Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bummed & Confused

I was perusing Flickr and I found this great dress pattern, Antoinette, and one for boys' pants too!  Then, after weeding through a bunch of links and web pages in Dutch I could not understand, after seeking help from Google Translate, I finally realized, the PDF pattern is no longer available for purchase!  Why?  Why would you do this to me Van Katoen people?  It's not fair.


And the pants - Broek

Always late to the party. Sometimes not invited

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hollywood Cerise

Fabric Price: ~$5.70
Buttons: cheap color pack from Walmart (I hope they don't melt in the sun)
Size: 110cm
Child's Age: 7
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I got my Ottobre back issues.  I was so excited, and then I opened them, and then I realized I'm losing my mind.  Only one of the three issues was the right one.  Uh.  I don't know what happened.  I must have another personality that likes to mess with me and really screw things up for me.

Still, I wanted to get started right away.  The project I was most excited about was the Trumpet Dress from issue 3/2012 for which I did manage to find and order the orignial fabric directly from Ottobre.  But the fabric cost was like a slap in the face and I paid it anyway because I only needed a bit over a yard.  However, I'm not about to mess this one up and since Monkey Pants measurements are all over the place and not even in the range where this pattern begins, I'm going to hold off on it until Spring next year.

So, I picked something simple to familiarize myself with the Ottobre pattern process and also to make sure I didn't just buy a bunch of magazines I was never going to make anything out of.  I already had this fabric on hand from a clearance find and the Hollywood Cerise #13 from Ottobre 3/2012 seemed like just the thing to use it on.

Monkey Pants is now almost eight but apparently she is only the size of a Finnish toddler.  Her measurements are very frustrating to say the least. You'll see why when I get around to posting about the Audrey Pants #17 from Ottobre 3/2009.  I cut the pattern for the 110cm size (no idea what the US equivalent is).  I shortened it for the tunic effect instead of a dress and omitted the front pockets.  Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't tell you how long to make the tunic.  Why?  I'm not that smart.  I need them to tell me this.  Why couldn't they have a hemline for the tunic version?  So it turned out more of a blouse length than tunic but still, I was quite happy with it non the less.  It fit. The fabrics worked well for the pattern. And most importantly, Monkey Pants wore it despite the old fashioned buttoned back.  Three days in a row. Yay!


By the way, I'm selling Ottobre 1/2009 on Etsy if anyone is interested. --Sold!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Re-covered Stools

So, I finally took the plunge and ordered the French Country style stools I've been wanting for several years, so that our home can actually start looking French Country-ish in real life and not just in my imagination. 

These are not them.

This photo doesn't do justice to the stains on this seat.

I would like to sell the old stools on the local, online classifieds, but the fabric was in shambles. And by shambles, I mean disgusting.  That's what happens when you have three little pigs eating at home several times a day, every day of the week.

I guess quilting cotton isn't cut out for this kind of abuse.

Looks like someone took the marker to this one.  Nice.

Sadly, I had already re-covered them once with a beautiful Amy Butler print which I had the forethought to protect by adhering iron-on laminate onto.  This worked for a while.  But eventually, the laminate started peeling and cracking off until it was better to just rip the rest off than leave it there.

Taking the seat off couldn't be easier. Just four screws.

Pry the old staples off with a small, flat head screwdriver and little pliers.

Cut fabric around seat approx. 2 in. bigger and re-staple onto under side of chair.  I skipped any helpful photos of this process like many videos I look up on YouTube when I need help, that take up ten minutes to watch but cleverly skip the most difficult part and show you the beautiful end result.  No. I just forgot to take a picute.  My hands were full.

I bought this black Parisian writing fabric at JoAnn a while back.  I thought it might be an OK compromise.  I didn't want to bother with the laminate again and I figured, this fabric would at least hide the stains much better.  None of that matters now, except for the fact that I needed to re-cover them in order to sell them.

The new stools arrived yesterday. They are lovely, feature a rush seat and cost me an arm and a leg. Needless to say, the three little piggies won't be sitting on them until I have the time to make some protective cushions for them. I'm going to try the laminate again, but not iron-on this time.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Ottobre magazine


So I've gotten quite carried away with my new found enthusiasm for sewing, that I ordered three back issues of Ottobre magazine, the children's pattern magazine from Finland. There's one or two projects in each one I'd like to make. One of them is this gorgeous dress for Monkey Pants.  She doesn't have any nice dresses nor much occasion to wear one, but I figured she should have at least one nice dress that fits in her wardrobe when the occasion does arise so I don't have to be shopping for an overpriced dress at the last minute or trying to sew one the night before.

I love this dress, but I have to confess, I mostly love this fabric.  Now how to figure out where to find this fabric.  This is from the last issue pictured first above.



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sailboat Top

While searching in vain for women's apparel fabric at the local fabric stores, I found this striped knit at a quilt fabric store of all places, and thought it would be perfect for the oliver + s Sailboat Top pattern. I have a similar shirt with orange stripes I got on the cheap at H&M, and actually wanted to get one for Monkey Pants but haven't found one. I know, it's crazy, a classic nautical design, who would want that. Also crazy, the idea of JoAnn carrying striped knits. No, why do that when they can stock their store with scary spandex-y purple, green and black prints instead with their wide appeal for all ages and genders. I come out in a very bad mood every time I go there.

Monkey Pants  is seven but she's really skinny and a bit short.  I made the size five and added an inch to the length of the sleeves. I could have probably gotten a slightly better fit with the size 6 by making the front, back and sleeve narrower.  Adding an inch to the sleeves didn't do much as they are not quite full length, nor 3/4 either.  I skipped the buttonholes and just sewed the buttons through both front and back layers.  I did add two more buttons on the sides of the sleeves because I didn't like how wide the sleeves were at the bottom.  The buttons were from a cheap bag of assorted buttons at Walmart.  They are quite cheap though as I managed to sew through one of them without even breaking the machine needle! Overall, a cute summer shirt for $5.40.

As I was attempting to clean up the sewing "studio" this morning, Monkey Pants  brought the fabric scraps over and declared she was going to make a matching shirt for "Bunny" (I know, her stuffed animal names are not that original).  Rather than allow her to cut up the fabric into a dozen pieces, stick it with fifty pins and then be really frustrated that she didn't have a shirt after all that, I offered to "help" her make a real shirt for Bunny.  We had just bought an 18" doll clothes pattern, M6480, when the McCall's patterns were on sale for $1.00.  Yes, that's all JoAnn is good for.  I had her cut out the traced pattern and some of the fabric.  No machine sewing yet.  Maybe when she's ten or twelve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


From Burda
After completing the Renaissance costume in one day, my head got really big and I actually started thinking I might be capable of sewing things again. So I got all excited and remembered that, once upon a time, I had ordered a subscription to Burda Style magazine. It was supposed to take 3-6 months to arrive but it never did which was just as well I guess because I haven't had much time to even go to the bathroom in the past two years since #3 was born. But, my new found excitement got me reved up, and I ordered it again. This time, the first issue is supposed to arrive in July! I didn't want the momentum to die off, so I bought a PDF Burda pattern to try to get back into the swing of things.

Burda #108 is a sleeveless dress with a twist not in the front. It was in one of their previous magazines this year and although the model dress is not very appealing, I saw some other pictures of it made up where it looked quite nice. I've been wanting to get into some summer dresses to bring a little variation to my regular capri, cargo pants and a t-shirt, mom uniform I wear most of the time. Sadly, my visit to JoAnn's and Hancock Fabrics brought me right down to reality. The fabric selection for apparel is HORRIBLE unless you are really into super loud, spandex-y green, black, and white prints, or, spandex-y animal prints. I'm more of a neutrals person.

Now, this is what happens when you buy a pattern from the Internet. You don't have to drive anywhere to get it or wait for it to come in the mail, but your need to have a lot of paper and tape!

Taping fifty pieces of paper together.

Decided cutting the top and right sides off was better than folding.

All pieces taped together.

Lining up the pieces is quite easy.

Luckily, I have lots of almost-free-paper from back-to-school sales.  However, I didn't realize this pattern is for Tall and I am short.  We'll see how that goes.  I don't consider modifying and adjusting patterns to be my strong suit.  I'm not even sure how I'll do following the Burda instructions which assume you are well versed in different sewing techniques.

Also, I'm getting this little gadget to add the seam allowance to the pattern while you cut.  This should help out a lot since I'm not used to having to add the seam allowance.