Monday, October 20, 2014

Burn Out

Yes, again, it has been two weeks. And you know what? I haven't sewed a stitch. I have been feeling completely burnt out these last couple of weeks and in my spare time I have been binge watching Gilmore Girls, crocheting, and playing Wind Waker. Even the thought of stepping into my sewing room was enough to induce a small panic attack. I know I have a lot of stuff I need to do, need to work on. And that's exactly why I have been avoiding it. It's just too much!

So I took a couple of weeks away from sewing. It has been kind of fun, really. Rediscovering how much I love knitting and crochet, for example. Allowing myself to *just* watch TV. That's right, not TV while I sew or TV while I knit. Just TV for the sake of itself. I don't remember the last time I did that. And that seems kind of insane, doesn't it?

hand embroidered drawstring knitting bag
Here is the last thing I sewed. Isn't it cute?
I think part of it is that I have just reached the end of my rope with this nonsense schedule Mario and I are one. We only really see each other 1 day a week and I can't stand it. Not only do I just miss him all the time, but that means we never get anything done on the weekends because we don't want to waste our precious time together doing something lame like pulling weeds or repainting the pergola.

hand embroidered drawstring knitting bag- inside
It even has a zippy pocket! This was such a fun little bag :) 
I need to find a better balance. I have developed a habit of having to be constantly productive. I always have to be making something, reading something, doing something. I haven't been giving myself any time to just sit back, relax, and do what I actually want to do instead of what I feel like I have to do.

So in case you've been wondering, that's where I have been these past couple of weeks. Reassessing my priorities and trying to teach myself how to relax again. I'll keep you posted with how that goes. And maybe show you some of the non-sewing things I've been working on in my time away :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Chiffon Staple Dress

For my next adventure in clothes making I give you a chiffon Staple Dress!

chiffon staple dress no head

Yes, my head is cut off. Yes, this is the same photo shoot as the last one. My camera is a little too heavy for the little tripod I have and it was getting tired...

chiffon staple dress

There we go. I made this out of a polyester chiffon I got at a local discount fabric store. It went surprisingly well for my first experience with chiffon! I did a straight size small and opted for the drop hem version. I had a little bit of trouble on the sleeves... my machine decided to try to eat one of them while I was hemming :( So I rolled them again and added extra stitching over the slightly mangled area. Then I added a line of shirring to hide the mangled-ness. Because of course that couldn't happen down near the armpit. Had to be where everyone would seeee. But I kind of like how they look all scrunched up! I might do this again in the future. In case you haven't heard, this was a lovely, easy pattern to follow. I made it up in an afternoon, mangled sleeve rescue and all. Definitely recommend for beginners!

I wasn't sure I would like this pattern on me, but I was pleasantly surprised! It's comfy and flattering and light, which is wonderful. I wish it wasn't almost winter so I could make all the summer dresses... Although, I could just wear leggings under EVERYTHING. Hmmm.

Yes, this part of the shoot is lacking in photos. Because the dogs were getting sick of me and doing this:

staple dress dogs wrestling

I know you can't see my face, but trust me. It was not amused. 

OH. One last thing. In case you don't follow me on Instagram, I kinda got engaged this weekend! Well, officially engaged. Mario and I have really been planning our wedding for quite a long time but we wanted to do things like finish school and buy a house before bothering with a wedding. But we've done that and now we're bothering! Look how sparkly! 

engagement ring close up

Mario does have the best taste :) 

Friday, October 3, 2014

More clothes! Sorbetto and Sew Simple Leggings

I know, I expected this post to come sooner, too. My only excuse is that I ran out of time to have a photo shoot over the weekend! And by ran out of time... I mean totally forgot I needed to do that until the sun was gone. Inside pictures at night don't look good. Trust me.

But anyway... Lately I have decided I want to make more clothes for myself. It's fun and challenging and results in some awesome stuff for me to wear. But where to begin? I have sewn a few clothing items in the past, but I am definitely still a beginner. So I started with some beginner things: Leggings and the Sorbetto top.

Now, I don't wear these together out in the world. I prefer to wear leggings with long tunics or dresses in the winter. But for the sake of ease in my photo shoot, I am wearing them together!

sniff in sorbetto and sew simple leggings

Okay. You see how my dog is smelling me? Yeah, that was going on pretty much the entire time. But I couldn't lock them inside because they'd whine and wake up my boyfriend, who works nights so he sleeps really late. Dilemma! SO I guess you guys get some ridiculous pictures of me modeling with my dogs being like "Mom! What are you doing? What's on your legs? What making that beeping sound (the camera)?" WEEE!

sniff in sorbetto and sew simple leggings

Charlie found the leggings fascinating. I found them to be incredibly easy to sew. The ones I'm wearing here were my first pair. I read somewhere that lowering the rise would probably be a good idea if I don't like leggings to go all the way up to my natural waist (which I don't) so I took off 3 inches right from the start. That's the only alteration I made to this pair and they fit great! They ended up just slightly long (because I'm short) so in the next 2 pairs I made (yes, I made 3), I took out an inch from the bottom. I don't have any pictures of those because they're in the dirty laundry basket ;)

resigned in sorbetto and sew simple leggings
This is my "Resigned to my Fate" face
The top is the second Sorbetto I've made. The first one I found to be a little too short, so I added an inch in length. I also decided not to do the pleat all the way down the front. I saw a few like this around the internet and really liked it, so I decided to copy the inverted pleat look. I think this would be great lengthened into a dress with a belt around the waist! Maybe someday I'll do that.

Butt in sorbetto and sew simple leggings

Look! It's my butt! And you can see Charlie's pretty eyes. Aren't they pretty? Ahem. Right. I really like this version of the Sobetto and am planning on making another when I find some suitable fabric. This floral fabric is rayon and it's super soft and light and wonderful while still being opaque enough that I don't have to wear an undershirt. A really good summer shirt! I know it's October now... But it's still getting up to the 90s here. So I will still get some wear out of it.

petting the dog in sorbetto and sew simple leggings
Me having a very stern talk with Charlie while scratching his head. I don't think he got it...
As I said, I made 3 pairs of these leggings! I definitely recommend the pattern. I know there are awesome tutorials online on how to measure yourself and make a custom leggings pattern... but I'm lazy. And this was $3. So worth it. And they're so quick to make! These take less than 2 hours a piece from start to finish. Awesome! I want to make like 5 more!

What have you been working on? I will have more clothes to share next week! Linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

ALSO! Just a note- I have had a couple of requests for a tutorial or at least cutting directions for my Wedding/Star in star quilt. I am at least going to get the cutting directions written up for you guys and posted next week :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Bridesmaid Dresses

At long last! Pictures!

So I made some bridesmaid dresses for my best friend's wedding. They were super simple infinity dresses. Took about 2 hours each to make. But I love how they turned out! We all got so many compliments. If you would like to make one of your own, I used this tutorial.

infinity dress bridesmaids

Here we are with the lovely bride. This was a very handmade wedding. Bride's dress? Handmade by the bride. Her beautiful crown of flowers? Handmade by her sister (standing to the Bride's right if you couldn't tell from their amazing resemblance!). There were handmade decorations, our bouquets were also put together by her sister. It was pretty damn fantastic.

infinity dress bridesmaids before ceremony

infinity dress bridesmaids fun

We all styled our dresses differently, which was really fun. They were light and comfy, too. The fabric I used was a rayon/lycra blend I bought at Perfect for an outdoor, late summer wedding. I think my favorite compliment of the day was from someone who didn't know all our dresses were handmade who said how amazing it was to have dresses that looked awesome that we will actually wear again. So true! These can be dressed up or dressed down pretty easily- I hope the other bridesmaids wear theirs again!

infinity dress bridal party smooch

Here's the whole bridal party. Aren't we cute?? It was a very special wedding. I've known the bride and groom separately for years and it was me who introduced them! Isn't that awesome? Plus, Sofia (the bride) is also my future sister in law! I know, my life is like an awesome fairytale. I am going to have a best friend/sister in law. And I'm super excited about it!

Next week I'll have more clothes to share, so stay tuned! I wanted to share more this week, but it was cloudy every single day, so no good pictures were taken. Next week I am counting on the desert to produce some sunshine!

What have you all been working in?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

So. The lovely and talented Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts tagged me to join this crazy chain of bloggers answering questions about themselves. I'm really not sure where this started, but it's so fun to see how many people are participating! Seriously, just google Around the World Blog Hop and maybe add quilting and tons of results will pop up! Isn't it amazing just how many of us are tied together in this online quilting and sewing community? I think so! So without further ado...

1.      What am I working on?

rainbow catvent quilt
The Catvent Quilt Along top from last Christmas... Yeah. It's still just a top.

giant churn dash quilt
Mario's quilt also really needs quilting. I still don't even have a backing for it. Definitely need to finish this by Christmas.
Nothing major right now. I have 2 quilt tops I need to finish and turn into quilts. Aiming for the end of the year on those. I've also been working on making more clothes for myself, so expect to see more posts about that in the future. Really, right now I'm coming down from a month of intense, deadline-driven sewing, so I'm taking it a little easy. Just sewing what I want to sew, catching up on bee blocks, and planning for the future. So far, I am enjoying September very much!

sew simple leggings
Some leggings I finished this week.
2.      How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Hmmm. That's a tough one. I have a tendency to do what I want and not care about things like what the pattern tells me to do or worrying about trendy color combos. I try to just make what makes me happy (or what will make the intended recipient happy!) and not worry about anything else. I don't know if that really makes what I do different, but it definitely makes me happy!

elephant swoon blocks
Swoon blocks... still waiting to be sewn together...

mother day dumpling bag gifts
Mother Day Dumpling bags

3.      Why do I write/create what I do?

I create to fill a need. I don't do well with idleness and I find I am the calmest and most satisfied with my life when I am actively working on creating something. What I create can vary widely- I love crafts of all kinds, but I also love writing. Little known fact about me- I studied English and Creative Writing in my undergrad career with an emphasis in poetry. And those poetry workshops were the best classes I took in college. I've loved writing since I was really young. I still have the first book I ever wrote, laminated and spiral bound for the Young Authors program in Washington. Lately my writing hasn't been so regular, but I'm working on that!

So I guess long story short, I create because I love it, because I need to, because it's fun and fulfilling in a way that nothing else is. 

stitch and flip wonky quilt
A wonky wedding quilt I made for a friend
 4.      How does my writing/creating process work?

I think this one is even harder because it really isn't a standard thing. Sometimes I have an idea that I need to make or write RIGHT NOW or the WORLD WILL END. And I get started as soon as I possibly can, taking breaks only for my day job and sleep. But sometimes I have no idea what I want to do, so I just wander around my sewing room or doodle in my journal until I figure something out. Sometimes I work on something a little at a time, sometimes I focus on one thing to completion, sometimes I jump around from project to project. I guess my creative process is just really flexible and sometimes unpredictable. Which suits me just fine.

So now it's my turn. I suppose I will get the other ladies of the Fierce Quilters Bee in on this action- Kitty, Allison, and Sarah. TELL ME STUFF, GUYS. :D