Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Librarian Blouse

The very observant out there may have noticed that I'm up to 2 pattern purchases this year. The first was a back issue of Australian Smocking and Embroidery that contains Emily's Christmas dress pattern and this was the second. This is the Sassy Librarian Blouse from the Craftsy class. I'm going to be very honest, detailed and hopefully constructive in this post so I totally understand if you just want to glance at the pictures and move on. Let me also go ahead and remember to tell you that I got the class on sale for $9.95 and do not think I would have even been tempted if it had been any more expensive.
Do please forgive the pictures I was in a hurry to get them taken so I could write my Sew Weekly post.  Anyways If you haven't done a Craftys class before they are online video classes for a specific pattern or technique.  I've purchased 3 but this is the first one that I have done start to finish.  Hopefully I'll finish projects for the other two soon but they are both way more involved.   This class is decided designed for a close to beginning seamstress so I did not really enjoy the video lessons so much.  I did like her instructions for marking and sewing the darts and release pleats.  For the most part I think it could be good for someone with little experience who wanted a lot of hand holding with one major exception.
My big issue is that there was almost no information about size selection or pattern alteration in the class. I had to taper down 2 sizes at the waist to get the bodice to fit and would have had to do a large arm adjustment if I'd wanted the original sleeves to fit.  Well I should say I did want them to fit but after sewing it completely together with them and not being able to get it on I decided to just use the Colette Ginger sleeves instead since I already knew they fit.

I have a few other slight gripes as well though they are mostly matters of preference. I would have preferred a french of flat felled seam at the shoulder and did french seams down the side. I also disdain doing set in sleeves and will return to almost always doing them carefully in the flat from this day forward. Seriously, as long as your careful, line things up, and ease them properly they look exactly the same for way less hassle. I very much liked her advice for marking and sewing the button hole and overlap as well. I also followed her advice and took the blouse with me to pick the buttons. I usually just take a little swatch but I did find it much more fun to pick with the finished product along. So there you have it. I'm really in the middle of the road about this one. I almost threw the blouse out once when the sleeves didn't work and when I wrote my Sew Weekly post I was still very unsure of it. Now I've worn it twice and while I'm still not sure if I will make it again I'm fairly confident that I will wear this one and am not sad about using the fabric.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dots Tankini

This was the 3rd and final swim suit that I made for Emily this summer.  Its a combination of the first two though I think that the pink polka  dot one is still my favorite style.  My swimwear skills are still not perfect and there are definitely some things that I will do differently next summer but I'm these were still so much easier then trying to find one that fit well.
Emily likes for her tankini tops to come down far enough that its more like wearing a one piece that is easy to get off at potty time.  She's also currently really into dots and ruffles.
The top of this one is based on the same pattern as the pink one but I think I should have used more elastic in the top.  That said she likes it and it fits so I have no real complaints.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Girls in PInk Dresses

I made Emily and her two little friends Abby and Ella matching dresses. Emily and Abby were made using this free pattern. Ella's was made from the sundress pattern in Otto 3/07. All three have their names freezer paper stenciled on the front. Aren't they just adorable?
Abby and Ella's mom made the girls hair bows.  Don't they just make the outfits?  Emily was thrilled because she has never had a piggy tail set before and couldn't believe she got two bows.
She'd also never eaten ice cream from a cone before.
Can you tell how thrilled they were about stopping for a picture before we went into the museium.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ice Cream

Here are a few more pictures from a post that has been waiting for a while.  One of the things the kids and I wanted to try this summer was making ice cream in bags.  It worked pretty well but be warned it also melts really fast.
They decided it was too hard to shake the bags sitting but was not a problem at all to do it while jumping up and down.
And don't worry my bigger kid got to join in the fun too.  Here's a link to one of the tutorials though they all seem to be about the same.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


A few weeks ago Sew Weekly did a get real sewing challenge. The goal was simple all I had to do was sew something we actually needed. I could probably do a few months of get real challenges but where would the fun be in that? For this one I ended up deciding that the ladies of the house could use some new panties. I've pretty much always made Emily's but this was my first go at making my own. I used to buy all my panties from Victoria's Secret but lately I have not been happy with their quality so I decided it was time to branch out.
I used Jalie 2568 for both of us.  I originally bought it for the lace hipsters but ended up liking the cut of the bikini the best.  For Emily I used the higher rise but curved the front down just a tiny bit since she does not like anything going over her tummy.  For me I split the difference between the two rises to get a fit that I'm comfy in. 
As you can see I have quite the variety.  Some of Emily's are even made from clothing that she has outgrown.  For me my favorites are the ones made from quality cotton Lycra with fold over elastic legs.  I ordered all of my elastic from The Fabric Fairy and it is super nice and comfy.  I tried ones of the stuff they are selling at Joann and did not like it at all.  This could also be a really fun projects for old or cheap tee shirts.  For mine I needed at least a 1/2 yard cut for length but could have easily gotten 2 pairs for me and one for Emily out of that so there will likely be more panties of doll clothes from most of these prints. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sharpie Tie Dye

As summer goes one I hope I'm not the only mom out there who is beginning to think that she would let Phineas and Ferb do whatever they wanted just because they entertain themselves so well. In my house one of my children never turns to the other and say's "I know what we are going to do today". No my kids ask me what we are going to do almost constantly. Now I'm not one of these people who won't let a child be bored or simply give someone who complains a job. I mean really there is always picking up and cleaning available as well as reading and working on your handwriting but I do like doing fun things with them as well so we had to try Sharpie Tye Dye.
I looked at several tutorials but the idea is pretty much always the same.  You pull the shirt tight over a cup, draw on it with a sharpie, and then use rubbing alchol to make it spread.
Then you let them dry completely and set the color in the dryer on high.
What made this one fun was watching the kids come up with different ideas to use for the drawings.  Emily is a very patient colorer and filled all over her space in with many different colors every time.  Elijah is not a huge fan of color but had fun drawing actual pictures and seeing what happened to them as they spread out.  Mommy liked that it took over an hour to make 2 shirts but got a headache from the rubbing alchol smell.  It was just too hot to work outside but that would probably have been a better idea.
Here is a link to a tutorial if you would like to try this project out yourself.