Petal Pretty

Among the folks I met at Market this year was this amazingly sweet gal, Violet. We got to hang out a bit at Schoolhouse (and possibly irritate someone with our whispering), have lunch with a group of friends and even won door prizes from the equally sweet Elizabeth. Unfortunately, she had to leave Market early so we didn’t get to hang out as much as I’d have liked, so now I just get to stalk her on the Internet.

Anyway.

Violet was carrying the cutest purse and of course I had to ask her about it. Of course, she’d made it. And there’s a pattern for it! From Indygo Junction! Woooooo! Lucky me picked up my very own pattern at sample spree, brought it home, started it and…OK, it took me three weeks to get back to it but I had a craft show and Thanksgiving thrown in there, too. Obviously not my fault. Right?

But now it’s done and I love it. Love. It!

I used a really rich purple fine wale cord from Robert Kaufman for the exterior, an aqua Ta Dot from Michael Miller for the lining, various scraps from my scrap bins for the petals and some strapping from Echino. The pattern calls for 1-1/2″ strapping but I used 1″ since that’s what I found at the shop. I also used a parachute buckle instead of D rings because I had it on hand (and really wanted to sew instead of running out to the store for purse hardware). Along the same lines, I substituted sew-in magnetic disks for the pronged magnetic purse clasp since it was in my magic sewing box.

I’m not a quilter and I think some of the challenges I had with the bag were directly related to that. My echo quilting is kind of messed up and I have some puckers in the quilting, too. Not enough of a bother for me to rip out and re do, since it’s for me, but I definitely would have fixed it were I gifting it. If I had to do it over again, I would cut the front purse piece and fusible fleece maybe 2″ bigger on each side, quilt, then trim to the right dimensions and square it up, which would fix the weird shifty mess I made as a result of the quilting.

It’s a nice, roomy bag and I love all the pockets, especially the hidden pocket on the back of the bag. It’s an ingenious touch and will be perfect for tucking in my keys or iPhone. The purse is so bright and pretty, and I can’t wait to start showing it off!

Grow

I love this little corduroy dress. I sewed it (and shared it) back in August, shortly after finishing it. Of course, I knew it would be a while before that sweet Miss L could wear it, since fall doesn’t arrive in Atlanta until mid-October — and even then we still get plenty of 80+ degree days into November.

Kids have a funny way of growing. Even my little pea, who is so tiny and grows so slowly.

I put this cute, round-neck dress on my sweetheart this morning and found that it is no longer a dress. Nope, it’s now tunic length. It once hit right below her knee caps. It is now 1.5 inches above her knees — and if she raises her arms, it’s like a night on the town with attention-hungry TV reality stars.

Good thing she can still wear it over pants — although I may need to make some more of those, now that I think about it.

Surrender

I’m going to take a break from sewing for the next day or two. Why? Because everything I have attempted to sew in the past five days has been a disaster. The Sewing Gods/Goddesses are talking and it’s time for me to listen.

You know, the whole blogging process is incredibly selective. No one sees my mistakes and disasters — or even knows they exist — if I don’t talk about them. I think it’s far too easy to get a skewed perspective about what I do when all I share are the successes. Let’s head into the Craft Addict Confessional and look a little closer at what’s sent me into temporary exile.

Exhibit X: I made myself the cutest skirt, sewn from a 2007 issue of Ottobre and made with the prettiest babywale corduroy from Joann’s. Only one problem: It’s two sizes too big. I could possibly wear it if I were willing to tug it down until it barely covers my bikini line. Ummm, no thanks.

Exhibit A: I bought an out-of-print Butterick pattern and decided to give it a whirl. Although the pattern calls for knit fabric, it also specifies the use of a zipper. I have no idea why, since the neckline appears to be plenty big enough.

Since it was my first attempt at the pattern, I opted to use a cute, expendable knit I bought at Joann’s, rather than one of my pretty (and spendy) finds I bought elsewhere. That proved to be a wise decision.

First goof: I flipped the bodice pieces when cutting them out. According to the pattern, the right side of the bodice is supposed to cross over the left. Not a big deal and I cut both pieces wrong, so it worked out.

Second goof: Because I changed the neckline (omitting the zipper down the back), I didn’t really read the directions too closely. Big mistake. After I coverstitched the entire neckline, I realized that I needed to cross the larger bodice piece over the smaller and topstitch them closed. Not as easy to fix but it actually turned out OK; I just crossed them and did a second pass with the coverstitcher. Didn’t notice until later that the smaller piece isn’t quite in the right position but that doesn’t really matter because of …

Third goof: I never checked the sizing of the pattern pieces against Miss L’s measurements. Not once. Which is why the dress is waaaaaay too big. See the rolled-up sleeves? That’s where they needed to be hemmed to fit her arms. Doesn’t matter, though, because the shoulders hang over hers by about two inches. The hem, however, is barely long enough.

Exhibit B: I’ve been itching to try my hand at a corduroy version of the Fledge/Studio Tantrum Feliz and, having made three of them, figured it was a good pattern to get my sewing luck back on track.

These cute cord coordinates were in my stash and I just knew they’d be fabulous with the pattern’s layering. I was going to love this dress!

Ha!

First goof: At what point did I decide to check the nap of the fabric? After I cut out the overdress. Ya know what? The nap runs the wrong way. Luckily, not a tragic mistake but still annoying. Too bad that wasn’t where my mess-ups ended.

Second goof: For some unknown reason, I decided to attach the ties to the outside of the overdress instead of the inside. It would have been good to realize this before I sewed, serged and topstitched the two seams. The smart sewist would have redone the seams from the bottom of the straps to the top of the bodice edge. Smart me decided to pull apart the seam just enough to cut the straps, re-sew the seam and re-attach the straps on the backside. That course of action left me with weird little bulky areas on each side of the bodice.

Third goof: And then I decided to place the ties too high when I reattached them. Which means the channels I stitched on the outside of the overdress are too high.

Fourth goof: Neglected to cut the elastic in the back channels short enough so I’m pretty sure the dress will be too big around the upper body for my sweetie.

I have enough of this fabric to make a second dress and originally thought I’d offer it in my Etsy. For.Get.It. I don’t even want to put this dress on L, much less make a second one.

Tonight, I’m going to watch some TV or maybe read a book. Maybe do a little drawing. And tomorrow, I’m going to play with some paper and Sealah Tape so I can finish a project (and tutorial). Because it’s just not fair to the fabric to be sacrificed in the name of stubborness.

More Fall Dresses

I’ve been having lots of fun with Katie‘s Round-Neck Top pattern, which includes directions for making it into a dress. It just sews up so quickly and wears easily for my little preschooler.

While my previous corduroy incarnation included pockets, the dress on the left does not yet have them and I’m still waffling. Oh, but I do love it in that soft baby cord! I used two prints I found at Joann’s, a black-with-white polka dots and a cute Forest Friends print. Just so stinkin’ cute! I think I may need to make a purse for myself with those little animals!

The dress on the right features Michael Miller’s Pod Posey fabrics. It was love at first fondle with that bold border print, and I had just enough of the scattered flowers to make the neckbands. If you look closely at her right shoulder, you can see the safety pin holding the strap closed. My darling daughter decided to rip off the button, for no reason at all. Little nut.

Lots more to show but that requires pictures and will have to wait until Monday, since Honey and I are headed to Dragon*con tomorrow. And that, my friends, will require a post and photo album all it’s own.

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.

Fun With Park Slope

We’re at it again! Our Trendy Textiles design team is doing another launch, this one on our “home base” (Etsy). We’re up to 24 listings with more being added every day.

My contribution for this launch is probably my current favorite outfit. I love fall; it’s my favorite season. And sewing fall clothes is tons of fun for me. Of course, we are a long way from fall weather here in the South but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about it. LOL!

I’m debuting a new top style with this set, The Tara Jumper top. This one uses a lovely brown babywale cord with that gorgeous orange fabric. The gauchos have an elastic waist and mostly straight legs, with a nice, big pocket on the outside of the right leg. There’s a touch of cluny lace on both pieces (the jumper hem and pants cuffs). I think I’m going to have to draft a pair of pants like this for me, complete with lace. They’d be so fun with a pair of boots or even tights and mary janes.