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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paisley Corduroy

Yesterday, I left you with a sneak peak of what I've been working on the past couple of days.  I managed to make two things for Ella out of this adorable paisley corduroy that I bought at the start of winter.

The first thing I made out of this fabric was this sewVery fun jumper from McCall's pattern M6154.  I think I picked it up at Joann's for a couple of dollars on sale.

I've made this jumper before, which you'll see in just a minute, but this time I decided that the fabric was whimsical enough to pull of the bubble look of View A from the pattern cover.  And judging from the photo session with my model, the dress inspired her to have fun.  She ran and played peek-a-boo from behind the tree and smiled her most beautiful smile.  Just as I had imagined her when I was sewing this.

I thought about adding a fabric flower or some type of accessory to one side of the yoke, but I haven't come up with anything yet that I really like on it.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

After cutting out the jumper, I realized I had about a yard of fabric that was 9"-10" wide.  What could I make out of that--pants, a skirt, or maybe a cute pair of winter/fall shorts!  Well, I decided on a pair of shorts/knickers with a tie at the side of each leg.

I used just a basic shorts pattern as a go-by, but I cut out several inches of the width since my fabric width was very limited.  I'm really pleased with how well they turned out, and in fact, I may start making all of her shorts with less width.  Ella is pretty tall and thin, so all the extra gathers from elastic waistband pants sometimes make her look too poofy.

We actually took the pictures of Ella in the shorts first, and she was not happy.  She was eager to get into play clothes so she could join Connor outside in the backyard.  I had to keep promising her candy to get her cooperation.  It's amazing what a few pez can get you!

    Unhappy Ella

Happy Ella

Anyway, I really wanted these shorts to be different than regular old shorts, so I added the band at the bottom and extended it out on each side so it could be tied in a knot or bow.

 After making the jumper and shorts, I decided to finally repurpose this green sleeveless sweater and cardigan set that I have had lying around in the sewing room for months now.  At the time of this photo shoot, I had not worked on the cardigan yet, but as you can see, I did come up with something decent for the sleeveless sweater.  It's not exactly how I thought it would look, but I think it's cute.  I did take a few pictures of most of the steps I took in making it.  I'll post about it another day.

Oh, and here is Ella in the other jumper I made using the same pattern from McCall's (No. M6154) version B.  She has been wearing it for the last couple of months, and it is one of her favorites.  She always gets compliments when she wears it, and this pattern is so easy to make.

You've Got to Be Kidding! Again?

I'm not joking.  I won two contests on the same day!  How totally awesome is that!

I am so appreciative to all the contest sponsors and the hosting blogs.  This is the best Monday I've had in forever!

My latest win, unless I've been notified by someone else while typing this post, is from Pink Poodle Bows.  Last week I had entered the Pattern Giveaway Palooza over at KoJo Designs.  Kirstin and Jordan have a wonderful site with so many great ideas.  Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

I got to pick out one pattern for free for my prize from Alisha's shop over at Pink Poodle Bows.  It was so difficult to choose only one, but after looking at all her wonderful patterns, I decided to pick the Ruffle Sleeve Top and Skirt pattern.

PDF sewing pattern...The Ruffle Sleeve Top and Skirt  12m-5T, baby girls easy sew

Ella really needs a few more skirts in her closet for Spring, and this top is so adorable with the ties on each side.  Those ties remind me of a project I just finished, so maybe that is also what attracted me to this pattern.

Once I get a chance, I'll get this outfit made and post about it as well.

Thanks again to KoJo Designs and Pink Poodle Bows!  Now I need to figure out a way to pay forward my good fortune.  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, January 30, 2012

This is just crazy!

I'm buying a lottery ticket this week.  I just checked my email, and Kate from See Kate Sew let me know I won her monthly January giveaway!  How awesome is that!  I have now won three contests in the last 19 days!  I have never been so lucky in my life!  I can't stop using exclamation points I'm so excited!

The contest winners are selected at random, so statistically speaking, I'm blown away with the fact that I have won three contests in the last 19 days.  I'm working on too many projects right now to actually try and do the math, so let's just go with that's pretty unbelievable.

So, in case you haven't followed the link above to See Kate Sew's January giveaway, here's what I've won:
  • a $20 gift certificate to Good Natured
  • a $25 gift certificate to Modern Fabric Studio (my favorite online fabric store) (UPDATE: this store is now closed), and
  • a beautiful Voile Infinity Scarf from Imagine Gnats
I can't wait to get shopping!  Of course, I'll show you later what I pick out. 

Now, off to buy that lottery ticket before my luck runs out...

Simplicity 0387 or 2396 Sweet Pea Totes

Last week, I broke down and actually used two pieces of my Joel Dewberry Heirloom fabrics!  I figured it's time to start using those gorgeous designer fabrics instead of having them sit in a neatly stacked, yet beautifully combined, pile in my workroom.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up two new Simplicity bag patterns on sale for a dollar each at Joann's.  The bag I'm showing you today was my favorite look and is definitely my style.  This was made using Simplicity pattern 0387 or 2396.

I chose to make Bag B (bottom right) on the pattern cover with Paisely in Amethyst and Opal in Fuchsia from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection.  The lining was made from matching cotton fabric that I've had in my collection for a long time.

I'm thrilled at out the bag turned out!  It was so simple to make, and had I been able to sit down and make it all at once, I think I could have finished it in roughly an hour and a half.  UKMUMINUSA recently made this bag as well as you can see on her blog Cup of Tea and Slice of Cake (really, you should check out her bag, it is gorgeous!), and I totally agree with her that the most time consuming part of making this bag is cutting out all the pieces, and for me, fusing the interfacing to them.  All in all, I thought the instructions were clear and that everything fit together perfectly.  

The finished bag is roughly 11" high x 14" wide which is a nice medium size purse for carrying all the things we ladies like to carry.  The pocket on the inside is large enough to hold a phone plus lipstick and maybe a pack of mints. 

I couldn't believe that I got the fabric perfectly centered when I made the covered button using the circle pattern from the Opal in Fuchsia fabric.  

Since I used a solid fabric for the lining, I still have roughly 3/4 a yard of each of my designer fabrics left.  Because I bought the fabric on sale at Modern Fabric Studio and the rest of the supplies on sale at Joann's, I've only invested between $7 - $8 of materials in this bag.  I think that is pretty good. Don't you?

Here's a sneak peak at some other projects I'm finishing up this morning.  I'll be posting about them soon, too.   

And I couldn't pass up sharing this photo of Ella with you.  We should all be this happy in the morning!  Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Me sewVery Lucky!

Winning a giveaway contest is so much fun!  I cannot believe that in less than a month, I have been randomly selected in two separate contests as the winner of some fabulous patterns!

Friday morning as I was reading through my blog list and checking out this week's competition on Project Run & Play, I saw a post stating that sewVery had won the Thursday Giveaway from Create Kids Couture.  I had checked my email earlier, but no message had been sent yet notifying me that I was the winner, so I was completely shocked to see me, sewVery, called out on such a popular blog!  A smile immediately swept across my face and my day was made right there.  Such a simple thing with such a big impact.

So now I was anxiously awaiting confirmation via email from the contest host or sponsor and perusing the Create Kids Couture shop in search of the three patterns that I definitely wanted to be mine.  I had already decided when I entered the contest that I wanted two of their romper patterns, but I had a difficult time narrowing down my third pattern selection.  But who am I kidding, it didn't take me that long to decide!

Just before heading out the door to take Ella to the doctor, I checked my blog comments and saw where the ladies from Simple Simon & Co. had posted a comment with the official notice that I won the contest, and that they "love" my blog!  First of all, that they even checked out my blog was just amazing, but to actually compliment it!  I'm flying high on Cloud 9!  Liz and Elizabeth from Simple Simon & Co. are so talented, and I truly admire both their sewing/crafting skills as well as thoroughly enjoy their blog posts and clothing creations.  Plus, they have taken Project Run & Play and made it into such an exciting competition!

I emailed them my information, and soon afterwards, Shannon and Tiffany from Create Kids Couture emailed me the downloadable pdf files of my selected patterns.  Here are the patterns I won!

Caroline's Princess Top PDF Pattern
Caroline's Princess Top
Anika's Ruffle Capris Romper PDF Pattern
Anika's Ruffle Capris Romper

I can't say thank you enough to the sponsor of the giveaway, Create Kids Couture.  I hope that you will check out their shop.

My sewing "To Do" list is getting so lo-n-n-g-g!  I better wrap up this post and get busy!  Come back soon to see the sewVery version of these rompers and top.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beautiful Flower Top

Hi, again!  Hope everyone is having a great week and looking forward to a wonderful weekend.  I know I am! A couple of days ago, I decided to finally tackle a project that has been on my "to do" list for a while now.  So, I gathered up some butcher paper, pencil, rulers, curves, scissors, etc. to make a pattern of a Carter's shirt I bought Ella at a thrift store.

I'd been putting off this project because I don't really enjoy making patterns from existing clothes like some people do.  I've not had much success with it in the past, but I decided it was time to give it a go again.  You see, my former career was in civil engineering, and all of my drafting was done on the computer with software like AutoCad or Microstation.  After using these drafting tools for years, I've gotten lazy about hand drawing design plans, and since I no longer have access to those programs, I couldn't very easily sit down and just draft up the pattern from measurements (I tried that once or twice before; hence, why I don't favor making my own detailed patterns).

But this time, I was determined to accomplish this task!  In fact, everything went fairly well considering this top was a little more detailed than most of the other shirts I have made so far.  I even started sewing it the same night and finished it up early the next morning.  There are definitely some tweaks I need to make to the pattern, and I really need to research the proper way to sew on the button placket.  All in all, I'm sewVery pleased with the end result, and even better, Ella adores it!  And in her honor, we now have--ta-da-
The Beautiful Flower Top!

Once I modify the pattern slightly and make another top, my new goal will be to create a pdf pattern and tutorial that I can share with everyone online. The most difficult feature for me to sew is the yoke and button placket, but I'm going to learn to sew them right.  If anyone has suggestions or tips on how to sew these, please let me know!

Here are a few more pictures of the finished Beautiful Flower Top and its details...

This is such a great play top, and it even has two small pockets on the front to store treasures.  Sorry I didn't take a close up picture of them.  I know Ella is going to enjoy having this and maybe one or two more to add to her wardrobe!

Thanks for visiting.  Become a follower of my blog so you'll know when I have the pattern and tutorial ready!  Have a beautiful day!                         

Wow! What a Deal Wednesday - Week 1

For the last few months, I've been shopping more and more at all the Goodwill stores in my area.  I like to go on Wednesdays in particular because all clothing and shoes with a certain colored tag are just 99 cents that day, while toys, books, and purses with that color of tag are half off.  I don't go every week because I would end up with way too many things and no where to put them.  As it is, our house is bursting at the seams!

Shopping at thrift stores gives me a chance to get out of the house for a while and shop--which I love to do--without spending much money.  My kids love to browse the toy and book sections while I like searching for that great clothing or fabric find (yes, they sometimes have pieces of fabric).  I even bought a skirt one time just to make Ella a pair of pants from the fabric (I'll blog about those later).

The Goodwill store I shop at most often even has an "Outlet" store next door. I've been there once, and came out with a ton of shorts for Connor and a few things for Ella all for roughly $6 (I think I had 14 items in all so maybe not quite a ton)!  In the Outlet, things are literally dumped in huge bins, so you have to rummage through to find something you like, but you pay for items by the pound.  Maybe I'll try shopping there again sometime soon to see what I can find.

So, back to my latest shopping experience at my local Goodwill store, and thus, the creation of Wow! What a Deal Wednesday!  Here's what I scored:

Four great books for the kids.  The two on the left are from the late 1950's and were 99 cents each.  The 39 Clues book is a new mystery chapter book that Connor loves.  This was the best book deal at just 49 cents!

Next, I found these two adorable Gymboree sweaters for Ella.  The light blue one on the left has a cute little bunny while the off-white sweater on the right has a fancy bead detail at the neck.  I don't think either were ever worn, and both were $2.49 each.

I then came across these St. Patrick's Day themed pj pants and a brand new pair of Osh Gosh khaki pants for Ella.  They were just 99 cents each!  Wow!

I must give credit to Ella for finding this deal.  The toy shelves were freshly packed with toys, but she saw this Leapster for just $2.99.  We grabbed it and took a chance that it would work once we put batteries in it.  It works great, and the kiddos have been playing with it for days now.

I thought this red jacket was sewVery cute, and for just 99 cents, I couldn't pass it up.  Even if I never wear it, the buttons alone are worth the purchase!

And finally, I grabbed these two pair of pants for me.  The white ones are from Banana Republic and are fully lined, and the khaki pair are from Talbot's. Guess what I paid--you got it!  Just 99 cents each!  I normally don't care for white pants because I'm so afraid I'll stain them, but for this price, it won't matter if I ruin them the first time I wear them.

Total spent for the day:  $16.99 including tax for 12 items!  Not bad.  So, do you like shopping at thrift stores for great deals?  I'd love to hear about what you've found.  

Check back soon for another installment of Wow! What a Deal Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by sewVery!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Folklore Bag

* My Folklore Bag was just featured on Threading My Way!  Thanks, Pam!

Back in December, I checked out the book One Yard Wonders from my public library.  There were lots of great looking ideas in the book--all that can be created with just a yard of fabric.  I was interested in making a new purse (my latest obsession), and The Folklore Bag pattern caught my eye.

I had recently come across a wool remnant at Joann's that I thought would be perfect for this bag, but instead of making straps for the purse, I purchased some interesting red/burnt orange beaded handles.  Here's how it turned out:

The lining fabric was also a remnant that I found at Joann's.

I thought the whole purse went together quickly and easily.  The pattern and instructions were simple to follow, and I'd gladly make another one sometime.  I can't remember now if the pattern called for interfacing and fusible fleece, but I added both to provide the bag with more stability.

I'm pleased with how this bag turned out.  I can't decide if I want to keep it for myself or try and sell it when I open my Etsy shop later this week.  I've got enough of the wool fabric to make another one, but I'll have to look in my fabric stash for lining.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Cherished Dress

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was the lucky winner of three patterns from Lilac Lane by Melissa Stramel.  So, this past weekend, I sewed together a Cherished dress for my cherished daughter.  I hope to save the dress for Ella to wear to her birthday party in a couple of months, but she has already asked to wear it a several times.  We'll see if I can wait that long!

Here it is!  I think it is sewVery adorable, but then again I did spend the better part of a day sewing this together, so I better like it!

The light blue fabric is a Minny Muu Japanese fabric by Lecien and the other is a cotton yellow/white check--both purchased at Textile Fabrics. The Lecien fabric is a little heavier than a normal cotton quilting fabric but seems to have a looser weave to it.  I've never had any of their fabrics before, but I've read and heard wonderful things about them.  Glad I found this piece and even have a yard left over for another project!  I have lots of the yellow check left, too, and I'm thinking Ella may need some pants made out of that.

The original Cherished pattern had different pockets that involved a snap and gathers, but I had a difficult time trying to get them sewn up according to the instructions.  After two tries, I decided to just go with this simple pocket instead, and I'm glad I did.  I really like the cuff detail I added to the top of the pocket, and I even covered the buttons in the same yellow check fabric.

I received the paper pattern from Lilac Lane instead of the digital version, and it is packaged beautifully and professionally. The instructions were detailed, but I did find myself confused a couple of times which resulted in my having to remove the sleeves and sewing them on the opposite side of the dress.  I think this was just my fault. 

I cut out the dress by the 4T for Ella who will just be turning 3 in a few months.  I'm glad I did because I think a 3T would have been too small for her.  

I also won the Cherished for Dolls pattern and the Joy Bag pattern.  I can't wait to find time to try these out as well!  Thanks again to Melissa at Lilac Lane for the patterns.  Please check out her shop.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Party Time!

Here are some fun link up parties that I like to join when I have something worth sharing!  Check them out for other inspiring ideas.

The Girl Creative


Sew Chatty


Creating Success Around The World