Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EWOK!!!!!

Halloween is my favorite holiday! I've always loved dressing up in costume. Now that I've gotten older, I can dress my son up too! Woo hoo!

For his first Halloween, I wanted to think of the cutest possible thing that I could dress him up as. I guess, for me, that would be baby Ewok.

EWOK!!!



I'm ecstatic with how this turned out! I used McCalls 6105, view A for the "teddy bear" suit.

View A is the skunk
Of course, I eliminated certain skunk like features and replaced them with more teddy bear features. I made the ears round, added a toe to the paw, made a small bear tail, and eliminated the patch on the head. I could have made the panda, but the head is oddly large.I'm really happy I stuck with the skunk.

The full costume
The paws (hand-stitched leather on fur)
The hood. The casing was a pain to put in, but it was well worth the effort.

I used some soft, curly fur that I picked up at Joanns. It feels like a blanket. Little Mr. Man loves to wear it. Overall it was a challenging pattern. It wasn't particularly difficult, but it was messy and time consuming. Involved is a good word. I would not recommend it as a last minute pattern. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time.
Side view

This was also my first time sewing with fur. It was a very different experience. After cutting out the pieces and getting fur EVERYWHERE, you have to trim inside the seam allowance to eliminate bulk. Then you stitch; then pick out all of the fur that is caught in the seam. And you have to do this on every single seam. That's right. Every. Single. SEAM! AHHH!

Then there's the casings. Casings for the hands. Casings for the feet. Casings for the head piece. It's a lot of work, but I think the results exceeded my expectations.



 For the hood, I just draped a piece of maroon knit over the hat and cut some holes for the face and ears. I took some leather shoe string and wrapped it around the sides so that the hood did not completely overtake the rest of the costume in terms of volume. I cut more of the leather shoe string in half and hand stitched stone buttons on the top.


Since we had a few parties and things to do around Halloween, I made Little Mr. Man a bow and turned him into a teddy bear.

Happy Teddy!

Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fun with Photos - Photo Embroidery, 2 Ways

Awww! What a cutie!
Hello, my name is Lindsay, and I'm addicted to taking pictures. You may not think that's such a bad thing, but my son's baby book has over a thousand pictures in it... and he's not even one yet. I wish I could tell you that I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. I'm undershooting the number.

So I have a LOT of pictures. While I've been building online scrapbooks and putting pictures all over my house, I've been trying to figure out fun and unique ways to use my pictures. Thus, photo embroidery was born! Here's a quick mini-tutorial to show you how I did it.

Turn This... (seriously, how cute is he?)
Into This!
Materials:
Picture
Computer
Photo Paper (or cardstock, it may be easier with cardstock)
Sharpie Pen
Normal Paper
Scissors
Needle
Embroidery Thread

Choose your photo. I wanted my photo to be in black and white so that the embroidery would stand out. I uploaded the picture to FotoFlexer (Free website! Woo Hoo!) and chose black and white under the effects. Then print the picture out on your photo paper (or cardstock!!! I didn't have any around and used photo paper. My poor fingers developed blisters. Cardstock would have been MUCH easier.)

Now, create your design. If you just wish to highlight items already in the photo (ie. the flower), then you can skip this step and just sew. Draw out your design with a sharpie on the plain paper and line it up the way you like it on the photo.


Flip the design over and place it on the back of the photo. Now you have you embroidery pattern.
The sharpie shows through. Instant pattern.


Then follow your pattern and start sewing.
Done!
*Side note: Be careful not to sew to close together, especially on satin stitches, as this will cause the paper to tear.

Turn This... (I LOVE that face!)
Into This!
Materials:
Picture
Computer
Plain Paper
Embroidery Hoop
Embroidery Floss
Needle
Fabric

Upload your picture to FotoFlexer.
Flip the photo horizontally from the basic tab. From the effects tab, choose sketch. Print your picture out on normal paper.
Your Pattern!
Place your fabric in the embroidery hoop. Cut out the picture to use as a pattern on the wrong side of your fabric. Sew through the paper into the fabric. Use the full embroidery floss for larger details.
Pull the floss apart and use just a few strands for smaller details.
Carefully pull the paper apart from the back when you are finished sewing. Done!




Monday, January 23, 2012

Kimono Sleeve Robe from Petite Republic




Robe Front. Isn't it pretty!
 
French Seams!!!!!
Pattern Description: Kimono Sleeve Robe from the Petite Republic website. It can be found here http://petiterepublic.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/rayon-kimono-robe-and-a-howto/



Pattern Sizing:

One size



Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

It looked like it was supposed to.



Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were very simple and easy.



What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really wanted a robe that would firt over my pregnant belly and still look cute, so when I saw this pattern on her website, I went for it. It is super cute and really comfortable. I'm only sorry I didn't take pictures of the garment when I was pregnant.



It took a bit of time to make, but that's only because I attempted french seams for the first time. I'm glad I did, because they look gorgeous.



Fabric Used:

Unsure, just something I thought looked pretty from Joanns



Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

none



Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I plan on making a shorter version, with a soft, cozy lining.

Conclusion:

It is a great pattern and I had a good time making it. Again, the pattern can be found on http://petiterepublic.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/rayon-kimono-robe-and-a-howto/. I also highly recommend her website! She's pretty awesome!
Me in the robe

Thursday, January 19, 2012

McCalls 3830


Pattern Description: Misses Straight Skirts



Pattern Sizing:

AA(6-8-10-12), DD(12-14-16-18), FF(16-18-20-22); I made a size 12



Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes



Were the instructions easy to follow?

Incredibly easy and quick!



What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

It was a really simple, striaght forward pencil skirt pattern



Fabric Used:

Some leftover strpied knit jersey underlined with a bleached cotton muslin. The muslin gave it structure and the jersey laid on top. It actually worked to hide some of my lumps and bumps.



Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I attempted an exposed zipper. I messed up a bit, but it isn't too noticable (I hope).


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes! It's a really easy skirt to cut and sew in an afternoon. I plan on making some more.



Conclusion:

It's a quick, easy project if you don't have a lot of time to sew.

Butterick 5566

Funny Face! Ha!



Back of the Skirt

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, above mid-knee skirt



Pattern Sizing:

AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20); I made a size 10



Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes!



Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very easy to follow



What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

It's cute and comfortable, a winning combination. I adore it!


The only thing I dislike is that I wish the leather part would have extended to the back part of the skirt. Other than that, it's perfect (in my opinion).


Fabric Used:

A patterned knit purchased from Super Textiles in Dallas, and thrifted leather



Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I sewed the skirt in a knit fabric, so I went down one size from what I'd normally sew and eliminated the zipper. That's about it.



Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Absolutely! I plan on making a few of the other views. I highly recommend to anyone!



Conclusion:

Sorry for the funny face in the photo; I'm very uncomfortable with having my picture taken. It only took me a year to finally write a review.

That being said, I loved the skirt. It was so easy to make, only taking an afternoon. I plan on making a matching jacket with the leftover fabric sometime this year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Entered a Contest!

Woo Hoo! I entered a pattern review contest for the first time! I'm so proud of myself *pats self on back.* It satisfies two parts of my new year's resolution, entering a contest and making trousers.

I've never sewn pants before. Never! NEVER!!!! The idea of sewing pants intimidates me. I know that I’m going to need to make many, many pattern alterations to achieve a proper fit. I have a hard time buying jeans because the “curvy” isn’t curvy enough. Needless to say, I better get started on a muslin.

I think I will sew up a pair of wide leg, dark denim trousers. I have a vogue 1051 in my pattern stash, purchased in 2010 in hopes of getting enough gusto to try it out.

Just look at these pants! She looks like a stylish girl who can also kick some serious booty!

I’m unsure about adding any additional embellishments to the design. Sewing pants (and welt pockets) for the first time will be enough of a challenge. Besides, I love the simple, elegant style of these trousers.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolution

I suppose it’s that time of year where I make a New Year’s resolution to hopefully stick to. I did so well at the beginning of last year, but then I got pregnant, making things a bit difficult (it’s a bit hard to make a wiggle dress with a big belly). No worries though! This is a new year and it’s time to start fresh!!!

The ultimate goals of my resolutions are to increase my sewing prowess and to become more active in the online sewing community. The second part shouldn’t be that difficult, because my contributions thus far have been nonexistent. I read many people’s awesome blogs and occasionally post something, but that’s about it. It seems a bit selfish that I’m getting all of these great ideas from everybody, and not contributing anything myself. So Here goes the list of my resolutions this year.

1) Enter at least 1 Pattern Review contest

2) Finish all of the UFOs in my sewing room

3) Post former and all future projects on the Pattern Review website

4) Update blog (Woo Hoo! Look at me go!)

5) Complete my self made list of sewing challenges (an object can only count in one category)

            1) Trousers
            2) Menswear
            3) Tailored Coat
            4) Item from BurdaStyle Magazine
            5) Item made with lace
            6) Sheer Blouse
            7) Holiday Item
            8) Home D├ęcor Item
            9) Item using boning
            10) Handbag
            11) Self Drafted Item
            12) Item using me-made binding

6) Compliment 1 random stranger per day. – I realize this one has nothing to do with sewing, but I find that there is too much catty negativity in the world.

So that’s it. That’s my list. I can’t wait to get started.