I always forget that summer time means slower sewing – which is always a shame when you’re feeling creative. I’ve opted to put aside working on the tiered dress (because it just isn’t a fun as what it was when I first started it) and pick up a new project – the Solar Sundress. I thought this looked like an interesting garment to try out – and seeing that it’s still romper season, this seems to fit in nicely!
I currently have the pattern taped together and have decided to just go for the whole attached shorts\bra garment – I figure if I’m not fond of the way it feels, then if I make it again, I can go with separates. I’m also leaning toward using an athletic knit with this one as well. I’ve not tried using that sort of material for a dress, but I figure it works with the style and I’ve been seeing activewear fabrics in casual clothing more, so why not go for it?
These are very large fabric panels with two coordinating prints (a smaller floral and a stripe) that are on a cotton lycra base… and they are extremely difficult to photograph! I opted for the orange, pink, and white floral prints. As far as projects go, I’m leaning toward casual tees with stripe shorts and possibly a dress for the white floral, but we’ll see in the end what they become. I can’t wait to try these out, they look so fun to work with!
This is the week that I don’t read things carefully enough and wind up with all sorts of problems… or in this case prob-llamas.
I needed a llama plush. I had originally settled (and purchased) Urban Threads stuffy kit only to realize that not only is this not an in-the-hoop project, it’s also much larger than what I wanted, too (even though this is created in a 5×7″ hoop, if you scroll down and read the description, it makes a 17″ llama!). After some searching I found a project that was more along the lines of what I was needing from Planet Applique. I was so excited to try it out, that I (again) neglected to see what the finished size was and ended up with a teeny tiny llama (bottom left)… it’s really adorable (at 4″), but way too small for what I needed and it was a real booger to turn in the plush material that I selected.
Finally, I tried a larger size and got EXACTLY what I needed… and then I made 3. They were actually a lot of fun to make, but the plush fur definitely made it more challenging. As for the tiny llama, he’s become my little mascot in my sewing room, although Easton thinks I should just put it in my purse and carry it around.
Have you ever had a strong desire to make something, but not sure what? Since I’m avoiding gathering tiers to my dress, I decided I wanted to tackle something else. I had thought about trying this in-the-hoop zip top wallet, but after careful consideration, decided against it because I couldn’t really use any of my fun zippers or pulls with this one (and since I have a lot, I really need to find projects for them!). So instead, I decided to make my own!
I used a fun, faux-Coach vinyl that arrived last month, a rainbow zipper & pull, Tula Pink lining, and rainbow hardware (I am currently waiting on a rainbow lobster claw so I can attach a strap). I didn’t use a pattern for this one, which is always very liberating, but I would do some things differently if I tried this again. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the end results… and now I need more rainbow hardware – it looks amazing with the right fabric.
After my embroidery binge, I’m back at the patterns I’m wanting to tackle. I decided that I would try Pattern Emporium’s Easy Fit Tiered Dress first since it seems like it might be the most comfortable to wear in our recent hot weather. I put together the pattern and pulled the sage viscose crepe slub knit to use with it (it is just enough material that it will work)… and now I’m “stuck” here:
Let’s just say that while the fabric looks and feels great, I haven’t enjoyed working with it. My machine doesn’t care for it very much so I’m finding the whole process slightly frustrating. I stopped at adding the tiers because not only do I not like making gathers, but I’m envisioning how I’m going to fight with material when I add them. So, I set it aside and will try again in a few days – sometimes things just seem to work out when you take a break.
Yesterday I was going to post my progress on the tea towel\coaster\notebook progress, but since I talked about it the other day, I thought I might just wait to post until everything was complete… which means I can share today!
I’m not going to lie, this project was a labor of love. Each towel took at least 90 minutes stitching time, plus whatever time it took to cut jump threads and do color changes. I’m not sure how people can make a living selling these because I guestimated that each one would cost (based on the stitch count alone) at least $37 (that’s on the low end) and I’m not sure who would pay that much. Don’t get me wrong, they’re adorable, but lots of effort.
With that said, I’m glad I worked on this. It was a nice change of pace from other projects and I adore this set. I had thought that I would make some for gifts with the extra towels, but I think I’ll take a break for awhile and see if that’s something I really want to take on!
I thought that this weekend, I would take a break from sewing “obligations” and gifts and just do some “selfish” projects. Some of my favorite embroidery sites have had some great sales so I’ve amassed quite a few designs so I figure that I need to get to stitching some of them up!
So for today, I’m knocking out a few of these drink recipe designs from String Theory – I got all 5, plus the matching coasters, and the small notebook so I have my work cut out for me as the towels do take quite a bit of time to stitch out (and to snip all those jump stitches). I’m pretty giddy with the way they are turning out so far and I love that these tea towels match the color scheme pretty well (sorry Long Island Iced Tea and Pina Colada, you’ll have to do with blues and purples). Hopefully by Monday I’ll have most of the set completed and ready to show off – otherwise you’ll have to suffer through seeing all of these designs throughout next week!
Our oldest, Taylor, came to visit us this past week. We tried to cram as much as possible into our time together – we celebrated her birthday early, we hiked one of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, we visited an Indian cavern, played some mini golf… we even tried our hand at wood fired pizzas. My heart is full, but my sewing is lacking.
With that said, I did manage to finish some projects for a winter issue of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine (early even!) and bought a lot of material (so I’m set to start working on some selfish sewing and embroidery). Most of the knits that I’ve picked up are in the wash, but here’s some of the wovens that I’ve received:
As soon as I saw Tula Pink’s latest line, Curiouser & Curiouser, I knew I had to have some… not only do I love Tula, but Alice in Wonderland as well. In total I got 7 of the prints and plan on using some of them for some cute little bags. I also snagged some 2-in-1 novelty prints from Little Lovies. These are essentially one yard cuts that are split in half with two different designs. I also snagged some pretty zipper tape and a few pulls… one of which was a Mad Hatter hat! The rest of the pulls are from Zor-Elle and will eventually be used for bags as well. I have so many ideas I can’t wait to bring to life!