Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Sewing Room!

For Christmas my amazing husband gave me a new sewing room! We had a bedroom in our house that was a study, but never used it. I'm usually in the kitchen or the playroom with the kids all day, so this was a wasted space. He knew that I usually sew at the kitchen table (and the mess drives him crazy) and I hadn't been sewing as much because it takes a long time to gather all the materials, move the sewing machine, bring out the iron and ironing board...etc. So for Christmas he said I could have the study redesigned into my own sewing room!

We had a decorator come and pick out the paint colors, draw the design on paper, pick out the curtain fabric and inspiration board fabric and shop for the baskets and bins. She even came back to put it all together for me. It is probably the best and most thoughtful Christmas gift ever!

For the curtains I found the fabric 50% off at Hancock Fabrics which was quite a bargain. I decided to make the curtains myself and I am so glad I did! It saved me so much money rather than having them custom-made and they are exactly what I wanted. I wanted a print, not a solid. I used the tutorial from this site: http://annasnest.com/article/how-to-make-lined-curtains If you make curtains, make sure to hang the rod first, account for the distance between the rod and the clip rings and then measure your final length. Mine came out a little long because I just measured from where we were going to put the rod! But I love how they puddle on the ground and are poufy.

I also bought a dress form! KOHL's had one, a Singer and it's red, which I love. I found the dress from I wanted, googled "Kohl's coupon codes" and found a 20 percent off coupon! And there was free shipping! We named the dress form Geanette and I like having her around. Now I just need to finish the project I started on her.

We had a pegboard installed above the desk to hold all my tools and thread. What a difference this has made!

I found this cutting table at a furniture store that has 2 leaves that can fold down and it's on wheels so I can move it around if I'm laying something large (like curtain panels) on the ground. It's a great height for me, too.

And on the wall behind the table is an inspiration board. I found a large empty frame, took it to the hardware store, they cut a scrap piece of wood for the inside, used batting and fabric and made a bulletin board. Next to it is going to be a tall mirror but I haven't found one yet.

I find myself in this room so much more often now and when I'm done sewing I just walk out the room and everything stays put. So much easier than hauling it in and out of the storage room!

Thank you, Patrick!!! I love how much you support my craftiness! I love you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Linky Party #3 and Corduroy Dress

After making the bubble skirt for my little girl I thought about making a bubble dress, but I bought too little of fabric. :( Bummer. So I ended up making a dress for her that had sleeves and a back that closes with elastic over a button. I saw that idea from Carol over at http://naturallycarol.blogspot.com/2010/10/strawberries-jam-drops.html Check out her blog. She makes adorable aprons, dresses, buntings, pillowcases...SEW inspiring!
Here it is on Catherine. I didn't use a pattern, but simply traced around another dress, added a gathered skirt and a black band to coordinate. I still have trouble with sleeves. Why do my sleeves always come out so big? They look big and ruffley but were supposed to be small and dainty. hahaa! Oh well I still like it.

And I always laugh because Catherine is very petite, but in all the pictures she's eating a snack, drinking her juice or has her last snack all over her face! She has her mommy's appetite :)
And how do I get the red eye out of my pictures? Is it a camera setting? Hmmm...must look into this.

Time for the LINKY PARTY #3! We had 33 entries last week...

Here are some favorites:


She made this amazing coat! Look at that handiwork! She amazes me!



Check out her blog! She has such a creative eye, very thorough tutorials and loves thrifting.



And if you like even more thrifting/upcycling check out this blog. One of her dresses was chosen for the Shabby Apple Dare to Design Contest. Go vote for her!

Now it's YOUR TURN! What have you been making?


1. Post anything you have made.

2. Become a follower, Grab a button or post about this linky party

on your blog so more people can join.

3. Leave some linky love comments on what you like!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We have a winner!!

The WINNER of the Bubble Skirt GIVEAWAY is KATE from http://seekatesew.blogspot.com/
Check out her blog. I'm loving her owls in her ETSY shop and her ruffled clutch she linked up. She's a very talented lady with an adorable baby boy to sew for :) Congratulations, Kate!

Thank you to all who linked up! I'm so inspired by what I've been seeing! I think I'm going to start a list of things I'm going to make because I can't keep up with all the ideas!

Things to Make/Sew:

*flannel pajamas for my little boy and girl
*make a clutch
*sew something from fleece
*make a scarf/wrap
*sew placemats and napkins for the holidays
*corduroy pants for my little boy
*a corduroy bubble skirt for my little girl
*A-line ruffle dress

More posts coming soon! I just finished a corduroy dress that I can't wait to share.
(Here's a sneak peek!)

Please link up this Friday!
Go Sew it Off so you can Show it Off!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Linky Party and Giveaway!

Linky Party #2 and Bubble Skirt Giveaway!
Sew it off and Show it off!
The Bouncy Bubble Skirt

Since I've been in the mood to try new things lately - small sewing challenges to myself - I thought I'd try making something different for my little girl. So I thought - how about a bubble skirt? Do you ever get stuck on making the same things over and over? I had been making my little girl dresses lately and I could dress her in sweet dresses everyday! So...to mix things up a bit she needed this bubble skirt! And I needed a new challenge. :)

I came across this tutorial: http://getyourcrafton.blogspot.com/2009/12/rooty-tute-tuesday-bubble-skirt.html and gave it a try.

This was, I have to say, a quick sewing project which I love! It took about 30 minutes - so I will definitely be making plenty more! I already bought some striped corduroy to make another one.

Here's another tutorial for a reversible bubble skirt: http://sewhipmama.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/the-bubble-skirt-tutorial/

Now it's YOUR TURN! What have you been making?

The linky party rules AND BUBBLE SKIRT GIVEAWAY!

This is my first giveaway! The winner will receive one bubble skirt (size 6month - 2T) made by me. Check back Wednesday, November 10th, to see if it's YOU!

How do you win? The more you do, the more chances you have! You will receive one entry for each:

1. joining the linky party (super easy!) ....Post anything YOU have sewed and want to show off. Link to your specific post.

2.add my button to your sidebar (leave a comment saying you've done this)

3. become a follower -if you already follow just put in the comment section that you already follow and that will be another entry. :)

*Enjoy! Click around on some links and leave comments on things you like! We all know we LOVE comments! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peasant Dress

My First Peasant Dress
I had never tackled a peasant dress and had searched and searched for tutorials online - but with no luck. I found some with pictures of how to put them together, but couldn't find a free pattern. I finally bought a pattern to try and here's what I made.

I'm very excited about it!

The pattern I bought was from etsy.com but I wasn't completely satisfied with it. I had to change all of the measurements to fit my little girl (she's pretty petite) and the pattern left out steps and made things more difficult than they should have been. The first one I made took an hour and a half because of this, and the next one I finished in about an hour. I will post that one later.

I love that this can be worn with or without tights and can be worn through the fall and winter.

I tried taking decent pictures but my little girl comes directly for the camera everytime she knows I'm taking her picture :)

If you haven't tried a peasant dress before, try it! There are so many variations: short sleeves, ruffled sleeves, three-quarter length sleeves, long sleeves...etc and you can use different fabric for the sleeves and border. I love options!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dresses

Here is my dress design for Shabby Apple Dresses.
They are having a Dare to Design Dress Contest and here is what I submitted.

It has cap sleeves, a boatneck top, a v-neck back, side zipper and a circular skirt. Think twirling! I was inspired by the most current season of Mad Men, Audrey Hepburn, Blair Waldorf (from Gossip Girl) and Jackie Onassis - classic style, modest, yet poised and flirty in a subtle way. Ideally this dress would be made of a poppy color - an orangey-red - perfect for Spring time. I can envision it in a silk or a poplin - it can be dressier or more casual depending on the material. The sash would be either a detailed lace in a cream color or a solid cream for the waistband.

This dress would be perfect to wear to anything Southern and social...like a baby shower, wedding shower, family reunion, Sunday church, a weekend brunch, jazz brunch in New Orleans, beignets at Cafe du Monde, a carriage ride in the French Quarter and boutique shopping stops along the way...that's why the color would have to pop!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Shoulder Shirt and TUTORIAL

The next sewing project I decided to conquer was a one shoulder shirt. I thought it would be fun and flirty and perfect to wear on a date night without the kids :) Here's an example of a one-shoulder dress I found and I was inspired by the color of this dress. (It was found on thegloss.com).

I knew that a deep purple would be a wonderful fall color so that was what I went searching for at the fabric store, but in a print.

1)Here are the supplies needed to make a one-shoulder shirt: fabric (three-quarters of a yard), measuring tape, pins, thread, elastic thread for shirring the bottom, scissors, and an existing t-shirt you have, chalk (my 3 year old's sidewalk chalk works just fine!)

2) After washing and ironing your fabric lay the fabric right sides together then lay your t-shirt on top of it
3) Trace around your shirt - adding 2 or so inches along the sides and neckline and about 3 inches around the sleeve and making it a few inches longer in length. Also use the chalk to draw your line on the shirt from the neckline all the way across the the opposite sleeve under the armpit area. (since it is a one-shoulder shirt)

4) Cut out

5) Fold over the neckline to make a hem on both of the pieces (use the iron and pin as needed)

6) Sew both necklines using a straight stitch.
7) Place front and back of shirts right side together and pin. You will sew down the side that is sleeveless, then sew from the bottom of the other side up and around the armpit and lastly you will sew the other side of the sleeve up to the neckline where the shirts meet. (Don't sew the neckline together or the bottom of the shirt)

8) Trim and/or notch the seams where the sleeves are. This will make it lay better once you turn it right side out.
9) Turn it right side out. Now I folded (put in 3 small pleats) across the top. This gives it more interest and allows the shirt to have some movement. Try on your shirt and figure out how much it needs to "come in". I took in about 4 inches. Pin the pleats, iron them, then sew over them with a straight stitch to secure.

10) Repeat for the back of the shirt (Pleat, iron them, then sew over them with a straight stitch to secure)

11) Now it looks like a shirt! Cut one strip that will be a strap. Mine was 1.5 inches in width and about 14 inches long. Iron one side of the strip to the middle, then the other side to the middle and fold the strip in half. This will hide your edges. Sew along the edge.

12) Put on your shirt and place a pin where you want the strap to go in the front and the back. Pin on the strap and sew in place.
13) To add more shape to the shirt I shirred 3 lines along the bottom of the shirt.

14) It's done!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cowl Neck Romper

Let's talk about the romper look. I've seen them in magazines, online and even on some people, but I never thought I could pull it off. I'm pretty petite - almost 5 feet - almost - so I thought a romper would make me looks wide and even shorter. So my next challenge was to create a romper I could actually wear and feel good in. (Here's a picture of it but this is without make-up...I was so excited I wanted to take a picture of it but it was only 7am when I finished it!)

I used an olive green matte jersey and created my own pattern using a pair of running shorts for the bottom and then just a simple rectangle for the top. I made the shorts then I sewed the rectangle together to make a tube. Next I put the two pieces together. I couldn't decide what to do to the neckline - I was tired of shirring and didn't want it to just have a strip of elastic. So I went with a cowl neckline following the newest fall trend and added two thin straps at the neckline to tie in the back. To add a little "girly-ness" to it I created a sash and left the edges raw and tied it in a bow. Here it is...
The Petite Romper with Cowl Neckline

AND the MOST EXCITING NEWS was I wore it to a jewelry trunk show this morning at a boutique in town and the 4 women working there walked up to me when I walked in the door and asked me where I got it! :) I was simply flattered! They told me they loved the cowl neckline and the color and told me I should be making rompers. I'm glowing :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cascading Ruffle Top with Sleeves

I knew my next project had to be with ruffles...they are everywhere and not going away. :) And I LOVE THEM! I just didn't know what I wanted to do so I browsed the Anthropologie site and decided to combine a few of my favorites. I took the basics of these....

And created my own version of something more my style. Here is the Cascading Ruffle Top made of navy blue matte jersey. I traced a shirt I had and added about 3 inches on each side and widened the sleeve hole. Then I sewed the pieces together, ruffled a long strip, sewed it onto the front, cut out 2 sleeves, added them to the shirt and then zigzagged the neckline and armholes to give it a frilled look. I left the bottom edges raw because this fabric doesn't fray.

And here it is with some jeggings and gold sandals. I need a new model! It's hard to take pictures of myself without feeling funny and the poses are all the same...boring! :) Maybe my sister will be up for some modeling next time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dress with Sleeves and Smocked Waist

One of my dearest friends, Allison, saw my dress with a pleated neckline and smocked waist and wanted one for herself. I was soooo flattered! We came up with the best deal! If she cooks us dinner one night I will make her a dress...even trade in my opinion. Well last night she showed up with sausage and chicken jambalaya, French bread, roasted asparagus and chocolate chip cookies! YUM! I couldn't let her down!

She picked out the fabric herself, a navy matte jersey, and gave me a t-shirt of hers to use as a pattern. I made a wide neckline, pleated it and sewed it up the sides...only to realize the sleeves came out too tight...just like t-shirt sleeves should be, not like this dress should be. And the food was on it's way....she knew it wouldn't be ready for her but I started thinking "WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK...EVER??" hahaaa...where's the positive thinking?? I know! :) ! I told her to keep the food until next week! She brought it over anyway because it was already cooked... I woke up early today and added large, flowy sleeves, smocked the waistline and zig-zagged the edges to give it a ruffled look and here it is... I LOVE IT!!! And she looks AMAZING in it!!
And next week I'm making her a shirred summer dress in black matte jersey....which means another night of her yummy food and another night of me not having to cook! :)

Boy and Girl Matching Seersucker

I've never dressed my children in matching outfits but I've seen so many in children's magazines that I thought I would try to make something like that. I used a navy and light blue seersucker fabric with embroidered anchors and ship steering wheels on them to make a pair of shorts and a pillowcase dress. Here are my two babies sporting their summer look and the picture sequence cracks me up!
Here John Patrick has Catherine and is all proud of holding her by himself:

Here Catherine is getting so excited she's trying to get away so you see my husband, Patrick, getting ready to help out:

Then the little Lady Cakes got away and John Patrick didn't know what to do! But of course Catherine is excited and still smiling for the camera!