Thursday, October 31, 2013

Off to see the Wizard! Halloween Fun

This past weekend we had our annual Halloween Party! This years theme was the Wizard of Oz. We all had a great time and the party went late into the night!

There were some very imaginative costumes :)

One girl came as the tornado! she won our costume contest! My son-in-law was the tin man!

Another couple came as the black and white version of Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. 

My husband was the house, he actually made a 'House' hat with the witches legs coming out like pigtails.

I was Glinda and my costume was a refashion from a thrift store purchase. The dress was a long column dress with long sleeves and a high neck made out of a white and silver brocade. I removed the sleeves and remade them into a belt. I also used a reverse appliqué technique to make a sweetheart neckline out of sliver mesh. For this I drew the lines on the dress, overplayed the mesh and used a zigzag to sew along the lines, along the armholes and the neckline. Then I serged off a bit of chain using sliver chunky thread in the loopers and maid my own braid to couch along the sweetheart bustline. The armholes were serge finished in the silver thread.

To make the over skirt I used 5 yards of the silver mesh, folded it over length wise with the longer portion going to ankle length and the shorter side about to the knees. I sewed a casing about 1 1/2 inches wide and inserted elastic. Easy peasy. Not the most flattering of costumes but I hade a total make it work evening and did the entire thing the evening before in 3 hours! The crown and wand were handmaid using various supplies that were in my sewing room.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Simplicity 1653 Knit Mock Wrap Dress and other stuff

This Sunday while my husband finished up the painting and installing the new runner on the steps I spent the time in my sewing studio. Yay!! Nothing like spending the day sewing :)

I still have my Cynthia Guffey skirt in mid construction but I just was not feeling it on Sunday. I felt like it needed a lot more concentration than I was able to give it.... Maybe it was because I recently purchased a couple new patterns at the JoAnns Simplicity sale over Columbus Day.

So I carefully moved the skirt to the side and enthusiastically pulled out my new Simplicity 1653 dress pattern, I also picked up some knit fabric from the 50% off the clearance fabric at JoAnns. A great way to pick up some fashion knit for a hopefully wearable muslin.

I did not get the dress completed (I was also doing some embroidery projects and for some reason I had issues doing the right front piece with the pleats, I think I was a little tired from all the work in the house and the brain was just not processing!)

I sewed the pleats correctly then somehow for some reason I thought I sewed them upside down, carefully ripped them out and renewed them only to realize in the end that I had done them correctly the first time!!! Ugh...

Anyway... I had plenty of time to finish the project but it didn't happen. Which in retrospect is good because the fit is so nice that I want to add a lining to the full back piece and the front skirt. This will be fairly easy since the side seams are just basted together with nice big 5.0mm stitches.

I cut version length A and I will shorten it about 4-5 inches so that the hem finishes just at the bottom of my knee brace. The overlap of the right bodice is just pinned down right now I still need to add the ties.

It was difficult to photograph the details. The dress is a purple chevron knit with some silver shiny threads knit as well. The photos that show the color nicely makes it hard to see the details so I took another set slightly darker that shows details better.

I'm hoping this dress ends up looking awesome and then I will make a second real version for a wedding I have to attend in December in the Netherlands. I really want a knit dress to wear since we will only be in the Netherlands for the weekend and I really don't want to have to waste time ironing!!

On the embroidery machine I made several towels for my daughters new apartment. Two with their monogram and 2 for fall. I really like the fall towels with the pumpkins and gourds! I almost kept them for my self :) I really like these towels, they are from sur la table and I have used them several times for embroidering gifts and they are worth every penny of the 6.95$ over towel cost. They are a nice big 20"x30" and never snag!

For my husband, I embroidered the bears logo on a basic polo shirt for him. He bought two polo shirts one in dark blue and one in black. One for Bears logo and one for Blackhawks logo.
I personally think this bears logo is a little big and in your face for the location. However, he loves it! And that's what matters. I purchased the 'C' along with the BEARS portion of the internet from a digitizer and the Chicago I added with my own machine.

Now I'm out of town doing a whirlwind 3 states in 3 days from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Maine! I'm enjoying the mostly pleasant high 60's over the snow flurries that Chicagoland is getting!

I'm going to try and get the dress finished this week if time permits.... I still need to fashion a Halloween costume for our Halloween party this Saturday!! Yikes, not much time;)

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Monday, October 21, 2013

Purple and Green

Nothing like the cool fall weather to make me want to renew and refresh. My husband and I heaved been on a house renewal kick. It started with painting and redecorating our bedroom then we moved on to the new guest room. (The recently vacated bedroom of our daughter and son-in-law ). The momentum just kept on going! The past two weekends saw us repainting the dining and living rooms and hallway going up the stairs. As well as ripping out the carpet on the stairs and putting in a stair runner.

I think the newly painted upstairs rooms looked so nice that we just kept on going!! Of course now the kitchen looks like it really needs painted. LOL!!! Isn't that what happens... Paint one room and the others start to look dingy.

Our dining and living rooms used to be a pale green color with green curtains. Well several weeks ago we went to Home Depot and bought about 10 paint samples and put them up on the walls. It looked like some crazy painted sampler in our living room for a while as we contemplated color. Every so often one of us we get up and X out a color with pencil. After two weeks we were left with purples and yellowish/tannish colors. We decided to go PURPLE!!

We chose 2 shades on darker and one lighter. 2 walls the west wall in the dining room and living room were painted the darker color and the rest of the walls and the ceiling the lighter purple. We LOVE it and we love how the green accents go with the purple.

Last weekend while my hubby painted, I painted all of the air registers and light switches green and have all the curtains a good cleaning. I must confess something.... It has been years since I have washed the curtains, many many years! I never realized how dusty and dirty they had gotten!

I also took some time to freshen up the front door and the outdoor flower wall with some fall decorations. Looks so pretty.

The dogs were not to happy about being relegated to my sewing room for most of the past 2 weekends, they survived. We also just happened to be dog sitting for our daughter and it was so nice havering little Holly in the house:) I miss having her around... Apparently so did Blue! They look so cute cuddled up together. They were both sleeping and Holly had her little head on blues big paw. Of course, as soon as I stood up to take the picture she lifted her head up.

I did get some time in the sewing room yesterday!!! Yay :)

-Posted by Steph from my iPad

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Celebrating 50 years! A weekend with family and a quilted wall hanging.

This past weekend, my daughter, son-in-law and I traveled to lower Delaware to celebrate my parents 50th wedding Anniversary!!

It was such a great thing to be able to celebrate something so very special with them. Family is something that means so much to me and I feel so blessed that I was ale to celebrate with them. It is certainly an accomplishment that provides such a great example to the all of us.

Family is so important to my parents. Instead of having a fancy party they decided to do what they love and we all spent Saturday out on a head boat fishing. Unfortunately, not everyone in the family made it in but they were with us in spirit!

We spent a wonderful day out on the warm, calm ocean fishing. We ended up catching a ton of fish and took home just over 50 little fish for a great dinner of fish tacos!

Sunday, we went out for a lovely brunch and sat on a veranda overlooking beautiful gardens and a golf course. It was a lovely meal spent together :) I wish I could spend more time with the family it always seems like a couple times a year is just not enough!!!

At my daughters wedding over the summer, my siblings and I gave my parents a picture book to celebrate 50 years of marriage. We all (including in-laws and grandkids) contributed photos and a few thoughts as to what family means to us. We gave this to them after the rehearsal dinner at the wedding.

I wanted to give them another small gift so I made them a quilted wall hanging. I purchased the pattern and fabric while traveling in upstate NY last fall. The pattern and fabric were originally to be a gift for my mom. However, i knew she has been busy with work and in the midst of a quilt project and after thinking about it I knew I wanted to make it for them. I changed a couple of the appliqués in the pattern but basically kept the general idea. This was the first time I tried paper piecing in the diamonds down the left side, I must say I was not enthused by the process. I much prefer the precision of cutting exact shapes and using exact seam allowances versus relying on a piece of paper. Must be the scientific part of me!

The appliqué was done as a raw edge technique with fusible backing and then all the appliqué pieces were free motion stitched. With one leaf embroidered with their names and wedding date. I then free motion quilted the entire background and did channels along the top and sides. The back has a sleeve hand stitched on for hanging.

My parents loved the gift! They are both hand craftsman themselves so they know and understand the work and love that goes into making a gift for people you love. :)

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3 new tops (2 I love and one, not so much...)

Here I am at 30,000 feet on my way to Delaware to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary! Wowzers, 50 years! I'm blessed to have such a wonderful family :)

Anyways figured time for me to do a catch up post on the tops I made a couple weeks ago.

I made 3 tops.

The first is my favorite! I've made this top before and I'll make it again. Although next time I may change up the neckline a bit.
Pattern: Vogue 8634 view A
Fabrics: the print is the fabric that I received in the Spring Sewing SWAP. It is a lovely light weight crinkly knit. Very nice to work with. I also decided to do a color blocked portion and used a black knit remnant from my stash. The pattern is already pieced in this was and lent itself perfectly to be color blocked.
Changes to pattern: none! Used a size large at the top and graded to an XL at the hips so I could wear this top out and have it skim nicely over my pants or skirt at my hip without bunching.
This an easy pattern to sew up and lends itself to lots of artistic changes. This time I color blocked and last time I embroidered the cowl piece.

I think I will make a long sleeve version for winter.

Next up is a working muslin of Silhouettes sweater set base portion. Since losing weight I needed to redraft my base pattern to fit. I recently modified a bunch of these shells and had to take the side seams in almost 2 1/2 inches on each side! It was time to redraft a new base. Using the original pattern pieces and all the info from various seminars I used my new measurements to remake a sleeveless shell.
Pattern: Silhouettes 195 Sweater Set
Fabric: knit remnant left over from dress pattern.
Changes to pattern: for this working muslin I added a CF and CB seam due to fabric available.
The actual pattern uses several sizes. The front is a 5w c cup, back is 5w both have the armholes and shoulder slope of a regular size 3. (This is for the sleeveless version only). Both the front and back are graded slightly larger from just below the armhole to the hemline to take into account for the hips.
I also lowered the front neckline by about 3 inches. This a much more flattering spot on me. I like my collar bones:)

This last top I am on the fence about!! I think it is a case of wrong fabric/pattern combination. My daughter likes it a lot. Me.... Not so sure. The pattern called for a knit, I used a very stretchy woven, I thought it would give it the little bit more structure for the peplum area. I look at it and think ice dancer costume. Not sure why. Technically the fit is very good but I feel self conscious in it because it is more fitted across the tummy than I usually wear. (Or maybe it's due to fabric choice!!!)
Pattern: silhouettes 312 Georgio's top
Fabric: Stash fabric (bought maybe 5+ years ago) stretch cotton
Changes to pattern: dropped the neckline 5 inches. This neckline came all the way up and felt a little choking to me.
I love the fabric and think I just need to give it a chance. Worst comes to worst I can change it into something else.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A refashion of a jacket and a couple little birthday gifts.

My week long trip to Atlanta has left me with a backlog of blogging! I'm still trying to catch up....

I am blogging to you from way up in Northern, NY, Potsdam. home of Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, a hospital and from the looks of it not much else. A little town and I'm staying in a lovely little Inn. There are no chain hotels in the town. I think I saw a comfort inn about 10 miles away. However, in these situations I'd rather stay in the town and experience somewhere different.

Fall is in full force here and the leaves look spectacular. On my drive here yesterday afternoon I passed a town with a plethora of antique shops.... Ohhhhh, I wanted to stop and just spend the afternoon browsing but, I'm here for work not play and antiquing is just not the same without my hubby!

My first sewing item to share is a refashion to a jacket that I sewed up last year seen here
I really like the jacket but other than the shape it was quite boring and for some reason the fusible interfacing I used was slightly bubbling/separating after a couple of dry cleanings and it needed to be refashioned or donated.

Since I spent a lot of time making this jacket and it has a wonderful silk lining I went of the re-fashion! I added ombré embroidery along the bottom all the way around and then up the back right. The top most design is in a light silver the middle 2 designs in a medium silver and the bottom designs are in a dark silver/grey color. I only made one mistake from my plan and that was to have the middle right design flipped and pointed slightly the other way, towards the side seam. I flipped it on the machine but when I hooped the jacket I hooped it the other way!! I also shortened the sleeves by 2 inches. This was a fairly easy refashion, I released the lining at the hem and then just had to hand stitch it back to the hem line when I was done with the embroidery.

The design is one that come with my Brother embroidery machine.

I wore this in Atlanta at the trade show I was working and got several compliments. Yay! What do you think?

The other project I have to share with you was also done on the embroidery machine. 2 of my girlfriends had birthday ethis past weekend and one just had a baby and the other is getting ready to have her second baby.

I decided to make these cute little card wallet things. Basically they are sleeves that you can put some credit cards, loyalty cards, cash, pics, etc... In and then through it in your diaper bag or whatnot. They came out very cute and each had the recipients initial on the front.

In the one on the left you can see a business card peeking out on the bottom. The pockets are nice and deep, this card could even be pushed in just a little more but then you would really have a hard time seeing it!!

And here is a view of the river behind the little inn that I am staying in:

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Clarkson Inn, Potsdam, NY