Friday, April 23, 2010

Vacation Week Sewing Treat - Kyoko Dress

This is the week my kids have had for April vacation. Crazy late it seems to me. Everyone else has been on vacation, come home, and is back at school. My "day" job has been really busy (see my earlier post), so I couldn't take the whole week, but I did manage to squeeze in 3 days off. I knew I had only so much time, so on Tuesday night I cut...and yesterday, I dove in.

I've been saving some Meadowsweet from Sandi Henderson that I bought, you guessed it, from Melanie at Above All Fabric. I really love the color palatte, especially the orange and the lime...and for some reason, the plaid just SPEAKS to me. I decided to try it with Patty Young's Kyoko dress. My five year old is dress crazy, and I know how beautifully Patty's patterns are and how well they fit my peanut. The result was nothing short of stunning!

We ran a few errands this morning, and without exception, everywhere we stopped, someone commented on Ally's dress. Maybe she's used to it now...but she sort of smirks and says an exaggerated "Thhhank you!" Truth be told, I love when people ask me where I bought it. And when I say "oh, I made it for her" their mouths always fall open. *LOVE THAT*

One of our stops today was at CVS, where she got some new sunglasses. She didn't really want to pose, so her focus is more on Snow White on the arms of the glasses.

The pattern went together super smoothly. I would say maybe 2 hours of actual sewing and pressing time. I take forever to trace patterns, and cut them out. I also take forever to pin. I am mad-crazy over pinner. Mostly because I keep trying to NOT pin, and I have to "un-sew" because it's crooked.

The only challenge I ran into was in making the obi. I had another print cut, and was informed by my lovely daughter that it wasn't "the one". So I cut a second. Funny, I like her choice better than mine, but in cutting the second set, I rushed. And the two were not 100% equal on both sides (from my too-quick rotary cutting), so I had to go over some of the areas twice, because one side was narrower than the other and the stitches didn't catch the fabric underneath. *NOTE TO READER* this is not a short coming in the pattern in any way. The directions are clear, and actually really easy. I just tend to get ahead of myself.

I love when I start something, and it goes together this easily, and the result is so fantastic. I also traced this pattern, instead of cutting it, so I could use it again in another size. It was the first time I had used a tracing wheel. I love it when those "easy" tools work as well as this one did. I will be much more confident using it now, and will likely get a lot more use out of my patterns.

What do you think of my print mix? I'd love to know what you think works about it, or what you'd do differently.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Green Living Market Bag - by Bari J. Pattern Review

So, I am not quite meeting my goal yet, of blogging once a week. But hey! I'm posting more often than last year, and I'm actually starting to remember to take pictures of the things I make, which is a big improvement. I'm all about progress...not perfection.

My official Quilt Market roomie (*squealing with excitement*) Bari J. asked me to test another pattern for her. And FAR be it from me to say no to some fat quarters of yummy fabric and an early sneak peak of a pattern! I tested her Green Living Market Bag pattern that was one of the four in her first grouping of designer patterns.

This is how the finished pattern looks...and as a side note, this is my favorite style. The pattern is like a booklet (with pretty glossy paper) and the pattern itself is on sturdy white paper folded inside. It's also in a zip top bag. I'm sure this costs more money, but GOD does it make for longer lasting patterns, and easier storage.

The rest of the photos were taken by Rob, my photog extraordinaire. He actually puts the majority of his stuff right on Facebook...but I figured this was a shameless enough plug.

The pattern went to together really easily, and I love the ribbon to tie it together. It actually folds down into a tiny square so that you can either put it in your purse, or you can put a bunch of bags together to go to the store and not carry what looks like a tent.

My biggest challenge with the pattern was folding the pointed ends of the flat bottom up on either side. The only challenge was that the fabric was many many layers thick. So I actually used a denim needle, and sewed really slowly. It gave the bag a very polished looking exterior, instead of just the normal flat bottom.

I'm pretty sure my mom is getting this for Mother's Day, so mom, if you read this...sorry to ruin the surprise! It's a great bag to carry books, groceries, or better yet, I actually carry mine in my purse, so that when I stop in somewhere like the pharmacy, or even somewhere at the mall (*gasp*) I don't have to take a plastic bag.

Think green, and look super fashionable. Gotta love that.