Friday, July 13, 2012

Selfish Sewing: A Maxi Skirt for Me!

I almost never sew for myself.
Which is funny since when I first started sewing it was entirely for myself.
But I was small and cute back then.

Since I picked up sewing again it's been almost exclusively for the Bug and other little Bugs with a bit of quilting or home decor thrown in.
Sewing for myself is pretty much limited to making a new purse every three months or so.

I'm an immediate gratification seamstress. If I can't get it done in a couple of hours, forget it. I don't have the time or the brain space to devote to it.  
Last weekend I tried on a maxi skirt at Target and fell in love with it.  Even better, I knew I could use it as a pattern to make more skirts for myself. The design was so simple that I knew it would be a quick project too (meaning, I might actually get around to doing it!).
So I did it!
It's just a simple three tiered Maxi skirt. Each tier is a bit wider than the one above it so it's gathered slightly to fit onto the tier above.  I took my tier measurements by laying out the purchased skirt on my cutting mat and writing down the dimensions (plus seam allowance).

The waist is a simple elastic casing. The Target skirt had a drawstring too but I totally forgot to add it until it was too late. No big deal, it fits fine without and it didn't really add anything aesthetically. 
Side note: I used elastic that said it won't twist and yet, it twists. Grrr. . . 
I've sewn it down flat in a couple of places but it is still twisty. What the heck? Any tips or tricks out there?
The hem just barely grazes the top of my shoes.
It's perfect and breezy and comfortable.
Super cool for these hot summer days with the added bonus that the legs could be a little over due for a shave and no one will be the wiser.
I love this fabric too.
It's a voile that I bought on sale at ages ago, specifically with the intent to sew something for myself.  It's a bit bold but paired with a solid tee I think it works.
I do feel a bit hippie-ish when I wear it and carry my big ol' granny bag. But it's fun.

So now the question becomes, How many maxi skirts is it practical to have in one's wardrobe? 
Because I can see myself making many more.

Is there any interest in a tutorial?


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pleated Penny Pattern Test

Sometimes I do crazy things.
Like volunteering to do a pattern test in the middle of one of the most hectic weeks so far this summer.
But I'd been longing to get into the sewing room and there is nothing like a deadline to force me to prioritize my creative outlet.  As busy as I was last week. . . I needed this.

Behold the Pleated Penney from Shwin & Shwin.
 I made the tunic length in 5T.
I think it fits the Bug just right.

I made a belt but I decided it didn't need it.  I like how the top is swingy and full without it.

Like our dead grass? It hasn't rained here in a month. It's crazy.
 Part of the deal for getting her to pose was letting her pick the short and shoes so we have purple shorts, dirty flip flops and a random fast food toy which she is pretending is her cell phone.
I will take what I can get.

I love the smile and puffed up chest pose.
It tells me that she really does like this one. Woo hoo!
The print is from Amy Butler's Lark collection. Fat Quarter Shop had it 50% off a few weeks ago and I couldn't help myself. I pretty much drained my "fabric buying" money in my PayPal account!
Money well spent I think. I love this big bold print.
 This top is a quick sew. It's pretty much the same front and back.
Made nice and roomy by the pleats around the neckline.
Those pleats are the only thing I'd consider "difficult" about this pattern but they are meant to be kind of free form and they don't have to be even so just don't over think it.
 The arm holes are finished with a bias binding. I happened to have a bit of thin, white binding on hand so I just used that. But you could match it to your fabric or even do a second print if you want to make your own bias.

I had some minor issue with the straps. They seemed too wide so I basically made them half the width of the pattern. I was working late into the night so I think perhaps the error was with me and not the pattern.  I want to try it again and do it right.
 Just another shot of the back.
The zig zags at the top just under her hair are because I was working late    and totally forgot to add my tag when I stitched down the facing.  If I was making this for someone else, I would have ripped out the seam and sewed it in but it doesn't really bother me to see those extra stitches there.
Now if you'll excuse her, the Bug needs to take this very important call.
I have a feeling it's Ariel.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Flower Stamping

We bought some celery at the grocery store last week and as I was cutting it, I actually remembered to save the bottom part for stamping.
This has been all over Pinterest and lots of the crafty blogs, so nothing new here.
But it was fun for the Bug. And I think it's a neat way to see food in a different way.
We talked a little bit about what other types of vegetables we could make into stamps.
We had two "stamps" so she chose a color for each stamp.
Pink and purple of course.
There was a little bit of a learning curve with just how much paint to apply and how to put the stamp down, but she quickly got the hang of it.
These little projects take so much letting go for me!
I am such a control freak, but I took a step back and just let the Bug go with it--making her own design.
She did a super job. Of course.
We used these fabric paints that I found on sale at JoAnns. I've never used this kind before but they were marked down from about $6 per jar to $.99 so it was totally worth trying something new.
The verdict? I like them. I like having paint in a jar like this rather than the bottle or tube I usually use. I feel like there is less waste because you can just dip your brush in the jar and you don't have to pour it onto a palette. The colors are just as vibrant and once you heat set, the paint is color fast.

We've washed this shirt a good 3 times and so far it's holding up well.
I love it.
She did such a fantastic job and it's one of her favorite shirts to wear. (Thus having washed it three times in two weeks!)  She has gotten all kinds of compliments on it, which I think is just awesome.
Of course she glows with pride when she wears it.
I might have to have her paint all of her own clothing from now on. It makes getting dressed in the morning much easier!