Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a sad lonely little shoe

i was riding on a high from my super adorable baby "Bapron" (see last post for details.) and thought… wouldn't it be cute to make matching shoes! wrong.

well i made one shoe.

and i wasn't happy with it. i must say, it does look better in this photo than i think it does in real life. issue #1, the insides…

check out those rough edges! ok, so they aren't really rough. this is fleece anyway. but the edges are raw inside. i did use my pinking shears. maybe i could've attempted a french seam inside or a flat fell. but this thing is tiny and not so easy to manipulate on a sewing machine. 

issue #2 is that the elastic around the top pulled on the front of the shoe too much. before i took the photos i cut the elastic (mainly because i was irritated with it) but you can still see a shadow in the photo on the side of the shoe where it causes pulling. maybe that's unavoidable.

or maybe i'm being too picky. this is just a baby shoe. but it is a gift. and i want it to be awesome. and it has to live up to the super cute "Bapron" because they would be a matching set.

i guess if the baby is wearing socks, then the raw insides wouldn't matter as much. i just think i would've done it differently - sew the outsides, sew the insides and then insert the insides as a lining and then probably do some hand sewing to attach them. I added the bias tape to the front piece to match the "Bapron" - that wasn't on the pattern. This was a free pattern though. and i'm sure someone spent a lot of time coming up with it and i've seen a lot of photos that look very successful.

but not mine. so i have a sad lonely right shoe.

and i was even more irritated because of the time i spent tracing, cutting, ironing, interfacing the parts… and now i don't even want to make the other shoe.

i have been scheming in my head about making my own baby shoe pattern. i could totally do it and i have an idea for a cute little bootie (with no raw insides!) but it would be helpful to have an actual baby to test the fit. so… until i politely ask a friend if i can borrow their baby's foot…

what could i do to lift my spirits after a failed baby shoe? (besides eating half a carton of moose tracks and watching an hour of house hunters on tv)

make another "Bapron" of course!!

this time a la Lilly Pulitzer! very charleston indeed! ok, this is not actual Lilly fabric. but it's hot pink and lime green, so come on! and my friend is having a girl, so why not?


i was thinking maybe it needs something extra. because hot pink and lime green floral aren't girly enough, right? ha ha. maybe a little bow?

that was just a quick mock-up. i haven't actually added it yet. what do you think? to bow or not to bow?   

and i just found 2 free patterns to make baby diaper covers! i could make matching ones! or should i just quit while i'm ahead? they might end up like the sad little shoe? hmmm.

maybe it's time to get started on the christmas gifts… but baby stuff is just so dang cute (when it turns out well).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

totally drool worthy

if you invite me to a baby shower now, you will be sure to receive at least one "Bapron." 

a friend of mine is expecting and i wanted to make something cute. so i came across the pattern at Craftiness is not Optional for a baby bib/apron: a "bapron." i set out to find some cute fabric and came across this super soft dotted fleece. originally i was thinking a small stripe, but i think the dots on the tutorial sunk into my subconscious and i ended up buying dots!



i love love love this pattern. and on my rating scale that's the most "loves" you get. that's like 5 stars. 

a couple notes… i decided to just use store bought bias tape to save time, but… if you pick a light colored bias tape and your fabric is darker… and you're a bit OCD, then you might run into a little issue. the way they fold bias tape in (i used extra wide double fold) the two folded sides do not meet up exactly in the center. there's a tiny gap. which is perfectly good in some cases, but in this case that means i could kinda see through that part of the bias tape and the darker fabric showed through. i didn't like it. i wanted a nice solid yellow (this is "lemon ice") all the way around the edges. so i went back to the iron and ironed the folded edges in just a touch more so that they met up exactly in the middle and there was no show through. kind of annoying. but much happier in the end.

more on ironing and bias tape…it helped a ton to realize the shape of the curve you will be putting your bias tape around, concave or convex. (if you have trouble remembering which is which, concave curves inward like a cave.) so the armholes and neckline are concave. the bottom edge is convex. iron your bias tape for each of these areas into the curved shape (concave or convex) that matches the area the bias tape will be applied too. i read this somewhere. and i'm glad i somehow remembered it at a time when it was very helpful!

also i didn't have any fray check, so i just stitched back and forth on the end of the tie before knotting it. i used the same fabric for the front and the back, but you could use different fabrics. it's pretty much reversible, both sides are finished. in between the 2 layers of fabric, i used some medium weight interfacing. it's such a great pattern. very smart. i love how the bias tape overlaps to leave everything looking very finished. my husband said "you could buy that in a store." which is a huge compliment.

oh one more thing, go very slow on the parts where you're going over 2 pieces of bias tape on the corners. i just used the hand crank on the side on those parts. it's a lot of layers to go through. but just do it slowly and you'll be golden. i also figured out a trick for lining up the bias tape with my machine's foot so that i got a nice even line of stitching close to the edge. it might be "duh" to most of you. but if anyone is curious or doesn't know how to get an nice even line of stitching close to the edge i can take a photo of how i lined it up. I did get a close up shot, so you can admire the nice lines of stitching.

are you drooling over this pattern yet?  well, pretty soon a baby will be drooling all over it. literally. oh and did i mention it's a free pattern? should i have started the post with that info? check it out: Craftiness is not Optional

and if you're not into baby stuff, i'll get back to doing my usual selfish sewing soon. ok a few more baby posts. and then some christmas gifts. and then back to myself. and no, i have not fixed the neckline of my knit top yet. i haven't even ripped it out yet. it's just hanging there glaring at me while i sew cute little baby things.

Monday, November 19, 2012

argggggh! a wasted weekend of sewing

oh no! i let over a week go by with no post! the horror! i really wish i had the time to post daily. i was shooting for at least weekly, but alas… it's such a busy time of year! and i need to get a new computer. Luckily we got our christmas bonus last week, yay! we don't always get one but things are looking up. so i want to get a macbook pro. a very merry christmas to myself indeed! i must be the biggest apple snob that does not have an iphone! ha ha, my cell phone is a samsung and it was free. sometimes i am very frugal. but i do have 2 ipods. well both were gifts. the thing is, my imac needs to be retired. actually i just need to have a funeral for it. it's so out of date. it's a g3! shock and horror! actually if i wait a little longer i might be able to sell it as "hip and retro." so for right now i can still blame my super slow computer for lack of blog updates. i'll have to come up with a new excuse once i get the new computer. 

anyway, i know i promised not to take any more photos from my bathroom mirror, but… 

i apologize. for your benefit, you don't have to look at my camera, because look - i'm eating a cartoon cheeseburger! yum!

that's my most recent alma top, which i wore, um, a week and a half ago. i got one compliment! and of course i said ' i MADE it!" yeahhh. and she said it looked expensive. i'm blushing.

oh and i got lazy and never made the belt. i wanted to move on. so i did. i traced a t-shirt i had from old navy that fits pretty well and used the pattern to cut up the dress i started to make over the summer. it was pretty smooth sailing until the neckline. let me just say that all of the sewing i did this weekend was wasted. i will have to rip it all out. sad face.

take a closer look at that neckline…

yeah, you can see by that shadow that it's drooping forward. i did not stretch the bias tape enough as i was putting it into the neckline. i was trying to think of ways to save it, but i think i'm going to have to take the seam ripper to it. and at the moment i am not a fan of bias tape. i might just make a facing instead. what do you think? how would you save this?

and here's a photo of me wearing it. and enjoying a lemonade!

yeah i could've photoshopped out the wrist strap, but i thought it was funnier if i just left it in.

anyway, how do you like to handle the necklines and hems of knits? and i can't leave it raw, i'm too OCD. right now i really want to just get back to some woven fabric!! stupid knits.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

alma almost done

Thank you for all of the input on my button choice! I ended up going with…

the button that was 2nd from the left! The next runner up was the small white button on the far right. What do you think? Does it look ok? I was still thinking maybe it's a little big, but i liked the metal look. Anyway there's no going back now. plus i didn't want to go to the store looking for another button. 

I think it looks pretty good, but then my husband pointed out, "why are there only buttons on the cuffs and not on the front of the shirt?"  

"um, because that's how the pattern was."

well and this was my first attempt at buttons, so start small, right? he also stands by the notion that soon i won't need patterns. after all, they don't use patterns on project runway. 

hehehe. i think i still need to start from a pattern, geez i only started really sewing this year. i'm not about to just start draping and pinning and cutting with no plan, and my dress form (that i still have not gotten rid of - laziness on my part) is not my size at all.

anyway. check out my french seams…

oh la la! magnifique! (i don't know any french) i took some photos on sunday before i finished the hem on the bottm, so you can see that edge is still raw. but i've since finished the hem. i actually went outside to try taking photos! aren't you proud! in this one it looks like the shirt is floating.

the hanger was clear. but it looks kinda creepy? ghost shirt? a little late for halloween. here's one hanging on the gate next to our garage.

do you have any good spots to take photos? i'm having a hard time finding good spots nearby - where no one can see what i'm doing. the neighbors don't need to see me taking a million photos of a shirt. 

tonight i might try to whip up the belt and wear the shirt tomorrow! i think it might need the belt? yes ? no?

and then it's on to the next project!!! so i was thinking of seeing if the knit fabric i cut to make a dress back in July can be salvaged into making a 3/4 sleeve tee. here's the post about it. i never finished it because the top was too big and there was a lot of swayback fabric pooling. and now i don't want a sleeveless knit dress. i was thinking about tracing the  shape of a shirt that fits well and seeing if i can recreate it. as long as i have enough of this fabric. i hate having WIPs laying around and i'd like to salvage the fabric…

i also want to take a time out and start making a few christmas presents for a couple girl friends. clutch purses maybe? or makeup bags? I just checked out 5 books from the library that have handbag projects. (one of the books was published in 2012 and includes pull out patterns - our library is awesome!) i also like the simple party clutch on Sew, Mama, Sew! does it need the strap? what do you think? do you have a favorite pattern for a small purse or clutch??