Lesson Learned

I finally got pictures taken of Katie wearing her new dress. The dress fits her well, but I did notice something unpleasing when I saw the pictures---look at the leaf design at the waistband. I made sure not to have a big flower in an unflattering place on the bodice, but I didn't even think to check the print repeats. I do not like how the leaf design is repeated on the waistband and directly above on the bodice. Lesson learned. :)

Happy sewing,

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sewer, Sewist, Seamstress

In a recent post I wrote that I am not a fast sewist. Several of my children questioned me on my use of the word sewist, and it got me thinking, wondering what term you sewers out there use to describe yourself when it comes to your sewing.

Notice I used the word "sewers" in the above sentence. Yes, sewer may be correct, but when I read it, it brings to mind images know, the smelly place where waste is disposed of.

But why not use the word seamstress, my children questioned? Well, to me, a seamstress brings to mind a professional who sews for a living. Like a tailor. When I've referred to myself as a seamstress, I'm often asked how much I charge for custom sewing, etc.. I have no inclination or desire to sew custom garments for others for pay, but that seems to be the image that being a seamstress conveys. I suppose I am a seamstress of sorts, but it's definitely not my profession.

Hence, I usually use sewist when I write, but I use sewer (one who sews) when I talk.

What do you all think? Is the word sewist acceptable? Should it be added to the dictionary? I read it all over the sewing blog world, so I know I'm not the only one using it.