Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hitched, part 1 - Projects

Apologies to subscribers if this has hit your feed twice, I've had some trouble with this post.

During my 1 year blogging break (what, you haven't heard of the 1 year on, 1 year off blogging schedule?) I got married.  After six months of rest and recuperation from crazy wedding prep, I'm finally ready to talk to you about it.

First off, I should say that my wedding was held at a county park up in the foothills.  We had the ceremony to one side of the site, then had a bbq lunch on picnic tables at the other side.  The only vendor that we used was Andy's BBQ, a local business in San Jose.  Our DJ, photographer, officiant, and all the other hands helping with the event were friends and family.  This was the best compromise we could work out between what we wanted to pay for our wedding (nothing) and what we wanted to have at our wedding (everything). 

So!  You already know that I made table runners, which I have been working on turning into a queen size quilt top (almost there - one more row!):

From the BAMQG Winter Retreat show & tell

Before becoming a quilt, the table runners decorated our wedding picnic tables, along with a row of flowers in miscellaneous bottles and jars that I collected for the event.  The flowers were purchased the day before at a local farmer's market, and they were all arranged by my bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesmaids' and groomsmen's dates and families, and by wedding guests who arrived early.  Seriously, thank you everyone who did that, and I hope you had fun!

The best man's parents, decorating tables.
But the table runners weren't the end of my wedding projects.  I also made my hair fascinator (it felt lame to call it a hair clip so I looked up the wedding word).  It unfortunately got taken out of my hair for a second before the ceremony and then was forgotten in the dressing room.  My Chief Bride Dressing Assistant (with five bridesmaids you gotta get creative with titles) dashed off to grab it and put it on me before the reception, but sadly there aren't any good pictures of it on the day.

This is mostly a picture of my ear.  Note my "something blue."
I still have it, though, so I took a new picture for you guys.  Nevermind my hair, I sort of pulled it into shape like it was on my wedding day, but I didn't have enough hands to do it properly by myself and I skipped putting in hair pins so it immediately started falling apart:

My Head of DIY Bridesmaid made my bridal bouquet.  She totally nailed the wild look I was hoping for, saving the day after I made a mess of things:

Head of DIY also helped me make petal baskets for each of my flower girls, since I couldn't find something at the store that matched what I had in mind.  It was all white roses and tulle and nothing that was even actually a basket.  On the other hand, the actual baskets were all way too rugged and chunky.

Inspiration struck when I saw some hats at Michael's made from straw braid.  The material was just what I had in mind for the baskets, except that they were large-brim hats.  I just had to snip some fishing line to undo the brims and then I cut them unwrapped braid off of the crown.  We straightened out some of that braid from the brims and sewed them to the crowns as handles, then covered all of the edges with ribbon.  After that we sewed a few flowers on each one, matched to the flowers that the girls wore in their hair.  The girls spread real rose petals so that cleanup would be easier - since it was outdoors we just gathered up what landed on the isle runner and left the strays. 

Cuteness overload!
Speaking of the flower girls, the sum total of my instructions for flower girl attire were "White?  Yeah, white sounds good.  Dress them in white.  And make them look cute."  White... check.  Cuteness... check.  My big sisters handled these outfits totally on their own.  Queen of Embarrassing Toasts even made the lovely headbands and added the flowers to the dresses.  And yes, my nieces are all redheads.  In fact, my sisters are five for five on having redheaded children who are girls.  Good job, guys.

Whew.  I have a bit more to share, but what could top that cute picture?  I had better save it for another day. 

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fabric on the brain

Yesterday I stopped by Julie's shop (The Intrepid Thread) to pick up my flea market fancy order (flea market fancy!  In my hands!).  Julie runs an online store, but she also lets people come by her shop/spare room to see fabric in person and pick up orders.  And of course, since I was there, shopping happened.  Can I just say... Julie's shop is the best ever.  Her pricing is awesome and so is her customer service.  And, of course, her fabric.
Despite the huge bundle of fabric I took home, today I had the itch to shop again.  This time I hit her online shop and picked out these lovelies.  So far I have managed not to buy them, but it is a close thing.  These fabrics are telling me that they want to come together into a nice big bed quilt.  However, my danged yardage resolution is in the way today!

Sweet Dreams
1. Impressions Medallion in Lavender by Ty Pennington
2. Pezzy print in Indigo by American Jane
3. Impressions - Dahlia in Teal by Ty Pennington
4. 1001 Peeps Towers in Purple by Lizzy House
5. Desert Daydreams - Navajo Tile in Sky by Khristian A Howell
6. Fruit Slice - Seeds in Grey by Khristian A Howell
7. Poetica - Rythmic in Lilac by Pat Bravo
8. Flock - Forest in Teal by Thomas Knauer
9. Hello Pilgrim - Pearl Bracelet in Soft Lavender by Lizzy House
10. Hello Pilgrim - Stripes in Aqua by Lizzy House
11. Moda Bella Solid in Betty's Teal
12. A Walk in the Woods - Circle Stripes in Cloud by Aneela Hoey

*This post is not sponsored by the Intrepid Thread.  I just love to shop there.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finally - Pastille Finish!

I finally buckled down and finished my Pastille shirt!  I wore it last week and I love the fit.  It is very comfortable with a lot of shaping.  If anything, I made it a little too loose at the hem.  Personally, I don't prefer a lot of fitting ease, but still I was a little worried that my muslin was too tight somewhere.  It was really wrinkly and somewhat funny, but I couldn't find a single specific thing to change to make it better, so I just trusted that it was due to the lightweight fabric and forged ahead.

It's been a little while, so this is what the muslin looked like:

And here is how the shirt turned out:
Excuse my sleepy look - I have been waiting three weeks for a good time to photograph my Pastille, so when DH agreed to help me this morning, I hopped out of bed to get started without even stopping for breakfast.

It seems that moving on from my muslining was the right call.  I actually had to tighten my final version a bit, but I just increased the center back seam allowance by 1/4" and it was all good.  Well, all good except those wrinkles under the bust.  I know they showed up on my muslin, but really they are there on the final shirt for a different reason.  I mis-figured how to lay the darts into the waist seam and ended up sewing them in at the wrong angle.  I took the front waist seam apart and re-did it, but I had cut the fabric of the darts too short.  Even letting them out as much as possible, the front waist is being pulled up by the short fabric of the darts, leaving the excess fabric wrinkled across the front.

Oh, and the sleeves.  After I had finished putting the sleeve facings in, I put the shirt on and realized that there was far too much fabric there (think linebacker look).   I took them apart and mostly fixed them, but for future versions I will draft "real" sleeves in place of these cap sleeves.  

Overall this shirt turned out to be more of a wearable muslin.  The construction details are hidden by the dark fabric, so the only really visible feature is the neckline.  Besides that, when I fixed the waist seam/dart issue I caused a new problem.  There may or may not have been some seam ripping that was fueled by the power of rage.  My stitches were really hard to see and in the end I made a hole in my (extremely fray-prone) fabric, right where the waist seam should have been.  I moved the seam up a bit, but I'm not confident that this shirt will last very well.

I used an invisible zip (because the color matched better) but put it in like a regular zipper
I think I did an ok job on the back zip, it is basically about how my zippers usually turn out.  I can see some flaws but I am not going to try to fix it because it's bound to come out the same second time around anyway.  Overall, this shirt is not a total win, but my fabric was only $6 total so it isn't a big loss either.  (Hooray for Fabrics-R-Us!)   I have another linen fabric in maroon to be turned into this shirt as well.  Any ideas for embellishing it?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Picnic Quilt Finished

Do I have to send this away?

I love it so much.  The orange binding... even more perfect than I hoped.  With the quilting it turned out nice and puffy.  I used Oh, Fransson's tutorial for quick piecing small squares, so I didn't know how to interfacing would affect the quilt after washing.  In the end I was very happy with how that came out.

The quilt is going to my sister, her husband, and my three little nieces.  I am consoling myself with thoughts of them enjoying it.  Still, I'm not above bribing my sister for a few things since I have the quilt done.  I get to keep it until she delivers the goods...

Perhaps she won't?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Alabama shirt and a skirt

After I finished up my Alabama Shirt, I searched my closet in vain for something to wear with it.  Sadness!  Depression!  Tears!  There was nothing.  (Actually there were no tears.)

Even though I don't wear skirts very much, I figured that making one to match the shirt would be a good plan.  Skirts are relatively very easy to sew, especially a basic one without any pockets or embellishment.  Plus, I had a heavy tan canvas material in my stash that I scored for free off of craigslist, for which I never had the foggiest plan.  It is fairly stiff material and not a color that I wear much - basically useless.  Even if I only wore the skirt very occasionally, that would still be a solid improvement in the number of times I could wear the doesn't-match-anything shirt.  Plus, it would transform that space-hogging hunk of fabric into something wearable. 

So without further ado, here it is:

 I mentioned earlier the shirt's problem with the neckline, near the arms.  Oh well.

The skirt pattern was self-drafted, and I was going for a cutely flared A-line.  While in progress, I asked DH if he thought it should flare a little more at the bottom.  He looked, pondered, and then said "How about LESS?"  He followed that up with "I know it would be harder to walk but it would be sexy."  So, advice in hand, I went back to my pattern and flared it a little more. I have fabric left, though, so I may sew one according to DH's specifications instead of putting the fabric back in the drawer.