08 December 2017

Shine Bright!!

 I had grand plans of sewing something for every one of my girls. "They all need to be in on this project!" I thought, because what this particular fabric tour stands for.  The Simple Simon girls emailed me, asking if I'd like to participate in the Shine Bright fabric tour, featuring fabrics designed with daughters in mind.

"We can see the light inside them...we can feel their potential and we wanted to create something that would constantly remind them of the good that we know they are," they wrote. So, yes.  I felt like I wanted, no, needed to do something for every single one of my girls. 

 I began sewing with the extraordinarily fun fabric--the main print that has sayings to remind them of their brilliance and worth, and other prints with light bulbs and diamonds to remind them that they need to shine! I got Clover's dress completed and she, of course, was thrilled.

 As I began to move onto the other projects, one of my girls had a metaphorical raincloud envelope her.  Life. Just as we, as adults, feel the burden of it, so do teenagers and tweens and even those single digits get you feeling down. I think it had been piling up for a while, but something as simple as an algebraic equation broke the camel's back. 

 So, my sewing and grand plans were pushed aside.  At first, I just sat with her under an umbrella while that stormcloud sent the torrential rains, and after a while, she was able to walk around in the rain, and finally, the clouds parted just enough for me to point out that the sun was shining on her, reflecting upon her beauty.  Her brilliance, though covered a bit by those clouds, was still there, but sometimes just gets shadowed by life.

 I'm glad I happened to be working on this as this all transpired, so I could remind myself as well that there are so many things in life that dull our sparkle and dim our shimmer, but regardless of the trials, brought on by others, ourselves, or nobody at all, our worth never diminishes.

I have a pretty little pile of "Shine Bright" fabric sitting on my sewing table yet.  And it will slowly be incorporated into the things I sew for my girls because it's not just pretty fabric.  It is a tiny way to remind them of their brilliance.  

While Clover pretends to start out shy and end with a twirl, she is one that rarely feels dimmed. 

Nitty gritty details: this was a self drafted pattern with plans of making a matching doll dress, which does have a pattern that looks similar.  Doll dress to come....eventually. ;)

15 August 2017

Project Run & Play Repeat!

Project Run and Play has returned! Just a single round of past contestants, but with a twist.  We are given the same fabric to work with.  No theme, just our own interpretation of the same Art Gallery Fabric rayon with our choice of complementing fabric.

The first one is the softest rayon I've ever worked with, and comes from their latest collection.  The pattern, however, wasn't one I'd pick out from the fabric store, so that was a challenge.  My other fabric was my choice, which was a lightweight cherry denim, also a dream to work with 
But, it all comes down to the details: my favorite part of most sewing projects.
It's a self drafted pattern, and super easy (and according to Azure comfortable) to put on with just a ribbon for the closing because it's just a faux placket! (Read: no buttonholes necessary! ;)  I added a fun little wooden button at the back and glass buttons down the front.  I really ruffled the rayon for a different look, and then played with the colors on the dress.

So, take a look at my competitor's design and vote for your favorite HERE!
And for old time's sake, here is a tinier Olive with my winning dress from the first round of Project Run and Play...I guess I do like ruffles. :)

10 August 2017

Trick or Treat!

Just kidding, I'm all about the treats! It's like riding a bike, right? You get back into it and it all comes rushing back.  Well, mostly.
Riley Blake just came out with their new Trick or Treat collection, and I was like, a whole bunch of black, white and orange?!?! SIGN. ME. UP.
When I first saw this fabric, I thought of UPC. Haha! One thing I've realized about my sewing self over the years is I really like to have a simple pattern or solid fabric to be able to play with and embellish, or I like to keep the design really simple if it's more of a busy pattern.  This time I chose to play, of course. I made those stripes go every which way.
In fact, I originally cut the skirt part out going vertically and almost cried.  Not really, but kind of.  I had my heart on horizontal to compliment the front bodice. The sewing gods were smiling down on me because I eeked out another skirt with what I had left over.
I had just ordered 20 of those incredibly gorgeous lace zippers for another dress I made for Clover, and used a black one on this.  Because it looks just like a strip of black lace.  They are ridiculously priced at fabric stores (I got 20 for the price of 2 or 3), and I can never find long ones, but I consulted with my best friend, Amazon, who should really be called Amazing and found THESE. (An affiliate link if you want a buffet of lace zippers at your fingertips. You're welcome.)
We still have a good chunk of warm weather here.  Read: will the heat ever end? But you can always add a cardi or cute wrap to this one. The pattern was Simplicity 8307 that I snatched for a mere 99 cents.  I pretty much sewed it up straight except I added the exterior zipper and the trim.  It's kind of on the short side for those long legged ladies.
I've got some orange Riley Blake Trick or Treat that will soon be cut up...maybe for one of my redheads.  ;) Halloween sewing doesn't necessarily have to be Halloween sewing. ;) Take a look at all their fun prints here.  

17 January 2017

When Skies are Grey

I'll be honest.  I haven't done a huge amount of sewing lately.  My machine was hijacked by Pearl and her quest to have the most American Girls Doll clothes made. She's been working her way through my stash faster than I have. It's fun, though, being reminded of all the great fabrics that are awaiting my hands. ;)
I had to kick her off the sewing machine for a bit, though, when liZ and Elizabeth from Simple Simon & Co asked if I'd like to participate in a blog tour for their new fabric line from Riley Blake, When Skies are Grey. When I saw it, it was like they had spent a day in my head! As my usual procrastination took over, I only made Azure an outfit, but, trust me, there is something for me in the works as well.
If you're a quilter, you will have a hay day.  If you're not, you can come up with coordinating outfits for your whole family...next Christmas photo? ;)
I didn't even use a written pattern, I just began measuring, cutting and sewing. It's especially gratifying to sew for Azure because we can never find anything that fits her (stick figure) properly. I noticed on Sunday that the dress she chose to wear was about a foot and a half too short, but it still fit her.  She needed something new.
I used glass buttons from my button stash, and added some nice, big, lined pockets for all those treasures that get gathered by little hands. 
Head here to see the blues and pinks as well, and to be entered into a drawing for a FQ bundle! Stay tuned to Simple Simon & Co for more stops on their Grey Skies fabric tour, and stay tuned here to learn how my year of no new clothes went!

20 October 2016

See Kate Sew's Doll Fabric

After a hurricane evacuation, darn Matthew, it was time for some normalcy, aka sewing time. ;) 
What is more uplifting than doing some little girl and doll sewing? Put them together and that's pure joy.  If you haven't seen See Kate Sew's fun dolls floating around, you're in for a fun surprise!
Each panel comes with a boy and girl doll with 3 different choices: blonde, black hair, brunettes.  There are also several fabric patterns that coordinate! Fun, right?!
Each doll panel comes with 2 bows and a big ice cream cone.  I made mine into two smaller cones, one for Clover's dress and one for the dolls to share. ;)
For some interesting details, I used one of my embroidery stitches along the strap, round to match the pattern on the grey fabric.  I also added a pattern of sequins to look like they're scattering down her shoulder.
Needless to say, Clover is thrilled with her new pal.
I added a resin buckle to the waistband because it was just. the. right. color.  I've been waiting for the perfect project. Oh. And baby piping. Because there's always room for baby piping.
For Goldie's ensemble, I added some silk ribbon ribbons for her shoes, embellished her skirt with bright elastic and....baby pom poms.  Her sequin necklace echoes Clover's dress, and I puffed up her bow and added some silk ribbon as well.

I also made the boy doll for Drummer, and he's already been well loved.  I planned to make a button up shirt for Drummer, but the dress kind of took on a life of its own as the details kept coming and coming.  Soon. ;)
And here's a little secret. The placement of the ice cream cone was intentional. I didn't quite line up the back waistband, so I sewed the ice cream on one side and I'll add a snap on the other. I think that's one of the exciting things about creating, when you have a moment that might appear to you as a mistake, it helps push your creativity a little bit further than you would normally. Turns out, I LOVE the ice cream cone flap.
So, go and grab a panel or two of these fun dolls and a bit of fabric.  The dolls are a quick, fun sew-up and the fabrics are just a delight to play with.  Thanks, Kate, for the chance to join in your Doll Fabric Tour!

20 September 2016

Ice cream, You scream, We all scream for...Boardwalk Delight!

Hello, blog! I took a bit of an unintended hiatus, but what better reason to get back on here than NATIONAL SEWING MONTH! And I'll tell you what, I have been sewing ALL month long for a very good reason.  Although, truth be told, I don't need a reason at all to hop on a sewing machine, especially my fancy Babylocks. ;)
My all-talented friend, Dana, released her first fabric line earlier this year, Boardwalk Delight, and she sent me a big ol' stack to play with!
So, fun, right?!
Since it's my no-new-clothes year, I told her I wanted to make something for all my kids, and we both laughed at how crazy I am.  Then I began working my way through her bright, playful patterned fabric! I think I managed to use all the prints, except for the sprinkle print, which I'm sad about--how did I miss that one?!
These prints are much bolder than I normally use, so it was fun to do something so different.

Dana also not only had her patterns printed on quilter's weight woven cotton, but there are also knits and canvas, something for everyone. 
Olive has been asking for overalls for ages, so I used the canvas weight for a pair and they worked perfectly! I found the overall clasps with the matching star grommets at Hobby Lobby under their Sewology brand, and they also seemed to be the most inexpensive.
It was hard for the kids not to be able to wear their clothes as I finished them, especially Drummer who declared his pajamas the most comfy thing ever. Haha!
Lowdown on the patterns I used, from left to right: Drummers Pajamas--Ottobre Issue 6/2013, Olive's Overalls--Ottobre Issue 3/2014, Olive's shirt--Ottobre Issue 6/2015, Clover's dress--Ottobre Issue 1/2013, Pearl's tunic--Ottobre Issue 4/2010, Pearl's pants--MIA, still looking for that one!, Azure's dress--Ottobre Issue 1/2015, Divine's shirt--Ottobre Issue 4/2013, Divine's skirt--self drafted.
As you can see, I got some good use out of my Ottobre issues! What they lack in pictorial instructions, they make up in quality patterns. ;) I only had 2 issues when I couldn't figure out what they wanted me to do, but that might also have been those couple of nights where I stayed up to 3 or 4 in the morning and instructions for brushing my teeth would have been indecipherable. 
I don't usually utilize the decorative stitches on my sewing machines, but I had so much fun going through the options on my Babylock Crescendo when deciding what to do for the pocket and back detail pleats.  I might have "wasted" quite a bit of time experimenting. ;) I think they add the perfect touch when used judiciously. 
And Pearl really lucked out in the pocket department with pockets on her tunic AND her pants.  She's all about comfort and utility. ;)
I loved the detail on Azure's dress.  Using Dana's fun contrasting and coordinating fabric, it gave it the perfect touch, like a giant scoop of ice cream! 
I also altered the pattern to include an exposed zipper, because more is more in this case, right?!
Also.  I deserve an award and ceremony for the amount of buttonholes and buttons I sewed. Or a certificate of achievement at the very least.  It was close to 40, and most of them are glass. 
Some came from Korea when we visited my parents there many years ago.  Surprisingly enough, I wanted to do just plain, white, plastic buttons on Divine's shirt so she could wear it with anything, and I didn't have any.  What.  Oh, well. I guess that's a good problem to have...too many exotic, fancy buttons. Haha!
I was telling Ryan that I enjoy Ottobre patterns because they don't dumb down patterns like so many pattern companies do.  I don't mind a few extra pattern pieces to achieve a professionally looking article, like these overalls. 
And I couldn't leave Scout out, of course.  Some might argue that I should have sewn her some pants or perhaps a skirt after the latest clip I gave her, but I think she's enjoying her new air conditioned bottom. ;)

Thanks for letting me play with your fun fabric, Dana! They really are a delight!  (The kids thank you, too!)