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!