My Very Own Magazine

I have my very own magazine! Burda made it just for me. No, really. They did. Of course they never said anything about it and have neglected to mention me anywhere within, but the proof is irrefutable:

1. For the Creative and Curious Multi-Crafter Hello? Craft addict here. They may as well have stuck my name over the title.

2. Anna My mother’s name and the reason I’m a crafter. It’s an homage, obviously. Plus my mom was German. Burda? Also German.

3. Peonies Love peonies! One of my favorite flowers. (See also: tulips, hydrangeas, irises, azaleas.)

4. Butterfly Love butterflies! Love cross stitch!

5. Lace doilies to crochet My mom was into crochet, big time. It’s only natural they’d want to include one of her go-to projects.

I picked it up at Borders the other day, based solely on the name. The tagline is what sold me. Plus I thought some of the projects looked kind of fun. OK, and I am something of a magazine junkie, so it was pretty much an easy sell. Although you’d think Burda would just send me a comp sub since they made it for me and all …

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has become a fan of my blog on Facebook. Y’all make me smile! Funny non sequitur: If you try to set up a page on Facebook with the word “addict” in it, you can’t — at least not without having a member of the FB team review it and deem it OK for public consumption. LOL!

Not a Pumpkin

Miss L has been rather insistent that she’s going to be a princess for Halloween. I have tried over and over again to convince her to be something else (namely, Little Red Riding Hood since I still have the Kinsale Cloak I made her last Halloween) but there’s been no swaying her. Princess, she’d insist. A pink princess.

She really liked the princess from Happily N’Ever After, so I sketched this dress, which I thought was a little more appropriate for a four year old. The foundation of the costume is Burda 9702 but mostly I just used the bodice and drafted the skirts myself. (The underskirt is very similar in construction to the inset ruffled panel tutorial I have here on my blog, although I did not turn under the top edge since they are obscured by the ruffle on top of each.)

Of course, in the middle of constructing this taffeta masterpiece, Liesl came home from preschool and announced that she was going to be a pumpkin for Halloween. That daughter of mine can be such a comedienne! As you can see, she didn’t get her way — not that she seems too put out by having to be a princess.

I added a beautiful lace trim to the sleeves, as well as a contrasting panel of fabric edge with pearly ribbon to the bodice. I do wish that I’d cut the contrast panel a little wider at the top; I miscalculated when making allowances for the seam at the neckline.

Those who follow my Twitter feed know that I had a small construction disaster yesterday: I attached the bodice with the right side facing in. Lucky me discovered this after completely finishing the waist seam, too, serging and all. Perhaps you heard the cussing? I have no idea why I deviated from my usual routine, which is to check that I’ve put the pieces together after I’ve pinned but before I sew; however, I can guarantee I won’t make that mistake again. The taffeta is so fine and I don’t think it would have held up to having the seam ripped open, so I just got out my scissors and literally cut the bodice from the skirt. I lost about a half an inch in length and it made for a bulkier seam at the waist, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable.

Her highness certainly isn’t complaining.

Is It Fall Yet?

It’s nearly 100 degrees outside this week and, like any sane person, I’m sewing fall clothing. What else am I supposed to do? Honestly, the little miss has more than enough for this summer; I may as well get a jump on next season, especially if I want to sew most of her wardrobe.

This little number is a pattern by Burda. (I’m too lazy to walk downstairs to retrieve the pattern envelope, and I’m not finding it on either the Burda site or SewingPatterns.com. If someone is really interested, comment me and I’ll dig it up.) It only goes up to a size 92 and I was a little worried that it would be too small. Nope. it’s probably closer to a 98. Yay!

The floral woven cotton is from Joann’s. I don’t recall ever seeing it before the day I picked it up off the clearance shelf and bought the last of what was on the bolt (pretty much everything you see here). I broke my own rule in buying it, since I had no idea what I was going to sew with it.

The raspberry baby wale corduroy was another bargain, bought toward the end of the winter at a fabric warehouse near my house. They have a rotating stock and you never know what you’ll find. Most of it is home dec but occasionally I find some great basics, like this cord. And for $1.99 a yard, there was no way I could pass it up.

Both the dress and jumper have zippered backs. I still need to do a little hand sewing on both to tack down facings and what not, but since she won’t be able to wear these until maybe November, I’ve got a little time.

Skirting the Issue

I’ve had the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts pattern for about a year, yet have never made the first one. I did trace off the pattern, and I bought plenty of fabric for making a couple of them. I just found other things to sew first. Why? The zipper. I have an irrational fear of sewing zippers, for no other reason than the unknown.

Not anymore.

In the past week, I’ve sewn two skirts and one pair of shorts, all with invisible zippers. They’re not perfect but unlike previous zipper experiments, they are functional and wearable — and they don’t look half bad. In fact, they look pretty darned good!

This is actually the second of the two Barcelona skirts I sewed. I bought this fabric when I bought the pattern, brought it home and washed it, then promptly ignored it. And that’s a total shame, because I could have been wearing and enjoying it all this time.

I made this more or less as the pattern dictated. Instead of using sew-in interfacing for the waistband of the apron, though, I used flannel. While I like the feel, it’s a bit too heavy, especially when folded over.

I also had some issues with stitching the waistband closed. If you could see it close up, you’d understand what I’m talking about. I think part of the problem was the thickness of the waistband, courtesy of the flannel. The other part? Sewing too late again. Yes, it’s the bane of my existence. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes necessary and I guess I really need to learn to keep it together when the clock ticks past 9 p.m.

I did make a bit of bigger goof in sewing this skirt that had nothing to do with the time. I thought the first skirt I made was a little on the small side, so I added a half an inch to the middle of both the front and back sections, then used a smaller seam allowance. I now have a skirt that is too big. Guess I’ll be taking it in before I break it in.

This was my first attempt at the Barcelona skirt, using a pretty blue floral fabric from Joann’s. Boy, do I like this fabric! It’s very spring-y and sweet, but not in a cloying way. You know? I think I may even have paid full price for this fabric, I liked it that much. Glad I did, too, because it’s sold out around here.

The apron was sort of a last-minute project. I decided on Saturday to make Miss L a coordinating outfit for Easter, since we were going to church the next day for her big brother’s baptism. I thought the apron would help pull together our outfits. While I got her dress finished before I went to bed Saturday night, the apron was only about half done. Woke up early Sunday to finish it before church — and then managed to leave it on my bed when I walked out the door.

Brilliant.

I opted not to make this apron reversible, and also did not use any interfacing on the waistband. Because it’s not reversible, I did need to finish the back side and bottom edges. I think it’s one of my favorite aprons, and I actually wore the outfit at left all day Monday — even out and about. (By the way, the picture is actually a self portrait. I used my handy dandy tripod and the timer on my 30D.)

The dress on the left is Miss L’s Easter dress. It’s just a simple A-line dress, fully lined, with buttons at the shoulders. I think it’s going to be a great dress for spring and summer, very cool and fun and classic. The Easter bloopers actually continued Sunday morning. I didn’t realize I’d put the dress on backwards until after lunch. Guess I need to sew some tags on it!

My little “Stinkerbell” had fun posing today, especially the photo on the right. What a nut! Tomorrow is “green day” in her class and she needs to wear something green. I recently acquired this Tinkerbell knit fabric and knew it fit the bill. I’m not big on buying anything with characters on it but I made an exception for this one because Miss L loves Tinkerbell and I couldn’t resist. The pattern is Butterick, 3316 (I think). It’s no longer in print but definitely worth searching out. It has a curved bodice, which does make it a bit more interesting than just a basic swing dress. Fun to sew, pretty fast — except when I sewed one section wrong and had to re-cut two pieces to fix the goof. When the weather warms up, I’ll shorten the sleeves so it can be worn through the summer.

This Burda pattern is another I’ve had for a while, just waiting to get up the courage to sew something with a zipper. I hate that I missed out on a year of getting use out of it, because these pants are cute as can be. I made the bermuda length but there are two other lengths, so they can be worn year round

I love this fabric, a pretty embroidered twill with bumblebees on it. I found it at Joann’s, along with two other twills. One is pink with strawberries; the other is green with ladybugs on it. I was only going to buy the pink and blue but that little blond cutie insisted on the green ladybugs.

I’m planning to make tops to coordinate with all three pairs of shorts, but I figure I’ve got a little time since the weather is not quite warm enough for wearing them. (I can already tell that t-shirt isn’t going to make the cut for summer, cute as that pumpkin belly may be.)

I’m meeting my goal of sewing more for me this year, that’s for sure. Today, I broke in my new coverstitcher with the top on the left, Butterick B5185. I made it with short sleeves with a pretty teal knit I bought at … yes, same place. (Really, I do shop other places; it’s just how it worked with this sew-and-show.) I messed up while sewing it and had to rip out some stitches and fix it. It would help to read the directions before I start sewing.

A little love for the CP900: I never thought I’d own a coverstitcher. It just didn’t seem like a must have for me, and I was making do just fine with twin needling on my sewing machine. But then I learned about a great deal on a Janome CP900 and decided to splurge. So glad I did! It’s really amazing how great it does on coverstitching knits (and it should, since that’s what it’s supposed to do). In fact, my son was surprised to learn the shirt I was wearing was made by me and not store bought — and that made my ego just swell.

On the right is my new Favorite Things skirt, the Hip Skirts pleated skirt. I used a fabric I found at Hobby Lobby that’s one of my favorite colors (aqua). I like the skirt but did not cut the elastic small enough, so it’s a little roomy in the waist. It’s an easy enough problem to fix; I just haven’t done it yet.