Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Matching Dress

I had been eyeing the Sugar Plum Dress from Lolita Patterns for a while.  In fact, I even purchased the Houndstooth Kit, which included the pattern, a polyester hounds tooth print for the bodice, a lycra-blend gabardine for the skirt, a zipper, and buttons.  It arrived beautifully packaged and I was looking forward to a new dress.

However, once I had my cape completed, I had some decently sized scraps leftover.  I decided that a matching dress to the cape would be perfect and the Sugar Plum pattern would be an impeccable accompaniment.  I haphazardly placed the pattern pieces on the scraps and decided that it was definitely doable with some careful pattern cutting.

The finish dress exceeded my expectations.  I did add 1 inch to the bodice length, which is almost always necessary to accommodate my long torso.  I made a size 6 top and the waist is size 6, but the skirt is graded to a size 10 at the hips. 

 A also made a couple other changes - I lined the entire dress and I added a kick pleat. 
(Sorry the picture below makes the lining seem so wrinkled.)

Overall, I am very pleased with the result and I already wore the dress and cape combination to an annual family dinner in downtown Minneapolis.  I'm looking forward to wearing it this week to work also!  Now to decide whether to make another Sugar Plum Dress using the Houndstooth Kit I purchased or to find another pattern for the fabrics....
Until the next project,

18 Years and 8 Moves Later...

I finally cut into my 4 yards of Pendelton wool. I purchased this fabric way back when I worked at House of Fabrics while I was still in high school.  1995!

I bought it for what even I considered a steal - on clearance at 19.98 per yard.  As you can see, I started my fabric stash at an early age.  I had no idea what I would ever make with it, but I HAD TO HAVE IT!  So I bought the last remaining 4 yards on the bolt.

Life goes on and the fabric goes along.  I went to college in Minnesota (I grew up in Illinois) and the fabric went with me.  After college, I moved a lot.  The fabric made every move with me.  Finally, after hanging in the closet for the last 8 years at our house, I had found THE PATTERN! 

It was perfect!  The pattern calls for 4 1/2 yards of outer fabric, so I figured I could just shorten the cape a bit to make up the difference.  Now to get some equally fantastic fabric for the lining.

I was at the local Joann Fabrics and the linings were so BLAH.  Then I just happened to walk through the silky prints and VOILA - there it was calling my name!

So after the kids would go to bed at night, I would head down to the basement to do some sewing.  I even managed to find time on the weekends that I could spend working on it.  And now it is complete.

Of course, my little buddy wanted to be in the pictures also.

Also, an update on Christmas Gift #1 and #2, which were sent to my parents in Arizona.  I had them open their gifts early and they loved them! 

Until the next project,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Gift #2

So, I have to confess – I actually worked on this project during my lunch hour over the last month.

 Christmas Gift #2 COMPLETED!


This is a free pattern:

To match Christmas Gift #1 Afghan, I again used Red Heart yarn.

I love the detail stitch in this pattern.  I might even consider making another for myself!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 6 (November 22 - 28, 2013)

Rather than breaking down each week – let me just say that I have been busy! 

 Christmas Gift #1 COMPLETED!

I crocheted a cozy blanket using Red Heart yarn.  As much as I hate acrylic, it does have its place in a blanket that will be washed over and over again!  This blanket will hold up for many years to come.

I didn’t follow a pattern, but I did this basic sequence:
Row 1: Double crochet every stitch, back loop only
Row 2: Single crochet every stitch, front loop only
Row 3: Double crochet every stitch, back loop only
Row 4: Single crochet every stitch, front loop only
Row 5: Double crochet every stitch, back loop only
Row 6: Skip stitch, triple crochet in next two stitches, triple crochet in skipped stitch, repeat

The edging was from a pattern:

I am making this Peacock Feathers afghan for another person of the same household and I thought that having the same edging on both blankets would be a nice touch.
Until the next project...


Friday, November 1, 2013

Week 2 (October 25 – 31, 2013)

Here is this week’s breakdown:

Friday                   1.5 hours crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Saturday              2 hours sewing (Cape, BurdaStyle 08/2013 #122)
Sunday                 1.5 hours crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Monday               1.25 hours crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Tuesday               30 minutes crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Wednesday         15 minutes sewing (minor alteration to son’s Halloween costume)
                           1.25 hours crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Thursday              2 hours crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)

I found a lot of extra time to work on my projects this past week.  Crocheting is my go-to project when I just want to sit on the couch for a while.  I can still listen to the television and look up just in time to catch anything interesting.  Of course, I still have to wait until the kids go to bed before I start.
My husband and I were also very fortunate to have a new babysitter at our house for a few “training” hours on Saturday.  The sitter comes to our house and is 100% in charge of the kids, while my husband I do other tasks.  We are available if they need anything or have questions, but generally we are hands off and the kids even forget we are there.  So that allowed me to spend 2 hours on my sewing that I may not been able to otherwise.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 1 (October 22-24, 2013)

No reason a week needs to start on a Sunday, right?

Here is this week’s breakdown:

Tuesday               1 hour crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Wednesday        30 minutes crocheting (No pattern, Christmas Present #1)
Thursday             1.25 hours cutting fabric and lining (Cape, BurdaStyle 08/2013 #122)

I am purposefully being vague about what I am crocheting.   I promise to take pictures and post them once I know the gift has been opened by the lucky recipient.

Also, this week has been feeling less chaotic, so I was able to find more than just 20 minutes each of the days to work on my projects!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


2 Full Time Working Parents
2 Young Kids
Meal Planning, Grocery Shopping, Cooking
Laundry, Laundry, and More Laundry
Home Improvement Projects Galore
Too much to do, not enough time…This has become to “normal” for us.

I started to feel that I wasn’t doing enough for “me.”  I wanted to spend more time creating – sewing, crafting, etc.  I wanted to get back into making things that make me happy. 
Since watching television is not really rewarding to me, I have decided to trade some time every day that I would have normally spent on the couch.  I decided on 20 minutes.  20 Minutes Every Day.
Initially 20 minutes didn’t seem like enough time to get anything accomplished.  But longer than 20 minutes seemed like a huge commitment to add to my already busy life.  And I thought more about what I could really complete in just 20 minutes.  A couple of seams?  But if I did that every day, I might have a completed project in a few weeks’ time.   And that would be one more completed project than when I started. 
What if I wanted to make something other than a sewing project?  I decided that as long as I was being productive doing something creative, to would count toward my 20 minutes.
This is my chronicle of my 20 minutes a day (or maybe longer if time allows).  Most of it will be sewing, but once in a while I might sneak something else in.  Maybe you will join me for the journey.