Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beautiful Wedding Photos

Aren't all weddings beautiful? Don't they just make you cry? I know that I'm just a wee bit biased, but Laura and Thomas have gotten their professional wedding photos and they are amazing!

If you ever need a wedding photographer, and are in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend their photographer, Nam Nguyen. He was assisted by Jeremy Harwell, a fabulous photographer in his own right.

Nam blogged about Laura and Thomas' wedding, so head on over to NamNguyenPhotography for a lot of beautiful! (The last link will take you to their wedding.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sew Alongs and Muslins

I've been having a lack of luck lately with choosing of patterns and then follow through. I've mentioned making a muslin for the vintage shirtdress. Well, I did finally make a 3rd muslin, basically starting over with the original pieces, altering only the width of the waist. I had really distorted the raglan sleeves, and they were not working. The good news is that the fit is actually not that bad, just a smidge small. I've decided to put this particular project on hold, as the Weight Watcher point counting has begun again. I won't bore you with the details, but may periodically jump up and down if I'm successful in re-losing a bit of weight.

So then I decided to participate in the Cupcake Goddess' pencil skirt sew-along. Because I don't believe that you have to be super skinny to wear a pencil skirt. Well, *ahem* I still believe that, but you do need to choose the right pattern. Suffice it to say that I didn't, and after making the muslin for that particular disaster, that project is on hold too. (see reason above)

All righty then. What's next? Do you read Grosgrain? It seems like who doesn't looking at how many followers she has! She has chosen a really cute pattern for her next Frock by Friday project, I think it will work on my body as it is right this second, and won't look too huge if I do lose weight. I already have the fabric, too.
Stay tuned for that.

Finally, Gertie is planning a coat sew-along on her Blog for Better Sewing. I've wanted to make this coat for a long time, and she is so thorough with sewing details, I think it will be a great learning experience. I've made a coat before, but it was a child's coat, and I'm fairly certain that I didn't do any special tailoring. It's the cutest little girl coat ever, so I'll try to post a picture of it.

Have any of you ever done a sew along? I realize that there really isn't any accountability, but my creativity tank is a bit low, and I'm letting others do the work for me for a couple of months. The frock happens next week (I think), so I'll get to posting pictures of progress soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Road Trip: Nashville

Sewing kind of took a back seat last week, what with it being the last week Kyle was home and we needed to get him ready to get back to Nashville. Well, honestly, "we" didn't need to do it, but mentally, it felt like I should be doing something. I have news about 2 muslins I made, and I'll get to those later.

Something I was looking forward to, though, on our trip to Nashville, was visiting the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and this exhibit:

I drove up early, and Laura, Thomas and I saw the exhibit which is fabulous! It is only there until mid-September, so if you are anywhere nearby, it's worth going to.

In College Boy news, Kyle is moved into his dorm, and we had great family time with Laura and Thomas. It will be nice for Kyle to have his sister and BIL nearby.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Few More Quilt Blocks

...and now I'm done. I let myself get carried away making these 12-1/2" blocks for the Rainbow Around the Block project, with a grand total of 31 blocks made. I found it really is easier to make at least 2 of one design if possible, and it doesn't really take that much longer than making one. But I'm not telling quilters anything they don't already know.

I did manage to scrounge up some orange bits to make two blocks in honor of any University of Tennessee fans living in Nashville. These 2 blocks took up the majority of my orange fabric that isn't specifically a fall or Halloween design.

This blue one is more youthful, and I love the brightness of it:
But I think out of all of them, this is my favorite:
For pictures of more of my blocks, and the blocks of other quilters, take a look at the Group Pool of photos on

If you feel the urge to use up some scraps, and make some of your own 12-1/2" blocks for the project, the deadline for submitting them is September 1. You can mail them to:
Anna Maria Horner
1730 Old Hickory Blvd
Brentwood, Tn. 37027
And now, I'll be back to making muslins.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simplicity 2369 -- the Dots are Done

After what seemed like a long wait for some vintage buckles, they arrived on Wednesday, and I finished the polka dot dress today. By the way, I got the buckles from Surrender Dorothy, and while the first set got lost in the mail, Veronica was very sweet, and sent out a second set (being vintage, it was lucky that she had more). I highly recommend shopping with her!

Oh, wait, you really want to see the dress!

The truth is, I'm not in love with it. I want to be, but I'm not. In spite of waiting for the perfect buckle, I should have done the version that just ties with a bow because this fabric is too slippy, and the tie end that goes through the buckle wants to just slip out. I'll play around with it a bit, but I think I may end up knotting it somehow after threading it through. We'll see.

I am happy that it isn't too clingy, which I was a bit worried about. I made it wider through the hips, and I think that alteration worked fine to eliminate the clinginess. And the pattern was super easy, so that's a plus!

I may end up wearing a stretchy white camisole underneath for modesty. Otherwise, not something I'm gushing about, but not too bad.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rainbow Around the Block

It's official. I'm obsessed with making quilt blocks today. Forget that darn shirtdress. On the latest round of "voting" most of you admitted to not liking the stripe. The blue is a lightweight linen, and I don't have enough to make the whole dress out of it, so it's back to the drawing board. For the record, I was pretty ambivalent about the stripe, so no hard feelings. I'm thinking a simple solid now.

But the quilt blocks! I can't remember which blog I discovered this project on, but it's a quilting project for the flood victims in Middle Tennessee spearheaded by Anna Maria Horner, an author, and fabric and pattern designer who lives in Nashville. Clicking on her name will take you to more information about this project. It's been going on all summer, but didn't really hit my radar screen until this weekend, and now I can't stop making these blocks!
I'm really having fun going through my scrap drawers, and trying to stick to the rainbow theme. I've got red, yellow, green and blue, and those pastel blocks so far. I'd love to make some orange blocks just for the Tennessee folks, but this Georgia girl's stash is woefully short on that particular color. I might be able to scrounge up enough for one block. This is my favorite so far:

Nashville has a particular place in our hearts now since Kyle has been attending Vanderbilt, and Laura and Thomas moved there after their wedding. Kyle was, in fact, in Nashville during the flooding, and true to 19 year old college boy style, when I called him to see if he was ok, and see if Vanderbilt had had any flooding, he was only barely aware that it had been raining! In fairness, it was the first weekend of finals, so he was probably studying. A mom can dream anyway! =)

Time is running out, as the final deadline for sending your blocks is September 1. Be sure to visit the Rainbow Around the Block flickr group for more inspiration!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Color Opinion, Please

Muslin #2 of the raglan sleeve bodice top has been completed, and it has more red sharpie marks on it. I'm contemplating going back to the original, making it without any alterations (as a muslin), and altering the muslin from that. I think I may have distorted the original just a wee bit too much, and it's starting to be weird.

When I was going through some old fabric of my mom's though, I found one that might be a good match for the top. To refresh your memory, this is the pattern:

And the new color combination, with the blue for the bodice:
Yes? No? Are you crazy? And if I can find it, a patent yellow wide belt, and yellow shoes? It would certainly be colorful! But, would it be too much?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Toaster Cover

I've taken a little break from the shirt dress to make a custom toaster cover for a friend. This has given me the opportunity to try out a new finishing idea that will work on tote bags and purses as well as the toaster cover. OK, it's not a new idea as the purse designer interviewed on Pattern Review mentioned that her designs are finished with French seams, and I thought, hey, that would work with this! And, yes, it did!
Often these home dec kind of projects cover their seams with bias tape, but that seemed a bit time consuming and fussy to me. French seams worked fabulously! And now that you've seen the inside, how about a look at the pretty outside. And yes, this is for the biggest toaster I've ever seen!

I just have it over a small box, so that explains the saggy top.

A close up of the double fold bias tape that I did use to cover the bottom "hem".

 A close up of the machine embroidery. And you can see the machine quilting I did here. This was a great opportunity to practice my machine quilting skills. I used super thin batting and a bleached muslin backing, and the walking foot for great results!

Parting shot:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shirtdress Muslin #1

I knew going into this vintage shirtdress pattern, I would have to make some pretty substantial changes to get the top to fit. I did buy it close to my bust size. OK, maybe one size too small, but that shouldn't stop anyone. Here are my pattern pieces after making some changes that I knew I needed to make (i.e., widen at the waistline, and drop the armscye (is it still called that with a raglan sleeve?).
The changes are done in red. I did the back piece first, and then discovered a better way to widen the waist for the front by slashing a diagonal cut from waist outside the dart, up to the top point of the sleeve seam. It made it much neater and more predictable. I decided to go with the changes I made on the back anyway. And the muslin front:
Keeping in mind that my dress form is not quite my size (she has bigger boobs), you can see that there aren't too many problems with the front. The side dart I changed can actually be changed back. The main problem is with the raglan sleeve that is really much to narrow. Did they have stick arms back in the 50s? But, oh no on the back:
As you can see by the multiple lines, I can't really decide where I want the sleeve seam to be. I'll probably go with the middle line. Also, the darts were way too long. This dress, although slim, is actually drafted for someone who is about 6 feet tall! The original owner wrote on the outside of the envelope that the skirt is too long, and she shortened it about 4 or 5 inches, folding up the pattern. That hit on my lower shin. If I made it as is, it would be floor length! Those are some mighty fluffy crinolines that they were planning for I suppose.

Fabric update: I'm going to use the stripe, but I'm leaning toward a solid color top in the darker gray brown color. Hard to tell from the computer screen, but in the paint world it's probably called putty. Matching it may be a problem. And, I'm off to snip and rip. Where is my Fit for Real People book when I need it?!!


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