Random Sewing–and few mistakes!

Colorful, repurposed, and practical–dress shirt to shopping bag. Also, easily made during a naptime!

Real Life Moment: These are already wrinkling, so maybe not the best use for this material, but fun nonetheless.

Who knew trying to keep my hair out of my eyes during my morning workouts was going to be such a struggle. I haven’t tried the skinnier elastics in a while, but in the past they slipped off my head right away. After consulting Pinterest, I tried a few ideas. The pictures don’t look so bad, but in real life they band is quite overwhelming.

I’m also working on woven shirt draft. I have tons of ideas to re-make with various embellishments (lace, zippers), sleeves, and stylelines.

Real Life Moment: When will I learn to make an actual muslin instead of finding a fabric that I could “use” if the muslin fits the first time, which it never does and probably never should? Adding french seams to the mix certifies my insanity!

And I saved the best for last. This is from April! I made an insanely colorful fabric into a fun, dressy skirt. I didn’t use a pattern, just two rectangles that I pleated and pinned until I had the correct front and back width, then inserted into an interfaced waistband. I added a closure in one of the side pockets. Easy, peasy. The only complaint is it is the fabric’s weight causes it to slide down!

We went to a work function for Eric so it was a lot of fun to make and wear!

Back to School

I love August and Back to School. I’m not heading back, and neither is my little, but we are definitely going full steam. To keep on top of all of our playdates and other appointments, I picked up a cheap-o (under $5) planner and decided to embellish it to make it a little more special.

Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade cheap paper, but I did my best to make it my own.

I wrapped the monthly calendar pages with washi tape to help me flip to them faster.

I decorated the cover with a white oil-based Sharpie pen that I learned about through the ever innovating and creatively inspiring Alisa Burke.

Real Life Moment: There is a reason that you are supposed to recap the pen while you shake it. Thankfully, I caught the several blobs of ink while they were still wet and managed to wipe them off my computer and other targets with baby wipes before they did permanent coloring changes. Oops!

Here are some images.

One of My Most Prized Possessions

My little monkey seems to be a bit of a budding artist, which means I get to regularly indulge the both of us with creative endeavors. I think I started this little notebook at the end of last year. The first few entries were just me scribbling in crayon and him watching or adding a few marks here and there.

Then I found this fabulous washi tape on Amazon. It came in a ton of bright colors and the monkey loved unrolling it. After an arm length piece came off, I’d rip it up into more manageable sizes and put it in the notebook. The monkey helped sometimes.

Then we went to a few birthday parties and Trader Joe’s and ended up with a nice assortment of stickers. He picks, I peel them off, and he applies them. Usually one on top of another.

Real Life Moment: My mom sent us some stickers. Included were frogs and turtles. He calls both of the stickers frogs. The turtle ones, however, are frogs with hats. Who am I to argue?

Gift Time!!

My parent’s are visiting from Australia! We had fun sharing Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts. My dad loved his–and let me tell you–he is impossible to shop for!

And for my mom I made a bag for her to take to her knitting group–without taking a photo. I also made her a fascinator so she can have a something to wear to the horse races. She requested black and white. I put it on a headband and it is super cute. She’s going to try it out a wedding this weekend, so we’ll see.

Royal Wedding Fever

In honor of the royal nuptials, I made a fascinator. Fascinator is the fancy pants term for the crazy, zany little hats that many in attendance will be wearing.

My photos don’t do it justice. It is fun, whimsy and totally impractical. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to wear it besides while watching the royal wedding at home. I’m certain I’ll have a spot or two of tea as well. Will you be watching?


30 Before 30–Part II (Easter Surprise)

4. Put sloper on tag board. (small goal)

Last Spring, I took a class to learn French Pattern Drafting or Moulage. Since then I’ve had a custom fitted block to work with and I haven’t. **Hang head in shame.**

Knowing I wanted to sew more for myself, I knew if I put my sloper on tag board, it would at least be more useable. Ultimately, I hoped it would help me sew more. Little did I know how that would come to pass.

I thought a bit in the back of my mind about making a dress for Easter. The task seemed daunting and I some sewing projects on my 30 before 30 list already, so I was concerned about adding more. I was checking out pinterest an addicting and awesome collection of beautiful images from the web and saw this dress.

I went to look at my fabric stash and spotted a two-yard bit of pre-washed silk noil in dark green that I found for free a few months earlier. I took the fabric and worked with it, still unsure of what would come. I cut a strip lengthwise and pressed it. The design idea was still very much percolating in my head, but I was thinking of the ruffles for sure. I tore another strip, but this one was unintentionally crosswise, and therefore much shorter in length. Then I tore a third strip lengthwise. I pressed all of the strips and worked with my serger to get a nice stitch on six thicknesses of fabric.

I was off and creating. Next I pulled out my newly traced tagboard slopers and used chalk and the tagboard directly onto the fabric and traced out a nice shaped front and back. I added a bit of flare for kicks.

I sewed them together at the sides and shoulders with a beautiful French seam and tried the dress on. I had pressed the dress a few times and all traces of chalk disappeared, so I tried it on one way, then the other to determine what I’d use for the front and back.

I added elastic around the middle. Eased the back neck and attached the collar. Finished the collar and added sleeves (excess after finishing the collar) and hemmed the dress. Needless to say I had a super-cute dress to wear for Easter. Now, if only I had gotten someone else to take a photo of it!


Hitting the Wall

I took this,

and these,

and now I have this.

How would you finish the seams on the inside? I am looking to use a woven, but may switch to knit just because it doesn’t ravel. The fit is getting there, the design is getting there–but I’m just not sure what to do on the execution.

I tried bias binding and it is okay, but not ideal. The bias binding feels too stiff and too rigid for the rest of the garment. I have to clip a lot of the curves so rolling it over or self-encasing the seam doesn’t work either. My other thoughts include a skinny 2-thread overlock or zig zag. Can you think of any other options?

Utility Sewing

I recently made a new make up bag. My previous bag was a disaster–too small, no organization, and it was impossible to find what I wanted. Here’s the new coordinated set.

I love the grey and purple fabric. The main bag is like a men’s shaving kit with a huge opening so I can find everything super-easily.

Here’s the case for brushes.

Here is the case for eyeliners and mascara.

Here is one of the smaller cases closed. I just have to flip the top back to open it.

I love that both cases are super easy to find things and secure when not in use. My previous cases were roll-up cases like those for crayons. My brushes and eyeliners kept falling out and getting mixed up.

Scotch has decided the old case makes a pretty good cat toy. He is obsessed with anything long and ribbon-like. I’ve seen him dragging an ipod around the house by the ear buds before. It is as funny as it sounds.

I love the new case. It is ironic my usual make-up routine includes some lip gloss and that is pretty much it.

Fairy Tales Continued

Remember that story about the beautiful princess? The one that was “to be continued?” Let me share a little more. The familiar beautiful fabric wasn’t all used up in the pant pattern the princess created. There was just a smidge left. No plans were made about what it could be used for, but it was held onto.

You never know.

Then an amazing opportunity presented itself. The princess and her prince were to go on a quest to a treacherous land. A land covered in snow in the winter. Being from the Bay area this princess and prince were a little concerned to spend a few days without their sunshine. They decided they would have to risk it as the quest was too important. It was too special.

In preparation for the quest the fabric was resurrected. The princess amazed herself with her designing ability and just like a Disney princess eyeballed and cut out a pattern straight on the fabric. There were not any chirping birds pulling threaded needles through the fabric, but there were kitties. Two orange kitties supervised the entire project.

It turned out pretty cute, though there was concern the little man the little suit was intended for, was growing too quickly. Thankfully it wasn’t ultimately an issue.

So the princess and prince packed up the little suit and their things and travelled a long, long, long ways into the snowy, wintery kingdom of Iowa. There, they reunited with some of their dearest and bestest buddies they hadn’t seen in over two years!

The weekend flew by so fast. The quest on their journey was completed swiftly and victorious without problem–though the unfamiliar substance did fall from the sky and was quite perplexing to the prince and his princess.

The little man was baptized with zest by the prince, yet he didn’t cry and was very brave. The gang was reunited and much fun was had.

The little man had an equally adorable older sister, a little princess, but so much fun was had by the prince and princess that not a photo was taken of her. The little princess was generous and covered her mom, dad, little brother, the prince, and the princess with stickers. Two of the stickers ended up in our suitcase and now we think of the little man and his little princess sister daily.

Appropriately the sticker was of another princess. Are you getting confused yet?

Since the prince likes to make all stories about him, he decided to get very, very ill a few hours before the princess and he journeyed back to California. He was so ill it took all the kings horses and all the kings men three bags of saline before he was remotely hydrated again. It was not a fun time at all for the worrisome princess.

Here is the prince with one of the two very coveted ice pops he consumed that day. Notice the bin on his knees in case his body decided to reject the ice pop. Thankfully the potentency of his anti-nausea medicine was stronger than his body’s nasty virus and the bin wasn’t needed.

Unfortunately the prince has not been feeling well ever since and the worrisome princess continues to worry. Thankfully, the most recent news out of all of the kings horses and all of the kings mens’ mouths is positive and the prince should live a long life.

The End.