Monday, February 25, 2013

1940s on the brain

I'm super excited about Rochelle's 1940s sewing challenge. Have you heard about it? Everyone is sewing a 1940s inspired outfit and debuting them at the end of March. This is definitely a challenge for me because I don't know a thing about 1940s fashion. 

My talented hairstylist friend, MaryBeth, asked me to take part in a photoshoot this upcoming weekend for her portfolio. Coincidentally, she decided to do my hair like the photo above which has a 40s feel to it. She said that I can wear whatever I want and ideally I would like to make something, I'm just not sure if I will have time :(!!!

After seeing Rochelle's cute version and Tasha's adorable pair I decided to also try out Simplicity 3688. This past Sunday was spent cutting out the fabric and sewing, so hopefully I will have them finished within the next couple of days. PANTS! I can't believe I am sewing pants!

To go with the pants I obviously need something on top, so what about Simplicity 1692? Specifically view D. I'm not sure if I should use the red flower fabric (could it even be considered 40s?) or if I should make the top exactly like the one on the envelope (white with red details) because it is so cute!

OR do I sew up the Ceylon pattern? It has a 40s feel to it and I have some fabrics that (I think) are inspired by that time frame.

If I sew Ceylon it won't be done by the photo shoot this weekend. I could have the pants and a top done by the weekend if I pushed myself, but do I really want to stress myself out and do angry sewing? When I think about the perk of professional hair, makeup, and photography it's very tempting...

Friday, February 22, 2013

A new dress for a surprise birthday party.

To get out of my sewing rut I decided to sew the Macaron dress. I originally made this dress back in September, but wasn't 100% satisfied with it due to errors I made on my part. The one thing I loved was the fit and the best part was that I literally did not make one single modification to it!! When I last went to Mood I bought some pretty floral fabric with the intention of making another Macaron, but didn't even realize that I picked the exact color combo as my first one. Oh well.

I made a couple of changes to this version. Instead of pleats I did gathers and I hand sewed the hem. I really like the way a hand sewn hem looks, so it may be my go to way of finishing. It takes longer than using a machine, but I like the clean look.

My biggest struggle with this version was the zipper. There wasn't a struggle sewing it in, but the pieces of fabric didn't match up where they should have, by at least a half inch. Luckily it's hidden by my arm, so no one will notice, right?
Oh, the dress was made to wear to a surprise party I threw for my husband's 30th birthday party. Of course I didn't even think to take pictures while we were there :(

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A quilt for my sister in law

I'm embarrassed to say that I recently finished a quilt for my sister in law. The reason I am embarrassed by this is because I started the quilt in January 2012. I don't ever have any UFOs in my sewing room, with the exception of quilts. Last year garment sewing took priority and my two quilt projects were quickly forgotten.

This past weekend I organized a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband and my in laws came all the way from London. I rushed to get the quilt done in time for my sister in law, Ariana, and I was so happy to be able to give it to her in person.

One of the best feelings is making someone a gift and having them be so grateful and thankful for all the work you put into it. Ariana was so happy and excited with the quilt! She asked me all about how I made it and fell asleep with it soon after.

I wish I could remember more about the construction, but I sewed the majority of it so long ago. It's been sitting for probably nine months, just waiting to be quilted. Using a free motion foot is somewhat intimidating to me and I don't feel very confident with it, which is what held up the project. Stitching in the ditch seemed like the safe choice for this lap quilt, but in my next quilt I may challenge myself to try something different. Plus, my new machine (yes, I got a new machine at the end of December!) has the room to sew larger projects.

I think I may have mastered the technique of attaching the raw edges of the binding pieces!!

 The back was done in a purple fabric because Ariana's favorite colors are pink and purple. I think it is whimsical and fun :)

Before I start another quilt I am forcing myself to finish the other one I started last January.... so you might not see it for a while. It's a big one!

Have any of you been bitten by the quilting bug?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why I haven't been posting as much this month

Didn't even iron for this picture and I don't care!

If you look at my blog there is a definite decrease in completed projects this year. This is due to the fact that in the 38 days of 2013 I have had two failed projects :( My first bummer of a project was the Hollyburn skirt. Halfway through sewing I realized I didn't like it. That's not to say that it's not a great pattern, the skirt style is just not flattering on me. Even though I knew this, I pushed through and finished sewing it. Since completion it has been wadded up and Lebron the cat has been using it as a cat pillow.

My second bummer project was the Jasmine blouse. I made a muslin, made the adjustments I thought it needed, and then then cut into my fabric. Well, my adjustments weren't enough and it turns out I had more work in store for me :( The back neckline and upper back gaped so bad, I literally needed to remove 2-3 inches. This also happened with my Peony dress. Does anyone else have this problem or know how to solve it? I know that with some patterns I can add darts and I tried this with Jasmine. While it solved the gaping neckline issue it didn't do much for the gaping/puffy upper back.

Two failed projects and wasted fabric certainly put a damper on things and left me feeling unmotivated. I texted my sewing woes to Rochelle, who gave me some good advice. She suggested that I sew a pattern that I have made before and love, but make some modifications to it. Such great advice! Cutting into some pretty fabric for a pattern that you know will fit great (I hope I'm not jinxing myself on this...) is a good cure for the sewing blues. A couple of nights ago I started working on my second version of the Macaron dress (see above) and I'm super excited about it. It reversed my mood!

I realized that I need to stop focusing on the negatives (wasted fabric, wasted time, failed fits) and start focusing on the positives. You guys, there are so many awesome things going on in the next few months!

Are you familiar with Jillian and her sewing dares? I asked her for a dare and she gave me the perfect one, revisiting a pattern from the Colette Sewing Handbook. I'm already daydreaming about what I'm going to do.

Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Dress Challenge. I didn't participate last year, but hope to participate this year. I'm a huge fan of the show (I have a Mad Men Pinterest board) and I'm not sure which look/person I would like to emulate. I think it would be fun to take the quiz to determine which of Don's women I am and then decide from there :)

Rochelle is hosting a fun 1940s sewing challenge where everyone sews something that is 40s inspired. I've got a couple of ideas brewing, but I'll run them by you guys in a future post.

Are any of you sewing items for one of the challenges I listed above? How is it going so far?