Archive | Sewing RSS feed for this section

Storybook Costume

26 Feb

February has been Celebrate Books month.  Each Wednesday has been something special.  We have had books and bagels, where parents and grandparents were invited to school to eat bagels and read  some books with their kids.  Yesterday was my favorite, “Drop Everything and Read” and the kids got to wear their pajamas to school.  Last Wednesday took a bit more work on my part because it was- dress like your favorite storybook character day.  Yes, it kinda felt like the horrible week before Halloween all over again!

We went through their book shelves and Aleah wanted to be Amelia Bedelia and Sophie picked Madeline.  Here is some of the work:

unnamedunnamed-2

We could not for the life of us find a wide brimmed sun-hat for Madeline to wear but we made it work =)

unnamed-1

As Amelia would say, “It was plum fun!”

As Amelia would say, “That was plum fun!”

Slow Fashion Style

30 Jan

Here is a guest post from Terry, a wonderful family friend.  Terry and my mom were the ones who would go into JoAnn Fabrics and come out hours later while Tonia (her daughter and my good friend) and I would stare at the car ceiling and giggle about how lame it was that they were in this dumb store.  We have since had to eat our own words because Tonia and I love to sew and also shop for fabric.

I was hanging out with Tonia after Christmas break and she showed me a patch that Terry had sewn onto a wool shirt we had given her a few years ago (Tonia is a tiny person, so if I run across cute and tiny articles of clothing that I wish I fit in- then I give them to her).  Somehow the shirt with the patch looked better than the original.  I had no idea how this was possible.  All the patches I have ever done or seen have been trying to hide what was broken, but with this method the tear or rip is being embraced and made almost into art. Thank you Terry for this post and showing us that there are better ways to do many things.

_____________________________________________________

I’m part of the “Back to the Land” generation that way back in the 70s was exploring all kinds of lifestyle alternatives and horrifying our parents by wearing bell-bottoms and halter-tops and patched jeans – the bigger and more psychedelic the better! They say that all things old become new again. Today there is a return to an interest in local, handmade, and sustainably produced goods of kinds. For most of my life I’ve participated in that lifestyle as much as possible – gardening, buying organic foods, shopping local, etc., but somehow that ethic has been harder to put into practice when it comes to clothing. That changed for me this past fall when I enrolled in an online course called Slow Fashion Style with the artist Katrina Rodabaugh. During the three-week course about 400 people from all around the world learned together about the textile industry, its impact on the people who work in it and on the environment, and what we can do as individuals to make different choices.

unnamed unnamed-7 unnamed-2

We also learned about the skills that have been practiced for generations that give us the ability to make and repair our own clothes. I loved the lesson in “visible mending,” which took me back to those hippie years but added the beauty of traditional Japanese sashiko stitching. We experimented with dyeing fabric with local plant materials, like coffee grounds and onion skins.

unnamed-3 unnamed-6

Practicing these skills makes me feel connected to the generations of people who have passed them down to us, and transforms the article into clothing that is made not just of cotton or wool, but also of all the time and attention and love that I’ve stitched into them.

Since then my visits to thrift shops are even more rewarding. I hunt for cotton, linen or silk items that I can revive with a dip in a dye bath; wool articles that can be transformed into bags, pouches, mittens and scarves; and especially those pieces that were made back when clothes were meant to last longer than one fashion season and need nothing but an alteration and a good cleaning to continue to serve.

There are many resources available if you’re interested in exploring the world of Slow Clothing, starting with Katrina’s blog, and specifically this post of hers on visible mending, and the list of resources she created for her “Make Thrift Mend” project. On FaceBook like the Slow Cloth group page, and on Pinterest look for boards like “slow fashion,” “slow clothes,” or “visible mending.”

The winter months are a great opportunity to snuggle into your favorite chair with needle and thread and something to mend. Have fun making old things new again, wear your patches with pride, and SLOW DOWN!

Old Chair Transformation

17 Nov

I found this deplorable chair at the thrifty store last week and have since un-uglied it.

Here is the chair in its original and yeesh state:

unnamed-2

Yes, very out of date and not a nice chair to loot at.

But now feast your eyes on this beaut!

unnamed

unnamed-1

I bought this fabric at my favorite fabric place in the world.  I could honestly stand in that cute little store and look at all the eye candy fabric surrounding me for hours.  I went there with my little sis and I think she had to physically pull me out of there.  The fabric store is called Hannah Johnson Fabrics and it is located in Duluth, MN.  Please go there if you need to be happy, because it is such a pretty and happy place.  I am pleading with the owner to perhaps be a part of a giveaway sometime in the future, how cool would that be?

banner_homepage11

I love older chairs like this because they are easy to recover and they fit me.  I love that my feet are planted comfortably on the ground, not like the new chairs that seem to swallow me up.

The Magic Pattern Book Giveaway

21 Oct

I made a dress! Pretty excited about it too. The pattern for this dress came out of the book that was sent to me for FREE =) sometimes I love being a blogger. The general idea for this book is you can redo your wardrobe or at least 36 outfits based off of Amy Barickman’s 6 patterns.

I chose to make the Camilla:

unnamed-3

Here is the finished product after a few nights of sewing in my living room watching some of my favorite DVRed shows.

unnamed-2

unnamed

I love my boy.

unnamed-4

unnamed-5

Yeah I don’t know how to take these things seriously. Jared kept telling me to stop being awkward. Yeah, like that is going to happen when I am in a fancy dress with him taking pictures of me walking around, ha.

unnamed-1

The one major problem I had with this book was the patterns were not included on that tissue paper like stuff. Instead it came with a CD were you had to print off the pattern. Doesn’t sound like a problem right? Wrong. I set the printer to print and then walked away. About ten minutes later I came back and it was STILL printing! It took 48 pages to print off the pattern. Holy moly. I cannot imagine doing that again for a different project I would want to do in the future. I think the CD is a good extra idea since the pattern tissue paper can get worn or torn after many uses, but it should not be the only option.

Oh yeah and this happened during the course of making the dress, arg.

unnamed-6 unnamed-7

Other than that I was pleasantly pleased with the ease of directions and pictures included. I am so honored to be a part of this book tour and blog giveaway. In order to get your hands on this beauty, all you have to do is comment on this blog post or like facebook page.

Head over to Chic Steals to continue viewing the blog tour!

Magic Pattern Book

23 Sep

I get to be a part of a gigantically stupendous blog tour!  Check out all the action and make sure you stop back here on October 21st for your chance at winning this book.  My only problem at the moment is deciding which awesome outfit to make.  There are so many great choices!  I am leaning towards making a cute winter coat with a side tie made out of an wool army blanket- now I just need to find a wool army blanket…

image002

Not sure how I got listed with these talented bloggers who have their acts together WAY more than I do =)

Official Tour Stops on Amy Barickman’s THE MAGIC PATTERN BOOK Blog Tour:

October 6            AMYBARICKMAN.COM
October 7            WINDY LOU

October 8            MELLY SEWS

October 9            CRAFT GOSSIP

October 10          SEW MAMA SEW

October 13          ADVENTURES OF A DIY MOM

October 14          LILACS & LACE

October 15          FOUR SQUARE WALLS

October 16          PINK CHALK STUDIO

October 17          CITY STITCHING with CHRISTINE HAYES

October 20          CUT OUT & KEEP

October 21          HE SOWED, SHE SEWED

October 23          THREADS

October 24          INDYGO JUNCTION

Wedding Suit

6 Mar

I was approached after church two Sundays ago and asked  if I would be able to help with a sewing project.  The project?  Oh just, making a suit fit for a wedding that would take place in six days.  Uh….what?  Oh yeah and the kicker…the suit was for the FATHER OF THE BRIDE!!!! I mean seriously, besides the bride and groom, this is probably the most importantly dressed person.  This person has to walk down the isle and everyone is staring at them.  I mean granted, most were looking at Christie, the bride, but the wedding goers might occasionally glance at Mark, her dad.  Yikes.  At even the thought of this project I started to sweat.

I informed the Shermers that I had no idea how to do this and I would probably end up making Mark look like a homeless person.  They have WAY more faith in me than I in myself.

But in the mindset of being a willing participant, I agreed to try it out if a professional, Irene, Mark’s sister, was there to point me in the right direction.  So the Shermers agreed and came over to my house on Monday.

There we were in the basement looking at this suit that would hardly button in front.  Mark claimed in would probably be fine as it was just long as he didn’t move his arms and definitely didn’t try to hug anyone.  Well, that wasn’t going to do.  You cannot be the father of the bride and not hug anyone, right?

I wish I took pictures of the suit beforehand but I was assuming this was not going to work out.  Honestly.

I would have taken pictures of the suit while it was taken completely apart but I was freaking out so bad that I didn’t have time to even contemplate getting out my camera.

Irene, told me what I needed to do to make the suit fit.  I cut a strip of fabric (from an extra pair of pants) 3 inches wide that gradually narrowed to 2 inches wide, going from the bottom of the coat to the tip of the wrist.  I would have to do the same with the lining.  Try and make the armpits comfortable, fold the cuffs over so the lining would not show, sew things inside out, etc… After she drew me a diagram, she headed out to work on Christie’s wedding dress that needed more alterations.

And I freaked out some more.  As I took out each stitch with the seam ripper, I may have died a little. (I realize that I am being quite dramatic but you should have seen me those few days).

Negative thoughts kept racing through my head as I worked….  He is going to be walking down the aisle with a suit with no sleeves, does the suit really need a lining, what will Christie think if her dad had thread hanging out of the armpits, what if he can’t move his arms, what if he can’t move his legs, what if I burn more of the lining and set off the smoke alarm…

He came over each following day to make sure I was headed in the right direction. Each time I was more and more surprised that this was actually working!

When Mark came over for the last time, on Thursday and slid that coat on, I could not believe my eyes.  It actually fit and the suit looked wonderful on him.  No one was more shocked than myself.  Not only did it fit him, but he would be able to hug people on the wedding day!   Wow. Wow and phew.

1932207_10202182358415033_1775027224_n

DSC_7220 DSC_7223 DSC_7226 DSC_7227

Here are some more pictures of the wedding night.

DSC_7206 DSC_7204 DSC_7193 DSC_7180 DSC_7175

Hudson dressed down for dinner-

DSC_7230

The end

DSC_7194

Sweater Leg Warmers

5 Dec

I am a Shark Tank addict.  I love watching that show on Friday nights and seeing all the incredible new inventions and ideas, and I also love when some people have terrible ideas because then the sharks can give said person a reality check.  I have a secret life goal to be on that show some day.  Don’t you all just feel like you have a million dollar idea rolling around in your head and all you have to do is pull it out of your brain and you’ll magically be filthy rich?  Well, we can dream right?

Anyways.  I was watching a few weeks ago and Grace and Lace Co was on the show with her husband.  She has a simple etsy shop where she sells leg warmers and really adorable long stockings with lace on top.  Since tall boots are all the rage at the moment- these are very popular since they stick out above the boot.  She has 57,364 sales as of this moment and she sells most of her products for $25-$40.  Holy Moses.

After watching this show I headed downstairs, cut up a sweater and made myself and Sophi some leg warmers in about 5 minutes.

DSC_6945 DSC_6947

Okay people, what is our million dollar idea going to be???