Saturday, June 26, 2010

One of Last Summer's Projects & a History Lesson

So, in my effort to track some of my progress in terms of "creating," I am again looking back at some of my projects of last summer when I started to follow blogs. Before that though, I will go way back....and it seems like it keeps getting further and further away...but I digress.

I have indicated in my profile that I like to "create" - but to clarify - this really involves more sewing than anything. I will occasionally branch out...but I found that I really enjoy sewing. I officially started sewing when I was younger - around 10 years old. To be honest, I hated it. I hated the fabric selections and disliked the patterns even more. My mom was an excellent seamstress and she would (and still can) sew just about anything you could imagine. She attempted to teach me and I tried to stick with it for a couple of years. I can remember a few projects that I made back then, but when I decided that I would no longer try to continue sewing, I never envisioned that I would sew again - and much less WANT to sew.

Fast forward a few years (ha!)...and I have two kids. I inherited a great-aunt's Singer (from the late 60's - receipt and all) and decided that I might try a few projects. I had only known sewing from patterns from well-known pattern companies and I continued to sew mostly using these patterns. I was still a bit disillusioned with some of these patterns as well as the fabric selections at my local major fabric chain. And then in my tiny, small town a great fabric shop opened. They carried the most gorgeous of fabrics (many lines from Moda) that I had never seen or knew existed. It completely renewed my interest in sewing. They also talked about "free" patterns on the web. I started to explore and found so many great tutorials.

One of the first projects that I took on after completing my son's nap mat, sans traditional pattern, was creating a dress for my daughter. I had seen a similar version at the fabric shop referenced above. I actually decided to take the plunge - and made the dress with NO pattern. I bought the fabric from that lovely shop and got started. The dress was very simple and basic, so it was by no means difficult, however it was a major leap of faith in terms of sewing for me.

Gracie modeling her new dress (she is quite the model these days too).

The inspiration dress was one layer. I added a second layer (the orange fabric). There is just a basic casing at the top of the dress and a halter tie at the top of the dress.

The "flower" is several layers of fabric that were cut into petal shapes with pinking shears. I then cut a circular piece of fabric for the "button" in the middle of the fabric and to attach it to the dress.

More project reviews to come!


Friday, June 25, 2010

None other than (drum roll please)... "My first post!"

Hello Blog World!! I am really saying hello to myself, as no one evens knows of this blog yet. I have been contemplating for while to begin a blog. My reason for wanting to start to blog is really pretty selfish - for myself. I *think* that this might be a good way to track the projects that I have done and also a way for me to prioritize the projects that I want to complete. I also have found some really amazing blogs and would love to share my excitement for those blogs with others!

I first stumbled upon blogs about a year ago (I know, I know...I am behind the times). My son was going to start kindgergarten and he needed a nap mat. I could have bought the traditional plastic version, but I just couldn't bare the thought of spending my money on something so unoriginal. I searched the stores for patterns and could not find I turned to the Net. I stumbled upon Jenny Garland's site with a Nap Mat Tutorial . While I did not precisely follow her pattern, I immediately feel in love with her site and all of the projects that she had documented. I found it very inspiring to look at her projects - and then think of projects that I could complete. I now have several blogs that I look at on a regular (okay - daily) basis.

Below are pics of that first project via a blog. I started this project the afternoon before my son started a week-long kindergarten summer school. I, of course (crazy lady that I am), wanted to get the project done before summer school started. Jenny's pattern calls for using foam for the nap mat. If I were making this again, I would definitely go that route. However, I did not have any foam on hand - but I did have quite a bit of batting on hand (from another project that I don't recall now). So I decided to use several layers of batting for the "body" of the mat. I also did not have any velcro so opted for buttons for keep the map together once rolled. The batting was a nightmare to get through my machine (because it was soo thick), however, I was satisfied with the end result (not perfect and lots of room for improvement, but satisfied none the less). My son used this mat every day of kindergarten and it still has lots of life left. Too bad that his little sister probably won't appreciate the Cars motif when it is her turn for kindergarten!

The finished product - all rolled up!

The mat rolled out...the left side is the pillow...though it is hard to tell...
My little guy - ready to go to school!!