Saturday, December 28, 2013


I don't usually procrastinate when it comes to school work. I like to have my assignments done in good time, and my studying begins well before test day. Sewing, however, is an entirely different matter. I have finished so many dresses just in time for dances, made things Saturday that I wanted to wear to church on Sunday...I even finished sewing together a sweater I had knitted on the way to church one Sunday morning. Talk about procrastinating!

Sometimes it's just my "I'm so excited about this project I want to get it done and wear it as soon as possible" drive that gets me in these situations. But sometimes, I have an idea for a project and a set event that I am making it for and I leave it for the last minute. That's what I did this past weekend with the new Christmas dress I wanted to make. At least a week before, I remembered a skirt with poinsettias on it that no one in my house wore, and I decided I would make a dress out of it to wear to for my church's Christmas concert. I did cut out the pieces earlier in the week, and I had every intention of working on it quite a bit before Saturday, but things get so busy around Christmas... I ended up finishing the dress early in the evening Saturday. That's actually not too bad for me.

Here is a bit of the process:

The skirt was pleated in the front and gathered in the back, so when I cut the waistband off, I was left with a rather large square. I took out the hem as well to give myself that little bit of extra fabric.

After over an hour, I finally got all of the pieces cut out. I had to use a pattern with lots of panels, because I didn't have much to work with after I cut out the skirt for the dress. I even ended up using the pockets!

The sewing together of the top involved a lot of trial and error, as you can see in the picture below. I took in and tried on and took in some more and tried on again and tweaked and changed until it finally fit right. At first, I left one side open for a zipper, but I discovered that the fabric had enough give it could just be a pull-over dress. One less thing to do!

The next step was attaching the skirt, then sewing the hem.

I zig-zagged the armholes and just folded and sewed them under, but for the neckline, I sewed on a thin line of black ribbon to use as facing. It worked pretty well.

And that was it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Something New

Last week, I was browsing the internet for some fun craft ideas, and I came across this zippered pencil bag pattern. It's such a neat idea, and not very hard to make, either! I decided to try out the pattern, and the results definitely lived up to my expectations! Here are some pictures of one that I made:

This is such a versatile project! You can use an endless variety of fabrics and designs. You can also make them any size. I think I will try a small change purse and a large makeup bag next!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

For a Friend

I recently had the pleasure of making an apron for a friend in my opera class. The fun thing is, not only is she going to use it in the kitchen, but she is wearing in our opera show, as well! She is a maid in an old woman's house, so she needed an apron for her costume anyway. Here are some pictures of the making of the apron, as well as a couple from the dress rehearsal of the show.

This patchwork fabric was so fun, and I love the way the bright aqua compliments it!

I gave each of the pockets a different rim to echo the patchwork look.

My friend, by the way, has a beautiful voice!

I know I haven't been posting at all lately...sorry for that! School is almost done, and I hope to be busy with lots of fun projects that I can tell you about in the near future.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Few Little Things

Colder weather...

This week, it got cold. Only for a few days, of course. Now it is back to cool. Missouri weather is never consistent. But it did get cold enough for me to pull out this sweater that I knitted last year.

It is so soft and warm and cozy, it makes me excited for the colder weather to set in!


A Future Project...

A few months ago, a friend gave me a bunch of old jeans. I have not had any time to use them yet, but I have lots of ideas, like various skirt patterns and jackets.

I have never made a jacket before, and to be honest it sounds like a rather daunting project to me, but I am determined to make one someday! I am thinking something like the blue one on the top o fthis pattern:

A Sneak Peek...

A few months ago, I posted about a bunch of little girls' dresses that I was making. I am still working on them, and am actually getting close to finishing. Here is a preview:

I hope to have all the dresses done within the next two weeks and up for sale on Etsy before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Knitting Project

The other day I sat down to knit an ear warmer headband for myself. I had made one last year, but it hadn't turned out quite right, and I figured it was time to try again.

I choose a white yarn with some shimmery threads in it from my abundant collection (I am over-stocked on yarn at the moment) and paired it with a simple checkerboard pattern.

My sister modeled the finished product for me:

It was such a quick, fun project, I decided to make more! 
The three pictured above are now for sale on my Etsy shop. I am also taking orders, so if you would like one, shoot me a message in the contact form to the right! Be sure to mention what color you would like. I have the four colors pictured above (bright aqua, brilliant red, soft pink, and white shimmer) plus royal blue, navy blue, forest green, yellow, off-white, dark gray, dusky purple, baby pink, and goldenrod. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Of Tulle and Gypsies

So, I mentioned in my last post that I was going to make something with red tulle for our Reformation celebration. My church celebrates Reformation Day - the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the church door in Wittenburg - with a meal, a short presentation about the Reformation, and a dance. For these Reformation dances, a lot of us like to dress up in costume: Renaissance, Victorian, Southern bell. I wasn't planning on doing anything really fancy this year. I just wanted to take this outfit:

and make it into a gypsy costume. I made an underskirt for the long black skirt...

...then attached four gathered rows of red tulle.

The only step that remained was to pull the skirt up (on the side or in the front - I hadn't quite decided yet) so that the red tulle was visible underneath. When I pulled the skirt up on the side, I found it was wide enough that it hung almost closed, leaving a barely noticeable sliver of red. So, I tried pulling it up across the front:

This seemed to work, but when I put the skirt on, it just didn't lay right. The fabric was too thick to drape nicely. A wardrobe flop! And now I had less than half an hour to figure out what in the world to wear! (Sewing rule 101: NEVER decide to sew something the day you need it!) In the end, I settled on the original, unaltered outfit pictured at the beginning of this post, with a few accessories.

I tied some netting around my neck like a scarf, and put a rhinestone earring in the center for some added bling. I also tied a bit of netting around my wrist in a bow, then flared out the loops to make it look more like a flower. I added the black scarf over my curls for a finishing touch. I was pleased with the final result, but I still want to make that gypsy costume sometime!

Needless to say, I learned a few things from this experience! But that's what mistakes are for, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Fall!

I know it's been a little while since I have posted anything. Sometimes life gets so busy I can't keep up with it! I just wanted to pop in and say happy fall! Autumn came so suddenly this year it took me by surprise. By now we are well into the season of brightly colored trees and nut-gathering squirrels, apple pies and pumpkins, boots and scarves, frosted grass and foggy breath.    

Mums are blooming and leaves are falling, and I am pulling out my sweaters. When the weather gets cold, I get the urge to curl up on the couch under a blanket and do nothing. Unfortunately my life won't allow that right now, but as soon as I get a chance...

As you can see, I had fun outside today taking pictures. Fall and spring are my two favorite times for photographing nature. There is just so much color and variety! Isn't it amazing that God causes the earth to die so splendidly?

I hope you are having a wonderful fall, and that the cooler weather isn't keeping you from enjoying these gorgeous days. I am beginning a sewing project that involves a Reformation celebration and red tulle, so stay tuned for that! I can't wait to show it to you!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Day's Work

I went home for an extended fall break weekend last week, and in all the rush of packing I forgot to bring the thread. I grabbed a few spools - the colors I thought I would need - but I really should have just brought all of them. So Friday found me lying on the couch in the basement in exasperation, wondering how I was going to constructively use my time if I couldn't sew.

I began searching around for a project I could work on, and found a bag of old cloth napkins and place mats in my closet that were just waiting to be refashioned. The best thing was, the dominant color in the napkins was white, and white was one of the few colors of thread I had!

I wanted to make a quick, easy baby dress, and after some searching, I found this pattern on married to a bmw. It was the perfect afternoon sewing job.

The napkins had a nice, finished edge, and after I cut out the pattern pieces, I cut this edge off the scraps. I could sew it onto any raw edges of the dress so that they would match the hem.

There were also some coordinating place mats that went with the napkins. I cut a rose out of one, thinking I could use it for an applique on the dress.

The neck and sleeves had raw edges... I sewed the edging I had cut off the napkin scraps to those raw edges just under the blue rim.

I then zig-zag stitched the edge, folded it in, and ironed it down.

I sewed elastic thread into the sleeves and neck, and the result was a cute peasant dress.

I zig-zaged thickly around the edge of the rose circle, and added lace. I tried pinning it to a few different places on the dress, but I didn't like it, so I decided to make a barrette out of it.

I am going to be putting up several things on my Etsy shop soon, including this dress, so be watching for that!