Thursday, May 31, 2012

MMM wrap up

I know you may have forgotten that I was doing Me Made May being as I've posted almost no pictures but believe it or not I have and I've learned a few things.

1) I really don't like getting my picture taken.

2) My husband does not really like taking my picture.  Possibly because I've called him the worst photographer in the world which he is not by the way.

3) I like my Kwik Sew sailor shorts.  I've made 3 pairs and they all came out to play this month. 

4) My black Meringue skirt goes with almost everything I own and apparently has some sort of magic stain hiding powers being as I wore it 4 times at least without washing it.

5) I make a lot more bottoms then I do tops.  I'll work on that one a bit I think.  I sure do have more top patterns then bottoms.

6) Speaking of bottoms I could really use some black shorts and maybe another pair or two of sailor shorts.

7) I love a knit dress. 

Now for the MVPs of MMM.

By far this skirt got the most wear.  However, this dress really came though in a pinch when I needed something to wear to Wicked.  Too bad I got ride of the pattern but really its a size big so perhaps I'll just buy it again in January.

Oh and if you didn't notice I've officially tried 30 new patterns this year.  That feels like a huge number so I'm super pleased. 

Love Blouse

This week my Sew Weekly account turned 21 and its Vegas week. I think that's a fitting combo. I had trouble figuring out what to do for Vegas week though. When I think Vegas I think skimpy, sequins, and leopard print none of which I really want more of in my wardrobe. I ended up stretching the idea just a bit more. You see I have very little desire to go to Vegas except that I would love to see the Cirque show LOVE. With that in mind I give you the Love Blouse.
The pattern is the Taffy Blouse from the Colette Sewing Handbook and the fabric is some sheer poly from JoAnns. Sewing it was a bit of a mixed bag. The pattern is great and fits well. The fabric was predictably hard to work with. I tried making my own bias tape following the books directions and it did not go well. My lines did not line up. I also remembered that I don't like the way the seems look in bias tape made this way. I prefer that they all run in the same direction. No problem though I just bought a pack of narrow navy double fold and got on with things. I also left off the back tie.  Back ties just make me think maternity wear and I have no need for that in my lift.
I'm really pleased with this one. I feel like myself in it and it goes with my crazy neon pink shorts. I bought them bc they made me smile before you ask as does this whole outfit.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why Did I Wait So Long?

Last year when the Colette Sorbetto top pattern came out I was not impressed. It just didn't look like something I would like plus I don't like taping pdf patterns together so I gave it a pass.

Then everyone started making them and they all looked great.  So I downloaded it.

Then it got picked as one of the best patterns of 2011.  So I downloaded it again.

Then I signed up for Me Made May and I printed it out, traced it, but remaining unconvinced I cut it out of some scrap fabric left over from this shirt.
Turns out I also wasn't paying close attention. After I got the side seams sewn I noticed that there was a hunk missing from the back and had to piece it.
Then I realized what all the fuss was about.
Now I've got at least one more planned.

Friday, May 25, 2012

1940s Flashback

Several people have had their 10 things I've learned from doing Sew Weekly challenges posted on the main page. I haven't written a list just yet. I think I'm still figure out what exactly I'm learning. This week was chock full of learning experiences though. It was 1940s week. Now if you haven't yet noticed I don't really sew a lot of or well any vintage patterns for myself. The truth is that as much as I like vintage looks on others I tend to feel a bit like a little girl playing dress up when I try them out on myself. At the end of the day I think that is my real problem with this weeks creation.
I made Vogue 8728. One of the 2 1940s reissues I have in my stash. I bought this pattern last year around the same time I decided this would be the year of no new patterns. I got the larger size bracket so I cut a straight 16. I made and adjusted to muslins but the top still needed some help. I ended up taking up the shoulders and putting a dart in the back after I bound the neck.
This fabric also gave me fits. Its some of the simply silky poly and it frayed if you looked at it funny. Oh well, its also machine washable which was great when Emily dripped cheese fondu on the skirt.
So what did I learn sewing this pattern.
 1) Read reviews before buying your pattern. I should have gotten the smaller bracket and simply added a bit to the waist.
2) If your making more adjustments make another muslin.
3) Poly is a PITA. OK I knew this one already and will no doubt learn it again but still my fabric choice did not help.

 I'm sure there are more but that's all I can think of at the moment. I will add that I think this year of weekly sewing is helping me learn a lot about my personal style and how different things fit into that. As for this dress I just don't know. Its lovely in pictures. It has some construction problems that I'm not thrilled with. I'm not really sure its me at all. Emily loves it and wants me to wear it to her dance recital so of course I will and it will get at least one more wearing. Then I think it will hang in my closet for a bit until I can forget about some of its problems and see it with hopefully fresh eyes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bike Day

This past Friday was bike day at Emily's preschool. Emily loves her bike and was very excited. I was excited too except for the part of Friday morning where I would have to get Emily to wear pants or shorts to school. If you can't tell from the images of Emily here on the blog she does not really do pants or shorts. She wears skirts and dresses the twirlier the better. Trust me when I tell you that's her not me. Don't get me wrong it was me for a while but the tide has shifted on that one and I would love to make some cute little shorts and such but I don't because it would be a waste of my time.
All that said I wanted to make something for bike day that she might actually like so I decided to do the shorts version of the Mamu Puzzle Me Emily pattern.
I got this wild butterfly fabric last summer at Hancock Fabrics. The tee shirt is from Old Navy but I added the freezer paper stencil with my Silhouette. I really do enjoy that machine a lot. Its such a great way to add just a little something more to an outfit.
I took some pictures of the process for you as well because this really cute pattern has pretty awful directions. Its kind of interesting to me though. One of my good friend is German and she was telling me how her children speak both languages but that its a problem some times because a lot of things don't make sense when translated directly from German to English. I have a feeling that is what's going on with Mamu directions because about half the time I read them and think, "Well I know what all those words mean but that makes no sense at all."
So here goes. I like to start with the back ruffle/flounce things. I finished the bottoms of these with bias tape but lots of things would look nice. They are curved edges so just hemming them would be tough. Then I baste them together at the top.
Next I sew the shorts front, back, and crotch seams but leave the outseam undone on both sides. This is also when I finished the bottom of the legs. I finished the raw edge with my serger and added white ric-rac.
Gather the top of the ruffle and baste it to the top of the back part of the shorts. Then bast the ruffle sides to the back sides. This just makes it easier to sew the outseams.
Sew the outseams then attach the waistband.
That's it. Pretty easy right? I want to do the dress version at some point. If I get around to it this season I'll take pictures of that as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MMM update

First off let me warn you that these are not great pictures. I'm still doing the me made things everyday and we did catch a few pictures but since they were mostly taken at the end of each day they are a bit rumpled.

 This was my Saturday outfit. The shirt is from Old Navy and the skirt is from a Favorite
 Things pattern. I made it a good while ago but its still a wardrobe staple.
On Tuesday I wore the athletic skirt I made myself to step. I think I ended up in me made later in the day as well but we had to run around a lot so I decided to start the day in me made just to be safe.
Friday I wore these lace print sailor shorts with another Old Navy top. Looking at the pictures I think perhaps I should start tucking shirts into my sailor shorts but we'll just have to see.
Monday I wore my black skirt with an Old Navy top. Wednesday I wore my pink sailor shorts and a zoo shirt. Thursday I wore my navy sparrows dress. I've got several posts in the works that I should get done in the coming days.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mermaid Jamies

Well I guess you can tell by now that I didn't get a signature look done by this morning for the Project Run and Play. I have done a good bit of sewing this week I just didn't feel like rushing through a project to have it finished in time. I'll let you know which one was my signature idea when I get it finished and posted.

 Now as for Sew Weekly this week was mix it up week. My original plan for this just didn't work out either. I ordered a fabric to go with one I already had but the whites didn't quite match and while I'm fine with pinks that are slightly off these two were just going to bug me too much together so I had to come up with a plan B from my stash. That and the fact that I live in the south and have almost no summer jamies lead me to this project.
I bought this Heather Ross mermaid fabric a few years ago with Emily in mind but upon closer examination I realized that the mermaids were not wearing seashells and while their hair keeps them covered I just didn't feel right putting it on my daughter. No judgement to anyone who did I just didn't want to myself so it went into the stash. I didn't really want an outfit out of it either but its really pretty and soft so I decided it would be great for jamies this week.
Both of these patterns are from Otto 5/2011 and for the most part I like them both. The top was a bit more involved then I originally thought it would be and required a good bit of elastic but I also think this is what makes it comfortable for a 35 year old lady who has two kids. There's not much to the bottoms but they are pretty good too. Maybe a touch high in the rise but I think that's just bc I'm used to Old Navy pj pants.
Anyways, hope you like. Next weeks Sew Weekly challenge is the 1940s and while my dress is done I still can't decide if its a keeper or not. Perhaps I'll do a poll though maybe not bc the results might make me sad even if I agree with them.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

MMM + Mother's Day

I'm still going strong with the Me Made May thing. I only have three pictures for you though. Sorry its been a busy week. This was Monday I hurt my toe on Sunday so I was not in the best mood. I made this dress last year. The pattern is in my get ride of pile but I may keep it. This dress looks so much like a house dress on the hanger that it doesn't see a lot of wear but then every time I wear it I really like it and get lots of compliments. 
This was Thursday. I wore my black skirt with an Anthro blouse.  
This was Tuesday while we were taking pictures of Emily's cape. I wore the shirt I made for last year's nautical challenge with purple short from Kohls.
Wednesday was busy and then it was pouring rain when we were finally ready to take pictures. I wore the fax lace shorts from last summer with a Gap top.

Friday I wore my Alabama Stitch Book skirt that I still haven't gotten pictures of. Hopefully there will be a blog post coming at some point though bc it is great.

 Saturday we had a friends welcome baby party at our house. I wore my Mad Men dress.

 Sunday Emily and I wore our matching red dresses to church. She didn't want to despite the fact that she has made me 3 times now so I made her today.

 Speaking of today happy Mommy day. I've had a great one. I woke up and felt fully justified hopping right into the shower while Neil made coffee. Then when I got down stairs I got presents one of which was a subscription for the last 3 issues of Australian Smocking and Embroidery. You see I had decided that when the year of no patterns was up that would be my new pattern magazine then I found out they were ending it this year. I told him how sad I was a good while ago and that I really wanted the 100th and final issue for Christmas. This is even better and no they won't be going in my ticker. Why? because its my blog and I get to make the rules. Also bc I didn't buy them they were a gift. Possibly one of the best gifts ever since I didn't see it coming at all and I'll be able to have fun with them for years to come. I also went shopping today and came oh so close to actually buying a new pattern. I had it in my hand and everything but I put it back.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Sparrow Dress

This dress has been on my to make list for a while now. As I mentioned yesterday trying to keep up with Sew Weekly and play along with Project Run and Play has been a bit of a challenge. The flip side of that is that usually if I wait long enough the things I want to make will fit into a Sew Weekly Challenge. That is how I ended up making this dress last week.
The challenge was to make something inspired by an old family photo. Honestly the two photo challenges really made me wish I lived closer to my mom or really that she lived closer to me since they are the ones who moved out of state. She has more photos of my childhood then I do. Oh well one day I hope. In the mean time I looked through what I had and found a photo of my grandfather holding a bird. Not a pet bird just a bird and since my mom doesn't journal in her albums I have no idea how he came to be holding it but the picture reminded me of this funny sparrow fabric I bought a while back so I decided it was finally time to make this dress.
I used Simplicity 2503 view F just with the sleeves cut short. I made a 14 all over (usually I would taper to a 16 at the waist for a knit) with about an inch added to the bottom of the bust area and only 0.25in seams for the waist section. I had planned to use the maxi length skirt but the fabric turned out to be way to thin for that unless I wanted to wear a slip. I cut the extra length off the skirt and used it to make a top layer. This provides enough coverage to wear it alone and I think makes a nice design element.
Speaking of the fabric its from Girl Charlee and is still available and still on sale. Just remember its thin and plan accordingly.
I wore this last week for Me Made May and will be wearing it a good bit in the future. It truly is a comfy summer dress. My favorite kind. The kind where I feel like I'm in a nightie and people tell me how great I look all day. I mean seriously who doesn't like that right? I'm also going to enter it in the pattern review best of contest. I'll try to stop back buy this weekend to update you on my MMM I'm doing well with it and even taking some pictures.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red Riding hood

This week Project Run and Play is all about movies. I debated this one for a while then on a bit of a whim I checked out Growing-up Sew Liberated from my local library and inspiration struck.
While the movie itself wasn't great I though the imagery in Red Riding hood was just beautiful. Don't worry Emily hasn't seen the movie but she has checked the children's book out of the library.
This cape was easy enough to make. Its pretty much a circle skirt with a hood after all. The fabric was a bit challenging. Its made with two yards of red satin. It was worth the challenge though because it moves beautifully.
These were also fun pictures to edit. I know I went a bit over the top but if you remember the movie it was pretty over the top as well so I think it works. 

I'm not sure if I'll be doing a signature look next week. I have two ideas one of which is cut out and ready to go but I just can't get excited about it. The other requires some pattern drafting and hasn't even been started yet so we shall see. Trying to do these and Sew Weekly every week has been challenging. If I were an actual competitor I would take a break from Sew Weekly but since I'm not I haven't and well its just been a lot so if it gets done it gets done but I have to remember that I sew for fun.

Monday, May 7, 2012

2 tops plus a MMM update

Last week was pink week on Sew Weekly. Since pink is my favorite color I had lots of big ideas. I even made muslins for the tops of two dresses. In the end I stuck with something practical. You see I also knew that Me Made May was coming and I did not have a MM top to go with one of my favorite RTW skirts. If you did not know Pattern Review is also doing a contest using the patterns that have made their best of lists for the last three years. As it turns out I have 4 of these patterns currently in my stash and as of last week had only used 2 of them. One of the ones that was sitting around waiting for me was McCalls 6078. It has a reputation for running large so I decided to live dangerously and buy the size bracket that ended at a medium though my measurements would put me in a large.
I also decided to try it with scrap fabric before cutting into my good fabric. The truly keen of eye might recognize this from my hammer style yoga pants last year. If your wondering they did not get much wear. ITY is too hot for yoga. The purple cotton lycra ones do though. Anyways I digress the above is view B and it fits like a dream. I'm sure there will be more of this little top.
I decided to do view A with the cap sleeves and cross back for my pink shirt. Initially I didn't love this one quite as much. The back draped so low you could see my bra, it was way too long, and the shoulders fell off if I moved. Instead of flipping out I took a few deep breaths and said, "OK what can I do to fix this?" I started by taking a few inches off the bottom and adding a tack to the back where it needed to cross. This helped but did not fix the shoulder problem. Then I remembered a RTW top that I bought this winter had a little strap from shoulder to shoulder in the back. I added one to this shirt and it works perfectly. I doubt I'll make this view again but I like the final results and am glad I was able to make it functional
Now as for Me Made May in short is was a busy week and I don't have any pictures for you but I am going to tell you what I wore. I'll try to get some pictures this week since a good number of my Me Made things have not been blogged about yet.
Tuesday: brown and pink bird dress I did take pictures but they were too bad to post
Wednesday: dress for this weeks Sew Weekly challenge look for a post later in the week
Thursday: black Colette skirt and the pink and black top at the top of this post
Friday: blue shorts and a RTW top
Saturday: I wore a workout scort that I made to step that morning
Sunday: last years Easter dress pretty much all day

Hopefully I'll get some good pictures this week.  Thanks for looking just the same

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick Princess Dress

My parents are coming to visit so I had to clean my sewing room. While I was getting things off of the quest bed I uncovered this tee that I smocked for Emily summer before last. It was in there because it still fin around but was too short. I also had this sort of see through one edge boarder print fabric that I was not super excited about. I put the two together to make a play dress. She loves it and I'm glad we'll be getting at least on more summer out of the top because the smocking took a while.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

see mama twirl

This is going to be short and sweet. I never got around to posting my circle skirt from last weeks Sew Weekly challenge. Its just a supper basic black ITY circle skirt. I made it as long as I could without adding seam allowances. I think it will get a lot of wear though. Its comfy and fun to wear.