Every girls needs a denim dress to wear with her cowboy boots.

I purchased the Perfect Pattern Parcel with the April Rhodes Staple dress pattern.  I had been wanting to make it since it came out. (Still want to make ALL of the other patterns with it. Magpie mode, much?)

I received quite a few pieces of denim from a friend’s destash and used it to make the dress. I did cut the biggest size, and it’s just roomy enough for me. I used French seams like the pattern suggested, and made my own bias binding out of this batik scrap I had lying around.

It’s a little shorter than I like to wear with out leggings, but you can’t see my bum when I bend over, so on really hot days, I just wear it as is. I made it a little less plain with some embroidery. I used the Urban Threads Blackthorn design pack. I want to add more around the bottom, but I am very happy with it as it is now. It get a lot of rotation, and I know I’ll be wearing it a lot this winter, too.

I want one in every color

Let’s play catch up. My local fabric store had a large haul of knit remnants come in early in the summer, and along with a huge pattern sale at JoAnn’s, I bought enough material to make summer dresses for work. Dresses are easy for me because they are a whole outfit, and I like to sew them. I used Butterick 5837 for the top

I love the back on it – it’s still modest enough I can wear it at work, but is a little interesting to look at. I cut the first top in a 22, and it’s a bit big – you can see my bra in the underarms. I didn’t use the skirt pattern – after looking at it, I saw that it’s just two rectangles. I just serged up the side of the motif, and kind of gathered and sewed it on.

In hindsight, I wish I had tacked down the self lining as it has a tendency to ride. I may go back and do that, if I think of it. I had originally planned to make this a maxi dress, but the print was too long for a second repeat, and I don’t regularly wear 5” heels.

I love the elephant print on this dress. I kept the little bit of left over to use as shirt bands on another project. I cut the top in the same size, but brought the arm hole up an inch. I also tacked down the self lining, and put in a small band of elastic at the waist to support the skirt. I used my coverstitch machine to finish the hem.

This dress is like carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It fills a gap in my summer and winter wardrobe.

I used this tutorial to sew in the lining – very clear, very easy, and totally tidy.

I’m a kinetic and visual learning, so all of these youtube videos are super helpful.

Faded Feathers – Finished!

Faded Feathers is back from being displayed and going to be a gift after it’s washed again. It ended up being about 40″ x 40″, so a small lap or crib quilt size.

I had a lot of fun piecing this one. The quilting is fairly simple – just some echo quilting around each feather. I used a neutral creamy King Tut Cotton color for the quilting.

I had one set of strips left over from the feathers, so I used it on the back. I like how it echoes the American flag.

All of the Crepes

When I was in San Diego for ComicCon a few years ago (side note, going to ComicCon but not actually attending? AWESOME.), I went to one of the local fabric stores, and they had the Collette Crepe pattern in print. I had been looking for a dress pattern for this pink cotton sateen that he brought back for me from Egypt, and this pattern fit the bill.

It doesn’t have a lot of pieces, has pockets, and is easily adjustable for pre and post dinner.

I didn’t want to cut right into my precious fashion fabric, so I actually made a muslin. Following aaong with Gertie’s sew-a-long, I only made a muslin for the top. It fit well enough right off of the pattern, so I didn’t make any adjustments. A Saturday at my friend Kat’s house was enough to trace and cut out all of the dress pieces, minus the tie. I chose the sweetheart neckline, and cut a size 18.

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This is a cotton double gauze that I picked up off the remnant table at my local fabric store. One side is plaid, the other side is gingham. I love it so much that I also got it in purple and pink. I cut the top pieces on the bias, not only for a little extra ease, but also so I didn’t have to worry about matching the plaid.

Not seen here is the fact that I totally did not match the plaid on the front skirt. The fact that it matches on the side is purely coincidental. I should have cut the front on the fold, eliminating the seam allowance, and just dealt with it. Ooops. I also cut the facings wrong, but didn’t recut them because they are on the inside and no one sees them. I wasn’t able to get away with just pick stitching the facing down; it took a few episodes of Arrow for me to catch stitch the facings down to the under layer of the gauze. (I loathe facings. LOATHE.)

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The ties are made from a pair of pants that didn’t fit, and I wasn’t going to take apart and recut. I wore it unhemmed to my dear friend’s wedding, and ended up hemming it about 3 weeks later (so… mid April?) I’ve worn this a few times since then, and it’s great for hot Virginia summer weather.

Matt and I were going to see The Lion King in June, and I wanted to get the actual Crepe dress finished for that event. I didn’t want to wear all of that pink on my person, and was hunting around for some kind of overlay that would still let the pink shine through. The remnant bin was rummaged once again, and out came 4 yards of a poly chiffon that had little dots burnt out of it. Poifect! (Also, $2.97 a yard.) I traced and cut out the cotton sateen, and then used it as underlining with the poly chiffon on the bodice. I hand basted the two fabrics together, and then treated them like one.

crepe2 front photo DSC_0384_zps82d0151a.jpgI cut the chiffon on the fold for the front skirt, then cut the skirt as usual. Then I ran out of the pink sateen with one panel left. I picked up a piece of dress weight linen in black to use on the last panel, since it doesn’t show anyways. Then I promptly sewed it on wrong and had to sacrifice one of the pockets. Womp womp. I used my serger to finish the sides and hems of the skirt, leaving the hems free of each other so they move independently. It swishes most satisfactorily.

crepe 2back photo DSC_0389_zpsefc4cbea.jpgI love this dress. It makes me feel pretty and powerful, and it’s comfortable. I can wear a regular bra with it, and still move around. I’m still trying to figure out a way to keep the ties from bunching, but other than that, no complaints.

crepe w/ puppeh photo DSC_0379_zpsef64db06.jpgGryphon did have to help with the photo shoot, and he’s about as helpful as when I’m cutting out patterns.

WIP – Faded Feathers

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Every month at work (I work for a small, high end fabric, sewing machine, and home decorating store) we feature a different fibre artist. For July, we’re featuring Patriotic Quilts. A few people have already put in their quilts, and are using very bright reds, whites, and blues.

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I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to what I chose in colors and patterns for quilts, so I picked a pattern I’ve been eyeing for a while, and then went to my LQS for some Civil War reproduction prints.

I’m using Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed Quilt pattern, and Olivia Jane’s piecing tutorial to put it together. I’m trying to be better about researching a project (I love using blogs and the internet as a resource! Especially since I am always so far behind on the curve when it comes to patterns.), and like how much less waste I had when cutting the feathers for the quilt.

I made three sets of strips, to make eighteen full feathers, and enough left over to make a small patch in the back. I’m done piecing it (it took about a week on and off at work), and am working on quilting it.

Today I get to take a quilting class, and will hopefully put most of the top together today in class. I’m so excited to have a whole day of sewing!

Bento Box of Yum

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Mawwage! Mawwage is what bring us togewer today.

Or at least, inspired me to make this quilt. This is a gift for one of my oldest friends (in that she is a friend I have had for Some Length of Time) and her new and shiny husband. They both have a love for Japan and the colors red, white, and black.

I strip pieced the fabric, and then cut and pieced the blocks according to . Less cutting and opportunities for poor piecing? Sign me up!

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I quilted it in the ditch around the blocks, and with swirls in the border. I used my favorite (so far, I haven’t tried Aurafil, since we don’t carry it at work) quilting thread, King Tut, in a variegated black and red. It looks really cool on the back, too.

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I enjoyed putting this quilt together, and I hope that J & L enjoy it, too.

::WIP Wednesday::

Oh, job that isn’t as new that sucked me away from all of the online things…

I’ve recovered from the Santa Stocking of 2012 sufficiently to pick up needlework again.

The Frosted Pumpkin is full of delicious cute goodness. I love Halloween and Autumn, so I may have just fallen down and bought all of the autumn things. I’m being restrained, and only working on one piece at a time, and am working on the Autumn Sampler. When it’s finished, the plan is to use it to decorate the front of my machine cover.

Autumn Sampler

Amanda over at Hey, Porkchop! uses these needle minders, so I may have gotten one. Ok, no, I did get one. Just one, for now.

Needle Minder

Midnight Sundries

Last night, around midnight, I had to paint. This wasn’t just a small want, this was a flash of needing to make, to play with color, to do something.

I had two small problems: I don’t have any supplies, and everything is closed at midnight.

I posted on Facebook, and was resigned to my fate, when my dear friend Megan, also a night person, let me know that she had supplies I could borrow if I came and picked them up. Since I was still wearing pants, no problem!

The results of last night’s work.

Yarn! I think.

I’ll be picking up watercolor paper today.

TEA!

I made a tea caddy for my friend Leslie as a hostess gift. It was very well received, and I am happy to say that the fabric, notions and tea all came from stash.

 

 

The caddy hold 6 teas of choice, folds up to protect the tea, and closes with a snap or magnetic closure. I know I’ll be making more of these.

 

bunnies!

 

Experimentation

In prepping for the giant quilt of Halloween, and to scratch the inspiration itch, I’ve been trying out different blocks and then making them into small place mats or “mug rugs” and giving them to friends. All of these mug rugs are machine pieced and hand quilted, with cotton flannel for batting, measure 6 inches by 12 inches, and are completely from stash. I even made my own binding!

The flying geese was for my friend V, who loves colors. I made the blocks using this tutorial from Lori Holt at Bee In My Bonnett.

flying geese

flying geese back

 

This 1/2 Dresden plate went to my friend Laurie, just because.

I used the template from Elizabeth Hartman’s post on Sew Mama Sew. I really enjoyed sewing this one, and am looking forward to making a full Dresden plate something in the future.

 

1/2 dresden plate

 

The kimonos are for M – she loves orange and blue and things Japanese.

I used the basic construction idea from Kona Bay’s Tranquility quilt, and sized down to fit the mug rug size.

 

kimono!

kimono back