Friday, September 27, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013

Alright friends.  I have SO much to say about Sewing Summit.  This is the edited version.  Even coming home exhausted with a cold and a punctured finger, I la-la-la-loved it.  What everyone says is true!
Since this was my first year, I wanted to do EVERYTHING.  My cousin and I showed up late on Wednesday night so we could go to the shop hop on Thursday morning.  The shop hop was great to meet people.  It’s so easy to strike up a conversation with “Oooh that’s cute” or “Where did you find that?”  It was so nice to hang out with a bunch of women who had the same interests in quilting and sewing and also new the exact names of all the latest fabric lines.
Honestly, I have to say that when I got my class schedule I was slightly disappointed.  Everyone was posting about how happy they were that they got all their first choices, and I didn’t get all of my first choices.  I only had 3 hands on classes.  Well that just goes to show how wrong I was, and how much appreciation I should be showing to the Sewing Summit organizers.  I absolutely LOVED the classes I wasn’t excited about. 

My first class was Creative Journey with Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked.  The Creative Journey series of classes have a teacher who talks about how they got to where they are today.  I didn’t know who she was, and wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was completely blown away by her lecture.  She was hilarious, humble, and completely upfront about the difficulties while still maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of professionalism.  She talked about how she promoted her business on instagram, and had so many good tidbits of information.  I wasn’t even interested in starting a business but I was so inspired by her lecture that I went up after class and told her and took a photo with her.  She also delivered the quote of the weekend when someone asked how she balances life with work.  “Balance is bullsh*t, it lives where unicorns live.”
Another favorite class was with Sunni Standing of AFashionable Stitch.  Sunni was so nice that she didn’t even skip a beat with a crazy person (me) telling her that she was the reason why I signed up for Sewing Summit.  Her class on fitting did not disappoint and I feel like I learned a lot that I could take back home from her class.
Surprisingly, the classes I liked the least were the hands on classes.  I think I finally have to admit that I am not a beginning sewist.  The classes sounded were fun, but they were all things I could have done at home without help.  The ones I had were basically here’s the pattern, let me know if you need help.  I can see this would be extremely helpful for beginners, but it wasn’t necessary for me.  Next time I sign up for classes I need to consider if the class is teaching any new techniques I haven’t learned yet.  Looking back at the class list now (and seeing what other people made) I would have made a different priority list.
Having said all that about the classes, the best part about Sewing Summit was being involved with a community of like-minded sewists.  I’m an introvert, but I wouldn’t classify myself as shy.  I had no problem going to up someone and telling them their bag was AMAZING and everyone was so nice about having a nosy sewist butt into their conversation.  I am horrible at keeping in contact with people, but hopefully with a re-inspired attitude and instagram I will be able to keep in contact with all the amazing people I met.  After all, they are my sewing family now :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Catty Bombshell

I sewed my first swimsuit! It's the bombshell swimsuit from Closet Case Files. I was doubtful it would turn out so it's full of mistakes but it turned out pretty ok.  Heather did a fantastic sewalong to accompany it so there is plenty of help.

I cut a size 12 and removed 1.5 inches from the length. Next time I will make the elastic around the top a little tighter since there is a little bit of gappage around my cleavage area. Nothing too bad but it would sit a little better. 

I was also too lazy to change my serger thread color so it shows up, especially when wet.  I used a cheap swimsuit fabric from Joann's and a swimsuit lining.  The red leopard print is fun, but I have doubts on how long it will last.  It's already pilling a little bit from the prewash.  

However saying all that, it fits well and I don't feel self conscious for showing too much skin at baby showers and work events.  Working with knits really is forgiving so this is much easier than it looks!

I will definitely be making another one in the future. My husband says this is the kind of suit that girls like and guys don't but even he said this one was flattering :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rosy Date Night Dress

April Rhodes asked for some pattern testers for newest pattern and I jumped at the chance!  Her first pattern, the Staple Dress was so fun to make and so easy!  I never posted about them, but did have a couple instagram photos of the two dresses I made.  Here is her latest pattern, The Date Night Dress:

Rosy Date Night Dress Front
It features fluttery sleeves and a box pleat at the back.  You can either cinch in the waist with a belt, some shirring, or leave it loose.  I chose to use a belt.  The photo where I have my hands awkwardly to the side is sans belt so you can see the shaping of the dress.  Since I have almost no waist and a weirdly long torso, I think the dress is more attractive on me with the belt.
Rosy Date Night Dress SideRosy Date Night Dress Loose
The side view shows a better view of the fun parts of the dress.  The sleeves are extra fluttery, and shows how deep the arm hole goes.  You can see a peek of the slip I made to go with this dress.  April was so nice to include it as part of the pattern!  It really is a simple slip.  Really quick and easy to make with just one pattern piece!  I used Robert Kauffman Gold Radiance, a silk/cotton blend, and I love it.  The slip is especially appreciated since this kind of dress really needs a drapey fabric, and my favorite cotton voiles are sometimes a little sheer.  The side view also shows that the front of the dress is a little higher than the back which I think it cute.  I was a little unsure of the trend and this hi-lo is extremely mild.  A good way to try it out!
Rosy Date Night Dress Front againRosy Date Night Dress Back
The pattern itself is a PDF pattern and goes together really easily.  April's instructions walk you through the steps, including finishing all seams (french seams on the inside)!  The only bad part about having the inside look as good as the outside is that I have trouble telling if the dress is inside out or not!

Lets see, technical details.  I cut a size small for both the slip and the dress, but if I were to do it again I would cut a medium in the slip.  It's a little tight in the chest for me.  I used Robert Kauffman Gold Radiance for the slip, and Anna Maria Horner's Turn of Events in Indigo voile for the dress.  LOVE voile.

In summary, it's a great pattern while still being easy enough for beginners.  This dress isn't my normal style, but after wearing it for photos it's growing on me.  Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve, April!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

February Baby Sweater.. in June!!

February Baby SweaterRacket Buttons
Quick post with iphone photos.  I finished a sweater for Maren!  Just in time for her 2nd birthday.  It's very cute and hopefully it will fit when it starts to get cold again.  The sweater is from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac and it's the February Baby Sweater on Two Needles.

I used a circular needle instead and made my way through the armpits so there was minimal seaming.  It's not perfect but it works.  Also, obviously from the photo, I am not good at spacing out buttons.

The buttons are very special.  They come from my Popo (grandma).  I think they match the sweater well!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

J-1 Josepha's Jonquil

J-01 Josepha's Jonquil
After a 3 + year break these blocks are calling to me again!  Lots has happened since my last block, the biggest is that I got married!  This block was one I finished in 2009, but did not cut down to size until 2013.  Simple applique.

I did not look up the meaning of "Jonquil" until I finished the block, and then learned that it means a daffodil.  I probably should have chosen yellow fabric.  This green fabric does make me happy though.  Not sure where it came from!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ruby Star Wrapping: 5 Minute Party Pouch

Wow this week I procrastinated on my project for the Ruby Star Wrap Along

Ruby Star Wrap-Along

Good thing I decided to make the 5 Minute Party Pouch!
5 minute bag with yarn tie
I followed the example here and made it out of one big rectangle.  Even with having to search for a needle for my sewing machine, this took less than 5 minutes.
Lucy wants to know what's inside
It was really quick and easy.  I can see myself whipping these up for baked goods in the future instead of going to the store and buying cellophane bags.  It's Lucy's birthday soon, so she's checking out presents :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ruby Star Wrap Along: Chinese Takeout Boxes

Have you seen the newest book from Melody Miller? I saw it featured on Rashida's blog, and immediately pre-ordered it. And now there's a sew along with awesome prizes!

Ruby Star Wrap-Along

The book is really fantastic, but I had other projects on my mind, so this sew along is perfect.  As long as I make a few things during the sew along I'll have some wrappings ready for the holidays!

This week on the sew along Anna made these really cute chinese takeout boxes.  She said it was easy, so I decided to try it.

Ruby Star Wrapping Christmas Chinese Takeout!

They really were easy.  I forgot how fun hot glue guns are!  The best part about this project is that I used scraps.  These were all scraps from my Christmas quilt I made a few years ago.

Chinese take out boxes

I have this crazy idea to start making pom poms to use instead of bows since I'm not knitting much anymore, but couldn't get it to work out quite right with these boxes.  I think I need smaller pom poms!

Close up of pom!

In summary, these boxes were really easy.  I think the hardest part was making sure the interfacing fused completely with the fabric.  I think they'll be perfect for packing some cookies or spiced nuts or caramels (!!) for the holidays.  Even Lucy was intrigued by them.  She kept trying to see what was inside :)

Lucy doesn't think it's Christmas time yet