Friday, April 24, 2009

New and Improved Pants....

It's amazing the difference it makes to have the the help of a) another person who b) knows what she's doing (thanks, Mom!). My pants have been altered, and now they're much better:

(Ignore the blurriness of my head. I'm not sure what the deal is.)

They still have a much wider waistband than I prefer, but that can be covered with a long shirt. And my mom was able to figure out where I should sew so that they actually fit me and look pretty cute. If I make them again (we'll see), I definitely need to go down a size. I had to take the waistband off for the alteration (twice, since I was an idiot and sewed it back on backwards the first time!), but it didn't really take all that long to fix, thankfully. And now they're wearable, which is a bonus.

I got a McCall's shorts pattern that I might try next - if they turn out cute, I can always make a longer pair for capris. It looks like it might be kind of an involved pattern, though, so we'll see how long that takes me!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Well, I made the Smarty Pants by Favorite Things (the grown up ones this time), and I just don't think I like them much. They look cute on the models, but they really don't look that great on me. Well, for one thing, they're a little big, even though I used the correct sizing. But more than that, the wide waistband and elastic backed waist just really makes them look like maternity pants. And I certainly don't need those! Plus they make me look kind of hippy, which isn't so attractive. They were easy to make, and I could probably make some changes to the pattern to get them to look better, but I haven't decided yet if I want to bother, or if I want to try a different pattern. I have some fabric that's just waiting to be made into capris, but I don't think these are it. Oh well. At least they were pretty straightforward to make, and I did get some practice with pockets. I'll just save these for messy projects or something!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekend Sewing + more hats

Well, as previously mentioned, I've been planning on making the summer blouse from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I've had it cut out for quite a while, and I finally sewed it together the last couple of nights. I used white gauze, because I really just wanted a pool cover-up. (I don't have any pictures.) So, here are my thoughts: I made it in a medium, and it's absolutely huge. I mean, I realize it's meant to be a flowy sort of shirt, but even so, the medium is enormous on me. I probably should've gone with the small (even though I definitely don't normally wear a small!) I even took it in some on the sides, and it's still really big. Oh, and the sleeves were very long - I cuffed them, which took them in about 4.5 inches, and that made them the right length for my arms. I also slightly lengthened the top, since I'd read that it was a little short. Actually, I did all kinds of things "wrong" - I didn't use bias tape for the collar; I just did a narrow hem. And I considerably shortened the placket. I also sort of ignored the instructions on the sleeves, and just did them the same way I always do set in sleeves. I did think the sleeves were pretty easy to attach, though, both because of the pattern and because gauze is so crinkly that I wasn't terribly worried about perfection, lol! All in all, it was a reasonable pattern, I think, but I don't think it's really my style as a blouse. But it'll be a great cover-up. And I'm using the placket idea for another shirt pattern that I want to make, so that's definitely useful knowledge.

I also made a couple of bucket hats for the girls:
Cute action shot:

They're the same general concept as the one I made myself (simple reversible bucket hats); I think I'm going to do a tutorial on them sometime soon. They're fairly fast to make, although sewing around the curves requires some patience. Plus I think my (homemade) pattern pieces for the adult size really fit together better than the ones I've done for the kids - I need to play with that some more before I do any more kid hats. But they're pretty cute and useful for now!

ETA: Well, upon actually wearing her hat (rather than just posing for me), M thinks her hat is too small, and I have to agree. Bother. Oh well, I guess someone's going to get the gift of a hat!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shorts and other cute things....

Well, I did end up going to Gail K last week with M. My lovely mom met us at the store so she could keep an eye on M (and help me dig in the fabrics....) I got some stuff to make myself a couple of pairs of capris as well as some more for the girls. Last weekend I made a pair of short using the pattern (just shorter):
They're really cute, but I'm not so sure about the fit. Well, for one thing, they're big on M (but way too small for A). I took them in a little at the sides, although not in the way I probably should have (which would have involved taking them apart. I just wasn't up for that.) Plus the rise in front is really high, which my kids both hate, but not really in the back. I think I need to alter it a bit to get a better fit the next time. Oh, and as cute as the belt loops are, they were a *huge* pain, particularly since my children don't even own belts... The pockets are pretty awesome, though - I'm pretty sure that will be the most popular part of the whole thing for M and A.

I haven't started on any more of those yet, because I got distracted by Easter gift sewing. I made the girls super cute bunnies (if I do say so myself):
Bunny back:
I adapted a Melly and Me pattern (Petunia Pig - I'd made one for that swap a while back) for the basic idea, and just turned them into bunnies. I didn't think to stiffen the ears, so they flop rather hilariously, which is a happy accident. I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out - we'll see what the girls think on Sunday! Now I need to return to all my other sewing, though - the bunnies took way, way more time than I expected. I'd forgotten how much hand sewing was involved, and how slowly I do that!

Since it's spring break this week, we took a day trip to Chattanooga today, to visit the aquarium, which was lovely but exhausting, so I think I'll be sitting around tonight rather than sewing! It was a fun trip, and the drive wasn't bad - it's only about an hour and 45 minutes. We're thinking we'll take a long weekend up there this summer to see some of the other attractions. In addition to Rock City and all that, there's a Children's Museum that looks really neat. And we'd definitely enjoy more aquarium visits.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Matchy Matchy

Despite my nasty cold and leprosy-ish hands ;), I've managed to get a few things done the last few days. The little girl across the street is having a birthday, so I made her a dress. Then I had just enough left over to eke out a matching dress for her (brand new, birthday gift) American Girl doll.

Aren't they cute? A's doll (Emily) is modeling for me... I actually made Emily doll clothes a while back, and it was super easy. This time I was using quilting cottons rather than interlock - big mistake in terms of ease! The little tiny set in sleeves were a pain! So, for my future doll clothes, I'll have to remember to return to knits or at least not do sleeves on the wovens!!

Did I mention that I bought the Favorite Things Smarty Pants and Little Smarty Pants patterns to make the girls and I capri pants/shorts? So, now I need some good fabric for them. (Well, for me, at least.) I'm thinking about a trip to Gail K's, because I saw some blue twill that I think would be great the last time I was there. The decision is, do I take M along with me or not? If I don't want to take a kid, I think I'll end up having to wait quite a while (since next week is spring break), but if I do take M, there's a 50-50 chance she'll get all crazy. It all depends on whether she thinks it's like Joann's (and I quote "I don't want to go there. It's too boring.") or Intown Quilters (aka, the "pretty fabric store"), which she loves for some reason. She wanders around and touches all the fabric. Of course, the last time we were there she got a little nuts at the end, and I had to buy a fat quarter for her as a bribe, but at least it wasn't "too boring"! lol.

(Yes, I bribe my 3 year with fat quarters. Don't you? She's not really a fabric addict yet, though - the actual bribe was letting her pick out a fabric that I would make a headband from. Although now I'm leaning toward a super cute bucket hat. But I digress...) I think it's probably a safer bet to go tomorrow and take only M than to wait until next week when I'd have to take both kids. I'd be out even more money than I will be on my own!