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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Day at the Fair

We went to the county fair yesterday. It was an interesting outing. This fair is quite small compared to the one they have every year in my hometown. But I guess that's what you get when you move to a town disguising itself as a city. I love it here though. For that reason specifically, the small town feel with the benefits of a big city. I wore my finished outfit that I made this week. This is a bustier top that I made with some left over black linen that I had after making my hubby some shorts. I used my altered mcalls M6325. I ommitted the front button placket and added a couple of inches to the back length and shirred it a bit. It was just for a bit of stretch though because I still had to make it button up in the back to properly get in and out of the top. It fits like a glove! I am increasingly pleased with my fitting lately. Either I am getting better, or I am on a lucky streak! Maybe a little bit of both. Here I am with my cat eye glasses on. I looke like I am missing a leg here, kinda creepy. But I like the way the skirt is all fluffed up with the wind!

Here it is from the back, you can see the buttons here in the top. I made the skirt this week as well. I made my own pattern. So simple with this kind of skirt. Just a front and back and a waist band. I used a zipper and a button for the closure. In this pic the skirt is a little sideways so the skirt button looks further back than it is. This is my new favorite skirt by the way, I think I will make like 50 more in different fabrics. My son took these pics of me by the way. He is 10 and I torture him consatantly by making him take pictures of me, LOL!!!!!!! You never know, maybe he will grow up and become a famous photographer, and he will thank me for making him take all these silly pictures!!! My neighbors grandmother saw me yesterday and said I looked very 1957, she would know cause she was there, so I was very pleased!

Here are all the animals we saw. The kiddos love animals of all kinds, just like me. It makes me happy to know that I am raising children who are very loving and caring towards animals.

This was little mans first real scary ride. I had the worst butterflies in my stomach, like if I was on the ride! He went on with his uncle, I'll leave those types of things up to him, as I am not a fan of scary rides. I was very scared for him, I thought he might cry or scream. To my amazement, he did not at all, in fact he thought it was "AWESOME" in his own words and had a smile from ear to ear. These little rights of passage get me all choked up! We had a fabulous time and I felt fabulous in my handmade outfit. Now I must take a temporary pause from making myself clothes and get working on back to school clothes for the kiddos. Look out for that.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sewing for Boys

In the world of home sewing, boys get jipped. It is a sad but true reality. As a mother of 4 boys, I am ashamed to say that I barely ever sew for them. Recently they have been taking more and more interest in my sewing and asking me to make things for them. I am making an honest effort and will be debuting a few finished projects on here soon. So I thought that it would be nice to share a few fabric and pattern finds, some that I have bought and some that I am covetting, that are ideal for the little men in your life. All of these fabrics were spied on Hawthorne Threads. I will be showing you prints, since solids are the obvious choice. Monkeys in bermuda from artist Ann Kelle's Urban Zoology Part 2 collection. This is a great print for the younger gents in your life. I could see my 1 year old rocking this with a big smile and a paci in his mouth!

Gears in orange by Rashida Coleman Hale, I Heart collection. I can see this as an accent over a grey solid for one of my older fellas. Possibly the yoke on the cowboy shirt pictured below. I love Orange on little boys!

Car Chase in Blue by Timeless Treasures City life collection. Every boy likes a good car chase, no?

Cute Bots in Blue also by Rashida Coleman Hale, I Heart Collection. I love robots! They are simply fantabulous! What? That's not a word?! Whatevs!

Super Heroes in Multi from the Retro collection by Micheal Miller House Designers. I can't rave enough about this fabric designer and this collection. Love love love!!!!!!!! Jigsaw Camo in Black also by Micheal Miller for the Etreme Team collection. My boys love camo in all it's varieties. They like to pretend that they are soldiers, it is very cute, bordering on violent, but cute.

Skulls in Black from the Pirate collection by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs. I have already purchased this lovely little fabric to make the yoke on the cowboy shirt for Bash Brother#1 for his back to school wardrobe. Look out for that. I love skulls, pirate skulls, sugar skulls, all kinds. Little boys tend to love them too!

Ships in Gray from the same above collection. These are just a few options that I have listed here. Hawthorne Threads has many many more, boy appropriate prints available. I'm sure that on other fabric sites you can find some great stuff as well, Hawthorne is just my favorite. Yes, these are quilting weight cottons, but like I have said many times, why not sew garments with them? It's entirely up to you! I am going to have to make that my official fabric disclaimer! LOL!!

So here are a few patterns for boys. There are very little on the market. Maybe it is just because there are less style options for boys? Whatever the reason may be, with a little bit of creativity you can turn any one of these patterns into something great. Just play around with color and fabric choice.

This is the famous cowboy shirt I mentioned already about 50 times! I love this pattern because it has some extra styling with the contrasting yoke. We are not a very country family though so don't be suprised when my final version looks nothing like what a cowboy would wear! I promise it will be more rockabilly than anything else!

This little number comes in sizes for everyone from baby to dad! Talk about multi-size patterns! Try to look past the hawaiian print please! This could be a great simple shirt in many colors and prints. And the baby's little onesie! Don't even get me started! Although, right away, I would eliminate the elastic in the legs!

Well that is that for this little post. If you would like more boy-centric sewing you can click on the about the boy link on the side of my blog, which will take you over to Dana's Made blog, Love her!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has some great stuff, which I hope to sew up one day! I would also like to direct you to this. I saw it on my facebook feed this morning and signed up for their mailing list. They are coming out with a book all about sewing for boys! By Gosh we will start a revoloution yet!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finished Skirt #2

Here is the skirt that I hemmed in my tutorial. I am very happy with it all in all. It was pretty simple to sew up and fun to wear. This is my baby dog Gypsy! Isn't she cute!!!!!!!!!! Giving us a kiss!

Nice amount of fullness.

Fun for twirling!!!! I got dizzy though...

The hem that I worked so hard on!

The side zip and the fun little heart button. Funny thing is that I got the fabric, zipper , and button all at different times and placeswithout ever intending for them to go together! They worked out perfectly, being the same poppy red color. I got the button first, just one, at a yard sale with a bunch of other mismatched buttons. The zipper I got next at a different yard sale with a bunch of zippers and some old, 80's sewing books that I have since gifted to good will. The fabric was purchased at Fabric.com and it is by moda. YES IT IS QUILTING FABRIC!!!!! I said it, so there. I have no qualms about sewing with quilting fabric, especially the designer stuff which is high quality and pretty pricey if you ask me. So why not make a garment out of it? I wash all my handmade garments, no matter what fabric I use, on a delicate cycle. So why not? Now I am going off on a tangent about fabric choice which will be the topic of another post my friends! Back to my pics of this skirt, I hope there aren't too many. Overkill much?

View of the back. That is not a rodent on the floor, or atleast not a real one! It is the cats toy.

My hard earned hem once again. No wonky hem here, only smooth curves!

In the end I will definitely make this skirt again. I think I mentioned in my tutorial that you can get the pattern for a very reasonable price on burdastyle. It is the Linda pattern, so go pick that up. I am trying to get used to wearing skirts more often, I have always been a jeans kinda girl. This skirt seems like a good one to help bring me around. It has inspired me to make a few more skirts in my wardrobe. Next will be a gathered full skirt though, so look out for that! So that is it for this finished project post. Just one last pic, of me pretending to be a flamenco dancer, HAHA! Circle skirts do kinda feel a little Flamenco-ish! Ole!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Black Pencil Skirt

This is the other skirt that I made this week. I love it!!!! Every girl should have a good simple pencil skirt. I made it out of my favorite black stretch twill. This fabric is the best of both worlds. Stretch for comfort and structure all in one. I can dress it up or dress it down. I seamed it with princess seams for a good fit and I got the fit that I wanted. It is nice and slim through the waist and follows my curves but it is so comfortable! I know I will be wearing this at every opportunity.

Happy sewing everybody!!!!!!!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

How To- Wide Hem on a Circle Skirt

So I am making a circle skirt. I used the Linda pattern on Burdastyle. You can get yours here http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/linda. For $2.50 it is a great pattern to have in your stash. This is my first time making the pattern so it is trial and error. This pattern however is extremely easy to make! I didn't make the lining and I considered underlining it but decided against it. So when it came time to hem the skirt I hit a road block. Hemming a circle skirt takes a little bit of know how. There are a few ways to do it and I had to decide How I was going to do it. I had my heart set on a wide hem. I decided on a 1 inch hem . This is particularly hard because of the fullness at the bottom of the skirt. There are other ways to hem a circle skirt. Gertie has a couple of videos up on you tube and on her blog about how to do a narrow hem on a circle skirt. I would say that this is the most common hem for a circle skirt because it avoids a lot of issues with the fullness when done the way that Gertie shows you. You can find her way here. http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/01/hemming-circle-skirt-part-one.html and part 2 is there as well you just have to click on the link to it at the bottom of her post. The next way to hem a circle skirt is to face it. You make a facing using the bottom of the skirt pattern and face the hem of the skirt, simple. Then the next option is to bind your hem with bias tape, this can be packaged bias tape that matches your project or bias tape you made from the same project fabric. Now To achieve the wide hem on my skirt I had to ease the fullness by gathering the bottom of the skirt slightly, pressing, and then hemming. So this is a tutorial on what I did. I am happy with the results. This was my first time doing it so I'm sure that next time I will do it better. The results are not perfect but close enough for me! I hope this helps any of you who might need it.
So here is the skirt hanging on my dress form. You should let the skirt hang for a couple of days to allow the fabric to drop to it's final position. Then you mark your hem. There are a few ways to do this. I use the hem measuring tool on my dress form.

Then I took Gertie's advice and I marked my wall even with my measurement and I checked my measurement all the way around the bottom of the skirt to make sure I marked it correctly.

With my pins in the skirt and them hem all marked with the pins I took the skirt to my sewing machine.

I lowered the tension on my machine and increased my stitch length up to 5 which is the highest my machine will go. I then gathered around the whole bottom of the skirt. There is alot of fabric here so I suggest sewing your gathering stitches in 4 sections to make it easier to gather. You don't have to gather it tightly, just enough to ease in the fullness.

Then you will take the skirt to your ironing board for pressing.

Fold up your hem that you marked with your pins, and press. Remove your pins as you go and put them back in higher up to hold in the fullness that you gathered and pressed.

The very bottom edge of the pressed hem will be nice and smooth and the top of it ( which is the raw edge of your skirt ) will be slightly gathered.

Then take your skirt back to your machine and sew your hem. I increased my stitch length for this to 3 just to make thing run smoothly since there is extra fabric gathered on the inside. I hemmed from the wrong side of the skirt to keep an eye on keeping the eased fullness laying flat on my machine. I used the measurements on my machine to make sure that the hem was an inch deep all the way around. When I was done I pressed the hem again.

And this is the result that I got. Not too shabby! All in all it was an easy process. Easing in the fullness at the bottom of a circle skirt is similar to easing the fullness in a sleevecap. Just slight gathering and your home free.

Some more pics of the final result. I will put up pics of me in the skirt after I wear it this weekend.

I hope that this tutorial was clear and that it helps someone out there in the virtual home sewing world!!!!!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

What I Did This Weekend

Happy Monday yall! I had a super busy weekend, very productive. I am a jack of all trades, master of........some. First and foremost I will start with a bit of what I sewed up this past week. I was not feeling so well through out the week but I was able to whip up this quick shirred summer dress for my Sissy! It is pink gingham, which she requested. She just had a baby and needs some new clothes and these little shirrred numbers are so effortless for the summer and really it only took about 2 hrs total cutting and sewing time. I cut my fabric wider at the bottom and slimmer in the bust instead of two rectangles, I guess they would be trapezoids....does that make sense? This makes the dress have a nice full skirt that twirls, and makes your waist look smaller!

Then I was Lucha the car detailer for the rest of the weekend. My hubby's birthday is coming up and as a gift this year instead of giving him some random electronic gadget, I made over his truck! Now I know what you are thinking, sounds a bit, odd. It really was quite a simple process, just labor intensive, and my arms feel like they are going to fall off! In total, I painted his grill black, from the plain metal color that it was. I tinted his back lights with night shade paint, I painted his rims black and trimed the with red pinstripe tape, and pinstriped the whole truck down the sides. Told you, jack of all trades! I wish I could make more things for my hubby but he's not really the handmade type, so this was sooooo perfect for a gift for him.

I masked everything off. Sanded, and cleaned up everything with rubbing alcohol.

Primed and painted.

Used pin striping tape for the red detail. This can be bought at your local auto parts store. I got most of the supplies there and then whatever I couldn't find there, I got at walmart. Simple.

Final result. Happy Husband.

I am also working on a skirt, pics coming soon!