Monday, June 30, 2014

My Clara Dress

This is where it all began. I'm sure many of you can relate. Find something cute on Pinterest and then just have to make it! I am not a garment sewer, I am not a garments sewer, ... This is what I told myself, but the obsession had begun.
I finally talked myself into making this dress a few weeks ago. If I can make dresses for the little one, I can do it for myself, right? Pattern and fabric were purchased, now for the hard part, actually sewing it. Bonus: this pattern comes with a step by step video tutorial to show how to put the whole thing together.
Pattern cutting is easy and when there are straight lines involved, I cheat and use my rotary cutter. The bodice is the first piece to be constructed. No real problems here.
Then it comes to this point, the dreaded sleeves. Play dreaded tune here. I swear sleeves are the bane of my sewing existence. Maybe I am just too particular, maybe I am not supposed to do curved seams, or maybe I just need practice? The sleeves took me a few hours just to get the first one on. Once I get the sleeves on the rest of the dress just kind of comes together.
This dress has elastic in the waistband. The only other part I had any trouble with was getting the elastic stretched enough while sewing it in. The first attempt was not stretchy enough. Enter Jack, the seam ripper. This particlar seam was a doosy because I used a tricot stitch, a zig zag with three stiches per zig. One hour later, I had the elastic removed, stretched more, and resewn. Wow, much better.
The Clara Dress is a challenging pattern made easier with the video tutorial to accompany it. Other than the sleeves, I had no troubles. The outcome is a super cute dress. I am already shopping for more fabric so I can make another. The second is always easier than the first.


Sunday, June 1, 2014


It must be the 6 year old's time for handmade goodies. She had never helped me pick out the pattern or fabrics for one of her own quilts. I finally decided that it was time for this to happen. After tour through my extensive pattern stash, we chose the Fireworks pattern by Thimble Blossoms.

That decided, it was time to make a trip to my favorite quilt store, The Quilt Patch. Amazingly, this was a quick trip. She immediately fell in love with the Daydreams line by Kate Spain. In and out in less than 30 minutes, I think this is a record for me!

I was so excited to start this project that it was allowed to jump to the front of the project line. This line gets longer everyday. There are several goodies waiting that will appear on here before too long. So off to the cutting table for me. This is not my favorite part of the process, but handling beautiful fabrics makes me so happy. Aren't they such pretty piles of fabrics?

The blocks for this quilt took quite a bit of time to put together because there are many pieces in each. They are not hard to put together acurately, just time consuming. The only beef I had with this project is all of the waste. I don't know about you, but I hate wasting good fabric.

All of the flying geese pieces are made with a rectangle and two squares. This means that there are four triangle pieces of waste. My solution to this was to draw two sewing lines on each square making the flying geese units and two half square triangle units at the same time. I will share some of my projects using these left overs soon.

This is only part of the pile of extra half square triangles I had left over!

My daughter laid this quilt out with very little input from me. Have you ever tried to do this with a 6 year old? It can get a little sticky, but she is my last and I have learned a little bit about working with little people on this type of project. She did a great job and it turned out fabulous!

Here it is getting quilted with swirls as requested.

All in all, this is a great project that looks amazing.

Happy Sewing




Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scrappy Cargo Duffle

It all started when a friend of mine sent me a picture of her fabric she had just received in the mail. It was the Giraffe Crossing line from Riley Blake. My youngest daughter is obsessed with all thing giraffe, so I told my friend that someone here would love that fabric. This friend graciously gifted me the left overs from her quilt project.


Then the real thinking started, the steam was really rolling. Part of that was from the thinking and some was from negotiating with the 5 year old. My daughter wanted a quilt, but there was clearly not enough fabric for a quilt. We were preparing to go to Florida for a visit with family. Guess who had to pack in a reusable Disney shopping bag? Unbelievable, I know! This was the final push to find a bag pattern that could be put together with the amazingly cute scraps.

I had already scoped out the bag from Anna over at Noodlehead. She had recently shown a Cargo Duffle, that I knew would work out great for someone in this house. A girl can NEVER have too many bags. Having made several of her patterns, I knew this would go together smoothly!

Everything went wonderfully, including the zipper! The zipper had me a little worried because I had never used a metal zipper before. Wasn't sure how it would work in my machine, but all went smoothly. Well, except for that one part when I sewed the zipper pull into the seam. My fault, I know...

The interior of the bag is wonderful because there are no raw edges left exposed. Unlike most bags I have sewn, this one does not make the lining separately. It is quilted together and then each piece is handled as a unit.

I would reccomend this to anyone that has a little bag making experience. Fun, fast and straight forward!

Happy Sewing



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Family Reunion Dress

My youngest daughter (I have 4) is going to be 6 later this month. Realizing that she is growing up WAY too fast, I thought I should make her as many dresses as I can before she decides my homemade stuff is just not for her. In all fairness, my college girls still like the bags and pj pants I make for them.

Shopping for dress patterns is fun but overwhelming at times. There are so many adorable options for girls dresses. After many hours looking through picture after picture of cute girls in fabulous dresses I chose a few patterns by Oliver & S...The Family Reunion Dress and The Ice Cream Dress.

The Family Reunion Dress is the first one that I decided to tackle. I am not usually a garment sewer, but I like to make simple dresses for my girls. Sleeves intimidate me. As a quilter, I don't sew curved seams, they are scary!

Being slightly afraid, I looked for a sew along. I found just the spot at Her thorough directions and excellent pictures helped me know if I was doing it right. The directions that came with the pattern were also wonderful. There wasn't one step that I didn't understand. By nature, I am good with directions, but in a foreign area like garment construction good directions are a must! Even the sleeves went smoothly, much to my relief.

The dress turned out wonderful! The pin tucks in the front and back add interest to the front of the dress. Adding six lines of stitching at the hem adds a nice touch to the bottom of the dress and makes it more stable, so it shouldn't turn up in the wash. I am so pleased with how it looks and even how it feels. My daughter couldn't be happier. She insisted that she felt like a princess. Every girl should feel like that sometimes.

I can't wait to try the Ice Cream Dress.

Happy Sewing