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*