Saturday, January 31, 2009

I spy...

... cool sleeve details.

Did you notice her sleeves extend into fingerless gloves? How cool is that?

.... a tote (courtesy of Vera Bradley) that I hope to copy. And I want one of those scooters in a bad way, too.

It's hard to find a tote that fits a magazine vertically just right. I couldn't find a pattern matching this bag. If anyone is wise to one, please share ;) This bag is just right, I love the big flap pocket on the front and the subtle curve of the top. I'm going to adapt a plain tote pattern and hope for the best.

.... a dress in the background.

This picture is from my grandmother's house 10 years ago. (Yes, that's a little Boopina.) It's a little teaser to that sewing backstory I still owe you.

.... a Kreativ Blogger award

Thanks to Karen, whose sewing by the seat of her pants has kept me on the edge of my seat this past year. She's like the MacGyver of sewing. Give her two bias strips, some leather scraps and an old hat, and she'll build an explosive piece of fashion!


1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.
I'd like to nominate the following:

Vicki, the Hong Kong Shopper from Australia. Vicki, we have good information that you and Allie got lots of good fabric recently... and curious minds want to know what you are doing with it!

Elaray, at Another Creation. I always love her subtle humor and down-to-earth insight.

Mrs. Hunting Creek, whose wise presence ripples out allover sewing blogland.

The Slapdash Sewist, who had me at hello. She reminds me to be bold.

AllisonC, I totally sweat her closet. I drool every time she posts new fabric.

Cidell, the living legend.

And finally, DEEPIKA, because without her, I don't think I'd be here.


Rumor has it that I might actually get some Mommy time this weekend. Keep an eye out for that Simplicity dress, it just needs the hem now.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I came theeees close to having both dresses done in time for the Karate awards dinner.

It only needed the zipper finishing and the bottom hem, but it just wasn't physically possible in time. I'm sensing a disturbing trend. I ended up wearing the galaxy dress instead, so all was not lost.

Boopina was super excited about her dress and was telling anyone who would listen that she made it.

Here she is in her "I don't yet know I'm Student of the Year" glow :) She's so awesome.

I finished her dress about an hour before we left. Here is an in process shot:
Notice all those little pieces? If you try this pattern, make sure you label them clearly. Trust me.
My machine suffered a mysterious, but thankfully brief, total loss of bobbin thread tension during the evening.

I tried everything. I actually took this picture to post a "help me" on the message boards, but when I tried my machine again an hour later it was fine. I am at a loss.

I'll finish up my dress and post reviews next week, sometime after I dig out of the filth that has become of my house.


Because of the awards dinner dress making frenzy, I've been neglecting my quilting. I did manage to get a a real square made:

Or is that a block? I have to admit the quilting lingo escapes me. And I have no idea what kind of pattern this is - I just cut strips and pieced them in rows. I figure after I bore of this pattern I'll just mix in whatever else comes to mind. I'll have a few small quilts made before I get all the materials for the memorial quilt.

This quiltmaking thing is going to be an exercise in precision for me. Notice my uneven end strips? I'm usually a willy-nilly sewist, and this will be some much needed practice.

coming soon: a sewing backstory...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No soup for me.

I kind of chuckled the other day when I read Dawn's blog that mentioned her trashy soup can weights. I use frosting.

I love using tubs of frosting for two reasons. One, something about the weight of it and the rounded plastic edging lets it glide over the fabric nicely when I need to move them. And two:

Happy sewing :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

...but not forgotten.

Even though I've stopped working on the Vogue jacket because of kid-priority, it's still on my mind. I did set the challenge to finish my UFOs and I plan to return to it next week, when the Awards Dinner will be a happy memory.

I happened upon these buttons in JoAnn* the other day on a zipper run. I tempted fate by waiting to get my coupons for them- I couldn't justify $8/ea.- but there was something about them. They have so much depth in the coloring. Check out the rings in them, they are very Saturnesque.
*and what is up with old BigBox lately? They've actually impressed me the last 3 times I was there.


Boopina has been away, but her M5380 muslin is assembled and awaiting her return for a final fitting. That girl has a travel calendar that some jet setters would envy.
I was not loving all those lower bodice panels, but I think they will look cool in the finished product. I can't wait to do a summer version in cotton for myself and do something fab with all those pieces.


As many of you know, I'm taking on a quilt-making project. It kind of takes sewing to a whole new place for me.
Anyone with anything to offer in the way of quilting advice, please feel free. This is my first attempt at making blocks:

No, your eyes do not deceive you- nothing is pressed. My trusty iron began mysteriously leaking water from where the cord connects to the iron. Now, I've been known to push the bounds of usability on a product or two (duct tape anyone?), but I'm thinking I'll just wait till I get a new iron. I'll be soooooooo relieved to finally get an auto-shut off. So will my husband! :) Maybe I'll also get a Clover Mini-Iron , I've been wanting one for a while.
Hopefully I'll get 2 reviews posted this week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reason I'm Glad I Sew #4,000,000,007

The RTW disappearing trim. arg. My pet peeve is trim that doesn't continue around the back. And no, I don't buy it that they are trying to keep my hair from tangling in it. I'm keeping an eye out for matching ribbon to try to finish this one.


The muslin of my awards dinner dress S2724 is done. Here it is in living color and in super exposed flash color.

I can't tell you how helpful that little extra "how-to" paper from the Project Runway curve ruler has been with figuring out pattern changes. I think I'm going to have a bunch of changes, too. This review is going to be fun...

I'm digging into the fashion fabric tomorrow, which is pretty close in color to the muslin fabric.

Boopina's muslin (oh she's gonna love me) is underway, as well.

M5380. She's basically done everything herself. I had to take a few deep breaths as she first started using my machine. Normally, nobody touches daMomma's machine. Nobody. But she's doing great, and I really think she likes it.

No. Seriously.

Well, I know she likes the sewing part of it anyway. I think when she sees the finished product next week, she'll be hooked :)

We are both going to have the same pale turquoise crepe-backed satin. This stuff has been in my stash for over 4 years, purchased for a dress that was supposed to be worn to a tattoo convention (that's a blog for another day). I'm thinking of playing with the gloss/flat sides for the front panels of her dress and the ruffle detail and sash on mine.
The jacket is just going to have to wait, because I can't wait to get my hands on some loungewear.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Dear Simplicity, your pattern sheets are too friggin' big."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stop the Presses (or in this case, the jacket)

Finally. The kid wants to make a dress.
:) gleeful mommy.

She wandered into the sewing room today and asked "What's that on Beth?"
!!! interest in sewing stuff!!!
"Just a jacket."- you've seen the jacket- totally boring to an 11-year old. She's walking away.
"But I was just thinking I'm going to make a dress for the Karate Awards Dinner". (yes, I said it in bold.)
I get an eyebrow raise.
"Check out this fabric".

I whip out a creamy crepe-backed satin in her absolute fav shade of turquoise. The eyes light up... almost got her...

I show her my dress pattern. S2724.

"Oh, nice." Uh oh. Losing her.

"Not your style?" Head shake as she's turning to go.

"Well, what kind of dress would you make if you could?"

She stops. Silence. I'm hoping at this moment all those episodes of Project Runway are rushing back to her... She turns back around...

"Well," she begins, "I'd want straps like this (she motions spaghetti straps) and the top to go across like this..." and so it goes. She described a dress, I whipped out my patterns and... Voila! We are making a dress! :)

M5380 view A

I'm hoping I'll have enough satin so we can have matching fabric!
;) I am such a dork.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A quiet time to sit and think

... and ponder what is going on with this jacket.

V2956. I wanted a classy and versatile cover-up for my favorite t-shirt/jeans combo. I could never find a knit I liked enough to do any of the cute sweater patterns that were around this season, and I found this Vogue jacket/pants pattern during my Black Friday frenzy. I am a sucker for back details.

I am only in the beginning stages of construction even though I've been working on it every day for a week . The side seams are open, the inner back facing is not attached and the front folded facings are not pressed. I've been afraid to press it all in place because I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to have to rip out something major and re-do it all. The sleeves are in 2 pieces, I'm anxious to see how they turn out. I would be soooo much further along if the pattern markings would stop disappearing!!! No matter what I use to mark, as soon as I re-focus my eyes, they are gone- blended into the fabric. I'm seriously considering the Sharpie.

I'm not feeling too good about some things...


It is cut on the bias, but it's getting some weird crinklage in the back there. Perhaps I should re-cut it?


I'm not loving the apparent bubbling along the seam connecting the pleats to the upper back.

These are two of the button candidates.


And New Year's is great and all, but I'm looking forward to Valentine's Day :) My next project will be just the thing for it :)
Keep warm ;)