Goodbye Summer, I’ll miss you. (with a rant in the middle about being skinny)

I made this skirt earlier in the summer and love it.  Pattern is AMH’s’ Flirting the Issue Skirt and you can download it for free here.  I made mine out of white linen which is perfect for summer.

I also love the elastic waist.  I used to think this look didn’t look great on me, but I decided to try it anyway and am pleased with the way it turned out.  Perhaps that is because my definition of what looks “great” on me has changed.  I used to think that for something to look “great” on me it had to make me look “skinny” and this skirt definitely doesn’t do that.  Yet, somehow I still feel pretty in it.  What?  I can feel pretty without feeling skinny?  Yep.  I follow another sewing blog and recently, she commented that it seems that you have to be “skinny and tall to home-make decent clothing.”  Mainly because, just like in the RTW world,  it is difficult to find “real sized” women’s clothing being modeled here in blogland.

I hope that she doesn’t give up.  Some of my favorite seamstresses are not tall and skinny, but they still manage to make clothes that look beautiful and that make them look beautiful.  You just have to get over the idea that beautiful = tall and skinny.

Here is an up-close shot of the running stitches I did at the bottom, inspired by Jeni.  I went back and forth trying to decide between a rainbow of colors or different shades of blue, but I went with blue in the end because it reminded me of the ocean.  Which brings me back to summer.   With this weekend marking the end of summer, it also means an end to some of my favorite things, the beach, swimming, fresh produce and most importantly, not cold weather.

I know that for many people in my part of the country, fall can’t get here fast enough and with it cooler weather.  I’m not saying that don’t like fall.  I do.  I just don’t like what comes after fall.  I was born and raised in south Alabama where winter just wasn’t all that bad and quite frankly, I am a wimp when it comes to cold.  Give me 100 degrees for days on end and I’m fine.  I’m like a rabbit in a briar patch, but five me 2-3 days of below freezing temperatures and no sunshine and I’m miserable.  So yes, I’m looking forward to the fall, but it’s difficult for me to say goodbye to the summer.  So I’ve spent the past week trying to squeeze in as much summer as I can.  I’ve taking my girls to the pool one last time, we’ve eaten popsicles on the porch, we’ve gone camping and I’ve been wearing this skirt as much as possible.

P.S. It’s also a great skirt for playing in the rain.

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This moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

{This Moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

 

Something Old, Something New

I made this purse months ago, but never posted it.  I keep thinking I need to, but keep forgetting.  Then last week, I got complement number 251 on it (one lady last week actually asked me if I sold them and like and idiot I said no – still kicking myself for that one) .  So, here it is.  I used Simplicity 2551.

I added pockets to the lining.  Pockets are a must for me. I love having a place for everything.  I put in a larger pocket on one side for things such as hand sanitizer and sunglasses and perfectly sized pockets on the other for my cell phone and three pens.  No more dumping out my purse just to find a pen and more importantly no more rambling through my purse for my phone only to put my hands on it just as the caller hangs up.

Now that I’ve got that very overdue post out of the way, let’s move onto my next project.  I picked up Simplicity 2443 a while back and the other day picked up a black and white striped jersey knit.  At the time I bought the fabric I was thinking of just doing vertical stripes.  I had a moment at the cutting counter where I realized that if I cut the fabric according to the layout on the pattern instructions, the stripes would be going the wrong way.  I almost stopped her from cutting, but decided that I could just be creative.  So far, here is where my creativity has taken me.

I’m thinking so far that I like the option on the right the best.  What do you think?

 

 

Finish It Up!

You know you have way too many unfinished sewing projects when they have their very own drawer.

So when I came across Meg’s Finish It Up summer challenge, I knew I had to join.   I think I’m (fashionably?) late to the party, but I’m joining in anyway.

Here is my initial list:

1. A 2+2 blouse by Oliver + s. Intended for my shop.

2. Curtains for the windows that surround my front door.

3.My husbands two favorite pair of socks both with huge holes.  He doesn’t want to throw them away so I told him I could fix the holes.  Um… anybody know how to darn socks?

4.Two dresses I made for the girls last year.  The waists and shoulder straps need to be let out.  Perhaps I might add a cute trim to the bottom to make them a little bit longer.

5.A Alice costume I started for my girls last year, but never finished because I realized that it was going to swallow them. Hoping it will fit this year.

6.This one is actually finished, but I hate the way it fits.  I’m either going to figure out how to make it fit or just turn the bottom into a skirt.

7.Bedtime story p.j.’s.  Also intended for my shop.

8.These are mostly finished.  I just need to repair the waistband

8. Not sure if this counts as an unfinished project, but I’m adding it in.  This is an old pair of undies that I recently cut up to use as a patten to make a new pair.  I finished the new pair and they fit so well that I want to make a more permanent pattern.

9.More undies. these are for the girls.  I’ve cut them out, but haven’t sewn them together.

10.Last but not least.  This pile is on my table right now.  It’s a crib bumper and skirt for a sweet little boy.

Thanks Meg for hosting this fun little party.  I’m definitely a list person and I’m hoping that the combination of being able to cross things off my list as well as having blogging friends to motivate me will help me get these things done faster.

 

McCalls 6032

I was very happy with the way this dress turned out.  It was very easy for me to sew and came together pretty quickly.

I really like the detail on the front.  I’ve never really been into fashion or wearing trendy clothes, but now that I can sew my own clothes, I’ve starting to pay attention to these things without meaning to.   I’ve been seeing this gathered, twisty thing a lot recently and was happy to have a chance to do it myself.

I almost didn’t put a zipper in the dress.  Honestly, I don’t need it to get the dress on; the neck hole is huge and the dress is super stretchy.  But when I finished the dress without a zipper, it just looked dumpy in the back, so I put one in.

Here is my pattern review.

Shop Update

I finished this dress a few weeks ago.  I finally had time yesterday to take pictures and add it to my shop.  After seeing it on Lila, it is tempting just to let her have it.  It is made from a semi-stretchy linen and a vintage sheet.  Both fabrics are super soft and lightweight.  Perfect for summer.

Maybe

I used Anna Maria Horner’s Maybe from her Innocent Crush line to make this version of Simplicity 2403:

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I think I might be getting the hang of making clothes for myself. A few months back, I bought the book How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns.  I was a little disappointed.  I was mainly interested in learning how to adapt sewing patterns and the only adaptation for dresses it includes is how to lengthen or shorten it.  I had already figured that out for myself using the directions printed on the sewing pattern.   It did, however help me figure out how much to shorten it based on the design of the dress.  The book included a chart for recording 17 different measurements which I filled out with the help of my patient husband.  The most helpful idea I got from the book was to measure the pattern and compare it to your body measurements.  For this dress, I measured the distance from the neck to the waistline on the pattern and compared it to my actual measurement.  The pattern was about two inches longer than my actual measurement so I took two inches out of the bodice and back.  This adjustment makes the waist of the dress hit at my actual waist which is very nice.  I have a RTW dress that I bought from Target that I love but the waist of the dress hits me around my tummy.  I’m thinking of getting out my seam ripper and going to town.

I also added about a half  inch to the side of the front bodice pieces of this dress.  I did this because when I put together a muslin of this dress it was slightly too tight in the front.  One of my pet peeves about button up tops and dresses is that they often pull apart or gape across the bust.  So I wanted to make sure that there was enough room to avoid this.  I also put in an extra button, which means that the buttons are close together.

I’ve worn this dress a couple of times now and I love the way it fits.   The only thing I would change is that it has too much extra material in the back.  This happens on every dress and top I make for myself and I have no idea how to fix it.  Perhaps I need to cut a smaller size.  I cut a 12 for this dress even though the pattern told me to cut a 14 based on my chest and waist size.  (and a 16 based on my hips!)  So going down a size further seems ridiculous.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  Also, if anyone knows of a better how to adapt sewing patterns to fit your actual body book, please let me know.

Sailboat

I bought this pattern right after Christmas.  It was an impulse buy and I sort of regretted it.  It’s one thing to pay $.99 for a pattern and then change your mind about liking it.  It’s another to pay $15.95 for a pattern then change your mind.  I just didn’t seem to like the pattern as much once I got home with it.  But I decided to sew it up anyway and I’m glad I did.

It came together very easily and it turned out much cuter than on the envelope.

The only change I made to the pattern was to add an adjustable waistband to the skirt. The way this skirt was put together, it was very easy. I just sewed some buttonholes into the right end of the elastic. Then I sewed a button on the inside of the skirt just in front of the right side seam. Then instead of sewing the elastic in place on the right side, I just attached it to the button.  One of my girls has an itty bitty waist and the other has an itty bittier waist, so being able to adjust the waist on their clothes is important.

I’m not sure about the fabric I used for the top. I got it at
Threadfest last fall. It is some sort of thin cotton blend, not very stretchy. The skirt is made with a medium weight denim. I actually got the fabric for this skirt from a HUGE skirt I found at goodwill. It was a size XXXL denim skirt for 99 cents.  I used about a forth of the fabric from the goodwill skirt to make this one.