Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blame it on the pattern

Okay, so Jamie Foxx blamed it on the alcohol, and Milli Vanilli blamed it on the rain, so...I am blaming my inability to sew my daughter's top on the pattern!!!

I cannot (without getting upset) tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to figure the instructions for this pattern out.  So, in the interest of staying sane, I am putting this pattern to the side and coming back to it later.  So the next project I am starting will be another dress for my daughter.  This one will be Simplicity's 2572 (See right).  I have already read through the directions for this pattern and there is nothing too tricky in there.

On a lighter note, it is my daughter's birthday today, she is 1 years old!!

I told you it was hard to get a good picture of her, she loves to be in motion.  Well, then again, I guess I want her to be still at inopportune times like when she is tired.

This picture was supposed to be one of those cute mother-daughter photos that you just say "Aww" to.  Well, you can still say "Aww," but not in a good way.  It's more like, "Aww, the poor baby is ready to get some sleep!"  The rest of the day will be better I am sure!

I hope everyone else is having a great weekend!  Memorial Day weekend is when the sales come out, so yes I will be visiting some of my favorite stores, and my friendly Joann's on Monday. 

Have a safe weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review

Hey everyone!

It's the middle of the week, and I am pleased to be posting a book review.  I got this book a few months ago but I waited to review it because I wanted to get some use out of it first.  It is called 200 sewing tips, techniques & trade secrets by Lorna Knight.

First I want to say that this book is picture-heavy, which I love!  I am a visual learner, so I usually choose books that show me how to visually accomplish something, rather than only providing a written explanation. This book does both, and does it effectively.  

Here are some of the categories this book goes over, as well as a brief description on what to find in each section:

Tools and equipment--pretty self-explanatory here.  This section talks about sewing machines and all the equipment(notions) used in sewing.

Material matters--This section is about fabrics, how to choose them, working with various fabrics, storing them, special types of fabric, and thread.

In Stitches--This section is one of my favorites of the book.  It explains various hand stitches, machine stitches, buttonholes, and has a part dedicated to serging.

Sewing Techniques--This is a "how to" section.  It talks about using paper patterns, joining fabrics, draping, pleats, hemming, linings, and pockets.

Decorating Fabrics--This is a special section on beading, embroidery, smocking, piping, quilting, tassels, fringes, etc.  I don't think I will use this section right away, but it is nice to know I can reference it if I need it!   

There are also little MAKE IT! projects in the book, and my only critique of this book is the instructions for some of these projects is too sparse.  Also, it is not the type of reference you can expect to hit everything.  For example, I had a tough time with understanding understitching while sewing last evening, and I went to find it in this book, but there was nothing to reference about this at all.  I don't think that takes away from the book, though, because it is not purposed to be a thorough reference.

In all, this is a great book!  I recommend it for sewers of all levels.

I am STILL working on my daughter's top.  I was so frustrated with the top last evening I just wanted to give up, but NO...I will press on!

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pattern Organization

I know that a lot of people have different ways they organize their sewing patterns, and I am not saying that there is one right way to do so.  I would like to share with all of you the way I organize mine.  It seems to be helpful for now.

Whenever I buy a new sewing pattern, I take one of my folders with only pockets inside, and I cut off the front of the pattern, and paste it to the front of my folder.  This way, I can locate the pattern I am looking for when I thumb through my folders.

 On the inside left--I place the guide sheet for the pattern.  The inside right is useful for putting all of my cut up pattern pieces.  I usually cut these out when I buy the pattern, so I don't have to come back and do it later.  If I am unsure about sizing, I just leave it intact until I go to sew it.

Finally, on the back of the folder, I paste the information from the back of the pattern.

I really like this method because everything is in one compact folder, and I can put it all away easily for use the next time.  The only space this takes up depends on where you store the folders.  I have mine stacked for now, until I can put them in a drawer.  I also love the pockets because there is extra room behind the side with the guide sheet, for storing any pattern modifications you made when you sewed the pattern.

I think I got these folders from Walmart, but just recently I couldn't find them, so I had to go to Office Depot.

Feel free to share how you store your patterns with me.  I am still working on an outfit for my daughter.   It's been slow-going, but I hope to have something to share with you all soon!

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Little skirt

I finished my daughter's first skirt!

OK, it is a simple pattern with simple, clean lines, and no ruffles, frills, ribbons, rick-rack, etc, BUT I like that it is simple.  I will have lots of time to throw on all the cute notions on later projects I sew.  This one is Simplicity 2572 View B.  I kept the fabric consistent, but since this skirt was such a delight to sew, I am going to sew it again, but experiment in changing up the yoke fabric, and adding various ribbon to it.

Here it is:

Let me tell you, it is much harder to get good pictures of a 12 month old than I thought!  She wiggled and squirmed, and I had to pull out all the little tricks I could to get her to stay still!

I will write a more in-depth review and post it to my sewing reviews on the right a little later on.  However, I can honestly say I enjoyed sewing this skirt, and it is a cute and easy piece.

Stay sew-filled! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Last night I decided to sew my son's apron.  I had planned to sewing it this week anyway, but last night I just got into a groove and kept going, and going, and going...two hours later I produced his race-car driver apron!  I hung it on the door to our bedroom and surprised him with it this morning when he woke up.  He said "OOOh mommy!  My apron!  It looks good mommy!"

Mission accomplished.

I had to smile as he tried to put it on.

Here is my "sweet face!"  There is something about having pockets that makes it hard not to put your hands in them!


I made him put his arms at his side for this photo.  Needless to say, he did not give me any smiles!

Back to his happy state!

I have to say I really enjoyed sewing this Simplicity Sewing for Dummies pattern 2824.  For those of you that follow along with me, you know that I have already sewn this pattern for myself, and said I would sew it again for my little man.  Everything went much more smoothly this time, and the only change I made to my son's apron was to leave out the D-ring attachment.  Instead, I made two neck straps, but took off about three inches to each strap so they wouldn't be too long to tie around.  It worked out well.

As much as I love to sew, there was no greater joy for me in sewing this project than sewing it for my son and seeing his face light up with excitement to be such a receiver of the gift I gave!  There just are no words for moments like that!  I hope to have many more of those moments, until he no longer thinks my sewing creations are the coolest in the world!

I will put a more in-depth pattern review at the right if you are interested in this one.  If you would like to see the apron I made for myself, see here.

Have a sew-filled week!  Stay tuned as I continue to find more things to sew for the kids...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My first infant dress

Happy Mother's Day!

My day has been beautiful so far.  My husband took the kids and let me sleep in, and later I was awakened to breakfast in bed!  Then, my son shouted "Happy Mother's Day!"  I also got the best card ever from my hubby, with some money to go shopping.  My son made a little tote with his handprints at his school that is gorgeous! After we went to church today, we all went to Joann's fabric store, and I picked up some more sewing goodies.  So, needless to say, I am on cloud nine, and I feel sew-filled!

I did FINALLY, and yes I said FINALLY, finish the dress for my daughter!  I have been working on this dress all week long!  For some reason, patterns marked "easy" are just not as "easy" for me!  Here is the dress (Butterick 3782):

I can't decide whether or not I like the pleats on the front.  I think it is cute, I am just concerned about how the pleats will stay in their form when my daughter wears the dress and plays.  Speaking of wearing it, I was so excited when I was done sewing it, that I was a little surprised that it is still a little too big for her.  I think she needs at least two or three months before it will fit.  Other than that, it really is pretty.  I will post pictures of her in the dress when it fits.

Here is the back.

As far as a review goes on this pattern, I must say that in theory this dress should be easy to sew.  There are no really difficult things to do, but I just didn't like the instructions very much.  The zipper insertion went smoothly, but the problem I had was with all the easing in this pattern.  Easing the bodice and the skirt front and back was not as simple to do.  There are still some tucks that I did not want there.  I have to say I consulted my sewing manual many times for help!

The binding on the dress was pretty easy to do, though my only issue with that was the way the instructions said to sew it.  It seemed backwards to me, but since I am a beginner, I just had to sew it the way they said to.

All in all, I like the dress, and I will probably sew it again, at least one more time.  The next time I will try to do a denim bodice with cotton fabric skirt.  I saw that combination on, and it was really cute.  For my first try at a dress, I am very happy with how it all turned out!

Now I am working on my son's apron...

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My new best friend

Ode to my seam ripper

Seam ripper, seam ripper,
Where have you been?
I thought I could sew it,
but need you again.
To tear out the stitching
I thought I had right,
To make a correction,
Is that the eighth time?

If only my sewing
was simply perfection,
I wouldn't need you,
my little obsession.
To rip and to tear,
with none of my might,
So I can re-sew,
and FINALLY get it right!

BTW, I am still at work on my daughter's dress.  It is coming together, but I have used the seam ripper way too many times!  Hence, a poem to freshen the day of anyone else who has become best friends with their seam ripper!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Little gifts

Hello Monday!

Hope your week is starting out well!  It's definitely a good week to sew!  We have been getting rain today, so curling up next to a whirring sewing machine sounds wonderful to me.  It gives me a chance to relax and enjoy creating little wonders (maybe big wonders one day).

So today I wanted to start by showing you some crafty gifts I received.  The first one is a cute zippered pouch from one of my co-workers who is leaving the job.  She kindly sewed these little pouches for us as her going away gift!  We each got to choose from the ones she had made, and in case you didn't know, I am a pink lady...

I am lovin' the peekaboo lining in a totally different fabric.  It just gives the pouch an extra little punch!

This is just the back of the pouch.  

The other gift I got was from one of my clients at work.  He, yes he made this beautiful potholder!

He uses an octagonal loom to create these little cuties, and he had various color combinations as well, but I chose blue because it is my son's favorite color.  This will be going in my kitchen, and will be used frequently, I can assure you.  I was amazed that, on this occasion, it was a gentleman crafter and not a lady.  When I first saw the potholder, I naturally responded "Wow!  How beautiful!  Did your wife make these?"    He thankfully did not take offense to my statement, and told me how this was his hobby.  That's what I'm talking about!  A man secure in his crafting abilities!

Lastly, I just wanted to tell you I am plugging away at my son's apron, and my daughter's dress (as pictured on the right).  I think my daughter's dress will be finished first, just because of the sheer excitement of her having something to wear that I made.  Also because I have all the pattern pieces for her dress already cut out and marked, I only need to sew.  Here is the fabric I chose:

Yes, it's pink again!  But hey, little girls look cute in pink, right?

Happy sewing everyone!