Friday, January 27, 2017

January Sewing Social Meet-up

Hello everyone!

Thank you again for all your wonderful comments on the Zoe Tunic I made! I'm sure you can all agree that sewing a garment you love makes all the effort worthwhile! I hope you have been getting a chance to sew some lovelies yourself!

Today I would like to share about the sewing meet-up I recently had with my neighbor. Somewhere before the beginning of the year, I began thinking about asking my neighbor if she wanted to get together and sew. I mean, it was a no-brainer to me. She likes to sew, and so do I. She doesn't ever get a chance to finish her projects, and neither do I. Our time and family commitments, while valuable, have kept us from making time for the craft we love.

So, I approached her about my idea: a sewing meetup where we would bring our already cut-out projects, whatever materials we needed, and some light refreshments in case we got hungry (sewing and snacking go together).  Invariably, we could chat as we worked, and (the best part) we did not have to bring any children!!!!!!!!!

Anyhow, you can imagine what my neighbor told me. She said that it all sounded WONDERFUL!!! In fact, she already had three projects cut out and waiting on her! Now all she had to do was bring them. So we got together last weekend, and had such a blast!

My hubby offered his office space for our meetup, so we got there early, set up our spaces, and started to get to work. We both brought coffee, had a light breakfast, and grazed on snacks while there.  While we originally planned to have one serger, she luckily brought hers too, so machines were always available for use. The only thing we had to share was the iron, and that worked out well according to our crafting personalities. As you may have guessed, I was a bit more obsessive about pressing when I sewed a seam, but my friend was much more laidback.

We stayed a total of four hours. Here is the outstanding dress that my friend sewed:

It is called the Ginger Dress, and I love the way it came out! She said this project was A YEAR in the making! She had the black fabric already, and another friend sent her the plaid for the bottom hem. Can you believe she had this amazing project in her craft room the whole time?

Here she is with the bottom hemmed, and all "dolled up" for a day out:

I think she even has plans for another one!  I told her she could easily make a different one to wear each day of the week!

For my projects, I was ambitious, as always, lol! I brought my Zoe tunic, an unfinished cardigan, a top I cut out, and my daughter's overall dress to cut out--if I finished all those items. Of course I didn't! I spent all of my time on the Zoe tunic, and had a few mishaps that required unpicking. Ah well! I learned a lot.

After we finished, we both were so giddy with excitement! It really does feel like winning the lotto when you are a busy mom who completes, or even nearly completes a sewing project!  My original thought was to have our "socials" every few months, but we both decided that a monthly meeting was necessary.

For the next meeting, we plan on inviting another lady, and maybe even having a pattern swap.  My neighbor embroiders, so she will be bringing her machine in case anyone would like embroidery done.

If you don't have a sewing group, and you can start one, DO IT! I was soooo nervous to ask my friend, and now I wish I would have done it sooner. It turns out there seem to be a lot of people who would love to get together and do something they love.  You don't even need office space like we used. You can use your home, or sometimes the library has space available too.  Whatever you do, find the time to pursue your passion--alone, or in the company of others.  You will not regret making that decision.

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January MAGAM Completed!

Hello everyone!

There is still a week left in the month of January, and I am elated to have finished my FIRST project of the year!! It is the Simple Sew Zoe Dress (my version is a tunic), and I'm going to tell you all about it:

I must say, this was a good pattern to start off with! I wholeheartedly agree that this was indeed a Simple Sew!  I started out by choosing a Mod Square Poly/Lycra from Fabricmart Fabrics (no longer available).  It was one of their pre-cut fabrics, and I have really been enjoying the quality of pre-cuts that they carry.

Anyhow, this fabric is nice and drapey, with a small amount of stretch. It really behaved more like a woven, so I wanted to be sure I had enough room in the end result so it would fit.  I sewed a size 10 for the waist, but graded to a size 14 for my hips. 

The pattern listed the finished measurements, and I love that! The fit was spot on! I did add a 1/4" to the front and back seams, but I don't think it was necessary. I was just being a "nervous Nelly" since I have not sewn anything for myself in a while.  

 If you remember from previous posts, I received this pattern from a UK sewing magazine. My whole reason for sewing this was to gain experience concerning their patterns, since I already LOVE the magazine. Well, I can definitely say that this pattern is a winner--a great sew for a beginner and up!

I did make some changes, though. I ended up leaving off the pocket, and didn't bother with an inseam pocket either. I also shortened the length by 4 inches because the dress was LONG, and I wanted it to end mid thigh or so.  Lastly, I did not do all of the topstitching. I left off the CB/CF stitching, but did do the neckline and sleeves.

The inside of the garment is also pretty! I realized that it went much quicker to serge the raw ends of my garment first (without the knife engaged), and then sew my seams. Brilliant! From there I just pressed the seams open, and it looked nice and clean.

There is a slight amount of excess in the back, but the fit is comfy! Also, considering the curviness I was working with, I think I deserve an award, lol! It was not easy, but I know each time will get better.

Overall, it feels good to meet the January MAGAM goal to "get back to sewing."  

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Spring Ottobre Faves by "Little Bit"

Hello everyone!

We are almost midway though January, and things are in full swing for me! I started sewing my Simple Sew Zoe Dress, but experienced a few hiccups.  Fortunately, I decided to press through. Pressing through involves unpicking a lot of stitches, BUT I am betting on it being worth it in the end.

I am finding that I actually don't mind taking my time with each garment. In fact, I think if this Zoe comes out well, I will likely sew another one! Mostly because I like the style, but also because I like the practice it gives me.

Speaking of multiples, have any of you ever found a RTW top you absolutely loved, and had to have it in more than one color (if more than one color was available, of course).  I am definitely that type of shopper! In fact, I found this gorgeous green sweater at Target, and just had to get one in a burnt orange as well. Maybe that is why sewing multiples doesn't bother me, as long as it is a style I will get a lot of wear out of.

Anyhow, today I thought I would do something a little different. I got the new Spring Ottobre in the mail, and decided that I would do a blog my very own daughter!

Before I get into her favorite picks for the new issue, let me tell you a little about her. She's 7, she's vivacious, and she loves anything to do with fun!! You can find her in bright colors, florals, skirts and dresses--pretty much anything "girly" would sum up her sense of style.  

I asked her to pick out her favorite looks, and tell me why! Here is what she said:

"I like this skirt because it has a strip part in the middle. I like the shirt too because of the strips on the top and bottom [binding]."

"Are those girls twins? I like both of their dresses. The big pockets are really nice!"

"Oh mom! I like that gray dress. I could wear it with leggings and do all the jumping I want in it--just like that girl!"

"Mom this [shortalls] looks super special. Like you can play in it and have lots of fun, but you can look really cute at the same time!"

So, yes, those are all of my daughter's picks, yet I will leave you with some great honorable mentions that I thought were spectacular:

I was super impressed with this gorgeous mint green jacket! The detachable hood is such a cool feature as well.  The Octopus top is also cute, but those JEANS! I LOVE the zippered leg pocket, and the wash of denim they used. It shows all the detailing perfectly. Check out the wave design on the back pockets!

Here is another jacket with superb design details. I am really diggin' the slanted zipper, hood, and pockets placed inside the panels.  And what else do I see? A drop "crauch" pants with lots of room and wearing ease! I have seen this style emerging in RTW for adults, and am not sure if I will be a part of this growing trend yet. It looks really cute here, though.

Overall, I think the Ottobre Spring edition 2017 is a WINNER!  You can check out the additional looks here.

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Sewing Story/Aspirations for 2017

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017 everyone! I hope it finds you in good health, and full of peace, hope, love, and JOY!

For 2017 I have decided to aim at posting more on my blog (whether I have sewn items or not).  So, I wanted to start the year off with my very own sewing story. This post is about how I got started, and I will finish by telling you some of my goals for the year.

Well, let me start by saying that those of you who had a mom, aunt, grandma, or other mentor to teach you how to sew are so blessed! For me, that did not exist. NO ONE in my family sewed. Not a single one. Yet, somehow when I was a little girl in middle school, I told my best friend that I one day wanted to have a family and sew all of my children's clothes. Yikes! Where did that come from?

In 2006, after being married for a year, my dream came true. I gave birth to my son, took my very first sewing class, and made him a baby blanket:

Those were the days I remember that sewing was not easy for me, lol! I bought "easy" patterns, but I couldn't figure out why they weren't as "easy" as they described. I understood basic sewing foundation, like sewing right sides together, and lining up seamlines, but it seemed as though the rest was a foreign language to me.

I did a few small projects here and there, but didn't really begin to sew again until I got pregnant with my daughter in 2008.  She was born in 2009, and I have been sewing off and on ever since!  Somewhere in there I started this blog, and I have been able to use my sewing to treat myself, my family, friends, and many others!!

Sweet dress I made for my friend's daughter

But you know what the BEST thing is??!?!?  Lean in close and I will tell you...the BEST part is my sewing is still growing--still developing and maturing as I seek to learn new things and apply them in my life!

That brings me to my aspirations for 2017.  I would love to share them with you for accountability, AND I will be putting them on a tab on this blog site for reference.  They are as follows:

  • Use what I have! I never fully avail myself to the sewing resources I already own: Burda, Ottobre, My Image, and Sew Now magazines, Sewing books with patterns inside, and patterns from the Big 4 (WHEW, that's a lot!)
  • Sew something for my kids every couple of months. They love it, and so do I!
  • Sew for my husband! He has expressed his desire for ties, and maybe a vest or shirt.  I avoid his requests at times because he is picky!! But, certainly starting small wouldn't be bad.
  • Sew for life events. This year has a few special times that I would like to create something for. My brother is getting married in October. I will definitely need a nice formal dress for then. Also, I used to sew my daughter an Easter dress. That would be nice to do again. I also would love to sew some items for our holiday photo in December, and possibly my birthday in June.
  • Finish at least four of my Craftsy classes! Again, I have a lot of great resources, including some Craftsy classes I have piled up from sales over last year. It is time to get movin'!
  • Copy RTW styles I love! I don't know how many times I have seen a style in the store that I knew I could recreate at home, with a better fit.  
  • Enter a Patternreview contest. I participated in one, and submitted a cute top and legging set I sewed for my niece, but I haven't entered one since. It would be fun, and there are lots of different themes.
  • Draft a pair of pants. If you remember, I have a Craftsy class for that, and am really interested in learning basic drafting techniques for sewing.
There are also some garments I would like to create this year:
  1. Jackets
  2. Blazers
  3. Coat
  4. Button down shirt
  5. Dresses
  6. Jeans
  7. Dress pants
  8. Cargo pants
  9. Bermuda Shorts
There you have it! I have been mulling over this plan for the last couple of months, and am happy with what I came up with. I know my real issue is getting the time to sew, and I have recruited help from my hubby. He has agreed to watch our "littlest bit" for a few hours on some days so I can accomplish some things.

Another promising development is that I found a sewing buddy! She is a neighbor of mine, and we will be putting some days on the calendar to get together and sew.

If you have never sewn, but are interested in getting started, I hope I have inspired you to realize that you can do it! Set a goal, and follow through! There are local sewing classes, community groups, Craftsy classes, Youtube tutorials, and even sew-alongs you can join.  Your journey doesn't have to be perfect, it only has to be your own.

Stay sew-filled!