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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby dress with Asian Fabric and ruffled panty

Here is a dress I made for Baby Gigi with some of the fabrics I bought downtown last week. I used  a store bought pattern, Butterick 5017. The drawing of the pattern showed the skirt to be more gathered than the dress really is.

Who can resist a ruffled baby pant. This is the only stage in life when ruffles on the butt actually look good!

A pensive moment. You can't believe how hard it is for a baby who doesn't walk yet to stand still for a moment. Crawling doesn't really show off the outfit.

Here is a shot from behind. Next time I make this dress I will increase the gathering of the skirt . The asian looking fabric was a real bargain. It's by Roxy Quicksilver and was only 2 dollars a yard.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simplicity 2405 adding a neckline insert for modesty

Pattern envelope
Low gaping neckline
Addition of a fabric panel.
I shirred the panel with narrow elastic on the wrong side.
I added a braided trim to cover the stichline from the added modesty panel. 
The finished result. It looks good on Isabelle but it was a disaster to make!
I decided to make a maxi dress from some really interesting Anna Sui Fabric I found on sale. I bought  Simplicity Pattern  2405 and based on my measurements I should be a size 12. Well when I sewed it up it was huge! Of course I was too lazy to make a test pattern from some cheaper fabric so I ended up having to take it in about 4 inches from the sides and this threw off the fit of the whole garment. To top it of the bustline was too low and gaping  so I had to figure out how to add some kind of panel . I came up with the idea above. Once I attached themodesty panel I noticed there were some cheap looking stichlines around the neckline which I wanted to hide so I fashioned a braid to sew on by hand to cover the stitchmarks.
The conclusion I have come to regarding store bought patterns is that by the time I finish correcting all the mistakes on the fit of the pattern I might as well build a garment from scratch. I pulled out my old patternmaking books from FIDM and I bought a  new book called: Design It Yourself Clothes and I am going to be making more original patterns from now on. Commercial patterns never seem to fit right, sorry Simplicity!
Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Los Angeles Fabric District Field Trip

Thursday I took my girls down to the LA Fabric District to buy some new fabric for upcoming projects

A stop at the FIDM scholarship store where you can find incredible deals on trims and fabric

Some beautiful cottons at Micheal Levine

You can't go to the Fabric District without stopping for a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with Avocado salsa

The corner of 9th and Maple

You can get cash, feathers, AND a Tiara in one stop!

Laying out my 3$ a yard cotton
Walking down Maple
Trims at Kashcool on 9th Street

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Using up my fabric stash

So I'm planning on going to the Los Angeles garment district tomorrow to do some fabric shopping. I can't help but feeling a little guilty because I already have so much fabric as you can see. A lot of it I have been picking up over the years at Flea Markets or thrift shops and various trips to the garment district downtown. But not much of it is actually that great for making grown up clothing. Quilting cotton is wonderful for children's clothing because it's so bright and durable but I'm not that crazy about the drape for my own clothes.There are some fun projects in this great book I just got from Amazon called One Yard WondersOne-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!. I could use up some of the fabrics I'm not that crazy about by making shopping bags for the grocery store. I need a new shower curtain and I would also like to cover my vintage ironing board with something cute and colorful. It's a beautiful old wooden board but it has an ancient stained cover on it which is getting a little too dreary for me to handle as you can see from the photo above. Maybe the fabric can be used to make some quilts to donate to my kids' school for the fundraiser this fall. Does anyone have any interesting ideas?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Crepe recipe

Crepes are really easy to make and somehow have a lot more panache than your average puffy pancake. Here is an easy recipe:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
Put everything in a blender and mix.
Heat a flat cast iron pan coated with Pam. Put about 1/3 cup mixture in pan . Pick up pan to spread runny mixture around pan evenly. Flip crepe when browned.
Put the crepe on a plate and place a couple of tablespoons of your favorite jam in the middle. My homemade nectarine recipe is pictured.
Fold the crepe in half . Fold in half again and put a napkin around it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day at the Ventura County Fair

Today I took my girls to the Ventura County Fair to see how our entries did. If you remember one of my earlier entries Lily made a quilt to enter. Today was dollar day so it seemed like half the world was there. We were lucky to nab a free parking spot about a 5 minute walk from the fair.One of the things that really struck me today were all the really vibrant and saturated colors everywhere.

A colorful ride
The required clown. My baby didn't seem to mind him although I was terrified of clowns as a child!
A colorful display of fishbowls. Luckily Lily didn't win one. She already has a Beta fish.
4-H girls waiting to see how their guinea pigs did during the judging. Aren't they spiffy?
The girls up on the swing.
Lily with her quilt that won first place, YAY !!!
Above and below my sibling dresses which got third place.

The cupcake dress won second place

Monday, August 9, 2010

sew country chick: Rolling trolley flea market cart liner tutorial

sew country chick: Rolling trolley flea market cart liner tutorial: "O.K. so I have to admit I spent another Saturday night at my sewing machine. I was planning on going to the Rose Bowl Flea Market on Sunday ..."

Rolling trolley flea market cart liner tutorial

  1. O.K. so I have to admit I spent another Saturday night at my sewing machine. I was planning on going to the Rose Bowl Flea Market on Sunday morning and I always see this stand there that sells liners for carts like mine. I believe they are about 25$ each and the fabrics are kind of boring . I always say to myself," I can just make one of those things, I'd rather save the money." I inevitably ending up buying something small and it gets all banged up against the wire in my cart. Making a liner is pretty simple.
  2. Measure the 4 sides of the cart and add a half inch to each side. Measure the floor of the cart and add 1/2 inch seam allowance too. You will have 5 pieces to cut from your main fabric, I chose an old western themed fabric I have had lying around since my 16 year old was little. I was going to do his room in a cowboy theme with it but decided it was too feminine.
  3. Cut the same size pieces out of another fabric for the lining. I used an old sheet I don't use anymore.
  4. Sew up the two cart linings separately.
  5. Cut 8 long pieces for straps about 20 inches by 4 inches.
  6. You will iron each strap piece in half right sides facing together. Stitch up along the edge of the long piece of the tie .
  7. Use a safety pin to turn them right side out then turn the raw edges in and stitch across them.
  8. Fold the straps in half and place them along the upper edge of one of the sacks facing down on the right side of the fabric.Place the folded edge along the upper edge of the lining. The folded strap will look like two when you are finished.
  9. Now place your lining inside the outer liner right sides together. Stitch along the top edge leaving about a 5 inch space open so you can flip it right side out
  10. Turn it right side out and iron the little 5 inch space shut and stitch it closed!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pattern review Burda 7828 Wrap dress

I wanted to make a simple wrap dress with a top I could adjust for nursing my baby. It's so hard to find dresses one can wear while one is nursing . I love to wear dresses and this design actually is not a true wrap dress, but unties and partially opens at the bust area. If you reinforce the neckline with elastic you can pull it down for nursing without pulling the v neck out of shape. The dress below is a size 10 and I slashed the pattern at the bustline to accommodate my larger than normal nursing bustline, ahem! Needless to say it looks a lot better on my dress form than me. My dressform hasn't had four babies.
Things I would change about this pattern:
1. I would definitely not attach interfacing to the ties at the bustline. The interfacing made the ties way too stiff and as you can see, they don't drape very nicely
2. Ignore the measurements on the pattern envelope. This pattern runs about a size too big. There is nothing more annoying than cutting out an entire pattern based on your true measurements and the pattern specifications and then stitching up the pattern to find that it is huge.
In short, this is a great little summer dress and a very easy pattern to follow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Find of the Week 1965 Monark bike

I was at the Goodwill the other day for their monthly 50 per cent off sale to stock up on old wool sweaters that I intend to refashion and sell on Etsy when I found this cute bike sitting there. It was only 10 dollars so of course I bought it. I already have two bikes, a mountain bike from ten years ago when I was doing my outdoor chick thing and a beach cruiser I used to use all the time when we lived near the beach. Even if I couldn't use this bike, I have three daughters at home and one of them would be bound to love this "antique".

When I got it home and started cleaning it I noticed the original bike license from the " City of Torrance 1965 expiring 1968". How cool is that? Oh and the bike is also made in England.
Upon trying to find a suitable parking space in my shed , I started pulling things out and organizing and cleaning which led to a massive three day clean up which had me loading my pickup truck for three trips to the dump, cleaning several pieces of old furniture which I listed on Craigslist, and taking a truckload of things back to the same Goodwill where I originally bought my bike

 There was a community event going on at the dump for residents to take their big trash items for ten dollars a truckload. Upon pulling into the dump there were so many giant piles, some with perfectly good looking pieces of furniture and bikes and toys on them it got me thinking about how much we waste and consume in this country. Even poor people here have too much stuff.

I asked one of the volunteers where everything goes and fortunately some of it is recycled but a lot of it just gets dumped in the landfill sadly. It's like our whole country has just woken up with a big hangover from all the overspending which occurred before this recession started. Hopefully we will all be wiser about consuming so freely in the future. Needless to say I didn't get any sewing done this weekend but now I'm leaner and meaner and ready to roll!
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