Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Burda Wrap Dress Again!

I had to make the wrap dress again. I just had to. Sch______ (I won’t say the word, I WON’T!) is starting again and I love comfortable, easy dresses when I work. I made this dress a few days ago and wanted to perfect the fit before I put the pattern away. I’ll get to my changes at the bottom. I also wanted something with a little less ga-BLING to it. I see many blogs out there where the sewist does 46 poses in front of the camera. Looking at the ground - pulling hair – pensive –looking far off into space-grabbing hands in front of camera-fingeringskirt-twirlinghair-ohmygodstopalready! I decided I really needed to ramp up my poses. But, I’m too silly to be pensive. This is as demure and pensive as I could get. Yea, not so much, thank you.


Anyway, back to boring pose. This is another jersey from the Swap Meet in San Diego. I love this one. It’s still bright but it’s a bit more subdued. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll wear the other dress too, but I love this print.


I didn’t make too many changes so you won’t see too many thing different in the fit.


Here’s basically what I changed. I used the pattern piece from the Burda Wrap dress 09-2006-115 and put in under my newest wrap dress. That pattern uses a separate piece for the skirt. You can see how the older pattern piece is wider than the one I did the other day. I sort of eyeballed it and made my newest wrap dress a little wider. The other change is that I added FOE to all the edges. And, I still had the seam allowances so I added quite a bit of overlap for the bodice and waist. The only other change was to add an inch or so for the hem.


How come I have never used FOE before? This may be my new best friend! I have lots of it from the Swap Meet. I will have to buy more next time. This is what is looks like when the collar is folded up. This FOE is sparkly on one side and black on the other.


I applied it by zigzagging the black elastic on and then folding over the elastic and topstitching from the right side. Here is what is looks like from the wrong side. You can see both the zig zag and the topstitching. I used my 1/4” guide foot for a perfect topstitch. I’m not sure you could use this technique on something that needed to be very stretchy. This has plenty of stretch, but for a bathing suit or lingerie, it may not be enough.


Let’s see. Next up is cleaning and organizing my sewing space. With all of our company and house guests, the sewing room has become the storage and clutter room. There needs to be some serious loud music and dance-cleaning.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Burda 06-2011 #139 Bluemarine Wrap Dress

I really like wrap dresses and I knew I would eventually try this dress from the June 2011 edition of Burda. This dress is design pattern for that month’s magazine.



I made this out of ITY jersey with metallic overlay (can you say, Swap Meet?). This fabric might be a little over the top, and that’s saying something since I like my clothes bright. Overall, I love the pattern. It’s a wrap dress without too much material and it fits well (I made my usual 34). I knew that the low v-neck would be something to think about. 


It is indeed very low. The #1 shows were I safety-pinned it to avoid exposure to the world. The dress actually opens up at point #2. It’s a showy little thing. Before I wore this un-pinned, I would have to make sure my undergarments were pretty because those babies would certainly show. Babies = undergarments, not other “babies,” you sickos.  The ties are really long. They go around my body twice.


You can see from the shoulders that the fit is good in the top. I like the slight blouson effect above the belt. I shortened the sleeves because dramatic bell sleeves with this fabric was just too much. Like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, too much.


This could have been me.


I really like the collar on this. I did not interface it but some people did at


I know, it’s hard to see because you are blinded by my lack of taste, and my addiction to all things shiny and animal print.


But look how nice the edges of the collar are. No one, except you Dear Readers, will ever understand how hard it is to make jersey collar points like this. And really, even if someone knew, they would never be able to see it against the shiny-ness that is this dress (I mean, really, look at the dress in the background!!).

I may make another wrap dress before putting this pattern away. I will probably add a little to the front to make it less showy. I may also add an inch to the bottom so I can wear it to school.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Easiest Sewing Ever

I am doing a little painting today and I was watching paint dry while sitting on the kitchen counter. Like literally, watching it dry. I looked over and decided my old pillows were crap, and that I needed new ones. I think I was partly dying of boredom and partly, I was sick of the old brown ones. They have an embroidered green leaf on them and they are looking shabBY. Part of the embroidery is wrecked, the brown looks old and wrinkled, and I was watching paint dry between coats.  What better to do than sew myself some new ones while the damn paints dries by itself?

I had this fun IKEA fabric and I though it was just the think to brighten up the room. My pillows were 20” square and I cut the fabric into long rectangles of 50” by 21”. I folded over an inch for the seam allowance on the overlaps, sewed the overlap seams, folded it RST (making sure the overlap made the overall width 20”, and then just sewed the top and bottom closed. Voila. New pillows! 


Jeez, these pillows look enormous on the loveseat. They fit much better on the big couch.


Is this not fun fabric? The dark streak is dark purple, not black.


The front and back. I made five total. It took me all of about 40 minutes. After that, I went back to watching paint dry. But soon it will be ready for a second coat. Soon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fish On!

Warning! If you are all environmental and don’t believe in commercial fishing, then you don’t want to read this post. Also, if the sight of blood and gore gross you out, you should look away! Here is last year’s post about fishing.








I’ll even ease into the blood and gore by showing you the fun beach pictures with the kids. Awwwwwwwww. I swear the kids didn’t wear shoes for a whole week. Well, except The Boy, he had a sore heel.


Ulp, getting closer to the death pictures. Both girls were all smiles until I said, “make a gross-out face!” Only one of them did it though. They were elbow deep in this pile of death only a few minutes before this picture, looking for the eggs.


We only caught one king and it was a tiny one.



To go fishing, you first must walk a billion miles to get into the boat. You have to walk through this thick mudflat nasty crap. We anchor the boats offshore because you are only allowed to fish from 7am to 7pm. If it is low tide at 7am, you walk out to where the boats are anchored which should be just about wet at 7am. These guys are amazing at judging distances and they always park the boats so they are actually in water by 7am.


Of course, the mudflats are fun for other things.


I used to work for Fish and Game and drove skiffs all the time up rivers. This is not much different. It’s a bigger, heavier boat but not much different.


Here are some of the fishies caught in the net. We set five nets this day total and you continually pick the nets until low tide.


We caught several hundred this day and we only fished half the day. Reds are about $2.00/lb. The silvers, chums, and pinks go for much, much less. Maybe $0.80/lb? I’m not sure about that number.


Most of them are reds like the one I am holding. There were a few pinks, a few chum, lots of silvers, and one king.


When your boat is full, like here, you take your fish to the tender (a bigger ship used to carry lots of fish). The tender weighs the bags of fish and then gives you a ticket and sends you a check later in the season. We don’t sell them all to the tender. We get our fill of personal use fish too.


This is the pile of fish from the personal use operation. We only only cut up the fish we are going to eat. This year, we cut up and filleted about 200 fish which feeds our entire family (like the WHOLE family, not just mine) for the year. We vacuum pack the fish and it lasts a year easily in the freezer.


These are fish in brailer bags in the creek. They creek is a constant 43 degrees which keeps the fish cold for a day or two until we are done filleting, packing, and getting them to town.


These huge blue dragonflies were everywhere.



I’ve never seen this before. This dragonfly caught a bumble bee, yes really, and ate it while laying on its back. I’ve never seen a dragonfly do that before. You should expand the picture because it’s pretty cool. It was a big meal for the dragonfly and he was so busy with it, he let us get very close to him. The kids and I crouched over him for a good 20 minutes while he ate his meal.



We’ll finish with some kid-play-fun pictures and not gore. The twins made sand-cakes, sand-soup, sand-brownies, sand-popcorn, and pretty much anything sand you wanted. They had a blast.


The cousins! This is how you do bath time when there is no running water!


More fishies!!


There are really fun sand hills too.



And logs to walk on . . . creeks to walk in.



Fishing site = happy kids.



On a side note: look at my subtle vignette! I’m getting better at doing things in Photoshop.

Burda Challenge July: 07-2011 #110


I just finished this dress. I’ve never thought khaki was a great color with my skin tone and this is no exception. I was thinking since I was tan, it wouldn’t be bad but, alas, I’m not a fan of this dress. It’s too bad too because it has potential.


The seaming is great and the pleats, tucks, and bodice went together well but still, sigh. This fabric is kind of like a laminated cotton shirting. It had a very stiff hand and tends to wrinkle if you look at it wrong.


This was a petite pattern so I added a cm above the bust and one below the bust to make it longer. I left the armhole alone because I like a tighter armhole. You can see in the above picture that the armhole is just perfect.


One thing you get with stiffer fabric is what I like to call Lady-Bits-Poof. Not cute. You can see I used a pink zipper at the side seam. This dress has great big pockets which are awesome-sauce. Too bad it will never be worn. Maybe I’ll put it in the Closet of Rebirth for a while.


I think I would have liked it if 1) it was a different color, and 2) if it was slightly drapey. You can’t really tell with all the wrinkles (it’s the fault of the fabric!) but I did a great job matching up all the seam lines. Getting that bodice piece to fit isn’t a walk in the park either. Ugh. Screw you blah-blah-brown-dress.


We just got back from fishing so I’ll post some bloody fish pictures soon. We got 240 salmon one day and over 400 the next day.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Excuse me, is that a skirt on your butt?

Boy: Hey, check out my new pants!
Littlest Sister: WOOOOOOOWWWWWW. Those are nice.
Twin Ghouls (Think: Annoying Orange): Mom, mom, mom! Hey, mom! Mom! Hey. Mom! Did we get new pants? Did we? With other fabric?
Me: Uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh . . .

I pick my kids up tonight and I know that as soon as I show The Boy his new pants, the three sisters will be all over me about their new pants. Because, of course, he can’t get something without them getting something. The conversation above is totally made up, but I know in my brain of brains, that this is what tonight will sound like if I didn’t make them something too.

So, I made them pants with skirts attached. The black fabric is the black Nike Dri-fit fabric. I still have about 10-15 yards but I’m keeping it all for myself and the kids! I know it’s only July, but it is already starting to get chilly (48 degrees this morning!) and these pants will be perfect for this weather. I used my KwikSew pajama pattern 3234 and I extended the legs just a smidge to make up for there being no cuff. Then, I made a circle skirt and attached it with the pants.


This is for the littlest one. She wanted a longer skirt with pink! Mom! PINK!


When I got my new (old!) Kenmore, I realized there was a stretch straight stitch on it. I have used this stitch in the past but haven’t used a newer machine in forever so I had forgotten about it. It’s a great strong stitch and you can use it for knits because it stretches. I used that stitch on the hems, to reinforce the crotch, and the waistband.


Here you can see the reinforcing stitches. If I don’t stitch an extra seam here, I find that my vertical serger stitches (CF and CB seams) start to unravel. I assume it’s because the horizontal serger seam cuts the threads on the other two seams.


Here’s the skirt for one of the twins. It’s glitter pink animal jersey knit. She’s gonna go ape.


Here’s the skirt for the other twin. She’ll love that it’s a sassy mini-skirt. But, of course, mom would only let her wear this with pants underneath.


This is a gray sparkle sweater knit. This is what I used on the inside of the Jalie cardigan I made a while back. I just used the natural tendency of the knit to roll to make the hem.

I have something fun coming up. But, and it’s a big but. We just had a lot of family fly in last night so we’ll be busy for the next two weeks or so. I’m hopeful that I’ll get some time to sew.

p.s. Someone a while back asked me to put a “Subscribe by Email” link on my blog so they could follow along. I done did it for You People.