Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Looking Back - Halloween

I haven't had to make costumes the last two years but thought I would share some of the costumes I have made in the past. These pictures were all taken with my film camera, so I did some scanning and adjusting in Photoshop.

This is my first-born daughter, Paige, 1987, 7 months old. I took a pink sweatsuit, added a yarn ball for the tail and sewed a felt oval on the belly!

Paige again, 1989, she wanted to be Snow White. The is the best pattern I could find, a bit of a Little Red Riding hood. She wore a white mask over her eyes, this is something she insisted on.

Now a better Snow White, Erin (2nd oldest), 1993.

Paige as Belle, 1993, 1st grade.

You guys are loving my couch and country decor, right?

Paige, Pink Power Ranger, Erin, a purple princess. The princess outfit came out of the dress-up box, my mom made tons of dress-up clothes for their Christmas the year before. The year, 1994, and I was pregnant with twins, so happy no costume sewing.

Speaking of the twins, their first year mom-made costume, 1996.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Meredith is Mickey (left), Kaitlyn is Minnie (right)

Paige is a 50's girl in a borrowed poodle skirt, Erin a cheerleader. The other baby is my niece.

1998, all costumes made by me. Erin is Red Spice from the Spice Girls, Paige is an Egyptian, a required 6th grade costume, the most expensive costume I have ever made (BTW). The twins, yes, same pattern but they were different. Meredith in the purple is a Fairy Godmother, she had a wand at one time, Kaitlyn is a princess.

1999, all mom-made again. Paige, Miss America, complete with sash. Erin a 50's girl, poodle skirt for her and for her Twinn doll. Kaitlyn is a bumble bee, this was a panel at Joann's, easy, easy. Meredith a witch. I made the bags, too.

2001, Paige wanted to be a genie (Think the TV show "I Dream of Jeannie) and so did 2 of her friends, "Mom, can you make their costumes?" So, three genie costumes, but wait, Erin wants to be a genie, too. That is 4 genie costumes, the girls helped and really made them with a bit of help from mom.

Paige Erin

Meredith want to be a Pioneer girl, lots of fabric yardage, I love the bonnet. This is one of the only picture it was still on.

Then the last year for costumes, 2005, I went overboard, since it was the last.
Kaitlyn a cowgirl complete with duster, skirt and vest. Meredith a pirate, cape, vest, and pants.

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. I have been doing a bit of scrapbooking and going through all my scrapbooks to get the pictures emphasizes the importance in doing my scrapbooks. I would have never remembered the details and dates and they are so important.

Now off to sew on my blouse.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Reminder to Self

Keep up with your photographs

5 hours of time in Photoshop and (uploading photos)
6 months of pictures
248 prints later

I am caught up getting them printed, now to scrapbook them all!

I can get started after 7 tonight (that is when my pictures will be ready at Walgreens)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Simplicity 3887

I loved Jnamcd's version of this top with a knit, so I needed one. Her top is much better with the floral fabric and the solid contrast but mine will do. I cut off the long sleeve part of the sleeve pattern, so I had to draft my own pattern for that part. Not too difficult but I added way too much width at from the elbow down. I cut out 1-1/2" and it was much better. My daughter referred to my sleeves as wings. I do have the tie at the side and eliminated some of the length. I did interface the entire part of the bottom band and the tie for my knit. That was all the changes. This top is much cuter and fits better than my first one, I have since given that one to charity. I did not like the fit or the look on me. Most of it was the fabric, just too heavy and bulky.

I wore my Kwik Sew top today to work, not my favorite but it will do for work. I did get some oil on the sleeve from standing too close to the presses while asking questions. I might add a tie to the top, like my Onion top. I really should of made Onion 2017 with the pink and black fabric. What do they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Now off to a Southern Living party and then to a cardmaking class with my 12 year old daughter (the oldest twin). She loves to make cards and I have promised her a class for 6 months, finally one fit into our schedules. Oh, she has been making pencil cases with a zipper. Nothing fancy but just started cutting fabric, decided it needed a zipper. I showed her how to do it once. Last night she made 2 and I didn't even know she had gone to the sewing room. I have a sewer!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Count 'em - TWO new Tops!

Pattern Review

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 8/2007 #107
Description: Knit top with center front gathering and self-fabric tie. Ruching on sleeves, ¾ sleeves, interesting seaming in front
Sizing: 38 to 46, I made a 40 but will taper to a 38 in the hips for another one.
Instructions: The instructions were pretty good. It took a bit to figure out the upper front and front seaming but after playing with the pieces, I succeeded!

Likes/Dislikes: I made a muslin – not too common for me with a knit top. I used this awful sale fabric from Joann’s for the muslin. The top was a bit too big and I did not care for the gathering on the sleeves and decide to make long sleeves. I like the interesting details on this shirt – spices up a knit shirt.
Changes: I added 1-1/2” to the lower front piece at the top (which is the top of the shirt). It was a bit low, and probably still is a low, so next time maybe another inch. I lengthened the sleeves to long and omitted the gathering on the sleeves. After trying on the top, the neckline pulled away, I read on Sommerset’s blog she used clear elastic. Well, I had no clear elastic to keep the neckline to the body. I decided to add a self-tie gathering. It looks cut I think and helps pull the top in.
Fabric: A rayon knit from Joann’s.
Conclusion: A cute top with a trendy twist. I might get brave and mix a stripe with a solid as in the BWOF garment.

Close up of casing and tie:

Pattern Review

Pattern:Kwik Sew 3419
Description: Misses’ Tops with bodice gathers, empire waist and neckline variations.
Sizing: XS to XL, I made a medium but should have been a small. What can I say, the medium was traced and I was lazy. I did have to rework most of the top. I will not be lazy again – yea, right but it sounds good.
Instructions: Kwik Sew instructions are always good.
Likes/Dislikes: I like the empire seam, the necklines and the shaping. Dislike the really low necklines.
Changes: I added 2” to raise the neckline. I stitched the bust gathers as indicated on the pattern. I had to take out the empire seam and eliminate the gathers, recut the front bodice to make it smaller (remember I was lazy) It just was too much fabric for my chest. I did not add any gathers. I also stitched the side seams with 1” seams.
My fabric was not the best shade of pink for my skin tone and I felt it needed something. I used some black knit for contrast. The black was used to bind the neckline and then I added a 1” strip (folded in half) and sewn as piping to the empire seam.
Fabric: Rayon knit from Joann’s
Conclusion: This is a cute pattern and my top is okay, I don’t love it. This top will be fine for work and I used some fabric I just wasn’t too crazy about. I think I bought it for the feel and the shock – my Joann’s had such nice knits for a change.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Few Pictures

I am sewing and need to update my blog with pictures and reviews but in the meantime a few pictures

Some of my Halloween decorations:

A beautiful sunrise as we were heading to work and school. I had to run back in and get the camera

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pumpkin Festival

Sunday was a beautiful fall day and we headed to a Pumpkin Festival. Take a look at this picture - the crowd reminds me of Disney! I did some artistic brush strokes for the effect.

This little pumpkin man was cute, check out the wheels for the ears!

We only stayed for about 45 minutes, too many people and our girls are too old. We went when they were all little and they loved the straw maze, large pumpkins and pony rides!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Pick-Me-Up for #2 Daughter

Sewing to make me feel better and a purse to make my 17 year old daughter (E) feel better. E lost a big softball game last night, the last one she will play for her high school team. She had an incredible career, 3 district championships (including this year), a record of 19-4 this year and several post-season honors. Still it is tough and to add to the tough - a deer ran into her car tonight. She wasn't hurt, the deer ran off, and the car is still driveable (once I duct-tape the headlight in!). She took my car into the homecoming activities and I told her to drive very carefully - things happen in 3, right? E took her little sisters to these activities and I went to my sewing room. E had commented about needing a new purse. I think she will like this:

I just went to cutting and sewing - gathered some black to the inset piece, made some yo-yo's, added some running stitches and used purchased handles from Joann's.

On the bright side, E is a homecoming queen candidate, that makes a teenage girl very happy.
Now back to my BWOF shirt, I made a muslin on Tuesday, ready for the real deal now!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Simplicity 3627 and another Onion

Pattern Review
Description: Misses’ Jackets - I made view D
Sizing: 6 to 22, I made a 10
Instructions: The instructions are good and the instruction drawings very helpful. I found the information for the welt pocket to be very helpful. Also, there seems to be a bit more pressing information.
Likes/Dislikes: I actually bought this pattern for view C but after seeing all the military jackets, I changed my mind and made view D. This pattern was relatively easy but it looks harder. Does that make sense? I love the epaulet and back tab, nice touches. My dislike has nothing to do with the pattern; it was my problem finding buttons. I do like the ones I selected, but that was by default. This style was the only one at my Joann’s with enough in stock to complete my jacket. The buttons on the epaulets are smaller and probably need to be the 1” size. I will keep checking my Joann’s and change those out.
Changes: I added 1” to the sleeves and that was my only change. This pattern is an unlined jacket and sense this was a bit of muslin, I left it unlined. I did bind the outer edge of the facing.
Fabric: A mini-houndstooth from Joann’s. It is actually a flannel. It is a nicer flannel with weight to it.
Conclusion: I really like my jacket, anxious to wear it but it will have to cool down. Check this pattern out for several jacket styles.


Back view: (sleeves are blowing in the wind, not really crooked!)

Seams binding:

Front view:

Epaulets - bigger buttons needed - don't you think?

I had a bit of fabric leftover from this top so I used Onion 5038 again. I redrafted the back pattern to include a seam at the empire area like the front. I used every bit of my print fabric. Yea! Another top for fall.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sewing on my Birthday

Sewing is always a good thing and I was able to enjoy my sewing room tonight. Cake is a good thing, I was able to enjoy cake (2 pieces) on my birthday. Family is a great thing, I was able to have dinner with my family (except college girl). So all around it was a great birthday.

What did I sew? Something for college girl to give her Little Sister in her sorority. A new purse from this cute fabric, Robert Kaufman's Hooty Owls . It is sold out at Sew Mama Sew and college girl loved it. Owls are important to their sorority, what is it? I can't remember, not mascot but something. I am sure there are some Chi-O's out there that can tell me. Anyway, I found it on ebay, hurray. Sew Mama Sew is getting more in mid-October but college girl needs it my October 7th.

Here it is:

Inside - BTW, the Hooty Owl matches some Amy Butler exactly!!

Personalized the handle.

Now to make one for college girl, the handle on it will say Chi O Big.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall Decorating

My first picture - not much fall, need to add to my hutch but I rearranged my dishes. A Macy's ad came in the mail featuring Martha Stewart's collections for Macy's. I loved the way the photo appeared with all of Martha's white dishes in a hutch. I used this for inspiration (aka - copied) and put my dishes in this way. I love the way it looks, fills my hutch up and shows off all my old dishes (these are the ones we received for wedding gifts 24+ years ago).

Next my table, my mother-in-law sent me the placemats for my birthday. They are perfect for my table and room. A big thanks to her.

The mantle. I hit Ben Franklin's this weekend and found lots of goodies.

Side note:
A comment on the blog about not hearing the podcast at interview time. The software only records my interviews on one channel, this means you only hear out of one headphone/speaker. This might be the problem with not hearing the interview. I am working on using other software for my interviews but for now, it is not your headphones. Sorry, but thought I would let you know.