Monday, February 22, 2016

Perfectly Preppy and Potato Chip Skirt Mashup

Do you ever have a project that makes you want to pull your hair out, or worse, make you want to quit sewing? This was definitely one of those.
I've been wanting to mash up the Potato Chip Skirt by Tie Dye Diva, and the Perfectly Preppy (Rumba Version) by Scientific Seamstress for some time. I love the pockets on the PTS, and love the ruffles of the PP.
I began by making a simple mod on the PTS. In place of piping on the pockets, I made tiny ruffles and sewed them in like I would piping. I love how that turned out! That would've been cute on it's own, and I should've stopped while I was ahead, but no, I wanted more ruffles. (I swear ruffles will be the death of me.)
So I did some math (a lot of math, far too much math) and used the instructions in the PP ebook to make the ruffles.
Here are some shots of the final product.
It was more complicated to add the double tier ruffles than I thought it would be, since the front of the PTS is narrower than the back. so I had to make one top ruffle, one ruffle attachment, and one bottom ruffle in all in different lengths based on two measurements. One set using the front width, and one set using the back. The top ruffle is 2 times the width, the attachment is 1.5 times the width and the bottom ruffle is 3 times the width.
For the pocket ruffles, I roughly measured the pocket from top to bottom following the curve, and multiplied by two. For the width of the ruffle, I wanted to have a 1/4 inch ruffle, with the 1/4 inch seam allowance. That makes 1/2 an inch, multiplied by two, since it was folded to avoid hemming.
And a close up of those pockets that I love so much!
So, what was the part that made me so incredibly frustrated? Nope, it wasn't the math, I generally enjoy math.
Nope, it was this. I was gathering the bottom ruffle, and I use three gathering threads sewn parallel at 1/8th intervals (I know, not everybody does, but I'm a bit particular when it comes to ruffles). I was finished gathering and pinning the front, and was almost done gathering and pinning the back (like 2/3's done) when ALL THREE of my gathering threads ripped....
Yeah, all three... I won't lie, I swore like a sailor in my head (I've got two girls, I can't be swearing out loud!) Oh, and all of my unpinned gathering came apart... So I took the whole damn ruffle off, resewed the back gathering threads, and re-did the ruffle.
My threads have never ripped before, so I investigated. Turns out I mistakenly thread my machine with the serger thread that I use to overlock my seams with. Face...Palm...
So what should have taken no more than three hours took five.
Worst part? My lovely daughter whom I made it for because she loves all things ruffles, won't. put. it on... My oldest put it on for the pics. It fits her around the waist, but is too short for my taste. 
She wanted me to add two more ruffles, but I'm not taking that skirt anywhere near my sewing machine, I'm far to done!
Here's eldest being a darling and helping me get picks for the blog!
Well, now that the adventure is over, I can find time to finish oldest darling's new dress. She's been waiting for it already. And with all the help she's been giving me with my blog, she deserves it!
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kids Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe- Planning

It's Valentine's Day! Which is great! That also means it's mid-February, and I live in Manitoba, Canada. Which means it's cold! For emphasis, here's what it looks like outside. It was taken a couple of days ago, but it's still the same.
However, now is the time to start thinking about sewing up my girls' spring/summer wardrobe. I've got two daughters to sew for, and also myself, so it doesn't hurt to get started early. Granted there will be things in there closet, or in boxes from the past summer capsule, that will still fit them, so I"ll be supplementing their wardrobes instead of sewing everything (although part of me is very tempted to sew everything, lol).
To get me motivated, I went looking through our photos of last summer's adventures (because when you live someplace that feels like winter 70% of the year, you make the most of each summer day, lol). I found this great shot of my daughters chilling in their Boo! Swimmers that I made them. Now if this doesn't say Happy Valentines Day, then I don't know what does! :)
So I went through their closets and made a note of what I thought would fit. I plan on checking again sometime in spring, just in case either of them have a growth spurt. I made a list of what I needed, (of which I didn't take a photo, and I"m pretty sure my youngest covered in her beautiful art, lol) but I did break down a list of the patterns that I'll be using!
Also, not all patterns will be sewn as per directions, I LOVE hacking patterns and/or mashing patterns! Especially if I've got an inspiration pic of clothing that I can't afford to buy, but CAN make! Currently, I'm working on a mash up between Tie Dye Diva's Potato Chip Skirt, and Scientific Seamstress's Perfectly Preppy Skirt, the rumba version. It'll be in the next post! Hopefully. I'm not very good with sticking to schedules, but I DO try!
I'm really looking forward to blogging regularly, and sharing my "stuff", for lack of a better word, with you.
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Monday, February 8, 2016

Leighanna Sew Along, and why I blog.

Before going on about what I've made lately, I've had some questions recently about why I blog, and I thought I'd take this time to answer. I don't make any money with my blog. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd know how, or if I even have enough of a reader base to do so. So, why do I blog? Well, I love to write, I love to sew, and I love photography. Blogging combines all three of my passions! I blog because I love it! (Even if I have no idea if anyone reads it, lol) Some say blogging is a dying trend, but I tend to think that there is enough of us out there that love to read about other peoples journey that it won't. Now, on to my latest make!
After doing a Tortola in knit, I started looking through my girl patterns to see what else would work in knit. Most of my patterns are made for woven, but both of my girls (especially Miss 4) aren't keen on woven tops. They don't mind woven dresses, skirts shorts or bottoms, but they don't like woven tops. Unless they are full lined, like all the dresses I make them. But I don't always have time (or fabric) to fully line them, hence the search for knit tops beyond your average tee.
Then, in one of the sewing groups I'm in, there was a sew along for the Sisboom Leighanna, or Devon. Well, I had the Leighanna and I knew Jeanine had made it in knit, so there we go! Problem solved.
I had plenty of knit left over from my Tortola, so I decided to use that. There was enough to make Miss 7 a Leighanna, plus enough to make Miss 4 something later. I haven't decided what yet. I know that will make us matchy, matchy, but to be honest, I love matching my girls. Not necessarily pattern wise, but fabric wise.
The Leighanna is one of my favourite patterns. You can use woven or knit, and it's such a quick sew. If you don't like the ribbon ties (I normally don't) the pattern also comes with the option to use elastic in the neckline instead of a drawstring, (which I plan on doing on this one yet, but I was out of elastic). It also shows how to make the string, but I don't like extra work, (plus this drawstring was temporary) so I just grabbed some double fold bias tape to use as a drawstring.
Since this was made in knit, and didn't require any hemming, or seam finishing, it literally took me less than an hour from cut to finish. Honey loves her new top, and Monkey has been asking to start hers. I've got the Cecilia Puff Tee pattern from Once Upon a Sewing Machine, and some white rib knit for the neckline, so I think I'll use that pattern for her. 
I should tackle some of my ufo's, I don't like having any. I've got a small pile, and most of them are fast sews, or like 90% done.
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Tortola in Knit; Beating Winter Blues

It's been a while since my last post, so much for New Year's resolutions, lol. Seriously though, old man winter has been getting me down. Honey's still waiting for her dress, which is cut and ready to sew... Monkey's still waiting for her skirt, which just need the waistband and bottom ruffle sewn on... Yeah...
So I thought that maybe a sew for myself might help boost my mood. I wanted something simple, uncomplicated, and that made me think of spring. The Sisboom Tortola was the top of my list, and it's one of my favourites. Plus, I've always wanted to try it in knit.
It's really easy to make it in knit. No bust darts to worry about. Just cut the front and back out of knit, and the facings out of woven and sew as per pattern, just skipping part where you add bust darts.

The pattern is drafted for a loose fit, but I generally like things more fitted. To get that, instead of trying to alter the pattern (way to much work) I simply added a belt to pull it in at the waist.

I'm also loving it with a cardi, making it perfectly suitable to wear in colder weather. (Btw, I may or may not have just pulled the cardi from the dryer and may or may not be wearing it damp...Well, I was loosing the light!)

I completely rearranged my sewing room for this and future shoots. Not that it was that much work, considering all that's in there at the moment is a dresser that holds my fabric, and a full length mirror. I guess that would make it a fabric and pattern storage room, lol. That will change if we ever get around to adding a desk or table of some sort for cutting and sewing on.
Anyway, this allows me to place my subjects opposite the window. I have to make the most of the natural light, since I have zero photography equipment aside from my point and shoot camera. But, you have to work with what you have, right?
Hopefully this will jump start my sewjo, I've got more projects in mind than I can count, plus the two that I've started.
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