Yellow dye, a skirt and an iPod.

The last couple of weeks were pretty busy and that included me dying fabric for the first time, getting a new iPod that needed a home and finally getting around to finishing a skirt I started a few months ago.

The fabric dying came from a need to make a store bought pair of shorts turned skirt a little longer. I got these shorts from one of those teeny bopper stores, and they were very billowy. VERY unattractive as shorts, but the fabric was just GORGEOUS! gray with yellow flowers? yes please! So I decided to chop out the crotch and turn them into a skirt. Only problem was it turned out super short for my frame. So my first quest was to find fabric that was the right weight (easy) and right color (oh so difficult) to sew to the bottom. Of course, I didn't find the right color. Nothing came close, it was pretty disappointing. But then I came across the aisle with the dye. I've never ever dyed anything in my life (unless you count that one time I tie-dyed a t-shirt in girl scouts) and I don't really have the right tools to do stove top dying. I was too afraid to try it in the washing machine because I didn't want to risk ruining the machine, as we live in a rental.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

Before I dyed
After I dyed

As you can see there are some parts of the fabric that the dye soaked into more than others. This is the first time I tried, and I used a bucket instead of a pot on the stove, so It probably could have been better. Anyway, the brightest white fabric is what took the dye the best. The tan fabric doesnt even look like it changed when it's next to the bright yellow, but if you look at it next to the skirt... it does look at least a little yellow... But now I have to decide on which fabric will end up looking best with the skrit

tan turned yellowish
white turned YELLOW

Next up is my iPod case. Now I've never had to make anything this tiny that was functional and actually looked good. Before doing any research on how people usually go about making one, I attempted one on my own. People, it's not pretty. It's actually embarrassing, and I didn't even take a picture of it. It was such a miserable fail it was kind of a "what was I thinking" moment. My second try was MUCH better in comparison, but it was still lacking. I nailed it on my 3rd try. (third times a charm, right?)

 In the first picture, I have the finished case (left) next to fail number 2 (right) and then more pretty shots of the lovely win :) As you can see, my goal was to be able to put the connector cable AND the headphones in the pocket. My first try had less than zero room and a lot of the cases I saw online or on etsy, also do not allow for storage of all the essential items. Why not I ask, why not?

Well that's all I have for today! Next time I'll either be telling you about the skirt that matches my iPod case, the shirt I'm making for Andrew (yeah, Peter's sew along went by so quick that I hardly had time to pick up my scissors and sew with him!) Or the dress I'm custom designing for my awesome sis-in-law Cathy. It's still in it's very early stages, but I plan on making lots of progress posts about how I went about making it. fun fun :)


Thanks for the Valentine's Day gift BurdaStyle!

I was so surprised (and VERY happy) when one day I opened my twitter and I got a message from BurdaStyle saying I won the giveaway! NO WAY! That kind of stuff NEVER ever ever ever happens to me! I was glad that my number came up on this giveaway in particular. LOVE the prints I got. I have images of some lightweight summer dresses with the white rose on black (and red!) fabric. Cant tell you how much I love that color combo (add gray and it's even more golden!) The fleur de lis fabric is pretty cool too. I usually don't go for that type of pattern, so it'll make an interesting project, whatever I decide to do with it. The gray with white circles... I'm thinking a skirt is in order, what do you say? And last (and kind of least) is the white. It's pretty gauze-y, lightweight and probably best suited for linings. I might dye it yellow, as I have a stack of white cotton to dye yellow. I need 2 lb. of fabric to make the dye packet worth it... although it was pretty cheap so it wouldn't be a huge loss if I didn't have a whole 2 lb. of fabric.

There's lots of fun projects to look forward to. :)


Black Bow Waist Belt Tutorial!

I'm pretty excited about this. Sometimes I get ideas for a new accessory and I never take pictures while I make it. Today is different! I present the fabulous Black Bow Waist Belt Tutorial! :D

There are a LOT of photos but I promise this is so, so easy to put together!!  (NOTE- double click on photos if you need to see them larger!)

First thing's first, Materials list:

  • - 2" thick elastic long enough to fit around your waist +2".
  • - Two 2'' square Velcro (NON ADHESIVE!!--this is important, you will gum up your sewing needles if you get adhesive backed Velcro).
  • - Approximately 1yd of 2" thick cloth ribbon. Grosgrain, or double sided satin ribbon will work great. 
  • - Scissors
  • - Needle and thread (a sewing machine will help, but isn't necessary).

Step 1:
Take your elastic and put it around your waist where you want your belt to be. Make sure you can overlap the elastic by TWO inches and that it will fit snug but comfortable. Place Velcro on either end so they will be together when you put the belt on. Take time to make sure you put the Velcro on the right sides of the elastic!!

2. On to the Bow! Fold the bow with your ribbon as follows:

Leave one inch past the 5" mark.
3. Stop Here and Stitch down the center through all layers: 

4. Then Continue Folding!

Fold the bow under while keeping the tail up.

Fold the tail under again.

Pin the tail where it meets the bottom of the bow.

Last step!! Sew the bow to the elastic.
Hand stitch the bow to the end of the elastic you want to be on top.

Pair with your favorite dress and ENJOY!


New giveaway+Life changing attitudes

Kathleen over at Grosgrain has done it again with a gorgeous dress inspired by a modcloth dress. She has some serious skills, and I'd love to get my hands on one of her dresses just to see how she puts stuff together. She also has a feature in the latest SewStylish magazine, and as soon as I get a chance, I'm going to go pick one up.

Currently I'm facing a mid-week crisis, and I'm realizing that it's already Wednesday and I haven't started anything. I'm overwhelming myself with all these new projects but hopefully I can get back on track soon. I've started doing Chalene Johnsons 30 Day Challenge and it's got me thinking about what I really want out of life. She promises a life change, but I'm only on day 6 so I'm not entirely sure how it will pan out. If you are interested though, check it out! It's completely free and if you get nothing else from it, at least you'll get a positive boost in realizing your dreams :)



When I posted about my stash last week, it got me thinking about that handbag I've been putting off. What is stopping me from just making the bag? Other than not really knowing how to sew leather, that's it. I used to make a purse a week in high school out of all kinds of stuff. One night I even got so excited about making an old skirt (that would have been an awesome re-fashion now that I think about it) into a purse that I completely forgot to attend an event at school that I was looking forward to. Since I have the materials, and the brainpower, and a fancy leather needle for my machine, I'm going for it. This will be the project of the week.

I still have the MPB MSSA to deal with though. I'm 3 days behind because Peter (even though he said he wouldn't rush through it) is pushing along with one thing a day (even weekends!!). I was hoping he'd be a little more laid back about the whole thing... but it seems even the mock up is turning out to be a full out shirt. Why are we making two whole shirts?? I get that we should practice details if we've never done it before, but I thought we were more concerned about getting the fit right than sewing on plackets... But I'll do it anyway, it'll be good for me to learn to be patient enough to construct the same garment multiple times.

Back to the accessory plan... I want to make the purse, and I think I'll need a mock-up of that as well, just to make sure that I don't mess up my expensive scrap of leather. That would be tragic. I'm pretty sure I'd be a huge girl and cry over it if i messed it up.

I also want to try and make a belt. If it turns out well, I'll post a How-To. I'm thinking this will be a simple project. It shouldn't take longer than half an hour to put together. And I have very simple materials in mind, stuff you could probably just find in your stash.

I'm getting in a mode where there's at least a dozen things I'd like to be doing at once. I need to pace myself or nothing will get done. :)


My Fabric Stash

So yesterday I was absent-mindedly flipping through my pattern stash and thinking and planning future projects. I have a few patterns that don't have a 'perfect' fabric match yet, but they are ones that I really really want to make. Likewise I also have yards of gorgeous fabric that has yet to have a foreseeable future.
But I first want to talk about the fabric that does have a known future. Some of them I've been thinking about for months now. They just haven't quite made it to my sewing queue yet.

1) This Cynthia Steffe pattern from Vogue (V1174) has been on my radar for about a year since I saw a version of it on BurdaStyle. It's such a fab pattern and will suit my shape pretty well. It is labor intensive and I have to make some piping, but I will have a lot of fun putting it together. I'm going to try and fit a muslin first and get the fit perfect. It'll be totally worth it. I'll probably end up making this one in the summer though just so I know for sure it will still fit me. There's was this awesome green floral print I saw at Joann's a long time ago, and I remember thinking how perfect it would be, and when I got a Joann's gift card for Christmas, I went and snatched it up!

2) My leather bag. Last year in May the SOT went to Savannah, GA. I found a fab little fabric shop and there was a huge chest of drawers full of hardware. I've never seen such a fantastic collection and I was inspired to design and make my first ever leather bag. I've drawn a few designs, but I've been a bit timid when it comes to sewing it together. Perhaps a muslin is in order for this too. I got a turquoise pelt, a fun cotton print for the lining, a zipper, two strap clasps and a belt buckle. I'm re-thinking the buckle though because I'm not sure it will work with my final design. But only time will tell :)

3) LBD. Ever since I got Mary Adams new book The Party Dress Book I've wanted to make a super colorful silk organza gown (How awesomely fabulous would that be??). Unfortunately that much silk organza is 1-too expensive and 2-impossible to find locally. I'd really like to have the chance to hold up different colors together to see how it would look, but I might just have to settle for ordering a bunch of swatches from some online source (that is, someday when I actually have money to buy some). I did manage to find some silk taffeta at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. Another let down was they only had black, white or ivory. And since I just got done making a huge white dress, I chose black. So no colorful dress for me. I'm compensating by making a BRIGHT yellow petticoat. :) And at least now I'll have a Little Black Dress staple. :)

I have another combo of fabric that I was thinking would make a good Simplicity 2443 (Cynthia Rowley) Veiw B. But for some reason I bought one yard of my striped jersey fabric and didnt get anything for the skirt. I'll find it somewhere someday, but that's a while off.

Also don't forget my project that is currently in the works! My Sew Along started yesterday and I'm busy copying my pattern so I can cut into a muslin.

Finally I have a picture of all the fabric that doesn't yet have a real future. Somewhere over the rainbow all the fabric and all the patterns will find their happy union with each other.

How about you? Are you overwhelmed with a stash of unfinished- in your dreams projects that have yet to reach their potential?