Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ready to go!

Okay, break's over.

Do you ever have those days? The ones where you swear you'll give up sewing because nothing ever works out the way you hoped? I've only recently starting sewing clothing so I have to keep reminding myself that every new project is a learning experience - even the ones that don't work. Some days I find it's best to pack my things away and ignore them for awhile.

So I'm feeling a little better. And ready to start sewing with Sherry at Paper~Scissors~Cloth!

She is hosting a jacket sew-along and I am so excited to get started! Ever since I made a jacket for my sister I've been thinking about making one for myself. While I'd love to make the same style I thought I'd get more use out of a lighter jacket so I chose Butterick 5469 view C (the white one below.)

I'm almost done with the muslin and I can already tell I need to add to the length both in the body of the jacket and the sleeves but the rest fits great.

I wanted something floral, cheerful, and a little different from my usual style (i.e. black, white, grey, etc.) So I chose this pretty print from Michael Miller designed by Laura Gunn. It's a quilters' cotton, which I typically steer clear off when sewing clothing, but this has a different feel to it and I plan to underline it to give it more weight (anyone have experience with underlining?)

If you haven't been to Laura's site it is definitely worth a click. She is an amazing painter and her fabric is based on her paintings. Here are some other fabrics from the same line:

The girl has talent!

So I'm hoping this project will get me out of my little slump and I'll actually have something to show at the end of the sew-along. Happy weekend!


Monday, March 28, 2011

A few aquisitions

I swear I've been sewing, not just shopping. I'm in a bit of a rut and have been unsatisfied with most of my sewing results lately so I'll stick with sharing my purchases for now...

I couldn't resist ordering a set of Sunni's ironing tools (tailor's ham and seam roll.) They're beautifully made and oh so pretty:) Check out her etsy shop here - it looks like she's sold out right now but I think she takes custom orders too.

I also paid a visit to an antique mall a few towns away and spotted this tucked in a corner booth.

Is that a box of vintage patterns? For $8.00? Sold.

I have no idea what to do with them as I don't feel the need to actually make any of them right now.

But seriously, how could I let them sit there?

Okay, I might feel the need to make that red dress, complete with flower and ribbon trim.

Very classy.

My husband would look killer in that apron.

A jacket from two pattern pieces may be worth a try!

So sweet!

The antique shops around here seems to have an abundance of buttons. I almost never buy any but I couldn't pass these over. The box also contained a number of knitting pattern books. I don't knit so I may try to give these away to someone who could use them. Anyone interested?

I'm planning to take a few days away from my sewing machine. I think I've been getting frustrated and discouraged, which of course does not make a happy and productive sewer.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I was getting itchy about my fabric scraps again. I try to limit myself to one box of little scraps (notice I didn't include big scraps here - those are in a bigger box) and when it starts to overflow I make an effort to use some up.

I have a variety of patterns and colors (mostly 100% cotton) leftover from quilt projects. I've endeavored to use these little pieces in a number of different ways, like here, but I got to thinking about making something wearable with them.

So I pulled out my sundress pattern (which has gotten a lot of use lately!), cut the bodice pieces out of muslin, and started laying strips of fabric on top.

Then I took them to my machine and topstitched like crazy - until I felt sure the strips were completely secure.

I've used this technique before to make these little house sculptures.

(Sorry for the blurriness.)

I pieced the bodice together and while I really like the result I'm not sure where to go next. (It's not lined yet so all the edges are raw.)

A big puffy white skirt with layers of organza? (You know, something practical.) Something close fitting? Or should I just line it and leave it as a top? What about straps?

Here's a close-up of the quilting. Any thoughts/suggestions are welcomed!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The deadline to finish my vintage dress project looms (the owner of the shop returns mid-April and opens for the season shortly after.) I know there is a lot of flexibility on her part but if I don't have a deadline (even if it's self-imposed) I'll never finish. So, out came another dress.

I stared at this one for a couple of days trying to decide what to do. In the end I went with a short little sundress, much like the others. (You can see them here, here, here, here and here.)

I thought I would keep the bodice yellow and cut the skirt short to eliminate the flowers.

When I arranged it this way it looked pretty boring so I kept the flowers and yellow hemline, and eliminated the yellow bodice.

I think this was the right way to go. It's pretty, girly and summery.

I added a lining to the bodice and sewed the old label back on.

I also reused the yellow zipper (sorry for the blurry shot.) Another one down...just a couple left! Thanks for looking:)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I was so happy to be recognized by one of my favorite bloggers, Oonaballoona, with the Versatile Blogger award!
I've never gotten one of these - thanks Oona! (Check out her blog, she is seriously creative!) The directions are to list seven random facts and pass it on to 15 new blogs. Here goes.

1. I'm addicted to running. I've run 6 marathons and plan to run another this year. I get really cranky if I can't squeeze a run into my schedule.

2. I have a Ph.D. in cell biology. I taught briefly at the University of Connecticut but had to give it up when we decided to move for my husband's career. I hope to go back to teaching someday.

3. I love drag shows (let's just get that one out of the way.) There are quite a few drag theatres in my town. My favorite performers are actually a female drag group called ATKM - amazing talent.

4. I was certified by the American Breeders Association to artificially inseminate cows (it's long since expired, a shame.) I once thought I wanted to be a dairy farmer. (?)

5. Someone's grass is always greener than mine. It's not a attitude I'm proud of and I'm working on it. I truly am thankful for what I have, I just have to constantly remind myself of it.

6. My favorite movie is The Jerk and I think Steve Martin is the funniest man alive. (Though whenever I watch it with someone else, they never laugh.)

7. Seven random things is harder than you think - try it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thrifting and antiquing - amateur night!

Our family lives in a great little tourist town on Cape Cod. It's waaayyy out there on the tip and it's beautiful. But. We're a good 45 minute drive to most of the places we need to go. We have a grocery store in town, of course, and lots of cute little shops (most of which aren't open in the winter) but I spend a lot of time in the car. Especially because my kids go to school an hour away. Three days a week (my husband does the other two) I drop them off and spend the next six hours basically waiting for them. I go to the gym and run errands mostly (I think the women at JoAnns think I'm stalking them) but recently I have caught the thrifting and antiquing bug. Cape Cod is full to the brim with amazing antique and thrift shops. How I have failed to take advantage of this until now is a mystery to me.

So, stop blabbing and start sharing some recent finds, right?

Vintage dress pattern for little girls, size 6. My girls are a size 5 right now. Perfect!

I can't wait to make this one!

Another size 6. I like the top on view B. Both patterns were $.25.

Very pretty floral fabric. A nice weight for a skirt or a dress. Two yards for $1.25.

My favorite so far, found at an antique mall. Three yards of old lace (not sure exactly how old). It's about 5 inches wide and so pretty. I'll be saving this for something special! $16.00 and worth every penny!

I love love love old christmas ornaments. My mom has a collection (from her childhood) and they are so nostalgic for me. I've started my own collection and have found quite a few so far. I found this box at the same antique mall for $15.00.

Another box from a thrift/consignment shop, $9.00.

(Same box.)

Another thrift shop find, $10.00.

Big jar of white buttons, $7.00. I'm sure I will use some of these for my husband's Negroni shirt (almost done, pictures soon!)

And finally, a big bag of old lace, $12.00. I was drawn to it for the pale green, sequined piece on top.

Another to be saved for something special.

So that's it! But now that I've caught the bug there will be plenty more to come. Thanks for stopping by!