Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

The hubs and I will be celebrating in our usual laid back style this year, hitting up our local pub. We toyed with the idea of doing something more spectacular since its 2010, but all ideas were vetoed due to the expense or the impossibility of finding parking/cabs in this town.

Unless bad weather or lethargy intervene, I'll be rocking the bunny suit as usual.

I hope that you all have a very safe and sane New Year's Eve and that the New Year brings you lots of joy.

I've got a ton of finished projects completed and photographed. They just need to be written up and posted. We'll go back to our regularly scheduled programming (sewing!) next week.

- - -

So that this isn't a totally picture-less post, here are some snaps of me and the Hubs all dressed up to go to our friend Fred's birthday party. (Not tonight. This was a week or so ago.) The theme of the evening was Kilts. Husband doesn't have a kilt, but he does have a sarong. Here he is looking like an ambassador from some made-up country.

Except for the socks (outlet mall) and the sarong (ebay) his entire outfit is thrifted.

Everything I'm wearing is thrifted except for the nylons (Target), the charm bracelet (ebay), and the eyeglasses, which are vintage 50s from Allyn Scura eyewear.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Friends Are Awesome, Happy Holidays!

I have super duper extra wonderful friends. When my friends Angela and Katie were visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday, Angela noticed my aluminum canister set sitting on the kitchen counter.

She said that she had the matching bread box and had been trying to sell it on Craigslist, but there hadn't been much interest. She said it was kind of beat up, but she wondered if I would want it. (Um...HELLS YES!) I told her that I'd love to have it and it magically arrived in the mail a few days after she returned home.

It's completely gorgeous (not really beat up at all) and it holds a ton of bread, cookies and crackers.

It looks great on my counter top and makes a nice book-end for my cookbooks.

Win! My friends are the best!

- - -

I hope that, whatever holiday you celebrate, this year's has been (or will be) the best!

We are heading up north this weekend to see the hub's family and maybe drop in on my family too. The hub's family celebrates Christmas with great gusto, while my family celebrates Bah Humbug. In fact, my dad has managed to split town just before Xmas two years running. At any rate, I enjoy seeing MD's family and they love to see us, so I'm sure it will be lots of fun.

Here's the test run of my "visiting the family" outfit.

I made the skirt, the shoes are Newport News, and the red v-neck sweater came from the flea market. MD's mom got me the grey embroidered sweater for Xmas last year. Isn't it fun? I think it's somewhere in-between the cliche (but much loved) tacky Christmas Sweater and one of those super cute Mexican souviner felt jackets. It's kinda goofy and I just love it!

Wishing you and yours the very best! xoxoxo!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Blouse With The Butterfly Sleeves

I bought this fabric to make curtains for the kitchen.

I intended to buy a little extra so that I could get free shipping from Lucky for me, I measured the windows totally wrong and ended up with a LOT extra. I decided to make this blouse.

This pattern is really only three pieces if you include the collar. That made it pretty darned easy. I mostly followed the instructions but there were a few very basic things I changed.

I used the rolled hem foot on the sleeve edge and everywhere else it asked for a quarter inch seam.

The instructions didn’t mention lining the ties and there was no pattern piece for this. When it was tied it looked pretty funky, with the wrong side of the fabric showing, so I cut out matching pieces for the tie ends. I made a rolled hem on the parts of the ties that would be un-lined. Then I matched the ends and the ties, right sides together and made a quarter inch seam allowance all the way around. Turning the ties right side out to finish, I flipped in the last raw edge and tacked it down.

I cut out and finished the collar piece, but ultimately decided that I’d like the blouse better without the giant 70s collar. For some reason the lining for the v-front was extremely long so I used it for the collar interfacing. I put in a “patch” between the ends and it worked perfectly.

I think the finished blouse is so super cute! I can’t wait for nice weather so I can wear it!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not Quite Instant Skirt

I decided to whip this one up with some black cotton faille from the stash.

Faille was an interesting fabric to work with. Its thick, heavy and stiff. It looks a little like taffeta minus the shine. It didn't really want to be ironed and, as usual, my iron was too hot, so there are a few iron marks here and there. Also, I created a lot of shine across the darts by over-pressing. I really liked working with it, though, and the finished garment is far sturdier than a pencil skirt made with a lighter cotton.

The pattern itself should have been easy to use and it was, sort of. It's very close to my actual measurements (I'm a little bigger) and there were only a few darts and a back-seam/pleat to deal with. Unfortunately, it seems like the simplest things are always the ones that give me the most trouble.

There was way too much wearing ease. It would have been several inches to big if I had put in the back seam where the pattern suggested. The instructions for the kick-pleat in the back didn't make sense to me so I ended up simply trimming the excess off the back until it fit.

The darts were a wreck too; they made giant puffs of fabric on either side of my hips. I extended the darts and that took care of most of the puffiness. I made a very narrow waistband instead of using the one that came with the pattern. When I stitched the waist band on, I accidentally messed up the direction of the pressed darts. It's not too obvious, but it bugs me.

Luckily, black hides a lot of sins.

I will probably have to add a slit up the back, as the skirt bottom is a bit narrow for walking in.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Crafty Green Baby Shower

Our friends Andy and Kellie are having twins, and this weekend we went to their baby shower. They are hip rock-and-roll types so, naturally, they had the shower at a most awesome location: Speakeasy Brewery. It was a nice afternoon. The catering was super, the beer was stellar, of course, but the best part was the gift assignment!

A & K are very green earth conscious types so they requested that, if one felt compelled to give them a gift at all, all gifts should be recycled or handmade. MD and I had lots of fun trying to come up with a homemade gift. We wanted it to be something twin themed, but not corny, and something we could work on together. We thought and thought and finally came up with the idea of personalized rock-and-roll onesies.

It was tough thinking of two sets of twin and rock-and-roll themes. We wanted pairs of words or images that could work together as a set but could also stand alone. I came up with these:

These were MD's idea. (That's a Fender Twin amp.)

The onsies came from the thrift store and we had iron-on transfer paper left over from another project. We wrapped our gift in a shoe box with wrapping paper I'd saved from my birthday gifts. Total expenditure: $4. Total brand-new "stuff" purchased for this gift: Not one thing. Win!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blue "Rosie" Overalls

When I bought the fabric for the brown overalls, JoAnnne was having a big sale on Linen. I got four yards of denim-blue linen too. I had originally intended to make another pair of overalls out of this pattern.

But when it came right down to it, I wasn’t sure that I was skillful enough to alter them to look the way I wanted. I wanted to flatten out the back panel and omit the pockets. It seemed like it would be easy, but I fiddled with the pattern paper for a bit and then decided I’d rather make something simple that I didn’t have to futz with much at all. So I chose this pattern instead.

It was super duper easy. I’m really starting to like making overalls and jumpers!

Because it is a teen size, I was concerned that the bib wouldn’t cover my chest enough. I widened it by making the bib seam allowances half an inch all around instead of a full inch as was suggested by the pattern. I thought the back section might come out too low so I made it taller in the same way: I just reduced the seam allowance at the top edge. I am a terrible cheat!

I skipped the overall hook thingies and used white buttons instead. I decided to have the straps on the outside of the bib and sewed the ends into little points.* I feel like I saw this on lots of the 1940s overalls on the Life Photo Archive but I can't seem to duplicate my search now to show you. Anyway, I think it’s a cute touch.

Here they are finished and dressed up! I really like the way they came out!


...and back.

*Edited to add: I ended up having to shorten the straps and had to cut off the point detail. Boo. :(