Friday, May 31, 2013

Sewing to Rebuild Oklahoma

My home state of Oklahoma was hit with tornadoes more destructive than the ordinary tornado.  My heart breaks for all those left with bits and pieces of their lives.  They will rebuild, but it will take time and lots of help.  

Pattern Revolution is offering free patterns for handmade garments to give to displaced families and children.  They are also collecting handmade garments for distribution.  

I am very short on time this week, but I whipped out my favorite pattern, Children's Corner's Sassy Skirt and made a skirt for a fellow Oklahoma State family.  The black and OSU fabric were from my stash.  Praying this finds its way to a little girl that will twirl to OSU football this fall.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Patriotic "Frannie"

Frannie's Big Sister by Lyn Weeks

This post is a lot of pictures and a little description.  

My local SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) held an April workshop with Australian Lyn Weeks teaching her fabulous Frannie dress. This was my workshop "masterpiece."

Patriotic Frannie


Vintage Paisley from London Calling by Robert Kaufman
(This is a lawn weight fabric.  IT IS WONDERFUL!)

White pique from Lyn Weeks from Japan for the collar.
(Wish I would have bought a few yards of this from Lyn.  
It is a little lighter weight than most of Fabric Finders pique.)

Frannie's Big Sister as a top


Frannie's Big Sister is a dress pattern, but I was making the largest size (size 8) and felt that was too much flowing fabric for a dress for a nine year old.  So, the dress became a swing top.

We cut out the skirts before the workshop with Lyn Weeks and then did almost all the construction in the two day class.  The dress was smocked on the front and back with the plate from Frannie.

As a note, this is not a beginning sewing project.  It comes with a short book for instructions and many options for construction details.

I am pleased with the outcome!  My daughter commented that she didn't have a lot of growing room in the shoulders, so it wasn't as generously sized as some Australian patterns.

Back view of smocked Frannie's Big Sister

Another view of Frannie's Big Sister

Smocking Detail on Frannie's Big Sister (plate from Frannie)

Smocking Close-up

Back view of Frannie's Big Sister
Lyn Weeks and myself at the Houston SAGA chapter workshop for Frannie.

All ready for a Texas sized Memorial Weekend!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pink Linen Whitney and Floral Josephine

Violette Field Threads Josephine and Whitney

I picked up a few new "girly" patterns last fall at the Quilt Festival.  I finally got around to making two of them.  The pictures are so cute on the covers that I just had to make them for my daughter.


Violette Field Threads Josephine Pattern 

Violette Field Threads Whitney Pattern

Pink "bottom weight" Linen from my stash
Cream with pink flowers quilting cotton from my stash
(Great to be cleaning some fabric out.)

Skirt Construction:

I followed the pattern exactly and had pretty good results.  I have a strong dislike of straight waistbands that are gathered with elastic.  A slight angle to the waist is more flattering.  I love the way the linen hold the pleats!!!

Pink Linen Whitney skirt
Top Construction:

I think these patterns were intended for beginners, but without a little experience the directions would leave a newbie scratching their heads. 
1.  The collar does not call for interfacing.  I put German interfacing in the collar.
2. The ruffles along the button placket only have one gathering stitch row.  It is very difficult to gather with only one row of gathering stitches. So add anther row of gathering stitches.
3.  There are not directions for finishing or tucking in the ends of the ruffle.  I would tuck the ends under before gathering them.

Violette Threads Josephine blouse

Back View

Cute Outfit!

I made a size 9/10 for my daughter.  She wears an eight in Children's Corner with a little length added.  So, the patterns run pretty true to size.  Overall, it is a cute outfit!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quick-Tie Topper by Indygo Junction

Quick-Tie Topper by Indygo Junction

Looking for a quick and easy project?  This was a pattern on my list to make for an upcoming trip.  I need easy items that I can layer.  

Pattern:  Indygo Junction's IJ 886 Quick-Tie Topper

Fabric:  Sandi Henderson print from my stash.  The fabric works great with denim and browns. 

Construction:  This would make a great first top for a new sewist without all the hassle of plackets and buttonholes.  I followed the pattern directions and had no difficulties.

Conclusion:  A great layering top with a flattering drawstring under the bust-line.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kit Costume and AG Kit Dress

You can't see my "happy dance", but I am rejoicing to have reached my goal of making my daughter a time-period costume and her American Girl doll a dress for each time period they studied in a girl's literature club over the last year!  

NINE dresses in ALL!

CC Marilyn and Keepers "1930s Frock"

Kit's Girl Costume Dress

Marilyn by Children's Corner (OOP, but found one on Esty)
Virginia by Children's Corner for collar

Changes to pattern: 
1. Added another scallop to the front to match the AG doll dress.
2.  Took a few inches off the sleeve cap so it wasn't so tall and full.
3.  Added Virgina collar to match the AG doll dress.
4.  Added rick-rack trim in the same places as the doll dress.

Blue background with red roses, I think it is by Timeless Treasures, but not positive.

Kit Doll Dress

Keepers Dolly Duds Designs "1930s Frock"
Sold on Esty's Thimbles and Acorns site.

Same print from girl's dress

The "1930s Frock" dress is fast and easy to make.  A great fitting pattern and well drafted.

So, what have I accomplished through this exercise:

1.  I have toned my pattern re-drafting muscles by taking a few existing patterns and revamping them to my needs.  By doing it for fun, it isn't very intimidating to try for "real" dresses.
2.  Used up LOTS of fabric.  Some from my stash and a few new yards.
3.  Used many of those AG patterns I always thought I would get around to using. 
4.  Made my daughter very happy and well dressed on literature club days.

I made nine "almost" matching dresses, tell me which one is your favorite:


So, what is my new sewing adventure?

Summer Sewing School

Teaching a few sewing lessons for my daughter and her friends.