Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sewing Swap 2013 - I see a swimsuit in my future!

First off I just want to say that sewing swaps are awesome!  Receiving a surprise package of sewing goodies from someone else who sews is way more exciting than someone who has a list of stuff you like.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but a hint of mystery can be nice!)  I had a lot of fun taking part in the swap and can't decide which was was better - giving or receiving.  Who am i kidding, they were both equally great!  Major thanks to Kerry of Kestrel Makes for organizing a successful Spring Sewing Swap 2013!
I was teamed up with Ms. McCall from Brown Paper Patterns.  She first started sewing a few years ago and has fearlessly tackled projects like jeans, swimsuits, bras and even wetsuit repair.  It was a fun challenge shopping for someone you know only through her blog but I had some immediate ideas.  Having sewing in common helped a lot and I had to take one pattern of my idea list when I discovered in an older post that she already owned it.  I took that to mean I was on the right track.

 So I was very excited when this arrived on my doorstep. I managed to hold back my desire to rip it open just long enough to take a picture.  I didn’t even bother to check if it was in focus.
Eep!  I literally squealed when I saw the contents.


Pattern?  Check.  Fabric?  Check.  Lining?  Check.  Elastic?  Check.
Just in time for summer and the swimsuit mania sweeping the Internet I am now in possession of everything necessary to make my very own swimsuit.  I'm planning on making View A on the left with the scoop neck rather than the cutouts.  (I don't tan but imagine View B could lead to some interesting tan lines.)  And the fabric!  A lovely Hawaiian paisley print in white and my very favorite color: aqua.  Like if I had to pick a color to wear for the rest of my life it would be in the aqua/teal/turquoise family and I’d never tire of it.
This was perfect timing since a swimsuit has been on my list of things I want to sew this year.  Which is funny since I hardly ever have the need to wear one. As in once a year when I take part in the local polar bear dip on New Year’s Day in the lake I think is too cold in summer.  (I actually used to spend a lot of time in college at the beach or pool so swimsuits were a crucial part of my wardrobe but that’s Miami for you.)   So next year I plan to be one of the best dressed crazies out there.  I’m hoping for a warm summer so I can find a reason to wear it before then!
Thank you so much Ms. McCall!!!!!
In the meantime I ran out of paper to trace pattern pieces and ended up at Costco.  It’s one nearby that has a specialized restaurant section where you can buy pizza delivery bags, steam tray covers, industrial coffee makers and plastic fast food baskets to your heart’s content.  Unsurprisingly they also had massive rolls of butcher paper to cover tables with.  Naturally I decided to be practical and bring a 20lb roll home with me.

I’m scared of the day when it runs out because I know that someday it WILL run out and I will have to come to terms with the fact I went through 1,000 feet of paper.  Finishing off a roll of freezer paper always surprises me so I can only imagine what that day will be like.  Plus if I have people over to eat and the food isn’t ready yet I can pull out crayons for entertainment.
Here's some gifts wrapped using just a paper grocery bag, tape and a few staples.  I like how the bow made out of the handles turned out.
I’m still slogging away on my cross stitch project and have a few FOs to share but my computer and camera are feuding right now and this was all I was able to get.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Distractions From Sewing...

Usually sewing occupies a lot of my free time… but not lately.  I’ve been on a big cross stitch kick and it has definitely pushed sewing to the side.  It doesn’t help that I picked the largest project that I have ever attempted.  It's from the Cross Stitcher magazine Designer Stitches special issue.  Once I saw the flamingos I knew I had to make it up!

But I’ve really enjoyed watching it take shape.  Despite the long hours of stitching I’m starting to feel like I’m in the home stretch.

These are in progress photos taken about a week apart.  I really need to use the large frame and it gets awkward and in the way frequently – adding a fair amount of time as I rotate it around trying to find the most comfortable (i.e. easiest) position to stitch in.
I took a small break the other day to work on my Chantilly and just have the zipper, sideseams and hems to finish.  Ideally this will happen this week.  I also traced off a couple McCall’s patterns for some cute summery knit dresses, including refashioning a dress I made last year but never really wear.

Because I can’t spend all my time stitching I’ve also picked up working on the sleeves for my Central Park Hoodie.  The body is done and the sleeves are knitting up quickly.  Once done it will totally coordinate with my Chantilly.
On top of all this I’m planning on whipping up some PJs in time to join Karen’s Pajama Party.  Some pretty lofty goals for the rest of the month.  Hopefully I’ll have everything done soon so I can do some more FO posts soon!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Me-Made-May Week 5 Round Up

Hooray!  Me-Made-May is officially over.  Ironically today I reached for a me-made to wear today out of habit.  I’m glad I completed my goal and didn’t find myself struggling too much.  It was nice to focus on making sure my makes are part of my everyday wardrobe but I will admit to missing some of my favorite RTW pieces.

Day 25
  • Sewaholic Renfrew in white cotton interlock
  • I have a list of basics I want to make and this white t-shirt was on the list.  It may not be a make as exciting as a cocktail dress but will definitely get worn a lot more.  I seem to be a bit obsessed with both this pattern and this fabric but I don’t care.  It goes with everything and fits better than any of my other white t-shirts.
Day 26
  • Sewaholic Renfrew in turquoise stripe jersey
  • This is my all-time favorite Renfrew.  It’s my favorite neckline, color and as a bonus: stripes.  The jersey has more drape than my interlock versions which made it a bit more fiddly to make but not too bad.  I probably would’ve worn this more if I wasn’t taking photos every day!
Day 27
  • Sewaholic Renfrew in red cotton interlock
  • Sewaholic Crescent in blue seersucker
  • It’s Memorial Day and I was feeling patriotic hence the red, white and blue.  It wasn’t until the evening I remembered that this Friday’s theme was red and I planned on wearing it then.  Whoops!  Oh well, I won’t be seeing the same people both days and will just wear it again.  The weather was a little cool for a summer skirt but most of the day was spent inside.
Day 28
  • Sewaholic Renfrew mini dress in navy cotton interlock
  • I wanted a navy knit miniskirt and figured altering my favorite pattern was a good place to start.  I had wanted it to be slightly drop waisted so I just added a simple gathered skirt instead of the waistband.  This made it too low and just looked off.  So I unpicked the serged seam and chopped a few inches off the shirt and reattached the skirt.  I also redid the hem preserve some length – I wanted it to stay a mini dress, not a tunic that required pants!  This winter I forgot I had eggplant tights but I love them with the grey boots and will be repeating this look in the fall.  The purplish shade is fun without making me look like a little girl.
Day 29
  • Simplicity Project Runway 2473 OOP in navy cotton stretch sateen
  • This is a dress that I made a few years ago but always felt was a bit off.  I wish it fit my waist a bit better but don’t really feel like ripping out the serged seams and topstitching.  But my first time sewing a kick pleat turned out pretty good.  I thought of adding a belt but none really looked right at the time.  I’ve since picked up this one and think it works.
Day 30
  • Sewaholic Renfrew in turquoise cotton interlock
  • Simplicity Project Runway 3538 in yellow ikat printed twill
  • Yet another Renfrew… not much to say about this one except this time I used the scoop neck.  I figured not every version needed a v-neck.  This jacket is a highly modified version of Simplicity 3538.  It’s drafted with a yoke in front and back but I really didn’t want to break up the ikat print and knew there was no way I could perfectly match everything up.  Despite having made this a few years ago I have yet to add the buttons, perhaps this year.  After deciding I needed to add more yellow and blue/turquoise combos to my wardrobe I was excited to remember I had this jacket.
Day 31
  • Sewaholic Renfrew in red cotton interlock
  • Sewaholic Crescent in dark denim
  • This is probably my favorite skirt I’ve made and fits better than any other denim skirt I’ve owned.  I finished this up just the other day and learned the lesson that cold medicine and sewing don't always mix when I realized I was removing the wrong line of topstitching.  I'm debating whether or not to just finish ripping it out or going back and fixing it.  Didn't stop me from wearing it today however.  Also I decided my cold was really allergies and have much better (non-drowsy) medicine for it.
 PJ Bonus #2
  • Colette Sorbetto & Madeleine mini bloomers in lime seersucker
  • I made these bloomers out of left over fabric when I made my seersucker Cambie.  I like how they fit but replaced the leg ties with an elastic casing.  This works better for PJs as I don’t have to worry about the bows coming undone or the ribbon slipping out of the casing.  Then I went and bought more fabric to try out the Sorbetto.  There was about a year between the purchases and I definitely prefer the bloomers fabric.  It’s softer and doesn’t seem to get quite so crinkly.  Next time I make a Sorbetto I will take in the side seams some and also maybe take width out of the center front and back as well.  But this was always meant for PJs so I didn’t feel the need to go back and make the adjustments.
  • I also made KwikSew 3554 view B with the shorter length and ruffle.  No picture of this one since I’m not posting photos on the Internet of a slip I can’t wear a bra with for modesty!  But it’s made out of the same turquoise stripe jersey as my Renfrew with white lace trim.  Very comfy but the spaghetti straps totally grew a few extra inches the first time I wore it so I had to take them up.
 I haven’t quite finished looking over my entire month of outfits to determine what I wore the most (other than Renfrew of course) and any gaps I need to fill.  That’ll be a quick post later.