Monday, July 19, 2010

Current Projects!!

I stumbled upon MADE after via the So You Think You are Crafty blog/competition. I was immediately smitten with her blog and her creations. When I saw her Summer Vacation Dress and Shortie pattern, I knew that I had to buy it. I thought that I would start with just the basic dress. I used fabric that I had leftover from my teacher gift wallhanging. I had planned on this being my "test" pattern. However, I fell in LOVE sooo much with the pattern and the dress, I ended up deciding to use one of the more elborate patterns. It was really a quick pattern and I am definitely addicted to using elastic thread now. I would have never thought I could have sewn with it or that it would be so easy to use. So DO-ABLE!

Summer Vacation Dress from MADE

Dana also provided all of us with a wonderful FREE pattern in the Warhol dress. I modified mine slightly. She designed the pattern to have a tie at the side of the collar of the dress. I think that this is adorable...however, I wanted try it without the tie. The pattern is fabulous...but my first attempt was not quite the intended effect that I wanted. I needed to have gathered the dress at the collar bit more to make the dress fit correctly on the shoulders. Additionally, my attempt at omitting the tie on the collar proved not to be the wisest of decisions. Overall though, a great play dress! I can't wait to make another!!

Warhol dress - from MADE

On a side note...the fabric is retro - taken from my mom's sash. It is directly out of the 80's or early 90's. I am pretty sure that my sister and I had something fashioned out of that fabric back in the day!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Christmas in July

As I am looking back over my projects, there are a few Christmas projects that I wanted to detail. When is a better time for looking at Christmas projects than July!! Ha! Ha! However, I am trying to go in some sort of order, so hence the reason for the craziness (and I am seriously thinking to myself that I really should start on some of this Christmas projects now..).

As I have been reviewing my projects, I have found there have been several projects that I have not photographed. I don't know why, but I like to have pictures as a reminder of what I have done. I can use this to critique past work and tweak to improve the next time around.

One of those projects that I failed to photograph include crocheting 16 miniature stockings last Christmas. I did this for my son's kindergarten class. For Christmas parties, everyone sends treats, so I thought it would be great to make these miniature stockings to hold the treats but could then also be used as an ornament. When I got done, I swore that I would NEVER do this again...however...I thought they were cute once done and so I might be inclined to try it again. I had printed off this pattern several years ago and can't find the exact site again, but this site is a close match to the stocking pattern that I used. They have even added mini teddy bears to the stockings. Adorable!!

A couple of the Christmas projects that I did photograph last year are pictured below. In trying to decide what to give my son's teacher for Christmas, I decided upon a wall/door hanging. She loves bees and so I decided to use them for the theme. I desperately searched for a wall hanging tutorial, but could not find anything that I felt was fitting. I decided to use a Disappearing 9's quilt pattern for the wall hanging. I used this tutorial. This was my first attempt at any sort of quilting. It looks a bit wonky...which I didn't realize until after the gift was given and looking back at photos. I added a border to the quilt and also added some tabs when attaching the binding to add a dowel rod and ribbon to create the wall hanging. I do not have an embroidery machine, so I had a friend embroider Mrs. (Teacher's Name)'s Busy Bees. Overall, for my first attempt, I was happy with the end result.

Disappearing Nine's Wallhanging

Another project that I decided to tackle (waiting until Christmas Eve to make this brilliant decision) was a pillowcase dress for my daughter. I decided that she must have festive outfit and so took the kids to Hobby Lobby to pick out some fabric. I also purchased a shirt and fabric for my son to applique a "Christmasy" design on his shirt...however that did not get completed. Below is a less than ideal picture of the pillowcase dress. Those are large Christmas cupcakes on the fabric...just too cute! I know that it will certainly be large enough for her to wear this Christmas as well...which is why the pillowcase dresses are so great. I used this tutorial as my guide for this dress.

Christmas pillowcase dress

Up of some current projects!! Yea!!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

A few more projects....

So, I am still reviewing some of my projects from last year. One of my favorites, which my daughter is still able to wear this year, is the twirl skirt. I based the panels of the skirt from this tutorial, however I also added a band to attach the panels to the skirt (from the apron skirt described here). I felt that the band on the skirt added volume - or more of a twirl effect. I also opted not to add pockets and a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt as the tutorial suggested. I just adore this skirt though!! So cute!!

Twirl Skirt

Another "test" outfit I made last year is a combo of the apron skirt (without the apron) and a peasant top. I do not love the fabrics...but it was a test outfit after all. I still have some many ideas of how I want to use this peasant top many possibilies...just a matter of getting to those ideas!!

Peasant top and twirl skirt


Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Sequel - More of Last Summer's Projects!

I have to admit that I find it a great deal of fun to sew for my daughter...and not just sew, but to make hair ribbons, crochet hats, etc. The options are just so much more abundant for girls than boys.

Last summer, I saw several "apron skirts" and I thought that they were just adorable. I decided that for my daughter's birthday outfit, I would make her an apron skirt with an appliqued shirt. I also decided that I would buy some beautiful fabric from our small town fabric shop. However, this fabric is not cheap. I pride myself on getting a good bargain...and this shop really has no opportunities for getting a better deal than the listed price. However, I loved the fabric and was willing to make the comprise. Before I cut into that expensive fabric though, I decided that I certainly needed to test my skills on fabric that I did not deem to be quite as important.

So practice, I purchased some fabric on clearance (at Wal-Mart). I was not really fond of the fabrics, but again, the price was the deciding factor for the "test" pattern. I found a tutorial (which does not seem to be working any longer) that I would use for the skirt and came up with a simplistic pattern for the shirt. I used Wonder Under to iron on the fabric to the shirt and then zig-zagged around the patterns on the shirt. I also attached "ruffles" to the tank/shirt, which I thought was a very cute addition to an otherwise plain tank. Even though I was not overly fond of the fabric at the beginning, I ended up really liking the final products. I attached a orange ribbon to the bottom of the apron piece. That same ribbon was used to create a hair piece for Gracie (which you can barely see in the picture..and has since been lost).

Given that I was happy with the results of the "test" pattern, I then used the expensive fabric to make Gracie's birthday outfit. The skirt is basically the same, however I used three colors in the skirt this time around and attached a piece of lace to the bottom of the apron piece. I adored the skirt. I appliqued a shirt for the birthday outfit as well, but it was a short sleeved shirt instead of a tank this time. I was at a loss as to what to applique on the front of this shirt. I ended up cutting out designs in the fabric and using the same Wonder Under process and zig-zagging the fabric on the shirt. This shirt was not was not what I had envisioned. I still am not satisfied with this shirt - but Gracie loved her outfit and had a great birthday!