Friday, September 19, 2014

Skillet Lickers

My Dad loves tees! For gifts, I often look for fun tee-shirts for him, but I'm sometimes conflicted because I like the idea of making most of my gifts. This year for Christmas, I designed my own tee! My Dad and I are both fans of the band Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, a bluegrassy folky band from the 20s - perfect fun tee idea. I took an old sketch I did of a banjo and mandolin (my Dad plays the banjo & I play the mando) and I updated it to put on the shirt. First I scanned the sketch and brought it into Adobe Illustrator, then I just added more to the sketch and added the circle and text around it.

Skillet Licker style

After I was happy with the Illustrator file, I saved it as a jpeg and uploaded it to an online tee-shirt company. They had a nifty program that allowed me to see the jpeg on the shirt and adjust the image size to my liking. I gave my Dad the shirt for Christmas, and forgot to post it till now  :)

In other news, my beautiful black Myrtle is almost done! I finished the waistband two nights ago, so now I just need to hem it. I'm planning on having pictures up by Sunday night  :D

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Historic Jamestowne + Myrtle beginnings

Model of historic Jamestown

Ever since I found out I would be moving to Virginia, I've wanted to visit the Jamestowne historic site. After months of living here, we finally made it out to this amazing place. I loved it. Living in Richmond I'm surrounded by history everyday, but standing in the same place John Smith and Pocahontas stood hundreds of years ago was thrilling!

Statue of Pocahontas

Recreation of the original palisades

Pretending to be John Smith.

The area inside the fort is fairly small, it's crazy to think about all the struggles and pain those early English settlers went through. Archaeologists are still excavating the site and making new discoveries about what all happened there. They have an archaearium on site, where we were able to view many of the artifacts they have found thus far.

Dig site

Screens for sifting out archaeological finds!

Burial sites inside Jamestowne

For more info on historic Jamestowne, you can check out the museum's website. There website isn't very pretty, but it's pretty informative  :) 

I also started sewing my new Myrtle this weekend!! I was mostly happy with the fit of my practice version and ready for the real deal. My only change to the fit was making the bodice 1" shorter. The fabric on my new version is stretchier than the practice dress, so it's a bit of a pain to sew. I've started using "Stay Tape" to keep the fabric from constantly stretching as I sew (which it really wants to do).

Stay Tape on shoulder seam.

The tape is helping a lot, I would have probably lost my mind by now without it. As you can see, I'm using a beautiful black textured fabric  :)  :)  :)  It's soooo pretty and soft! I hope I can get the the waistband to work because I really want to wear it (the waistband is the trickiest part of the Colette Myrtle). I'm hoping to have finished pictures up later this week!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vintage Myrtle

Back of my practice Myrtle dress

Last weekend I finished my practice Myrtle dress. I wasn't sure if the cowl neck would look nice on me, but I love it! I bought some beautiful textured black fabric for my Myrtle, but I decided to make a practice version first. The only knit fabric I had on hand was some vintage fabric that has been in my stash since I first started sewing. I almost didn't have enough - I had to do some creative cutting, which is why the stripes on the top of the dress are perpendicular to the stripes on the skirt. 

This was a very enjoyable pattern to sew. With only a few pattern pieces and less fiddling with finishes, it came together very quickly. The most difficult part was encasing the elastic with the middle fabric fold. I had trouble pinning the stretched elastic band around the top of the skirt. My solution was to put the whole dress on my dressform and use the dressform to stretch the elastic while I pinned. It worked so much better, I was getting nowhere trying to stretch the elastic and pin at the same time.

I used my dressform to stretch the elastic while I pinned

Stretching the elastic band while sewing - only slightly tricky

On my next attempt, I'm considering making the bodice an inch-or-so shorter, but I'm not sure if I need to. What do you think? The bodice is a little baggy and hangs down slightly over the elastic. I don't think it looks bad, but it might be better if it didn't hang down.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Ruffliest Ruffle Pouch

Ruffle pouch coin purse.

Several weekends ago my friend Jessica and I had a craft day  :D We made these cute ruffle pouches, following a blog tutorial from See Kate Sew. For some reason we didn't look closely at the cutting directions beforehand, so we hand no idea how big they were going to be. We were imagining clutch size pouches, but they actually turned out being cute little coin-purse sized pouches.

Inside of ruffle pouch

Jessica and I had a fun time picking out fabric. Cutting and sewing the pouches together went fairly smoothly, we only had a few moments of utter confusion. We were mainly confused about attaching the lining and zipper - but overall there were no tears and we ended up with two cute pouches so it was a successful craft day   :)

Back of pouch - love the textured fabric  :D

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Needle Felting Fun

Needle felted coffee mug

I've been doing more needle felting lately. It's a fun - fast project to work on. As long as you start with a glimmer of an idea, all you have to do is add more wool until it looks correct. Check out my post from January for more info on needle felting.

Needle felted donut with sprinkles  :)

My first needle felting projects were all animals. I made a cute fox in the needle felting class I took, and then I made some birds and a deer as gifts. This time around I went for fun objects  :)  I'm especially happy with the sprinkle donut and pretty coffee mug. They work perfectly as pin cushions, and it's really fun to have a donut pin cushion!

Needle felted mushroom

Needle felted spool pincushion  :)

Aside from needle felting, my summer has been pretty busy. We've made a few trips to the blueridge mountains - they are so beautiful! We spent one weekend hiking in the mountains and blackberry picking with friends. The following weekend Josh and I went caving in the blueridge mountains.

View from the top of Crabtree Falls

Picking some blackberries! This berry farm is also a winery - HECK YES!

Our spoils (don't worry - we got some "Mountain Apple" wine too!)

Under the mountain!

The second cave was very muddy - and very fun!
Today I'm going to start cutting out my new Colette Myrtle pattern. I've never sewn with knits before, so I'm a little weary - but still very excited. Happy weekend all!

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!