Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stacking Coins

One of the reasons why I was so eager to finish the mini wardrobe challenge was so that I could start on my next quilt project. I hemmed and hawed over the design and fabrics of this quilt for quite a while. Fortunately, with a little help from my sister, Kathy, I finally made up my mind.

I had some Bleeker Street (Marcus Brothers) fabric in my stash for a while, but not enough to make a quilt. Kathy, mom and I visited Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Va a few weeks ago where I found some more fabric from this line as well as some coordinating fabrics from the Full Moon forest line. By the way, if you're in the Richmond area, go visit that store. They had such great fabrics and they were so friendly!

On Saturday I started cutting out the fabrics. On Sunday, I started sewing. I didn't stop until I was done.

Whoa! I bet you weren't expecting that! I definitely wasn't. I mean, a quilt top in one day!?! Yes, friends. It's true. The pattern, Stacked Coins Quilt from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, was so easy and quick to put together. I love it! I highly recommend this book for this pattern and all the other great projects it has. We'll just see how long it takes for me to complete the back and quilting. I won't make any promises, though I do need to finish it before the end of the month.

This quilt is a gift for a friend. I can't say who, or for what occasion, or how late it is exactly (let's just say, very late) because I don't want to spoil any surprises.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mini Wardrobe Challenge: Outfit 4 (well, sorta)

If you've been paying attention to my mini wardrobe challenge, then you might be confused by this outfit. You'd be confused for good reason. 'Cause I'm cheating. Sort of. I should be wearing the white shirt I made with this skirt. Originally I wanted a relaxed challenge in that there would be not strict deadline. Then, when I realized that a full shirt does not go well with a full skirt after I sewed everything, I decided to relax the rules even more. The white shirt only goes with the khaki skirt...but the brown shirt goes with not one, not two, but three skirts! That has to count for something, right? I'm very tempted to make another white shirt, but at this point in the summer I'm thinking about fall sewing and moving and my trip and so it's very low on my priority list. It might happen before the summer is over, but until then, this will have to do. Oh it's fun to make up the rules!

Top: Simplicity 4076
Skirt: McCalls 5431

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mini Wardrobe Challenge: Outfit 3


Top: Simplicity 3777
Skirt: Simplicity 4036

I've already reviewed these items so I don't have much to add. I'll be back tomorrow to wrap up my mini wardrobe challenge. I hope you all had a great weekend.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mini wardrobe challenge: Outfit 2

It's been one of those weeks: long days at the office, not a whole lot of time for blogging or sewing at night. Hurray for weekends! I'm really excited to show you my second outfit. It's my favorite of the bunch.


Top: Simplicity 4076
Skirt: McCalls 5430 (Have you made this skirt yet?)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mini wardrobe challenge: Outfit 1

Here are the last two pieces for my mini wardrobe challenge. Let's start with the skirt: Simplicity 4036. This has been my go to a-line skirt pattern. I've made about five skirts from this pattern. I used a stretchy textured twill I've had in my stash since last year. I really needed a basic khaki skirt in my wardrobe. This skirt will get a lot of wear.

Now let me rave about the top: Simplicity 4076. Why I haven't tried this pattern until now I cannot say. I don't think I really liked the twist look, until I happened to flip on the Food Network one day and there was Rachel Ray wearing the cutest green twist top. Yes, inspiration comes from the funniest places sometimes. I added two inches to the pattern and I'm glad I did. It's the perfect length on me. I used a rayon/lycra jersey from Fashion Fabrics Club this time around. It was easy to work with and is incredibly soft. Thank you, Christina, for the suggestion to use this material! The only drawback is that it's hand wash only, but I can live with that.

I'll show you the rest of the outfits throughout the week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pampered pets

I wanted to make Bo a cat bed to replace the old towel he liked to sleep on. Bo had input in the fabric selection. I put down a couple of options and he immediately sat down on the Amy Butler wallflower fabric. Apparently I'm not the only Amy Butler fan in the house. (Actually, I think that one just happened to be in the sunniest spot in the room but I prefer the other conclusion.)

I originally just made the pillow on the inside with no walls. I should have known that he wouldn't like it. I even tried stuffing it with catnip but he still wouldn't sit on it. Peter made the suggestion that I add walls to the pillow. He loves sitting in boxes, even if they're too small for him. So back to the drawing board I went. I had an idea, but I wasn't sure I could make it work.

Luckily it worked. And he likes it. I didn't even have to tempt him with catnip.

It was really simple to put together. This would be great for small dogs too. Anyone care for a tutorial?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth of July Dress

I whipped up this dress just in time to wear to Fourth of July festivities. I bought one of those pre-shirred knit fabric pieces at Joann on sale a few weeks ago. After sewing up the side seam (the only seam really required for this dress - cay you say EASY!), it was way too long for my liking. I cut off at least a foot of fabric. I used the extra fabric to make a ruffle at the bottom to match the ruffle at the top. I also added some halter ties so I wouldn't have to worry about slippage. Joann still had some on sale for less than $7 this past weekend, in case you want one of your own. I bought another one in pink to whip up later. I'm going on vacation at the end of the summer and these will be perfect to throw in the suitcase.

Monday, July 7, 2008

One more time then I'll let it rest

Remember my lamenting about the brown t-shirt that wasn't. Here are some admittedly-bad-but-I-hope-you-get-my-point-about-me-wearing-this-just-around-the-house shots (my photographer was sleeping).

I present to you the bad-gaping-back-neckline shot. This was 100% my fault. The pattern has a back seam, but how many RTW garments do you know of that have back seams? Unfortunately I forgot (embarrassed laugh) to take out the seam allowance. What was it Homer Simpson was always saying?

Next I present to you the bad-gaping-neckline shot. And yes, that mirror is actually clean. It's just old, and impossible to make look clean no matter how much I try. However, the mirror hides the flaws in the shirt. That neckline is all wiggly crazy, and no I'm not just being hard on myself. Trust me here. I used clear elastic and everything. Apparently I don't know how to use clear elastic in necklines.

Really I blame the fabric. I got it at the clearance bin at G Street, which has worked out great before, but not so much this time. I think the problem is that this fabric has bad recovery (ie, no wonderful lycra/spandex properties). Hey, I've learned my lesson! Some rayon jersey with lycra is on it's way to me right now.

By the way, I just want to thank you all for your recent comments. You all are awesome, and I hope you know that. I wish I could respond to each of your comments individually, but blogger makes that almost impossible. So please let me thank you here. I always love and appreciate everyone who stops by here and I try to answer specific questions either here or through e-mail. Seriously though, thank you. The comments on here keep this (and sometimes me) going, and that means so much to me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shop Sale!


In an effort to make room for more *ahem* fabric, I've just reduced the price of the Barcelona Bags. These bags are perfect for the pool, beach, library, shopping, back to school, you name it. Now on sale in the shop.

Pears!

Man I love these pears. When I saw them in the store I asked myself what I could make with this fabric so that I could see them every day. Pajama pants of course! My pajama pant/lounge wear wardrobe needed a little face lift anyhow.


Bo didn't want to be a part of this shot, as much as I tried. He probably thought I looked ridiculous posing in pear pajama pants. That cat is all about appearances.

My sister gave me these tags for Christmas. They are especially handy for a project like this, when it's hard to tell the front from the back!