Thursday, May 31, 2012

KS 3155 - Another Winner!!

So by now all of you know that Kwik Sew has been bought out by McVoguerick. It’s too bad really because I loved Kwik Sew in so many ways. I loved the thick paper, the complete directions, the classic styles, the great kid patterns. I’ve heard already that McVoguerick is changing the sturdy paper into that tissue paper crap because “it’s easier for people to pin on and tissue fit.” Yea, I’m sure that’s horse shit. I’m sure it’s loads cheaper. Anyway, pardon my rant. When I heard about the buy-out I snapped up about 10 of the “old-school” patterns. This is one of them. I love the top. Like most Kwik Sew patterns, this is a classic I’ll make over and over again. They still have this and some others at the new Kwik Sew site. They are $4.00 but it’s a limited selection.

I used some of my recent San Diego Swap Meet fabric for this top. It’s a cotton knit with very little stretch. I added the ribbed hem at the waist and the sleeves. I wanted the length just a teeny bit longer and I thought it was too boring just being snake skin. I love how it turned out. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t wear shorts this short. Blah-ditty-blah-blah. If you don’t like them (how could a woman of her age wear shorts that short!!), let your hate rain down on another blog.

I love the cute little hood in the back. It’s not really a functional hood but it’s certainly cute.

Here’s another diva pose so you can see my fantastic yard. It’s finally spring!!!
I’m actually getting a good deal of sewing done while I paint. Do you know it’s sometimes four (f to the o-u-r!!) hours between coats! Jeez!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I Didn’t Wear - Knock-off Dud

Remember when I said I’d like to make that CAbi knock-off skirt? Yea, well, maybe not. I had the perfect border print for it (it’s the top swatch) and everything?? Yea, well, it’s just not me. Although in the pictures, it doesn’t look as bad as I thought in the mirror. But I still don’t like it. This is a simple elastic waist skirt from Burda 05-2010. I modified it slightly and I think that is where it went wrong. I am using a border print and I wanted it to be straight along the bottom. “Wait, I know! I’ll just make it more of a rectangle and gather it at the waist more!” Yea, well, that put more material at the waist which made it too full and too gathered. Here it doesn’t look too bad.


Tucked in is just a disaster. Maybe with a belt? The second big problem was I didn’t have enough fabric to do a better waistband. I usually make elastic waists like this a big thicker so they don’t look like, well, this . . .


Here you can see the bad waistband. I put pockets in it which I do think are cute. Not cute enough to cancel out the badness, mind you. I do love the fabric so I’ll save this wadder and do something else with the fabric.


This is the “Momma don’t like that” face. See what I mean about all that fabric around the waist??


And here I thought I could whip into the sewing room in between paint coats and whip up a cute skirt. Wrong!


I’m still working on painting the bathroom. For those of you who asked, I’m still pondering the weird ass kitchen window. That’s a bigger job.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why I’m Not Sewing and What I Wore*

I loved this house when I bought it last year. It has what you would call, “good bones.” There is a ton of natural light, lots of room for kids, huge yard, space for a sewing room (my #1 priority, just kidding, well, only kind of), and high ceilings (which I love). What I didn’t love about it was the very 80’s fixtures and d├ęcor. It was built in the eighties so there is a lot of white with dark trim. There is also a lot of brass. I’ve decided I’m going to tackle some of these “design opportunities” this summer. My first job is the kids’ bathroom. It’s decent enough. It’s the standard Honey Oak cabinets, cream Formica and almond tub, toilet, and sink. I’m leaving the almond stuff because it’s not that bad and it’s all in really good shape. Mind you, the whole house is in really good shape. It’s just very dated. I’m going to make it a bit more fun by painting it a bright color and resurfacing the cabinets. It’s a tiny bathroom so the work should be done soon. Ha! But anyway, this is a long post when I could just say something short like, “This is why I haven’t sewn much lately.” Wow, verbose much Dawn?

Anywho, this is the before. I forgot to take the real before picture, where it still had all the cabinet doors. Oops.


This is the um, current phase.


I think I’m going with this blue for a couple of the walls.


Have you seen a worse light in a bathroom? Ewwwwww. I kid you not, this isn’t even a bad light in this house. There are a bunch of nipple lights and some crazy-ass lantern lights in some of the rooms.



*The What I Wore part is just a joke. Some of you may get it and most of you will probably not . . .

Monday, May 21, 2012

National City Swap Meet fabric

ETA: Wow, posting from my iPhone only works for little posts I guess. I have moved this around and added a bunch of stuff that was in my original posting but didn’t show up.

I am posting from my iPhone so I'm not sure how the formatting will  look on my blog (ha!). I just had to update you guys on my fantastic fabric finds!!!!! This will keep me busy for a long time.

Wow, there are a lot of deals to be had at the National City Swap Meet. I found mostly knit fabrics but lots and lots of varieties.  Rayon knit jersey? Yes. Cotton knit jersey? Yes. Polyester blend jerseys? Yes.

All three of these are rayon spandex blend knits. I bought them for
$1.50/yd off a LA jobber.


This was bought from the same LA jobber for $2/yd. It’s the most fluid, drapey, heavy polyester/lycra jersey I’ve ever felt. It’s going to be like working with butter. This guy had about 15 different types of this jersey on the roll.


These are all remnants I bought for $1/yd. They range from one yard to three yards. Mostly, they are cotton/lycra knits. I finally had to tell myself to stop buying stripes. I have a problem, yes I do.


These are also remnants. They are all two yards I think. I love the snake print (upper left). The gray knit has silver bling on it. I’ll have to show you a close up when I sew it up. The bottom purple is a knit that reminds me of paintbrush strokes.



These are all one-yard samples. I bought them for $.50/yd. These are mostly sweater knits. I plan on making some Jalie tops with them.


The National City Swap Meet will definitely have to become a regular stop on our San Diego trip. It was like digging for treasures. There would be piles and pile, mountains really, of fabric and you’d have to pull, dig, sort through and find stuff you liked. It was fun but tiring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fabric stores in San Diego?

Any good ones? I'm there for a week and hope I'll have time for a
little shoppy-shopping!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Simplicity 2404–Sheath Dress

I think I started liking this dress because of the color. I was lukewarm about the v-neck opening but something really kept bugging me about the dress. I finally made it up and I’m really glad I did. It’s great!! Here’s the boring photo of the model.



I made it up in a purple wool crepe. I know, wool. Really, Dawn? It’s May, you say? Well, it’s been cold at night so wool is still appropriate. See that patch of white through the railing by my knee? That, ladies, is snow. It’s been around 30 degrees in the morning and about 50 degrees during the “hottest” part of the day. I ask you, is wool not okay? But, I digress. Is this not a fun dress? The original dress only had two open darts but because I don’t read directions, I am infinitely creative, I have a design feature. The front skirt has a front seam in the CF of the dress. Instead of doing that, I put in on the fold and cut it that way. Well, I forgot about the seam allowance so I had to create another open dart to take up that space. I love how the waist and bodice fit.


Here’s pumpkin #4. She wanted to take pictures with Momma too. She’s such a diva.


My own addition was this really long exposed zipper. I’m not sure if I love it. But the dress is a win and I’ll make it again. I think the zipper is fun. What shoes would you guys wear with this dress? I’m not sure I like these shoes with it. The zipper is brass and a light gray. I used the directions in this Thread article to help me with the zipper. My zipper is from ZipperStop.


Next up, I’m working on a knock-off CAbi skirt.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

CAbi Knock-Offs Part II

Here is CAbi Part I for those of you who are interested.


#4 Laguna Dress $89
This dress was really cute. It was a Rayon/Spandex blend so it was super stretchy and comfortable. This dress really reminds me of this Burda pattern from May 2008. Of course, that pattern is for a woven and this is a knit. The backs are different too. On the Burda dress, it’s a zipper opening and on the CAbi dress, it’s a lower back with some elastic gathers. I would pair it with the Rayon knits below. I really like the purple and black one!

b_0508_1Stretch Rayon Jersey Knit Abstract Black/Grey/PinkStretch Rayon Jersey Knit Abstract Green/WhiteRayon Jersey Knit Abstract Floral Red/Orange/White/Ecru



#5 Lola Tank $59
This is another Rayon/Spandex top. I really liked it too. Although this color makes me slightly better than death. Darker skinned women, like this model, look good in this color but for me, there isn’t enough contrast. This Burda top is similar but doesn’t have enough gathers and draping.



#6 Keepsake Cami $69
Isn’t this a cute top? This is a cotton woven. This March 2008 pattern (#120) is a lot like it. You would just shorten the dress to a tunic length. On the real top, the accent part on top  has contrasting piping and it’s an overlay. That would be easy enough to do with this pattern too. I would just make two pattern pieces and make one an overlay and add some contrast piping to it. The back of the CAbi top has elastic and a zipper. I love these cotton poplins. I’d totally make the brown one with aqua or turquoise trim. Hmmmm, maybe I’m too into floral right now?
b_0308Stretch Cotton Poplin Retro Floral Pink/Green/WhiteStretch Cotton Poplin Floral Brown/WhiteStretch Cotton Poplin Roses White/Red



#7 Work-It Jacket $138
Isn’t this a cute jacket? I love the cute of it, the little peplum in the back, and the buttoned, self-fabric belt. This November 2009 Burda #110 is really similar to it. I don’t think it has the peplum detail but that might be pretty easy to add. b_1109 

I have a new dress to show you guys too! And my new fabric showed up yesterday and I’m going to start working on a skirt, I think. I’ll try to post the dress tomorrow. I think you guys will like it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Duvet Tutorial or “Make Your Own Damn Duvet!”

Aren’t you tired of really expensive duvets? I have been looking for a while but couldn’t find anything that I loved, ya know? I mean, even on clearance they are upwards of $80 for a king-sized duvet. I made my own this weekend and several people emailed me and asked for a little tutorial. I drew one for you. I know, me? Draw? The pictures aren’t that awesome but I think they get the point across. If not, leave a comment and I’ll try to clarify. I know some people don’t like other people to pin things on Pinterest but, if you want to pin this so you can find it later, Pin Away, I say!



I used two king-sized sheets because I was making a duvet for a king-sized comforter. I have also made twin-sized duvets for my, wait for it, twin girls. Always wash and dry before you sew it. That way, it won’t shrink when you wash it after it’s been on the bed for a while. Nice drawing, eh? That’s a sheet.




I fold over the edges of the sheet so my buttons and buttonholes are in several layers of fabric.


WS = wrong side and RS = right side.



I hope this picture makes sense.



My two sheets were four inches different side to side. You probably want to check the width/length of your sheets because they may be different. I actually laid mine out on the floor and pinned the be-jesus out of it.


All that’s left is the buttons and buttonholes.



I sew ties to the inside corners of the duvet and the comforter. That way, I can tie the corners together to help keep the duvet in one spot.

There! You made your own damn duvet now too. Like I said, if the crudely drawn pictures aren’t working for you, let me know in the comments section and I can clarify for you. Happy sewing!