Monday, July 30, 2012

Yummy Yummy cake dress

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. I am so excited about this dress.....It. Is. Cake.

That's right, I will probably never get another chance to wear it, but for now it is glorious and I love it! My cousin is getting married this weekend, so I wanted to make something special and fun. I have been sitting on this Cynthia Rowley pattern 1872 from Simplicity for a long time. You may notice I added a modesty panel. More on that later.

Added bonus? My giant Kim Kardashian butt! I have no butt to speak of and am always covetous of a good one. Apparently what I need to look for in clothing is a bustle silhouette. I stinking love this dress! Who 
wants to see my insides?

I could not find any reviews on this pattern except this one, which said to make a size smaller in the bust. I did, and as you can see I had to add a modesty panel. I could have pinned it, but I kind of liked the look of the modesty panel. I used a satin crepe and used the matte side as the outside. The only thing that is shiny the belt and modesty panel. I think it makes for a cool contrast.

Now, the insides as promised. I have never done a layered skirt dress before, but it has a yoke for the top layer and the two bottom layers attach to each other at the top and then to the yoke. It made for easy construction. 


Both the neckline and armholes were finished with a bias style facing which made for a clean finish. I really loved this pattern.

Now with three layers of skirt that would mean hemming three circle skirts. I decided to go with a rolled hem using my serger. I'm so glad I did. It looks very clean, and I didn't lose any length. I love that it hits me right at my knees.

In review I can't recommend this pattern enough. This has been the cleanest pattern I have ever made. Every notch lined up and it fit together perfectly. The dress would also be cute in a cotton to make it a little less formal as well. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Return of the Tree Pants

Have you been checking out the Christmas fabrics that are being released? I have yet to find one that is just calling to me like I did last year. I have been feeling pretty Christmas-y though, so imagine my excitement when I ran across my tree pants that I never finished last year. I had some injuries and drama around the holidays last year, and the tree never even got put up. Finding a baggie of forgotten tree pant parts was exciting today and I got the project all pieced together.

I know, icky picture. I don't have enough room in my current place to spread this thing out. I had to take it outside. The good news is that apparently if you get close enough to the ground there is a breeze. You'll probably get 3rd degree burns on the pavement trying've been warned! It's cute though, right? All the bits lined up and everything. 

Ooh- action shot! Can you believe I had all the blocks done and the sashing? All I had to do was piece it all together. It took maybe an hour! That was very satisfying. I need to quilt and bind it still, but binding is my favorite part. It gives me a guilt free excuse to sit in front of the TV and "do nothing". If you want to make tree pants the pattern was free and part of Sew, Mama, Sew's Christmas Sew Along. I can't wait to see what she does this year.

Confession time:

Yes, I ordered another yard of fabric I used to make the outside of my Texas totes! I want to make one for me...and one for a friend of course! Whew, it feels good to confess that to someone. 

Merry Christmas in July!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Vogues are out

There was some good, some bad and some ugly. It's Vogue, it's always a good mix of the three. I would like to start with one I found particularly interesting.


This is Vogue 1312. An "interesting: dress that I definitely could not pull off. The styling though reminds me of the opening scene of Eyes Wide Shut when Nicole Kidman is sitting down, and we quickly discover she is on the toilet. Doesn't the picture have a hover over the pot look to it?

Now let's focus on some positives. I'm looking at some I could see myself making AND wearing.


8833 Is not fantastically exciting, but I could see myself wearing it to work or out and about. It also has several sleeve options which is great for me.


Vogue 1315 is right up my alley. It is basically a sweatshirt I can wear as a dress with pockets. I would make it longer to be work appropriate, but it looks really comfortable. I could see this is school colors with a school logo and a name on it to make it "Spirit Attire". I work in a school. That's how I roll.

Line Art

Vogue 1323 is a Rachel Comey, which Sallie O has me wanting to try from all her great projects. I love the shirt and plan to make it. I kind of like the pants, but I think I need to be about a foot taller to pull that off.


Vogue 8829 is my most extravagant pattern choice. It is one I am on the fence if I would wear or not. I love a good shirt dress, and I love the bow blouse trend, but in my job a bow around the neck can also be seen as a good grip/noose to grab me by. I really do love my kids, but it is better to be proactive than reactive. Maybe this could be a fun holiday dress...


Vogue 8827 is one of my favorites, but a complete fabric monster. For a knee length dress it takes 4.5 yards of 44" fabric and 5 3/8 yards 60" fabric. Ouch! It is way cute though, and if I find some nice cheap fabric that strikes my fancy I am all over it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Texas Totes

I have a sister in law that lives in The Netherlands. She loves it there in her little town of Schoorl, but she occasionally misses the crap out of Texas. Her birthday is coming up, so I made her a couple of my tote bags (tutorial here) to send her. You know how the reusable bags at the grocery are starting to catch on here in the states? Well, it is hardcore over there. If you don't have one with you then you buy one if you want to take your purchases home. Needless to say, you can't have enough bags there!

It is so dang cute!

Only thing better than one is two!

I used my weird cow skull fabric as my lining on both of these. It worked out perfectly. I had one yard each of both the lining and outer fabric and it made to great sized bags.

I used a plain red fabric from my scrap bin to make the handles. I started with eight inch wide strips and made the handles extra thick. I love the white top stitching on them!

Check out this fabric. It is part of last year's Quilt Across Texas line from Moda. I loved this one so much I bought a yard last year with my sister in law in mind. I have been sitting on it trying to scheme the best thing to make of it. I'm so glad I finally cut into it! Texas is kind of a proud state, and I think that pride is multiplied by the number of miles between Texas and The Netherlands for my sister in law. I hope she likes them!

Of course I did put them in the mail today, and that gives them five days to get there...oops. Better late than never!

Super naughty confession time: I was finishing these up when the Mister came in. He said they were cute and she would love them, blah, blah, blah. Then the temptation started to keep one for myself. What is it with me??? 

Me: I am tempted to keep one, but I have got to start sending people the gifts I make them....right?
Him: Yes.
Me: Mean!!!

So above is a picture of my assistant napping with the quilt we made that never got sent to the recipient and the bag that nearly became part of our collection. In the end I sent the bag, but that dog is still napping on the quilt. :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The watermelon shirt

I love Simplicity 2599. I've made it before and it is such a cute summer shirt that is nice and cool.

This is the only shot I have of me wearing the new version. We found some girls selling these watermelons on the side of the road. The one I am leaning on is 83 pounds! The wind is blowing and making the shirt less than flattering, but I thought it was a good demonstration of how cool the shirt can keep you.

The fabric is a really light cotton with a little bit of stretch in it from Joann's clearance. The label had stickers all over it, so I am going by what I could tell. I think I matched the plaid pretty well too!

On my three ruffles I had enough fabric to cut two of them on the bias and one with the grain. I alternated them, and I think the result is pretty cute. I also eyeballed the ruffles and made them smaller and more ruffled as they went lower. I also finished the neck with bias tape to help keep that top ruffle under control.

I also omitted the button on the back and just cut it on the center instead. I never use the button on the other and instead slip it over my head like a t-shirt. This shirt is an easy win and great for those hot summer days!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I may have overestimated my piping skills

I know, I have been missing for awhile. I have had this bodice lurking in my room for while.

Now, it looks OK (really washed out photo, but no one wants to see me in that). I was so happy with my last version of this dress. The piping made the collar a bit stiff, which made it want to go wonky. It was like it had a life of its own. It wanted to stick out or curl up. I wound up trying something new about three times before I settled on this. Perhaps one successful bag does not a successful piper make. I'm sticking with it though. I think now that I got the bodice down the rest will come together easier. I will add sleeves to this version of  McCall's 6503. I only plan to add piping around the midriff from here. I hope to knock it out this weekend and have some photos to share with you.

In other news I have not had much time for sewing. Yes, it is summer, and I have it off. I am taking classes to complete my real estate certification. It has been so much fun. I originally bought the classes as a Groupon, and with me selling my house recently and looking for a new one I thought what could it hurt. I have to plug Spencer School of Real Estate in Houston here. I was thinking I would just take these classes for my own knowledge. The staff and classes have been so awesome and uplifting, I may just get my license and try to sell some real estate in addition to my teaching. If you are ever thinking of getting your Texas realtor's license I can't say enough good about the school.