A decade old quilt

Posted by Kristin on Monday, July 22, 2013.
1 Comment

I have spent quite a bit of my summer break watching tv.  Lazy? Yes. But in my defense, I just discovered the show Burn Notice and have been watching every season on Netflix.  In order to make my lazy self feel better about becoming a couch potato, I tried to think of things I could do that would allow me to sit in front of the tv for 2 or 3 episodes a day and still be somewhat productive.  That's when I remembered I had a quilt that I pieced together over a decade ago.  Once I finished the quilt top, I promptly folded it up and put it in a box.  I thought that I could rummage around until I found it and actually do the hand quilting to finish it up. 

I spread it out on the bed in a guest bedroom until I decided what to do with it.  Although the fabrics are beautiful, it doesn't really go with anything in my house anymore.  While I was staring at it and waiting for an inspiration to hit me in the head, Phoebe came to investigate.

That was four days ago.  Phoebe has since claimed the quilt top as hers and will only leave to eat and visit her litter box.

I'm a little afraid to try to move her in order to work on it...

What are you staring at???
This is mine.  Mine.  Go away.
Did you not hear me?  Mine.  I'm even going to ruin your photo with my paw.

Colette Hawthorn - the dress that almost didn't happen

Posted by Kristin on Sunday, July 14, 2013.

Now presenting my newest creation....the Colette Hawthorn!  With every garment I create, I learn something new.  After making four different muslins (or practice versions) of this dress, I learned that I need to work on my fitting skills.  Big time. 

I was so excited when this pattern was released that I bought it immediately.  I decided to splurge on embroidered seersucker fabric.  I was ready. 

Colette Hawthorn
I put together my first muslin.  Colette Patterns typically fit me fairly well with few adjustments, so I didn't make any.  And it didn't fit.  Following the sew along instructions, I did a full bust adjustment.  According to the measurements, I shouldn't have to do an FBA, but I tried it anyway.  I still didn't like the fit.  I adjusted the shoulders.  It made it worse.  I signed up for a Craftsy class on fitting and flew through it.  I made my adjustments.  And guess what?  I still wasn't satisfied. 

I sat in the middle of all my bodice pieces and cried.  I was jealous of all of the other people that had finished their Hawthorns and remarked on how easy it was.  And their dresses looked great.  Mine was a mess.  (I was also going on three weeks without a shower due to a leak that had left a lovely little hole in my living room ceiling.  And my plumber kept cancelling.  And I was a little emotional because I was taking steroids for my arthritis.  First world problems, right?)  I hauled all my muslins to my mom's and she voted on the second one with only an FBA.  I went with it.  I didn't care at this point.

Once I got started, the dress went together extremely easily.  Of course, I also had already had LOTS of practice from my numerous muslins.  I didn't even have to read the instructions at this point. 

But the universe was not quite totally aligned yet.  Because my sewing machine is a moody little thing.  She is an old Brother that I bought at Wal-Mart over a decade ago.  And there are some days that she just doesn't want to cooperate.  I start each project with a new needle.  I keep my bobbins full (she doesn't like anything below half full).  I make sure she is threaded properly.  And she will start of great!  I'll sew a seam with no issues.  I'll get started on the next seam and she goes berserk and spits all of the thread back out at me.  I go through all of my troubleshooting (remove the bobbin, put it back, rethread everything, give her a little pep talk).  And the next line of stitches goes wonderfully!  But then the next one ends in disaster.  This is probably why most projects take me double the amount of time they seem to take others....

We go through this...a lot....
After stopping every other stitch to pull out whatever mess my machine created for me, I eventually have a dress!  And it fits!  Well, sort of.  I still see issues.  But I don't know how to fix them.  So I'll live with them. 

I also decided to make a belt using Tilly's tutorial for a bow belt (tutorial is here).  I usually don't wear belts due to my size but I feel like the belt ties everything together.

Are you ready to see the whole thing????

I really do love it.  I don't love everything I make, but I love this. I see it getting lots of wear in the near future!

A crepe full of butterflies

Posted by Kristin on Friday, July 5, 2013.
1 Comment

That doesn't sound very tasty does it?  A french dessert full of butterflies?  Good thing I am referring to Colette Pattern's Crepe dress made up in Amy Butler's Alchemy Queen Ann's Butterflies!

From Fabric.Com

Colette Patterns

I read other people's experiences with this dress and decided to take my first stab at a lining instead of dealing with the facings in the sleeves.  I followed this article from Threads on how to insert a lining.  Although I made a muslin, I always have a hard time determining how it should fit.  It seemed large, but I thought once I got the skirt attached and made it out of a thicker fabric it would fit better.  I still think the bodice is a little large, and probably could have gone down a size in the sides towards the waist.  I also opted to include the facings with the lining because I thought the sweetheart neckline would need some extra support.  It gave me extra support....to point of feeling a little like a linebacker in the shoulders...

My lining isn't perfect, but I'm still quite proud! 

 See the baggy sides?  Oh well....

The extra fabric also poofs out some in the back.  I wore the dress to work last week and it didn't flap open so I'll live with it!  Other than inserting my first lining, the dress went together very quickly. 

And I love the butterflies!

Here are my little helpers for this project:

I may need to invest in a cutting table at some point instead of using the living room floor....