Friday, February 28, 2014

February Stashbusting Link Party

Hello Scintillating Stashbusters,
  I don't know about you but I don't know where the month of February went. I've felt quite overwhelmed and have been trying to crawl out from under the pile most of the time. I found out I got a summer job, started teaching sewing lessons one day a week, kept up with my Korean lessons and dealt with all the drama that life likes to throw at you. :)
How much sewing did I get accomplished?

I managed to finish up three knit tops, two which fit the February theme. I made my Mom two simple tops to wear with her new skirt or whatever she wants. I love how versatile knit tops are. You can have such fun with prints. I made myself a basic navy tee that's gloriously long and will fill a huge gap in my wardrobe; however boring it may appear in photos.

So with my cat apron and Tiny World Tutorial that gives me 4 garments for February and my totals for the year up to 9 of 35 garments and 5 miscellaneous projects not counting two pants muslins made from stash.

Now it's your turn, how did February go for you? Leave me a comment and link to your sewing in February so we can all see what you've been up to. Before I leave you I just want to say I've so enjoyed Sew Grateful week and I am very thankful for all of you who read my blog and participate in the Stashbusting. You are an encouragement to me!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tiny World Tutorial

Hello Friends,
I've been wanting to do a tutorial ever since my tiny worlds were so well received during last January's Stashbusting. Sew Grateful week was just the kick in the pants that I needed to get this done. Let's make Tiny Worlds together!
A circle template (mine was about 7 1/2 inches)
Scissors and/or rotary cutter
Fabric for front and back
Fabric scraps or markers for decorating
Ribbon for drawstring

1. Trace and cut two circles on inside and outside fabric.
If you have a specific toy you want set it in the middle of the fabric and bunch up around it to get the approximate size circle you need.

2. Create landscape.
Use fabric markers first and iron down scraps of fabrics using double
sided fusible. You could also use a print for your scenery.

Make sure you keep details 1/2 inch away from edges so they don't
disappear in seam allowance.
Using three strands of yarn, (mine was that loose weave crewel yarn) layer it across area you wish for grass.

Using a very small stitch length sew as many rows as needed to attach the "grass".
Carefully clip apart between stitch lines and all the loops.

Fluff grass with fingers revealing pattern underneath. Steam iron into shape if desired.
3. Take outer fabric and stitch a small buttonhole a bit more than a 1/4 inch from the edge. Use a scrap of interfacing if using a stretchy fabric. But don't use stretch velvet on your first bag like I did in this example. Horrid shifty stuff. 

4. Pin right sides together and sew 1/4 inch seam, leaving an opening for turning. Don't worry about the poof in the middle just make the edges match up.
Clip curves and turn right side out.

5. Press flat and top stitch close to the edge and a 1/4 inch away from edge stitch making sure buttonhole falls in between these lines. You've just made your drawstring casing!
6. Cut ribbon to fit around circle lying flat. Thread through and tie off close to opening.

Give it a pull and TaDa! You're done!
 There you have it my friends! I hope you enjoy this. I'd love to see photos if you make one up. Please use them for personal use only. If you have any questions or a step wasn't clear, please ask away in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sew Grateful 2014 Vintage McCall's Giveaway

Hello Sewing Friends,
 I noticed Debi's Sew Grateful week last year but I was still super new to blogging and hadn't figured a bunch of stuff out. This year I have grown in skill and confidence and most importantly found it in time to participate!

Since Debi is the McCall's queen I went through some of my unlisted shop inventory and stole this classy little number: McCall's 3604.

It's a simple little tunic or dress with a trouser pattern also included. I chose it for it's simplicity yet it has some quite unique details, like the funnel collar and the center front seaming which allows for interesting piecing or just a lovely V neckline. It's also a Bust 38 because I know how hard it can be for some of you more well endowed sewing ladies to find vintage in your size!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! Since only one can win this fabulousness as consolation, so we can all feel like winners, I'm offering 20% off all pattern orders in my shop through March 1st. Just use the code SEWGRATEFUL2014

I really am very very grateful and thankful for all the sewing friends I've made through blogging and all the new connections I've been making lately on twitter. The very name of my blog speaks about the isolation of where I live and I truly appreciate all of you who take the time to interact with me.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

Now For Something Totally Different: Literary Heroine Blog Party

Hey Fellow Sewists!
  Forgive me while I deviate from normal blogging to participate in something that has been with me longer than my love of sewing, my love of books and reading. I spent the day with my local sewing group making muslins of Grainline's Maritime Shorts pattern, and while it was very productive; it doesn't make good blog posts at this point. So I'm taking this chance to do a little light question answering. Besides how can you pass up these great heroines?

Source Can you name them all? Love all these ladies.

  • Introduce yourself!  Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
  • Wow, what a huge question! My mother read to us as children. I would crochet while she read stories to us in the evening. My life's vision is to live creatively, helping people and being with those I love. 

  • What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? 
  • Sticking to what is right graciously, no matter the personal cost.

  • Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 
  • Kirsty Barclay from The Shepherd Girl's Dream 
    Jane Eyre
    Mary Marston from A Daughter's Devotion

  • Five of your favorite historical novels? 
  • Define historical...
    The Peasant Girl's Dream by George MacDonald
    The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
    House of Love by Elizabeth Cheney
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy

  • Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? 
  • Kirsty Barclay from The Shepherd Girl's Dream. She drew me in with her actions and kept me with her character until I prayed that I could become a woman like her.

  • Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 
  • Hard hard choice... especially since I haven't read some of these in awhile... Probably Percy from The Inheritance because he so quietly does the right thing and is perceptive.

  • If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 
  • All of Europe and Asia! Especially Scotland & Wales because of my roots and South Korea because I'm learning the language. I want to see what people of the world do, live and eat. I especially want to see how other cultures sew..

  • What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 
  • I'm not particular as long as it's a good story with a bit of the fantastic.

  • You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? 
  • Probably singing. 

  • If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 
  • Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing or Lizzie Bennet. I'm pretty loud and outspoken. I guess I could be Emma too...

  • What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 
  • Love the stuff but must eat it in small quantities because of Type 1 Diabetes. Chocolate and mint, Dark Chocolate with GF pretzels and Peanut Butter and some of the best... chocolate and caramel too!

  • Favorite author(s)? 
  • George MacDonald
    Louisa May Alcott
    C. S. Lewis
    Victor Hugo
    Charles Dickens
    Thomas B. Costain
    All the old fairy tale writers...

  • Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? 
  • An empty trunk to bring back fabric, notions and trim from all the foreign places.

  • In which century were most of the books you read written? 
  • I don't know... I have vast tastes in books.

  • In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 
  • The Beast. Yes the title one from the fairy tale in all it's many versions and incarnations. He recognizes his faults, doesn't use his strength to hurt people and grows into a better person throughout the story.

  • Describe your ideal dwelling place. 
  • A spacious tree house.

  • Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. 
  • A comfortable happy crazy mess involving many shades of red.

  • Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? 
  • No

  • In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 
  • Sauron. Creepy, almost omnipresent, disembodied eye. That's all I got tonight...

  • Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
  • Grey Matter by David Levy
    R. G. LeTourneau: Mover of Men and Mountains
    Whatever latest sewing book or magazine I own

  • Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 
  • Depends on where I was and who I was with, but swimming sounds really good.

  • Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. 
  • One of those wide brimmed straw hats that droop elegantly down in the front with the sheer rose print scarf as the hat band drifting in long tails down the back. I don't know what this says about my character. :)

  • Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 
  • What has marked my life the most this past year is the lack of significant events and keeping faithful and upbeat in the midst of the monotony. 

  • Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
  • 1 Samuel 2:2 (NIV)

    "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

    Malachi 1:11 (NIV)

    My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.

    If you read through all of that, thanks for indulging me sewing peeps. If you're part of the Blog party, Hi!!! Hope you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to discovering some new titles.
    Next week it will be back to business as usual so hang on to those sewing machines!

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Vintage Apron with Kitty Cats!

    This is your crazy craft lady speaking, it's time to get to making stuff!
     February, the month of love, and the only thing I've made so far is an apron for myself. Granted it's covered in the cutest cats you ever did see and I love them so maybe it counts after all..... I originally bought this Michael Miller print thinking I could use it for my baby boots but it was too large. It's been sitting in my stash ever since because I couldn't figure out what to make with it...
    One of my unofficial goals this year was to sew more with my hoarded vintage patterns and as I was drooling over  organizing them, inspiration hit.
    Such a famous McCall's pattern it didn't even get a number it's just the "Butcher Apron"
    Aren't these just the cutest kitties! Cats were my favorite animal growing up but we were all allergic.
    I traced a copy of the medium length "Butcher Apron" and hacked into my print. This apron is huge and provides loads of coverage which I really need when I'm cooking. I figure it can double as a craft apron as well because it's going to camp this summer with me!

    I have just two words of advice people, DIRECTIONAL PRINT Layout. PAY ATTENTION!
    There's two boo boos I made with this apron because I started cutting before I took time to think or layout all my pieces.
    I added contrasting pockets to distract from above boo boos and as a chance to focus on some adorable cats! The more I look at this print the more I like it!
    The middle photo is a hole in the left side seam to thread the ties through.
    The only major deviation from the pattern directions was using binding on all the edges instead of turning them over and stitching down. I wanted to add some more blue and figured it was a good chance to stash bust some of my trims as well. This was a pretty simple project and would have been a breeze if I hadn't had a directional print. I love it for cooking or creating. It keeps me well covered!

    So what do you think? Vintage or just timeless design? Got any ideas for crafts for highschoolers? Hope everyone is having a great February and hopefully I'll be back soon!

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    February StashBusting Interview Tips On Sewing For Others

    Hello Stashbusters! Do I have a treat for you! The lovely Katie from Kadiddlehopper is my guest poster for this month. Her monthly lists and the amount of sewing she gets done are a true inspiration. Without more ado, I'll let her share her tips on sewing for others this month! Happy Valentines day!

    I'm so excited to be able to share some stashbusting tips here with Emily! I was thrilled when she and Cindy of Cation Designs continued their Stashbusting Sewalong into this year. Last year it was so helpful to have the support of the other stashbusters, and this year has been even better! So anyway, on the the interview!

    Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been sewing? What do you like to sew?
    Hey y'all! I'm Katie and I blog at Kadiddlehopper. My mother taught me to sew so long ago that the memory is lost in the sands of time. As long as I can remember, I've had a needle and thread in hand. I also took some Home Ec. classes in Junior High, but I generally just ended up helping the other students in my class. When I was an unruly teen, my sewing took a back burner to general rabble rousing and it wasn't until I was pregnant with my second child that I remembered that I knew how to sew. My prescient hubby had gifted me with a sewing machine several years earlier. I fired that baby up and got to work! Before I knew what had happened, I was sewing my own wardrobe, as well as most of what my children wear. I've occasionally dabbled in Home Dec and bag sewing. I even have pieces of a quilt in a closet somewhere, but my one true love is sewing garments. 
    Clockwise from top left - Emma's winter SWAP, outfit #1, Ottobre baby gift, Simplicity 4711, Emma's winter SWAP, outfit #2, BFF Baby dress, New Look baby dress
    Why do you enjoy sewing for others?
    Mostly, I really love sewing just for the sake of it, so when I get the chance to do some sewing for someone who appreciates it, I jump at the chance. I'm mostly a selfish seamstress, but I do get a lot of satisfaction of seeing my creations on my loved ones and friends. I also really enjoy sewing children's clothing. There are fewer fit issues and the projects use smaller pieces of fabric - perfect for Stashbusting!
    Clockwise from top left: Ottobre dress, Kitschy Coo Mini Penny, Ottobre coat, Kitschy Coo hoodie and Ottobre jeggings, LouBee Hosh Pants
    How does sewing for others affect your Stashbusting?
    Well, it definitely gives me more variety for my stashbusting efforts! Fabrics that I know I would never use for myself often find purpose in clothing for my family and loved ones. As mentioned, kids clothing also uses up those smaller scraps that we all seem unable to part with. I especially love it when a wee bit of fabric that I held on to for some reason becomes the focal point for a new creative endeavor.
    Clockwise from top left: Ottobre jeans, Swim trunks for 2, LouBee Bimaa, Double the PJs, Ottobre outfit, Sporty Pocket shorts, Winter Wonderland tour, Ottobre raglan tees
    Any tips or tricks for making sure your handmade item is loved/worn/appreciated?
    I think this is the trickiest part of sewing for others. I find that the more involved I can get the recipient into the process, the more likely it is to be appreciated. When sewing for my own family, I will ask for help in choosing the pattern or fabric. Sometimes I'll ask my kids to come into the sewing room to choose fabric for themselves or ask them to draw me a picture of what they want. When you are sewing a gift, this is a little trickier, especially if you want the gift to be a surprise. In that case, I think the better you know the person you are sewing for, the more likely you are to make them something that they will love. Consider the colors they like and their lifestyle. Do they love bright colors or prefer subdued tones? Do they like their clothing to be trendy and of-the-moment or do they have a more classic style? The closer you are to the person, the more likely you are to be able to answer those kinds of questions, and the more successful you will be.
    Clockwise from top left: Burda pants, Bow tie, Kwik Sew pullover, Kwik Sew bike shorts, Vogue shirt
    What have you sewn that you and the receiver loves the most?
    Ooo, that's a tricky one! I've been sewing pretty constantly for quite a while, so I've made a lot of things! I think if I had to choose just one thing I think it would be Myra's Princess Merida costume. I made it for her for Christmas 2012, and it is still the favorite of all her dress up dresses. She wears it all the time. In fact, she's wearing it as I type this.
    The fact that my most-loved piece is a simple knit costume dress reminds me that our projects don't have to be fancy, couture ballgowns or super detailed and difficult for them to be loved. They just have to come from the heart and speak in some way to those we're sewing for.

    I'm so glad I got to share a bit of my sewing and Stashbusting journey with you today. I hope your needles will always be sharp and your seams always straight. Happy Stashbusting, y'all!!

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Silly No Sewing Crazy Comment Video

    Hi Guys!
    Hope you enjoy a bit of my crazies this morning. Keeping it real with the messy room, unmade up me and no video editing. Be kind. Everytime I do one of these I realize how much hard work must go into making a good video!

    Friday, February 7, 2014

    Scatterbrained Sewing Questions

    Hello Sewing Friends!
       My mind has been thrown into overdrive lately and I just feel not put together. So today's post is full of the random and unfinished.

    As much as I love my rainbow wool sweater wearing it all day everyday is getting old. I finally decided to quit paralyzing myself by trying to match the perfect pattern with the perfect yarn and started knitting this! I'm going to make it a bit longer in the torso and they left some bits out of the directions but I think I have the cabling figured out now.... 
    I think these shorts are adorable and I want to make them out of this brown wool, but then I found this herringbone wool
    and think that might look cool... what do you think? Is it a waste of wool? How would the little herringbone look? Will it drape ok?

    I'm going to test them with some icky polyester first but I'm also pondering this step...
    Do they want me to put skinny elastic in ALL those casings? Can't I jus throw a big piece in?
    Can anyone translate that Japanese for me?
    Yesterday, I found out I'm going to be the Craft lady at a camp this summer so pants just got bumped to the top of my To Sew list. The left image is the same shorts pattern lengthened. Then I found this floral print this morning. Comfy like a maxi skirt but still pants... Is it too much floral? Will it matter if I'm the crazy craft lady? 
    I appreciate any and all answers to my questions! I'm deep into Level 3 of my Korean language class, which I love, but it's taking all my thinking and decision making brain skills.
    Oh yeah, I finally printed my copy of the Plantain off after the power came back on and seeing the pattern piece design has me really excited... she also said you could make it in fleece so I'm eyeballing that too... Maybe I won't have to wait until I knit another sweater to have a warm replacement. Is fleece as warm as wool??? With days full of -9F I'm kind of regretting my decision to not invest in some wool merino (is all merino wool?) for leggings this winter....
    Ok enough babbling... I've got a ton of stuff to catch up on now that the power is back on... so I'll be dreaming of your clever answers as I scrub the toilets and mop the floor...

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    February Stashbusting Let's talk about LOVE

    Welcome Stashbusters to February! We're already into month TWO of the Stashbusting Sewalong! This month's theme is all about LOVE! We're expanding the love from last year though.

    February's Theme is make something for someone you love and/or go all project runway and take this theme to the abstract and make something that represents something you love.

    Sneak peek on what I'm working on...
    For unselfish sewing I've got this dress still on my list from last year... and a couple of knit tops for my Mom.

    February's Curating Challenge is pretty low key and very geared toward garment sewists since that's what I primarily am and what most of you are... sorry my quilters. This can still apply for you...

    February's Curating Challenge: Identify what you love! 
    Go through your fabrics and find your 10 most favorite pieces. Why do you love them so much? Color palette? Print? Fabric type? Ease of sewing? Fit with your lifestyle? Not only are these are important things to keep in mind when you do decide to go fabric shopping; having all these lovelies sitting out where you can see them will hopefully inspire you to use one of them instead of buying something new. Decorate the walls with FABRIC!!!
    Crummy photo of seven of my favorites!

    ExtraCredit: Go through your closet and grab only your FAVORITE pieces. It doesn't matter if they are RTW or handmade. Ask yourself what those pieces have in common.

    Once again, a reminder that everything is totally optional, except sewing from your stash because if you aren't then why'd you join this? :) Ok, I'm going to take my sarcastic self back to work now. Stay warm ya'all!