Archive for May, 2010

Quite a while ago I bought a pattern to make my oldest daughter a dress.  She was complaining that she only had one dress and wanted some more.  Being a beginner, I grabbed a pattern that looked fairly simple (McCall’s M6022) and found some pretty fabric in the clearance section of a local fabric shop.  I like the pattern because not only does it have a simple looking dress, it has tops, pants and shorts.  With three daughters in the house, I am sure that this pattern will come to good use.

I cut out my pattern pieces and set to work.  I got the yoke of the dress put together and learnt how to do understitching (there is a great video tutorial here).  I ended up with a bit of puckering in the corners despite clipping the fabric there.  Next time I will be sure to clip it a bit more and check it for puckering before attaching the yoke to the dress.  The pattern also called for slipstitching, which I am actually pretty good at.  Well, maybe it’s not that hard, but hey, a girl has to feel good about something!!  I was supposed to slipstitch the hem of the dress, but lack of sleep and impatience got the better of me and I just topstitched the hem.  This resulted in the fabric being pushed a bit and the hem not laying flat. Did I pull it all out and go back and slipstitch it?  Ummm…no.  I doubt most people will notice.

Here’s a picture of the dress.

My daughter loves it and that makes me so happy.  I did make her wait until after I had taken a picture of the dress for her to have it.  She was not impressed.  You’ll be glad to know that it is now in her closet waiting for her to enjoy.

My second daughter is heading to a birthday party this weekend and I wanted to make something for the little girl whose party she is attending.  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a pillowcase dress for a while.  I didn’t actually have a pillowcase to use, so I just used some fabric from my stash and a standard pillowcase for my ‘pattern’.   I used the tutorial at Freshly Picked to make the dress.  A great tutorial!

I did encounter a couple small issues while making this dress.  I tried to use the buttonhole setting to finish of the straps like in the tutorial, but all that happened was that my machine sucked in the bias tape and it got a big tangle of thread.  I ended up opening up the end of the bias tape, folding in the end, closing the bias tape up again and stitching across the end.  Does that make sense?  It’s pretty simple but I just did a terrible job of explaining that!

The other issue I had was that I didn’t sew the elastic well enough into the casing on one end.  I held up the dress to see how to top looked and the elastic slid out of position.  I was able to wiggle it back over to where I wanted it and stitched it in like crazy.  One problem.  Now I had a bunch of  stitches showing and you could tell there had been a problem there.  So… what now?  Lucky for me, just this afternoon, I came across a fabulous tutorial for fabric flowers over at Sew Blessed.  This woman, whom I have never met, totally saved the day for me!  These flowers are super easy and fast to make.  Even my 8 year old could make one of these!  I popped the flower over my visible error and now no one will ever know.  This might be one of the greatest things about being crafty.  People often don’t see your mistakes.

And here are some pictures of my first ever pillowcase dress (not actually sewn from a pillow) and the super cute flower.


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A Stressful Evening

Sorry, no Friday Favourites today.  I have spent the day feeling stressed about sleep training our youngest daughter.

Sleep has been getting progressively worse over the past few months and we have come to the point that we really have no choice but to sleep train our baby.

I have put her to bed and am sitting here writing this as she cries in her crib.  It just breaks my heart!  Is there anyone out there who has as much of a hard time with this as I do?  I think we will both be ‘crying it out’ tonight.

I was hoping to post earlier in the week.  I have been busy sewing, sewing, sewing.  I have made a dress for my oldest daughter, a purse for her friend and today I whipped up a super fast taggie type blanket for our baby girl and started on another dress for a birthday present.  Depending on how long our little love holds out tonight, I may try to do some more sewing.  I’m kind of hoping that the sound of the machine will mute her cries enough so that they are not so piercing for me to hear.  Maybe it will distract me a bit.

I am fighting going in there and scooping her up and snuggling her close and telling her how much I love her.  I am trying so hard to remember that in the end this will be better for us both because we will both sleep better.

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Well, it’s been a bit harder to post on my blog lately. Real life, you know. Always getting in the way! I am happy to bring you Friday favourites this week though.

1) My new coffee cup. Isn’t it cute? I got it on our recent vacation to Disneyland.  It makes me happy.

2) This super cute skirt I found on Etsy by ZoeChen. I love everything about it!  I love the shape, the flow of the fabric, the beautiful graphic.  Definitely check out her shop – she has a ton of great stuff!

(photo via ZoeChen Shop)

3) This incredibly unique Father’s Day treat over at bakerella.com I am not one for fast food, but this really is very cool!

(photo from bakerella.com)

4) From An Igloo.  I can’t remember if I have mentioned this blog before, but I love it!  She has some really great tutorials – especially for little girls clothes.  She just posted her recipe for some really yummy looking cinnamon buns.  MMMMmmmm!

5) I love this Quincy Dress over at Brown Paper Packages.  She has made it reversible and it is adorable!  I love her fabric choices and the sweet lace on the hem.  My sewing wishlist just keeps getting longer and longer.  I am so happy that I have so many little girls to sew for!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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The Lack of Me

Sorry for the absence. I was on vacation in beautiful, sunny California. It was a wonderful getaway! I have been busy unpacking and trying to get back to reality. I will hopefully get up a new post in the next couple of days. Maybe I will even manage to get up some favourites this Friday!

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A Smocking Test

I had a few quiet moments this evening, the end of a spool of thread in my machine and some elastic thread hanging out in my sewing box.   I was too tired to sew something tonight, so instead did a quick try at smocking.  I have been wanting to try out smocking for a while and this was a good opportunity.

Now, I should tell you that I did not actually draw lines to follow.  I was tired, remember?  I used the edge of the machine foot as a bit of a guide.  My stitches still aren’t super straight, but that’s okay. I was just doing a quick smocking test.

This was so fun to do!  I was pretty intimidated about trying it, but it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Now I have to find a great smocked project to take on – how exciting!!!

Here is a picture of my little test.  Ugly fabric and unmatched thread – perfect!

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Here are the photos I promised!!!

I have to say, I wish I took photos before I added the shaping.  I think I liked the shirt more then.  For some reason it looks more maternity-like now to me.  I also chose to make the tank top style, so left off the ruffles.

I had a fair amount of trouble getting the straps to sit right on my body.  They are still not quite right.  I’m not sure how well it shows in the pictures, but it does not sit flat on my body.  I am wondering if the straps are too wide for my narrow frame or if they are simply placed wrong.  Any more experienced sewers have some tips for me?

All in all, this was a fun top to sew.  I will definitely try it again.  I was thinking that it might make a really sweet little girls nightgown with the ruffles on the sleeves and a longer length.  Something to try later on.

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After a bit of a sewing break, I finally made it back to my machine yesterday! I have really been missing sewing and just needed to sew something.

I decided to try out the Spring Ruffle Top from Sew, Mama, Sew.  This is my first top for myself.  I am making it out of some fabric that was passed on to me.  The fabric was not one of my favourites, but it’s actually looking quite cute as a top.   This is my first time sewing pleats and altering a pattern to fit me properly.  I think I should have the top done tomorrow. I will be posting  some pictures once it’s done, so stay tuned!!!

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