Sunday, December 16, 2012

Colette Patterns Peony

Ummmm, yeah.  So, this is my contribution for the *coughOctobercough* sewalong.  Ooops.  So, this has been done for awhile now, but I was wanting to put on patch pockets, but I've been wearing it so much that I feel silly not putting it on my blog yet.  I have a knit skirt that I should put on the blog too.  I made it during the summer and I plan on making a ton of them.


Me and my Kayleigh-cakes :P
So, I did my usual putting width to the waist.  I shortened the waist darts by and inch and rotated the bust dart a little.  I am finding that these are probably the usual adjustments for Colette Patterns.  I also added an inch to the length of the skirt.  It wasn't much, but I think that it made a big difference.

I love this pattern.  It works with a big variety of fabric.  However, after all the muslins I made, it still turned out too big.  I couldn't figure it out, until I realized that I didn't take into account that this was a stretch fabric.  Oh well.  I just wear it with a belt and it's still roomy enough to make moving around easy.  I mean seriously, I cleaned my house in this dress the other day.

Sorry for the wrinkles!  There was no way I was going to iron this today!
This is what it looks like unbelted:
Nice, but I think it looks better belted.

There is like an inch or two extra in the waist
The back...probably worst invisible zipper I've ever done...but that's fine.

I don't know if you guys noticed, but I don't do great in front of the camera.  I'm not all that photogenic.  My husband and daughter are crazy photogenic though.  Pretty much every picture we take of my daughter turns out beautiful.  Need proof??  Okay, you talked me into it!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I sit here staring at a blank page and I'm not sure what to say.  This is a sewing blog and when I created this blog, I decided that I just wanted it to be about sewing and that's it.  However, as a mother, I feel like I should just put this out there.

There was a school shooting in elementary school in Connecticut this morning.  My daughter will be attending elementary school next year, so I feel a little connected to all the mothers dealing with this tragedy.  My love goes out to all the moms and dad whose babies were affected by this tragedy.  Also, to the teachers who protected and saved the remaining children.

That's all I wanted to say.  I just wanted to send a virtual hug to whomever needs it today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gertie's Shirtwaist Dress!!

I made my first project from Gertie's book!  I am so excited about this dress!  As I am sure that you guys know, I am a stay at home mom and I live in pajamas and knit dresses.  This dress, though it so comfy, thanks to the shirring in the back of the dress! 

I am seriously in love with this dress and am planning to make a lot more!  Which brings me to a question for you guys.  I am thinking about hosting a sew along in February.  Let me know if you guys are interested.

I didn't actually have to make too many changes.  I lengthened the back yoke a half inch.  I also rotated the bust dart a little bit.  The waist dart was moved 5/8" to the center.  I was supposed to shorten the waist dart by an inch, but I forgot to do that.  I also took four and a half inches off the hem!  Yeah, I am super short!!

I wore this to my daughter's dance recital, which was two hours long.  The dress was super comfortable the entire time.  It felt like I was wearing pajamas, but I looked all put together.  Speaking of which, did you guys notice my glasses?  Yeah, I have to wear glasses now.  It's funny because I didn't realize who freakin blind I was until I got glasses. 

ugh...believe it or not, this was one of the best!  Ignore the face!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

That's right, I am not dead in a ditch somewhere and I am not putting up a picture of my peony!  I did finish my peony and it is sitting-waiting for me to take pictures in it.  However, I got a bad case of the flu and have been sick for two weeks.  Yesterday, I was feeling better and I was going to take pictures, but I fell and managed to not scrap my knee, instead I somehow managed to scrap my ankle to sh*t. 


Here in the states, it's Thanksgiving!  I love Thanksgiving and it's hands down my favorite holiday.  It's more than just mashed potatoes (don't get me wrong, mashed potatoes is a huge part for me), I think this is the happiest day.  You focus on what you're thankful for and you are encouraged to reflect on the good things in life-something I think we should do a lot more often.

Here are some things that I am thankful for this year!

  • my brand new sewing machine-Peppermint Patty (bought in March!)
  • the fact that I did NOT break my ankle and/or foot yesterday
  • my daughter and husband
  • of course, all of my blog readers!

So, what are you guys thankful for this year?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Belated Halloween!!

Yeah, sorry.  After I posted my last blog post, I knew that something was going to happen to prevent me from posting.  Our internet is acting weird and we can't log on.  Right now I am sort of pilfering our neighbor's internet (shhh!!  Blogging is muy importante :P)

Anyways!  My daughter chose to be Audrey Hepburn for Halloween this year.  Yes, my four-year-old daughter actually chose to be Audrey.  I had nothing to do with it.  As a matter of fact, I was a little bitter because I wanted her to be a witch, but it's her Halloween and she loved her costume! 

I used Simplicity 2460 and I really liked the dress that came of it.  I would definitely make it again (and I already have another dress cut out from this pattern...more to come ;) )  The instructions were okay, I guess.  I didn't really use them to be honest.  It's a pretty straight forward dress.  The one thing that I want to do differently next time is to line the bodice instead of using those dumb facings.  You can easily see the facings from the outside if she moves weird. 

So, when I found out Kayleigh wanted to be Audrey, I knew that I had to make her a black dress, which I was against.  I don't get/make Kayleigh white or black clothes.  White because it stains, and while I don't care about that, she freaks out about it.  Black because I think it's either too mature for kids or too depressing for kids.  With that in mind I decided to get some cheap cotton, at the fabric store I talked myself out of it.  I mean, if it's Halloween, lets go for it.  So I went to the costume satin and I pulled out a bolt.  Then, a little voice in my head asked, "Would Audrey ever wear something this cheap?"


"Then put it back and go to the good stuff"

"It's too expensive" I reasoned.

"No, it's not.  It's 40% off"

"But, this is just for a four-year-old's Halloween costume!" I shout internally.

"Exactly, there will never, ever, ever be another 4th Halloween"

*le sigh* So, a mixture of "Mommy Guilt", "Sale-itis", and my internal fabric buying fiend prompted me to get the good stuff.  While this is not silk and is definitely a man made fiber, it is also really lovely and has a nice drape.  So, once I got "the good stuff", why would I just slap some seams into it and call it a day?  No, I would construct the ENTIRE FREAKING DRESS with french seams.  For those who attempt this pattern, please don't do this.  It's really difficult when it comes to the sleeves!  The sleeves were two piece sleeves with gathers at the sleeve caps and pleats on the top-very difficult to sew in flat and with a french seam!  With all that said, I managed to start this at 6:00 the day before Halloween and finish that night, except for a zipper, hem, and the button on the front. 

Also, I must say that this is THE BEST THING THAT I HAVE EVER MADE!!!  I am really excited about it.  The irony is not lost on me, though.  This is impeccably made and it's a four-year-old's halloween costume.  One consolation?  Kayleigh is getting really into sewing (yes, she sews!), so hopefully one day, she will look back at this dress and appreciate all the work I did on it. 

Okay enough of that!  Gratuitous baby  toddler big girl pictures! 

These pictures were when she realized how close trick-or-treating actually was!  Also, to prove that she was freaking excited!

And then of course, the picture of the back.  No, the pleat in the back doesn't actually sit like that in real life.

It was really funny because while we were trick-or-treating, a lot of people thought she was a princess.  One person thought she was Elizabeth Taylor and another person thought she dressed up as "a nice christian girl".......ummmm okay?  However, when people found out she was Audrey, they thought it was really cool.  And everyone thought I put her up to it!  Really, I had no say in this. 

I learned a couple things coming out of this. 
1. I make really awesome clothes
2. my sewing skills have really improved.  Some ladies were asking if this was a bridemaid's dress and they didn't believe me when I said I made it...

and most importantly....

3. my daughter is pretty freakin cool and creative....

Friday, October 26, 2012


Just wanted to let you guys know that, yes I am alive.  I haven't been sewing much because I lost my mojo a little.  My husband's grandmother passed away at the beginning of this month and we have all been a little sad here.  It wasn't unexpected, but it's sad none the less. 

Anyways, I picked myself up the other day and I made a muslin for the Peony and I was surprised that I got the bodice to fit so quickly.  The back bodice only took one muslin fitting to get it right; the front bodice only took two muslin fittings.  I am glad I did that second fitting though because one of the changes I made did something weird and I had to make a two inch (!!) FBA on my bodice!  It was the first time I ever made a FBA, so that was an interesting learning experience.  I have a normal sized bust, so I never have to make a FBA.

My final Peony is so close to being finished.  I really like how it's turning out and I can't wait to show you guys!  As long as nothing going horribly awry, expect to see pictures this weekend.  Next up, the halloween costume for the little one.  She chose a very sophisticated costume this year, so I think everyone will be surprised...

Anyways, the demon-living-in-the-other-room-of-our-two-bedroom-apartment and I are going for a bike ride.  I hear demons like parks this time of year.

**sorry for a picture-less post!**

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Ok, I was planning on doing a video for this and letting my daughter pick the number.  However, it is very difficult to get a time of day to film when a) an area of the house is clean (what?) b) my daughter isn't throwing a fit and/or being difficult.  So, I am too excited to wait any longer and I did a random number generator!  It kicked out the number 15 which is Trisha from Made by Trisha!

This is exciting stuff!  Once I get your address, Trisha, I will send the patterns out to you!

On a side note, I might still be doing the video with my daughter, obviously not with this giveaway, because she is currently sewing (yes, sewing) a couple dresses for her American Girl doll.  I think it would be fun to see a video pattern review with her.  Anyways, happy sewing!  I am currently swimming in piles of muslin!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Colette Launch Party

Yes, I am posting this really late!  But, I attended the colette fall patterns launch party last weekend!  It was pretty amazing.  When I first found out about it, I was sad, because I kinda sorta had a wedding to go to that day.  So, I asked my husband if I could go to the launch party in L.A. and he was really confused.  He asked me what was so important about travelling that distance.  There was a slight pause and I said, "I don't understand the question..."

Which is most definitely true.  I still don't understand why he can't see the awesomeness of it.  So, anyways, he ended up telling me that I should stay home and not go to the wedding.  I live in Alameda which is right outside of Oakland, so it was technically more economical for me to stay and go to the one in Oakland.  Which, I got really lucky, because Erin posted on her blog that she wanted to do a blogger meet up before the party, so I decided to go to that!  It was pretty awesome to meet her.  Not only is she really sweet, it also turns out that we grew up in the same town, I graduated with her sister, and we knew some of the same people!  Crazy!  Anyways, I also met Sarai while I was at the meetup and she was really sweet as well!  I'm not going to lie, I was nervous about going and talking to people who are legally able to drive.  I don't know if you guys know this but, I am super, super shy.

Once at the party I got to meet two other stay at home moms and we had an interesting conversation about babies and birth stories.  It was kind of cool to talk to moms and have the oldest kid.  Anyways, I also got to meet Meg from Made by Meg.  I had seen her earlier, but I have a bad memory for faces and it wasn't until after I saw her name tag when it finally clicked.  And, what do you know, she is also sweet!  It was a lot of fun talking with everyone and I had a blast!

Anyways, if you give me ANY reason to make a dress, I will make one!  So, I decided to make the Colette Crepe dress and wear it to the party.  I had seen this fabric at my favorite fabric store in San Francisco, fabric outlet.  I bought like 4 yards and the person at the cutting table kept asking me if I was sure I wanted that much.  I was a little worried that it would be a little too sweet with the hearts and the style of the dress.  So, instead of toning it down, I chose the sweetheart neckline and I plan on putting lace at the hem.  I guess I like sweet, cutesy clothes!  Also, I swear the next thing I make will NOT be blue!  I didn't realize that I make so many blue clothes.  I guess that it's a good thing I blog.

Anyways!  I didn't make too many adjustments when I cut out my muslin, but after I tried it on, I followed Gertie's sewalong to pinch/tuck the excess fabric out of the bodice.  It was super easy.  The muslin took like an hour (including cutting) and the dress took maybe 2-3 hours to sew up (not including the cutting).  However, the hem took FOREVER!  I was really not liking the copious amount of fabric on the skirt and thought it might overwhelm me.  But, I actually really like the amount of fabric in the skirt.  But, when I laid out the skirt on my queen sized bed, the skirt seriously went from one end to the other!  I watched Jaws while I was pressing up the hem and it took half the movie to press the hem up and then took about 10 minutes to sew the hem!

Anyways, I LOVE this dress!  It was super easy to put together and it required minimal fitting.  It did take a lot of fabric, but it is worth it!  I love this dress and I will most definitely make it again!

I bet you guys thought I forgot about the Pattern Pyramid Giveawy!  Nope!  I just have a surprise for you guys!  I will *hopefully* (technology Gods willing) be posting that tomorrow or Monday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pattern Pyramid Giveaway!!

Yay!  I am FINALLY getting this up.  Oops.  So, I won a pattern pyramid giveaway from Aft Agley, and I was really excited!  When I got the package, it was laundry day and I was so good and I waited until the next day to open and take pictures (for the best light) and as you may have heard the pictures didn't turn out well!!  So, I retook the pictures last weekend and while they aren't the best pictures I have ever taken, I lost patience and I just want to put them up, because I am really excited!

Here they are in a super cute pouch that she made me!  I have already had some fights with my daughter for it.  Let me preface this by saying that she is 4 years old (which you probably already knew) and when she saw the inside of the pouch:
she asked if it was hers.  

"No, this is mine..." I said as I started looking through patterns.

 She looked at me like I was completely crazy, "but there are butterflies inside it..." 

"Yeah, I love butterflies"

<short pause>

"But you're a dolt" which I immediately took offense from, until I realized she meant "an adult"

"What?  Can adults not like butterflies?"

"No, because you're already growed and you can't turn into one..."

*le sigh* oh how I wish I could think like a four-year-old.  Anyways!  Here is the loot!

This is the one I decided to keep:
Seriously, view 4 melts my heart a little bit!  It looks like little petals on the neckline...I will definitely be making this up really soon.

I also took some closeups of the other patterns for your viewing pleasure!

So, I feel pretty guilty that it took me forever and a day to get these up, so of course I took a look through my newly acquired vintage stash (more on that later), and found just a couple more patterns to add to the loot ;)

Sorry there are so many pictures!  Hopefully everyone can see everything!  If you want, you can go to my flickr account and check out the pictures there.  I think if you click on the pictures, it will take you there.  

So, I am now officially announcing the start of the giveaway!  The only requirement to enter is that you have to have your own blog.  You keep one pattern and then hold a giveaway on your blog and pass the rest along!  I am so happy that Karen set this up and it really is a lot of fun!  The giveaway will close on September 28th at noon (PST) and the winner will be announced that day.  So leave a comment (making sure I have a way to get a hold of you)!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Ode to Gertie

Oh my goodness!  Two posts in one day??  I must have a lot of time on my hands ;)

Not only do I have an awesome husband who understands the need to splurge on patterns just because you have a coupon, he also understands the need to buy all of the most awesome sewing books on the market, the day before they are actually scheduled to be released!!  Yes, my local independent bookstore got Gertie's book and I bought it!  This book actually was my 10th book bought there on my frequent buyer's card so I got $17 (the average of all of my books) off my next purchase, and I got the Bust book that I've been looking at for awhile. 

Anyways, this is a crazy awesome book.  If you are interested in:
sewing vintage patterns
using vintage sewing machines
taking your sewing to the next level
sewing books with wonderful eye candy
creating a vintage wardrobe
basics of altering patterns
vintage inspired clothes
sewing in general
Gertie, herself

then, what the heck are you waiting for??  Go and buy yourself the book!!  Seriously this book is just that good.  I don't know if I would recommend it to the absolute beginner, but I would recommend it to anyone who has ever completed a sewing project.  Seriously, you need to buy this book...really, go out now and buy it.  I have a collection of sewing books and this is definitely one of my favorites.  I think this one and Colette Patterns book go hand in hand.  My mom got all weird when she saw that Gertie has tattoos...I think she forgot that I even had one...

Well, that's not much of an "ode", is it?  Oh wait, there's more.

I have officially joined Gertie's Coat Sewalong on Flickr!
I bought this really beautiful wool coating from denver fabrics, but now I am worried that it might be too heavy.  If it is, then I will just return it and getting something lighter.  I would prefer not to do that, though!!  My husband is going to Joann's tomorrow after work and picking up the pattern for me.  Did I mention that he is really understanding??

This is the fabric I got:
Isn't is just beautiful??  I really hope that it's not too heavy!  If it is, I might go with a cotton twill instead of a wool.  We'll see.

I almost got this one:
but, when my husband looked at it, he acutally said, "No, please...please no"

And, my live-in fashion consultant *cough*my-four-year-old*cough*, didn't even say anything.  She just looked at me with a weird look and walked away.  I took that as a bad sign.  I guess it would be A LOT of leopard print on a short, wide girl.  Oh well.  Maybe next coat I make will be leopard print...

That's all I have for the night!!  Hopefully I will get pictures up because I have exciting things to share!  Including a Pattern Pyramid giveaway!!  Stay tuned! 

Labor Day Sale Pattern Spree!!

Ok, seriously, the other day I was the most dutiful little blogger and I took pictures for not one, not two, but 5(!) blog posts!  I loaded them on my computer and they seriously looked worse than bad cell phone pictures!  I don't know if you know this about me, but I am a photographer.  There is no way that I am putting those pictures up here with my name attached to them.  So, today I went to take pictures with a point and shoot that we have, but the batteries were dead :(  They are currently being charged and hopefully in the next couple days I will have some awesome posts coming up here!  One of which announces the arrival of the great Pattern Pyramid to my humble blog!  More on that later ;)

Anyways, so tonight I was feeling sad that I couldn't post anything, but then I realized that one of the posts don't actually require me to take pictures.  So, around Labor Day, I started looking for coupons for local fabric stores.  I found a 15% off your entire purchase for Stone Mountain and Daughters; which, for all you non-bay area people, carry Colette Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns!  Since I am doing the sew colette sewalong, I figured it would be best to get the patterns that I am 100% positive that I am going to make!  Plus I grabbed a Sewaholic pattern that I have been lusting for!

The Sewaholic Cambie!  Sure, Fall is coming up, but I could still wear this with tights and boots!  I am pretty excited about this!  So, with the 15% off I got this for about $15, which is great, because I was planning on ordering it anyways.

When I found Colette Patterns (a couple years ago!) I fell desperately in love with Crepe!  It's just so ladylike and pretty.  I just love it!  I actually just finished my second muslin of this dress and I am actually done muslining!  It's very exciting.  I need to make this up quick because.....wait for it.....I am going to meet Sarai!  Yay!  I don't know if you heard, but she is doing a West Coast Tour and she will be in Oakland on the 22nd!  I have already RSVP'd to the store (one of my favorite fabric stores in the area).  So, I plan on wearing my Crepe to the party!

Then of course there is the Peony!  This was an obvious choice, because judging from how the voting went, this was going to be next month's sewalong.  So, I grabbed it!  I love this pattern, it was my favorite pattern last fall/winter when they released it.

I really love Ginger and I kind of had to get it because I already have fabric waiting for it!  It's a really great, basic skirt pattern and I am excited to whip this up for the fall/winter.

Ahhhh, the Beignet.  If Crepe is my favorite, the Beignet would be a very close second!  This is actually the only pattern that I don't have any fabric for...but that will change soon, I am sure ;)

To be 100% honest, I wasn't too sure about Chantilly when I first saw it.  However, after making Nicole (man, I love naming my dresses like kind of gives them their own personality), I fell in love with full swishy skirts and gathering at the bust.  It also has the same type of yoke as Zooey, so this has to be flattering.  However, I plan on making this in some chiffon I got in L.A., so I anticipate lots of curse words will be harmed in the making of this dress :P

Lady Grey!  I drooled over all of the Lady Grey goodness during Gertie's Lady Grey Sewalong and I wanted one of my own!  So, I finally got the pattern!  I just ordered fabric for it too!  Sew excited <<see what I did there??>>

Anyways, that was all that I got.  I actually got a good deal on everything, so I am pretty happy.  I am so very, very, very lucky to have such an understanding husband!  Well, he may not be so understanding now.  He finally helped me fold all of my L.A. fabric tonight and he told me that I wasn't allowed to buy anymore fabric (with the exception of fabric for my Peony and muslin fabric).  Oopsies :D  I think he is right, though because we have planned another trip to L.A. for my birthday!  I am not going to say that is exclusively planned for me to go back to the Loft....but I am also not saying that it's not ;)