Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Classy Cargo Dress

Well, this one's been a long time a-comin'! First I kept procrastinating on starting the sewing, then I finally finished it a couple weeks ago, but my model had scheduling conflicts and didn't show up until yesterday for the photo shoot.

It was quite a windy day, as the photos will show you. Forgive me for posting so many, but as I was going through them, they were just so fun that I couldn't resist sharing a bunch! (I also skipped a bunch more!)

This is the Classy Cargo Dress, from the pattern by Olive Ann Designs. The fabric is Jess's Spring Quartet babywale corduroy, designed for Cloud9 Fabrics.

It was definitely not a good hair day! But at least it was warm enough (80°) for a sleeveless dress. Note that the fingernails and toenails happened to coordinate very well!

The dress has a little kick pleat in the back to allow for easy movement.

The pattern also includes a size for an 18" doll. I of course had to make that one, too, to match!

Wind was still a problem for the hair. Kit's held a little better than Courtney's.

Kit had her own photo shoot a couple weeks ago. It wasn't windy that day.

I particularly love this last photo. It looks like it belongs in a fashion magazine, don't you think?

That's it for now. I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I do and maybe even got some giggles. I'll come back (tomorrow?) and tell you more about the pattern, etc. I have a few tips to share in case anyone's interested in sewing the dress.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another winner

Now I get to show you the other sewing project that Courtney worked on for 4-H. This was a bit more challenging for her, because it involved a lot more fabric to maneuver under the presser foot! She and her mom picked out two colors of cozy flannel.

It involved setting some snaps. Courtney's hands weren't big enough to handle my KAMsnaps pliers, so I did that part, but she did the measuring and made the holes to set them through.

Almost done! Here she is, stuffing it...

... and now can you guess what it is?

It's a pillow bed!

It can be used for sleeping on, or propped up to lounge on, or read on...

... or just relax and be a little silly on.

It's very comfy! I know, because I tested it myself (but you don't need to see that photo). It also folds up completely, but I forgot to take a picture of that.

We used a tutorial found here. It was simple and fun to make, with lots and lots of straight stitching, which was good practice. She did a beautiful job, and it earned her a BLUE RIBBON! Yay!

Courtney's been dying to try it out overnight. She could hardly stand to wait for the fair to be over to do so. I have it on good authority that it's going to get tried out as a bed at her cousins' house this week. I suspect she will sleep very well!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fashion Revue 2017

It's finally County Fair time! That means Courtney's projects have been judged and I can show them to you! She did fabulously!

The first sewing project she made for this year's 4-H competition was a skirt. She and her mom picked out the fabrics, and I helped her with the sewing. She learned to do some new things for this project... things like rotary cutting and ironing. Both were VERY closely supervised by me, as I didn't want any cut or burned fingers. She was very cautious, and all went well.

She also learned how to sew a waistband and insert elastic into it.

Here is the finished skirt. Such beautiful, straight stitching... all done by Courtney!

I took these pics of her the day she made it.

Then there was the public Fashion Revue that we got to watch last week. We had a perfect place to sit so I could get some good photos. She wore her skirt for her 'Constructed' project. (Grades 3-5)

I am proud to say she got a Reserve Champion on it!

She also had a 'Recycled' outfit, which was this.

Last but not least was her 'Purchased' outfit, which she also received a Reserve Champion on! Not only that, but she did such a great job of modeling at the Fashion Revue that she received a purple ribbon for Overall!

That's my beautiful, sweet, confident granddaughter! I am so proud of her! What a first ever Fashion Revue experience for her! Congratulations, Courtney!!

More project results later.....

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Encore Clutch

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I'd completed another pattern test. The pattern was released today (well, yesterday in Australia)! It's another wonderfully written pattern by Erin (Erickson) Gilbey of Dog Under My Desk. It's full of very detailed instructions and many photos to demonstrate the how-to's, as her patterns always are. It's called the Encore Clutch, and it can be purchased here (at a special release price until Aug. 20th).

Here is my tester version:

The pattern includes templates for three sizes, and I chose to make the smallest one, because I'd had an idea of using this ribbon (designed by Jess for Renaissance Ribbons) which is only 5/8" wide, so I thought proportionally the small size would work the best. I think it was a good choice. The pattern includes instructions for adding piping or faux piping on the center panel.

The smallest wristlet only has room for a slip pocket for credit cards or whatever, whereas the larger two each have three card slots with a slip pocket behind them for dollar bills, receipts, etc.

The back side is just the background fabric, which in my case is linen.

It's about 6½ inches wide when finished. You can tell by my hand just how small it is.

I think its smallness makes it extra-adorable! It still can hold plenty, though, as all three sizes have pleats in the front and back that give it extra room.

It's a great scrap-buster for small pieces of fabric. All three sizes are fat quarter friendly, and you could make any kind of combination with that panel on the front. It was very fun to make, and it goes together very quickly. It's so fun, in fact, that I just may have made an encore Encore Wristlet (which I haven't gotten photos of yet) to try out making the card slots. Erin came up with a terrific technique for making them, and her instructions are so clear that you just couldn't fail making them 'just right'.

Check out Erin's blog post here for many photos of her Encore Wristlets plus more details about the pattern, and also for how to get even more of a discount if you decide to buy it! ;)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Geranium Top #2

Finally! After a postponement from last spring to this past July, Jess's Spring Quartet fabric for Cloud9 Fabrics has been released for sale! I just had to make another top from the Geranium Dress pattern (see the first one here) because I think the pink Bartlet babywale corduroy is just perfect for that (and because we just happen to have a new grandniece that I could sew it for). Here it is:

It's again the 6-12 month size, so unfortunately the tiny model cannot wear it yet and pose for you. The good news is that I got to use my new KAMsnaps pliers to put in the snaps on the back - yay!

This corduroy is very fine and soft, not heavy at all, so I think it'd be just fine for summer wear in case you happen to have a baby you want to sew for right away... or if you want to make something for yourself. Check out the Cloud9 page for inspiration. It's even been made into a quilt, which I think would be so soft and luxurious! Mmmm!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Two subjects for the price of one

I decided to cover two subjects today, because I seem to be getting a backlog of sewing stuff that I haven't blogged about yet. Can you imagine that? Ha!

Without further ado, here's subject #1:

Yeah, I've made several of these Pixie Baskets before, which you can see here and here. I made them using the tutorial you can find here. This one also is trimmed with ribbon designed by Jess for Renaissance Ribbons. I had decided after sewing my Honeycomb Basket (read about it here), that I needed something to hold the spools of thread and bobbins I'm using while working on a project that involves several colors of thread. So here it is, and I've been finding it to be one of the most useful things I've sewn. I love it!

Subject #2 isn't actually a sewing project, but it will be useful for some of them. I bought a KAMsnaps pliers and 300 snaps in many colors. I kept hearing good things about the snap setters, so I decided to try out the pliers. (They also make a table press, but I don't use enough snaps to make it worth the cost.) I've had a different type of snap setter for many years, but it's only good for metal snaps, and I like all the color options with the plastic ones. So now I can do whichever type I want.

Here's a closer look at the pliers.

I love it! It's so easy to use, and the snaps go in nice and tight.

Although you can buy them directly from the KAMsnaps site, I bought mine from Amazon. There are a number of options available, with different quantities of snaps. I also bought this case to store them in. It doesn't have quite enough sections, but if I mix two very different colors in a section, I should be able to easily find the parts I need. So far I've left them in their little bags, though.

If you've followed my blog for years, you may recognize the fabric below. It's from Jess's first line of fabrics. I'd made a bunch of these business card envelopes to sell in her Etsy shop, and when she closed the shop, I had a few unfinished ones that I never got around to adding the snaps to. I thought they'd be good to practice on with the new snap setter.

It worked like a charm!

Soon I'll show you a new project that I put snaps on!

Also, I just finished up a pattern test, and when the pattern gets released, I'll show you that.

Last but definitely not least, Courtney also finished up her fabulous sewing projects for the fair. It's less than 3 weeks away, so I'll be able to show you then! I can't wait - you'll love them! (And one of them has snaps on it, too!)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Something different

This is not a sewing post. How 'bout that? I just happened to see something that I thought was so interesting that I just had to show you.

Last night I saw several of what looked like young baltimore orioles trying to get grape jelly from my feeder. Some did well, but there was one that couldn't seem to figure out how to get to the jelly in the feeder. A bit later, one of the parents came, sat on the feeder, and fed that baby the jelly! I was amazed, as I'd never seen that happen before. I wasn't quick enough to catch them on camera, but this morning it happened again, and this time I got it! So cool!

Now I'm wondering just how those babies knew to come to the feeder in the first place. Did the parents bring them earlier, or is it instinctual that they just know to go to something orange???

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Geranium top

Here's a little bit of sewing I finished about 3 weeks ago but couldn't show you until now because it was for a gift, and I didn't want to take the chance of ruining the surprise. It's a Geranium top, made from the Geranium Dress pattern by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae.

The fabric is babywale corduroy from Jess's Spring Quartet line designed for Cloud9 Fabrics. I'm happy to say that these corduroys are finally scheduled to be released THIS MONTH!

The back of the top has three pearl-like snaps for closure (although the pearl-ness doesn't show up in the photo).

The top was a gift for Jess's friend's baby. Unfortunately, it's a size 6-12 months, and the baby is only 3 months or so, so she couldn't model it for us. :) But here are a couple more photos that Jess took before she sent it to her friend.

She put these cute leggings with it as part of the gift.

The pattern was easy to sew (although you'd have thought I was a sewing novice, because I made every conceivable mistake in the process and ended up giving my seam ripper a workout - I forgot how to sew after our Cincinnati trip, I guess ;-Þ), and I certainly recommend it. Plus now there is an Expansion Pack you can purchase so that you can add a collar, a zipper, long sleeves and/or a number of other things to change up the look of the dress - awesome!

I have a number of other sewing projects in the works. Plus Courtney has one of her 4-H projects finished, but I won't be showing you until closer to county fair time next month. Sorry about that, but it will have to wait until after the "fashion review" (there's a clue for you). I can tell you this much, she did a fabulous job on it! I am so proud of her!