Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Between the raindrops

The weather here in Chicagoland has been full of thunderstorms the past couple of days. Thunderstorms, rainbows, bouts of sun and incredibly high humidity.

I am lucky enough to not have any work travel this week which means that I have been getting some quality evening time in my sewing studio. Last night I took a comprehensive set of measurements of my daughter. I am making her dress for the wedding reception being held in here in Chicago 2 weeks after the actual wedding. She decided that she wanted more of a cocktail dress instead of wearing here actual wedding dress. Other than that the details shall remain under wrap until party time.
I can officially check off one more item on the "Wedding: sewing to-do list", only a couple more items left to complete. We are less than 2 months to the big day!

I finished up the last of the bridal party gifts. Here is a sneak peek, I can't wait to show these off!

I started with 10 yards of fabric and all I have left after the Travel Sets and this last project is this small pile of scraps.
Until then, enjoy the beautiful views from my yard!

The little water garden in the old wishing well, home to several happy little fishes.

Beautiful weeds behind the garden gate.

Bolted broccoli, between the crazy rain and super high temps the broccoli went to seed. Oh well, I'll try again for the fall.

Little Holly, the only one of the dogs enjoying the humidity and heat. She would stay outside all day if she could!

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Lisle, IL

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vogue 8634 Top with Embroidered Cowl

Woot, woot!!! Finally a project for me :)

Vogue 8634 very easy top.

The pattern and the fabric were both from my stash! So that's like a free shirt... Right?????

I put my own twist on this top by using my embroidery machine to embroider a design all over the cowl. I used an Anita Goodesign Free Motion Quilting design and just lined it up as I moved along the piece of fabric. I cut the cowl out with an extra 4" on all sides so I would have plenty of fabric to hoop. After I finished the embroidery I then payed the pattern piece back over and cut the finished size. I used a light tan rayon embroidery thread. Unfortunately in the pictures it is hard to see.... But,if you look carefully you will see the swirly shapes.

The fabric is a stretch velvet dance type fabric that I purchased on super sale at JoAnn's off the remnant table. I ended up using a light weight woven interfacing in the cowl because the weight of the fabric really dragged it down. With the light weight interfacing it gives it some dimension which I think is fun!

100% of the construction was done on my serger and I had the body and sleeves done while I was embroidering the cowl. The fit is very nice. I choose view B but with short sleeves. the only alteration I made was to lengthen the sleeves by 2". I hate when sleeves stop at the fastest part of my arm. Ick. Now it is much better.

I wore this today and received several nice comments on it. I definitely will be making this pattern again.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! And Happy Memorial Day to all my USA friends.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Lisle, IL

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby gift for baby # 1

I had time this week in the evenings to work on baby gift # 1. I have 3 babies arriving this year and I love to give hand made gifts.

Baby # 1 is coming into this world in July via the fiancé of one of my daughters long term friends! We can not wait! Baby 2 and 3 come later this year in the fall from good friends of ours and from my brother and his fiancé. I'm going to be an Auntie again! This makes me very, very happy.

For Baby #1 I made a set of 3 bibs and burp pads, embroidered on some onesies and am finishing up a quilt. (The quilt will have it's own post later)

The bibs and burp pads are all reversible with one side being patchwork from quilt leftovers and the other side pink terry cloth with some embroidery. I think they came out quite nice.

I embroidered the onesies using colors from the patchwork. This is the first time embroidering on onesies. It was a little tricky getting them on the embroidery hoop. However, once I figured it out I had no issues. The onesie fabric is quite a thin knit so I used a size 75/11 needle and Floriani's no show mesh stabilizer on the back in flesh color. I was worried about the embroidery stitching being scratchy or irritating to the baby's skin so I fused a second piece over the back of the embroidery. On the small embroidery pieces it works just fine but on the bigger one with the name I should have used my appliqué scissors to cut it much closer. Live and learn. It will be interesting to see how it looks on a real baby, the flesh color is supposed to blend in to the skin tone and disappear.

See the patchy look? I'm not happy with it. It is quite soft but I think the onesie fabric is so thin that it really stands out. I'll have to play with this a little more on the next set. Has any else had these issues with embroidery on onesies?

Some more pictures. As you can see below I tried to make them in sets.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A non-sewing weekend

I had a wonderful weekend, unfortunately non of it included any sewing time. I'm hoping to rectify that situation this week since I am not traveling anywhere this week for work. Yippee!

Saturday I had a wonderful treat! My Mother's Day gift from my daughter was a mother/daughter date at a local estate winery. We started with a tour of the wine making area, then a wine tasting followed by an amazingly delicious lunch on their outdoor patio. It was a spectacular afternoon spent with my daughter. We left with our 2 favorite bottles of wine that will be great in the summer weather.

Melissa and I at the bar enjoying a glass of wine before our tour.

The de-stemming and washing machine and on the left is the grape crusher for white wines.

The fermenting tanks.

The barrel room this room also had a small table setup for private tastings with the winemaker.

The bottling machine. I think this was one of my favorite parts. I like cool machines.

A view of the orchards and on the left is part of the outdoor dining area where we had a delicious lunch of veal piccata. It was a very lovely afternoon spent with my girl.

Today I spent most of the day gardening with my husband. The weather was perfect for a day out in the garden. I finally planted the rest of my flowers, got the potted herb garden replanted and did some work in the veggie garden. So far no signs of rabbits in the veggie garden!! Here are a couple snapshots of my favorite parts.

Vintage birdcage planted with flowers and hanging in the little bed behind the shed.

The potted herb garden right off the deck from the kitchen.
The oregano, mint and rosemary are all from previous years. The basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro and chives are new additions.

On the deck wall and by the hot tub.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Lisle, IL

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day Anita Goodesign Embroidery Party

Last weekend was F. U. N!!! My friend Lori and I spent all day Friday and Saturday attending the Anita Goodesign Embroidery Party hosted by Linda Z's. we made it into a total girl time by getting a local hotel room, wine and sushi dinner. As you can imagine after all day spent doing embroidery we also spent all evening chatting about it to!

The seminar had about 150 participants and the sewing was done in a round Robbin style. Each table had a Brother Quatro and in the back of the room was a line of 10 needle machines. Each station had about 5 attendees and there was one 'helper' for every 3 tables.

Being newbies to the world of embroidery Lori and I were just soaking up all the info! Talk about learning tons of techniques! And the samples, ideas were floating around everywhere. Such a great atmosphere! Our seminar was taught by Steve Wilson, the owner of Anita Goodesign. A great personality and so knowledgable!

In total we did 8 projects and took turns piloting and co- piloting the machine. At the end we divided up the projects and took them home. We made a traditional quilt block, a zippered cupcake bag, Cutwork napkin corner, free standing lace pin, a Mylar bookmark, a Trapunto block, a confetti flower and a crazy quilting design.

Lunch, snacks and beverages were provided both days along with lots of freebies and giveaways. And the shopping, oh what a great selection of designs! As usual, Linda Z's did an excellent job!

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Arlington Heights, IL

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Luggage Tags, Bridal Shower Favors

Finally, finally, my post on the luggage tag favors from the bridal shower.

To keep in theme with the vintage travel theme of the shower I decided to make luggage tags. After a bit of looking around on the internet and playing with my own design I decided to purchase a PDF pattern from Birdiful Stitches. For $6.00 you can purchase 'The Traveler' Luggage Tags a set of 2 different styles of tags a basic tag and a fold over style. i choose the more basic luggage tag. The pattern went to gather very well which was good because I had 50 luggage tags to put together!

I used Moda Hometown Fabric canvas. Half of the tags had the polka dot as the base and the other half had the town names as the base. The looked fabulous! In the window I placed printed business cards with the wedding date and the bride and grooms initials on the front with a background map of where they are getting married. On the back of the cards I printed lines for name, address and phone number.

Making 50 of these was quite a task! I did some of the work in hotel rooms as I traveled :) and my dear husband actually helped to cut out the inner rectangles. I was very happy for the help! I made one slight change from the pattern and that was to make the handles from bias strips that I ran through the cover hem of my serger using a belt loop maker attachment. Makes beautiful serged bias strips without having to use an iron!

To see the tags in use at the bridal shower in the vintage travel theme go to this post!

Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs.

Location:Lisle, IL