Sewing update and birthday presents!

Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing

Lots of sewing updates to report!  It was my birthday this past week, so I indulged a bit and bought myself some crafty birthday presents.  : )  First up, the New Complete Guide to Sewing from Reader’s Digest.  I’ve had my eye of this massive hardcover beast since last June (!!!) when I spotted it in my local bookstore, and I finally decided that my birthday was a good excuse to cough up the dough and buy it already.  From my initial perusal, it seems to contain lots of good tips and illustrations for making professional-looking garments, and I’m excited to really give it a thorough read-through.  Yay! (BTW, I am all about supporting local bookstores and totally paid full price for this baby, as opposed to buying it on the cheap from Amazon.  Support your local small businesses!)

Fabric for two skirts - Butterick 5613

Next up: some new fabric (so yummy!) from Gather Here, destined to be made into two new skirts.  I’ve been hankering for more winter skirts in my wardrobe and can never find what I want in stores, so I decided to just make them myself.  Awesome!  I wanted neutral colors for maximum wear, so one skirt will be black (with a surprise pink lining), and the other will be cream with brown polka dots (with cream lining).  I also picked up matching zippers and hook-and-eye closures.

Butterick 5613 pattern art

The pattern I chose for the skirts is Butterick 5613, which I’ve been referring to as the “fluffy skirt.”  I want to make the pleated one in the black fabric and the gathered version in the cream polka dots.  The pattern doesn’t include a lining, but I’m going to add one on my own.  Yay for being adventurous!  I’m also going to add pockets to the pleated version, hopefully using the instructions for the gathered version, which does include pockets.  Pockets are a must unless you are a model or doll, haha.  : )

Fabric drying after pre-wash

In a very rogue move, I decided to actually pre-wash my fabric this time around to avoid the inevitable shrinkage after the first wash.  I want to make the skirts in a size 12, which *just* fits me without any shrinkage, so here’s to getting that over with ahead of time.  (All this talk about shrinkage reminds me of that Seinfeld episode…)  I just swished the fabric around in lukewarm water and let it hang dry, which is probably how I’ll wind up washing the skirts.  Done and done.

Pearl bracelet fat quarter bundle

And…. I totally won this fat quarter bundle in a raffle!!!  Holy crap, I never win anything!  Gather Here was having a sale and raffle on Thursday when I bought the fabric for the skirts (apparently it was “Support Your Local Quilt Shop Day”), and lo and behold, my name was picked as the winner.  Birthday bonus!  I picked up my prize last night and nearly flipped out from excitement.  Thanks so much to the awesome folks at the shop for this wonderful prize!  : )

Pearl bracelet fat quarter bundle - with tag

I love how the tag has a little heart.  : )  This shop is seriously awesome.  I wish I could live there.  Now the only question that remains is: what am I going to make with these rainbow-colored fat quarters?

Half yard marked up for sash constructionIn other crafty news (wow this post is super random), I finished up my blueberry crush dress on Friday night, yay!  Above you can see the remnants of the neckband fabric that I used to construct the sash.  I marked as many 4.5-inch strips as I could squeeze out of the fabric (1/2 yard to begin with), folded them in half lengthwise, and sewed them all together.  Easy peasy.

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - mirror shotI need to have a proper photo shoot for this dress, but for now, here’s a crappy mirror shot that I took immediately upon finishing the last little bits.  I love it!  Stay tuned for a “ta-dah” post sometime in the near future…

And finally, I’ve started work on the first of the two “fluffy” skirts.  Yesterday I started cutting out the pieces for the gathered version in the cream fabric.  I think (?) I’m going to handle the fashion fabric and the lining as one piece and gather them together, but I’m not sure if this is going to make too much bulk at the waistband… or if the skirt will lay properly if constructed this way.  Experimentation is clearly in order here.

Hope you’re all having a relaxing and crafty weekend!

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