Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's up next?

Hello again!

There were a lot of you who enjoyed the New Look summer patterns from my last post about as much as I did!  Thank you for your comments on those patterns!  I have gotten a slow start to this week because I have been pondering what to sew next.  It seems that I have gotten into a groove with sewing for my children and others, but I have totally neglected myself!!

So I am dedicating this month to sewing nothing but...


All fun aside, I really am in need of some nice tops--especially since I just bought some beautiful fabric from Gail K's just a few weeks ago.

This brings me to my present dilemma..."Which top will I sew next?"

I thought about this question all this past weekend, and decided to do some digging in my pattern stash in order to see what I could find.  The ones I came up with were nice, but I kept finding something wrong with each choice I made.  For example, I looked at this pattern from a year or two ago, and thought it had great potential:

I like View B, or the top that the model is wearing, but I didn't like it with my fabric choice:

Maybe if I used it alongside a solid fabric as an accent, as shown above, it might work, but I didn't want to take any chances on me not liking the end result.  

So then I thought I would do something a little simpler such as this one:

I like the red top, or View B.  But...I just wasn't sure about this one either.  So after some more digging (and even pulling out my Burda magazines from the three month subscription my hubby gave me last year) I narrowed my top choice down to two patterns.

I thought I would throw this question out to all of you and see what you think!  I am a fan of both styles, and I'm not sure which one to make.  Keep in mind that the scale of the true fabric is a bit smaller than the one pictured (I couldn't get an exact replica, but at least you can get an idea of how it would look).

If you like, please leave me a comment telling me which one you like better, NL 6735 or NL 6648.  And don't forget to tell me why you prefer one over the other.

In the meantime, I am working on a storyboard for all the tops I will be sewing for this month.  Joann's will be having a great sale, with 50% off most their knit fabrics, and there are some Project Runway April Johnston prints I have been eyeing.  I will update the upcoming pattern sales (see right) as well, in case any of you are thinking about adding to your collection, or looking for that special item to sew.

I look forward to what you have to say!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Look summer 2012 patterns

It's been a while since I've reviewed some of the newer patterns that have come out, so when I received an email about New Look's summer patterns being posted on their website, I thought I'd jump at the chance to see what was new.

The funny thing is, I was at Joann's on Wednesday and only mildly noticed these same summer patterns.  I remember thinking "Oh, lookie here, a new catalog," but I was too busy looking for other particular patterns that I skimmed over all the new offerings.  Now I'm kicking myself in the butt because they had some really nice patterns this time around.

Let's take a look...

Ok, I am loving this dress!! It doesn't look like it would be that difficult to sew, and the waist accent and tie is so pretty.  I would love to try this pattern with a silk fabric, since I haven't worked with it before.

I do remember seeing this pattern on Wednesday.  I am a fan of all versions except Version B.  Version C is my favorite, though I don't think I would wear it so low-cut (or maybe with a cami underneath).  Anyhow, I only have one maxi dress, and would love to have more, so this seems like a great pattern to get started with.

This dress is practically perfect in every way!!  I think all of the versions are adorable, and I love the flowiness of the sleeve.  Version A looks like they took a wrap top and fused it with an A-line skirt!  How'e that for combining separates?

This top has romantic style.  Version B and C are my favorites, and yes, I even like the ruffle on version C.  

Those are all my picks for adult clothing.   There are also some really cute kids patterns, though:

This dress is darling!  I can see my little girl running around in it, smiling!  She has really taken to wearing dresses, and I think she would like the style of this one.

And what about this one?  That is the most interesting hem I've seen in a while, but I strangely like it.  You can definitely get away with a lot more when you are dressing children.

That's all for now.  If you are interested in viewing the whole summer line, you can see it here.  

I am not sure yet what I will be working on for the next week.  I really wanted to do a month of tops, but now I'm thinking of a dress instead.  Also, I was disappointed by the fabric prices at Joann's on Wednesday, so I plan on going back after the 5th to use my coupons for a few fabrics that I thought were pretty.  I'll be using most of this weekend to get my thoughts in order and figure out what I'm going to sew.

In the meantime, have a wonderfully blessed weekend, and enjoy yourself.  I will be back next week with a plan = ).

Stay sew-filled!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby lattice quilt done

Greetings to you!  May is now upon us, and I am starting the month by reviewing the Baby Lattice Quilt I finished up last Friday for my friend's baby shower.  I initially gave myself about three weeks to complete this quilt, but once again, I did not anticipate how much work would need to go into everything, especially since this was my first quilt.  So, I literally finished the quilt just before I was running out of the door to the event!!

Here is how it came out:

I followed the instructions to the tutorial for the Baby Lattice Quilt by Amy Smart to a "T," and my only
hiccup was sewing the binding (which I am still learning to do well).  Originally, I was quite concerned that this quilt was above my skill level, but decided to press on and give it a try anyway after I received an encouraging email from Amy.  I just want to say that Amy was right!  I maintained strict 1/4" seam allowances, and made sure everything lined up, and the rest fell into place.

The best part about sewing all the squares, triangles, and rectangles together is that I was only sewing straight lines.  So, I think a beginner sewist with a basic knowledge of sewing could attempt this quilt with good results.

My only advice on things to consider with this quilt (or probably any quilt), is the binding application, and sewing all three layers of fabric together.

For the binding, I tried to do it Amy Smart's way, but I still had difficulty.  So I found this super tutorial on Youtube (sorry, I tried to find the link with no success) that simplified the whole process, and gave me super results.

Now sewing the three layers of fabric together was a bit more of a challenge and frustration.  You can see the quilt top pictured, but you also have a second layer of batting, and a third layer of backing fabric.  I laid all three of these layers out and used safety pins to keep the layers from shifting, but I still had to be careful that the quilt wouldn't shift as I stitched the layers together because I didn't have much room at my sewing machine.  I ended up rolling up one end of the quilt as tight as I could, securing it, and then fitting the quilt under my presser foot.

As I sewed, I made sure to keep my hands securely on both sides of the presser foot to keep any further shifting from taking place.  It was a whole ordeal in itself, but it worked!  I learned this method through this book after I sewed three seams incorrectly and had to rip them out (I was near tears at that point):

Other than those issues, I think the quilt came out fine, and I will definitely make another quilt in the near future.

I wish I had a picture of the back of the quilt to show you, but in my haste to get out the door, I totally forgot about it!!  I can at least describe it to you, though.  It is a busy floral print, and I added my label to the bottom right hand corner of the quilt, sewn in diagonally.

When my friend opened her gift there were a lot of "oohs" and "aahs," and that was neat.  The colors I chose go with the baby room, and she was impressed that I sewed the quilt myself.  Everyone else at the shower had known that I was working on this quilt, so they were in on the surprise that it was handmade.  All things considered, why shouldn't a special baby have a special item?  This quilt I made is as unique as my friend's dear baby girl will be!  I am so glad for the opportunity to use my talent in this way.

Here is one more picture of me sitting on the quilt.  It ended up measuring 38 x 48":

Do I look tired?  Because I had spent that ENTIRE day working on that quilt!  

Oh, but it was soooo worth it!!

Thanks for reading about my experience sewing my first quilt, I appreciate each and every one of you.  For the month of May I will finally be doing some sewing for myself for a change!  I am in need of a few good garments, and I will be showing you my plan for those things on Thursday.

Stay sew-filled!!