Monday, September 1, 2014

September Stashbusting: Children

Hello My Eager Stashbusters!
  I am so happy to be back sewing with you! It seems Facebook has been roaring away without much assistance, which makes me happy. There's nothing like accidentally starting a group that becomes self sustaining. We've had a lot of new people join so I thought I'd go over a few of the "rules" just in case...

The Only Real Rule is: USE YOUR STASH!

The themes are completely optional and only there to inspire or give you guidance if you so desire.

The goal of this sew along is to encourage us to consider and use the resources we already have instead of always getting new stuff.

Here's some helpful links to: Our Main Page (which includes links by month to our Pinterest boards) Facebook, Flickr

I do feel kind of bad for how little participation I've put in this year and want to say again how thankful I am for all your encouragement and enthusiasm for this project!

Now September's Theme! CHILDREN!!! Inspired by, or literally sewing for them, children or childlike is this month's theme. Will you make clothes? Toys? Quilts? Or add some childlike whimsy into your next make?

Let's jump in and get sewing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kathy's 100 Emerys Interview

Hello My Sewing Bloggy Friends,
 Long time no see! I've had a fabulous summer that I'm still processing but you will hear about it soon. I do apologize for so completely abandoning you but it seems everything has gone well and the FB Stashbusting group is consistently growing which is so fantastic! 

I've been sitting on this fabulous interview with Kathy of The Nerdy Seamstress for the whole summer and I figured it was finally time to share.
How long have you been sewing? 
I started sewing when when I was 9 and stopped some time in high school. I wish I can say I kept all the knowledge, but I had to relearn a lot of basic skills. I started sewing again only late January of last year because clothes never fit me and the style I like were out of my price range. I never looked back.
Blog Post

Do you have a fabric stash?
Oh my goodness! Which seamstress doesn't have a fabric stash. Right? My stash is huge it's ridiculous! If I'm in a sewing funk, I shop for fabric, which is bad! I realized that it is nice to give some fabric from my stash away.

Blog post
What was the first dress you made?
My first dress! lol!  It's completely laughable. It was a pattern from Joann's, I think it was one of those New Look patterns. It was a purple sheath dress, completely my style and color. That dress was all kinds of wrong because of the construction. I didn't transfer notches. I didn't use pins. I didn't alter the pattern what so ever. I'm sure there are countless other things I didn't do. It was basically a horrible because I made it straight out of the envelope. It was different from a RTW dress. After that incident, I stopped sewing. I picked it up again after stumbling upon Adventures in Dressmaking's blog. After that, I was hooked.

Why do you think dresses have such long lasting appeal?
I think dresses are timeless. Dresses that style icons wear are still relevant and gorgeous today.

Why do you personally love dresses?
I love dresses because I'm lazy. I don't have to pick or worry if my outfit looks okay. With one garment, I look dressy without the effort.
Blog post

Why did you fall in love with the Emery Dress pattern?I fell in love with the Emery Dress pattern because of the simplicity of bodice and really lends itself to many different styles. What I saw in the pattern is a great bodice slopper. From there, the option is endless.

What made you decide to challenge yourself with "100 Ways of Emery"?When bloggers mix and match patterns, it inspires me to try to think outside the box. I started the 100 ways of Emery because I wanted to challenge myself creatively. I wanted to see how many different patterns and designs I can create with one pattern.

How many have you made so far?
Wow! I don't know! Under 10 so far. Man, I have a long way to go! I took a little break from the dress, and I have a few ideas in mind that I'm really excited about.
Thanks Emily for inviting me to join on the July dresses theme for the stashbusting sew along!
Blog Post

Thank you Kathy, for participating! I can't wait to see all your different Emery versions!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dressy Interview with Quirky Peach

Hello Bloggy Friends! 
Oh my! July has been a whirlwind of work and fun and craziness! I'm happily exhausted most of the time. I do have some more dressy interviews for you and I thought it was about time to get another one up. I apologize for my tardiness and hope you enjoy this interview with one of my favorite happy bloggers!

Hi! My name is Sally and I blog over at The Quirky Peach. First of all I would like to say THANK YOU to Emily for letting me ramble a little about dresses and sewing on her blog! I hope you know what you got yourself into ;)

How long have you been sewing? 

About three and a half years. On Christmas of 2010, I got a sewing machine from my mom and dad. I had sewn a bit growing up, but that Christmas was when it all really started.

Do you have a fabric stash?

Yes! I try to keep it to a manageable size, but it's hard! I am a lot better now at only buying fabrics I really love, not just what's on sale, and having a project in mind before purchasing. However, I just about doubled my stash with a crazy thrift find on craigslist - three industrial size garbage bags of fabric for $5 - can't beat that!

What was the first dress you made?

A black and white checked cotton sun dress - Lisette for Simplicity 2209 - still one of my favorites :) Convinced me that sewing my own clothes was an achievable and awesome thing!

What was the most challenging dress you have sewn? Why?

I think it would have to be my vintage 1940's dress. The bound button holes and other vintage details were fun to do, but time consuming. However, I think the most challenging thing about it was knowing I would never wear it once it was finished, except to take pictures for the blog post. I learned a lesson and have never done that again - if I know I'm not going to like something I'm sewing, I usually don't waste time finishing it. I would rather make something I know I will love.

What is your favorite dress to wear? Why?

My favorite dress to wear - AUGH! Such a hard question! I guess it really depends on the mood:

Casual - Ikat Hi Lo Dress - I lived in this dress last summer, and probably will again - it is so soft (rayon challis) and comfortable, and of course has pockets!

Dressy / Cute - Floral Belladone - I just made this one last month and wore it for almost every special occasion - Mother's Day, graduations, church, concerts, dinner, etc! It is so flattering, doesn't wrinkle and has pockets, but the print is my favorite thing about it.

Glamorous - Watercolor Anna Maxi - I feel like a princess every time I put this on!

Any particular style of dress you really like?

I am definitely a fit and flare type gal. Anything with a fitted waist that skims over the hips and I'm sold! Not such a fan of tight fitting dresses, slim/straight skirts, shift dresses or wrap dresses, but they look amazing on other women ;)

Why do you think dresses have such long lasting appeal?

There is so much variety in dress styles, any girl can find a style she loves. They are a great expression of personal style and are easy to wear - no trying to match this top with this bottom!

Why do you personally love dresses?

I love the feeling of a swooshing skirt as you walk. Always makes me feel feminine and put together. And honestly, most dresses I have made and love to wear are in my favorite prints and colors, super comfortable, and have pockets - what more could a girl ask for? ;)

(You can see all my me-made dresses at My Handmade Closet)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Handmade Jane Dresses

Hello Stashbusters!
  Since I'm buried in the mountains of Montana this summer, I'm not making any dresses this month. Never fear! I've got several ladies from around the blogosphere who are sharing their thoughts on dresses and giving you loads of amazing inspiration! We're going to start off with the lovely Jane from Handmade Jane. I hope you enjoy her slightly vintage perspective!

How long have you been sewing? 
Almost five years. I took a dressmaking class in 2009 when my youngest started school and was hooked from the very first lesson!

Do you have a fabric stash?
Yes and believe it or not, it's actually pretty manageable. For dressmaking I have one large box of main fabrics, plus a box of lining fabric, a box of gingham and polka dots and a box of heavier weight fabrics such as denim and knits. I'm quite careful when buying fabric - I never buy more than I need and I usually have a good idea of how I'm going to use it. Although this can often change if a new pattern comes along and sweeps me off my feet!

What was the first dress you made? 
It was McCall's 2401, a classic fitted shift dress and very easy to make. Sadly, I never wore it as it always looked a bit office-like for everyday wear. The fabric was also wrong for the dress: it was a coral coloured Liberty quilting cotton, which didn’t suit me and was far too thin. Making that dress taught me a lot about choosing the right fabric!

What was the most challenging dress you have sewn? Why?

I’d have to say my Colette Patterns Oolong dress, which I made for my brother’s wedding in 2011. It’s all cut on the bias, so the entire dress and lining had to be cut from a single layer i.e. not on the fold, which took forever. The silk lining I chose was just too difficult to work with (silk??? what was I thinking?!) so I ended up underlining it instead with thin cotton muslin. Sewing with bias cut fabric was very challenging, especially for a relative beginner as I was then, but I got some great tips from my readers, which really helped. It turned out beautifully in the end and is now one of my favourite dresses.

What is your favorite dress to wear? Why?

The style was a little out of my comfort zone, but in terms of feeling fabulous, my By Hand London Georgia dress is a favourite dress to wear. It’s incredibly flattering and I get so many compliments when I wear it! The stretch pique fabric means it’s comfortable to wear too.

Why do you think dresses have such long lasting appeal?
Wearing a dress means your entire outfit is sorted in one fell swoop, so I think practicality is definitely part of the appeal. I also think however plain and simple the design of a dress is, wearing one always makes you feel a bit more chic and dressed up.

Why do you personally love dresses? 
Both of the reasons above - I’m totally lazy, so an outfit in one go will always appeal! I also think dresses are indisputably feminine and wearing them makes me feel pretty – it’s as simple as that! 

Do you have a particular style of dress you like?

My favourite style of dress is the shirt dress. They’re simple and cute yet still manage to carry off a vintage edge. I love that fact that they’re so easy to wear too – just do up a few buttons and you’re good to go. I have one made from simple cotton, one in a fancier Liberty lawn and one in denim!

Wow, Thank you Jane! Aren't those some fabulous pieces! Makes me want to go whip up a couple now! I think she does such a nice job of making vintage wearable today. Do you like sewing vintage looks?

Monday, July 7, 2014

July Stashbusting: Theme & Challenge

Hello Stashbusters!

July is all about the pretties, the fluff, the fun, the DRESSES!!! The reason so many of us learned to sew and continue to sew. This is the month to pull the fun from the stash and create something nice.

It's not all fun and games though, we still have our Curating challenge! I'm not about to let you off while I'm galavanting around the mountains chasing kids. Just because I'm not tethered to my sewing machine means you get time off! :)
July's Curating Challenge is focusing on our pattern stash. So many dresses are statement pieces and those patterns we'll only make once. Or we have that ONE pattern to rule them all that adapts for any and ever situation. Or how about those duplicates? I find myself gravitating to the same styles over and over again. How many poofy 50's dress patterns does one girl need? ;)
Go through your stash and get rid of those patterns you know you'll never sew again. Find that one pattern you've been wanting to make forever and finally whip it up. Let's prune the dead wood so our favorites can flourish!

It's up to you! What dress pattern do you want to sew up this month?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Do You Like Big Purses?

I do, and the moment I clapped eyes on the Presidio Purse I knew it had to be mine! Camp was coming and I needed something I could drag all over and not worry about destroying. At the same time I decided it was time for a new purse. I combined both needs with some massive stash busting. I found a cache of old work jeans I’d been harboring for years and realized it would be perfect to drag all over the mountains!

My rough and ready pieced denim Presidio!
Since I was in a hurry I decided to eliminate all extra bits and just do a stripped down version of the purse. As I began to disassemble my jeans I decided to add pockets back in, with the jeans back pockets and the next thing I knew I was piecing the butt of one of my brother’s old pairs to the front for three pockets in one. It looked so cool!! I think my subconscious was so delighted with Carolyn’s jeans piecing that I had to give it a try.

Three pockets on the outside and two on the inside! Love how much junk you can throw in here! No cramming needed.

I topstitched it all in hot pink thread because it seemed like a fun idea. Doing both the outside and the lining in denim made for one heavy bag and my sewing machine wasn’t too happy in some spots but it powered through! I love my Necchi! 

Other notes: Loved the way the handle was constructed. I did a double take the first time I read  the instructions but the result is clever and clean. 

I was surprised at how quickly the purse came together but I intentionally didn’t fuss about the construction. I was coming off of the battle of the buttonholes and just wanted something simple to put together. Not having to worry about my stitching and free piecing this bag was very therapeutic. Slashing up a bunch of old jeans and getting to throw stuff away was cathartic as well. 
Just an fyi, there are small openings in the top of the purse at either end of
the zipper. I didn't know this and it puzzled me for a bit.

To sum up. I LOVE it! I can’t wait to make another in some pretty fabric with the amazing details in the fall! Have you tried the Presidio? Do you have a favorite bag pattern?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How To Travel With An Iron

Just in case you're coming around for the first time, I live in the middle of nowhere and I have gad in my heels. Why am I telling you these seemingly random facts? Well as a seamstress that travels, my sewing supplies spend a lot of time on the road and packing them has always been a tricky thing.

The worst culprit is my IRON!! You have to use it right up to the end, then you have to wait for it to cool down and delicately place it in your car so it doesn't burn or melt anything. At least it used to be... I'd like to introduce you to my iron's carrying case.
What? You do not understand it's full gloriousness? Let me show you more!!

You take that heat resistant fabric, heat resistant batting, regular batting and fabric and layer them together. Quilt and bind.

Your iron sits in the middle and you do a bit of creative fabric folding to get this...

A handy carrying case!
Buttons and elastic loops hold the layers
together. We also added a loop and button to hold
the cord outside, because we don't want to melt
that either!

Hey little buddy! How ya doing in there! You ain't gonna burn my new car now!!!

I keep using "we" because our whole group made these on one sewing day. One of the ladies had figured it all out and showed us how to do it. It was such a relaxing day and a super useful, yet fun, project. I've used mine several times and it works FABULOUSLY!!

Do you take your sewing on the road? How do you transport your iron?