Saturday, December 3, 2016

#49 Maternity Pattern Hack-times TWO

It's been my goal to have a homemade or thrifted maternity wardrobe. For one, I love the challenge and two, I value being frugal and saving money when I can. I've mostly accomplished this goal so far and I am okay with mostly accomplishing anything at this point. Does that sound like something a perfectionist would say? Guys, I'm growing! Pregnancy has been pretty rough, but I can see God working in my heart and character as I learn, "His grace is sufficient for me." I can't say I would have seen throwing up 10-15 times a day as a gift from God, but it has drawn me closer to Him, which is ultimately good.

I've blogged about the top on the left before
This Jalie pattern continues to be a favorite of mine. To make it maternity I used the scoop bottom that is normally only on the back of the shirt and put it on the front also. I heightened the neckline. I also lengthened the shirt by two inches (but I did that before I was preggo too). I finished it by adding 2 inches of elastic at the very bottom of my side seams.

You've seen the shorts version of the pants on the left 
I've had plenty of practice with the Chi Town Chino pattern. To make these "pregnancy ready" (below) I made a faux front pocket and zipper. This helped remove any extra bulk of fabric and helped lower the waist band to sit right under my bump. These are size 10 in the waist and hips and size 8 through the leg and I added my standard 2.5 inches to the inseam.

The fit is great but this fabric is WAY outside of my comfort zone. I got the pants fabric at a rummage sale for less than a buck and I harvested the elastic waist band off a pair of thrift store shorts I bought (also less than a buck). It was worth the $2.00 for the learning experience even if I don't wear these again. And truly, I'm just happy to have had the time and ENERGY to get these done.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#48 Romp around the Rockies

Rompers are cute. They are darling. They are an easy outfit. Ask any tall girl. WE CAN'T WEAR THEM.

Until now. 

This is the Hey June Patterns Sanibel romper (or Sanibel dress). This pattern was a joy to make. I don't know if it's because I've wanted a romper for so long, or I'm (finally) getting better at sewing, or the fact I learned a lot along the way. But man, I liked making this thing.

I used too stiff of an interfacing so it sticks out at the waist rather than lays flat.
I measured a size large. I added 2inches in length to the bodice and took off 1.25inches off the waist portion of the shorts. I have a large chest and a short waist. I did end taking the shorts in (probably to a size medium, which I should have just made from the start) When I make all these little tweaks I see why things never quite fit right in the past.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#47 My Favorite Shorts - Chi-Town Chinos Round 2

My first pair of Chi-Town Chinos? Lots of learning!

My second pair? So much fun!

His face! So cute I died a little.
I love when I get the chance to redo a pattern because I get to really enjoy it rather than be worried I'll mess something up. Making these Chi-Town Chinos a second time went a lot faster and was a blasty blast.

I measured 14 in the waist, 10 in the hips, and did a thin thigh adjustment, probably down to size 6.  I also lengthened them but if you've ever read a single one of my posts, you know I lengthen literally everything. I ended up doing the cuffed hem which is one of the suggested tweaks Alina put in the pattern. I'm a huge fan of the cuffed hem. I also did the curved pocket this time.

I need to show you the inside of these shorts. I never understood why pockets would be decorative because nobody ever sees them. When I started sewing I learned just how happy yellow gingham makes me, even if nobody ever sees. But now you've seen, and I bet your happy! At least a little bit happier than the beginning of this post? The pattern didn't call for the alternate color on the waistband, but it's pretty soft, so I liked the idea of it sitting up against my skin. I really lucked out on both of these fabrics that you may or may not remember I essentially got for free.

Friday, August 19, 2016

#46 Succeed at activewear Jalie Cora leggings

I love being active and I love activewear.

I've made these Jalie Cora leggings before and I knew I'd make another pair.

This was the only bit of this type of fabric in the entire store. Yes, I checked.
I found this fabric in the remnant section at a local Vouge fabrics. I know the pictures can't show but it is super soft, deliciously stretchy, not see-through. Win! I don't think I own anything else that is orange and it's really not my favorite color, but this fabric was worth it for the feel.

I opted out of making the back pocket on the pattern. 1) I simply wanted to save time so I could wear these sooner and 2) I wear longer tops over running tights so it would be hidden whenever I wore these out of the house anyway.

There is no way to get lost in the Rockies wearing this color.

I also didn't hem them because I used grey thread to break up some of the orange and I liked the grey serger hem finish.

Friday, August 12, 2016

#45 How to Make Felt Succulents

My most recent kill? 

A rainbow ucaliptus my sister nursed to life. I set it next to the window for some photosynthetic fun and it got frostbite...and bit it.

I can't be trusted with plants. Even the promised to be "unkillable" clovers! My mother-in-law said she planted them the year my husband was born and then gave them to me the year we got married. I treasured them! And I. KILLED. THEM.

So I've moved on to felt plants. I randomly created these one afternoon after I found a glass dome while thrifting that was begging me to be filled. I also happened to be spray painting some picture frames which brings me to step one of "How to Make Felt Succulents."

I spray painted one side of my felt. I thought it gave it a muted color, more like real plants and it stiffened up the felt just enough to make it "alive."

Here are the felt pieces. I used my Big Shot die cutting machine and the Sizzix Flowers Layers & Leaves 557690 die. But really, it's such a simple shape your could hand cut these.

I used hot glue to stick the large leaves on the large flower...

And stick the small leaves on small flower. I'm crazy for not using hot glue more often. I usually hand stitch, WHY?

I placed hot glue on the large flower and used a pencil to really shape it around the center of the flower. P.s. I just tried looking up the name of the "center of the flower" and I could only find "ovaries" and "fertile tubular florets." I'm a nurse and even I'm a little like, "Whoa TMI flowers, keep your pants on!"

Check him out. I love this lil guy. I think he's (I guess it's a boy so no ovaries here) the cutest little succulent around. And I'm going to make even more.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

#44 'I do' upcycle the 1950's

I had the sweet privilege of going to a retro themed wedding this weekend. 'I do' enjoy a good upcycle, 1950's style.

So this dress was actually made from two different thrift store dresses. The top half of my dress came from a very tight and very short dress with a V neck so deep it was digging for pearls. So I chopped it in half AND turned the back of the dress to the front. Now the "front" of my dress can show off some real pearls.

The bottom half of my dress was originally a children's dress. I just loved the navy with polka dots. I chopped it in half and Frankensteined these bits together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

#43 Make a Baby Shower Gift

It's nice to have a little blogging break from only clothes all the time. I recently was invited to a friend's baby shower and couldn't resist putting my own spin on this cute idea.

I really enjoy making things for kids and love if they can be educational in some way so I decided to hand stitch numbers 1-10, triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles with felt on the backs of these  Dr. Seuss letters. Half way through I had that "What was I thinking starting such a big project" moment and then I remembered: I LOVE doing this stuff and it's a way I can show a sweet friend my love for her (and her baby).

I ended up giving the gift in a cloth bucket, with a Dr. Seuss book, in a square of cellophane, tied with a bow. He may not be able to enjoy (or even hold) this gift for awhile but I hope he knows he is so loved and cared for.

Friday, July 22, 2016

#42 Get Sher-locked up for Your Husband's Birthday

My husband's birthday was off to a great start when me and all of the guest got LOCKED-UP. We took 1 hour to break out of jail and the experience was one we won't forget. If you've never done an escape room I highly recommend it. We did a "jail break" one which I actually don't recommend. But I still recommend everyone (who loves riddles, games, and clues) try an escape room once in their lives.

I wasn't planning on decorating or doing a theme for my husband's birthday until three days before the party! Why do I do this to myself? Since we used clues to escape the first half of the party it only seemed fitting to have a Sherlock Holmes themed rest of the day.
I think I hit the perfect spooky to pipes ratio. Also, The tea stained painting in the upper right corner has the address of 221B. I kill myself!

While the happy birthday sign behind the dessert looks unassuming it was very necessary for the guests to solve the puzzle and find where the prize for the night was. Numbers equalled letters. Letters lead to a place. The place led to a riddle in which you drank "poison" or "prize." The winner chose wisely so when they finished drinking an unknown dark liquid they could see a clue to a spot. And in that spot they found Sir Authur Conan Doyle's complete works of Sherlock Holmes tied with a ribbon.

I did steal some of my idea from Pinterest. Thank you thank you Pinterest for this cake!
Bloody death cake (red velvet), Sherlock silhouette oreos, British flag crackers, and chocolate mustache lollis. YUM!

I did have a couple of ideas of my own. I know you could get a much cleaner look with royal icing, but I have never worked with royal icing and was in a rush. I totally used the cheater version by A) using Wilton melts and B) placing my designs on store bought cookies.

It all came together nicely. I had other ideas but ran out of time, of course. And I'm sure I'll do the same thing next year, OF COURSE!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#41 Throw Your Husband A Bear-thday Party

Three days before my husband's birthday party, I had already invited everyone. I wandered down every isle of Partycity and Michael's and could NOT find any prepackaged party themes or decorations that were remotely masculine. My manly man likes camping and his favorite animal is a bear so I decided I would throw my husband a BEARthday party. Oh and be warned, this post will show you how passionately committed I can become to a sort-of-lame idea. I'm not, how do you say, a "cool" person.


Once I have an idea....I freakin' live for decorating! It's a good thing you aren't here with me because I would just start shaking you by the shoulders. I get so excited! I turned the art on our walls into bear stencils, fur print, and plaid.

Step 2) GAMES

We played three games which I titled: Papa Bear, Bear with Me, and Bear Grills. And yes I made them up.

Papa Bear is a pre-printed worksheet of puns aka dad jokes, hence the "Papa." Everyone had one minute to complete this worksheet.

Bear With Me- Everyone had three minutes to list any bear species, fictional bear characters, or bear foods they could think of. Whomever had the most original ideas gets a prize. Example: Black, Grizzly, Gummy bear, Yogi, Bear Grills...

Bear Grills- I "grilled" my husband on some trivia about himself and all guests had to guess what was true of him.

Step 3) TREATS

I made vegan oreo truffles and peanut butter cup truffles.

Step 4) Prizes!

You guessed it. ALL. BEAR. THEMED!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

#40 Game Of Thrones It Up

I've been sewing for a solid 6 months and want to take a lil break so I don't get burnt out before the year is done. So in honor of my husband's birthday month, I'll show you a party a threw for him.

I love to do anything to make him feel loved and special (because let's face it, almost every other day of our lives he's spoiling me). It was easy for me to come up with a theme two years ago as we Game of Thronesed it Up!

I made him a throne out of cardboard and metallic paint. Honestly, it looked a lot cooler in my head but I simply ran out of time. I also surprised him with a straight up hand made sharpened sword. Weeks leading up to his birthday I kept saying, "I'm not going to buy you a sword," because I wasn't going to buy him one, I already had and left it hidden in out closet.

These dragon eggs? They are foam craft eggs covered with hundreds of flat push pin and then painted.

We had lemon cookies (for Sansa), chocolate gold coins (because a Lanister always pays his debts) and root beer floats in bright green (wildfire) cups. All food labels complete with a red wax seal on top.

And of course I cut out paper house sigils as a banner. I don't know if my husband liked it more or I liked making all of this for him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

#39 Red (eyes) White and Blue (shirt)

I blame my friend Kathryn.
My top and pants are BOTH Jalie patterns!

The day before I left for my trip she asked if I'd be wearing red, white, and blue on Independence day. At the time I'd painted my nails white and was going to wear blue. But the next morning I woke up at 5am and had convinced myself I needed a proper 4th of July outfit.

I still had yet to pack and was leaving for the airport at 9am but managed to turn an old white t and some marvelous Art Gallery jersey knit into a festive top.

I made my Jalie dolman top a size U in the chest shoulders and tapered into a size T in the waist and hips. I also added 2inches in length to the overall shirt. Oh, and I sliced the the top front piece of the pattern and added seam allowance to give it the color block look.

So even with sleep deprived red eyes, I made a white and blue dolman top. Was it worth it? Sure.

Friday, July 1, 2016

#38 Bring Out the Button Jar (Chi-Town Chinos continued)

Mom used to have old decorative trunks filled with vintage collectables. A cracked porcelain doll,  delicate lace, a lamp made with a glass canning jar, and a weathered stereograph viewer. Oh course none of these items were toys, so naturally, I had strewn them all around the house while transporting myself back in time. Much to my family's annoyance I was a very messy and imaginative child.

This is stereograph viewer. It allows you to see old timey pics in 3-D

The trunks are gone, and I'm no longer that messy child, but I think my active imagination serves me as I continue to get lost in my own little world creating. Recently my mom gave me the (now broken) lamp with the base of a glass canning jar and it happened to be filled with buttons. So for my Chi-Town Chinos I got to bring out the button jar.

Here's my button jar formerly know as lamp

For these shorts I measured a size 14 in the waist and 10 in the hips. Alina, the designer,
conveniently added a back extension for people like me, who are shaped more like a pint glass than an hourglass. I did add 3.5inches to the inseam of the shorts. Check out my first post about these shorts.

I used a green linen fabric I found at "Are You Ready To Rummage" and for my bias tape, inner pocket flap, and pockets I used a vintage fabric I had found at the same rummage sale one year prior. My heart smiles at a rummage sale.

I love this little button I used for my back flap pockets.
Thanks again Alina for letting me pattern test. You can buy this pattern I've been talking about so much. And thanks Mom for stirring a passion in me for finding old world treasures...and for encouraging my imagination...and putting up with my messes.

Friday, June 24, 2016

#37 Dolman top time Jalie 3352

You watched me K.O. my first dolman top and now (ding ding) contestant two enters the ring. It looks so simple in black until you see the punch of color in back.

For me this is an ideal shirt. The front is simple black jersey knit cotton, which means I can wear it with jeans. And yes, you have seen those jeans above before.  

The back is a poly lycra spandex which means I can work out in it and it's stretchy and breathable. I have a very hard time sitting still so it's fun to have a shirt I feel totally me in.