Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Well, the day is finally here!  It's my birthday, hey, hey, hey.  It's my birthday, yeah!

Judging by my little song you would think I have a day of luxury planned--not so my friends!  I am at home with my precious little ones, and with the exception of some special gifts and thoughtful gestures, this day is much like any other day I would have.  It's not that I mind, though.  I am thankful to God for 31 years of life!  Some people don't even get to see that many years on earth, so I will relish and enjoy all that He has given me!

On another note, I sadly did not finish my princess's dress.  It was far too ambitious an undertaking to finish with the time I have.  I realized that after getting started and having issues with the sizing of the dress.  I am continuing to work on the dress, but it has been a challenge to get through this one.

Also, NO ONE seemed to be interested in the giveaway I was having from my last post. So...I guess I am the winner of my two sets of patterns.  Or maybe you all have enough sewing patterns already.  Either way, my first giveaway was a bust, but hopefully the next one I do will garner some attention.  I still appreciate all my readers, and hope you are having a wonderful week!

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birthday Giveaway

As many of you know, my birthday is coming up quite soon (Wed. June 29th).  I was thinking about what I wanted for my birthday, and what I really wanted was to give back to all my fellow blog viewers.  So I am having a birthday giveaway!!

First let me start by saying thank you to all of my followers.  I suppose I would still keep a blog even if no one ever read it and saw all of the sewing projects I made, but it sure helps to know that there is an audience.  Second, in all of my blog posts, I have NEVER done a giveaway.  In my mind, I thought I would definitely do a giveaway when I got to a certain number of followers (like 25), but when I reached that number, I would change that number to something higher.  Nevertheless, no matter the number, there is no time like the present, to give a little "present!"

So here is what I am giving away:

The first group of patterns is called Time to get Dress-ed.  They consist of two dress patterns:

Simplicity 2443 is a Cynthia Rowley pattern with a dress and jacket combination. Simplicity 2647 is a knit dress that you can make for a "day" or "evening" look.    These patterns will allow the winner to create many fabulous dresses!  They are all sized 6-14 and 4-12, respectively.

The second group also consists of two patterns:

These are from the new Simplicity Early Autumn line.  S2147 is a cute tunic top that also includes instructions for a belt!  S2152 is a great skirt with nice detailing.  It comes in three different lengths.  The sizes are 6-18 and 6-14, respectively.

There are a few rules I have created for this giveaway:

1. For now, it is open to U.S. residents only. (sorry, hopefully that will change later down the line)

2. You do not have to be a follower to enter this giveaway, however, if you are a follower I will give you two entries instead of one as a token of my appreciation.  

3. Please make sure I have a way to contact you (you can wait until the giveaway is over to send me your info at

4. The first place winner will receive first pick as to the patterns that they would like to receive.  The second place winner will automatically receive the group of patterns not chosen.

5. To enter, you must leave a comment below telling me what you find enjoyable about this blog, AND what you would like to see in the future.

6.  I will announce the winners on my birthday this Wednesday, June 29th.  You have until Tuesday, June 28th at 6 PM Eastern time to enter.  

That's simple enough, right?  

Happy Birthday Giveaway everyone!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simplicity Patterns on Sale!

If you have a Hobby Lobby near you, I just wanted to let you know that for this week (up until Sat. Jun 20th) they will have Simplicity patterns on sale for 99 cents!  I'm not sure if they will have any of the Early Autumn patterns available that I mentioned in my last post, but I will be stopping by there this evening, so I will let you know.

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Early Autumn Simplicity patterns

Hi everyone!

I hope you all found a way to celebrate your "father" this past weekend.  My own father is long-distance so I sent a special card.  As far as my husband goes, I bought a cute picture frame from Kohls that says "I love Dad."    It is something he can keep on his night stand, with a picture of the kids inside of it.

Actually, I had a great weekend!  I spent quality time with my family in a creative way.  You see, whenever we take our kids (ages 2 and 4) to a restaurant, it tends to be a little like a circus.  We are having to say "Sit still." or "Wouldn't you like to color?" or "Let's play a game." Anything to keep them distracted until the food gets there.  For my littlest one, she is the social butterfly who likes to peek her head over the booth and wave at whoever happens to be eating beside us.  And if that doesn't work, she tries to climb over the booth to say hello!

Needless to say, it is a lot of fun, and a lot of stress to take our kids out to eat.  We don't want to be that distracting couple with kids, so we often forgo eating at restaurants in the evening and prefer to go in the early afternoon during a non-busy time.  Well, we got this idea on Sunday to order pick-up at TGI Fridays and have a picnic in the back of our van.  It was brilliant!!  We put a blanket down with a beanbag chair, and my kid's two kiddie sofas.  We brought our drinks and ate and had fun.  We will definitely be doing that again!

OK, now onto the real reason you are reading this post today.  It is time to see what Simplicity has in store for us for Early Autumn!!  For some reason, it seems like I wait and wait (and wait) for the new Spring and Summer patterns come out, but Early Autumn just jumps right out, catching me off-guard.

Here is my favorite:

I saw this and loved it right from the start!  I am talking about the blue dress on the right.  However, the more I looked at it the more I thought it looked vaguely familiar...Oh yeah.....That's where I saw it before...

On Princess Kate!

Yes, an eerily similar resemblance, and now we can all look like Princess Kate (if you want to).  Don't you just love being able to sew?  It makes it easy to knock off a garment for much less than someone else would actually pay for it.

For this next one, I don't need to learn to sew, but I thought it was a cute pattern.  Before sewing S2451 I used to run from any garment with pleats, but after seeing just how flattering pleats can be, I am more willing to consider them in things I sew.  I like the shape of this top, and it looks like a nice basic.

  AAAH, Amazing Fit I love thee!!  The top pictured is a simple basic, but if you look closely at Views A and B, you will see that the variations of this top are quite nice.  As much as I like a pattern that exemplifies a trend, I am that much more of a fan of patterns that are a nice wardrobe staple.

Here is a nice skirt for all of you skirt fans like myself:

View C is particularly interesting with what looks like ruffles used as a trim for the front seam.  I like View E and C without the ruffle.  I think the yoke on this skirt is what draws me in!
Lastly, I leave you with two adorable kiddie patterns...

Overall, I would say there are some nice pieces.  I'm not sure I will be adding to my collection anytime soon, but I do like what Simplicity has put out so far.  If you would like to see the entire collection, see here.  In the meantime, I did get all my weekend sewing goals accomplished with the exception of cutting the fabric.  This dress has a lot of pattern pieces so I had to take a breather.

PS-A lot is 7 pattern pieces to me, though I am not counting the lining. (LOL)  I am so used to 3-4!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sketching S2265

I have been excited to sew a Project Runway pattern for some time now since I am an avid watcher of the show.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that a sketching block (croquis kit) is included with pattern S2265 that I am working on.  It seems like such a great idea, to be able to take different elements from the garment you want to sew, and decide how you would like the finished product to look.  I tend to do this when I sew anyway (change the sleeve style, or add trim here or there), though most of it is done in my head.

I decided to try out the Croquis kit and see if it was something worthwhile.  I kept the block intact, and just took a piece of paper and traced out the parts of the garment I wanted.  This is what I came up with:

Essentially, I left all of the elements the same as what you saw in my last post, but it was still neat to play around with this skechboard.  I imagine if/when I use this again to make another style dress, it will be a lot more worthwhile.  Also, the more design elements to play with, the more possibilities!!

Going into the weekend I am hopeful that I'll be able to put in more sewing time.  At the very least I would like to get my fabric pre-washed, pressed, and pattern pieces cut out.  Also, I have to re-measure my little princess to determine what size I will be using to sew for her.  

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Starting something new

So what do I do when I am stuck in neutral?  Well, I shift into high gear and start moving forward again!!  I'm sorry everyone, but I just haven't had the heart to finish NL6034.  Tell me, if any of you have this pattern, have you finished it yet?  I am still excited to see how it will turn out when I do sit down and finish it, but I'm not quite sure what the hold up is concerning this pattern.  I think deep down I really want it to be so nice that I am scared to mess up and have to start over again.

No matter, I am moving on to something else for the time being.  The next time I bring up NL6034 will be because it is finished, okay?

Well, my birthday is coming up on June 29th.  I will be the big 3-1 (really, where does the time go)?  I was talking to my mom about it and she said "Great Vanessa!  Now you will only be 9 years away from 40!!"  Her statement took me by surprise, and I had the realization that, yes, one day, Lord willing, I will be 40.  40 just sounds so...(forgive me) old.

I think that every young person has an age in their mind that they considered "When I get to be _______, boy will I be old!"  40 is that number for me.  Yes, I know 9 years is not close to 40 by a long shot, but I'm just sharing my "Ah-ha" moment from my mom making that statement.

Anyhow, so I will be 31 years young, and I plan on enjoying the day with a little peace, quiet, and hubby time.  Last year I had a big party, but this year I want to spend time with my family and enjoy being blessed with another year of life.  I mention all of this to say that I will be sewing something special for my little princess for my birthday:

I bought this pattern a couple of months ago, but didn't really have the right fabric for it.  The fabric above is a cotton jersey I bought that behaves more like a stable knit.  I wanted to make a cute knit top from it, but I think I need something with a bit more stretch and recovery.  So...I am turning this fabric into an adorable summer dress that my sweetie can wear for my birthday!

I am excited because this will be my first attempt at a Project Runway pattern.  I already peeked inside of the envelope, and it gives you a Croquis Kit ( a rough draft, sketch kit) so that you can choose the design elements you want and conceptualize them on paper!  Wow!  It seems so fancy, smancy!

So that is what I will be up to for the next couple of weeks.  I will keep you updated on my progress, as always.  Have fun sewing this week!

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A lost art?

Hello everyone!

This is a great week to sew!  I am finding that as the summer programming comes on TV, I am less interested, and seeking out more time to sew.  Also, it could be that my hubby did a total clean-up of our sewing room/closet.  He moved things around so I have much more space, so now I see that room "calling" me to come sew whenever I go by it.

The reason I am writing though, is because I was watching The Nate Show yesterday, and he was doing this segment on double-duty furniture for small living spaces.  Basically, furniture that functions as more than one thing in the room in order to optimize the space.  O.K., that sounds good.  I don't really have many spacing issues here in my home, but I thought "hey, I may learn something new."  The third piece of furniture he showed was a sewing cabinet that he re-purposed into a small desk for someone who needs home office space.  For the section where the sewing machine would sit on and lower down, he attached a filing system that can now "hide" away.  Nate commented that "people don't really use sewing cabinets anymore."  He said he sees them at flea markets all over, and that most sewing machines nowadays come without a sewing cabinet.

Is this what we have come to??

Everytime the fact that I sew comes up in conversation, besides people asking me to sew for them, I often hear "Oh, you sew?  Good for you!  Sewing really is a lost art."  To which I think, "A lost art?  Why I know lots of people who sew, and lots of sewing communities and bloggers who sew."  For some reason, the voice of seamstresses the world over is not yet being heard.

Now I am not mad at the Nate show for turning a sewing cabinet into something else more useful for a person living in a small space, but his comment made me think about sewing, in general.  A lost art is only lost if people like us who sew do not pass it on!  And I intend to pass it on!  In fact, I am challenging myself to continue spreading my love for sewing, and I urge you to do the same.  It was teaching my own niece how to sew her first pillow that inspired me to start this blog, and I want to always pay it forward.

So thank you Nate show for your ingenious idea, it prompted an idea of my own!

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Baby shower gift

I am glad to say that my bestie's baby shower is now over!  It was nice to plan her shower, and put all the finishing touches together, but there is something to be said when all is said and done, and the results are successful!  I am sitting here at almost midnight on a Saturday night to report that all was successful!

I don't have any pictures of the shower to show you, but the colors were green, white, and brown.  My bestie has not decorated the nursery yet, but those are her nursery colors, and she is sticking to a safari theme.  There were about 20 guests and we had a lot of FUN!  Right now, I am exhausted, but in the best way.

So the real reason I am writing is to show you what I ended up sewing for the shower.  As you know from my last post, I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to even sew anything because I couldn't find the fabric I wanted.  Well, I decided to check out another Joann's in my area, and I found some great cotton interlock fabric in green and brown with monkeys on it.

Since it was the middle of the week when I found the fabric, I changed my game plan a little bit.  I decided to make this top from Ottobre Fall 2010:

And here is what I came up with:

I am still loving Ottobre!!!  I really didn't have any issues with sewing this top.  It was quite simple.  My only qualm was the way the neckline binding was attached.  The sleeves were attached to the front panel, and one side of the back panel was attached.  Then, the neckline binding was attached, and enclosed when the last sleeve was sewn to the final side of the back panel.

  I never do well with binding, and I didn't like this method so much because you then have to sew the seam allowances on the left side down (where the binding comes together).  If I make this top again, and I plan on making a couple more for her, I am going to experiment with a different technique.

The pants I chose are the jogging pants from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby:

Both the top and bottom are size 3-6 months.  And while sewing this I decided to put a little tag of fabric in each garment so that my bestie would be able to tell the back from the front.  Usually, I don't do this, but I was very conscious of everything looking great since it was an item I wanted my bestie to love.

The whole outfit took me about four hours to sew.  I couldn't find my twin needle, so I mixed using my serger, and my sewing machine's stretch stitch in order to still get a good result.  Overall, I am happy with the outfit.  My bestie LOVED it, but she usually loves anything I sew (she is that supportive).  I am glad she thinks it's cute, but I think it will be even cuter when I get to see her little man wearing it!

All in all, it has been a great day!  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend, and accomplishing what you want.  As for me, it felt good to sit and sew.  I think I may even be ready to start jumping back into my other projects.

Stay sew-filled!