Sunday, February 28, 2010

By George, I think she's got it!

I actually managed to make a dress! A cute dress! Which I will wear! Ta-da:

It's a Burda pattern (which I altered. Of course. Why do I feel the need to do that every time??) And it's made from a super cute knit that I got at my beloved Gail K Fabrics. I completed it in time for my trip to Hawaii next week, and I'm quite excited about it! Plus it's super comfy. So yay! I'm inspired to make more dresses, but we'll see... ;)

I also completed another hooded shirt from the Burda WOF pattern from a few weeks ago:
The original version of this picture had a head, with an admittedly slightly goofy smile. However, my six year old started laughing like crazy when she saw it, so I decided it would be better to just show the shirt!

I have a bunch of other projects I'd like to do in the next little while, but we'll see what I get done in the next (busy) week!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Well, after my horribly distressing day of sewing on Friday, I decided I needed to stick to more basic projects for a bit. Plus I'm feeling a need to finish up things I've been meaning to do. And I've done a fair bit of that so far this weekend, so I'm feeling a bit better! :)

After my Project Linus experience a while back, I decided that I should do more crafting for charity. I'd also read about the One Million Pillowcase challenge, so I decided to make a stash pillowcase. I cut it out a while ago, using some cute birdies and hearts, but I finally sewed it yesterday. Here it is, neatly folded:
I still had some leftover bad sewing karma, apparently, since I had to use my seam ripper while sewing a pillowcase, of all things, but it seems to be working itself out. (I did French seams, and I messed up on the band the first time around. It could've been worse.) I'm planning to make some more pillowcases; I have plenty of stash fabrics that would be fun. And I found out that Intown Quilters, my favorite local quilt store, is accepting the pillowcases for the challenge, so that's easy enough.

The next quick, easy, lately postponed project was a baby gift. One of M's friends has a brand new baby sister, and I've been meaning to make her something. I've thought of a number of different plans, but in the end I made a simple little taggie toy from some fun Japanese jungle canvas:

I have absolutely no idea why these pictures are sideways, because on my computer, they aren't. Anyway, very simple little circle - maybe 4ish inches diameter - but I like it. Although the next one I make will probably be a square or triangle - I wasn't able to make the circular stitching very neat.

Since Christmas, I've been meaning to applique a little birdie on a t-shirt for myself, and I finally just now got around to it:
I'm a little photographically challenged today, so the colors are off, but I like him. Although wow, I'm about the worst embroiderer in the world - I'm apparently completely unable to make my stitches even! Good thing it's only his legs!

And lastly, I completed the skort I mentioned the other day, and I LOVE it.

Here's a closeup of the flowers.It's pretty much exactly me, and I'm so happy!

I have other projects sitting on my table, but this was pretty good progress for one weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm so frustrated!!

So, this morning I fixed up the dress I posted a few days ago. All I ended up changing was making it a keyhole sort of neckline. I decided it really didn't look bad, after all. I also finished up a denim skort, which I'm very pleased with. Especially since I totally made up the skort part. It was from a Burda pattern, but I altered it quite a bit. I'll post pictures another time - I'm planning to do some applique on it, and I haven't gotten to that yet.

So all that was good. And then. Then. I had made a shirt from a Burda pattern a week or so ago - I don't think I mentioned it. It was fine, but it turned out to have a very wide boat neck, and that's just not something I'm likely to wear. (Very Flashdance.) So, I spent the day fixing the shirt. I pinned and tucked and basted and stitched, and I got it to a point where the neckline fit well. Looked good, aside from being kind of boring. And I played with ruffles and fabric flowers and all sorts of embellishment ideas. But the neckline in the end was a little high in front, and really needed a facing. So I attached a facing, and I completely destroyed all the work I'd done. The neckline looks awful. I mean, awful. Gaping, and too wide, and just weird looking. ARGH!!!! I'm so frustrated, and I'm not even sure I want to try to fix it. Just grr, grr, grr! I guess it's time to put it away for a few days and work on other things. But BAH!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have a list...

a mile long of projects that I want to complete. I'm halfway through two skorts for myself, I have a couple of dresses cut out for the girls, I have a shirt cut out for myself, so what did I do today?

I made potholders. Not, I might add, something on the list. :) But they're pretty cute, all the same:

They took longer than expected - for some reason, I had a lot of trouble with the binding tonight. I don't know what the deal was. (And yes, they are different sizes. Oops. They started out the same. But like I said, the binding and I were having some issues....)

Anyway, I like them, and my old potholders are rather gross, so they were actually quite a useful project to sidetrack myself with. Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow to get back to the projects I shoved over to the side of the table!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

On the plus side

At least I can successfully make things that aren't dresses, lol!

I made another Burda pattern for myself, and I have to say that I'm enjoying making things from the magazine, now that I've finally started. There's always at least one point in the process where I have NO IDEA what they're talking about, so I sometimes have to fudge things a bit, but the end results have been worth it so far.

So this time I made pattern 122 out of the Dec 2009 magazine. It's a corduroy skirt with a cute little flounce in the back, and I really think the end result looks close to ready made. I don't often think that about my creations!

Front view:
Back view: (no, it's not actually crooked - it's just sitting weird. But I'd been trying to get the pictures to work for a while, so I decided crooked was fine. You get the idea, anyway.)
This skirt involved a new skill for me: the front fly zipper. I read instructions, which I thought I understood until I started the process! Then I found this great video from Threads magazine, which I highly recommend. It made the whole process very clear. And it turns out that it's not actually that difficult, despite my fear of the whole thing. I did skip the welt pockets which were supposed to be on the front of the skirt, though. I really didn't understand the instructions, and I didn't feel like figuring them out. I actually like the way it looks without the pockets better anyway.

I was unimpressed with the waistband instructions, but I more or less already knew what to do with that. And the belt carriers made my needle explode (literally - there were at least 3-4 pieces!) because there were so many layers, so I ended up having to turn the wheel of the machine by hand, even with a jeans needle on there. But at least they look nice. ;)

So now I'm thinking I should just give up on dresses for a while and focus on other things... Actually, now I'm all in love with my Burda magazines, so I have a bunch of options available. I have a baby gift to make, too, so we'll see if I do that first or try some more patterns. I'm thinking about trying some shorts. And I definitely want to make a couple of skorts. I've more or less already figured out my plan for that. (Did I post about the failed skort? I guess it's not a total fail, but it's not quite right, either.) Busy, busy... In the brain, whether I'm actually at the machine or not! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I really am dress-cursed

So, I did finish my dress yesterday. It's Burda 7696, and it's quite comfortable. However, it looks a lot better on the model than on me:

It's not terrible, I guess, but it just doesn't look that great. (Interestingly, it looks better in this picture than it did in the mirror.) Obviously, it wouldn't be hurt by some Spanx, but really it's more the neckline that just doesn't work. And the gathering seems like it should be closer to the bust, maybe? I don't know. I'm not loving it. (Except for the feel, which is lovely! It's that same super soft knit as my hooded shirt.) So, I'm going to have to fuss with it and see if I can fix it up somehow. One idea I had is this:

I think it's a little better, but I'm not sure. I need to play around with it. And I might shorten it a touch. I don't know. Any thoughts? Obviously I'm cursed! Although this one went a little better than usual, so I guess that's something...

And at least I can usually manage cuteness for the children:
The skort I mentioned in my last post. A was on her way to school, so I didn't have time to take a picture of hers. That's McCall's 4762, and I've had it forever. I did make the girls skorts from it once before, but these seem to have turned out better. I think I'll probably adapt it for some twirly skirts, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Skorts are just so much more practical for kids who are constantly doing handstands and climbing trees!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Sometimes the sewing skills can be very handy. The other day, M had a birthday party to attend. The plan was to go over to Target that morning and pick out a present. Only when the girls woke up, A was sick. So, since going to Target was out, I whipped up a quick present:
(There's a weird glare, but I was hurrying to take a picture before M's ride took her to the party.) It's a slightly larger version of the puffer fishes that I made the girls last year. I was fairly happy with the way it turned out, especially since I just whipped it up in a couple of hours.

Another recent project was the girls' Valentine's dresses. (They were the next project completed!)
I got the fabric ages ago and I used shirts we already had, so it was also a very cheap project. (M's shirt fits better than it looks in this picture.) And they're happy. :)

Yesterday I spent a bunch of time sewing. I was working on a dress for myself, but halfway through, I discovered I'd cut one of the pieces out wrong (argh!) and I didn't have enough fabric to fix it (double argh!) So I sidetracked to make a couple of denim skorts for the girls. I spent some time the other night cutting out a number of different projects, so it was just a question of sewing them together. With the serger it didn't take long at all. I already had some cute new tight to go with the skirts, so I thought I'd make a quick shirt to match. Pictures to come later. But first I'm going to finish my dress - M and I made a Joann's run to get another piece of fabric for it. (And, of course, fabric for some spring dresses. M is perfectly happy to go to fabric stores with me, but it's very hard to leave without letting her pick out a fabric! She cracks me up!) So that's this morning's project. Well, hopefully - my mom says I'm cursed with dresses, and she's got a point! We shall see - first if I can get it finished, and second if it actually fits right.....