Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We do have a bit of summer left, right?
Four weeks until school starts in these parts... but who's counting?
After sewing the Bug a suit last summer I've kind of been hooked. It's such a fun and unique thing to make and it makes me happy that the Bug has a one of a kind suit. 

I actually had a bit of trouble with fit this time so I made three variations of this suit this summer.  We passed the two versions that didn't quite work for the Bug on to two of her friends and they are all just tickled to coordinate on their Boys and Girls Club field trip days to the pool. Seven year olds do not apparently appreciate originality as much as I do.  But that's o.k.  I'm just glad she loves it so much she wanted to share!

I won the fabric in a blog contest. It came from the Fabric Fairy and is super great quality.  I loved it as soon as I saw it.  They still have some here.
The top of this tankini is from the Coney Island tankini pattern from Peek a Boo pattern shop.  The ruching is super cute and I love the band at the bottom that adds just a little bit more coverage.

I made the tankini bottoms from the Coco Cay tankini pattern.  Most of the fit issues were with the bottoms.  They were too tight so I went up a size which kind helped. Even so they seem a little small but I just told The Bug they need to be tight so they don't fall off in the pool. That seemed to work.  They don't look tight at all so I'm wondering if less leg elastic would have been better.
At any rate, the suit is adorable and well loved and that's really all I can ask.

Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Serger sewing

Oh dear, it's been well over a month since I've posted hasn't it?
Well that's summer for you.

Recently at my day job (at our public library) I was empowered to purchase a serger and sewing machine for our patron to use.  The machines came with free new user lessons so I spent a day learning to use a serger!  I'm so excited to use it more.
After my class I decided that I should practice a little bit in a real life situation so I tested out the Peri Pullover from Cali Faye.  Holy smokes.  I am in love with both the serger and the pattern.
This top is so slouchy and comfortable. I think it will make for a great start to the back to school wardrobe.

I love the high low hem. It's one of the Bug's favorite parts too.
She also loves the wide neck that sometimes goes off the shoulder and the in seam pockets.  I love that she chose to pair this purple tribal print (from Girl Charlee--looks like they are sold out of the violet) with a neon orange tank top.  She has style all her own.
She asked for a matching pair of leggings and I was happy to oblige.  These are the Go To Leggings in their most basic form.  I've used this pattern a bunch.  They always sew up quickly and sizing is spot on.
The verdict is, I'm hoping to start saving for a serger soon. Until then, I'm happy I can rent out time on one at the library.  I think I may make more of these pullovers as well.  What do you think?


Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Sidekick Suitcase

Is it possible to be in love with a suitcase?
Because I think I am.

This sweet little suitcase was made from the Sidekick Suitcase pattern from Sew Fearless.
The Bug directed her own photo shoot for this one. Can you tell? She was very "in character".  That darn train is late and she has places to be!
I was a bit nervous starting this bag. I knew it was going to be labor intensive and potentially tear inducing.  But it was cute enough I thought it was worth any potential strain. 

I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't break a single needle or shed a single tear.  I worked on this bag for a total of about 6 hrs. over the course of a weekend. That's start to finish from pattern and fabric cutting to the final finishing stitches.
The pattern tutorial was written like no pattern tutorial I've seen before, in comic book style. It took a while for my very linear brain to adapt to the creative approach but the content of the tutorial was so thorough and well done that by the end it didn't matter in the slightest how it was formatted.  She walks you through the difficult part and truly does make this a "Sew Fearless" project.
The main exterior fabric is an amazing twill I found at the tail end of a super frustrating trip to JoAnns.  I was calling into question the wisdom of their fabric buyer but when I came across this all was forgiven.  
It doesn't hurt that it was on sale.  Hello beautiful.

The orange patches and handle are made from a quilting cotton also found at JoAnns.  I used green zippers and piping around the edges.  I really love all of the fun colors and how this pops!
The lining is a blue chevron quilting cotton that the lady at JoAnn's said "everybody wants".  Welcome to Northern Indiana chevron trend... we are so on top of things around here.

The sides of the bottom of the bag are stiffened with some heavy Pellon interfacing that is attached to plastic canvas (yes the rug hooking stuff) inside of a casing.  Slipping that stiffener through the casing was the hardest part of the whole bag. It's a super snug fit but it really does the trick to give the bag that suitcase shape.

I feel like I learned a lot making this suitcase. I love that. It was a challenging and fun sew.
Tired of waiting on the train, our little traveler gives up and decides to take the bus instead.  Thankfully, her Sidekick Suitcase is versatile, easy to carry and game to go where ever she may go.


P.S. The suitcase took it's first trip this past weekend and it held up wonderfully!
Skip To My Lou

Friday, May 23, 2014

Me Made May the Final Chapter

Our photo shoot time was winding down and my little photog had a bit of a bathroom emergency so you only get one photo of my third top sewn this month.  This one may be my favorite because it was crazy easy to sew and it super comfortable. It doesn't hurt that it's my favorite color.
The pattern is called the Daytripper Top by Shwin Designs. It's a very simple Dolman style tee (which means no sleeves to set in!) with a high low hem.  There are tons of options on this one! I made the most simple style and I love that I could use this pattern again and come up with a completely different look.

The fabric is another light weight knit that I think I found on but I can't be certain. I had intentions of making a maxi skirt with it but I'm glad I never did because I like as a top.

After sewing up three tops for myself I think it's safe to say I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable sewing for myself.  I even got some joy out it. I mean, who would be happy with a few new shirts to throw in the mix.  I won't be sewing for myself exclusively by any means.  You should see the Bug back here shortly. In fact, I think she is a bit jealous and maybe Miss Picky won't be quite so much so the next time Mama makes her something?  I can dream!


Me Made May take two

So after the City Girl Frock, my confidence was bolstered and I decided to make another top for myself.  Look at me go!!
This pattern was the Parisian Top by Andrea Panelli for Go To Patterns. I've sewn several of Andrea's patterns for the Bug so I was familiar with her style and confident it would be a well written pattern. I was not disappointed.
This shirt is a bit of a style stretch for me. The slightly puffed sleeves and the peter pan collar are more feminine details than I usually wear but I like them a lot.  This is another 3/4 length sleeve. I like that length a lot for work in the summer because I'm outside where it's warm a little bit but I'm mostly in the air conditioning and it can get a little chilly.
The striped jersey is a light weight jersey from Pick Your Plum and the collar is an old scrap of quilting cotton... Alexandar Henry I think.

So shirt attempt number two, also a success! I could get used to this!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Unofficial Me Made May

There's a pledge in blogland called "Me Made May". If you read many blogs you may have seen bloggers posting about intentionally wearing outfits or articles of clothing that they have made for themselves.

I don't really sew for myself.  I've never gotten the same joy out of it that I do sewing for my daughter--partially because it's just harder to sew for a grown up body than it is for a little kid body.

However, several of my recent sewing projects have been rejected by the little Miss so I decided to take a break from sewing for her to sew up a few top patterns I'd been wanting to try for myself.
 The first was the City Girl Frock by See Kate Sew.  It has a cowl neck and a yoked bodice.  I opted for the 3/4 length sleeve and the tunic length.  There is also a 1/2 sleeve option as well as options for a shorter top or a belted dress.
 I used a lightweight jersey which isn't really recommended but I liked the color so I tried it anyway. 
The cowl is the only part I think is really affected by the weight of the jersey. It's a bit more floppy and less structured than the examples but I like it. It's dressy enough to wear to work but comfortable enough to wear after work.

This top was addictively quick and cute and it made for a great diversion.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter! Savannah dress from Peek a Boo Patterns

I had visions of a sweet, white eyelet dress for the Bug for Easter this year.
One trip to JoAnn's and my hopes were crushed.  
First, my JoAnns had ONE eyelet. ONE. And it wasn't cute.
But they had rows and rows of sparkly chiffons and shiny satins... so you can imagine where the Bug's eyes went immediately.  She couldn't be swayed.

This is the blessing and the curse of taking your child to the fabric store to pick fabrics with you...
You can be reasonably certain they will like the finished product because they had a hand in it but your own creative vision?? You can pretty much forget about it.
Turns out, my own creative vision aside, this kiddo has pretty good taste... most of the time.
We wound up with a pretty coral satin for the underlayer and a shiny iridescent polka dot organza for the overlay.  When I saw the two fabrics I just saw SHINE, SHINE, SHINE but somehow they turned out so soft and ethereal.  I'm still not quite sure how that happened.
The dress pattern is the Savannah dress by Peek a Boo patterns.  I picked it because I loved the detail of the small pleats on the neckline, and if I'm honest, because the cover photo grabbed me 
(Yellow eyelet! Hello gorgeous!).  

Because I couldn't really iron the organza much, the pleats end up being much softer and less structured than the original dress but I kind of love that.

The sash is a bit of grosgrain ribbon that just happens to match the satin perfectly.
Because I can't have TOO much of the matchy matchy, we chose these blue sparkly buttons for the back.  Blue is the Bug's favorite color but I vetoed all blue fabric for Easter since she chose blue for her Christmas dress.  One can only use so many fancy dresses of the same color, right?  I really love the pop of color on the back.

I actually took the Bug's measurements before sewing and cutting this time. Imagine that! She measured around a size 5 bodice... I couldn't imagine sewing the bodice two full sizes smaller than she wears in ready to wear clothing so I split the difference and made a size 6 bodice with a size 7 skirt.  You can see the buttons pull a little when she pulls both arms forward, making me wish I'd not measured and just gone with my gut. I think a 7 all around would have fit better. Live and learn.
This is kind of how I feel about sewing these "special occasion" type fabrics.  They are slippery, stretchy and the organza snags easily.  It took some extra work to make French seams where I could and just very neat seams where I couldn't.  That hem?? Don't get me started.

But she loves the satin, shine and sparkle. And really, there probably aren't many more years she will want to be so over the top girly so I've determined to let her go with it whenever it's feasible.
For Easter Sunday it will likely be styled with this gold cardigan.  I'm hoping it's warm enough for the gold sandals as well.  (No more SNOW Mother Nature!! Got it??)  She is not really one for accessorizing or doing anything fancy with her hair so we will keep it simple.