Friday, August 30, 2013

Coordinated Kids' Clothes

It's that time of year again. Some of my readers will remember that I've made my kids matching outfits each summer for our annual District Convention. Well, this year I had three little outfits to sew & I'm happy to say that this year's far, are my favorite.

I started out knowing that they would be coordinating, rather than identical. Mostly because my oldest boy, Shawn, has pretty strong opinions these days and prefers to wear red. And by that I mean the only tie he'll wear is the red one I made for him 3 years ago...which is falling apart.

When I found these fabrics, I knew they were exactly what I needed.

But Shawn wasn't sold on the polka dots. And the sailboat fabric was blue--not red.
So I kept looking & we found the winner in a white quilting cotton featuring little red & blue whales. He loved it. Quite by accident we found ourselves going with a nautical theme.

I'll post an individual review of the dress, but here's the outfits. We still haven't managed to get one picture of all three kids together (and I'm not holding my breath!) but we did get some cute individual shots (sorry about the quality & the formatting). I'm happy to say that Shawn will now ONLY wear his whale tie & he's gotten a TON of compliments on it. I had one mom even stop me to ask where I bought his tie so she could get one for her little guy. I felt a little bad telling her I made it :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grand Plans: The Minoru

I've loved the Minoru since the first time I saw it. When Tasia released it, I bought the pattern right away. And then I started planning on participating in the Sewalong. I traced my pattern and then...

I found out I was pregnant.

And that pretty much put a halt to any jacket sewing plans I may have had. Until now, that is.

I was planning on entering the Mini Wardrobe contest over on Pattern Review, but I have doubts that I'll be able to see it through the the finish & I'm pretty determined to keep my fabric stash down to a minimum. As in, muslin a pattern, buy the fabric, sew the fabric. Lather, rinse, repeat. No stashing. Anyway, I could see myself buying fabric for all 4 wardrobe pieces & only sewing 2 or whatever. And plus also, sewing a jacket will fulfill one of the goals I've had since I started sewing. So that's cool.

Anyway, when I initially traced my Minoru, I traced size 10; my measurements ranged from sizes 8-12. Now, my measurements are in the 4-8 range. So I'll have to retrace. I'll start out muslining the size 6. I made the Renfrew in size 8 & it was a bit on the too big side, so hopefully I'm on the right track.

For the outer fabric, I'll be picking up a purple cotton canvas.  And I've chosen a leopard print satin for the lining. I plan on including a flannel underlining for additional warmth & I'll add some sort of pocket on the outside, either side seam or patch; I'll decide once the muslin is all sewn up.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Finished: Hollyburn!

This skirt has been finished for months. MONTHS. And I wear it all the time. But I just finally got around to photographing it. And most of the pictures were blurry. It seems some little finger smudged my camera lens. Sorry.

Fabric: Gorgeous coral stretch denim (no longer available) from Harts Fabrics (LOVE them!)
Pattern: Sewaholic Hollyburn
Notions:Thread & zipper. A bit of interfacing for the waistband
Size sewn: 12. View B.
Alterations/Design Changes: It ended up being closer to the length of View A (because I'm short) but it is the perfect length for me. I couldn't find a zipper to match, so I was left with the option of doing a contrast teal zipper or using a grey one. I decided to do a lapped zipper. I don't really like how it turned out. Definitely looks home in "I couldn't find a matching zipper so I used this one and desperately tried to hide it" (which is exactly what happened) I think I'll probably rip the zipper out & the centered teal zipper (since writing this review months ago, I've decided to live with the grey zipper--it's really not that bad...time heals all things?) 
Likes: The pockets!! It's a simple style, came together really quickly (save for blind hemming by hand; that took forever). Definitely well suited for beginners!
Dislikes: None. Though, I definitely should have staystitched my skirt pieces before the pattern suggested.  I had some definite stretching, & the pattern suggested sewing a gathering stitch along the top of the skirt before applying the waistband, but by then I already had the pockets and staystitching done so I couldn't really get it to gather nicely across the seams.  Anyway, I ended up cheating & just chopping an inch off at one of the side seams.

Time to Complete: Not long...a couple days?? If I were to sew it again with a deadline I'd give myself 3 days. 
New Techniques: Blind hem by hand
Total Cost: Eek. Ok. Pattern: $17.25 with shipping. Fabric & thread: approx. $30.  All told, $47.25. Holy Moly.  Suddenly the cost of the skirts from Mod Cloth don't seem so ridiculousI've never spent that much on a RTW skirt! And in case you couldn't tell...I didn't do the math BEFORE hitting "add to cart".

After having this skirt a few months-I'm going to go out on a limb & say it was worth the cost. It comfortable, can be dressed up OR down, the fabric is great, the color is FUN....I'm super glad I made it. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Creating a Custom Storyboard

I'm strongly considering sewing myself a mini wardrobe in September & participating in Pattern Review's Mini Wardrobe Contest. In preperation , I created a storyboard using my possible fabrics & patterns. A couple ladies wanted to know how it was done, so I made this tutorial. Keep in mind I'm using PSE8 and can't really speak to other versions.  :) You'll need a image of the pattern line drawing and a digital swatch of your fabric (just copy & paste from your browser).  

Edit to add: There's a number of typos & I apologize :) PSE doesn't spell check & this tutorial was a long process. I hope you find it useful anyway. :) 

This is incredibly long & you'll need to click on the pictures to make them bigger. (You can also view via this flikr album. Here we go!

TIP: If you ever find yourself having trouble, double check that the layer you want to be selected is selected. :) 

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