Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Angel Baby Gowns

I haven't been doing much sewing for myself lately. I did make a simple knit skirt a few weeks ago, which took only one evening, because I needed something to wear for a friend's themed party. But other than that, it's been awhile. I should plan a new sewing project for myself.

Instead, I've been sewing little gowns for a group called Angel Baby Gowns of Charleston, which a friend found through facebook. They use donated wedding dresses and turn them into tiny gowns for babies that don't make it home from the hospital. I can't even imagine having to cope with a loss like that. It makes me sad, but I'm also happy to help out. The gowns are packaged with loving notes and delivered to local (and also distant) hospitals.

The gown above is one that had some beautiful lace details. I've also sewn little boy gowns that have vests with tiny buttons. Evidently there are groups that sew Angel Baby Gowns in other cities. I hadn't ever heard of this cause, so I thought I'd share.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wedding banner

I just wanted to quickly share this photo because check it out, my handmade banner made it in the shot! They hung it above the wedding cake, and the window looks out onto the beautiful harbor. And how cute are my friends! 

credit: Liz Duren Photography

Yay! Here's the original post.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Burlap Bunting Banner

A friend of mine had a bridal shower recently, so to help with the decor, I sewed a bunting banner. I used burlap fabric (found at Hancock's Fabrics) to go with her rustic theme, and mint ribbon to go with her color scheme. It was a fun project, different from the usual things I make, but it did take longer than expected to make (perfectionist here).

I cut out large diamond shapes out of the burlap, butting them next to each other so that no fabric was wasted when cutting. When the diamond shape is folded in half over the ribbon, it makes the triangle shape. Before folding them, I used a plastic letter stencil (from Michael's) and white fabric paint to paint the letters (did the heart shape freehand).

These Wonder Clips I got for Christmas were super handy - much easier than pinning! You can kind of see in the photo below how the diamond shape is folded in half over the ribbon to make the triangles. You could also just do triangle shapes and just sew the tops to the ribbon, but by doing the diamond shape, you get a doubled up triangle and it just looked better to me for this.

Then I just sewed all the way around the 3 sides of all of the triangles. I kept double-checking that I was sewing the letters on in the correct order, beacause it would be just my luck to finish putting it together and have it be misspelled. I was thinking about writing this post as a tutorial, but it wasn't that complicated. I just figured out what I was going to do as I went along and it worked out well, having never made a banner before. But it turned out cute, and I think the bride might even use the banner as a part of her actual wedding decor.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sewing Scrub Caps for Children's Hospital

A little while back someone reached out on facebook looking for volunteers to sew scrub caps for a local children's hospital. It sounded like a really good cause, so I was happy to help. I don't have an unlimited amount of free time to sew, and I usually stick to sewing projects for myself. Well, occasionally I'll fix my friends torn jeans, hems, etc. for a barter of baked goods (I'm easilly swayed by cupcakes and brownies). Last year I hemmed some school uniform pants for children that are staying at a local shelter and don't have the funds to make sure their pants fit them properly. Doing small things like that really do make you feel good, and something small that you do can actually be really huge for the recipient. It also makes you think about how fortunate you really are. So I had been thinking about what else I could do, and sewing these scrub caps just popped up.

I made 13 total, and hope to make more if there remains a need. I used some cotton that was gifted to me in a swap. It's a fun green swirly print, but I've learned that I don't really wear clothing made of quilting weight cotton, so it was better to put the fabric to use for a good cause. These caps went to the MUSC Children's Hospital. There's more info about volunteering projects through this link. Here's the pattern they provide for the scrub caps. There's also a pattern and instructions for blank therapy dolls. There are also opportunities to make pillowcases, as well as knitting and crochet projects. (And by the way, I just took up crochet! Well I'm attempting to teach myself. More on that to come.) I'm sure there are children's hospitals all over that would love to receive donations of sewn/knitted creations if anyone else is looking to contribute. A little selfless sewing is good for ya! ;)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress in Leopard

wow. so, way back in september i mentioned that i had new fabric picked out for my second lady skater dress. in october i had it cut out and i think i had it finished sometime in november. and now it's... february. and i finally took some photos. this dress would've worked perfectly for "jungle january" or even for "ferocious february" except that i finished it last year...

this is a leopard print ponte from fabric.com. in my blue lady skater the waist was too low, but now i think it's just slightly too high. i'll have to find a happy middle ground next time. i had to also go down a few sleeve sizes because of my tiny arms/lack of bi-ceps. but now this dress is a little too tight in the bust and i think i messed that up when i was trying to merge in the smaller sleeves. plus this ponte is not quite as stretchy. i found a link on pinterest for an FBA on knits so maybe i'll try that next time.

all in all i'm pretty happy with it. leopard print isn't usually something i gravitate toward, but i like this! and the colors are more cream, black, grey than it looks in these photos i think.

love a good knit dress! makes me do silly poses. i guess this is what i think an ice skater does? i already bought fabric for several more knit dresses, but i've been sidetracked by several other sewing projects: some volunteer sewing, mending/altering for a few friends, sewing a bunting banner for a friend's bridal shower. can't wait to get back to sewing for myself soon!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

i caved in to pinterest

i had been holding out so well for so long. but i'm sad to say, i finally caved in and joined pinterest.

i was so resistant because i didn't want something else sucking up my time. i hear how easy it can be to get lost in pinning things to pinterest boards and then hours pass by and you're still pinning things, and then you never actually get around to doing any of the adorable clever crafty projects you pin. i already have a limited amount of free time, so i really have to prioritize. i never joined twitter, barely use facebook, and my instagram (which is also fairly new) is mostly just pictures of my dog (love her! she's just so cute!).

but i came across a very useful way to use pinterest: to store and organize all of your bookmarks in a clean, visual way. awesome idea! my bookmark list in firefox was a mile long. so i started a pinterest account and moved all of my bookmarks onto pinterest boards. i made 4 boards: "sewing tips," "free sewing patterns," "free sewing patterns - baby gifts," and "sewing inspiration" (haven't pinned anything to that last one just yet). it's great! i can see everything and it's organized! i tried to keep it to tips and patterns i will actually use and not let it get too crazy.

are you already using pinterest to organize your bookmarks? and do you have any sewing related pinterest boards? let me know so i can check yours out!

here's a link to my page and you can also find it under the "free patterns and sewing tips i like" tab up at the top of my blog page. i moved all of those tips onto pinterest too! woohoo! anybody else get excited as me about getting things organized, ha ha!

and i'll leave you with an adorable instagram shot of our dog:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Sewlution - Mission Accomplished

I was actually on the ball about my 2013 sewlution that i tossed into Karen of the blog Did You Make That?'s jar. She kept everyone's sewlutions ("sewlution" meaning a sewing-related resolution) in a jar to hold everyone accountable that wanted to participate. i'm not a fan of waiting til the last minute before a deadline because i hate that stressful feeling of being rushed, especially when it comes to sewing which is my hobby which means it should be fun and not stressful. but seeing as the deadline would be a whole year away when i made the resolution last january, i had plenty of time.

so i decided to get right to it. my resolution was to make something fully lined because i hadn't done that yet. by april i had it completed! for some reason i made it difficult for myself. i should have picked a pattern that included instructions for a lining, the sewaholic Cambie would've been a good choice, but instead i used a pattern that did not have pattern pieces or instructions for a lining. i just used the main pattern pieces to make my lining and i also drafted a facing. i picked a slinky fabric, which also made it more difficult. i should've just used a cotton for my first fully lined project. but after a little bit of back and forth (maybe a lot) and some google searching for tips about the right way to go about things, i did fairly well. my main hurdle was inserting the invisible zip so that it was sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining. i just had to actually do it in order to wrap my brain around the process.

i posted about the dress here and then more details here. it turned out pretty well! however, i only wore the dress out once. i'm not a huge fan of the color and the smallish print on me. it's just so-so. not exciting. i just don't love it, so something else always wins out when i'm picking what to wear.

the dress on me
the dress
front view, insides
back view, insides

later in the year, i did a second fully lined dress, but with no zipper, so it went together much quicker. this time it was the sewaholic saltspring. details here. this pattern included a lining piece for the bodice and then i just added a lining to the skirt mainly due to the lightness of this fabric. it worked well, and i'm sure i'll make another when spring rolls around.

second fully lined dress

so, yay me! 2013 sewlution complete!! did you complete yours? and now what goal should i make for 2014?