Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Sewing Room

Disorganized shelves in my new sewing room!

A tiny and perfect sewing corner

One of the best things about our new apartment, is that a box-shaped corner of our hallway gets to be my new sewing room. It's my first sewing room, hopefully not the last, and it's my pride and joy. I love having a space solely dedicated to sewing. It's just big enough to fit my horribly disorganized sewing bookshelf, my new sewing desk, and my dress form.

My new vintage sewing desk

I got this vintage sewing desk at a flea market in Harpers Ferry, WV. The top folds open and it still has the original sewing machine inside, along with it's original instructions and a vintage buttonhole attachment. Flipping open the top will be so helpful when I am working with large amounts of fabric. I still need to find a small lampshade for the lamp in this photo. I'm hoping for one with some character, any suggestions on where to find one?

Vintage sewing machine instructions and attachments

Square patchwork pin cushion

The first project I completed in my new sewing room was a purple patchwork pin cushion. I cut out 6 3 1/2" squares and sewed them into a box shape. I didn't have any batting, so I stuffed the pin cushion with small scrapes of cotton muslin. It turned out pretty cute!

Purple patchwork pincushion

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Wedding!

Josh and I got married April 12th!! It was a beautiful day - unbelievably warm for the cold cold spring we had. It was crazy, the temp got around 80 degrees and then a few days later it was snowing. These pictures were taken from several cameras - so please excuse the color differences  :)

I am so happy with how my dress turned out! I started with the Colette Hawthorn pattern, and changed parts of the design to match my vision. I spent a lot of time fitting the dress, and it was totally worth it. Check out my last post on sewing the dress. I used a beautiful white lace with a scalloped edge, and lined the dress with light blue silk. I used the same silk to make silk flowers for my hair and belt. The velvet belt is an antique ribbon from the early 1900s. I will do a post soon on making the belt and veil.

Lovely Bridesmaids

Wedding cards from friends

I made a polka-dotted petticoat to puff-up my dress. The petticoat was made out of many many many yards of light blue polka-dotted crinoline. Making the petticoat was really simple, but it was also very time consuming - mostly because of the large amount of fabric and gathering involved.  It's totally worth making your own though, just so you can use the exact fabric you want and get the exact puffiness you want.


Emily and I showing off our petticoats!

Since the wedding, I moved to Virginia and started a new job. I am loving Virginia so far - it is a beautiful state. It is so nice living on the east coast and having the ability to easily get to so many cool places. I'm really excited to explore Virginia this summer  :)  Last weekend we went camping in Maryland and then went to a flea market in Harpers Ferry, WV.  I was able to find a sweet little antique sewing table there - so I will be back in action soon! I'm dreaming about a swiss dot/chambray blouse with maybe short purple sleeves. I've got the itch to start sewing again.

My Aunt and Uncle performed during our wedding.

Josh's Mom made this wreath out of our extra baby's breath!

I love grape hyacinth!

Thanks so much for taking a look at our wedding pics and checking out my dress! Now it's like you were there  :)  Stay tuned for some exploring Virginia pics and more sewing projects this summer!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Making a wedding dress

Silk Flowers

I have been sewing and crafting up a storm lately for my wedding. I made a beautiful dress with white lace and light blue silk. I also made a bird cage veil with handmade silk flowers and a petticoat.

Front of the bodice

Sweetheart neckline

I started with the Colette Hawthorn pattern and added a lining with a sweetheart neckline. I also changed the pattern so that it zipped up the back with an invisible zipper, rather than buttoning up the front. Then I changed the collared neckline to a scoop neck and added a scoop neck in the back. I did several muslins before starting the actual dress, so I could get the fit right.

Back bodice with darts

Pretty lace sleeve

Finishing the seam on the sleeve

I loved working with the lace and the silk. The silk felt so nice on my hands while I was sewing! The lace I bought has a lovely scalloped edge that I was able to keep on the edge of the sleeves. I cut the skirt out with a rounded edge, same as the Colette Hawthorn pattern, so I couldn't keep the scalloped edge of the lace. To get the scalloped edge back on the skirt, I cut the scalloped edge off the lace and hand sewed it onto the bottom of the skirt.

This is the dress before sewing the skirt to the bodice and before adding the scalloped edge to the skirt.

I will post photos soon of the veil and petticoat. I still need to make my belt. I bought some antique silk velvet ribbon for the belt. You will have to wait till after the wedding to see the finished dress!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Needle Felted Wool

Lovely little needle felted bluebird and cardinal

This past fall I took a class on needle felting at Home Ec in Iowa City. The class was great. I've been interested in needle felting for awhile, and I was soo surprised at how simple it is! I made the bluebird with the beret for myself and the cardinal for my parents. I crocheted little scarfs for them to make them look more festive  :)

Needle felted bluebird bundled up for winter!

Bluebird body before adding the wings and face

To make this sweet little bluebird, I started by compressing some wool roving into an oblong sphere. Then I took my barbed needle and stabbed the roving repeatedly. The barbs on the needle make the wool stick to itself and hold its shape. The more you stab the wool, the denser it gets. You can easily shape your piece by stabbing in some areas more than others, and by adding extra wool to areas that need to be thicker.

Attaching the beak.

Each section of the bluebird needs to be made separately and then attached to the main body. In the photo above, I am attaching the beak to the head. You have to keep some loose roving at the end of the beak (or whatever part you are attaching) and stab the loose roving into the main body. Amazingly the wool holds itself together just by stabbing it with the barbed needle.

Bird before adding wings

To add the special little details to your felted wool project, you just use the same method. Take bits of wool roving and stab it into the main body. It takes a little practice - but really its sooo easy. I finished my bluebird by making some wire legs and painting them orange.

I made my bluebird a sweet little polka-dotted beret!

Tweet tweet!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cooper Christmas

For the first time ever - my sewing was mistaken for store-boughten. I made my sister a Colette Cooper for Christmas and I had to tell my family that I made it - they didn't just guess  :) Don't get me wrong, I obviously think handmade items are "where it's at," but I was just tickled. I'm very proud of this bag!

I decorated the inside pocket with girl scout and boy scout badges!

My sister loves camping, so I made her a camping themed bag compete with a compass, girl scout badges, and some water-proof matches inside. This backpack is made out of a recycled felted wool blanket, denim, and ripstop. I love the texture of the felted wool - it is gorgeous, however it was sooo thick it was difficult to fit through my machine! Next time I will probably use regular wool.

I found some sporty looking webbing - perfect for camping!

The pattern has a lot of pieces and many steps, so it took me a while to finish this one. It was totally worth all the work though. It was fun learning how to make straps and learning to install the hardware. I bought one of the hardware sets from Colette Pattern's store Gifts for Crafters. The matching hardware gives the bag a really finished look.


Despite the cold, my sister agreed to do a photoshoot with me the day after Christmas. We went for a walk in the woods behind our parent's house. I love how the bright red bag looks against the snowy background. 

Found some cool ice.

Striking a pose!

We had fun taking photos. Amanda did a great job as the model! I really want to make another Cooper bag for myself, but first I need to finish my wedding dress. I started cutting lace for my final practice version last night  :)