Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finished Dress: The Coffee Date Dress!

Another Finished project for 2012!

Remember this post? Well I had to wait until I was off this week to even start working on my second "test" dress because work has been insane (late late nights and weekend work took over my life for a few weeks).  But luckily I booked this week off knowing that i'd need some time away from that place and a few days to sew before Ange's wedding!
I had all the pieces for the larger pattern size cut out, and after taking all day Monday to do nothing I started sewing on Tuesday and finished it in just a few hours.  This was the first picture I took after finishing the bodice, and the skirt wasn't really attached yet, I just used the belt to hold it up.

The next few shots are horrible, but at least you can see the full dress. 
Front - I still don't know how to stand to show off the clothes and not look like a goof.  
Modifications from my first test dress: I went up two sizes to a 36, the first size 32 was way to small. Turns out I just didn't measure myself properly (aka at all).  I've learned so much in this process about making clothes and proper measurements and fit.

I also included the ruffle on this dress vs. the previous test dress, and I'm really glad I did, it was super easy and I think it just dresses it up a bit more.
Back - this was before I hand sewed the lining down to the zipper.  The pins are now gone and its looking great. 
I still have to hem the bottom of the skirt.  I think I'm going to bring the bottom up to just above my knee. The other change I made from the pattern was to attach a full bodice lining. (vs. just the facings)  This made a huge difference in the look in my opinion.  In the previous test dress the fabric was so thin that you could see the facings which I really didn't like. Plus although I didn't make any size modifications to the bodice, I think having the extra thickness throughout helped with the fit.  It seriously is the perfect fit up top.
Side View 
A close up view with the ruffle, so glad I included it!
So if you remember this was suppose to be a second "test" dress.  I made it out of some cotton broadcloth that I got at Fabricland for I think $20. However I really love the colour, and minus a few minor issues (the ironing job sucked when i did the darts and there is a slight pintuck in the skirt top) its pretty good.  And I've decided that I'll just wear this one to the wedding, instead of making a whole other dress.

That all said - I did still get Paul to drive me down to the workroom this week to look at fabric and patterns, because this dress has made me want to sew even more.  So because it was only Wed and I still had the rest of the week off, I picked up this pattern. 

And some Quilters linen by Robert Kaufman in a yellow (its actually called Ochre) - which I love!  I'm going to do another post with the progress of this dress - which i'm hoping to have finished today - then I'll be able to have two choices for the wedding! 

Only two days of holidays left :(.  And the sewing to-do list is still pretty long.  Its going to be another late night of sewing and i'm just fine with that !

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Top - Shearwater Kaftan

I finished my Spring Top for the Spring Top Sewalong!  Actually I finished it 3 weeks ago before Easter and have wore it several times already.  Life just got in the way (aka: work) and I didn't get it blogged or even uploaded to the flickr site.
But realizing the deadline is tomorrow i'm getting my butt in gear this morning to post.

I LOVE this top.  It turned out almost perfect.  And i'll definitely be wearing it all summer.  Heck I've even been wearing it in the cooler weather with a sweater. It's great for layering and looks good with jeans or shorts and will make a great beach cover up (should we ever go to the beach).

Pattern: Shearwater Kaftan by makeitperfect
Size: X-small
Fabric: Bought on Etsy (after searching for a long time) A very light/ pale gray Gauze
Buttons: for sleeves bought at the Creative Festival from Len's Mill booth

This top went together really easy and fast.  And I don't know why it sat in my closet all cut out but not started for so long.  I really wish I had a real proper serger for the ends now that its finished.  The fabric is so light that its started to fray really bad on the inside even where I used my pinking shears.

I might have to make a trip to The Workroom to use the serger's there this week to finish it up. But overall i'm super happy with this top.  And another finished project for the year!

On to finishing (or starting) my dress for Angela's wedding. (Good thing I have the week off!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I interrupt this sewing update...

... so I can finish reading the last few chapters of this:

I'm obsessed. I finished the first book the weekend the movie came out and I made Paul go and see it with me that night at 11pm.  (I think the book was far better, although part of me wants to run out and see the movie again!)

Then I read the 2nd book in less than a week, and I never do that!  On Sunday soon as I put down book #2 I made Paul drive with me to Indigo to get #3.  (I didn't listen when he just told me to buy all 3 at once)

I'm loving them.  In fact I've been waiting all day to sit and finish the last few chapters but I'm delaying it so I can hold on to the characters just a little bit longer.  Do you very feel super sad when you finish a really good book like you could just keep living through there exciting lives?  

I saw this on pinterest a while ago and its so true about these books.  I'm not even finished yet, and I'm already sad to not know what happens to the rest of their lives. 

Anywho, off I go to bed to finish, cause I just can't wait any longer.  I must know how it all ends. 

But I did finish my top for the Spring Top Sewalong on Saturday (a March finished project).  And I promise to blog about it this week and enter it in the contest! 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Project365 - March

I feel like this year is flying by. I'm trying to keep active in blogging, sewing and social updates.

And I'm so glad I decided to do a project365 photography project.  I think for March I only actually missed taking a picture one day, but other then that its been pretty consistent this month.

I also tried to complete as many pictures as I could for the #Marchphotoaday project through Fatmumslim. I used this as a way to give me inspiration for a picture each day.

And although I posted a bunch of pictures from my January Project365, I didn't posted the final month, so posting it now too! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Top Sewalong!

2012 Goal: Sew More.  Part of that goal is to try and sew more clothing for myself.  Cool stuff, not cheesy "looks like its home made" stuff.

So along with sewing a dress for Angela & Thomas's wedding, I'm going to work at finishing up and making a few other projects for myself.  And perfect timing Made by Rae posted her "Spring Top Sewalong" for 2012 today!

I've been following her blog for a while now and have read and voted the last few years in the Spring Top sewalong - and although I thought about entering last year I never did.  This year I fully intend on finishing and entering a top.

In fact you can submit something that you have previously started but not finished.  Rules are you must have finished your top after March 1st 2012.  (no issues here, since its totally not finished)

I'm going to finish up (my almost started) Shearwater Kaftan summer top. I fell in love with this pattern last year  and searched for the perfect fabric.  Finding this great pale grey stone gauze fabric from etsy seller UniqueShiny.
Image borrowed from makeitperfect and Photograph courtesy of Fiona Harding Photography

But to date I've only got as far as cutting out all the pieces and sewing the the hem around the neck.  Time to pull it out and finish it.  And I really have been wanting to finish this for a while now.  In fact I had originally planned to finish it last year in time for Rhett's First birthday and Steph's baby shower which were both towards the end of last summer.  I always have such ambitious plans that never come to fruition.

But this is the time.  Maybe I'll even go and get started right now. You can start uploading pics for the Spring Top sewalong as early as Monday.  And there is a contest portion, although you don't have to be part of that you can just sew a top for the fun of it if you want!  Check out the site if your interested - I've posted a button with the link on my sidebar!

Making a Dress - Attempt #1

So this past week after looking at lots of patterns online I decided that instead of making my own pattern (right away) I was going to try out this pattern as it was written first.

Since my luck with clothes to this point hasn't been overly successful I still knew that I was going to need to make a "test" dress first. On Friday we headed up to Paul's Moms to spend the night and I brought my new tiny serger, since I knew she would be interested in seeing it.  Paul said I should also bring my sewing.  So I packed my dress pattern and some cheap broadcloth in case we had a chance to work on it.

Singer Tiny Serger - Bought of Kijiji For $30!
We were only going to spend Friday night and come home on Saturday night since it was my birthday but Paul's mom was excited to help out with sewing so we decided to stay until today.

Yesterday we set out to put the pattern together and sew the "test" dress.  I also decided to attempt to "serge" all the edges.  This was definitely the longest part as the tiny serger is "finicky". So as I worked on serging all the pieces, Paul's mom started the assembly of he bodice.  I learned some really good tips from her - she has made several dresses and clothes before.

So here is what we learned.  I am not a 32 petite. LOL  I measured myself before hand and I thought I was "close enough" to the original pattern size.  Ummm when making clothes, close enough does not cut it. The bodice is about 4 inches too small at the sides/ back. Luckily we found the pattern in "multi-sizes" online so i'm going to have to start all over again this weekend.
But it was a good first attempt.  I wasn't sure of the style before we started, but I think it will look nice. I like the way the top is fitting and with a little sweater and possibly a belt it should look great for the weddings we have this year.

Adjustments that i'm going to make on the 2nd attempt will be to make a fully lined bodice.  The pattern just has the bodice facings lined, but I going to fully line the whole thing to prevent it from being see-through if i chose a light weight fabric.  I'm also going to make the skirt a bit longer and hem it to just above my knee i think. I think i'm also going to leave the ruffle off, but i'm not sure yet. I think its going to depend on what I choose for my final fabric choice.

So my next step is to try and get to fabric land some time this week to pick up some more broadcloth for attempt number two. By the time I get to making the actual dress i'll be a pro at this pattern!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Organized & Clean Linen Closet

Dessert before Dinner

Full Moon

Happy Birthday Oreo!  You look good for being 100

Our Neighborhood

Monday, March 5, 2012

To sew or not to sew

I'm going to *attempt* to make my own dress.

I've been sewing for a long time (self-taught), however I will be the first one to admit that sewing clothing has not been something I've excelled at.  In fact the very few things I have made, I rarely wear.

I do love the school house tunic pattern, and until about 20 minutes ago when I put it on, I thought the size and fit was good.  However, my choice of fabric was so way off that I never wear it. In fact I just changed out of my pj's for the first time all day to put it on to take a few pics since I realized I didn't have any of it completely finished. 

But this shirt is not what I came to blog about.  Its about trying new things.  And i'm going to attempt to make a dress for my cousin's wedding in May. 

Now I've found a few patterns that I like, however I'm *contemplating* making my own pattern.  This is a crazy idea cause I've never made my own pattern before and I'm not good at math.  I think I'd be better to adjust a pattern to myself but even that is taking a risk.  Specially for a dress that I have to wear out in public and my entire family will see. 

My biggest fear is picking a style that works for my body and will fit well. I think the most frustrating part of sewing clothing for myself is that it never seems to work out the way I envisioned and I never know how to fix it once its done. 

Enough of that, lets get to the details, here are some of patterns that I've been thinking about.

This first dress that I've been thinking of modifying is actually a kids dress, but I think it could be adjusted to look a little more adult-like.
Photo from The Cottage home
Although I like that style I'm worried that since it is a kids dress, I might just look a well a kid. I really like this next dress pattern, but it might be a bit to simple for a dress to wear to a wedding. 
Photo from Sewing in no Mans Land
And this last one I just found tonight, it's a free pattern I found on Burda Style and could be fancy enough for the wedding, but simple enough to throw together. I'm not 100% sold on the ruffle, but it could be cute. 
Photo from Kylie Burrowes on Burda Style
So given all of these are free patterns, i'm thinking that I could make a few copies out of broadcloth and give them or at least one of them a test try first to see if the fit and style are right.  I'm also going to look at a few books at Indigo on my lunch break tomorrow to see if I can find anything on adjusting patterns could be something good to have on hand.

Ultimately If I had time in my crazy life, had extra money, or lets face it was smart enough I'd just go take the pattern making class at The Workroom and learn the proper way to do this. But part of me thinks learning on my own and figuring this out will be much more satisfying then just reading a pattern or someone teaching  me.  

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February - Happy Leap Day

Again, I've been a bad blogger, a whole month without a real post, and no excuse cause I even had some great things to blog about.

First - Project365 - another month completed

I've missed a few days here and there, but overall I'm doing pretty well.  And I'm incorporating the photoaday pic's when ever I can, and particular on days where I need some inspiration.

This month I celebrated my 8th year working at Zenith.  Its crazy to me that I've been there for 8 years.  So long yet so short. Its a good achievement, even if I dislike it 80% of the time. It's been an intense month of late nights and lots of extra work. But next week is the launch of a major project I've been working on, fingers crossed things will calm down a bit after.

It has also been 10 years since we lost a good friend.  I still remember getting the phone call at my apartment on Davenport and Dad picking me up in Georgetown after a friend from school gave me a ride. I wish there were answers to why he decided to go, and I wish I could have told him how I felt about him one last time. I hope deep down he knew that he was loved.

I only finished one craft project this month and it was only this weekend.  I promise I'll do a separate post on that soon.  But I also started knitting a pair of cable mitts last week - I'm almost done the first one, ran into some issues on the decreases, but I think I've finally figured it out.  Fingers crossed.

Also I really need a vacation. Between work and lack of funds, it just doesn't seem to be an option right now.  The Ski trip was last weekend, but Paul went up early and I couldn't get the time off work so I had to miss out :(.  And Mom left for Arizona on Sunday with some girlfriends. Dad picks her up this Sunday and they are driving to Florida for the week.  I was trying to convince Paul that we should tag along.  But money and timing just didn't work out.

Oh well. Maybe next year.

Anywho, February is almost over, time for bed. I'm going to post more in March. (promise to myself)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Day in Photos

Last Saturday I decided to participate in this photo challenge from Fat mum slim: Your day in photos.

It was a good day to take part cause unlike the last few weekends, I actually had (what I thought) were exciting plans! A knitting Party!

One of my best friends moved away about 4 (or maybe even 5 now) years ago, and I don't get to see her near as often as I would like. But last weekend she came down for a visit since her sister was hosting a knitting party.

So here it is, my day in photos, 1 picture for every hour I was awake.

10am - reading the weekly flyer's
11am - Cinnamon buns for breakfast/ brunch
12pm - Got distracted and played some gardens of time on facebook
1pm - Time to get ready - relaxing bubble bath
2pm - Picking out some yarn and patterns for a potential new project
3pm - Running late but on our way
4pm -Knitting Party/ Pot luck spread - yum
5pm - We hadn't even starting knitting yet - but Amanda shows off her latest project (a super cute baby dress)
6pm - We are finally knitting - trying to finish up a project that was started 3 years ago
7pm - Still knitting away
8pm - my view of some of the other knitters
9pm - College Friends
10pm - when knitting goes wrong.  This is actually a giant knit mitt - but its so big, it kinda looks like a shark.
11pm - Norman doesn't want to knit, but uses Manda's needles for some impromptu drumming
12am - Streetcar ride down to Queen and Broadview to meet Pauly to get home.

241 Tote

One of my 2012 goals is to sew more.

So far I'm not doing so bad.  Along with my Figure 8 Scarf I finished this "late" Christmas gift for my best friend Steph in the second week of January. (and that is when I actually started writing this post)

I've been looking at this pattern for a while and have seen a lot of great bags posted to pinterest lately. So when I read that someone loved it for holding sippy cuts and bottles I knew it would make a great everyday bag for Steph. (because she just had a baby and will be needing to lug bottles and sippy cups, she doesn't use them herself)

The pattern was easy to follow and I think the hardest part is choosing fabrics, cause you get to pick so many! The pattern is also written with two different versions.  One with pockets (which I choose) and one with two side zippers which I'm definitely going to try out at some point. 

The Main Fabric is from the Good Folks line from Anna Maria Horner, I've had it in my stash for a while waiting for something to showcase the main panel, and this was perfect.  I paired it with some Kona Navy and some grey that I had in my stash.

I definitely love the outside pockets on this bag, they are great for holding a water bottle or your keys.  I also put a pocket inside as well as a magnetic snap closure. 

Overall its a great tote bag, and I'm hoping Steph will get a lot of use out of it for either lugging around baby stuff for Ben, or just a great overall bag for herself.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012