Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My "Pastille" dress


Two words: wrinkle city

My dress is finally finished and I am wearing it as I type. I finished sewing last night (I'm such a procrastinator) and planned on having my husband take photos of me before going to work. Well, he got called on an emergency job and had to leave the house at 7:00 am. I decided to wear my dress to work and take pictures here. It's pretty weird wearing something so dressy to work, but I am justifying it because I have a work meeting later on.


Here's the lowdown on the dress: I'm not really sure if I like it :( The facings show through because the fabric is somewhat sheer (that's what I get for ordering offline and not seeing it in person) and it wrinkles like crazy!!!! I tried ironing it, steaming it, even starching it and it wrinkles so bad! In the first photo I had only been wearing the dress for a little over two hours and it looks terrible.


I tried to make myself feel better about my failed fabric choice by playing dress up with some of the stuff in my closet.



If you have been following along with the sew-along, then you will notice that my dress is as simple as it comes. I didn't do the pleats on the bottom or the bow on the top. I would like to make this dress again in the future, but with a different fabric that doesn't wrinkle so badly. The fit is not perfect, but I learned a lot about fitting modifications, so I can't complain :)

I'm going to wait a bit so all of you can upload pictures of your finished dresses to the Sew Colette Flickr group before I do a round up of some of my favorites. I can't wait to see them! :)

_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 21st: How to sew a centered zipper
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade - my finished dress
February 29th: Some of my favorite dresses from the Sew Colette Flickr group

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday


Happy birthday to the love of my life, Luke.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sew Colette - Sewing the final dress



It's time to get started on the final version of the Pastille dress! Have you all perfected your muslins? I wouldn't say that mine is perfect, but it has improved from the last one I showed you.


I keep being hard on myself for not having a perfect fit, which is so crazy! Honestly, who learns something new and starts out being perfect?!?! It takes time and practice to get to that level. All I can hope for is to improve and learn new skills with each project, which I am doing. I am now one step closer to becoming better at fitting clothing! :)


On Sunday I cut out the fabric for the "real" dress and last night I started sewing. I didn't get too far, just to the facings on the arms, but I am pleased with how everything looks so far. Hopefully tonight I will make more progress, as my sister and future brother in law are going to be in town all weekend!

How are all of you doing so far? Are you ready for the big reveal next Wednesday?

_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 21st: How to sew a centered zipper
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to sew a centered zipper


For the Pastille dress in the Colette Sewing Handbook Sarai recommends using a 24 inch centered zipper. On our Meringue skirts we used an invisible zipper, so using a centered zipper means using a different style and technique. On pages 24 and 25 of the book Sarai goes into detail on how to install this type of zipper, but some of us (myself included) need to see it in action. I found this video on You Tube that I hope will be helpful to some of you.


Please don't let your fear of zippers stop you from making this dress! If you need help please don't hesitate to ask Sarah, myself, or the others in the Sew Colette Flickr group.

_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 21st: How to sew a centered zipper
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade

Monday, February 20, 2012

Instant gratification projects

I like making quick instant gratification projects while working on my bigger projects. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, like I should be focusing on one project at a time, but when I work on projects that take months (like this quilt) I need a break. And I need a finished item in my hand. In an hour. Here are a few of my latest small accomplishments.

A neck warmer for my soon to be brother in law. If you recognize the fabric it's because you have seen it before for this project. The neck warmer is filled with rice and lavender. After three minutes in the microwave it feels amazing.


I got myself a new digital camera and didn't want to be stuck with a boring case, so I made one myself with fabric and quilt batting. I made the purple piping and the inside is lined with a black and white polka dot fabric. There are no pictures of the inside because it looks embarrassingly terrible and I don't want you to laugh at me.


This weekend I went to Birch and got a quarter yard of the fabric above. I loved the print, but wasn't sure what I should do with it. I decided to make a sash to tie around my waist or tie in my hair. Currently, I am obsessed with tying scarves in my hair, so I'm sure this sash will get some use.


See, I love scarves! A girl's got to tie her hair back when she's eating a crab dinner!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quilt WIP


So far I am very pleased with how my "quick and easy" quilt is coming along. All of the blocks are done and they look good placed together. The pink corners form little pink diamonds which I love. There aren't many blocks, so the quilt will be four blocks by three blocks. Once I add a border it will be a little bigger. I'm thinking of using a mint color, do you think that will look good?



For the bigger quilt I am working on sewing the six pieces of identical triangles together, three on one side and three on the other. It is going to take me a longgggg time to do.



Originally after cutting I had three identical stacks of fabric. Do you see how much progress I have made? :( I have literally worked for hours and have little to show for it. It takes forever making the half hexagons because I have to press everything I sew. I moved the iron next to my machine to make things easier, but this quilt is going to take a very long time to complete. I know what I will be doing this weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fabric choices for the Pastille dress



Have all of you bought your fabric for the Pastille dress? I have been planning on sewing up this dress since I got the Colette Patterns book in my hands, so I ordered the fabric above a few months ago. It's very similar to what is on the model, but with less orange, at least I think so.

The fabric I chose is a linen from Mood, which will be perfect for holding the bottom pleats of the dress. Sarah chose an adorable quilting cotton, which I am happy about for my own selfish reasons. You see, where I live there are TONS of quilting stores, but little to no stores that carry fabric for garment sewing. I am so happy to know that this dress can be sewn in quilters cotton. There are so many adorable fabrics available and the possibilities are endless, so I had some fun daydreaming about some quilters cotton fabrics I found online! 


This fabric from Harts Fabric would give your dress a Hawaiian look. You could wear the dress with some cute sandals or wedges for summer. Wait, I kind of want to order this fabric now...



What about making the bottom of the dress in this awesome print and making the top in a solid pink or red? I totally stole the idea of using two different fabrics from ToastyKnitsandSews on the Sew Colette Flickr group.

So do any of you have any exciting plans for your Pastille? Any fun colors or embellishments? I want to hear about it!

_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Sew Weekly theme is "red" this week


My dress was on The Sew Weekly yesterday. It's so cool being on a website that I LOVE and to be posting among seamstresses that I admire so much makes me giddy. If you aren't familiar with the site, let me tell you a bit about it. Every week there is a new challenge that those participating must follow along with. This week it was to make something in red. I bought this fabric a couple of months back in preparation for the challenge and I am so happy with how everything turned out.

showing off my pockets

I sewed this pattern almost exactly a year ago and what a difference a year makes! I have learned SO much about sewing since then and this time making it was a breeze. Before, I struggled with reading the pattern, deciphering symbols, understanding new concepts, and those pockets, ughhh! The second time was the exact opposite, it took me several hours spread over a few days, not over several months. 




I feel like a zipper snob, now that I have learned how to install an invisible zipper I don’t want to use any other kind! Sorry for the poor quality of the last few photos, but my “photographer” (husband) was busy (watching ESPN). I guess that’s what I get for asking for a photo shoot during the NBA season :)


Here is one reason that washing fabric beforehand is so important. I used those color catchers that you throw in the wash and look at how much came off!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pastille muslin


How are all of you doing with your muslins? I'm not doing so well, BUT I know how to fix things, so that is a start. Here is where it all went wrong: I traced my pattern onto freezer paper and when cutting the fabric I assumed that the skirt back and bodice back were supposed to be cut on the fold. Wrong! I got to the part where I was supposed to insert the zipper and realized that I was a dumb dumb, but got over it and moved forward with sewing the bottom pleats.


The finished muslin is way too baggy on me, but once I actually install a zipper I think everything will fit better (have to take those seam allowances into consideration). Another muslin is in the works.

I got bummed because I kept looking at the front of the book and noticing how well the dress fit the model, when I realized that I don't want my dress to fit exactly like that. Let's keep it real, I want a slightly looser fit so I can sit comfortably and do fun stuff like eat pizza and not feel like my dress is too tight afterwards :)

_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sew Grateful giveaway winner



The giveaway winner is Meg the Grand! Congrats, Meg. You will have to show us all what you make with the pattern :) Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. I'd like to do another one in the near future, maybe if I get 100 followers... I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I love Joan from Mad Men


Have I ever told you how much I adore Joan from Mad Men? I think she's a classy lady, for the most part, and I love her style (who doesn't?). I have a Pinterest board dedicated to her and my husband was kind enough to get me her signature pen necklace, so I can pretend to be more like her than I actually am. Stalker?

An upcoming Sew Weekly challenge is going to be a Mad Men theme. I was very excited because I had bought some fabric that screamed "Joan" to me before knowing about the challenge... but I keep looking at it and second guessing myself. Do you think this is a "Joan" color? I need your opinions!


If you guys approve of this fabric then I am going to use it for a dress. Which dress? I don't know :( I need to figure out which pattern to use and find some time to get this done! I picture myself wearing my Mad Men dress, drinking Old Fashioned cocktails, and watching the new episodes. Man Men party?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sew Colette - Croquis


Have all of you been following along with Sarah's blog? She has posted some awesome tutorials that will help you with sewing your muslin for your Pastille dress. She went over making shoulder adjustments, full and small bust adjustments, and making a croquis and dressing/sewing for your body shape. How awesome is she for posting all that?!?!?

I have yet to make my croquis, but it's going to happen. I have this dream of mixing and matching patterns on my croquis and then attaching fabric swatches to the paper. If I do all of this on the same size of paper I could then have it spiral bound into my own personal inspiration book. How cool would it be to have a custom book that you could flip through for ideas?


Some great tutorials have been popping up online. Personally, I love Lauren's. She guides you step by step through the creation process, so there is no confusion at all. When I make mine I will be referring to her blog :) If you have questions about dressing your croquis then I recommend Mikhaela's video tutorial. She shows you how she draws the dress outline and digitally puts her fabric swatches onto it.

Questions about fitting your muslin? You can always ask Sarah or I. Remember that the Sew Colette Flickr group is a good resource too! If you have already made a croquis please feel free to upload the photos.
_____________________________________________________
Schedule for sewing the Pastille dress designed by Colette Patterns.
February 2nd: Sewing the muslin - using washers
February 6th-11th: Fitting techniques and making a croquis.
February 16th: Choosing fabric
February 23rd: Sewing the final dress
February 29th: Pastille Parade

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sew Grateful Giveaway

Sew Grateful Week

One of my favorite bloggers, Debi, dreamed up this wonderful week which you can read all about here. I have a LOT to be grateful for when it comes to this amazing online community of sewers. From all of you I get inspired, support when I need it (which is a lot), kind words, and I have made new friends. I am so lucky!!!

To kick off Sew Grateful Week I am hosting a giveaway for a Butterick pattern. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment telling me what makes you "Sew Grateful." That's it, easy! The giveaway will run until this Saturday, February 11th, at 6:00 PST and is open to everyone worldwide. One comment per person, please.


The pattern. How cute is the waist area?



Sizes 14, 16, 18,  and 20.



Back of the envelope.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fabric cutting extravaganza

made by Bobbi Porter and photo is used with her permission

Do you remember this quilt block from my quilting class? I found the fabric I am going to use for it and I am so excited!


It will be very girly, but I'm making it for a baby girl, so it's perfect.

made by Bobbi Porter and photo is used with her permission

This is the second quilt I am making. Can you believe that she made this from the fabric pictured below???




The pink fabric (above) is what I chose for my project. Now that I look at it, I'm not sure if I am going to give it to Luke's sister, it doesn't have enough purple in it.



Thursday night I had a fabric cutting bonanza. Cutting the fabric for this quilt was a lot harder than others. I had to lay six identical pieces of fabric on top of one another, pin it, and cut precisely using a triangle ruler. Thank god I had a sharp rotary blade!


Since I cut through six identical layers I ended up with six identical pieces. I had some fun laying the pieces on my mat and seeing all the fun variations I could do with the blocks. Not sure if I am excited or stressed when it comes to sewing this up...

Friday, February 3, 2012

New tattoo

My tattoo

My husband Luke's good friend moved to Texas several years back and we miss him! Chris tattoos at Oliver Peck's shop, Elm Street Tattoo, in Dallas. When he comes to town he always tattoos Luke, but this time it was my turn! :) I am really happy with how it turned out, Chris is so talented!

Luke's tattoo

Luke has a tattoo for me on his inner left arm, so I got a tattoo for him in the same place.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sew Colette - Metal washers


Hello everyone! It's time to get started on our muslins but to be honest, I haven't even cut mine out yet :( It was a spur of the moment thing, but I ended up getting tattooed last night, so that means that I wasn't productive sewing wise. I'm ready to write about sewing though!

To those of you that didn't participate in the first part of the sew-along, please make sure you have your correct measurements before getting started. If you need help then see this post.


Before reading the Colette Sewing Handbook I struggled with cutting out my fabric. I would cut out the pattern, pin it to the fabric, and awkwardly cut around it. My cuts weren't as precise as they could have been and it was a struggle going around the paper. In the book Sarai suggested placing metal washers on top of the pattern, tracing around it, removing the pattern, and then cutting the fabric from the lines you had created. I did this with my Meringue skirt and it made cutting a breeze! There were no shaky cuts on my fabric and it was less of a fight between me and my scissors :)

You can get washers at any hardware store. My husband got mine at Miner's (isn't he sweet?) for $0.50 each and he got the biggest ones he could find. I'm sure that you could use other things that are flat and heavy to keep the pattern in place, but I really like using the washers because they can easily be packed away in a little box and stored with my sewing stuff. Have any of you tried using Sarai's technique? What did you think?