Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving dress

I may have been on the ball with the Christmas dress, but the Thanksgiving outfit was an 11th hour decision.

I wasn't going to make anything, but then I saw this orange and brown floral knit in my stash and it just seemed so darn Thanksgiving-y
. . . and then I tore a hole in one of my favorite orange striped shirts (it was an accident, I promise!)
. . . and then I spotted another orange stripey knit in my upcycle pile that just went well enough to be funky.

You see how it all snowballed, ultimately leaving me with no choice, right?

I used a shirt pattern from my favorite kids clothing book and made some pretty significant alterations to make this little dress. The leggings were made by tracing an existing pair of her leggings onto my fabric. It came together pretty quickly and easily even with the pattern adjustments.
Unfortunately, photographing the Bug in it was no where near as easy.
She was in a goofy mood.
What is this? The monkey pose?? Who knows.
When I asked her to act normal she got all offended.
So I let her wander and took pictures of her from behind, when she wasn't looking and I cut her pouty little head off.  That'll teach ya!
You can see I took some details from the two original shirts I was upcycling and re-used them on the dress.
First, the button placket from the polo. . . I just cut it off of the polo and sewed it right onto the neckline of the dress. It's just decorative, not functional. But it doesn't need to be functional since the neckline is nice and stretchy.

I also took a small pocket off of my favorite shirt and sewed it onto the short sleeve of her dress.
The long sleeves were cut from the original shirt sleeves so I just used the existing hem.  Hooray for short cuts!

The cute yellow rick rack was a super lucky find at my favorite thrift store.
It is straight out of the 70's I think. It's a real nice stretchy double knit sort of thing. I've never seen anything quite like it.  
I didn't have much so I conserved by adding it only to the front panel of the skirt. 
And then just to be fun and funky and unexpected, I added it around the hem of just one leg of her leggings.
Can we talk about the leggings for a minute?
They fit perfectly.
I have never made a pair of leggings that fit her the way I like them to.
And I didn't make a paper pattern, so I probably never will again.

This is the lone "good" photo I got that shows the entire ensemble.
And I only got this because I informed her her posing was not up to par for receiving the promised candy reward.
Hey, I do what I can and I take what I can get.

Ultimately, it's a cute and comfy little outfit that the Bug loves which is a huge accomplishment considering there isn't a lick of pink or purple or sparkle.
I think she will actually wear it again!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Stockings Updated

Last year Michelle made these awesome stockings for our family out of Grandpa's old over-alls.
They are such a treasure. Really, I think they may be my favorite new family Christmas tradition.
We ran out of time last Christmas season, but we always had intended to embroider names on the wool cuff.
So a few weeks ago, realizing the Christmas was sneaking up on me, and that my Mom would need these to begin filling them soon, I dug into this little project. . . . the whole time thanking God for our small family! ha! I only had seven names.
I love the stockings at the Purl Bee. That font rocks. Slick and modern.
But in the end, I decided to just use my own handwriting as our "font".
That and a simple split back stich just felt down right homey to me and I think ultimately, that fits us well.
We are not so much a "slick and modern" group of folk.

This was a quick, fun little project. Just the right size to take along to work on in the waiting room while those little Princess Ballerina's do their thing.
I super duper love these all together like this and I am so excited for the holidays!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Dress

I finished the Bug's Christmas dress.
Oh yes I did.
One and a half months early. Not that I'm counting. Or bragging.
But, it's not even Thanksgiving yet. . . (patting self on back)

O.k.. . . well. . . truth:  I sort of finished the Bug's Christmas dress.  This wasn't technically even supposed to work out to be something wearable. I had this free fabric that was mis-sent by a while back and I thought, what the heck, I'm going to test this new pattern I bought.
My "muslin" so to speak.

So I did.
And I'm kind of smitten with it.
I didn't love the fabric when it came. I kind of thought it was horrible. Stiff and gaudy and just pure yuckiness.
But in a shiny, sparkley holiday dress I think it's sort of perfect.

What ISN'T perfect is the neck.
Even when the bow is untied it does not fit over the Bugs head.
I'm pretty sure this is my fault and not the fault of the pattern. And it's an easy enough fix, pick off the bow and let out some neck gathers, I just haven't done it yet.

I lined the whole deal with this crazy red polyester old lady fabric (grandma's fabric, the gift that keeps on giving) and I think that pop of Christmas red in there is my very favorite part.  The pattern didn't call for any lining but this silver fabric was so stiff and uncomfortable I knew the Bug wouldn't ever wear it without a soft lining added.

This is such a sweet pattern and a quick sew that I'm going to give it another go in some fabric that's a bit nicer and in a color (purple) that I'm pretty much garunteed the Bug will wear.  Stay tuned!


Thank you!!

Chalk this post up as Looong over due!
Blame it on me being sick to varying degrees for the majority of the first half of this month.

But. . .
We WON the label contest!
I know, it was ages ago and it's a bit anti climatic at this point, eh? 
Do you even remember?
My high hopes were to have finished something and sewn one of these lovelies into it to show you.
But my sinuses had other plans.

So here you are, a picture of these lovely labels.
It's true, I want to hold them and pet them and make them my best friend.
I might be exhibiting a bit of hoarding behavior.
I'm finding it hard to find a garment worthy of sewing one into.

I did send a yard of them to my sister.
That was nice, right???
See, I'm not a hoarder.

Really though, I am so thankful to all who voted.
And very, very thankful to Crafterhours for hosting the competition and to the Twill Tape Guy for putting out such an awesome product.

I have to say, I was impressed with how easy he was to work with AND how speedy!!
Seriously, I have patience issues when it comes to this sort of thing and I didn't even get a chance to get antsy about them before they showed up.

So thanks again to everyone!
And sorry for the extended blogging absence.  I have a few small projects to show you when I get a chance and I know Michelle has some things in the works too!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Bag

I've had this fabric sitting on my sewing room floor with the intent to make a new purse for over a month.
It finally happened last night.

I pinned the inspiration bag 8 weeks ago. . . so maybe the fabric has been on my floor for (gasp!) two months.

The lovely mustard colored wool is from my Grandma. This photo doesn't do the depth of the color justice. It really is so pretty.
I was just telling some friends how I am trying to be more intentional about taking quality pictures and now today I give you this. . . cell phone pictures taken from at my desk at work.
The green carpet and grey file cabinet really sets it off, right?  Right??

O.k., no, I know. . . but I was excited to show you.
The lace is lovely. From a bunch I bought while thrifting. I adore it. I am so NOT a lace girl but for some reason I am drawn to this. And I think the wide brown stripe down the front breaks up the "frill" a bit and brings a little modern to a whole lot of vintage.

I kind of like the new shape of this bag. It's a bit taller than it is wide.  A new design for me. . . I sort of just cut it out and let it happen with no real plan.
It's how I roll. . . at least in the sewing room.
I'm still debating if I would have liked it better with one more pleat at the top. I don't know, I'm kind of a "do things in odd numbers" kind of a girl.
What do you think? Is the negative space above the pleats interesting or awkward?
And I love, love, love the lining fabric. Alexander Henry Dagmar Plaid, scored for $5 a yard at Lolly's in Shipshewana.  The pockets are a coordinating print I bought at the same time but the name escapes me.

You'll notice I still need to press and top stitch around the top of the purse. I had to watch Survivor last night (priorities, right?? How about that Cochran folks?? Wow.) and just ran out of time. But I'll get to it eventually.

And yes, I am giving you a glimpse into my messy purse. Keeping it real folks.  
You know I love my pens. And my Tide pen.  And I've got to have my phone charger.  And yes, there's fruit snacks and a Tootsie Roll in there, I am such a mom.
And of course, there is a small zipper pocket in turquoise. . . love that unexpected pop of color. No one else may ever see it but it makes me smile.

Can you believe how disorganized my new purse already is? I know, it's terrible. The papers there are things I need to keep tabs on though. . . the most recent JoAnn's flier, which I've yet to clip the coupons from, and my jury summons. . . yeah, you know you're jealous.

So there you have it. . .
My Pinterest inspired Fall purse and a quick glimpse into the mess that resides therein.