Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reflections + Looking Ahead to 2014

 Sew, Mama, Sew is asking sewing bloggers to reflect on 2013 and look ahead to 2014 by answering these questions…

Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?
  • Sewing Belgian style children's clothing, Belgian sewing bloggers releasing their first PDF sewing patterns, see here and here.
  • More collaborative projects among bloggers whether it be hosting sewing blog series or releasing sewing patterns together.

Whose work inspired or awed you?

What did you make that you’re most proud of?
The Great British Sewing Bee dress. I thoroughly found enjoyment going through every single step of the entire process and I did my very best sewing.

 My most well received item was the Striped Dress. The Plaid dress, Checkerboard dress, and Tricolor Chevron were next up on the list.

A theme for 2013 for me could have been Europe (Sweden, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy). Not that it was planned that way, it just turned out that this past year quite a bit of my inspiration came from Europe (and European designers).



Great Britain

Great Britain






Briar Rose
 What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
Briar Rose by Heather Ross which comes in both woven and knit, it's very versatile because it works for children's garments, doll clothes, quilting, etc.

Briar Rose
Do you have a book, pattern or class from the past year to recommend?
I have a TV show to recommend: The Great British Sewing Bee Season 1 and Christmas Special (I watched them on YouTube), the joy of sewing really shines through.

What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
I would like to spend less time on social media and more time creating. There is so much out there, I can't keep up with it all, personally I'm looking for quality over quantity. Also, I get frustrated when Pinterest links take you nowhere.

Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
  • I'm excited to announce that a sewing project that I designed will be published in the 3rd One Yard Wonders book which is expected to be released in spring 2014.
  • I am really looking forward to watching The Great British Sewing Bee Season 2 which I understand will be showing in spring 2014. And does anyone happen to know when The Great British Sewing Bee book will be available for purchase in the United States?

May 2014 be filled with gorgeous fabrics, lovely sewing patterns, and may your bobbins always be full!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kid Tomte Outfit

 Here is a tomte outfit I created for my girl, it was originally posted at The Pickled Herring for the Scandinavian Christmas 2013 series. Are you familiar with what a tomte is? Tomte is the red Swedish Christmas elf, an elf to delight children.
 Project details:
Top: Oliver + S Playtime Tunic, size 5, red fleece

 Bottoms: Oliver + S Playtime Leggings, size 7, red and white striped 100% cotton jersey knit fabric

could also be worn with a red and white striped knit hat
 Instead of 3 buttons in the back of the tunic I added 2 sew-on snaps (I've become a huge fan of these sew-on snaps).
 Hat: long red fleece stocking cap, I created it by making 2 tall triangles, 11 inches wide on the bottom, 31 inches tall, with right sides together sew with .5 inch seam allowances, cut corner, trim seams and turn right side out, tuck under 5/8 inch and sew 3/8 inch for hemming the bottom of the hat

before wet felting
 Felted slippers: elf shoes (free knitting pattern) knitted with red wool yarn, then wet felted in hot water wash machine, then hot dryer (Ravelry notes found here)
after wet felting
Thank you for taking the time to visit here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

LEGO Tic Tac Toe Game (with packaging)

 I made 24 of these LEGO tic tac toe games with packaging (gifts for classmates of one of my kids). The inspiration for the packaging came from this flickr photo.

The only thing I needed to buy were the LEGOs because everything else was on hand at home. I got all the LEGO pieces from the pick-a-brick wall at a LEGO store.

 What you need:
  • 4 long narrow LEGO pieces (I used 1 by 16 white)
  • 5 square LEGO pieces in one color (I used 2 by 2 yellow)
  • 5 square LEGO pieces in another color (I used 2 by 2 red)
  • White card stock (8.5 by 11 inch)
  • Wax paper
  • Colored paper and hole punch (if you want to add confetti)
  • Sewing machine

 What you do:
  • Cut the white card stock in half
  • If you want to add confetti use a hole punch to punch holes out of colored paper on top of the card stock

  • Place LEGO pieces on top of the card stock
  • Place a piece of wax paper on top (larger than the card stock)
  • At the sewing machine, using a zigzag stitch, sew all four sides along the edges
  •  Cut off excess wax paper
 All done!

The approximate cost of this tic tac toe game is $2.00 each, but to cut down on cost and size, smaller and or thinner LEGOs could be used (these LEGO pieces happened to be the only ones available at the pick-a-brick wall that day that would work for this project).

PS These would make great party favors or class Valentines. In case you are looking for a LEGO Valentine, this past year we made mailbox necklaces. And sewing paper with wax paper reminded me of the heart shaped candy maze Valentines I made before.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

King Herod Costume

 I just finished up a King Herod costume for a certain 10 year old boy who will be performing as King Herod in the Christmas drama at our church this year.

Project details
Pattern: vintage pattern (1981) McCall's 7733
3 yards gold brocade fabric for the cape

2 yards royal blue crushed panne fabric for the robe

1/3 yard liquid gold metallic fabric for the belt

 Notions: 12 inches gold trim for the frog 'closure' on the cape
 I'm wondering if something like this can be bought in a store and if so how much it would cost. This definitely wasn't the most money saving project, costing almost $40 with $30 just for the cape. But he needed a costume quickly and I was appreciative to have the opportunity to sew up one. Also if it's anything like the king's cloak I made years ago, then it will be used a lot.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

PS Last year he played the role of Saint Joseph and wore his Saint Joseph costume that I sewed for him using the same pattern!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Scandinavian Christmas 2013 Guest Post

 The Scandinavian Christmas 2013 series is currently going on over at The Pickled Herring. Today, it's my turn to share, so feel free to stop by to learn more about my kid tomte outfit.  Thank you, Kathryn for this wonderful series, and honoring me with the invitation to participate.
 PS Here are my contributions to the Scandinavian Christmas series in the past:
Glogg Tote Gift Bag

Dala Horse Felt Crown

Nordic Crosses Gift Wrap

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lanvin Petite Military Coat Knock-Off Tutorial

 Here is a winter coat I sewed for my girl that was originally blogged over at Sewpony for The 12 Days of Christmas series. It's a knock off of this Lanvin Petite red wool felt military coat $1395 (modeled photo found here).
 Project Details
Patterns: Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Jacket with altered front, dropped waist, skirt is pleated instead of gathered, and skirt is lengthened. I added on-seam side pockets, pattern comes from Oliver + S Playtime Dress.
Size: 5
Fabrics: deep red 100% wool. For the bias binding on the interior I just grabbed what I had on hand that was all ready to go. It's light gray cotton and I had exactly the right amount!
Notions: 12 gold shank buttons (24K gold plated) and 4 gold sew on snaps (large size)

What I kept as is:
The collar, sleeve and back facing from the Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Jacket and the on-seam side pocket from the Oliver + S Playtime Dress.
What I changed:
The bodice is 13 inches long and skirt 18 inches long (I chose these measurements because they are very close to the size 5 measurements of the Fairy Tale Dress, a pattern I have sewn for my daughter many times and know fits her very well). The skirt in the end turned out to be 15 inches long.
There are 10 pleats in the front, 6 pleats in the back, and each pleat is about .5 inch to .75 inch deep.
More specifics about the altered pattern pieces:
Cut one back skirt 22 inches by 18 inches.
Cut two fronts skirts 12 inches by 18 inches.
Cut two facings with length 27.25 inches.
Add two front center panels 3.75 inches by 28.25 inches.
Cut two shoulder tabs 3 inches by 6.5 inches, with right sides together fold in half lengthwise, sew with .25 inch seam allowance, turn right side out, topstitch, then attach to shoulder by hand sewing.
 The sewing:
  • It turned out to be a bit of a labor of love, but so worth it!
  • The wool is thick so when attaching the collar it was a bit difficult sewing at the shoulder seams through all those layers.
  • There were a lot of finishing details that were very time consuming (a lot of hand sewing).
  • Sewing many buttonholes through 2 layers of thick wool is not something I wanted to attempt. So I hand sewed on all 12 gold shank buttons on the exterior of the coat (so the buttons are non functional and purely for decoration). For the closure I sewed 4 large gold sew on snaps.
  • One challenge that I encountered towards the end was when I brought the fronts of the coat together, it was off by a whole inch in length at the hem! I added front center panels that were not in the original sewing pattern and I think I didn't line it up perfectly before sewing it on, plus I think the fabric slipped/stretched while sewing, too.
  • I didn't know that the red wool would give off so much red dust and that this red dust would stain everything it touched pink. Parts of my white sewing machine turned pink, the clothes I was wearing while sewing were stained pink… There is always something new to learn with sewing.

 The cost it took to make this coat:
1.5 yards deep red wool $30.00
12 gold shank buttons (24K gold plated) $9.00
4 gold sew on snaps $2.24
Cost $41.24

Lanvin Petite red wool felt military coat $1395
Savings $1,353.76

 During the winter it gets very cold where we live, so a nice cozy and warm wool coat will be very practical. This military coat would be the perfect thing to wear to go see a performance of the Nutcracker ballet, don't you think? I am hoping that this coat will fit for at least 2-3 winters and it probably will, given that it has generous sleeves plus the fold over (adjustable) cuffs are generous, too.
PS This coat was made along with a gold sequin dress, for that tutorial click here.