Sew ‘n Show

A productive weekend at the sewing machine, for sure! Two finished outfits (OK, mostly finished) and I’m happy with both.

I’m so pleased with how this turned out. When I bought the cherries fabric, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it (bad, I know). I ended up just doing a simple, three-tiered twirl skirt. The peasant top is from the latest Ottobre; I added a seam allowance plus a lot of length because I made the same top a couple of weeks ago and it was too short for my taste. The fabric is all from Joann’s; I think it cost maybe $6 for all of it. I think it will be the perfect set to usher in the spring weather we’re getting.

My new favorite outfit! I really love this set. (I do need a different tee for underneath the pinnie; I’m not too thrilled with the color and it’s too small.) The fabric for the pinnie came from Fabric Hound; I bought the pants fabric (Michael Miller) at my local quilt shop. Both pieces are from the spring ’06 Ottobre. I think the pinnie is a little wide; I probably could have skipped adding the seam allowance.

No outfit I sew is complete without relating my adventure. I woke up early Sunday morning to get in some work before everyone woke up. I’d cut out the pieces for the pinnie and pants the night before (I took the advice of Katherine at the quilt shop and listened to the Material Mama podcast while I worked. Good stuff!) so I thought I was ready to go. Wrong. The ribbon I thought I had for the top? Didn’t actually exist. The only ribbon I had was twice as wide as I needed. Thank goodness for stores that are open 24 hours, seven days a week, and have a craft department. I ended up using a different color than planned but I like how it looks.

Sew Much Fun

I’ve spent as much time as possible sewing this weekend and have two outfits to show for it! I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. I’m still appliquing flowers onto the pants of the second outfit but that will be finished in a day or two (I have stories to write and only so many hours in the day.

Check back tomorrow for pics! I’m hoping to have a cooperative model in the morning.

Field Trip!

I was reading Anna Maria Horner‘s blog the other day, drooling over her upcoming Chocolate Lollipop line. Anyway, it somehow led to me looking for fabric sources and I ended up at the web site of a local quilting store.

I’ve known about this place for years. I used to drive past its previous location twice a day — on my way to and from work — and last year I cursed it for buying the building of the best comic store I’ve ever shopped. And yet it never crossed my mind to actually, you know, go there and shop for fabric. I guess part of it was the image I had of quilt shops (musty, dusty, full of old ladies and old lady fabrics). I stand corrected!

Were I not accompanied by the 2-year-old, I would have spent much longer in there. Like, the whole day. As it is, I spent about 30 minutes picking out two fabrics (and realized around minute 25 that I’d left at home the fabric I needed to match for another project). I’m looking forward to my return trip this weekend, although I’ll need to practice some restraint. OK, a lot of restraint! ha ha ha ha!

My big challenge remains finding the time to sew. Heck, I don’t even have time to clean my house. I’m determined to carve out some one-on-one time with my stash and machines this weekend, though.  I’m especially eager to work with some gorgeous Euro fabric I bought from Fabric Hound. There’s an outfit in a back issue of Ottobre that I think suits it perfectly.

Special Delivery from UPS

It has been a crazy week at work for me because we’re on deadline and had two magazines going out the door. On top of that, there was a rising-freshman parents meeting at the high school and I had a Junior League meeting last night. All together, it means I’ve had very little crafting time this week.

I guess that’s why I was extra excited to get home from work this afternoon and find the big brown Amazon.com box. Inside were three new-to-me books: Sewing 101, Amy Butler’s In Stitches and Simple Sewing with a French Twist. I haven’t had much time — OK, any time — to really look at them but I can tell from just a quick flip through that there are quite a few projects to add to me gargantuan to-do list.

In other news … I sold my first sewing work today. It really was inadvertent. I made my daughter a twirl skirt at Christmas and a friend asked if I’d make one for her daughter (who’s about the same size). I told her I planned to  make one in more Spring-y colors and would be happy to make two then. And I did. I also threw together a matching purse. She insisted on paying me, although I would have been happy to be reimbursed for just the fabric (of which I still have a ridiculous amount since I tend to overestimate the amount needed to clothe a 2-year-old!).

With any luck, I’ll get to hop on the machine tomorrow and finish up the latest dress for baby girl. I can’t wait to share the results!

Attack of the Fontaholic

I was reading Melissa’s Buzz Off yesterday and found these gorgeous alphabet blocks. I’m such a font junkie that it really took a lot to not order them, even at $100 for the set.

I love the color and the concept but mostly I love the letter forms. Just look at them: the taper of each spiral and curve, the graceful shape of each straight line — not too light or too heavy.

My love affair with type goes back decades, literally. I was obsessed with fonts when I as in high school and that only grew when I became a graphic designer. Between my two laptops, I have thousands of fonts — more than I can keep loaded on my computer. I just can’t help myself!

I’m a huge fan of serif faces. I probably use Hoefler more than just about anything but I also like Caslon, when it works with the project. Of course, I have a soft spot for scripts, too. Poetica with all of its ornamentals can keep me entertained for hours!

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s Day! This year’s card was created with a free kit from The Shabby Princess. Isn’t it adorable? I love the papers; they have a great vintage feel. I used another digiscrapping product I bought in her store for the treat bags the kids gave out to their friends (and I have to admit that I made some for my coworkers, too).

I love Valentine’s Day. So many fun, cute crafts and all that pink and red!

Walking on Sunshine

It was a gorgeous sunny day today with a high in the 60s. I’d love to say I was outside, playing with my kids, and that’s why I did so little crafty stuff today. But no.

In my real life, I’m a journalist. A magazine editor, to be exact. OK, editorial director of a magazine. Anyway. We have these pesky little things we call “deadlines” that perk up around the time we go to press. Usually, that requires me to do a little more of that work thang that I do.

Such was the case today. Boo. Hiss.

After dinner tonight, I did rework the bodice of the dress I’m making for my daughter. The dress is a nice cotton twill and is lined with a lighter weight cotton. Originally I thought I could use the twill for both the bodice and bodice lining but it’s just too heavy. As it is, I had to cut out and sew the bodice twice because I underestimated my child’s girth (she’s not that big; I just haven’t measured her since her latest growth spurt) and the first attempt resembled nothing so much as a sausage casing. Is it any wonder she kept screaming at me, “Offie!! Offie!!”?

I’m eager to take the next step with the dress but it may have to wait until this weekend because of that deadline thang. (Boo. Hiss.) I’m currently leaning toward pleats — of which I’ve done exactly two and on pockets, not a dress — but it remains to be seen whether or not I can pull it off.

My chilly Valentine

I took DD out to the Antebellum Plantation at Stone Mountain Park yesterday to shoot the pictures for her Valentines. I’ve been meaning to do this for about a month now and paid for it dearly with the weather: cold, cold and cold. Did I mention it was cold? I think it was about 27 degrees when I took these shots. Now, understand that we’ve had unseasonably warm weather here for the past two months. It’s been in the 60s until very recently. But I choose to wait until it’s FREEZING and take my toddler outside for a photo shoot.

So the photos are not exactly what I’d hoped for and I really have no one to blame by myself. Baby Girl was quite the champ, trying to smile even though her teeth were chattering.

About the outfit: The peasant top is a pattern from YouCanMakeThis.com. I made it before I bought my serger and I keep meaning to redo it and never have (likely never will). The purse is my own design and if I ever get the revisions to my ebook finished, the pattern may actually be available for someon, somewhere to buy. I made the headband myself, too, and have since found an online tutorial that is much, much easier than how I did it.

The jumper features a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from the Belle line. It is just stunning in person. The bodice is based on another YCMT pattern but the rest is all mine. The straps are elasticized and the overskirt has gathers near the side seams and ribbon embellishments. I love the peek-a-boo effect with the underskirt.

Now the backstory on this outfit is that I was sewing it over the holidays and *squeamish reader alert* sewed through my own finger while working on it. Understand that this has pretty much been a lifelong fear of mine and I have to admit that actually doing it hurts even more than I imagined. I spent two hours on New Year’s Eve in the ER — much of it watching an Ugly Betty marathon on ABC Family — and promptly returned to my sewing after dinner that night. Looking at the finished outfit, I have to admit that it was worth it.