Sunday, December 15, 2013

Skirt Flop!

To sum it up, I wasn't pleased with how the skirt turned out. But there was a silver lining. 

My little one thought it was perfect for dress up!

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Still Here!

"I'm still here!" is what this poor little skirt keeps saying to me every night. But I barely have time to listen. I've been mommy-ing and Christmas-ing a lot lately. Hopefully I can find a few moments to finish it soon.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ballet Skirt

image via

I recently read in a book about dressing appropriately that ballet skirts are an item of clothing that will make one look fat (Sigh). That doesn't stop me from wanting to make one, especially since I already have the materials! I'm just going to try it.
It should be up on the blog (fingers crossed) soon.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I made my girls matroyshka (or Russian nesting doll) costumes this year for Halloween. I had to seize the opportunity to make them because I have three little girls in a row! I used the Simplicity Pumpkin costume pattern (this whole idea was copied from another blog I will admit). It was really easy, straight forward sewing.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Prep

My little ones' costumes are coming along and I am so excited! I think they will look great. Can you guess what they will be?

P.S.-Homemade pattern weights rule.

P.S.S.- My sewing machine became jammed and I almost hyperventilated. It reminded me of when Matt first bought be this two ton sewing machine from the seventies at a garage sale and no matter what I did, it jammed. Luckily I was blessed to be able to fix it (my current machine)! Huzzah! ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013


I made a dolly for a friend's daughter. She (the doll) has crazy hands. It was fun though.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Work it!

I seriously need a sewing room.

Before I go on, I must address my name change. I did it because I'm not the only one that considered herself "the lazy seamstress." That's okay. "Sarajolie" seems less popular and is a name I've used since I was a kid. I combined my name with the name of a favorite actress, at the time (once someone asked if I was a member of the Jolie family and it totally made my day).

So I have a lot of projects in the works. It is so freaking hard to find the time to work on them, but I am trying! Hopefully I'll have more completed projects to share soon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cherry Dress

Yeah! I finished the dress!

My dress making skills are improving...even though there is still room for improvement.

I'm very happy with the results...and if I look weird in the pictures it might have something to do with Matt making fun of me the whole time!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fall for Cotton

I joined the "Fall for Cotton" challenge (see side bar for details). I hope it will give me the motivation I need to finish this project as soon as possible! It only took me a month to finish the bodice!!! I just have the skirt, sleeves, zipper, and belt to put together. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

But I Really Can Sew! (a bit)

My current sewing project is moving at a glacial speed. Hopefully it'll be done before the end of September. In the meantime, here is proof that I can sew, a bit.

I sewed the following last year:

My first real dress! I won't bore you with the details, but I developed my "lazy" method which I don't recommend but it works in a pinch. (Maybe someday I will go into details but not today).

This dress is also a little rough around the edges (I had to dye it) but I absolutely love the color and the lace.

And I also sew blankies!

I completely made up this pattern! I gave it to a really special kid.

I made this one for my youngest baby.

I had to make this one because (1) It reminded me of the book I was reading at the time, "The Snow Child" and (2) all of my Christmas stuff is "Scandinavian" (real Scandinavian people probably wouldn't think so, but again, I was inspired so I ran with it). The pattern came from a book called "Scandinavian Stitches".

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Plan: Butterick 6582

I have so much to write about but I am going to start with this, my newest sewing plan:


Butterick 6582. I want to make the dress on the top left.

I am using a fabric similar to the one above.

The whole idea was inspired by this swimsuit. I love it!

My goals:

-make a "proper" muslin
-do a lot of hand sewing!!!

Hand sewing scares me. Not only does it take forever but it also can be fragile and ugly, in my opinion. I'm going to try it though, because I bit the bullet and watched Craftsy's Sew Retro. It was amazing! In it, Gretchen does a lot of vintage touches that make dresses look fabulous. Hand sewing is one of those things. It was like taking a master class. Seriously worth every penny to see start to finish how she makes dresses.

Also, have you seen Professor Pincushion on Youtube? Also a gerat resource that is free. She has a lot of dress patterns that she walks through completely, start to finish.

Finally, I have been renting all the Threads magazines my local library has. They are amazing! Those are my sewing finds this week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vintage Ladies

It was time for me to sew something a little less complicated than my last dress (I will not give up but I will set it aside and try again with a knit....that should be a more forgiving fabric!). I used these tutorials (1, 2) to make a sewing machine cover. I like it, in a Granny-Chic way.

Lookin' classy!

Then I couldn't stop and I had to make my little baby's onesies vintage like too.

It was kind of a miracle I found the vintage lady fabric in the first place! I love it! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little A's B-Day

Little A is growing up before my eyes! She requested a "Little Miss Mermaid" (what she calls "The Little Mermaid") party and I obliged. I just kind of made up the pattern I guess. That was what everyone (i.e.-blogs on pinterest) suggest to do so I did that. She loved them! I'm glad I made something she enjoys.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Simplicity 1777 Update

Miracle of miracles! My baby slept four hours and my older girls played nicely so I was able to sew a lot!

I still need to take in the sides of the torso, raise the skirt hem, hem the sleeves, and add buttons to it. It isn't couture perfect, sadly, but I am proud of my progress as a seamstress. I worked hard to adjust the pattern and although it doesn't fit exactly perfect, it's the closest I've ever been! Yeah!

P.S.- I don't know how I ever sewed without a dress form! They are so helpful. 

P.S.S- Here is a link to a video tutorial on making this dress! I wish I would've watched this before I started! I shouldn't have used cotton...not a recommended fabric. :( 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dress Form!!!


Yes....spoiled again!
Matt tried helping me make a dress form out of duct tape and an old shirt. Since I have a nursing baby, we had to work quickly.
It was a disaster! It looked really scary.
So Matt let me buy a real dress form! One that I can adjust and poke needles into. I'm in love!
So the Craftsy class I took was amazing! After the free zipper class and the class on perfect fit, I'm sold! I want to take practically all of their sewing classes, especially Gertie's Bombshell dress one (her book is amazing so I bet the class will be too). 

(P.S.- I have absolutely not been paid to say these things)
Anyways, my eyes have been opened to sewing new and better things! I'm glad I made a "muslin" which is actually made from $1 a yard Walmart Clearance fabric. However, I wish I would've sprung for actual muslin, which again, is only about $1 a yard.
In the Perfect Fit class, the instructor says she sometimes makes three or four muslins before making the actual dress!!! Considering that I also want to make a lining for the dress, I might just stick to altering this green "muslin", and then hope and pray it works out when I try making the final product. 
I picked a more difficult pattern too...I'm starting to realize that having my other dresses sort of fit me was pretty much dumb luck! I really had no idea what I was doing but I just really wanted to sew!
I will definitely use the full techniques I learned with my next sewing project. But what I have learned is really helping me with this current dress I'm sewing.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good Things to Come

So pretty much...I've been terribly spoiled!
I got this vintage 1943 (!!!!) sewing pattern from ebay for ten buck-a-roos. That's cheaper than a regularly priced new pattern from a store. I have a gorgeous piece of history! I'm totally nerding out right now! Yes, I am not quite the size of the pattern, but that brings me to my next spoiled thing:
 I won a Craftsy class from Bethany at The Glamorous Housewife!
Wow! Thank you Bethany! I picked "Sew the Perfect Fit". I am so excited to try it out. However, I need to finish my first forties dress before I delve into anything else. And I am sure this class will help a lot.
Happy sewing!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Wedding Present

 Remember my sewing tragedy? Well, I found a silver lining! I made an apron for my sister from what would've been the dress.

I thought it was all finished but it is a bit too stout on the top for my liking. So I'll take in the sides before I give it to her. Maybe I'll spot it in a thrift store months from now, but hopefully, after I've taken it in, she'll like it. It supposed to be vintage looking.

With the apron I've included a Frenchy Sparkling Rose Lemonade that looked fancy and yummy. Also, a book I wish I had when I first got married. Being a homemaker is sometimes snickered at, but seriously, if you live in a home, why not learn how to make it comfortable?

Happy wedding Jennifer!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A "Muslin"

Muslins are brilliant.
They give one an opportunity to get familiar with a pattern before attempting it with a nicer fabric. Also, they help with fitting. I'll spare you the pictures of me wearing the muslin. I seriously have to take in the shoulders and add an inch to the waist!
Hopefully today I can get some dress lining and begin to cut out the real deal. First I have to wash my fabric, fold mountains of other laundry, make cinnamon rolls, and make dinner for the missionaries! So we'll see.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Geeking it Out and a Navy Dress

A few weeks ago I told Matt, my husband, that I wanted to be a sewing nerd.

"Well, you've got the nerd part down."

That's not far from the truth...probably because it is the truth!

But I feel like I am becoming a specialized nerd...I'm getting closer to my sewing nerd goals.

So my sister is getting married and her colors are navy blue and silver...but primarily navy blue. Luckily I've been able to score some great deals on dresses for myself and a few of my kids, but I didn't for my little Kate. I love how this dress turned out though, even if it is a little big. And although you may not be able to tell, the zipper is the best zipper I've ever made!

For the first time I did facing and interfacing in a dress. They really make a world of a difference in how a dress looks in the end!

So I must give a few shout outs to some great sewing references:

1. Sunni Standing's free Craftsy zipper class.

2. The book "Dressmaking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Own Clothes." There are many great sewing books I've come to love, but just to have every step photographed was so cool. It  was so helpful for a very visual person like myself. 

Just like a nerd to recommend a book!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Simplicity 1777

 Here is the gorgeous pattern:

This is the fabric I'm using, a Cotton Candy Blue, which is a bit more periwinkle than grey blue like I thought but life goes on:

Here is the inspiration! I just realized how more Robin's Egg Blue her dress is than a greyish blue, but again, c'est la vie:

Goals for this sewing project:

-make a muslin of it first!
-read the entire directions before starting (duh...but I         have skipped this part so many times in my haste!).
-use pattern weights when cutting fabric (I made my own from hardware store washers)
-make a dress form
-pre-wash the fabric
-iron after every seam
-zig zag stitch on the raw edges (I do not have a serger)
-make it beautiful backwards and forwards

I'll probably only have time to work on it five minutes here, five minutes there, but it is still fun for me to try!