Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Red dress contest entry

Whew. Sewing with one leg is a challenge! It's not the actual sitting and sewing though. It's the pinning and ironing and finding where the seam ripper went that killed me. And yes, I am sweating in the photos...and clinging to the mantel so I wouldn't fall!

This is my official entry to the Red Dress Contest. If you like it please vote for it. If you don't, there are some amazing entries that you have to check out and vote for them!

Notice how well my neighbor cut my fancy new black boot out the picture? Notice just the tip of my scooter? She should be a photographer to the gimpy full time! I made a red Colette Peony out of a twill I got super cheap at Joann's. Since this isn't a difficult pattern I really focused on the insides of this dress.

This version fits a little better. I took out a horizontal dart on the back bodice and lengthened my back top darts while letting out my front bodice darts along my waistline.

Now the good part...

The entire dress has been French seamed. This is the front bodice. The sleeve and waistline as well as the side seams are French. I also finished the raw edge of the neck facing with a pretty lace.

Here is a closeup of the facing as well as the arm seam. Gosh, it looks pretty doesn't it?

As a matter of fact that is a French seamed pocket! How nice of you to notice.

And the waste line seam. I am really proud of this dress. It fits great, but more importantly I am very proud of the inside. This is the most care I have put into a garment, and I can't wait to wear it.

By the way, if you haven't made a Peony, you should. It is such an easy dress and so cute.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A second look at the Sencha

So, I may be breaking the rules when it comes to the Shirt a month, but I made a Sencha a long time ago that I kept and even got out to try on every couple of months to find out what I did wrong. I decided with my not being able to really cut our anything or sew much with my foot down, I would try to fix the disaster. This is what I came up with.

Yeah, that's my ride for the next month. It is a pain but nowhere near as bad as crutches. What I finally decided to do was make the front darts along the stomach go higher.

If you look closely I did this in red thread. It did seem to help a lot.

If I make this again, and I just may, I will make it in a size, or probably two, smaller.

I have learned a lot in the last year, so I spotted several things when I really started looking at the shirt. They are embarrassing, and you deserve to see other seamster's stupid mistakes.

I zig zagged the edges of my facings. That's OK, but I've come a long way.

My understitching, well I guess I just didn't know what that was. I stitched through the outside, seam allowances and facing. The neckline is TACKY!

My facing was too short, so I guess I said, "Oh well." I sewed it in too short and just left it raw! What is that!?!

On my sleeves the directions said to hand stitch them down invisibly. I made the stitches so loose and far apart I could actually put my thumb through them.

Am I a snob? No! I think this has been a fun look at where I came from. I wore the shirt to work with no one saying anything about how bad it looked too. I guess it is a win, even if only in my head.

OK, now I have to try to work on that darn red dress. Would you judge me if I missed the deadline?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A very self centered post

I never realized how much I enjoy my mobility. I don't watch mindless television and movies without having some other project going on. What follows is my descent into madness following the week after my foot surgery.

Day 1-2: "My assistant is so cute. I totally have to keep this quilt because of how well it fits us both."

Day 2-4: "I am a horrible dog owner," thoughts with intermittent, "I am so bored and nobody likes me," thoughts.

Day 5-7: "I have to get out of here! Where is my husband? Why have I been cooped up here so long? I entered the Red Dress contest at and I'll be damned if I'm not going to finish that dress. Oh, AND my shirt a month project. OMG....I can't reach the remote and I can't watch this anymore! Make it all stop!"

Now: Some house destruction but I am able to move and not elevate my foot constantly. The stitches come out on Tuesday and I should be able to take care of myself then. It is so hard being at everyone elses' mercy. Thank you all for your blogs because they were my lifeblood this week. Also, thank you for the kind words and advice on taking it easy. Taking it easy almost killed me, but I bet it will pay off in the end.

And I did get a small bit done on both a shirt fix that will have to count and that red dress. You'll see them soon as I have a deadline!

Oh yeah, and my assistant and I voted we do keep the quilt. :-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

This is sewing on drugs

Since Friday I have been tortured by your blogs. Awesome Simplicity's, new Craftsy courses, must have projects and I can't do any of it!

Instead I am keeping my foot above my heart and watching all the Downton Abbeys available to me. OK, you guys nailed it with that. I love Downton Abbey.

The breakdown of damages so far:
Gertie's Starlet Suit Jacket class - I had to have it. I was torn between her and the couture dressmaking class. I went with Gertie. I got it for $25 somehow too through my phone. How could I not? I have a link for another $25 class if anyone wants it, e-mail me.

Then I went to I want to make a white Violet shirt, and they are having a great Red, White and Blue sale. I also wound up with some navy charmeuse, navy linen blend and clear elastic. I am thinking of doing the OohLaLa Pin Up sew along, or even just a bra like Dixie's, so I bought the charmeuse. I may make a shirt out of it though.

But the Simplicity!!! Oh they are so pretty this season. Cynthia Rowley really appeals to my painkiller-fueled sewing self.

I don't know why that is fuzzy, but if Mr. Thinks He Can catches me blogging with my foot down I am toast! Anyway, this is my very favorite: Simplicity 1872! I love the dresses, especially the one on the bottom. I may need to alter the poofy sleeve so it doesn't look so little girlish. I also love the shirt! I may need one for my Shirt A Month challenge. It may need to be of navy charmeuse. I may need one of my sneaky friends to sneak it to me right this second because I just want to look at it!!!

Simplicity 1882 is very appealing to me. I could see this one in a number of styles. I've never made one of their Amazing Fit line garments before, but I may have to try it.

There are a few more cute ones. A great Project Runway shirt dress, and I like the Lisette bags. Strangely enough I do not care for the Lisette garments as much this time. They seem boxy. I'm sure someone will make them up and change my mind though. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

French seams the Stacie way: Tutorial

I have been working on the French seams in my Peony, and have developed a few methods that have helped me I thought I would share. I have been doing French seams on garments on and off for awhile, but this project has really made me look at ways to help myself out.

First of all French seams are seams you sew in which the raw edges are encased within the seam allowance. Very unnecessary, but they look nice and are pretty darn strong. Above is the inside of the French seam we are about to make.

Place your fabrics wrong sides together. Yes, it goes against everything you believe in, but trust me. "Right sides together," is your chant when you are doing French seams.

Next I get out my 1/4" presser foot. That's right, it is used for more than my boring quilt posts!

Mathlete Moment: Remember 1/4 inch is also equivalent to 2/8 inch. 

When using a 1/4 inch presser foot you just follow the outside edge of the presser foot. Just stitch right down the seam.

Press the seam open.

Now fold it so it is right sides together. I usually like to press the seam again here to make sure it is lined up and not poofy.

Here is my seam allowance magnet. I use it for all garments. I get distracted and tend to start following the foot instead of the usual 5/8" seam allowance. This sticks to my machine and my fabric can follow it instead of the tiny markings that come on the machine.

I lined up my magnet to the 3/8" mark on my machine.

Here you just line up the fabric with the magnet and stitch.

Mathlete Moment: Your first seam was 2/8 inch, your second seam was 3/8 inch.

2/8 + 3/8 = 5/8

We made a 5/8 inch seam allowance!

Press your seam to the side.

Now look at what you did! Your seam is perfect from the outside and pretty on the inside! That 1/4" foot and magnet totally help you be more accurate.

As for the Peony, I'm working on it. I have foot surgery this afternoon and can't concentrate very well. I made this tutorial then promptly went and sewed my French seams right sides together. Posts may slow down a bit around here while I recover, but I'll be back!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Red Dress Contest

I am entering Pattern Review's red dress contest. I want to make a red Peony. I was thinking of doing some pin tucks then realized that would be a direct rip off of Mary's red Peony. Since I have already made the Peony, I wanted to fit it a bit more, and make the guts look really great. I made a few adjustments on the pattern and decided to give the whole dress French seams. I've never done this before, but I am a hot mess at it. I have ripped out loads of seams. I have the bodice done though, and it looks fantastic! Here is a preview:

That's right a French seamed set in is that the only part I didn't have to rip out BTW?

A super chic side seam.

From the outside.

It looks pretty awesome. The fabric is a medium weight twill. It is very crisp and nice; however, I don't know that I should be French seaming twill. Good thing I never claimed to know it all!

Also, today there was a small tragedy at Chateau Stacie. My trusty iron of nine years (only opened in the last year and a half since I began sewing) died. He heated up super hot and burned my board cover. I unplugged him because it smelled like it was burning and he never turned on again. I got a new one to replace him already, but dang. It just doesn't feel the same. Rest in Peace iron.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pattern Organization and Fabric check

I was looking for a pattern I bought on sale. I knew I bought the pattern- where the heck? All the patterns in the file cabinet drawer were dumped on the floor to be sorted through. Not there. Wait, what's that... I stretched my arm back through the back of the drawer and felt paper. I gave a pull and unearthed an addiction.

Found it. But they were all on sale! See, I've used a lot of them... Ok I have enough to justify organizing them.

I used the drawer again, but this time used folders marked:

Sportswear Collections
Knits Only
Random (seasonal, slippers, etc.)

Believe it or not, that is better.

Having seen all the patterns, I decided to pull out my fabrics and try to match them up.

It all fits in that tub, so it isn't too bad.

This is a pretty clearance rayon that I think would make a pretty shirt dress (but kind of suspect that it will look kind of 90s and must be sported with combat boots). There are three yards of it, so if you have any ideas for it, please let me know.

A planned Texas themed quilt. I intend to do it later in the Spring. We are a proud people here in Texas.

Baby shower gifts.

Dear Stacie,

Why would you give a dead cow and chili pepper themed gift to a baby?

Concerned Reader

Dear Concerned Reader,

This is a joke fabric. The couple doesn't know the sex of the baby, but I know dad has a love for Southwest inspired decor which drives his wife crazy. I think this will be a lesson to everyone to tell me the sex of your baby or you will get scary baby shower gifts. Yes, I will probably make it a more appropriately chosen present after it is born. Until then I am sending a powerful message.


Scraps big enough to make tote bags from.

Fusible, interfacing and muslin, oh my!

Skirts. Has to be right? They are my summer uniform, and I love bright colored skirts.

Seasonals: Christmas and Halloween to be exact. Check ya next year!

I have about three yards of this lace which is so pretty and drapes nicely- except for the color. I think I may dye it a prettier blue to make a summer dress out of.

I may make a Violet out of this material. I have held off because it is so slippery and cheap feeling. I may want to make one out of a cotton first to see how it goes. Maybe it would make another good attempt at a Taffy...

This is a weird tube of scratchy knit I acquired randomly. I may try to make another cardigan like my Polka Dot one. I don't know what else I would do with it...

This is an awesome print given to me by Holly for Christmas. I used some of it to make a tote bag, and I'm hoping to either make a sorbetto or a skirt out of the rest of it. Hopefully there is enough for the sorbetto because I just don't wear too much white on bottom. Super cute!

That's it! I am trying to inventory what I have with what I need because I have surgery on my foot scheduled for Friday, and I won't be able to walk for six weeks! I will have a knee scooter, but good luck getting one of those through Joann's. I have been practicing left footed sewing, so hopefully I can get a few garments done.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pattern Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Njeri!

True Random Number Generator  3Powered by RANDOM.ORG

How cool is that? My little pattern from a shop in Houston is heading off to Kenya!

I am Sew Grateful to everyone that entered to win, and Njeri I would be sew grateful if you would send me a picture of your dress. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My best quilt ever!

I know, I say it every dang time, but I totally mean it! It's my best quilt ever!

It is just so darn happy looking!

Here is how I handled my cheap flannel backing that was only 44" wide. I made a thin stripe of the flower  fabrics down the back. I really like how it turned out.

For the binding I chose to use the scraps of flower fabrics. I mimicked the pattern on the inner border. I also used the same pattern on the back. Probably no one would ever notice that but us.

Here is an up close of a flower. I wound up quilting it by stitching in the ditch, but I also did a diagonal criss cross across the flower bits. I just wanted to make sure it was all secure.

I washed the quilt once so far to help the flower edges rag out a bit. I don't know about you, but people always say washing the quilt will make it crinkly and awesome. I admit, I have never washed a quilt for fear the washer will destroy it. Next time you finish a quilt and you two are cuddling on the couch and thinking about washing and drying it, but also thinking, "But me and new quilt are in LOVE and want to watch Glee and cuddle." Get yourself together and wash the quilt. It is amazing how much softer and cuter it got. The quilt is actually in the washer right now while I try to get the flower edges to fray more.

Finally, I love it. The French Roses pattern was deceptively easy. As for my friend, wait what friend? The nice thing about it being a surprise is that now that quilt and me and in love I might just keep her. Mr. Thinks He Can thinks I should hang it on my sewing room wall or sell it on Etsy for $500. Hehe, I like the confidence in my skills, but it is far from perfect. Any other ideas for what to do with a quilt?

I also entered this quilt on Craftsy's Project Cupid. If you like it, please go 'heart' the quilt.