Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Liebster Blog Award!

The awesome Ashley over at Craft Sanctuary has nominated me for a Liebster Award! I am so excited, as this is my first ever blog award. I feel very proud :)  I would like to thank the academy... okay, just kidding... but here is what is up with the Liebster Award:

what?? animated picture?  yes please!

The Liebster Blog Award Rules:

- Nominees must link back to the blogger who awarded them
- Write 11 random facts about yourself
- Answer 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
- Nominate other blogs and ask them 11 new questions

So, without further ado...

Here are 11 random facts about myself

1. I am 25 years old 

2. I love cheese

3. I watch dorky kids anime shows with my equally dorky husband

4. Apparently I say a lot of random stuff, and my hubs started a tumblr blog of all of them, unbeknownst to me... it's called Sally Out of Context and I only discovered it's existence thanks to a family member who accidentally mentioned it to me... yes, that's right - all my family and friends and the world wide web knew about it before I did

5. I teach elementary music and I absolutely LOVE IT!

6. Growing up, I had an epic bout with retainers (like the things you get after braces).  I owned and lost / broke / grew out of EIGHT retainers in my life. EIGHT!

7. I have a sister who is 13 years younger than me (oops... said mom and dad - surprise!)

8. I love the Ohio State Buckeyes - even my car is scarlet and gray and named Buckeye

9. I am 6 feet tall 

10. I have a irrational fear of stepping into a shower whilst clothed... not sure what traumatic event in my childhood caused this... but think about it - wet socks (shiver)

11. I think it's awesome that my job requires me to eat lunch at 11:00am every day so I can call it "elevensies"

Up Next: Ashley's Questions Answered!

1. Do you have a favorite pattern? (Sewing, knitting, crochet, whatever.)
My favorite pattern currently would have to be Simplicity 2444, mostly because I LOVE the polka dot dress I made with it.  I also am really loving the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern, but of course, who isn't.

2. What was the last thing you made? 
A Cation Designs Dolman top with a bow on the front in purple knit

3. What is your favorite print? (dots, stripes, floral) Or, do you like solids better? If you like solids, what's your favorite color?
For apparel (which is what I mostly sew) I have tended to lean more towards solids recently and focus on the design of the garment, however I definitely love a good print.  I can be very picky - what color polka dot, what size stripe, but I definitely know what I like and am getting better at only buying fabric I'll actually use

4. What is a typical day like for you?
Alarm, hit snooze 1000 times, wake up and scramble to get out the door for school, arrive at school, teach awesome kids how to make music for the entire school day, after school is usually drama club or choir or something, drive home (starbucks may be necessary), chill out at the house and sew, or if the hubs is home, watch some anime or BBC shows :)

5. Where is your favorite place?
My home... lol, but really - we moved into our first home in June and I couldn't be happier here

6. What do you do when you're feeling down?
Take a nap

7. What is your crafting space like?
I share the spare bedroom space with my hubs - my half is mostly black and white furniture and decor and hosts my large desk with sewing machine, bookshelf, and ironing board. For pictures and such, check out this blog post

8. Which blogs do you look to for inspiration?
Oh gosh - there are too many... I will say the first blog that I really fell in love with was Andrea's over at four square walls. I loved her sense of humor and really cute makes - since then I have found a ton more that I really enjoy, including Cation Designs, Lucky Lucille, Crafting a Rainbow and Sewaholic

9. Would you rather live by the sea or the mountains?
Haha - I think the sea, but far enough away to avoid natural disasters - LOL - maybe I really just need a little  lake.

10. What's your favorite meal?
Ooooh my favorite meal I make is Cavatini - it's Grandma's recipe for meaty cheesy delicious baked pasta, but on lazy nights (which occur more often) I would have to say the Teriyaki Chicken from the local Chinese place with an egg roll...mmmm

11. What makes you happier than anything else?
My family :)

And here are MY nominees for the Liebster Blog Award:

1. AriB at Ariation
2. Mari at Disparate Disciplines
3. Alison at Cats and Crafts
4. Cynthia at Dapper Duds
5. Stephanie at Love Teach Sew
6. EmSewCrazy at Tumbleweeds In the Wind
7. Shannon at Shanni Loves
8. Sue at Sewin' Steady
9. Jacinta at Sew MM

My Eleven Questions for YOU are:

1. What is your favorite thing you have ever sewn?
2. Do you tend to sew more for yourself or others?
3. What is one thing you love about where you live?
4. Do you listen to music while you sew? If so, what kind?
5. What is your dream project to sew?
6. When did you start sewing?
7. What is your favorite kind of fabric to sew with?
8. What do you do if you get in a sewing funk?
9. If you could be any fictional character (movie, book, etc) who would it be?
10. What is always at the top of your grocery list?
11. Who is your biggest fan?

Be sure to check out all of these wonderful blogs, and of course the bestower of my Liebster Award - Ashley at Craft Sanctuary!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Put a bow on it! V ♥ Day, Snowy Weekend, and a New Top!

Happy Wednesday!  What a week this has been! Some quick updates:

I actually wore my Valentine's Day Dress on Valentine's Day this year! After a very heart-warming day at school (who wouldn't be happy after receiving SO MUCH CHOCOLATE and cards from all the cute little students, and surprise! flowers from the hubs), we headed out to our favorite Italian place :)

Over the weekend, we headed up to the Grandparent's lake house in Wisconsin for a mini-vacation, where we enjoyed the beautiful snowy weather and sunshine. Sledding, anyone?

No computers allowed on this vacation, so I spent some time relaxing with some good sewing books (like my new Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing) and looking over my new vintage sewing patterns!

After we returned from said vacation, I was feeling quite rejuvenated and ready to take on a new sewing project that had been patiently awaiting my return:

The Cation Dolman Top - Put a Bow On It! Version

What a great, easy pattern! It is my first pdf pattern make and I am very happy with it! (free pdf pattern here) From printing the pattern to taking these pictures, it only took two hours, tops. Here are some details:

Fabric: a lightweight purple striped knit - purchased at Joann Fabrics from red tag section

Size Used: small

Alterations: narrowed the neckline, lengthened the torso, graded to a large near hips, lengthened sleeves, used a narrow hem for neckline and sleeves instead of band / binding, and put a bow on it!

Only after cutting out and sewing together the main part of the top did I realize IT DIDN'T STRETCH horizontally. Somehow it still fit okay (I'm thankful I made those alterations before cutting out), but I made sure to cut out the band around the waist the right direction - good thing too, b/c it needed to stretch down there! LOL

And here is a closeup of the neckline (not gonna lie, pretty impressed with that finish) and BOW!

Isn't the stripe pattern so pretty?  I am wearing the top over a tank top of almost the identical color (in case you didn't know, purple is one of my wardrobe staples, along with gray and ivory :)  I can't wait to wear it to school! Seems like the perfect teacher top.

ALSO, I have been nominated by the amazing Ashley at Craft Sactuary for a Liebster Award! EEEEeeee! My first blog award - YAY! Look for that post coming soon, and hopefully a new skirt too! Happy sewing :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Vintage Inspiration, Patterns, and the Telly

Hello friends! In the past few days, I've gone on a bit of a vintage pattern binge. There are a couple of very exciting vintage challenges coming up that I really want to take part in.

First up:  Sew for Victory! A 40's Sewalong with Lucky Lucille


I have never sewn or purchased a vintage pattern, so it was virtual trip to the Etsy shops :)

For the 1940's Sewalong, these are the two dress patterns I found:

What first attracted me was the amazing waistline detail - I've never seen a waistline like that on a dress pattern before! Then I noticed the record player - how cool is that? I really like the version with the collar and the 3/4 length sleeves - definitely me!

The other 1940's pattern I purchased reminds me somewhat of this dress, worn by Emily Blunt on the Masterpiece series, Foyle's War:

Link to Source
If you haven't watched Foyle's War, you are missing out.  It takes place in a small English town during WWII. I could go on and on about the amazing actors, beautiful scenery, great mystery plots, inspiring 1940's wardrobe, but then we would be here all week. I'll just say WATCH THIS SHOW. In any case, here is the other pattern I purchased:

I love the details of this dress - the square neckline, the gathered shoulders, the double buttons, the bow tie belt. I also love all three styles - stripes, plaid on top, and all solid.  While the bust is one size too big, I figured it would be close enough to alter easily (I hope).

Moving forward a decade or two... I am also excited for the Mad Men Challenge 2 with Julia Bobbin

Julia Bobbin, Mad Men Dress Challenge 2

I immediately knew I wanted to make this dress, worn by Peggy in Season 2, Episode 12:

Link to Source
That bow! The dress itself is my favorite shape - fitted on top, 3/4 sleeves, full skirt. I have several patterns in my collection that could fit this bill - but I had no idea how to make that collar and bow. So, I was pretty pumped when I came across this pattern:

I know the dress itself is nothing like that, but the hardest part I was trying to figure out was the collar and bow - and here they are!  Pretty close, don't you think? Now I have to decide if I want to make this in a knit or a woven - oh the possibilities!

While on my vintage pattern spree, I also bought this pattern, just for fun! Anyone doing a 1970's themed challenge anytime soon?

There are three reasons I bought this pattern - first I love the style of the dress, second it can easily be made with knits, and third, it's originally from a shop in Columbus, Ohio - that's pretty much where I grew up - how cool!

So there you have it - all my new vintage patterns :)  They should be coming in the mail this week - I can't wait to get started! Like I said, I have never sewn with a vintage pattern before - any advice for this newbie?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sneak Peeks and Snacks

Hello friends! After picking myself up after yesterday's major flop with the shiny blue Pendrell, I thought I would show you a few new things I am working on.

First up, a new skirt, with a taupe-ishy pink gabardine fabric (it frays/sheds like CRAZY) and gray-ish buttons, using a modified Simplicity 0466 pattern. If I can finish it successfully, I'm hoping to post a tutorial on how to add a button down front to a skirt pattern).

And second, a Cation Designs Dolman Sleeve top (inspired by the super cute one at Craft Sanctuary).  This would be my first PDF pattern and I am really excited to try it! You can't lose when it's free, and this one has cute cats everywhere!

So that's all for today friends! Hopefully I will have some new blog posts for you soon... until then, keep sewing, and maybe try this delicious new snack I discovered:  one squeeze of this Walnut Creek (from Amish Country) Peanut Butter Spread on any cracker (I had some snowflake shaped Ritz) and you have your own DIY nutter butters! I may or may not have been munching on these all day...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Some will win, some will lose...

So you may not know this, but I am an elementary music teacher.  That's right - I get paid to go and make music with kids all the day long - basically the best job ever.  Our 5th graders have just finished their big program, which may or may not have ended with them all singing "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey and rocking some epic air guitar. Hence the inspiration for the title of this post.

Some will win

The results from the Sew Grateful Week Giveaway are in, and the winner is...
Right as I was thinking "I bet it's never the min or max number..."  Irony...
Ashley from the Craft Sanctuary!!!!  Congrats Ashley, I will be e-mailing you for your address :)
(If you haven't checked out her blog, you need to RIGHT NOW - it is very cool and actually inspired one of my next projects)

Some will lose

I had high hopes for my next sewing project.  It was going to be my #sewingdare project and also part of the stashbusting challenge.  It's a great pattern, but the fabric... the blue shiny fabric...

I had purchased this fabric over a year ago - I found it in the red dot bin at Joann's and loved the print - I couldn't resist the bargain, so I bought 1.5 yards. Problem was, I had no idea what to do with it - I already had three pretty blue skirts in my closet, and it wasn't enough fabric for a dress.  So it went into the stash.

Fast forward to a month ago and I purchased some new indie patterns, including the popular Sewaholic Pendrell.  I had seen several versions of this that I liked and couldn't wait to make my own. I pulled this blue print fabric out of my stash and decided it was perfect.  I meticulously cut it out and had sewn the first few pieces together when I realized something wasn't right.

Was it the large sleeves that stuck out awkwardly? Well then I'll make smaller ones... still no good.  Sleeveless? Nope.  That's when I realized, it wasn't the pattern that was the problem. It was the fabric. While I enjoyed the print and the color, the satin just was just too shiny. And being a tall person with an extra long torso, it was a lot of shiny! I looked in my closet and guess what... a serious lack of shiny.  

In my thinking, if you don't like the fabric, why spend the time working on the project?  There are so many other creative ideas that I want to get started on. That's why you'll find this cut out, partially pieced together top in my scraps pile (GASP!)

How about it? Ever trashed a project after realizing that you did not like the fabric you picked, or do you see a project through until the end, no matter what? Any ideas on what to do with this fabric now?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Very Dapper Baby

Hello readers - it's been a bit quiet on the blog this month, mostly due to the fact that I couldn't show you my finished project(s) until today!

My gorgeous friend Candice had her baby shower today - this is the first "my age friends" baby shower I have been to (weird...!) and I wanted to make something ├╝ber cute for her little baby boy.  A while back she showed me a picture of a baby onesie that had a vest sewn onto it - it was a tutorial from the blog B is for Boy Creations.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one... or two.... or three...

24 months
12 months
6 - 9 months
This was one of the most fun and adorable projects I have ever made!  I purchased packs of onesies in  three different age groups, and used men's suits for the vests.  The great thing about using suits is that you have the main fabric, coordinating lining fabric, and coordinating buttons all in one!  And you only need ONE SLEEVE to make a vest - how adorable is that?!

In any case, they were very well received! A few of the shower attendees with babies of their own threatened to make off with them :) The shower was absolutely lovely - burlap, yellow and white polka dots, and classic Winnie the Pooh decor was perfect for a baby boy!

And about that "wrapping paper" - instead of buying a gift bag or paper for muchos money, I just bought a yard of this very cute bicycle snuggle flannel for $2 and hemmed it into a blanket / burp cloth / diaper / rag / whatever - wrapped the vests inside and secured with a rick rack ribbon and safety pin - all in all a successful shower :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sew Grateful Week GIVEAWAY!

Hello lovely sewing world - in honor of Sew Grateful Week I am hosting a little giveaway!

The winnings???  Fabric!  One and a half yards of  Pillow and Maxfield Ooh La La Coeur de Fleur in Blue (Michael Miller)

To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment below stating what you think you would do with this fun  spring-y cotton fabric! The giveaway will end on Sunday, February 10th at 11:59pm CST.  Winner announced Monday :)  Happy Sew Grateful Week!

Michael Miller Ooh La La Coeur De Fleurs Blue