Double Gauze Voila

A month ago, I blogged this flannel Voila blouse.  I wear that one often- it’s so comfortable!

But, this plum double gauze version is the one I made first.

Sweet sister Caroline insisted I give her ALL of my kids on my birthday (a.k.a. New Year’s Eve), so I could have a day to myself.  SO nice, right?!  So, I dropped my kids off with her in a parking lot sometime after 9 am, came home and sewed this shirt before grabbing a delicious pizza-and-prosecco lunch with my main squeeze, then meeting for coffee with my buddy, Taylor (who always reads this blog even though she doesn’t sew and claims to have “baby seals for thumbs”.  Shout-out to you, T-bone!), and then back to Caroline’s house for dinner and birthday cake.

It really was the perfect day.

And while I don’t wear this one quite as much as the flannel one, I still like it a lot.  I learned a couple of things making this one, and applied those to the second.  Mainly, on the flannel one I cut my skirt pieces smaller by about a third- I think the reason I’m not totally in love here is because it’s still just a bit too wide, even though I chopped a few inches off… maybe 5 on each panel?

  I’m all for flow-y, but 1st triemester? Not so much.  I mean, unless there’s a real baby in there. ;)

This is my first time sewing with double gauze.  I GET IT, FRIENDS.  IT’S THE SHIT. I mean, when it first came in the mail, I was like, eh… I guess it’s nice.  But once I washed it up, I could see why it’s a favorite material for many.  It’s like wearing a fluffy cloud that just gets softer and more cloud-like the more you wash it.

 I purchased mine from the Imagine Gnats shop during a 20% off sale- I don’t see the plum colorway anymore, but Rachael has several more to choose from, and she often has great little sales.

Anyway, I do still recommend the Voila pattern… just be careful about that skirt piece width or you might end up looking like you’re carrying quintuplets.

Bye!

-Erin

Valentine’s Day Skaters

Erin and I are both married to chefs.  Strange, I know.  We also look alike, sound alike, and drive gold minivans.  Oh, and then there’s this sewing blog we share too, but you already know about that ;).  Anyway, Erin and I find ourselves husbandless on most weekends, and certain holidays, like V-day, so we team up a lot.  Today we tried to go rollerskating about 30 minutes away, in “a town that time has forgotten”, and we FAILED.  The rink has been closed for 2 years.  Erin was all, “I think they have matinee prices on Saturdays, like $4 a person.”  Um, maybe that’s why they were forced to CLOSE THEIR DOORS FOREVER!  Two years ago!  The kids were not happy.

So there we were in Random-ville with nothing to do.  We wandered into a couple stores, raised some proper six-kids-in-tow hell, grabbed a pizza and got heck out of dodge.  As we pulled out of the parking lot, and Avery broke her dollar store slappy-hand, she declared, “this is the worst day ever”.

Oh well, you can’t win em all.

Let’s see, how does this story relate?  Well, I made a Valentine’s skater dress for Avery!  So, there ya go.

7-feb blog 2015 030

She really loves it!  It’s made from some ultra stretchy knit that I picked up at the Michael Levine wholesale store in Los Angeles last year, for 2 dollars a pound!  That place is fun, and nuts.

3-feb blog 2015 018

I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t my favorite to sew with.  The stripes are tough to match up with the fabric being super stretchy.  But I had fun with it anyway.  I’m not sure if you can tell that the gold stripes are sparkly?  Scoring points with the little girl!  I had some scraps of an old, sparkly-gold, sweater that matched up well for the cuffs and neckline.

8-feb blog 2015 032

 I cut a scrappy head-wrap for myself, but Avery claimed it.  Looks better on her anyway.

I have so much love for MY FUNNY VALENTINE.

5-feb blog 2015 025

While I had the pattern cut out in a size six, I busted out another skater for a special friend of Wes’…

2-feb blog 2015 006

This one was sent off to the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, where Daphne is staying during her treatment.  We love her!  She was like a substitute Avery for Wes and when we all stayed there together.  Please pray for her cure!

This fabric was MUCH nicer to work with.  It’s from Girl Charlee.  If they don’t have it anymore, there are lots of other cool knits there.  This one was also well complimented by the gold sweater remnants.  You can see that I attempted to put a size tag in, but was totally off center with it.  Phooey.

1-feb blog 2015 007

I hope all of your Valentine’s dreams came true today.  But, if they were shattered like ours, well, I hope that you can laugh about it!

Botanical Dress

I know.  Another dress.

::yawn::

My good friend, Catie gave me this really pretty vintage botanical print that her mom had saved for a long time- her mother told her it is probably 40 years old. Wowzers! I contemplated making a bunch of bibs or something with it.  The fabric (which I found here on etsy) is divided into all these panels- I think it was intended for easy pillow making?

 But, because I’m totally predictable, I made a dress.

Another Charlie, size 3, fully lined.

I used cotton couture (obvi) in gold for the flounce, and a cool gold button at the back closure.

Not much more to say.

Other than that I just love this one on Corinne.

But I think she’s done with me.

Peace.

-Erin

A Flannel Voila Blouse

Heeeello friends!

I’m back today with a project for me.  This is the Voila blouse by Cali Faye Collection.

This is the second voila that I’ve made.  I took pictures of the other one as well, but I’ll save it for another post so I don’t inundate you with my awkwardness all at once…tee hee.

Anyway, this version is my favorite of the two- which ended up surprising me because it’s flannel and I had no clue how it would hang in this style.  But, it is THE COMFIEST. And, it just kind of goes with my winter wardrobe (a.k.a. jeans + cardigans + runny noses).

I cut my pattern between the M and L lines, which is generally what I’ve been doing when sewing for me.  The bodice fits great- most importantly, it feels perfect around my arms and chest…it doesn’t pull tight when I reach for things, or when I’m bending down to get something.  Really, it’s just a nice, forgiving fit.

Now, the skirt piece.

Holy lotsa fabric! Would you believe me when I say I narrowed these by cutting 8 inches from the front piece, and 8 inches from the back? Can you picture this with 16 more inches of width?!?!! I know!  It’s nuts… I’m not sure there is a perfect fabric out there that would look okay with all that width.  Luckily, the flannel isn’t all that billowy, but I think you should also consider narrowing the skirt pieces significantly, regardless of your fabric choice if you happen make this pattern.

Oh, and I did lengthen this because I lengthen everything.

I purchased this flannel locally at Les Fabriques, and it was a no-namer.  I liked the thin yellow lines running through, and I happened to have a yellow gauze shirt in the same shade, so I hacked up for the bodice lining.

I love how the neckline is wider at the back.  Thank you, old self for not tattooing anything scary back there!

So, I would definitely recommend this pattern to a beginner.  It’s really an easy sew.  However, the directions are a bit sparse.  No one is telling you to press anything or finish a seam, so you just have to use your common sewing sense- no biggie, but I could see how that could bother some of you type-A’s out there.

I’ll be back soon with another Voila (hint: first ever double gauze!).

Ciao!

-Erin

A Stolen Nessie

Happy almost 2015!

I thought I’d pop in here with one last little post for the year.  This is a Nessie top in a size 6, made a couple of months ago.  It was intended for Ellery, but Coco laid eyes on it as soon as it was done, and snatched it up as her own before Ellery got home from school one day.  I never know which handmades the kids will love- I was surprised how quickly Corinne claimed it her own!  And not to cause any drama, I told Ellery it was a shirtdress for Coco because I could see her eyeing it.  She bought it. Reluctantly. Oh, Sisters….

Anyway, It’s a great little pattern from Jess of Craftiness is Not Optional.  In fact, this is the 4th Nessie I’ve made.  I got kind of addicted to making them one day, and just busted them out like a motha.

The other 3 are in such heavy rotation, that they are pretty much always in the dirty pile, and I keep forgetting to get pictures!

It’s such a fast sew, and I really like the shape of it.  It’s sort of swingier-looking than a regular old tee, and I love the 3/4 sleeve option- which is what I did here.  Though, it’s sort of a funny length on my Coco bean.

The floral knit is from Girl Charlee, and the dark teal is from my homie, Joann.  I used it in a little corduroy-knit top for one of my first ever KCW posts back in 2011.  I feel old!

 It’s funny- I remember racing through the sewing of this one because we had to get Ellery off the bus- I didn’t even hem it.  But, Corinne wears this all.the.time. And I think I actually like it sort of oversized on her skinny frame.  I’d like to make a few more of these for her in a smaller size, but keep the length.  I just love that she loves it!

Thanks so much for reading our blog- we love you!  Happy New Year!  See you in 2015.

-Erin

Sewing to Sell Blog Tour {& giveaway}

When Erin and I were invited to join the book tour for Virginia Lindsay’s Sewing to Sell, we were totally pumped.  Virginia has been selling her adorable handmade goods and patterns long enough to have learned a thing or two about the process.  You should check out her blog, Gingercake if you haven’t!  In her newly released book, she gathers what she has learned from experiences and hands it to you.  Here ya go future-Etsy-store-owner, or wanna-be-craftshow-vendor, its all right here!  In Sewing to Sell, you will learn about knowing your market, maximizing your time, pricing your product, and packaging, so that your hardwork and love (because there is always love in handmades) can actually PAY off.

11060_FrontCover_FullSize

Oh and there’s one more thing, actually 16 more things- this book includes 16 PATTERNS (copyright free- to help you get your shop ready)!  Lunch bags, pot holders, tablet covers, and so much more.  I mean, even if you are not ready to put your goods out there for sale, this book is still worth the purchase!

Check out what I made!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?

1-tote1

When I looked through the patterns in my eBook copy of Sewing to Sell, I kept coming back to the Great Big Tote.

Can you believe I have never sewn a bag of any type?  I have no idea why.  I love making useful items, and also showing off my handmade work, so it was high time that MAMA GOT A BRAND NEW BAG.

 Make that two brand new bags!

One for the market, and one for the beach!

9-dec 2014 blog 043

I took Virginia’s advice about taking an assembly-line approach when sewing multiple products.  The repetition of each step helped me to keep my head in the game and to sew more conscientiously.  There was zero seam ripping, and zero curse-words with this approach!  I truly enjoyed the bag making process, and watching it literally unfold (through a four inch hole that you will later topstich close ;)) was fascinating!

Bag making is so cool!  I’m hooked!

7-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 012

Here I am pretending that I just plucked a bunch of green onion out of my winter garden.  Tee hee.

Erin was helping me with the photo shoot.  She had to put her foot down when I told her to take my picture while I pull a carrot out and feed it to her neighbor’s horse.  What?  Too contrived?  Fine.

1-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 090

We sure had fun styling the bags for the shoot.  I am shocked how much stuff can fit into these things!  The mommy-market would be all over this tote.

Look out L.L. Bean!

5-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 017

Virginia suggested using painter’s drop cloth canvas for a sturdy bottom and lining (It’s super economical).  I still had a bunch left over from when I made 3 bedskirts out of this stuff, so that worked out!  It actually sews really nicely through the machine.

6-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 021

The coordinating fabric was handed down to me by a friend who is just an occasional sewer (Mermaid Play by Michael Miller).  The chicken fabric was purchased for a different project, and the pockets were scrap.  So, both bags, cost me nothing to make! Okay, wait, I bought some interfacing for a few dollars.  It’s a little hard for me to clock my hours when they are all just stolen moments in the midst of parenting, but I’d guess roughly 6 hours was put in to make both.  I am a very slow sewer.

Sewing to Sell offers advice on pricing your items so that your hourly wage doesn’t become peanuts.  Or in my case, Skinny Pop.  I’m so addicted, they’re gonna have to change the name to Chubby Pop.

2-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 080

I still can’t get over the fact that I made a really nice, durable tote bag!   The pattern instructions were clear and uncomplicated.  The only tough part for me was at the very end, sewing up those corners.  There was a good bit of fabric to get through at that point.

4-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 041\

But hey, we are humans, not machines.   I’m pretty sure I’ll still be turning heads at the kiddie pool next summer!  Heads of moms…who want my bag.

See ya there!

3-Blog- totebag dec. 2014 045

Virginia is graciously offering a free hardcopy of Sewing to Sell to one of our readers (within the continental U.S.).

Just leave a comment below!  The giveaway will close Sunday 12/7.  And if you don’t win, follow the blog tour for more opportunities!

Thank you for entering!  A winner has been chosen at random, congratulations lisacrafty!  Enjoy your copy of Sewing to Sell!

~Caroline

Blog Tour

Birthday Dress (a little late)

Avery turned 5 a couple weeks ago!  She is such a dynamic girl.  There are many dimensions to my girl Avery: smart, determined, tenacious, dramatic, hilarious, honest, sweet, loving, mysterious and wild (good luck future boyfriends).  This face kind of says it all…

DSC_7720 (2)

She recently started watching the runway portion of Project Runway with me. I know she has craftiness in her future, its in her DNA, so I thought I’d jumpstart her interest in sewing by letting her watch the show.  She really likes it.  She asks me, “Mom, which girl do you want to win?”  I explained that those girls are just wearing the clothes that the people made, they are not the ones who will win.  “Oh…I want to be one of those girls,” she says.  “A girl who wears the clothes and walks in them,” I ask?  “YES,” declares Avery!  Great.  I just helped my daughter aspire to be a walking mannequin.  Fabulous.  She will have to work at that modelling career, because this was about the least awkward pose she was offered me during our shoot.

photo (2)

We headed to the playground to try for some candids.

DSC_7734 (2)She was dying to show me how she learned to use the monkey bars!

DSC_7725 (2)

 

DSC_7726 (2)That’s my girl!  She is really athletic, and she loves to wear DRESSES!  I knew that the skater dress would be an instant hit in the comfort department.  I sewed a size 5Y/6Y and I am so glad that it is roomy enough for her grow into it.  I increased the width of the skirt pattern piece and gathered it before it was attached.  Avery really appreciates a dress that she can twirl in.  What 5 year old girl doesn’t?

photo (3)If you’ve seen this dress before, its because Rachel from Stitched Together made an almost identical one before I got to it.  Ha!  I didn’t mean to be a copy-cat (even though I’d copy what Rachel makes all day long if I could)!  When I bought this knit months and months ago from Girl Charlee, the skater dress was on my agenda.  But, alas, my sewing productivity is very low these days! DSC_7737

Thank you for stopping by!

~Caroline