Friday, February 17, 2017

Solstice Wrap by Striped Swallow Designs

At Christmastime, when I made myself and the girls our lovely red rose tops, I also made the girls matching Solstice Wraps in an olive green crushed velvet from Knitpop. The Solstice Wrap is from Striped Swallow Designs, a lovely pattern company I have admired for awhile. (They also put out the Coachella Shorts pattern which I will definitely be sewing up for myself and the kids this spring / summer). 
I am happy that I finally sewed up one of her patterns, these are such fun accessories! The Solstice wrap can be cropped like these are, or also can be made longer to be a full length shirt. I love patterns like this that are kind of like a puzzle to put together. There is real magic to me in carefully layering pieces of fabric together, pinning, stitching carefully and then turning it all right side out to reveal something stunning. 
That being said, the instructions are quite easy to follow. It is so nice to have a pattern to follow that you can just trust without thinking too hard about it (I actually thought I figured out a shortcut that I would use on future versions for hemming the front of the top, but then realized a few steps later that my shortcut would be impossible, and there was a carefully analyzed method to the directions I was following- I am glad I was following them!). 

    If I wasn't about 1000% over my fabric budget for the year I would have gone back for more of that green crushed velvet. It is really luxurious to the touch and I love the deep green color. Those lucky girls!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Halloween 2015 for crafting con

    I shared these costumes on my blog this fall, but I also shared them over at Crafting Con. I used different pictures in this post, so I thought I would finally bring it back home and keep another record of these fun get ups over here. The following post was written for the crafting con readers, which is why the wording may sound slightly off from my usual posts. Enjoy!

    I'm sure that most of the folks frequenting this site get pretty excited for this holiday and all the sewing fun that goes along with it and I am no exception. I have been making my kids costumes for the past few years as I have been getting more into sewing, and I have to say, I really killed it last year. In my kids eyes, anyways, and that is the most important thing!
     So here they are in all their glory, straight out of Neverland, Fawn and Gruff, (aka the Neverbeast)!

    I will start with Gruff. Althea is my little critter. Her favorite games always involve animal role play, and she knew she wanted to be the Neverbeast for Halloween as soon as she saw this movie.
   Gruff's fur is a greyish color, which I of course could not find for sale. So I dyed some white fur and achieved this greyish blue color. We went with it. That Gruffy suit was self-drafted, and after adding a large crotch gusset, it turned out well. There are flaps on the bottom to cover the tops of her shoes, mitts that can cover her hands and a long zipper that opens up the front from the neck to the crotch to gain entry. The zipper is an electric green color, reminiscent of Gruff's electric stripes. The whole thing is lined with a soft old sheet since the inside of the fur was rather scratchy. I painted the swirls onto the back, sides and legs once it was completed with black fabric paint.
   I decided to make a detached hat instead of a hood so that she could wear it separately afterwards. She wanted it to be a full face mask, as in nothing visible aside from some little eye holes covered in green film, but that sounded pretty claustrophobic. We compromised with a snapping chin strap that she pulls up over her mouth. I used the hood from a coat pattern in Ottobre 06/20013 for the hat. It was totally her idea that there should be teeth sticking out of the top of the chin strap. The horns are made from black fleece, stuffed with fleece scraps and hand sewn onto the hat, which I have decided is truly the best way to make something stand upright on a hat. The ears are fleece lined fur with pipe cleaners inside to give them a bit of shape, and are hand sewn onto the hat as well. It is lined with the same white sheet that the rest of the suit is lined with.
     She also has fleece wings, framed with a bent up wire coat hanger. They have straps made from the same fur as her suit so that the straps blend in. There was a black fleece tail as well, stuffed with more fleece scraps and pinned to the back of her costume (most of the time).
The real highlight of the Neverbeast costume though, is seen best at night. I hand sewed orange EL wire to Gruff's wings, and 2 separate packages of green EL wire along the black stripes on the body. I added a couple of hidden pockets at various points on the suit to stash her battery backs. 
And Voila! She is ready to collect lightning and save Pixie Hollow!

      But Gruff would of course be lost without her favorite fairy, Fawn.
    Halloween is usually pretty cold where we live, so I am always trying to incorporate warm things that are part of the costume. So Fern, aka Fawn has a reversible fleece coat modeled after Fawn's look from that time Tinkerbell's gang traveled to the land of winter. This coat is very toasty, complete with two layers of fleece, a tall collar and cuffs with thumb holes that come to a point over the top of her hand. 
     She also has tan fleece leggings and some really fun ear muffs that consist of a fleece headband with tan fleece elf ears. The ears are two layers of fleece quilted together with a spiral stitch radiating from the "inner ear". 
     This all is worn over a lightweight dress that is meant to look like Fawn's dress in the Neverbeast movie, which can be worn to indoor Halloween parties that are too hot for fleece. The one strap dress is a little skimpy however, so I also made a tan knit long sleeve shirt to be worn underneath the dress. I stuck with the Ottobre 06/2013, and used patterns from this magazine for the fleece pants, long sleeve shirt and the fleece coat (with severe modifications for the coat). 
        And to top it all off, she has some really spectacular wings. They are made out of Fantasy Film and the only regret I have is that I made them a little too large for her. Most of the Halloween activities we do happen in a crowd and it was hard for her to be spatially aware of them. But they were truly magical and will certainly be used again as she grows (or perhaps by an adult female in the family,...ahem). 

Please come on over to my blog for some more pictures and details about these costumes. We had so much fun with them, I hope you have enjoyed them too!

Thanks for having me!

Love for Zenith and Quasar

    This fall and summer I was raving about some of my favorite fabric and pattern companies, and I have another one for you today. Zenith and Quasar is a fabric company that sells mostly athletic type knits; think supplex and really high quality brush poly. Lilly Himrod (the owner of the company) also creates some of her own fabric that is usually science based in theme. I just bought some goodies from her for the first time, and am in love with my new duds.
      I have some neuron leggings (Peglegs from Patterns for Pirates of course):

 And a nebula dress made using the Free Spirit Tank (dress version) also from P4P.
-with the racerback option.  
Aren't the nebulas incredible?!I've seen a lot of space prints and this is my favorite. 

I love both of these fabrics so much. I like them together a lot as well. 
They symbolize the magic of life to me; the similarities found in the macro- and microcosms of our world and beyond.
I had been thinking about make some raglan shirts combining both fabrics but then changed my mind. These two pieces will end up getting more use than a single shirt would have I believe. And I can always pair them together!
When I made the dress, it was 50 degrees outside, then the next day it was in the 20's and dumped over a foot of snow. (Hurray for an actual winter!) 
No worries though, this layers nicely right into my winter wardrobe. 
     Lilly is also running an awesome preorder right now with some sweet Earth Day / March for Science panels. Check them out here through February 28. or if you'd rather have someone else sew them up for you, you can check this out.
    Here's a peak of my favorite:
                                       zq-I'm with her.jpg
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

My first Me Hearties

    That rose red P4P Me Hearties dress I made for Althea at Christmastime was not actually the first Me Hearties that I have put together. Earlier in the fall, I made one for Fern. Both fabrics are from a knitpop auction box (surprise); the floral is a DBP, the teal I believe was said to be double brushed but it is a lot thinner than the floral so maybe a brushed rayon? Do they do that? Anyways, it's crazy soft. And actually the exact same fabrics that my SIL's harems were made from.
 I made her a size 7 (which she had just turned) and it was a tad big, but that's all right. Better than too small. She hasn't stopped growing yet. 
 It's nice to see pictures of the yard in bloom, seeing as it is currently covered in a blanket of snow. 
Her flowers fit right in. 

 Circle skirts are of course the best to twirl in.....there she goes!
 She's got a pair of bonny leggings from Made for Mermaids underneath there. They sure do love to match. 
And to eat the baby strawberries growing in that "red" section of my rainbow garden. 

And why not throw in a matching pair of P4P Peglegs for mom? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 3, 2017

The drape top

I mentioned when I posted the Edith fun that I have now made three of the Day to Night drape tops by Maria Denmark. It's true. 
Here's the first one I ever did. 
I used an applique that was included with an auction box I bought from Knitpop at the end of the summer. She added them all as fun bonuses after we scored our boxes in that auction, it was surprise when it came in the mail. I'm tellin ya, Knitpop is the best. 
So, there it is, on the back of the shirt. The rest of the shirt is made from this super soft, rather see through sweater knit that came in the knitpop scrap box I got earlier this summer. Score. 
I graded out at the waist as usual, but otherwise followed the pattern. 
Love it. 

The other one of these tops that I have made went to my mom for Christmas. I will have to try to get some photos to post!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Well hello there! My it's been a long long time.

As is my tradition, I took a blogging hiatus over the holiday season. I never take a break from sewing  though, so I will begin a partial review of some of my favorite projects from the past few months.

On Halloween, Knitpop had a trick or treat sale in which they added an extra yard of fabric to your purchase if you spent over $50 (a mystery treat!). I was happy to oblige them and met that quota, and in return they sent me this gorgeous red rose fabric. Then, to make things even more exciting, they announced a December sewing contest with big time prizes in which everyone had to use this lovely fabric (Edith is the name of the print) to sew something for themself and also for someone that they love and post a picture of them side by side in the knitpop facebook group. 

I have been seriously working on my ninja fabric cutting skills. 
Along with some olive french terry (also from knitpop) and some pretty black lace that I picked up I believe at JoAnn's a while ago, I was able to make three garments from that one yard!
It's just too hard for me to choose one person to join me in a situation like this, I love to sew for both of these beauties so much.

        On the left we have Fern in a Margot top by Violette Field Threads. I shortened the bodice by a few inches and added the lace over some of the olive in lieu of the ruffle.  I finished the neckline with a facing from the olive and finished the sleeves with regular cuffs (as opposed to the fancy ones in the pattern).

    On the right, we have Althea in a Me Hearties dress / tunic from Patterns for Pirates (aka P4P). I used the olive for the top of the bodice, obviously, and also for more than half the skirt. Basically I used as much of the rose as I could and filled in the rest of the skirt with the olive. It worked out great, though, I think hers is my favorite. The french terry is really heavy and has a great drape; it is perfect for winter time and also twirls fantastically.
    I am in the center with my Maria Denmark Day / Night drape top. This makes the third one I have made of those now. It is such a fun pattern. I knew I was going to have to make myself a top, not a dress if I was going to squeeze three things from the one yard, and I thought for a little while about how I could make something that would still be unique and stand out in the contest. I came up with the idea of adding the lace panel to the front of the shirt. Man, that took a lot of trial and error, basting and seam ripping, cutting and then recutting that panel. But it was a labor of love and in the end, I am really thrilled with the way it came out. Exactly what I was going for! Although it does sometimes ride up (the lace is sewn into the armscye and goes down below my bust, so I can kind of tuck it into my bra). I wanted to avoid creating a seam across the front of the shirt, but I may tack it down in a few places at least. I finished my shirt with olive bands on the arm holes, which I was a little unsure about, but I really didn't even have enough Edith left for that, so there you have it. I think it works.
It was pretty cold that afternoon when we went out for a photoshoot in the driveway. The girls were troopers. At least they had sleeves! And I am always warm when I am excited - and I was pretty excited to be triplet-ing with these ladies in this beautiful fabric.
     Dave does a great job running around as our photographer; he acts really silly and makes it fun and gets us laughing. Love that guy. 
    And I love these two hams....they are getting so grown up, <sigh>.
                            Thanks for stopping by!