Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Buttons! but no halloween sewing

so i haven't made much progress on the sewing front. this weekend i got zero sewing done because i went camping in the mountains of NC with 5 of my girlfriends. not my idea. i am not outdoorsy at all. but it was to celebrate my friend's 29th birthday and camping is what she wanted to do. i do like smores though. and i don't mind hiking. just sleeping on rocks isn't my thing. i should've had more padding. anyway we were right on the river. beautiful.

we got zero rain while camping, which is good. waking up on a rock is one thing. waking up in a puddle is something else. (we did have a very large tent, in case you were worried.) i hear it rained a lot at home. i hope the rest of you along the east coast weathered the hurricane.

before leaving town on sunday, we stopped in a little antique shop. it wasn't a cheap antique shop, so i had to pass up the cute thread holder that hangs on the wall - too pricey. but i did grab some buttons! which is great because i'm almost to the point where i need to put buttons on my long sleeved alma blouse. yes, i am still working on it. i am soo slowwww. so here are the buttons i picked up:

These are my favorites… 2 with a pearly jade color

and these bunch kinda look like abalone shell with that iridescent quality on the front and then a rough back, but i'm not sure

A week or so ago i grabbed these next 3 button sets from hancock during one of their sales. but i didn't have my fabric with me at the time - always bring your fabric when trying to pick out buttons! now i'm thinking they all might be a little too big for a shirt cuff? 

It also tickled me that the names of the button brands all sound fancy and french. here we have "la petite" (although i think these are too large, ha ha!) and from the antique store we had "la mode" and "le chic." 

i already have a mini stash of random buttons that i've been saving since forever. i always keep the extra buttons that come with store bought items. i promise i'm not a hoarder. but most of these are single buttons and i need a matching pair. one even came with extra matching thread (see the yellow button). the clothing companies must know that their items are not well constructed and that customers should anticipate that the buttons will fall off

so here we have my cuff with several buttons on it. there is one that i prefer. but i'm still thinking that maybe these are not the right size? what do you think? do you like any of these buttons or what would you use?

now i'm going to make another excuse for why this project is taking me so long: the continuous sleeve placket.

i thought it was going to be the death of me. i just could not get it. the corner would get bunched up. finally i read this tutorial and it showed that the seam allowance can taper down closer to the point instead of being the same width. (if that makes sense) it helped me a lot. finally i got it worked out, yippee! that took forever.

but doesn't it look nice! now i hope these sleeves end up being long enough after i attach the cuffs and then attach the sleeves to the bodice. if not, i guess i'm re-cutting longer cuffs. oh and i didn't mention i finally made my first practice buttonholes! my machine has a buttonhole foot and it does them in one step like magic. it's pretty amazing. i was proud of how nice they looked and i barely did anything.

happy halloween everyone! I haven't really dressed up since college, so i don't have a costume. our city does have some crazy halloween parties, but i'm going to sit at home and pass out candy to little kiddies. i love seeing the little costumes. and then later tonight my neighbors are having a bonfire - yay, more smores!

did you do halloween sewing? and any thoughts on button choice for my long sleeved alma? help, help!

P.S. There's an awesome giveaway going on over at megan nielsen's blog - check it out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

thank you, lovely readers!

I got this sweet little blog award from the lovely zosews. i'm fairly new to the whole blogging scene, so i don't have a ton of awards under my belt (okay none). actually i wasn't really even aware there were blog awards until recently. 

UPDATE: the lovely juliet of The Crazy Gypsy Chronicles also just included me for this award on her blog! 

This blog award is "a way to say a big thank you to the people who encourage you by commenting on your blog." Pass along to the last nine commenters on your blog.

i really appreciate everyone who reads my blog posts. each comment makes me say "oh YAY!"

so my last nine fabulous commenters are:

2 Sabs
6 elltie (i can't find your actual blog - let me know!)

thank you, thank you! keep spreading the love!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

alma one and done

if you remember back to when i posted about my first alma blouse… i thought it was finished but then it just wasn't wearable - this post from september. i had 3 options to try to make this top wearable:

A. go buy a skinny black belt that looks good with it (i tried the 2 black belts i own, no bueno). 
B. make the belt that's included in the pattern and hope for the best.
C. rip out the side seam, insert a zip, and then pinch the heck out of the back darts to remove excess fabric.

so what did i do? (and by the way thank you for all of the input, you guys are so smart!)

I did C, and then I also did B! 

I ripped out the side seam and inserted a zip. ugh. inserting it after the fact was more annoying than if i had just left it in in the first place. but it worked for the most part. not perfect, there's a little gaping toward the bottom where you can see the zipper, so it's not 100% invisible, but close. 

then i ripped out the 2 back darts and increased the width of the darts significantly. much better.

but still not quite right. so i had more fabric and i decided to whip up the belt and see if i liked it. 

i tried it on beltless and with the belt (which i topstiched all the way around even though that's not called for in the instructions) and the conclusion was… i ended up wearing it with the belt! i think it helped break up the pattern and define the waist better. and this fabric is just not drapey at all.

so i actually wore it to work! and one person (who knows that i've started sewing) asked if i made it. hopefully i will wear it again. it's not terrible. but not something i love love love.

these photos offer you another glimpse into my tiny bathroom. how exciting!

and you can check out my husband's blue toothbrush and my bottle of eyedrops that are making cameos in the bottom of this photo. Yes, i do know how to crop in photoshop. i can also clone and clipping path. and all kinds of crazy stuff. but i'm keeping it real. all i bothered to do was auto levels because the lighting was terrible.

ok, next batch of photos i will really try to take outside in daylight with my tripod and the self timer. i really promise. (confession: i actually don't really like taking photos of myself at all! and i blink all. the. time.)

so there you have it - alma number one, done. it feels so good to be actually done. and i'm so delayed in posting this that i'm well into alma the sequel! 

anyone else super slow to finish a project or do you finish something every other day? if i get one project finished each month, i'm doing well. =)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Just in case i got a late entry right before midnight on monday (and with all of the different time zones…), I decided to hold off and do the drawing tuesday night.

I really wanted to do something creative, like write the names on pieces of paper, fold them into tiny paper airplanes, and whichever flies the farthest is the winner… or having an adorable puppy select the winner… 

well i just put all of the names in a bucket.

and then my husband walks in and says "What are you up to?" 

What, it's not normal to be sitting on the floor taking a photo of a bucket full of scraps of paper? 

"You're just in time to draw a winner for the pattern pyramid!" i said.

"A pattern what?"

So he drew the winner and the winner is…

tropicalthreads, congratulations! once i get your address, the pyramid will be headed your way! now everyone go stalk her blog til it arrives.

thank you to everyone who participated, and thank you for checking out my blog! i hope you'll stop back by from time to time, and i'm planning to do another giveaway in the future. happy sewing!

Monday, October 15, 2012

last chance to get on the pattern pyramid train!

There's still time! I'll be drawing a winner tonight, so leave a comment if you want in! Details in the previous post. I'm trying to think of a creative way to choose the winner rather than using a random number generator. hmmm. any ideas?

best wishes!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pattern Pyramid!

Exciting news! A lovely package arrived in the mail from G Marie Sews! What could it be? Oh wait, I totally gave it away with the title of this post… and the button… It's the Pattern Pyramid!

look it's a pyramid!
I'm sure you're all aware of the pattern pyramid that Karen of Did You Make That? started back in June. Here's a link to her first post about it in case somehow you missed it. Maybe you were vacationing or something? But really there's no excuse. You should know about it by now. =)

Actually, I didn't even start blogging until this July! So I missed out on the first bit, but I was reading, and started following along. You see this was around the time I was first starting out sewing. And I'd like to think the pattern pyramid and some other events (which I will reveal in a later post) pushed me to start my own blog. So if you actually don't have a blog, now's the perfect time to start one!

so i was super excited to finally win! (and now i've had to restrain myself from entering any of the other pattern pyramids that have gone live recently.) so which pattern did i choose? the Simplicity at the top of the pyramid, which looks to be the one G Marie added to the mix! The full skirt on that dress was calling my name, and i can try my hand at grading it down a bit. She also included some lovely brown and pink printed fabric! Would it be cute to do the top of a dress in a matching pink solid and the skirt part in the printed fabric? Just a thought. Truth be told, I also read through the Burda magazine, which is in german! So i got to practice my german! 

I will be adding a few things to the mix, so it will be a surprise! Leave me a comment if you'd like to enter, and I'll draw a winner next Monday night, Oct. 15th. I've got to be honest - this is the best legal pyramid scheme around.

Thank you for stopping by!

P.S. I finally went back and finished alma #1, wore it on thursday and took pics! Will post soon, promise! And #2 is coming along really well (after i fixed all of my careless mistakes from the other night, ha ha!) Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

i made some progress, i made some progress, i made some progress, hey hey hey hey

Look, I made some progress last night! I finished ripping out the seams that i messed up because my head was somewhere else. And then i reattached the facing. yay! since the fabric is sheer, you can kinda see it, but i don't think it will be as noticeable when i'm wearing it. I have not yet understitched it. Is this a must? okay, okay, i'll do it. Here's a close up for ya.

sewing up the side seams will be up next. i am inserting the zip this time. or would you attach the sleeves to the arm hole (yes i still say "armhole." i know all the cool kids are saying "armscye.") and then sew up the side seams and continue down the sleeves? what's the best order of operations? (sounds like math…)

 i am so in love with this fabric. my heart will be crushed if this doesn't turn out well.

*Title of this post should be sung to the tune of "i have 2 pickles" from the little rascals

Monday, October 1, 2012


i was so exhausted on sunday that i slept in late. and then took a bubble bath. ate lunch. caught up on project runway. read. took a nap. ate dinner. went to bed. and that was about it! i was thinking it would be perfect to get in some sewing time, but i just didn't want to do anything. and it was awesome.

so the saturday party went really well. that is the most people that have ever been at my house at the same time. also that is the most people that Will Ever be at my house at the same time. thank goodness the weather was alright so most everyone stayed on the back porch and outside in the backyard. inside everyone would have been all up on everyone else. and then after everyone left it immediately started pouring down rain. i kinda stressed out for nothing. it was fine, and the house was clean enough. or at least no one said nasty things about it to my face! ha ha. 

so yeah i was all worked up about it and then a lot of work stress as well. so on thursday night i went to sewing class and that was a waste. i was so out of it. i started sewing the shoulder seams together and finished and realized the seams were on The Outside! ugh. seam ripper. then i decided to french seam them. and then i continued to attach the neck hole facing to The Incorrect Side. ugh. seam ripper again.  i wish someone had said, "put down that fabric and step away from the sewing machine!"

have you ever been so unfocused that everything you did was wrong? even though you thought you were doing it right. and it wasn't even something complicated. dur.

so now i feel like i can breathe again. and hopefully sew again. and i feel like i also need to get back to doing some yoga again. get back by zen. ohmmmmmm.