Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A "Kate Middleton"ish Christmas Dress

I always have loved the idea of "Holiday" dresses.

It's just so fun to have something pretty and new to wear at both Christmas and Easter.  At least those are the two Holidays I remember getting a new "dress" as a girl.

Maybe that was just a tradition at my house growing up but I just love the idea and thrill behind it.  I even kind of like it seems a little bit old fashioned in the very best sense.

It seems like something classy and elegant movie stars like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn would have done.

This year I was in need of a new dress at Christmas.  Lucky me I ended up with the perfect excuse to make something new and pretty.

I had this perfect deep teal green cotton suiting I bought a while back in my stash.  It has beautiful drape and was perfect for a very "Kate Middleton" style dress.  It's not something I saw her wear, then recreated like my past posts of the black lace, and blue lace dresses.  It's just a style I imagine she might wear.  A classic elegant look, a little something more timeless.

I drafted an A-line skirt to show off the beautiful drape of this fabric!  I also put pockets in the skirt but the fabric draped so well they hung really funny and I found I needed to unpick them and take them out.  So sad, because of course where possible a dress really ought to have pockets.  Wouldn't you agree?  ;)

This was a basic dress with front and back waist darts, half length sleeves and an A-line skirt.  I am not positive all those details are clear in my photos, but you can see the basic shape anyways :).  

I did make it for Christmas, but I also knew the color and style would be fabulous for any time.  I have a feeling I will get lots of use out of this with it's classic look.

Naturally I am already thinking up an Easter dress!  

What do you look for in an Easter dress.  Or any dress really?  I would love to know!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rosy Quilt

My latest project has been a quilt.  I love the way it turned out!    
For Christmas one year my mom made my siblings and I all a quilt using fabric from my Dad's clothing.  It has pieces from several of his shirts, and several pairs of blue jeans, all pieced together with a nice flannel backing.  My dad passed away several years ago and so it was  an especially  sentimental quilt to get.  

It quickly became my favorite blanket to use, not just because of what it was made of, but HOW it was made.  It is nice and heavy and perfect for when you want something to snuggle with.  

However, I decided I wanted to make another quilt because I want that one to last and remain a keepsake.  

So on a day I didn't have to go into work, I picked out this cotton and got to work piecing the top.  I had the top, and back finished in one night and even had them pinned together with the batting in-between.  I knew I had limited "time off" so I was working quick! 

I have slowly worked on machine quilting it on my home sewing machine.  I love the colors, the fabrics, and the way it quilted up.  

I LOVE the backing fabric.  I knew I could just use the "expensive fabric" for the front, and could probably find a cheaper "backing" substitute.  I just couldn't let this pretty rose print stay at the store.  I also planned to use this quilt a lot so I decided just to splurge on the backing.  I am so glad I did!

My machine has a few "fancy" stitches.  This is by far my favorite.  It's a little wandering leaf/vine pattern.  I used it for a few of sections.  I drew my quilting guides on with a Pilot "FriXion" pen.  Have you ever used one?  It is heat sensitive ink.  

You draw on your fabric and the ink irons COMPLETELY away!  I love them!  They are perfect for when you need to trace a pattern and sew it, then get rid of it.  It seriously just disappears with the slightest bit of heat from the iron.  It really just vanishes!

Here is the whole quilt draped over my loveseat to give you an idea of the size/how I pieced the fabric together.  I didn't use a pattern I just sort of cut to sizes I felt would mix well and got to work.  I really like how quick it made this all turn out and I just made it to the measurements I wanted.  It worked out really well.

Here are a few shots of some of the decorative stitching I did to "quilt" certain areas to avoid the batting separating.  The stitching is not as close as it might be if I were to have this machine quilted, but I like the way it turned out just fine, and I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for it. 

I did "stitch in the ditch" in the seams first then started the "decorative" stitches.  

No two colors have the same stitching pattern, and I like that about it. 

I really thought the binding fabric fun as well.  What is not to love about black and white gingham and coral colored flowers!?!?!  Oh and those cherries are divine!  The coral peach color is just to die for.  I love this fabric collection!

I am so glad I picked this for the backing!  I think it's just so pretty and I am excited to get lots of use out of this.  It was a relatively quick quilt, and I think it has caused me to catch the quilting bug!  

I have only ever made two other quilt tops both with help.  This was a perfect "beginning quilting" project for me.  It was quick, very simple (until I began to "quilt" it with the decorative patterns and stitches then it was a little more challenging but not so much I felt overwhelmed).  I was also able to finish it on my own, which was important as I knew I wouldn't have someone sitting there with me as I finished it.  

I have been discovering that quilting takes even more precision than sewing clothing!  However, even so, suddenly I find myself wanting to make more and more quilts!  Haha!  I am now looking forward to having many more quilting projects in my future.  I can't wait!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pattern Grading in Illustrator

I am excited to announce I am going to begin to offer pattern grading! If you are a seamstress/pattern designer and need your patterns graded please think about using me! I really found pattern grading fascinating and one of the most useful and great classes I have taken as far as Fashion Design courses at a college level go.

So again if you are making patterns and wanting to turn them into different sizes, consider commenting below and I'll get with you about pricing etc. I can also provide services for turning a pattern into a PDF if needed. Please leave your email in the comments below!  I can provide more information about pricing etc in individual emails. I had the chance to be a pattern grader for a project earlier this year and would love to continue pattern grading. It's also one of those things you need to have the skills to grade correctly, and can sometimes be less fun that the creative process of making a seeing up a design. However I really enjoy the challenge! So let me know if you need help! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Easy 1 Hour Lace Skirt DIY

I have a new post!  I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago.

I love how it turned out!  I made up a few instructions on how I did it in case you wanted to make one too.

I used Ponte de Roma knit for the lining and a cotton lace with the bottom edge trimmed along the scalloping if that makes sense.  Both were 60 inches wide, so that only left me with one seam too!

My sister really was the one who came up with the design.  She is great, has great taste and when she saw these two fabrics in my stash is the one who recommended they go together.

It was super quick and easy to make.  You basically cut the two rectangles, hem the lining (or lace if you need to) and sew them together, then to the elastic.

Here is how I made it!

That's it, pretty simple and pretty quick!  Happy sewing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beating the Summer Heat

I got a new job offer recently.  I can't wear jeans to this job however.  I am secretly kind of excited about that as I love a good excuse to get dressed up a little bit. 

I also have been brainstorming cute casual summer dress/skirt options to beat the summer heat we've had.  The past two weeks I have actually worn a cardigan to work a couple of times.  Yes, a cardigan and I did roll the sleeves up, but I realized this was madness.

It was time to make another something casual, comfortable and cool.  It is July starting tomorrow after all.  It's probably smart to say no more long sleeves until this fall from here on out if I want to save myself from heat stroke. 

So I broke into my fabric stash and pulled out this rayon challis to pattern test a very simple, very unfitted (except the elastic at the waist) casual summer dress I had pop into my mind.  I wanted something I can wear just about anywhere.  I also wanted to be able to wear it, since I was pretty sure version 1 would work.

I think I succeeded, I can wear this to work, church, on Saturdays, running errands, on dates, pulling weeds in my garden, going fishing with my family.

Okay, okay so I wouldn't really wear it to work in the garden or go fishing, but I am really actually very excited about this pattern.

It is UBER comfortable, so light, so airy.  It has pockets, (of course!) and will just be great for wearing to work or otherwise.

I am most excited about a few other ideas I have of improving it.  I have some really cute ideas floating around and plan to make a couple more versions with the style changes.  I will also make another version or two in knit to have just to throw on when I need a fast cool option too.

I didn't have enough fabric left to make the tie any longer than what is shown, and I am on the fence about the tie anyways.  I think it's totally casual and fine without it.

Now I am off to run errands in my new dress!

Happy sewing, crafting, working, napping, blog reading, facebook stalking, whatever it is you plan to do today!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Coral Floral

I have a few new makes.  I have been sewing a lot!  I tweaked the striped dress pattern for a perfect fit.  I used my computer program and my measurements to draft the striped version.  It worked well enough I can wear it, however there were a few fitting issues that bothered me so I made the changes to the pattern, and made another dress. 

I remade it into this coral floral fabric and used some flat bias for trim.

These pictures just don't do the fabric justice I feel.  I also used a matching coral bias as trim.  I also got rid of the waist seam, since you really don't need it for this pattern.


I haven't hemmed the dress, I also plan to take out the sleeves and fix them.  Those are the last two things before this dress is done!

My sister was over the day I took pics, and my nephew came outside to "help" me take pictures.  I had pins in the hem and had to fix a couple before taking the photos.  So of course he had to rearrange a couple of spots too.  It made me laugh.  He picks up everything!  Smart kid.

The pockets are one of my favorite things about this dress.  I just love having somewhere to put my hands!

This is a close up of the bias tape at the neckline.

The back with an invisible zipper, and the same bias trim in the princess seams.

Oh do I have the cutest idea for a casual summery white knit dress in my head.  It's also been so hot in my neck of the woods lately.  I just keep dreaming all these cool comfortable ideas in my head and am just itching to start them.  It's been so nice to have time off from school to start them!

Off to start a new project!  Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Baby Shoes and Sisters

Just recently my sister and her husband blessed their baby girl.  In my religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we bless infants in a church meeting a month or more after they are born.  Often times the babies father will bless them, or a grandfather or relative, or possibly a Bishop or other leader.  My little nieced was blessed by her daddy.

Often times for the blessing baby girls wear white or off white/ivory blessing dresses.  (Similar to christening dresses.) 

My sister found the most GORGEOUS blessing dress, seriously it is the kind of little dress dreams are made of.   

It was simply beautiful.

Here is a little close up of the pretty lace that was over the skirt.  It was beaded and lacy and had a layer of satin underneath.

My mom and I ended up both working on a pair of shoes to match.  
Can I just say that baby shoes are some of the cutest things every to be invented.  Oh good!  Because they are.

My sister took these great pictures of the dress and the shoes and shared them with me. She also took a few photos of her baby in the dress, unfortunately the other pictures didn't work out like she had hoped so she is going to retake them.

Not only did I get to help make the baby shoes, I made a skirt for my sister to wear to the blessing.

Originally I had lace that was supposed to be made into a dress for her birthday last year, however she ended up finding out she was expecting before we started, so it didn't end up happening.

She mentioned she'd like something new to wear to the blessing. So we ended up making a coral pink pencil skirt.

I drafted it for her, and I purposely drafted the skirt waist 2 inches smaller than I had measured.  

Exactly 9 days after measuring her and drafting the pattern I was really glad I took that waist in! 

The skirt was too big.  She must have lost up to 4 inches I think.  Seriously! 

I hid some elastic in the back waistband and she wore a wide belt over it.  We plan to take the waistband in later on when more time has passed.   

She has good taste I tell you.  She found a denim shirt and it looked cute with the coral.

Anyways, cute girls.  I am just so grateful to have a sister.  We didn't get along all the time when we were younger, but I'd say she is my best friend now and I am so lucky to have her.

As always thanks for reading and have a great day!