Friday, March 23, 2012

Tracking my new addition!

That is right, a new addition! And this lady is trackable through the UPS website, so of course I have been checking the website a few times (or more) a day. It is my very first dressform! I am too excited! This dressform is going to change my life - one correctly fitting garment at a time. I like to make clothing for my family members, so old Blue will be invaluable with fitting everything.

Dritz Craft Rambler Double Deluxe!

I have been living vicariously through this double for the past few days, while she makes her way to Iowa on a cross country road trip. I ordered the form on earlier this week and I have been amazed and intrigued at it's shipping process.

Two days ago the journey began in Salt Lake City. Blue (yes, I am lame and calling it (her) that) departed the next day and made it all the way to Commerce City, CO. That's about 532 miles and 8 hours of driving.   I had never heard of Commerce City, so I thought I would give it a look. Apparently it is home to around 46,000 people, they have a majestic mountain view, it's near Barr Lake State Park (I love State Parks), and Wiki says they are known for greyhound racing (interesting thing to be known for? hmmm). I guess old Blue had enough dog racing, because today she busted out headed for the Midwest. She landed in Omaha, NE at 2 pm (another 8 hour trek - 529 miles).

The "early arrival" date is scheduled for tomorrow. The dressform made it all the way to Des Moines, IA at 10 pm tonight (another 2.5 hours - 140 miles). Once she gets here, Blue will be staying in one place for a while. Home sweet home!

When it's all said and done total mileage will be ~1,281 miles.... and I will be one happy lady!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Handmade Christmas

The ruffle scarf was actually a finale to a whole handmade Christmas. As I love making homemade gifts, this past Christmas I wanted to make something special for all of my immediate family members. For my father - pajama pants, for my mother - a dress, my oldest sister - a blouse, and for my little sister a vest (the vest has yet to come into fruition - but it will make the blog some day).

Things didn't go quite as planned- they never do however, so I should have expected it. I planned on spreading the work out through December, but I got sick, my sewing machine died, and my fiance took me on a lovely vacation (poor me). Somehow I pulled it together - used all my free time sewing like a mad-woman, and by Christmas I had created some special gifts that I was proud to give. And I got a fancy new sewing machine in the process!

Some Christmas morning festivities!

The photo above is of my Dad in his new homemade pajama pants and my older sister playing the harmonica I gave my Dad for Christmas. I took everyone's measurements a month before, claiming that it was purely out of curiosity. They didn't really buy that, haha. My Dad's pants were created from Simplicity's 2037. They were super fast and easy to make.

Sencha blouse and Ginger skirt from Colette Patterns

My older sister is a little over 6 feet tall. One of her gifts was the Sencha blouse from Colette Patterns. With Maria's height I should have lengthened the blouse, but I didn't and it came up to her belly button. Ooops! That wasn't really the look I was imagining for her, so I kept the Sencha top and I am making her a new one.

Mom in the Peony - wearing the necklace I made her for Mother's Day!

When my Mom first tried on her Peony dress, another Colette patterns marvel, we could barely get it zipped up! How disappointing, after I had been working night and day to finish my presents by Christmas! Obviously I have some trouble with making things in the correct sizes - I would probably benefit from a dress-form. I was resolved to fix it though and it ended up being fairly simple. The bodice half was too tight, so I kept the skirt and made a new bodice for it. Look how beautiful she looks. Mission accomplished.

My goal for next year... Start sooner  :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ruffle Scarf

I love making special handmade gifts that I can really personalize. In January I crocheted a ruffly scarf for my fiance's mother. I bought some beautiful wool yarn from Yarn Soup, in historic downtown Dubuque, and I found a fun pattern on Lion Brand Yarn's website. They have a bunch of free crochet and knitting patterns, so it is worth checking out.

Scarf Time!
The pattern is very simple - just a bunch, bunch, bunch of double crochets! The ruffles are created by doubling the amount of double crochets - row by row. Basically we are making a bunch of circles, so it takes some time - but what a lovely outcome.

Chain 140.
Row 1: Double crochet in 4th chain from hook, *double crochet in next chain, 2 double crochet in next chain; repeat from * across.
Row 2: Chain 3, turn, double crochet in same space, *double crochet in next 2 double crochet, 2 double crochet in next double crochet; repeat from * across.
Row 3: Chain 3, turn, double crochet in same space, *double crochet in next 3 double crochet, 2 double crochet in next double crochet; repeat from * across.
Row 4: Chain 3, turn, double crochet in same space, *double crochet in next 4 double crochet, 2 double crochet in next double crochet; repeat from * across
Fasten off.
Weave in ends.

Hmmm ... almost want to keep this one for myself!  ;)
I love how much volume the ruffles give! It was a hit with Carol too.

Inspiration: State Fair!

One of my goals is to start saving the inspiring things I find, and using them in my dressmaking. I see beautiful embroidery, trims, styling, colors etc. and I want to start trying to replicate them in my own way.

I have been a fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals my whole life. One of my favorites is State Fair, not only does it take place in the lovely state of Iowa (like Me), but also during the fashionable forties!

In this play/movie an Iowan farm family leaves home for a week of thrills, at the Iowa State Fair "the best state fair in our state." The characters find love and excitement, while signing a beautiful score by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II and wearing beautiful costumes.

I love the color blocking in this frock and the velvet!

Even the background people look great! The floral patterns on these dresses are lovely.

My favorite!
As a child I remember copying the design of the last dress for my paper dolls. The blue velvet is sooo pretty and the silver embroidery really sets it off. Now I just need to make one for myself!