Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Hail Mary Dress - Simplicity 2774

I planned on hoarding this fabric forever.  It is soft and drapes perfectly....I love the pink is slinky perfect.  I loved it until my daughter burst my bubble and said it could go grandma in a minute. So, I got scared and put it in a box.   I have also been hoarding Simplicity 2774 in the same box. Thankfully, I dug them both out last weekend and made a fabulous dress!  I didn't expect either one of them to work but in the end I was a very happy girl!

The pattern was easy to work with and I love the neckline.  It is folded over and secured at the top and bottom.  It doesn't require top-stitching and it lays flat even after washing!!  I did added some clear elastic around the waistband to keep it a little bit more secure.  I was worried it may end up a little maternity but I think the soft lightweight fabric worked out perfect.  It stays flat against the belly but is still flowy enough that I can pig out at dinner!

I picked up the fabric at GirlCharlee about a year ago.  It is a rayon jersey knit and it feels super soft.  It also doesn't cling to my leggings.....which is reason enough to buy bolts of the stuff.  

After looking at the pictures, I think it will look fabulous with my cowboy boots too!  I love this pattern and plan to make another one tunic length in a solid fabric very soon!  Surprise happy endings are the BEST!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

My 'Summer Vacation" Dress

I will be heading out for a summer vacation in Florida soon!  I can't wait to hang out at the lake and show my son my childhood home!!  I took a hard look at my wardrobe and started planning my packing this weekend.  I found that I have a TON of summer clothes and practically zero winter.  I live in Colorado so that is just crazy but I figure one more summer dress can't hurt.  :)  You know take the girl out of Florida...ect ect.ect.
This is Burda 8071.

This pattern was surprising easy to sew up and fit.  The bodice lining does not get added until the zipper is in.  This made fitting a dream.  It was a little loose after the zipper was added but I was able to take it in a bit at the side seams.  It went together very quickly and was fun to sew.  

I really had my doubts about this shape on me but in the end I am surprisingly happy with it.  It is really comfortable to wear and I have been searching for a spaghetti strap sundress for a while.  

I used a rayon I picked up at a local shop.  It has just the right amount of drape and I love the print.  Perfect for evenings spent sitting in a lawn chair by the lake!! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Newest Little Blue Dress.

I have learned so much about myself by blogging.  I really only started sewing my own clothes about a year and a half ago.  I mean I made skirt prior to the NRW fast but that was about it. So over the past year, I  learned important things like how to fit my shape (still learning) and what styles make me happy and comfortable.  I also learned silly things like my most recent discovery which is that I tend to sew the same colors back to back to back.  I look over the blog and there is burgundy, burgundy, burgundy and now blue everywhere!  How funny and maybe even boring.  lol. So here is my latest blue creation.

This dress started out as another Audrey but at the first try-on point I found out it didn't fit right.  The fabric is amazing but doesn't have the stretch needed for a comfortable Audrey dress.  Thankfully, I had a little fabric leftover and between that and the failed dress I was able to squeeze out this dress.

I blogged about this dress already here.  It starts out as Butterick 5313 (best neckline ever!) but I changed the skirt quite a bit.  This style dress is my "I can completely overeat at a BBQ and no one else has to know about it" go to look.    The fabric is a knit jersey blend from Girl Charlee!  I love it but read carefully only 30% stretch!  

So let me cheer for successfully saving a wadder and super pretty fabric!!  YAY!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Celebration of Nose Diversity!

Oh my goodness, I made a quilt!  I am not a quilter. I have made a few in the past but they were just straight strips of corners, tips, points whatsoever!  I am NOT good with small details in quilts.  So, every nose on this quilt is different (poorly sewn) but I love it anyway.  No one (not even foxes) wants to be the same as everyone else anyway...right.

A broken-down corral in our neighborhood where the foxes live!  How perfect is that?

So what caused me to make this cute quilt?  Well, it all started when I won a few prizes for the Crazy Dog Challenge.   YAY me!!! One of the prizes was a Riley Blake fat quarter bundle with foxes on it. It was a nice size bundle and I felt like I HAD to use it well.  I can buy fabric and stash it forever no problem but win a bit of quilting fabric and it just haunts me.  So cute fox fabric calls for a Fox Quilt. 

I had enough fat quarter to do the lap quilt.  I recently started watching a 1-year old during the day so I sewed up 6 blocks a day during her naptime.  They were fun to sew and the quilt top was done in a week and a half.  It was fun and I will make other quilts in the future but sewing clothes will always be my favorite!

Friday, April 10, 2015

My "OH MY" nightgown!

My Carolyn pajama sewing marathon inspired me to overhaul my pj situation.  So when I spotted Burda's vintage style nightgown (Burda 12/2014 #134), it moved right to the top of my to-do list.  I envisioned myself looking super cute in my new pink nightie cooking pancakes in the morning ect.  Then the fabric arrived and oh my cooking pancakes in this number (well....unless the kids are out, the blinds are bolted and the doors are triple  This fabric is SUPER sheer!!

The fabric is cotton lawn from  It is great quality but when I ordered it I didn't realize it was this SHEER!  I went ahead with the project because the fabric was perfect for a first worries if it failed.  

I really love this pattern.  It went together really easily and the pleat in the back is super cute. My experience with the Carolyn pj really helped with this pattern because so many of the techniques are the same.  The pattern says to use lingerie fabric but I think a flannel or shirting fabric would be great too.  So next time I will head for the other end of the spectrum. 

Overall, I am pretty happy with the husband is too.  LOL.   I will be making at least one or two more of these and hopefully I will be able to model the next ones for you! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wiksten Tova Top

One of my favorite things about the online sewing community is being introduced to great independent sewing patterns that I would have never seen otherwise.  I just found the Wiksten Tova Top last week.......why did it take me so long?

It is the perfect dress for me!  Loose fitting yet flattering with a bohemian twist.....all my favorite things.  I also LOVE that it is made for woven fabrics.  I made this one from a linen/cotton blend that I found a Joann's.  This fabric is LOVELY!  I wore this dress all day (even took a quick nap on the couch) and then took pictures.  Barely any wrinkles to be seen!!!

My adjustments were minor.  I added to the upper back because I always have too.   I also added a collar because I just like that type of neckline better.  Other than that, this dress was made straight out of the box.  It is a very fast pattern too which was just what I needed after the wool jacket!  

Check out my birthday gift....the cutest cowboy boots ever!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

From Sexy To Practical In Two Weeks Flat!

Well folks, I completely step out of my comfort zone with this one and I think I enjoyed it. 

It all started on a sunny day last September when the newest Burda Magazine arrived in my mailbox.   I spotted Burda 9/2014 127 and fell in love.  

Sadly it was short-lived.  I made three muslins with zero success.  Even after adding 5 inches to the upper back, I still couldn't move my arms.  The fit on the front of the sleeve was a disaster too.  So I accepted defeat and trashed the pattern.  I still had the most lovely wool (Colorado Fabric) and a ton of faux patent leather ( in need of a purpose.  I searched the internet for the perfect pattern (I only had 2 1/4 yards of wool) but couldn't find what I wanted.

So, I turned to New Look 6226 because I knew the shoulders and upper back fit perfectly.  I used my favorite ready-wear jacket to figure out a new bottom for the front and back and length.  I also added a collar.  I have never bought a coat or jacket that fits my upper back comfortably so I may have gone overboard with excess room in that area but I don't apologize.......crossing my arms without restriction is the BEST EVER THING!

I started out hoping for a sexy Michelle Pfeiffer (Grease II) jacket and ended up with an simple yet practical one.  Overall, I am very happy.  The sexy one would have spent most of its time in my closet whereas the practical one will see daily wear next winter.  

The faux patent leather (fancy word for vinyl) was surprisingly easy to sew with.  I used silk thread with the wool for the first time because Sandra Betzine told me too! (Crafty's Fabric Know-How class).  She is amazing and I LOVE the results.  I also LOVE sewing with wool..........wishing for a full wool

It seemed wrong to have a lovely wool jacket and put a polyester lining in it so I tried out some ambiance bemberg lining fabric and loved it so much I bought a ton more for the future.  Overall it was a PROCESS but the results make me smile! The best part is I have just enough wool left to make a little pencil skirt.  Yippee!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In LOVE With Audrey! - Maria Denmark

Hello all!  A couple of week ago quite a few of you recommended the Audrey knit dress from Maria Denmark for me and I just can't thank you all enough!!!  I LOVE this dress pattern!  It is THE dress pattern I have been searching for forever!  

The pattern is really lovely to sew.  All the dots lined up and it went together in record time.  I did change the neckline to an even strip because I was not so sure about my abilities to sew the fancy one but other than that I sew it as directed.  The back darts are WONDERFUL!  They give the dress such great shape!  It is very comfortable to wear and the design is simple enough that I can have quite a few in the closet with no problem.

I used a really nice sweater knit I picked up a Colorado Fabric.  I have been wearing the heck out of this dress.   It has been worn on a fabric shopping trip to Denver with my friend Caryn (Caryn's Blog), an opening night at an art gallery and a few grocery shopping trips too.  It is super versatile! 

I am currently working on a wool jacket that has been really intense.  Once I finish, another one of these dresses is on the cutting table.  It is the perfect feel-good quick project that I will be needing.  

I gotta love a pattern that bring my super busy college girl home to sew.  I think she did a fantastic job and I love her fabric.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Burda Challenge February Fail

I love a sewing challenge.....they keep me on-task and motivated even on the worst of my dreary/lazy days. So when I read about the Burda Challenge on Nancy's blog last month, I was very excited.  The challenge is to sew something from a Burda magazine each month.  Thankfully, back issues are allowed because my sewing room has a stack of them.  I love so many of the patterns but tracing them out.......ugh!  This is the PERFECT challenge to get me to spend a bit more quality time with my tracing paper!  I missed January and surprisingly didn't have a February issue in the stack so I picked up the U.S. February issue at JoAnn's.  I fell in love with this shirt.  

It is the Burda 01/2014  #122 reprinted in the February 2015 U.S. Burda.  Sometimes I forget that I am in my mid-40's and my body has changed A LOT since high school.  Sadly, this pattern was a harsh reminder!  I have a super straight body and was hoping the various directions of the stripes would give me the illusion of curves but no that didn't happen.  It just made me look straighter.   Thankfully my daughter took it off my hands.

I think part of the problem was that my stripes were too narrow and I must have forgot that I really hate myself in a stripe of any kind. Anyway, it found a good home in the end.  The pattern itself was really easy to put together and in the U.S. issue there is a sew-a-long included with the pattern making the directions crystal clear.  I used a reversible jersey knit I purchased at JoAnn's

  This dress was REALLY hard to photography.  She looks lovely in it in this picture but it really is even cuter in real-life.  She is also my super favorite person for agreeing to a photo in the freezing weather!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Endless Pajama Party! Carolyn Pajamas!

Carolyn current addiction!  As you know, I made the shorts version of these pajamas in a cute Snoopy fabric early this month.  I LOVE them but I do live in Colorado and it has snowed almost every day for the past two weeks!  I need pants!

I had quite a few cabin fever days lately and this pattern got me through the worst of it.  The pattern is fun to sew up and I learned a lot too.  The collar was a new technique for me and the directions were fantastic!  I also love sewing up a pattern a couple of times in a just gets better and better each time.  Whereas if I take a break from the pattern, it's like starting new all over again for me.

My Paris pj's are made out of quilting cotton with a super soft feels....LOVE. 

Clearly I am a Carolyn Pajama super fan!  If you have not tried the pattern yet, I am giving you a big virtual push!!  Just do it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Crazy Dog Lady Challenge - Completed!

I LOVE fun sewing challenges so when I read about the Crazy Dog Lady Challenge on the Two Random Word Blog, I immediately joined in and put my fabric finding skills to work!  I love my dogs!  I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi (Tinkerbell because she was the runt.....4 years old) and an English Cocker Spaniel (Dash because she never sits still.....7 months old).

I found this super cute Scottie fabric at The Fabric Fairy.  It's a cotton/poly/lyrca blend and my new favorite t-shirt fabric.  Fantastic recovery...perfect drape....feels incredible on....easy to sew with......I can't say enough!  I ordered a ton more in solid colors and can't wait for it to arrive!!

My shirt is a combination of Kwik Sew 1065 (main body) and the renfrew (neckline and sleeve bottoms).  This was my first time ever combined two patterns and I love the result!  YAY!  The two pattern merged easily and gave me just the style I was looking for!

I really wanted black arms but couldn't find a similar weight fabric but thankfully I ended up liking the red.  I was not at all confident in my abilities to make the first shirt so I made a back up shirt just in case it didn't work.  I love them both!  The second shirt is a straight renfrew.

I really enjoyed this challenge and can't wait to see everyone's makes!!  The challenge is open til March 15th so y'all should join in the fun!!

Close up of my super cute fabric!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

It's A Pajama Party! - Carolyn Pajamas

I LOVE pajamas but sadly most of mine consist of tank tops and very well-worn simple pants (the kind I learned to sew when I was ten) so I was so excited when Closet Case Files released their newest pattern.......Carolyn Pajamas.   They are super cute and comfortable but fancy enough that I don't feel too bad wearing them well into the morning (afternoon).

 I knew right away that I wanted to use Snoopy quilting fabric! (I have a bit of an addiction to quilting fabric....collect it....covet it....but never a use for it...I rarely quilt.  Just another reason to love this pattern)  I searched around town and there must have been a snoopy quilting convention going on or something because all the bolts were just about empty!  Since I was SET on Snoopy, I went with the shorts!

This was a fun pattern to sew up!  Lots of great details and the results are lovely.  I initially choose to go with the black contracting fabric because of my fabric shortage issues but in the end I can't image it any other way!  Sophisticated Snoopy!!

Super cute fabric!!!

I will be making a ton more of these......another Snoopy (once the stores restock), a strawberry shortcake and maybe even a solid colored with piping.  The Pajama Party continues into early March so go buy the pattern and join the FUN!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Winter Coffee/Couch Date Dress - Burda 1/2014 #123

As soon as I spotted the photo of this dress in my winter issue of Burda Style, I knew I had to have one!  I ADORE loose yet flattering winter clothes....because if you have to be cold you should at least be comfortable.  I tried to find a nice striped fleece fabric so I could be just as cute as the model but furry striped fleece is surprising hard to find!  Thankfully JoAnn's had this amazingly novelty knit waiting for me.  It is super soft fabric with an almost sponge-like texture (I just made it sound awful but trust me it's heaven).

The pattern is pretty simple.  Three pattern pieces along with my serger made for a fast project.  I am still struggling to figure out my size in Burda patterns.  I cut a 38 based on my measurement and it was HUGE!!!!  It may have something to do with my fabric being a bit more stretchy then the fleece but I ended up taking about 4 inches off each side!! 

The fabric is a dream....hangs well, doesn't cling to my leggings and it is COMFORTABLE!!!  The  roomy sleeves and waist made this girl super happy!!  I felt slightly dress up for my coffee date and very happy later on the couch watching tv with my win!!

I am still searching for some lovely furry fleece because I would love another one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Red TARDIS Skirt - McCall 3830

Another silly skirt.....they are my new favorite thing!   It is hard to be in a bad mood when you are dressed funny.  I REALLY love this skirt because the first time I wore it my son said 'Cool the red TARDIS' (Dr. Who reference).  He is 11-years old and the concept of a telephone booth is completely lost on him. the skirt all the more now.  I found the fabric in a quilting store and had to have it.  I LOVE London.  I spent a bit of time there while in the military (Air Force 9 years) and have really great memories!

I knew I wanted to wear the skirt with my boots and a sweater.  So, I underlined the fabric with another layer of lightweight cotton.  It gave the skirt more body and made it a bit warmer.  

I used McCall's 3830.  A simple pattern with only four pieces.  I didn't want to cut the fabric up too much.   I originally thought I would go longer and added a vent (something I just learned to do) but in the end had to cut it off.  The print demanded that the skirt be short.

I think this skirt will go in the back of my closet because I think my daughter may be planning to "borrow" it very soon.  A high compliment but I think I want to keep this one.