Friday, December 18, 2009

Extension PLEASE!

Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you are enjoying the season.

It's been hectic in our household but hopefully it will be settling down soon. Most of the cards have been sent with our family newsletter that has highlights and pictures from our year. That bad boy took way too much energy but hooray it is done. Now - a little yummy baking. The Hubby is the baker but I can do a little something.
The One Bin Fabric Challenge.....uhhh silence. I have done next to NADA. I've traced patterns and cut fabric but little to no sewing has been going on. I think the frequent water in the my sewing area has been stealing the mojo. It's a pain moving stuff around to get the water up and my area is pretty unorganized. I will be addressing that soon. We are getting estimates now for water proofing- the first one took my breath away. Did you just say__thousand dollars. Yikes!
So...I am giving myself an extension, since it is my challenge I can change the rules - LOL. I am changing this up to a new year type of thing.

One Bin Fabric Challenge will be January 1 - February 15

I doubt if I will sew much this year. So if you don't here from me again have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CRASH & Crochet Ruffle Scarf

I was put out of blogging commission for a little while due to our hard drive crashing. I know - BAD! The good news is we have mostly everything backed up on an external drive. Right now, the IT department aka My Hubby is getting everything up and running. He's transferring data, loading software, and defragmenting drives. Whew - I didn't know so much was involved when your system goes down. We appreciate the IT department and so happy we didn't lose everything.
On to the fun stuff! A few months ago Gold showcased a cute crocheted ruffle scarf and I knew I had to make one. Here's mine.
Belle Scarf

Belle Scarf

I really like this scarf. You can download the pattern for free from the LB website. It is called the Belle Scarf. I had this skein of homespun for a few years and finally used it. Very easy and quick pattern. I wore it today and people wanted to touch it because it looked so soft. Yikes --with all the germs out there you hate to have folks touching your personal effects. Enjoy your weekend.

Disclaimer - The photos may be a little off - just realized that my photo editing software is missing. I'm not sure what device it came with. I also have crazy shadows dancing across my face. Oh well! I'm off to sew.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Made IT! Monday - 11/2/09

As you know Halloween was the past weekend and of course I had to make a costume. My daughter wanted to be a fairy and my son kept changing his mind, so I made my daughter's costume and my son wore Batman PJ's. I didn't make the wings but bought them from the dollar store and embellished them. I know they don't match and they are gaudy but hey I was being cheap! I did have to go to the fabric store to buy material for her costume but since I sewed it up I am still true to my One Bin Fabric Challenge. I have some things cut out that will be sewn soon.
Her birthday is the day after Halloween so she is too excited. We typically celebrate the week after so she can be the star! Her party is this weekend so not much sewing going on but after that - it's on!

Here's my little fairy enjoying Halloween.



Sunday, October 18, 2009

One Bin Fabric Challenge

I've blogged before about the water that sometimes gets into our basement when we have heavy rains. When we got the super heavy rains, that caused severe flooding in some parts of GA, we had more water than usual. We don't get a ton in our basement, but just enough to be annoying. During the last clean-up a thought popped into my - what if my fabric got ruined! Yikes - the very thought made me shudder. I keep it in storage bins so I'm sure it is fine, but what if.....There was sweat and tears and of course money put into my collection of fabric so losing it would be devastating. Then it occurred to me that maybe I should put accumulation on pause for a minute and turn those flat pieces of fabric into wearable items or at least attempt to transform them.
So with the help of my 3 year old, I started filling a new storage bin with fabric that I want to sew and of course it was easy to fill. Then I thought it would be fun to do my own challenge or contest. I will challenge myself to eliminate 1 bin from my collection (you see I am not revealing how many I have - yep intentional) by December 31st. I know this is an impossible challenge for me - you see my rate of production but I love to challenge myself. If I just clear half a bin I will be happy. I think this is a great way to bring in the new year. The bin has cotton, fleece, flannel, wool, polyester suiting, etc. and I've selected my patterns to correspond. I only have two guidelines: 1. If I decide I want to work with a new fabric I can add it and remove something else 2. If I need fabric for a project that I will sew immediately then I can purchase it. Wish me luck! I'll feature my finished projects on Made IT! Mondays. If anyone else wants to lighten their loads as well please join in with me!
My adorable and very active little helper

The Fabric

I leave you with a parting shot of our adventure today. Our family went to a state park and observed this spectacular view.

Amicalola Falls State Park

Friday, October 2, 2009

More Pics for Refashion/Re-Form Friday

I just remembered that I took a before pic of the mirror - so you can see the transformation. I also took another pic this morning of the finished product. Natural light is a good thing. Now you can actually see the detail.

One of my neighbors just dropped her stuff off and it puts my stuff to shame! All in the name of charity:) I didn't ask if I could post it but I may sneak a photo to show you all later. Make it a great weekend.

Refashion/Re-form Friday

I am playing with some different themes on my blog (ie Made IT! Monday and today's theme). I am just trying something new. I have all these ideas in my head and I am trying to make them tangible. This is a Re-Form post.
A family friend, who is the creator of the event HOTOBERFEST here in Atlanta asked that I work with the little ones to make some art out of recycled materials. The art will be sold to benefit the Joseph B. Whitehead Boys and Girls Club. If you are in town this Saturday come check it out. I will be volunteering in one of the booths.
Project #1 - We had some leftover while tiles from a bathroom in our old house. In Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts book she has a project on making coasters and trivots using old tiles and ceramic paint (you "fire" the tiles in the oven after you paint them so the paint sets and is dishwasher safe and heat resistant). My daughter painted these by using non-writing end of a color pencil and toothpicks (the kind where one end is a small circle). I think she did a good job. I helped by filling in some of the empty spaces. I learned that I need to take a back seat in her creative process. I think I gave a little too much direction because she got frustrated fast. We added felt to the bottoms so they won't scratch surfaces.

Project #2 was made from a mirror I found at a thrift store for a buck. I sanded it down and then painted it a solid color. I found some old CD's in the basement (while moving boxes out of water) that we bought awhile ago but never used because they were the wrong type of rewritable discs. The technology is now obsolete due to jump drives. I cut the CD's up (this part should be done by adults only) and then glued them to the mirror. Little people can help with arranging the pieces - though with care and close supervision because some of the pieces can be sharp depending on how you cut them. The end result is kind of cool. One CD was silver and the other was blueish. It was tough to get a good picture because the mirror and CD pieces are reflective. I had to do most of this project because of the sharp pieces involved.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Made IT! Monday - 9/28/09

With the arrival of Fall, new clothes are needed for the season - clothing with more weight, texture, and new colors. My daughter is first up on the the Fall sewing list. I had some leftover twill from a pair of capris I made her when she was 2 but not enough to make the skirt she wanted. Digging through my stash I found this fun floral print that I bought to make patches for her jeans. The pattern calls for just 3 tiers and I wanted the last tier to be the lighter weight material so their would be a little motion to the skirt. I added the floral material to the 2nd tier to break up the khaki. She has some adorable boots that will match with this. I hope she will be a willing model soon, so you can see the skirt in action.

Simplicity 4206

More about MADE IT! Monday later. I have been silent due to the life and also our basement (where I sew) got its share of water during all the flooding in GA. My sewing space is a wreck but I sewed in the dining room. Which is an adventure with 2 little people that are very curious about my machines and notions. Edit - not sure why the picture is not centered properly but when you click on it, it is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meet Grace

Say hello to my new right hand girl - Grace.
She is part of the Babylock family also known as BL40A. My mommy purchased this little gem for me back in May but it was on back order until July. Isn't my mommy so sweet! She insisted that I needed a new machine since I was using her old Singer from the mid-80's. I haven't had time to take my new owner's class yet - the kids are keeping me oh so busy this summer, but that hasn't stop me from playing with her. I did purchase from a authorized dealer here in GA so I could have local support. As I use her more and more I'll let you know how she runs. My old Singer will still be used just not as frequently. I think it will be fun to have 2 machines. Does that mean double productivity? In my case since I haven't been sewing 0 x 2 still = 0. I'm buckling down and really trying to manage my time better. Hope to see some results soon from my efforts and I plan to have more to show. Plus one kid is heading back to school so that gives me a little extra time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's on Your Sewing Table?

I have a few things on mine. I really need a sundress or two or three for that matter. It is really hot here in Atlanta. I has been in the 90's and will continue on through next week. The kids and I hit the zoo and a pool today - it was hot as hades out there. I have Butterick 5083 cut in a very busy cotton print.
I found a striped knit at one of the neighborhood discount fabric stores along with the sundress material mentioned above. There are 2 discount fabric stores near my house. I'll have to post about them one day. Anyway, I think I want that fabric to turn into a cap sleeve raglan T-shirt. I'll be modifying a long sleeve raglan pattern.

The third thing is New Look 6470 view D with this fabric.
I know several people bought this fabric last year from Hancock. It's time that is has left the stash and turned into something. I'm not sure how much I'll get done this weekend but I'll steal some time here and there to sew.
Here are all the fabrics I bought during that trip to the fabric store. I went in to find something for the sundress and left with a few extras. The first pic shows the 2 wovens and the second pic shows the 3 knits. I told myself that I had to have something in mind for each fabric before purchasing. There was so much more I could have bought.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Built by Wendy Bandwagon - Simplicity 3835

Has it been that long! Geez! Life has been busy - the Little Guy had a rocking 3rd B-day party, my daughter graduated from Pre-K, my mom and in-laws visited, and we made a trip to TN.

On with the post, I finally made this super simple Built by Wendy shirt that has been made like a million times. I love how easy this shirt is to make and I think it's cute. If you've read the reviews, you know there are fitting issues and of course I didn't modify for these (ie a little snug in the arm area and the neckline is a little high). Next time I'll make it a little roomier in the arms and maybe scoop out the neckline a little. An old co-worker of mine use to sew like crazy but now only sews home dec stuff. She gave me a few items from her apparel fabric stash back in 2006 and this was one of the pieces. I will make one of the dresses but no time soon:) I am trying to get the summer wardrobe in order.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My First Burda

I decided to take the plunge and purchase my first Burda Magazine. This was a little birthday present to myself. My birthday was at the end of April. I was very excited to try Burda but now I'm a little intimidated by the tracing and instructions. The pattern pieces look like a crazy map. There are lines and colors everywhere. There are several things though that I like from this May issue.
I like this basic top with short sleeves.

This skirt is cute. They also show it with a bow.

This looks like a easy summer dress.

This would be a good spring/summer church dress.

Right now I have little time to sew because my son's birthday is this upcoming weekend and he is having his first "real" party.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and godmothers. Enjoy your special day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Top Week

Sew, Mama, Sew introduced a new contributor - Rae this week. I've checked her blog out before and of course downloaded her Buttercup Bag which is so cute. I plan to make it this summer. She is doing a Spring Top Week next week (April 27 - May 1) and I thought it would be fun to join. So if you need some spring and summer tops like I do, join in. All the rules are listed on her site or click here. Of course I am suppose to be doing buttonholes this month but you know all things are subject to change. I am also working on a dress for a wedding next weekend. Details to come. Enjoy your weekend. The weather is great here in Atlanta so it will be hard to go into the "Chop Shop" (what I call my sewing room). I'll tell you guys all about it one day but just know it is a scary place - LOL. Oh yeah here is the button to put on your blog if you plan to participate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The title is the pattern name of this hat. I thought it was really cute when I first saw it in the book Get Your Crochet On: Hip Hats and Cool Caps by Afuya Imobu. It was suppose to be for my hubby and finished by the beginning of the year so he could wear it in the cold weather. I blew 2 out of 2 on this one because as you can see from the model it is a bit small and checking the date you'll know that I'm way passed January. Anyway, it looks so adorable on my son and I had my daughter try it on to see if it would work for her. It does, I will be making her one but adding a flower to girl it out. I don't know how I messed up the sizing. I do tend to crochet very tightly so that is probably the cause. I checked the hat half way through and it was okay - Oh well. Don't ask why his mouth is open in the photos... It was impossible to get decent shots of him since it was passed bedtime.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Additions to My Sewing Library

My sewing library is pretty sparse so I was super excited when I actually got a hit while doing a search on Craigslist for sewing books. I've tried before and got nothing. Look what I found... and the seller just wanted $20 for all 4.

We talked briefly because of course I wanted to know why she was getting rid of such great sewing books. She said that she was a terrible seamstress and has really gotten into spinning her own yarn (saving up to purchase a new spinner - I think that's what they are called). She loves to knit and crochet so we will be friends on ravelry, though I have yet to post any of my work. She was really sweet. Yippee, I love books and of course love getting them on the cheap.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Simplicity 3887 - Spring Top #1

Here is my first 2009 spring top. This pattern is really simple and yields a cute result. I used a green crinkled cotton which was pretty lightweight. I made a French seam for the first time. I originally made view C but cut 5 inches from the bottom. I liked the top shorter. I also did the flutter sleeve from view E. I originally wanted to add a few fabric flowers from the book Fun to Wear Fabric Flowers. After a few failed attempts I unraveled the flower and created this pleated design.

I thought it added something "extra" to the top and went with it. I wore it to a baby shower today and my baby sis told me I looked cute.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

All for 30 Cents

I was at a local thrift store trying to find some groovy containers to plant some flowers or vegetables in from my non-existent garden. I've got seeds, dirt, and a plan but not much beyond that. Back to sewing, I found these little gems for 10 cents a piece and they are size 14 (bust size 36). I think I am a 10/12 in pattern size but I'm not sure if vintage patterns run more true to measurement. The print dates range from 1969 to 1972 - all before I was born. I don't plan to tackle these any time soon but I do like the simplicity (no pun intended) of the dresses and the subtle details.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March UFO

Okay this is pretty sad but I did get one UFO completed for March. I hate to post it because it was so dang easy. March was suppose to be UFOs and spring tops. I will roll the spring tops into April but I am still going to take on buttonholes. I really need some tops BAD!

This is a easy peasy knit skirt (Butterick) for my daughter. I made the top in February so she could wear it to her Valentine's breakfast. I am trying to turn this into a TNT T-shirt pattern for her. I have some minor fitting things to work out. Anyway, I ran out of thread so I couldn't finish the skirt in time for the breakfast. I just put it on hold. For the hem, I used a twin needle and I used wooly nylon in the bobbin for the first time. My tension was off because I have major tunneling. I added a little star to the skirt for some detailing. Excuse the wrinkles - she was doing a bunch of crazy poses before I could get her to stand still.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Review - Butterick 5249

Front View

Back View

Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The only think that I disliked initially is that the instructions recommended that you hem the skirt by hand. However, I found this to be quite relaxing once I got into it. I have never hemmed anything by hand.
Fabric Used:
Stretch cranberry corduroy from my collection.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut a size 12 but ended up taking in about 1" on the side seam (rather than the recommended 5/8"). I think that would have placed me closer to a 10. I am a little apprehensive about cutting a 10 next go round since I had a stretch material this time which could accommodate being snugger. I don't know if a 10 will be too tight or am I truly somewhere between a 10 and 12.
The hip area did not fit me correctly. When I initially tried on the skirt, the hip area ballooned out. I changed the shape by sewing a slightly angled line in that area and it hugged my curves correctly.
I did the facing differently. See techniques section below for the link. I attached the facing directly to the zipper.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I would love this in a stretch denim.
New Techniques I learned:
Click on technique for more information -
How to install an invisible zipper Click here
How to mimic RTW facings Click Here
Hemming by hand Click Here
I love the way this skirt fits. I didn't think I could do the high waist since I am naturally high waisted. Now my confession...while finishing one of the raw edges of the panels, my fabric flipped over and I cut through a very visible area of my skirt. I cried, seriously. It's right on my bum - can't see it in the photo but it is there. I guess I could wear a long sweater or a shirt out like my photo. Anyway I was bound and determined to finish this since my goal was to increase my sewing skills. Mission accomplished but I am not sure if I will ever wear this. Oh well!

Now I have some questions. When finishing seams do you typically leave them open like I have below or serge them together. I also think I didn't need to fold over the raw edge of my hem but could have simply left it flat since I serged the edge, resulting in a less bulky finish. What type of hand stitch is typically used for a hem?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hand Sewing

I am half way done with hand sewing the hem of my skirt. The directions instruct you to do this and I was not feeling it until I emailed Erica B. (she made this skirt awhile ago in a different view). She was kind enough to respond and yep she hemmed her skirt by hand. That is not what I wanted to hear since I have never hand sewn a hem or done any hand sewing for that matter. So I start researching hand sewing. I used sewing books, magazines, and on-line resources. I like a hand sewing video series on Very clear and easy to follow. Check it out if you are new to hand sewing like me. I have listed the link to the intro but you should be able to see all the featured stitches.

Should be done tomorrow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Still Around

I am still in the land of the living. My sewing room is back in tack but I had to set-up shop in the same place. My hubby and his father came up with a solution to handle the water that gets into the basement. Not sure when they are going to execute it since we are due to get a couple days of rain. I hope they get it done soon.
I was the book fair coordinator at my kids' school so that consumed two weeks - still doing the follow-up stuff. I am glad the fair is over, I need to train someone. This is the 3rd one I've done. I should have something(s) to post this weekend.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Refashion - DIY TeenVogue

I was over at Wardrobe Refashion and someone posted a link to TeenVogue where they are featuring quite a few DIY and Refashion ideas. The cool thing is they have known designers sharing the ideas like Tory Burch, Jason Wu, Peter Som, etc. Of course they are appealing to the younger set but if you are into refashion and DIY style you'll definitely be inspired.
I think the Tory Burch v-neck & shirt combo is cute. Go check it out.

photo from TeenVogue

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Back, Well Not Really

I got back from the mountains of West Virginia on Wednesday night all ready to get my skirt done. I worked on it for a little while on Thursday since my little guy goes to preschool this day. I got up this morning at 6 am to knock it out and guess what I find in my sewing area - water, water, everywhere. Yep, my area in the basement flooded. So I moved stuff around and this afternoon my hubby will bring a shop-vac from his office to clean up the water. My sewing area is in disarray and I'm not very happy. Looks like I will not finish my garment this month. Blimey! I may have to set up a whole new area which could takes weeks. Arrggghhh!So I am back but not back to sewing anytime soon.

On a happy note we did have a good time in WV snowboarding and skiing. Here are some pics of the trip.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's Going On?

I mentioned in my previous post that I experienced some creep when sewing my back seam. This occurred again when sewing together one of the back panels. See picture below - the bottom of the skirt is at the top of the photo. The first 2 panels do not line up but the last 2 panels line up. My material is a stretch corduroy. When I pin my pieces together they line up just fine but as I am sewing the material starts to creep. Does anyone know what's going on? I don't think I cut my pieces that off, but who knows.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Zipper is In

I finally got the invisible zipper into my skirt and it wasn't too bad. I used a variation of the tutorials I posted previously. I used my standard zipper foot but I think I will purchase an invisible zipper foot in the future to see if it makes a difference. I do have an issue though. When sewing the seam under the zipper, I experienced some serious creep - as in my hem line between the two pieces joined is not matched (off by almost 1/2"). I ripped out the seam and tried it again, but the same thing happened. I think the skirt will be a tad too long as is so it will work out but that was strange.

I am going to attach the facings to the skirt using a method I stumbled across while reading Dawn's blog. She has a link to a tutorial on RTW style zipper facings. I have never completed a facing - yep I've got 2 skirts that are UFO's because I stopped at the facings. I told you guys I am scary when it comes to sewing new things. I guess I get a bonus goal to accomplish since I decided to take on zippers using a skirt pattern. Here's my zipper. Oh yeah I'm up in the mountains so this was done last week but I was packing for this trip.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's GLAMOUR-ous to Sew

I was reading the February Glamour magazine with Eva Longoria Parker on the cover and guess what? She loves to sew.

The author mentioned that she would not have believed this but saw a sewing machine in the corner of her trailer. They didn't go into detail about what she likes to sew though I wish they would have. I am very curious about what type of sewing she does. We often hear about celebs that knit but I wonder what other celebs enjoy sewing. Well my sewing sisters - I feel a little more glamorous don't you?
And yes, I am getting around to that zipper. Hopefully the weekend will allow me to do a little sewing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Okay Butterick

My mission was to not buy any patterns for a few months because I would like to get a 6 month Burda World of Fashion subscription by midyear. I am really interested in seeing what all the hype is around BWOF. But...when I saw these Butterick patterns I said, "Okay Butterick - you're not helping my cause, here."

I love these dresses. I have a wedding to go to in August and either one of these would be perfect.

Like Adrienne, I love this pattern. I think it fits my lifestyle as a SAHM of two little ones that still wants to look cute.

I don't necessary like this pattern but I love the fabrics they selected. For some reason they just speak to me.