Pleated Pencil Skirt

Hello, there! My, it’s been awhile! Things have been hectic around here, but life is beginning to slow down, thankfully. One of the things I was working on was testing Delia’s (from Delia Creates) Pleated Pencil Skirt pattern. Have you checked out her blog? She has great tutorials, recipes, tips, and her kids are so cute!

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As I mentioned earlier, I tested Delia’s Pleated Pencil Skirt earlier this month, and if you’re in search of a great fitting pencil skirt with a relaxed waist fit, look no further. I absolutely love the look and fit of this skirt! After having Lo, I couldn’t wait to get the weight off. Now that I have, I am noticing that my clothes do not fit the way they did before growing a bump. As a result, I have been sewing for myself more and more since my trips to the mall aren’t as successful as they once were, and I can’t wait to make more of these skirts!

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This skirt features a closed kick pleat in the back and skims over waist and hips without being restrictive. She gives you great pictures and instructions for each step with tips throughout to ensure you will have a  great fitting skirt in the end. Did I mention it’s also lined? This was great considering it became windy halfway through the shoot, and it kept this silk-poly blend fabric from adhering to my skin.

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The last thing I loved about this pattern is that there weren’t a ton of pages to print! It’s also color coordinated to each size, so it’s easy to put together and cut out your size. Get inspired, and see what the other testers did with this pattern.

-Jess

I’ve linked to Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Linky Party Palooza, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Show Off Saturday and Sewing Saturdays.

Lo’s Big Banner

Lo’s party is in less than two weeks! Eek! My baby is turning one! Jon and I have been reviewing photos over the last year, and are simply amazed at how much she has learned and grown! She’s in the 95th percentile in height and 83rd percentile in weight; not too shabby for a preemie!

With that being said, we settled on a Winnie the Pooh themed party this year. It was surprising how few the options were on party supplies that are available. As a result, Jon and I have been busy making things for the party. First up, is the birthday banner.

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Want to make one? Here’s what I did. First, I gathered my supplies: glue gun, thread (It’s not pictured.), pom-pom trim, ruler, burlap, ribbon, cut letters (I had these, but I ended up using my cutter and made black letters.), scissors, embellishments )I used chip board embellishments.) and a ruler.

SAM_7064Next, I cut up my burlap into identical pieces and added an extra ½ inch in order to sew the ends. Make sure to swap out your sewing needle to a heavy-duty one, and I recommend using tissue paper underneath to make it easier to slide through. I folded the frayed edge in ¼ inch twice and sewed with a stronger stitch length.

SAM_7041The next thing I did was hot glue the embellishments and letters to my burlap flags. Be careful; the burlap is mesh, and you can easily burn yourself.

SAM_7050Once I did this, I decided I wanted to sew my pom-pom trim to my ribbon. You are able to use your hot glue gun if you don’t want (or know how) to sew. Just remember to not burn your fingers. Just take it slow, and make sure it stays aligned. Also, keep in mind how long you want the banner length, and if you want the entire banner to have pom-pom trim or just the flag/bunting portion. I decided to make the ends plain with only the ribbon.

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For the last step, I sewed the ribbon trim to the burlap flags. I spaced them 3 inches apart, pinned them in place, and sewed them on the top edges of the burlap. Make sure to reinforce the ends you just sewed, so it doesn’t unravel. You can hot glue the ribbon to the top edge of the burlap flags, but again, watch those fingers.

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Snip away all the tails, if you sewed. I folded the ends of the ribbon in twice and sewed them. If you didn’t sew, you should just use the Fray Block so the ends of your ribbon don’t fray.

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That’s it. You’re done! Easy peasy.

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Linked Up on Show Me What Ya Got, Your Whims Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, We Did It Wednesday, Catch A Glimpse, Artsy Corner, Showcase Your Talent The Party Bunch, Catch As Catch Can, The Inspiration Gallerys and Lovely Ladies Linky.

Jacquard Leanne Marshall

Earlier this week I was in need of a few sewing notions, so Jon stayed home with Lo and I was able to slip away to a local fabric store.  While there, I came across a gorgeous, floral jacquard fabric and I knew I needed to bring it home. Since I bought the remainder that was on the bolt, I needed to find a pattern that only required 2 ½ yards of fabric and would be a fairly simple and quick pattern.

My friend Amy was getting married (The wedding was today!), and I knew this is what I wanted to wear. I originally had Simplicity 1585 in mind, but I switched to my Simplicity 1877 at the last second since I already had all the pattern pieces cut out. I love my Easter dress, and I don’t mind having another version. Somehow, I ended up with enough of a remnant to make Lo a Piper dress, and I plan on making her bloomers to match soon.SAM_7027 I kept to the pattern, but made the mistake of not going down a size. This fabric has more stretch than I anticipated, and I don’t want to unpick the seams, so I’ll just belt it. Other than that, I love this dress. Now, I just need to shop for new tan wedges and get a hair cut, and then, I’ll be satisfied with my ensemble! SAM_7025 So, tell me, do you generally plan what you’re about to sew? Or do you stumble upon projects when you find the right fabric or pattern? I think I do a bit of both. What did you work on this week?

I linked up at Show Tell SaturdayThe Sunday Showcase, Craftastic Monday Link Party, Monday FundayBlock Party, One Project at a Time, The Party Bunch and Made By You Monday.

Lo’s Piper

I can’t believe we’re at the end of May! Have you had one of those months in which you feel as though you’re being pulled in too many directions? With Me Made May ’14, Indie Sewing Month and Lo’s upcoming birthday and baptism, it’s been a bit hectic around here. Then, I lost all of our cameras, so I wasn’t chronicling anything I have done the past couple of weeks.  I blame it on my insomnia for the past month. Oh, well; that’s life!

As I mentioned before, I am busy preparing for Lo’s birthday and baptism, and I wanted to make her Violette Field Threads’ Piper dress for her baptism. I fell in love with that big bow in the back, and the A-line silhouette is just so cute with the peter pan collar! Seriously, ,how cute are these girls?! So, I excitedly purchased the pdf and was ready to get started. I decided to make a dress out of whatever remnants I had before I cut into the gorgeous silk I intend to use for the special occasion.

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Once I pieced all the pages together from the pdf, I realized I didn’t care much for the pattern’s construction. The instructions aren’t always clear, and the bow isn’t lined. She mentions that you can line it, but never tells you how to line it. I wasn’t sure if I needed to add extra seam allowances, or how to minimize the bulkiness from the lining, but it was better than exposed selvedged edges, in my opinion. Since this is for a toddler, I know it’ll be worn roughly with all the playing and exploring, and I want the bow to look nice from all angles and give her comfortable arm movement.

I sewed them in the round hoping the outcome would look okay, but unfortunately, the sleeves aren’t designed well enough to sew them that way. I am not a fan of patterns that tell you to add the sleeves flat (before sewing the sides together) because it’s uncomfortable, looks awkward when worn and restricts arm movement.  I plan on making a muslin in order to draft a nice fitting set of sleeves keeping this in mind.

I made the bias tape according to the instructions, but it is entirely too wide for the smaller sizes. I honestly did not want to make more bias tape, so I did my best to keep it ¼ inch on the outside and sew the excess securely on the inside. Lastly, I also omitted the elastic on the edge of the sleeve as well.

With all that being said, it’s a fairly easy pattern if you have sewn garments for yourself or a child. If you don’t care about selvedged edges, sewing flat sleeves or visible wrong sides of fabric, then you’ll love this pattern. I’ve seen some of the tester’s creations, and they turned out fine by following the instructions given. Overall, it took me about four hours from cutting to finishing the hems despite the adjustments I made.  Also, it has options for a ¾ length sleeve and long sleeve.  Once I have my muslin the way I want, I’m looking forward to making more of these for Lo in the future. I love this fabric, so she’ll still be wearing this version this summer.

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Have you ever been disappointed by a pattern? Do you prefer sewing in the round or flat? What’s the reason for your preference?

Linked up at Sewing Saturday, Catch As Catch Can, Party Bunch Linky, Linky Party Palooza, Show Off Saturday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Made By You Monday, One Project at a Time, From Dream to Reality, Artsy Corner. Catch A Glimpse, and You Made It and I Love It.

Giveaways, Giveaways, Giveaways!

I’m busy prepping for “Lo’s Big One” party, but took a break to check out Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day. Have you checked it out? There’s a handmade post and a supplies post. It’s a great way to meet other new bloggers and try to win free stuff. Not all giveaways are international, but most of the ones I have seen are! Good luck!

I’ll be back soon with a Me Made May halfway point recap, finished projects and a tutorial! For now, I’ll go back to working on some party supplies and keep searching for my camera! In the meantime, you can follow me on instagram here.

Selfishly Sewing A Plantain

Oh, my! Is it May 5th already?! Yikes! I’m behind on my sewing, but will slowly post as I can. Lo turns the big 1 in four weeks, so I am spending my time rounding up party favors and sending out invitations. We also now have a climber of everything, including stairs, so Jon and I scrambled to get more gates, outlet and door covers, and all other necessary baby proofing things for upstairs this last week.

As a result, I barely managed to sew up a Deer & Doe Plantain tee for Selfish Sewing Week. I wore it on Saturday for Me Made May and posted it here on Instagram.  As you can see in the photo, I am still need a hair cut and tired. We took the photo after several hours of shopping at the mall, and we were all ready to go home, but at least it was a successful trip!

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I decided to make the Plantain because it’s also Sewing Indie Month. I didn’t make a lot of changes to the pattern since it’s a basic tee. I shortened the sleeves a bit and made them fall a couple of inches below the elbow. I also shortened the hem about an inch; I’m petite, and this is a typical adjustment for me to make. The fit was loose and comfortable, but not sloppy, which is exactly what this mom needs! The fabric is cotton jersey from Girl Charlee found here. It sewed nicely, but the polyester in it made it warmer than I expected.

So, did you make anything for Selfish Sewing Week? Do you plan on making  or have you made something for Sewing Indie Month? Who’s your favorite indie designer? Personally, I love Megan Nielsen, Violette Field Threads and Deer & Doe the best.

-Jess

Linked up with: Keeping it Simple, Sew Many Ways and Uncommon Designs.

Summer Wear Prep

With the start of the summer heat descending upon us rapidly here in Texas over the next few weeks, I am on the hunt for a fabulous pair of shorts. I stumbled upon these shorts by Free People a couple of weeks ago while out shopping, but opted to attempt to make a pair myself. I mean, it’s just a layer of gauze sewn together with a layer of  cotton broadcloth, right?

While I had them in my hand, I went ahead and tried them on, and they are amazing. Well, at least for this new, first time mom who hasn’t quite lost all the baby weight. Cute prints and stretchy waist bands are high on my list of favorites. I’m intrigued with the concept of making myself a pair of pants, but still not sure where to start. I think making a pair of shorts will be a great introduction, and who knows, maybe I’ll have the courage to make a pair of pants this fall!

I have a couple of patterns in mind if my smocked attempt becomes a fail, but don’t worry, I’ll post about them regardless. I generally tend to just wing it or modify a pattern I have already made and love.  I’m eyeing Megan Nielsen’s Tania Culottes pattern, Burdastyle’s Pleated Shorts pattern, and Colette’s Iris Pattern. I will disclose, I already own a few patterns from Simplicity and McCall’s that I could very well use, but they’re not quite what I am looking for.

Any thoughts? Have you made shorts or pants before? Is there a pattern you love? Any fabrics you prefer to use? Please share any tips as well! I’ll leave you with some of my inspiration.

-Jess

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