Friday, October 17, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #6

Sew I herd you had a problem in shades of gray and green...

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hardy har har... 
Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

I couldn't resist. really. 
It's Perfect Pattern Parcel time!!!
This time around, for the perfect pattern parcel, we were encouraged to use the pieces in outfit combinations.  So I give you: the Bronte top, the Hudson pant and the Julia Cardi! (the pics on the top of the collage...)


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The Julia Cardi and the Hudson Pants are done in French Terry. I love french terry. It is so cozy, that I have a small stock pile of it.  I knew when the Hudson finally came across my in box, it was going to go this way. I am in love with this style of lounge pants.  It may be even more important to me now that I do not get to be in lounge wear all day, everyday. Granted, I don't have a dress up job, but I don't wear my pajamas to school.

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The Bronte Top I kept basic.  I have been wanting to make a top with this knit for awhile, eye balling it in the fabric stores, eventually getting it, and then undecided it sat in my stash.  I love the wrap over sleeve connection, and plan on making another of these very soon.

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I would like to add pockets to the Julia. It's on the cutting table, just has to wait until I finish KCW/ Sew Geeky : Halloween. All of these pieces are fast sews, that are very rewarding in the end.

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Parcel #6 includes: 

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's only $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll. Vintage inspired silhouette is had two flattering necklines and a gorgeous skirt. The Odette Dress pattern goes from a size 4 through a 24!

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!



Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a simple yet shiny blouse

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a few months ago I joined up with the pattern members at the Sewing Rabbit. Now, I have been a part of many pattern bundle sales, and there are more on the horizon, but the pattern members service delivers a surprise to me every month. 3 patterns, $10. It's pretty reasonable and I can choose as I like. Most of the time there is at least one pattern I am really excited to make.  Other months all three are on my wishlist already!

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This month I got the Simple Blouse in my pattern bundle. Created by Running with Scissors, This pattern comes with a multitude of customization. I kept this one simple though, because this sateen is really a wow all on its own!  I did do french seams throughout, and it added a little time, but was nicely finished all through.


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I got this Sateen from Imaginegnats and I was a little worried about the yellow, but I love it. I really do. It is a beautiful lightweight print and the shine makes it feel luxe without the cost.


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I have made many a Scout Tee, and now I have a secondary favorite in the broadcloth tee department. Love it.
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See? Grinning so hard.  what a goofball.

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PS these are my own opinions. I am not affiliated with the Sewing Rabbit. I just think she's cool.

Monday, October 13, 2014

how to hem your jeans...

My friend Sarah and I always talk about hemming jeans. It always happens.  We talk about sewing and she says," I need to hem these jeans I have! " I just finished hemming a pair of fancy pants I got, so I took pictures! (and of course, we didn't get Sarah's jeans hemmed... one of these times we will...)
The idea is to keep the original factory hem, but make it the right length for you!

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First you need to decide how much your hem line needs to change. This is easier to do with a helper, but not necessary. Put your pants on,  I put on a pair of shoes that I wanted to wear with my pants, and then turn the cuff to where you like it on one pant leg.  Then measure that after you take off the pants again. mine needed to change by 3".

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Straighten out your pant leg and turn back by 1/2 of your number of inches change, so mine went up by 1.5".
I use clips on heavy materials, but you can use regular pins to keep your hem at the right spot. Be sure to get any stitch lines lined up, unlike mine in the last photo...

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Sew along the edge of the original hem as close to the stitch line as possible. (these jeans of mine had been hemmed before, the fold was a little tricky, but not impossible)

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Try them back on to make sure you got the length right.  If it is at the length you desire, trim the excess denim. It is a good idea to use pinking shears, or finish this edge with a serger or zigzag stitch.  This will stop it from fraying. However, if you trim close to the stitch line, it will only fray to that point. You may need to iron your hem occasionally to get it to lay flat, or be sure to flatten it when you are folding your laundry.
(it helps if it is straight out of the dryer, the warm fabric is easier to put in a  shape you want it.)

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There you go! Original hem!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

alder meow shirtdress


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over the weekend we went to a celebration of the union of my baby sis and her beau hunk. They are a very eclectic pair with a love of cats and board games.  I felt as though I needed a good semi casual dress for this event, and finally used my scardey cat Cotton and Steel:

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It was a great party at a brew house in NW Portland. There were board games on all the tables and everyone had a wonderful time.

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I had a lot of people I didn't know asking about my dress. Not surprisingly it was in reference to the cats all about my person!

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This is a color blocked version of the Alder shirt dress from Grainline. I didn't get to participate in the Alder sew along.  But I finally got my Alder together! I really like how this came together.  I wasn't sure about the black until I got it done and could really see how everything played together nicely. The pattern went together quickly and with ease.  I really love this. I think I am going to add the sleeves from the Archer, for a more cold weather version.  Although, with our weather lately....



Monday, October 6, 2014

pattern anthology: go to knit pants

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I was on the fence about the Pattern anthology 8 days a week bundle, until I saw this post from Max California. All the inspiration posts are great, and Katy at No Big Dill's pleather McCartney jacket is awesome. But it was seeing how well Ari's leggings fit that sold me. So, I quickly got the patterns, printed out the leggings portion and cut into....

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pleather. yes, I made myself a pair of stretchy pleather leggings. They are tight, but not uncomfortable. The pleather has a pretty good stretch to it, it's just a workout stretching it. I didn't actually think this was going to work out, and then it did, and I am super pleased and surprised.

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I know these pics don't show the calf portion, but I made the leggings an extra 3" long. I wanted them to scrunch a little at the cuffs.  They whip up super fast.  I had these done in under an hour. Very happy with them.  The best part is, they don't slip down and the rise stays high enough to keep my crack hidden. hurray!I suspected Murphy would ask for a pair after I put these on, he did. what do you think? a 6 year old boy in pleather pants? Is he hipster enough to pull that off? probably.

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I am not affiliated with the pattern anthology sale, but I will say the package is worth it. I have several more ideas for the other patterns, but I'm out of printer paper, so, maybe tomorrow...

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Please forgive my Dolmas munching! We got to stop out our favorite Eastern Europe Deli: Anoush on the way home from Portland, I couldn't wait to eat the dolmas!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

make it mighty ugly

I've been working on this post for a while. I wanted to get through this book with a full understanding of how I felt, and also I really felt like it was just right for where I was creatively.  Feeling blocked and not sure how to move forward.  Procrastinating and just collecting fabric with good intentions but not reaching them.  I feel like I have had a little break through, and I wanted to share the process with you.


Kim does an amazing job of connecting with us as creative readers.  I really believe that this book can be useful to more than just the creatives that it is geared towards.  The exercises challenge you to dig deep and gather all of your demons and then tell them off.
I decided to share my demons with you. These are my softest points, my sensitivities and I would ask that you be kind to me.



Even though I had to go through these angry voices and think about what I didn't want to  think about, I also got to give myself praise in as many ways as I could come up with. You get these too!!


and then, rounding those up into what they really meant, a list of happy thoughts to shoo the negativity to the side when needed.

Although this sounds like a self help book, this is really just the warm up to breaking through to your creative mastermind.  The first real craft exercise is to make something as ugly as you can. I thought about this for a long time, and I sat down to make an ugly thing.  I don't think she's all that ugly though... but I am not done with her yet. In the beginning, I picked an ugly color and set about making a sad picasso face. But I think she's looking a little pop art meets edward munch.
oh well...


Kim will be at Powell's in Portland tomorrow night for a book singing/reading.  I wish I could go, but I definitely think you should! I am excited to get home and work on some new ideas I have, as a result of really thinking about the things that slow me down and the thoughts that speed me up.  separating them and working towards understanding them has helped breakdown my block.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

hurray! the kitchen is fully done!



my kitchen.
it's finally done.

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A very long summer has culminated with the completion of my kitchen.  It is a pleasure to hang out in there now, and I am super excited for cooking and even the cleanup!

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The basics:
We decided to just refurbish the old cabinets by replacing the water damaged parts, and then painting the lot of them. Just that, the painting, brightened the kitchen up so much. For painting them, I went off of this tutorial and I will say using a liquid sander was the fastest easiest way to go about the process! Please forgive the before pics.  even though my house does often look this chaotic, this was right after we discovered the leak and everything was prepping to be torn out.

 Before:



After:

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You may remember I talked about the butcher block counter tops?  we canned that thought after looking into how much longer it would take and being fully frustrated as it was. We ended up going with black Formica. I figured if we were going to go with Formica, I did NOT want any of the fake granite stuff. Luckily there was this black micro dot. I love it.  It is simple, fast application (of course I watched the contractor do it...)and easy to clean.

Before:


After:
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We did take out the old island, it lives in my garage sewing studio now.  Its very welcome there as another surface to work with. We put in a smaller island, with big deep drawers and a butcher block top from Ikea. I love this island. I don't usually cut directly on it, but you can. I really like the drawers. I had been wanting drawers in the kitchen, and now there are some!

Before:

After:
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Instead of trying to put wood floor back in the kitchen we went with laminate.  This one is a faux cork and I added an under layment that makes standing in there for hours easier on the feet and back. Its a very soft and floaty feel. Plus it was easy and cheap.

Before:

After:

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The only really big difference, and expense is my new, incredibly awesome fantastic super sink!

When I thought about this I had no idea just how much one could love a sink. For starters its huge.  However it does not take up any more counter space than the old 2 bowl porcelain one we had. The faucet came with it as a package, and we added an instant hot water tap that we adore (why didn't we do that before??)
To go with it, and the most labor intensive from the contractor is the full tile backsplash. yes. clean white subway tile. I probably would have loved a mosaic and crazy colors, but the backsplash alone sets my hubs mind at ease.  And I really like it too.
Before:


After:
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The black and white kitchen idea has been running around pinterest for a while, and I have always liked it. I have learned over the years that, as much as white may bore me, it is great for the daily light.
Not too bad for under $3000, It only took 3 months (ugh)...
It would have been less, if we had done a lot of it ourselves, but we are running low on DIY steam and honestly, we were scared to try plumbing and tiling on our own...
We still have a couple of things left.  deciding on knobs, if we want them at all. also, we need to get the trim in under the cabinets.

PS even though the links are mostly to home depot and the products I purchased, this was NOT sponsored... I wish. Its just the big box DIY store to hand.