Saturday, August 27, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Our computer crashed and burned, so i can't blog until we buy a new one.  I'm realizing this past week how much I use the computer, and we're on the look.
Which stinks because I have a lot of awesome projects to share.  I've been building like crazy and mixing some sewing in there too.  

So stay tuned and hopefully we'll be up and running again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bench from Scraps

The previous owners of our home left a bunch of junk on one side of our house.  I've actually been using quite a bit.  But this bench actually started as the supports for a lattice box that surrounded our patio.
We took it all down when we moved in, except for the posts to hold our shade sails.
So we threw all these weathered 2x3's on the RV pad and they sat in the rain and snow for the last year.

But they were pretty straight, so I decided they'd work well to make a simple bench for our new rock patio.

I did sand them down and stained the wood so it wasn't the ugly gray.  I used Minwax's ebony stain because I already had it, and I had quite a bit I need to use.  The stain is pretty much black.

Using reclaimed weathered wood is good in some ways.  It saves wood from being trashed or burned, and you end up with interesting character from its past life. 

I couldn't get these nails out of the 2x4 junk pieces, so they add some character to the legs. 

But in other ways, it is a huge pain building with weathered wood, because most of it is warped and twisted.  It was a challenge to get the planks spaced evenly, and you can see they're not all flush with the base. Oh well.

As far as building, I built the base mainly with my Kreg Jig.  It's 2x4 legs with 2x3 apron, planks and supports.
Then I sanded and stained the base, then each plank separately.  I coated each piece with 2 coats of outdoor polyurethane. Once all the planks were dry, I screwed them to the bench base from underneath with the Kreg pocket holes.

Using everything I already had, this bench didn't cost me anything!
Bring on the marshmallow roasting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you for all the support of my new maxi dress pattern these last few days.  I appreciate it so much and hope to see some of the new dresses in the flickr group hopefully!  I can't wait to see the new variations and creative uses of fabric and sheets.  

on a side note....
I've realized summer is winding down and I have been sewing so much this summer.  I am taking this week to dedicate to all the patio projects I've been planning the last year. But summer's almost gone and I need to hurry, and my husband's got a light work load this week to help me with the kids in the evenings, and I spontaneously decided to host an ice cream party yesterday at the play group...and we need things to sit on while we eat ice cream Thursday night.  

So far I did get all the wood necessary for all the different projects:
Scrap bench
Corner bench
Console table
Side table
cushions for our patio dining set
outdoor chandelier
Chaise
My goal is to get everything done in time for ice cream, except the chaise, that will have to wait.  And I did mention for them to bring a camping chair...backup in case my goal doesn't work out.

I'm excited to get building and have a sewing break this week.
First patio project should be up tomorrow because the wood was actually cut 2 months ago and I just haveto screw it together!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally! Maxi Dress Pattern is here!

Giveaway for my new pattern!  5 patterns will be given away!
Winners randomly selected from the first 50 comments on this post (assuming we ever get to 50).
Giveaway closed and winners have been emailed with their free patterns.
Thanks everyone who entered and I'm drooling over all the food.  Impressed so much is healthy...I have a sweet tooth.  I made a butter lemon cake last night and it was so ugly I had to drizzle a ton of white chocolate all over it so I could take it to the event where I was assigned to bring a dessert.  Apparently they could see the ugly through the white chocolate, because I had 3/4 to bring home!  
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I've finished the full print-at-home sewing pattern for the maxi dress I originally made from a vintage yellow sheet.  In case you can't find a vintage sheet you like, or if the idea of wearing someone's old sheets grosses you out, I also included yardage needed to make the dress from fabric yardage.



My tween nieces were visiting as I was drafting up the pattern and I used them as experiments as I was tweaking the pattern to fit different sizes. Being only 13, they requested if their dresses could be shorter, so I included directions for shorter skirt lengths, even though it isn't really a maxi dress anymore.



I also made a variation for the pattern to have a contrasting waist.  I chose to make the neckline the contrasting plum also.

My other niece chose this white cotton print out of my stash.  We planned to make her waist band a coordinating color from the print, but she couldn't decide.  Her indecision gave me the idea to have interchangeable waistband belts to change for different looks and accessories.  

One dress with three different looks.

The pattern includes all the pattern pieces and instructions with step by step photographs, along with tips on shirring and making your own bias tape.
 

These dresses have become my favorite for summer.


Due to all the work in having five sizes, with torso circumference, bust, and height being separate factors in the   pattern design, this pattern is $6.00.  I also included tips and variations to have room for your own creativity!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Baggy Tees

I haven't quite finished the Maxi Dress from a Vintage Sheet pattern.  We ended up going camping this week and it didn't get done as I'd hoped.  In the mean time, we had one last niece project we whipped out.
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The 80s Baggy Tee
Last week my nieces and I went shopping.  They pointed out shirts they liked--baggy, loose tees that reminded me of the 80s.  I told them we could totally make some for much less than they could buy.  So we studied the shape of the shirts and went home.
{Brooklyn asked me to point out she was unaware the shot included her head in this one}

The shirt gets the drape from the funnel shape, and the weird long sleeves.  The shirts they tried on in the stores had really wide necks, so we also made sure to make the neck smaller so these wouldn't hang off one shoulder.

We've had so much fun with these girls the two weeks they've been visiting.  They love to climb on my roof, and we have a tradition of eating tacos out on the roof in the middle of the night.

They have to start 8th grade next week and they'll have a few comfy retro styles to wear.  I'm thinking I may want one of these.

We went to a Journey concert a few weeks ago (they're touring the US with Foreigner this summer) and we've been watching their music videos from the 80s these two weeks, here the girls are acting out "Chain Reaction".

Our most watched music video is "Separate Ways".

Actually we really love the 80s in our family.
A few years ago I organized an 80s party for my husband's family and everyone dressed up.  We played 80s Jepordy, ate Pac-Man cake, and I made a slide show of all the adults' photos from the 80s.  Most of Rhett's siblings were teens in the 80s so it was really awesome to see their tight jeans and huge bangs.
 I brought outfits for my in-laws and was impressed they actually dressed up.  It was a lot of fun!

With these girls leaving, I'm really feeling the end of summer near...too near.

Anyone else loving the revival of 80s styles lately?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Pajama Shorts

Monday I took my visiting nieces to the mall.  We were looking in American Eagle and saw cute boxer shorts.  They had lace on the hem and I told the girls if they liked them, we could make them a lot cheaper then buying.

So we went home and they ended up picking this Justice League superhero print.  So I thought lace would be too girly, and remembered the retro short tutorial from Dana at made the curving, bias-taped, side seams and thought that would work better for the superheroes.  The only solid red I had was an animal print, so we made the bias tape have a little kick too.

The girls made their own shorts with help.  I used their pajamas as a pattern to cut out the fabric, and I did sew the bias tape on the hems.  But the rest they sewed themselves.

They loved the 80s running short look. 

They'll get plenty of use out of them since they've been having a lazy summer vacation at our house sleeping in until noon....lucky suckers.

Hope everyone's last weeks of summer are full of fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Get Excited

I've been sewing a butt-load of dresses to sell the full pattern with extra variations for the yellow maxi dress from a vintage sheet.

  Making patterns are a lot of work, especially women's clothing having to take into consideration regular sizes, then adjustments for the bust, and then height.
But things are coming together and I hope to have it available this week!!
Here are a few shots from our little photoshoot:
Erin from Sutton Grace has awesome animated gifs and from hers I felt inspired to give them a whirl. (mine are lame compared to hers)

My nieces. 
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These girls are sweet and crazy...you know which is which.

I had to change dresses and was too lazy to go back to the car, and pulled a Mr. Bean and put the new dress on top and changed in plain sight.
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I hope this doesn't deter anyone that wanted to buy the pattern.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Modern Flapper Dress

My husband, Rhett and I recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  It's kind of crazy we've been married that long.  It seems like not long ago I was falling in love with him and doing really embarrassing things when he was around.
We don't really celebrate each other's birthdays, and don't even do much for Mother's/ Father's Day, but anniversaries are big for us.  This year we spent two nights in Las Vegas.  My mom only lives 2 hours away and was willing to watch the kids for us.  I knew it would be super hot, so I wanted a breezy, light dress for our trip.

So I made this quick dress that reminded me of the Roaring 20s flapper dresses, which always reminds me of the book The Great Gatsby.
The dress is made with a light-weight fabric that is almost chiffon, which required me to line the top so it wasn't sheer.
 For the top of the dress I used Vogue Pattern for the Square Neck Drape Blouse that I made a few months ago.  The pattern is designed for knit fabric, so it turned out interesting making it with no stretch.  
{you can see the neckline here....we were eating at Maggiano's and found out later from Rhett's sister we totally missed out by not ordering cheesecake}


Rhett and I don't drink alcohol, gamble, or go to night clubs.  So why did we go to Vegas?  Well it's the nearest larger city near the babysitting Grandma, and this trip was about having time together, the food, and sleep.  I was so excited to have an uninterrupted night's sleep since we've had the baby.   We slept in until noon and it was awesome.

So we're probably pretty lame, as far as enjoying Vegas' night life, but my favorite thing is watching The Bellagio's water fountains.  I could watch them all night.  I was so thrilled when we got to see this  particular song.  A friend of mine said maybe I love them so much because it's like ballet fountains.  Maybe.

So back to the dress. 
It's one piece that goes over the head.  Basically a big sack, but I sewed a few rows of shirring with the elastic thread on the waist to give it a little shape.

The skirt was just two rectangles gathered at the dropped waist.


I'm still deciding how I feel about the dress.  I finished it at 2 am the night before we left, and it all seemed so great--another quick hack job that turned out awesome.
 Then when I actually wore it, I wasn't so sure.  The drape seemed kind of larger and more dramatic than it should be.  The waist didn't stay low on my hips like I hoped.  It was really great for the 100 degree weather-- breezy fabric, and loose fitting.

So still don't know how I feel about this one....good thing the fabric was less than $5.00 

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