Thursday, September 29, 2011

What I'm working on

I think this weekend I will work on the Vogue 1264 cigarette pants.  I’m taking my inspiration from  Erica Bunker who has such fantastic style.  I won’t be making the top with it as I don’t really care for it but I’ve heard such great things about the pants that I’m looking forward to them.  I have some houndstooth-patterned fabric that might be a little too light for the pattern but I will give it a try.  The fabric is unraveling at an alarming rate since I washed it and I fear that I might be forced to trash the fabric.  It was cheap and won’t be too much of a loss. 
I also got this fabric from  that I want to make some drapes for my sewing room:

Michael Miller Botanika Wing Study Ivory

I just fell in love with it and wanted to use it for something.  I had purchased 3 yards and when I received it, it called to me for drapery.  It's a little light weight but I don't care.  It will match perfectly in my sewing room where I have had great difficulty finding drapes that please me.

I will be getting ready for the boxer sewalong on MBP.  I've got my fabric and my pattern.  I just need to take my husband's measurements and I'm off to the races.
In other news, not much sewing has been happening this week.  My older son left on Monday and my toddler had a serious case of strep so a house full of family and sick child has left little time for me.  Cleaning the house and whatnot.   It's been a busy, full week and I'm looking forward to a little R & R sewing this weekend. 

Have a great day and keep on sewing!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Weekend

We had a very busy weekend.  On Saturday, a trip to the Grand Canyon was called off so my husband and I stayed with the road trip idea and went up to spend the day in Sedona instead.  The weather was beautiful and the rocks were red.  I think Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona.

Yes, Sedona really looks like this.

Sunday, we decided to do some major changes in the house.  We completed moved around three rooms, changing our bedroom (something I've been wanting to do for some time) by removing the desk and making it more of a bedroom.  The desk is moved into the family which at this time, had just been used as a playroom for my toddler and finally, turning our formal living room into more of a conversation area and less of an entertainment room.  It was a lot of work but I am very happy with the results.

Bad news is that my toddler started getting sick yesterday and was basically up all night with a fever, cough, and sore stomach.  Looks like I will be missing work today.

No sewing over the weekend but I was expecting that.  My older son is still occupying that room while he visits and there isn't enough room for the both of us. Oh, well.  Such is life.  I've been working on my cross stitching in the interim, wondering how to get my stitches even and uniform.  My first several stitches were quite sloppy.

These turned out a little better..

Still, a work in progress, to be sure.  But, practice makes perfect and I'm hoping to get better as I go along.  It's been 30+ years since I've done this so I'm sure to be a bit sloppy.

That's all for now.  Have a great week and keep on sewing!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I can't sew!

My son is visiting for the weekend and unfortunately, my sewing room doubles as a guest room.  Sure, I could kick him out or work around him but you know how it is - you get into your sewing groove and you don't want to talk, think, breathe anything but sewing.  I'm not sure my 21 year old son would appreciate that.  Unless, perhaps, I was making something for him to wear.

Hmmmmmm..... that gives me an idea.

Maybe I will be sewing this weekend after all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cross stitch

Dear readers, like many of you, I am a very busy person.  I work outside the home full time, have two adult children who act nothing like adutls, I have a two year old (who sometimes acts more mature than any of us) and a dog, two cats, a house, etc., etc.   I nary have a moment alone, let alone time to sew.  I need to schedule my sewing if I want to sew. As you can imagine,  I tend to put it off more often than not because something always comes up that I have to do, have to finish, or just simply want to do, like head off to Disneyland for the weekend! (that's usually the only thing that distracts me from sewing, if truth be told).

I eat and breathe sewing.  When I have an open minute while on the computer, I can be found browsing online fabric stores or the plethora of sewing blogs I follow, looking for new tutorials or patterns I might enjoy.  If you want to see my list, just click on my profile.  The list of blogs I follow is long and distinguished!  Yet, I'm always on the lookout for something else to do, as if I don't have enough already.

In an attempt to do more "sewing" at the end of the day, I got it in my head that I wanted to take up cross stitching again.  I haven't cross stitched since I was a little girl and I enjoyed it then.  I figured it would be something I could do anywhere - waiting at the airport or during a break at work.  It's small, lightweight and compact enough to take almost anywhere.  I tried to do this with knitting once upon a time but I'm not much of a knitter. It just wasn't instant enough gratification for me.  Cross stitching however, might fill a little void in my void-less time.

I'm starting with a pattern called Watering Cans and it features birds, of course.  It is a stamped pattern which I prefer, and it came with all the supplies.  Unfortunately, most of the patterns I really liked and wanted to try were counted patterns.  I've never done a counted pattern and I fear I'm too lazy to try to learn a counted pattern.  I want to look at it and be able to just start rather than have to figure it out.  I'd rather keep my figuring to sewing. I will keep you updated on my progress - or lack thereof.

Have a great day and keep on sewing!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mommy jammas

Keeping in line with the sleeping pants theme that has consumed me of late, I finally made myself a pair. My little boy christened them "Mommy jammas" when he saw them so that I could match his "monkey jammas".  It would be nice to call them lounging pants but I think they are the wrong fabric - just simple cotton that is perfect for the hot climate I live in.   I picture lounging pajamas to be more along this line:


Ah, yes, in silk and lace, quietly reading a magazine or book, reclining on my satin chaise with my herbal tea in a china cup by the side table, well lit, nails perfect, made up with every hair in place, high heel shoes that I only wear with this outfit.  And of course, 20 pounds lighter and 20 years younger. *sigh*  Instead, I tend to look more like this wearing my own brand of monkey jammas.  Such is life.


Yes, I'm sure that I could easily make the lounging pajama and I will someday.  It looks easy enough.  Of course, I've never worked with satin.  I hear its very slippery.  That might be a problem.  However, I digress. 

Everyday pajama pants.  By the  way, I won't be wearing them with the golf shirt. And I will have to train Mr. Sanguine to take sewing-appropriate pictures.

The fabric is just quilting fabric that I fell in love with.  I have a thing for birds.  If you can see in the second and third picture, I cuffed the pants in a contrasting blue fabric to give them a little interest.  These pajama pants are soft and loose with a gathered waist and they will be a joy to sleep in and any other lounging I can think of. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sorbetto Top

This weekend, I spent much of my time sewing.  I was preparing to work on the Vogue Ann Klein cigarette pants when I changed directions completely and decided to work on the Sorbetto top from  Colette Patterns.  See it here. 

I've been loving this pattern for quite some time  but I could never find the right fabric.  I tend to stay away from too many prints, preferring solids.  But, I was looking through my stash on a mission to at least start the Sorbetto.  I had been reading The Sew Weekly"s 7 Day's of Sorbetto and drooling over all her creative versions of this one pattern and I liked how each top was made with a patterned fabric. 

I picked up several different fabrics that I'd been sitting on for some time and then one caught my eye.  I've had this fabric in my stash for a year and a half with the original intent to make a dress with it.  I had started the dress but became bored with sewing it.  Luckily, I had just enough to make my first Sorbetto. I was excited to begin!

I printed out the pattern and assembled it - a much easier task that I thought.  I won't have any worries about downloading patterns in the future.

I added 3 inches to the length and I'm glad I did.  Even with this extra length, I will have to be very careful that my hem isn't too short.

I cut the size 18 and I have an almost perfect fit.  No FBA to do.  The directions were very easy and here are the preliminary results:

Yes, that is a seam in the back.  I had to improvise because the fabric had already been cut.   I still need to add the hem and the bias binding.  If I have enough fabric scraps, I might try to make my own.

What do you think of the fabric?  Isn't it gorgeous? 

Have a great day and keep on sewing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Sew Along

I went through my pattern and fabric stashes to get more organized for this sew along.   I've been stocking up on so many patterns that I had a hard time choosing which ones to use.  The theme of the sew along is for colder weather but here in Arizona, it's always summer for the most part so the majority of my patterns and fabrics are warm weather.

First off, I wanted to make some slacks for work.  I like making pants because as you know, I have a general aversion to wearing dresses.  For my first project, I've chosen Simplicity 2562 in the Amazing Fit Collection.  Members of Pattern Review have raved about  these patterns saying that they are really good.

Next up is another Simplicity pattern number 2372 .  I will be sewing the jacket and the pants.  It's a beginner pattern, which is fine.  It's nice to have something easy every now and then.Photo

Keeping with the tradition of work clothes and the Amazing Fit Simplicity series, I will then sew Simplicity 2446 using a lovely dark olive woven. 


Next, it will be Kwik Sew patterns. Kwik Sew 3869 using a teal woven very similar to the blue top pictured.


Vogue is next.  I chose an Ann Klein pattern V1264 and I will just be sewing the pants.  I have a nice mini houndstooth fabric that should suit this fine.

I want to make my Kwik Sew jeans again using a burgundy stretch corduroy but I fear the corduroy might be too stretchy.  I will try it out because I've been chomping at the bit to make more from this pattern. 

I have a few other patterns waiting in the wings - a Kwik Sew for a t-shirt, a maxi dress pattern that I saw on Erica Bunker (I just love her stuff!  She is so inspiring).

That ought to keep me quite busy.  I'm also joinging the men's boxer shorts sew along and I've signed up on Craftsy for Gerties bombshell dress which I have yet to begin.

Can you tell that I over-extemd myself?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do You Pinterest?

I love pinterest!  Please ask me for an invite and enjoy this great website where you can "pin" your favorite things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monkey Jammas

At least, that's what my little one calls them.  He was in need of new pajamas so I got some cute quilting fabric and made him some.

Coupled with a t-shirt, they are perfect.  I had to take the picture first thing in the morning because that's the only time of the day that he is still and quiet enough to capture on film.  I saw a quote on Pinterest that said something along the lines of a mother of boys is a mother from son up to son down.  Boy, that's the truth!  

But, I also made him a pair of pirate "jamas" that I wasn't able to get him to take a picture in.  He wasn't too fond of being mommy's model this morning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's this world coming to??

Thieves Steal Italian Designer's Entire Collection two weeks before his show at Milan Fashion Week.  Roccobarocco said that he will reschedule if his collection is not recovered by his show time.

Wow.  Just wow.

Arley Berryhill

I've decided to start making another cloth doll.  This isn't something I do very often but every once in a while, I like to do something different.  Of course, this is added to the myriad of other projects I have started yet always find something else fun to do.  Don't we all?

I'm using a pattern by Arley Berryhill called Madame and its a little funky.  She's supposed to be leaning back, which is awkward. She won't stand until I get a base for her to stand on.  I'm in the beginning stages right now so she is far from complete.  I'm styling her as the Pumpkin Queen since I'm seeing all the Halloween decorations in the stores.

I'm using a beautiful orange brocade for her dress and I'm in the process of beading the gown.  It is a long process and may well take me a year to complete!  But, I discovered adhesive rhinestones and have been making good use of them and I've scoured the Internet and discovered a few other things I can use to speed up the process since I like more instant gratification to my projects. I'm also going to add some lace.  I'm a little concerned about covering the lovely brocade but I've noticed that it has been a lot of fraying at the seams.  I've had to use fray check liberally to keep the body together.

My original idea was to make her dress similar to candy corn - orange, then yellow, then white on the top.  But, as I progress, she is changing into something different. The rhinestones look really beautiful.  She will still be the Pumpkin Queen but with a few alterations!

Has anyone else made cloth dolls?


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dresses, dresses.....

I have to admit it.  I'm not a big fan of wearing dresses.  I love to look at them and I love to sew them but I just don't like to wear them.  I'm far more comfortable wearing pants and shorts.  I know, I know!  It limits me so much on what I can wear and what I can sew but, that's just how I am, *shrug*. 

I thus decided to expand my horizons and try to sew more dresses, even if I didn't buy any (who wants to *buy* dresses when you can sew them, right??). So, when I came across DKNY Vogue 1236 I thought I'd come across a dress that I would actually wear. Here are the results:

I really like the way it turned out and it is a very simple pattern. It took me all of one afternoon to sew and I absolutely love the pleating in the front. It has the added bonus of having pockets which are an absolute must for me, making this dress a perfect choice.  But, I haven't worn it yet.  I even recently brought it with me on vacation as a swimsuit cover-up.  Alas, I never got the chance to put it on because it rained and we didn't swim.  Now with the weather cooling down (even here in Phoenix) and the fall colors beginning, I fear this dress might have to wait.  Unless....... unless I buy some black boots and tights and wear it with a sweater.  Might be a cute winter outfit.

In other news, I have joined the men's boxer sew-a-long at Male Pattern Boldness.  I did Peter's jeans sew-a-long and it was really fun.  I'm looking forward to this.  Heheheh, so is my husband!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sewing tip

I love when other seamstresses offer new, clever sewing tricks.  I was one of the first people to purchase PatternReview 1000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts and tore through it in wonderment at all the fantastic ideas.

Well, I was talking to a co-worker this morning and she noticed that the little hanger tapes on my top were hanging out.  We talked about how we usually just pulled them out.  So, I did just that - I pulled them out. 

My co-worker (also an avid seamstress) told me that she uses these plastic stretchy hanger tapes for sewing gathers. She said that they stay stretchy and they  keep the gathers in place.

I thought this was so clever and wondering why I hadn't thought of this! 

What clever sewing tips do you have?