Sunday, May 31, 2009


I saw this fabric in the remnant bin and it called to me, but I wasn't really sure what it wanted to be until I was rummaging through my patterns and came across Kwik Sew 530.It was my grandmother's and although there isn't a date printed anywhere on the pattern, I did find it in an old Kwik Sew catalog from 1971. Isn't it awesome! I've actually used this pattern once before, to make a faerie dress for my Sister-in-Law.Isn't she cute?
What I had forgotten was that Grandma had cut the pattern down to a size 10 in the bodice only and then altered the shoulder and armscye (we Colley women are shortwaisted). But according to the pattern measurements, I needed a 12, so what's girl to do? Well, I headed to BurdaStyle for a How-to on grading up a pattern and went for it. So, now I have a size 12 pattern and I was ready to go. I should have listened to myself though, when I thought the pattern looked too big. I ended up taking 6(!) inches in the waist and I'm still not really happy with how it fits around the arms, but I love the print and the fabric is super comfy, so I don't care.
And here is the top on (headless) me. I was having a very bad hair day.
Lesson learned #1: When you think something looks weird... It probably is.
Lesson learned #2: Pattern measurements should be taken with a grain of salt (and the recognition that each pattern incorporates a different amount of ease).
Lesson learned #3: Grandma knew what she was doing.
I miss her.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sewing Along

Are you ready for another presser foot sew along? I am!! I had so much fun doing the shirt dress. This month they are doing a skirt and when I saw this fabric I knew it was destined to be this skirt!And since Butterick patterns are on sale this weekend, I'm heading to Hancock's once Logan wakes up from his nap! There are a few other projects first in line, though, so I'm not sure when I'll get to this one. Some time this month, I hope!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slacks - take 2

Poor Mitch gets a bit neglected when it comes to my sewing. I've been trying to give the poor guy equal sewing machine time, but I've run into a snag or two here and there.My first snag was these lovely pants. They are fabulous flat front straight leg pants in a lovely pale beige herringbone fabric that Mitch picked out himself. They feature welted pockets, a fly front and attached waistband. They are fabulous. If only they fit... Also the fly came out a bit wonky, but still!! Also, they took about a week and a half to make. That's lot of sewing time, folks. Here is attempt number 2. Mitch requested that this time I make them with porkchop pockets on the front and patch pockets on the back. Sweet! Much easier than those stupid welts. I spent a great deal of time measuring and tissue fitting to get the size right. I'll let you know on that one when he gets home to try them on. I made a significant number of changes. We needed a sway back adjustment, additional space through the rise as well as a few extra inches in the thighs and leg for comfort.
Here is a closeup of the front. Porkchop pockets as requested and a nice un-wonky fly thanks to Sandra Betzina.
Pending the fitting I will say that this went much smoother the second time around. Only two sewing days in the making, and I really like this pattern. If Mitch likes these he will definitely get some more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fly front genius

I am in process on a pair of pants for Mitch. I really love this pattern, but my last attempt was less than successful. For one thing, they didn't fit AT ALL. And for another, the fly was wonky. See what I mean? The zipper isn't underneath at all, just hanging out there at center front, where a zipper has no business being. I was highly annoyed!! Fit issues are no problem - them I can fix, but I wasn't sure what to do about that zipper! The pattern instructions provided me with little help. What do you think?

Anyway, I was a little concerned... So, I went to BurdaStyle to see if there was a How-to and found that someone had linked this completely amazing video how-to from Sandra Betzina. She is amazing. The video is amazing and completely clear and easy to follow. Now I have a zip front fly!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the States, which while strictly speaking, is a day to honor the men and women who have fallen while defending our country and freedom, it is an opportunity to honor all of those who serve to protect and defend us. As an Army brat, I have a lot of reasons to appreciate these patriotic holidays, and always get a little teary-eyed if I think too hard about them. In honor of Memorial Day (sort of), I've been contemplating the sewing I've yet to do for July 4th (American Independence Day). I found some cute patriotic prints for nearly nothing ($2/yd) and have been contemplating my options with them. I saw this cute dress in a catalog for The Children's Place and thought I'd copy the general feel of it for Myra.

I like the alternating diagonal stripes, and I think I'll incorporate these fabrics into a round yoke, tiered dress.For Logan, I was initially thinking I'd do a button down shirt, but he already has so many, and it is ALWAYS hot on the 4th of July in Texas, so I think I will make some long cargo shorts and applique a muscle shirt with a star, or maybe a helicopter - he'd love that.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


...featured my circle skirt tutorial in their weekly roundup!  I so never thought I'd be that cool.  I need to make a red top to go with that skirt...

I also discovered that if you Google "circle skirt" the tutorial appears on the first page!  I guess I'm getting a lot of hits, which I think is great!  I hope it helps someone make themselves a great skirt.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Because patches are so NOT cool...

but everyone loves Elmo!!

Logan's favorite pair of jeans were on their way to the trash pile. He loves them and wears them all the time. They even still fit! The knees were sadly threadbare, and while I can recon my jeans into a skirt, that really isn't an option here. So, I took a little help from my friend Elmo, who now doubles as patches and knee pads.The appliques are felt, applied to the knee of the jeans in layers. Sewing was a bit tricky, since the jeans were already assembled. It might have been easier to just rip out the inseam and resew it, but just wiggling it around my free arm worked fine.
This is the most complicated applique that I have ever attempted, and the first time that I have used felt. Loving the felt! No need to satin stitch, just sew it on and no worries about unravelling. Sweet. Despite the multiple pieces and layers, this was a pretty fun and easy project, and a great way to save a pair of jeans!

Here's a little up close of the Elmo on the left. He looks happy to see you!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Well, we are back from Houston. We didn't accomplish all that we set out to do, mostly because the entire family developed a stomach bug that kept us hotel-bound for most of the time. Oh, well, at least I didn't have to clean the towels...

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the week. The first is Logan, experiencing a beach for the first time. The second is Logan and his best friend Anna, riding a cement alligator in Uptown park.
And finally, a little peaceful wildlife. This crane was just hanging out, waiting to be captured on film.

Monday, May 18, 2009

And the winner is...


Thanks to everyone who chimed in here on the blog and on facebook to help me decide the cutest way to close this little jacket. Although I do think that snaps are really more convenient on baby clothes, I suspect that this little jacket won't be closed much, since it is for a Texan to be born in August. Still, there is a lot of A/C in TX in August and having two summer babies here, I found that layers were key. So, here is a cute little layer for Brody.

I started out looking at dark pewter and black buttons, since I liked Lauren's idea of a metallic button, and Mitch suggested black. I even checked out the snaps to see if there was anything that would be cute, but there isn't much snap selection in this one horse town. Then I met this little guy...and I knew that it was meant to be. I just couldn't say no to that sweet little bear face. I think the jacket with bears is a sweet combo of big boy suit and sweet baby boy bears.And now the cute little baby things I've been sewing all week need to be delivered, so we're off to Houston for the week! And I'm leaving the sewing machine here, so I probably won't be around again until next week. Til then - Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


A good friend of mine, who also has a son Logan's age, is expecting their second child, another boy! Yay! I decided on a Disney Cars theme for the little guy, partly as an excuse to include something for his big brother. Kyle LOVES Cars, but then, what 3 year old boy doesn't?

Here is the entire ensemble. I know - that's a lot of Lightning McQueen there!

In parts - an appliqued onesie with pants,

The pant is Simplicity 3765 with the band added.

a bib,
The bib pattern is from Nested.
and blanket for the baby.
The blanket pattern comes from the baby blanket e-book at YCMT.
Myra really wanted this blanket!And a button down shirt for Kyle from my usual shirt pattern. I cut out a matching one for Logan, but haven't sewn it up yet. I'll get around to it...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quickie dress

A friend of mine came by for some help on a project she's working on.  She wanted to make a quick little sundress as a birthday gift for a young lady with a thing for ladybugs.  She found this cute ladybug pre-shirred fabric at Walmart.  Now, let me stop for a moment and say that shirring fabric yourself is really easy.  There are a few great tutorials at Pretty Ditty, Just Tutes, and PortabelloPixie- to name just a few.  Then you can use whatever fabulous fabric you want!  Still this ladybug print is super cute, and it saved us a step.  Basically, we sewed a long tube of the preshirred fabric, added straps and a cute appliqued pocket and the dress was done!
Here's the pocket.  Cute, eh?
I hope she likes it!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I finished another of these cute pant/appliqued onesie combos today.  They work up really quickly.  This time my little princess took a long nap, so I had time to make the jacket, too.  A suit for little Brody, complete with tie!  I'm still working with McCall's 3665, but I didn't do the curved front opening.  I thought it was a little girlie.  I also added ribbed cuffs to the pant, just for fun.

Here is the jacket and onesie, up close.  I am loving the little tie.  I know it's done a lot, but I still think it's pretty adorable.
So, now for the help.  I have no idea what closure I should use for the jacket, or if I should use any at all.  The pattern calls for ring snaps, which is fine.  The only problem is that every time I line them up to hammer them on, I am convinced that buttons would be the cuter option.  Or should I just leave it as it is???  I can't decide.  So, dear reader, if you would please help me in my moment of extreme indecision.  I know there are a few of you.  Leave me a comment.  Buttons?  Snaps?  Nothing at all?  What would you do?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mostly mending

I had tons of mending to do today and, while that doesn't distinguish this from any other day, I was thinking today how fortunate I am that I have the ability to fix a piece of clothing when needed, and even to change it into something new should mending no longer be an option. Thanks for teaching me to sew, Mom.
Of course, since I really hate mending, I stole a few minutes away from the buttons and hems to make a little outfit for Brody, who is expected to join my brother's family in a few months. He'll be their first child and my first nephew, so I'm excited to sew for him! The pants are McCall's 3665 (but without the butt ruffles - he's a boy!), and the top is a purchased onesie that I appliqued using a coloring page from the 'net as a pattern. Can you tell it is supposed to be a plane?
I also trimmed up a piece of fleece for a blankie. I found this wicked cool motorcycle fleece in the remnant bin at Hobby Lobby even before we knew it was a boy, but I knew it was destined to be for James' son. It is the perfect size to be a crib blanket. No cold cotton sheets for my nephew!

As a point of interest, both the camo fabric for the pants and the motorcycle fleece are made by David Textiles. I find this interesting because my motorcycle-riding ex-Green Beret dad (and therefore Brody's Grandpappy) is named David. See, Kismet. They were clearly meant to be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The bias tape made me MUCH happier for the casings, and I think it's a pretty touch.
It's finished!
Close up.
And on my little model.
It's perfect for crawling - look fast, she's getting away!
I am so glad Mitch had all those extra shirts. I can't wait to make this again!!
Oh and yes, I punked out on the applique, but once I got it all together, I thought that it was perfect as it was.  Next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MADE me swear...almost

I've been working on my MADE shirtdress today. I got the pattern all together, which wasn't too hard. Obviously, since Myra is only 9 months, I couldn't use Dana's, since it's designed for a three year old, but I took the basic shape and the sloper I use for Myra and sort of winged it. Here's how it came out.

This morning I cut it out, and even had enough shirt left for some bloomers! Woo-hoo! I thought it would be cute to have a button from the shirt right at the neckline, and I still think that, but wish that I had taken the button off and then reattached it, rather than just trying to sew over it. Oops. There is now only half a button. I'm just glad I didn't break a needle!Now, about that swearing... The casing around the neckline is making me very unhappy!! It will NOT lie flat! I think part of that is because, since I don't have a serger, I'm trying to double fold, and that is too much of a size differential between the cut edge and the to be sewn edge. Anyway, it's a complete mess and I give up. No, not on the dress, I love this cute idea! I give up on the casing. I'm going to go back to my old friend bias tape and make a bias tape casing out of this cute purple print, which I also intend to use for the waistband and a cute applique - stick around to see that!

Monday, May 11, 2009

MADE - the raw materials

I am moving along on my sewing list and it is time to get started on my MADE shirt dress, but first I'm gonna need a shirt! We just had a big yard sale and trip to Goodwill, so when I asked Mitch to clean out his closet I wasn't expecting much. In fact, I had pretty much decided that today would include a trip to Goodwill. Imagine my surprise when out came 8 shirts of various patterns and weights. Woo-hoo!!
I think I'll start with the grey one. The fabric is so light and summery and I think it will look nice with a lavender fabric I have in my stash for the accents. I'm off to draft my pattern!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Urban Baby Chic

Myra models her fancy new clothes on a trip to Dallas. Isn't she chic?
And look, we found the perfect shoes at Neiman's! Do you think these Louboutin peep toes come in a size 2 infant?