Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another housedress......

For Resurrection Day, another housedress for my mom. Made just like this one but in a different fabric and color of piping. As you can see, I *am* starting to work through that pile of fabric. It just takes some time ;-) I have made up one another but just need to take pictures.

The fabric is a simple quilters cotton that was probably $2.50 per yard from Wal Mart and took about 3 yards. I made the piping myself using some thick yarn and a bed skirt from the scrap bin was the perfect shade of pink. I hardly ever throw any fabric away! The buttons were in the button box and I recall buying a gallon bag of white buttons for $5 a few years ago. Consequently, those buttons were just pennies. The total cost of this dress was less than $10!
If you are thinking about sewing garments with cottons, there are a few things that really helped me out. They are certainly one of the easiest fabrics to sew with but many do not like sewing garments from cotton because of the wrinkle factor. My Grammie taught me by example that taking these dresses out of the washer promptly is important. She then taught me to hang them on the line while wet and shake out the wrinkles. It takes out most of them and the wind does the rest. Sewing thicker hems (1.5"-3") is a really good idea also. Once smoothed out on the line, they will not turn up but hang very nicely and behave well.
Blessings,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vogue 2979 Finished

More information here on the dress. When I started this project, I had never sewn a formal before with this combination of fabrics. I have sewn formal costumes with natural fabrics like wool silk blend or cotton and I have sewn fantasy costumes with this sort of fabric but never a formal dress for modern wear with these fabrics. It was a learning experience and I would do it again!
There are a few things that I learned which I wish I would have known before I started:

1. Acetate does melt. Hot iron + funny smell = acetate melting!!!
2. You don't need special sewing needles to work with slippery fabrics. It is actually rather forgiving and works with normal needles. I just wasn't sure because knit fabrics need special needles.
3. Most people don't know what horsehair braid is and you will probably have to ask an employee in order to find it ;-)
4. When you insert a zipper, line the dress and proceed to fold the lining under right next to the zipper and whip stitch it down, no matter how neat it looks, those little stitches will get caught in the zipper! Be practical before pretty. Trust me.
5. A formal dress sewn from a wedding dress pattern is really not all that different from sewing a wedding dress. No reason to freak out when people ask you about making wedding dresses ;-)
6. Man made fibers fray pretty bad. Finish everything. It helped that it was lined but I did do some serging.



This is a picture of the "horse hair" braid that was put in the hem of the skirt to make it stand out a bit more. It is nice because it helps the dress float away from the body a bit more but does not add quite as much support as say, a hoop would. This picture is also the best representation of the actual color of the gown also. More warm than royal :)

Blessings,
BethanyLynn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Those pillow things.....

These are always a hit and I honestly wish I had one for myself.... in any case, they take hardly fabric and I just have to make sure I keep poly fill on hand. I think I figured out one back of the stuff makes 5 pillows... not that I have made that many yet. The idea came from Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan.



Jenny's idea was to do a patchwork top for interest. I have done that a couple of times and it always turns out cute. I used fabric from Marie Madeline Studio for this.




I did have to go to the copy store and enlarge the pattern but it really was simple in the scheme of things. Since I have used it several times, it was worth my time.



The two plain ones were for the grandparents on their plane trip back home. They are so much nicer to use than expecting the head rests in the plane to do their job!

I made these in between other tasks but I think one could be made in half an hour. I know that because I am procrastinator and don't mind helping other procrastinators out. ;-) If you really are in a pinch, you could draft the pattern yourself. I could just be characterized as lazy and didn't want to reinvent the wheel when I already had the book.

Blessings,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vogue 2979

Recently, a friend approached me about making a formal for a special occasion at the end of this month. She wanted it to be modest and yet pretty, flattering and one of her favorite colors. We were blessed to have one stop shopping at Joanns. I think it has been one of the most stress free projects that I have ever had!

Here I was cutting it out but it is almost finished now! I just need to hem it and get some pictures outside. More to follow.
><><><><><><

Lately, these are my favorite cookies. They are not super bad for you but are still sweet and full of energy. I started with the recipe from Sweetly Raw and changed it so it would not have coconut. Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grind 1 cup almonds and 1 1/3 cup rolled oats in the blender until they turn into flour. Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon Stevia.

In another bowl, combine 1 stick of softened butter*, 1/3 cup honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix together wet and dry. Add 2/3 cup chocolate chips or cocoa nibs.

Spoon onto a tray covered in wax paper. Place in freezer until firm. Store in freezer. Makes about 24 small cookies

*If you prefer not to have dairy in the cookies, you can use coconut oil instead. Do not use the same amount but add it to the mixture once the wet and dry are combined. Pour it in slowly until it is moist enough for it to all mix but do not add too much so that the dough spreads out when put on the tray.

Blessings,
Bethany

Friday, April 8, 2011

Clothing an army.....

....... well maybe not quite but sometimes it is easy to feel that way!



24 eyelets, 32 buttons and 38 button holes later, I finished 4 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of suspenders. They will be passed along to their new owners next weekend. I used the Timeless Stitches boys Trouser pattern. Scroll down on that page a bit. I thought that since the pattern was not too expensive, that it would not be of very good quality but I was impressed! The instructions were easy to follow with many options and historical background. The pattern was printed on nice paper and was easy to fit and lengthen or widen if necessary.

It suggested doing these eyelets on the back to make it adjustable and found this works well. A buckle with adjustable strap would do just fine also. I made the largest size for these growing boys but if made to fit more closely, these eyelets wouldn't be necessary.
Button fly front
Pockets
Suspenders
I thought having the button on the inside would make the buttons less susceptible to popping off. Since the two brothers will be matching and the only difference is the length, I also put an initial on the waistband of each.

Overall, I think a beginner could make these with some help. Trousers really are not that hard to make. Just take it one step at a time and you will be finished in no time at all.

Note for self: 2 pairs of trousers can be cut out of 2 3/4 yards of 60" wide twill. 1 yard of 60" wide twill will make the suspenders, pockets, linings ect.

Blessings,
Bethany Lynn

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bath mats!

This was a super simple project that took me maybe 30 minutes. I already had some fabric on hand and narrowed down 3 or 4 choices to this one. Its just home dec fabric in a "ticking" weave. I think I remember buying it on the clearance. Anyways, the baths mats in our bath room were white (what was I thinking?!) and just not cutting it anymore.



Before


After



I think the idea originally came to me because of Anna's floor cloth. It seemed so simple. Why improve on it? It was especially nice because the stripes kept me stitching straight and made the rolled hems even easier to execute! Its a great project for a beginner after those cloth napkins and table cloths :)

Blessings,
Bethany Lynn