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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The "Create Your Own Vacation" Resort Ensemble

This post is almost exactly the one I submitted to The Sew Weekly for the "Vacation" theme.  I added a couple things for more detail here.  Enjoy!
We just took a beach trip and it was lovely. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re really on vacation with two little ones in tow, but this time it really did feel like a fun vacation, so that was excellent.
BUT… if I were to design my perfect vacation, this would be what I would wear.

Fabric: taupe jersey knit from Fabric.com and taupe zebra ITY knit also from Fabric.com
Patterns: McCalls 6559 and McCalls 6173
Year: current
Notions: FOE and reg. elastic
Time to complete: about 3 hours for both
First worn: for these pictures
Wear again? Yes. probably not together, unless my dream vacation comes true.
So let me lay it out for you. This is Sara Upshaw Resort Activewear 2012. The leggings are soft and comfortable, not too tight and a little long for an effect reminiscent to leg warmers from my dance background. The tunic/dress is jersey in the front and ITY in the back for fun (but also because I hate it when knits stick to my booty and get all wonky, so the ITY is nice and slippery so there’s no wonky sticking).
My morning would begin with some meditation in a large room with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the ocean. 

The day would continue with a ballet class (not too strict) with a live cellist and more floor to ceiling windows, this time looking out over lush gardens.

After a stroll through the garden, enjoying the cool breeze from the nearby ocean, I would participate in a stretching class and then have some lunch and a fruity drink.
Before the day continues, I know y'all are curious about the fit of these leggings.  This is my second pair and I didn't do a whole lot differently from the first pair.  I kept the same fit in the back, but tapered starting at the thigh down to an xs since my first pair were quite roomy... for leggings.  

Relaxation would be on the menu for the afternoon, including a hot stone massage, manicure and pedicure.
Later that night there would be latin dancing in an outdoor pavilion complete with all sorts of awesome leads to dance with and a full latin orchestra.

  I love the high-low hem for dancing, but I'd need to get some more jersey to make myself some bike shorts.
I dug out my ballroom shoes (from 7 years ago!) for y'all...

After some exhilerating dancing to some exhilarating music, a group of us would head out to the beach to watch the sun set and listen to the waves.
And I’d probably want to do it all over again the next day… so I’d probably need to make something else to wear. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Indie Pattern Wishlist

I am unashamedly copying Green Apples' post because her post got me looking around at some things I'd skimmed over before and I'd like to document them so that when I CAN buy patterns again, I'll know what I want.
There are several smallish to very small pattern companies that have some very attractive patterns. Unfortunately, since I get most of my patterns for less than $3, $15-$20 seems like a pretty steep price tag. After all, aren't I trying to save money by sewing??
After seeing some reviews and after getting to know what you like, I don't think buying a few of these patterns would be a bad investment... and then there's always Christmas and birthdays, right?

First up, some monotony if you read Green Apples' post.  I knew of Style Arc, just hadn't paid much attention because there was no way I was paying over $3 for a pattern (as stated earlier) in my newbie sewing days.  Now that I'm getting more comfortable with knits, I can't help but be drawn to this dress.

The Marita.

Isn't it cool?  I can't figure it out, so I'm really curious to sew it.  I'm loving this for winter.

Next up: Victory Patterns.  Once again, another company there's been some buzz about, so I caught wind but wasn't ready to commit.  Ever since I first browsed their site, I've loved Hazel.

I actually love the colors and styling of this example, but probably couldn't pull it off.  It's perfect for the color blocking trend and wouldn't it be pretty in pink and orange? or purple and aqua? or coral and navy??

Now here's a pattern I already have, but I thought I'd put it in this post anyway.  It's the Scout Woven Tee from Grainline Studio.  This one's on the very affordable list, coming in at $4.50 and it's a great go-to staple for your wardrobe.

Lastly, I want to remember to get the Go Anywhere Dress from Sewn.  I would NEVER have bought this pattern had I not seen it made up in Whipstitch on a recent trip to Atlanta.  I was so drawn to it on the dress form and HAD to know what pattern it was.  The lady working there told me it was a great princess seam dress and so easy to fit.  She said they call it "the magic dress" there at the shop, because they'd made it, like, three times for three ladies that wear three different RTW sizes and they all wore the same size (with minor alterations) in this dress!  A dress that will fit anyone?!  Princess seams that go up to the shoulder instead of into the armpit and therefore are easy to adjust?  Yes, please!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Purse Palooza 2012

Announcing Purse Palooza 2012!!
This is a fun event, which I will be guest posting for in June over at Sew Sweetness to get you sewing a purse for the summer! Here's how it works: 1. Every weekday in June, there will be 2 amazing guest bloggers scheduled to share with you a purse sewing pattern review. The review will contain detailed information about what they thought about the sewing pattern, modifications they made, what kind of interfacing they used, and more! Get inspired! 2. Even more exciting...THERE WILL BE A GIVEAWAY EVERY WEEKDAY IN JUNE! That's right, 20 GIVEAWAYS! Your Giveaway Fairy Godmother is Kim from My Go-Go Life - she has some unbelievable giveaways planned! 3. At the end of the event, you will get a chance to show off your purse in order to win some amazing prizes!
My free tutorial: Caliti Convertible Clutch
Pattern Review Schedule June 4 - Sara @ Sewsweetness (tutorial: bag interfacing)              
Kim @ My Go-Go Life (Urban Jungle Bag)
June 5 - Meg @ Fashioned by Meg (Anna Maria Horner Art Student Tote)            
 Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews (Posie Rosie Little Things Jane Market Bag)
June 6 - Kaelin @ The Plaid Scottie (Oliver + S Day in the Park Backpack)              
Colleen @ The Busy Bean (something from Amy Butler's Style Stitches book)
June 7 - Bree @ My Crafty Crap (Jenna Lou Designs Mabel Bag)            
Ayumi @ Pink Penguin (Signature Bag from Kumiko Fujita)
June 8 - Tamiko @ Patchwork Notes (Hexagon Patchwork Bag from Playful Patchwork)               Jessica @ A Little Gray (Pat Bravo Verona Bag)
June 11 - Jessica @ Sew Crafty Jess (Amy Butler Spice Market Tote)              
Amy @ amylouwho? (V. and Co. Favorite Bag)
June 12 - Sara @ The Pretty Pickle (Charlie's Aunt Casablanca Clutch)               
Lindsey @ LRStitched (Noodlehead Envelope Clutch)
June 13 - Erin @ 2 More Seconds (Keyka Lou Bucket Bag)               
Caroline @ Sew Can She (V. and Co. Carry All Tote)
June 14 - Ali @ a squared w (bag from I Like Orange Too)               
Rachael @ Imagine Gnats (Jen Giddens Pocket Tote)
  June 15 - Holly @ Bijou Lovely (Noodlehead Go Anywhere Bag)              
 Katie @ There and Back (Sweet Pea Pocket Purse)
June 18 - Monique @ Sew Fun by Monique (Millie's Market Tote from Happy Home by Jennifer Paganelli)               
Katie @ Swim, Bike, Quilt! (Green Bee Scoop Tote)
June 19 - Jennie @ Clover and Violet (Lunch Bag from Pink Penguin)               
Joanna @ Shape Moth (Emmaline Bag)
June 20 - Jen @ Bettycrockerass (While Baby Naps Metal Clutch)              
Krista @ The Spotted Stone (The Sometimes Crafter Amanda's Knitting Bag)
June 21 - Katy @ The Littlest Thistle (Noodlehead 2-4-1 Tote)               
Terri @ Sew-Fantastic (In Color Order Lined Drawstring Bag)
June 22 - Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy (Amy Butler Weekender Bag)               
Sarah @ Fairy Face Designs (bag from the Bag Making Bible)
June 25 - Amy @ Sukie Don't You Know Who I Am? (Amy Butler Sophia Bag)                
Heather @ {House} of a la Mode (Retro Mama Granny Bag)
June 26 - Julianna @ Jednoiglec (Charlie's Aunt Kitchen Garden Bag)               
Jeni @ In Color Order (Bari J. State Street Tote)
June 27 - Kerry @ Very Kerry Berry (bag from Suzuko Koseki)               
Michelle @ I Like Orange Too (Left Bank Granny Bag)
  June 28 - Kay Whitt @ Sew Serendipity Studio (tutorial: adjustable strap with metal slider)                Amy Barickman @ Indygo Junction (tutorial: installing grommets/magnetic snaps)
June 29 - Melissa @ Bittersweet Designs (Bella Nonna Boutique Shoulder Bag)
My free tutorial: The Underwater Stripes Bag
Contest Rules 1. Check out all the purse pattern reviews throughout the month and get inspired to sew up a purse of your own! 2. Join the Purse Palooza 2012 Flickr Group. 3. Link up your completed purse to the Flickr Group BETWEEN JUNE 4th and JULY 11th. Your purse must be created and photographed between those dates; purses made prior to June 4, 2012 will be disqualified. The purse may be of your own design, or made from a sewing pattern. 4. You may link up to 2 views of the same purse. More than 2 photos of the same purse will be removed from the group. 5. There is no limit to how many purses you may enter, as long as they were made between June 4th and July 11th, 2012.
My free tutorial: The Urban Jungle Bag
The Prizes First off, there will be a team of lovely judges that will choose 1st through 6th place. ALSO, 3 randomly chosen winners will be picked out of EVERYONE who completes a bag! Some great chances to win!! 1st Prize
* $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop         
* 3-pack of books from Martingale Publishing * $50 gift certificate to Zipit * $70 Pellon gift pack * fat quarter bundle and sewing pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics
2nd Prize
* fat quarter bundle and sewing pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics * 3-pack of books from Martingale Publishing * fabric bundle from Sew Fresh Fabrics * $30 gift certificate to Spoonflower 3rd Prize
* fat quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics * 2-pack of books from Lark Crafts Publishing * $20 gift certificate to The Quilted Castle 4th Prize
* fat quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics 3 Randomly Chosen Winners Pink Chalk Fabrics $20 gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics The Sponsors Thank you to all of the lovely and extremely generous sponsors! Art Gallery Fabrics // Artsy Crafty Babe // Noodlehead // Izzy and Ivy // Serendipity Studio // Martingale & Co. Publishing // Betz White // Sis Boom // Atkinson Designs // Mommy's Thimble // Lila Tueller // Sew Fresh Fabrics // Bari J. // C&T Publishing // Keyka Lou // Clover and Violet // Indygo Junction // Marie-Madeline Studio // Pellon // Pink Chalk Fabrics // Lark Crafts Publishing // The Quilted Castle // Fat Quarter Shop // Craft Apple // iThinkSew // Emmaline Bags // Bag Purse Frames // Zipit // Oliver + S // Ellen Medlock Studio // Charlie's Aunt Patterns // Spoonflower Grab a button, and let's get this party started!!
Sew Sweetness

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vogue 1224

2 of 14.  (if you're unclear about what that means, read this.)

Vogue 1224 a Tracy Reese design.

This is the first time that I didn't really follow the instructions on the pattern.  The pattern calls for a stretchy fabric.  I used woven and cut the skirt the largest size. The skirt should be lined. Mine's not. The neckline is supposed to have a tie. I did elastic.  I don't even know how the waist seam was designed to be sewn because I didn't even look.  I just sewed the bodice to the skirt and then attached a piece of 1/4" elastic to the seam allowance on the inside, stretching as I sewed with a zig-zag stitch.
With all these short cuts, and the fact that I had cut the fabric out back in September (!!) this dress was done in less than 2 hours.

I like it.  It seems easy to wear, although I haven't worn it for more than the 15 minutes it took to get pictures...

It's, um, short.  Have you ever seen me in something this short?
Well, that's because I own NOTHING this short.  Wear your dresses and skirts how you like, but I was raised that the hemline should reach the top of the kneecap and I haven't really changed since 4th grade in that respect.

Here's the stretchy neckline.

And here's an alternative way to wear it, when the weather gets a little cooler.  I think tights will help a lot with the exposure issue.

As I mentioned, it's very comfortable.  I do have plans to make another in a knit.  I'll probably cut it several sizes smaller and, ahem, a few inches longer too.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Spark

Why not put one more thing on my plate? right? It's not really one more thing since I'll be making more things in June for sure. This just means I'll have to choose a pattern that will be a real summer standout and then add it to the Flickr group for a chance to win. Deets here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Pattern Pact and McCalls 6559

1 of 14.

I periodically binge on either patterns or fabric.... usually a sale I can't resist is the culprit.  It seems one pattern company is always on sale at either JoAnns or Hancock Fabrics and there is always another sewing blogger that makes a really neat version of a pattern I don't have.
After some bingeing, then I get overwhelmed with all of the projects I'm going to have to complete.  I HAVE to make things sooner rather than later, because if the fabric and patterns just sit there, it's kind-of like not having them at all.  This is my brain, people.  So I feel pressured and guilty.

In one of these pressured, guilty moments, I decided to tell my husband to give me a percentage of unused patterns from my stash that I needed to try before buying any more.  I told him to be nice.  Knowing a man's mind, he would have easily spat out "why don't you just use all of them before you get any more?"  You and I know that that's just out of the question. Thankfully, in my moment of vulnerability, he was kind.  He said I should sew garments from 50% of my pattern stash before I get any more.
Next step was counting.  I really wasn't totally sure how many untouched patterns I had.  My guesstimate was 25.  I was close.  I have 28.

It has begun, the countdown.. and the time period in which I do not worry about what cute patterns I might want to make one day.  I instead focus on all the wonderful patterns I already have that I would really like to be in my closet instead of just in envelopes in my pattern basket.

I present to you McCalls 6559.

I have wanted a t-shirt maxi dress for many months.  I began pinning them on my Sewing Inspiration board and then, as if McCalls had seen my pins, they released 6559.

I got the fabric here.  It's so hard to imagine this much of it from just a swatch, but I got lucky.  I really like it a lot.
After reading other's reviews, I raised the front neckline 2" and it's perfect for me.

I used Green Apples' method of finishing the arms and neck.

I pretty much have to have the belt.  The fabric pools atop my ample booty.  A sign of my growing knowledge, though: I knew this was going to happen.  Without a waist seam, darts or at least a seam down the center back, there's no possible way to adjust for sway back.  I wasn't surprised when it happened.  I just went to my closet with the dress on to pick out a belt that would work and, voila, problem solved.  :)

One down, thirteen to go.  No rush.  No guilt.  I actually feel relieved and excited that I get to focus on the patterns I have without distraction.
Anyone want to join me with their own Pattern Pact?

More Sis Boom Love

First this dress was featured on the Sis Boom blog with my pretty little two-year-old...

At the same time that I cut out the fabric for this dress, I had also cut the same fabric to make another for my four-year-old.  It's taken me a while, but an upcoming beach trip finally gave me the boost I needed to make it.  Now it's featured too! 

I have one more dress cut out using the St. Croix fabric from the bottom tier of the mini-maxi above.  This time, it's for ME.  And guess what?  I'll be using a Sis Boom pattern too.  I'm just feelin' the love.