Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Travels: TEXAS

Davis and I have driven almost clear through Texas!  We're in the panhandle right now.  It has been a really fun trip so far.

Last night we stopped with my great Uncle Bob and Aunt Jean in Dallas.  They were such gracious hosts--they woke up early and cooked us a delicious meal, and even sent us away with a bag of goodies for the trip!  We will be staying with them for a few days on our way back to GA.

Here are some photos of our journey so far!

Great reading along the way!

This has been a fun element to the trip--a horrible case of chronic poison ivy!  Seriously, I don't even know how I got it.  Sigh.

Uncle Bob gave me a bunch of great magazines to read.

Texas Scenery

BTW, I listed a bunch of new patterns in my Etsy shop before we left.  We have brought my little shop on the road with us, so be sure to check it out!  If you place an order anytime over the next two weeks, it will probably be postmarked Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico or Texas. ;)

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Honeymoon Dress

I never posted about this dress.  I really meant to, but time got away from me and before I knew it it was the end of June and I the honeymoon dress was not in the front of my mind.  Better now than never, right?

My honeymoon dress was made from the same pattern as this one, except I made a few changes to the design.  The most significant alteration in the pattern was made due to lack of time, and ended up really making the dress look fantastic.  I was down to the wire, and did not think I would have time to work buttonholes down the front of the dress before the wedding.  As the dress is made of a nice, mold-able rayon blend, I was able to sew a couple ties and change the front to a wrap front instead of a button-up.  Didn't that work out nicely?  I love it!

The only other changes I made were in the length--I decided to go a little bit longer than I usually do, as it was still wintertime--and in the omission of pockets.  I really do love pockets, but didn't feel that the patch-pockets would fit the style of this particular dress/fabric well.

I wore the dress over a lacy vintage black slip that used to belong to my grandmother.  :)  It was wonderful.

I wish I had more pictures of it from different angles, but alas!  People were too busy blowing bubbles at us to take many photos!

Davis and I are about to embark on a summer journey out west.  Posting may be a little scarce, but I'll try to update with pictures as I can.  Until we return, have a fantastic July!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Skirt No. 2: Almost finished

Skirt number 2, which I have not named yet, is coming along quite nicely!  I am just in love with the fabric, Kaffe Fassett's "Collective Marquee Pastel".  There is such a beachy feel about it.   This one is also on sale right now at Fabric.com.  Seems like all the fabric I bought at regular price a couple weeks ago is now on sale at Fabric.com.  Funny how that works.  The pattern dates back to the 80's--1987, I think.  

I had to modify the pattern a little because of a calculating mistake on my part.  The pattern listed the amount of fabric needed for both the top and skirt together, but not individually.  So I made a guess...and guessed about 1/2 yard too little.  The adjustments were easily made; I simply omitted the side sections and placed the pockets right on top of the side seams.  

Almost ran out of fabric for the pockets!  I had to dice it up a little bit and piece it back together to make it work.  The result was a really fun look--sort of artsy.  I like it.  The pockets are absolutely HUGE.  

All that's left to do now is hem it and sew hooks and eyes on the back of the skirt band.  

When my husband gets back into town, I will have him take some pictures of me actually wearing these garments. :D  Until then, here is another shoddy picture of me modeling the skirt from behind. 

That's all for now!


p.s. Have you ever watched All Creatures Great and Small?  It is an old BBC television series based on the writings of James Herriot, country vet.  GREAT show, especially for those inclined to like British humor and 1930's culture/fashion.  I just found out that it streams on Netflix, and have been watching it all morning!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

John Piper

"Oh how we need to live in the light of our dying." 
~John Piper 

First 70's Skirt: Better Pics and A Weird Cucumber

Here are some nicer pictures of the skirt.  What do you think? :D

Skirt Front


Pocket :)

Purple Zipper

Inside waistband finishing

Zig-zag hem

Inside details

We planted some special pickling cucumbers, and this one is looking very interesting...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

70's Skirt No. 1: Complete!

As I mentioned a few posts ago, my goal this summer is to create several summer skirts that are versatile, comfortable, and lovely.  I bought fabric and chose patterns to make five skirts.  The patterns I am using are mostly from the 70's and 80's, and are very farm-girl-esque in style.  

My fabric came in the mail Friday, and last night I sat down and cut three of the five skirts out so that they would be ready to go when  had a spare moment to sew.  I like to cut out my projects ahead of time and place all of the pieces, along with the pattern, in a ziploc bag.  I have a box-full of these soon-to-be projects, and any time I have a few minutes and am in the sewing mood I can simply grab a bag and whip something up without having to worry about cutting.  It's nice. :)

Anyway, back to the skirt.  I think I will name each skirt I make. This skirt simply must be named Clementine. 

Clementine was made up using Butterick 5935 and this gorgeous fabric by Heather Bailey (which just happens to be on sale right now at Fabric.com):

Nicey Jane Picnic Bouquet Tangerine
(click for listing)

The skirt was very easy to make up.  I did most of it this afternoon before work, and finished up the rest this evening when I got home.  I was going to be lazy and just pink the seams, but decided to be good and do a turned and stitched seam instead.  Glad I did, because it looks great!  In case you haven't tried a turned and stitched seam before, Gertie has a great tutorial on her blog.  It is very easy to do, and makes your garment look very professionally finished. :)   Plus, you don't have to worry about yucky fraying edges and holes in your seams!

Seam allowance stitching process

Finished turned and stitched seam allowance

I did pink the pocket seams, though.  They were not a good candidate for turned and stitched seams.  French seams would have worked nicely, but I am happy with the pinking.  It looks cute.

I used a purple zipper from my stash for the back zip.  Love how that turned out!

I took a bunch of pictures of Clementine on my dress form, but the lighting is so bad that I don't want to post them.  I'll take some better pictures tomorrow when there is daylight outside and post them up for you to see.  Until then, here is a pretty bad picture of me wearing the skirt, pre-hemming.  At least it will give you some sort of idea of how the finished product looks!  The hem is 3", and finished with a zig-zag stitch on the outside of the garment.  



Monday, June 13, 2011

Le Jardin

For the past several years, I have had this hankering to plant a garden.  I've started to a few times--but never stuck with it long enough to actually grow much.  The main reason is that my sister Skylar was always the resident gardener (she has the greenest thumb I have ever beheld!), and was naturally in charge of anything garden-y that our family attempted.  I'm sure she would have had no problem letting me tinker around a bit, but I always thought I'd just get in her way.  The second reason is that I have stayed SO BUSY over the years, I just haven't had the time to put into a garden to really make it beautiful.  So, the only thing I have to show for my dabbling in the gardening arts is one potted Oregano plant that I have taken special care of for about five years.

Enter new house, new husband, three acres of my own land to do what I want with,  and a lot more free time.   It was time to start that garden!

Starting small, I planted herbs in some stair-step beds that were overgrown with a really stubborn vine when we moved in.  Nasturtium seeds were planted along the edges of each bed, for a splash of color.  The herbs did wonderfully, and are thriving now.  How nifty to walk out your kitchen door and have any herb you need for cooking at your fingertips!

And then came the veggie garden.  About a month ago, Davis came home with about 15 locally grown vegetable plants--okra, zucchini, yellow squash, banana peppers, and two different types of cucumbers (for pickling, of course!).  Mrs. Green-thumb (aka Skylar) gave us three lovely tomato plants that she had grown from seed to add to our little plot.  We made up a simple bed in the back yard, right outside the kitchen (convenient!), and planted those babies in the soil.

Since then, our garden has grown--a lot.  We have added a row of yellow beans and lima beans, carrots, cotton and corn--all started from seed.  We have also started a bevy of flowers from seed--dahlias, zinnias, columbines, sunflowers, hollyhocks, forget-me-nots, poppies, and something else which is escaping me right now. ;)  Let me tell you, once you start planting from seed, it is hard to stop.  The process is so rewarding!  And so amazing!  You stick a little seed in the dirt, and in a few weeks you have a living, thriving (hopefully) plant.  It is one thing to buy ready-grown plants from a nursery, but when you grow your own plants on your back porch (or in your greenhouse) you begin to feel a deeper connection to, and understanding of, the earth and its Creator.  At least I do.

If you have never grown something before, let me encourage you to give it a try.  Buy yourself a package of seeds and some potting soil, and watch something beautiful happen when you mix the two together.  It is thoroughly enlivening.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Eighties

While I was waiting on my bounty of skirt cottons (which came yesterday--whoop!), I decided to make a blouse.  It's been awhile since I've made a top, and I found a pattern that was particularly inspiring...

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  It looks pretty ugly.  But check this out:

The design sketch on the back (without the purple fabric and the skirt that looks like it is attached) looks surprisingly modern and cute!  Whadda ya know?

I had several yards of a feedsack print rayon that fit the bill.  Once it was all cut and marked and ready to go, I took it to my parents house to sew it up.  Why?  Alas, my sewing machine is in desperate need of a tune-up and the feed dogs are not holding on to anything lighter weight than cotton.  Erg.  So I had to steal my sisters machine for the day.  Thanks, Skylar!

The blouse turned out GREAT, if I do say so myself!  I just love it.  It makes me happy.  

The only change I made to the pattern was the omission of the shoulder pads.  Other than that, I stuck straight to the pattern.  Didn't need to make adjustments for size/fit, as the blouse is very loose and baggy. :)

I think it will look really cute with jeans in the fall/winter as well.  Wouldn't a black version of this blouse be nice?  And what one made up in jersey or silk?  Ah!  Ideas!

Well, I must off and officially change my last name.  The best of weekends to all!


Monday, June 6, 2011


The past few summers my sewing focus has been primarily on dresses.  Every year around March I start feeling the dress making fever creeping in again, and I end up with a bevy of very cute retro frocks by the end of August.  Dresses--ah how I love them. :) However a glance through my summer-dress-packed closet has convinced me to focus on sewing some other article of clothing for the 2011 summer season.  What is that garment going to be?  Skirts!

My wardrobe is sorely lacking in summer skirts.  I think I have two.  I need more options to pair with T-shirts and blouses for the summer season.

So this year I have been super inspired by Anthropologie's  summer skirt collection.  Check these out:

I have also been inspired by a big batch of 70's and 80's skirt patterns that I have acquired.  Especially the patterns from the 70's.  They are super-cute, and a lot of them are wrap-around, which is nifty.  Here's a sample:

Maybe not the pants or shorts, but this skirt is pretty cute!

LOVE this one.  My mother had one just like this in the 70's

Cute wrap skirt with big pockets

Littel 80's pencil skirt

Another wrap skirt from the 70's

This one is a very 50's-esque circle skirt.  Fancy a twirl, anyone?

This pattern really appeals to me.  It's just...cute. :)

I just ordered fabric to make 5 skirts with this summer from fabric.com (click on swatches to go directly to the listing):
Haven's Edge Vintage CeleryNicey Jane Picnic Bouquet TangerineAntique Treasures Large Floral Tan/PinkKaffe Fassett Collective Marquee PastelCotton Blend Yarn Dyed Shirting Stripe Red/Blue/Gold

What do you think?

All of this skirt planning is what inspired me to to a Summer Skirt Sale at my Etsy shop this month.  I'm in the process of listing skirt sale patterns on Etsy as I write this, so be sure to check it out!  Remember, each and every skirt pattern in the sale section is only $2.99.  Whoop!

My best wishes for a lovely summer afternoon,