Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Desert Rose Dress by Caila Murphy for Caila Made

Recently, I was selected to test a pattern for Caila Murphy, of Caila Made. Caila and I met a year ago at Fabric Weekend 2013. She is just great, and so talented. I loved getting to know her. She created a dress/tunic pattern for girls, called the Desert Rose. It is so cute! When Caila asked for pattern testers, I jumped on it right away. I am so glad she picked me to test and review. 

I made two versions of the dress. One version is a solid bodice front with a ruffle and button decoration. The other version is the two piece bodice front, without a ruffle, and a functioning button. 

My first version was a practice version for fit purposes, since my daughter is thin and long. I am always having to readjust patterns to fit her. So, I didn't follow the instructions completely - more like a mock up.



For the second version, I followed the instructions, and it turned out great! I love this dress, I love the fabric I used, and I love the little girl that I made this dress for.



I totally recommend this adorable pattern. There are so many options to do with this pattern to make it versatile. I found the instructions to be easy to follow and was able to whip up my second version real quick.
You can find the release here
and you can purchase the pattern here 

I plan on making my little one a tunic next, and I plan on making my new little one a baby desert rose dress.

Congratulations Caila, on your first pattern release!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ariel Inspired Tankini

Every year Lil' Miss wants a Little Mermaid swimsuit, and she has always had one. This year, she grew out of her latest one, and shopping for the "right" Ariel swimsuit just wasn't on the agenda with how slow I've been moving lately. I remembered I had a vintage tankini pattern in a size 3, and some fish scale Halloween fabric. All we needed was some purple swim fabric. Found that quickly at Joann's, in the 50% off remnants. They had just enough! But, was I getting in over my head, making a swimsuit? I've never made one before. But, I knew I needed to learn. Better to teach myself on something for Lil' Miss, rather than myself or a client. Kids don't care about the mess up's. I got off to a rough start, thinking I could sew these fabrics using a ball point needle. Nope. I was screwing up all over the place. It was a terrible mess.



I decided to go to a sewing group I am a part of, and asked their opinion. I was told to get a stretch needle or a microtex needle. I rushed to Joann's, they were completely out of stretch needles, but they did happen to have a microtex one. Which they should - considering some of the crazy Halloween fabrics they carry. 
What a difference that needle made. I could not believe how smooth the rest of the sewing went. 


The vintage pattern, dating 1976, was super easy to follow. But, the top happened to be too big and the bottoms too small. I altered the bottoms, and just tied the top around twice. Fits just fine now. Lil' Miss loves her new suit, and wants to wear it all the time. A direct quote: "I always wanted an Ariel swimsuit like this. It's my favorite! Thanks mom, for making it for me." Ahh, sweet and polite. 


Literally has been wearing it every time we go swimming. She doesn't want to model it for me, so this is the best picture I got. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Desert Lime Maternity Dress

I had this dress all finished and ready to wear to meet up with the local CA sewists in L.A., one in particular being Erin, author and seamstress for Miss Crayola Creepy. If you don't know her, you should. I love her! Genuine, classy, generous, down to Earth, and gorgeous are just a few words to describe how amazing she is.

I wanted to have a dress to wear to this gathering, and I needed it to fit, be loose, light weight, and comfy for my ever growing baby belly. I remembered I had some lime rayon I ordered from Fabric.com last Summer. and I had left over Southwestern print rayon from the Vera Aveline dress I made recently. I decided to pair the two, and also Frankenstein a couple patterns together to make it work for me. I had a maternity pattern that Sabra, of Sew a Straight Line, had sent me. I used the dress part, but instead of gathering it, I did a pleat detail in the center front and back. And I also had a pattern by Simplicity 1620, I only used the shoulder yoke of that so I wouldn't have to use a zipper or feel restricted. I am so pleased with this dress, and I look forward to even wearing it postpartum.



I am now 35 weeks. I am tired. I have had a false labor trip to the hospital already, and I hope it doesn't happen again, until it's for real. I still have things I want to sew, but we will see if anything gets finished. I also have a dress I finished, weeks ago, that I haven't even done pictures in yet. Sheesh. I'm behind. Oh well. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Body Issues

Comparison is the thief of joy. — Theodore Roosevelt

I know. This is not a lifestyle blog. Nor do I want it to be. But, today, I am going to discuss with you about body issues. Since this is an apparel sewing blog, that has to do with bodies 100%.

First of all, I am only 5' 1". I have heard from people that I look tall in my pictures. These comments made me happy, because I am obviously far from tall. My photographer is doing a great job at fooling you all. I have never been tall, and I will never be tall. I don't have any perspective on how it is to be tall. But, do I have moments where I wish I could have the long lean legs to pull off some fantastic pants, skirts, or dresses? Of course I do. We all wish something of that nature.

Second, I barely have a bust. Barely. It's quite sad and frustrating at times. Especially when it comes to bra or swimsuit shopping. Or even normal shopping. Not being able to fill out a top can feel very depressing. Even making my own clothing, and having to adjust the bust over and over again, and still struggle with the outcome of my creation.

All in all, my figure is a prepubescent frame. It's not awesome, and it's all I know. But this is who I am, and I cannot change my bone structure or how my bust grew. I suppose I could buy a new bust, but it's not a priority of mine.

The point of this post is that every woman struggles with her body type, no matter what she looks like. It's nature I suppose. We do it to ourselves. We allow society to do it to us. We allow others to do it to us. I allowed so many people to do it to me. Make me feel like my body was never good enough to them. I was teased relentlessly in school for being soooo skinny, flat chested, and short. I went home everyday and forced myself to eat whatever I could to try and gain weight. I was called bony, anorexic, bulimic, skinny B word, among other terrible names. I would literally cry myself to sleep.

For some strange reason, people feel like they have to make body comments to others. Well, my body is not my identity. And your body is not your identity. People, to this day, still comment on my figure. I'm not always sure how to feel about it or how to take it, because all I can think about is the mean comments the kids at school would say to me. Do these adults think the same thing? That I must be an anorexic skinny B word? That's not who I am. Yes, my body may be the size of an 11 year old, but the grass is not greener on this side of the fence. Trust me. Who in the heck would want their body compared to a child's? Not me. As women, we all want to look and feel like a woman. I have always felt that I look like a little boy. Not how I want to feel about myself.

Ladies, don't beat yourself up over your body. Ever. Don't allow others to make you feel less than perfect. Breaking News: None of us have perfect bodies. None of us. And that is okay. Do yourselves a favor, and never compare yourself to another.

I can go on and on about the things I don't like about myself, and compare myself to others. But that doesn't sound like any fun. So, I refrain from doing so.

I know what types of clothes flatter my figure, and what doesn't. I'll stick to that. I'll stick to what makes me feel good about myself. We all should try harder to feel good about ourselves.

As for now, my priorities are my health and my family. Our health is way more important than what our body looks like. Skinny does not equal healthy. The inside matters more than the outside. Embrace your womanhood and love who you are.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Vera Aveline by Maddie Flanigan

Happy Cinco de Mayo! And happy eight year wedding anniversary to my loving husband, who takes all my pictures. Today I am sharing with you the Vera Aveline by Maddie Flanigan. Maddie is an amazing designer and seamstress. Her blog is called Madalynne. If you haven't checked her out yet, do so now! We all can learn so much from her expertise. I first connected with Maddie just a couple years ago. I ADORE her. I wish I could know her in person. I wish I could make her the little sister I never had. Yes, Maddie, I would steal you away if I could.
Vera Aveline blog post 01 Make Your Own Vera Aveline

Anyways, recently she posted a tutorial on her latest design, called Vera Aveline. A Summery, strappy, box maxi dress. I tested the tutorial, and I love her design. I only had to make changes for my measurements, and it worked out perfectly. It's a great dress to wear as the months get warmer, but could also be paired with a cute cardi or jacket. For me being in my third trimester, I was very comfy in this dress. The design is just what my uncomfortable body needed. Point is, you can be stylish AND comfy.

These days, I am HOT(in temps, of course). This was a quick, easy dress to make and just put right on. I belted it under the bust to define the baby bump more. 


I'm also feeling very massive as of late, so anything with room to spare is a must wear.


I chose a fun tribal like trim to go with my Navajo print fabric. It brought a pop of color and I feel complimented it nicely. 


I love this dress, and I plan on wearing it often. Even the Lil' Miss wants one in her size. Totally doable. Head on over to Madalynne now and make the Vera Aveline! Summer is almost here.

A huge thanks to Maddie, for thinking of me to test her tutorial. XOXO!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sew For Victory: Maternity Pinafore

I FINALLY finished my Sew For Victory sew along, hosted by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille. Sad thing is, it is such an easy pattern, I didn't even need the instructions. You think I would have finished it sooner, but no. I took my sweet pregnant self time. 


This is the 1940's Simplicity Pattern I used. I couldn't decide between the fabrics, but I ended up with the lightweight floral. The gingham was just too heavy for this heat wave we are having. 


This pinafore is comfortable, but no matter what I put on, I am uncomfortable. However, I know it will come in handy as it gets hotter, and post pregnancy.


I love how the ruffles go from the front to back.


And this vintage fabric is just gorgeous! Not to mention, so soft. 

 And pockets!!! My favorite!!!


We did the photos in front of our front door, because it was way too sunny everywhere else. Lil' Miss took this last photo. For a 4 year old, I think she did a great job! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lil' Cowgirl

You know, lately Lil' Miss has been asking for me to make her more dresses, which I should, but she has SO MANY dresses already. I made this particular one last Fall, but she hasn't wanted to wear it until now. She had this thing against pockets for some reason. Kids, I tell ya. It also doesn't help that she refuses to take pictures lately. So, I have to think of ways to bribe her.

I made her a simple bodice top, attached to a basket waist skirt.

She loves this fabric as much as I do. She loves the cowboy/Indian print, and especially loves her moccasin style boots. She tells me she is Tiger Lily, the Neverland Indian princess. I love her imagination.

We got the balloons from a friends birthday party. Made for a great prop to keep Lil' Miss interested.

Flying away! This dress was super easy to draft, based off of measurements, and easy to construct. It went by quickly and well. I trimmed the arm holes with a aqua rick-rack.

I cut out a cowboy and placed him on each pocket, and trimmed the pockets with rick-rack as well. 

We found this fabric at JoAnn's. It's just adorable. Like a vintage reprint. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vintage Maternity Inspired by Gunne Sax and Duro Olowu

Most of you would think I'm crazy that I would want a Gunne Sax dress or be inspired by one. But, you see, I have this new found love for bohemian/hippie looks as my baby bump grows. 
25 off sale!  1970s gunne sax dress . 70s pink and white floral full length gunne . by coralvintage www.coralvintage.etsy.com

I also have been inspired by last years Duro Olowu mixed print dresses. I just love them, and I have such a difficult time mixing prints and feeling comfortable in chaos. 

Duro Olowu Short Sleeve Print Dress - Lyst
Duro Olowu

Lucky for me, Sabra from Sew A Straight Line, sent me this super cute vintage maternity pattern, dating back to the 1970's. What a sweet sewing friend! Check out her blog, she is so talented. I met her last May during Fabric Weekend 2013. She is super awesome and super sweet! She forewarned me that the pattern was missing instructions, but that didn't bother me. I've sewn my fair share of vintage patterns without instructions. But, this pattern also happened to be missing the front bodice piece.  
No biggie! I got it under control. I used the back bodice piece, placed it on the fold, and used the front neck facing as a guide for the neckline of the front bodice. Turned out perfectly, in my opinion.
Anything is do-able!

I just love view A, but wanted to add my own flair.
I chose two different vintage fabrics, that I though paired beautifully together.

Using the sheer yellow lightweight cotton fabric for the main body of the dress, and a lightweight cotton folk art print for the sleeves, tie, and ruffle. 

The pattern didn't call for a ruffle, but I really wanted one. Gunne Sax dresses always had ruffles at the hem. I needed one too. 

I also had this crocheted trim piece that I thought would adorn the neckline beautifully. I just love how this dress turned out. It's so light and breathable, which is what I need lately. 

27 weeks!

Monday, April 21, 2014

L.A. Sewing Blogger Meetup


Hey friends! I am so excited to share some news. My friend, Erin, from Miss Crayola Creepy and a few other bloggers have pulled together a day for us to meet up and fabric shop and eat and enjoy each other's company. We will enjoy some fabric shopping at The Fabric Store and Mood, and enjoy lunch at Cafe Midi, on June 14th. So if you are in the LA area, mark your calendars, and head over to here to RSVP and more details. Share on your own blogs or other social media posts. I hope to see you there! I'll be the one that's 8 months pregnant......


Monday, April 7, 2014

Maternity, Nursing, and Post Pregnancy Dress

I knew I wanted to make a dress that I could wear as I grow, as I attempt to nurse, and even well after my bundle of joy arrives. I had this pattern, McCall's 6744, for some time now, but just wasn't sure what I wanted from it. I also bought this fabric some time ago from Fabric.com, from the Abstract Knit section. I instantly fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It has an art deco feel, but I didn't want to make an art deco style dress out of stretch knit. It needed to flow and sway. This pattern and fabric are a great marriage for what I am in need of.


I made this dress in two hours! I haven't been able to accomplish that since Lil' Miss stopped napping (worst ever). It's only because I went to visit my Mom, brought some sewing stuff with me, she entertained the Lil' Miss, and I whipped this beauty up. Goes to show how easy this pattern is, and what a little bit of uninterrupted  free time can do for you.  


I'm 25 weeks along, now. The growing body aches for comfy clothing. This dress is super comfy, breathable, and rocks the geometric trend. The pattern isn't even a maternity pattern, so I know I'll be able to wear it long after baby #2 arrives. 


Also, I love that I finally live in a house with white walls and enough natural light. Makes my heart sing! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mad Men Challenge Trois - Trudy Campbell

Well, I completed my Mad Men Challenge dress. I'm quite happy with it. As my inspiration, I chose Trudy Campbell. She is actually my favorite female on Mad Men. Her character is the only one that doesn't make me angry. I had to stop focusing so much on the story line of the series, because I would get so upset. I chose to gear my focus on the fashions. Let myself be inspired by them, by the era, and by the social ladders. With Mad Men coming to an end, I'm a little sad. Sad, because there won't be anymore fantastic fashions to look forward to. But, I always have their incredible fashions to look back on.

For my Trudy inspired look, I wanted a dress more like this silhouette: 
But, being 24 weeks pregnant, I had to change some of the silhouette in order to fit my growing baby bump, sort of like this:

I kinda mixed the two together. I was NOT going to wear a sailor style dress while pregnant. I would just feel silly. But, I loved the sailor styles color more. It's a better hue for my skin tone. And I chose a neckline more like Trudy's dining dress and A-line skirt. The puffy sleeves were just an added bonus. 



The pattern I used is a Butterick Bridal and Bridesmaid pattern. I did the bridesmaid option. The pattern dates back to 196, and with the empire waistline, it was perfect to fit my bump into. This pattern was really easy to follow. I avoided the hassle of extra filigree options and just kept it simple and comfortable.


I highly doubt this dress will fit me post pregnancy. I barely fill out the bust as is. But, it sure is cute and I can always save it for my niece or my daughters. 



Thank you Julia, for hosting another great challenge!

Julia Bobbin - Mad Men Challenge III