Monday, June 25, 2007

Kianna made this

This is my 11 year old niece Kianna. She's visiting from NY for 2 weeks. Kianna likes to sew and knit and crochet. She got a sewing machine for Christmas but no one can teach her how to use it. I showed her how to use mine and she made this little blouse. She told me she hand sews all her stuff b/c she hasn't figured out how to use the machine! She is also going to add little pockets to it to match the straps. Cute idea! She's been bored since her arrival on Saturday. We just don't do enough during the day to keep her entertained. I thought that with her needlework she'd have something to do but I guess not. This was distracting for an afternoon. I did notice she didn't bring any books. I wonder if she enjoys reading. I devoured books at her age.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dress Mania

Update: 8/25/07, I finally got this on the birthday girl. It was a hit with her mom and that's really what matters.

So far I have completed 3 of the 4 dresses I cut out from New Look 6195. The Pink one with the big flowers I actually made for Omari 4 years ago. Naiobi REALLY liked the purple one and couldn't wait to put it on. I knew as soon as I saw the material that she'd like it. I had a hard time making the V in the neck on all the dresses so I ended up sewing it on a curve on a suggestion from my sister. You can see that I also topstitched the inner pieces of the neckstraps.

The purple flowery dress has foldover elastic on the back. Instead of sewing a casing, I just wrapped the material over the folderover elastic and used a zig zag stitch to sew it down. Why? Because I still have yards and yards and yards of it leftover from making bound cloth diapers a couple years ago.

This works fine except that, even though I stretched the FOE as far as it would go, it's still a little loser than the pink dress on which I used the casing. You can't see that on the picture but it is loser.

The dress without a model is a gift. It's pink with small flowers. I used the same material to make a dress for Omari. I made Omari's dress first and realized that it was too sheer. This dress is lined. All edges were serged. I cut out the lining pieces the same size as the dress and basted them at the side seams before sewing the front and back pieces. Oh, I should mention that when I first sewed this dress 4 years ago, I didn't know that you were supposed to trace the pattern and so the size 3 was completely cut out. unfortunately, it also had the rest of the sizes on the back pieces. So what I did was just cut out a one-piece back piece by folding down the straps of the front pattern piece. This seems to have worked out fine, eventhought the original pattern piece has the back cut out of 2 separate pieces joined with a center back seam. The only reason I can think that they did this was to save on fabric. The front lining that I added is sewn together at the edge of the chest lining that was already a part of the dress. You can also see the hem tape that I used.

Father's Day Mini Book

Here are some pictures of the little album I made for father's day. Kevin seemed to really like it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I am itching to make something! I didn't get a chance to complete anything last week. Well, that's not true. I finished up a little father's day scrapbook for my husband. I'll post pictures tonight. I also cut out 4 dresses that are ready to go, 1 for each of my girls and 2 gifts for 2 separate little girls. They are all the same dress. The only reason I haven't sewn them up is b/c I want to serge the edges. I also want to try and see if I can sew/serge at the same time in order to eliminate a step. I've tried this before but I'm not that good at it and the seams just stretch apart. What this means: I can't really set this up during the week b/c it will take me some time to master. My sewing machine is just sitting on my dinner table waiting to be used. I almost gave in last night and wanted to start on one of the dresses. Maybe I'll just serge the edges tonight and start sewing tomorrow! Sounds like a plan.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Little Tote bag

So I made this little tote bag as a gift for an adult but Kevin said it looke like big girl chonies if you turned it upside down (Omari said the same thing this morning) and then he said the handle was too short. So now I don't know what to do this this. So I guess I'll give it to the girls to play with. If you click on the title it'll take you to the tutorial that I followed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chonies for Naiobi

I have been wanting to make underwear for a while now. These totally came about out of necessity. I haven't done the laundry and Naiobi changes her underwear with every dress up costume she puts on. So, I thought, I'd just make some. I cut up a pair of her Spiderman briefs to cut out a pattern. (what a waste of underwear but I was desperate) I then cut out a cute knit that I've had for a while BUT I cut it the wrong way, with the stretch going up and down instead of side to side. Wouldn't work at all. I found some old onesies that I had cut the bottoms off of in order to use the top. I cut that up using the pattern, added some fold over elastic (I have yards and yards left over from diaper making) and viola! Chonies! I'm quite happy with them. Unfortunately she's asleep. I will be taking a picture first thing in the morning.

Here's a peek of the crotch where I used the cute knit that I'd cut out for the panties. And here is a picture of another pair of Spiderman briefs to compare. The white ones came out only slightly bigger which is fine.

View 1 Too baggy in the crotch. Will need to make it smaller here.
View 2 Also, too low in the leg.
Back ViewDon't know why it's baggy here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wedding Day

I was hoping I'd have a better shot of my dress from the wedding but this is the best I could do. I'm getting picture cds from the other girls on Friday and maybe they'll have a better one. The dress was fine and I was told that they couldn't tell Frankenstein existed really. After that I felt totally comfortable in my dress and I was happy with it overall. Not sure that I would ever sew this dress with a woven again. Definitely with a knit. And with a woven I'd have to cut the skirt in an a line rathre than square as it came in the pattern. Overall, successful. I'm already wondering what do do with the dress. I thought I could turn it into some cute pants for Naiobi. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


So the dress is finally done. I will post pictures after the wedding, when it will look nice with make-up and hair. Only minor things are needed, like hand sewing the lining down at the seams and cutting all the threads. Dupioni silk was not fun to work with. The pattern instructions called for hand basting the hem, which I was all set to do last night. But that thing frayed so bad! I was actually going to sew on some hem tape, I love how neat that makes a hem look, but I couldn't. I ended up just machine sewing it. I didn't even try it on to see if the hem was straight. I might have to have my friend Michele try it on so I can check the length. Or maybe I'll just take it to the dress rehearsal and have the girls check it for me.

I'm calling it Frankenstein b/c it's a little stitched up in the zipper area. I ended up adding a rectangle of fabric, but I needed to add more of an almond shaped piece. I couldn't keep seam ripping b/c the material was so delicate, so it doesn't look too good. But the zipper looks great! I was so proud of myself! I decided yesterday as I was shopping for the extra fabric that I would use an invisible zipper although it didn't ask for one. I figured since the dress was going to be so butchered I didn't want a visible zipper on top of that. I bought a plastic, invisible zipper foot for $1.90 and it was easy to install, and an invisible zipper for $1.10. I don't know why everything doesn't have an invisible zipper.

I have one more wristlet to make tonight. I will also be making a skirt for Omari from Irene's leftover fuchsia dupioni. It will be perfect for her Spring Festival. Teacher asked for the girls to wear a solid, bright skirt. Perfect!

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Blouse for ME!

I made this Tunic style top for myself! I used Simplicity 5197. It says 6 tunics made easy and this was very easy to make. I used a linen or linen blend (don't remember). I cut it out on Saturday and sewed it up last night. It was really quick and I love it. Kevin said I looked like a nurse. Hmmmmmm

Here's a back view.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


This is the first carrier I've made. Well, I actually made a pouch sling too but I've never been happy with it. It works in a bind though. Anyway, I really wanted to make one of these. We used it today at the zoo, at the end of the day when Naiobi got tired. It worked fine. She even fell asleep in it. However, her head kept going to the side and slightly back.

I didn't expect it to come out so short. It has padding in the booty part of the sling, which I actually expected would lie flat against my lower back. But it curved right under her butt. The dimensions of the flower part are 18x20. The width is fine, I could probably even go slightly slimmer. But I think I need to add at least 4 more inches to the height. Not sure that I like having to thread those long straps through the rings.

For the next one:
I might make the waist part a totally separate piece. But then I don't know if that would completely eliminate the whole thing going under her butt instead of my back. So I thought maybe I'd make it a little bit pouchy in the butt. I would make the straps slightyly wider. The padding I put in the shoulder was perfect, 3 layers of fleece. Figure out what to do to keep her head in it if she falls asleep. I've read about some having a sleep hood where a hood comes over the top and snaps on to the shoulders.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Graduation Album for Gia

I made this album for my friend Leticia's daughter's graduation. It started out fairly easily. I left work early on Wednesday. Technically, I was sick and was going to head home but decided I'd head to the Crop Circle in Westchester. I finished all the pages in 3 hours! Amazing, I know, Especially considering how long it typically takes me to come up with a 2 page layout.

Initially I was going to make a paperbag album. So I got home, pull out 3 paperbags and they're too small!!! Who knew there were different sizes of paperbags? On ebay they almost all say 6x6 so that's the size I cut out all the pages. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed. On Thursday, I went to Joann's in Alhambra (sucks) and Michael's in Manhattan Beach. Nothing. I was too tired to go anywhere else so I went home. I got online and ordered a BoBunny board book but just couldn't wait that long. So today I drove all the way to Arcadia to the Joann's there. SUPERSUCKS! ALthough they have a HUGE fabric dept. They told me about a scrapbook store in Temple City, Scrappin Buddies. So after quite a few wrong turns I finally make it there. AWESOME! Just fell in love with their store. So neat and huge assortment of things. Will have to make it back. Only $1 an hour for space. This will be my new hooky spot. Found the BoBunny board book there and I happily took it back to work where I proceeded to start gluing the pages on. Only to find that the glue I had left the pages a little lumpy. So I stopped after 2 pages to see what would happened after drying. Fortunately after drying the lumps went away. I'm quite happy with my little book.