Thursday, November 15, 2012

Around My House

When I was cleaning the kids bathroom the other day it dawned on me that I had another project to post... the shower curtain. Last spring, I came across lots of pictures of the waterfall ruffled shower curtains and knew that I could make was time consuming but so worth it! 

 For mine, I used a white flat sheet for the backing and some textured white fabric that I thrifted (of course) for the ruffles. Using my rotary cutter, I cut my strips in the desired length and width. I calculated the width of each strip by measuring the length of the finished curtain and then finding a width that wouldn't leave me with a half strip at the top or bottom. Say if my total length was 100 inches, I might choose to cut 20 five inch strips... to make it even. I hope that makes sense... 

For the length of each strip, I just cut it to be double the desired width of the finished shower curtain to account for the gathering. I used my serger to finish all sides of the strips (this was much easier then hemming them).Then I gathered each strip and pinned it to the backing and stitched it on. Like I said before, time consuming!!! But I love the results. The fabric is a polyester, like a tablecloth, but it washes well, which it needed when it is white.

The paint color I used is one of my favorites, Benjamin Moore Whythe Blue. I loved it so much, I used it in my sewing room too!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Got My Knit On

This week I have been in a sewing slump but instead of giving up on delivering a project...I got my knit on! For me, sewing a garment can take a lot of thinking and this week I didn't have it in me. I had some leftover yarn from a blanket I had crocheted and thought it would be fun and easy to knit a chunky infinity scarf.

This scarf was sooooo easy. I used Red Heart chunky yarn in  #4 weight and size 5mm bamboo needles.

Here is the pattern:

Cast on 32 sts ( or any even number of sts to get desired width. 
Row 1       Knit to last st, P1 
Row 2       Sl 1 knitwise, *yo, K2 together, repeat*to last st, P1  
Repeat Row 2 until scarf measures desired length ( my length was 60 inches) 
Bind off all the sts knitwise. 
Then sew ends together using a yarn needle. I put one twist in mine before I sewed the ends together.

And you're done!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Plaid

This is last weeks project but it was difficult to find a photographer so I waited for my patient husband to come home to take these for me. He is so patient and will always take as many pictures as I need. Thanks buddy!

I made this kimono style cardi from Simplicity 1884, view C. I liked the pattern, it was super easy, but the fabric was tricky to work with. It was unravelling like crazy! Again, I used my rolled hem foot to finish the hems. One great property of this fabric was that it is completely reversible, making it perfect for a this cardi where the inside is often visible when worn.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Coats, Copy Cats and Cattle Conversations

          I am so glad that I live in a part of the world where we have definitive seasons. I always enjoy the start of a new season. Fall is especially great for me because I'm a coat girl. I have a lot of coats. And no, I will not count them! I would most likely be embarrassed and I am capable of embarrassing myself quite well without seeking a new opportunity to.

Now, let me defend my crazy coat collection...First off, I almost never buy one new, my best stuff is thrifted. $10 for a beautiful grey Nanette Lepore coat...who could pass that up? Not me. And if you could, then pass that coat over here lady! Secondly, I am also a dress girl. I love to wear a dress but in the winter it's cold, so a long coat is like wearing a beautiful dress...without the ITCHY tights! Some days those tights just aren't happening. Coats also make it easy to look good running errands. In these pictures, I'm actually wearing my Christmas jammies but you can't see them under my beautiful coat! Ok, not true, but I could wear whatever crazy getup I want under a coat and still look great. Just remember not to go anywhere you may have to take that coat off!! 

 I made this coat about three years ago from a Vogue pattern. When I dug out the pattern to photograph, I noticed that I had copied the fabric choice used on the front of the pattern. Hmmm. That's not something I usually do, but I must have really liked it. I remember this coat being a big deal for me to make. A lined coat in a plaid that had to be matched...yup it was a big deal. 

I still wear this coat even though it doesn't fit as well as it used to. After seeing these pictures, I think that a different belt would look nice. Something more like the one on the pattern cover...Yes, I am definitely a copy cat on this one. 

I had to include this picture. Here is how everyone reacts when they find out we have cows...

Everyone:     YOU!? Have cows?!
Me:              Yes. We have cows. Steers actually.
Everyone:     Do you milk them?
Me:              No, but you can try.
Everyone:    Really?
Me:             No.
Everyone:    Where do you keep them in the winter?
Me:             In the freezer.
Everyone:    Huh?
Me:             We eat them.
Everyone:    Oh, right. 

Seriously, I have had this very conversation many, many times over the last four years. It is always funny to me. Real farmers (we are not real farmers) must think people are very stupid. I know we were, before we started this hobby farm thing. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spring Twenty Thirteen

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love a good fabric store. My little ol' heart just gets all fluttery as I step through those doors into a world of pretty prints and textures that have endless creative possibilities. Lately I haven't been getting that feeling at all, the fabric stores in my city are few and far between and the selection isn't what I would like to see. The quality I am looking for is not always there and even if it is, I may not particularly like the color/print OR I'm not willing to pay the price for it.

So lately I have been scouring my favorite thrift shop for fabrics. I search the bins for pretty silks, stretch cottons and larger garments that will give me enough fabric to make something new. I'm not sure if these projects should be called refashioned or recycled...I'm leaning toward recycled on this one because I completely dismantled this original garment to use the pretty print to make my very first draped skirt.
No Pattern!! (Look Mom no hands!)

This is a beautiful stretch cotton fabric in a navy blue and cream print. I fell in love with the fabric but as you can see the skirt did not fit at all and I wasn't a fan of the super wide waistband that I think was supposed the be slung low on the hips. So I pulled out my seam ripper and took it completely apart. I even salvaged the zipper and reused it! What can I say? It was the perfect color and was still good. I'm not cheap ...I'm smart...right Dad?

So began the draping. I'm sorry that I didn't take pictures along the way, when I start working on something I forget everything else. It was fun to drape right on my dress form. Here is the finished product..

This skirt is a new favorite for me and I am thrilled that I draped it myself. I think it will be particularly nice to wear to church in the spring. Hey! This might be my one and only piece from my Spring 2013 collection! Ha! (Think I found my post title)

shirt and shoes-Joe Fresh  necklace-a mystery

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peplum Magic

Husband was so sweet to take me on an impromptu drive to scenic Mahone Bay this morning where he took these pictures for me. I love a drive in the fall and the leaves delivered a beautiful show.

I made this cute peplum top from yet another NewLook pattern. I did make a few changes, I used the bodice of view C, the peplum of view A and my own sleeves. The sleeves included in this pattern are pleated on the shoulder and for someone who has a decent set of shoulders for a girl, I am careful not to make them appear any wider than they are. So I made another sleeve with just a hint of a gather at the shoulder. A peplum is great for balancing out sturdy shoulders and creating an instant hourglass figure. 

I bought this mosaic patterned fabric for a steal (of course) and it was pretty easy to work with. I like that although it is a softer fabric it wasn't sheer. Making it modest without having to layer a cami underneath. 
While today I paired this top with my cropped jeans and blazer for a more laid back look, I can't wait to remix it with a pencil skirt or black trousers and a belt to dress it up as well.

A leisurely fall drive wouldn't be complete without a little off-roading in the Jeep. Thanks Handsome for NOT getting us stuck. Hiking out in those heels would have been a whole lot of CRAZY!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Polka Dot Heaven

I love browsing Pinterest for inspiration... it is so much fun but can be addicting so approach with care! During one of my late night Pinterest cruises, I found this... 

tri11 IIIBeCa

My first thought was...I love! My second thought was... I can make this! While this isn't a sewing project...I haven't done anything crafty in a while and really enjoyed this project. 

Supplies needed:
Tulip Soft Fabric paint
Polka dot stencil
Round sponge brush
Cardboard to slide inside sweater
A sweater

I placed cardboard inside the sweater to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back and then I painted the dots on with the stencil. Easy as that! I bought a small bottle of paint and didn't have enough paint for two coats but I really liked how it looked a bit faded with the sweater fabric showing through. This paint was supposed to have a velveteen finish when it was steamed but I didn't find it worked. The paint is a little stiff and I'm hoping it will soften in the wash. Even if it doesn't, I am thrilled with the resulting look.



Thanks to Handsome for taking these pictures and making me feel so comfortable.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Snow White

 My daughter Emily suggested that we take these pics in the woods because she thought that this outfit looked like a modern Snow White. So sweet of her. In any case, the pictures she took turned out great and it was FUN! Thanks Emmy!

This skirt is another project of the past...and another NewLook pattern. There must have been a sale on NewLook. I found this fabric at a thrift store for a couple of bucks and because it is a little on the stiff side, felt it lent itself well to this peplum pencil skirt. As I was making it, I couldn't help but think that my mom rocked the peplum style back in the 80's. Here's proof:

My mom is the pretty lady on the far left. And yep, I know...I look just like her. Yesss!(insert fist pump here)
So I guess making shiny peplum skirts runs in the family. She wore hers to stand in her sisters wedding and I well... I danced around in the woods in mine... waiting for song birds to land on my shoulder. To each her own...

Enough of the pretty posed pics and on to some fun shots of me showing off my epic balance beam skills!

Well...not quite epic.

And dismount!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Date Night Dress

I had this pretty fabric in my stash and thought it would be perfect for fall. It also paired nicely with these cute booties that I was dying to wear. I bought them on sale last February but lost the courage to wear them when I got them home. I'm pleased to say that I did wear them out on date night with Handsome! It's all about putting on what you like then heading out the door with confidence and not looking back.

I made this dress from NewLook 6936. This pattern is designed for knitted fabrics but I thought I would take my chances with this woven. It was a chance I'm glad I took! I made it one size up from my normal size and trimmed the neckline by half an inch to get my big head through. Luckily, it worked out perfectly.

The elastic waist was pretty simple even considering the silkiness of the fabric. This kind of fabric can also be tricky to hem nicely but with the rolled hem foot, it was a breeze. Change your life kind of stuff, for real. I practiced on some scrap fabric before I started on my dress which was needed because it took a little time to get the hang of it. I learned to just take it slow and have the edge of the fabric lined up with the grove on the left side of the foot. My only other suggestion would be to start and stop the hem in an inconspicuous spot. Just in case.

This rolled hem foot is my new best friend. 

All in all, this was an easy project but I love it and know I will get lots of wear out of it. Another added bonus...husband loved it too! Thanks Handsome, for making me believe that after 20 years I still got it going on.