Month: March 2012

I Got Cropped

I visited my sister in San Luis Obispo over the weekend, and she gave me a cropped hair cut and several tubes of lipstick.  It seems with such a boyish cut, it doesn’t hurt to turn up the feminine heat with lip color.  (unfortunately I did not get the lipstick till after these photos were taken ;)
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I can’t wait to try more products and styles with this short hair.  I had become quite bored and annoyed with my long hair, which I threw into a pony tail EVERY single day, so, with a little encouragement from Amelia Earhart, I decided to cut off the pony tail.
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She just seems so confident and carefree with that short hair.  I love it.

While looking for a similar cut that I could be confident in,  I found this pic of Keira Knightley with gorgeous short hair.
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What a babe.  My sister was a good sport and made it happen.  She’s super duper talented.  Thank you Jolie.

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The weekend before, I whipped up another knit tee in stripes, and this time I tried a v-neck.  Sis was kind enough to take a pic for me.  I rather like the v-neck, but some stabilizing is a necessity, I learned, by trial and error.  While in SLO I visited Betty’s Fabrics, and I picked up some clear elastic tape for stabilizing knit seams, so another more stable shirt will be made soon.  Most definitely it will be out of the same fabric because I got four yards of this stuff.  What can I say, I love the colors, the weight and drape.  It’s all very lovable.

I’m not sure how many shirts in the same fabric my wardrobe can handle–I might have to make a shirt for my wonderful sister.  We are identical twins, might as well have identical shirts so we can nerd out with our twinness.  What say you Jolie?  And what say the rest of you?  Do you have more than one garment from the same fabric?

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Internet Off, Sewing On

Monday night my home internet service was down, leaving me without a way to watch my favorite tv shows, streamed via the internet.  Without my usual distractions, I took to sewing.  I am working on drafting a pattern for a scrub top for my friend Maxx Fisher who works in the medical field.  I was able to get a basic pattern drawn and the fabric cut out for a muslin.  Even though the internet was back on the next night, I was motivated to sew and finished the muslin.

I am a bit ashamed of how much time I waste browsing the internet and watching tv every night.  I am attempting to reclaim my time and get more sewing done on week nights.  It feels good to be productive!  I tried flat felled seams for the first time, and was quite pleased with the result.  As soon as I can meet up with Maxx to fit her top, I’ll be finishing three tops for her and posting the results here.  I have yet to learn how to add welt pockets to the front of the top though–perhaps that will be my week night project this week.

In the meantime, I’d like to share my finished butterfly painting:
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If you know of any good tutorials for welt pockets, please let me know in the comments! :)

Reversible Skirt

To adequately share a reversible skirt, one must take pictures of both sides, non?  Yes, well, getting photos of one side was hard enough, and over a week later, I finally got what will have to pass as decent enough photos of side #2.

Making the skirt was the easy part.  It is nothing more than a gathered rectangle, sewn to a curved waist band x2.  I used the selvedge edge for the bottom of the skirt so I could avoid hemming 2 layers (can we say lazy?), and instead of zippers, I made an overlapping slit opening with buttoned tabs to close.  I wanted to avoid using zippers because I didn’t want the bulk of 2 zippers, and I just didn’t see how to make it work otherwise.  Does a double sided zipper exist??
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I wore the teal side to my brother’s birthday party, held at the beautiful Seascape resort.  I arrived just in time for sunset.
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Not a bad view.

My sister was kind enough to take a few photos for me, and my 2 nieces wanted to share the spotlight.

Diptic

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Big sis accidently shut little sis’s finger in the cooler, so we are wrapping her hurt finger with a paper towel.  It immediately became a game, and I found myself wrapping her finger about 20 times in a row.  Sometimes they are so easy to please.

After a week of beautiful weather, I thought I’d wear side B today to enjoy some sunshine and get some photos.  Of course it ended up being overcast and cold out.  Mr. GF obliged me with a photo at the pizza parlor where we had lunch with friends.
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I really thought I could do better, so I set-up my mini tripod and camera at home to snap a few shots myself.  And the dog and cat would not be left out.
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There is a distinct lack of natural light in our home, and using the timer on my camera, etc, etc did not lead to any more impressive photos.  So there you have it, the navy blue side of the skirt.

It’s a very comfortable skirt to wear due to the length and light airy feeling of the fabric.  Generally a skirt past my knees makes me feel a tad frumpy, but it was nice not to be overly concerned with keeping my legs crossed (I find shorter skirts can be tiresome to wear).  Come to think of it, short skirts don’t provide much to sit on either, and I don’t like my legs to stick to chairs–this one kept me well covered.

It’s about time to put some cornbread in the oven–I made chili yesterday; big thanks to my friend Amy for sharing her recipe.  Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
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Kitty-Proof Sewing Room

After several destroyed spools of thread, I had to take down my thread rack–Mr. Catsby couldn’t withstand the temptation.  For my birthday I asked Mr. GF to get me a wall cabinet with glass doors where I could store my thread safely.

The cabinet has arrived.
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And it’s lovely.  I’m curious though, how do you all store your spare needles for your sewing machine??  I currently have them still in their original packaging since they are so neatly labeled by size.  But they are a bit bulky and unsightly.  I’m on the lookout for some cute containers.  Any suggestions?

Also for my birthday, I received a bareback pad for riding, from my mother.  After a week of rain, we enjoyed 70 degree weather this weekend, perfect for a ride!

 

Twas a good weekend, enjoying my lovely birthday gifts :)  How’d you spend your weekend?

Machined Buttons

I have yet to learn the technique of hand sewn button holes.  Honestly I’m just happy to get a decent looking button hole that’s functional from my machine.  I was feeling pretty proud of this set of button holes.
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So proud in fact, I decided I should let the machine sew the buttons on too!
Hand sewing buttons to a garment has always seemed like the right thing to do.  I never thought I needed a machine to do the job for me.  But after making my first button up blouse, I realized I’m really slow at hand sewing on buttons.  And they look a tad messy.

While flipping through my sewing machine manual, I noticed the instructions for sewing buttons on by machine.  Hmmm… so you can do that, huh?  (Sewing buttons by hand is so obvious, but how would I do them on a machine?!)  I decided to give it a try, just to learn something new and see how they turned out.

I always wondered what the little plastic plate that came with all the presser feet was for–now I know.
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The plastic piece snaps into place over the feed dogs so that you can sew in one place, without the fabric feeding through.

The special presser foot is designed to fit on top of a button, holding it securely in place.

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The process was so easy–first, using the straight stitch pattern, make a few anchoring stitches in the right side hole.  Next adjust the stitch pattern to zig zag, adjusting the width of the stitch pattern to fit into the left hole and stitch about 10 stitches back and forth.  Then go back to the straight stitch to send a few more anchoring stitches through to finish.  That’s it.
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So far I am happy with the results–the buttons look uniform, and it was much quicker (for me) to use the machine than to sew by hand.  Only time will tell how well the machined buttons hold up compared to hand stitched ones.

What method do you use?  Any tips and tricks for hand sewing would be appreciated; I intend to keep practicing both methods.

The garment shown here is my reversible skirt–details to come, just as soon as I can get pictures of both sides.