Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Guild work

Along with the little AG bed I've made, I'm also donating a little outfit to the guild effort at funding education.  It's a really sweet set of patterns from a new ( to me) pattern company I've found called Liberty Jane.  They produce modern American Girl clothes patterns.  I purchased a few and made up this little outfit from some jean scraps I had leftover from making last years embroidered vest.

First came the little skirt with the lace peeking out.   I only had to purchase lace for this one.  It was very easy to make up.  The Liberty Jane patterns are very well thought out and are illustrated with lots of pictures of every step.  Since I'm an experienced sewist, they were very easy for me.  I think a beginning sewist would have no problems.  They actually seemed to be geared towards the beginning sewist too.
This little tee turned out so cute!  I had to change it up just a bit though.  I regularly go thrifting around town and look for baby/toddler clothes that I think I can re-fashion into doll clothes for the guild.  This was a toddler tee shirt.  I removed the neckband then cut out my pattern.  Then re-applied the neck band.  It's in perfect scale for the tee!  When I had the tee all made up, I applied a small crystal iron-on design.  Oh and I used my coverstitch to do the hem.

And last but not least was the matching vest.  Now the pattern company wants you to line it, but I didn't.  I used my serger to put it together.  Also a hammer comes in quite handy to pound those thick seams into submission.  LOL.  Also good for the frustration factor.

I'm really happy with how it turned out.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Kwik Sew 3801 & Color Blocking

I just realized that I'm probably the most boring sewist.  I just keep making the same things over and over again.  But isn't that the purpose of a TNT, something you would make over & over again?  Well this Tee shirt is certainly a TNT for me. LOL.

This pink flowered version has become a real favorite with me.  I've already worn it twice and its only 2 weeks old.  In fact, I had to dig it out of the dirty clothes hamper to take a picture.  LOL.  I know Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) and I purchased this fabric from Sawyer Brook at the same time but I don't think she made it up yet.  I sure love this one!

To explain the next few pictures, I'm a member of a garment sewing group, here in Tulsa, called OK in Stitches.  We meet once a month, have a program and there are 4 challenges a year.  The first deadline is coming up for our August meeting.  The challenge is called Slice & Dice.  Choose any pattern and slice it up to create your own design using multiple fabrics, trims or a single fabric with seam details.  I choose KS3801.  I've really been wanting to color block for some time now and this gave me the perfect opportunity.

The first thing was to trace off the pattern - TWICE.  Since it was 2 pieces placed on the fold it was necessary to trace it twice and tape it together.  Then I had to figure out how I wanted to cut it apart.  I thought cutting almost at the neckline and diagonally down to the hip would be the most flattering.  So I sliced it at 2 points which you see in this picture to the right.  To avoid later confusion, I wrote "this side up" and "hemline" on the two pieces furthest to the right.  I could just see myself serging all the wrong pieces together.  LOL

Gratuitous hanger shot.  LOL.  Sorry about the pics; you all know how hard it is shoot pictures of garments with black in them.

Here it is on Ruby.  Following will be pictures of each side, because each side of the Tee are different.

Obviously the back.

Left side.

Right side.

In this shot, I wanted you to see how well I matched up the seams and how the print just flows over the shoulder.

I'm very pleased with the Tee and may well do it again in the future.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Doll Bed & Bedding

I've probably mentioned it before, but for the sake of any newcomers to my blog, I'm a member of the Tulsa Smocking and Heirloom Sewing Guild.  We meet once a month and our goal is education of our members and to perform a service project each year.  To be able to afford bringing in a nationally known heirloom educator, we purchase the current year's American Girl doll, make a wardrobe for her and raffle the whole thing off.  The money we make from it usually allows us to bring in an educator and subsidize our members fees.  Some years we even open up the class to non-guild members if there is room.  So, to make a long story short, enough clothes are made for the doll that I wanted to do something a little different and to add a little something extra to the raffle.  So I made a twin 18" doll bed with all the bedding to go with it.  I found the ideas for the bed at

There you'll find lots of 18" clothing patterns with some free stuff.  Also I'm not associated with the site, I'm just another satisfied customer.

What follows is a pictorial of my spin on her doll bed idea. 

This is garden edging from JoAnn's.  I think it cost $2.50.  I paint it white.

This is a wicker basket 19"L X 15"W from Michaels.  I wish I could have found one just a bit longer but it just wasn't to be had.  This picture also shows how I stuck the garden edging into the end of the basket and hot glued it for stability.

Another view of the basket (also painted white) with the garden edging stuck into the end of the basket.

Here it is completely put together.  As you can see, it's just a basket turned over so the bottom is the top.

This is the beginnings of the dust ruffle. 

I found some 2 inch eyelet to apply all the way around the bottom of the dust ruffle.

Showing the 2 layers of eyelet pinned into place and ready to sew down.

I forgot to take pictures of the little mattress I made.  But it just consists of 1 inch foam cut to fit and sewn into a white muslin mattress cover.

Last year I found some embroidered poplin (very thin) on the sale rack at Hancock's.  I got several yards and it's the perfect scale to use as sheets for the doll bed.

At JoAnn's I found a couple of cute, girly matching flannel prints and bought all I could find.  So I made a reversible kitty quilt for the bed.  The other side is polka dots which you'll see better in a later picture.

Next I made a pillow out of the matching polka dot flannel and a throw out of some really soft minky; which, btw, shed all over everything!  LOL.

Last but not least, I made a cute little throw pillow with an embroidered kitty on it.  The original design was over 6 inches high.  I had to reduce it to 2 inches and change the density to get the look I wanted.

I think it turned out very real looking.  Some lucky little girl will get a cute bed, American Girl doll and wardrobe.  Cool, eh?


Monday, July 16, 2012

Shapes 9 Lives Vest

I have to say is these patterns are seriously large and seriously short.  LOL.  I cut a size 2 after tissue fitting on Ruby.  I didn't think the hips would be big enough using the size 1.  I am glad I cut the 2 because I think it would have been tight in the shoulders.  But, having said that, I will be folding out at least 2 inches in the back piece.  Also the picture here shows it to be longer than it actually is.  The short side sits at the waist and the longer sits at the high hip.  To make this work for me, I had to add 5 inches! 

Here I am, again, squinting into the sunlight.  You can see I could have even added a couple more inches and it wouldn't have been a problem.  The fabric I picked up earlier this spring at JoAnn's; it's a dotted swiss print and very light and airy.  I'm wearing it open over a sleeveless loose-ish shell (which you can hardly see) I made from Butterick 5364. 

I may do a FBA on this top/vest the next time around.  I really like it and it was very easy to sew. 

Here's a little of the back view.  Think I need modeling lessons?


Over all, I'm pleased with it and I'll be making it again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Musings...

It's been so hot here with no rain.  My grass is going dormant.  Temps have been ranging from upper 90's to 100's.  Ugh.  I have to get up earlier (I'm not a morning person) to ride my bike and I'm still dripping by the time I've finished my 15 miles.

We're having ribs cooked in the smoker tomorrow.

I purchased 4 patterns from Stylearc (Australian independent pattern company) and the shipping cost almost as much as the patterns.  I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.  At least I'll get a free pattern thrown in.

I need to get it in gear and get my 18" doll bed completed by our August Heirloom Guild meeting.  I'm not feeling it.  I did get the project bag down at least.  And the bed painted.

I want to make Tee shirts.

I'm supposed to do a "slice 'n dice" on a favorite pattern and show my results for our OK in Stitches group.

I'll color block a Tee shirt.

Made a batch of marinara sauce to freeze from tomatoes in the garden.  I'll have to make another batch tomorrow.  Yum.  I've got tomatoes coming out of my ears.

Found a good recipe for Banana Bread Pudding with Rum sauce.  You add rum to taste. Another Yum.

I really need to re-organize my fabric stash.  I find I'm pawing through it trying to find things I know I have.

Maybe after I make the Tee shirt.

Sawyer Brook emailed saying the fabric I ordered was sold out before they got to my order.  Grrrrrr.

That's all I got.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Over to the Dark Side

Okay; I've finally succumbed and, yes, I know I'm WAY behind the times.  LOL.  I'm so inured to the Big 4 pattern makers that branching out to an independent was scary.  I have had several Sewing Workshop patterns for years but have never made them up.  I've always thought them cute but just not on me, but couldn't resist buying them anyway.  Sooooo, after seeing several friends in my OK in Stitches group wearing their versions of this Independent pattern maker, I've taken the plunge.  I've just made up my first Liberty shirt.  Just going by my measurements, I started with the large.  It's supposed to correlate to a 16-18. 

I wanted to show you a close-up of how pretty this fabric is.  It's been marinating in my stash for about 20 years.  I know I purchased it in Florida but I don't remember the fiber content.  It does drape just like rayon challis though so I thought it would be the perfect candidate for this style shirt.

If you look closely enough, you'll see the top-stitching line of the enlarged back label.

A close-up with my embroidered grograin label.  I enlarged the back facing so I could apply the label.

And the front.  The sleeves are long and fit me well, but I'll wind up rolling them up just like I've shown here.  The next time I make this, I'll cut the sleeves down to 3/4 length and reduce the shoulders by 3/4".  They felt a bit large, almost drop shoulder looking.   But on the whole, I love the shirt.  I love the angular hem and the drapey, comfortable feel of it.  And even though there are no darts, it didn't look or feel like I needed to perform an FBA.

Here you can see the angular hem from this side shot.  It doesn't look like 20 year old fabric does it?  LOL.

Notice that I have the collar lying down versus up in the pattern photo.  I felt it was floppy and just decided to wear this way instead. 

Next I'm working on one of the SHAPES collabaration patterns by Louise Cutting and Linda Lee.  It's called the 9 Lives Vest but I'll be making a shirt out of this version.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Just stuff...

We just returned from a long weekend with my parents in Iowa.  It was nice to see them again.  Usually we only get to visit around Christmas for 5 days or so.  Since they're getting on, we decided it was time to start spending more time with them.  So I didn't do any sewing.  But I did purchase a used iPad2 for my mother and get her set up with a few games.  Every time my sister or I visit, she confiscates our iPads and we don't get to use them for the length of the visit.  LOL.  So she is now hooked. 

I'll leave you with a collage of some pictures I've taken over the last couple years of flowers in my garden.