Friday, June 27, 2014

A Retro Swimsuit in Fuschia

HEY I MADE A SWIMSUIT! And I borrowed my cousins adorable golden retriever to make it look cute! But really, he kind of steals the show - get outta here you cuddly dog you! I gotta show these readers my first, let's call it "trial" version of a swim suit ;)

I started this swimsuit last summer to check the fit of the Bombshell. I was almost finished with the bottoms when I got suuuuper sunburned :( I had zero interest in going out in the sun again, much less finishing up a swimsuit I knew I would not be wearing that summer! This past week I finally got them back out, finished sewing them up in about 15 minutes (I was that close?!?) and added this Simplicity 1374 bikini top just in time for a weekend at the lake!

The material is a fuschia nylon / spandex blend performance knit from Joanns. It was super clearance, like $3 a yard, so we could call this one instance in which sewing the clothing is cheaper than buying it RTW! (I don't know about you, but when I started sewing I seemed to think I would save money... let's just say I have proved that theory wrong, hence the summer stashbust challenge ;)

The bathing suit top is from a new Simplicity 1374 pattern. I cut and sewed a size 14, but I should have definitely gone with a 12! Not only was it a little big to begin with, it grew a little as it got wet! UH OH! The construction was really straightforward - I love this style of straps - so flattering! I borrowed some bra cups from a sports bra or something (idk, they were on top of the dryer) and when I was speedily cutting little holes in the lining to insert them, I accidentally snipped a hole in the main fabric too!!! Those ginghers are too sharp for their own good! Let's just say I learned my lesson, and Shanni would agree - don't sew swim suits in a hurry! ;)

The bottoms of this suit are View C of the Closet Case Files Bombshell. I wanted to check the fit, as I had to grade SO much between sizes from waist to hip and also added length - my pattern pieces look real wonky. All the gathering and layers at the side seams were a little tricky, as you can see the seam is kind of crooked, but I love the effect and they really do cover everything!!!

I wish I had more to say about the construction of the bottoms, but most of it was done over a year ago! It was actually kind of tricky figuring out where I had left off - sitting on the couch with the kind of finished bathing suit in one hand and my computer w/ directions in the other, trying to figure out what I had done already! The only major alteration I did was shortening the top of the bottoms (well that's an oxymoron) by about 2" - I wanted more skin there ;)

The most important thing here is that I really do feel like a Bombshell wearing these! (I'm not sure how one feels like a "1374" but it's probably not as glamorous). And they survived riding the inner tube, soooo... its all good.

Now that I have finished my practice version, I can't wait to try it in my other awesome *stash* fabrics :) I've got this amazing black and white striped swim fabric, but I'm torn as which way to put the stripes!

Right - Vertical Inspiration :: Middle - Fabric :: Left - Horizontal Inspiration
What do you think??? Also


If you visit the Summer Stashbust page (click on the button in the sidebar) you will see that there is a link up available for any and all makes that you create from your stash between June 21st - Sept 21st! Remember no new fabric - STAY STRONG! Check it out, and let me know if you run into any issues! NOW LET'S GO SWIMMING! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


So I'm just going to be honest with you all.... I spend a lot of money on fabric. In fact I think I spend more money buying fabric than I did shopping RTW before I knew how to sew. It is definitely an addiction! I've heard some people say "She who dies with the most fabric wins" and that is a terrible philosophy! Think of all the beautiful creations those fabrics could have become! I think this especially rings true after visiting an estate sale where the entire top floor was filled with fabric that never had been used - you think dream land? I think nightmare! I want to actually use the fabric I have spent so much time, effort, and moo-lah collecting.

But then we get to the other issue - sewing A-D-D! I cannot focus on one project for more than a few minutes before getting distracted by the next new shiny pattern or fabric. It is an endless cycle. Recently, I forgot about a fabric I bought hours before when trying to find something to work for a pattern I wanted to make - ugh! I am ready for a change, and what better to keep me accountable than to announce it to hundreds of blog readers, many like minded in their fabric collecting addiction ;) Obviously you can do whatever you want, and you may have a different philosophy altogether on stashing, but if you're interested in joining me, I am officially calling it the...

YEAH! SUMMER STASHBUST 2014! WOO-WOO! I find that short term goals, or at least goals with an end date, are more motivating, so this stashbust is just for the summer season. Starting June 21st through September 21st, I WILL NOT PURCHASE ANY NEW FABRICS! I will spend my time and effort making the many many many garments waiting in my stash already - and boy howdy there are a lot!!! I've got fabric and pattern waiting for shorts, bathing suits, dresses, tops, jackets, and more! I even have fabric for every special occasion this summer - vacation, two different wedding guest dresses and a first day of school dress! There is nothing I can possibly think of that I need fabric for that I don't already own. How about you? What is your stash like???

If you would like to participate in Summer Stashbust 2014, that's awesome! You don't have to be a blogger to join in, as long as you can post your makes somewhere online!  

IF YOU WANT TO JOIN, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW - include your name and blog address, social media handle, or other internet presence that I can link to - there will be a stash-busting participants list posted here on my blog to keep us all accountable and so we can pal around and encourage each other! :)

And you can grab this button in the sidebar for your blog, or instagram or tweet it - whatever your heart desires!

"Stashbusting" will constitute anything made with fabric purchased before June 21st. The goal here is to use fabric that has already been purchased, but it doesn't have to be super old or anything. 

I will do monthly round ups of people who have joined in the summer stashbust and what they have made each month. Posts will be on the 22nd or 23rd or each month (July, August, September). You may only be included if you have committed to the full three months of stash-busting.

AND I would love to figure out a prize package of some sort, if possible! :) Have any suggestions???

Once you've made something from your stash:

If you are blogging, posting on kollabora, burdastyle or somewhere else on the interwebs, please send me an e-mail with a link to a photo of your makes (

If you are posting on social media, you can also use #summerstashbust14 to notify us of your makes!


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Space Shirt

I love Doctor Who. I made a shirt. It has space on it. David Tennant, the 10th Doctor, describes space:
“Actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, its more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey...stuff.”

The fabric is Galaxy Poly Chiffon Digital Panel Print from Mood Fabrics. It is 59" wide, and when I ordered it, it was listed as being 23" long, although I don't see that now. The panel was cut all wibbly wobbly so it took me a long timey wimey to figure out how I would get the pattern pieces to fit correctly without losing length - it barely fit!

The pattern I used is for the very simple kimono sleeve tee in Simplicity 1690. I've made it twice before, in floral chiffon and chevron knit. Both of these have found a new home, as they didn't quite fit right (too short/tight at the hips and too wide at the shoulders, respectively).

This fabric is quite sheer, as you can see in the photo below. I serged all the seams for a clean finish, and serged and topstitched the neckline, hem, and sleeves. This is the same method I used for the floral version and it worked out very well. 

For the print placement, I wanted the main galaxy going across horizontally. I also wanted it to wrap around the side. When I laid out the pattern pieces (there are only two!) I tried to get as much of the print as possible at the side seam.

Side seam where large galaxy meets - now if I could just get Matt Smith's face to appear
There is not a lot I have to say about this top, except that it is super awesome fabric that makes even the simplest tee look good! Galaxy prints are awesome - I want them all. And I love the Doctor. The End.

What are some of your favorite TV Shows???

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I've Been Sew Bossed!!!

Hi! Have you heard of the Sew Bossy challenge?? It is the brainchild of two sewing superstars, Heather and Oona, and has had several amazing participants! Essentially two sewing bloggers put together a complete sewing package (pattern, fabric, notions) for each other and send them in the mail. "Surprise! Here's what I picked out for you - now MAKE IT!" :) It's a great way to get out of your comfort zone stylistically, or even technique wise, and at the same time live vicariously through another seamstress! And so I'm here to share what I was bossed to make by the awesome Morgan of Crab and Bee! I love her casual cool west-coast style and was hoping for something to emulate that! I was so excited when this package arrived in the mail:

It included:

- A JACKET PATTERN! YES! Specifically, Vogue 8926
- Linen / Rayon Blend Yardage in a creamy white
- Slate Blue/Gray double fold bias tape, MADE BY MORGAN!
- Matching cotton / silk thread
- A wonderful handwritten note :)

I made View B of the pattern, which features a bias tape edge all around, loose wrap front with tie belt to cinch at the waist, and sleeves that are somewhat angled (not quite raglan, but not quite regular, is there a term for that?) with a dart at the top!

Would you like to see it???


Isn't it cool???? I said, ISN'T IT COOL?!?! It don't think it is something I would have ever picked for myself, but that makes me love it even more! Somehow chic and relaxed while still being flattering and fitted at the waist! And this fabric is delightful to wear, especially with summer heat coming up - the linen is extremely breathable and the rayon adds the perfect amount of softness and drape - great find, Morgan!

This pattern is marked Very Easy Vogue, and I would agree with that, since there are no zippers or buttons but BOY HOWDY the pivoting! Now I have only had to pivot a few times before - on another shawl style jacket that is still in the UFO pile, and on my Victory Ava peplum top (still not happy with that neckline). Suffice to say, pivoting has surpassed bias binding as my ultimate sewing nemesis. And this pattern has three pivot points! One on the collar, and two where the sleeves (with a dart) meet the shoulder seam. This was such a frustrating task - I even went to Instagram to ask for help. Eventually (third attempt? fourth?) I pinned the heck out of it and stitched at snail speed and it turned out okay, but I am not interested in doing something like that again for a long, looooong time :P

Sleeve cap
The collar, hem, and sleeves were all finished with this beautiful gray bias tape, made from a similar lovely fabric by Morgan herself! It was so easy to work with and press, and really makes the jacket a standout! As it is double fold bias tape, the way you sew it on doesn't particularly matter. But if you're picky (like me) just remember the collar flips over and the wrong side shows, so you may want to sew the first bias tape seam on the opposite side for a neater finish.

Bias tape corner
The tie belt goes through a secret opening in the side seam on right side to get the wrap to work correctly. And those ties are crazy long! I actually really like the way it looks left open too, kind of a loose blazer feel, but I'm not sure what to do with the ties if I wore it like that - any creative ideas??? :)

Here they are tied behind me like a tail, but I probably shouldn't walk around like that ;)
And just because I'm proud of it, let me show you the inside:

So fresh and so clean, clean...
Overall I am SUPER DUPER happy with this jacket! It will be a wardrobe essential this summer and it is just so exciting to have something I made, designed by a sewing friend!!!

To see what I bossy bossed Morgan to do, check out her blog post at Crab & Bee (hint hint ;)

And out of complete and total honesty, at some point in the process of making this jacket, I couldn't help but think it reminded just a little bit of....


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Some Thoughts on Sewing and MMM '14 (Part 2)

Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by today - I just realized that I totally forgot to post the second half of my me-mades for the month of May. So many #selfies - ugh! But before I get to that, here's some thinks I've been thinking lately about the role of sewing in my life...

I sew because.... I really enjoy creating a unique piece of clothing that fits great, is a favorite print or color, and will get worn often. The thrill of pairing the perfect pattern with fabric or replicating a super expensive garment I love on the cheaps is awesome! That said...

I don't sew because.... it is my be-all, end-all passion in life. Because I am a budding designer. Because my dream career is to sew for others. Because I want my entire wardrobe to be handmade.

Okay let's face it - I love sewing, as long as sewing is my hobby. There have been a couple of times that I have sewn something for someone else for money, or made something for myself as part of a blog tour / promotion, etc, and can really suck the fun out of the whole process. In fact, the more required the sewing is, the more I avoid it - LOL. I'm not one of those people who lives to sew - I just really enjoy it. And please don't think I'm downplaying those whose super passion is sewing - like Andrea, for instance, who just became a seamstress full time! - I think that is amazing and inspiring, but it just isn't for me. My passion is for teaching music, and I already have my dream job :) For me, sewing is a side hobby. Funny enough, Mary at Idle Fancy just wrote a great post that hits on this topic - you should check it out :)

Top Row: limone peplum tank, red ponte lady skater, floral bomber jacket
Bottom Row: yellow chevron knit tee, blue floral lounge shorts, coral triangles plantain, striped knit scout tee
In addition to the realization that I only want to sew for fun, I also realized I still really enjoy shopping for clothes. I feel like sewing has given me a better eye and appreciation for a well-made garment. Sometimes in the sewing world  it's as if RTW (ready to wear) becomes bad or evil and I'm just not about that. I love having a workable wardrobe where I can mix and match my handmades in with everything else. Again, sewing as a hobby means I am going to take the precious time I have to sew a hobby and make something fun, sew some "frosting" if you will, instead of trying to craft every piece of my wardrobe. If I can find an excellent fitting, well made pair of jeans in the store, I'm not going to spend time sewing them. Instead, I will make a dress with giraffes on it that I've never seen the likes of in stores :)

Top Row: blue giraffes anna dress, ikat summer hi-lo dress, floral belladone dress
Bottom Row: striped plantain (unblogged), fuschia renfrew mini dress, refashioned tank, striped summer dress
I hope that bunch of rambling made sense - this has really been on my mind throughout Me Made May, where there is so much pressure to SEW AND WEAR ALL THE THINGS. I even saved me mades I don't like anymore to wear for MMM in case I ran out of other clothes. Haha, but really in the end I'm  proud of what I made and what I wore and most of them are things I love and wear often.... And that's why I sew!

Speaking of those me-mades that I don't wear / don't like / don't fit anymore - I am finally getting rid of them!!! That's right, my first handmade garments are going bye-bye. I would love to send them to a loving home, so if you're interested, check out THESE LISTINGS and then e-mail me - thequirkypeach{at}gmail{dot}com. It's name your price - I'm not out to make a profit, just cover cost of materials and such. And if no one wants anything, then I'm donating - no big deal! :)

SO I'm interested in your thoughts - what are your feelings about sewing as a hobby vs life? Do you make everything in your wardrobe, or mix and match with RTW? How did your MMM go? Have you ever sold/donated handmade garments? Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Free as a Bird ~ Staple Dress

SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL'S OUT ! FOR ! SUMMER!!!! And I am one happy camper ... erhm, I mean teacher. Don't get me wrong, teaching those 650 cute little children music all day, every day is an awesome job! But sometimes a girl needs a break before she throws something or someone out the proverbial window ;) And besides, summer break = SEWING!!!

This dress is the Staple Dress by April Rhodes. It is one of the patterns included in the third Perfect Pattern Parcel!!! Here's a little more info about PPP:
Pattern Parcel #3 includes:
Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
Staple Dress by April Rhodes
Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
Bonus Pattern: Choose a price of $28 or greater for Parcel #3 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie. Exclusive launch on Pattern Parcel. Be the first to own this pattern!
About Pattern Parcel: Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised almost $4,500 towards eliminating educational inequality. (YEAH!!!!)

Okay back to the dress... here are the details:

Pattern: April Rhodes Staple Dress (courtesy of Perfect Pattern Parcel :)

Fabric: Birds Black White Crepe - Joann's

Sizing / Alterations: Size S in Bust / Waist, Size XL in hips, at first I added a couple inches length but ended up cutting off and hemming at original-ish length

Construction Notes:

- No shirring at waist - I prefer a loose tunic that is gathered by whatever belt I choose to wear with it. Then I don't have to worry about the belt being the right size to fit exactly where the shirring / waistline is on my dress (personal pet peeve) and if I want, I can also wear it as a mod shift dress!
- No facings - sleeves and neckline serged, turned under twice and topstitched
- No pockets :(

The Verdict: A super quick sew, resulting in a comfortable, extremely lightweight dress that will be perfect for summer errands and eating frozen yogurt. Thanks Perfect Pattern Parcel! Well, that's all for today - I'm off to enjoy the beginning of SUMMER BREAK! :) And just in case you would like to check out some other blogs on the PPP tour:
Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, May 30 Sew Busy Lizzy || Pienkel || SeamstressErin

Saturday, May 31 Design By Lindsay || the Brodrick design studio || Cookin' and Craftin'

Sunday, June 1 Diary of a Chainstitcher || a happy stitch || Disaster in a Dress || sew Amy sew

Monday, June 2 Idle Fancy || Casa Crafty || Kadiddlehopper || Dandelion Drift

Tuesday, June 3 Our Family Four || Casa Crafty || Cookin' and Craftin' || a happy stitch

Wednesday, June 4 Lexi Made || The Quirky Peach || Stitched || a happy stitch || Casa Crafty ||

Thursday, June 5 verypurpleperson || Casa Crafty || sew a straight line || Sewbon

Friday, June 6 Shawnta Sews || Mama says sew || a happy stitch || Cookin' and Craftin'

Saturday, June 7 Casa Crafty || sewninestitches || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Sunday, June 8 oonaballoona || A Stitching Odyssey || Sew Charleston

Monday, June 9 Sew Sweetness || True Bias || Ozzy Blackbeard

Tuesday, June 10 Welcome to the Mouse House || Sew Caroline || Adventures in Dressmaking

Wednesday, June 11 Peneloping || YoSaMi || sewVery

Thursday, June 12 la inglesita || La Pantigana || Sanae Ishida

Friday, June 13 Seamster Sewing Patterns || Paunnet