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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Easy Machine Sewn Buttons

I was tired of how crummy and "homemade" my hand sewn buttons were looking when I realized I could just sew the buttons on with my machine. Yes!
OK, maybe some of you are smart and figured out this trick a long time ago, but for those of you who are as clueless as I was, here is an easy way to sew on neat, tidy, and professional looking buttons with the sewing machine!
Using the zig zag stitch and removing the presser foot.
What a time saver this was for me!

And look how nice the buttons look from the backside! Much nicer than my usual messy hand sewn buttons.
Before you set up your zig zag stitch to sew your buttons down, set your straight stitch to zero length, which means the needle will stay in place and not go forward. Sew one or two stitches and then do a backstitch to lock the thread.  Now you can continue with the sewing of your buttonholes. Do the same thing once you are done sewing the buttonhole to lock the thread and keep the buttons from unraveling off.

A little dress design I've been working on in chambray, my fabric obsession of the moment, based on a 1940's pinny dress.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview With My 10 Year Old On Fashion

An Interview With My 10 Year Old About Fashion. Interviewed By Me.

Q: How do you feel about handmade clothes?
A: I like them.... accept I don't like them to look too crafty.

Q: How do you want them to look?
A: Like they aren't handmade.

Q: How do you feel about telling your friends your mom makes your clothes?
A: Fine. I don't care. I brag about it.

Q: What colors do you like?
A :I like the colors mint, baby pink, and  white. And blue. I also like colored denim shorts

Q: How about patterns on clothing?
A: No Peace signs, no hearts, and no things that say love! I like small patterns with little animals or florals. Most kids will probably think I'm stupid because everyone at my last school liked that stuff. I like things with turtles and Galaxy prints and I HATE Poo Poo pants ( harem pants) That's what Zac Posen calls them.

Q: Speaking of Zac Posen, how do you feel about fashion in general and Project Runway?
A: I like everything about it. I like the drama and to see how people make things. And I like Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum.

Q: I used to make you a lot of vintage fashions with 40's patterns. Would you wear those dresses now if I made you one?
A: If you made it like a modern vintage in a like a blue chambray or something I would wear it. Chambray would be nice.

A: Would you wear something with ruffles on it?
Q: If it was a shorter skirt. No ruffly sleeves. That's a big no no in my book.

So we decided to go through some of the pattern companies out there to let Lily choose some that she might consider wearing. She didn't like much. But she did find a few things on the Burdastyle website.
Lily's Pattern Picks:

Houndstooth Dress  largest size size 10
Girls Pullover sized up to 12.

Stop by next week to read my advice on sewing for girls this age ( also know as tweens) and also for sewing for teenagers. They are a rough crowd!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY Striped Flowered Tote: #MarthaDecoupage

The other day I got a lovely box of goodies from Martha Stewart Decoupage in the mail to try out.
In it contained some new products designed for creating decoupage on fabric!
There was a special glue for creating an oilcloth finish on fabric, a matte formulation for gluing fabric to fabric permanently, some decoupage paint brushes, colorful paints, and a various assortment of die cut fabric appliques, which can all be found at Micheal's Craft Stores. And it's all machine washable. I've tried gluing on fabric before but the project was ruined when I washed it, so I'm so glad there is a product like this now.

Would you like to make one ? Here's how:
A plain tote from the hobby shop
2 inch wide painters tape
Acrylic paint
Martha Stewart Fabric to Fabric Durable Matte Finish formula
Martha Stewart Decoupage Fabric Die Cuts 

Tape stripes onto the tote every other 2 inches
Paint the white spaces and let dry.
Apply glue to the back of the die cuts and let dry.
Apple two coats of the decoupage glue over the appliques to seal it, letting it dry between each coat.
This is th epart my kids like to help out with. They love to glue and paint.
The appliques will be clear once they're dry.

 If you read my blog you know I love painting and manipulating fabric in new ways so I was very excited to try the products. I would have to say they are very good and easy to use. To learn more visit the Plaid Craft media channels below.

Disclosure:These products were provided to me free of charge and I was financially compensated for this post but the opinions in it are my own. 

 Stop by some of the links below and see what some of my fellow bloggers have made with Martha's Decoupage!

If you would like to see more sewing and craft related posts consider adding Sew Country Chick to your rss feed reader. Or follow with Facebook, Twitter, or Friend Connect!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Moving Out: My Son The Maker

The van is all packed up and he's ready to go.
My son has gotten an apartment at college.
Somehow this seems a lot more serious than his living in the dorm last semester. This is the real thing.
He's moving out.
The day has come.
He's been busy this summer. He started a t- shirt company with his best bud, pictured above bottom left. It's called Enabl Apparel and they are donating some of their profits to charity. You can check out their website here.
Modeling also are his sister and our exchange student we had this summer. Having a beautiful French student visiting with all of my son's friends coming and going was interesting. We suddenly we had lots of his friends stopping by!

 It hasn't been a summer without it's frustrations, having so many teens in and out of the house plus other houseguests.
But I miss everyone already.
Today feels like the last day of summer.
 That's one of his drawings he made for his t- shirts. I think it's pretty incredible.

 Another of his drawings. Of my hands.

 A beach cruiser with an attached motor he built with his dad and friends over the weekend. Now he can navigate up the hills around his college quickly! And not be late for class.
Paris Amusement Park 1997
Off to new adventures!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Negroni shirt for my husband in chambray

I  sewed something for my husband!!! Only after being married for twenty years....
It doesn't help that my husband is super picky about fashion. To be honest, I didn't think I could sew well enough to pass the test until now.
I guess I passed because he loves this shirt and has been wearing it a lot!
And I think he looks really good in it if I do say so myself...

 I used the Colette Negroni pattern and yes, It's as good as all the hype about it floating around the blogosphere says it is. This fit him straight out of the envelope and the fit is narrow enough to be fashionable but not too narrow for his taste. He's into this traditional retro American look this year.

He won't wear anything unless it's made in the US or Europe or Japan. He's a bit of fashion snob. But he has principles. He hates how all of the clothing companies have moved production overseas, and the resulting decline in quality and workmanship.
Those glasses he's wearing are from Randolph Engineering, an eyewear company that has been making eyeglasses in Boston for decades. His jeans are handmade by a design duo out of San Francisco called Jack Knife Outfitters. The belt is by Filson, a company in Seattle that still makes their leather goods here. And yes, buying things made in the US costs a pretty penny.

 I could go on about his cool style but here's the thing: He likes my shirt enough to wear it over and over. I just might make him another one! This is a casual style double yoked shirt and doesn't have a collar stand. I'd say an intermediate sewist could make this , no problem.

 This pattern was a dream to sew up. The directions were really thorough and easy to follow. I used a beautiful slub chambray from Michel Miller that is made in Japan. I bought it here at Superbuzzy. They have the COOLEST fabrics! And I'm lucky enoght o live about twenty minutes from their shop in Ventura. The buttons are from my vintage collection. The thread was organic and made in the Netherlands... I spared no expense on this project veering away from my usual bargain basement tendencies

 OK, there are a few loose threads! I used my sewing machine to sew the buttonholes on. I love this technique and think I may share a little trick I learned, involving removing the presser foot and sewing the button on freehand. The placket is also a nice touch. I am so in love with this fabric. I need to make something for myself with this. Soon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A pinafore and blouse from a 1981 pattern

When Jodi from Sew Fine Fabric contacted me to ask if I would like to try out some of her fabric for a project, I was like " Ummmm... YES!!!
So I made a pinafore and matching Peter Pan collar blouse with the fabric she sent me.
 I totally love this logo!
So cute.
But seriously, the fabrics over there are organic and also very stylish.
A winning combination.
I couldn't decide what to use so I asked her to just send me something she liked.

She sent me Peacock Paisley and Lotus Blossom, both organic fabrics by the designer Monaluna.
I really like them both!
I thought it would be fun to try these more modern fabrics in a traditional style.
I was curious to see how that might look.
 So I used this pattern from 1981 by McCall's I had in my stash.
I have been sort of obsessed with this classic pinafore style lately and have been working on  a few versions myself, trying to make what i consider the perfect pinafore.
This one is close and a very typical style of the pinafore from the 70's. I think I had a dress like this myself.
 But my favorite little girls pinafore is a 40's version.
 This pinafore style is a jumper and can either be worn with a blouse or without one, as shown on the pattern cover. But little girls don't seem to wear these pinafores without shirts anymore. I think it would be cute with a tank top under it too.
Strangely, a lot of modern patterns for girls have longer hemlines and are actually more modest than some of the vintage styles.
I like to see knees! Little knees are so cute.
 We found these shoes by Primigi up in her shoe basket.
I bought then at the thrift shop but they weren't really Gigi's style.
She's more of a Converse and Crocs girl but she agreed to wear these for "the picture".
What a great model she is!
 She is turning into such a ham for the camera! She thought up all these poses.

I love this shot. It was about 7:30 in the morning and I could not see this ray of sun through my camera lens.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Using Project Life: Organizing My Blog Photos

"This post is a part of a paid campaign with American Crafts, but all opinions are my own."

As a creative blogger, I take a LOT of pictures. I spend hours editing them and figuring out photo shoot ideas. But I have to admit I'm not very good at actually printing my photos and when I do, they usually end up sitting in those red envelopes in a drawer somewhere. I have been wanting to change this... maybe I'll get into scrap booking someday, but that someday never comes. But I do need a way to organize and make a record of not only the many projects I've sewn for myself and the girls, but my DIY projects and my whole life!

So I was thrilled when American Crafts sent me a box in the mail with a photo organizing kit called Project Life from becky Higgins. I was sent the The Dear Lizzy Fifth and Frolic Core Kit edition, a Memerology photo album and the Project Life photo pages designed to hold everything. You can now find it all at Micheal's Craft stores.

 Some of you crafty types might recognize Dear Lizzy. I'd seen her work and watched her speak at the SNAP Creativity conference once, and was excited to be working with one of her products. An array of light blues, pinks, and airy neutral cards are decorated with cute birds, trees, houses, foxes, and old typewriters, with little spaces to describe and write notes on either the pictures or anything that strikes your fancy. I think it's totally adorable!

I had never heard of Project Life before, so while I was excited, I was a little scared that it might be too much for me, not having ANY scrap booking experience.
It turns out Project Life is perfect for what I want to do. The cute little cards are designed to be put into the large photo pages that hold the cards and my 4 by 6 inch photos. There is no cutting, gluing or stamping necessary, but the cards themselves alongside my photos create a pretty collage effect, similar to a scrapbook. But without all of the work. So it's perfect for a newbie like me.

So how am I going at organizing my blog's photos? It's a slow process because I printed out about a year's worth of photos at once. And then I am going back through my blog posts to find out when I made the projects and other details that I can write about on my Project Life cards. But I am so happy that I'm finally doing this. What if somehow my blog gets deleted and I have no hard copies of all of my hard work and my girls wearing the things I made them? That would be sad and I don't want that to happen.

Maybe someday I will sit with my grandkids, flipping thorough my Project Life pages and showing them pictures of their parents.....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sew & Tell Saturday

Welcome to Sew & Tell Saturday!
Well here it is Saturday at lunch and I just realized the link up isn't working...
Sorry everyone. I fixed it....
Summer is winding down and I'm getting back into my sewing mode again!
It's been too busy around here!
Our French girl left this week, plus I also watched my friends little girl for the week, my daughter turned 18, my son is getting ready to head back to college, and school will be starting soon for another one, so I will have a little time to myself soon.
I can't wait!

I love to see what my pal Bethany from Lil' Bit & Nan comes up with every week. She designs her own clothing and is so creative. This evening gown is so dramatic!

Yay!! A men's project! Handmade men's pants from A Creative Counselor.

I love the fabric on this little nautical dress from Little Marie. Don't even get me started when it comes to nautical stuff on little kids.

Feel free to grab a button!

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