"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Big Year - 2012: Even Bigger

2011 was the year I began sewing for myself
I have tried to go back and count, but I wasn't great at documenting (maybe a resolution for 2012?) and I counted 25 me-made clothing items.  I still wear about 18 of them and the others were worn only a couple times and then ditched.  I didn't count bags for myself or refashioned or resized clothing in the number of me-mades so that adds on quite a bit more sewing.  And then there's clothing for my girls as well as my first baby quilt.
I guess I didn't realize how prolific I had been this year!  I always think of the Sew Weekly ladies as super incredibly amazing (and they assuredly are), but for me to make one garment every two weeks impresses me.

I'm kicking off the new year with a trip to Hancock Fabrics.  I already have a list made and my $10 off coupon in my bag, as well as some swatches for matching and some patterns for referencing.

New Things for 2012:

-I've turned over a new leaf in my sewing.  I have two muslins (gasp!) cut out and ready to stitch up, and more planned. I read the Colette Sewing Handbook almost cover to cover last night after it came in the mail yesterday and I'm pumped to become a more thoughtful, more "serious" seamstress.  I like Sarai's general vibe.  She really relaxes me about tackling new projects and especially about altering muslins.
-I have two or three vintage patterns on my short list - still a scary thought for some reason, but I keep buying more.
-I am working on blocks for a bed-sized quilt.  My first ever.
-I plan to make myself at least one, maybe two coats.
-I plan to make... drum roll, please...... pants.

My next post will be some details of pattern/fabric pairings.  I did a little stash shopping and pattern planning and I'm really excited that I finally made some decisions and my fabric will finally get used.  I have about 15 projects just using patterns and fabrics I have on hand and I'll be buying fabric for 3-4 more patterns tomorrow that I didn't have a match for at home.

So, let's see, that's almost a full year's worth of sewing (by last year's standards) that I already have lined up for myself.  Wowzers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pantone for Spring

from www.theperfectpallette.com
I noticed this morning that the Pantone colors for Spring 2012 are official.  I like to use my own likes and dislikes to guide me when I'm buying fabric or planning some sewing, but I think it would be a fun exercise to attempt some pairings or even some new sewing with these colors in mind.
First things first.  Let's find out what is already in my wardrobe that attempts to represent these colors.
Pictures are pulled from all year and are varying in quality.  Most are me made, but a couple are not.
You'll notice that Margarita and Cockatoo are my comfort zone (and apparently Amy Butler's too, since her fabrics are where you'll see these two colors below).  

Margarita, Cockatoo and Tangarine Tango


Margarita, Tangerine Tango, Cockatoo, Cabaret, Sodalite Blue (wow! little did I know what a great color investment this skirt would be!)

(This is a dress that is in the refashion-into-a-skirt queue currently) Sodalite Blue, Cabaret


Cockatoo, Margarita, Sweet Lilac

Driftwood, very soft Tangerine Tango and very soft Cabaret

finally, some Solar power and a little of almost everything else too!

Tangerine Tango

Sweet Lilac

Margarita, Cabaret, Cockatoo

Looks like I could use some more of the colors at the top of the list, huh?  
I love Solar Power, but I don't know how exactly to use it so it compliments my complexion.  
My very fave nail polish is OPI's Done Out in Deco, so I'm glad to see I'll be right in fashion wearing it this Spring since it's pretty much the same color as Bellflower.

No other thoughts right now, except that with a quick look-see, I'm not really finding anything in my fabric stash that would build very well on these colors.  Oh well, I've got a pretty good start.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Missoni Makeover

Warning:  These are all iPhone shots.  The mirror has not been cleaned since who-knows-when.  My skin is blindingly white in the "after" shots.
Proceed at your own risk.

I almost always check out the clearance racks whenever I am in Target.  I've seen the Missoni stuff from their fairly recent and much talked about release slowly popping up on the 30% and sometimes 50% off racks, but with the original prices being what they were, I still wasn't willing to pay the clearance prices.
A couple of days ago, while perusing the Target clearance section, a beautiful knit print caught my attention and there it was, this lonely, sad looking droopy thing on a hanger.  I brought it into the fitting room to give it a closer look and see if there was any potential.  
Here is what I saw. (The t-shirt is there for modesty purposes.)  It turned out to be an XL knit romper with adjustable shoulder straps.

I took a $10 gamble, hoping I could take it from saggy baggy elephant to something cute and wearable.  
I cut the adjustable part off the straps completely since they were still way too long even at their shortest adjustment.  I sewed the straps permanently at a good length for me and took in the side seams by a good 5 inches on both sides.  I shirred the back at the waist since I really wasn't diggin' it with a belt, but it still needed some help in the shape department.

Much better!  I don't know about wearing it out as is, but I think it would be cute for pj's or beachwear.


Saturday, December 3, 2011


(Arg!  The dern spacing is off and I can't fix it!  Alright, you can read now.)

Merry early Christmas to moi!  I have admired these two particular prints from Amy Butler's Lark fabric line ever since the pre-order phase on Fabric.com.
When I saw it on the bolt at Bernina Sewing Etc, a quilt shop near Jackson, I was overcome and could no longer resist the chance to wear these amazing prints.
I made my third gathered skirt.  It's so basic, just one yard of fabric cut in half from selvage to selvage and then sewn together at the short edges to make a ginormous tube.  A quarter yard of coordinating fabric, also cut in half from selvage to selvage and sewn together at the short ends. Fold it in half to make a band and sew to the bottom of the main fabric.  Take some gathering stitches around the top (I did three rows this time after seeing the Snippet email Collette recently sent out about how much more even the gathers are), gather, and stitch to elastic with a zig-zag stitch, stretching the elastic a bit as you go.  It's pretty basic, just tedious.

I love the idea of a full skirt, very vintage, but I find them a bit fussy to wear because I'm so particular about how the fabric falls.  I think this skirt needs pressing to tame the poofiness up top and I'm also hoping it will relax some after washing.

In past versions I haven't had pockets. since they are pretty easy to add and I certainly enjoy them when I have them, I thought I should put in the extra effort for this one. Of course I love them.
It probably needs tights to fully winterize it, but I think this skirt may just become a year-round favorite.