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Friday, August 1, 2014

Princess Anna Inspired Costume

In addition to the Snow White costume, I also sewed up a winter princess costume for our princess meet and greet.  We had the very best Elsa and Anna, and they deserved to have something pretty to wear.  

For Anna's costume I ended up ordering the aqua blouse online, and that saved me quite a bit of time.  The vest and skirt were self drafted patterns.  The vest was a bit of an adventure.  I've decided that I really need to invest in an adjustable dress form, it would have made the pattern making process much easier.  I used black satin, gold double fold bias tape, and iron on flocked vinyl, from Expressions Vinyl,  for the vest details. My silhouette cameo saved me so much time, cutting out the intricate designs for me.

I also designed some floral details for the skirt, once again, vinyl and my silhouette did all of the work.  You can see that I didn't do the scallop detail on the skirt, I just didn't have it in me.  

Better than the dress, was the princess wearing it.  Both "Elsa" and "Anna" did a wonderful job, and were so adorable and sweet.  There were lots of star struck little princesses.

I didn't make Elsa's dress, I ordered it.  Yep, I broke down and bought a dress.  I'd originally planned on making it myself, but after pricing fabric, I just bought it.  Her crown, however, was all me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Snow White

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, prepare to see a lot of duplicate images. 

 A couple of weeks ago, I put together a little princess party at one of the local boutiques.  It was so much fun to play dress up, and take a bit of a  break from all of the superheroes and robots that fill my home.  To my knowledge, this was the first time that I've ever dressed up as a princess.

The party was an Elsa and Anna inspired meet and greet, but since I'd be at the party all day, I figured that I should dress  up as a princess too. So, in order to avoid purchasing a wig, Snow White was naturally my first choice.  After all, I do live with several little men in a small house.

The costume was thrown together in a hurry, but came together nicely.  I didn't want to have to draft a fitted bodice pattern, so I used a crushed velvet with stretch.  The sleeves are satin, and though I wish I'd made them a bit puffier/pouffier, they were fine.  I'd thought that I'd cut the pieces with enough extra material for gathering, but, I was wrong.  Since it was last minute, there was no recutting/sewing sleeves.  I ended up trimming the sleeves with a gold glitter fold over elastic.  It was an afterthought, but one of my favorite details.

The sweetest little Elsa you'll ever meet!

My dress, is actually separates, the skirt has a flat front, and an elastic back at the waist.  I like elastic waistbands on costumes, just so that they can stretch and be worn by multiple shapes and sizes.

 Add some red lipstick, and of course a bright red hair ribbon, and you're set.  Now who wants to see Anna's dress?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Technique Tuesday: Sewing and Serging Pintucks

Today we are going to talk tucks...mostly pintucks.  I love pintucks, they are a simple sewing technique that can add an extra special detail to a project. Pintucks can be created with either a sewing machine or a serger, but I must admit, in this case I prefer my sewing machine.

First off, a pintuck is basically a straight stitch sewn on the fold of a fabric, creating a narrow lip. I've used pintucks and tucks on a number of different projects.  Here are a few examples: Sunburst Pintuck Top, Crayon Box Pleat Skirt (waistband),  Itty Bitty Remix, and my pintucked top.

Sewing a Pintuck

Light to medium weight fabrics are traditionally used with a pintuck technique. For practice, it is helpful if the fabric has a linear print on it.  For example, this cotton print has lines running vertically, horizontally, and on the bias.  If you want to practice making pintucks, it may help to use a similar fabric.  

Of course, you can use a solid, and use a removable marking pen/pencil as a guide, it just involves more measuring and marking.

Start by folding your fabric along the desired line or guide.  Pressing can make the process easier.

Place your material under the presser foot, and align the material with your 1/8" presser foot marking.  The larger the seam allowance, the bigger the tuck, the smaller the seam allowance, the smaller the tuck.  For a pintuck, I don't go any larger than 1/8", and often stick to about 1/10".

Sew a straight line along the length of the material. 

Sew as many tucks as are desired.

Press the tucks in the same direction.

Here's a look at some tucks created with varied widths.

From left to right: 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 1"

Serging a Pintuck

A serged pintuck is nothing more than a narrow rolled hem sewn on the fold of the fabric.  The thread is much more visible than when a tuck is created with a sewing machine.

The technique is the same, but the serger requires specific settings.

My brother 1034d uses the multi-purpose guide foot for creating pintucks.  The foot features a plastic guide that can be adjusted left to right to accommodate different widths of tucks.  The guide is really helpful in maintaining a straight stitching line.

The pintuck is created using a three thread set up. The owner's manual provides these settings:

Right Needle: 4.0
Upper Looper: 4.0
Lower Looper 7.5
Differential: 0.7
Knife: Disabled
Removable Stitch Finger: Off
Stitch length 1.0-2.5 (I prefer 2.5)
Foot: Multi-purpose guide foot (aka: blind hem foot).

Here's a look at what the knobs and dials look like all set up.

 Adjust the guide foot so that the guide sits just to the right of the right needle. Place fabric under the presser foot, with the folded fabric flush with the guide.

Stitch down the length of the material.

 That's it.  The serger requires more set up, but once you've worked out any necessary adjustments to tension, it is really quite simple to do.  As I mentioned earlier, I still prefer the look of a standard sewing machine pintuck, but the serger is quite, easy, and works well.  Using a coordinating thread will help the stitching lines be less visible.

Now, aside from these basic techniques, there are a few helpful tools to making pintucks even easier.  Pintuck presser feet are available, and paired with a twin needle, pintucking becomes a cinch.

 Enjoy this informative video by Liz of JanomeLife


Monday, July 7, 2014

Masha and The Bear Dress

Have you heard of Masha and The Bear?  I hadn't, not until my cousins asked me to make up a Masha dress for their little daughter's party.  Apparently Masha and Mishka is her favorite Russian cartoon, so they planned a Masha themed party to celebrate summer. 

Masha's dress is adorably simple.  An a-line skirt, and a deep necked bodice made the pattern pretty simple to draft.  The hardest part was finding the right trims for the sleeves of the shirt, and the hem of the skirt, which I ended up picking up at Joann's, not perfect matches, but they worked.
As far as materials go, I used a pink suiting fabric for the dress, and a white oxford shirting for the top. 

I added a simple button closure at the back of both the shirt and the dress.  

She made an adorable Masha, and her little brother made a perfectly cuddly bear.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fabric Wallet and Smart Phone Case

I think that I mentioned in the last post that I'd been working on a lot of custom project for family and friends, well here's a glimpse of one of those little projects.

My sweet Mother In Law asked if I'd make her a case/wallet for her new iphone. I've made some basic leather sleeve style cases for ipods, ipads, ect, but I'd never made an official case/wallet hybrid.  So this was a bit of an intimidating project for me.  I knew that to get this project right there would have to be a lot of prep work: measurements, patterns, proper order and assembly, and then hope and pray that I remembered to add all of the seam allowances, and then of course hope that the phone fit in the wallet.

When I finally got over my trepidation, and sat down to make the case, it wasn't that bad. I ended up making a tri-fold wallet.  I added a side zipper pocket for coins, and a small pocket for lip gloss.

 In the middle there is a leather sleeve for the phone, but the phone also fits in on the side pocket, under the cards.

I also added a little leather wristlet, so that she can carry it on her wrists on all of her adventures.  I lace and flower were afterthoughts, the pink zipper felt out of place, so I added more of it.

It's not perfect, and there are things that I'd do differently next time, but all in all I'm pretty happy with the finished product.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Summer Blessing Outfit

My sweet nephew was blessed this month.  I have yet to meet him, as he lives far away, but I can't wait to kiss his sweet little cheeks.

His good mom asked me if I'd make him a blessing outfit, and I couldn't say no.  Sewing/crafting is one of my love languages, so to be able to make something special for him on his special day, was a great way to show him and his parents my love and support.

I ended up sewing a simple white satin vest with a pocket square, and a matching bow tie.  The satin shorts are so sweet.  If a baby has thigh rolls, I whole heartedly believe that they should be shown off.

The little newsboy cap didn't turn out as perfect as I'd liked, but was still a sweet touch for the little gentleman, and a bonnet alternative for such a grown up blessing outfit.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Collective: A Crafter and Artisan Boutique -396 Park Avenue Idaho Falls

One of the reasons that I have been a bit MIA lately is the fact that I've been really busy sewing.  There's no time for blogging when you're busy sewing, and I've been sewing for a new brick and mortar boutique that I am excited to be a part of.  

The Collective is a new crafters and artisans boutique located in downtown Idaho Falls.  I love the location of the building, and the boutique itself has even more charm.  The owners have made sure to only allow handmade goods into their store.  It is full of extremely talented local artisans and their creations.  
I painted the logo on the chalkboard using gouache paints.  Don't paint it too thick, or it will chip.  

As soon as I walked into the store, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.  I am part of a couple of other local boutiques, but they allow re-sale products and imports in their store.  This boutique really celebrates handmade goods, and locally made.

I threw my display together in a hurry, and was really fortunate to be able to find some thrifted pieces that made my display come together.

The entertainment center/cabinet doesn't have a lot of charm on it's own, but it is really functional.  It was heavy, and I was able to hang some hooks on the side, a trouser hanger that serves as a scarf display, and a sign on the back.  There is a sliding shelf, which allows for multi-level display, and I've since opened up the bottom doors, hung a tension rod between them, and now display my onesies on the rod.

I had a couple of really great vintage flannel fabrics that I was able to use as linens.  They break up the bold coral pink, and add a bit of feminine flair. My favorite thrifted item is that brown and white polka dotted hat box.  

Trouser hanger, not beautiful, but functional.
 And of course, I had to have something to display and sell at the shop, so I got to play with some new scarf designs. Love them!

If you happen to be in the South East Idaho area, be sure to stop by this fun handmade shop!  You can follow The Collective on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Slush) - A Summertime Favorite

I'll be honest, I've never been a huge fan of watermelon. The flavor is fine, but I've never loved the texture. So I was amazed how much I love a good watermelon drink.  Agua de Sandia is one of my all time favorite summer drinks, and it is so easy to make.

If you have part of a watermelon that needs to be used immediately, this is a great way to use it up.  Scoop the watermelon out of the rind using a spoon, or my favorite, an ice cream scoop.  Place it in a blender with a bit of sugar (1/4-1/3 Cup) , and 10-14 ice cubes.  Blend on high until all of the ice cubes are ground, and enjoy.  It's such a refreshing summertime drink.

Agua de Melon (cantaloupe), mango, and pineapple are  also delicious. If you have extra drink, throw it in some popsicle molds, and enjoy the next day as a refreshing fruit-sicle.