Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sew Along Progress

The Candy Castle Patterns sew along is progressing nicely!  We've moved on from the prep to the actual sewing which is exciting.

Here's what I've got so far. I'm adding a piping detail along the bodice.  When I sewed my first one up the other week before starting the sew along one I felt like it needed something more, a little pop.  I'm hoping this does the trick. This is my first time working with piping so we'll see how it turns out, I'm a little nervous.

Nervous about more than just the piping, honestly.  For some reason what I've got so far doesn't seem to match up with what I'm envisioning. I was so excited about my fabric in the beginning, then I saw all the absolutely gorgeous fabric combos the other ladies had and I developed fabric insecurity. And now with it partially sewn up I'm still unsure.

I'm sticking with it though.  I'm determined to see it through.  I'm hoping right now it's just because of how unfinished it looks.  We move on to part two of constructing the bodice tomorrow, so I'll be back to let you know.  I do have another special detail planned, but I'm keeping that one a surprise til the end, you'll have to come back to find out!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sew-along with Candy Castle Patterns!

One of the things I love about PDF sewing patterns is the community that comes with them.  Many designers have their own sewing groups that fans can be a part of and ask questions, chit chat with the designer, test new patterns, and a myriad of other things.

I'm participating in a sew-along with one of those groups right now, Candy Castle Patterns. The sew-along is being led by the designer herself. She is showing us how to take the already super versatile Bubblegum Dress...

Check out how many different ways this dress can be made! Photo property of Candy Castle Patterns.

 and turn it into this...

Photo property of Candy Castle Creations

In case you aren't familiar with how sew-alongs work, the person leading the sew-along sets a schedule, and you sew the project following the schedule.  It is a lot of fun to see the creative choices everybody makes and what their take on the pattern is. 

Right now we're on step 2 of the sew along, step one was to purchase the pattern and fabric. Step 2 is wash and iron, and prepare the pattern pieces.

This is the fabric I'm using for mine

I love this print so much.  I scooped up 3 yards so I would have plenty to make several outfits.  It has been so much fun to see the fabric combinations the other ladies in the sew along have chosen.  I can't wait to see all the finished projects.

Now, I didn't want the sew-along to be my first go at this pattern, so I whipped up a version following the original pattern.

Get a load of those sandal tan lines!
The hardest part now is making myself wait and follow the sew-along schedule instead of going ahead and making the dress.  I will be back to share more as we progress in the sew-along. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest checking out Candy Castle Patterns, she's on Etsy and Facebook!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Circle Skirt Tutorial

Remember when I warned you that I wasn't going to be able to post as regularly as I'd like?  And when I warned you that my pictures aren't always going to be stellar?  This post exemplifies both those things.  Well, actually I suppose the amount of time elapsed between this post and the last post exemplifies the irregular posting.

Anyways, this post is going to be mostly copied over from my old blog, The Chronicles of Mercy's Mom.  This was part of a tutorial on making a twirly top, but the pictures got all messed up.  I'll move the full tutorial over eventually, but for now this is just the part on making a circle skirt.


First you need the measurement of where your skirt will be worn at. If you are attaching the skirt to the bodice of a top, measure the length of the bodice.  If you are making a skirt, measure around the waist. 

This one was made to be attached to a shirt bodice, so the measurement was 20".  Divide your measurement by 3.14. (20/3.14=6.37).  Divide the answer by 2. (6.37/2=3.18). I rounded down to 3". This is the measurement for the radius of your inner circle. 

To get the second measurement needed you first need to determine the length you want the skirt to be.  Mine is 9". Add the radius of the first circle to this number, (9+3=12).  This is the radius of the outer circle.

Take your fabric and lay it out, folded in half.  Make a compass using your measuring tape, a pin, and a marker.  Use this to draw a half circle. You want the flat part of the half-circle along the fold. 

 (Ignore that inner circle, I forgot to take a picture while I actually did this part, I had to go back and reenact it.)

Now do the same for the smaller circle.  Make sure you pin it in the same place so the inner circle is centered.  I usually make a little dot where the pin was so I know it's in the same place.

Now that you have your two half circles drawn, cut along each line.  After you've finished cutting, unfold the piece you just cut.  You should have this-

You've got a circle skirt!  Now all that's left to do is attach it to a waistband if you're doing a skirt, or the bodice if you're making a top. 

I love circle skirts.  I love the way they drape whether it's as a skirt or top.  I love how perfect for twirling they are. 

One of the things I love most about them is that it's a great way to change up a pattern for a different look.  If the pattern calls for a gathered skirt it's pretty easy to sub in a circle skirt instead, just measure the bodice where you'd attach the gathered skirt and use that measurement when calculating your inner circle. 

Remember the Delaney I showed you a couple days ago?  This is the same pattern, only I did a circle skirt instead of a gathered one. 

And did I mention circle skirts are perfect for twirling?

I have at least two patterns that I've sewn in the last week that I'm itching to try with a circle skirt.  I'll make sure report back when I do.  

For now though, I'd love to hear what you're going to attach a circle skirt to!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Cautiously?

Why "Cautiously" Crafty?

I consider myself cautiously crafty because I don't think I am one of those natural crafters.  I don't have the innate knowledge that so many of the wonderful crafty people out there have.  I don't just know what is going to look good or work together.  I can't look at a picture of something and deconstruct it mentally then whip up a recreation.

I have to work at being crafty and creative. For example, fabric and color pairings. There are some people out there who can pick different prints that I wouldn't think would work together, and it looks amazing! Most of the time I play it safe and pair a print with a coordinating solid.  Even then I'll usually agonize for awhile over whether or not the shades match or if one is a warm red and the other a bit cooler. It's a tedious process.

I am attempting to break out of this though and make myself try to match prints more. Here is one of my more successful pairings....

This is a SIG Delaney top in an orange polkadot and aqua chevron.  Two pattern and color pairings I wouldn't have normally made. I saw pictures somewhere of a crib set in aqua and orange and was surprised at how well it went together.  I really wanted to try it in an outfit and I quickly decided to try and do this print mix as well.  I liked how the fabrics looked together and was excited to make the outfit. Then I finished the outfit and I was skeptical. I wasn't sure I liked it anymore.  I was worried I had failed yet again and print matching.

But then the next day (because I finished sewing at like midnight) I got it on my daughter and just about passed out from the cute.  I deemed it a successful print-matching attempt.

Here is the back of the outfit.  The shorts are Brownie-Goose Summer Sailors.  These and the Delaney are two of my favorite patterns lately, I hope to share more about them later.

How about you?  Are you one of those lucky natural-born crafters, or do you have to work at it like me?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Things you should know

Things you should know:

  • I am not a professional.  I am completely self-taught when it comes to sewing.  It's quite possible, probable even, that I'm not always going to do things the "right" way.  It will always be a way that I've found to work though. 
  • I am not a photographer. If one of your requirements for a blog is professional quality photos, you're out of luck with me.  Most of my pictures are taken with my phone. My model is pretty cute though.

  •  I am a single mother. And a student. And have a job.  I am not always going to be able to post as much as I'd like to, but I will try to post at least semi-regularly. 
I hope despite all this you decide to stick around.  I promise we'll have some fun. I look forward to crafting with you!