Thursday, September 22, 2011

A fancy pillowcase dress

A chance meeting in the waiting room at the Bug's ballet studio. . .
A self-proclaimed "blog stalker". . . (that Janelle)
Resulted in this sweet little pillowcase dress.
(forgive the crooked picture, it was a windy day and I was trying to snap these before it rained)

This is a Michael Miller damask.  Do you know how hard it is to find nice cotton damask at JoAnns? I think I'm too picky.  But once I saw this one on those cheaper ones just wouldn't do.  The pale pink polka dot I did find at JoAnns. I think it's a lovely compliment to the damask and the pink softens it up nicely.
I absolutely love how over the top girly this big pink shoulder bow is.
The Bug would never go for such things. . . but this dress isn't for her so I did what I liked.
I added a sweet little pink ruffle just above the border, you know, in case the big bow wasn't quite girly enough.  I love ruffles.

The things you can't see. . . all interior seams are either French seams or bound seams so that there are no raw edges to fray or get itchy.  I take a lot of pride in those little details.  It makes things just a little more polished.
I also made a cute flower head band to top off the outfit. . . and yes, I cleaned up that glue on the top of the button before it left my house. It's funny the things you don't even see until you get something out in the light.

And do you like how our grass is actually 50% clover? No wonder we have a rabbit problem.

Anyway. . . I've caught wind that this dress has inspired a family photo shoot so I'm off to make coordinating items for the older siblings! How exciting!  And how rewarding to know something you've made is so well loved!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why I love

I have not been reimbursed in any way to provide this opinion. It is solely mine.
Though in the spirit of full disclosure, I am weak and if decided to send me some fabric to say "thanks" I can't say I'd turn it away.

I have a lot of fabric.
Even so, sometimes I don't have "the right" fabric for a project.
I do not live close to a single "cool" fabric store.
Like not even remotely close. (shed a few tears for me, I know, it's terrible)
There is a JoAnn's and a Hobby Lobby and a Super Wal-Mart around 20 miles away so I am not wholly deprived of places to run my hands down the aisles of bolts, but I have a weakness for the the nice stuff those places just don't carry.

And this is where on-line shopping has revolutionized my life.
I have several stores I've used in the past.
Hawthorne Threads is right up there. . . but my number one go to place to shop for fabric on-line is
And here's why. . .

1.  Free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  And rare is the time I am buying less than $35 worth.
2.  The prices rock! For the most part all the designer lines are comparable or cheaper than other retailers in my experience.  Pair that with free shipping and they have a definite advantage.
3.  Daily deals, lots of clearance and super cheap yardage! If you can't tell from the previous two reasons, I am a thrifty girl.  I enjoy a sale and seriously, fabric under $2 a yard?? Heaven help us, I might need to buy a bigger house.  
4.  Great Customer Service and Return Policy. . . until recently, I've not had a chance to experience this first hand but had heard great things.  Seriously though, a "no questions asked" return policy that pays return shipping? I love that because buying fabric on-line is harder than in a store where you can touch and see everything right there. You are never quite sure the color, the weight or the texture will be just right.  It's good to know that if it isn't right, you aren't stuck.
So this week I received a big stack of fabric for three special orders I'm working on.
When I saw this silvery synthetic weirdness I knew it was a mix up.  That is not Chartreuse and White small dandelion print home decor weight cotton by any stretch of the imagination.

My heart sunk a little. I despise confrontation and didn't want to have to call the company and deal with an exchange, etc.  But I'd heard good things about customer service. . . and, BONUS they had an e-mail address. Hooray for enabling my non-confrontational-ism! I should add that to the list.  I quickly checked out the return policy on-line and then e-mailed customer service with my dilemma.

In about a day and a half someone got back with me.  They apologized for the mix up, arranged for the right yardage to be sent and told me to keep this silver stuff for my troubles.
Rock on!
I don't even have to go to the Post Office.

In well over a year of ordering I've never had a problem with the wrong fabric being sent until now. And I'm sure it happens occasionally but it's not a frequent occurrence.  Hopefully this bolt isn't mis-labeled in the warehouse or something because I think if I get another yard of this silver stuff I think I might cry.  Still, at least I know they will do what they can to make it right.

And that means even more to me than all of that savings.

Cross your fingers with me that the next yard of fabric delivered to my doorstep looks like this, would you please?  

I'll keep you posted.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Dress. . . and, can I get a new model?

I love my child.
I love sewing for my child.

I hate taking photos of my child wearing the things I sew.
And she hates the photo sessions too.

No amount of bribery helps.
I am going to start sewing for the neighbors.
  It's gone from Hot as Hades to chilly fall weather overnight around here and the Bug's dress wardrobe for Fall is woefully lacking.  I have a hard time buying dresses because I always think "I can make that cuter and cheaper" and then I never find the time.  But she only wants to wear dresses, which leaves us in pickle.
Last weekend found me in between projects, waiting on an on-line fabric order to ship, so I picked up this purple and brown striped knit remnant (from my recent Vogue shopping trip!) and channeled some Pinterest inspiration (here and here) to come up with this cute, sassy little dress.

Perfect for my cute, sassy little model who marched up and down this patio area declaring "Boring, boring, boring. . . this is boring" and avoiding my camera with incredible skill.
This is my computer desktop right now because when I see it, I can't help but laugh.
You aren't fooling anyone little Bug a boo. . . you love the dress and you know it.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

One–yard part two

I finally got around to making another project out of the One-Yard Wonder book. 
(see first project here)
The project I chose was the cat bed.  Yes as my bio on the side claims I am in fact a cat momma (married into it.)
When looking through the book I knew this was a project I wanted to do.  Our cat (Fran) has long hair and is constantly shedding.  Her old bed was in terrible shape, so when we moved I just got rid of it, with the intention of replacing it – over a year later I finally got around to it! 
So as I mentioned Franny has long (shedding) hair – so I thought it would be most practical to make the bed itself out of muslin (shown above.)
Then I made a second bed, but didn’t stuff it, so it could be used as a slip cover.
The thing I really like about this cat bed pattern is that it is not just a round or square thing, like you normally see, it is actually a small trapezoid inside a larger trapezoid.
All in all it went together pretty easily.  I was able to get it done in a couple nights after work. 
I am a bit impatient when I cut things out (I think cutting pieces out is my least favorite part of the sewing process), so my pieces didn’t always perfectly line up (you can see some puckering in the above picture.)
But I am REALLY pleased with how if came together!
Doesn’t it look great! (If I do say so myself.)
After completing both the inside bed and the outside cover, my next dilemma was to determine how to close the slip cover so it could be easily removed and washed.
I had left one side of the trapezoid unsewn – I tucked in the seam allowance to make it look more finished, but still needed a way to close the opening.
My first thought was buttons – I have a LOT of buttons, thanks to inheriting half of my grandma’s stash.  After sorting through one of the bags, I found these fun leather buttons that I thought would look nice with the fabric.
But after considering how the finished product would look and hold up against my cat, I decided maybe a zipper would be a better bet.
A long time ago I bought a zipper grab bag for like 2 dollars – there are a lot of random colors, lengths and materials in the bag, and I was able to find a nice long zipper in that.  Also the pull is a little ball, which I thought Fran might have fun batting around.  Win/Win.
I am TERRIBLE at sewing in zippers, so I just did my best and reassured myself that there wouldn’t be a 4H judge looking at it when all was said and done.
Though I hadn’t considered I had a judge more harsh than the 4H ones to present it to – Fran herself…
As is the case with most cats (I presume) – she acted aloof for the first few weeks.  Despite me constantly encouraging her to give it a try, she remained uninterested (at best.)
I had given up trying – I knew that if Fran was going to use it at all, it was going to be on her own terms.  So I just set it on top of one of her favorite lounging areas.
Now most days when I get home from work and head upstairs I am greeted by this:
How cute is that?  I think the fabric goes nicely with her fur don’t you? Can you tell she loves having her picture taken?
Any other cat momma’s out there (by marriage or otherwise)?  Have you ever made anything for your cat? I’d love to hear about it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Lauren Wallet revisited

Any little sisters in the house?
I thought so. (Hi Michelle! Love you!)

Then you know how it goes, right?
Big sister gets something cool and you want it too. . .?
So last night I whipped up a Christmas gift for Lauren's little sister.
Similar to big sister's wallet in several ways.
But definitely unique and special just like little sister.
I can't believe I have to wait until Christmas to see if she likes it!
I can't believe I'm making Christmas gifts already!

On a side note, my own little sister and I started this blog a while back as a way to keep track of our projects and to share our love of sewing despite the distance between us.  I think I speak for both of us when I say, we are tickled and a little surprised that people we don't know and may never meet follow this blog.  It's always fun to know other people appreciate your work even if that's not the reason you do what you do. So thank you.

Typically, I reserve personal sharing for our family blog but since this applies, I decided to share here. I have always been compelled to create. It's taken different forms over the years, this "creating", but I need that outlet and when it's not there, I'm not myself.   There is a Reason I am compelled to create.  

It's because I am a reflection of my Creator God, made in His image to serve His Kingdom purpose.

If you want to hear more (from my very own wobbly, nervous voice), please go HERE and click on my name.  The video was used as part of the Storyline message series at our church.  While you are there, click around. Each video contains the story of an individual whose life has been changed because of their place in God's story.  If I could recommend a few. . . please listen to my friends Brian & Kim Bell and Cory & Shannan Martin.  I promise it's well worth your time.

And if you have a story, I'd love to hear it here.  Thank you friends, and God bless you.