Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sew Colette - Some talented ladies

I was so excited to head over to the  Sew Colette Flickr group this morning to take a peek at some of your gorgeous skirts! Don't tell my husband/coworker, I looked at all of your photos before I actually did any work. Oops ;) Below I have posted photos of some of you talented ladies.

I love the green shirt paired with her brown skirt. And I never would have thought about pairing the skirt with boots until a few of you ladies made it look so cute.

Meringue Skirt

Doesn't Sarah look like a model? I love how color coordinated she is. The best part about her skirt fabric choice is that it will go with anything.

Meringue 'Petals and Prints' Closeup

I know that this doesn't show off the beauty of the whole skirt, but I love the idea of adding a tag. When I was wearing my skirt for the first time I struggled with remembering which side was the front and which side was the back and having a tag will eliminate any confusion. It's one of those "duh" things that I wish I had thought of! :)


Karen looks so classy and how fun is her fabric choice?

Not sure how I feel about the scallops...

I know that Ellie wasn't in love with the fit of her skirt, but I think it looks great on her. Her scallops look perfect.

Since I am obsessed with red and turquoise together I am also obsessed with Lucille's skirt! I love the modifications she made, including the button. Lucille, I think you have good taste!

That wraps up the first project! Before we all get started on the next pattern I wanted to ask your opinions. Did you enjoy the first chapter of the sew-along? Do you have any advice for me or do you wish I had done things differently? Let me know, so I can change how I do things for the upcoming projects if need be. Thanks so much to all that participated!!!!!

Social Sunday - Lori's baby shower and cocktails

My friend Lori had her baby shower on Sunday. Lori is one of the most thoughtful, nice, and creative people I know, so I wanted to make something special for her. We went fabric shopping a few weeks ago and she fell in love with a vintage inspired fabric. Of course I had to be sneaky and go back and buy the fabric to make a quilt :)

It is just a simple quilt, I didn't want to do anything to detract from the adorable fabric. I didn't use my machine to quilt it, I just used embroidery thread to tie it. I like the thread, it give the quilt a "kid" look.

The back is a solid panel of this green fabric. It is a 1930's reproduction fabric. 

Some of my favorite ladies: Tara, Jackie, Lisa, Samantha, Lori, me, Krista, and Erin. I always have so much fun with them! 

After the baby shower my husband Luke and I decided that we wanted to get some drinks at the beach seeing as the weather was in the seventies. This was our view from the restaurant, beautiful! Have I mentioned that I love living by the beach??? 

Luke, wearing a Clippers hat of course. You can't see it, but trust me, it's Clippers. 

Our first cocktail was a shrimp and crab cocktail. Yum! 

My second cocktail was a more traditional one (meaning it had alcohol and not seafood) and it was amazing. I actually didn't order it, the waiter just gave it to me because he wanted me to try it. What a nice way to spend a Sunday, I love California!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Meringue skirt is completed

I finished my Meringue skirt! I sewed the whole thing up on Saturday night because I wanted to wear it to my friends baby shower on Sunday morning. It's definitely not the most flattering picture of me, but it's the only whole body shot I took.

A close up.

I learned a lot from this skirt. Going into it I was nervous about the invisible zipper which I built up to be much worse than it was. Having an invisible zipper foot definitely made things easier. I was literally finished with the skirt (other than the bottom facings) and zipping up the zipper when it BROKE!! So upsetting! There was no way to repair it, so I had to put in a new one and ruined all my hard work that I had done on the top facings. It looks ok, but not as good as it did before :(

Overall I am pleased with the skirt. I like that it sits higher and I love the fabric I chose. The pivot points  on the scallops were slightly puckered (any tips on this?), so I was feeling a little self conscious about wearing it. At the baby shower a lot of people said nice things about it and made me feel so much better. Plus, no one even noticed the tiny puckers that seemed to stick out like neon flashing lights to me. Why are sewists so hard on themselves?

Did you learn anything or wish you had done something differently with the Meringue? Please share, your input is helpful to those that haven't yet finished their skirts.

I can't wait to see all of your photos! Please upload them to the Flickr group so we can all take a look. I will be posting pictures of some of my favorites later today or tomorrow.
Schedule for sewing the Meringue skirt designed by Colette Patterns.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are you ready?

Are you ready to sew your skirt this weekend? I am, I'm excited now that my muslin fits well! My next step is cutting out the fabric with my revised pattern pieces, but last night I decided to get a head start and work on the template for the scallops. The book is very clear on how to do this, but I thought I would share how mine turned out.

First I traced a curve from one of the facing pieces and drew vertical lines, so I knew where the curve stopped. I measured 5/8 inch many different times from the curve I traced. This was easily done with my french curve.

Having the 5/8 inch mark was very helpful! I then used the rounded edge of the french curve to connect the marks.

I cut out the shape and ended up with this. Well, to be honest it took several tries to get it right, but I wanted the template to be perfect, so I didn't struggle/get frustrated later on when I was sewing.

I tested the template and the curves matched up, so I now feel more confident about sewing. Invisible zippers are another story though... I will be referring to page 23 in the book/this tutorial if I get lost.

What about you, are you ready to sew this weekend? I can't wait to see the finished skirts on Monday! Be sure to post them in the Flickr group, so we can all see them.

Schedule for sewing the Meringue skirt designed by Colette Patterns.
January 19 - Fitting the muslin.
January 26 - Sewing the final garment.
January 31 - Meringue Parade - show off your finished garments.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More projects for me

I started 2012 knowing that it was going to be a busy year, but I have (knowingly) made it busier. At the beginning of the year I decided that I want to make twelve garments from Colette Patterns and cohost a sew-along with Sarah,  I want to read at least one book a month, I want to be a contributor for The Sew Weekly (have yet to post anything other than my introduction post, but I am working on something now), I want to learn some basic embroidery, and I want to focus a little more on garment sewing which means cutting back on quilting. What a joke. That last idea lasted twenty two days.

 Made by Bobbi Porter and photo posted with her consent.

How amazing is this quilt? When I first saw it my jaw dropped, the main center area (not the borders) is made from one piece of fabric which is cut into pieces/strips (?) and sewn together to get that separate color effect. Bobbi (the quilting instructor for the class I'm in) pulled this off by choosing a fabric that didn't have a lot of dead space. I don't know exactly how she did it, but I'm going to learn :) When I saw this quilt I knew that I HAD to make it.

 Made by Bobbi Porter and photo posted with her consent.

The "quick and easy" quilt will be made up of blocks like the ones pictured above. With a few more blocks and a border it will be a perfect crib sized quilt. I'm going to make it for my friend's baby.

Fabric from Quiltin Cousins and photo posted with the owner's consent.

I have been eyeing this fabric from Quiltin Cousins for some time now and it will be perfect for the crib sized quilt. Hopefully there will be some left, I've got my heart set on using it! I am going with my friend Pari and my new quilting friend Stephanie for some fabric shopping this weekend.

My "To Do" list for this year just got a little bigger. How are all of you doing on your New Years Resolutions?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tea embroidery for a tea towel

Yesterday was a "Craft Day" for me and some friends. Two girls worked on their sewing machines, one drew, and I embroidered. It is my second embroidery project, so there is  room for improvement, but it was a fun, relaxing project to work on.

Ideally my kitchen would be entirely black, white, pink, and mint, but we rent and can't paint :( Plus finding things in mint is hard to do! The upside of being a DIYer is that you can make things to match, like my tea towel!

Giveaway winner and Sew Grateful

The winner for the prize from Augie and Lola Baby Baby Boutique is:

Congrats, Ellen! Krista will be in contact with you shortly. To those of you who didn't win: I'm doing another giveaway in February for Sew Grateful, so you will have to participate then :) I have the perfect item from my stash in mind...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I've got muslin problems

Unfortunately, the muslin for the Meringue isn't going as well as the one I made for my Sorbetto. After sewing up the sides of the skirt and wiggling into the muslin it was very clear that some adjustments needed to be made. The fabric was a little baggy below my bellybutton. I double checked with my husband (it's nice to have a second set of eyes) and he agreed that it looked like there were "loose horizontal wrinkles."

The horizontal wrinkles are much more pronounced in person.

After studying my Colette Patterns book it seemed that I needed to "eliminate some ease to make the area shorter." I used the technique suggested (pinched out the extra fabric, pinned it, and used a red Sharpie to mark corrections), changed my pattern to work with the new length, and made a new muslin. I'm still having a similar issue, though it is not as severe as the first muslin. My husband thinks I am being picky and that it looks fine. Maybe I am being picky, but I'm the one that is going to wear it!

The second muslin. I should have taken a photo of it on me not the form.

What about you, how did it go with your muslin? Any tips on making adjustments? If you have any detailed questions on fitting be sure to stop by the Sew Colette Flickr page.  That's where I'm heading now...

Oh, I also wanted to point out PoppyKettle's great post on doing the scallops at the bottom of the skirt. She even came up with a twist on the Meringue, the Pavlova. So clever!

Be sure to look for Sarah's post tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fabric choices are important

I read Melizza's post about her Meringue skirt and how she struggled with the facings on her scallops due to her fabric choice. I thought it was something we should all consider as we are choosing fabric to use for this project. I asked her if she would like to share what she learned and she was nice enough to agree. Thanks, Melizza! Your skirt looks great!

"Say No to A Saggy Bottom"

I felt like coloring outside the lines when I chose my fabric for the Meringue skirt muslin. I had just purchased some cute navy polka dot fabric and felt desperate to use it. What's the problem? Well the fabric had a lot of drape, exactly what the pattern does not call for. But I was up for the challenge. The fabric didn't set me back much so if it didn't work, at least I learned a lesson in fabric choice. If it did, I had a cute wearable muslin.

Constructing the skirt wasn't where I experienced my biggest hiccup. It was while I attached the hem facing. The fabric was flimsy so it was hard to keep it taut and straight enough to stitch. It took three tries to get it right! A bit frustrating when you're so close to being done and all you want to do is admire your handy work. The hem facing moved so easily I kept attaching it much too high onto the skirt. The first attempt lead to a saggy bottom, causing the scallops to lose shape. Same happened after my second attempt. After some tugging and calling in some patience I got the hem facing lined and stitched perfectly. So persistence paid off. No saggy bottoms here. Just crisp scallops.

I'm sure someone with more experience could have sailed through this saggy bottom issue but as a beginner it took me longer to figure out the obvious. If I had to do it again I would interface the hem to give it the body that it needed. Or I would just follow directions and use something stiffer, like cotton :) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Treasures purchased this past weekend

There was a sale at JoAnn's this weekend. All Butterick patterns were $2.00, so I bought eight. I don't know when I will actually make them, but how could I pass up a sale this good?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sorbetto Sunday (plus a Mai Tai)

I love living by the ocean!

Cheers from Shell Beach, California! The weather has been beautiful the last few days, so I have been out and about enjoying it. I met up with Kirsten yesterday morning and then went to The Cliffs  with some girlfriends for cocktails.

I finished my Sorbetto and I just love it. I used the fabric I bought from Mood last weekend, added a few inches to the shirt length, and added sleeves. It's such a simple pattern to sew up and depending on the fabrics used it can be dressed up or down. The shirt is one that I can wear to work, as well as on the weekends. There will be more shirts to come!

My only issue with the shirt was making the bias tape. I used a bias tape maker and an iron, but had trouble pressing down the fabric where the seams were joined when it was coming out the bias tape maker. Does that make sense? The seams just seemed to flop open. Does anyone have any tips for this?

I love this pool, but why aren't more people swimming?

A very strong Mai Tai.

Seventy degree weekends in mid January?!?! Yes, please!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Giveaway from Augie and Lola Baby Boutique

Hi everyone! I am excited to host my first giveaway! My friend Krista makes all of the products on the Augie and Lola Baby Boutique Etsy store and has been nice enough to give away an item to one of you reading this.

How cute is this bib??? 

I don't have kids, but these shoes would make a great gift for one of my friends that does.

Here's how it works: go to Krista's Etsy store and pick your favorite item. You can choose between a bib (she will make a matching burp cloth to go along with it) or a pair of shoes. If you would prefer a different fabric she will even customize the fabric to your liking! Leave a comment here with your e-mail address and the item you would like to win. That's it! The giveaway is open to participants worldwide, will run through the week, and end on Saturday, January 21st at 6:00 PM (PST).

P.S. You might want to follow her on Facebook too. She posts coupons and other cool things!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Los Angeles = Mood and the LA Clippers

Last Saturday my husband Luke and I went to Los Angeles for some shopping, an NBA game, and some fun! Our first stop was Mood. Let me say that my husband is such a good sport when it comes to fabric shopping. He always gives me good feedback when I ask him sewing questions (he doesn't sew, but he humors me), he gets me tall bolts of fabric that I am too short to reach, he is patient, and he doesn't rush me. This time he also entertained himself by picking out buttons for a sewing project that doesn't yet exist. He just wanted the buttons.

Lebron liked my purchases. 

Sorry if you don't like cats, but my blog is filled with pictures of my cats.

 I bought two fabrics. I know, only two! I am trying not to be a hoarder, so I am only buying what I need. Plus, being in Mood is kind of overwhelming to me because there are so many different choices. The red lawn fabric above is what I am using for my Sorbetto. I love red white and blue!

This sheer silk fabric is a very light pink with black polka dots. I'm nervous to use it, I've never sewn with a texture like that.

Clipper Nation!

In case you are new to my blog, my husband is a huge Los Angeles Clippers fan. We ordered tickets for the game against the Milwaukee Bucks as soon as we could. We got seats in row eleven!! I have never sat so close and now I feel spoiled, like I never want to sit farther back again :)

The only sewing related thing about this photo is that I made myself a Clippers headband. I would like to get more fabric, but can't find it anywhere :( When I eventually find some I plan on making myself a dress for future games. I'm going to look wild, but who cares????

Since we got to the game really early we got to watch warm ups. That's Blake Griffin making a layup.

The game. I can't get over what good seats we had!

Look who we were sitting next to. Hell yeah, I took that photo stalker status.