Monday, August 20, 2007

Ready to go

The knit dress didn't happen. I did figure out how to properly sew with knits, but unfortunately I strayed too far from a pattern and ended up with a very maternity looking dress. That's ok, I still have this and this. Yesterday I stitched up these eye masks from Amy Butler's In Stitches to help us sleep on the flight to Europe. I have never really been one to sleep well while travelling, but these give me hope (along with ear plugs). This was my first time quilting anything. Who knew it could be so fun?

Is it sad that when we started planning our vacation, I was worried about being without a craft activity for too long? I have been saving these crochet projects for a few weeks now so that I could bring them on vacation. I'm not sure if it's ambitious to have three projects in mind, but I'm sure I'll get through at least one.

I wish you all a very happy end of August. See you in September!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All about my bodkin (well, almost)

Wouldn't this be the perfect dress for Greece? I thought so too, so I made my own version.

I used New Look 6696 and some linen blend fabric. The dress was really easy to put together, especially with the bodkin I received from the creative Caroline. What a silly name for such a handy tool! A bodkin, in case you don't know, is a little set of tweezers that you can clamp shut over elastic so you can easily pull it through casings. This pattern calls for five casings on the back, so the bodkin came in extra handy.

I'm really happy with the finished dress and can't wait to wear it on the streets of Santorini.

Thanks for all of your suggestions about working with knits from my last post. I was finally able to make a decent stretch and zig zag stitch, but I do have a bit of doubt still leftover. I will definitely be taking a sewing with knits class this Fall. Unfortunately I had to throw in the towel on the wine colored jersey dress because I completely bonked up one of the bodice pieces and didn't have any extra fabric. I wouldn't be a true fabricholic if I didn't buy two colors of jersey though, now would I? I have some black jersey that I will make a second attempt on this weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's not you, it's me, I think

Dear Sewing Machine,

We've had some times, haven't we? You were my rebound after I was forced to break up with my old machine. We've sewn many bags together, and we're starting to get up there with clothes, aren't we? For the most part, you've been pretty good to me. There was that time when I pushed you too far (read: sewing multiple layers of vinyl) to which you retaliated by throwing off your timing (side effects: wonky stitches and buttonholes). Fortunately, after a day in the sewing machine spa, you were as good as new. Since then I've been sure to use you according to your manufacturer's guidelines. That's why I'm blaming myself for the wonky stitches you sewed this evening when I attempted to sew up the jersey dress. This is the first time I've ever sewn jersey so in all honesty I have no idea what I'm doing. However, I do know enough to know that the stretch stitch you made tonight was just unacceptable. What I don't understand is why it worked wonderfully on my scrap piece, but on the actual garment it was a complete disaster (DISASTER!). Before I put all the blame on you (read: throw you out the window), I'm going to sign up for a sewing with knits class. Maybe I'll learn some tricks that you'll appreciate. If not, well, I just don't see a future in us if we can't make a good knit garment together.



Yes, people, my first attempt at sewing with knits was a complete disaster. Looks like the jersey dress that would be so perfect for Greece isn't going to happen. Any one out there have suggestions on working with knits?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh la la

Can you believe I've had this shirred fabric all summer but only sewed it up last week? One seam and a hem, it doesn't get easier than that.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I almost caved in, but not quite

We're back from Cleveland (the drive, the city, and the wedding were all great), but not for long. We're leaving soon for a long vacation in Greece. I am very very excited. Everyone keeps telling me it's beautiful and I have no reason not to believe them. After the tickets were bought and the hotels were booked, the big question arised: What will I wear?

Last week during an unavoidable trip to the mall (oh how I loathe the mall), I found this great jersey dress at Gap. This dress would be perfect to just roll up and throw in the suitcase, and it's the perfect weight for warm climates. Even though I signed The Pledge, I must admit I considered buying it for about a second. One look at the price tag ($39.50) was all I needed to find the resolve to make the dress instead.

I'll be using Simplicity 3831 for the pattern and some super soft rayon jersey from I have a few other sundresses I've made over the past couple of weeks as well. I'll be showing pictures this week so stay tuned.

Speaking of dresses, have you seen the amazing version of Simplicity 3835 made by Lula Louise? I'm adding that pattern to my collection.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Kathy's bag

I made this bag nearly a year ago for my sister Kathy's birthday. She has always been a big fan of my creative endeavors. When I decided to start selling my bags last year (which I've since put on hold in order to take care of this business), she was right behind me with a ton of ideas and support. She's pretty crafty herself. For example, she made her own curtains and she made my niece's and nephew's crib bedding, which she literally put sweat and tears into. She also has an amazing house which she's worked very hard on. Currently her and her husband are building their very own potting shed! For her birthday she requested a bag with a zipper closure, something I had never done up to that point. I've always designed my own bag patterns, so it never occurred to me to consult a pattern. It took a little time to get my head around how I would construct it properly, but after a little thought I figured it out. I also designed the bag so that she could change the ribbon up for a completely different look. The bag was a huge success. She still loves it and uses it as her primary bag to this day.

Peter and I are heading to Cleveland this weekend for a friend's wedding. I didn't have any trouble packing my bags. I'll be rockin' the handmade dresses: I'm wearing this to the rehearsal dinner and this to the wedding.

Next week I promise to share photos of all the projects I've been working on. Have a great weekend folks.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A room without a view but with some very cool stuff

This is the view from my kitchen to the backroom. This room may not look like much, but it holds things very dear to my heart: my sewing machine, fabric, and even Bo is there more often than not. Peter and I reorganized the apartment last weekend and the backroom became my new sewing room. Oh to have four walls! No more sewing in a dark corner in the dining room for me.

I have plans to really spruce this space up. Those plans are on hold though until after I get back from vacation. Sewing sundresses for vacation is the priority around here these days (see that one on the ironing board?).

Monday, August 06, 2007

Celebrate your accomplishments (Part Two)

I am truly inspired by all the comments left on this post. The accomplishments you shared ranged from learning a new craft, starting to exercise more, finishing a project, raising children, making that phone call, and following through on a dream. This proves you don't have to climb Mt. Everest to accomplish something. We accomplish things everyday. Indeed, I think the best accomplishments are those which oftentimes go unnoticed by most. I think we ought to give ourselves more credit, don't you?

Without further ado, using the Random Number Generator, I drew the number 1. Tiffany, this sweet bag will be on it's way to you very soon.

Thank you all for your comments and for taking the time to read this little ol' blog.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Biased question

Do you pre-wash packaged poly/cotton bias-tape? The label says it' colorfast, but it says nothing about shrinking. Your two cents are appreciated.

I took the pledge

I, Stephanie, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed, Stephanie.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Celebrate your accomplishments

As most of you who have been following this blog for the past couple of months know, I completed my Masters a few weeks ago. I suspected that in a few weeks time, it would slowly start to sink in. My suspicions were correct. No. more. school. Time. Oh precious time! Time to create and to read and to do whatever I please. Time to do things that I would normally feel guilty doing because I always had a paper to write or an article to read or an exam to study for hanging over my head. Don't get me wrong, I think education is a wonderful thing. I was just ready to be done.

With all my new found time, I whipped up this summery tote using some Amy Butler fabric I had in my stash. I am giving this bag away to one random winner. To be entered for the drawing, please leave a comment by 10 pm EDT, Sunday August 5th. As this giveway is celebrating an accomplishment, feel free to write about an accomplishment in your life. Good luck!