Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lazy Day

This is what I "should" be doing today...finishing up a batch of sundresses and peasant dress/tops for my friend Jennie's store, Crunchy Granola Baby......

But what I am actually doing is...sitting and relaxing, talking to Mia about makeup and watching Lily play with her Little People Farm...and knitting a few rows of this little red sweater...sometimes you just need a day off, right?

Friday, July 24, 2009


Just some pictures today...busy week...busy work has been done...just fun :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beach Babes

So much fun at the beach this morning! Sunshine and sand and seagulls ..finally feels like summer! My beautiful friend Keri took these photos of our girls...isn't she a wonderful photographer?

Hip Hip Hooray!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

blue bird

Wow, this summer is really not turning out as I had anticipated. I thought I would have a lot more time to sew ...that has not happened yet, life gets in the way...every...single...time that I try to get down to work. And then there is the weather...we have barely had any summer weather here in the north east of the it all feels kind of strange. Rain and then a couple of days of cool, sunny, fall like weather, followed by more rain. And then there are the teen kids and my realization that my relationship with them is changing. The boy has a girlfriend, his first...and she's lovely and complicated and she has blue hair and they are so in love. In love like you only can be when it's your first time. ....and it is so wonderful to watch and so hard to watch all at the same time. I have to admit, I didn't want to like this girl...but I do...I am even fond of her....even though her presence is totally throwing off the equilibrium in our house. The boy wants to be with her all the you do when you are in love...and my daughter (13) is totally in awe of this uber cool creature who plays the bass, sings beautifully and has blue hair...I mean really, to a 13 year old could there be anything more intriguing? And I am so busy, busy all the time just trying to keep up with everything that I find myself just whirring by, catching a glimpse of these newly grown people who live in my house and wondering how it all went by so quickly? So, I'm a little blue...and then this one toddles by and the sun shines again, even on the rainiest day...better enjoy every little minute with her !

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wooly Coat, Wooly Baby Boots

This is what I turned that work in progress from my last post I don't care if we ever have summer, I am ready for it to be fall...I can't wait to bundle Lily up in this little number on a crisp, cold autumn day. The outer fabric is 100% wool and the lining and appliques and pocket are "Andalucia" by Patty Young for Michael Miller.The coat is box pleated front and back and I elasticized the sleeves above the cuffs to keep cold wind out. I used huge sew on snaps so that perhaps Lily can put her coat on herself. And, this is my first sample for my Etsy store fall line. I'm making progress!

Speaking of Etsy...I found these ADORABLE handmade shoes and boots at Wooly Baby's shop

Sky Baby
made from recycled sweaters and recycled leather much more perfect could they be?! ...and there are so many styles to choose have to check this store out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Autumn in July.....and other news

Since it is raining again here in Salem and the temps have still not reached the 80's, even on a sunny day, my thoughts are drifting toward fall...fall and winter coats and hats and dresses. The picture above shows my work table this morning. I've been dreaming about gorgeous wool coats and berets and bonnets. So inspired by Bluebird makes her Nest and her gorgeous little boy soldier coat....I have decided to make a whole line of girls and boys coats and hats to stock my Etsy shop. Working these patterns out has actually been fun, especially because I do not have the pressure of a looming deadline (since the calendar DOES say it's only July 7th...despite the lack of summer weather). This is the way I like to create, just for the fun of figuring it out. I do have to admit, I am a bit of a quitter when the puzzle part is done...once I've got it set I really have to motivate myself to sew the same thing over and over. So, if you haven't checked out my Etsy shop please do, I managed to get a couple of new designs listed this past weekend...and the model is pretty cute too :)

In other news, Amanda at Kitschycoo is having a giveaway for two of her beautiful new is reversible the other has sweet little puffy sleeves. From my experience Amanda's patterns are clear and easy to follow and the designs are a great combo of practical and just plain sweet...form and function at it's best! So check her blog out (which is a prize in and of itself...this woman is FUNNY) and enter the giveaway a go go!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Halter Top Tutorial

Halter Top Tutorial

#1.Cut Out:

For a woman's size medium top cut out 2 – 27 inch by 24 inch rectangles of fabric and one strip of contrasting fabric whatever width you like and 24inches long (or whatever length your top will be)

*You can customize this top to your own measurements. The way I got my measurements is as follows :

Width - take your bust measurement and times it by 1 ½. For example : 36” x 1.5 is 54 inches then divide this # by 2 ( ½ for the front of top and ½ for the back): 54”divided by 2 is 27”

Length – measure from collarbone to where you want the top to end, my length was 21"

add 1” for hem and 2” for top ribbon casing: 21+1+2 equals 24”

#2. Cut Armholes:

Lay these rectangles out one on top of the other and fold them in half lengthwise

On the outside edges measure down 7” from the top and 2”in from the raw edges – mark these measurements with a marking pencil. With your pencil lightly draw a softly curving line to create armhole openings as shown below:

#3. Insert Contrasting Fabric Stripe:

Take the front of your top and lay it flat on your table

Position your contrasting fabric strip on top

Carefully cut on either side of your strip

Remove the main fabric strip that you have now cut out. Now you have three pieces for the front of your top.

With right sides together sew the contrasting strip to the two long (non armhole edges) of your top front using a ¼ inch seam allowance to create one piece as shown below:

#4. Side Seams:

Sew side seams together and finish with a zig zag stitch or use French seams (see notes)

Just a warning, because of the seams necessary to sew down the contrasting strip of fabric your front piece will be narrower than the back, the piece that is the back of your top will be about 1 inch wider than the front...just ignore this as the whole top will be gathered from the top and the 1 inch difference will not be an issue.... just match up and sew the side seams

#5. Bottom Hem :

On bottom edge of top iron down a half inch and then fold and iron down another half inch. Sew down close to the folded edge to create your hem

#6. Armholes:

Clipping the curved egdes, fold down the raw edge around the armhole openings ¼ inch and then another ¼ inch. This will take some fooling around with the fabric. Try to use your iron to help you and kind of pull the fabric in front of the iron. Stitch close to the folded edge. Shown below:

#7. Top Ribbon Casing:

On both front and back fold and iron down top edge ½ inch. Then fold and iron down 1 ½ inches. Sew close to the folded edge to create the ribbon casing.

Take a length of ribbon and using a safety pin at the end, thread through the casings so the ribbon goes through the front and the back. Tie the ribbon ends, adjust the gathers and you are done!

Pattern Notes: * Side seams and fabric insert seams can be finished by using a zigzag stitch after they have been seamed. Alternatively, you can use a french seam on the side seams to encase the raw edges( sew wrong sides together, trim seam close to stitching, turn and iron down with right sides together and then stitch down just to the left of the raw edges that are encased inside) If you have a serger then disregard this note as you are clearly an experienced sewer and certainly don't need me to tell you what to do.

* These instructions can also be used to make pillowcase dresses for babies and children, and halter tops for little girls...just use my measurement guidelines in step 1 of the tutorial

*I apologize for my subpar photos and my embarrassingly crude photoshop techniques...Briana, avert your eyes oh photoshop queen ;(