Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Day for UFOs

I hereby declare today the...

My UFOs...
*Green check bow dress, vintage McCalls 6328

--Needs bodice lining, sleeves, and hem. 

*Mustard HotPatterns Belle Skirt

--Um, it really is more than a flat piece of fabric!  Needs waistband and buttons/buttonholes. 

*Anthro-inspired New Look top

--Needs sleeves, buttonholes, buttons.  And some handstitching at the left neckline edge.

Seriously people.  If I would just take the next 3 hours and buckle down, I would have THREE completed, adorable garments.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

anthro-knockoff: Flurried Plumes Midi Skirt

It's finished!  And awfully cute, if I do say so myself:

You'll have to forgive the "inside" dressform photos, I'm still not upright for very long.

My inspiration skirt can be seen on the anthropologie website, the Flurried Plumes Midi Skirt.   I decided to make mine out of an ebay-purchased rayon leaf print.  The prints are completely different but have the same feel and some of the same tones too.

I did end up using a pattern for the base of the skirt, a 1980 See & Sew.  I used it this summer to make the cami (if you missed that project, check out the links in the sidebar!)  I lengthened the skirt by 5" and left off the ruffle.  Everything else was straight from the pattern (well, I did adjust the waistband length, but that was to be expected. Ahem.)  

I should have looked at the the inspiration photo again; I didn't realize the waistband was so wide and had 2 buttons.  Oh well!  I still think mine looks pretty good!  I could topstitch it, but I'm waiting to see if it stretches out too much on wearing (as linen has a tendency to do). 

The buttons were from my button box...I was shocked I had 6 of the right color and size!

All in all a super simple knockoff!  It normally would have taken a day or so to complete...but who's counting?

Monday, July 25, 2011


The one where I show you pretty pictures of things I have not made...

Links to all images can be found on my Pinterest Style board.

[ps: thank you all soooo much for the well wishes!  The foot has progressed to a lovely shade of aubergine, with mottlings of deep magenta. It's rather pretty.  If not painful and annoyingly couch potato-inducing.]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sidelined. Or is it Waylaid?

Sorry but I'm going to have to start your day with a photo of my foot, hehe.

THIS is why my skirt is not finished.  Ack.  Rather silly story, but let's just say a certain spider landed in my lap and ran up my PJ shorts, causing me to have an utter freakout and jump up, stomping my legs furiously (to hopefully dislodge Spidey and kill him in one fell swoop).

Um, instead, I missed the floor with my foot and instead stomped my right ankle.  And then hit the coffee table.  And the floor.  Sigh. 

I'm so very thankful it wasn't broken, just a very bad sprain.  I'm not a fan of crutches. They're so...immobile.  But five to seven days on them is much more doable than six weeks!  I have wrappings and stuff, but it's so swollen (probably because of the sweltering heat), honestly it feels better au naturel.

While I'm stuck on the couch NOT finishing my beautiful anthro-inspired skirt, I'm hopeful the new Burda magazine comes so I have something new to thumb through.  And I got this box of lovelies yesterday in the mail:

I won it on ebay, in anticipation of making some of these:

I just love granny squares!  And they should be quick and easy to pile up while I'm stuck on the couch. (Although it does kind of stink that this is my last 2 weeks of summer vacation.  Poo.)  Here are two granny square patterns if you want to join me on the couch!

And with that, I leave you with some pretty crochet inspiration.  I'm off to watch some Netflix and get  my hooks. ;)
Granny Square Inspiration :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pattern Giveaway & Skirt Progress

Firstly, I have to let you know about this gorgeous pattern giveaway by Debi of My Happy Sewing Place:

Although I really don't want any of you to enter, to increase my odds. Ha!

Secondly... Skirt progress! 

I went with the coffee linen for the plackets and waistband.  Plackets are attached and topstitched, I just need to add the waistband and do buttonholes & buttons. 

Hopefully a finished skirt later today!

Monday, July 18, 2011

movie date.

This afternoon Lu & I saw the final chapter...

We were hesitant to go, not because we haven't been dying to see it, but because sometimes it's really hard to say goodbye.

It was stunning.  A really perfect final bow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Anthro Knockoff: Flurried Plumes Midi Skirt

I am really, REALLY enjoying Anthropologie's July catalog.  Anthro goes in fits and spurts for me.  Some seasons (or years) I love everything on the site.  Others...I can barely find anything at all!  July happens to be a good month for inspiration.

I'm trying to focus a little more on separates right now, so this skirt appealed to me.

I like the abstract print, and the contrasting band/placket and waistband.  It has a bit of an 80s vibe too, since it's longer than we've been seeing.  I would have passed right over it on the website if not for their stylings in the catalog which let me see the possibilities...

It's basically a "neutral".  I love that!  I have the perfect fabric for it too, a leafy print rayon in a dusty aqua and similar neutrals:
 For the contrast band and waist, I have a medium "coffee" linen that will work.   I'm undecided on whether to look for a pattern or just "wing it".  After all, this skirt is made up of rectangles!   

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How does your garden grow?

I keep a little garden patch in the back yard in the summer.  It's only about 5' x 7', but I can cram a lot of goodies in that small space!  You can't see in this photo, but I also have a couple of pumpkin plants too.

I basically have no idea what I'm doing every year.  I just pick out the seeds I'd like to try and my dad plows my spot.  I have really good luck with tomatoes (but I got a late start this year so I've only had 2 ripe ones so far!) and lettuce and cucumbers.  The pole beans are pretty out of control too, so that will be fun!  I love fresh green beans.

Pretty little cucumbers...

Watermelons!  I *accidentally* grew a watermelon plant over my fence one year (in the cow pasture) because that's where we threw our used up rinds after eating watermelon!  These plants were "planned" though. ;)

Finally, I'm going to have fresh, ripe tomatoes!  Yay!

My lettuce has been picked many times so far this summer.  I love running out to the patch to grab some lettuce for a salad or for my sandwich.  Does it taste better if you grow your own??  It seems like it!

Today's lunch: lettuce & cucumbers for a salad!  (and Rodney's nose.  He's nosey.)

Monday I made a batch of liquid laundry soap!  Last batch I did the powdered version, which is quicker and easier to store.  I really prefer the liquid though and a month of using the powder didn't convert me.  So I went back to the liquid method.  Here's one of my four "storage" bottles of laundry soap:

(I don't have little ones, so I can use the empty juice container, I wouldn't of course if I had curious kidlets!)

I use recipe #3 from this page: 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Recipes, except I use these proportions (I use #4 when I do the powdered version):
1/2 bar Fels Naptha
1 c washing soda
1/2 c Borax

Everything else I follow as written, except I don't measure any of the water.  I just add enough to the pot to cover the grated soap shavings by an inch or so, and then I add 2 gallons of water to the tub to mix it all up.  I pour it into a bunch of different containers (the yield is about 2.5-3 gallons!)

I have a Gain liquid detergent bottle that is my "main" container, so I can use the convenient measuring cup lid. I also have filled a gallon OJ container, the apple juice container, an empty Downy bottle, and the entire Gain bottle.  That's a lot of liquid detergent!  Total cost is something like $2.

There are lots and LOTS of mixed reviews online about homemade laundry detergent/soap (technically it's a soap).  I take anything I read online with a grain of salt! As with anything, I say try it and see if you're interested.  A friend of mine at work gave me a 1/2 gallon to try a year ago, and she had good things to say.

Personally, I haven't experienced anything negative.  Our clothes are clean.  I spot treat with the extra bar of Fels Naptha I keep on hand (I just wet it and rub it on the stain.  Instructions are on the package.)  I only have to make a new batch every few months, and it's CHEAP.

Some people complain online of "dingy whites", which I think is due to the missing optical brighteners most store bought detergents have added in.  My grandma used "blueing" for this.  I remember the tiny bottle on her laundry shelf!  I think you can still buy it.  I haven't noticed dingy whites...I do bleach my whites once or twice a month, but I had to do that with regular detergents too.  I also line dry whenever I can, which I think brightens things up too.

I do use Downy.  I'm not converted to white vinegar as a fabric softener (although the white vinegar tips website does say it's a brightener for whites and colors in the laundry!)  We just love the smell of Downy!

Wow, this turned into a country girl post, ha!  Hope you enjoyed the side road. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vtg Simplicity 2757 ~ the Bicycle Dress

This dress started out as one of *those* projects.  Let me start at the beginning...

I bought this adorable vintage pattern last winter, Simplicity 2757:

Lovely, right?  Scooped square neckline, elbow sleeves, tiny bows.  And in a larger bust size!  Score! I must have pulled it out of the pattern box a dozen times before last week.  Finally, my project table is empty and I'm feeling the vintage dress bug, so I began tracing.

I traced the bodices first, then went back and used the bodice from this pattern that fit so well, to make any additional adjustments.  I skipped the muslin because, you know, that McCalls dress fit so well.  Uh huh.  I sadly used an adorable polkadot chambray that I have been hoarding for this fiasco of a bodice.

Main problem...TOO BIG.  I cut away at least 2 inches from the side seams and that only partially helped.  Long story short...I set it all aside and then Monday had a stroke of "OMG, I am so stupid sometimes" (ha.  You thought I was going to say genius, didn't you.) I had cut away about 2" from the side seams of the polkadot monstrosity....and I had added about the same amount in my "adjustments".  What if I straight muslin the actual pattern?  Presto!  Almost perfect.

I didn't actually  need much in the way of adjustments after all; a broad back adjustment, re-angle the shoulder seam, and move the shoulders in about 3/4 of an inch.  (I really need a 38 bust for my shoulders, but it's not so hard to adjust a slightly bigger pattern).

I did leave off the  waist darts because I wanted to forgo the zipper and just pull this over my head.  Likewise, I didn't fool with pleats this time, just gathers.  My favorite part, the tiny bow at center front:

I'm calling this the Bicycle Dress, because look...not grey polka dots, tiny BICYCLES.  All over.  (This is a Free Spirit quilting cotton called Weekends).

Other stuff...I didn't have quite enough fabric for a hem (ahem, haha!), so I added a cheeky ruffle.

Armholes finished with pink bias...

Inside seams all serged...

Bodice lined in white batiste, except I didn't cut it quite long enough.  Oops.  I had to stitch it to the top of the skirt/bodice seams, and it didn't quite cover them up!  Oh well.  Who's going to know?  (Except me and the couple hundred of you, that is.)

It is SO HOT and SO SUNNY here, I'm melting.  (Not literally).  I hope you're staying cool wherever you are!