Dresses!

I have dresses for the Day Dress, Night Dress contest! I used a New Look pattern and ended up with a wearable muslin. The white version, illustrated with rocket ships and a clock by my boy, is the day dress. The black, with blue underlining, is the night dress. Somehow, I cut the front (or back) on the reverse side of the fabric. I just went with it, so it came out a little less interesting than I had planned. Live and learn, right? This month has been full of sickness, so the best photos I could muster were on the dress form. The dresses fit pretty well to my body both have a bit of stretch in the material. 

Here’s the day look.

Here’s the night look.

 

I’ve also made a few bowties for friend’s pets. These were fun and easy. I based the design off of Grainline Studio’s free downloadable Happy pattern (for humans). Sake modeled.

 

In other news, I think I’m in the market for a new serger. I’ve been working with a dealer to service mine, but I think the needle tension is unrepairable.

And some other photos of how blue the under layer is, my textile designer at work, and the art of distracting sewing “helpers.”

 

Little by Little

When my kiddo came into my life the one sentiment I heard over and over again was, “the days are long, but the years are short.” I get it. Regularly life feels like a groundhog day repetition of the day before with no change happening. Then periodically you wonder how in the world you where you are in the parenting life cycle. Currently that means figuring out schools for your little baby, who isn’t very little but instead eating everything in sight and constantly growing out of his clothes. 

I feel like I’ve definitely fallen out of the habit of daily creating. I’m being inspired by Alisa Burke’s suggestion of 10/20 minutes at a time. Sometimes it feels like I’m striving and doing without a clear road map, or perhaps that I am expecting “BIG” returns each day for the effort I’m putting in. I’m realizing it isn’t always that way. Little by little I need to move forward and then at the end of a period of time, I will have actually accomplished quite a bit. 

I have an idea on the casual dress part of the day/night dress project that involves repurposing a pile of old tshirts. I plan to enjoy the process on that one and if it works out all the better. I’ve selected a pattern and fabric for the “night dress. A latticed stretch black with an extra layer of nude fabric for modesty underneath. It is essentially a tee shirt dress with a few more design modifications. Time to get cutting!

I warmed up with a few kiddo projects: quivers and a tie blanket.

 

 

Sewing Days

Every now and again I am able to schedule a sewing day complete with a bit of childcare. The creative break does me good. Here’s a top I made on one day. The fabric was “run” so I got it for free. I was able to cut the sleeves with the “run” down them and the shirt didn’t have any mars. A cute, pretty quick top (I just eyeballed/drafted a pattern) is what I’d call a successful day!

I got a few great wears out of the top, then the fabric grew and/or I shrank, so I passed it on to someone else to enjoy.

Lovely Things: Rocking Llama

We have been enjoying the talents in our family. An honorary Nana commissioned this lovely rocking llama for our monkey. He loves it and quickly learned to mount and dismount it by himself! Check out more work by our talented family at her shopbearandtiger.com website here. Please note the iphone images don’t do it justice! The image of the llama on her site was taken by Eric, but somehow he wasn’t able to send it to me to use. I see who comes first, or more realistically how incredibly busy he is right now–love you babe.

Also, the “bear” in the shop name refers to Baylor. And can I just say, after many near heart attacks, I was very proud of their win this last weekend. They’ve come a long, long, long way from the football team I cheered as a student ten *gasp I’m old* years ago.

Also, I might need to up my styling/blog look game after checking out those link!

Catalyst: Starting Over

Did you ever have a moment where time stops and you sit back and think, “wow, something big is about to happen.” I remember having one on New Year’s Eve 2012. We were visiting my parents in Australia. Everyone went to bed before midnight struck, but I stayed up and enjoyed the evening by myself sitting on my parents 18th floor balcony overlooking the Brisbane River thinking that something big was going to happen in 2012. Little did I know I’d soon be pregnant and by late October have a little boy in my arms.

I feel like things are in flux again. We are not expecting another child, we have no plans for a move or career changes, but it just feels like something is happening.

Perhaps it has more to do with my season of growth. I’ve been devouring books. Sheepishly, I’ll admit that I’m finally finished (8 years later) The Entreprenuer’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. If you have any interest in fashion you need to know Kathleen and her blog. She’s a generous gold mine of information on numerous topics.

I am resonating with this quote from marcandangel.com:

The things we do right are often NOT the right things to do. – It’s always better to go slowly in the right direction than quickly in the wrong direction.  Ask yourself if what you’re doing is moving you closer to where you want to be.  Know that doing the right things is far more important than doing things right.  There is nothing quite so wasteful as doing with great proficiency something that should not be done at all.

I’m re-evaluating my sewing practices which have lately seemed to be disappointment after disappointment. Instead of rushing to meet a ridiculous and unnecessary deadline, I’m embracing the entire aspect of sewing. Muslin fittings sewn well and pressed beautifully. Friends that help to fit and offer critiques and suggestions. Quality supplies.

Much inspiration goes to Claudine and her absolutely fabulous work.

Up first was going to be a muslin of this Pati Palmer shirt, redesigned into a bomber-esque styled jacket with a lining added a la this unavailable Anthropologie gem. Hat tip to Kathleen for her ideas and info on drafting the lining/facing pattern in her book. Still not sure on the fabric for this–I hope to use up my stash, but may need to purchase something. This is still percolating, for sure. I have the muslin cut and half sewn, so we’ll see what comes of it, but I may go back 3 steps and re-work a block fitting shell for me. This could be a never-ending worm hole, though in part because there are so many ways to do it and in part because aren’t we all irregularly shaped with it comes to things?

 

Fall Cleaning

I have too much stuff. I am constantly re-arranging things in the my studio in order to use the workspace. I half-heartedly tried ebay without much success and am debating using Etsy, Craigslist, or a garage sale–anything, really!

Is any one in need of business books, vintage patterns, tie-making materials and a pattern, or any of the other random assortment of lovely things that I no longer have need for? Let me know what you want, and make me an offer. Let’s make some space, not for something new, but just so I can have some blank space. Doesn’t that sound like a win-win?

Seriously!

books

Colors

I love colors. I don’t know where I picked these crayon up. I have a hunch it was Paris a long time ago. It has been far too long since I’ve been there. I am pretty sure they are Japanese and believe me I am obsessed with Japanese things. From their Pattern Magic books, to other various and equally amazing pattern books*, to their sewing notions, to their pens, even to Hello Kitty and the Sanrio store that was a vacation must visit on our family ski trips when I was a kiddo. These crayons are no different.

You color like a crayon (these are a bit “drier” than a normal crayon). Then use the water brush to add water as needed.

I needed a quick creative vent one naptime, so these are what I came up with. Enjoy!

*When possible, I like to link to the original sources I’ve found for items. It shares other blogs and gives credit where credit is due. None of these are affiliate in nature.

I then hung them up on my cork inspiration board. They weren’t dry so some dripping is happening, but I like it. Here’s a few glances at other inspiration up there right now too.

Adventures in Dyeing: Part Two

Well, after much trepidation, I dyed the fabric. I started with the “less precious” (read expensive!) cotton. I dumped the dye in a container and measured out half to use for my small piece of cotton and the other half for my silks. I used a kitchen scale. To the cotton, I added 1/2 cup (half the amount for the packet size) salt. After the dyeing, I set it to the side to dye the silks. To the silks I added 1/6 cup vinegar.

Nothing was difficult, but it was a bit time intensive (lots of timers set to stay on schedule, etc.) and if you have small kiddos, I wouldn’t recommend it without other parental help around just in case.

I put them in the washer to agitate adjusting the cycle a few times to hit the 50-60 minute sweet spot suggested on the package.

Here are the results!

I wasn’t too sure when I started the cotton, so it may have not been agitated for the recommended 50-60 minutes. It came out a bit lighter green than I wanted. So I was super careful to watch the washer for the silks. They agitated for 60 minutes and I still wanted them darker, so I left them in the water (and added the wet cotton) for another hour or so (not agitated), then finished the wash. After the dyeing I ran both fabrics through the wash with detergent and hung them to dry. They aren’t as dark as I was hoping for, but lovely. Now what to make!

Adventures in Dyeing

I went to a “free” demo on silkscreening by Jacquard. I say “free” because I knew I would probably end up purchasing something, and indeed I have. I purchased some iDye in emerald and Color Magnet (it makes the dye more vibrant where it is painted).

I had a piece of cotton, I’d previously painted and some stretchy silks I purchased intending to dye. After the cotton’s first layer of embellishment, I wasn’t sure if over-dyeing it was going to be too much, but decided to take the chance. I didn’t use any of the color magnet product on the cotton.

Here’s the before for the silks (the yellow is the Color Magnet):

Here’s the before for the cotton (painted with fabric paint):

The after is coming on Wednesday!