Monday, February 28, 2011

I can at least make bread!

This blog has become my sewing rant session...I really hope for some positive stories soon, if not for the sake of my readers, but for my sanity! LOL

I cut out all my fashion and lining fabric for my swing dress.  Because I find ironing large pieces of fabric awkward I decided to iron after cutting, it didn't seem to wrinkly anyway. ironed up nicely and I was so happy with everything, then I wanted to sew my fashion fabric and lining together and suddenly panic set in.  All my fashion fabric is too big now...doh!!  So now I'm going to try to line up my pieces with the pattern again and trim.  Ugh...this is a mistake I'll make once (I hope!).

I was able to sew a few pieces that were pretty close and my sewing machine decided to give me fits.  The bobbin case is loose and the whole thing falls out of place, causing the machine to lock up, my fabric to get eaten and the most horrible noise.  So sewing is on hold until I can get it serviced, I don't want to seriously break my machine, or break it more than it already is. 

Sewing really has a way of rattling my confidence.  I read blogs of other beginner seamstresses and they seem to be whipping up beautiful things daily!  I'm definitely not in the same category.  So I have to remind myself that I am good at making sourdough bread.  Here's proof:  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fiddling is complete!

Last night I finished my final muslin for the swing dress.  I'm sure there are plenty more tweaks I could do to improve fit, but I'm getting to the point where I need to either finish this dress or toss it to the side.  I didn't tack the zipper in this muslin in the pictures so the one side is loose, but overall I think it looks alright.
This Saturday Mr. Snuggly is going hiking with friends, and while I would like to go I think it's best to rest my back.  So I'm going to hole myself up in my sewing room to work on my final dress.  We have a party to go to that night and it would be awesome if I could have it done in time to wear, but I won't push it. 

Also I got my invite to a good friend's baby shower.  I would really like to make a blanket and like these project kits from Anna Marie Horner, but all the fabric choices look too girly to me.  She's having a boy so I would like something at least gender neutral.  What do you think of either of these?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My back...I mean I'm back!

Saturday morning I woke up with a twinge in my back.  I chalked it up to sleeping on a hotel mattress.  After standing and walking a lot all day I was in a world of hurt.  Unfortunately it hasn't improved much, but hopefully I'll be feeling human soon.  2011 has been terrible so far for me health-wise, ugh! 

Anyway due to my issues I haven't gotten much sewing done, however I did make it over to Hancock for the President's Sale.  I picked up three new patterns, each for a $1.  I got three Amazing Fit patterns because I want to get fit down so when I got to other patterns I know better how to adjust them to me.  Plus they are all nice wardrobe basics. 

Simplicity 2404 Empire Waist Dress
Simplicity 2562 Wide Leg Pants
Simplicity 2339 Button-down Shirt

I also picked up my lining fabric for my swing dress and one of those handy hem markers so I can hem my dress without having to trust my husband with pins.  LOL!

As for dress progress...I completed my new bodice muslin and thought about just going on to my fashion fabric.  I'm so glad I didn't!  I decided to remake the whole muslin and found that I didn't increase the width of the skirt enough to accommodate my FBA.  I would have been so devastated if this had happened with my good fabric and didn't have enough to re-do it.  I'm sold on doing a muslin, especially while I'm still learning!  I'm hoping to finish this muslin up tonight and get to work on my finished dress.  I'm getting so excited because I think it will be very cute (at least I hope!!!).  Even if it does end in disaster I've learned a ton which makes it worth it. 

Have you heard of Pinterest?

I found out about this site from Stitchywitch.  I got an invite and signed up!  I did my first board of my dream wardrobe.  If you would like an invite let me know!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fiery Chickens and Furry Shoes!

So I don't have any pictures of my latest (and hopefully last!) muslin for my swing dress.  It's coming to together nicely though, but it may be a touch big now. ::sigh::  Also I got a gathering presser foot for my machine and it is so much easier than trying to pull threads!  I won't be working on the dress for a few days (see below) but hope to finally cut my fashion fabric next week.  Ugh, I hate feeling behind, however I know I will be frustrated if I don't get the fit right. 

This weekend we're heading out of town to Columbus, OH for the Fiery Foods Festival.  Mr. Snuggly is a hot sauce/chili pepper aficionado and I love going to the North Market
Isn't that a cute logo?!  It makes me giggle.  :)

Today there a networking event at work so I dressed up a smidge more than usual.  I was happy too because it was a good excuse to get my favorite heels out of the closet. 
I got them from the Nine West shop in Manhattan years ago on a business trip.  I love the faux fur (I hope it's fake but don't know for sure) detail. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sewing and Cupcakes!!!

Last weekend Mr. Snuggly and I went to IKEA for some sewing room furniture shopping.  I ended up getting everything on my "must have" list.  I tested out all the desks and decided that the Jonas desk with the pull-out side table was perfect.  This is a HUGE step up from the card table!
I decided to go with the black-brown version because I thought it would look nicer than the birch, unfortunately it didn't come in white.  I did get the Jules chair in white though and I love how it looks with the darker desk. 

I was also able to get my comfy chair and footstool.  Now I can comfortably watch tv and do my hand stitching.  I got the dark gray Tullsta chair and I love how it looks against the lighter gray walls.  You can also get covers in different colors, so I may get one so I can have a different look.  Because it's too small to curl up on I got a little Solsta Pallbo footstool.  Here's a pic...complete with Scout who is always hamming for the camera!!  LOL!

I haven't gotten a chance to actually sew at my desk yet, but I'm excited too!  I'm desperately behind in my swing dress so I need to get to it! 

I did find some time to make some tasty treats for Valentine's Day.  I used Bake It in a Cake's recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Bites.  Though I didn't have enough strawberries to make mini's so I make regular sized cupcakes. 
They have white chocolate buttercream frosting.  I really need to work on my frosting skills, but luckily my gold sprinkles from Bake It Pretty distract from the mistakes nicely.  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011


I currently have a raging sinus infection, which I explained away as allergies for weeks until I started to get constant headaches.  I finally bucked up and went to the doctor and got some antibiotics.  I'm hoping to feel better soon so I can get back to my dress.  I'm feeling dreadfully behind!

I noticed that I had a lot of pulling on my bodice and thought I could benefit from a FBA.  This also lengthened my bodice about an inch which was something I wanted to do anyway.  I had never done an FBA before, so I used my Fit for Real People book and Snug Bug's tutorial as my guides.

Warning crappy phone camera battery died.
I'm going to sew up my new muslin and see where things are at once this stuffiness clears enough so I can look down without my head exploding.  I'm hoping this helps, if not I'll just go with what I had and maybe wear a less va-va-voom bra with it.  :)

Tomorrow I'm off to IKEA to get my sewing desk.  YAY!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stitching Love

When I was a kid I used to do cross stitch, the kind with the pattern printed on the fabric.  I found it so satisfying to make each stitch.  I then moved to counted cross stitch which usually frustrated me, because at some point I would mis-count.  :(  So I put stitching down for a long time. 

Then I discovered Sublime Stitching and started doing embroidery! I love all the different floss colors, the amazing patterns and the variation of stitches.  No longer limited to X's (though sometimes an X is the perfect stitch). 

Below are a few of my favorite pieces, all of which are Sublime Stitching patterns. 

Pillowcase for niece, sorry the pic is so dark

Tea Towel given to my grandma
Totebag given to my friend Karen  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm a stylish blogger!

The wonderful Marie of Welcome to Marie's Place gave me a Stylish Blogger Award.  Too sweet!!!  
The rules are to post seven random facts about myself and then pass the award on to 15 other bloggers.  15 seems excessive so I'll pass it on to a more sensible three.  
  • I'm left-handed and I take great pride in my lefty status.  I like the fact that only 10% of the human population is lefty.  :)  
  • I have a husband (Mr. Snuggly), two dogs (Scout & Ripley) and two cats (Squeak & Sprout).
  • I'm terrified of clowns, porcelain dolls and mid-size birds (robins, crows, blue jays...they're evil!).  
  • I spent two amazing summers working on a dude ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  I miss it terribly!
  • I came in third in my first and only adventure race.  I thought I was going to die the whole time, but I got a trophy!  
  • I have a degree in History, which I never use, but really who does use a history degree?!?
  • My favorite snack food is fried Cheerios.  My mother made them for me as a kid and because I love my readers here's the "recipe":
    1. Melt stick of butter in a fry pan
    2. Add just enough Cheerios so that they all get coated in butter
    3. Fry up on med/high heat until they get toasty brown and smell delish!  
    4. Sprinkle with salt and munch away!  

So I would like to pass this award to:
The lovely Liz of
The magnificent Mary of
The fabulous Kim of

Monday, February 7, 2011

It looks like a dress!

I don't have much faith in my sewing skills at this point so the fact that my muslin resembles the picture on the pattern has me pleased.  However tweaks must be had. 

I quickly and poorly basted the zipper in the left side so that's why the one side looks extra wonky.  So one alteration I'll make is the shorten the skirt, which is something I didn't even think of doing while constructing the muslin...doh!  The back seems a little too baggy, but I'm not sure if it's just the pattern or too big.  Also the bodice seems extra baggy on the sides, but this might be my less than stellar gathers. 

Also I found the edge of the midriff piece kept flipping out, do I need to top-stitch closer to the edge, or do I need more length on the bodice, it does hit pretty high?

Also I'm doing a sleeveless version, do you think I should decrease the width of the shoulders?

Now here's a problem...
That's my thumb coming through the side seam.

For some reason my midriff piece didn't reach all the way to the side seam.  I cut the same size as the bodice so I'm not sure what happened.  Did this happen to anyone else?! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Muslin #2 much better!

Last night I sat down at my sewing machine, took a deep breath and started into muslin bodice #2.  Here's the result: 
While I totally hosed the shoulder gathers I think it turned out fairly well. At least it's long enough now so I'm not showing  :)

With that success I kept going with the instructions.  I pleated the back (my first pleats!), darted and attached the skirt backs and did the bodice gathers.  It was getting late by then so I decided that was a good stopping point. 

I'm going to have to practice gathers.  I can't for the life of me get them even.  It seems they bunch up from one side to the other, or end up with flat gaps in between.  Luckily I have plenty of scraps to play with. 

I believe I will be taking tonight off from sewing.  Mr. Snuggly has barely seen me in days and I think my brain needs a break too. 

I'm finding learning to sew is more of a mental challenge than I thought it would be!  Is that what you've all found too or am I just being silly?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Muslin #1 is a Bust!

Well it sort of looks like Casey's version in her tutorial.  This was my first time doing gathers and they turned out reasonably well considering. 
It looks like I'll be getting more practice too, because this muslin is way too short.  I tried it on and took a picture, which I can't post because it's a bit too revealing.  I think what happened was that I shorten the bodice per my measurements, but I didn't realize at the time that I'm a bit too busty for the shorten length. 

So I poured myself a glass of wine and got back too it.  I decided to trace out the bodice and back at their original lengths and see what that does.  I'll sew that up tonight hopefully. 

Oh and here are pics of my newly painted walls.  This is of course before I moved all my stuff back in.  I hope to get my new furniture in a month or so.  February appears to be a busy month!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Muslin Shenanigans

My sewing room has a lovely fresh coat of grey paint and white trim now.  I would post pictures, but I forgot the cable I need to transfer the files from my camera to my computer.  Totally lame...I know. 

So I wasn't able to make any progress on my swing dress last weekend.  I tried to play catch-up last night.  I cut out my muslin and attempted the first few steps of the pattern.  Gosh the instructions are confusing!  It didn't help that the instructions don't describe or illustrate the right/wrong sides of the fabric and it really didn't help that my muslin also doesn't have a right and wrong side.  I was so confused with which bodice piece went on what side.  I'm such a newb!  LOL!  I eventually figured it out enough to "try" it on with it all pinned up.  I needed Mr. Snuggly to help so I didn't stab myself!  I had shorten the bodice per Casey's directions based on my measurements, but I'm afraid I may have shortened it too much.  Fingers crossed I'm wrong. 

Casey posted directions on how to handle the shoulder...thank goodness!  Casey actually seems to do the directions in a different order than the instructions and her's makes much more sense.  Tonight I will take apart what I've done and redo it.  I've never done gathers before and I'm a touch wary of getting them right.  I've got my sewing book though and it has some nice pictures and how-to's on the subject. 

Once I get that done, I'll take some pics (and remember the camera cable!), and hopefully they won't be too embarrassing!  :)