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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ottobre Tulip Pant

These pants have been finished for a little over a week and have already been worn and washed, but I didn't get some pictures until yesterday.
These are the Tulip Pants from Ottobre 4/09.  I made some for my three-year-old for her birthday and thought they were just the cutest pants I'd ever seen.  The location of the ruffles in the front and the back gives them such a cute shape, not to mention the cuteness factor of the pockets and the v-shaped yoke in the back.  My girls look very different in size, but really, most of their measurements are similar.  Eden just has longer legs and arms and no belly.
I got the idea to try Arielle's little pants on Eden and, except for being too short, they fit!  I was ecstatic to think that I wouldn't have to trace off another size to make them for Eden.  I made note of where on Arielle's leg the ruffles started and just lengthened the leg and ruffle when cutting a pair for Eden.

They are made of a soft corduroy in vibrant purple that was originally reserved for me.  See, I'm not selfish ALL the time.

I was imagining all the ways I would embellish them, but I could never decide on exactly what I wanted to add.  I settled on some big purple ric-rac to keep it simple.

These pockets were difficult to wrestle with the first time because the instructions call for you to turn the curved edge under 1/4 and sew to the pants.  This time, I just lined the pockets, sewing the lining to the pocket right sides together on the curved edge and then turning right side out a pressing.  That way, I didn't have to worry about turning under any edges.

Oh my goodness, this is hilarious.  Just this second when I put that pocket picture up, I realized that the pocket is upside down!  What you see right there is the right pocket on the left side of the pant.  sigh.  Oh well.

 The yoke in the back is so easy to make, but adds such style points and goes really far to make them look like "real" pants.  Great design detail.

Another garment that's been cut out for months finally complete!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Grumpy Clouds For All

...well, not all because I only had one yard.  I made a tank top for me and I'm almost done with the dress (Butterick 5456).  With only a small rectangle of fabric left, I figured I was probably done.
I thought I might be able to use it for the bodice of a tank dress for a little girl, but decided to look through my patterns to see if I had any other options.  I found one!
This is the Oliver + S Hopscotch pattern.

My three-year-old was so happy to get her own cloud shirt.

And she special requested for us to be twinsies today.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Too Big, Too Small, Just Right

I was fortunate enough to win the PortobelloPixie Claire pattern (OOP) from the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day a few months ago.  I have loved the apron peasant on the cover ever since I first saw it, so I knew which version I would be trying first.  There is a knot dress and a peasant dress, both with variations.  I had heard this pattern runs small, so I cut a 4 for my small 5-year-old.

Unfortunately, I misunderstood the sizing issues.  It turns out that the knot pattern runs small but the peasant pattern runs BIG.  This looks so lovely on the floor, but it hangs like a sack on my girl.  The great thing is that I love it and she will grow. :D

Just tonight, I started sewing Butterick 5456 just as I had planned in my clouds and dots.  I cut out an 8 and was kind-of concerned that there wasn't a 6.  Turns out there was no need for concern though, because this 8 is a smidge smaller than I'd like!  Here's one time where cutting out what I thought was my size has bitten me in the butt because I have no other sizes available to me now so I can't size up.  I will make a note to add 1" to the center front next time.

I sewed for my younger girl too.  These fabrics have been cut out since last summer, which means I was a little concerned they might not make the right size/length dress for this coming summer.  Thankfully, my short one hasn't shot up in the last few months and the dress was pretty much perfect!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grumpy Clouds Make Me Happy

I used a modest Target tank that's been well-loved to cut the pieces out for a new (favorite?) tank.

I was trying to use as little of the clouds as possible, so I spliced in some grey/white polka dot on the back.  Whoops!  There's some bra strap.  I'll need to wear a racer back style if I don't have a cardi.

One of my fave color combos has been lime and indian teal (a universally flattering color which you can see here).

I think I'll add mint and indian teal to my favorites.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Matching Pattern to Fabric

Last year, I spent a bunch of my Christmas money on fabric and patterns and then did a post where I showed you what I planned to make with pattern and fabric pairings.  I've made most of what I planned and I'm ready to do another similar planning post.
I really enjoy looking back and seeing what I've accomplished and also what I decided to do differently.
I am seriously putting myself on fabric ban again (and by the way, the pattern ban has been blown to heck), because I spent way too much on new fabric this past month.  That includes these two lucious knits.  The polka dot is from PurpleSeamstress on Facebook and the Caaaayuuute mint clouds are from Funkalicious Fabrics on Etsy.  Don't click that link unless you have money to spend!!!
One yard of minty cloud cuteness cost me $15 + shipping, so I need to stretch it to get my money's worth.  I'm planning a tank top and the top part of this Butterick dress.  It calls for 3/4 of a yard for the bodice and hem, so I have to squeeze the tank out of 1/4 yard.  Here's a couple of cute examples of this pattern.
The skirt of the dress will be the gray/white polka dot and I think I'll make some Lily Giggle Rings of Ruffles leggings for my 5 year old with some of it too.

  I got this pattern today and I am oh-so-excited.  I'm almost not even settled on what fabric to use with it.  I got this extremely soft blue and purple and white striped knit last Spring in DC and it's been promised to about three different patterns now.  I can't make up my mind!
I first fell in love with this pattern from this post by Jorth, but these other examples show it's versatility.

I got this pattern recently too.  blush.  I told you the pattern ban was kablooey....  
I also picked up a yard of this awesome silk print at Hancock back in the fall and finally cut it out a few weeks ago to make that yellow version on the envelope.  I'm just too skeered to sew silk, so there it sits, cut and ready to sew.  There are so many pretty versions of this top out there.

A wrap dress with good reviews and more purty knit fabric, this time from Banberry Place.

This is another fabric that I'm not totally sure will stay betrothed to this pattern.  I got this vibrant ITY knit from Fabric Mart and have planned to use it with this Butterick, but I'm just not totally certainly set on it yet.

I had plans for this linen-look mint green jacket back in the Fall, but it would work for Spring too...or next Fall... whenever.

Remember the Graduation Dress?  I had gotten the fabric, but was still debating the pattern. A sewing friend of mine suggested a mash-up of two of the patterns I picked.  I ran the idea by Hubby and he thought it looked great, so I bought the patterns today in the 5 for $5 McCalls sale at Hancock.
I'm using the top with the open back and the three tiered hi/lo skirt together.  The rayon Challis is from Fabric Mart.

 Lastly, coming straight to you from my top five goals for 2013; a swimsuit pattern and three swimsuit fabrics to play with.  I bought the one on the left from Funkalicious Fabrics on Etsy because I was already buying that cloud fabric and I loved the swim fabric too.  That's really the one I don't want to cut into.  The other two I got for relatively cheap on Fabric.com and were destined to be muslins, but now that I have them in my hand, I love both of  them too and don't know which to cut into first!!

I have some minty clouds to show you tomorrow and can't really decide where to go from there. 

 Maybe I need to read up on sewing silk since I have that top already cut out. 

I'm also planning some outfit posts and planning to share some recent Target bargains with you.
See you soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ottobre Woman 5/09

I'm becoming more used to the idea of tracing.  I have a bunch of thin paper, but not quite tissue paper, from a package I got from Sephora that I'm using up little by little as I decide on the next Ottobre pattern to tackle.
I have a friend in Europe who is completely used to tracing and had some tips for me.  I also did some reading.  This go 'round, when I decided it was time to trace off the Bohemian Tunic pattern, I used a green Sharpie to go over the green pattern marks I would be tracing and then I taped my giant Ottobre pattern sheet on a glass door.
It was nice that there were only 4 pieces to trace.  This is a sweet little piece that can be worn layered or not and would be really cute a couple inches longer with leggings and boots.
I gave it a try in some purple velour since it is still chilly and I was feeling like I needed cozy layering pieces.
I don't like it with jeans, but I wasn't feeling the leggings vibe this morning.

I think this pattern is a great candidate for the dressy loungewear idea that seems to be circulating.  You could make it from sweatshirt material or even a micro fleece and have cute, cozy and comfy while totally skipping frumpy and boring.  It would even be a cute alternative to the velour pant and jacket set.  You could even use an cotton/lycra for the top and make a matching yoga pant to have a cute activewear outfit.

If I made it in a jersey knit and was wearing it unlayered, I might belt it or even shirr a few lines in the lower back region.  There is no seam in the back and therefore no allowance for sway-back adjustment.  That means, if I bend over or sit and then stand up straight again, I have to tug the back hem down again or else it will get stuck wrinkled on top of my derriere.

Speaking of my derriere... I made knickers!  This pattern is also from Ottobre Woman 5/09.  I made a muslin and then tweaked a few things and here is my second pair.
They really FIT me.  
Such a fist-pumping moment for me, let me tell ya.  This is just something that was totally off my radar until Zoe made it seem completely possible and even normal to sew one's own knickers.  I still wasn't very interested, just a little curious.  When I saw the underwear pattern in this magazine (which was not at all why I bought it), I thought it was probably time to just give it a try.  They fit better than I ever expected straight from the pattern, so I was game to try to make a few tweaks.
I wore this exact pair all day yesterday and was just so proud of myself.  I know, they are just panties, but they were something I have had an irrational fear of sewing and I'm glad to conquer it.
This also means, I have a great basic pattern to work from if I want a great fitting bikini bottom.  I have swimsuit fabric on the way to me, so you never know...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Embroidery and Lillestoff

I've been having some fun with my new embroidery machine. :)  Big sister wanted a lava lamp too.

I am splurging on a few Lillestoff European prints from this shop and enjoying the unique prints and quality knit.
I made a little shirt and skirt set for Eden.

Last night, I added a strawberry felt appliqué and now it's perfect.

The girls are totally taken with the new machine and are asking for more embroidery and even hubby thinks is pretty neat.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coming Down the Line

I've got several things going on at once, which is not at all unusual.  I thought I'd share, partly because you might find it slightly interesting and partly because it might help me stay on task.
For instance, I don't want to leave these awesome purple corduroy Ottobre Tulip pants unfinished much longer.  Only the waistband, zipper and hem to go.

I have a couple new additions to my sewing space.  Some purty organization/storage for my fabric (which was previously stuffed in drawers and piled on a shelf in my laundry room) that doubles as a home for my new embroidery machine!

I was surprised how easy it has been to jump right into some cute designs.  I was afraid I would be stuck with block letters until I read some textbooks about how to do other stuff.
I am so excited I saved all those fabric scraps!  And so excited to finally have a use for them!

Quite a while ago, I traded all the plain buttons on my favorite cardi for big, fabric-covered buttons.  I enjoyed that for a while, but I couldn't button it up any more and I got tired of that.  A couple days ago, I bought some new buttons and I'm thrilled with the new life they have given this old sweater.

Aren't they adorable?  I find myself reaching for this more now, if that's possible.

I got some beeeeeeautiful fabric in the mail from Fabric Mart.  This gorgeous stuff will become the dress I wear for my hubby's graduation dinner/ceremony.

And I'm preparing myself to venture into new territory by getting some clearance tees at Old Navy with the purpose of making some cute upcycled dresses.  We'll see....  The upcycled look really isn't my thing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Renfrew: The Sixth Incarnation

Have y'all ever gone and drooled at the Spoonflower website?  I have, but my goodness, it's a little cost prohibitive.  I can see splurging on a design you couldn't live with out and had the perfect pattern for, but I haven't come to that bridge yet, so I'm not going to cross it.

Spoonflower ran a promotion in October for a buy one, get one fat quarter.  I had some extra $$ and thought it would be fun to try a couple knits.
I bought the Organic Cotton Knit in these two designs:

Feathers Scattered on Navy
Arrows Scattered on Cream

I was planning on making bodices for dresses for my girls, but then I got selfish.
I played around with the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern a little.  I traced it, cut it up and raised the neckline.  I had the two fat quarters, an XL mustard colored men's shirt from Goodwill and an Old Navy coral ladies t-shirt.

This is what I came up with.

Arielle saw me and the camera and ran over. "Mommy. I'll cross my legs like you!"
She's so cute.
Another cute fact about this picture.  She's not wearing that hoodie (which happens to be her older sister's) because she's cold.  I had checked in on my girls a few minutes before this and she had the hoodie scrunched under the faucet in their toy kitchen.  She was moving it slowly past the spigot.  She saw me and said, "I'm sewing a dress for Pinkie Pie!"  They pick all sorts of different cartoon characters to be during their playtime and I guess today was My Little Pony.  (Incidentally, Gertie just made her own Pinkie Pie dress and is selling the fabric she designed through Spoonflower.) The cool thing was that she was pretending to sew!  So then she wanted me to put it on her when she was finished and take a picture.  hehehehe

I need to learn how to pose for back shots.  Slumping over doesn't work as well from the back as it can from the front... ew, that's awful.  I just wanted you to see the arrow fabric in the back.

I'm enjoying working with knits more and more and I'm beginning to wonder why everyone (including me) starts out so scared of them.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Pattern Stash

Wanna take a peek?  I know I'd love to look through some bloggers' pattern collections.
Here, in no particular order, are the patterns in my stash that I have not yet made and have no fabric matched up with.

Not shown here are the books I have, Sew Serendipity, the Colette Sewing Handbook and Twinkle Sews.

Lots for knits in the Ottobre (4/09), a pretty coat and UNDERWEAR too (which I have actually done a first muslin with!).
McCalls 6318 might be a good one to use quilting cotton for.  I rarely reach for it when thinking of a garment for myself any more, but I hate missing out on all the gorgeous prints.

I have actually muslined that cute Butterick 60's pattern with the collar and tried to make it in my "nice" fabric too, but it turned out a wadder just because I wasn't focused.  :(  I want to try it again but I need to be inspired by another fabric.
Why did I buy that Very Easy Vogue wrap dress?  no idea.
Simplicity 2343 is another one that I tried and wasn't careful enough/didn't measure well.  I still love the look and want to tackle it again.
I have several pattern regrets, some that I may never get to, but just keep around because, well, because I don't know what else to do with them right now.
For instance that duffel bag... Soooo cute, but I didn't realize it wasn't lined and the reviews I've read make me scared to wrestle with it.

Even so, I have PLENTY to work on and a growing list of patterns I'd like to add to these!