November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Joann Fabrics was good to me this year! I picked up some fabrics I'm pretty excited about and I can't wait to show you. I bought some fancy fabric for the girls' Christmas dresses and some fun fabric to make backpacks for Abs and Skipper. I also got some fabric for stockings since we'll need to replace them this year anyway if we want them to match and they should be really simple to make. Becky's supposed to teach me how to applique so maybe I'll put our names on them. And lastly I found some fabric for a couple of things for me--but I think I'll wait to tell you about those until they're in clothing form.

I had an idea I want to run by you. I was thinking about hosting a sewing class, of sorts. My idea was to wait until another $0.99 pattern sale then pick up several of the same pattern but in a range of sizes. I think I'll make one for myself first so I'm familiar with the pattern and to make sure it's cute and easy. If it turns out well I was thinking I'd invite some people who have expressed an interest in sewing clothes and just tell them how much fabric to buy then we'd all work on the same pattern at the same time at my house. Here's the pattern I was looking at:

Womens Top and Tie Belt Sewing Pattern 2594 Simplicity

What do you think? Would you be interested in coming? I thought I'd ask my mom to help since she used to sew all her own clothes and an extra set of eyes and hands would be nice. I don't think I could do it until January or February but most people are tied up in projects, parties, etc until then anyway. Let me know what you think of the idea and the pattern choice.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2011

Ruffle Skirt

Finished! It's sexy, it's wintery, it's... not going to fit for a while. Still though, I think it turned out very well and I'm so excited to wear it (eventually). So here's what I did:
I made the pink one of this McCall's pattern:
but I used a much more casual fabric and I think I like it better. I wanted a skirt I could wear to church or on a date without feeling too overdressed if we went somewhere simple. Ruffles are so popular right now--I hope they still are when it finally fits!

Here it is laid out--I'll post a picture of me in it once it fits well:

It's pretty fitted but still has a flowy look and I think it will work well with leggings and boots on cool days. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Bonus, the skirt has pockets!

I was going to do an elastic waist to help accommodate my post-baby belly but the whole thing was just a bit tighter than I want so I followed the pattern instead because when the waist fits the rest of it should fit better as well. Part of me wanted to do the elastic waist because I was nervous about doing an "invisible" zipper but I think I did ok and I got to try my hand at a hook and eye closure as well. The zipper is really ugly but I already had it and didn't want to buy one. If it's as "invisible" as it's supposed to be it won't show anyway.

So there it is! It was an "easy" pattern and while it was encouraging it also showed me that I have a lot to learn and practice so I think I'll stick with the "easy" ones for now.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part: I got the pattern and the fabric on sale so the whole thing cost me somewhere around $4... makes the skirt cuter, doesn't it?

November 07, 2011

Saving a Pattern

There is a fine line between frugal and cheap. The latter conjures images of Scrooge, Mr. Burns and the lady at the grocery store who walks around with a calculator and berates the cashier when charged a few pennies more than she had anticipated. I tend to try to stay in the frugal category and I hope this doesn't set me over the line.

I know/hope that I'll only get to wear this skirt (assuming it turns out well) for a few months before I shrink out of it but I want to make it anyway. I like the pattern for the skirt and assuming it turns out well I'm sure I'll want to make it again. Right now I'm in the largest size--and even that's pushing it--which is no big deal but I know I'll be smaller soon so I don't want to cut out the largest size and cut over the smaller sizes. Here's where I hope I'm not being cheap: even though I only paid, like $1.99 max for this pattern at Joanns I don't want to buy it again but I also don't want to use pattern paper if I can help it because that gets expensive (not to mention time-consuming) if I retrace every size of every pattern. So this time I tried cutting out the outside line even where the outside line was a different size then folding the paper until just the size I needed was on the outside.

What do you think? Genius or cheap?

I also learned how to use transfer paper. Usually I would simply lift the pattern and try to line up the marks (I also discovered that I've been doing this on the wrong side--that is to say the right side). But I couldn't find a washable crayola marker that would show up on this fabric (man, maybe I am cheap) so I decided to try transfer paper. Aside from being much more messy than I expected, once I figured out what I was doing it was really simple, accurate and very fast. Bonus, it looks like the paper can be used multiple times! Anyway I'm sold on it--especially for patterns with a lot of marks and darts like this one has.

So that's my progress so far. I'm hoping that the sewing will move quickly. Happy sewing, my friend!