Simple, indulgent, sweet

Science tote bag - front

Something simple: A new tote bag.  The pattern is simply a set of rectangles sewn together to form a floppy bag with self-fabric handles.  No interfacing, no structure, no frills.  Just a pretty fabric tote for housing my lunch, wallet, keys, shopping treasures, or whatever else one throws in a casual bag.  🙂

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2013 Year In Review: Misses

Top 5 of 2013In the spirit of reflection and growth (and fun!), I’m hopping on Gillian’s bandwagon and posting my Top 5 Lists for 2013.  I really like this idea, not only because it’s interesting to look back on my year of sewing and see what went well and what didn’t, but also because it’ll be helpful in moving forward, planning future projects, and making the most of my precious sewing time.  To get the worst of them out of the way first, I’ll start with the misses (and I’ve got 4 of them, not 5 – close enough!).

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Burgundy pleated skirt for Mom – finished!

Burgundy skirt for Mom - Butterick 5613 - finished

My Mom’s burgundy pleated skirt is all finished!  This was a super quick project – start to finish in just shy of a week.  How’s that for instant gratification??  : )  I know many of you can complete a simple project in just a few hours, but for me, a week is lightning fast.  Hooray for quick projects!

The skirt looks slightly different on me that it will on my Mom, since she’ll wear it higher on her waist, thus making the hem hit right at her knee.  This below-the-knee length feels a little weird on me, particularly since I wear the skirt several inches below my natural waist.  It all feels a little too low.  Well, I guess it doesn’t matter, as long as my Mom likes the way it looks on her!

Butterick 5613 pattern artButterick 5613 line drawing

Project Stats:

Pattern: Butterick 5613, View C, Size 12.

Fabric: Kona cotton in a deep burgundy shade.

Modifications: Same as for my other versions of this skirt (added about 2 inches to the waist and side seams of the skirt to make it sit lower on my hips; made box pleats instead of regular pleats).  Added 3 inches of length to the hem for my Mom’s version.

Level of crafty satisfaction: I’m happy with the construction of the skirt, but not crazy about how it looks on me.  Will reserve final judgment until I see it on my Mom!

Lots more photos below!  I borrowed my work camera (much better than my personal crappy camera) to take these photos – do you notice a difference?  The photos were taken at night (such is my life), but hopefully the quality is slightly improved.

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A refreshingly quick skirt (in progress)

Burgundy skirt for Mom - in progress - front close up

My parents came up to Boston for a visit last week, and after my Mom saw me wearing my floral pleated skirt, she not-so-subtley requested one of her own.  : )  The pattern is Butterick 5613, and I’ve already made four skirts from this pattern, including two pleated ones.  Since my floral skirt fit my Mom almost perfectly, I just used my old pattern pieces with only one alteration: a few inches added to the hem.  Easy peasy!  It’s been so refreshing to work on such a quick project after the blazer marathon.  I need some instant gratification!

Burgundy skirt for Mom - in progress - back close up

The fabric is a simple Kona cotton in a deep burgundy shade (deeper than the color you see in these photos; it was hard to capture accurately).  You can see above that the skirt is almost complete at this point — the waistband and facing pieces are in, and the invisible zipper is installed.  WOW did that invisible zipper foot make a HUGE difference!  That baby went in like a dream, in about 10 minutes flat!  A perfect zipper installation on the first try!  Needless to say, I was pretty excited about that.  : )

Burgundy skirt for Mom - in progressI still have to hand-tack the waistband facing to the zipper tape and hem the bottom of the skirt, but I predict this project will be finished by the weekend.  So quick and satisfying!  After the hem is complete, I’ll give the skirt a good press to really crease all the pleats (unlike the wrinkly mess you see above).  Then it’ll be shipped off to my Mom for her wearing enjoyment!

Stay tuned for finished project shots… and my upcoming adventures in jersey.  Oh baby.

So close to a finished dress…

Bright happy dress - hem complete

Tonight I finished off the final details of the bright happy dress: hemming the dress and the lining, and making a quick blue sash.  Technically the dress is finished at this point, so look for the photo shoot coming soon!  : )  You can see the finished hem in the photo above – just a simple machine hem for each layer.  Below are a few photos of the belt, which is fabulously turquoise.  Love it!

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One pattern, four spring skirts!

Four skirts - Butterick 5613 - View A - View C

Spring has sprung!  I whipped up these four spring skirts from a single pattern – Butterick 5613.  How cute!  The top two are View A, a gathered skirt with side seam pockets and a matching sash, and the bottom two are View C, a pleated skirt with a deeper waistband.  Each skirt probably took me about 2 weekends to put together – not bad at all.

Butterick 5613 pattern art

Above is the pattern art – the pink skirt all the way on the right is View A (corresponding to my two cream colored skirts), and the yellow one on the left is View C (my pink and black/white skirts).  I made a few modifications as I’ll describe below, but overall I followed the pattern pretty closely.  Lots more photos below!

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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!)

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