Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finally - The Parfait Dress

After a year of hoarding the Parfait pattern from Colette patterns, it is complete:

I found the plaid linen fabric on Saturday at Hancock's on sale. I had been planning to make the Macaron dress first, but I thought the plaid would look better as this smart little jumper. I plan to wear it with a collared shirt underneath for work.

I started cutting on Sunday and sewed all Monday night. Yesterday I went and got the zipper and buttons and took in the top a bit. I must confess - I never make a muslin. Which sometimes means that I have to pull out stitches, but I'm ok with it. For this pattern, I should have made the smaller size. In the instructions, it says something like "if you are between sizes, go a size up, as Colette patterns have less ease than other brands." I ended up taking almost an inch off each side and taking in the neckline.

Maybe I should have matched my plaids? I think I'm ok with it as is - and I didn't even think about it until I was sewing it together!

I had to get a close up of the zipper. This is, hands down, the best invisible zipper I have ever sewn. I give all credit to my new fancy sewing machine - a Baby Lock "Grace." It's electric. Very fancy.
I absolutely love the pockets on this dress. The details of the pattern are great. The plaid is a very sweet summery plaid - light green with pink, purple, cream and yellow.
Overall, I love the outcome. It's very sweet, a little vintage, and plaid. I love plaid.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Night Blog

Here I am, late Sunday night blogger. This weekend really felt like the first weekend of summer. My theater company did a little staged reading on Saturday night, which went really well.
Chris and I at the after party

Then today I hit the beach with some friends. I must say, one of my favorite things about living in Chicago is the miles of beach on Lake Michigan, but I do not take advantage of it like I should. Every summer I find myself saying "I have to go to the beach more often!" Today was gorgeous, if a bit windy.
Gwen at the beach, look at that blue sky!

Now I'm finishing up the night with a Mango & Creme ice cream bar from Trader Joes (delicious!) and some sewing.
Hancock Fabrics had a huge sale this weekend, where I found this plaid linen fabric half off. It's perfect for the Parfait pattern from Colette Patterns that I've been holding onto forever. Today I cut out all the fabric and interfacing. I'm hoping to get this done by the end of the month to submit to Sew Mama, Sew's "Make It, Wear It!" contest. Mere days left, but I think I can do it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love for Emily Martin

While clicking around in blogland yesterday, I saw this:

This sweet book-shaped locket is the latest "fancy wearable" from Emily Martin, aka The Black Apple. I am just in love. I love the tiny illustration, the book shape, lockets - everything! She's selling them in her etsy shop. If you wanted to buy me a present. Hint. Hint.

Emily is such a lovely artist. If you are not familiar with her and her work, check out her blog. Very inspiring.

Monday, June 21, 2010

folksy felt

I've been busy - acting in one staged reading and helping out with another - so I've had little time to sew this past week. Last night after our show, I finally got some quiet time with my boyfriend, some movies, and some felt.

The staged reading? Escape from the Haltzberg Boys Choir, with the Ruckus theater company, written by my good friend Aaron Dean. It's a really fantastic new play, so if you're in the area, come check it out. I play a 12 year old boy.

But back to the pins - which do you like best? It's a new folk art style that I've never done before, and I'm curious which one strikes you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Confession :: I love dolls

I must come clean, folks. I love dolls.

Francie, Barbie's Mod cousin in the 60's, by flint030

My mother is reading this and shaking her head and saying "Duh, Katie! We know!" But for those of you who don't know - I played with Barbies until I was a young teen, and then it turned into designing and sewing outfits. And then I started designing whole dolls - repainting their eye shadow and lipstick to match the new outfits I created. I also "restored" all my mom's old Barbies from the 60's. Unfortunately, she did not have a Francie.

A few years ago I saw the This is Blythe book in a bookstore and I was intrigued. I loved the combination of creepy (those eyes) and vintage. After a little online research, I decided I did not want a Blythe doll, I wanted a Pullip doll.

So here she is - her name is Robin - in an outfit I made for her a few weeks ago. She mostly serves as a fashion doll, decorating my studio, condescendingly gazing at me while I sew. Consider me out of the doll closet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Music of the Month - Janelle Monae

I've decided to start a little blog feature where I discuss my current favorite music!

This month, it's Janelle Monae.
If you don't know about her yet, she is totally amazing. She recently debuted her second album, The Archandroid, a dancy, sci-fi-filled disc that I cannot stop listening to.

That's the album's single, Tightrope. It caught me instantly, but doesn't truly do the album justice. Along with Monae's first album, Metropolis, The ArchAndroid is inspired by the film Metropolis, and sci-fi nerdiness in general. As Monae says, she "dreams in science fiction." Some of the tracks sound like old silent film music, which I love, and then some of them are slower and more pensive. Overall, she perfectly blends different styles to make a cohesive and interesting album.

She has a few guests on the album, including of Montreal, one of my favorite bands of all time. She was interviewed at NPR, here, and made some interesting points about fame and achieving it. Also - nerd points for the many references to scifi books and movies in the album.

Plus, she has awesome hair.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crochet Motif Item Flower Tote - Finally Completed!

I finally finished this. Whew.
I started this bag last summer. The pattern is from my favorite Japenese crochet book, "Crochet Motif Item." It's the same book I took the hexagon pattern from. I'm sure you are thinking - why would you ever crochet this?! Look at all those ends to weave in!
And I will admit, the finishing of the crochet took a really long time. There is a reason that I am the only person on Ravelry to have attempted this pattern. But that is not why this project languished on my sewing table - unfinished - for so long.

I could not figure out what to do for handles. I knew I did not want to make crochet handles (they stretch out), but I didn't know what I wanted to do. I also wanted to line it, as a bag with a bunch of holes in it is kinda useless.

A few weeks ago I read this post over at the Purl Bee and I knew I had my solution. Use webbing for the handles! I picked some up at JoAnn's that matched the center color of the flower, and I was in business.

Check out this lining:
First time I used one of those magnetic closures!
I like a lot of pockets inside, so I added one big pocked made out of an embroidered piece (I have a few laying around...) and two smaller pockets for my phones. Yes, I have two - one is mine, one is for work.
All in all I could not be happier. Check it off the list!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

catching up on crafty things

This weekend we had a lot of rain and thunderstorms in Chicago. Less-than-perfect weather for going out on the town, but completely perfect weather for getting a lot done in doors.

I'll admit it - I have a huge pile of projects on my sewing table that are "to do." Most of them are just small mending projects - taking up a hem or adding darts - but some of them have been sitting there for a loooong time. I'm going to show you the one that has been sitting the longest tomorrow, but today, just a few snapshots of what I did this weekend:
A little something for CP, blocking on my sewing table. At this point the rest of the projects were in a pile on the floor.... whoops!
A tiny little embellishment on one of my favorite totes. I got this bag at Top Shop awhile ago and I use it for groceries, gym clothes, etc. Now it's just a little bit more special!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

baby on the way...

I've been sick. It started last week as a little tickle in my throat and turned into a full-blown cold, congestion and all. That's bad at any time of the year, but when it's 90 degrees outside, it is extra miserable.

However, Chris and I did make it to Michigan on Saturday to surprise my parents for their 30th wedding anniversary. My very pregnant sister in law put it all together, so I rewarded her with new baby gifts. My niece, Madigan, decided that we will all call her new sister "Cutie Patootie," so lets call these "Cutie Patootie's Booties." Hahahha... that is cracking me up....
The pattern is Saartje's Booties, which I absolutely love. It's been awhile since this pattern was popular, but I think it is so unique and pretty. The yarn is some stash yarn I inherited. I also made her a little baby blanket that I forgot to capture on film. Hopefully the next post about the new baby will feature her modeling it.