Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dora Art Caddy

Lately it seems like we've had a birthday every weekend.  The first one I didn't plan enough in advance to be able to make anything for the little guy but I managed to find some Dora the Explorer fabric at JoAnn's last week in time to put together this fun Art Caddy.  I was told that Dora, Barbie, and the Little Mermaid were favorites so I'm hoping she likes it!

In the future I may line the pockets on these caddies.  I know it takes more fabric and therefore more money to make but I think it would be sturdier and actually take less time to construct since I wouldn't have to press all of the seams under...just a thought :)

The pattern is one I bought on Etsy a long time ago.  It has been used once before, again as a birthday present.  I simply fill it with markers, colored pencils, crayons, a glue stick, safety scissors, a ruler and a coloring book when it's done.

One have one more birthday party (this weekend) and I've got another art caddy in mind for this birthday girl as well.  I ordered some Doc McStuffins fabric and am ready to start cutting it out...

Squeak may have gotten some Bubble Guppies fabric as well so be on the lookout for some great pants!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Been Awhile

But I actually took pictures of some of my WIPs this week!!  And there's no link up due to summer vacation, lol.  Figures ;)

I've actually made a little bit of progress on this since the photo was taken.  And yes, I did fix the piece on the bottom row that is turned the wrong way.  Thank you to the person on Instagram that noticed!

I know the deadline is past and it wouldn't qualify anyway since I used Moda Grunge for the background but at least I can say I gave it a shot :)

  And the most important WIP of the moment is this small quilt.  It is a custom order from a repeat customer.  I have made two quilts for her before and she LOVES Amy Butler.  These are the leftovers from the last quilt I made her and she requested a small blanket for her daughter to take to preschool this year.  We decided to skip the batting and back it with a soft flannel instead.  Should be a breeze to finish (knock on wood) since I managed to get all of the pieces cut to the proper size this morning.

There is of course another neverending pile of WIPs in my sewing room but for now I'll concentrate on these :) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tank Dress #2 In Action

Just as a disclaimer I need to let you know that I really thought this dress was more flattering on me.  I actually wore it to work and felt pretty good in it.  Then I saw the photos...

For my first version I made the straight dress without any elastic or shirring.  Paired with a cardigan and belt it is a great fit.

I learned a lot from my previous experience with this pattern and decided to do a couple of things differently:
  • follow the instructions (except for one modification)
  • use a fabric that I am familiar with

We'll start with my favorite photo of the bunch.  Of course the kids weren't cooperating but when do they ever?!  I actually like the dress in this photo, btw.

I will admit that I wasn't crazy about this fabric but it was such a great price that I couldn't pass it up.  NOW I love the fabric just not the way the dress lays on my body.  Sorry for the wrinkles I had been at work for 8 hours before we went to the park.  Fair warning, I have quite a bit of the fabric left so you may see it again in the future.

Caroline's method for finishing the neck and arms on this dress is brilliant!!  I plan to use it whenever possible in the future.  It takes an extra step, therefore a little extra time, but the finish is so wonderful that it's worth it.  The one place that I deviated from the pattern on this was that I got it in my head that a drawstring would be really cute.  I was wrong!  The original pattern has the option of elastic enclosed in casing or shirring (both of which are on the backside only).  I will definitely make this dress again using that method.  Third time is the charm right?!  In the pictures I have the drawstring as tight as it will go and still managed to get no shape.  I can't take in the side seams without having to take out the drawstring.  And let's be realistic--I'm WAY too lazy for that!!  So for now I will wear it like this (maybe with a cardigan, I love me a cardigan :P) and try again next time.

One more shot of the kids :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sometime We Just Need to Laugh at Ourselves

At least I hope that's what I was doing in these photos...

This is my first Tank Dress.  I used a horribly slippery, fraying mess of a fabric that I bought on clearance at JoAnns.

This dress has many, many issues of my own making...but I love it none the less!

I've admitted in the past that I am horrible about following directions and this was no exception which probably explains why I had so many issues.  Instead of using the method included in the instructions for finishing the neckline and armholes I simply turned the fabric under by a 1/2" and top stitched it down.  This would account for the wonky neckline and the facing that will not stay down.

After a frustrating attempt to create a hemline using an iron I resorted to hem tape.  Now if the hemline was straight it may have actually turned out ok...but due to the curves I ended up with a stiff, wrinkly, puckered mess.

And my third and final issue--the pockets.  While I love the convenience of having pockets I think I will leave them out of my dresses in the future.  They just never seem to lay properly on my hips.  Always puckering and bunching up in a place that I definitely do not need extra bulk.

All in all my verdict is that the pattern is great.  I absolutely love the way that the neckline and armholes are finished (if you actually follow the pattern, which I will in my next post) and will use this method on nearly every woven garment I make in the future.  And despite all of the issues with this dress I still wear it in public and love the shape and brightness of the fabric.

See my post tomorrow for my thoughts on my second version of this dress :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Entries

It's time once again to link up your makes for this month's prize(s) for the Big City Bags SAL.  This month is a little different as two different bags, the Lucky Mint Denver Bag AND the Chandelier Swing Bag, are eligible for prizes.  

Another thing that's different about this month is that our sponsor, Happy Quilting, has offered up three different prize packs!!  

Your chances of winning are higher than ever so link up now :)


(Photos used with permission of Martingale Publishing.  Photograph by Brent Kane.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

I've Done It Again

Messed up that is.  And once again you all can benefit from my flakiness :)

For the months of July and August BOTH the Lucky Mint Denver Bag AND the Chandelier Swing Bag will be eligible to link up for a chance at this month's THREE PRIZES (that's a lot of caps locks for one sentence!).  That's double the chances!!  I know some of you have already started on the bags so get busy finishing them up :)  Link ups start in 4 days!!

(Photos used with permission of Martingale Publishing.  Photograph by Brent Kane.)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Piper Misses--Modified

Another "Make It Work" finish.  Again due to my own mistakes/miscalculations.  
I bought this wonderful organic knit from when they were closing out their fabrics (it looks like the sale is still going too!).  I bought all they had (1 1/2 yds).  After seeing the Piper Misses all over Instagram I knew I needed to make one.  When the Bundle Up package came around I jumped on it at the chance to buy it (and several others) for a great price.  

 I started by cutting the front of my top--no problems there.  Although I did have to lengthen the darts pretty significantly later.  Then I moved on to cut the back and sleeves for the top.  

 &$#@  About two inches short of the actual yardage I needed.  Oh well, no big deal I'll just cut an inch off of the entire top.  After making a cut about 4 inches long I realized I had folded my directional print over on top of itself LENGTHWISE to see how much I was going to be short.  

 @$#% Again!!  There was no way to repair or work around the cut I had made so I headed to JoAnn's where I had seen a great mint colored stretch lace.  It's not a perfect match colorwise but it did get the job done.  I wasn't planning on putting a bow on this version anyway so that was not an issue.

Overall I love the pattern!  It feels a little loose so I may go down a size next time.  I will definitely be making the bow version out of a voile in the near future :)