I like making things that I can hold in my hands and admire, and whimsical things make me happy. So I've decided that I'll spend my time creating whimsical stuff. Then I'll sit around and admire it. And after I've admired it for a while, I think I'm going to share it.
I started sewing before I started kindergarten. My mom sat me down at that old, tan Singer, and I sewed along lines she had drawn with a pencil. Through grade school, I sewed tons of clothes for my Barbies. The Barbies that had not been blown up by my three brothers. There were not many of those.
By junior high, I was sewing my own clothes. For a while I tried to see how big I could make my bell bottoms. And how many purses I could make out of old jeans. There were some memorable outfits happening back then. I get to revisit some of them through my school photos. Awkward doesn't even begin to cover my personal style back then.
Thankfully I learned some pretty good sewing skills over all those years. I can totally rock an invisible zipper. I actually own a clapper. And if polyester double-knit makes a comeback, I am your go-to gal
I finally made my way back to my fanatical sewing roots. Memorable detours over recent years have included scuba diving, bagpipes, jewelry making, card making, hula, stamping, tap dancing, knitting, crochet, lots of cooking classes, literacy tutor, and lots of child rearing adventures. I did not get eaten by a shark, I had a card purchased by a card-making magazine, won a state fair ribbon for knitting, and 100% of my children are not in prison. So not bad overall.
Now I'm sewing for the joy of it, sewing what I want. And I'm just kinda having fun keeping track of it all.
This gorgeous new fabric by Rifle Paper Company for Cotton and Steel caught my eye right away. This is lawn ( a superfine cotton weave) in a soft periwinkle color with gold, called City Toile Lawn.
The most memorable landmark from Rio, the Christ the Redeemer statue, is on here, along with other landmarks like the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, and Big Ben.
No I did not get a tattoo. I somehow managed to get the most spectacular bruise, a perfectly shaped circle on my upper arm. No idea where it came from, and you can see it is going into it’s yellow-green phase.
The designated photographer did a better job on this photo shoot, so his job is safe FOR NOW. Next time maybe we will even attempt some back views. My modeling skills are still, and always will be, stuck in my Big Fig phase.
The pattern is a Butterick Retro ’47, B5209. It has a halter style option also, but I like my shoulders covered. Life is easier when you don’t need a special bra for your dress. I had to do a FBA so the top fit correctly.
I ordered the fabric from Hawthorne Threads, one of my favorite online vendors. This lawn is a dream to sew and is the perfect choice for a good looking dress in this hot climate!
Every year I remember why I’m scared of the ocean.
Jaws. I grew up in the midwest and I saw the movie before I ever saw the ocean. Poor planning.
Another Companion Carpet Bag, pattern by Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H.
I put my 9 college credits in Philosophy to good use -the red handles represent the bloodshed caused by that cranky shark.
I put tabs on this bag to pull open the top. The tabs are shark snouts! I crack myself up.
I really agonized over the lining. For about a minute. Last week I just happened to buy some sushi fabric.
I find such joy in starting a project with absolutely no plan. I just picked up my Jaws, decided it needed to be a purse, and started cutting. I almost got stumped when it came to the handles. Thank heavens for higher education.
My little Minnesotan has a thing for the Northern Lights. When I got this fabric she actually ASKED me to make her a backpack.
The fabric is by Quilted Treasures and the pattern is the Dawn to Dusk backpack by Chris W. Designs. This pattern is the most “authentic” looking backpack I could find, with padded and shaped straps and great pockets.
This is a streamlined version, with a front zipper pocket instead of a pocket with flap. I added a side water bottle pocket made from mesh, with an adjustable elastic pull. The cord stop is a kitty, but it did not cooperate with my photography.
For the lining I chose Mario. Because it’s Mario. And his gold coins.
The interior pocket is elasticized to hold some electronic device like a laptop or iPad. Or a small cat. The cat print is a fat catloaf. Just like my fat cat model Tippy. He’s actually not fat, he’s big boned.
This backpack screams my girly’s name. Northern Lights, video games from the 90s, fat black cat. She’ll be stylin.’
I learned everything I know about modeling growing up in the 1970’s. From a Fig Newton commercial.*
But let’s look at the dress instead of talking about my awkward runway skills. The pattern is the Jenny dress by Sis Boom Pattern Company. The fabric is a soft and gorgeous chambray.
I must tell you of my love for patterns by Sis Boom. They actually include pieces for cup size adjustments. In my experience with four of their patterns, I can measure and print and the finished garment actually fits on the first try.
This dress is so comfortable and covers everything I want to keep covered. It is also figure flattering in real life.
*Sad but true. If you remember the commercial, there was a dude in a Big Fig costume. He did a song and dance, and did a Lord of the Dance type pose. Every photo op from my youth, and into my twenties, included my Big Fig pose. Even now I can barely keep my arms down when my picture is snapped. The struggle is real, people.