Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unexpected Visits

Every once in a while the drama llama visits. Its OK though, it makes me appreciate the boring quiet times. I'm going to be trying to finish my spring/easter dress this week. So, in the meantime, have a song:

Here's to keeping our sanity with sewing. *raises a glass* CHEERS!

*Wanders off singing 'llama llama duck'*

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Garden Party for Easter Dress

The flower was her idea.
Spring has sprung here in the South. Everything is starting to bloom and the trees are giving it their all. As in, the pollen count is completely insane.  We don't have spring here we have "pollen season". The side benefit of this is I got to borrow my neighbor's  yard to take photos of the Easter Dress.  He's a landscape artist, which really just makes me feel worse about our lack of yard working skills.  I think, with all the trees we have, we might mow the lawn (read: weeds) about twice a summer.  My idea to rent a goat hasn't gone over that well. *sighs*  
twirly skirts are fun!
Lets jump on the rocks!!
Hmmm... I wonder if I can make that one.

Look, a rabbit hole!

 See the underskirt? That is actually last thing Mom made before she died. It made me happy that it works perfectly with this dress. :D

I think she looks like a Hula Girl here.

Time to walk home!
Felicity wore this to school for picture day. Everyone loved it, followed by a "but you should have worn a shirt under it".  Apparently they don't understand the purpose of a sun dress. Normally halters are frowned upon anyway but they let it slide. I told my daughter she can't wear the dress to school again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

She Needs a New Party Frock!

So the other day we were getting ready to go watch Simon sing for his honors chorus at the school. Felicity, in a flurry of activity, tried on all her "pretty dresses" and none of them fit except the vintage party dress I made before I started blogging.  And it was snug enough that this was its last wear. Felicity turned to me and said "You need to make me a new party dress! None of these fit!".  After a stern lecture about how making demands was rude and its much more polite to ASK, I promised one by Easter.  Inwardly I was smiling because it didn't even occur to her that we would buy one.  Even after several shopping trips in which we saw numerous displays of  dresses she didn't like any of them.

So last week I sat down with her and drug out patterns and fabric and we went through all the options.  The 50's patterns got a luke warm response.  Then I brought out this one:

Simplicity 2912

It was a hit.  And I can see why, too.I love Patty Reed's designs for girls as they always have his wonderful retro element and are just FUN.  This one might be discontinued but I've seen it floating around on the interwebs. So, with the pattern settled we started on fabric. I pulled out some that I had bought with her in mind. Pink gingham with floral, another floral, a polkadot.  At first she wanted to mix two floral prints that even Oona might have flinched at. Then I remembered some fabric that I had bought but then couldn't quite see it as "me".  I pulled it out and showed it to Felicity and she said "YES! I think red and blue should go together!".

"I quite agree", I replied.

So we now have this, though I used a darker red for contrast:


YAY! Its a start.  I got the pieces out and used my new and shiny 36x24 wax paper for tracing onto the fabric, using a straight size seven. The blue/grey floral print is a cotton lawn I got from Fashion Fabrics a long while ago for $3 a yard. I have another version in black/pink colorway.  Anyway, by itself it was too flimsy so I underlined it in white batiste. I used the "cheat" method that Gertie learned from one of her couture classes, I used fabric glue. Hey, its a kids garment. I'm not spending THAT much time on hand basting, thankyouverymuch.

Gluing the underlining
 I have to say, this dress super easy after you've racked up some experience points. Lots of pressing involved but it gives you such a clean finish. The red contrasts are actually sewn right side facing wrong side, folded over and then the raw edge is pressed under and top stitched. Clever, really.  The ties are just basically folded edges twice and, again, top stitched.

So much pressing.

  I did a Hong Kong finish on the seams that were left exposed.

I'd say the fussiest part of the whole thing was making the flowers.  The super curved seams, plus clipping, and then the gathering and hand sewing after turning them out and pressing.

Flower template and shiny new scissors

Oh, by the way, those are my shiny new scissors I bought at the Atlanta Sewing Expo. They are micro serrated and titanium plated. Cuts like BUTTAH. Love em'.   The end product turned out beautifully.  I had three yellow vintage buttons that worked perfect as the center of the flowers. All told I put it together in about 8 hours.  I am SUPER pleased, really.

So. That was a REALLY long post and I hope you made it this far!  I highly recommend this pattern if you can get your hands on it. What about ya'll? Making anything fun?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Girl with the Curl

Howdy! I have an actual post for you today, and maybe even a few more over the week that actually have to do with SEWING. Aren't you proud?  I managed to get up in the middle of the day for St Patrick's to go over to my MIL and Dad's place for a traditional meal and MIL's (early) birthday celebration. I hadn't actually had a chance to see either for any length of time since Christmas, so it was due (though the tiredness that I felt later meant I missed hanging out with a dear friend, who is a saint for understanding). And I took the opportunity to take photos of Felicity in the romper.

First, we had to have ice cream cake.


Then outside on Grandma's porch for photos. I used an action called "colorized" because this romper is a 30's pattern. It just kinda fit the bill.

Just a swingin'!
Oh, did I mention Spring has Sprung there in the South? Everything is blooming and its been in the 80's (Fahrenheit) all week. So that means no shirts under the romper and POLLEN.  And I'm breaking out my bicycle and gearing up for our summer trip.

Watching the neighbor's dog run around.

This one is my favorite. Look at those curls. :D
 And when that was all said and done, we had to go back in and play with the new smart phones. My husband's died so he upgraded us to an HTC My Touch slide.  These things are three times as powerful as my first computer, take photos AND HD video, and can do video phone and fits in my pocket. Where the heck are my flying cars? Obviously we live in the future WHY AREN'T THERE ANY FLYING CARS? Or jetpacks.  Seriously.

Woops, eyes closed. 
Anyway, there's an app that turns the phone into a Star Wars sound effect toy. And that's when this happened:

So, what did you do for St. Patrick's Day?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When Reality TV Overlaps Fantasy

 Mondo's winning look from Ep 7 of Project Runway Allstars .
Is it just me, or does this look like something River Song from Dr. Who (10th and 11th doctors) would wear? I finished catching up with Nu Who after seeing this episode. Then I came across this image again and was like WOAH! Mind = Blown

Seriously, it was a much bigger epiphany than the Rosanne Connection.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Retro Romper - DONE!

1930's Bib Overalls
I started on this project for Felicity over a year ago, which seems to be a theme with me and kid projects.  Part of the reason it stayed on ice for so long is due to the fact that it was drafted for an eight year old a good 10 inches taller than mine, and a good number of inches wider. Felicity is 4'3.5" tall and 65 pounds, so her chest is just now about 25.5 inches.  The back of this pattern says size eight is 26 inches in the chest. It could easily fit 28 inches at 5 feet. I'm hoping this was done mostly due to the fact that this pattern is from a time when almost all the clothes were sewn at home and were meant to last a while.
Finished Romper on hanger.

Other Issues: 
-Side Button Plackets. I had never done one of these before and the instructions, like most instructions of the period, were very cryptic. There's still a few edges I need to hand overcast.  As it was, most of it had to be done by hand. I don't have photos cause I think I started this Pre-DSLR.

Bottom of inside placket needs overcast. 
 - Front midriff came undone at first. I didn't really take a photo of this part, but the midriff band is two pieces top stitched together with the top and bottom sandwiched between. I didn't catch the top front of the bib portion at first, which lent to the crotch being almost to her knees at first.  Then she grew two inches and it was just halfway, so I undid the stitches, resewed the whole thing and now the crotch is somewhere in acceptable limits.

Serged and then hap-hazardously blind hemmed.
 - Legs made for a giant! I had to hem up the pants a good six inches.  I didn't want to whack all that length off because I have a sneaky hunch there's a growth spurt coming. I will probably be redoing this hem after the first wearing. Seriously, that's a shoddy job. (Have I mentioned I HATE HEMMING THINGS??) At this point I just wanted to Get It Done.

fitting darts
 - Huge back width. I ended up taking it in with darts, but I did toy with shirring it for a bit. However, that would have ended up being very uncomfortable later.  I did put the buttons on the inside because there will be more than one buttonhole in the straps.

- You'll also see that I didn't finish some of the seams at all. I have a double row of stitching for strength and the fabric really doesn't ravel at all.  So that's actually a good thing.

Another Placket Shot
The few times I've tried it on Felicity she's had this overwhelming need to poke her tummy out as far as possible which makes her look like Mario might have in "The Yellow Submarine".  However, she seems to LOVE it.  The print is so 70's it hurts and the fabric is a somewhat stretchy denim.  We're suppose to be planting more flowers this weekend, so there will most likely be action shots involving shovels and kids covered in dirt.  Hooray for easy care fabric!

I also have a ponte knit skirt I finished sometime back, and the pattern you see taped together underneath is Ichigogirl's perfect shrug pattern.  I have just enough of this Anna Sui sweater knit to make a shrug.  It goes with the rest of my color pallet, and just happens to be called phantasmagoria. How could I NOT buy some, even at the price tag that hurt.

Anna Sui sweater knit
Let me know what's going on in your world! I'll blog about my skirt and the Sewing Expo scores soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sewing Expo Atlanta!

Hey ya'll! I'm gonna be walking zombie braving the day star with my friend Jennifer of Wolf Home Adventuring Outfitters at the Atlanta Sewing and Quilt Expo this Friday.  If memory serves, phone service is somewhat sketchy, but either way I'll probably be tweeting. You can follow me on twitter here, even send me a message if you are gonna be there too!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Hair Diaries

So I've been laid up with a cold the past few days which is eating into my sewing time. Which has annoyed me. I have, however, been playing with my hair.  I've been using the headband wrap for curling, but not leaving it in long enough to do a re-enactment of Oona hair (much to her dismay, I'm sure).  I figured, since mostly it just bores the boys to death that I'd share some experiments here. Today I tried using... wait, do I have to put product names up here? I'm terrible at that. Lets just say I used some styling gel, put my hair in the headband wrap for about five hours, sprayed it with a light hairspray and then shook it out. I had nice waves, but decided to take a  page out of this headband hair tutorial but add a little twist that will let me use my flower hair comb.

Taken with phone* camera

Its got that "carefree messy" that's a little bit bohemian.  I'm still working on how to keep the back in place and not come loose from being wrapped around the bottom of the headband.  I'll update on that later.

*update: I  meant to put phone in the subtitle. I did, really. I blame the retarded on cold medicine.