Saturday, December 29, 2007

Handmade Holidays Recap: The Boys

It was a lot of work, but it paid off in the end. I was proud to give something I made to people I loved and the gifts were well received. The only people who didn't get something handmade were the adult men on my list. The men in my life are hard to buy stuff for, let alone make stuff for! Maybe next year when I'm a knitting machine, (yeah, Katie!*), they'll get something handmade. Fortunately, my nephews are young enough that I was able to think up stuff I could make for them.

Nathan's mommy plans to do a nautical theme for his room, so I painted some canvases to add to the decor. This was actually Nathan's birthday present. Since he is also a December baby, his birthday present made it onto my handmade holiday list. I haven't painted in a while and I forgot how much I enjoy it. I am thinking about taking commission orders to sell. Let me know if you are interested.

For Christmas, I made the boys some personalized bunting to decorate their rooms (Ryan's is not shown here). I got this idea after seeing Jennifer's beautiful baby bunting. This was a quick and easy project and so cute in the end.

Besides being well received, these gifts were also great because they were made with materials I already had on hand.

*Katie and I are going to take knitting lessons in 2008.

Edited: Just when I was starting to wonder why there were no comments on this post, I realized the pictures weren't showing up. I've uploaded the pictures again so now I hope you'll be able to see the gifts I made for the boys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

100th Post and New York Advice

Wow, I can't believe I've made it to 100 posts.! When I started this blog I didn't know how many wonderful people and ideas it would introduce me to. It means so much to me when people stop by here. Thanks for visiting! There are a lot of great craft/sewing blogs out there and I hope that I make a positive contribution to such a supportive and inspiring community.

I've also received a lot of great advice through this blog and now I'm in need of some more. I'm going to New York for a New Year's Eve party. I've been to New York several times but have never taken advantage of its great fabric shopping opportunities. Do you have any recommendations for fabric stores I must visit? I'm currently in need of some crochet trim for a dress project in the works so I would also appreciate a recommendation for a great trim shop.

Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I share my birthday with my Dad and Aunt and I was lucky to be able to celebrate our day with both of them. I had a wonderful birthday and Christmas and I am looking forward to the new year ahead.

Now for some giveaway news. Using the random number generator, the winner of the Quilt-Kit is comment number 2. Lori, I will put this in the mail to you later this week.

Hoping you all are having a wonderful Holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A giveaway for you

These past few weeks have made me really appreciate my friends and family. I don't know where I would be without them. I am truly grateful for their love and support.

I'm also grateful for all the people that stop by this blog to share and support my creative endeavors. To show my gratitude and in honor of my upcoming birthday, I'm giving away this Quilt-It Kit by Denyse Schmidt. Please leave a comment on this post by midnight EST on Sunday, December 23rd (my birthday!). I'll announce the randomly chosen winner on the 24th.

With Christmas right around the corner, I'll soon be able to show you all the projects I've been working on. As much fun as it's been to make presents this year, I'm really ready to start sewing another clothing project for my wardrobe.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


My birthday is almost a week away. I usually use this day to justify a big purchase on myself (as opposed to all the other months when I just spoil myself rotten for the heck of it). I've decided to buy a subscription to BWOF magazine so that I don't have to run all over DC hoping to find one each month. But, how do I subscribe? All you BWOF subscribers out there, help a girl out, won't you?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Handmade holiday sneak peek

Whew, I'm coming up for air for a moment from my holiday gift making fest.

I hope the recipients like what I've made as much as I do. Like the gift above, which I can only give a peek of for now.

How is your Holiday gift making/shopping going?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

McCalls 5466

Yippee, I finished another fall/winter dress! I was immediately drawn to McCalls 5466 View B when it first came out earlier this fall. I've seen several beautiful versions of View A (the pencil skirt) but I'm a sucker for flowy skirts.

I'm not really quite sure how to describe the fabric I used. It's some sort of spongy brown tweed. I found it at G Street Fabrics in their remnants section for two dollars a yard. At that price, how could I not buy it? I did a burn test and concluded that it's made of polyester fibers. Whatever it is, it's incredibly soft, comfortable and has lovely drape.

I don't normally make muslins but for some reason I did with this dress. I'm glad I did! This pattern did not fit me right out of the envelope. I had to make several alterations to the bodice. First, the pattern as drafted is very narrow at the waist. I added about an inch at the waist so I could breath when it was zipped up. Next, I lowered the dart point so it ended three fourths of an inch below my bust point rather than right at it.

I also made several sleeve alterations. The sleeve as drafted has about three inches of ease and is very tight around the arm. I read in Power Sewing that most RTW garments only have an inch and a half of ease in the sleeve cap. With that in mind (and also because I stink at easing in sleeves) I took out an inch and a half from the sleeve cap and added an inch and a half to the arm band.

I think these simple alterations resulted in a great fitted garment. I am very happy with how this dress turned out. It's perfect for work paired with a cardigan and because of the short sleeves I'll be able to wear this into the spring. I'd recommend this pattern to others but I'd stress making a muslin first. I think I'm going to make muslins more often now!