Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Clothes for Dolly: Scientific Seamstress Scallop Challenge

That was the fastest November on record! 
Three weeks ago, I decided to enter the Scientific Seamstress Scallop Challenge, held in the Facebook Lab group. Take the Twirl Scallopini pattern, but use the scallop template to add scallops to any other pattern of Carla C's!

I used the doll scallops, myself. I had a vision, and I (partially) completed it. I used the Reversible Romper, modifying it just a little - I added a facing rather than making it reversible.

I attached three rows of scallops - being uncertain about how to finish the top of the first set, I added some gold scallop ribbon I found in my stash. 

If I changed one thing, I would have taken the time to find another way to attach the scallops. I don't love how they're stuck in the seams, as the seams in the pattern are on the front and back rather than the sides. While it's not the perfect manifestation of my "vision" - it's still cute! And my daughter loves it - she's very impressed with the addition to her dolly's wardrobe. :)

The buttons are from a bag of assorted hand-painted wooden buttons that I ordered from China via Amazon. They are adorable! I was so excited to get them in mail, and I love pouring them out and looking through them over and over. There are only a few matches in the whole bag, and I was happy to find a couple that were matching but crazy enough to go with the rest of my convoluted color scheme! Mixing prints isn't always my forte, but I like the playfulness of the teapots, and I think I managed to stick with a basic color scheme! (Aside from a couple of "accents".)

All in all - it's not bad for something I started last night! I couldn't believe how fast that three weeks went - before I knew it, it was the night of the 29th! Procrastination isn't always my friend! 

Onto December now - and Christmas gifts! There's always something to work on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make: Book Review

I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of Deanna Csomo McCool's beautiful book to review - 50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make!

**I received the copy for free as part of this blog tour - all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own!**

I am not a bow maker. I sew, but I've never been entirely comfortable with ribbon. For some reason, it's always intimidated me a little (though I do love a hot glue gun!) But this book is so well written and photographed that it takes the intimidation factor out of ribbon and ribbon crafts for me.

First off, there are clear descriptions of multiple types of ribbons - everything from the most common grosgrains to the intricate, colorful jacquards. For me, this was extremely helpful, as grosgrain and satin are about the only types of ribbon I'd heard of. There are also tips on what projects are best for what types of ribbon, and how easy each type is to work with.

Basically, everything you want or need to know is laid out for you at the beginning. Then comes the fun part - the projects!

There is a huge variety of flowers, bows, decor, and accessories, ranging from beginner to advanced levels of difficulty. I started with the simple Whimsy Flower, a beginner project. It was so much fun, I ended up making two! The first wasn't exactly seasonal colors, so the second I had to change it up and pair with the Woven Headband (intermediate). I attached the flower to the matching headband, and I think it's going to be a perfect accessory for Natalie's Thanksgiving dress! 

I did change up the headband a bit - since one of the four ribbons I was using is a tiny bit thinner than the other three, they didn't want to lay nicely, so I ended up "weaving" as though I had two ribbons instead of four. I will definitely be making more of these - they are the cutest accessories, and so easy!

Finally, I've been thinking about Christmas ornaments, and the Finnish snowflake was perfect! I love the look of it - so delicate, and so intricate looking, though it really is very simple to make. The pictures make the steps very easy to follow. Along with this snowflake, there is also a lattice version that I'm dying to try next! I think a whole bunch of these will look great hanging up in my windows this year.

I really can't say enough about this book. Everything is spelled out so well for the "beginning-est" of beginners (read: me!), and the photographs and drawing illustrate each step. In fact, I think I'm inspired to get some pretty satin ribbon and try out the Traditional Package Bow (advanced!!) - Christmas gifts are so much more fun with that personalized touch!

I'm so happy to have this book - it's given me the inspiration and ability to do something I've wanted to do, but never knew where to start! And - one lucky reader will win a copy of their very own! Just enter the Rafflecopter below, and cross your fingers! *Giveaway is for US and Canada only*

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back Again!

It's been a crazy couple of months in create3.5 land! 3 months ago I packed up my husband's things and sent him off to Wyoming, to land a better job...2 months later I followed with the girls, and here we are, waiting for Baby Boy to join us in another two months! It took us a full month to get settled here, and boy are we all glad to be sleeping in our own beds again! (Isn't it funny how your own sheets will feel so familiar, when all they are is a big piece of fabric?)

We have some wonderful friends and family here, a good job, a beautiful apartment, and I really couldn't be happier to have landed in this state. It's full of grass and hills and coal, the wind is terrible sometimes, but I love it.

Today my sewing room has been set up, the fabric is loaded into the closets, and my machines are ready and waiting to be threaded and turned back on - it's been way too long! (Yes, I have a sewing room! Well. Kind of. It's a shared office - since we don't "need" the third bedroom yet, I've taken over most of it and hubby gets a corner for his computer ;). )

Things will be slower paced around here for a while. I'll still be coming back to blog about projects, but more than likely they'll be my own projects - I'm finally ready to pull back on testing and blog tours and enjoy working for myself, at my own speed. (Although spring might hold some surprises...)
Plus, my girls need some fall/winter clothes!!

*I was going to put some pictures on here, but they'll have to wait - I need the camera cable! Oh, how I hate moving...and finding...*

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mystery Challenge: Morocco!

So this was supposed to be an AUGUST Mystery Challenge - the mystery here is why I'm posting half a month late. :P

Lucky for you, I can answer the mystery! A few reasons: 1, I'm kind of a slacker in general lately. 2, I'm pregnant. Yep. Baby Boy will be making his debut in December!! We are so excited :) 
Unfortunately for my blogging and sewing, Baby Boy has sapped most of my energy and ambition. It's gotten better, but I really have to push myself to get stuff done these days. Not to mention - reason number 3, my MEMORY! Oh, how I miss you, memory. Please come back.

Amy from Friends Stitched Together organized the Mystery Challenge again for a group of bloggers (you may remember my last post?) and if you read to the bottom of this post you can find the list of participants if you want to see the other challenge looks! I was given the theme "Morocco" by Ashley over at Sewing Sober.

Admittedly, I know next to nothing about Morocco, so the challenge threw me a bit. Some quick Google Image searches brought up bright, bold rainbows of color, and I decided that this Michael Miller "Bazaar" print was speaking to me. When I thought about patterns, only one jumped to mind - GYCT Designs' Seaside Summer Top/Dress! The neckline and long sleeves instantly said "Morocco" to me. I found the halfway point between the dress and top lengths and turned it into a tunic, instead.

Then I wanted some wide-legged capri pants, using Jocole's Essential Pants pattern. I also added inset pockets - Natalie loves pockets, and I wanted to make sure I sewed something she would actually wear!
Still an appropriate fall outfit without being too literal or costume-y, I think! I did a little hand embroidery around the pockets with some green and orange embroidery floss, and used the MM print inside the pockets too, to tie them together - but they can still be worn separately, of course!

Overall, I had a lot of fun making this outfit, and Natalie loves it (despite her expression here, haha!) She is a clown, but her first reaction on seeing her new outfit was "Oh, PWETTY! Try on! Try on!" and she didn't take it off for the rest of day. I call that a win!

Mystery Challenge

Friends Stitched Together - History of Flight - 8/17
Felt with Love Designs - Under the Sea - 8/18
Knot Sew Normal - Fruit - 8/19
Friends Stitched Together - My Little Pony - 8/20
The Berry Bunch - Cover Up - 8/21
Pensebrox - Titanic - 8/22
Tangible Pursuits - London Dapper - 8/23
Rebel and Malice - Disco - 8/24
Sewing Sober - Espionage - 8/25
Sugaridoo - Musical Instruments - 8/26
Lulu and Celeste - Morpho Butterfly/Rainforest - 8/27
Paisley Roots - Classic Summer Movies - 8/28
Create 3.5 - Morocco - 8/29
Mae&K - Solar System - 8/30
The Sewing Sparrow - Safari - 8/31

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bowtique Emilee Giveaway - Denim, Yellow, and Gray!

I have the amazing opportunity to host a giveaway from Bowtique Emilee, a premium headband/accessory web store

Opinions published in this post are my own, and though I was gifted the materials for this particular headband, I received no other compensation from Bowtique Emilee for this post. My toddler, however, demanded compensation in the form of a lollipop in order to be photographed.

Handpicking all the materials was so much fun! As there is a staggering variety of elastics and bands, not to mention the adorable embellishments like butterflies, bows, and flowers in many sizes, colors, and styles, it definitely took some time to settle on a theme! Go take a look, you can find anything you need to make the perfect accessory to top off any outfit!

I chose the following materials for my headband:

1 yd skinny gray elastic
1 yd silver glitter 5/8" elastic
2 yd pale yellow chevron 5/8" elastic
3 2.5" denim chiffon flowers
2 gray 1.5" mini chiffon flowers
1 yellow 1.5" mini chiffon flower
2 gray sequin butterfly bows
1 yellow sequin butterfly bow

Before this, I'd only made a few simple headbands, so I wanted to let my creativity run wild! After browsing the site with my sister for a while, we finally came up with (I think) the perfect combination. The denim flowers caught my eye, and from there the decision to use yellow and gray came easily. I love the modern yet classic color combo!

I wanted to use the glitter and chevron elastics to add a little interest in the background, though the flowers are center stage. The butterflies were added to make the headband echo a "flower garden". Each component on the band is hand stitched, except for the band itself.

I machine stitched the two wider elastics together to make a double band - keep in mind if you do this, use a zig-zag stitch to maintain some of the stretch, and make it a bit bigger than you normally would, as sewing the elastics will make you lose a little elasticity!

I know this is a terrible photo but I think it's funny.
The denim flowers were sewn on one at a time, then the gray and yellow layered over. Finally, I secured the butterflies to varying lengths of the skinny gray elastic, trying to make that as low profile as possible! Then the other end was stitched underneath the smaller flowers.

It's the most over-the-top accessory I've made to date, and I love it! All I want to do now is go find more supplies and make one to match every outfit I've ever made her. Those tiny little flowers and all those elastic colors are addicting!

Now the best part - one reader is going to win a prize pack containing everything I listed above! Again, that's a pack from Bowtique Emilee containing the following materials:

1 yd skinny gray elastic
1 yd silver glitter 5/8" elastic
2 yd pale yellow chevron 5/8" elastic
3 2.5" denim chiffon flowers
2 gray 1.5" mini chiffon flowers
1 yellow 1.5" mini chiffon flower
2 gray sequin butterfly bows
1 yellow sequin butterfly bow

Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway - so easy! - and cross your fingers!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pattern Review: Little Kiwi's Closet Street Smart Sweatshirt Collection!

Ooh, I can't believe it's taken me so long to share this one! The options, as is typical with Lydia's patterns, go on forever...

It's the Street Smart Sweatshirt Collection! Choose from 2 lengths plus a hi-low hem option; add a kangaroo pocket or hood; use ribbing to create stretchy cuffs and a hem band, or leave them off and hem as you like! Plus, there's an option for a snap or button-up back for even easier on-off (great for newborns!)

The raglan style sleeves are so easy and quick to attach, and offer a simple way to customize this sweatshirt with a variety of animal embellishments - check out this panda! The ears are simply sewn into the shoulder seam, and the face is appliqued onto the front - so fun to embellish. (This is the sweatshirt I had to wait to finish before I could share this review - I got caught up in everything else, and the poor panda sat on my ironing board waiting and waiting...)

The eyes are fabric paint, and Natalie put her fingers in them before they dried. ;)
Natalie is thrilled with her "panda shirt". I can't get a picture of her wearing it - but then, it is typically around 80 degrees outside right now. So I guess I don't blame her for not wanting to put it on, but she loves to carry it around! Silly girl! :)

When I tested (lucky me!!) I made three different sweatshirts - one for each of my girls, and then one for my niece. While I'd been putting together the other two, my sister said she wanted a sweatshirt dress, and as I was up for three different options anyway, I said of course!

Natalie is wearing her University of Minnesota (or Harry Potter/Gryffindor, depending on your affiliation of choice) inspired hoodie! Cuffed sleeves, hem band, kangaroo pocket (nothing this girl loves more than a pocket!), and a lined hood! This one is made all from fleece, and it'll be so warm and cozy this winter!

Sam has a snap-up back (love those little heart snaps) with a hem band, cuffed sleeves, and again it's all in fleece. Some of these thinner fleeces snap back in shape really well, and work almost as well as ribbing for cuffs - though if I'd had matching ribbing, I would've rather used it!

Finally, Lia in her sweatshirt dress option! This is a favorite of mine. The fabric is a poly blend jersey knit, left over from a dress I made myself, actually! I did a hood and pocket, placing the pocket in the mid section and lining up the stripes (of course). And check out my lining up on the arms, if you can see it - best ever! /brag ;)

I love this pattern, but then I love all of Little Kiwi's Closet, so that shouldn't be a surprise. The raglan sleeves make this so fast, so easy, and with any variety of options and materials you can use, it's a wonderful value! I know there is a pile of fleece left in my closet that's just waiting to be turned into more cozies for winter coming up!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Golden Rippy Delilah Blog Tour, and a Giveaway!!

My turn, my turn!

I am so excited about Golden Rippy's Delilah top, I can't even tell you how much. Before this pattern, I'd successfully made myself a dress and a cardigan (which, actually, was semi-successful - it needs a bit of work). I'd unsuccessfully made a couple of other shirts...

btw: I received this pattern for free as part of the blog tour, but all opinions are, as always, my own

Because of the style of this pattern, I was eager to try it out! Looser fitting with dolman-esque sleeves - definitely my style, particularly right now. See, I'm at an awkward pregnancy stage, moving right along into maternity wear (at only 4.5 months, thank you third baby.) There's just not much that fits right, and I've been getting a bit anxious about the state of my pregnancy wardrobe for the remaining months.

According to the measurements, I was just going to fit an XL, at least in the chest. I figured, why not, I'll give it a shot as it is and adjust if needed! This gray top, with the half sleeves, is my "muslin" - but I'm thinking it's totally wearable for fall/winter, coming right up! (Yeah, yeah. Don't remind me either.)

I took an inch and a half off the band, because I knew I'd want it to be a little more fitted around the bottom for an ideal maternity shirt. (I'm thinking this might be a good top to try a little ruching on, too!) Other than that, I didn't change a thing the first time around - and I love it, I really do!

My fabric was a soft and comfy thrift store jersey knit sheet. ;) I imagine it's been through a few washes before, not counting the one I gave it, and wow, is that material soft. This top is just like snuggling a cozy blanket, and gray is such a comfortable color!

I look comfortable, right?
Second time around I thought I could use something a little more summer, since it's not over yet! Not to mention something a little prettier - gray is cozy and I love it, but I wouldn't call it "feminine", per se.
I found a remnant at Joann's of this beautiful floral print, and !!! - there was just barely enough for the top, and I manage to squeak out the hem band too! Perfect.

I played with adding another color for the neck/sleeves and maybe hem band, but nothing I had looked just right. So I called my twin needle into service - I had to fight with it a little bit, but the white thread blends in all right, and the only iffy spot is on the back of the neck (yay for long hair!) ;)

Simple hems on the neck and sleeves didn't take any longer than adding the bands the pattern calls for, and I still got my (slightly shortened, again) hem band in to make this shirt just as maternity friendly as the first!

That is my first baby, and she needs a Dahlia top.
Two more bloggers are up with me today on this tour, and the complete list is below if you've missed any - go check out all the posts, and all the beautiful Delilahs!

Don't forget to get all your chances in the giveaway, too - Rachel, the designer, will graciously gift two winners will each win TWO patterns from Golden Rippy! (If you have daughters, there's a matching Dahlia top available!)

Monday- July 28
A Vision To Remember
Tuesday- July 29
Cozy Cape Cottage
Gracious Threads
Wednesday- July 30
The Sewing Geek
Sprouting JubeJube
Thursday- July 31
My Taylor Made
Mimi's Mom
Rebel & Malice
Friday- Aug 1
Stitchwerx Designs
E-beth Designs
Saturday- Aug 2
Marmalade Forest
Ali Cat & Co
Sunday- Aug 3
Monday- Aug 4
Tuesday- Aug 5
Mae & K
The Crazy Tailor
Blogs Like A Mother
Wednesday- Aug 6
Bebe Lambs
Lady and the Gents

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pattern Review: E+M Patterns No 6 - Girl's Shirt and Dress

I haven't been working with knits very long, but the more I do, the more I like them. When the chance to test Allison's new pattern No. 6 came up, I had to do it! The illustrations looked so sweet and girly, and I will never turn down a good pattern for a summer shirt, when Natalie needs them so badly.

Of course, that's not to say this pattern can't be used in the fall and winter either. Take off the flutter sleeves (or don't) and it's a great layering top. There are a huge number of options in this pattern: shirt or dress? If a dress, will you make an A-line or banded middle? Hems - hi-low or straight across? Flutter sleeves or sleeveless? Will you gather the front of the top, or try your hand at pleats or pintucks?

I'd never done pintucks before, so I gave it a whirl. I LOVE them. So feminine, and so EASY - I don't know why I thought they were intimidating all this time, really. Even on knit. They add so much detail to a shirt for not a lot of work, just some patience.

I almost left off the flutter sleeves, too, but I'm so glad I decided to do them. They don't look good on everything, but they definitely go with this shirt. I don't know if I've seen a pattern I like them more with, and I'd like to try hacking some other sleeves on here as well!

My favorite detail on this shirt, though, is the keyhole. I don't know why, I just love keyholes. They're such a fun detail on children's clothing! Plus the binding on it is so simple, you'll want to make these all day.

Natalie grabbed the shirt as soon as I pulled it off the machine and said "Ohh, CUTE Mom!" - one of the very few times she's been that excited about something I've made. She wears the shirt all the time now, and I just love having something in her drawer that I've made as a staple! 

This is her best model pose ;)
Pattern No. 6 is on sale right now for $5 until Friday at midnight PST (regular price will be $8)- but if you've made it all the way to the bottom here, it's your lucky day! A chance to win a copy for yourself! Just enter the Rafflecopter and cross your fingers!