Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sewing a Gin Fizz Francoise

When Tilly at Tilly and the Buttons introduced the Francoise sewing contest I wanted to be apart of it but I wasn't sure what I would make. The pilgrim collar (I think that's what it's called) is something I've wanted to attempt for awhile. I went to my Pinterest boards to see what inspiration I could find and decided I had to make a copy of this Gin Fizz dress I have been pining for ever since I first discovered Pinterest three years ago. I thought it might work well will the Francoise pattern. I'm pretty happy about the results:

It turned out a bit different than the original but I'm okay with that. I still love the darker colors and these daisies were the most affordable for me. They were just from a daisy chain that one can purchase at most fabric stores in the ribbon aisle. I feel like I should put more daisies on the dress but the ones I did put on it took hours to sew on BY HAND. That's not my favorite way of sewing but it was a labor of love. And daisies are the happiest flower.

My inspiration:
The Gin Fizz Dress
(as I know it on Pinterest)

My re-enactment of the photo (warning- I am not a professional model):

It's fun to be silly though. I love this dress! I want to make twelve more in all sorts of colors with all sorts of collars.
Also, the original "Gin Fizz" dress, even on sale, is $220. I probably spent $25 on my version, and it is something I could wear to church, while the other one would probably be pushing it.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Teddy Bears

I think I could've been an elf in Santa's workshop....I love making these teddy bears! I got the pattern from the book, "One Yard Wonders."

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Anna and Elsa dresses were finished in time for Halloween, much to my little ones' delight. I had to make the Anna dress from scratch. I saw plenty of Elsa dresses, but the few Anna dresses I saw did not look like the one I made, which pleased me. My daughter who had an Elsa dress that I had made already this summer told me off handedly that she was disappointed with its lack of sparkle. So I had to add something! I added the icy looking ric-rac and found adorable appliques of Anna and Elsa to add to the dresses. I took it in a bit and it looked great. I hope those who celebrated Halloween this year enjoyed it like we did!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Call the Midwife- Jenny Lee Costume

Have you ever seen "Call the Midwife"? I am constantly insisting that people watch this sweet, amazing show that seems cutesy on the outside but has powerful stories of real people's lives.
Jenny Lee, the real person, is my hero! I tried my best to copy the Jenny Lee from the TV show. I curled my hairs and everything! I have always considered my hair to be thin but it exploded after I took the curlers out. I had to settle for a pony tail.
I made the hat from paper, I drafted the apron myself, and I used the pattern Simplicity 1880 for the dress, with some alterations to the collar.
I really like how it turned out! Also I realized that this dress could be used in future Halloweens with different accessories. With a blonde wig, black ribbon, and a tea cup I could easily be Alice in Wonderland. With long white sleeves and a book I could be Belle from Beauty and the Beast like this clever lady did. I will be entering this in "The House That Lars Built" blog's Third Annual Halloween Costume Contest.

Update: check this out

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Plans

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. With costumes and candy, how could I not love it so much?
So one of my favorite shows (and books) of all time is "Call the Midwife".
I really think the real Jenny Lee was a great person and I am so glad she wrote a memoir. The show is amazing on so many levels and I think the "TV Jenny Lee" is adorable. I want to be her for Halloween!
I have a huge collection of patterns I've collected from sales here and there. Looking through everything, I think this is the closest thing I can find to try to match the blue dress she wears (the one on the right):
Wish me luck ! Ive got to get moving! Halloween is coming up fast!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Race Prep.

I'm running a marathon soon, because I've decided my life is just not crazy enough!
Actually, I signed up and paid for it a little less than a year ago, not knowing the HOUSE DRAMA that my life was about to get into. I'll save that jewel of a story later. For now I will be focusing on my race preparations, including a bit of sewing (yea!). Besides drinking water by the barrel and eating un-ladylike amounts of carbs, I used this tutorial to make a waist band fanny pack of sorts that is as unglamorous (at least, by the way I made it) as it sounds but it will be way less annoying for me than the back pack I was using before. I've pack my styling waist band (see the blue blob pictured above? I've got skillzzzz.)with all sorts of goodies to help me carry along, including an ipod with a glorious playlist of the greatest running songs ever that I will graciously share with you:
Runaway Baby- Bruno Mars
What You Waiting For?- Gwen Stefani
Beat It- Michael Jackson
The Distance- Cake
Don't Stop Believing- Journey
Pump It- the Black Eyed Peas
Let's Get it Started- the Black Eyed Peas
Roar- Katy Perry
I Get a Good Feeling- Flo Rida
Conga- Gloria Estefan
Roxanne- The Police
We Will Rock You- Queen
Another One Bites the Dust- Queen
Take Us Out- Rudy Soundtrack
These are just the highlights of course. And you're welcome ;) And also I'd love to hear what your favorite songs to run/exercise/dance to.

Update: I did it!!! I ran a marathon in 5 hours and 23 minutes! That is 27 minutes better than my last time! Yeah, I can barely walk right now but I am so grateful I finished and I had a great time!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Union Jack Pillow

Sometimes a girl just needs a Union Jack in her life.....
I'm mostly British so it should be okay that I have one of these in my room right (wink, wink)?
The awesome thing about sewing is that a person can do so many things with that skill to fix up wardrobes and homes and save money in the process. I used an old pillow and old fabric to whip this up. I had to run to the store to get a few things but only had to use pocket change to pay for them!!! I'm in love with the look.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Parade Day Dress

I had a vision for this dress for a year, and it finally came to pass! I love the fabric and although I sewed the skirt to the dress incorrectly a few times (!!!! late night sewing!!!!) I did practice some new techniques that I have been converted to, namely using seam binding on the collar and using a zig zag stitch over a small ribbon to gather. Both can be found on the amazing Coletterie website. Sign up for their email "Snippets". I always learn so much from them!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Downeast Skirt Knockoff

To start off, I have not been offered anything by the Downeast company to write this but I must say that I really am obsessed with their clothes. Also, I totally clipped out this picture of a skirt from their catalog because I am that nerdy.

I found a similar looking print on sale and I finally got around to using it. I didn't have quite enough for my pattern so I had to improvise.

I love it! A-line skirts are my favorite. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Up Dress

First things first...she is so cute I can't hardly stand it! 

She needed a new dress so I decided to not selfishly sew for myself all of the time. Also I needed to share some fabric I wanted to use for myself originally but on second thought decided would look much better on her.

It's the "Up" dress because of all of the balloons, like in the incredibly adorable movie. It's a bit big now but I figure she'll grow into it.

Love you sweetheart!

The Elsa Dress

Life has been so busy! I did take the time to make a special dress for my little one's birthday.

It isn't perfect but my little one loves it.
I used felt to make the snowflakes at the bottom of the dress.

Happy birthday sweet girl!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Easy Peasy Yoga Mat Bag

I don't always do yoga, but when I do, it's the dollar store kind. Also, I have to awkwardly store my yoga mat in the corner of my closet and it sometimes unravels and yeah, it needed better storage options.

Luckily I had a yard of fabric in my stash a friend had given me that seemed like it would work perfectly.

I just draped it over the yoga mat and left a generous amount of fabric on each side to make a bag. I cut it out this way.

Then I turned it inside out, right sides touching, and sewed with a 5/8ths seam allowance. I cut the edged with pinking shears, turned it right side out again, and poked the points of the bottom of the bag with a small crochet needle. 

Finally I turned the top under a few inches, sewed it all around except for a small hole to thread a 1 inch grosgrain ribbon, threaded said ribbon, and tied it up!

I worked maybe 25 minutes on this project tops! I'm debating putting a shoulder strap on it but this works for my purposes. Projects like this are great confidence builders. I need to do more of them!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sorry, I've been Busy

Well, a lot has happened. We moved from our house into an apartment. Then, lo and behold, two weeks later the sale of our home fell through. The buyers had some problems they were not upfront about. It's pretty tragic. So right now my life is a bit of a mess. Keep us in your prayers that our home will sell, will ya? It's back on the market.

In other news, I won a giveaway from one of my favorite blogs, Lucky Lucille! Look at those vintage notions and that beautiful fabric! Thank you so much Rochelle. I love them.

Also, my sweet, spunky strawberry blonde had a birthday! Long ago I think I had or saw a Sleeping Beauty Barbie that had a reversible dress (you know, because in the movie Aurora's dress turns from blue to pink, of course!). So I made her a reversible dress for her party because, why not? 


I just took the top of a basic dress pattern for girls to make the bodice. I made two in the two different shades. Then I made dirndl skirts in the two different colors for the bottom half of the dress (or in other words, one must take a square shape of fabric, thread the top scrunch it together to make it fit the top). I was considering making a tutorial, but lets be honest. It's just a miracle I blogged about it at all!

Wish me luck on my house! I'm going to need it!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Butterick B5209- Sew for Victory!

I have so much to do, the very last thing I should be doing is some sewing! But I have been dreaming of sewing this dress for a long time, so indulged myself. As long as I don't make it a habit right?

I feel like I am a fraud if I don't point out every flaw. I will say that I am pretty darn proud of the pattern matching I did right on the waist. As for the rest, I ran out of fabric! Also, I pinned the slit a little higher because it was just a wee bit too low for me.

Also I am proud of myself for making victory rolls in my hair! 
My little girl dreams have come true.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


One man's trash is another man's treasure right? Well that has certainly been true for me.

One friend said, "Hey, I've been saving these vintage patterns for you. Do you want to pick them up?"

Um, have I died and gone to heaven? 

And these are only my most favorite of the favorites. She gave me a ton of beautiful patterns!!! I know! I'm so lucky!

Another friend, who just happens to be a fashion designer, asked me if I wanted a fifty pound bag of fabric.

There are no words for generosity like this. THANK YOU ALL!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Next up!: 40's Dress

Ahhh! Thank you so much for the kind words about my last project!!! And I am so excited for my next one: a 40's inspired dress. 

I LOVE this fabric. The birds. The color. Everything! It was my birthday present this last year. I am finally getting around to using it. I'll be using this fabric, which the author of "Lucky Lucille" created, for the sewing challenge on her blog.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mad Men!!!

I finished it! Between selling my house and taking care of my family I did it!!!

I know it isn't perfect but hey, I worked really hard on it and it is a lot nicer than any other dress I have ever sewn. It has lining, boning, a waist stay and everything! 

I freaking love this pattern. It was a blast to work with.

I'm really not much of a "Joan" but hers is a fantastic look I had to try to replicate.

 My hubby likes this dress so I'm considering it a win!