Friday, January 31, 2014

Deer and Doe: Plantain

This is my entry to the Deer and Doe Plantain Challenge.  I am so excited about this pattern.  I need some new t-shirts and I had just bought a bunch of fabric from Girl Charlee but I didn’t have a pattern.  This one came out just in time, and it’s free!  Merci, Deer and Doe.

I actually made one other version of the shirt first to get the fit just right.  I found that I needed to shift the shoulders slightly to the front—this is a typical change for me, but I didn’t need to adjust the neckline at all (I love the neckline, I think it’s so flattering).

For the dress, I was inspired by the dress below by Boden.  When I saw this dress in their catalogue I fell in love with it and actually bought this fabric to make the dress.  For the dress I kept the neckline the same but shortened the sleeves to elbow length.  I marked the waist and drafted an a-line skirt for the back.  For the front I marked the waist and then marked 2 inches above the waist for about 6 inches in the middle and drafted a soft angle to match the two.   On the front skirt I did the same thing but opposite and added 12 inches in the middle for the gathers.  On the inside I used interfacing strips on the front bodice waistline to strengthen the seam.   I hope that makes sense!
I don't know why it didn't rotate when I uploaded it, but I was in too much of a hurry to fix it.
Elena, the best photobomber in town.
I’m so excited about the dress (I already wore it to work once this week), that I feel like I already won. Thanks for stopping by.  I can’t wait to see what everyone else made.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Deer and Doe: Datura

I'm busily working away at my entry to Deer and Doe's Plantain contest so I thought it was high time to show you the tops I've already made using this company's other patterns.  First up is my version of the Datura Blouse.

Before I get into the specifics on this top (of interest to the sewers out there), I have a funny story about this one.  Last September I was finishing up program at work which involved two or three speeches, a graduation and other stuff, on top of my regular workload.  I was working late into the evenings at the time and cut back on sewing quite a bit, but I had it in my head that I had to finish this top for the graduation events.  Somehow I did it.  So, despite the work, and the accomplishment of finishing the program, the highlight of my day was when I received a compliment on my top from the woman in the program with an amazing sense of style (wore Anthropologie almost daily).

So, back to the top itself. This was the first pattern from the company that caught my eye.  It was actually the cut outs on the neckline, even though I still have not made that version.  Instead I made the top last Fall using this lovely Ikat print on voile.  The front yoke is a dyed silk organza I picked up on a whim at G Street awhile back.  I ended up doubling the organza because the color didn't show up quite right with just one layer.  

I had to do quite a bit of altering on this pattern to get the front to fit just right--I started with tissue fitting and then made a muslim before I jumped into the fashion fabric.  I'm so glad I did because it really fits nicely now.  I don't think the fit issues have anything to do with the pattern though, they are my own body issues. 

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of my modeling the top.  I'm working my way up to posting pictures of myself modeling my clothes but I don't want to wait to post them any more, so this will have to do for now.  I have one coming up, don't worry.  And any suggestions for getting the courage to post pictures of yourself modeling from other bloggers out there would be greatly appreciated!

I really love this top and have worn in a lot, sleeveless and with a cardigan.  I think this pattern company has done a lovely job so far (at least based on the three I've made).  And, even though the patterns ship from France, the shipping cost is not any higher than shipping costs from a lot of US companies--so don't let that deter you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I am Not a Squirrel

We've been so excited to get to know our great neighbors over the past year.  They very conveniently have two daughters right around our girls' ages and the parents are great too.  I haven't been friends with any of my neighbors since we lived next to the Longs in Kenya and I was in middle school, so this is great fun.
The youngest turned three last week and I knew exactly what to make her.  She likes to play this little game where she collects acorns and offers them to her parents to eat, they respond by saying "I'm not a squirrel" and she doubles over in laughter.  

I had seen this printed corduroy at Superbuzzy awhile ago and loved it, but never bought it.  But after seeing this great game I had a great excuse.  

The dress is the Oliver + S Family Reuinion Dress, again.  Actually it's a shirt.  I had planned a dress with long sleeves, but have just now realized that one yard does not go that far past the infant stage. :(  I changed the sleeve to a cap sleeve--the red line on the pattern piece shows how I made that change.  I think it's sweet and makes it more wearable in the winter over a long sleeve shirt than the original sleeve does.  

I fully realize how much a three year old might not appreciate clothing as a birthday gift.  So I made her a little squirrel too.  The pattern comes from a pattern book I don't recommend, but it worked out this time anyway.
Happy birthday.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions.  But maybe it was the fact that I was on vacation for three weeks, on a little break from reality, that I felt one (some?) was in order this year. 
So here goes.
1.       More blogging.
2.       Spending more of my craft time on building up a true crafty business.
3.       Related to number 2, less time making things not related to my crafty business.
4.       Also related to number 2, less fabric shopping, unless it relates to my crafty business.
As you can see, I really, really want to build a real business.  I’ve been watching Shark Tank way too much lately saying to myself, “I could do that”.  And if I don’t give it a true effort I know I will always wonder. 
So, there it is, for the world to see (or at least those 20 or so of you who actually read my blog).
Happy New Year.
About the blogging...I’ve got quite a bit of backlog built up of completed projects that were never blogged.  So don’t worry, you’ll see more than coffee cozies here.
What are your New Year's resolutions?