Friday, March 29, 2013

My March Favorites

Hey Stashbusters!
This is the last post for March even though it's not actually ending for another couple days. So if you're like me and feeling the procrastination, you still have the weekend to whip out a few special somethings and still have them count for March.
Cation has opened up the link party so please go add yourself! It's so nice to get to see what you all have been making and you encourage me to keep sewing! On that note, here's a few of my favorites from the flickr pool. I just want to say you all make it so hard to choose cause you all make lovely things. I'm sure as soon as I get this post up more wonderful things will be added so be sure to check out our flickr group for yourself if you haven't yet.

1940s Burgundy Satin Pajamas
Comfy sleepwear

A fun Tiramisu!

Blue Dress and Jacket
One Classy Lady

Wiksten tank - pink
Someone's ready for summer!

Korra & Amon Stashbusting
Stashbusting Costume
Bucket Hats
Happy Hats
 I just want to say, you all make it so hard to choose because everyone is creating lovely things. I'm sure as soon as I get this post up more wonderful things will be added so be sure to check out our flickr group for yourself if you haven't yet.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend! I'm going to shut the internet off and spend it with my family and the sewing machine. I'll see you all in April when we announce our second Challenge. I'm so excited about the next two months! See ya then!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Hi Stashbusters!
  While we've had more snow the last two weeks than we've had all winter I've persevered in the hope that spring will come and decided to keep on my with my sewing plans. Spring dictated a lightweight jacket for Not Niece No. 1, since she is the oldest, and runs out of clothes first as she grows.

I picked up this sweatshirt weight knit at our first sewing swap in December, knowing it would be made into something for my Special Girl who loves every shade of pink. The zipper also came from my stash and I love the pop of color it brings!

Now, my lesson for you today class, is never judge a pattern by its cover. I was in need of a quick fix project. Something I could get done start to finish but I didn't have a kids jacket pattern.
A quick perusal through the pattern drawers turned up this poor sad excuse for a girl's dress. (Please tell me I'm not alone in thinking this is one of the most depressing children's patterns) But it had the essential details I was looking for: a straight bodice with long sleeves. Plus it had width added to the center front, so I could easily insert a zipper.
Some careful tracing gave me the shoulder, armhole and neckline I needed. Then I simply lengthened the side seams to cover that long little girl. Since I didn't make any changes to the armhole I was able to use the pattern sleeve which I tapered out for a looser fit.
I measured the neckline and sleeves for quick cuffs and Tada! A cute little jacket in a couple of hours! It was so nice to be able to quickly complete a project and have the results turn out so well. Now for some warmer weather so she can wear it.

How about you? How's the stashbusting going this month? I feel like this month has gone faster than the other two! Also, have you ever had an unpromising pattern save the day?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Creating While Traveling

If all goes according to plan I will be off on a trip later this week and everyone knows a creative can't travel without taking something to make with her. Since I'll be flying with a small child, space is limited and I need something quick to pop in and out of my bag; not to mention be able to sneak my sewing supplies aboard. After much waffling between a couple projects I finally decided on embroidery.
I was recently rebitten by the embroidery bug and I don't have to buy any of my supplies so we'll call it stashbusting too!
I forget how I got there, but Sublime Stitching sucked me in with their modern take on embroidery. When I saw their free pattern of the moment I knew what I needed to make!
Looking for a handout...?
Isn't he cute! You can still snag him for free Here!

According to the website, needlework supplies are allowed on flights and I believe my tiny scissors will pass inspection too. All I need to do is transfer my pattern and I'll be good to go.

How about you? Do you have to travel with a craft? What do you take? Any tips on embroidering on the move?

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Sewing Poem

Here's a little ditty I wrote just to send you off on your weekend! I'm looking forward to mine!

The Work Week has ended and I’m full of glee
For Patterns and Fabric are waiting for me.
All week I’ve worked hard in my Etsy shop,
Or altering clothes that others have brought.

Now the Weekend is here with my own time to spend
With projects galore my mood’s on the mend
Shall I finish my sweater or mend my new jeans?
The choices are endless which is just fine with me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Spy

Next week I'm off on an adventure that involves children, airplanes and hospitals. I've been thinking of SMALL fun things I can pack to make the trip fun.
I've been wanting to make one of these I spy bags for a long while now. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I made a mistake when I decided to write down all the items you are supposed to find. Once I pieced it all together it ended up being much to big and heavy for me to want to tote it through the airport. It ended up being about 9x6 inches.

I used left over stripes for the cloth body and cut a piece of heavy plastic out of one of those zipper bags that you get your sheets or bedding in.

While I only left about a three inch hole to pour the rice through, I ended up sewing all across the end to make it look a bit nicer. I figured machine stitching is going to be more secure than me invisibly hand stitching it closed. It's not a total fail though. We had some impromptu babysitting to do today and the new toy went over very well.

Photo Booth went over even better.
Hope you all have a great week and Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 18, 2013

From Beastly to Beautiful

Tale as old as time, true as it could be
 Can you guess my very, very loose inspiration for my new favorite shirt? I had this icky greeny brown colored knit in my stash that felt Oh so soft and squishy it had to be made into a warm something. Digging around in my knit scraps had me rediscovering a bit of one of my most favorite knits! This lightweight grey with pale pink roses was outlined in almost the same shade of browny green as the main knit. There was only a bit of it left especially when I decided to fussy cut the rose for the bottom. But by that point I was sure this was the perfect, everyday, wearable tribute to one of my favorite stories.
I used a lightweight double sided fusible and carefully topstitched
close to the edge. The fusible added just enough stability to
the knit to make the sewing a breeze.
This was on my stashbusting list and used two pieces from the stash as well as some "ugly" buttons that happened to be a perfect match and not so ugly after all.
I love all the little details! One of my best attempts at topstitching yet. I love when a bunch of random stuff
comes together to create something beautiful!
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories in ALL of its many written and filmed versions. I think what has drawn me to it through the years, is how it captures the transformative power of love. While the love of books and longing for adventure have me solidly identifying with Beauty there's also a part of me that recognizes without the unconditional love I have been given I would be a pretty wretched beastly creature myself.

So who's with me? What is your favorite version of Beauty and the Beast? What makes you love that story so?

Friday, March 15, 2013

An Honest Look at Stashbusting

Hello Stashbusters!
 Today was the monthly get together of Tub's Anonymous. See, it's not just the world wide interwebs that has a stash problem, I have a local group of ladies ranging from 7 to 80 who get together to sew and each have enough fabric stored away to inspire our group name.
  I was able to get two large pieces of fabric up and out of the stash today. My friend and I cut out four knit tops and got three sewn up and ready to wear. I was happy to bring Pavlova home to sew up on my own time, since it is my first time making it. Sadly in the midst of all the fun and games I didn't get any pictures so you'll just have to take my word all this was accomplished!
  My Mom, (who is learning to sew) also helped me make a dent in a secret sewing project (you'll see it in June) so we got a decent amount of sewing done in the midst of changing poopy diapers, keeping an eye on nine kids and two babies, checking each other's projects out, and eating. (Our seven year old has an amazing button collection.)

Never fear, this isn't going to be a picture-less post! I prepared ahead for you, my intrepid stashbusters. Alas, planning was foiled by lighting conditions so I'm sharing with you an honest look at my work/living space with this project.
It was quick, it was fun, it's a CUPCAKE SKIRT!!
This picture is terrible too... I think this will be worn as some sort of petticoat for my 50's dresses. I've been asked not to wear it out of the house unless it's as a costume.

I like this better, at least it makes the picture look
intentionally bad.
Yes, I've watched one too many anime and k-drama. Yes, it is too long for those anime girls to wear. What can I say, I love my thighs but that doesn't mean I want to share them with the world.
Ok, I'm done rambling now.... 

So can you guess what piece of housewares/bedding I repurposed this darling eyelet fabric from?

Happy Stashbusting friends!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Ruching Techinques

I had a request from Christina on how I made the skirt and gathers for my winter Tiramisu. So here's goes another tutorial attempt.

First, the circle skirt is very easy. Basically I did the first four steps Steph shows for the pavlova. I used fabric instead of the tracing medium and the Tiramisu skirt pattern. I just made sure the edges of my waist sides were touching and cut the circle out of the center of my fabric.

The Tira skirt is shaped differently from the Pavlova so you cannot
line it up on the edges like in Steph's illustration.
The whole point is to have a circle/oval cut from the center.

I staggered the two layers so you have no Angelina Jolie
leg moments while wearing the square skirts. This is why semi sheers
work well with this design.
Gathering/ Ruching Technique
  I have three different ways I gather fabric depending on it's type and how it will behave. This is the one I decided to use on the Tira skirt since it is so full and there isn't a lot of pulling on it to pop the stitches.
First I wore it around the house with a safety pin holding the gathers. When
it didn't pop or pull with wear I decided it could be safely hand sewn.
Pinch all the layers together. Starting at the bottom of your gathers go
through all the layers coming back down through the top. Kind of
like sewing on a button. Do this several times and knot your thread
at the bottom.
Tada! You're done!
That's it. Two super simple little twists to add some fun to a project. Go and make a handkerchief hem skirt for whatever weather is headed your way. It's sure to be twirly!

Have you ever made a handkerchief hem skirt before? Do you love twirly skirts? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

My March Plans

Hey Stashbusters!!
  Are the seasons changing yet for you? The wind still bites like winter here even if the sun is shining a bit brighter. I've got some ambitious plans for a piece of dark brown chocolatey velvet I snagged at a thrift store awhile back.

I love jackets and this amazing vintage one is begging me to make it up in time for Easter to go over my first 50's dress attempt. I'll have to resize this pattern and I may add a band around the bottom so it sits at my natural waistline. It's my first time sewing with real velvet and I may add a lining too. I feel like that's a lot of firsts in one project so I'm not going to plan too many more March Stashbusting Goals.

I have to start and finish my Covert Robin gift, finish up some trip toys for the visit to Salt Lake City, Utah the end of this month, and make up a custom dress order so I'd say March is pretty full already. But.....

Look what I got in the mail today!!!
I must admit I wasn't as super excited about this pattern release as I was for Tiramisu or as impatient as I am to get my copy of Hummingbird but I decided to enter a giveaway over at Disparate Disciplines and I WON!!! Whoo Hoo!! My first win! I was even more excited when I saw these pictures!

The Droolworthy Source
This asymmetrical Pavlova has given me SO MANY IDEAS!! You all know how much I love asymmetry with Tira and I can't wait to play with this skirt now! 

So how about you? What are your seasonal plans? Has the weather started to warm or cool in your area  of the globe? Are you like me, longing for spring?

Friday, March 8, 2013

LOVE CHALLENGE Winner and February Roundup!

  It's time to announce the winner of our first challenge of the year!! But before I tell you who won I've got to show you some of my favorite selfish sewing projects of this month!!

Linen tunic (front)
Crab and Bee's Lovely Linen Tunic!
Renfrew Cardigan 4
Heather's Butterfly Cardigan
Kwik.Sew 3740 Disco Glam Jersey
Beautiful Brown Cowl Top
Everyone has been sew inspiring and you all have kept me motivated this past month to keep sewing and create beautiful things! To see who got voted into the Top 5 head on over to Cation Designs and to check out all the lovely projects browse through our flickr pool. Great Job Everyone!

Now, without further adoAndrea of StitchParade won this month's challenge with her beautifully done men's shirt. 
If you guys keep it up I'm going to have to try my hand at one for some of the men in my family. Andrea, please get us your mailing address so you can receive your prize!! With that our February festivities come to an end and it looks like our March Madness is off to a good start. While it is still super chilly here I'm working on a silly summer project already! See ya'all next week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Winterizing My Snowdrop Tiramisu

I feel a bit guilty that my first two renditions of Cake Pattern's Tiramisu have been total hacks. Although maybe it speaks to the quality of the pattern drafting that I was able to do this from the get go and still end up with wearable garments. I loved it so much but I knew if I was going to make it work for my winters I would need to make some adjustments.

1. Eliminate the V-neck wrap top.
Fix: I aligned the center front line on the fold and drew in a scoop neckline.

2. Add long sleeves.
Fix: Used Steph's Long Sleeve Hack to draft myself some sleeves. Note: My sleeves ended up tight at the bottom as well and I figured out why!! While seam allowance is included at the armhole the line we draw to is our wrist measurement with NO SEAM ALLOWANCE INCLUDED. For the knit I used it is a pretty tight fit.

3. Make the skirt longer
Fix: First I have to say I have been wanting to do a handkerchief hem for YEARS. With this dress, I finally had the perfect fabric pair to do it with! I cut a bit smaller than the waistband measurement out of the center of two rectangles, staggered them and got a floor length circle skirt!
Details, details, it's all in the details. I'm pretty proud of my topstitching here especially since
I had to recut the white neckline. I love these two fabrics together, such great texture.
The hem is staggered all over the place giving it that hippie, free spirited vibe I was going for.
As you can see I ended up pairing the lacy blue floral knit with the white stripe my friend gave to me. Both were semi-sheer so it was perfect in more ways than one! The blue knit was also a stashbust since I have had it since before college.
It has a doubly amazing twirl factor.

It also works well for hide and seek!

While cutting a circle skirt like I did meant no pockets, the double
skirt layer means I can still pick up and carry things.
I'm not sure if these are the best colors for me to be wearing but it is super comfy and I think it will be a great run around the house dress. I'm waiting to see if the bias drops on the skirt. I may end up trimming it a bit shorter.
The most normal shot...
So what do you think? Pretty crazy or pretty comfy?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Madness Roundup

Hi Guys!
The wind is blowing over 50 mph so the snow can't stick. I'm hunkered down in my basement working on my income taxes. Oh joy. Needless to say my brain is dead so I though I'd throw some friendly reminders out there instead of doing a poor post on my new favorite shirt! (spoilers, my dear)

Stashbusters, Go VOTE!! You only have two days to help Cindy and I by narrowing down all those fabulous February projects. All you have to do is click on the little star under your favorite but you only get to vote once so choose wisely!
I'm going to do a round up of my favorite makes that were NOT made for others on the day we announce the winner! So keep posting your pics in the flickr pool. There is some truly fabulous sewing going on!

Calling all Stashbusting Pinners! Since our seasons are so varied I wanted a more diverse pinterest board for March's Seasonal Change. If you would like to pin your season's dreams, leave me a comment below with your pinterest name or hop on over to our board and leave me a comment there. I will happily add you as a contributor.

Lastly, I joined Covert Robin!
the covert robin button
It seems like a fun idea and I love putting surprise packages together. This will be a bit of a stretch for me since I don't know the person but the idea of getting crafty goodness from a fellow creative was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Stay warm, or cool depending on where you are and don't let this wind blow ya away! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Stashbusting Announcements & My Last Feb. Projects

Stashbusters!! You're doing it!! Together we have managed to hit the stashes world wide and create beautiful things! I did a quick tally yesterday and if I counted correctly there are 129 officially participating stashbusters! The most common pledges were to use between 6 to 12 pieces of stash fabric this year.

This month was our first CHALLENGE month; to make something for a loved one. You still have time to enter your project at Cation's February Link Party. Even if you didn't enter, please come back and vote for your favorite between March 3rd thru the 6th. Cindy and I need your help in choosing the Top 5!

We've completed our first two months so I figured it was time to reveal another monthly theme. You can see them all here along with all the Sewalong details and posts.

Onto more exciting news, I've been looking for a way to count or track my stashbusting goals and when I was visiting Mrs. Giggles blog she had what I was looking for! You can go to this website or just click on my nifty counter on the sidebar. I used the Fitness Goals slider, set my Current at 0 and filled in the rest with my stashbusting resolution. Isn't it SO COOL! If you're very perceptive you'll notice it's actually a higher number than my original goal. That may or may not be because I broke down and ordered some fabric...

Finally, I managed to finish a few gifts for my Aunt and best friend. I was very inspired by the pouches Crab & bee has been making and this was the perfect excuse to make a couple. Below is the one I made for my friend. I packed up my Aunt's before I got pictures.
I put a hopefully encouraging quote inside and boxed the bag corners. I love boxed corners. I also made her a little face mask, sleep mask, whatever those things are.

Well my dears, that's it for February and this week. When we post the contest winner, I'm also going to do a round up of my favorite stashbusting makes that weren't for others because you guys have done a fabulous job this month! So get your makes into the Flickr pool!!

Hope you have a great weekend and HAPPY SEWING!