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Monday, January 30, 2012

pink and black and POLKA DOTS!!!!

Ok, so they usually celebrate the 100th day of school at the elementary school.  This year, they are also celebrating the 101st day by asking everyone to wear polka dots.  This is because the school is doing a spring production of 101 Dalmatians.  Oh joy!

SO....I looked through the clothing that my darling girl had and didn't see anything that would qualify for polka dot day, so....out for a shopping trip!  Found bright pink fabric with black polka dots....perfect for my darling girl.

Here is the end result:

from top to bottom....goofy grinning child, back showing the black zipper that I used to avoid having to run out again, and finally, the reverse polka dot ribbon with pink button center.

She also has purple tights with Easter egg color dots all over them or white with red dots all over them.  Oh, and I made a matching covered headband for her as well.

I really wish they'd give more warning, but at least this is done and she really likes it...yay Mom!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

skirt done...on to polka dots!

So, as part of the Pattern Review (fabric) Stash Reduction Contest, I needed to reach 25 yards....well, that was my personal goal.  I had a perfect pattern and discovered enough stashed fabric to make a lovely brocade summer skirt (too short to wear in cold  It put me at nearly 26 yards, so...I no longer have to push myself to reach my goal.

Here's the skirt:

and a close up of the fabric used:

I am now working on a pink and black polka dot dress for my daughter.  The school is doing 101 Dalmatians and they want children to dress in polka dots on the 101st day of school.....lovely.  At least they gave me enough that is currently left is to attach the bodice to the skirt, hem it and put in the zipper.  She also wants me to make a matching headband....with attached dog ears {sigh}.  I guess we will see if the headband actually gets made or not since between now and then we also have her belt test in karate for her purple belt and various other misc. things that need attention.

Happy sewing everyone!

And for those that love soft kitties and warm kitties and little balls of fur.......

the black one is my old man, Shadow (14+ years old) and the gray and white one is Seymour, the crazy kitten (2 years old)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

de-railed and ready to de-stash

Sewing has been derailed for a couple of fault.  I will be finishing up a skirt and working on a dress, then I will be pulling things out to sell as I destash my workroom.  I'm not even upset about it, which is interesting. 

I'm planning on going through my fabrics, beads, beading supplies, notions, buttons, ribbons, every dang craft supply that I have crammed in my workroom.

I'm hoping that, by de-stashing my room, I will have a little extra money to put into savings, and LOTS more room to work in. 

I'm planning on sewing more for the family and for charities but I need the actual space to do the work......will post more tomorrow...skirt only needs a hem and a zipper, then I can move on to DDs polka dot dress for the 101st day of school.

Monday, January 23, 2012

dress is done...on to next project....

SO....last night, well maybe it was afternoon when I was whenever the Ravens still had a slim chance to pull off a

ANYWAY....I started cutting out New Look 6935 while the game was on.  Got most of it done before bedtime and finished it today.  The zipper nearly made me throw in the towel, but mainly because I couldn't get it pinned in place for some reason.

Here is the final product:

and a close up of the fabric (it's blue, turquoise, and purple, with gold accents....didn't come through as nicely as I had hoped):

And finally, the picture of the 15 double-layer fleece scarves I did yesterday morning (and yet, I am *still* tripping over a pile of fleece....curious to know just how much I actually had piled on my floor...hmmm...):

SO...that was yesterday and the dress was finished this morning.  Time for lunch, then I will pick out what the next project will be....maybe something for me, maybe something for my daughter (yes, there are numerous projects stashed away for her as

Sunday, January 22, 2012

football loss leads to sewing progress...

So, the Ravens screwed up left and right as the game neared the end....missed passes, fumbles, and a field goal attempt that I swear is the result of Cundiff being in the pay of the Patriots to throw the I went to sew.

From the previous post, I started working on the New Look dress (the one that is in the first set of picture with the little pink jacket - I'm not making the jacket, though).  It's all cut out, skirt is completely assembled, the bodice and bodice lining are prepped (darts and whatnot in place and basted, pieces pinned together at the shoulder).  I ignored the giants-49ers game, but will check the score eventually....hoping that the giants had their butts handed to them....but back to sewing....

When the NL dress is finished, it will give me another 3.25 yards of stash out of my workroom.  I've got more fleece that I will be cutting up to make double-layer scarves, which will eventually clear up floor space and lead to less tripping when I try to walk into the

I finally got the Simplicity pattern (also in the first set of pictures from the previous post) in the correct size and that will be another 3 yards or there about...woohoo!!!  So...time to head off here...watching a little bit of BBT before going to bed....will be sewing and hopefully getting projects finished and pictures posted tomorrow....happy sewing!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Since I'm not sewing right now, I thought I'd post what my future plans are...

SO.....I've entered 4 different contests on Pattern Review and thought I'd post the patterns that I will be attempting to use.  You've already seen the jeans pattern that is being used for the jeans contest - 2 different styles.....first one is near completion, but I needed a break from them for a little while.

First up is the "Fabric Stash Reduction" contest (1/1-1/31), during which we try to use up as much of our stashed/stored fabric as we possibly can.  HOWEVER, the fabric has to have been in our stash for at LEAST 6 months to be eligible for this contest.  I have MORE than enough fabric that qualifies for this contest, including some fabric that is as old as my daughter (8 years!!!), but I ran into roadblocks.  The first was that some of the fabric I wanted to use hadn't been pre-washed, so that put a delay on my progress.  The next roadblock was that one of the patterns I was planning on using was not the correct suckage there, but I was afraid to make it in the smaller size since it's a lovely little pattern that I want to look perfect when it's finished.  I set a personal goal for this contest of 25 yards being used up.  As of this writing, I have used 13 yards, with 2 more projects that need to be entered, which *may* push me up to the 25, but I'm not sure....have to sit down and finish some things, enter the pattern reviews, then enter them into the contest tally.  There are other items that I want to make....see below.....

Here are the patterns that I want to use between now and the end of the contest:

I don't know if I can get to all 3 of them, but the last one is the one that I have almost ready to go - fabric washed and pattern pieces cut out.

You've already seen the pattern that I'm using for the "Jeans" contest, which runs from 1/15-2/15....yes, overlapping with the fabric stash contest.

Next up is the "Red Dress" contest, which runs from 2/1-2/28.  I thought I had a pattern that I liked, but of course, I didn't have any red fabric...or at least not enough.  Fortunately, I was able to run to JoAnn Fabrics today after my daughter was finished with her Gifted and Talented class at UVA, which is where I found both the pattern I intend on using AND the fabric (and notions) for this contest.  It is NOT my typical style of dress, but sometimes we need something new to get our creative juices flowing.

Here is the pattern that will be used for the contest:

No, I don't normally like any of the patterns that come with the "Project Runway" branding......simply because I find it hard to believe that any of the contestants are actually capable of making clothing that can transfer to daily wear...and no, I don't watch the show anymore...too snarky, too many silly limited item contests, and WAY too many prima donnas  for me.

Finally, there is the "Challenge" contest (2/1-2/15), which in this case is a "Menswear" contest.  Now, part of the rules states that it must be for an ADULT male, which is no problem since I've got one of those in my household (love you honey!), but another one states that it can NOT be an accessory....which led to the question of a vest....does it count as clothing or is it considered an accessory??  Got the ruling back that it counts as clothing.  So NOW, I have 2 different things that I can make for my darling hubby.  The first is a third version of the flannel shirt that we have both found MUCH more acceptable than store bought (seriously, tell me how only the sleeves of a shirt can shrink and not the rest of the shirt)....this is the pattern that I've used for the previous shirts and will use for the next one:

I may be making the vest from this pattern as well, but not 100% decided on this as I have another pattern that I've used in the past.

I have one more pattern that may or may not get used for the stash reduction contest:

We shall see how much progress I can make between now and the end of the fabric stash contest....though I'm not going to try and push myself because I've decided to spend some of my sewing time doing sewing for charities that I work with.

Well....that's enough for now....happy sewing everyone!

jeans - status report

Sorry, no pictures yet.  I've decided to go with the "basic bling" and just use clear crystals, simplistic design.  HOWEVER.....I decided to add edge stitching and top stitching to the outside leg seams, so it's taking a bit longer than planned.

The description on the pattern said these were supposed to be "relaxed fit" and I'm REALLY hoping they shrink a little when I'm done and throw them in for a wash because....well, relaxed is one thing, loose enough to fit 1.5 of me in them is a totally different thing!!!  And yes, I *did* go my my measurements and I *did* use the 1" seam allowances that the pattern called for.  At this point, I'm too far along to go back a re-do all of the seaming, so I'll just keep plugging right along and pray for a positive outcome. 

The one good thing about this experience is that, for the second pair, I know I can go down a  Will have pictures up once more progress has been made (outside seam stitching done, waistband attached, etc.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jeans, part 2 - Butt Bling

SO....cruising right along here with my silver top-stitching...and that's going well.  HOWEVER....butt much sparkle should there

Here is the way it is RIGHT NOW:

small clear/white diamond crystal attached where the stitching lines cross.
Here are the options (other than just leaving it the way it is):

From top to bottom:

Small clear crystals where the stitching meets the sides of the pockets
small purple crystals where the stitching meets the sides of the pockets
medium green crystals where the stitching meets the sides of the pockets  and finally,
the "mega butt bling":  medium green crystals on the side and large turquoise crystal in the center of the "loop"....this is NOT my favorite, but still an option (I can just imagine how uncomfortable it would be sitting on that, so no, while not really an option, it was fun to see what it looked like).

Now for the front:

Top to bottom: medium green square, small purple square, small clear square, medium clear square - these are all at the corner of the "quarter pocket".

Finally, at the top of the front pockets:

top to bottom: large turquoise, large clear

I have yet to be able to find rivets, so I've given up on them and am going to use the "crystals" instead.

Oh, one last detail...the pocket lining fabric:

SO.....tell me what you think about the various "blingy" things and which you would opt for

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jeans, can i make a pair that fits better than store bought

Ok, so we've established that I visit quite a bit and even enter contests on the site.  I'm still trying to get more stash out the door by the end of the month, there's a jeans contest going on.

I tried to make a pair of jeans a year or so ago, but missed on piece that I needed, then discovered that I didn't have enough fabric to cut it out, so...out the door it went.
Here's what I'm working with:

I am starting with view D (upper right) out of black stretch denim with silver top-stitching.

I think it's going well so tell me.....:
back pocket detail.  Will be adding a little sparkly where the lines cross each other - that will be in the next post if I can get it done.

right front pocket with the little "quarter pocket"...all top stitching done with silver metallic thread

zipper stitched in...yes, marking are on both side...easier for me to just smack the tracing paper while pattern is still somewhat pinned in place....and yes, it wipes/washes right off.

plain left front pocket

I now basically have the front of the jeans done.  I will take a picture of the fabric used for the front pocket linings and get them in the next post....good thing is that progress is being made, even though I'm taking more time to read and re-read through all of the directions...more to come at a later date

Monday, January 16, 2012

Next up....JEANS!!

Ok, so the dress counted as part of a fabric stash reduction contest, and now there is a jeans contest going on.  I have grand plans to actually make 2 pairs!!  The first pair up is black, slightly stretchy jeans with silver top-stitching and a little bit of bling.  The second pair is planned to be a boot-cut navy pair.

Of course, I also have to figure out how to decrease even more stash fabric between now and the end of the month....hopefully cutting back on the pile of fleece that I keep tripping over.

Onward and upward.......................

@!#%* embroidered linen dress is DONE

Ok, the swearing is at myself (see previous post), but I think that, in the end, the dress turned out quite nice (though you can see my cutting issues where I didn't have everything lined up properly...oops).

This is the front view...LOVE how it fits and give the illusion of a

close up of the bodice with the gathering and the pointed yoke...definitely emphasizes the bust while giving a waist, need the second part of that more than the first, but it's all good.

back view...also has the point, which I didn't do such a great job on, but which still looks nice.  Liking the collar detail as well...not a straight, high collar, but a little notched bit...just another cute little detail.

Total used from fabric stash: 4 freaking yards!!!  well, that's something anyway, right??

read the directions COMPLETELY you dolt!!

No, that isn't directed any any of my followers.  I was cruising right along on my lovely little dress and got ahead of myself.  Read how to stitch together the right sides of the dress (has a side zipper, left side, obviously) and I kept on going and stitched the left side together as well.


Didn't think anything of it until I went to try on the bodice for fit....yeah, um, there were obstacles in the way, and unfortunately, their size is determined by genetics, so they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. {sigh}  Fought with the bodice and manage to pull it down, and it looks quite nice.  Then came the struggle to get it back off again (took twice as long as getting it on), and a sit-down with my lovely purple seam ripper.  The left side has been separated and a zipper located, so I will attempt to get it finished tonight, though there will probably be quite a bit of cursing going on.

Then the hem, which (I hope) won't take long at all.  Pics WILL be posted shortly....if I don't make myself sick trying to finish this....sometimes I just need to slow the heck down and read everything completely and numerous times before starting off on a new venture....sheesh

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trials of working with linen

Ok...first off, no pictures.  Second, this is a short post.

I'm working on my lovely little dress and of course, there's gathering to be done on the bodice.  WELL...linen does NOT like to gather nicely, no matter how it's been treated prior to cutting.

I foresee that this is going to take me right up to the start of the jeans contest, and I may have to rotate projects to get both the dress and my jeans finished by the end of the month {sigh}.  I'm hoping that tomorrow I will be able to focus on the dress for most of the day as hubby will be at his eye doc in the morning and his nephrologist in the afternoon, with the time in between being spent on building a game table that we purchased and have kept hidden (it was supposed to be a Christmas present, but we completely forgot about it in the aftermath of our family vacation).

I will try to get pictures throughout the construction process, but I can't guarantee anything as there are a lot of ideas floating around in my head right now....later all

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First project for "ME" of 2012

So I am participating in a "fabric stash reduction" contest over at Pattern Review and decided I needed to work on some things that have been aging nicely in my storage closet.  Well, the first choice was a no-go because the fabric hadn't been pre-washed...same for the second choice.  That meant I had to pull things out and see what patterns were matched with fabric that was actually ready to be cut.

I ended up pulling out one of the options that I had for my 20th HS reunion (June 2010).  It is a "retro" style pattern from Butterick, and I had bought some yummy light turquoise linen with darker turquoise embroidery.  Yes, I simply bought a little extra fabric, then tossed the whole mess into the washer....then never got around to making the dress.

As you can tell from this picture, I am NOT making the halter version, but am making the version that has the cap sleeves.  Sorry, but until I get back to a fit and healthy shape/weight,  halters and I will NOT agree.  What I really like about this pattern is the v neckline as well as the midriff gives it a nice shape that I hope will translate well with the fabric that I chose.  And speaking of fabric, here is what I will be using:

Isn't it pretty??  I know, I don't usually do such girly things, but this was just too nice to pass up.  Now, I've already made some changes to this dress, even though I've only gotten as far as getting the needed pieces cut out.  The dress is supposed to be self-lined, but seriously, who wants embroidered linen right against their skin?? Instead, I rummaged through my lining fabric stash (sometimes the stash threatens to take over) and found one that I can use.  Now that the dress and the lining bits are all cut out, I'm ready to sew.

I will probably start on this tonight or tomorrow because I have laundry to do (pre-washing the denim that just arrived for the jeans contest!) and household bills to take care of.  Rest assured...this time I'll take pictures as I go along.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Well, I haven't made as much progress in my sewing as I had hoped.  HOWEVER.....I am almost back to my normal routine, which should make getting back to sewing a bit easier.

Bills have been paid as much as I can until the next payday, groceries have been bought and meals have been planned.  Kids are getting back to their normal routine, though we did have an issue with our son this week and his poor decision making. 

So far, I've made 6 sets of burp cloths in girly prints and am starting on the boy prints and the neutral sets.  Next up I have fleece to get through....lots and lots of fleece.  Some will be turned into blankets, and some will be turned into hats and matching scarves.  With any luck, this will deplete the piles that have taken over my workroom floor.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Ok, so I'm a day late...what else is new?  Going to try to update more regularly, though I don't know exactly what that means since I've been hit or miss with just about everything.

One of my favorite sites is having a "fabric stash reduction" contest that started yesterday - I haven't cut a single thing yet because I'm still trying to get things back to normal after the family Christmas Vacation (Disney, first time for 3 of the 4 of us).  My modest goal is 25 yards of stashed fabric turned into useful items.  I'm hoping to make some burp cloths for Soldiers Angels - Operation TopKnot as well as some fleece chemo caps for my friend to take when her little one has to have his treatment(s) - not exactly for him, but for some of the other children that are in there long-term.  That should deplete my fleece and flannel stashes, which will make my room look bigger and empty....but I also need to work on sewing down some of the continually growing apparel projects (for me, the growing children, the husband, gifts....).  I will also be attempting to make some decent jeans this month (another contest, but it doesn't start until 1/15 and the fabric isn't even here yet, so it can't be counted as stash).

I am working on new items for my business and playing around with ideas for other items but haven't gotten the fine details for those yet.  Pricing is difficult because of the cost of the items I am finding and the equation to find what I should charge.  While I know I need to make a little money off my products, pricing them so that I can makes it seem a bit expensive, given the economy.  However, I have figured out how to make "basic" versions as well as "deluxe" versions, so that will give more options and different prices....details to come later on.

Anyway, this is just a rambling way of saying I have plans!  But we ALL know about what happens with plans...right??

May you have a wonderful and productive year!