Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving Sewing Blogging World!
Oh my! How I’ve missed chatting and sharing projects with you all. I was naive in thinking just because this move was a very good thing didn’t mean it wouldn’t be a time of huge change and big adjustments. 

I have some projects backlogged but no brainpower to put a decent post together…. so they are waiting until I can do them justice.

Today, as I was learning to use a screw gun as we put in the new floor for my bedroom, I was struck by the similarities between remodeling and sewing. This remodel has been like repairing a very fine but very damaged vintage dress. (Although for the record I’ll take armpit stains over crystalized animal pee any day!) You walk seam lines and measure for floor boards. You true up the grain line on pattern pieces and true up and level the walls. You even use tape measures! Screws and nails instead of pins and threads but the same principles apply.

I’ve decided to hang out my seamstress shingle for mending, alterations and custom sewing. Lessons and classes will have to wait until we are finished our building. Life takes time which is hard to remember as we read blogs which only show the beautiful finished project or a watch a house get renovated in a 30 min. time slot.

I’m thankful I have this opportunity and support from my family and friends. I’m thankful for the sewing blogging world that inspires me to keep sewing and shows me that it is possible to bring in some income doing what we love. I’m thankful; as I ache from getting glutened, I only have chronic diseases that allow me to function normally most of the time and not something terminal. 

I could go on but my battery has finished charging and the screws and floor joists? are waiting… 
Until soon,

PS. What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Oompaloompa Tunic

Hello Friends,
  Life is crazy. We all know this. And we all know the best cure for crazy is some sewing time. I stole some time from all the packing and made up this tunic that had been bubbling away in my head all summer. I used the super simple pattern from Happy Homemade Sew Chic and promptly made it as complicated as I could.

  Since it was a plaid, of course the yoke had to be cut on the bias, and I had to ignore Sanae's advice (which I can't find now) on how wide in the body it was and cut it according to the pattern measurements, also ignoring my own gut saying "That's really wide!!!" when I'd seen what I'd cut. A massive maternity moo moo was not the look I was going for.

  Despite all this it was the perfect soothing project I needed to work on. The gathers made me look like I was expecting, so I changed it to big chunky pleats across the front and back then shirred the life out of it to give me some waist definition. What makes playing with fabric so relaxing? I really enjoyed working on the puzzle of this top and am VERY happy on how it turned out. Even if it doesn't look so fabulous in the photos.

Look at the great poof and flare this has! 
Steam your shirring afterwards and it really makes it gather! This fabric was probably at the top end of gathering weight because it didn't really do much on the pleat sections since it was three layers of fabric.

Another random fact is look how much bias tape I had left over! Talk about a perfect stash bust!
Look at that little tail! Whew!
Tada! Another project off my FESA list!  When my guys saw it they promptly dubbed it the Oompaloompa tunic. It reminded them of this.

So how about you? Do you ever love something that maybe isn't the most flattering thing to wear? Is working on a sewing puzzle soothing or frustrating for you?

PS! It's the last day of 50% off my entire Etsy shop! I promise I'll stop spamming my Twitter and Facebook accounts after this. :) I know how much we all want more patterns and fabrics and how hard it is to resist a sale!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Big News and Big Fabric Sale

Hello My Sewing Bloggy Friends,
  Just in case you've been wondering why, after not being able to sew all summer, I didn't immediately come home and go on a sewing binge, it's because I'm MOVING!!! I've been wanting to leave these prairies that have cradled me through my adolescence for the last couple years but because of my health it has never worked out.

The little house on the little hill...
When I arrived home from camp it was quickly apparent the Lord had suddenly opened all the doors and I and my parents are going to be moving to a tiny town in Montana. It is a super creative community and I'm hoping I'll have lots of opportunities to teach sewing to individuals and groups. Opportunities of all kinds abound and I'm filled with delight as what I have been long hoping and dreaming of now seems to be taking shape.

Before I ride off into this new adventure I want to take a moment to say thank you and make a request. 

Thank you, you Wonderful Sewing Community, 
who gave me friendship and participation in community at times when I couldn't get out of bed, 
confidence and encouragement in front of a camera, 
and acceptance. 
Even if it is just in the realm of sewing, encouragement and kind words
 can impact a person's entire life. 

While I wish I could invite everyone to a huge sewing retreat or give hugs and cookies to you all but we live all over the world and I can't. What I can do is, between now and the 22nd, give you 50% off all the inventory in my Etsy shop, EmSewCrazy. Use the coupon code: 
(BF stands for Bloggy friends not boyfriends, just in case you were wondering. ;)

My request is that even if there is nothing in my shop that interests you could you please share this information with all your other sewing friends who might be interested in vintage sewing stuff? All my Dad's done is talk about how much crap I have and even though I let him know it's all his fault for dragging me to Antique shops as a child, I believe him. It's a dangerous place when a girl's business and hobby overlap. :) 
But as you all understand, I wouldn't have it any other way! I hope you all have a great weekend full of sewing fun! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How To Decide What Patterns To Buy

Otherwise known as My Pattern Wishlist...
I blame Gillian for her post on cold weather Inspiration and seeing photos of her cute winter style. I want cute winter style! Plus the time is quickly approaching when I may actually have to go out in cold weather and look decent. So I rounded up my pattern wish list. Buying patterns is a big deal for me so maybe talking through it will help...

Named Dakota Dress
Thanks to pinterest I stumbled upon this plaid version and was surprised to see what pattern it was actually from. I like this much more than the company's version because I didn't even give that image a second thought.

Yuki's Plaid Version
Then I saw Rachel's Winter Dakota in my favorite color and really really liked it!
Rachel's Winter Dakota
So how does it measure up?
PDF Price: $15. USD

Versatility/MMP (multiple make potential): It could be made up in different fabrics for different looks with the CF sewn open or closed. I can see tunic potential in this as well.

Layerabilty: I could wear multiple tops underneath it and my Espresso leggings. So warmth and cuteness!

Style: I have a feeling this could be dressed up or down depending on fabric choices and what I wore with it. Definitely could wear it to teach sewing classes!

Another less than compelling pattern illustration but I have really liked all the versions I have seen made up. Plus it's a favorite of Gillian's who I've officially decided is my cold weather muse.

PDF Price: $16.40 USD

Versatility/MMP: This really changes depending on fabrics used! There are super color blocking possibilities.You can leave off the pockets and bands for a dressier look and I don't have a knit pattern for princess seams. 

Layerabilty: I have the leggings and I think this might work with skinny jeans. You can make this from sweatshirt fabric so it would be warm and cozy! I could probably throw on a tshirt underneath if I wanted.

Style: Casual but could still be presentable as long as it doesn't look like I made it from pajama fabric. Could I teach in this?

Deer and Doe Bruyere!!!
I am not a fan of button up shirts but I LOVE THIS!! It is so pretty! I love the waistband and the skirt bit that makes it like a tunic and all the buttons down the front. So lovely! Classic shirt without being a classic shirt.

Bruyère shirt

Paper Pattern Price: $16.21 USD

Versatility/MMP: Um this looks like a statement piece to me so I'm not sure how many I could get away with making... No brilliant hack ideas are coming to me either...

Layerabilty: Pretty sure I could wear this over jeans and throw sweaters over it just like a normal shirt. I think it's more of a fall/spring piece anyway.

Style: OODLES!! LOADS!! I love it so much!

I've finally been bitten by the unmentionables bug. How can we resist all those cute patterns Measure Twice Cut Once put out?

PDF Price: $9.00 USD

Versatility/MMP: Obviously these could be made up a bajillion times and none of you would be the wiser! ;)

Layerabilty: I think they should layer with my other garments nicely. I'm also wondering if the boy short leg will get rid of the every present VLP issue..

Style: Never worn Boyshorts. Want to try. 

With all the wonderful and new independent patterns out there I have to have some criteria to decide where to best spend my limited funds. I also consider if I have something similar in design already in the pattern stash but these all passed that preliminary test.

What do you consider when you're pattern shopping? Any criteria I should add to my list? Any other great winter/fall patterns out there? Which do you think I'm going to spring for?? 

PS. The Bronte Top! I want that too...

Friday, October 3, 2014

October Stashbusting Theme Announcement

Oh Hey There!
  Look at all you ambitious stash busters! I think I say this each month but I'm so proud of all of you using your resources responsibly, putting thought and effort into your fabric collections and sewing up a storm! While things have conspired to keep me from my sewing machine I continue to be inspired by what you are creating!

So... October's theme... anyone taken a peek at last year's? Let me give you a hint..

Source: Christmas Countdown Clock

That's right friends! Christmas is coming! October's theme: Christmas Creating

Before things get too crazy let's get a head start on our Christmas Lists! What do you want to sew this Christmas? How can we cleverly use up the stash and make special gifts for those we care about?

Or do you? Do you believe in making Christmas gifts?

I usually stick to those who I know will appreciate the handmade goodness. Since the family has started to fly the coop and spread out I've been thinking for a couple years it would be neat to make ornaments each year. Something small to not add to the clutter but special. Mostly I'm going to try to rein myself in and not get the Christmas crazies!

What are your plans? I want to see your lists! Cause we're all procrastinating on those Halloween costumes and anything we get done now will seem like a bonus when we hit that Christmas rush.

I'll stop now before you shoot me for using the word Christmas a million times before it's actually here!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stripy Fall Stashbusting

Yippee! I finally got to sew something fun! It fits into my FESA plans and it is Stashbusting! Win Win Win! Do you want to see it?

 There are those mornings when you drag yourself out of bed and don't want to fight with your clothes. I was spoiled with all my easy throw on summer dresses and wanted something for fall and winter. When I found this gorgeous teal and grey strip remnant at a thrift store I thought it would make a nice cropped sweatshirt or something. Then I got it home and realized it matched perfectly with a remnant of gorgeous cotton interlock in my stash!

Yes, I'm feeling full of sass in this!
I used Cake Pattern's Hummingbird Top for the bodice lengthening the sleeves as much as I could with the yardage I had. As you can see it wasn't much. I cut 2 inch wide strips for the bands for the neckline and sleeves. I really like the neckline on this top. 

For the skirt I kept it simple. I serged all the remaining fabric into a tube, quartered it and pleated the front and gathered the back. I just eyeballed the pleats and kind of like how the five little pleats turned out. Easy peasy.

I didn't hem the bottom and the sweatshirt fabric had enough body that I didn't need to reinforce the waist seam. I sewed it on just my serger and it took about an hour. I can't tell you how delighted I am with this color combo and comfort. I think this will see a lot of wear with my Espresso leggings and sweaters!
How's your fall sewing going? How often do you reuse your patterns? I find myself often reaching for this top or the Cabarita pattern when I'm wondering what to do with my knits.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thanks & Sneak Peeks

Hello Sewing Friends,
  Before I left for the summer I won some giveaways and was never able to say thank you properly. I have all my lovely loot surrounding me now that I'm home and decided it was high time!
I entered Sew Mama Sew's big giveaway extravaganza early in the spring
and one this lovely fat quarter bundle from Bear Creek Quilting Co.
I LOVE this color palette and really want to quilt something now...

Squee! My first piece of Liberty Tana Lawn from Sewbox UK! I love this print
and was delighted when I won it! But I don't remember if it was So Zoe
or Handmade Jane's giveaway but I'm so thankful and trying to dream
up something special for it...

After I left I received a lovely bit of loot from Sanae Ishida! Such fun stuff
But I might have been most excited when I saw...

THIS Drawing! One of my favorite things about Sanae's blog is her
lovely illustrations and her note happened to be one! I immediately put
it up on my sewing wall!

Speaking of my sewing wall, I'm loving the way it looks these days. Bits of practical and bits of inspiration and fun..

Things have been pretty busy around here and you can see all the patterns and wool getting thrown around! We're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have high hopes we'll finish in time!

Finally, there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes right now and I'm giving myself permission to only blog once a week. I know the world goes on and I don't really need to announce to you what I'm doing but I love this community and want to keep myself accountable as well. I'll still be reading all of you and doing the Stashbusting Announcements. So... stay tuned... 

To end, I was going through some boxes and found one of my first quilt attempts. I think it's funny because I have been pinning small square quilts the last couple weeks. I guess my tastes haven't changed very much... My question for you is what would you do with this? I want to keep it and use or display it but I'm not sure how. It's 13 x 10 inches.