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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embroidered top

Here is my newest top for me!  I had to try to make a top for an adult using some embroidery from my new machine.
I put on three coordinating designs, including one on the back for funsies.  The pattern is my usual Butterick 3344 top, which is now so out-of-print that they don't have it on the website anymore.  I modified the front to have crossover pieces at the top.  I had to be creative to use the pieces of this top, which was ruined in the wash.  :-(  I was so sad when that bit the dust that I stuffed it away for two years before cutting it up.  :-)

I've started a fancy dress for my mom, so expect some half-finished progress pics of that.  It will take me at least a few days to make, but I am LOVING it so far.  The fabric is the red shown in the middle of this post.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Amy Butler Birdie Sling

I promise some day soon (tomorrow), I'll show an adult garment again, but for now, it's another bag.  The pattern is Amy Butler's Birdie Sling bag.  I used the same fabrics from my Lazy Girl Designs Miranda Day Bag.

Here's an inside view.  I had to piece together one half of the lining since I was running out of fabric.  I also only had enough fabric for one pocket inside. 

The directions for this pattern are excellent.  Very, VERY detailed, so great for a beginner looking to make a bag or someone unsure about the bag-making process.  Amy Butler patterns get my vote now, and I'll be looking to add more to my pattern stash.

The shape of the bag is a bit odd, so I'd never chose it for my everyday purse, but it's the perfect size and shape to be my new music bag for choir and hold my binder, pencil, and water.  Plus, I'll be super coordinated for choir between this and my new purse.
In other news, I finished this dress for my mom!  It's actually a wearable muslin for a more special occasion dress I'm cutting out this afternoon.  I asked my sweet mommy if I could make her a dress to work on my fitting and alterations skills, and after I did said alterations, it took me a while to get my booty in gear and finish it.  Now it's in the mail to PA.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be seeing my mom until December (unless her sewing machine envy brings her here sooner), so unless she sends me a pic, I don't see any modeled photos in the near future.  The pattern is McCall's 2401 and the fabric is linen/cotton from my local Hancock Fabrics store.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lazy Girl Designs Miranda Day Bag

I finished my purse and used it today.  It's Lazy Girl Designs' Miranda Day Bag.  I've had the fabric and pattern in my stash for about 2 years and don't know why it took me so long to make it!
I love it and only made a few modifications.  It calls for batting and interfacing to provide the structure.  I used one layer of fusible fleece, and while it does stand up on its own, if I make it again, I'll use the recommended structure materials.  

It has lots of inside pockets and easily holds my wallet, phone, checkbook, sunglasses, pens, and various other little bits I feel the need to tote around.  

Another change I made was to sew the side seams a little bit to hold them in.  Make sense?  You can see it in this top view.

Here's a look at the velcro closure and the fabric-covered acrylic base, also from Lazy Girl Designs.  I bought everything at a quilt shop, but they also sell online.  The main print fabric and the blue is from a Moda holiday line, but these particular fabrics don't read "holiday" to me.  The green is a mystery quilting fabric that coordinated nicely.

If I make this bag again, I'll use a magnet snap closure, add a zipper top, and do the recommended interfacing, but other than that, this pattern is the perfect everyday bag for me!

Paul wanted to show you the velcro tab.
He also thought I should show off my work.  So thoughtful.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Atkinson Designs' Cash and Carry

So here is the little pouch I mentioned earlier.  The pattern is Atkinson DesignsCash and Carry.  I bought a kit with enough fabric and a zipper to make one of the pouches, but the pattern actually includes instructions for four different designs.  I made the Pocket zip to hold store discount cards and punch cards, which are exploding out of my wallet.  It's the perfect size for that.

The only thing I don't 100% love about the pattern is that while it is lined, the inside isn't finished super nicely.  It's fine for it's purpose, but it's not exactly beautiful inside.  Still, it's a very cute, fast pattern with excellent instructions, and I am sure I'll be making more.

 Here is a sneak peak of my current project, a purse, which became much more fun once I could monogram it.  I still haven't technically finished the black pants, but wouldn't you know, the store is out of the buttons I need now, so more waiting.

First day of school shirts

I made both boys shirts for the first day of school, even though only one was actually going to preschool (much to the little guy's disappointment).  As I ran back in the house to grab my coffee (gotta have that for the drive to preschool every morning), big brother decided to get started with the photoshoot and snapped a bunch of pics of little brother.  Then they both scrambled in the car and refused to come out when I was ready, coffee in hand.  
So... photos were taken in the school parking lot in front of this lovely white truck (not mine).

The pirate-themed embroidery designs are from Designs by Juju, about which I have nothing but good things to say:  the designs are great, the customer service is great, the prices are great.  The fabric for the shirts is an old purchase from Chez Ami fabrics.  I still have a bunch (bought it on clearance $3.50/yard), which is great.  It's a great stripe knit for boys tees.  The ribbing is plain brown from JoAnns.

Both boys were really proud and happy with their shirts, so I'm just enjoying that and not thinking forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when they'll no longer want mom's shirts.  :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011


Oh my GOODNESS!!!  My awesome husband surprised me with an anniversary present of... wait for it... a new sewing machine.  Not just any sewing machine.  The sewing machine I have coveted for years.  A Bernina Artista.  Sorry to brag, but you know how it is.  

I've only done a few things on it.  It makes uber-beautiful automatic buttonholes.

Sews on buttons easily (technically, I guess I could have done this with a zigzag on my other machine, but whatevs)

More buttonholes.  If I hadn't gotten too many of the wrong size and too few of the right size buttons, these pants would be finished.

This is the first thing I made on the machine, the night I got it.  It's a kit I got at a quilt shop in Delaware. I'll post more info on it in a bit. 
 And, of course, I've been fiddling with the embroidery module.  I'm totally going to be one of those people who embroiders something on EVERYTHING... cause I can.  This is the first thing I stitched out on my own (after the in-home demonstration) and it was too pretty to throw away, so I put that sucker on an old kitchen towel.  Instant cute kitchen.  My house will be a sea of embroidered flowers shortly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby outfit and late Jeudi de Jardinage

I made this little outfit for my sweet niece, Elizabeth.
I just traced the pieces of a cute outfit she had and did a little freezer paper stencil demonstration for my sisters, then added a little ballerina skirt to the stenciled dancer.

The skirt has panties attached for modesty.  She's sitting up now and who knows when she'll be crawling around!
Now I have to get this outfit in the mail quickly before she's too big for it!

I took these photos yesterday for a Jeudi de Jardinage post, but extenuating circumstances (naughty kids) kept me from downloading and posting them.

When I returned for several wonderful weeks of vacation, my flowers required, and still require, a bit of work.  I used some lovely blue ribbon to tie up some vines because they kept getting mowed when they fell outside the fence.  I've been meaning to do this for, oh, 4 months or so.  I put it off until I remembered to pick up some twine, but yesterday, I decided some blue grosgrain would work just fine for now.

My gorgeous red roses are growing like crazy.  I've bought some other rose bushes at big garden centers, but nothing comes close to this beauty I got a local nursery.  Mulching this bed and making it pretty has also been on my to-do list for at least 4 months.

Here are the fruits of my rose-growing labors.  They make me smile every day.  I have a pretty steady stream of red roses this time of year.  The sad looking houseplant on the plant stand is a source of much angst for me.  It was the first plant I bought when we moved to Florida a year ago.  I promptly killed it... almost.  It was down to 2 leaves but it is determined to come back.  It's still not looking exactly nice, but I'll keep watering it as long as it keeps making new leaves. 

My Peace Lily was looking really sad when I came back from vacation.  I think it'll pull through, though.  Despite the brown leaf tips, it starting perking up within a day of watering.
That's it for today.  I can't wait to show some more productivity from the sewing room.