Friday, April 30, 2010

hello Spring!

Doesn't this dress just sing spring to you. I love it.

It's not for my little ones- as you can see- it's a little small.
It's for my best friends little girl who is turning two next month. I still have one more dress in the works for her, but it's not done yet. Still in the planning stages.

For this one, Mommy requested aqua to match her eyes. So I picked this gorgeous Michael Miller print from and then paired it with these other red and whites from Hobby Lobby. I used the Claire pattern (one of my favorites... that I actually took from my Mom.... I think she's getting mad I've made it several times.... 8 to be exact... and she's never made it once) Maybe I should invest in my own copy... hmmmmm......

Anyways... here it is (a size 2T) on Boo's

and Lulu (they both LOVED it)

For the little apron, I used this flower applique from Planet Applique and some jumbo red rick rack. I made the bias tape that goes around the bottom and I made it a little thicker than what it called for. Why go to all that work if you can't really see it???

On the back, I just sewed one of my little tags.

This is the first time I've put the accurate hem into a garment. I usually just turn up the bottom twice in a narrow hem to conserve fabric, but this time I did it right. I turned in the quarter and then hemmed it up 1 1/4 inches- using a real hem gauge and pinning and ironing all around and BOY! does that make a difference. I LOVE the way it hangs and how pretty it looks on the inside. It was a LOT more work than how I normally hem... but I think I'm hooked.

And I love these hair accessories. My Mom bought the files for me from GGDesigns and I've been secretly dying to make them- but haven't had the chance. I'm so glad I got to make some for Madison.

I love making clothes for little girls. It makes me so :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A fun project for kids and Moms!

Testing designs allows me to try things I normally wouldn't do.
So, I was so excited when I was asked to test this epattern for YCMT.

These little flowers were so fun and simple to make. So simple, in fact, that William and Ella got to try their hand at hand stitching. They did so good, too!
I couldn't snap any pictures of Ella- because she was, amazingly enough, not fully dressed. But here are some shots of W trying his hand at sewing. He loved it.

They also picked out all the fabrics and buttons themselves. To say the least, they had a blast. Digging thru my buttons is a favorite past time of all my kiddos.

And here is one modeled by Boo's.

...and in case you guys are wondering-
I never endorse anything that I don't think is good. I've tested many epatterns and designs that I don't blog about. I do get to keep the patterns and designs, but I don't get any kind of endorsements for blogging about stuff. Just so you know.

I'm going to a concert tonight! Woooo Hoooo! Thanks Matt.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The GREAT thing about creating....

is that you can make whatever you want, in whatever color, size, dimension you want.
I come from a BIG family of creaters- we all have different talents and interests, but we all get what we want- by making it ourselves.

My Mom has always sewn- she made my wedding gown, all my prom and homecoming dresses, and most of my clothes growing up.

My Dad is a carpenter- he made all our entertainment centers, pantries, shelves, hope chests for the girls, and toys when we were little.

Those loves have been passed to all five kids. Both of my brothers do woodworking (with the help of Pop's and his garage full of goodies) and all three of us girls sew. My little sister also digitizes and my littlest sister is an amazing artist and painter.

I can't imagine not having the courage to make it myself or at least try. I look at what people spend on clothes, jewelry, furniture, bibs, blankets, hair accessories... whatever and I want to puke. I think in my head "I can make that so much cuter and cheaper..."
Do you guys do that????

and what about making the things you can't buy in the store. I LOVE that I can make my kids and nieces and nephews the things they really want!!!

Which is what brings me to this. Finally.

My little guy is in LOVE with video games right now. Him and his cousin LOVE to play together and one of their favorite games is Punch Out. I don't know anything about it except that they love it. Apparently, one of the awesome characters is called King Hippo and in the game, he wears a crown. William has been begging me for a 'King Hippo Crown' for weeks.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I found this from Embroitique. Perfect for making William's king Hippo crown. The crown comes plain and you decorate it however you want. The PDF that comes with it is very detailed and easy to understand. I made it up the way it says to, but I'm thinking that you could even make 4 panels and attach them together for an even bigger crown. Since William is almost 7- that might work better for us. I made the 5X7 version on this one.

I added these adorable new boxing gloves from Lynnie Pinnie and then the words King Hippo with the delightful font by GG Designs. The fabric I used is some leftover from this super hero costume of Ella's. I also put some craft foam in there to stiffen it up at bit- like I did in these crowns for the girls. Did you know that you can embroider right over that foam stuff? You don't even have to trim it. After it stitches out, the foam just comes right off. It's pretty cool.

Here's the king Hippo crown in action- which lasted about 4 minutes before Lucy snatched it and said she was the king.

Mr. Tough Guy:

and one in which I made him smile:

I love making stuff for my little ones. It makes sewing so fun! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday's Tips!

Okay..... so.....we've been spring cleaning at our house.

Not fun.
As I've told you, I'm a notorious fabric stasher. Worse than even I imagined.
I've got it everywhere. Seriously.... everywhere. This pile on my bed is just what came out of the closet. So embarrassing.

So has begun the journey of pulling it out, ironing it, folding it, determining if I should keep it or donate it, and re-storing it. Ugh. It's so much work. Especially when you have three little ones constantly pulling out their favorite pieces and wrapping it around themselves like: Ariel's dress after she comes out of the sea naked, a superhero cape or on their head like long Rapunzel hair. Thanks guys.

But... it is so rewarding when your hard work pays off and you have this:

oooohhhhh... isn't it so much better!
This is two of the 5 new bookshelves I have to fill up- when they're full, the rest is going bye-bye.

Today... I'm gonna show you how to fold your fabric up like that, all nice and neat.

These two shelves only house 45" cottons and flannel- I haven't tackled the bigger pieces like knits and fleece, yet.

Okay you only need one item- your acrylic ruler from your cutting board and fabric.

*Take a piece of fabric (it has to be at least 1/2 yard, this one is 1 yd.)

*Lay your acrylic ruler down on the fabric with the width of the fabric parallel to the ruler

*Leave a bit of fabric on the edge to fold over the ruler

*Fold that bit over and then continue folding until you get to the end. Don't fold the fabric tight- it will put creases in your fabric and also make it difficult to slide the ruler out at the end.

*When you get to the end, fold the little bit back in to hide any fraying edges

*Then flip that last bit over

*Slide the ruler out

*And fold the whole piece in half

*Viola! Put it on your shelf to admire and dream of all the projects in your head.

Much more to do, but it's a start!

I'm trying to be a LOT better about buying fabric, but it's okay if I win some in a Give-a-way, right?
Check out this awesome give-a-way. It has fabric and patterns! Woo Hoo.
I've never used one of Laura's patterns, but I have admired her work on sewforum. I would love to win!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New haircuts for William and Lucy

Friday, April 23, 2010

A new dress for the little mud kitten

I made this little dress for a girlfriend of mine from high school. Her son plays baseball for a team called the Mud Cat's, so she wanted a baseball dress that said 'Mud Kitten'. This is what we came up with.

The pattern I used is New Look 6576. To make the color blocking I just traced off the size I needed and then added seam allowances to the strips and sewed those together before the side seams. It is fully lined so the little princess doesn't feel the embroidery. The little heart baseballs are from Planet Applique. I just merged two together, shrunk one a bit and rotated them. So cute.

Of course, I had to make her a bow to match.
I just love how this little dress came out. I need to make my kids some new baseball outfits as well.

These are too small. :(

They are getting so grown up..... sigh. sad.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Colette patterns- new to me

So... I was reading thru my Pattern Review newsletter this morning when this caught my eye. How adorable is that coat and dress combo. oh man. Love it.

So... I've been browsing pattern review and blogs all morning trying to find people my size who have used these patterns. I found a few, but this is my favorite rendition of the pattern I think would be the most flattering on my body type. Man. Is that cute or what? Now, she is much thinner and not chesty like me, but I still think I could pull it off.

So... I did it. I went and bought the pattern this morning.
I've never spent that much money on a single pattern before in my life! It's about to kill me, but I've decided that I spend too much money on the cheap stuff JUST because it's cheap. I'll spend $12 easily at a time on .99 patterns- and rarely use them. I am trying to get better about getting what I really want- even if it's expensive and spending less on the stuff that is on sale. I hope that works out for me.

Now... what kind of fabric do I use? Most of the reviews I read used quilters cotton- but I HATE to iron. Any ideas for me?

and look at this adorable dress (that is horrible for my shape, but I still LOVE)
Here is the seamstress's blog.

My little sister Judy would be stunning in this dress. I showed it to Jerry and he was like, "It looks old...." aaaahahhahahha duh.
and so I showed it to Ella and she said, "Oh Mom, I want Tiana's marrying dress, not her work dress!!!!" Oh man... help me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Custom work???

I love custom work when the customer and I see eye to eye... meaning they pretty much let me do whatever I want and they trust me... or they have the same taste as I do. As in, this adorable little owl towel.

But I get frustrated when the customer wants something that I know isn't going to come out great... come on... just let me add some other colors to these poor bland owls. Is it possible to make these adorable owls not cute??? Yes. It is.
Here's proof.

(Actually I quite like this guy... but the others....)

Yawn.... navy, blue, and white... boring.
I can't wait to be completely finished with customs.
Although, I am totally in LOVE with the one I made yesterday. I'll show you tomorrow.

...and if you're waiting for haircut pictures, you're gonna have to wait some more. I haven't downloaded them yet. So sorry Grandma.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday's Tips!

Today: How to match up your plaids.

The new Elmo jon jon (slightly different because my mind hates to have to make the same exact thing twice)


Gather materials (pattern pieces, fabrics, crayons or colored pencils, pins, pattern weights, good music or favorite t.v. show)

Start by folding your fabrics very carefully, on the grain, and making the plaids match on the folded side and the ends. This can be difficult, especially if you're working with a seersucker (like this one) Keep working at it. It's important.

Lay pattern piece down making sure that the grain line is lined up perfectly with one of the lines of plaid. Remember this is your front piece, so line it up where you want the plaids going on the garment. In this case, I wanted the blue line to be dominant.

Have someone check it for you.

Chose an area where you have to match the plaids (this is the side seam) and start coloring in the lines of plaid with your colors. I do it right by the notch- so it's easy to match up with the other pattern piece.

Close up of my coloring.

Take the other piece (in this case, the back) and lay it on top of the piece you just colored and mark the plaids. You will be able to see them thru your pattern. Make sure your notches match up.

Here it is laying on top of the other piece. See how you can see thru.

Now color the same lines on your other piece.

Now take them apart and lay out your back piece on your fabric matching the plaid.

You will, most likely, have to waste more fabric. This is why they don't usually match up at cheap stores. Trust me, though, it's worth the few inches you will scrap to make it look nice.

Now, when you sew them together- take note to pin along making sure that they are still matching and ta-da! Matched seams.

I got confirmation this morning that the new Elmo jon jon fits! Woooo Hoooo! and I sold the other one, too. Hooray!

I got crazy and buzzed William's hair and cut Lucy's, too. Am I a hair dresser? No way. Stay tuned for those pictures tomorrow.