16 October 2014

Make Lemonade!

Have you heard Alex Boyé's Lemonade song?  He sang it for us at the SNAP! conference over the summer and now I play it in the morning on the way to school for the girls and they sing along.  It would have been perfect for our school theme "Make Lemonade" a couple years ago! :)  Anyway, just thought I'd share this cheerful song. Drummer thinks he's saying his name at the little rapping part. Haha! ;) Have a great Thursday!  (Also, I totally could have been in his video with my white fedora ;)

15 October 2014

Once Upon a Thread Five: You!

Sorry about my unintentional hiatus from Once Upon a Thread! You know, 6 kids, a household, and all that stuff. I'm still working on some projects, but it will be like an extended, drawn out birthday, the best kind, right? ;) But, I love that you're still out there sewing.  And great things, too.  This Blueberry skirt by Skirt Fixation.  This is the back and the front is even better.  Go take a look! 
And Clever Charlotte sewed up one of their patterns for this sweet number.  I love the simplicity of the monochromatic scheme, highlighting the design of the dress.  Keep up the great work!  Leave a link or email me if you have posted what you've been working on for a chance to be featured: nobigdillblog@gmail.com.

01 October 2014

McCartney Jacket Giveaway!!

We interrupt Once Upon a Thread with a little bookmark pause.  Because even the best of books need a break to pop some popcorn and grab some apple cider.  
Q: What's better than wearing a pleather jacket?  
A: MAKING a pleather jacket! Such a thrill to complete something that looks so professional!
Have you heard of Pattern Anthology?  It's a bundle of patterns that mix and match with one another for several great looks.  I chose to make the McCartney jacket, because I always love the challenge of a welt pocket. ;)
It came together SO nicely.  And honestly, if you've never made a welt pocket, don't let this scare you off.  You will finish that pocket and stick your hand in over and over because, well, YOU made it.  The pattern gives you the option of contrasting detail around the sleeves.  I chose to stay with the same pallet (black, of course) but add some texture with the tiny pleat fabric.
I didn't have any decent lining, so I ran to the store and I'm always disappointed with the "lining" selection.  Always!  I remember making my first coat as a Freshman in high school and asking my mom if I had to use lining.  I think everyone likes a surprise lining, anyway.  I wandered over to the silky-like section and found this fun bird print (Joanns).  
It is just the perfect type of surprise inside. A little pleather sewing tip: Put some painters tape on the bottom of you sewing machine foot and when you have a pleather seam on the bottom, just place some tracing paper under it and you won't have any sticky situations where the pleather won't get through the foot and feed dogs.  I tried putting tape over my seams and topstitching and ended up with a terrible mess of getting out from under the stitching.  (I employed Ryan ;)
When I finished the jacket and walked into the kitchen, Azure asked where I got my jacket.  (They're always so good to notice.)  I told her I made it and she promptly asked if I would maker her one.  Divine, Pearl, and Olive asked me the very same thing.  I'm sure Clover would have, too except she was in the bathroom brushing her hair.
I'll tell you I was a bit nervous to write "no big dill" on a fabric so unforgiving if I happened to make a typo.  Whew.  Luckily I didn't.

So, where can you find YOUR 8 Days a Week patterns?   They are available for a limited time at a 40%+ discount now through October 6th. Get more details HERE.Pattern Anthology presents: 8 Days a Week Pattern Collection - patternanthology.com

One more thing.  The winner of the tiny Jamberry Nails heater is Heidi Sullivan!  Congrats, Heidi.  And just to make things even more fun, anyone who takes advantage of the buy 3, get one free over at Jamberry (checking out under nobigdillkaty) will be entered to win my McCartney jacket!!  That's right, a No Big Dill original. It's a size small, but very generous. How many jackets does a girl need living in this balmy climate?!  So go find some fun nails for yourself. I like to take a long time getting my credit card out just to show off my nails.  Okay, not really, because it's really annoying when you're the person in a hurry behind the slow-poke. ;)  But the compliments will come rolling in regardless of your method of payment at the grocery store. 

30 September 2014

Once Upon a Thread: Chapter 5 {Little Red Hood with a Clever Charlotte Giveaway}

I am loving all the skirt name suggestions!  It's going to be hard to choose!  I am going to try to narrow it down to three or four or five....and put a poll up for you to vote. And while we're on the subject of red, how about some more? (And now my red fabric supply needs to be replenished!)
There are so many versions of Little Red Riding Hood, but this one is short, sweet, simple, and takes on a bit of a twist that will bring a smirk to your face.
I also made a bit of a twist on the hood.  And Red's basket. ;) 
The big red plaid reminded me of a picnic blanket, so we wrapped that picnic blanket up to forage for wild strawberries. 
Clover's picnic basket top is a Clever Charlotte pattern with my variation of added capped sleeves.  AND! It's reversible, so she can wear it on the white side with just a bit of the red peeking out on the front ties.  The little jacket is also a Clever Charlotte pattern, and it is also reversible, and as usual, I've fallen in love with Carla's (of Clever Charlotte) truly clever designs.  These were deceivingly simple, but ever so stunning.
Back to our plot.
These two have plans up their (short) sleeves.  They always do.
Just as Little Red Hood does for Mr. Wolf. Grab this book to find out what happens!
My strawberry is just a stamp that has the ink set with heat.
Clover's skirt is just a simple, self drafted pattern with over-sized pockets for treasures.  Because there are always treasures at this age. 
Azure's dress was actually he baptism dress, and I will share more on that later,
but I used an old pattern that I've used so many times because it's easy to alter.  I made the collar a bit smaller and the sleeves a bit shorter.  Also.  That little dip in the the hemline?  That was were I discovered a (rust?) stain after I nearly finished the whole thing.  I just cut it out (gasp!) and hemmed it with bias tape.  We seamstresses can do anything we want. Right?

These two.  Built in friends.  Built in enemies. 
How is your Once Upon a Thread sewing coming?  How about a little help?  Clever Charlotte is offering 15% discount to every single one of you through 10/11 (whoopie!) and leave a comment answering what you've been working on, sewing or not, to be entered into a giveaway for your pattern of choice!  Use coupon code NoBigDill15 for your discount.  I will leave the giveaway open until I close chapter five of Once Upon a Thread!

29 September 2014

Once Upon a Thread: Chapter 5 (and giveaway!)

Happy National Sewing Month and welcome to Once Upon a Thread, Chapter 5!!  I'm all dressed up and ready to celebrate ;)  I thought we'd begin with ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles.  I've already worn this on several occasions and when you wear yours (and you will!) you can expect the compliments to roll in.  Then you'll tell them that you made it and their jaw will drop and the drool will start, to you ought to be prepared for such events.
When I taught my class at the SNAP! blogging conference over the summer, I taught the Coastal Curtsy Skirt and was delighted to be sponsored by my favorite ruffle fabric people, Julie and Linda.  When they arrived at the sewing room, Julie was wearing the most delightful, exotic skirt and I asked if they had a tutorial available for it yet.  I asked if I could put one together because I knew everyone would want to make this amazing maxi.  Am I right?  Rhetorical.  

This new fabric is called Boho Chic and comes in four colors.  I was going to originally make it in a conservative grey, but thought I'd bite the bullet and make it in the brilliant "Lava" instead.  Have you read "The Day the Crayons Quit?" 
It's a compilation of letters from Duncan's crayons who complain about being used for the same pictures every single time.  They are tired of it and want a change.
I suppose we are all like Duncan, in a way.  We all get in ruts of how we use our crayons, or in this case, how we use colors in our sewing.  I don't use much red in sewing, unless it's for Pearl, whose favorite color is red.  
And I love it!
It is almost as easy as the Coastal Curtsy Skirt, but there are two seams instead of one.  The trick is in the cutting of each piece.  They are EXACT copies, not reverses, so you can't simply fold your fabric in half and cut two at the same time.  
Here's how to think outside the crayon box:
• 2 1/2 yards of Boho Chic Ruffle Fabric
• 2 1/4" Elastic (enough for your waist--I used this and it is the softest, most luxurious elastic I've ever laid my hands on)
• Thread

1) Cut a quarter of a circle using the measurements of HALF your waist.  Don't worry about adding seam allowances because this fabric is very generous as far as elasticity.
2) Using a tape measure as the LENGTH you want your maxi, follow the waistline and cut the hem, rotating the tape measure.
3) Cut an exact replicate for the other side (below)
4) Put right sides together and pin down each side, making sure the ruffles are all going in the downward direction. Stitch using a serger or a slight zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine with 1/2" seam allowance.
5) Measure the elastic by wrapping it around your waist.  I use this method because different elastics have a different amount of stretch and different people prefer varying snugness for their skirts.  This will be holding up a lot of fabric, so I made mine very snug.
6) Stitch elastic ends together and pin to your elastic to your skirt, careful to make sure the ruffles are not bunched up, but they are all going in the same direction. Stitch with a slight zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine, or use a serger but CAUTION: do not even knick this type of elastic with your blade or the waistband will just unravel and come off.  (I learned from experience and had to put my waistband on twice.)
7) There is no need to hem, but with the amount of stretch due to the weight of the fabric, I ended up cutting off about an inch and a half when the skirt was finished.
It is so much fun to wear.  But.
I have a problem!
My skirt needs a name!

Giveaway: I thought it would be fun to get your suggestions and the winner will receive 2 1/2 yards of this Boho Chic fabric plus elastic for their own skirt!  So, get thinking and get suggesting all your fabulous ideas.  I will have my ruffle girls help judge the winner.  Happy OUT!

23 September 2014

Once Upon a Thread, Chapter 5!

Start your sewing machines, wind your bobbins, and thread those needles!!
Are you ready?!  I thought it was high time for another Once Upon a Thread. And I've got some fun things planned that I can't wait to share with you, including a highly sought after tutorial, giveaways, and more.  (There's always a "more", right?)  We will begin September 29th, because it's still National Sewing Month (did ya know?) and I've yet to fully celebrate it.
What is Once Upon a Thread?  Anything to do with a needle and thread that is inspired by books.  Mostly children's books, but any books will do.  I want you to sew along, too.  I want your mind to roam free, stretch yourself, try something new, perfect a technique, and have fun, of course!
Can you believe this will be Chapter 5?  I still have so many books I want to do.  I just might go on sewing even after my children are grown and gone. ;)
Want more details?  You can read about the first season of OUT here, but we will just be doing it for one week.  I will have a link party set up so you can post what you've created, too, and a chance to be featured here! Lower those presser feet and begin stitching!!