Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Downton Duffle

Yesterday I mentioned that I just sewed the cutest coat ever. Here it is: the Downton Duffle
I was lucky enough to get to help pattern test this coat. I sewed it up in two days and it was a lot of fun. This pattern definitely challenged my sewing skills (toggles, separating zipper, and sewing with faux fur were all firsts for me) but not in a "throw the coat across the room" kind of way, more like a sewing class piece, where at the end of the pattern I was thinking "wow I can't believe I made that!"
I think Jacob looks adorable in his coat. I am in love with those elbow patches. I need to add elbow patches to all of his clothes!
I used a brown corduroy fabric, a green flannel for the lining, and this great faux fur for the hood lining. The fur was CRAZY to cut. whoa! if you sew with this stuff I recommend cutting the pattern pieces in your kitchen so you can sweep up the flurry. My kitchen looked like I killed a grizzly bear in there. Fake fur was everywhere. It's totally worth it though. I love it and want to sew more!!! I saw a giraffe print at the store that was calling my name.

Gah! I could just stare at it all day. I can't wait for it to get a little bit colder so he can wear his new coat!

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to make your own DIY toggles: a simple tutorial

Last week I helped pattern test Peek-a-Boo Patterns new coat the Downton Duffle (it's a fabulous coat btw, but more on that tomorrow)

The pattern called for two toggles. So I went to the only fabric store near my house, Hancock fabrics, and I asked the clerk where I could find the toggles. She stared at me blankly, "What is a toggle?" Oh dear.

This, my friends is a toggle
(from Nordstrom)
and Michael Kors says toggles are IN

Sadly, Hancock doesn't know this and did not have any in stock. BUT they did have toggle buttons. So I picked up a package sure I could figure something out. Let me tell you, I am so glad that they were out, because 1. pre-made toggles are so expensive and 2. making your own is so easy!

Here's how you can make your own
First you will need some toggle buttons. They are just little rods with two holes in them. These pretty ones above are from Anny May Craft Supplies etsy shop.
I picked up mine from Hancock and they were on the button wall. They were $3.46 but all the buttons were 50% that day (yes! I love when what I want to buy is on sale)
You will also need some sort of cording. I already had some of this deerskin lace (from Hobby Lobby in the leather section right next to the jewelry section-- you can buy it in smaller quantities for much cheaper and they always have 40% off coupons) but any type of cording (look in the ribbon and trim section) will work as long as it's thick and sturdy

Lastly, you will need a little bit of leather (or vinyl, faux leather, probably even felt would work as long as it's a bit sturdy and the edges won't fray) I chose leather because that's what I had on hand
Time to get to work

ONE: Cut your leather into your desired shape The job is to cover the ends of your cording, so you can be creative with this. I did a little research and found mostly triangles, rounded triangles, and half ovals used with toggles. Mine were 3/4" tall and 1" wide. (If you are making the Downton Duffle, Amy has added a pattern piece for this)

TWO: Cut two pieces of cording 4 1/2 inch long

THREE: loop one end of cording through one hole of the toggle, and back through the other hole
Now you are ready to attach the cording to the back side (ugly side that will not be seen). I chose to sew this on, but I would bet a little fabric glue would also work well for this step (just put the glue in the center, not on the edge where you will eventually sew your toggle down to your project)
Simply sew across the cording along the edge of the leather. I just used a regular needle on this, if your sewing machine is having a hard time try switching to a leather or denim needle)
 Repeat with the other cord, this time with out the toggle button
Flip it over, and your toggle is ready to be sewn to your project! Simply sew around the edges of the leather, try to sew exactly over your first row of stitches so they are not noticeable (or let me know how the glue goes. Or, I am thinking even a little piece of scotch tape would work to temporarily hold down those loops. hmmm I am going to have to go experiment!)
Happy toggle-making!

Come back tomorrow to see the cutest coat ever

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Favorites from KCW

I know you all probably thought I was going to go back into blogging hibernation again after KCW, but I think I might keep posting. Blogging is much more fun than doing the dishes.

I was so excited to see on Day Six the Kids Clothes Week blog featured my flashback skinny shirt! so fun!

Today I want to share some of my favorites from KCW. 
Elbow Patched Cardigan also by Amos El. I am in love with those elbow patches!
Imagine Gnats used Un Petit Design's free pattern/tutorial to make this adorable top
{lbg studio} made the Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardigan pattern (added to my pattern wish list!)
and isn't the blue blouse underneath so pretty? it's made from the CaliFaye Voila Blouse pattern
Laughter House Mama made this shirt with adorable applique bear
this baby bonnet makes me wish I had a baby girl to sew for
I love this goat costume by "By Brienne" (she doesn't have a blog to link to sadly. She needs to start a blog, because you know it would be awesome) oh my! I wish there was a way to convince my princess lovin' girl to be a goat for Halloween next year.

Monday, October 28, 2013

KCW: day six

Okay, it's Monday and I'm still blogging what I did on Saturday. I finished the metro dress, took photos, and even uploaded the photos to my computer on Saturday, but I ran out of time because it was time to get ready for the trunk or treat. 
Christine was a little annoyed at taking more pictures (you have to take my picture again mom? didn't we do this yesterday? and the day before? and the day before that?) I had to pay out a boxed apple juice drink for this, and she demanded that she dictate where the photos were taken (she chose her playhouse) AND that she could wear her new "glass slippers" (that were for her Cinderella Halloween costume) in the picture.
This dress is a knock off of a jcrew dress (from 2011, I'm so not trendy am I?) that Shwin and Shwin did a tutorial for. Except I didn't follow the instructions and fully lined the dress instead of adding a facing. If you've been reading my KCW posts, you know that adding the lining doubles the amounts of darts you have to sew. But once you've sewn those and avoided turning the dress into a scarf it isn't too bad. In fact this was one of those projects that pushed my skill set. I love those type of projects (when they are done), they are so satisfying.
Christine is probably glad that KCW is over, but I am going to miss the momentum I had going. (not that I am going to stop sewing, for those of you who know me, I am always sewing!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

KCW: day five

I almost forgot to share this shirt! I sewed up a flash back skinny tee in briar rose cotton jersey knit. I sewed it at the same time as the bimaa. Seriously, if you are going to sew a shirt, just sew two at a time because it hardly takes any extra time.
I actually finished the sleeves and neck hole with ribbed knit and it was sooooo ugly, like bad 80s ugly. I couldn't do that to my beautiful Heather Ross fabric! So I pulled out my seam ripper and cut out some new pieces from the briar rose knit. much much better.
I didn't get any sewing done today. But I did go to the fabric store, does that count? Tomorrow is the last day of KCW. Sadly, I don't think the skinny jeans are going to get done. My goals are to finish sewing the sash on the metro dress and get it photographed. We'll see if I can do that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

KCW: day four

We went out today and took some real pictures! Much better yes?

Let's talk details. This is the Bimaa pattern from Lou Bee Patterns. If there is a "pattern of the season" right now, it's the Bimaa. I almost bought the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle a few weeks ago just for the Bimaa, but then I realized that buying the pattern at full price was much cheaper than buying 30 patterns I wouldn't use (plus I already owned several patterns included in there). Let me say, this is an AWESOME pattern. I can't wait to sew it up again with a contrasting cowl like here, and again with the shawl collar like here. And I kinda want to make it for me like Suz did here. It is actually a really easy pattern and sews up really quick.

For fabric I used this cotton jersey fabric and it is sooooo soft! I want to make myself a t-shirt out of it, maybe an exact matching shirt, and then we can wear them together and be SO COOL! (that's my sarcastic voice btw)
As for my remaining KCW sewing, I am almost finished with the Metro Dress. I sewed a little bit this morning before breakfast and all of a sudden it started coming together really quick! I was just kind of winging it because 1- I was too lazy to read the tutorial instructions and got derails from the original pattern (I did a full lining instead of a facing) 2- I get arrogant about my sewing skills thinking I am the sewing master (I'm not) and all of a sudden I realized that I was beyond my skills.  I had in my hands a dress with a full lining (I have never sewn a full lining before) and an invisible zipper (I think this would be my 4th invisible zipper ever). I was just making this up as I went along! So I went to the true sewing masters Coletterie and found this brilliant tutorial. I sewed up the zipper and the stars aligned so beautifully. With my ego puffed up again, "I AM the sewing master!" I moved on to the next step- sewing the lining to the dress part and I tried to turn it right side out, and I couldn't...
.... I had just made the world's first infinity scarf with 16 #$% darts. (I am going to digitize this pattern and sell it for $10 and make bank because every sewer is going to want to sew one of these! (sarcastic voice again))
 Looks pretty good no? the 16 darts really make it fabulous

Anyways. That's my update for KCW so far. Tomorrow I hopefully will have final photos of the completed Metro dress (Yes, the infinity scarf is no more). Then it's onto the last item on my KCW list. I have pieces cut out for the white skinny jeans, but I'm not sure how much I will get done on them. Friday is my cleaning day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KCW: day three

Photographing wasn't ideal today. Someone didn't have a nap today and was a little ca-razy. I am going to have to retry tomorrow. I need better lighting and better bribes!
Here's how the Metro Dress is coming along. I decided to fully line the bodice instead of doing a facing as the tutorial calls for. BAD IDEA. Do you know why Shwin and Shwin did a facing? because there are 8 darts in this baby. Add a lining and that's 16 darts! What was I thinking??

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KCW: day two

I woke up this morning with a sore throat. not good. ug! I hate being sick. If I don't feel better quick, the dress and skinny jeans are going to get kicked off the KCW list. As for the long sleeve shirts, they are done and just need to be photographed. So at least there will be a few more pictures to come.
 The leggings used to be a nightgown of mine that I never wore, and the shirt used to be this shirt
After I saw this photo I realized I needed to stop wearing that shirt. It actually was in the re-purpose pile once, and then as we were packing up to move I pulled it out and moved it back to my dresser. haha. Now there is no chance it will move back into my dresser drawers!
I used the flash back skinny pattern for the bodice, and then just eyeballed the sleeves (obviously I didn't do a fabulous job- I may revisit this top to perfect the fit a bit).

I actually drew out the idea for this shirt in my sketchbook, and then noticed later as I was skimming through my pinterest sewing tutorial pins, pretty much the exact same idea on Craftiness is Not Optional called The Playdate Dress. So while I thought I came up with the idea, I clearly was just remembering the dress that my brain had carefully stashed away.

More KWC goodness here

Monday, October 21, 2013

KCW: day one

Today is the first day of KCW! If you read my KCW plans, you know I wanted to knock the Halloween costume off the list very first thing.
Cinderella dress? check!
Christine is SOOOOO into princesses right now, and wanted to be Cinderella for Halloween. I was all for it because it means we now have a Cinderella dress for our dress up collection. I have grand visions of one day having loads of handmade dress-ups. (I may have to call in reinforcements for that though... Grandma???)
I chose to go simple, simple, simple with this one. I did a basic peasant dress pattern (there are loads of free patterns/tutorials online like this one by Create Kids Couture). I cut the pattern off at the waistline, and did as long of a rectangle as I could get from my remaining fabric (I bought 1 yard of this blue shiny polyester stuff). For the...um...white puffy things? (what ARE those called???) I cut four half circles and sewed them together and gathered them up a little bit and tucked those in between the bodice and skirt as I sewed the two together. I am regretting not following this tutorial (Oh look they are called bustles! thank you Rae Gun Ramblings) so they would be a little more dramatic, but I am still happy with my results.
See all the great KCW projects here. I am also linking this up with the Project Run and Play Costume Party

Friday, October 18, 2013

KCW: the plan

kid's clothes week
Kids Clothing Week begins on Monday. I am so ready! I have my patterns picked out, my fabric chosen, and some of the pieces already cut out.

For those of you who don't know, Kids Clothing Week is an online blogging event where sewers are challenged to sew for one hour a day for an entire week. Sewing bloggers (who usually sew an hour a day) typically do a big sewing marathon- a "make as many kids clothes as you can in one week" if you will. Yesterday I went to craft group (the crafty ladies in our ward meet together at each other's houses every other week to craft while our kids play together), and I brought some fabric to cut out pattern pieces. As I was trying to explain what Kids Clothes Week was, I got the "woa this lady is crazy!" look. haha That's totally okay.

The KCW plan:
(working from the top of the fabric pile down)
  • Make a Bimaa long sleeve with cowl neck long from this super soft zig zag cotton jersey
  • Re-purpose this teal t-shirt of mine into a playdate top Christine
  • Re-purpose a polka dot knit night gown that I never ever wear into leggings to match the teal shirt
  • flash back skinny long sleeves shirt from Briar Rose Strawberries cotton jersey knit fabric
  • Metro dress from the solid dusty pink fabric and floral fabric as lining
  • Skinny Jeans from the white denim (Nap Time Crafters is having a sew-along next week, how could I resist?)
  • Not pictured (because I am cheating and getting a head start on this one) before I sew any of the above, I must finish Christine's Halloween costume- a Cinderella dress.
See you Monday! Hopefully with a finished Cinderella dress!