Whatch Workin on Wednesday

IMG_3242LaLove Designs Skinny Trousers!!!!! Yay! 

These are one of the items on my current wish list. Most of the things on that list I’ve decided to make myself. I love, love, love buying clothes, but when it’s all said and done, it’s much more fulfilling to wear what I’ve made. (Mostly because if I’m wearing something cute, people always ask me if I’ve made it and It really stinks to have to say no.) I changed my original wide leg trouser pattern block, then made these in muslin and found out the pattern was way off. So I changed the pattern and went ahead and cut these out with that pattern. It was pretty close…close enough that I don’t regret not doing a second muslin mock-up, but not so close that I didn’t have to do quite a bit of seam ripping and pattern alteration. Oh well! Now I have a working pattern from which to make-wait for it….FLORAL CIGARETTE PANTS! (Like the ones below.) I can’t wait. I’ll have to make the leg a little narrower for those, but that won’t be very much trouble. 2015 Floral Pants For Women - Street Style Trends (19)Ok, that easy chic outfit is really spectacular, but back to the pants I’m making today. I still have the button and hemming to do, but that’s what afernoons are for.

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IMG_3245IMG_3246This fabric is adorable! I am and forever will be crazy in love with plaid! This is a very subtle plaid that looks like a gray solid from far away. These pants will go with everything! That’s the way I justify my clothing and shoe purchases, and that’s what I’m using to justify the time taken to make the pattern and sew these babies.

Leave it in the Comment Section:

How many of you make your own patterns? Do any of you know how to do it, but prefer to use store-bought patterns for the sake of time? I’m very curious to know.

Hope this inspires you guys to keep on sewing!

Whatcha Workin On Wednesday

IMG_2806 I must admit that I love the style of the teensy, squared short sleeve. I’ve doted on this style on pinterest, but honestly didn’t think about the construction until I began sewing the binding onto this tank and put the half-finished project on the dress form. Maybe next time.

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The original design- quickly sketched, not that I’m too amazing at drawing when I spend a lot of time on it. I have the pattern made for the skirt and the fabric cut out, but I haven’t begun sewing.

IMG_2799That’s my to-do list pinned to the dress form. If I leave it anywhere else, I forget about it and get off track.

IMG_2790I got a little bored and played with the scraps and I love these dainty little flowers. I have enough for several hair clips for my daughters to lose.

IMG_2807Turns out, they would be pretty cool around the neck of a really rad dress, or just as a neck piece. Boredom really does inspire a lot of my designs.

I’m excited about this criss-cross back! It’s fairly open, while still being able to hide a bra. I love fashion and fads, but not at the expense of my bras!

Twist on a Classic White Tee

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Looking for easy sewing projects? This just might be your lucky day. You don’t need a machine to make this adorable t-shirt, just fabric, a pattern (or a good fitting t-shirt to use as a pattern,) scissors, pins, a needle, and thread.

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I didn’t post how to do it here, since I have so many other tutorials on hand sewing whole garments.

Here are the links:

Baby T-shirt Tutorial

Make Your Own Yoga Gear

Super Hero Tank Top

 

Why I Harp On Organization

Organization is something I talk about a lot on this blog. The reasons are tri-fold. Here they are:

Three Fingers

1. This blog is directed toward a creative audience and creative people are messy.

Maybe you don’t like to sew or design, but you love to express yourself creatively through your style. That’s being artistic, too. And the problem with creative, artistic people (aside from being completely mad) is that we’re generally pretty unorganized naturally. The nature of creative thinking means we take off on flights of fancy- over and over again. Our last great idea is trumped by a newer one, which isn’t necessarily better, but it feels like it to us because of the intrigue of it’s newness. So we scrap the old unfinished project for the shiny new project and BAM! We’re elbow deep in clutter- physically and mentally. Bottom line: We start a whole lot of new things and have a tough time finishing them! (Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I think it would be hilarious if at this point, the blog post just ended! Wouldn’t you wonder what project i’m off doing now?)

2. Being truly organized is my White Whale. I want that bad boy! And I bet you do, too.

I often describe myself as a “Messy Type A Personality.” My brother, who, I assure you, is a real Type A in the sincerest form of the term, endearingly calls me an “A Minus.” You’d think it would sting, but it rings too true! And the truth is, it would drive me crazy to be a legitimate Type A. Ugh, all that responsibility and the world on your shoulders? No thanks. I’ll leave that to all the firstborns of the world! But I do have enough of those personality traits to understand the value of a life well-planned and lived. I have the mental clarity that they have to see what needs to be done. I just don’t have as much natural ability to actually get it done. Maybe not ability. Maybe more like stamina.

Because let’s face it, creatives, following through is boring! Making a plan? Wonderful! Sticking to it? Blah- Not so much! Planning is creative. It involves imagination and ingenuity; it’s right up our alley. But living out the plan requires good memory, perseverance, and the ability to cope well with boredom. I wish I had even one of those traits! Or maybe I don’t. (Decisiveness is another trait on the list of characteristics creative people often don’t possess!) Because it’s best to know who you are, understand your strengths and weaknesses and be able to live a life directed toward your talents, not obsessing over your shortcomings. It’s okay (and necessary) to learn to be “Good Enough” in your weaker areas. We don’t have to be walking palm pilots with emaculate houses. But we do need to have a system that work for us, not against us, to foster our creativity.

3. Being organized promotes freedom.

I’m not trying to beat any non-Christians over the head with this stuff, but there’s such a close analogy with this to spirituality that I can’t not write about it: From the outside looking into church, religion, and walking with God, it seems so restrictive, doesn’t it? It seems like there are a million rules in the Bible and “why would I possibly want someone else telling me how to live my life?” Never mind that He’s the Creator of the universe and He made people and knows better than anyone else how we work. We just don’t want His rules! The beautiful dichotomy there is that once we decide to follow Jesus and be His disciple, we start trusting His Word because we love and trust Him. We want to try to follow His rules because we want to please Him out of our love for Him and because we know theoretically that they’re guidelines on how to live the kind of life He made us for.

And then, the incredible happens as we get used to following those rules…they make our lives better! We find ourselves happier and more stable- better parents, spouses, friends. We make more responsible decisions because we’ve become more emotionally healthy and want to live wisely. We find-miraculously-that those rules we fought so hard against for so much of our lives are really the framework for our freedom! We find that without God, we were never truly free and that the “straight and narrow path” that looked so boring and offensive to us before is really not so hard or unnatural when God’s the One we love most in life because He blesses us with the ability to live life truly to the fullest. It’s pretty phenomenal how He works that out in our lives!

Similarly, having external structure in your life allows you to accomplish your dreams! Once you find a system for organizing your space and your time that actually works for you, the cool part is your system takes over a lot of your workload. No more wondering where to put stuff or spending more time deciding what to do with your day that actually doing it. When you have a comprehensive, DO-ABLE plan, it provides the architecture around which you can build your life, your business, your hobby, what have you. And if you’re a nerdy creative like me, you’ve been dying to find a good mix of system and play. I strongly encourage you to keep at it. Get organized ENOUGH (not perfectly) to fulfill your dreams and goals. And remember, a little organization goes a long way for us. Keep your structure light and easy and, perhaps most importantly, changeable! We love a little chaos! We do. And when our lives are adequately organized, we can have all the chaotic, inventive madness we want- without it taking over our lives. Well, maybe just a little.

The Moral of the Story?

I’m gonna get myself and you guys organized if it kills me. Because only then are we freed up enough to be doers and makers. (I feel like that’s actually more fun, but sounds more boring than being movers and shakers. Hmmm. Someone should write their congressman!)

A Time of Transition (Or, Like a Week Past When I Should Have Transitioned)

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Break out the fine China…and Charlie Brown, of course…Christmas is on it’s way!!!! 

I love Christmastime! (Is that an actual compound word? I didn’t think it was, but spell check didn’t yell at me, so I’m sticking with it!)  I’m a believer in Christ, so, of course it’s extra special for that reason. (Happy Birthday, Jesus!) But, admittedly, what really jazzes me up is the thought of 50’s Christmas music. I look forward all year to the time when I can sing “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” and not be stared at. Notice I didn’t say I look forward to being able to sing it. Nothing stops me from singing it… What? Summer’s supposed to mean I can’t be jolly? Um, NAY!

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And what is Thanksgiving really all about if not for breaking out your Christmas Pretties and listening to Run, Run, Rudolph? Sadly, that didn’t happen this year. We didn’t even get around to getting out the Christmas stuff the weekend after Thanksgiving. Tragic, I know. My house has been completely void of cheer for entirely too long, so I did the most I could do without getting the third degree from my fam for not waiting for them. I swapped out the table runner and place mats. (And that’s only because I can spin it like it’s a chore. If I take any flack, my retort’s gonna be “okay, well, you can set the table for the next few months to make up for it.” -Evil laugh-)

 

The Stages of Progressing Merriment at My House:

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These were the first of the Christmas Trappings at our house. And who can blame us? They’re so darn delicious!

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My fall table set up has had Santa’s advent calendar on it for a couple days. Hey, it was a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can’t be expected to change out my table decor in one fell swoop. Well, actually, now that it’s in print it sounds fairly reasonable.

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A little closer up- for possibly no reason at all other than I went Pic Happy today.

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Did Santa look more in place with the fall stuff? Maybe he’s a closet October guy.

 

I made these mug rugs last year and the table runner the year before. 

 

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The Mug Rugs (Or The Melba Toast of Place Mats, If You Will)

Below are like 47 pictures of them because I measure pride in a project based on time to completion, so I’m super duper proud of these babies! They’re actually really easy, and probably pretty quick to make if you’re an experienced quilter, which I’m not. (And if you’re new to it, you wouldn’t believe how much fabric can stretch when you’re quilting straight lines on the bias, like I did with these. Geesh!)

I used a tutorial for the cutest Christmas mug rugs I could find and it was a bonus that it happened to be an easy design. I gravitate toward modern quilting designs- and loud colors…Have you seen the pictures with my walls in the background? My house has periwinkle, orange, green and yellow walls- and that’s just downstairs. The colors this blogger had used were what pulled me into the design. I got my fabric at ConnectingThreads.com. I love that site. I got the pattern for the table runner there, too.

You can find her tutorial here: http://www.pleasant-home.com/2010/11/scrappy-tree-mug-rugs.html

 

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The straight stitch quilting really compliments this design. And it’s easy, minus the stretching of the fabric around the Christmas tree.

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On the first one I made, I sewed little curly Q swirls in the two horizontal lines. I decided I liked the negative space better and left the other ones open. I made a set of 6, but it’s not super noticeable- not enough, at least, to try to take the stitching out.

 

The Table Runner:

 

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Pattern from Connecting Threads

Here are some close ups of the table runner. I tried to use different free motion stitches on this project. It was my first quilting project ever, so I bought an actual pattern kit with the fabric and directions to make things a little simpler.

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 This bow makes me happy. It’s certainly not perfect, but I love the medium of free-motioin.

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These strips of fabric are zig-zag stitched on. It’s actually a prettytreatment.

IMG_1587Star- kind of a hot mess, but in a good way, like my hair. (I hope.)

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Ah, my novice meander/stippling stitch. We all gotta start somewhere, right?

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Okay, so this was really fun to do! Doing the pebbling stitch is just delightful. I tried to make a strand of Christmas lights on the strips of bias tape here. It’s kind of a jumbled mess, but I’m actually happy with it. (I’m managing to keep the perfectionist in me quiet. I have to bribe her with shoes.)

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I love the colors in this collection. I didn’t want just red and green. Now these can match our mostly purple, pink, and lime green Christmas tree ornaments, which were mostly picked out by my husband, by the way. And that’s why I love him!IMG_1582

So it’s not perfect, but at the end of the day, it’s almost Christmas and who can be unhappy surrounded by colors like this?

 

The Moral of The Story?

You should always, always, always greet each holiday with it’s respective Charlie Brown special! This is critical.

And if you’re a procrasti-quilter like me, I recommend buying holiday fabric. Hey, it’s gonna come back around, right?