Thursday, September 27, 2012


Sorry that i've been so quiet over here lately. I haven't worked on any of my sewing projects in a whole week! ugh. but at least i have sewing class tonight. at least i have that time carved out for it. It's been super stressful around here at the office. and on top of that we're having an oktoberfest party at our house this weekend and i've been trying to clean like a crazy person. my husband's parents have always thrown an oktoberfest party in the past, but they've just moved and don't have the space right now, so we're hosting. we're both maybe an eighth german. (and also irish, scottish, french, japanese…) but any excuse for drinks and food, i guess? except that i want the house to look nice when people are over. and my little garden was looking nice at the beginning of the summer, but then with all of the heat and then we had a few weeks of massive downpours, and then more dry heat. the flowers can't take it. so i ran out and bought more flowers and tried to spruce things up, filling in all of the empty spots. and then i was running around trying to hang photos on the walls, which we've been meaning to hang up for ages. Anyone else have a horrible time trying to decide where photos and art should go on the walls? do you stress about getting your house all nice looking before having people over? your house is probably spick and span at all times, right.

here's a testament to how busy i've been: i still have not watched last week's episode of project runway. and now there will be a new one tonight. I'm falling behind!

and another thing: I was compiling a little list of possible bridesmaid's dress patterns and getting very excited about it… my brother's getting married in march next year… yes it's a little ways away, but i wanted to make a muslin and get it perfect… well his fiance (who i like a lot) had given us free reign: "any green dress." so i was super pumped because i was going to make my own and it was going to be fabulous. welllll. now we have new instructions that it needs to be a green dress from dessy/alfred sung. 2 girls in ivy green and 2 girls in pine green. so i'll be buying my dress instead of making something. i was a bit bummed. my husband says i can still make a dress to wear to the rehearsal dinner, another dress for the picnic and another for the brunch. (when did weddings get so involved with so many events!!) fine. i'll make a fabulous rehearsal dinner dress. but i'm not as excited about it. ah well.

i always like to include photos, so here are some from 2 & 1/2 weeks ago. i know, i'm behind!! i took a little class where we made simple zippered bags. not super advanced, but any excuse to meet up with other girls with a shared love of sewing.

i heart geometric prints

fun inside!

hope you're doing well, and i will live vicariously through your sewing adventures for the time being!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

wearable? not so much

I almost wore my recently finished (or so i'd hoped) alma top today. I got all ready, put it on, looked in the mirror… nope. Not ready to wear out of the house. The fit is just off. I think the bust area fits well. it's a little roomy in the shoulders, but ok. i had already taken the sleeves in significantly. and i lengthened the bodice by 2 inches. but there's too much extra fabric around the middle, especially in the back. and my fabric choice is not helping. it's too stiff, not drapey enough.

so. i can either: 
A. go buy a skinny black belt that looks good with it (i tried the 2 black belts i own, no bueno). 
B. make the belt that's included in the pattern and hope for the best. 
C. rip out the side seam, insert a zip, and then pinch the heck out of the back darts to remove excess fabric.

What do you think?

I'm leaning toward doing B and then possibly C. Any helpful hints about how to make the sizes of the 2 back darts match in length and width? Would you just leave in the back darts that are there and add to them. Or should i rip those out and start fresh?

my instinct says rip them out and do it again. 

but i'm kinda over this top at the minute. so i'm going to start something else first. i finished cutting my sheer burgundy floral fabric last night. It has a much nicer drape, so i'm thinking the fit problems i've had might not be as much of an issue, because i like my sheer tops (layered over cami) to be looser. sheer plus tight, no ma'am. and the sleeves might be ok in the width with this fabric? although i'm hesitant about the length. the pattern doesn't have arm measurements or include finished sleeve length. i think if the sleeves end up too short, then i can just make wider cuffs. oh and i'm not doing the v-shaped notch in the neck of this one. so i'm planning to get started on it tonight.

i hate posting with no photos, so i'll leave you with this gem from the hancock fabrics email today…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

oh fabulous day! more lovelies!

Driving home last night it was pouring rain and then just before i got to my house there was the most glorious rainbow. (seriously i've never seen one that vivid.) what a nice way to end such a ho-hum monday.  (i was driving, so no, there is no awesome rainbow photo.) then i decided to check my mail, and my mailbox was jam packed full of goodies!

Burda magazine and an adorable postcard from the sweet dottiedoodle! i felt kinda important getting a package that says Royal Mail on it, he he. Let me show you the dresses that i think would work for me…

I think this could be great for fall. easy to pull on and wear to work. maybe with some tights? I love the deep curved darts. I'm thinking it could work in a heavy knit.

i'm not big on shrugs, but i like the shape of this dress with the side panels. so that could be a fun one. speaking of fun, i can imagine the fun the pattern designers had putting the burda patterns all together. i mean really…

that's a lotta lines. but it looks kinda cool, kinda artsy. as long as i don't get confused and end up sewing the back of a pants leg pattern to the front of a dress bodice. "why is this not fitting right!!!!" …that's something i'd do. 

Then i also opened this awesome fabric score from Shanni!

How did she know i love koalas! (one of my first stuffed animals was a koala named "koala". i know, so creative, right). i'm envisioning some kind of cool dress with the green print. not sure what pattern yet. and the black/grey knit that looks like lace was a surprise! yay! if i can find some solid black knit about the same weight, i think it would be fun to use the lace pattern fabric as the bodice of a dress and solid black for the skirt. ohhh i could do that last burda dress and use the lace pattern fabric for the side panels. or i could do the first burda dress with the 3/4 sleeves and do just the sleeves and the yoke in the lace pattern and a solid black for the rest. ideas, ideas!

And the other package i received in the mail contained the most adorable ham, compliments of Jenny!

my iron is in love! the fabric she used is so fun, i'm actually looking forward to ironing the shoulder seams on my next project! yay! =)

Thank you everyone for the wonderful swapping goodies! If you'd like to join in the fun, please check out my Patterns and Postcards Swap posts. Here's the most up-to-date list of swappers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

to belt or not to belt? and other awesomeness

look at all the lovelies compliments of Nothy!
oh happy saturday! after such a stressful week, it was a joy to find a package on my doorstep! From the Patterns and Postcards Swap, the wonderful Nothy sent me this awesome package of sewing goodies! Included was a bonus - my first ever burda magazine! (it may be the same issue of burda that dottiedoodle is swapping to me. if it is i'll have a giveaway for one of them. or i will hoard them both [insert evil cackling]) i sat down and read through it immediately (even though i was in the middle of some intense house-cleaning). there is a dress in there that looks cute and has some really neat curved darts. The way they fit all of those patterns in there is impressive and a little intimidating, but i think i could work it out. A bonus seventh pattern (butterick) also snuck in there. I'll have to work on some down-grading on it, but it would be adorable. I have high hopes for the Style 2325 pattern. I'll have to start searching for some fabric, because i'd like to sew that one up first. What fabric should i pick???

when it rains, it pours - good news that is! i also got a note that i won the pattern pyramid giveaway over at gMarieSews! i have been stalking the pattern pyramid since Karen of DidYouMakeThat? started it. it's been a great way to discover new blogs, and my blog reader is overflowing! i'm excited to host a giveaway for it, so keep an eye out for it. have you been following the pattern pyramid too? 

drum roll… more good news! my alma is finished! …maybe? it's your call! Is it done or not??

are we done yet?
to belt or not to belt that is the question. i have enough fabric. should i make the belt? would it look good with the belt? i plan on wearing this top to work one day this week with pants that are either tan to match the leaves or black. (i'll post a photo.) it is a little wide in the waist, specifically in the back. i omitted the zipper because i could easily pull it on over head. but now i'm thinking i should've left the zipper in and then taken the darts in more in the back. there's a little more excess fabric back there than i'd like. swayback anyone? but if i take the back darts in more now, i run the risk of not being able to get it on and off over my head. so the belt would help pull in the fabric. but would it look good or would it look too handmade? any thoughts?

I'm very happy with how the hems turned out, because i've read a few tricks from the latest library book haul. yay! if anyone's curious i can post details later. but maybe it's just something that you guys already know and i'm just slow to the gate. i was especially nervous about hemming my sleeves because the opening is so narrow it wouldn't fit around the arm of my machine! totally my fault. the sleeves were so wide that i wondered if i had traced the pattern correctly. I looked back and i did trace it correctly for the size i cut. but i must have unusually tiny arms. so i did a makeshift tiny arm adjustment.

borrowed from here
tiny arms! i pinched out an extra 5/8" at the bottom of the sleeve and sewed it up tapering to nothing at the top of the sleeve. still too wide, so i did it again. and again. and next time i will just make them smaller to start with. so then i read up on sleeve adjustment in the vogue fitting book i checked out. good stuff. they call it a "thin arm adjustment" and go about it a little differently, but i'm pretty sure i'll just keep calling it tiny arm adjustment. 

[for awhile i was going to the gym all the time and lifting weights and i had the makings of some guns. and then they closed the gym. and i have some dinky free weights at home, but zero motivation. so tiny arms it is…] pardon my rambling

i also decided to shorten the sleeves back up closer to how they were drafted on the pattern. i had left them extra long because i wasn't sure how long i'd need to make them, but this fabric is a little stiff, so i didn't want the sleeves to go past my elbows or i might not be able to bend them easily!! ha ha. so they hit right above the elbow. in my next version (yes i'm doing another version!) i'm going to go for the long sleeves. ready for fall anyone? also i have not sewn buttonholes on my machine yet. so we're going to learn. oh did i mention that the bust darts on this fit perfectly. they end exactly where i think they should. the back darts not so much. but i also had to lengthen the whole thing by 2 inches. 

so last night i started tracing out and adjusting the pattern for my long sleeved version. i already bought the fabric! i had a huge fabric crush on this the moment i spotted it at the store…

…it's just, some little thing, crush, not like everything i dooo depends on youuu
i know, it's sheer! scandalous! don't worry, i'll wear a cami underneath. i love that it's so lightweight and has a nice drape. the flowers are kind of a purpley-burgundy color on an ivory base. i'm slightly nervous sewing this type of fabric because it's new to me. any tips on sewing with sheers?  maybe some french seams… smaller needle…a couple advil… a glass of wine… 

*soisewedthis does not promote mixing alcohol and painkillers to cure sewing related frustrations. eat a tub of ben and jerry's first!

Friday, September 14, 2012

happy friday!

Packages are in the mail!

Meant to post this yesterday, but five Patterns and Postcards swaps are on their way! This has been a really rough week, so i haven't been able to post or sew much at all. Hope everyone enjoys their patterns and i can't wait to see what you make! Please let me know when you make something with any of the patterns because i'd love to see and i'll link to it!

look i made a map, thanks google!

Also i got my first swap item! Not a pattern, but I loved the sewing word clouds that Stephanie at thepetitesewist did last Friday…

Compliments of Stephanie, thepetitesewist

So cool, right! She sent me larger copies that i can  print and frame! I've seen word clouds before, but hadn't seen one done in a sewing machine shape. I'm very excited because this will look great in my little sewing room. yes, i'm slowing taking over the middle bedroom of our house. 

now if only i could spend more quality time in my little sewing room! luckily it's now football season. and i'm not a big football fan. (i just don't get into it, sorry!) i usually just snack on the food (somehow they can't watch the game without a bunch of snacks) and then i fall alseep on the couch. so now my husband can watch football with his buddies and i have an excuse: "i really need to work on my sewing project." =) 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

p.s. i'm still alive

do you ever have one of those weeks where everything flies by and you have no time to sew, let alone time to blog!?

plus i need to get a new computer. seriously. it's kind of hilarious and kind of sad. 

anyway, thank you to everyone who has been participating in the patterns and postcards swap. if you're scratching your head, check out my previous posts for details. I have almost everyone's mailing addresses so far, but i'm just going to go ahead and drop off the first ones in the mail tomorrow morning! yay!

I really want to include some photos, but i have to take some first… I did make a little progress on my alma. and i know i promised a post on the last books i got, but i haven't gotten around to that either!!! in my head i think of all of these interesting and funny things to post and then… it doesn't happen!! where did all the time go? (oh yeah i spent it all at work and then i was exhausted…)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Patterns and Postcards Swap, Page 4

(See previous posts for details)

51. McCall's 7465  swapped with Jenny

52. Simplicity 5800

53. Butterick 3358

54. Simplicity 6812

55. McCall's 3742  swapped with Shanni

56. Simplicity 5571

57. Simplicity 6554  swapped with Jenny

58. Butterick 4517


Thats' right, i saved the best for last! Actually if i changed it to a cap sleeve, removed the back bow, and made in knee length it might be a cute dress? hmmmm, it's tempting. Well, let me know what you're interested in. (Please include the number 1 - 58 that i've typed in front of the pattern name and number, so i can find what you want quicker!) Then let me know what you're offering to swap - other patterns, magazines, books, fabric, buttons, thread, any kind of sewing notion - you name it! make an offer! happy swapping!

Patterns and Postcards Swap, Page 3

(See previous 2 posts for details)

31. Butterick 4378

32. See & Sew 6164  swapped with thepetitesewist

33. Simplicity 6789  swapped with Jenny

34. McCall's 7288

35. Vogue 8381

36. Simplicity *790

37. Simplicity 8350 swapped with Shanni

38. Butterick 3468 swapped with dottiedoodle

39. Butterick 6976

40. Simplicity 7308

41. Simplicity 9649 swapped with Shanni

42. Simplicity 9780

43. Simplicity 7930 swapped with Jenny

44. Simplicity 8610

45. Simplicity 9767

46. Butterick 5592

47. Simplicity 7586 swapped with Shanni

48. Simplicity 6272

49. Simplicity 7085

50. Butterick 3518

More Patterns continued on Next Post…

And one more page to come with the last few! Please include the number i've typed in front of the pattern name and number, so i can find what you want quicker! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Patterns and Postcards Swap, Page 2

Page 2 - see the previous post for details

21. Simplicity 3773 swapped with Nothy Lane

22. McCalls 5947 - for girls

23. McCalls 3536 - for girls

24. McCalls 4645 - for girls

25. Butterick 3795

26. McCalls 2533

27. Simplicity 4503 swapped with Nothy Lane

28. Vogue 3774 (or was that 8774, i can't see, i'll have to go back and check)

29. Stitch 'n Save 8199

30. McCalls 4705

More Patterns continued on Next Post…

Check back, another batch of patterns will be posted tomorrow Thursday!