Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happiest Birthday Backpack

As some of you may know, I am obsessed with Japanese fabrics. Love them, the prints are perfectly gorgeous! When I came across Horaguchi it was love! The details are amazing, the pattern so fresh and perfect for kids. In conjunction with my recent acquisition of the Oliver + S book, my birthday gift of the year was born - birthday backpacks!

This is the second I have made, this time for little Sophia's fourth.
Oliver + S backpack in Horaguchi Selling Flowers in White
I love the pattern, the finish is so professional and I even learned how to do a blind hem stitch!
Vintage paisley silk!
I made her a coloring wallet to match, pattern by JCasa.

Homegirl is a natural model!

Cutest birthday gift! I love it so much - can you believe I haven't made on for E yet? I'm waiting for the perfect fabric to come along...

Until then, keep stitching!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to Reality....

Sorry for the hiatus! I started this blog with full intentions of posting every day, but blogging is really a lot of work! We have been caught up in summer, swimming, parks, cooking, and sewing - I have tons to share, but nothing is quite finished yet.

I also recently got a job and returned to work. Six hour shifts, four days a week. We need the extra cash flow, and the availability fits our schedule perfectly. Unfortunately, I have to be in bed by 10pm to wake up at 5am, which significantly cuts into my sewing time. I am so sad about it, but that just means I have to manage my free time even better. Like get off the computer, now, Joy!

More sewing soon to come, plus a little something we just finished for E!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How It Began

Like most sewers, I first learned from my mother. My mother used to have her own shop selling handmade toys and she would sew frequently for us – clothes, Halloween costumes, as well as clothes for herself.

When I was a teenager I started to appreciate it more. My mom showed me her machine – I was terrified of threading it and remained so until my Singer with numbers right on the machine! – and I dabbled here and there. As a family of 10, we didn’t have lots of money to spend on clothes. I would find clothes at the thrift store and upgrade them to my liking – nowadays known as “upcycling.”

When I moved out on my own, I bought a simple Singer at Target with a birthday gift card. I jumped right into sewing curtains, shower curtains and pillows for my new apartment. It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my daughter that I discovered the amazing world of online tutorials, and then I really took off! With every tutorial I learned basic construction and finishing techniques, and the possibilities grew. I started making simple baby clothes, toys (blocks, tag balls) and learned the correct way to make pillows and curtains – oh man, did I cringe when I saw my previous home d├ęcor! As my bookmarks menu grew and grew, I would try to catch up by night.

Which brings me here. I mostly began sewing again to save money – it’s much easier to get something custom and to your liking by making it yourself than buying it. This is not always the case – my love of sewing has also led to a love of designer fabrics – but there’s definitely a huge satisfaction and sense of pride in seeing something in a store and immediately thinking, “I could make that, and make it better.”

I try to encourage anyone I can, I can’t help but be passionate about it! I wish I had more sewing friends, but I d belong to an online sewing forum, where we share completed projects and can turn to for help when we get stuck. Love those ladies!

Enough about me, I’d love to hear how you guys started sewing!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Finally, a Romper!

Well, friends, I told you I was working on a romper for E, therefor I had to get to it and finish it.
And I am very pleased with my efforts! not only did I not butcher this beautiful fabric, but it fits E perfectly with room to grow!
I even threw together a matching headband - simple and perfect for her wild curls.
With spaghetti straps that cross at the back...
...and a ruffle at the neck...
and perfectly accessorized with ladybug stickers!

I created the pattern using an existing romper she has - just traced each piece onto craft paper and cut my fabric out.

Who wants to see a tutorial?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring (now summer) Clothes

I won’t bore you guys with the details of my Etsy – I want this blog to expand to other topics of sewing – but you can see all that here (if you want to).

I have been working on spring clothes for daughter for a few months now – hence one of my reasons for this blog – I need a little motivation sometimes! Granted, we have our reasons.. I love making spring & summer clothes because they are a great reason for beautiful lightweight cotton lawn fabrics and shirring! 

Shirring (sewing with elastic thread) is tons of fun, easy once you get the hang of it, and makes quite the dramatic impact! Some helpful pointers – cut your fabric at least twice as wide as what you want the final size to be. If you trace a favorite t-shirt and shirr that, it would only fit an infant! I’ve ruined some awesome vintage items by trying to upcycle them with shirring and cutting them too small. Boo.

Before this turns into a how-to-shirr post, let’s get back to daughter’s spring wardrobe. Pink Chalk Fabrics had a great sale a bit ago, so I stocked up on lots of great fabrics for E’s wardrobe. Lots of bright prints and fun patterns, lots of shirring, lots of cute!

A yellow romper:
Erin McMorris Weekends Dots And Loops
A shirred top and shorts (second round - the first time the tension of the bobbin was too tight, resulting in too-tight shirring. Picking out shirring is NO joke!)
Darling Clementine Flower Grid

Butterfly dress, which I may or may not add ruffles to around the neck:
Alexander Henry Eton Butterfly

And that’s all I’ve gotten done so far!

In the works are a floral romper in this great print (LOVE Erin McMorris!)
Erin McMorris Weekends Lilyrose Lime
And I have some delicious floral Lecien lawn floating around (for the life of me, I cannot find a photo of this! Just imagine its greatness!), but feel like mommy deserves a little something too?

I was considering a dress for E, inspired by this Mini Boden number:
I think it's so adorable and wouldn't be too difficult to replicate (and a lot cheaper!).

It’s only a yard, so a skirt or dress for mama is not an option. Any ideas for something cute and simple for a mama top, but not in-your-face-floral-overload?

Fortunately, husband does not have many sewing requests for me (if ever), so I’m only resigned to sew for me, daughter and home at the moment.

And a quick preview of something BIG to come!

Thanks for letting me share!

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