Sparkle Punch Quilt

I can finally blog and share progress pics of this year's Christmas quilt. I make these as gifts and since my SIL follows me on social media outlets... I've had to keep it a secret. Well she's in town for an early Christmas celebration and it's now been gifted!



She likes bright colors. I really wanted to use some of the Hip Holiday line by Josephine Kimberling, but it came out last year and so I had a rough time finding some. You can find some on etsy but most of those sellers want you to buy larger cuts. I didn't need large cuts, just 1/4 yard or fat quarters. I found smaller cuts here, but it looks like they're running out now too. I used Kona cotton in white for all my white blocks, and I buy mine from JoAnn's and use a coupon. I also bought all my filler prints at a local shop called Thimbles and Threads, if you're in UT.




I made the sparkle punch pattern, and really I have no idea where this pattern originated. But I was very inspired by this quilt. I made my quilt with 4.5" blocks, 4" finished, and made it 14 columns by 18 rows. So finished it measures about 56"x72." So far all my Christmas quilts have been throw sized.




I used warm and white cotton batting. And backed it in a soft minky/cuddles type fabric. I spray baste my quilts before quilting so the backing doesn't get all stretchy on me. I quilted it on my home machine and just did wavy lines down the length of the quilt. I used invisible thread, which I both love and loathe. I love that it's invisible on the dark solids, but it's not the easiest to work with. The look however is great, and now that the quilt has been washed and dried it's crinkly and beautiful. 




I plan on quilting more in the near future. I am starting to get caught up on the blocks for the Women of the Bible quilt along. I just signed up for a rainbow mini quilt swap. And I'm working on a quilt for my sister's baby, who should arrive soon... so I need to get that one finished quickly.

Jocole's Girls Skater Dress

Skater dresses may be one of my new favorite things to sew. Forgive me if I just keep making them. 

I got to test Jocole's Girls Skater Skirt Add-on and peplum top and I'm so glad too. I just love this dress. I made a 5T for my girl, and used an ivory knit with an ivory stretch knit overlay, which I wish showed up better in pictures. It's gorgeous in person. I love lace.

The pattern comes in many sizes, NB-14 and Doll. I made the 5T and a doll peplum top as a birthday gift for my little lady who just turned 5! I love the way the skirt of this dress falls. It's so lady like and fun to twirl in.







Here are other ways we styled the dress. Statement necklace. Or with casual layers. 




And our Doll modeling her new top:


Radiant Orchid Skater Dress

I loved last year's color of the year, Emerald, but never made anything for myself. Just a coat for my daughter. This year I really wanted to make something in the color of the year. I bought this fabric in March and the fabric just sat at the top of the heap for months. 



Then Jodi asked if I'd be willing to do a pretest of her skater skirt add on to her peplum top. Um, YES! And I had the perfect fabric... but not the perfect amount. I had to lay my fabric out flat and trace out all the pattern pieces with chalk to make sure that I could fit everything on the 2 yards that I had. Luckily I made it work. Not a scrap of fabric to spare.


 
I used a Magenta cotton/spandex knit from girlcharlee. It looks like she doesn't have that anymore but she does have a ponte.


 

I wanted to do the 3/4 sleeve option for fall/winter. I like to wear bracelets so I don't like the sleeves to be too long... plus I only had enough fabric length to make the 3/4 sleeves so I guess that worked out well.



I also chose to cut the skirt length marked "high calf." There are so many skirt length options! I wanted something ladylike. 



I love this dress. I'll be making more I'm sure. I love the cut... no gathering at the waist which always makes me feel like I have a poochy belly... post kids/lunch that's not something I want. This cut of skirt is just so flattering.

Everytime I wear this dress I get tons of compliments. Most importantly I feel great wearing it.


Little Skater Dress


Pattern: Little Girls' Skater Dress This funky yet functional knit dress has a fitted bodice, high neckline and a curved flared skirt.
Size Cut: I cut a 5/6 with long sleeves.
Textile Used: I used a stretch mesh that I picked up at Nuttall's and lined it with white tricot.
The Good: Cute comfy pattern for my girl. She loves it. And it pairs well with leggings and boots, it's cold where we live so this will be very important in the coming months.
The Bad: The fabric was not the easiest to work with... some of my stitching is wonky but the fabric has a bold pattern that hopefully hides a multitude of sins.
Changes Made: None.
Changes for Next Time: Next time I'll use a better fabric and I plan on making one with a box pleated skirt.
Conclusion: This is a very wearable and cute pattern. I have 3 more that I plan on making... a floral one (with pleated skirt maybe), an ivory lace one (because that's functional for a 5 year old) and an Anna costume.

Not Every Witch Lives in Salem

By His grace I've got my confidence back and look at what I've done with it.

A few weeks back I was thinking I just wanted to make a good witch costume that I could wear every year. I knew it would be a huge undertaking so I planned on only making a few pieces each year. This year I chose to make the skirt and hat.









For the skirt I was inspired to make this skirt and used these instructions for adding a "hoop." For my skirt though I made things a little easier and just cut panels that were wide rectangles. I figured out how big I wanted the bottom circumference of my skirt to be, added 3 inches for seam allowance and then divided that by 6. That gave me 16 inch wide panels. To bring them in at the waist I just put both layers together and then added large pleats at every panel seam. I made sure the opening was large enough to pull on over my hips. Instead of using a zipper I added a yoga waistband/knit waistband. I did this because there is the possibility we'll have more children and I wanted the skirt to fit under a pregnant belly or on a postpartum belly... dressing up for Halloween is important, you know ;)










For the hat I was going to build one from scratch but my first two attempts didn't work out so I scrapped that idea and bought a $3 hat from Target and then added on to it. I added burlap on the top and bottom of the brim, and wrapped the cone in burlap. The fringe on the sides of the cone were a happy accident. Really the burlap on the hat just evolved as I was gluing it. The decorations were all found at Michael's and I made a little spider to add to the mix. The pin was just as simple as gluing and hand sewing some decorations to a piece of felt and using safety pins to attach it to my coat. The bird... ah that bird. I saw it at the store and knew that I needed a pet. It was quite a fun detail that didn't go unnoticed at last night's Witches Night Out.




For the lace gloves I used scraps of stretch lace I had on hand and watched a few youtube tutorials and they came together quickly.








Dragon Costume

I feel like I'm always apologizing for not posting enough. I guess I need to stop apologizing and just relax. Really I post whenever I make something. The silence, that's been a bigger issue than just not posting. I haven't been sewing much. Not for lack of fabric, to-sew lists, projects, etc... but I've realized that somehow I developed a lot of fear... fear of what, I'm not sure, but I've had this debilitating feeling of fear and ineptitude. I know that's dumb because I know I'm good at what I do. I can't do it all but I'm good at what I do. I think I'm getting better and I'm getting some things done but those feelings have bogged me down for months.

One of the projects that's helped me get out of my funk is this costume. I was commissioned by a friend to make her daughter a dragon costume for Halloween. She sent some inspiration pics and I followed them pretty closely and added a couple other details. 


This project was more intense than it might appear. I drafted the patten and that's no easy feat. Even if it's pretty much a circle skirt with a hood it takes time. I'm always so impressed with indie pattern designers. Making a pattern is not for sissy's. I fully lined the costume and quilted the spikes and back of the costume. I added velcro for a neck closure and two sets of ties on the interior to hold it together while it's worn. There are also some elastic wrist straps. It may appear small on the model and that's because my daughter wears 5T/xs clothes and this is made for a little lady that is still mostly in 2T clothes. My 2T wearing son refuses to wear this... I put it on him for fit checks but he cries the whole time. Hopefully the lucky lady likes it.






Now on to Halloween costumes for my family.

the SENNA dress



Hey all! I'm back at the machine. Life has been busy with the start of school around here. I've also been in a sewing funk. I have lots to do but for some reason haven't been getting behind the machine. With Autumn coming though I have lots of projects on my mind and hopefully will start to get my rear in gear. 

I was able to test Lindsay Woodward's first pattern and it was a great project to get me back at the machine.


Here is my review:

Pattern: Senna Dress Versatile, comfortable, and modern, Senna can be made as either a dress or a cute crop top + pencil skirt combo. Designed for knit fabric, Senna features a loose kimono-sleeve bodice with blouson waistline and a ruched pencil skirt. The neckline comes with crew neck and scoop neck options.
Suitable for confident beginners, this project can easily be completed in one afternoon.
Size Cut: I cut a 4 for the top and 6 for the bottom/skirt and made view A.
Textile Used: I used some gray knit fabric from my stash. You can find this on the bolt at JoAnn stores. This was probably not the best choice for this pattern. It sewed up fine but just looks so casual for this kind of dress pattern. I styled it with sneaker boots, or as my husband likes to refer to them as moon boots/Napoleon's boots... anyway I like this dress styled with these boots and a bold lip and earring. As the weather cools I'll add some opaque tights. Anyway moving on...
The Good: This dress sews up quickly. I know I say that all the time but this one really does. It also has a unique silhouette which I don't feel I've seen as much. You can also sew separates, a crop top and pencil, so you get quite a few options in one pattern. 
The Bad: I don't like the textile I used... but you live and learn. 
Changes Made: None. I sewed this exactly as stated since I was testing the pattern. 
Changes for Next Time: The pattern has a pegged skirt, which I typically like, but next time I'd just cut the bottom of the skirt straight and not peg it. The skirt portion of the pattern has quite a bit of negative ease so I don't think removing the peg will change the silhouette too much.
Conclusion: This is a sexy and wearable pattern with lots of options.