Friday, July 29, 2011

The Runway. . .

Did you know Project Runway started last night?
I may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with this show, but do you blame me?? Really. . . combine sewing, fashion and reality tv. . . who could ask for more?

Did you miss it? Well, you are in luck!
The premiere episode is on-line now! Hooray for Lifetime getting it posted so quickly!

Since my dear sister does not have cable and hasn't had a chance to watch yet, here is my brief overview of who I like and who I don't without any spoilers.

Got some real strong personalities again this season!
My favorite designers (in no particular order):
  • ·         Becky Ross—Something about that army green stuff with the colorful linings and then her photo styling I just really, really like. And she is fun and seems really down to earth. I hope she is around for a while because I want to see more from her.
  • ·         Bert Keeter—He seems really sweet, sincere and HUMBLE which is certainly a lesson he could teach the younger designers. I really like him and think he's really a solid designer with lots of potential.  I love that he said he's doing the show to challenge himself to think outside of the box. I think that's some really great perspective and no matter what happens he's going to be a winner because of it.
  • ·         Danielle Everdeen—I really loved her line from the moment I saw it. She may be channeling Gretchen with a bit of vintage thrown in but I like it. (I liked Gretchen too so don't be a hater) Her personality may wind up irritating me. Time will tell.
  • ·         Fallene Wells—Love her sense of humor in her work (although it was a bit over the top on the first challenge, right?). I think she’s unique in a good way. Like her a lot. And I want her hair. How cute is she?

 Yep those are probably my favorites—mostly based on the stuff they brought to auditions and their personalities and not so much based on what they made for the first challenge (Which was WILD--but since I don't want to spoil it for anyone, my lips are sealed).

Other designer commentary. . .
  • ·         Anya Chee—She has got to be a liar. There is no way she has only been sewing 4 months and made a pair of pants that fit that well.  I'm sorry but no.  I don’t like her at all.  Which is unfortunate because I do like her clothes.   I just can't buy her story.
  • ·         Anthony Auld—Really like his story (beating testicular cancer) but hope it doesn't become a distraction. I guess that whole "Rockin' one" thing just got annoying for me.  I like his personality but he hasn't made or shown anything that wowed me yet--although I think the potential is there.
  • ·         Joshua Christensen—So the “token Evangelical Christian” on reality tv has become the “token Mormon”--is this a new trend? Dude, I hope you do better than your reality tv predecessors at living your faith and being real. I have a feeling it's going to be an interesting ride for him.
  • ·         Joshua McKinley—He is nicer & friendlier than I expected from first impressions. I just don’t like his design aesthetic at all.
  • ·         Julie Tierney—I really like her personality. I hope she steps it up though. I didn’t like her challenge look at all. But I guess that will teach you to sleep in juvenile print pj pants, right?
  • ·         Kimberly Goldson—She HAS to go home soon, right? I can’t believe she made it in to begin with.
  • ·         Olivier Green—He is fascinating. I really like his work and he almost made it to my favorites list. I still might need to amend. I'm on the fence.

So there you have it folks. . . my thoughts after last night's episode minus my feelings on the challenge garments (for the most part).

Anyone else obsessed with this show too? I'd love to hear your thoughts and your favorites. Let's dish!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby shoes

I apologize for the uncreative blog title, but I made some baby shoes.


A little while back my sister blogged about some shoes she made to go with a onesie.  At the time she made those I was working on these – and directed her to Homespun Threads.

And if you want to make baby shoes I would direct you there too, seriously there are some great patterns…but I would advise you – tiny shoes are not for the faint of heart.

I have been working on these for a while – and they have been done for a while.  I am starting to get on better terms with them, but I am still not sure that I like them – or that I will give them to the intended momma-to-be.024

I used some old wool that was in my grandma’s stash – and paired it with Alexander Henry - Lorenza collection in peach/guava, that I had left over from this project.  I should have taken more care at making sure the wool was caught in the seam and would not unravel itself out of the seam.

But I didn’t – and that is exactly what happened at every seam – I covered the problem in the back by adding some twill tape then I added topstitching around most other seams.

Even still I was on speaking terms with the shoes – but then it came time to put the bottom in the shoes.


I thought I could use my new found ladder stich to give the inside a nice clean look – but I am not that patient.

It is probably good that the end result is something I am not overly happy with – because in the beginning stages the baby shoes were so incredibly cute – I think I convinced everyone that I showed, and I showed anyone that would look, that they needed a baby to put the tiny shoes on.

So in the end – you can see the rough edges on the inside, and there is not means of keeping them on the little ones foot.

And the mom recently mentioned that she is sick of getting things that are pink.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MADE Bathrobe

I have been wanting to make the Bug a bathrobe for ages.
I tried the hooded towel thing a while back but it just didn't work well. Probably because the towels I chose to make ours with were too thick. Live and learn.

At any rate, I decided a robe would be better post-bath anyway because it would stay on and would keep her warm (darn that chill inducing AC vent smack dab in the middle of the bathroom floor!).
About the same time I was processing all of this and trying to decide if I should wing it and make my own pattern or buy a commercial pattern, Dana released her Beach Robe Pattern.
Hooray for PDF patterns!!
I bought it right away. I love Dana's patterns. Always so clear, great photos, lots of options.
I was a tad bit concerned because the largest size of the pattern was 4T and we are pretty close to the time where all things 4T will be put in bins in the basement. . . so I cut out my pattern pieces a bit larger than the large.  I guess I DIYed an XL.  In hindsight, the large probably would have worked out fine but this one gives her room to grow (which she insists on continuing to do).
The towel she chose is a lovely raspberry color, not quite as purple as it appears here.
I was pleasantly surprised with her choice. I fully expected her to pick hot pink or something equally glaring.

When we got it home, the terry cloth went so well with the Kaffe Fassat print that I used to line the hood that I about squealed with delight.  I made my own bias tape from some Urban Chicks that's been in my stash for a good long time now. I just love all of these colors together.
As you can see from her expression the Bug is super thrilled with her new robe. . .
Or not. . .

I'm not sure what happened between the towel aisle excitement and the actual finished product but not even the promised gummy bear bribe could coax out a smile.

She is currently referring to this as her beach robe and is refusing to wear it anywhere but the beach.
If you are familiar with the area we live, you know "the beach" is not really a part of our daily (or weekly, or monthly) reality. We are somewhat landlocked. Too many corn fields, not enough water.
So despite the downright awesomeness of the finished product this may be another "fail" simply because of the fickle mind of a four year old.

You win some, you lose some.
And who knows. . . perhaps next month she will love it.
I won't hold my breath, but I will hope. . .


Friday, July 8, 2011

UTH bag

Next week is our church's National Youth Convention.
Super excited about that.
Months ago, a friend and fellow youth staff member, commissioned a messenger bag for this occasion. She wanted something big enough for her Bible and extra "stuff"--including but not limited too her bunch of Mini Sharpie markers.

UTH is text speak for Youth, in case you were wondering.
The letters were freezer paper stenciled on to the flap before I sewed the bag together.
One of the coolest parts of the whole thing in my opinion is that she had these old coast guard patches of her husband's. I just love how personalized they make this with out being over the top and loud.
Because anyone who knows this friend of mine knows she is anything BUT over the top and loud. . .
(said with a wink and my best sarcastic voice)

The zipper pocket instead of the traditional open pocket on the back was a special request.
She and I, well, we share this "thing" for pockets and organization.
It might be a little OCD. Maybe. Just a little.
We might have gotten a bit carried away with the organization thing. Maybe.
You be the judge.
Flaps on the front of the bag open up to reveal more pockets and a few clips.
The main body of the bag is a light blue chambray which gives the bag great body and structure. (although I still used a layer of fleece interfacing)
The lining fabric is the viewfinder reals from Ruby Star Rising and was the inspiration for this whole thing.
I used an Ikea stripe for the zipper pocket linings and an Amy Butler sun spot dot for some accent pockets.
The ruffle trim is elasticized and I love it. I found it at Hobby Lobby. I like that it makes this bag just the slightest bit girly. I'm all about subtle details.
The strap sports a patch pocket and. . .
Just a little bit of appliqué on the other side.
And yes, because I despise turning long tubes of fabric I opted to finish the strap edges in navy blue bias tape. I really like the end look of it.
Inside, more pockets of course.
You can never have too many. Especially when they zip.
There is a key fob and an elastic top pocket on each interior side panel. I'm thinking one of these might hold the infamous Sharpie collection and perhaps keys and a phone in the other.

I am pretty sure my sewing machine may never forgive me for this project. We exchanged words, my Brother and I, on a few occasions and I had to coax him through the thick spots. But we made it and I think we are still friends.

I had no idea when I started this project how time consuming it would be but I think the end product was worth it. I made her promise to bequeath it to me in her will. It was that hard to part with.

Even better than the finished product though was the sheer joy on my friend's face when she finally held the bag in her hands.  We two creative types have been discussing this bag and the possibilities since spring (you think I am joking, I'll send you the e-mail chain) and it's sort of been much anticipated.  I hope it works well for you Staci and I'm so honored to give back just a little for all of the joy and laughs and stretching you've brought me. It seems a small thing to give when you consider, I am a better person because of our friendship.
Your love of "our kids" and your desire for personal Spiritual growth are inspiring to me and despite the fact that our two personalities couldn't be more different, I am so glad we are friends. Because really, we are more alike than we ever would have guessed. Love you girl!