Saturday, March 19, 2011

Berry Birthday Beer

My youngest sister Isabelle is turning 21 today! In honor of this fun occasion, AJ brewed her a birthday beer this winter. It's a brown ale with 40 ounces of organic raspberries thrown in during fermentation.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gathered Clutch

For my oldest friend on her birthday, I made Noodlehead's gathered clutch. I used three different city weekend prints, which I got from Sew Mama Sew. This lady and I have been friend since before we were born (our mothers met in lamaze class). It's a real blessing to have a friend who feels like family.

It was pretty quick and I liked how it came together. I made the card holder pocket but not the divider pocket. I wish I had taken more time to make sure my gathers looked right before I fused the interfacing to it. Some are very crooked and bothering me. Also I was working with a 9" zipper (the tutorial calls for 8"), and I probably should have shortened it a little bit more. The zipper, with its end covers on, really does have to stop a half-inch from each side seam so it comes together right.

I couldn't find the right hardware at Joann to attach a wristlet strap, but I went ahead and sewed the D-ring in so that it is still an option.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

School Photo Dress

Just as the daffodils are blooming, I finally finished the School Photo Dress (by oliver + s) that I started for Louisa a month ago, and that I intended to make in December. Hopefully she'll get a chance or two to wear it before it is short-sleeve weather.

I used Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush—Bubble Burst Confection for the dress, Mixed Signals Lilac for the lining and the inside of the kangaroo pocket (both from Sew Mama Sew).

I made her a monogram tag with iron-transfer paper and some pink satin ribbon. Didn't turn out like I meant it to but I went ahead and used it.

As always, the oliver + s pattern had amazing instructions and I was able to get the invisible zipper in on my first try, having never sewn one before, and without an invisible zipper foot.

Constructing the pocket is tricky because your cutting and alignment has to be just right, and one corner of mine was a little off, but I decided to go with it. The pattern calls for the pocket to be made from the dress fabric, but since I used some of my Bubble Burst fabric for this project, I didn't have enough, so I made my pocket form the lining fabric, which I think I prefer anyway.

My one complaint about the dress was that it required a fair amount of hand-stitching at the finish. She calls for some hand-basting when sewing in the zipper, which I just did with the machine, but there is no getting around blind-stitching the lining to the zipper tape. You also have to tack the lining to the dress at the hem, attach a hook and eye closure at the top of the zipper, sew a button on the collar, and make a thread chain for the button loop. To learn how to make a thread chain, you have to go to the oliver + s blog. It is easy to make, but I was slow to finish the dress because of all the hand work. Also my first thread loop broke when I was pressing the dress, and my second one I accidentally made too long but I was ready to be done.

It is a size 3T so I think it will still fit her next year.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yellow Jacket