Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tonight John went to play golf with a few buddies, so I was home by myself for the evening. So, I took advantage of the time and whipped myself up a little dress. I guess I should rewind a bit. I have 2 dresses that are exactly the same, different colors and designs, but same dress. I bought them at Kohl's several years ago, maybe 4 or 5 years ago. I LOVE these dresses...they are incredibly comfortable. However, they are quite worn after this long. One of them is black, and we all know black fades pretty badly, so it's just almost embarrassing every time I wear it, but I just love it. I'm definitely a function-over-fashion kinda girl and the comfort level of these dresses trumps anything else. Anyway, lately I've been giving some consideration to making a new version of the dress for myself, but have been a little intimidated by the thought.
The dress is shirred, which is something I had never done until this point either. So, I bit the bullet and went for it...and I'm so glad I did. I am so happy with this dress.
I decided to add pockets to the sides. They're just a little something extra. When I had the original design in my head, I was going to add them to the front. However, after I got the dress sewn and tried it on, I really liked the drape of the front and thought the pockets would thwart that. So, I opted to put them on the sides. Here's a close up of the pockets.
Here's a close-up of the shirring. This is so much easier than I ever expected it to be. It's definitely a casual look, but I really like it.
I have really enjoyed making clothes for myself, I think I might be slightly addicted. But, I'm happy to be overcoming the fear I've had of making bigger clothes. I'm not intimidated to make things for children, but it feels different to make clothes for adults. A few months ago someone asked me to make her bridesmaids' dresses. I once honored for sure, but also felt as though I might throw up from the pressure. I took a long time to make the decision as to whether or not I would be ok doing them. I knew that she was going for a somewhat unconventional look and there were only 2 bridesmaids. She ended up finding some dresses she liked, so I didn't have to make them...but it caused me to realize I had a fear of making big people clothes. I remember talking to my mom about it on the phone one day and she said, "they're just bigger." It seemed so simple, but she's right. I feel as though there's a good chance I'll be making more clothes for myself in the future.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lil' Rocket

I got to do a custom order for a little girl whose brother plays baseball for one of our high schools. I had so much fun with this. Reynolds colors are green and gold...and they are the rockets. Michelle gave me some direction as to what she wanted on the shirt and I did a little of my own design. Actually, the overall design took me quite a while. I wanted it to look cute and not just like a ton of things all over a shirt...and I'm really happy with the final result. I hope she is too!
There is also design on the back of the shirt. Her brother is John Nick and his number is 21.
She had a skort that she wanted the shirt to match, I decided to embellish it with a little matching rick-rack. I adore rick-rack.
Another back view of the whole thing.
I made a pair of flounce pants to match them for games when the weather is today. :) However, I'm really not sure what I think about this pair of pants. I used a pattern that I haven't used before and I don't think they came out all that great. The rise doesn't seem to be long enough, which then makes the leg inseam look too long. Given that I don't have a little person at my house to throw things on for testing purposes, I'm dependent on others to do that for me. I compared the inseam with another pair of pants I have here and it doesn't appear to be too long, however the rise is just so short. It's like a mini version of low rise pants. But, I'm gonna let Lauren be my 'tester' to let me know how much I need to correct them.
I made a bow to match the whole she-bang, then when I went to glue it together I discovered I'm out of clips. Boo hiss.
Anyway, I hope Michelle likes this little outfit, I'm certain Lauren will look super cute cheering her brother on at his games.

Monday, April 26, 2010


This past weekend was DNow for our last week was very busy. I worked just over 80 hours which didn't allow much time to sew. I managed to stitch a few things out one night, but haven't uploaded any pics of them yet. I do, however, have a lot in the queue this week. Here's a peek at what's ahead...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A 'Tutorial' Of Sorts

The fact that I'm doing anything closely resembling a tutorial is laughable, as I am just certainly not an expert. But, I'm mostly doing this for Aunt Deb. If you're anything like me, pictures are helpful. I'm very visual and find step-by-step pics work so much better than just a list of instructions. So this is a guide about how I do applique on my embroidery machine. This would be the same for just monogramming and embroidery as well, just minus the fabric. Here goes...

First, I start by hooping my stabilizer. For this shirt I used cut-away stabilizer, sometimes I use tear-away.
Then I mark the center point of my shirt, so that I can line it up on the hoop.
I don't always, but lately I have been using a spray adhesive to help the shirt stay in place on the hoop. I really like this one, Sulky KK2000. It doesn't have horrible fumes, it's not overly sticky or leave a residue behind, and you only need a small amount.
Then I get my shirt centered on the hoop and pin it in place for extra security, to keep from slipping. I always use pins, even if I don't also use a spray adhesive.
I get my hoop on my machine being sure to pull up all the excess of the shirt, so that nothing gets caught under the hoop in stitching.
I then stitch out the first run so that I know where to place the fabric.
After the first run is stitched out I place down my fabric. I usually just hold the fabric in place with my hand while stitching, although you could use a spray adhesive at this point too. I then stitch another run.
This next step became much easier after my MIL gave me a pair of applique scissors for Christmas. Until that point I didn't even know such a thing existed, although I was confident that it should. I would use regular scissors and try to invent a way to make things easier while cutting. These scissors are awesome. Oh, so the point of the next step is to cut around the entire applique. I like the leave the slightest amount of fabric on the outside, since I know my next stitch will cover it, and it makes me feel like it is more secure.
Here is my applique fully cut out.
I then get the hoop back on the machine, this time with WSS (water soluble stabilizer) or topping on top. It looks like the picture is blurred, but that's the topping. I then start the next run of stitches.
This isn't a step at all. I just happened to look down while I was stitching and laughed. This is pretty much what the front of my machine looks like every time I'm stitching something out. I have large fabric scissors, small scissors, embroidery scissors, applique scissors, a seam ripper and tweezers.
Back to the last few steps. After I have stitched out all the remaining portions I then remove the hoop, then tear off all the WSS on top.
Then I turn it inside out and trim the stabilizer around my design. This is another time I use my applique scissors.
I like to follow up every design with a quick pressing. I like to make things crisp and neat.
And there you have it! A finished product.
This was an order I did a few weeks ago for a couple sisters. I hope I didn't bore everyone to tears. Aunt Deb, I hope this was somewhat helpful for you too!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Please bear with me while I'm giving me blog a little face lift. I'll have everything fixed the way I want it in a couple days, but until then we are under construction.

My New Gift

Have I told you what Bubba got me for my birthday? A serger. I'm so excited! I've been talking about wanting one for a while now. My sneaky husband told me I would have to raise the money through craft sales to get a serger on my own; so I got to work. I had just about raised the money to get one on my own, then he surprised me and got it for me. Isn't he fabulous?!
I think I've almost got the whole sweat shop feel in my craft room. This room is seriously lacking in decor and I have about 4 different shades of wood throughout, but it serves it's purpose.
I just started learning the ins and outs of my serger, so I decided to whip up a little something for myself. So many of the blogs I read talk about upcycling and refashioning, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I took a plain Hanes gray men's shirt and dressed it up. I actually had this shirt from something we did at church a few months back, so it didn't cost me a thing.
I didn't take a picture of the before, but you know what a plain mens shirt looks like. This shirt is FAR from perfect. I didn't measure or trace anything. I pretty much just started cutting and this is what I came up with. I cut off the sleeves and around the neck, then just serged those up. I really like the look of serged ends on knits with a different color.
Then I couldn't decide how I wanted to dress it up. So I took the sleeves that I had just cut off and cut strips of fabric and serged up those ends. After that I ran a line of stitching down the middle of them to create a gather...then sewed the three strips vertically down the front. Easy peasy. I really like how it turned out. This is how I wore it out...I could buy stock in cardigans I have so many, but that's what I like to wear.
I really enjoyed doing my first refashion and plan to do more in the future. It's cheap and green...two things I really like.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm Back!

Wow, I had so much to share with you before I left for Guatemala, but things got so busy before I left that I never got to post. So, I will take the next few posts to share it all...I even created a 'tutorial' of sorts (that is totally for you, Aunt Deb). But first things first, this is an order I did right before Easter. It was a set of 3 towels for a sweet customer's grandchildren...they were headed to the beach for Spring Break.
Honestly, I'm not in the love with them. I was so busy I really had to speed through that order, but she seemed to be happy. Next, little Claire was born on St. Patrick's Day and her mommy had me monogram a few things for her. This is probably the thickest, fluffiest, coziest blanket I have ever worked with. I loved it.
Claire's big brother was having a birthday on March 29th, so I thought he needed a birthday shirt. I have a little soft spot for March birthdays. :) Also, I really like doing birthday shirts...I did a couple last year in June and September for Addyson and Cade. They are a lot of fun! I did another one the day before Easter, but I'll have to track down a picture.
So, if I can find a pic of Lauren's bday tee, I'll share it with you. That was about half of my orders the week before Easter, I also had a few random other things that I didn't take pictures of. Then of course Easter Sunday night we left for I haven't done all that much since I got back. However, I'm already back to work. So more to come.