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Friday, September 30, 2011


It's Give away time!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would like to take this moment to thank all of you who follow my little adventures in sewing and motherhood!!!!! When I started this blog a few months ago, I wasn't sure that it would attract any traffic, I mean, what was I gonna write about? But the beauty of a blog, is that you can write about anything you want! The world is a small place and there is bound to be at least one person who gets you. So to thank all of you who get me, here is a gift!!!! This is a lovely vintage vogue repro pattern V2960. It is brand new and uncut in size DD (12-14-16-18). It would make a lovely addition to any retro sewing pattern stash and hopefully a beautiful dress!! All you have to do is be a follower of this blog, new followers welcome, and comment on this post. I will pick a winner randomly on Monday evening and send this pattern off to it's new home.

     AMENDMENT: I realized I didn't give you a topic to comment about! You can tell me what fabric you would use to make this pattern out of, that should be fun!!!! If you already commented and did not write on this topic, don't worry!!! I love alll and any of your lovely comments and they will still put you in the drawing for the pattern!!!!!! Have a lovely weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you all again for stopping by my little corner of the web!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Completed Circle Skirt

 Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! I completed my circle skirt for Casey's sew along!!!!!!!!! Here it is, in all it's leopard print glory!!!! I love this skirt!!!! It is an attention grabber, with all of that leopard, how could you not stare?
 It went together flawlessly. I did not have to rip a single stitch. Even the horse hair braid went in without a hitch. It did a great job of giving me a swinging hem. I feel very girly in it and am prone to fits of spinning while wearing it.
 So here are a bunch of Pics to celebrate it. On another note, I love my hair in these pics!!!! I set my hair using foam rollers a la Tasha!!! I will thank her endlessly for her tutorial which has changed my hair routine forever!!!!! You can check out her tutorial and have your mind blown here.

 Here I am showing off my horse hair braid, not trying to show off my pastey legs.
 Here I am walking back towards my house. My husband was very cute in taking pictures of me as I walked away.
And the funny candid shot. I need to close my mouth before I catch a fly in it.
Well there you have it. All in all it was such a fun simple project. Who doesn't love a circle skirt? And now thanks to Casey's measurements, I have a perfect circle skirt pattern which I went ahead and cut out in muslin to have to use forever and ever, or at least until I gain an obligatory 5 lbs during the holidays.

I have also noticed that I now have 15 followers!!!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!!! I smell a give away coming!!!!           
Keep your peepers peeled!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Pics of the Shirt and Hemming the Skirt.

So as promised, here are some more pics of my shirt. It has a definite 40's feel to it even though it is a modern pattern. Again, it is New Look 6598 and I sewed view B.
The sleeves have this notch detail which was a bit of a pain to sew. In theory it was very simple, I just kept messing it up! You have to cut through the fabric right up to the stitching before you turn the notch or it will pucker something awful! I kept cutting through my stitching. So the notch is a bit bigger on my shirt than it is meant to be, oh well. The collar was also interesting to say the least. It goes together well, except the facing comes in 3 pieces which you have to sew together before attaching it. I only used 2 of the pieces. The third piece was for the very back of the neck at the very bottom. I found that I didn't need it. I know that the people who make these patterns know better than I do, but whatever. Next time I will re-draft the facing to include this portion but so that the facing is still done in 2 pieces.

                                            Check me out with my Katy Perry hair!!!!!!!

Now on to the circle skirt. I am hemming it with horse hair braid. I have never done this before so it is trial and error. I read a few tutorials online. One is by the wonderful Gertie. You can find it at her blog here. I also read an informative post over at Sew Country Chick.
First of all, I had no idea how much to buy, so I bought double the amount of my fabric. So I used 4 yards of fabric, and I bought 8 yards of HH braid, which ended up being more than I needed. First I sewed the braid to the outside all around the hem.
Then I folded it inward and pressed the fabric covered edge with my iron, careful not to press on top of the braid. I still have not sewed the braid down. I am afraid of this step. This braid does not have a string at the top to shape the braid in a curve. I read on Gertie's tutorial that the thinner braids don't have them because they are supposed to be easier to shape. Let's hope that is so. I will post the results of course so you will all know if I failed, here's to hoping I don't screw it up!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Catch up and Circle Skirt Progress

 Hello everybody!!!!! First of all, how much do you love the pictures of the lovely Katy Perry in the October issue of Instyle? I absolutely love the retro style she has in the shots. The juxtaposition of her pink hair and the 40's hairstyle is just genius. I love this style, it is similar to victory rolls but it isn't. As soon as my hair is grown out in the front I will be doing this, maybe even before then. Not the pink part though, I can only wear my hair black. My natural color is just about 1 shade lighter than black and I use black dye about every 3 months to add shine and dimension. Since my natural color is so dark I can not change it without bleaching first, which fries my hair. Trust me, I went blond last year and had to eventually cut all my hair off and let it grow back. My hair grows very quickly but it wasn't fun. I have been having a lot of fun with my hair and nails this week and soon I would like to do a couple of beauty posts. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Now on to sewing. For September, which is national sewing month, I am participating in a couple of sew alongs. First of all is a Simplicity sew along on facebook. All you have to do is sew any Simplicity or New Look pattern. I sewed up New Look 6598, a button up top with collar and sleeve variations. I sewed view B with some variations of my own. It has a shawl collar. I used a cure red fabric with black polka dots. Here is a not so great pic of me modeling it inside of Bass Pro Shop, I love that store!!!
 It is supposed to be semi fitted with ties in the back for added fitting. I eliminated this and used elastic in the back waist between the waist darts to add some more definition and I tailored the waist a bit more.I will put up better pics the next time I wear it so you can see the fit and sleeve detail a bit better. I am happy with it, it is a good addition to my wardrobe as I love separates.
 As you all know I am also sewing a circle skirt for Casey's sew along. I am using a cheetah print quilters weight cotton. I used 4 yards of this 44 inch fabric. I folded my fabric in half, cut edge to cut edge instead of selvage to selvage, this gave me the yardage needed for the circle skirt.I cut out a front and back piece to be sewn together with side seams. I inserted a centered zipper in the left side seam and attached my waist band and finished it with a button.
 It still needs to be hemmed, which I am doing with horse hair braid. This will be my first time hemming with horse hair braid so wish me luck!!! Here it is hanging on my dummy. Here it will hang until tomorrow or Friday when  get around to hemming it. I want to make a petticoat as well for this skirt but I don't know if I will get around to it in time to finish the sew along. I will probably put it up without the petticoat and finish that later.
So those projects will wrap up national sewing month for me. October is fast approaching and I have Halloween costumes to work on, so that should keep me quite busy, along with regular fall sewing. I hope all of you are having fun with sew alongs and all other sewing activities!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drafting my Circle Skirt Pattern.

So it is time to get started on my circle skirt for Casey's Sew Along. First things first, we need to draft a pattern. Casey has the equations you will need up on her website, you can go check them out here.  I used my cutting board, which has all sorts of measurements marked on it, including the lines needed for circles. Perfect.

I taped together 4 pieces of tissue paper to use to draft my pattern. I use tissue paper because it is readily available, it is not big enough ever, but it is what it is. You can see right through the tissue paper to the lines underneath, just what we need.

Si I marked out my radius measurements on both sides of my right angle at the corner of my paper.


I connected the 2 marks using the round lid some Tupperware. This works well if you don't have a compass. I should buy a compass at some point though, huh?

So that circle quarter that we just marked is for the waist. Now I marked from the radius measurement, my skirt length measurement on both sides, just like the radius measurement. Then, I folded my paper in half diagonally so that I could use my little circular line on my cutting bored to cut the bottom of the pattern in a good circular shape. I cut it while folded in half. On Casey's blog she shows you how to draw dots all the way and connect them to make your quarter circle, but this method was easier for me seeing as though the lines were already there for me to cut along.

So there you have it. This is my quarter circle, without the waist circle cut out in this picture. You have to cut that out as well obviously. I will use this to cut the front and back of my skirt on the fold. You can also just cut threw a double layer with the pattern an make 4 sections to be sewn together instead of 2. So go on over to Casey's blog to get the math right for your circle skirt. Her explanation of how to draft the pattern is so clear and easy to follow you will be drafting your pattern in no time!!!!!!!!!!

Next time I will show you all of my supplies and get started on this so I can make it in time for the sew along! September in national sewing month and I am celebrating big. So far I have made 5 garments in the month of September and I am planning at least 3 more before the month is out. What can I say, my wardrobe was eerily empty, it needed a boost!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Burdastyle Bella Pants

Well here are my completed Bella pants from Burdastyle. These were an adventure in sewing if there ever was one. I made a few changes to the original pattern, for those of you familiar with this pattern you will see them right away. First and foremost, I got rid of the front pockets that were in the original. They were inserted pockets attached to a hip yoke with pleats. This was a very lovely detail, but I was afraid it would come across a little bulky in the denim. If I made these in a different fabric I might use the pleats, not sure though so don't hold me to that. So I used patch pockets in the front to mirror the ones in the back. I used a light stretch denim, I might make another pair in darker denim soon. So because of the light color, the details don't stand out as much. I also used a thread that matched perfectly, which is good because my top stitching isn't always as straight as I'd like it to be, but I'm working on it!

I had sewn them all up, attached the yoke and all, and  lined the yoke with some cute red fabric with big white polka dots. I tried them on, and they fit all wrong. I was very put out. I had to rip the yoke off, lining and all. I hate ripping stitches with a passion, but it had to be done to save these pants from the UFO pile. I really wanted these pants, so there was no going back. I have a serious shortage of pants in my wardrobe and fall is knocking on my door. So with no real choice in the matter, I forged on. The first go around, The waist of the pants went up to my ribs, higher than I wanted them to be. In the back the yoke comes down to a point in the back center. This came down too low and did not lay flat enough. The overall effect was not very flattering to my back side. Since the pants come up high I had to do some adjusting to account for my swayback. So first I ripped off the yoke and cut down a couple of inches in the waist height, then I took in a couple inches in the top back center of the waist to adjust for the curve of my back. I attacked the bottom of the yoke. I turned the point into more of a curve that would be more flattering. I also added depth in the crotch to account for all the shortening of pieces and the fact that I do have a longer torso. When I took off the point-iness of the yoke bottom where it attaches to the pants, it caused the yoke to be shorter around,hmmmmm. I had to add panels in the front closure, but they are pleasantly hidden when you button up the pants. The results were a waistline that sits at the true waist and fits very nicely in the crotch and in the backside. I am very proud of this save and I love the resulting garment, which I have worn 3 times already!

I used clear buttons, which I may replace later, they look a little flimsy.

Please excuse the crazy hair in these pics, I took these pics at the end of the day and this is my weekday hair.
So that is it for these pants. I hope to make many more pairs of pants of all types. It was a challenge but it was fun! I have so many projects lined up! I have to get started on my circle skirt for Casey's sew along. I have most of my supplies so I will start the skirt next week. I Hope you all have a great day!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

More on Sewing Pants

-In the spirit of sewing pants, I am posting a few links on the subject that I think you will all enjoy.
First of all this post has so much information, it is bound to answer many of your pants fitting questions.
-I not only made myself a brand new pair of pants for myself this week (pics coming soon) but I also altered a pair of jeans for my sister. They are more like jeggings, but they have a fly and button so kind of a jean jegging hybrid. Well anyway, my sister bought them right after having her baby, and now that Lil' Boo is 8 months old, my sis has lost about 30lbs!!!!! Woot woot for her huh!!!!!! She still has some weight to go but she is looking great! Since she still wants to lose some more weight, she does not want to waste money on any new jeans but the old ones were sagging something terrible!!! So I took them in quite a bit using this smart method by Grosgrain.
- During my sewing adventure this week, I learned a lot about fitting the crotch depth of pants because I have a longer torso, so this article is great on that subject.
-The fly in pants is an enigma, but with proper guidance you can get it down to a science. Check out this video over at Threads.
-And for another overall great tutorial for fitting pants check out this blog post by Claire Kennedy.

I hope that these links are helpful to any of you who would like conquer pants in the sewing room.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Share and Share Alike

Today I would like to share a resource with you all that is not sewing related. The other day, reader Peppertoast wrote a comment on one of my posts that I did on my daughters back to school dress. She noticed my daughter has Strabismus as does her daughter. What is Strabismus you ask? Allow me to enlighten you. Strabismus is a disorder where the 2 eyes to not line up and look in different directions. This disorder usually comes along with a vision deficiency as well. So my dear little Missy Xiu wears glasses. She had surgery when she was a baby and will have a second and hopefully last surgery at the end of this month to align her eyes. She will probably always have to have some sort of vision correction with glasses or contact lenses though. She has been wearing glasses since the age of 2. I can not tell you how many pairs she has broken! Now since she is older she breaks them far less, but she still needs her glasses replaced every year due to prescription changes. As you can imagine, this can get pretty expensive. I have five children and we live on a tight budget so some years back I did a google search, determined to find a more cost effective way to replace my daughters glasses. I found Zenni Optical. I can not rave enough about this website!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The prices are unbelievable and the selection is amazing. I am sharing this because I know that glasses can be a financial burden on people, especially when you have children who require glasses. This website has made it possible for my daughter to see!!! There is no other way to put it.

This is the pair I just bought Missy Xiu, beyond cute!

Some retro cat eyes for women.

Even some retro looks for the man in your life.
So I do help that this website helps some people out. I love to share a good resource when I find one. The prices you see include the cost of the prescription lenses! Some things cost a little extra but the price gets no where near what you pay at the national retailers. The glasses are of great quality, I can attest to that, and the prescription is accurate, as I have had my daughters glasses double checked by her opthamologist whenever she has a visit. So enjoy the inexpensive glasses!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pants- Covering Our backs!

What is this?! Seriously. When did we as a society decide to wear pants that expose our butt cracks at every bend? I refuse to do this. Don't get me wrong,  I have been guilty of wearing these dangerously low cut jeans in the past, but recently I have decided that enough is enough! We have to start a movement and tell the fashion industry that this is out! These low slung jeans lead to all manner of fashion delinquency. First is the exposed butt crack, also referred to as "doing crack". Then we have the notorious, muffin top and lets not even talk about the yeast infection possibilities brewing in these things. Now my question is, if these pants cause so many issues for the wearer, why wear them?

Since I sew, I don't have to take this. I have been sewing pants this week and hope to make a few more pairs for the fall/winter. In every other decade, pants had a higher rise than they do now. As referenced in these pattern photos from the past, pants sat at the true waist. Even in the 80's and 90's jeans were not so low cut. Somewhere in the past decade, high waisted pants got the unfortunate label of , wait for it : mom jeans. Who came up with that term? I'd like to give that person a good talking to. First of all, I am a mom and I take offense to it. Just because you are mom does not deem you a fashion victim. But also, high waisted pants are not the hideous things that people make them out to be. I guess if you pair them with an unfortunate top and accessorize badly, they can come across wrong. I am more inclined toward the vintage look but you can pull this of with a modern look as well.

Don't you love the above looks? The one with the hooded top is to die for!

 I am currently sewing up the Bella pants from Burdastyle. I have of course altered the pattern a bit to better suit my tastes. I do have the pants making bug though I believe. High waisted pants bug that is. So much so that I even purchased a book all about sewing pants. It is called Easy Guide to Sewing Pants by Lynn MacIntyre. I bought it on Amazon as an ebook for my Kindle app on my IPad. How cool is that? I love being able to mix vintage sensibilities with modern technology. The book seems pretty complete and extensive on the subject of sewing pants. It shows you how to account for all sorts of different body shapes and shows you how to sew different styles of pants. I would definitely recommend it for anybody looking to
sew pants that don't look funny.

So, will you all be joining my high waisted pants revolution? I so hope you will! Check out the book as well, I promise you won't regret it!                                 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kitschy Skirt and Cute Puppy= Smiles

Happy Labor day everybody!!!!!! I spent my week last week making skirts. Skirts always make me smile. They are easy to make and fun to wear. This skirt though makes me smile even more though. This fabric is so much fun, it just makes me happy to look at. It is cal Kitschy Cocktail by Micheal Miller. It has all sorts of Kitschy ladies and gents and of course, cocktail recipes! How fun is that? It is a simple gathered skirt with a waist band that closes with a zipper and 2 fun red glittery buttons. Fall is upon us, so the next time I wear this it will be with a long sleeve tee and some tights, very versatile.

 I decided to show it off with pics with my dogs. Particularly my Gypsy. I love dogs, I feel like they make things that much more happy. My dogs never fail to comfort me and bring a smile to my face. The other 2 you see in these pics are Geisha, my black Shar Pei, and Meeko, my sisters little Shiba Inu.

 Here we are dancing. Gypsy loves to dance!

Is this face not to die for?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, I am off to print out my next projects pattern. I am making pants this week readers, so send me all your best energy and thoughts that I can get them done well!