Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just In Time

March has been a very full and busy month! I finished this block on Friday but haven't had a chance to snap a picture until now. We woke up to wind and rain this morning. It lightened to sprinkles while we were in church and now the is coming through the clouds a bit but I think we will be having an indoor Easter egg hunt.

This is the March "And Sew On" paper pieced block of the month that Kristy is hosting. I think this was my favorite block to make so far, although at some point I will probably change the bottom spool fabric to contrast more with the tablecloth background fabric. The block is called Just Spoolin' Around and you can look here for the linky party and to see blocks others have made. Hope you are  enjoying your Easter! Now back to coloring eggs.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Flashback Friday- A Few from Easter's Past

A few shots from Easter's past.
my sister's...

our home. Wishing you a Blessed Easter!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good Neighbor Dress or the Crayola Conundrum

Scandinavian inspired art print, poster - Caroline Gomez
This week saw the beginning of All Stars week at Project Run and Play. I have been watching Project Run and Play for several seasons and have only sewn along once. That is 1 time, not 1 season. It is very hard to watch and not sew along because not only do the contestants come up with some amazing clothes but the sew along sewists do too. So, I am making a point of putting aside other projects to put sewing along with PRP at the top of my sewing list. The theme for this week is Inspired by Art. We get to choose an artist, art movement, or artwork and create a children's look inspired by the piece of art. Around the time that this seasons themes were announced I saw this Scandinavian print pinned on Rachel's Pinterest board. (you should check out the quilt she has started to make inspired by this print). Anyways, when I saw this print I knew it was my inspiration as I love little houses.
I used Simplicity 5827 as the base for the dress.

I changed up the sleeves and made them 3/4" with a pleated piece of color peeking out to tie in with the collar. I stuck with the color scheme of the print; I don't think I could ever make that many different colors work together on my own.
My favorite color lately has been peachy pink. It must be due to spring or all of the things I have made with Aneela's Posy line. I tried a couple different options for the collar and sleeve cuffs but in the end peachy pink won. It is a Kona cotton, blush I believe. 

The houses are raw edged applique. I have made my girls t-shirts using this method and have gotten good results without fraying or any problems even with lots of washing.

I prefer to take pictures outside with lots of natural light but I had this library shoot in my head for awhile and wanted to give it a whirl. It was fun for a change but photo color and clarity are always better outside.

The dress is made from Essex yarn dyed linen in black. I had been calling this dress the Good Neighbor dress (in my head) as I was making it but as I was appliqueing the houses on one day one of my daughter's came in and said. Mom, that is a great back to school dress! I love all those crayons or colored pencils you are sewing. 
I guess that is the beauty of art {and sewing}. We all see different things. If you would like to see other works of art sew alongers have made you can look here. If you check back on Friday you can see what the All Stars created this week and vote for your favorite. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Posy Two

I finished up Easter dress number two but am not sure I will be able to make number 3, and am very glad I bought number 4! I love this print from Aneela Hoey's Posy line and bought it in 3 of the 4 color ways to make Easter dresses for my girls. I am usually not so matchy but I loved the springy colors of this line. I used a vintage Simplicity pattern to make this dress.

I didn't change anything about the pattern.  I love the darts, the buttons down the back, the full gathers, and the pockets.

I am not sure if I will meet my goal to get the 3rd dress made. It is for my "picky" girl . I had her draw up a picture of a dress she would like me to make. She drew a strapless dress so I sent her back to the drawing board! It is hard to believe Easter is 5 days away. Currently I am working on a dress for the Project Run and Play All Stars sew along this week where you use a piece of art to inspire your clothing. There are already a lot of great outfits linked up. Back to sewing for me. Hope you are having a great week!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Inspired By...

A rainbow after a little rain (you can see it on the right side of photo if you look real hard)

A patch of blue sky and back lit clouds

a pretty stack of fabric.  Textures by Angela Waters came from  Amanda. She makes beautiful quilts and runs an etsy shop. I bought her Inside Voices low volume bundle at her Westwood Acres shop. I don't want to sound like a commercial but Amanda has excellent customer service and super fast shipping. When ever I want a precut bundle I shop with her first. Besides running a super business she is very sweet and generous! 

I am also inspired lately by quilts that have a lot to say. Kristy has been putting this together and i love it!! I want to make one of my own one day. I hijacked this photo from her blog because I like it so much (thanks K!!)
And last but not least, I am loving Jessica's look book Spring 2013 collection. She has been showing a piece each day on her blog and my favorite so far is the white with back polka dot dress which she refashioned from a man's shirt. Pretty amazing!! I think Spring is the season that makes me want to sew the most.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Officially Here

Popping in with a quick , Hello!" By the time Spring officially arrives in our area, the season is almost over. It is a very short season  and summer usually comes quick on it's heels. I do love this time of year when everything is green. By next month all the grass will start to turn brown.

Life has been very busy in the kid department so I have not had much sewing time. I should finish my swap gift today and mail it off tomorrow. I will share it once my partner has received it. I have been debating which project to start next but I have decided on an Easter dress as Easter will be here before I know it!! Happy Wednesday!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Flashback Friday- And This Little One Stayed Home

                                                                  November 2009
It was a dark, overcast day with rain in the forecast. I was dropping the kids off at school when this little one said, "Uh oh, I forgot my shoes". Some days it is harder than others to remember all the things you need to get through the day; once in a while it is nice to have a home day. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vintage Out to Sea

I love fabric, I really do. I try to be intentional with my fabric purchases and buy for a particular project but there are times when I will purchase fabric just because I love it. I justify it by thinking/saying/knowing  I will use it one day.

Sometimes those fabrics that I love so much sit on the shelf.  I love them so much but I just don't know what to turn it into.

Then every once in awhile there is a fabric that tells me what I should make with it. (i love when that happens!). When I saw this fabric last May I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I found a vintage pattern, bought it, and waited for the fabric to be available.

August came, I bought the fabric and it fell in line in my little project line up. I made 3 dresses and a cape with various prints from this same collection but then winter came and this dress was not a priority. As soon as spring peeked it's head it was time to move this little project to the head of the line. I have loved both of Sarah Jane's fabric lines. Not only have I loved them but I have made a lot of things with them. They definitely are not my shelf-sitting-dust-collecting fabrics. I always have more ideas of what to make with Sarah's fabric than I have time for. This print is called My Favorite Ship from her Out to Sea collection. I also made a dress from the white colorway of this print here. I think I am so inspired by them since her fabrics usually tell a story about kids or childhood and that is where I am at in life right now. Right in the middle of raising kids. What ever the reason I can think of all kinds of projects to make with Sarah's fabric lines and I am looking forward to her new line coming up.

I think it is my favorite dress that i have made yet.  I was adding the sleeves when the twins came home from school the other day. After the sleeves were on I held it up to check for evenness and to see if there were any major errors . Miss J looked at it and said, Mom, that looks like you bought it at the store. Highest.Praise.Ever!! She is very particular and has a certain style she likes to wear and she won't wear anything that she feels has a "homemade" look. I haven't quite figured out what "homemade" means in her mind but I was very happy she liked the dress.

I have made collars and done buttons but never together down the front of a piece of clothing and it was a challenge I had been wanting to take. I had a hard time understanding the finishing directions of the collar. I can't tell you how many times I read it. It was written in English but what ever they were saying seemed to be a foreign language. 

I kind of made my way through that and fell back on my motto of "have seams, will serge". I love my serger and I do like the insides of my garments to be as neat and tidy as the out.

There are some sewing techniques that I do not like.  Gathering would be an example. It seems so simple... sew a couple lines of stitching using a long stitch then pull the threads. Simple right?? Pin matching the seams of the bodice with the seams of the skirt then make the gathers even. So simple. I have the hardest time trying to get even gathers. I slide things and fiddle with it for a long time and never can get things even. I had read to steam the gathers and I tried doing that with this dress and I think it really helped. I keep choosing to do gathers because it is a technique I want to do successfully. Practice, practice, practice.

I had fun picking out the worn brass looking buttons because it reminds me of lamps and hardware on old shipsI struggle with sleeves too. No two sleeves ever come out the same. I have made quite a few dresses and tops with sleeves now and I no longer dread making sleeves like I did in the past. I don't think I even had to use my seam ripper during sleeve construction.

This dress had cute cuffed sleeves which was something I had never made and actually enjoyed making. Now I need to make this dress for Twin B as they were arguing over who would get to wear it. I am glad because it was a fun dress to make and look forward to making it a few more times. Linking up to The Train to Crazy to see what everyone else is making and wearing this week. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday- This Week AKA PIP

This week my WIPs look more like PIPs, piles in progress. I am participating in  the Covert Robin swap hosted by Imagine Gnats. Since taking tis photo I have gotten all my pieces cut and am ready to start stitching. I have a partner with a lot of interests so it took me awhile to decide what to make and then it took another little bit to choose fabric. I am going to make the Amanda Knitting Bag by The Sometimes Crafter. I looked around for a DIY pattern or a tutorial for a crafter's bag and couldn't find one that I loved. I kept going back to this pattern so decided to buy it and I can see making this bag many times as it is versatile and cute. 

This will become a zip pouch as a part of the swap too. I am going to paper piece a word for the front of the pouch using my favorite letters by Kristy.

This little stack I pulled for a pillow and am waiting for  a low volume bundle from Amanda to add in to this mix. I know how i am going to make this pillow but it is kind of an experiment. 

When I finish making my swap gift I am going to make one more Easter dress. It is an easy one and should come together easily. Easter is quickly approaching!!
A goal I set last month was to finish this quilt in March. I started to assemble these blocks that I made with Jeni's half square triangle block of the month 2012. I had just started to add the sashing and thought i would make a couple smaller projects before becoming tied up with a big project. I participated in the pre-All Stars challenge over at  Project Run and Play and made a dress and a blouse. This past week I made a dress that I will be blogging tomorrow. Now I have begun my swap gift and then I have an Easter dress and a pillow to make. One thing does lead to another. It is Wednesday so I will be linking up with Freshly Pieced. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been making this week. Happy Wednesday!!
                                                              Grab a button 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vintage Ugly

Last night I read the post over at Simple Simon and Co. about their "You Can't Judge an Ugly Vintage Pattern by it's Cover Party" (don't you think there must be a song in that title?!). My initial thought was ," Wow, what a great idea for a series" and my second thought was "I don't have any ugly vintage patterns; all of mine are beautiful! I mean, wouldn't you want a pair of these corduroy overall/jumper pants for yourself?! I bought this pattern because I thought the short jumper was cute and I liked the easy breezy summer dress.

I was working on finishing a vintage shirtdress I have been making this past week (which I hope to share on Thursday if i can squeeze a photo shoot in tomorrow). I love my vintage patterns!! They are the primary way that I have learned to sew. There are so many sewing techniques tucked into vintage patterns that are not common in todays patterns like darts and tailoring. I could not shake the thought of an ugly vintage pattern; could I possibly own one?? I have seen plenty of them!! My favorite patterns are from the 50's and 60's and all the clothing during that time period is beautiful (think Mad Men). This pattern isn't too bad. I thought the skirt was cute and I might like the dress with a belt around it. It had a square neck line which is different from the usual round neck. Vests?? I have never been a vest person but I thought the longer length of this one was kind of fun. yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Like LiZ said vintage patterns have a good base to work from but sometimes need a change of fabric or a little tweak here or there to take it from ugly to beautiful. In this pattern I loved the drop waist but am not fond of triangle collar. 

Pattern covers can be so telling of which era they are from.  My favorites are again from the 50's and 60's where the illustrations were of little cherub children. I have bought vintage patterns in an unneeded size just because the illustration was cute. The styling started changing in the 70's, I believe, and they started using models on the covers instead of illustrations. I have always kind of had a love/hate relationship with the Gunne Sax dress. I may have owned a Gunne Sax skirt or 2 and bought this pattern for memories sake. That and I might want to make one for one of my girls one day. I am not sure why a vest was worn with these skirts and I am pretty sure I didn't own a vest. You already knew I wasn't a vest person.

This dress is kind of interesting. I like the peter pan collar version with the short or long sleeves. The other three versions have kind of a built-in-vest-thingy-bodice with buttonholes all around the bodice with ribbon run through the buttonholes. Yes, very interesting. So, truth be told, I guess I may have a few ugly vintage patterns in my stash. Not hideously ugly, but definitely ugly; I think Simple Simon's Easter bunny shirt wins. I also have some ugly craft patterns in my stash but that could probably be a series of it's own. I am looking forward to seeing what the blogger's do with the ugly patterns Simple Simon sent out. It looks to be a fun series!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just Another Manic Monday (Wish it Were Sunday)

Another weekend has just zoomed by and I think it was mostly a flurry meals and messes with some fun tucked in. Cole and I did a little sewing. Very little. She made a little fabric basket. I put in a few pins to connect the bodice to the dress bottom I am making.

I wasn't quite sure to make of this when I happened upon this little scene. The twins took rock painting to a whole new level by painting the rocks that are the steps down to our pool...

they also glued (with glitter glue, of course) small rocks and pom poms to a big rock and decorated the mole hole with crayon statues. Maybe the crayon rainbow will keep the moles away- nothing else has worked.

Spring is in full bloom here. The oaks, birch, and maple are leafing.

The hydrangeas are leafing, too. I love how they look when they unfold and the contrast with the branches.

I found poor Skipper left all alone on the swing wondering where her friends had gone off to.

The lilac buds have now turned to leaves.

A few lilac flowers have blossomed.

The azaleas are out in full force.

Last but not least Erik returned safe and sound from a four day trip to Oklahoma to visit a college he is considering attending. I hope your week is off to a happy start!