We start the drive home tomorrow morning and I have so much more to share. But I thought this would be pretty for now.
There is no backdoor, ha! Back soon!
We start the drive home tomorrow morning and I have so much more to share. But I thought this would be pretty for now.
Two family reunions, one class reunion, and countless miles on the van....
We got here last week at the same time a heat wave arrived (coincidence?). We went to the beach the next day and I think 1/2 the state of Oregon took the day off to go there too. I've never seen so many people at the Oregon Coast. We spent a few fun hours on the beach digging and trenching and just having fun. This was Skate's first time at this beach and he got salty, sandy, and soppy (and loved it).
Our snacks got a little sandy too but that's okay.
We bought some great sand digging supplies from Dollar Tree (the same bucket/shovel combo was 2.75 at the beach!). They served us very well as we made our castles and dug a moat.
On our way off the beach and into town (Cannon Beach) we stopped into this gem of a quilt shop. It's the Center Diamond shop and it couldn't have been a nicer store. The gals were so cheerful and chatty and their fabric selection was impeccable. They had all the latest, coolest books and patterns too.
This is my favorite shop in downtown Cannon Beach. It's called Josephine's and I found out the owner is actually named Josephine (how lucky to have such a cute name!).
Get a load of this!! With 3 teenage daughters I need that sparkly sign.
From eye candy to real candy! I always grab oodles of salt water taffy here at Bruce's Candy Kitchen. You can fill your own bags with your favorites and just pay by the pound. Here are Peety and Joey making all the important decisions.
By this time Skate was over-heated and worn out so he was like a kid in a candy shop....if kids in candy shops are cranky.
I hope everyone is doing great and getting some fun summer sewing done! I have a couple fun things planned for when I get home but right now I'm just enjoying the greenery and clouds.
Now that you've worked the bugs out of your pattern it's time to start having some fun! This Double Ruffle version is cute and whimsical without being too silly. I love this ticking fabric from Sweetwater's Make Life collection and the fabric with the words on it was just enough fun stuff to keep the skirt from taking itself too seriously.
Refer to the previous tutorials for information on preparing your pattern and assembling your basic skirt. This tutorial builds on the previous tutorials.
For this version you need your usual fabric (1.5 yds main fabric, 1 yd lining) and a 7-9 inch invisible zipper. PLUS you will need 12 inches of a coordinating fabric for the ruffles.
Remove the selveges from your ruffle fabric and cut it into 4 strips. Each strip will measure 3 inches by 44 inches.
Here are all the ingredients for your skirt. Don't forget to mark the front and back pieces in a discreet spot.
Mark a line 6" up from the bottom and cut this portion of your skirt pieces. Stop and mark the front and back pieces (on the wrong side) so you line them up correctly when your skirt goes back together.
Now get your ruffles ready:
Finish the top portion of your skirt using the same method shown in the second tutorial. Sew the bottom skirt pieces together on the sides using the same seam allowance you used on the top of the skirt.
Now pin your gathered ruffles to the bottom of the top skirt portion and the bottom skirt portion. Once you've got them evenly adjusted, sew in place using a 1/3" seam.
Now pin the top skirt portion and the bottom skirt portion together with the right sides facing each other. Your upper ruffle will be sandwiched between the layers. Now stitch in place using a 1/3" seam allowance.
Press your skirt firmly and make sure both seam allowances are pressed upwards. Now top-stitch on the outside of the skirt just above the ruffle.
Now put some cute shoes on with your skirt and get out of the house! Great job!
Yesterday was one of those craptastic days when everything seemed to be going wrong and I'm already waking up stressed so there's not much room for the unexpected in my "patience bank" right now. I'm having pre-vacation "we forgot to get a house sitter, the animals will starve!" type of dreams (even though we have a very capable house sitter coming and I'm sure he'll feed the pets). Then I realized that a fabric order (which was already delayed while we added some fabrics to it) had been sent to the wrong customer's house and I turned into a blubbering mess while the kids ran for cover in any corner they could find.
I stomped off to the car because my battery was at Sears being tested (while I use one of their loaner batteries, which I didn't know existed) and I needed to find out if my dead battery was actually bad. They have to charge the dead battery up overnight to test it to see if it's actually bad. Seriously. So I was mumbling "I hate my life, I hate my life" as I left the house. I'm so glad I stopped at the mailbox on my way out. I opened it and there was a package from F W Media addressed to "Stop Staring and Start Sewing" (my blog got a package!). I opened it up and began screaming "I love my life!!" because Kay Whitt's new book was in it and I totally was not expecting it! In fact I've been scanning the local Barnes & Noble's this past week looking for it because I didn't want to order it online and have to wait. Cowabunga!
So I was thrilled to have something to read while my battery was being replaced. Yes, it turns out my battery was, indeed bad and I did a halfway decent job of not sounding too sarcastic when I said "You don't say!" to the mechanic who gave me the news. Did I mention we just spent 600.00 on 4 new tires and some struts (which are like shocks I guess)? I need one of those "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters right now.
Anyway, enough about my car woes! This book is PERFECT!! You know I love Kay's patterns so this book is just a slice of sewing heaven. It's so cute I'm going to go buy a coffee table just so I have a place to display it.
It's a hard cover but spiral bound so it opens and lays flat so nicely. I LOVE the fact that she shows her initial sketch with each project so you can kind of see the evolution of an idea here. I must make this skirt very soon.
I must make this skirt too. I actually have some of these fabrics still. Truth be told, I have a habit of stashing some of my favorite fabrics especially if I find out they're going out of print (I don't want my customers to think I'm holding out on them but seriously, who wouldn't do that?). But you could use all sort of fabric combinations (sorry, don't bother asking for my bird fabric!) with these patterns and come out with some drop dead gorgeous items. I'm determined to make one of the oh-so-smashing jackets this year.
I cannot recommend this book enough and if you go over to Kay's site now you can buy a signed copy from her (and it's marked down so don't wait). But first sign up for her give-away here! Oh, and all the instructions are hand drawn and they are darling (see Kay explain it to BariJ in an interview at Boutique Cafe). This book will keep you busy and looking good for a long time!
Oh! The winner of the last drawing is Steph who left a comment at 1:40 on June 14th. Congratulations Steph! I'm going to start the give aways again when I'm back from vacation. I have one more (super cute!) skirt tutorial coming up and Olivia is working on some super cute things I'll share. I hope you're having a great week!
My Essential A-Line is now a book! With the pattern included! Details here!!
Okay! Time to make the first skirt! I'm loving this skirt style. It's feminine and fun to wear and I hope to have a closet full of them by the end of this summer. I promise to wash my mirror before the next tutorial!
Take your time with this first skirt and take notes. You can write in a sewing notebook (a good thing to have!) or make notes on the pattern pieces themselves. This is my first time making a skirt with this particular pattern so you can sew along with me and I'll show you how I like to make adjustments along the way and hopefully end up with the perfect pattern for me!
Lay out your pattern pieces like the picture below and cute your skirt pieces out. On the remaining selvage edge cut two strips of fabric for your ruffle. If you are doing a rolled hem your strips will be 2 3/4 inches wide. If you're using a regular hem (fold under 1/4" twice and sew) then cut your strips 3 1/4 inches wide.
Trace your darts on both the front and back pieces (make sure your marks are on the wrong side of the fabric).
Because the skirt pieces look so much alike I like to mark the front and back in pen (up at the top so the markings are in the seam allowance.
Sew your two ruffle strips together (into a big circle) and hem one side. Sew your gathering stitches in the other side. Use your longest straight stitch (don't backstitch) and make one row 1/3" from the edge and the other one 1/4" from the edge.
Now cut out your lining pieces. I just use a yard of fabric so the lining is 18" long. This works well on the basic skirt because it's not bulky and you don't need a slip (which is always a winner in my book since I have 3 daughter who always "borrow" mine so I can never find one). Be careful to cut under your pattern pieces (not through them).
Stack your lining pieces and trim them, if necessary, to make them the same length as each other. Trace your darts and mark an F (for Front) and B (for Back) at the tops, above the seam allowance area.
So now you have everything you need for your skirt and you can start putting it together.
Pin your lining and skirt together with right sides together. When I did mine my lining was too small for some reason so I just let the darts out a little (it's nothing that will affect the look of the skirt when it's finished). Fold the raw lining edges so they are even with the edge of the zipper (the top part of it). Sew all the way around using 1/2" seam allowance.
Now open it up and make sure your seams came out even. Go back and sew a little further away from your last seam on one side if necessary in order to get them even.
Now use a long stitch to tack your lining down at the sides of your zipper (unless you're in a hurry to get to a party, then you can do this later!). Be sure not to sew through the zipper tape to the fabric.
Now attach your ruffle by pulling your gathering stitches tighter and pinning (use lots of pins) all the way around (make sure the side seams on the ruffle match up with the side seams on your skirt). Adjust your gather so they are even all the way around (take your time!). And then sew the ruffle to the skirt using a 1/3" seam allowance. Finish the seam by serging or zig-zagging and then press the seam upwards. Topstitch close to the seam on the outside of your skirt above the ruffle. I like to press my ruffles down so they're nice and crisp and not "floofy".
Now try your skirt on! It's probably perfect but you may want to make some changes on your pattern for next time. When mine was done it was still looser than I needed so I took it in just a little on the non-zipper side. I changed my pattern so that the next time it will be perfect on the first try. I needed a total of 3.5" taken in at the waist (probably because I played it safe by going with a bigger size and also because I used 1/2" seam allowances instead of the 5/8" the pattern instructions suggested). I made adjustments by removing a total of 1.75" (half of the 3.5" I need deducted from the entire thing) on both sides of each pattern piece in order to hopefully keep my darts in the correct place.
Here is Olivia in her finished dress. I used the Monique pattern from Sew Serendipity and I can highly recommend this pattern now. Aside from the part where the first zipper broke during the final fitting (did you hear me screaming?) this dress went together quickly and easily. Once again Kay did a great job designing a pattern that is flattering, versatile, and uncomplicated.
Now I always warn the kids "Knock it off with the faces! This is going on my blog!"...but do they listen? So here you go. This should teach her. Cute shoes though.
Sorry I am so off kilter with the "every Friday" give away, ha! I don't know if life could get more complicated right now (yes, I know...there's always room for more chaos...). We are leaving for a two week vacation in under 3 weeks and now that the grad party is over I'm into vacation stress mode. Laundry and packing (we're driving to Portland!) for 7 people and I have to have the house clean enough for the house sitter. I'm freaking out on the inside but smiling (in a fake, lunatic kind of way) on the outside. And I have the nagging feeling I'm going to have to start replacing major appliances pretty soon (because they all break at once of course) so that's starting to gnaw at me, plus the half painted bedroom furniture, unprinted patterns, Quilt Market in October, paying for the kids new school year when the last year isn't even paid off.....*whimper*
Anyway, here's a distraction! Free fabric to give! It's a 23" x 44" panel from Kate Spain's 12 days of Christmas collection and it's really cute (better picture here). I'm including the project sheet from Moda but if you don't want to make a quilt you could make a banner with all the squares (which I've been trying to find the time to do so I could show you how fun these panels are!). Plus all of those cute candy canes and ornaments would look darling if you appliqued them on some Christmas outfits (you could make little skirts with the squares, the possibilities are nearly endless!). Just leave a nice comment!
My Essential A-Line is now a book! With the pattern included! Details here!!
Okay! This is my favorite style of skirt and I'm excited to share it with you! My favorite thing about this skirt is the way it lays flat at the hips so it doesn't add unwanted "fluff" like a gathered skirt does (which I haven't worn since I started having kids). I always make it with a lining because it's cheap and fast and then I never have to find a slip. I've made a lot of very different looking skirts from this one basic pattern so it has served me very well.
In this post I'm going to show you how I remove the back seam and add width to the bottom of the skirt pattern so that it becomes a simple, 2 piece pattern and doesn't look like a fabric tube instead of a skirt. In the following skirt posts I will begin to show you some fun variations you can make with this pattern.
When choosing your pattern size I recommend using your hip measurements as your guide. Adjusting the waist when your pattern is cut is much easier than adjusting the hips (if you're between sizes, chose UP and adjust from there). You'll want your finished skirt to sit 1 inch below your waist. Tie a string around your waist and then measure 1 inch under that to get the correct waist measurement for your finished skirt. I want the bottom of my unfinished skirt to land around the center of my knees because it's an easy length to add or subtract from (when you make variations), so I cut my pattern pieces slightly below the "view F" cutting line.
Once you cut your 2 pattern pieces out (ignore the little facing pieces) fold under 5/8 inch along the straight edge of the BACK piece using the "center back" line at your guide. This is the line where you would normally have a seam but since I'm removing the seam (and putting the zipper on the side), you need to remove the part that would have been the seam allowance. You can actually just cut this part off instead of folding it but it's a good idea to leave it folded on your first try in case you need to make some adjustments at the back of your skirt after your first try.
On your pattern pieces fold your darts and pin them, then pin the side seams together (I use a 1/2" seam allowance just to keep it simple). Measure across at a curve along the "waist" line. Your goal is to get a number that is 1/2 of the measurement you got when you measured below your waist. If it's too big you need to "shave" a little bit off of both sides of each pattern piece and pin and measure again.
My finished measurement needs to be 32 inches around so once I got 1 measurement of 16" (half of 32 you know) inches across I knew I was on the right track. Now you can remove the pins from your dart lines but leave that 5/8" fold (that you made on the back center) in place.
Now I want to extend the bottom of the skirt out because I'm of the opinion that a skirt that's a nice, bigger width at the bottom helps make the top look narrower (that's my story anyway). Tape a piece of tissue or tracing paper onto the outer side of both skirt pieces and trace a straight line from right where the hip curves down on the pattern (I used a straight ruler and a pen for this). I just used some old tissue paper I ironed out. Mine extended out 2 1/8 inches at the bottom side. This number will vary with different patterns but the goal is to make the skirt flare from the side and not hug the hip.
Now make sure your pattern pieces are the same length. It will be longer where the side seams are because the length needs to compensate for the curve of your hips (which lift it a little on the sides).
So now I have my pattern pieces ready to go. Keep in mind your first skirt will not be as great as your second skirt so you may want to start out with "practice" fabric (not too "practic-y" though because you may end up loving it).
You'll need 1.5 yards of fabric (for the main skirt) and 1 yard of a solid fabric (for the lining) on the first skirt I'll demonstrate (the one in the picture on top). Pre-wash it and iron it and I'll be back real soon with instructions!
***PLEASE ask me to clarify anything that is confusing about this post (or give me help in expressing these instructions better)! I'm going to make it part of a whole series with lots of (very fun!) variations so any help is appreciated and I'll be adding corrections and helpful hints to these posts. THanks!!***
Sorry for the long absence. This past month has been as busy as December with all the end of school events and graduations. And now we're smack dab in the middle of vacation preparation (after Olivia's graduation party this Saturday). I'm going to need that vacation.
I've had a lot of giggles reading all the comments from the last post, and while I agree with those who don't like words written across peoples butts, it was still funny to see everyone's ideas (thanks for keeping it clean, ha!). Some of my favorites were "PANTS" (it's so obvious it's nearly brilliant), "MATERIAL GIRL" (accurate for sure), "VERY FIRM" (made me laugh, in a wistful sort of way, then the crying began), and "TOOT TOOT" (a little potty humor is always appreciated in a house full of kids). But the winner of the scrap bag is KatieV who recommended "STOP STARING, I'M SEWING". I don't know how many times a day I have to say that to Joey (*snicker*). Anyway, thanks for all your crazy, creative ideas. I appreciate you all taking the time to humor me (even if it includes incentives)!
Here's something cute my brilliant graduate is working on. She says she's about half done so I'm assuming she's planning a bedspread (a very very busy bedspread). Just lots of triangles and some fun appliques and patches. I love it!
Here's a close up. I love everything about this, including the vintage "Croke" can patch (which reminds me of those old ad parodies in Mad Magazine). So many of my favorite fabrics!
She made it here on this machine, out in this meadow, with her hair curled just so. Actually these are her senior pictures and I couldn't help but show some of them off. Arizona isn't all cactus and desert and my friend Sandi Bradshaw has a real knack for finding beautiful locations right here in the Phoenix area. When she was looking for a model I was quick to raise my hand since I was desperate to have her take pictures for Olivia's graduation.
A couple of years ago I took a photography workshop with Sandi. It was all day long and only 50.00 (including lunch). Now she has people flying in from out of state for her workshops and paying 950.00 to learn her secrets (plus she does the family photos for the Diamondbacks!), so I consider myself very lucky to have gotten in on the bottom floor!
Here's my pretty girl wearing the jacket my grandmother wore when she married my grandpa. It was during the depression and I'm sure she wore her best outfit which was a beautiful wool ensemble and included this incredible jacket. My grandmother died of tuberculosis when she was only 27 and left behind my mom and my aunt, who were only 6 and 4 years old. I wish my grandpa was alive to see this picture (and to play cards with me).
And tomorrow I will start my Essential A-Line skirt tutorial!! Thank you for you patience! I'm going to start off with a simple skirt and then do some posts on different variations and fun embellishments.
And we just received the complete 12 Days of Christmas collection by Kate Spain. It's 10% off through this Friday if you want to get an early start on Christmas projects! I'm also adding scrap bags to the store (sorry, the French General is gone already). Perfect for quilting or small projects (or stash building). I'll be back tomorrow (and back on track with the give-aways this weekend!).
I'm very happy with the progress I'm making because I've been in a bit of a funk and there's something about being creative that just pulls you out of it and puts you in a happy humming-about-the-house place. I'm having fun mixing fabrics together too (more Poppy coming on Tuesday!). Next up is the instruction writing which is fun but does make my brain hurt a little.
This weekend I'm going to try to find time to sew Carla Crim's new pattern for the Tommy Boxers. I bought the pattern the second I saw she had it ready to go! I love wearing Joey's boxers in the summer and now I can have non-plaid boxers just for me. I might even follow her instructions for sewing a word on the back (her sample boxers has "Sis Boom" on the back and darn they're cute).
Which gives me an idea for this weeks give-away (yeah, it's supposed to be on Friday but I don't think anyone will complain). The goody is the extra bits and pieces from my two recent sample dresses and it weighs more than two yards (yes,that's how my fabric math works...weight = yards). It's odd shapes but definitely great for smaller projects. Just leave a comment with a great phrase for the back of my new boxers. The one that makes me laugh the hardest will be the winner. If your idea consists of a whole paragraph you will risk disqualification (unless, of course, you're recommending teeny tiny fonts).
Be sure to run over to Beki's (Artsy Crafty Babe) blog and make plans to join her summer sew along. It looks like a lot of fun. Between that and my skirt sew along (coming right up) you could have a great new outfit in no time! And I've posted links to some great projects using Bari J's new Art Journal project on her page in my store.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Our flag holder was removed when we had gutters installed a couple of years ago so I'm going to see if I can add that project to Joey's honey-do list today! Don't forget to take some time to remember all the men and women who have given their lives in service to our beautiful country.
Okay, the winner of the bodacious bag o'scraps is Mike Hanson (who only left me an email address and might actually be Mrs. Mike Hanson?). Yay for scraps!
Thanks for all the nice comments on my skirt! I even got my own blog post over at Jennifer's blog! Such a thrill and honor!
A lot of folks commented here that they've never made skirts and felt that maybe they didn't have the "right type of figure" for it. Not true! The problem is not you, it's the pattern! Patterns almost always need to be adjusted to fit the figure of the person sewing it. Most of us have lumps and bumps and they're in different places on different folks. Fit for Real People is one of the best books (maybe it is the best) for getting the perfect fit from your pattern. They have models in every shape and size in this book and all of them got terrific results.
They have a great section on how to fit a skirt to your tummy or booty. I have to make longer darts in the back because my rear compartment is flat (thanks Mom!) but other gals have more perk back there so they might need shorter, deeper darts. This book address it all (plus all the other body parts that need pattern adjustments). So if you've been putting off sewing clothes for yourself, this book might be what you need.
And here are some great links for invisible zipper installation. Kay Whitt did a great post here. There's a wonderful video here. And you can print this out here (I've had it printed and taped above my sewing table for about 4 years now). You can get an invisible zipper foot at Walmart for about 2 bucks. It's a cheap plastic one but you'll at least get the hang of it and decide whether you want to invest in a metal one (I think you will!). Once you realize how easy an invisible zipper is to install you will probably kick yourself for ever being afraid of it.
Have a great rest of the week! Tomorrow is the last day of school here so summer vacation is right around the corner! Yay!