Archive | May, 2012

Me Made May – Week 4 Roundup

25 May

I wish I could say that this was the last week of MMM’12, but May is a sneaky little month that manages to have 5 weeks crammed into it. So here’s to week 4 – we’re, uh, 4/5th of the way through!

Top: Thrifted, resized by me
Shorts: Simplicity 5110
Earrings: Thrifted
Shoes: Converse
Sweet Shadez: Pangea (Nashville)
Getting ready to ride Tour de Nash! Don’t worry, I (begrudgingly)wore a helmet – it’s in my back bike basket :)

Dress: Simplicity 8345
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Bracelet I converted into a necklace
In my sewing room – I was pretty sick of taking daily pictures at this point!

Dress: Vogue 1227
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Antique, restored by InVintage.
My birthday! :D Since I couldn’t wear a dress called “The Bombshell” to work (I mean, our dress code is sorta lax but it ain’t that lax!), I wore last year’s birthday dress. Also, that necklace is my very favorite piece of jewelry I own – and the most expensive one to boot (and by “most expensive” I mean it was still less than $50 because I normally buy my jewelry at the flea market lol).

Dress: Vogue 1174
Bolero: Thrifted
Shoes: Nine West
-CONFESSION- I made this dress over 2 years ago & I have only worn it once (twice if you count me putting it on for pictures)! I just really hate the way I look in strapless dresses. Inspired by MMM’12, I pulled it out of the closet, dug in my scrap bin for the rest of the blue satin, and made a halter neck strap. Now it is much more wearable :) Yay!

Vogue 1174 w/ halter strap
Here it is without the bolero :)

Dress: Simplicity 2412
Belt: Handmade
Necklace: Fire Finch (Nashville)
Shoes: Nine West

Dress: Simplicity 3061
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Pangea (Nashville)
I pretty much always wear this dress with a nautical flair, so this time I tried to go in a different direction. I think I like it!

5-25 (today!)
Dress: Vogue 1117
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden
I love this dress so so so much, but the poor thing really doesn’t get as much wear as it deserves – I made the mistake of lining it with polyester lining! Ew, so hot! Oh well, that’s me – suffering in the name of Looking Good.
ALSO: Bonus! I got this fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics, and it is mad cheap right now – someone go buy the rest of her yardage!

I’m pretty bored with taking pictures of myself every day – it seems so redundant and, I dunno, kind of narcissistic (which is how I feel about most fashion blogging in general, SORRY). I will be glad to put this project to end next week!

As a side note, I counted my remaining handmade garments and I definitely have more unworn pieces than there are days left in May. Right now I’m trying to decide if I should pull this project into another week or so, just to wear ALL my shizz, or consider a month good enough & move on. I haven’t repeated any outfits – I just own a metric shit ton of clothes – and I really miss some of the stuff I wore at the beginning of the month.

With that being said, I am going on vacation starting tomorrow at the buttcrack of dawn. SO EXCITED. We’re going to the beeeeach! And I bought a cute bathing suit! (For the 3 of you who are worried about my cat being left alone – don’t worry, I got a housesitter :) Wow that sounds so grown-up haha). I’ll still be documenting MMM’12 in the Flickr group – hopefully all with pictures ~on the beach~ haha – but the blog will probably be nice & silent for the next few days.

Have a great weekend – holiday or not :)

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Pointless Knitting Projects

23 May

Hey! We haven’t discussed knitting in a while, huh? I must admit, after spending 3 months knitting up my Agatha sweater, I thought it was time to take it easy for a few weeks. Also, my yarn budget was shot. Boo! I have been knitting in the time since – just easy projects, with yarn lifted straight from my tiny stash.

Let’s take a little lurk, shall we?

Knitted U-Lock Cozy
First was the Bicycle U-Lock Cozy. WHY. I DON’T KNOW. It was really easy & mindless – just very short rows of garter stitch, yeah! And it matches my bike :)

coordinated cozy
Then I knitted another coffee cozy, because apparently I just get off from coordinating everything.

THEN the Cozy Madness really reared it’s ugly head and I found myself knitting this…
Poodle Toilet Paper Cozy
That would be a Poodle Toilet Paper Cozy, knitted in Harvest Gold (acrylic, of course). What? Too much?

I think it’s safe to say that I should probably stop knitting cozies, for the love of everything that is pure & holy (and non-knitted)in the world.

In all seriousness, though, I did start two projects that are actual sweaters, knitted up in lovely yarns.

agatha - version 2
The first is my second Agatha cardigan – sorry for the Instagram. Also this picture was taken like 2 weeks ago & I’m much farther along at this point. But see my little sheeeeeep stitch markers! Ack so cute! Anyway, this is getting knitted up in another Cascade 220 – a beautiful jet black smudged with a soft gray. I think it will look really great with all the lacework. I’m not really pushing this one to get knitted up too fast, since it’s wool which is kind of deadly to wear during a Tennessee summer.

I also started my Miette last night, in a much more wearable cotton/wool blend:
Miette Gauge Swatch
I had to lighten the picture a lot to get anything to show (the yarn is a deep navy), but look! I got gauge on the first swatch woohoo!

Miette Gauge Swatch
And the other way!

I am really excited to knit up this sweater :D The mindless stockinette will be a nice change from all that crazy Agatha lace. I’m going on vacation this weekend – starting with a very long car ride – and I am looking forward to working on this.

Do any of y’all ever knit (or crochet!) totally pointless projects like cozies? Or am I alone in my cozy fascination? What is the ugliest thing you have ever made with yarn?

In the meantime, I’ve dedicated all my sewing time this week to endless piles of mending & refitting. I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit, and feeling very good about myself! Oh, and I’m also sewing up Landon’s Christmas present. You know, the one from Christmas that was like 6 months ago. I’m a shitty girlfriend.

Completed: The Taffy Blouse!

21 May

I don’t even know if I can legitimately call this the Taffy blouse. I mean, yeah, I used the pattern pieces for the front & back… and I cut the front on the bias. That’s about where the similarities end & the mad scientist in me started cooking up something entirely different.

Floral rayon
I started out with this fabric. Isn’t it so pretty? Approximately 1 yard of floral rayon, I found this at the Goodwill for a whopping $1.99 YESH. I envisioned it as the Taffy Without Sleeves and promptly cut the front piece out of my fabric.

… and then it was time to cut the back piece, and that’s when I realized I had made a huge mistake. I may be a small person, and I may wear my clothing very fitted, and this may be ~just a top~, but uhhh… it’s still a bias-cut pattern, and it needs more than a yard of fabric! I frantically tried to fix my mistake by moving the back pattern pieces around the sad flap of fabric that remained. I tried cutting the back pieces with a seam (as opposed to on the fold). I tried piecing them. I tried making only the bottom of the back floral with some kind of backwards contrasting yoke. No dice. I half-heatedly checked my stash for a lone piece of black fabric I could cut the back piece out of, thinking I’d do a two-tone look, but I didn’t see anything that even remotely matched. So, I did what any self-respecting seamstress would do – I got pissed off & chucked the top & all the little fabric scraps in the scrap bin. BYE.

In the meantime, I brainstormed until I had an epiphany. Do y’all ever get stumped by something sewing-wise & end up having an epiphany later that perfectly fixes whatever ails you? Or maybe that’s just me. I usually get them right before I fall asleep haha. Whatever, I ain’t complainin’!


So anyway, I ended up cutting the back piece in a black knit fabric, figuring the stretch of the knit would complement the stretch of the bias on the woven side (so if you’re wondering – the black knit wasn’t cut on the bias. It was cut on the… stretchy knit grain, or whatever you call it, I dunno). I did cut off a half inch or so of the back side, since it was extra stretchy. It still does not have negative ease, but I think it drapes pretty nicely.

The front (woven) part of the shirt is cut in a 2. I did have to pull up the shoulders quite a bit as the neckline was originally pretty freakin’ gapey, but I think it worked out in the end. It is still gapey & kind of lumpy in the back, but ehh… it’s the back, I don’t have to look at it. Haha!

Taffy - Back

Taffy - Front
So obviously, my Taffy does not have sleeves. It also did not get the bias tape treatment – I decided to use some of my lace stash instead. Pretty black lace around the neckline & arm holes! Looove it.

Taffy - Side
The lace at the bottom was an inspired afterthought – I barely had enough black knit to get the full length out of the back piece (I know, I’m such a mess); it ended up getting cut about 3″ short. So I shortened the front piece to match & sewed this pretty wide lace around the bottom. I love the way it looks!

So that’s it! A pretty simple top that almost didn’t happen. I really like the way it turned out and I think this is a great way to use up smaller yardages of woven fabric that you might not have enough to cut both the front+back with – just sub a knit in there! :)

In other news – today is my birthday! Yay me, I made it all the way to 27 :)
And I got some new fabric (and more is on it’s way – I placed an order with Mood this morning ;))

Yard sale score
Sorry this picture is so bad – the plaid in the second bolt is actually really beautiful & colorful. Blame it on the rainbad lighting. Anyway, my mom found this at a yard sale on Saturday – the woman holding it had been an heirloom seamstress, so there was promised to be lots of batiste! I told my mom to let me know what she found. She called me as she was leaving and said, “Yeah, I saw quite a few bolts of the stuff. I didn’t buy anything, though.” WUT. I made her turn around & go back & buy… all of it! Hahahahaa! What you see here is something like 15-20 yards of batiste. She got the entire stack (including about 10 more yards of that blue on top – I took 2.5 yards & let her keep the rest haha) for $15! Which is awesome because I was totally about to buy more batiste, except I was going to spend $16 on 2 yards. Soooo, needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled with this find. And I love that it’s all on bolts; it makes me feel extra fabric-hoardy.

She also bought me all these buttons… I think they were a quarter apiece. Aren’t they sweet? I especially love the lemons & the flies (my mom says they’re bees. Whatever, they will always be flies to me). And if you creep the right corner, you can see some of the wooly nylon she also got. Fifty cents a spool! Uh huh, I love me some yard sales!

And on a final note… Morgan sent me some gorgeous fabric all the way from Skopje, Macedonia.
Fabric from Macedonia :D
It is the most beautiful cotton I think I have ever seen! And she sent me two entire meters – which she purchased speaking only Macedonian! I am so proud of her & totally dying over this fabric. I have no idea what I will make out of it – I’m thinking it needs to be a maxi dress, though. The paisley repeat is just so huge & awesome. What do you think?

Oh, there were also hot dog flavored chips in the bag along with the fabric. I haven’t summoned up the courage yet to sample them (that will be tonight, after I’ve had a couple of birthday drinks hehe), but I’ll let y’all know how that goes down…

Happy Monday!

Me Made May – Week 3 Roundup

18 May

Sorry for the radio silence this week, peepz. I have been house/dog sitting since Thursday night, which means I have not had access to my sewing machine for almost a week! I opted to not bring it with me since there was just so much stuff to carry around (and plus, I make giant messes when I sew ahaha), figuring I would just knit instead. Spoiler alert: didn’t get much knitting done either. Whoops! Anyway, I’m back at home now so hopefully I can get some sewing done over the weekend, maybe :) I miss it so much!

Top: Sewaholic Renfrew (unblogged, sorry!)
Jeans: Vogue 2925
Shoes: Walmart
This is basically the same outfit as Friday – I had cute stuff packed, but it ended up being really cold & rainy so I stuck with jeans for the second day in a row.

5/13 – Mother’s Day!
Dress: Actually, this is two pieces… the dress made me look like a box, so I separated the skirt from the top & sewed white elastic for the skirt waistband. I can wear them together or separately, woohoo.
Cardigan: Agatha – my first sweater :)
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Fire Finch (Nashville)
Shoes: Walmart (man those things are filthy… I should wash them)
This is me & my mommy, in her sewing room. Isn’t she so pretty?! Love her :)

Top: Yardsale
Skirt: Style 1568; it’s supposed to be culottes but it looked awful in this linen/cotton blend (too stiff), so I converted it into a skirt. The linen would also explain why it is wrinkled as fuq – I swear I ironed the night before!
Cardigan: Thrifted – ended up wearing it tied (like how I have it on 5/15) after this picture was taken.
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Nine West
Earrings: Thrifted
Brooch: Flea market – it’s a skunk holding a flower ahaha

Dress: Colette Patterns Peony
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Rose Brooch: Crocheted by me :)
Shoes: Target

Top: Thrifted, altered to fit by me
Skirt: Thrifted – it was originally a child’s dress. I cut the bodice off & replaced the busted shirring at the waistband. Insta-skirt!
Cardigan: Agatha
Belt: Thrifted
Scarf (worn at neck): Vintage
Shoes: Target

Dress: Colette Patterns Ceylon
Shoes: Nine West

5/18 (today!)
Top: Colette Patterns Sorbetto
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Belt: Thrifted (holy shit I wear this belt a lot lol)
Shoes: Target kids
Necklace: Flea market

ALSO, today was Bike to Work Day… don’t worry, I managed to wear something Me-Made :)
5-18 - before work
5/18, pre-work
Tshirt: Stenciled & resized by me
Pants: Lululemon (obviously not Me-Made, but I wrote a review on ‘em if you are interested!
Shoes: Converse
It gets very hot/humid here, so I brought a change of clothes for the office haha :) Oh, and I guess you could also consider my basket Me-Made – it started out as a purse from the thrift store, I just cut the handles off & zip-tied it to my bike. Baskets are expensive!

As a side/non-sewing note, Bike to Work Day was really awesome!
Bike To Work Day
There was a great turnout

Bike To Work Day
I mean, really forreal

Bike To Work Day
Tons of food & drinks (including coffee, yeeeeeah)

Bike To Work Day
The mayor even showed up to talk to us :)

Bike To Work Day
The best part, though, was having cycling partners on the commute :D

Did anyone else bike to work today?

Wishful Thinking: A Birthday Wish List

14 May

My birthday is a week from today (hands up if you’re a May Baby too!), which means I spent the better part of this morning cultivating the perfect wish list. I LOVE making wish lists, the lurking & clicking around is *almost* as fulfilling as actually buying the stuff :B In the interest of keeping my blog sewing-and-knitting-related (and not to bore any of y’all to oceans of tears), I will try to keep this relevant. “Try” being the key word here, trololol.

First stop: fabric!

red floral lace
Wine Floral Lace (Mood Fabrics)
Ever since Vogue came out with the gorgeous lacy 8766, I’ve been hunting for the perfect (and budget-friendly!) lace to make my very own version. I love that this lace isn’t terribly delicate, and at $18/yard, it’s not too painful to imagine actually buying it.

ivory bemberg rayon lining
Ivory Bemberg Rayon Lining (Mood Fabrics)
A soft ivory lining would look stunning under that red lace.

black dot eyelet
Black Polka Dot Eyelet (Mood Fabrics)
Sticking with the lace trend, I am loving pretty eyelets for summer. Close your eyes & imagine this made up with Simplicity 1803, the pink dress. And it’s only $10/yard?! HOLD ME.

teal bemberg rayon lining
Teal Bemberg Rayon Lining (Vogue Fabrics)
I’m thinking a bright teal lining would be lovely under that black eyelet.

floral jacquard cotton voileFabulous Floral Jacquard Cotton Voile (Gorgeous Fabrics)
I am just loving voile for the summer – it’s so light & breezy & feel wonderful against the skin. I loooove this floral voile with it’s pretty citrusy bright colors.

rose jersey
Night Roses Jersey (Gorgeous Fabrics)
And this rose jersey is just stunning! It totally deserves to be a long long maxi dress, something very simple to let the fabric take center stage, like the Mission Maxi from Jamie Christina.

And let’s throw some pretty cottons in there while we’re at it… I need some summery circle skirts :)

floral fabric
Red Floral Print (Mood Fabrics)
Ouch, this one is $35/yard! It’s ok, though, my dreams don’t have to have a budget lol.

pixelated roses fabric
Rose Floral Print (Mood Fabrics)
Pixelated Roses?! GET IN MY LIFE.

cambie pattern
Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns
I LOVE this pattern! In all honesty, had Tasia released this pattern a few days earlier, I absolutely would have bought it instead of Jalie 2921 (not that I regret my Jalie purchase – I love it! – I just think the Cambie dress is 100000000x cuter). Maybe I’ll buy it for myself as a birthday present :) I think it would be prettier than ever in that floral cotton voile.

hazel pattern
Hazel Dress by Colette Patterns
From the new Spring’12 line of Colette patterns, the Hazel dress really piqued my interest. I have a pretty red/white/blue striped fabric that I think would lend itself really well to this design.

betty panties
Betty High Waist Panties by Ohhh Lulu
If you’re not familiar with Ohhh Lulu, her shop is full of the most delicious underthings that I currently cannot afford. I can afford a pretty little high-waisted panty pattern, though!

chaco liner pen
Clover Chaco Liner Style Pen from A Fashionable Stitch
I guess a marking pen is kind of a dorky thing to put on a wishlist, but I was elated when Sunni started stocking these in her shop. I can’t source these things anywhere locally, and I’ve been dying to try them out (plus, I have a refill bouncing around my sewing room… I got it from the flea market lol). Sunni is a magical mindreader person, truth.

knit sock love book
Knit.Sock.Love by Cookie A
I actually picked this book up from our local library, but one quick flip through the pages & it’s heartbreakingly obvious that I just need to pony up & buy my own copy.

paint by number
Native American Spirit Paint by Numbers
Confession: I love paint-by-numbers (and you thought the Chaco pen was dorky!). I try to find the very worst ones in the store and this one… definitely takes the cake. The bald eagle up in the corner is the best part.

Oh, and here, have some shoes:

steve madden wildness
WILDNESS Platform shoes by Steve Madden

olympia wedges
Olympia Espadrille sandal by Franco Sarto

I never claimed to have good taste when it comes to shoes.

So what do you think? Got a birthday coming up? Are you a May Baby (high five!)? Any longing for a particular product that I haven’t mentioned here? I want to hear all about it! LET’S DREAM TOGETHER, Y’ALL :D

Me Made May – Week 2 Roundup

11 May

I know what you’re thinking – two posts in one day? Is the world really in the process of ending? Is Jesus coming back (no, actually, that was supposed to happen last May, except we all know SOMEONE didn’t bother to show up to his own damn party)? At any rate, I hope y’all love meee because you’re going to have to look at my mug twice today, teehee.

I left off last Friday, so we’ll pick this up starting Saturday!

Shoes: Steve Madden
Excuse my disgusting sewing room floor, I hate vacuuming!
Ooh, but see my iPhone!? Landon bought me an early birthday present! He is the best :) I’m on Instagram now if you want to follow me :)

Dress: Simplicity 4170
Cowboy Boots: courtesy of my mom’s closet :)
Necklace: Fire Finch, here in Nashville
This is actually the very first dress I made with a pattern – so it’s super pre-blog (I think I made this in 2006). Don’t get too terribly excited about how good it looks, though – the original bodice was total shit – I didn’t line it, didn’t gather under the bust (lolwut), inserted the zipper rather terribly by hand, etc. The bodice you see now is what happened after I learned some skills 6 months later, ripped it off, and re-made. It’s still kind of amateur looking, but that’s ok!

Dress: Vogue 1086
Cardigan: Thrifted, reconstructed by me
Belt: Handmade
Necklace: Thrifted bracelet, reconstructed into a necklace by me
Shoes: Target

Top: Jalie 2921
Skirt: Express
Sweater: Free People, sized down quite a bit by me (it’s supposed to be loose-fitting)
Shoes: Steve Madden

Top: Simplicity 4400
Skirt: Thrifted, sized down & repaired (the shirring at the waistband was completely busted so I sewed in new elastic… does this count as Me-Made?)
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Thrifted
The light was really bad that morning, so here you get to see the side & crawl space of my ugly house!

Top: Sewaholic Renfrew
Skirt: Colette Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Feather Earrings: Tennessee Renaissance Festival
Shoes: Giani Bernini

5/11 (today!)
Top: Jalie 2921
Trousers: Vogue 2925
Shoes: Walmart (lol yep)
Scarf: Flea market

If you don’t recognize my top, that’s because it’s very new & very un-blogged! This top was actually the whole reason why I bought the Jalie pattern – I thought it looked quite similar to Colette’s Jasmine pattern, except in a nice knit instead of bias-cut woven. I’m not going to make a separate post for this top, just because I would basically be repeating my last one, but I will go over the minor pattern changes I made:
– I shortened the neck ties quite drastically. I can’t give you a real measurement – I just put on the pink top, pinned the ties until I liked the length, and copied that to my pattern piece.
– Instead of arranging the ties as suggested by the pattern (through a hole in the front seam, tied, or fastened with a buckle), I wrapped a small piece of matching bias tape around them & sewed it into place by hand.
– Took in a little bit at the side seams to make it more fitted.
– Shortened the sleeves to cap sleeves.
– Top-stitched the hem & sleeve hems with a double needle in matching blue thread.

I am rather pleased with the result! Although, it is quite sailor-y so I definitely run the risk of looking really costume-y… I think I kind of look costume-y in this outfit, actually, but IDGAF.

Oh, I should probably talk about that ADORABLE dog standing behind me… that’s Turtle :) She is the dog of my bestie/life partner, Morgan (the one who moved to Macedonia!). Her mother is keeping Turtle while Morgan is fulfilling her time at the Peace Corps. Anyway, she’s actually out of town visiting Morgan, & the originaly dogsitter had some medical problems so I’m taking care of the dogs for her until then! I just love Turtle, she’s such a little sweetie (and Percy, the other dog, was lounging on the steps directly behind my camera FYI :) I’ll try to get a picture of her at some point). This also explains why I’m suddenly standing in an area with an amazing garden backdrop – it’s her house! And look – you can see my little truck in the background :)

Me & Turtle :)
Man, I love this dog. She’s such a ham.

My Blogger Swap with Casey

11 May

For the past couple of months, Casey & myself have been in cahoots with a swap we were planning. It started with me offering her my copy of Simplicity 5148 (which – can we just agree that this particular style would look darling on her? Yes? Yes.), and we decided to just take advantage of the opportunity & fill each other a little box of goodies that we swapped out over the weekend. Casey actually had a birthday on Friday, and mine is a little less than 2 weeks away – so the timing was pretty perfect!

I almost feel bad posting this because the entire package was full of the most AWESOME stuff, and it’s just going to make everyone else jealous aha. So sorry, y’all!

Here is the whole pile in all it’s glory:
The whole shebang!
Right?! Are you salivating yet? I swear, every single thing I lifted out of that box made me shriek with delight.

White slip
Here is a pristine white slip, with beautiful scalloped edging. I really love that this slip is white, and not that horrid pink that is suspiciously close to my skin color (like all my other slips).

Linen tea towel
This gorgeous linen tea towel – which, if you’re wondering, looks great in my coral kitchen :)

Acetate fabric
A generous length of fabric – it’s labeled Acetate, and even though it’s very clearly a lining I’m still tempted to sew it up into a circle skirt. Would that be painfully obvious?

Simplicity 4604
Simplicity 4604, a simple – but perfect – sheath dress

Simplicity 8497
Simplicity 8497 – this 60s style dress is one of my favorites (I have 2 vintage dresses just like the long one, although the fabric is quite a bit less formal). I know I’d never wear that brocade full-length one, but I am seriously tempted to sew it up anyway.

Simplicity 8496
Simplicity 8496 – I’m imagining this in a soft wool for fall. I think it’s so sweet!

There were also books in my box…
How To Make Belts & Hems book
How To Make Belts & Hems by Simplicity. UH HUH, my belt-making is sorely lacking so this is a great blessing to appear in my home!

Home Sewing Is Easy book
Home Sewing is Easy – ahaha, this book is so awesome & unintentionally funny. The woman on the cover looks like she’s about to eat her young, and the book is actually written out like a comic book. I love it! Casey – where the hell did you find this, btw??

Creepy lady
See what I mean? She’s totally about to eat a baby.

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy
(on second thought, maybe she’s just planning on eating that other woman instead)

Home Sewing Is Easy

Complete Book of Sewing
There was also the Complete Book of Sewing (the hardcover book at the bottom of the stack). I actually collect sewing how-to books – I know, it’s totally dorky, and I have at least a dozen lol. All mine are from the 60s-80s, though. This one has a copyright from the early 40s and the illustrations are gorgeous.


Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing
(she is beautiful, but what I’m really eyeballing is that scalloped collar. Uh-mazing!)

And what sewing goody box would be complete without a few notions?
Lace trim, red buttons, and pretty buckle. I think the buckle *may* be Bakelite – it smells like formaldehyde, anyway :)

Oh, and knitting supplies!
Knitting needles & stitch markers
Those little sheep are STITCH MARKERS. That’s actually what killed me in the end. When I realized what they were (at first I was just a little confused but I still thought they were cute!), I actually yelled & the cat practically fell off my sewing table in surprise hahahaha. These are seriously the cutest things I’ve ever seen. And there are actually 6 of them, but you see 4 because 2 of them are already stuck on a knitting project :)

Sheep stitch markers
I can’t even tell you how much it delights me to reach a stitch marker and then remember that it’s a SHEEP.

Ok, I think that’s it! I hope I didn’t forget anything – as soon as I unpacked the box it ended up strewn all over the house because I was carrying everything around like a mama kangaroo carries around her young… I forgot to take pictures! Oops! At any rate, I can’t even express in proper words how much I love love love everything that was in my little box – best birthday present ever! If Casey enjoys her box even half as much as I love mine, I will consider this a splendid success :)

Thank you, Casey, for organizing this swap with me! Everyone else, I hope this inspires you to reach out & maybe have a mini-swap with someone else – it is so much fun to plan & collect everything, and get an awesome surprise on the receiving end!

If you want to lurk the box that I sent to Casey, she has written a post about it here!

Completed: An Oddly Psychedelic Jalie 2921

8 May

I’m no stranger to little indie pattern companies – I loveeee Colette & Sewaholic patterns, and I LOVE when I can get away with not buying current Big 4 patterns (yeah! Stickin’ it to the man!). However, I’ve never sewn with a Jalie pattern before – and I honestly wasn’t planning on it, really, until Mikhaela had to show me up in her amazing scarf collar knit top, the top that made me so jealous I actually saw red for about 3 seconds. The pattern was Jalie 2921 and I NEEDED IT. And, so, uhm, I bought it. Pattern ban? What pattern ban? It’s (almost)my birthday, I deserve this.

I’ve actually been sitting on this pattern for about 2 weeks – blame the delay on my Bombshell-frenzy. I was finally able to sit down last night & start cutting… and sewing! I finished this lil number in record time, forreal! And it barely used any fabric. Hey-o, new favorite pattern!

A couple of thoughts on Jalie – while the pattern was easy-easy to put together into a cute finished shirt (and the finishing is sooo coooool, you just wait & see!), the instructions were extremely short & sparse. The pictures were difficult for my pinhead-brain to decipher, although obviously I was able to figure it out eventually. I also do not like the way these patterns are packaged (sorry!) – it came in a shrink-wrapped plastic sleeve, with a large color photo of the pattern front, and the pattern pieces printed on heavy white paper & folded neatly. There was no actual envelope to store the pattern pieces in. Not a huge deal – since I ordered this from, I just used the envelope it was shipped in. But it did give me pause, since normally envelopes aren’t something I just happen to have on hand. Also, the sizing/yardage information was difficult to read, since it’s in both French & English, and the sizing varies from baby to big momma. But hey – at least it was easy to cut out! And no, I didn’t trace this sucker AT ALL. No hate for the pattern tracers, I just don’t want to put for the effort and anyway, I don’t mind buying another pattern if I need another size (it’s a small business! I support y’all!). I did save the rest of the sizes that I cut away, so I guess I can tape it back together if I need to. Not that I plan on sewing this for anyone else, heh heh heh.

For sizing, I cut an R & tapered out to a T at the bust & lower armhole, then back down to an R at the shoulder & neckline. I think it fits pretty perfectly with no other alterations! Yeah!

Jalie 2921
Of course, Landon thinks the fabric is too loud. I guess it is kind of hiddy, but I love it anyway!. It’s some super stretch polyester I bought from Walmart like 5 years ago. We are considering this my wearable muslin.

Jalie 2921
I do love the tie-neck, but my fabric is a bit too heavy so the bow droops pretty bad. Next time I make this, I will use something lighter… and probably shorten the ties, as I think they are a bit long.

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921
The construction on this top is pretty cool (once I figured it out, I mean). It leaves a nice clean inside at the neckline- no seams! So pretty!

Jalie 2921
I hemmed the sleeves & the bottom with a twin needle on my regular ol’ sewing machine.

Here is your photo-story for the day:
Notice those pretty rosebushes in my background? Weeeeell they belong to my neighbors, and I’ve been eyeballing them pretty hard since they started blooming. They smell AMAZING, btw (and I have lots of honeysuckle on the other side of my house – so, despite living in a shitty neighborhood, it smells delicious right outside my front door lol). The light has always been way too harsh right there, though, which is why you get porch pictures. Today is overcast, so I thought I’d take advantage of those roses!

Jalie 2921
Until I heard a car driving down my (dead-end)street.

Jalie 2921
And then I realized they were not turning around, but actually parking.
Right next to the rose bushes, that they were going to trim.

Jalie 2921
“Well, this is awkward.”

Picture me high-tailing the fuck back into my house (they were STARING at me!).


So, sorry about the lack of decent pictures.

Jalie 2921
Here I have photoshopped out the wrinkles in my skirt, I hope that makes up for it.

FINALLY COMPLETE: The Bombshell Dress

7 May

Yay! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or lurk the MMM Flickr Pool have already seen this picture… I snapped it right before I left for a lovely Saturday afternoon wedding (spoiler: it was a beautiful wedding and I overindulged and DEFINITELY paid for it the next day, ugh haha).

I did take better pictures, though! And now I will share then with the group :)

Fair warning – there’s a lot here, and you can see that I moved locations a couple of times while shooting. I actually took over a hundred pictures – I know that sounds kind of, uh, self-obsessed, but the light was extremely bright and it’s pretty difficult to get a good shot when you have to keep running back and forth to the tripod! I was able to narrow the selection down to WAY below 100, but there are still quite a few. I normally feel a little narcissistic posting a bunch of pictures of myself in the same freakin’ pose, but I’m really proud of my dress so just indulge me this one time. Ok? Ok!

Bombshell Dress
Here is where I started – in my backyard. Isn’t it so lush & green? Lovely backdrop for this dress :) Unfortunately, the light was too harsh here, so only a couple of pictures survived the cut.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
On the porch (which appears to be the best light ever; this is why you always see outfit pictures on this porch haha). Not a terribly awesome picture of me, but – my hair! My hair looked so good! Alas, it was almost 90 degrees on Saturday and extremely humid so the curls ended up drooping about 5 minutes later. Ah well.

It got too hot, so I gave up and went inside to the air conditioning.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
The strap! I made mine fairly wide, with small gathers where it joins the bodice. There are button holes & buttons, but the strap didn’t sit right buttoned in, so I used tiny fell stitches to anchor it to the top of the bodice as well.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

I’m not going to share any more pictures or details of the insides, I think there are plenty enough as it is on this blog!

A few thoughts on the Bombshell:
– It is quite comfortable! Of course, I tend to wear my clothing with little to no ease regardless, but boning is something that I’ve always associated with discomfort. The boning in this dress is great: it kept everything into place but didn’t hinder any movement whatsoever.
– When I first finished the dress, I was worried that the bodice was too long for my torso. Maybe I’m just used to a shorter bodice, because this one absolutely ends right at my waist, so it’s the correct length. Anyway, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I think it looks fine.
– Despite multiple muslins, the middle of the bodice does not actually sit flush against my chest. I guess my cups are a smidge too small as it should fit just like a bra does (and my bras do fit with the middle flush against me. Is that tmi?). Then again, I think any gal who is increasing the cups to fit a chest that is too big for the original pattern size is probably going to struggle with getting that piece to lie flat. The lesson here: no one else noticed, and I only noticed because I have this wonderful angle of looking straight down. I still think the fit looks great. Don’t sweat it if yours doesn’t lie flat either!
– As I mentioned, it was 90* outside and the wedding ceremony was in the middle of a flower garden covered with direct sunlight. It was hot outside! And even though my dress has many layers and is extremely fitted, I didn’t feel any more warm that I would in shorts & a tshirt. Make sure your fabric (and lining) is very breathable if you are planning on wearing this in super hot weather!
– I enjoyed working on this dress, and I loved the process of all the fiddly detail work, but I will confess that toward the end I was just ready to be DONE! I think this is a great dress for a special occasion, but make sure you give yourself a nice long deadline in the distant future so you don’t feel terribly rushed – a dress like this, with all the fitting, and handwork, and special techniques… doesn’t need to be rushed.

I guess that’s it? I am very pleased with my finished dress, and I definitely think the course was worth the $$ – I learned so much, including new favorite hand-stitches and little tips/tricks that never occurred to me otherwise. If you are still on the fence for a class like this, I hope this post & these pictures nudged a little closer to my side :)

Bombshell Dress
And I’m still rolling along Me-Made-May! :)

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine :) But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this -
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.


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