Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Lovely Surprise

What better way to start my day than to find I've been given the One Lovely Blog Award from Krista, at Thar She Sews. Not a bad way to start a Wednesday. Thanks Krista!

Now let me tell you how it works. I have to share 7 things about myself that you don't know.'s like going around a get-to-know-you-circle having to say something unique about yourself...and drawing a blank. Uhhhh...I like to sew?!! haha, I think it's safe to say you already know that about me.

Anywho, here's my feeble attempt at sharing a little about me with you, my circle of friends.

1. I've always secretly wanted to be a meteorologist. Without the math, of course. During graduate school I audited a meteorology class so I could learn more about weather. I'm crazy about clouds, rain, storms, tornadoes, storm chasing...I own many weather videos and books. I'm a weather nerd.

2. I studied Family and Human Development in college and graduate school. My intention was to be a counselor. However, after getting a job with an elementary school, I realized how much I loved working with elementary school children. I work for an after school program right now, but may look into getting a certification to be a reading specialist.

3. I love cupcakes. All kinds. Don't even get me started.

4. I wish I had a house full of children. Unfortunately, after several years of unsuccessful medical interventions, it hasn't worked out that way. But I'll tell you this. It sure makes me grateful I get to spend life with my sweet husband and fun times being an auntie.

5. I finally started texting a few months ago. haha I know, I'm a little behind the times. I'm not as cool as those with iphones, but my new phone does have a flip-out keyboard. And I'm not afraid to use it!

6. I love writing songs and music. I've been doing it all my life but have finally gotten the courage to put them out there. You can listen here if you're curious (the vocals aren't me, just the music).

7. I watch the Bachelorette. haha I know it's total cheese wiz, but I'm a sucker for that sort of stuff. Each time a new season starts I tell myself I'm not going to watch it but it's inevitable that I get sucked in. Every time.

Whew! Now you know more than you ever dreamed of knowing about me! But isn't oversharing what the internet is all about? haha. Anyway, moving on.

Now, my favorite part. I get to pass on the love to new bloggers I've found recently, that I'd like to know more about:
Drum roll please...

These lucky 10 can put a copy of the One Lovely Blog Award picture on their blog, with a list of 7 things we don't know about them and pass the love on! Can't wait to hear from them! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sheer Skirt Overlays: A tale of 3 skirts: part 3

Are you ready for part 3 of my tale of three skirts?

As you know from yesterday's post, I finished the white underskirt and black and white polka dot tulle ruffled overlay. Today, I am on to the 3rd skirt. A creamy lace overlay, utilizing the same white underskirt from yesterday.

This really might be one of the easiest skirts I've ever sewn.

I simply took my widest hip measurement, added a few inches, laid the lace folded over evenly (keeping the decorative edge on the bottom), and cut the dimensions I wanted for two panels.

Since the lace was folded over evenly, I just snipped at the fold to reveal two matching pieces for front and back.
At this point I should have sewn one of the sides of the skirt together before sewing over the elastic casing...but I was evidently too immersed in my project to I sewed the elastic casing on first, to each of the two panels.

Have you ever sewn lace on lace? I haven't. It's a little slippery as you can imagine. So what worked for me was to lay the elastic down under the casing and just keep it there while sewing right next to it as a guide (not directly on the elastic).
When I was finished, I simply slipped the elastic back out.
And it worked for me so well that I used it as a form of stability when sewing the two sides of my skirt together (right sides together) this:

And when I was finished with one side of the skirt, I switched it to the other. It worked like a charm. Kept the lace in place, just where I wanted it.

Here is the skirt turned right side out. It's now ready for the elastic.
I threaded the elastic through with my handy dandy extra large safety pin.
And when I had pulled the elastic all the way through, I brought the ends together (wrong sides together).
And after sewing it together, flattened it and used a zig zag stitch to secure.
I slipped it back in the lace and did a little zig zag stitch right over the top of the opening. You can barely even see it. And since I plan on not tucking anything in to this skirt, what you can see doesn't matter.

Flash back to yesterday's t-shirt-to-skirt reconstruction...
This interchangeable skirt will now go underneath this lacy skirt overlay.
one plus the other =

I love how it turned out!
Kind of has an antique feel.

I have two more skirts lined up for this summer but still need to come up with the right designs for the fabric...but for today, I have to make a visit to Remlinger Farms to check on my shop inventory and see if any of my pillows, baby bibs/burp cloth sets, or aprons have sold!

Ciao for now!

Linked to:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sheer Skirt Overlays: A tale of 3 skirts: parts 1 & 2

I have been wanting to do this skirt project since February(!) when I bought this polka dot tulle and creamy lace fabric.

I have seen so many cute skirts with sheer overlay that I wanted to make a couple for myself.

The first step was deciding how to make the under-skirt (the skirt underneath the sheer overlay). I decided to be really practical and make one basic white skirt that could go under both. Thrifty!

Part I - Enter: t-shirt-to-skirt-refashion

You won't believe me, but I'll tell you anyway. This XXL white turtleneck was only $4.00, plus 20% off at Kohls. I got it in February on the clearance rack. It screamed "I really need to be a skirt!" And I believed it.

Before I go any further, check out other tutorials for making t-shirt-to-skirt-refashions (I had a few hiccups along the way). These links are mainly for kids' skirts but you'll get the idea: Makeit-loveit - repurposing shirt into skirt; Sewlikemymom - the skirt skirt

Okay, back to my story. I dismantled the turtleneck by cutting the arms off for the waistband and cutting a larger piece from the body for the skirt. Sounds kind of gruesome but it was harmless, I promise.

Since the knit waistband stretches soooo much I cut it much smaller for a snug fit.
Here is the t-shirt waistband before being sewn on to the skirt body.
I cut just under the arm for the skirt.

Pin the waist to the waistband in 4 places (center, back center, sides) and stretch the waistband as you sew and it connects it nice and flat.

(please excuse the wrinkles)

Part II - Enter: polka dot tulle

I cut a piece of tulle that fit around my waist and hips plus about 4 inches and first, created a casing where the elastic would go.

I used a very small needle with the tulle and jersey knit - I think it was a 9.

I cut 5" strips for the ruffles
and ruffled the top edge with my machine on its widest length and tightest tension. I sewed three rows on the bottom of the skirt, leaving the raw edge showing because I liked the look.
I threaded the elastic through the casing

and sealed it in place.
I sewed a double stitch (double needle) down the seam so it would lay flat.

Enter: t-shirt skirt + polka dot tulle

I think the two were definitely made to go together. I love how it turned out.

Whew! Stay tuned for skirt #3!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shabby Roses Pillow

This just may be one of my very favorite pillow designs.
Shabby gathered roses made from soft and cozy white jersey knit.
And yes, it's as soft as it looks.

I'm crazy about texture and I love the feel of this pillow.

And I have to tell you, the additional gathered lines came kind of by accident. Don't you love those fortunate accidents?

I had sewn all the roses on but wasn't crazy about the spacing of everything when I laid it across the front of the pillow. I was scared of ruining it after all my delicate handy work, but decided to go for it and sew straight gathering stitches right down the front.

Whew! I was pleasantly surprised at the additional delicate detail it created.

We're still waiting for summer here in Seattle...this is the view from my deck. And in case you can't tell, there is rain coming down from that gray sky.

Even more reason to decorate my home with summer flowers. Maybe mother nature will take a hint!

Linking to:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vintage Fabric: from estate sales to familiar closets

I am crazy about estate sales lately. For the past few Saturdays I've dragged my poor husband around with me until he was ready to pass out. And I haven't told him yet...but with summer within reach, this is only the beginning.

There's just something about looking through the details of 50+ years of someone else's life. Everything they used. Everything they collected. Everything they wore. Some things are still in packages, waiting to be used...I feel a sense of respect and am also reminded what we really take with us when we die.

I found this great scarf the other day. I couldn't pass up the fabric. I may wear it as a scarf or incorporate it into a shirt refashion.

It's my hope to stumble upon some lovely vintage fabric that I can actually make something from or vintage clothing cool enough to refashion. So far I've only found scraps of material, but there are many estate sales to go.

I did find this oval mirror that I will update this summer with a little can of spray paint like I did with our last mirror find. And at half off, it was only $2.50.

This is the one we found at a thrift store a couple years ago and loved how the update turned out.
Anywho, back to fabric.

Anyone know what constitutes "vintage fabric"? I wasn't sure, so I looked it up. And although opinions vary, here's what I learned from good old wikipedia:
Vintage clothing: new or second hand garments originating from a previous era
Retro (retrospective) or vintage style: clothing imitating style of a previous era
Antique clothing: clothing produced before the 1920s
Vintage clothing: clothing from the 1920s to 1980s
Modern or contemporary fashion: clothing produced more recently

OK, so speaking about vintage fabric, instead of waiting to find estate sales, have you ever checked your mom's or grandma's closets?

I had a fun day with my mom the other day. And I looked in her closet. With her permission of course.

She was cleaning out old fabric and gave some to me.
There's something about fabric. It seems to spark memories the same way music does.

We talked about Easter outfits she spent hours sewing; flannel p.j.s from 1975 she intended to sew but never did - pieces cut, patterns still pinned on; laughed about pants my sister tried to sew, only to find one leg was smaller than the other; reminisced about Halloween costumes and flower girl dresses. Clothes that were made and those that were not.

Fun memories all intertwined with pieces of colored woven thread.

And now they are mine. Whatever I make with them has to be special.

It makes me wish I had peeked in my grandma's cupboards to see if she had any fabric tucked away that had a story to tell. I'm guessing she did.


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