Saturday, October 20, 2012

Iris x2

Finally, I have found the perfect pair of shorts!

I honestly have searched for years to find a pair of shorts that really fit me. Pants are a problem in general, but shorts seem to be especially difficult. When Colette Patterns released the pattern this spring I had to try them out. I had already made the Clover pants and loved the fit. These shorts are very similar in fit and style. The night I finished them, I rattled off an exuberant email to Sarai at Colette raving about the pattern. It was late...

I wanted a simple, nice looking, easy to wear piece for summer. I definitely got what I wanted! I even wore these as much into fall as I dared since they match a few of my sweaters. Alas, it's too cold now for shorts wearing so they will wait until next year when they will probably be joined by many siblings.

What you can't see are the totally awesome buttons, a spool of thread with scissors! Yay for cheesy!

This was my first/muslin attempt. I didn't need to change anything about the pattern. I did, however lose about 10 pounds between this photo and the above. (Which is why it's last. I'm hoping you won't remember this pair!) The dots were fun, but I wasn't in love with them, so when I somehow managed to get a bleach spot on them it didn't hurt my feelings. It's nice to have something to garden in.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kwik Sew 2076

It seems like most of the fabric I have in my stash now is from Mom's stash. I think I've raided hers twice, it's so handy to have all the fabrics that are back in style in Mom's closet! Although I'm sure I will feel old when my future daughter raids my stash exclaiming how cool all my fabric is and why didn't I use it? Sorry Mom...

 This Strawberry Shortcake print is one that I love and I remember it being around for a long time. It must have been purchased with the intent of becoming a nightgown for me or my sister (probably me). I'm not sure exactly what the fabric is, it's slippery with a flannel-ish back side.
It has fulfilled its purpose with this pattern:
Kwik Sew 2076

 I searched for it on the Kwik Sew website, but it is now out of print. I did find a few places to purchase it on Etsy and EBay. I found the pattern at my local thrift shop. I've found a gold mine of patterns there and try to look through them as often as I can.

This was a very easy make. I probably spent less than a day on it altogether. The only change I made was to  make a casing  for elastic instead of using elastic lace. I couldn't find elastic lace anywhere when I needed it, but I have found it since and bought a lot of it. I kind of wish I had waited to find the lace since the elastic on the arms is too snug and sometimes my arms go to sleep at night when I wear it. But, I really do love the nightgown and wear it often.

I am sure there will be more of these in my future.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Audrey's Birthday Dress

My niece, Audrey, turned 3 this summer and I thought a little dress would be the perfect thing for the only girl in a bunch of boys. Looks like I guessed right! Her Mom says she loves it, yay!

This is another cheating dress like the two I made for myself. This time I made the ribbon straps able to tie in the middle for adjustment as she grows. I found the fabric for all these dresses at JoAnn, where I don't normally like to shop, but they are so quick to make and are great summer dresses.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Erin's Red Birthday Bowl

Wow! Apparently I'm much further behind in my blogging than I realized! I crocheted this cute bowl for my BFF for her birthday in May. I've made a couple of these before, but I like this one the best. It's very delicate but quite sturdy, too, with the sugar/water solution I used to harden it. I also used a taller, narrower bowl than the others I made to mold it over which gives it a nicer shape. I never noticed the hearts that are made from the pattern, either. Fun! Just goes to show how you can look at something for a very long time and not really see it.

Holly, it seems, took to it right away and had to decorate with it immediately. (Sorry for stealing your photo, Erin!) I'm glad she likes it, too! Maybe I can bring her over to the crochet side. Bwaa ha ha... 

Monday, May 21, 2012

First Sorbetto Top

First off, I must apologize for this photo! Maybe someday I will have a proper camera, but until then you all are stuck with pictures taken with my phone (or John's, which is a little better).

A few months back I started following some sewing blogs for a bit of inspiration. All of a sudden, everyone was talking about Colette Pattern's Sorbetto Top. A free pattern! I had already been following the Colette blog but must have come in too late to see this pattern. I loved her patterns but was hesitant to spend so much for a pattern when I wasn't sure of the cut or fit. This was the perfect solution! So many cute versions had been made and I decided to join the bandwagon. I'm not sure where this fabric came from (probably either Mom's or Grandma's stash), I've had it a long time, though, so in the spirit of cleaning out my stash I used it. It's a slicky fabric, probably a polyester or rayon or a blend of the two. It was just the right amount for the top. I used a prepackaged white bias tape for the neck and sleeve edgings. I'm fairly pleased with the fit, though there are a few adjustments I have in mind to make for the next one. I'll talk about that when I actually make it.

Right now, I'm going to take advantage of what's left of nap time!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Peaceful Apron

I do occasionally forget to take pictures of things I make. (I know, shocking!) In these cases I have to rely on the gift recipient to take the photo for me. This is what happened for my sister's birthday apron, so this is her photo texted to me after the fact. To be fair, I finished it the same day we were packing to leave for my grandfather's funeral. This being about a week after bringing home Mr. Baby.

Nat told me that she wanted an apron for her birthday, so I kept a lookout for the right fabric for her. I found the perfect peace sign fabric! It's totally right for her. I traced my favorite apron for the pattern, which is handy because now I can make it again (and again, and again, and again...). I made it double sided for thickness, absorbency, and wear, and trimmed the pocket and neckties in purple bias tape. It's cute on her.
Happy Birthday, Sissy!
What shall I do with the leftover fabric?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Little Man's Hat

Mr. Baby needed a sun hat.

I used Butterick 5056 size Medium and quilting cotton for both the hat and lining.

This little button has been hanging out in my button box for years. I can't even remember where it came from now. Obviously it was waiting for just the right thing.

I'm sure I will be making more of these, it was a fairly quick sew although making this hat felt like sewing in 4D. It was hard to visualize what I was supposed to be doing as I followed the instructions. The only thing I would change for next time is to cut the lining pieces a bit smaller than the outside pieces. It was difficult to get them to line up properly and it bunches a bit in a couple places on the inside, but you can't see that.

It looks even cuter on!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two Dresses in One Day

I keep hearing Mickey Mouse's voice in my head when I say that. He actually said, "Seven in one blow". It's from Mickey and the Beanstalk. Anyway... Here are my dresses.

I got the sundress itch recently, which was weird because it's still too cold here in Seattle to justify wearing them. I need to find some light weight cardigans to match and extend their wearing time. I sort of cheated with these dresses. I bought this fabric pre-shirred and hemmed. I had planned to make a dress like this doing the gathering myself, but then I saw these fabrics that were so pretty and already done that I just bought them. I got one yard of each, washed them, made a seam up the back, and placed ribbon as the straps in the appropriate places. Ta Da! Told you I cheated. I wish all my sewing could be like this now that Mr. Baby is here.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baby Blankets

Thursday afternoon and evening I cranked out these lovelies:

We are hoping (really hoping) to bring home a beautiful baby boy this coming week. We have met him a few times and he is such a cutie! We love him already and are so hoping it works out to have him come home with us. I have his nursery pretty much finished, but I needed to make something special for him from me. My Mother taught me how to make these blankets a few years ago and I have made many for my friends' children, finally I need to make some for me!

Dogs and such on green, backed in red with a fence-style stitching around the edges.

Camouflage with orange footprint stitching.

Playful blue puppies with running flowers stitching.

These are so cute! (If I do say so myself.) I have had the blue puppy fabric for many years just waiting for its boy to need it. The other two we picked up at JoAnn (I know, ugh...) recently. Both the camo and blue puppies are double sided with the same print, the green dog print is backed in a solid red. All are flannel.

These blankets are so fast and easy to make and wash up to a wonderful softness. Everyone I have given one to loves the size and weight of them and many have become inseparable from their child owners. I am thinking of writing up the "pattern" so that you all can share the flannel loveliness, that is if you are interested...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Catalyst...or the Last Straw

Isn't that cute? This blouse turned out very classic and girly. The fabric is a light cotton which makes it springy and light without being see-through. I used Butterick's B5711 pattern and the fabric is something I've had for a long time from some of Mom's stash she shared with me. The little all-over flowers are perfect for me and begged to be made into this top.

Here are some other views:

Puffed sleeves!

Now, let me tell you why I hate this blouse. It's too small!!! I seriously can't even get the sleeves past my elbow without major circulation cut off. The pattern says that this should be a loose top, so something is seriously wrong.

Hence the post title: Catalyst...or The Last Straw, it really depends on your point of view and current mood. After moaning and groaning to John for at least one entire evening, I finally decided that I've had enough of spending money, time, and energy on an article of clothing that I end up not being able to wear. I'm sure some of you know how unbelievably frustrating that is. There are no words. My choices were clear: 1) give up sewing clothes entirely or 2) figure out if it is possible to fit/adjust patterns to me. Option 1 just isn't going to happen. I know that I will give up for a while but eventually will find myself right back in this situation again. So, off I went to my current favorite fabric shop in search of an answer. I love this store, it feeds two habits: fabric and yarn - and they have knowledgeable staff!! Incredible! I spoke with a wonderfully helpful grandmotherly woman who suggested I buy this book and then if I was still not sure enough to attempt altering on my own, to take a class based on the book's technique. I promptly purchased the book and spent the next week absorbing (and drooling over) it. This is the answer I have been looking for!

I attempted my first alteration of a pattern this weekend and then came to a dead halt when I didn't have enough fabric. Grr... Not to be deterred, I selected another pattern, double checked the fabric amount, altered it, and am now ready to cut into it.

So, if you will excuse me, I have some sewing to do.

PS~ If anyone would like this top, I am willing to give it to you. Just post a comment with your email address and I will contact you. I would say this is a size small in pre-made size standards.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inspiration and Acceptance

I think I'm not alone in feeling inadequate and not beautiful on an almost daily basis. It's not constantly at the front of my mind, just there in the hair is too flat or too frizzy, this outfit makes me look fat, I just look weird today and I can't figure out why. As much as we try to avoid the media and celebrity "perfection", it can't help but seep into our minds, telling us that we are not good enough...but if we lost a bit of weight or had the right body shape we could be beautiful.

This year I "resolved" to lose the rest of the weight I needed to get down to my "ideal weight". After losing a bit and then fighting to get past this certain number since mid-January, I finally realized that the "ideal weight" isn't my ideal. I'm built like my Dad, which means thin shoulders, big thighs, and dense bones. But the true realization was that it's OK! <<Gasp>> I started thinking about my good features...the classic hour-glass figure and the bottom my Grandma is forever complimenting me on, not to mention my make-up application. Put all of this together with who I actually am and the balance seems to be in favor of the good qualities.  Who knew?! 

John and I have traveled quite a lot to different places and one thing that always stands out to us is the depiction of women in art.

Bathing Venus at Hearst Castle

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
They are not the too-thin wraiths we see today. They are curvaceous, fleshy, and shockingly not ashamed of themselves. They seem even more beautiful because of their "imperfections". Maybe the men who sculpted and painted this art are trying to tell us something?

I recently purchased Fit for Real People in an attempt to boost my sewing skills and figure out how to adjust clothing patterns to better fit me. This particular page had me mesmerized for days. Look at the changes in the "ideal" over the course of one century! Not to mention the undergarments required to achieve these looks. As John likes to say, "That's a first world problem". I'll bet that not many women in Uganda are so concerned with fashion ideals or their body shape.

So I guess my point is that my resolution has changed. I am choosing to accept that I am beautiful in my own unique way and that comparing myself to anyone or anything else is ridiculous. The above book really shed some light on this for me, but the thing that really hit me is the possibility of passing these unhealthy ideals on to my daughters. What kind of example will I be when they hear me say I am fat or always stop in front of a mirror to make sure nothing has come out of place? We are hoping to adopt soon and if we do get girls I am determined to pass on to them a healthy understanding of their beauty, both inside and out, and the skills to help them make the most of what they have to work with.

I am hoping this blog will help me to do that and give me a place to share all my creations. Follow along as I sew, quilt, crochet, knit... remembering that this is not about perfection, but about the joy of creating with the abilities that God has given me.