Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Walkaway Dress - Retro Butterick 4790

Well clearly I haven't been busy blogging, but I have been busy sewing! I've been trying to build up my Etsy stock for the upcoming Christmas rush. Amidst all that, though, somehow I found time to make myself a dress, with a pattern! Look at me, using patterns like a real seamstress...I almost feel like I know what I'm doing. ;-)
So I was at Joann's during a $1.99 Butterick pattern sale, and decided to flip through the book and saw their retro pattern 4790. I'd just been reading some mixed reviews on it, but I figured for $1.99 why not give it a try?
What makes this dress so interesting is that, first it's supposed to be very quick and easy to put together (which I think it was!), there are only 3 pattern pieces, nice right? The other thing is how it is worn, but we'll get to that in a minute.
A lot of people had fit issues with this dress, so after reading as much as I could online, I ended up using Katrina's alterations outlined in her sewalong. I was very happy with the results!

(The buttons are off center because my dress form is smaller than me, lol, and do forgive my wonky hem. I was in quite a hurry when I did it, trying to finish the dress in time to wear it out. I may try to do a better job when I get a chance!)
The pattern itself has you using bias tape on all the edges, and while I love using bias tape, I didn't particularly care for the look it gave the dress, so I was thrilled to use Katrina's instructions for sewing bias tape to the inside! I'm definitely going to be using this trick again and again, love it!
So as you can see below, the back of the dress wraps around in front, making a kind of overskirt.

What you can't see as well is that underneath that, the front part of the dress wraps around and fastens in the back, making a kind of sheath dress underneath.

So, here I've fastened the back, so you can see how it looks underneath before fastening the front.

So then I pull in one side...

And button the front, et voila!
I took Katrina's advice and made a special petticoat as well for the dress, which slips on over the sheath, as you can see here.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was to wear. A lot of people complained of it slipping/sliding to the back, due to the weight of the skirt. I didn't find that to be too much of an issue, I think it helps if it is fitted very snugly. I also wore a slip under the sheath part to help avoid riding up as I walked, as well as a shrug (did you see my farmer's tan? My goodness I'm pale, lol!) partly to make sure I didn't flash any bra on the sides. If I wore it without a shrug, I'd probably pin the sides just to be safe.
It's certainly a very fun dress to make, and to wear! I definitely recommend it (with Katrina's alterations) and I can't wait to find time to make another one. :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Design - The Tie Back Smock

Hello everyone! So I was struck with an idea recently and just made my first prototype. I'd been looking at retro style smocks that tie in the back, and thought they were adorable. Problem is, I'm lazy and I really don't like weirdly shaped scraps, haha. My favorite projects and patterns are ones where I can cut quick strips and rectangles with my rotary cutter! So the wheels started turning and I came up with a new design, what I call the Tie Back Smock. Here it is!

Isn't it cute? When untied, it's just a simple, loose smock that buttons in the back.

Tie a pretty bow and it cinches the waist right in.

Simple and made by cutting with straight lines only! This one will be up for sale in my Etsy shop shortly. :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Exciting Announcement!

So I just wanted to pop in and share that some of my creations are now being sold in a local store here in Austin! Isn't that awesome? It's such a cool store where local artisans set up booths, you can find all kinds of great stuff, handmade, vintage, quirky, name it! And now I have a booth of my own. :-) Here's a quick pic I took with my phone!

I'm excited to see how it works out, whatever happens it has been a blast to set up and it's just plain cool to see my stuff in a real store, hehe. Any locals who are interested, it's the Austin Gift Company on South Lamar, close to Target.

On another note, I hope to put up a new simple, easy fun tutorial very soon! Just need to get all my pics sorted out, so stay tuned. :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tidying Up

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm always at my most creative when everything is neat and tidy. I just love for everything to have a home, especially if that home is arranged by color, hehe. During the frenzy of making Christmas orders and Christmas gifts, often my leftover scraps and bits get thrown in a pile once I'm done so I can start on the next project ASAP. I really hate doing that, and when I'm not in such a hurry I usually clean up in between projects, but I just didn't have time. So I was eager to get started on cleaning up my crafting room after the flurry of activity.

You've seen my fabric shelf before, I've done well keeping it nice and tidy. My next project, I decided, was going to be my crafting closet. I keep all my crafting supplies in here, but they had grown and it just looked like a mess. Here are some before pics:

So I went to Ikea and got some nice new drawers!

I separated everything by category and moved things around a bit, and here is my newly organized closet:

I love it! It makes me smile, AND seeing my room all neat and clean and my supplies all organized gives me that itch to create something. Can't wait to share whatever that ends up being with you. :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's a New Year!

Hello all, wow December flew by without a single post, ha! I was SOOOO busy filling orders, and then of course making gifts right up to the very last minute. (I'm not kidding, Christmas morning I was still finishing a couple things up before heading over to see the family!)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, I'll be taking down my tree tomorrow, always a little bittersweet. (We keep ours up through Epiphany, after all that work I'm going to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas, thank you very much!) So any favorite gifts this year, whether handmade or not? I was so excited to finally get a Kitchenaid stand mixer this year! With a combination of points from our credit card, a great sale on cyber Monday (thanks Amazon!) and rebates, out of pocket I paid $35 for my new pro Kitchenaid, how cool is that? Here's my awesome setup for it!

I also got a great surprise gift from the hubs, a Kindle touch! I already had an older kindle version and LOVE it, but I love this one even more. Plus, I got a great hot pink cover for it, woohoo! :-)

As for gifts I made, for the nephews and nieces I went a little pillow crazy, ha. I was at Ikea and ended up getting 10 of those 99 cent pillows! I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to be doing with them, then I found some great ideas. I'd seen a pin on pinterest for a kind of pillow mattress for kids to lay on, and thought that was great. Then I found this tutorial, and ended up using it to make this:

Another pillow idea I'd seen was a travel pillow, which I thought would be perfect for my nieces who have an hour's drive to school and back with my sis every day! I used this tutorial as a jumping off point, but just made an envelope style pillowcase instead and made these for 2 of my nieces and one of my nephews. I added an initial on each one, and stuck a few goodies in the pockets, of course. :-)

Finally, for one of my sisters and my aunt, I made some of these fun ruffly scarves using this tutorial. I wanted a little bit of color contrast in mine, and I love how they turned out.

As for yummy goodies, DH and I had fun making some Peppermint cake pops and oreo pops, good stuff!

I've enjoyed a nice bit of time off from sewing, but I think I'm about ready to jump back in. I am usually at my most creative when everything is nice and tidy, so I bet you can guess what I've been up to in the interim, ha! I'll be posting about that soon, as well as an idea I have for a series this year.

I'll bid one last Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for this year, here's to 2012.