Thursday, August 7, 2014

A new home for a much loved machine

inherited this lovely Bernina 717 from my husband's grandmother who recently passed.  She sewed all of her three children's clothes with this machine and who knows how many quilts (of which we own 6).  She (the machine - thinking of calling her Betty) was originally meant to be mounted in a table but I didn't have the room for it in my house so I just brought her home hoping that I could either find something online or make a makeshift base of some kind.  My in-laws were in town for several weeks and my father-in-law took it upon himself to make me a beautiful base.  It's like the two were made for each other.  The paint is a perfect match and although it is made out of wood, you would never know!

This picture was taken before I placed her in her permanent home on my sewing table.  I have the manual and about six or so feet plus a couple of odds and ends I'll have to figure out.  She sews like a brute and I will most likely use her for medium to heavy weight fabrics or when I need a specialty foot that I don't have for my other Bernina 1050.  So happy!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Me Made May 2014 Recap


I participated in my first Me Made May this year and documented my outfits on Instagram.  I made a fatal mistake by wearing all of my makes in the first 15 days of May leaving nothing but repeats. This led to an eventual lack of posting at all.  But I am pleasantly surprised that I even have 15 me-mades! The hardest thing was photographing my outfits - selfies can get tiresome and my husband isn't the greatest photographer. Here is a breakdown of what I wore (in no particular order).
A couple of revelations:
  • All of my dress/shirts are sleeveless.  Not one has sleeves!
  • I need to make more shorts - they are fun and easy.
  • I need to attempt pants.
  • I need to sew more with knits.
  • I have a lot of unblogged makes! 
Burda blouse in Thai Silk (old pic)
 Cynthia Rowley dress in navy knit
Cake Tiramisu in rayon knit from San Diego Swap Meet (unblogged)

Skirt in Suriname cotton border print (unblogged)

Maiden voyage dress in linen

Colette Iris shorts in cotton print (unblogged)

Colette Sorbeto in linen (unblogged)

Dress in 80s print
Burda top in IKEA cotton print (unblogged)

Peplum dress in black embossed print from Yellow Bird Fabrics (unblogged)

Colette Iris shorts (again)
Cynthia Rowley blouse in gingham

Self drafted wrap skirt in linen

Monday, May 5, 2014

Me Made May 2014

I'm participating in Me Made May 2014.  Head on over to Instagram to see my daily outfits.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The "Gape Factor" Dress

Fabric:  Rayon knit from San Diego Swap Meet
Notions: Serger thread
Pattern: Cake Tiramisu
Year: 2014
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn:  Yes, to work!
Wear again?  Yes
Total Cost: $5ish
My family and I went to San Diego over Thanksgiving and while we were there we went to a swap meet.  I purchased several yards of different knit fabric there and made my jolly way home thinking that I got a screaming deal.  I got home soon to discover not so much.  The knits I bought are all pretty cheap-o.  I think rayon something or other with a lot of drape and stretch.  Some are pretty see-through too.  But now that I have them I have to use them or they will sit forever on my shelves mocking me for what a sucker and really, in the end, a sewing and fabric novice I am.  So I pulled out my patterns to see what I could make. 

Before we left, the local fabric shop in town, Yellow Bird Fabrics (now A Fashionable Stitch), had a fabric and notions swap where I scored the Cake Tiramisu pattern.  So I set out to lurk the many sewists I lurk when in actuality I knew exactly which one to go straight to - Lauren of lladybird.  I read her posts and tried to implement many of her suggestions, including shortening the bodice band to tighten the mock wrap for a less of a gape (yes I even did a crazy gape factor dance!).

I have to say that all in all sewing up the pattern was pretty straight forward.  I used the custom fit with the midriff but still managed to get it wrong so I ended up winging it.  It looks pretty decent and thanks to Lauren, the gape factor is non existent.  My only problem, and I've had this problem before, is that you can see my serger thread front the right side - as in the seam pulls apart a bit.  I'm thinking that this is because my serger tension isn't right?  I'm one of those lazy sewers that never touches the tension and just sews merrily along.  I guess that is going to have to change because I can't have this happening every time I sew with knits!  I tried pressing it out but it's only getting worse the more the dress hangs.

And what sewing post is complete without a random gif that popped up when I tried uploading photos of my dress.  This is my daughter Roya when she was four-ish months old talking to her mobile.  So precious.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The "Best Intentions' Blouse

The Facts

Fabric:  100% Thai silk
Notions: Pink thread
Pantone Challenge colors:  Acai, Mykonos Blue, and Turbulence
Pattern: Burda 08/2012 #112A
Year: 2012
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn:  To work
Wear again?  Maybe
Total Cost: Free!

Well best intentions are pretty close but in the end don't really cut it, huh?  I was planning on using notions and patterns from my swap partner for the Sew Weekly Reunion but alas I was laid off at work and all hell broke loose.  You'd think with no job and the kids in school that I would have all of the time in the world but the last two weeks have gone by too fast!

So before I received my swap goodies, I made this blouse from fabric that my mother in law brought back for me from Thailand.  It has a beautiful print of elephants and pottery and who knows what else.  Plus I could get credit for the use of Pantone colors Acai, Mykonos Blue, and Turbulence - if you can use your imagination!

This blouse was marked as "easy" as it should have been but not enough fabric lends to some issues.  Notable, the ties are a bit short.  I also washed the the washing machine...and therefore it is a little stiff.  I pressed the hell outta that fabric!  Hopefully some wear will soften it a bit.

Even though I'm late, didn't use my swap notions or pattern, and fudged the colors a bit -  I hope I'm not kicked out of the club!  There is always next time!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vogue 1679 - TSW Reunion Inspiration

Ms. Veronica sent me the vintage pattern Vogue 1679 for TSW Reunion Pattern and Notions swap.  I am striving to make View E (i.e., the multi-colored, short sleeved, knee length dress without cowl on pattern front) for the challenge.  I've opened the pattern, ironed the pieces, and started looking around the interweb for inspiration.

Guess who loves this pattern? Kazz! She's blogged about it here, here, here, and here. This girl really loves her some Vogue 1679! And what is best is that for each one she has used different types of fabrics, made different views - all making each and every one unique. Inspiration overload - just what I needed! Thanks Kazz!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sew Weekly Pattern and Notions Swap - Receiving

As you know I signed up for the above mentioned swap.  The swap was round-robin style:  the person who I had wasn't the person who had me.  About a week after the packages were supposed to be sent I wrote a calm and collected (read: worried) email to the swap organizer, Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes, who graciously replied with the following:
"Your swap package has quite a distance to travel, so I suspect it'll take a couple of weeks to arrive with you! The person who it's coming from it very reliable though, so never fear - I'm sure it'll get to you safe and sound. :-)"
(read:  calm down girlie, you'll get your package - what, is this your first swap or something?)

So of course, I immediately start thinking of the places it could be coming from and the only person that popped into my head was Adey from The Sew Convert who lives in Singapore.  Adey was one of the five talented women who sewed a garment a week for The Sew Weekly in 2011.  ANWAY.  I was beside myself fantasizing about what I was going to be getting, who it was going to be coming from, what I would make, would it be good enough, would I have time, and on and on and on.

Nothing.  Nothing came and I really started to worry.  Was my swap partner lame?  Did they forget about me?  You know, all of the really dumb things you start to think when you are new to something and don't know what to expect.  How naive of me!  How utterly STUPID of me.

So I kind of forgot about the whole thing until one night my husband casually told me that I received a package from Australia.  AUSTRALIA!  Um.  Australia?  Australia, as in, where VERONICA DARLING is from?  As in, Toni calm down, you might be touching something that Veronica Darling touched?  (OK, really - I'm not this crazy or stalker-y).  So I picked up the package and saw this:

Then I turned it over and saw this:


Then. I. Opened. It.

I am one spoiled gal, fo sho!  Veronica (yes VERONICA!) sent along homemade bias tape, self cover buttons, an emerald zip, a Vogue pattern for me, AND a very thoughtful pattern for my daughter, Roya.  Look how happy she is to be included:
Roya is holding a beautiful card from a local artist that Veronica wrote a cute little note inside.  Thank you so much to Veronica for the lovely goodies.  It was well worth the wait and I am so excited to started sewing!  And now I am so addicted to swaps.  How could you not be when your first was so awesome?  I know each and every one will be as exciting as this one was.  How could it not?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sew Weekly Pattern and Notions Swap - Giving

Yeah!  Tanya recevied my package!  I'm so glad she 1) received it safe and sound and 2) that she didn't have the patterns I sent!  I can't wait to see what beautiful pieces she makes from them.  Now for me to patiently await my goodies!  Waiting. Is. So. Hard.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The "Copycat" Dress

Fabric 2.5 yards of navy blue knit from Joann's
Pattern: Simplicity 2443, View A, Size 14
Notions: 7" invisible zipper, thread
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: To work - July 22, 2013
Total price: $1.99 for the pattern, maybe $4/yard (?) for the fabric: <$10
Wear again? Yes, after some minor alterations
As I have said before, I tend to copy the pattern exactly on the cover with respect to fabric.  I'm not very savvy when it comes to fabric and I have a ton of quilting cotton in my stash (when I was starting to sew I was doing a lot of crafty sewing and making children's clothes).  So when I bought this pattern at Joann's I immediately purchased the same navy blue knit to go along with it.  Unfortunately, Joann's is the closest and cheapest place for me to buy fabric.  Its not the greatest for quality and options in apparel fabric.  I wish I had a Michael Lavine's or a Mood right around the corner but I don't (Have you seen these places?  Where does one start?!).  Plus I'm a tightwad when it comes to buying fabric and those 50% coupons really come in handy.  We do have a local fabric shop in Salt Lake City called Yellow Bird Fabrics, but fabric from there comes with a hefty price tag that I can't splurge for right now.

I'm going to have to work on the photographer!  Or is it the model?
I completed all but the hem on this dress March and just now finished the hem.  It was staring at me hanging in the laundry room just begging me to be worn.  So I whipped up the hem the other night and voila, here she be.
I love this dress.  Except.  There is some strange bunching up on the side of my bust that drives me insane.  I think that I need to clip the seam allowance a bit more and hopefully the seam will lie flat.  A colleague at work said this is happening because I'm not full on the sides - duh.  I'm not full anywhere!  I'm pretty pleased with the results.  One thing I learned is to let the dress hang for a couple of days before hemming.  It helps a lot with the drape in terms of hemming!  Who would've thunk?
Closeup of buldge on upper corner of bust.