Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gnomes? Seriously?

Okay so just as I am completing my second dress, and about to start on all of my holiday presents I discover the cutest fabric and craft in one. 

Gnomes for the holidays! I just love these and they remind me so much of the Gnome decorations that my mom puts out every year from the 70's. This project is on a panel of fabric. What does that mean? Well  when you buy the fabric you don't buy a yard of it you buy a panel and it usually has all of the directions and it has the pattern with cut out lines right on it. When I was at the fair earlier this year a woman was making Santa Clauses that were from a panel like this, and I have been looking for just such a project since then. (I really think if you are going to be demonstrating the craft that it should still be available, but it's not.)

So I emailed the blog/store and asked if I could mail order the panel. I don't think I have mentioned their blog yet. It's super cute. It's called Bolt Neighborhood and the store is located in Portland. It's only a few hours away (4 with my bathroom stops) but I just can't take that kind of drive right now. (Again not mentioned, but I have been getting super car sick when Jason or anyone else drives, so I would need to drive the whole way.) Anyway, they have some of the most beautiful fabric at this store, they are also the ones that turned me on to the Oliver + S patterns that I blogged about previously. It's so fun when you find a blog you love and it links you to a bunch of other blogs you love too. This Gnome fabric was made by a woman named Monica who also has a blog, and her blog is called Happy Zombie. Check out these trick or treat bags she made.

I guess the pattern is in the Fall issue of Quilts and More,  I have never bought a sewing magazine before but I am probably going to have to get it. I'm not going to make these bags this year but probably next year!

Oh and just in case you're keeping track of my goals. The dress is not done. It's almost done, but instead of making the dress this morning I chose to blog, and I am going to take a shower. I have a date with my husband today and think I'm going to break with my laziness (I was going to say tradition) and blow dry my hair. Yikes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1/2 of Goal Complete

Alright, alright, the goal of completing two dresses, in a week, may have been to high. I did however complete one dress! YEAH!!! Yesterday I went to my sister's house and tried the dress on my niece before it was complete. The dress was a perfect length, but the width was still a little to wide. So I ripped out the zipper and adjusted the dress and resewed the zipper. It was the first time I had had to do that, considering it was only the second time that I had put in a zipper with the zipper foot that shouldn't be to much of a surprise. Then I completed the bottom flounce attachment. Earlier in the week I had almost completed the dress, but because my serger had a hiccup I wasn't able to. Which is good ultimately since I had not tried it on my niece yet. 

About the dress: First of all I used the pattern McCall's M4767. Sophie had picked it out and I told her she could choose any of the dresses that had straps. I was not about to make a strapless gown for an 8 year old. She also bought and picked out the fabric. She was really great about it. She had $10 and I knew the fabric was going to cost more than that, because of how much yardage we needed. But I told her that I would cover the difference as long as she found a fabric in the $6.99 range. The first fabric she found almost matched the dress on the McCall's envelope, she was having trouble distinguishing between the pattern of the dress and the pattern of the fabric, but we walked around some more and she finally found this blue Hawaiian print. With her blue eyes and light coloring this was a very good choice, plus it was $6.99. I needed just under 2 yards so I had to pay about $4.00 plus the cost of the zipper. Not to bad. The total cost of the dress was under $20.00 with the pattern. 

While we were shopping for the fabric, I talked to the clerks at Pacific Fabrics, who are so helpful, about the sizing issue of the dress Sophie was wearing. The length okay (to short by my standards) but the width at the top was so big. The clerk said something really helpful to me, she said, oh McCall's patterns are always to short and to wide. What helpful information! So when I got home, before I cut out the fabric I did a search online to see if anyone else had made the dress and what they had felt about it. I found a blog, which now I cannot find, and asked the person what they thought of the length, and she said she used a different width then then length when cutting out the pattern. So that's what I did. I cut out size 7 for width and size 10 for length. 

The dress was still a little wide, easily adjusted but the length was perfect, right at the knees. My niece may wear shorter dresses but I'm not making them that way.  (That is if I know how.)

So I've added pictures, I'll add more once I can get a picture of Sophie in the dress, but you'll have to be satisfied with the dress on a hanger for now. 

Next week's goal. Dress 2!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oliver + S

I'm having a bit of serger issue at the moment but will hopefully get it resolved by tomorrow. One dress, yes, one, is almost done. I know my goal was two but when you only sew between 6:30 and 8:00 in the morning and in the evening if your pregnant body allows you to, you can only do so much. I did get to use my new zipper foot for the first time, and wow, that thing really works. I had no idea it would make putting in the zipper so easy. The next dress also has a zipper so I'm looking forward to using it on that one too. Practice makes perfect!

Anyway in my search for some more and interesting blogs, I came across a company in NY called Oliver + S. It's a lovely company that makes patterns for children's clothes. The best children's clothes I have seen. If you have been searching for patterns at your local fabric store (not the little boutique) but the large department store you have likely been disappointed by the pattern choices that are available. The selection of types of clothes is just not that great, you have your sundresses, or your fancy dresses, but not a lot of play clothes. I wouldn't characterize all of Oliver + S as play clothes, there are some very nice formal outfits.

Oliver + S also has a very lovely blog. If you read their September 9th, blog entry they discuss each of their new patterns and the difficulty level of each. Recently they discussed S's room. (Now I haven't dwelved so deep into their blog or company that I know the history behind their company but I'm guessing Oliver and S are their kids.) In the entry about her room they show these stash baskets that I have been wanting to make and now have directions because they linked to the purl bee's blog.

I am super excited to have found Oliver + S. Their patterns are a little expensive but I figure I will get one, make a few outfits in varying fabric for Miss Tesla and then eventually get another, rather then get a few right now. I was originally thinking I would get the Sunday Brunch Jacket and A-Line Skirt.

I would make something for the holidays, but I decided that because of the amount of projects that I have on my plate right now, that doing that would be just irresponsible. Instead I'll buy Tesla a very cute bouncy dress, that she can jump in and make noise with and I will make her something more practical later. But what to pick... Below is a couple of my favorites. 

Okay that's it for now, check out the Oliver + S website and if you sew anything from them, let me know, I would love to see what you chose!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Recently, I went to the fabric store and bought a bunch of fabric for projects. They include a lot of fleece hats, we just love them, some holiday presents for the family, and fabric for burp cloths and bibs for our new addition. I already have started on the hats despite the fact that I have yet to have finished my two current projects. So I have decided to go ahead and set up a goal for this week to finish two dresses that I bought the fabric for over a month ago. 

The first dress is for my niece, it's McCalls M4767. The main picture on the envelope is the one of the dress. I hopefully will be able to make it a little longer than that one. I cut out the size 9 size for the length and size 7 for the width. 

The second dress and jacket is for my Tesla. The pattern is Simplicity 2680.  The fabric is very funky looking and I'm hoping it'll look cute. I have only cut out the pattern and fabric so far so I still have quite a bit to do with this one. 

I'll post pictures at the end of the week to update with the finished pieces. (That's such a definitive sentence, I didn't want to say I hoped I would have them done, because that just screams failure.)