Monday, February 29, 2016

Hollyburn Skirt

It fit! Perfectly, she says! Hurray! I love it when that happens, and the first time around, even. 

The skirt I made for Jess out of her In Theory barkcloth, that I showed you a peek of last week, was made from the Hollyburn Skirt pattern by Sewaholic Patterns. There are three options in the pattern, and Jess chose option B, the medium length shown below:

Here it is, on a headless model. (But it's really Jess... I can tell. ;) ) I think it turned out so cute!

I like the flare of it - just right!

The skirt has side pockets...

... with button-trimmed tabs on the waistband for a little added interest.

Those of you who've been following me for a while will think I planned the match-up of the main skirt and pocket prints. I swear I did not - it was just one of those happy accidents. I didn't plan it because I didn't even know if it could be done, and I didn't want to think that hard, plus I didn't think it would matter on that print. But I was delighted when they turned out like this! They probably wouldn't have been as good if I had planned it! Ha!

I love this pattern! It was made for beginners, and indeed it was an easy skirt to sew, yet it looks so great. The instructions were very well-written and easy to follow. The only thing I did differently was installing the zipper in the back. I followed the instructions that came with the zipper, which said to topstitch from the bottom to the top on each side, rather than down one side and up the other like the pattern said. I've found that fabric can pull a bit, and particularly with a print like this I didn't want the design to be off.

The pattern includes sizes 0-16. I found the measurements listed to be very accurate, and I didn't have to adjust the pattern at all, which I was soooo pleased about. I told Jess I'd happily make her more skirts from this pattern, so don't be surprised if you see more here in different prints. ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sidetracked - Pixie Basket

It was correctly guessed in the comments on my last post that I had made a skirt for Jess. She received it on Monday, and thankfully she said it fit perfectly! She's going to model it and send photos... but since it's very hard to take a photo of oneself, she's waiting to get her hubby Alex and some good daylight at the same time. Unfortunately, this time of year he leaves home in the dark and returns in the dark, so photos will have to wait till the weekend. 

Meanwhile, I'm working on another barkcloth project. However, I got a bit sidetracked when I saw a fun-looking little tutorial that was promised to be quick to sew. It was so cute that I just couldn't resist making one right away. Sometimes it just feels good to break away from the 'big stuff' and make something fast and easy. (Don't tell Jess, okay?) ;)

Here's what my little pile of pieces looked like after cutting them out:

And here's what I ended up with:

Yes, it's a basket. A very LITTLE basket! See?

It measures  about 4½" x 3" x 2" deep.

The fabric is from Jess's Typography fabric line, and the tutorial is by Heidi Staples of the Fabric Mutt and can be found here. You can also find a neat little tip for closing up that turning hole in the lining here. I tried it, and I liked it!

So that was my accomplishment for today. Now back to my regularly scheduled project.....

Sunday, February 21, 2016


I meant to show you these pics last week. So much for good intentions.

I couldn't resist shrugging into a down jacket over my bathrobe to run out for these photos on a very frigid early morning a couple weeks ago. (Click to enlarge.)

We've had more snow and lotsa blow since then. I've gotten the car stuck in the driveway 3 times... aargh... but the good news is that we've had some thawing temperatures the last few days, and the snow has been melting fast - hurray! Tons of it left to go, but spring's coming! Sometime.

It's been good weather for sewing, if nothing else. Here's a sneak peek of my latest project. It's finished and mailed, but needs to be received by Jess, modeled (hopefully it fits!) and photographed, so you'll have to wait to see the rest of it.

Well, except for this part... I had a lot of help for putting in a simple hook and eye. Yep, Quality Control at its furriest!

Another barkcloth project is begun (well, the pattern is printed, anyway). Hopefully I'll get that done quickly, because I was asked to do another pattern test in the next couple of weeks, this time by someone I've never tested for before. However, I've sewn a couple of her things, so I'm not worried at all about this pattern. It should be totally fun!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

After the blizzard

These photos are from after last week's blizzard. We had another one this past Sunday night. Such fun. Ha. But all the snow does make for beautiful scenery and photos.

The "golden hour" is just the best for taking pictures. Look at those lovely long shadows and the golden tint on the snow.

We had quite the nice path from the house to the yard. It made feeding cats so much easier when I didn't have to climb drifts or sink to my knees on the way out and back. It was nice. Was. It's all blown in again now. Prairie winds will do that. Often.

We've really had some glorious sunsets this winter.

So peaceful, though, right? After it's all said and done, that is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

We had a blizzard yesterday

Today it looks like this around here. The wind came from the northeast, rather than the northwest which is more normal for a blizzard, so the snow piled up in new places. I don't remember ever having drifts this big in our back yard before (note the LP gas tank on the left, for size reference!).

Same as above, different perspective:

Closer look at that pointy drift:

We even had sundogs this morning, although it wasn't terribly cold (+17°). Must've been from all the snow still in the air. Right side:

Left side (harder to see behind the evergreens):

Just another snowy photo (through a snow spattered window):

You'd never know there was a garden back here, would you? Even the asparagus stalks are buried:

I think my favorite view is the mini lilac bush. It looks like it's made of huge marshmallows!

School was cancelled yesterday and today, so no Courtney day this week. Good thing we got to see her on Sunday at her birthday party! I guess I'll try to do some catching up on procrastinated projects. Then there are more sewing projects in the queue, so never a lack of things to do.....

Monday, February 1, 2016

Quick Zip Shopkins Bag

In my last post, I mentioned another project I was going to work on. I'll bet you didn't expect to be seeing it so soon, did you? It had a very short deadline, and I honestly didn't think I was going to have it done in time. But since it was for a birthday gift for a very special 9-year-old whose party was yesterday, and since things were going very well, I kept at it till it was finished (finally, at 1:00 a.m. Sunday!).

Courtney wanted a bag to carry her collection of Shopkins in, preferably something that she could see them through. When she mentioned it, we discussed some options... then I did a lot more thinking and nixxed some ideas. Finally I came up with this, the Quick Zip Lunch Bag. It's a pattern written by Erin (Erickson) Gilbey (have I mentioned her before?), so I knew it would go well, even though I'd never made one before. I'd bought the pattern awhile back and was finally happy to have a purpose for it. Here's the bag.

What's that you said? You can't see through it? Well, look at this side!

I made a "window" and inserted a piece of clear vinyl (thanks, Auntie Kris!) in it. I was sooo glad I'd made all those luggage tags, because I was able to use a technique from that pattern for inserting the vinyl into the window. It worked great! My design took a little lot of thinking and planning and calculating, but it worked as I hoped it would and went smoothly. The hardest part was gluing the lining "window frame" to the vinyl and outside frame, because it was the last step and it was pretty close quarters by then (not to mention the glue wanting to come out of the tube much faster than I needed it to). It worked (and there's not too much glue on the vinyl window).

There's a slip pocket inside the bag, which I thought would be good for keeping those little lists that come with the Shopkins. You know the ones... they identify all the available Shopkins... making the kids want every one. ;)

Courtney didn't take long to load the bag with her 151 Shopkins (thank goodness they're so tiny!). There's room for that many more and then some.

She was very pleased with her new bag. Here it is on her shoulder, so you get an idea of the size. Just right.

She does love her Shopkins! She and her mom even made two Shopkins character cakes for her party. Aren't they cute? They tasted yummy, too!

Today's her birthday - February 1st. I can't believe she's 9 years old already!!