Archive for Sewing

Momma style

First skirt

My fashion album includes photos of many lovely pieces I have seen in magazine layouts and would love to one day add to my own wardrobe.  This skirt is similar to one of them.  I think it turned out pretty well being that I didn’t have a pattern.  I have been learning how to visualize a piece of fabric and all its folds and turn it  into a piece that resembles something wearable.  The drape of this skirt is not as smooth as I would have liked.  I look forward to the day I have a mannequin to “play dress up with” as my husband would say.  I can imagine it would be simply wonderful to be able to fasten my prickly pinned fabric to a mannequin instead of me!

I’ll wrap up this post with a photo of one of my favorite pairs of shoes.  When I went to take the snapshot, I realized that the floor was covered with alphabet blocks and thought to myself, “Doesn’t that just speak truth in a million different ways.”  I’m sure all you mothers out there understand the rare days you get to put on a pair of heels and trip over toys!

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Ruffles and strawberries

I have been learning to sew during my time away and this is one of the most recent products.  It is a very simple infant dress that I will be sending to my cousin.  Their third baby arrived a few months ago and I had only just now got around to making a replacement for the original dress I made that turned out about two years too old!   I am sure she’ll look sweet as a summer strawberry in it!

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Homemade cloth diapers in the crapper

So, I thought I would use up some of my stash to make some super cute cloth diapers but I didn’t have any PUL fabric or waterproof fabric.  SO, I did a little searching through a really informative cloth diapering forum and found out about silicone waterproofing spray for fabrics.  Now, I thought this was going to be my saving grace because it was only a few dollars for the can and it would last through repeated washings.  After spraying the inside and outside panel of the outer shell (decorative fabric) I thought it would be nothing but success!

Well, I did like the diaper pattern which was a bit of this, and a bit of that, as well as a bit of my own idea (adding a zipper to slide the inserts into).  Although I didn’t add this feature, I think gussets are an ingenious asset to cloth diapers!  As you can see, the diapers are sweet to look at but they are certainly not as functional.  I tried inserting cloth diapers as well as a “waterproof” liner” but it was simply ineffective.

I’m thinking the only way to salvage these poopers is to cover them with a plastic diaper cover; of course, that covers up their cuteness.  Unfortunately, my wee one has already outgrown these so I am contemplating finding some PUL to make the next size up.  Has anyone out there had a good experience with waterproofing their own fabric?  If so, what product did you use?

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Finding your unique fashion style

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Recently, someone asked me a question about fashion and about how one might develop their own sense of fashion. It was definitely a question that got me thinking about my love of fabric and design. It only took a moment for me to realize that I was already implementing a very effective tool for developing a sense of individual fashion and expression. ..my fashion album.

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Now, many of you are probably thinking that cutting out clothing, shoes, and snippets of anything else inspiring could be a huge waste of time, but hear me out! How many of you have looked through a magazine and found yourself earmarking pages or saying, “I would love to have a ______ like that”?

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A fashion album could easily be called an inspiration album. I find myself cutting out pieces of furniture because I love the lines. I snip wallpaper because I love the pattern. Many elements can be used to recognize your personal fashion sense; whether it be in the realm of clothing or home decor. I mean people pay to have a n “expert” discover these things for them – save the money and take a journey into yourself.

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I will cut out pieces from magazines over months and slip them into my photo pages. Over time I come to find I have an entire outfit – and typically not the outfit originally published in the magazine. I will find a pair of shoes in October’s issue, a pair of pants in August and a shirt in July; as you can see in my example pages above and below.

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It’s pretty apparent that I have a love for vintage designs. However, it is SO obvious when you flip through my album that I am pretty bohemian and eclectic as well. And while I am very familiar with my own style choices, there are times that even I will learn something about myself by looking through it. A couple weeks ago I realized that I probably had six or more shirts and jackets that donned the same collar style. After realizing that I evaluated why I liked the rounded collar so much. It’s feminine, it’s soft, it’s set further out to the sides so that the buttons can still be seen in all their glory. Simple things, but they are revealing.

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Being that I am learning more and more about sewing, my hope is that I will one day be able to find similar patterns and/or design my own based on these pieces. It’s also like playing paper dolls as an adult! However, in most instances I cut the heads away so as not to compare myself to the models and to focus on the pieces themselves.

So, get clipping! I am eager to hear what you learn about yourself.

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The making of an art kit, journal, and polymer clay transfers

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This month we celebrated hubby/daddy’s birthday and it took me FOREVER to finish his birthday present, but here it is in all its glory! It is a field kit to carry his artist materials. The front is the coolest part, in my opinion. I took our five-year-old’s rendition of dad and embroidered her original drawing onto the fabric. It was a lot of fun!

I simply made a photocopy of her original drawing and then placed the copy on top of the fabric where I wanted it displayed. I then placed the embroidery hoop over the paper and the fabric and proceeded to embroider the pattern. In the end, I simply tore the paper away from the stitches and “voila”! I intentionally angled the picture because I think it added great character. The orange button was a must because it is his favorite color.

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The kit unbottons and folds open to a snap flap, that when opened reveals a three-panel-pocket for his art pencils, homemade art journal and art supplies tin. the journal was a lot of fun to make. I learned about gutting, binding, painting and decorating a journal. It was bound in coptic stitch and the round, white, photo you see is actually a photo transfer onto polymer clay. That worked SO well! I know I will be using that technique on future projects.

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I will be adding links to some of these techniques soon so please remind me if you are interested and I haven’t yet.

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Reinventing the dress: recycling clothes

In addition to my other current projects, I am recycling a dress of mine to appear in a family photo sitting (FINALLY, Mom!). It is being transformed into three skirts for the girls and a top for myself. My vision is that each of the skirts will also have a colored crochet embellishment – perhaps unique crocheted flowers.

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The itty-bitty-baby-sized skirt will be decorated with some frilly lace and cheery yellow flowers.

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The medium-sized skirt has a longer hem and it will be growing some in-your-face red flowers.

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The largest-sized skirt (thinking Goldilocks and the Three Bears yet?) will be adorned with some head-in-the-clouds blue flowers. The flower color choices are meant to be a reflection of the girls’ personalities which is a part I really love about designing, or rather, redesigning clothing.

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I’ve pinned a knit waistbandish element to my top and I LOVE the contrast it adds to the lighter fabric. Also, because I am long-waisted, it really benefits my shape – practical and oh-so-cute – gotta love that!

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I’ll leave you with a glimpse of some of the beautiful lace I was given last week. These are amazing treasures and I am so excited to use them! Thank you so much for unloading them on me grandma!

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The incident of the naughty…knotty yarn

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That sweater looks so pretty…so serene there hanging on the chair. I was so excited to be nearly finished with it until I decided to take out one of the sleeves because I needed to lengthen it and I had missed a few stitches in the pattern that I didn’t understand until I got to the second sleeve. I was inspired by the fact that our five-year-old was actually really excited that I was crocheting her a “pretty sweater” and so I started ripping out stitches, only to discover that it was actually the front panel and not the sleeve as I had thought. So, I continued pulling the yarn thinking that I would just take out the sleeve but it actually started unraveling the back panel! I was so frustrated, that what remains of the kinky yarn lies in a pile of knots; a pile that could easily resemble my body due to the stress of it all.

It got me to thinking that if I were a knitter, I am sure it would take me a lot longer to thrash my yarn in a fit of frustration because the work would have taken me so much longer to complete to that point. Flying knitting needles also seems a more dangerous vision than crochet hooks. I really wouldn’t have been so emotional if I had *made a choice* to rip out all the stitches, but I was really happy to know that the sweater was going to be eagerly received that it made it that much more painful, and a tantrum on my part ensued. Well, I will be back to crocheting it again in a day or two and I am hoping that by the weekend I can be closer to the finish line than I was before today – before the incident today, that is.

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On a happier note, I am also sewing up this adorable dress for the babe. It is a really simple pattern but I have been putting it off because I had to make up my binding. Tonight I got that done and I am going to finish up pinning it tomorrow. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in about a week and it feels strange. I am looking forward to getting this doll of a dress done. Isn’t the vintage pattern just precious?! Can you see the price up there in the corner – yep, that’s right .35. Now that was back in the day!

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