Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Coin Purse Winner

Time is up folks! The winner of the coin purse is:

  Comment #2 is Janelle, who said: "Makenzie said "Mom, pick the one with the heart!" :) They are darling!"
Congratulations Janelle! I've sent you an email. Please respond by 12/12/14 at 6PM so I don't have to pick another winner. =)

Thanks for playing!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Leather Coin Purse For You

  One of my goals for this year was to host a give-away on my blog. Today happens to be Giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew, (go check it out, all kinds of fun things you can win!) but I've decided not to link up there... I'd rather have one of my regular readers win something than someone who will never visit again.

  Anyway, here's what I'm giving away: Your choice of one of these cute leather coin purses I made earlier this year.

  You can read more about these coin purses here and here. Wouldn't one of these make a lovely gift? Or keep it for yourself and enjoy a less-cluttered purse. =)

  To enter, just leave a comment below telling me which purse you would prefer to win. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. Winner will be randomly chosen on 12/10/14 at 10 PM, Mountain Standard Time. Giveaway is (unfortunately) open only to U.S. Residents age 18 and over. I'll do my best to get in in the mail in time for Christmas. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3rd Birthday Hooded Dress

This little girl turned three the other day.

  For her birthday, I made her a knit dress using the pre-made-t-shirt method. I used a store-bought shirt in her size (though strangely the sleeves are too long), cut it at about waist level, added a circle skirt of dotty knit, and added a tier of flowered knit to that. Then I picked out the neckline binding and added a fully lined hood with a slight crossover in the front.

  The hem is finished with lettuce edging (of course) and the hood is framed with a doubled strip of the floral knit, which is also lettuce edged.

  I didn't have enough of the floral fabric left to make it circle-shaped and had to use straight strips, so I though the skirt might not hang well, but for the most part it seems fine.

  Gaiw was very pleased with her dress. =) The dotted fabric and the floral fabric are both from Girl Charlee, and I've used both of them before.

  Then, in addition to the dress, I made a knit hat. =)

  I used this free pattern from Heidi and Finn, but cut three inches off the base of the hat to make it less slouchy, I used the size 3T-6Y size, but I should have used the smallest size as this one is several inches too big for Gaiw. She still loves it though, and looks like an adorable little thug in it. This fabric is a reversible (and oddly fraying) knit from Joann's... it's super soft and almost pillow-y with both layers. I originally bought it to make a shirt but I haven't had time for it yet.

  Gaiw is a very quiet little girl when there are people around.

  She watches everything we do very intently, and learns quickly what is going on.

  Gaiw is extremely stubborn, and will repeat the same activity for months in spite of any discipline.

  She is a sweet snuggler who loves being held, but wiggles all over the place if she sits on your lap.

  She adores sugar in any way, shape, or form, and will literally run in circles if she's had too much.

  Gaiw will very firmly and loudly protest if you do something that she doesn't like, but she's quick to say that she loves something and will proudly tell you that the food you made is 'delishish'.

  She loves clothes and shoes, and often changes 5 or 6 times a day just because she wants to wear a new outfit. I'm looking forward to seeing her grow in this next year. We love this little girl!
I love this photo. =)
  Gaiw requested a 'black' cake with purple frosting for her birthday, which turned out to mean chocolate. I made a basic chocolate cake with a ganache filling. The ganache was more than a little bit difficult... normally it's just two ingredients, cream and chocolate, but I was short on chocolate pieces and spent about an hour figuring out how to make enough for both layers while having it thick enough. I finally got it almost thick enough, but it still oozed out between the layers until I left it in the fridge for a few hours.

  I frosted it with vines, shells, leaves, and pathetic drop flowers. The house was, as usual, way too warm for the frosting and even when the frosting was fresh out of the fridge it was too soft for the flowers, even though it was so thick it was difficult to pipe. I think next time I'll use half as much butter in the recipe so it will be less melty. That, and I'll figure out what is causing my hands to shake so much. Maybe then my drop flowers will actually look like flowers instead of blobs. ;-)

  I still think it turned out cute as long as I squint a bit! =) And it tasted good.

  I still have a couple of Christmas-y things to show you, but I haven't made any new gifts since my last post, and my sewing machine broke again last night when I was trying to sew some channeling closed... I just hope my backup machine doesn't break or I'll really be in a bind! I still have 9 gifts to make, 8 of which are supposed to be sewn. Speaking of which, I'd better go work on those. =)

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Purple Sweetheart Top

Hi! I'm back! It's been a while, but I managed to complete 16 gifts for Christmas, plus what you'll see in this post, while I've been away. I know I mentioned a couple posts ago that I would be sharing the gifts for my daughters, but the truth is, they aren't finished yet. Soon! I hope. ;-)

  I've made a lot of shirts for myself over this past year, but I realized a couple of weeks ago that only a few of them are wearable for me right now. A few are too tight or really uncomfortable, but most of them developed big holes or obvious stains and I don't like wearing any of those ones in public.

  So I made myself a new one. This fabric is from Joann's a few months ago. I love the color, but the quality is a bit lacking. It's mostly polyester, and is thinner than I prefer. Also, I've washed this shirt one time since I made it, and there's already a bit of pilling. Ah well, it's pretty anyway.

  The pattern is the one I drafted a while back, with a few small alterations to make it fit better. I finally managed to get rid of the wrinkle over my bust! Although I accidentally made the neckline too wide (I was planning on a neckband but ended up using stretch lace, which is quite a bit narrower), which means I have to be careful when I pick a kid up, and I failed to stabilize the shoulders, so the shoulder seams tend to slide down a bit. That, and I should have removed a bit from the back shoulder to balance the arm-scye after removing that wrinkle. Still, the fit is better than before.
Those wrinkles disappear when I pull the shoulder seam back where it goes... when WILL I learn to stabilize those?
  Obviously, I added a sweetheart seam on the front bodice. I had this shirt planned quite a while back but it was another I was cautious to make lest I over-emphasize my bust... luckily, with the seam a bit lower than the actual top of my bust it has a bit of a minimizing effect. Next time though, I will change the curve a bit so it slants down at the sides more.

 I used stretch lace from Joann's for the top yoke, underlined with more of the purple for modesty, and flounced sleeves with lettuce-edge hemming everywhere.

  I still love these sleeves! Although I do prefer them in a thicker knit, like these and these. At least the seam is above my elbow instead of below it this time!

  The stretch lace trim is from frogfeather's etsy shop. I was really, really impressed with this seller. Not only are the prices on the lace much better than I've seen elsewhere, but she includes extra length with every piece, and in my order she even included a yard of a stretch lace I didn't order, and a note with a discount code! And she shipped the order out really quickly... I think it arrived a mere 4 days after ordering it.

  I'll be back hopefully soon with a few Christmas-y things I've made recently, Gaiw's birthday gift, and maybe a bit more about the skirt I'm wearing in this post. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pink Pleats

Today I have the pleasure of being a part of the Betty Skirt tour! The Shaffer sisters have been good friends for a while now, and I'm delighted that they have designed such a cute, versatile pattern. This is the second Betty Skirt I've sewn... the first one is here. =)

  Now I'm going to be perfectly honest here... this isn't normally a pattern I would buy. Even with all of the options, it's simple enough to figure out with some basic math and a good idea of proportions. That said, it is really nice to have a range of sizes available in case you don't have someone handy to measure. This skirt goes from newborn to 16X, plus a doll-sized version.

  For this version, I sewed up a straight size 3T, which is on par with what Gaiw fits in ready-to-wear. I chose the large pleat version this time... I was hoping to make a small-pleat skirt too, but as usual didn't end up with enough time to finish it. =)

  I followed the instructions for the most part, but I made a mistake in marking the pleats the first time (I marked the right side of the front piece and wrong side of the back piece, instead of the right side of both) and had to iron all of the back pleats twice. Since I only have a tiny ironing board, that was definitely not the most fun I've ever had!

  I made two other changes. The first was to leave a couple inches un-sewn on each part of the hem near the side seam instead of sewing the whole hems before the side seam. That way the side seams were tucked inside the hem, which I prefer.

  The second change was edge-stitching the top of the yoke before inserting the elastic, so it would be less likely to roll.

  Gaiw loves this skirt. She saw the fabric while I was cutting out and started begging for a skirt. =) Since that was what I was making anyway, I was happy to tell her so. She hung out around me the entire time I was sewing the skirt up, eyes bright, and started dancing when it was finished. =)

  I love how twirly it is! I was expecting the pleats to be perfectly continuous all the way around, but there is a small bit of extra width at each of the side seams. That does make sense with basting the pleats down before sewing the side seams though.

  I like how the hem is pressed before the pleats, so the hemming doesn't mess them up. Next time I might mark the bottom edge of the skirt for the pleats, as well as the top, so my pleats are straighter.

  I have to admit I was expecting this skirt to be more difficult, judging by the disclaimers in the instructions. Even with re-pressing my pleats it was a quick sew.

  If you'd like to check out a few more stops on the tour, they are linked here as they are posted. If you'd like to buy the pattern it's available here, and it is 30% off during the tour with the code BETTYTOUR.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grey Corduroy Dress

I actually made this dress in... I think it was February. However, I only got one photo of it, and it was soon too hot here to photograph such a wintry garment. Besides which, it was just plain too big. Now that it's not 90 degrees out every day, and Booper has been wearing it constantly, I thought it would be a good time to share. =)

  It's pretty simple, but sweet and cozy. I used a fine-wale grey corduroy from Joann's to make it.

  I can't remember what bodice pattern I used, but it came out quite a bit larger than I'd intended... the armholes are particularly oversized, as you can see here:

  The sleeves are self-drafted to fit the bodice, and the skirt is just a gathered rectangle. At the time that I made it, it fit like a nightgown:

  Now Booper is a good 5 inches taller! It's not nearly so night-gowny now. =)

  I had plans to make the younger girls matching dresses, but with different colored snaps in the back and coordinating sashes, but when the first one wasn't what I'd pictured I put the rest of the pieces away and haven't pulled them back out.

  Maybe I should see if they'll still work! =)

  I wanted to keep the dress lightweight, and didn't have any thin grey fabric, so I lined the bodice with white.... that would have been fine, but I didn't under-stitch, and the white peeks out around the neckline.

  The bodice is finished the same way as usual.

  I made a casing on the sleeves after sewing them up and hemming them and slid some elastic through the casings.

  That's the only part that fit perfectly when I made the dress, and now they are uncomfortably tight on Booper... but it's nothing I can't fix!

  The back snaps up with pale blue heart shaped KAM snaps. I love those snaps! I think I've told you all of the details on this dress now. =)

  I'm working on Christmas gifts most of the time right now, so I'm not posting much.... but hopefully I'll be back with my daughters' gifts in a week or so.

Thanks for stopping by,