Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sew Colette - Meringue Skirt and End of the Month Review

I am very excited to have completed the first garment in the Sew Colette Sew-Along - The Meringue Skirt!  I guess you can say I cheated since I have made it once before (I skipped the muslin portion of this Sew-along).  The scallops were even easier and came out even crisper then second time, and I am still convinced I could make this in every color of the rainbow!

Pattern:  Meringue from The Colette Sewing Handbook
Fabric: Black Twill (leftover from a pair of shorts that ended up being a sewing mishap)
Paired with:  All for Love of Top from Modcloth and Iron Fist Hells from JustFab.com

This month was pretty successful - I started the month out by finishing a UFO pair of Madeline's (the free mini-bloomer pattern from Colette's).  They had been waiting on the perfect color of thread.  I finished both the Linen Peony Dress and the Meringue Skirt above and even after a week long delay while working on the muslin I caught up on the Sew Along for the Minrou Jacket.  Lastly, I ended up finishing a pair of StarWars pajama pants for a friend.  I'll post pictures of that soon!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Finished Peony Dress!

I just knew after sewing up the bright yellow Peony dress during the Fall Palette Challenge
that I was going to love this pattern!  Sadly, I have not worn the yellow dress once.  I am
 going to have to find a way of toning the color down to something more suitable for me. 
However, this dress is for sure to get a lot of wear!  The fabric is a gorgeous linen given to
 me by mother-inlaw out of her stash.  I never thought to ask her what she imagined
making out of it when she bought it - but I hope I did it justice!  The belt fabric is a silk
 chiffon I picked up during my trip to Portland - just for this dress.   Since I had made
this dress before the construction details were fairly easy.  I can't believe I am going to
 admit this next part.  The meringue skirt was the first garment where I ironed all seams
 after sewing them, seeing the difference this really makes during construction I ironed
after every step for this dress.  The ironing will helps give the dress a more professional
 finish.  I guess now it is time to invest in a good tailor's ham and seam roll! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Minrou Sew-Along - My Fabric Choices

Hello Readers!  Are any of you joining along in the Sewaholic, Minrou Sew-Along?
Tasia from Sewaholic is one of the best Sew-Along instructors I have seen out on
the web.  She provides very detailed instruction with little extra tips and other
extras - all in bite size portions.  You can sew a little each night to keep up with
 the pace or save-up and catch up when you have time.

My fabric choices (shown above) include a lovely Japanese cotton canvas - don't
 you just love the polka dots? ... and the neutral colors will look great with just
about anything in my closet. Tasia and I must be on the same wavelength
 because a few days after I bought my fabric she posted about a 
polka dot Minrou Jacket!!  So Lovely!  I also choose a very lovely shade of pink
bemberg for the lining.  I will be making a muslin for this jacket and should
have pictures sometime late next week on my progress!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cherry Meringue skirt with Candy Cane Taffy Blouse

What a yummy description, right?  While I am sure those flavors more than likely wouldn't
go together, the  skirt and blouse- do!  I finished both of these garments right after I got
 the Colette's Sewing Handbook in November, but was a little slow on posting at the end
 of the year.   Anyone who wants to learn sewing or even hone their skills should pick this
 book up!  The 5 patterns included are all gorgeous and the instructions and encouragement
 provided by Sarai Mitnick the author and proprietress of Colette's patterns makes the book
 a steal!  

 Now about the skirt... the material is a bottom weight cotton poplin which was a breeze to sew. 
 I don't want to give away the extra tips that Sarai provided in the book, but I will tell you that I
 used her methods for sewing the invisible zipper and for getting the best finish on scallop bottom
 and they both came out lovely.  The invisible zipper is the best I have installed to-date and this
task which always disappointed me and made my garments look less finished is now a breeze! 

For the Taffy blouse, I made the bias tape for the finish using the continuous bias tape method
 for the first time.  I will definitely be using that again!  I wasn't as even with cutting my strips
as I would like to have been but once ironed and sewn onto the garment - you really wouldn't
know.  Cutting the Chiffon was an absolute nightmare and I was almost afraid the shapes I
was left with at the end would not fit but I managed to make them work, and a few days later
Sunni from a Fashionable Stitch came out with this great tip for cutting these types of garment. 
I am extremely please with the way both of these turned out and hope to make each of them in
different color combinations at a later date!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My First Quilting Project

Craftsy Block of the Month

Hello Readers! I know most, if not all of you, are garment sewists but do any of you venture out into quilting? My mother-in law brought me along when she went to several quilting shoes this past year. It was so much fun to look at all the beautiful quilts and of course I picked up fabric for aprons and purses etc.

I know there are many simple and beautiful quilts, but for many reasons I just thought quilting was out side my scope of do-able projects. I have been thinking more and more of making a quilt for my bed. The duvet and down blanket we have is much to heavy for summer and it seems like the color combinations I am thinking are always out of season or style in the stores. I started searching a few months back here and there for a beginner's quilting pattern that I liked, but had not found what I was looking for.

Just last week I received a free class offer from Craftsy (and I just love Craftsy's classes). This is perfect for me! You make two blocks each month through October and then the final months of the year you do all the finishing. You end up with a throw size quilt - which is perfect for a beginner, but according to the course overview suitable for experienced quilters as well. If you are interested leave me a comment below Craftsy is allowing us to forward the FREE sign-up link to friends. I''ll update you with my fabric choice and progress as we near the end of the month!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello Readers! Happy New Year!

I am very excited to be starting 2012 and have set some pretty fun goals for myself! But first...

A look back on 2011... in early 2011 I was making purses and other mini-accessories, but in early Spring I participated in A Fashionable Stitch's Ginger Skirt sewalong using Colette Patterns Ginger Skirt pattern. I was hooked - and it was onward and upward to the Fall Palette challenge and beyond.

I am guessing by now you are wondering about my picture choice. That beautiful craft table is my birthday gift from MR and it is on its way to me as we speak! I love it! It is the perfect size for my little craft room and I am looking forward to a real table to work on when sewing.

Now my goals for 2012...

** Main goal is to add garments and accessories that I not only love but make a cohesive and stylish statement **

1. To participate in both the Spring and Fall challenge
2. To make my first Jack and first coat. *Note I will be participating in the Minrou Sewalong at Sewaholic Patterns
3. To make my first quilt *Note I will be participating in a FREE Craftsy class on quilt making
4. To knit my first cardigan

That is it in a nutshell - but it promises to be a BIG year!

Image source Home Decorators: http://www.homedecorators.com/.