Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Amy Butler Anna Tunic

Check out my review of the Amy Butler Anna Tunic today at Sew Mama Sew. I was really excited to be able to do a review for them.

I had a lot of fun making this tunic and definitely plan to make another one.

My favorite part of this tunic: the buttons on the back!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mama's got a brand new skirt...

...and it's fire engine red.

Materials used: red corduroy, big black buttons.

I'm currently toying with the idea of selling some skirts on etsy. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Stitches Apron

This is a late birthday present for Peter's mom. Better late than never, right? It's my first apron. The pattern is from Amy Butler's In Stitches with a few modifications: a shortened waistband width and shortened overall length. The pattern was very easy to follow. I used fabric from Heather Bailey's Freshcut line. At first I wasn't sure about these two fabrics together, but now I love the combination. I'm almost jealous that this apron will be headed down to sunny Sarasota while I brave out the freezing weather here. Spring will be here soon though. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What I did on my winter vacation

No, I didn't volunteer for the crossing guard.

With the help of my sister, we made duct tape doubles of ourselves. I had been wanting a dress form for a while. It's hard to check a garment's fit on one's self and the boyfriend never quite grasped proper tailoring techniques. Thankfully my sister was excited about the idea of making duct tape dress forms so we slotted out a time during the holidays when we both had a few free hours.

Here mine is in her spot in my sewing "room". We used this tutorial but also learned a few tricks along the way through trial and error. If you try this at home, here's my advice:

1. This is a two person project. I assume that's obvious, but just in case...
2. This project took much longer than we both anticipated. Plan to be standing straight and still for at least two hours. Go potty beforehand and wear comfortable shoes (kind of like the advice people give to brides, no?).
3. Scissors are no match for duct tape. It's much easier to just rip and tear it.
4. Use smaller pieces of duct tape. They're much easier to manage and go on smoother over curvy areas.
5. To make the process quicker, rip a bunch of pieces off at a time.
6. To stuff the dress form, use fiberfill. We used newspaper at first but found that it didn't stuff well at all. My dress form took 104 ounces of fiberfill to stuff.
7. We used a wooden curtain rod cut to size and a Christmas tree holder as the base for our forms (the rod goes all the way through the dress form).

I'm so glad to finally have a custom fit dress form. I've already used it on the two projects I've worked on so far in 2008. Here's hoping my shape and size don't change anytime soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Red Duster

I've talked before about the amazing things my Mom crochets. For my birthday this year, she made me this beautiful red duster.

I love this duster and will wear it for many years. She saw the pattern in Crochet magazine (I think) and just "had to make it" (in her own words). Don't we all know what that feeling is like! She claims it is the most beautiful thing she has made. I'm honored she made this for me. Thanks Mom!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

First dress of the new year

How is it possible to feel va-va-voom yet warm and cozy in these cold winter months? By wearing this dress, Burda 8771, that's how.

This dress might look very familiar to some of you folks. That's because it's an almost exact copy of Christina's awesome dress. I was floored so much by hers that I wanted to make one of my own. Christina graciously lent me the now out of print pattern so I could make it happen. I even used the same fabric but in a different color (I didn't want to seem too much like a copy cat). It's a washable organic wool from Fabric Mart. Any wool that can be washed and looks this amazing is a keeper in my book.

I'm still amazed at how easy this dress was to sew up and how great the end result is. I feel like this is a dress that will never go out of style and one that can be slightly modified for many great looks.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Handmade Holidays Recap: For the girls

Puppet theaters for my nieces using the pattern in Amy Carol's Bend the Rules Sewing:

These were so much fun to make. My sisters tell me the girls think they are so much fun to play with. A win win situation, no?

For my friend, Catherine, a crochet scarf. She kept telling me how much she loved my scarf so I crocheted one for her too. This was super easy and relatively quick to make. I just did double crochet using Lion Brand Homespun yarn. It's so soft, just like mine. I've had mine for three years and love it:

For my Mom, the crocheter, a crochet hook holder made from linen and Heather Bailey's Freshcut fabric:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Handmade Holidays Recap: Applique Skirt

My sister gushed about the applique skirts I made last month so it was pretty easy deciding what to make her for Christmas. This is my favorite of the skirts I've made so far. I almost couldn't give it away! It's made of burgundy denim. I think I have enough fabric to make another one to keep this time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Here's looking at you, 2008

I hope you all had a fabulous New Year's. As I look toward the year ahead, I have many things I want to accomplish, both professionally and personally. Included in the list are some sewing goals. In the hopes of being more motivated to do what it is I say I want to do, I give you my sewing resolutions for 2008:

1. Sew a quilt. I've been wanting to do this for a while but couldn't decide on a pattern. I've finally decided.

2. Sew pants. I shouldn't be scared to do this. Finding pants that fit well is probably a lot more difficult than sewing well fitted pants. Right (she asks nervously)???

3. Finish what I start (or else don't start it at all). Enough said.

4. Sew with a plan. I am completely guilty of sewing random items that don't coordinate well with other pieces in my wardrobe. This is a shame on many levels but especially so because I don't end up wearing the garment that often.

5. Make at least one pattern on my own. This will be challenging but I am very excited and optimistic about the experience.

I hope 2008 brings you all much love and happiness.