Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weird Ass Window Part II

You may remember my weird-ass window. For those of you who don’t remember the original post, here is my very badly drawn floor plan of my house. This weird window goes between the kitchen and the living room/entryway. It’s weird.


Here’s what it looked like a few days ago.


And here is what it looks like today. I took your suggestions and used a large mirror to cover the hole. Many of you suggested using a one-way mirror. I did investigate that idea but the mirrored glass was not mirrored enough. Because there are windows in the kitchen, you’d always be able to see through it from the living room side. I found this large mirror (it’s a big hole, 50” by 40”) at Lowe’s on Black Friday. Score! It was only $40!!!


My inspiration was this gallery wall from Martha Stewart.


I also tried my hand at a gallery-type wall with photos and knick-knacks. I love these types of walls of photos. First, I mapped out a level horizontal line because I wanted the tops and bottoms of the photos to be even with that line.


I used the tape as a guide. You’ll see there are a few photos with the generic photo in them because I don’t have all the photos I want yet.


Are you so distracted looking at me in the reflection? Can we see my random x-mas tubs in the living room? And do you see the insulation and Visqueen. Yeaaaaaah, we are still working on that too. Anyway, same photo with less distraction.


Do you like how it’s arranged? The three mirrors were purchased at Burlington for cheap and the rest of the stuff I had here and there around the house. I love the big, black chunky display case in the upper left. I’m no good at this type of stuff because I cannot do random. I want everything to be exactly the same distance away from each other. I drive myself crazy! It took me forever to realize that the four kids didn’t need to be in the exact same frames. Now, two of them are in 8” by 10” frames and the other two are in 12” by 14” with mats.


Does this drive you crazy or am I just anal like that? I was trying to line the tops and bottoms up with the original blue line but then I was matching the edges to the left-hand wall and the mirror. Maybe I should center the bottom print under the larger print? What do you think?

Wanna know my secret to getting the damn little nail where I wanted it so the frames would match up? It’s this little thing I call a crayon and it’s my best friend! I can write a little tutorial if you guys want one!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vogue 1285–Tracy Reese Dress

First, I apologize for the photos. I have got to get a new camera. These photos are doctored substantially. I used every setting on my camera and they were all so bad. I will try to get someone to take a couple pictures at work tomorrow with an iPhone. I will get some decent detail shots for you too. Yes, my iPhone will take better pictures than this. Je-sus.

I do really like the dress. It looks so much better in real life than it does here. I love the collar and lapels. I used, gasp, the Nike Dri-Fit fabric. I swear to you, people, my entire closet will be this fabric before winter is out. This dress is a faux-wrap with fun lapel details. You are supposed to use a zipper in the side seam but I left that off. I can squeeze it over my head. The only thing I changed was the darts. In the pattern, they have you put them on the RS, like a design detail. I decided to put them on the WS (the usual way). Oh, and I left out the slip that is used for a lining. I’m just wearing a cami under it. I love my leopard booties with the dress too. What say you people about booties with dresses? Yay or nay? I’m on the fence. Sometimes I think they look cute, like here. Other times, I’m just meh on them.


Oh, hello blue snow. I curse you Camera! I curse you!!!!

Like I said, hopefully better pics tomorrow, because sweet Jesus, these are not okay with me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Christmas Sewing

I’m busily working on Christmas projects already. I am going to make six stocking for our fireplace. My plan is to use Urban Threads embroidery to decorate the fabric first and then cut them and sew them up. I am using the Yuletide Revelry pattern pack (includes a bunch of embroidery like the one below). I just had to share with you guys. I love, love, love the little details on these embroidery designs. I love most of their stuff over at Urban Threads. I’m using their recommended colors because I’m pretty bad at being creative and knowing what colors go together. This wreath is my favorite one so far. Well, and I love the text too.


Close-up so you can see the scribbles and text behind the wreath.


Aren’t the snowflakes fun???!


Well, that’s my update. This should keep me busy for a while. I might have to make some matching pillows too or something. I really do like them and it’s not too cheese-ball Christmas. You know I’m excited when I put up a whole post about some embroidery patterns!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to make the CAbi Ballet Arm Warmers

I made mine using, surprise!, my Jalie 2805 pattern. It’s really easy although I did have to refer to the CAbi website a couple of times to see how they finished the shrug and see where they had seams.


First, I traced out the t-shirt pattern in a smaller size than I would normally wear. I usually wear the size S so for this I made the size R. I wanted these to be snug so they fit easily under shirts and tops. I only did the tops of the back and front piece knowing I would cut them off later.


Next, I lined them up and sort of matched up the seam lines. The only thing I really cared about is that the shoulder pieces matched up with the sleeve. Obviously things are not going to line up exactly.


I taped this down to another piece of tracing paper and free-hand drew where I thought the shrug went. I made sure to do the CB line at a perpendicular to the CB seam so it would be straight across the back. I followed the back neck seam and made sure to include all of the sleeves. You have to make sure you make notches on the sleeves where they end otherwise you won’t know when to stop sewing as you come up the arm.



Cut two of these. Sew the CB seam and then sew up the arms to your notches. Stop at your notches.


I used self-fabric binding but you could do it in contrast too. I folded my binding WST, quartered it, and sewed it to the shrug. I made it a few inches shorter so it would snug up the shrug. Be careful at the corners of the armpits. They can be tricky to sew.


This is the wrong side of the shrug binding.


This is from the outside.



Here’s the finished pattern piece.



Same thing but with some notations.


I think I’m making curtains for my sewing room next. Yawn, I know.

Monday, November 12, 2012

CAbi Knock - Off Ballet Arm Warmers

So you guys know I always go to my friend's CAbi parties and I never buy anything. CAbi clothes are nice and seem to be well made. Many of their tops are cute and they usually have several cute knit tops but they are expensive. I will spring for expensive items here and there (Hello silk fabric!) but overall, I’m pretty frugal. I’d rather make a knit top than spend $50 on one. My second complaint is the fit. Almost nothing fits me. Granted, I’m on the smaller end of things but I’m certainly no size 0. CAbi’s smallest size is 0 and it’s usually too big for me. Can you say vanity sizing? I used to feel bad about going and never buying but the consultant knows my game now and runs over to show me all the new CAbi details each time she sees me at a party now. It’s like our little joke. She appreciates my talents and I appreciate her fashion sense because I have none. None.

Anyway, where was I going with all this? Oh yea. The one item that I knew I needed from their fall collection was the Ballet Arm Warmers. They are for your arms, what Dickeys were for your neck. Remember Dickeys?? They come complete with thumbholes, my favorite part of any jacket and shirt. Remember, I live in Alaska. It’s cold here!

Here’s the CAbi photo from their website. The idea is you can wear them under your dresses, sleeveless blouses, and short-sleeved tops. They also showed them over some of their tanks like this.


Here they have a vest paired with the arm warmers and it makes it look like a jacket.



I made two versions for myself this weekend. One version was from a one-yard sample from the San Diego Swap Meet and the black one is the Nike Dri-Fit fabric. I still have it in my Etsy shop). I can’t get away from that fabric. It calls to me for every pattern. This version is a heather brown.




Here are the “tops” under a random t-shirt. You could also wear it like a shrug.


Here’s the black version. This one was the first version and the sleeves are a bit long. I fixed that on the brown version.


In a day or two, I’ll show you what I did to make this. It was pretty easy but I did end up scratching my head over a couple thing because the pattern piece looks so weird.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jalie 2805 - As a nightgown

I really should be getting a kickback from Jalie lately. I don’t know why but I’ve been drawn to them so much lately. I love some of the Burda looks, but it takes time to trace them and I’ve been lazy. I modified Jalie 2805 to make a nightgown for the Little One. I made it longer and added a fun flounce to it. This is size H, which is the 4T size. The little half-pint here is 3.5 years old so it’s perfect for her.


Since I knew the top fit her, I just expanded the bottom and added a little fullness so she could walk. Then I added a flounce and voila, you have a pajama dress.


I really like this cotton knit. I think I bought it from


Is this not the face you get when you ask a kid to smile??  I have 15 of these pictures and a couple of good ones. Kids are hilarious.


The flounce was easy. I measured the width of the bottom of the dress. It was 18” wide and so was the back. I made two flounced that were 8” long.


Here’s a illustration of what I did. Hopefully it makes sense to you. I sewed the 18” length of flounce to the bottom of the dress. Well, actually, I sewed the two flounces together first and then attached them to the bottom of the dress.


I’m so bad at picking colors for embellishments that I actually got an app for it. It’s called Color Pair. First, you take a picture of whatever and this thing shows you complementary and contrasting colors that would work well with the colors you are using. Angie is always so good at this and I’m just so bad. So. Bad.


So, because of the Color Pair app, I decided to use this teal binding and ribbon. I do think it looks really nice and I never would have picked it without the application. I’m just unsure of my color choices and this seems to give me courage to mix and match in ways I never would before. I attached the bow with a couple of bartacks in a matching thread color.


Next up? A Frankenpattern with cool results.