Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lucky Lucille online store

May I brag about my super talented friend, Rochelle, for a minute? Rochelle runs the blog, Lucky Lucille, and recently opened an online store with some adorable items that I would like to share with you.

The day that Rochelle opened her online shop I HAD to buy myself this bag for my makeup. Rochelle designed the fabric herself and incorporated her dog Lucille into the design, which is so clever! I ordered it late last week and had it in my hands first thing on Monday. Pretty fast for shipping from Vermont to California!

Before I put my makeup inside I couldn't hep but admire the craftsmanship that went into the bag. The zipper was perfect (I'm jealous that I can't do zippers this well), the stitches couldn't be more uniform, and the tag is adorable!

My pup Frankie wanted to hang out with Lucille :)

This doggy poop bag holder is one of the coolest ideas! It's lightweight and easy to carry on walks when it's attached to Frankie's leash. Plus, it's wayyyy cuter than the plastic ones you can buy in stores.

Rochelle was sweet enough to send a surprise for the cats, so they wouldn't be left out. These tiny little pillows are filled with catnip. As you can see, Lebron was very excited about them.

He had a little trouble sharing with Stella.

But then he got over it.

If you are looking for some unique gifts or stocking stuffers for the upcoming holidays, then I would highly recommend the Lucky Lucille shop! Rochelle: Stella, Lebron, Frankie, and I say, "thank you so much!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Fall skirt


The Facts
  • Fabric: According to the tag it is woven Prada twill.
  • Pattern: Colette Patterns Meringue from the Colette Sewing Handbook
  • Year: 2011
  • Notions: invisible zipper, thread
  • First worn: October 22 for pictures
  • Wear again?: Yes! Perfect for Thanksgiving.
  • Total price: A few dollars.
Back in August my husband and dad accompanied me on an adventure to the Los Angeles garment district. They were both very patient with me as I sifted through all the treasures in the Michael Levine Loft. With fabric being sold at $2.50 a pound I felt like I was in fabric heaven.
I snatched up nine yards of this pretty fall fabric. It was enough for this skirt, a future dress, and some to give away ;) Lebron the cat approved of this idea at least!
The Meringue is a pattern that I had made earlier in the year and wanted to revisit. Unfortunately, the fit is a few sizes too big, as I have lost a little weight. My original Meringue fits okay, but this one definitely could be a little more snug. Oh well, it will be the perfect skirt to wear during the holiday season when I am eating a lot of delicious food! :)
The most difficult part of sewing this was making the scallops perfectly rounded and with no puckers along the pivot points. There were a few mistakes, but for the most part I am very proud of how it all came out.
The weather is cooling down, so I may have to wear this skirt with tights. I'm not complaining though, I love fall!

Guest post from Christine Haynes

I can't get enough of Christine Haynes! I love reading her blog, enjoy her pictures on Instagram, and adore the sewing patterns she designs (I'm working on her Chelsea dress right now). When Peony was chosen for Sew Colette, Christine was the first person who popped into my mind as a guest poster. She has made the dress several times and the versions I have seen are stunning! Thanks for sharing with us, Christine.
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My Favorite Peony
When Colette Patterns released the Peony Dress, I knew right away it was for me. Classic, feminine, simple, vintage-inspired, and timeless; this is my taste and style to perfection! The sample Sarai made immediately reminded me of one of my favorite dresses from one of my favorite films: Audrey Hepburn’s white dress from Charade. It has all the same lines, with the exception of a different dart location. Otherwise, it is the exact dress!


I have made many Peony Dresses over the time since its release, each one slightly different from the previous. First I made a “wearable muslin” version. I only do this when I’m pretty sure that whatever happens, it will at a minimum be wearable. Since this is such a classic shape, I thought I could at least get close in my first attempt. 


I made a few changes to the pattern, prior to making a muslin, just knowing my body. I shortened the bodice by an inch and I made an A-line skirt that gathered into the waist (which spins well!). I knew the skirt shape wouldn’t work on me. My first dress was pretty good, and certainly gets worn, but it pointed out a few other fit issues to resolve in the next version. 


Like many of you, I had to move my bust darts and blend sizes. I moved the bust darts out and lower. I found them to be too high and too close together for me. I also brought the shoulders in to a size 2, and used the largest dart at the back of the neck. After all this, I feel pretty solid about the fit, but I could never get the slight gaping at the back of the neck to totally go away. It’s fine when worn alone, but if I put a cardigan over it, the dress makes the neckline stick out weirdly under the sweater. Alas, I can live with this dress being a sans-cardigan-dress! 


I now have a lot of Peony Dresses and it’s been a joke amongst my friends, “let me guess… is it a Peony Dress?” My favorite one is this orange floral version. It’s not the one I wear the most, that is my solid brown/black short-sleeved version, but this one does come out for special occasions, like my Craftsy class video. This vintage fabric was found at a thrift-by-the-pound shop in San Francisco in the drapery section. It’s rather fragile, so I take care of it, or else I’m sure it’s going to fall apart! 

Links:

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Peter Pan collar, a dog collar, and a football game

Last weekend I was in the mood for some instant gratification projects, so I took some time off from working on my clothing projects and made myself and Frankie some collars.

I made my dog Frankie this bandana/outfit to wear to tomorrow's Alzheimer's Walk. The color that everyone will wear is purple and I didn't want my pup to be left out. This is my last time begging you to donate, I promise :)

A while back I was lurking around on the Colette Patterns blog and found this tutorial for a Peter Pan collar. I used the free download as a template, but instead of using the ropes I used a hook and eye for closure. This project was so quick and easy, it didn't take long to make at all and now I have a cute new accessory for my high neck tops.

 On a random note, have you guys noticed how much I love this animal print? I feel like I have a never ending supply of it. Years ago Luke and I had a futon and covered it in this fabric. Shortly after we bought a couch and didn't have use for the futon cover. I saved the fabric (I didn't even sew at that point, so smart move for me!) and have been using it for various projects ever since. We reupholstered our chairs in it too!

The next day I got to wear my collar when we went to San Francisco :)

One of the things I love most about where I live is the location. We are 4 hours south of San Francisco and a little over 3 hours north of Los Angeles. We love going to sporting events and when customers give us tickets to football games we don't turn them down!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm on Facebook!


Today I set up a Facebook page for my blog. I made the page to share my sewing projects and to post about sewing related activities that I find on the world wide web. I'd love it if you followed along! xo

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cleaning up my patterns

I've been feeling a little sensitive since being called a hoarder, so I have been cleaning and organizing like crazy! One area I had to conquer was my desk drawer that holds all of my patterns. Clearly, I wasn't storing my patterns properly or effectively. Totally an embarrassing photo, but I'm not going to lie to you guys!

Last week I went to the store and bought four plastic bins. Just on a random note, growing up I worked in a deli and these bins were used to store cheese, so I think of them as cheese bins :) When they're not storing cheese they are perfect for holding patterns and I had a spare shelf to hold all four.

I organized my patterns into four groups (left to right): modern dress patterns, vintage or vintage reproduction patterns, separates, and random stuff (dog coats, bags, etc).

Doing this clean up forced me to take a closer look at my patterns, which was good. It is now very clear to me that I have lots of dress patterns, which isn't the most practical because I don't wear dresses on a regular basis. One of my goals will be to make more separates.

Sorting through patterns forced me to get rid of the ones I didn't even want. You guys know how it is, people will give you stuff "because you sew" and sometimes you don't even really want it. The 90s patterns that I was "gifted" went to the thrift store. Trust me, if there were any cool ones you know that I would give them to you guys!!

How often do you go through your patterns and organize? Hopefully this system will last me for a while.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Art Against Alzheimer's.


One of my good friends, Brandon, is raising money for the Alzheimer's Association by making custom paintings. For $30 (minimum donation, but feel free to donate more!) he will make a custom painting of your choice. He made this Chris Isaak one for my mom :) 

I don't want to delve too much into Brandon's personal life because it's not my place, but Alzheimer's has played a big role in the last few years of his life. Several years back his dad was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer's. On Brandon's birthday a bunch of us had dinner at a local restaurant and then headed out to our cars. As his dad was walking across the street a drunk driver slammed into him in front of all of us. Many bones were broken and he immediately went from the early stages of Alzheimer's to the advanced stages. He passed away a couple of years later.




Since then Brandon and his family have been big supporters of the Alzheimer's Association and Brandon has been making paintings to raise money. Please e-mail him at chimp_laugh@hotmail.com if you are interested in ordering. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fitting tips, tricks, and tutorials


I'm really happy that I asked your opinion on the fit of my Peony wearable muslin because I got some really good answers, thank you! Sew Little Time and Marrie B suggested that I check out this post for a sewalong that Gertie did a few years ago. It's super helpful if you are having trouble with your darts. It tells you how to shorten, move, and reshape them. Make sure to check out Rochelle's post on darts too!

Below I have added a few more links on fitting. Please chime in and let me know of any other links I should add! Some of the links below do not apply to the Peony,  but I thought it best to include them in this reference page.


Darts

How to
Sew a French seam
If the answer to your question isn't here, then head over to the Flickr group and ask away!

Peony schedule
Week of October 8th: Fabulous Fit
Week of October 15th: It's All About Fabric!
Weeks of October 22nd - 31st: Be Our Guest
Week of November 5th: Peony Parade - upload your finished dress into the sew-along Flickr group!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Peony muslin

Well, it is appropriate that this week's topic is on fit because I could definitely use some help with the fit of my Peony wearable muslin! But first let me warn you: this is not a Halloween costume. I ordered some fabric online that was a dark gray color. When I received my order, the fabric was a blueish doctor scrub looking color.


 I was bummed that I didn't order a swatch, but whatever, I got over it and decided that I knew what to use for a wearable muslin. A month went by and when I was about to begin cutting I realized that they sent the wrong fabric!!^&%*%#!! I barely had enough to eeek out the dress and definitely did not have enough for the belt :(

No, my name is not Doctor Crayola Creepy!


 Don't wear heels on the grass while taking pictures of your scrub dress! You will sink in the mud!

The fit feels fine in the waist, but is a little baggy on top. The horizontal wrinkles on the sides are pretty prominent, so I'm thinking that shortening the bodice a bit may help. What do you think?


It's not too late to sew along with us!

Peony schedule
Week of October 8th: Fabulous Fit
Week of October 15th: It's All About Fabric!
Weeks of October 22nd - 31st: Be Our Guest
Week of November 5th: Peony Parade - upload your finished dress into the sew-along Flickr group!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My sewing tattoo


I get tattooed from time to time, but don't always post about it here on my blog. Well, this weekend I got a sewing related tattoo and I am dying to share it with you guys! I will never need a ruler, because I got a 5/8 inch tattoo on my finger :)

The actual tattoo is (obviously) very simple and took under five minutes to do. I kept joking with my friend/tattoo artist that I was going to enter it at a tattoo expo and send pictures in to Inked Magazine hahaha. She was cracking jokes too and told me that we might need a few more sessions to finish this "piece" up.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let's sew a Peony!


It's October, Peony time! Are you sewing along with us? It's not too late, you can download a pattern right now if you want to :)

First things first, this is what I am working on this week:


My goal is to have this done soon and have a wearable muslin to show sometime next week. I'm bringing my "A" game this month you guys, I want to have the final dress completed by the end of the month for my wedding anniversary. Three years of marriage and eight years of love mean that we are going to my most favorite place in the world and a new dress is necessary. I can't wait to show you pictures of where we are going! Plus, Peony will make the most perfect holiday dress, so I know I will have something to wear for upcoming parties.


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Week of October 1st: Sew-Along Kick-Off (Muslins, measurements, etc)
Week of October 8th: Fabulous Fit
Week of October 15th: It's All About Fabric!
Weeks of October 22nd - 31st: Be Our Guest
Week of November 5th: Peony Parade - upload your finished dress into the sew-along Flickr group!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Alma blouse view 2

 On Saturday morning I finished my Alma blouse just in time for a lunch date with my love. We lucked out a couple of weeks ago when a customer gave us a gift certificate to Ventana Grill, our favorite local restaurant! We decided to use it ASAP and get cocktails and a nice lunch.

We were starving when we got there, so I asked Luke to take photos of me wearing my new blouse after lunch. Of course, during lunch he got a bunch of work calls and we had to leave quickly, so he only took a couple of photos of me. The lighting isn't the best in either of the pictures and I look pretty windblown, but whatever, I just had an amazing lunch and I got to wear my new Alma!



They have a good selection of cocktails. My drink (left) was the Ventana View and Luke had the Jalapeno Margarita. Both were amazing.

Oh, the view wasn't too bad either, I love where I live! I wish I was there today, as the temperature is over ninety degrees and I am melting. October seems to have the warmest days for us.

 Back to the shirt, I made View B and I am happy with how it turned out. I ordered this cotton voile from Mood and wasn't too sure about it, but once I paired the collar with it, I loved it! The fabric is very lightweight and perfect for a hot day like today.

 Invisible zipper. Oh, I'd like to say "thank you" to Rachel for helping me with the fit. I asked for help on Instagram and she gave me some advice. I ended up adding 1.5 inches in length and it took away the wrinkles that I was having an issue with. We live a world apart and she gave me fitting advice. Isn't technology great?

This is my first Alma, but not my last...