Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Love This Dress

I got this pattern in a set of vintage patterns from ebay last year some time. I was very intimidated by all of the details and have had it sitting aside for a while now plus Emily still doesn't have a 20in chest which is the chest measurement for a size 1 in Simplicity patterns. Thankfully sewingmama's is having a vintage pattern competition this month and that was just the push I needed to give it a go. I also decided to be brave and use some good fabric that I loved for it. I'm so glad I did they work so well together. It was harder then many things I've made but I took my time (something I should do more often with all sewing) and really enjoyed the process.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A first attempt at something new.

One day I will learn to intersperce text but in the mean time oh well. A few months ago I bought some heirloom sewing books from the mid 80s on sewing mamas. They came with directions to modify exicting patterns into really beautiful garments as well as directions for making slopers to your child's measurements and then drafting a pattern from there. If the first thing you said is what are slopers then you know how I felt but I read the directions and followed threw the process as best I could. As you can see from the pictures fitting a muslin to a toddler is not an easy task. I did use safety pins not straight pins though so that helped a lot. She is also taller then she is wide so I had to adjust the width quite a bit. I felt like the final dress was still a bit wide but that was more bc of how much width the had you add around your sloper in the directions. I will be doing the width based much more closely on her chest measurement in the future. These were also my first pin tucks and the first time I did hand embroidery on a dress so all in all I'm pleased. A little sad too though bc this was called "the baby dress" and while its beautiful I have to confess its a touch babyish on her as she really isn't a baby anymore. I just had to sneak one of these in before she was way too old for it. I will be trying to do several more things from this book for her fall/winter wardrobe as they had some great information about using velveteen and corduroy. I also think its great to have more specific instructions for heirloom techniques and pattern modification.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maybe a big of planning

The sewing site I visit recently had a competition called SWAP which stands for Sewing With A Purpose. The idea was to create a 12 item wardrobe in a little over a month. I did not participate but looking at the entries was quite inspiring and I think I am going to try to incorporate a bit of that into my sewing this fall for Elijah and all of my sewing for myself. The goal for Emily this fall is to use mostly fabric I have. I will buy only things that I need to coordinate with what I already have. Here are the basic rules the followed.

12 garments that coordinate
2 pairs of pants (or skirts if you don't wear pants)
2 additional bottoms (capris, pants, skirts, shorts etc)
4 simple tee shirt type tops
2 non tee shirt type tops
1 dress (or be creative if you don't wear dresses. If you create something that's an alternative that's okay, but it has to be comparable and it's up to you to decide what that is)
1 simple cardigan, coat, sweater or pull over

Don't know for sure if I will do this exactly but Elijah will need a bunch of stuff this fall so I think at least the general idea is great. Perhaps it will help me avoid the problem of this year where all his pants went with brown and all his tops were mostly black. That's what happens when I just buy/make whatever catches my fancy. We'll see what happens but hopefully this fall will be more coordinated. Plus if I do that a bit for Emily the hand me downs will work better for Jessica and Evelyn. If they do the game again next spring I may get up the gumption to do it who knows. I can't imagine focusing on sewing only for myself for an entire month but I bet it would be fun. They also had to pick fabric and pattern ahead of time so it wasn't haphazard there are several that I would love to just copy directly.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Swim Meet

Elijah had his first swim meet this past Saturday. It was long, hot, and emily and I had to leave early but all in all we had a great time. He did well in all his races. Was in the final (fast) heat in all three and finished well. We think 3rd or 4th in backstroke and freestyle and it looked like he won breast stroke. He also swam in the freestyle relay with some of his buddies. We are vary thankful that one of his preschool friends Jackson is also on the team and was in 3 of Elijah's heats with him. They had a great time together playing and telling jokes to the point that Jackson's mom said before their first race even though one of the other kids totally flipped out and quit the team right there on the spot she didn't think they were entirely aware that they were getting ready to race. So anyways we are quite proud of him for doing his best and see many more swim meets in our future. Though I'm not super excited about the 2 while Neil is at Linux Symposium.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sewing Machine MeMe

Its sewing machine month on Sew Mama Sew and its time for me to fill out the machine survey.

What brand and model do you have? Kenmore not sure the model but its a basic one

How long have you had it? 7 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? Not sure since it was a gift.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Mostly clothing

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? Almost daily for the past year or so.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? Does Crappy Kenmore count as a name. We have a love hate relationship. Sometimes she drives me crazy but I love that she keeps working for me just the same.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? She's too basic to have any truly great features.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? I still can't figure out the danged buttonhole foot.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! My parents got her for me when dh and I bought our first house so I could make curtains.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I would for someone who wanted to try learning to sew without making a huge investment. I think the cost of a high end machine can be pretty scary especially if you don't know if sewing is something you will stick with.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Looking forward to finding out.

Do you have a dream machine? I shop at Elegant Stitches a lot and they are a Branina dealership so I ohh and ahh at them a lot but I really don't know yet.