Remember way back in early summer I started the slow summer stitching challenge? It was so slow, that I pretty much forgot about it. Well, I was hot & heavy in the beginning, but as summer went on, I pretty much dropped the ball. Determined to finish something, I pulled out my skirt panels and have been working away on them.
This weekend (tonight, actually) I finally finished it! I love it!! Even though I started this with summer in mind, I think it works just fine with this fall ensemble (and my new boots!).
I can't tell you how much I love these skirts. This is my third one (first and second). The two layers of jersey is so, so comfortable. The skirt pattern is from Alabama Stitch. The stencil on this one is my own design, you may recognize it from my first slow summer stitching project. I have a PDF of this design for you somewhere - when I find it, I'll post it here (gosh, I just remembered about that!).
It only took me 5 months to finish it, and now I'm ready to start another one. On second thought, I should probably let my sore fingers rest a bit :)
As soon as the little ones are off to bed (or a little before) I've been making the time to head up to my sewing room. I think it's safe to say that the creative juices are flowing.
I've returned to my first loves - patchwork & bags. Those long sleeve dresses will have to wait a while, which is fine considering that we're still in the 80's. I don't have anything to show you just yet, but it's coming along...
The blue one is definitely a play dress. The print is fun and not too fussy. I added the green around the neck just because. I played around with the pattern on this one, lengthening it, reducing the fullness, and shortening the sleeves even more. My goal was to make the body fit on one width of fabric.
As I was making the blue dress I thought it would be cute to make one with a different print on the sleeves and a band at the hem. Yes, this was Flea Market Fancy worthy. I played with this one as well, making the body a complete rectangle, which added more fullness at the top. I think I'll go back to the reduced fullness next time.
Yes, there's still more...I haven't made any long sleeve versions yet! At least my addictive behavior is useful this time.
On an unrelated note, today is my 13th wedding anniversary. Thirteen years that have gone by in a flash. A whole lot of goodness has happened over these past 13 years, I couldn't be more blessed! It's also a special day for someone very close to my heart - today is my Maw Maw's 75th birthday. Happy Birthday, Maw Maw :-) Happy, happy day!!
I warned you. Version #2 of the chic chic dressis here. Bright pink and zig zaggy. Ava loves it.
With a print that bold, it didn't need much adornment, though I did sew a 1" deep elastic pocket, then added a 1/2" seam at the top for a little something. I also added 5" to the length after seeing her bottom a little too much in version #1. Red leggings & tights have been added to the fall must have list.
When I showed the dress to her this afternoon, she wanted to wear it immediately. I think we'll be saving this one for church...if I can keep it off her on Saturday. It's so nice to have someone in the house so appreciative of my creations. Some little person in this house will have a whole new wardrobe before long....
Something I failed to mention on my last post was that during my non-making time I wasn't the least bit inspired. Nothing. This is a feeling I'm not used to. In fact, I'm still kind of there, but I'm trying to ease myself back into it.
I thought that once I declared that I was going to MAKE that I could jump back in with no problem. I tried, really. I went up to my sewing room, pulled some fabrics, drafted a new bag design, started cutting, but I just wasn't feeling it. Okay, this is new.
I think I was trying too hard. What I needed was to make something that didn't require too much of me, which is not an easy task as someone who wants to bend the rules and put their own spin own things. Thankfully, I remembered about a pattern I purchased a while back from Babes of Sweet. This was just what I needed to ease back into making.
My original plan was to make the dress as is, no modifications, no fancy stuff, just a simple play dress. But once I got into it, the wheels started turning...red rick rack? yes. elbow length sleeves? of course. And then I thought about Chris' mini boden challenge, so off to mini boden I went.
Bow Trim Dress, you're exactly what I needed to see! So much for that simple play dress ;-) I think Ava felt quite fancy at preschool today.
And this my friends, is the first of many chic chic dresses you'll see parading through this blog. You see, I went back to the fabric store again today (and met up with Cathy) - more new fabric. When it comes to sale fabric, I'm weak!! Inspiration abounds, my friends!!
By the time most of you read this, I'll be off on my Dottie Angel weekend in Seattle. Right now, I should be asleep in bed, but I had to get one last post in before I leave. I must admit, I've been rather preoccupied with this trip all week. I'm not an easy traveler, in fact, I'm downright sick over it. Seattle is a long way from home!
Oh, I know that I'll have a blast once I'm there, especially considering that I'll be hanging out with some friends, it's the leaving my family and getting there all by myself that is causing me grief. Yes, I know I'm a big weenie.
Anyway, I think I'm prepared - I have a stack of vintage linens, a dyed slip or 3 (all we need is 1), and a great big bag of lace, trim, buttons & whatnot.
One of our homework assignments was to make a name-tag. I took inspiration from some embroidered pieces I had in my stash. Eh, let's just say that embroidery isn't my strong suit. As you can see, I'm not finished, but I'll tend to that on the 4 hour leg of my flight.
Okay, I really must get to bed, as I'll be up in a few short hours to catch my 6 am flight. See y'all next week!!
Before I went off on a bag making tangent, I was working on some dresses for me. Aggghh! Why is sewing clothing for oneself so frustrating? Too many curves, I suppose. Because I don’t sew clothing for myself regularly, I have to re-teach myself certain techniques every time. Use it or lose it, it’s true.
The first dress I attempted was a tunic dress New Look 6803, which was a flop. Once I finish the arm holes and hem it, I’ll wear it around the house, but that’s about it. I should have done a full bust adjustment, but I jumped in without it. Yes, I should have known better. It fits in the bust, but looks like a sack on me. I took it in a little on the sides, but it has pockets, so I was limited with what I could do without taking it apart (and I’m too lazy for that!). I’m leaving it for now, and may return to it later, but like most things I make for myself, it was a learning experience.
Next I turned to Simplicity 2798 Unfortunately, it is out of print. I chose this one because it is one of those patterns with built in cup sizes, which always makes things easier. After my last sack-like dress, I chose to alter the bottom of the dress by flaring the skirt panels for more fullness to give me some shape. Before fine tuning it, I liked where it was going, but that neckline had to go.
Using the first dress as inspiration, I scooped out the neckline (which meant I could fit it over my head) and added a placket. I could have let the seams out along the fullest part of my bust a little (there's some pulling), but I already clipped the curves – lesson learned: try on before clipping curves!! My princess seams are a little wonky, but this was a test run before using “good” fabric. Next time I’ll try to do better.
I added a self tie belt to give myself a little more waist definition without having to take in the seams too much. I like it and probably will wear this one out the house. I think I may have been channeling my inner Mad Men while making this….cocktail anyone?
*pretend like you don't see the dirt on the mirror and the laundry basket in the background, okay?
Ah, I feel like my wheels are spinning, but I’m getting nowhere. Because I can’t seem to form a proper post, I figured I’d just do a big dump of some of the things swirling through my mind right now.
A while back I mentioned that we’re painting the concrete floors in the kids’ rooms. Alex’s (green floor!) came out great, but it was so much work that we’ve been procrastinating over doing the girls. I’m finally starting to put his room back together and I’m thinking about making him a rug room out of this fabric I picked up for my patio furniture this spring, following this tutorial. He’s all for it, along with a chalkboard wall. I think before it's all said and done this armoirewill make its' way in there too.
This past weekend I changed out my dining room chandelier again. I really loved the circles, but that paper blocked out too much light. At one point I experimented with using vellum, which allowed more light, but was kind of boring. I decided to merge the two by printing a light damask design on the circles – just what I was going for! Now I need to come up with a solution to seal the tiny opening in the jump rings because the vellum slips right through them. I find myself picking circles off the floor several times a day. Not cool.
I’ve been sewing quite a bit (well, quite a bit for my life right now). After the supper dishes have been put away and the kids get in the tub, I start on my projects (while ignoring the laundry). I’ve made my fall bag, most of a dress, and I have another bag cut out and dress pattern cut out – I’d like to finish all these projects by the end of the week (ha!).
The tweaks on my fall bag were pretty much immediate. I was going to get it sewn on Tuesday night, but decided to dive into a dress instead. I had the urge and couldn’t resist! Unfortunately I didn’t have any fabric in my stash that would do, so I settled. I got it sewn enough to try it on and adjust the fit, then I went to bed. It’s a very summery dress, which I’m not feeling (despite the 90+ temps outside), so I put it aside.
What I am feeling are jewel tones. Rich colors like sapphire, peacock, cranberry with maybe some chartreuse thrown in. I think I need a few dresses in these tones as transition dresses – things I can wear now in these colors, but are sleeveless or short sleeved that I can layer with cardigans & tights in cooler months. Sounds like a plan, no?
Okay, I can take a deep breath now - we're over the hump...the weekend is almost here!
Lately, portable crafts that I can work on in small bursts (and tuck in my bag) are just about all I can manage. Having a couple of hours to sit at my sewing machine seems like such an unattainable luxury! I often look back and wonder how in the world I used to be able to do that. I suppose this falls under slow summer stitching, though it is definitely reflective of the upcoming season.
When I started making these hexies, I thought they would turn into a pillow. But now I’m thinking they just might be the perfect accent on a new fall bag. Hmmm…the wheels continue to turn!
***these are long hexagons (2 sides longer than the other 4), inspired by this
***Craft Hope book winner coming soon!!