A Negroni Shirt for My Husband

I have finally ventured into the realm of menswear. I finished this shirt at the beginning of the month, but I didn’t managed to coerce my husband into standing still for pictures until the end of last week.

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He insisted on looking as awkward as possible. Haha!

I’ve said that I would make him a shirt for years now, and I finally decided that it was about time I made one. I finished this shirt for his birthday at the beginning of August, but I had to make a few adjustments. So, he didn’t actually end up wearing it out until my birthday last week.

ResizedImage951377220606056I used the Colette Patterns’ Negroni (which I’m ashamed to admit I’ve had for more than a year and a half now and just got around to sewing up). He doesn’t care for slim cut shirts. So, I thought it would be better if I made a size up, but it turned out way too big. Next time I’ll just make the size his measurements are closest to and adjust the shoulders, armholes and sleeves, and length a bit.

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He was being goofy while I took all of the photos. When I asked him to turn so I could take a picture from the side he said he felt like he was in a line up. :-P

I had to remove the sleeves and take the side seams in quite a bit. I also, re-cut the armholes and sleeves before re-attaching the sleeves. The fit isn’t any worse than RTW shirts he’s had, but the pulling in the back armholes really bugs me. Oh well, this was basically a fit test garment anyway.

IMG_8730He really didn’t care for the hemline of the shirt when he first tried it on, so I shortened it and made the curve a lot less exaggerated. He also likes his clothes to be really simple, so I went with just one pocket.

IMG_8729I cut the pocket, pocket flap, and back yoke on the bias to make the shirt a little more interesting.

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IMG_8731I really like the flat-felled seams at the side seams and armholes and the top-stitching on the collar.

IMG_8652IMG_8732I want to make him a plaid version with long sleeves and sleeve plackets next. Hopefully, it won’t take me another couple of years to do so. ;-P

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Blue Skies Are Callin’ Dress

This is the sleeveless and cowl-less variation of my Verity dress/shirt pattern. I cut this one out before I made the changes to the pattern that I noted with this version from earlier this summer. That’s why the bodice is still too short. Oh, well. Who cares? I still like it. :)

IMG_8552The dress has a flared skirt, just like the first one. This time, since I was working with a striped fabric, I decided to make a chevron on the front and back seams. I should have let the fabric settle before hemming the dress, but I didn’t think about it. I sure have been throwin’ out a lot of “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” lately.

I made the chevron point down instead of up. Why? I just like to be contrary sometimes. :-P

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Oh, before we go any further, I should point out that I’m aware of the spots on the dress in all of the pictures. Sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t pee my dress (I suppose you have deduced that I’m a female, so you’d have to wonder how I would’ve managed that anyway.). You see, I have this drinking problem…

striker-struggling-to-drink-water-1It’s a closely guarded secret. I’ve been working through this problem for years, but I’m not sure I’ll ever overcome it. Don’t say I never share any of my secrets with you.

IMG_8553The weather has been beautiful lately. Every morning I’ve been tricked into thinking that I want to be outside, until the bugs turn me into their petite dejeuner.

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The wind came along at just the right moment for this photo. I just love how the skirt looks!

IMG_8559I serged the seams, as usual, and I stabilized the shoulder seams with seam finish tape.

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I guess my center front seam needed a good pressing before I went out.

I could’ve topstitched the armhole binding down, but I opted for handstitching. IMG_8613I like the way topstitching looks too, but I was in an unusual mood to hand stitch. Besides, I handstitched the hem, as well. So everything looks nice and clean on the outside.

IMG_8615I wish I had a yellow belt to go with this dress. I may have to make one because I haven’t had any luck finding one.

IMG_8573I’m really starting to LOVE working with stripes. It takes extra effort to carefully cut the fabric out and match the stripes when sewing, but it’s so worth it. I suppose I’m shedding some of my sewing laziness and molting into a new and improved seamstress. :D

IMG_8577Photo dump time!

IMG_8575IMG_8588This dress is perfect for frolicking around on summer weekends or evenings (when I’m not working on the house or yard, that is).

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IMG_8605All I can think about now is projects that involve directional fabric patterns. :D

IMG_8589Can you believe it’s already August? Fellow sewers, do you have any more sewing planned for this season, or are you planning for the season ahead already?

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House Renovation Progress: Mid-2013 Update

I finally got up the strength of will to draft a renovation update. I must give you fair warning: this will be a LONG post because it has been over half a year since I’ve done a renovation update. (*Reminder: if you are not interested in posts about our home renovation, you can choose to subscribe to just the sewing & crafting section of this blog in the sidebar.*)

The Yard

At the beginning of the year, we got rid of our fence in preparation for all the work we’d be doing to the yard. We advertised the old fence for sale for a good deal to anyone who would come out and take it down.

In April, we regraded the yard, removed old concreted (including the porch) and filled in the pool. You may remember that the pictures on my porch during MMM showed a big dirt lot for our backyard. It is now a combination of weeds and grass.

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IMG_6557We plan to expand our driveway and have it circle back around to the street near the house, so we dug the path for the new driveway.

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IMG_6549Before we started to redo the yard, I had to temporarily pot any plants that I wanted to save. Since we haven’t planted anything, this mostly meant that I had to save as many Daylilies as I wanted. So, I spent half a day pulling out a veritable tub full of them. In the picture below, it doesn’t look like many, but trust me, those are large pots. They’re stuffed to the brim.

IMG_6537I also had to move most of my pots to the deck for safe keeping.

IMG_6555We put a lot of concrete in the pool as we were filling it in, but we still had a lot leftover.

IMG_6567It was done in a systematic way, eventually. No sink holes in the future. We did find a sink hole on the edge of the concrete pathway in the backyard when we started tearing the yard apart. I’m glad none of us were unlucky enough to fall into that over the past couple years.

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IMG_6934We finally had someone come out to haul most of the remaining concrete away this past weekend. Yay!

IMG_6718The most important thing that Alex accomplished with the skid steer was fixing the grade of the yard. Water will now flow away from and around the house and down and out the back of the yard properly. Water used to flow right along the house and either leak into the basement or keep the basement walls damp.

IMG_6841One section of the yard looks really good, because we were very diligent about seeding and watering.

IMG_7335I can’t wait to build our planters around those trees. Under the plastic are piles of tilled up grass and weeds that have turned into a nice mulch. It was a lot of work smoothing out the dirt and raking all the clumps toward the trees to build up around them.

We put grass seed down in that area, and we then scattered seed in the rest of the yard over time. At first, I spent a significant time watering every day. It was a good excuse to be outside. Then, it got hot and I became less interested in attending to the watering. :P

We’re putting planters around the crabapple tree and cherry tree in the front, as well (the trees in the picture below).

IMG_6931Around the same time we regraded the yard, I cleared out the overgrown side yard.

IMG_6576There were overgrown bushes along the side of the road, tons of little trees growing, downed branches, piles of leaves and debris (A.K.A. plastic bottles and soda cans).

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Beyond the mailbox is the cleared side yard area. Sorry ’bout the renegade trash can. ;P

Now it’s cleared out and I threw some flower seeds down in the area. We’ll see what happens. Unbelievably, with all the time I spent in that area, I only ended up with one tick. Still icky, though! :( They’re disease ridden, so it’s best to do a thorough search and find them before they can transfer a disease into your bloodstream. I think it takes 24 hours before that happens. For those who may have missed it, I found out last summer that I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick. Blech!

Anyway, moving on… Our neighbor was clearing out some of his property as well, so we had a fire going every evening for about a week.

IMG_6853Since Alex had the skid steer, he helped our neighbor fell a tree that was leaning toward his house.

IMG_6846That was quite the neighborhood event. ;D

The House

Master Bathroom and Closet

Recently, we tore out the old closet walls in our bedroom (they used to separate the bedroom from the old kitchen), and Alex started framing the new, master bathroom and walk-in closet.

IMG_8486IMG_8495Since we didn’t have another place to put the clothes, We temporarily piled them on the bed and covered them.

Once Alex had most of the framing up for the wall between the bathroom and closet, we made a makeshift closet with a couple nails and one of our closet rods.

IMG_8496He almost finished framing the new closet. The picture below shows our current closet. Haha!

IMG_8501Luckily, once he’s done with framing, we can quickly put drywall up in the closet and keep the clothes safe and clean.

I’m so excited about the bathroom.

IMG_8481There will be a lot of natural light in there because there are two windows. The shower is about 8 feet by 3 feet!

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This is the shower. It’s bigger than it looks, trust me!

We decided to forgo a tub in the master bathroom to have more closet and shower space. Besides, the upstairs bathroom will have a tub.

Kitchen & Living Area

In the kitchen, we’ve got most of our cabinet boxes in and some of the trim up. I’ve filled a lot of holes and done a lot of sanding. The insides of most of the cabinets have been painted, although they will need another coat.

IMG_7394I’ve had most of my kitchen stuff stored on a shelving unit that I stole from the basement. Where that shelving unit is now (see the pic below), there will be a full-height, pantry cabinet. There are curtains around the shelving unit now, to keep any dust, etc away from everything.

2013-03-07_18-47-29_890We had been working on concrete countertops. Alex really wanted to go with this option, so I went along for the ride. We tried several different methods, but have never gotten it quite right. He told me on our anniversary that he’s decided it’s time to just order granite countertops. I am STOKED!

IMG_20130309_160936We put three big beams up to replace the wall that used to separate the kitchen and stairs from the living area. Surprisingly, Alex and I managed by ourselves to carry the beams up from the basement and put the beams in. It was all due to my massive muscles, I’m sure. ;)

2013-03-07_20-12-29_856We put our mark on the center beam with a little meat branding iron that I got Alex last year.

2013-03-09_16-04-38_983Alex did the electrical and reinstalled insulation for the front living room wall and put drywall up.

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IMG_7403We finished taking the fireplace apart and poured a cement base for the wood burning stove. We’ve carried some heavy things up the stairs, but let me tell ya’, that was a beast to get up the stairs.

Front Porch Progress

This past weekend, Alex’s parents came over and started working on our front porch. They started pouring the cement footings for the wood porch.

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Laura was also kind enough to trim up my trees for me. :) They look so good now!

IMG_8511We made our mark in one of the concrete footings, just like on the beam inside the house.

Upstairs Demo

I think it was March when we started to demo the upstairs. Our first steps were the bedroom and bathroom walls.

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IMG_6709Then we removed tile from the bathroom floor and shower and removed the wall between the bathroom and second bedroom.

IMG_6712We tore out the cubby walls, which we plan to remove. Alex cut out part the bathroom floor and part of the cubby floor of the bedroom near the stairs.

IMG_6708Now the center dormer is open to the entryway, which lets a lot of light in.

2013-03-08_16-57-59_613Our ultimate plan is to give the entryway and bedrooms vaulted ceilings.

In April, Laura and I tore out the attic wall and back bedroom wall.

IMG_6711We also finished removing the drywall from the cubbies. A couple of weeks later, Alex started tearing out part of the attic wall framing.

IMG_7395We’re going to utilize some of that attic space as a den area. We plan to add a skylight on that side of the house, opposite the front dormer, in order to flood the entryway with light. The other section of attic space, behind bedroom 2 is going to be a bathroom. We’re moving the back bedroom wall forward a tad to give us enough space for the new bathroom.

In May, I started tearing out the ceiling in the upstairs bedroom closest to the stairs.

IMG_8467Unfortunately, there was blown fiberglass insulation above the ceiling.

IMG_20130721_124522_468You may remember the MMM post in which I sported fiberglass insulation covered clothing. I’ve grown wise since then and started wearing long sleeves despite the heat. Being extremely hot is better than getting covered in fiberglass.

Once I did that, I cleared out all the drywall, wood, insulation, tile, etc from the upstairs.

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IMG_8469I had spread plastic sheets out on the floor of the bedroom before I started ripping the ceiling out in the bedroom. So, all I had to do was bag some of the excess fiberglass and tie up the sheets like bags.

Alex and his dad took most of that upstairs junk to the dump last week (including the tub).

Once the upstairs was clean, I started to get it dirty again. :D

This past weekend, I spent my time monkeying around in the hot attic space. After I tore out the ceiling in one bedroom, it was easy to get up in the attic space. In preparation for removing the ceiling drywall, I had to bag up all the fiberglass in the center section of the ceiling, above the entryway and old bathroom.

IMG_20130725_164344_021Naturally, we didn’t want to have fiberglass all over the house. This was a bit scary at first, knowing how high up I was. Luckily, I’m not too afraid of heights. I used a heavy piece of shelving from one of the closets and a couple planks of wood to scoot along the ceiling joists.

IMG_8502I stopped bagging fiberglass insulation once I reached the area above the second upstairs bedroom. I figured I could just spread a sheet out the same way I had in the other bedroom to catch the insulation.

I knocked down the drywall upstairs in the middle section of the house. Things really started getting fun at that point. Now, I could see how high up I was. Knowing how high you are is one thing; seeing it is another. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the photo below of me among the ceiling joists.

IMG_8508Here is another one that shows just how high up I was.

IMG_8509When I was in the area above the stairs, it was quite nerve-racking thinking about how high I really was. Just below those stairs are the stairs to the basement (see the picture below). :0

IMG_8522Once I got to bedroom 2, I broke a hole in the middle of the room and pushed the fiberglass out into the middle of the plastic sheet that I’d laid out.

IMG_8517I tore out the rest of the drywall,

IMG_8526and sat back and enjoyed the view at the top.

IMG_8514Then, I had to move all the drywall downstairs (it’s easy to throw everything on the trailer through the sliding glass door) and bag all the insulation.

IMG_8523As I said, our plan is to have vaulted ceilings. It will be necessary to support the roof with beams. We’ll need beams across the length of the house in each section (entryway, bedroom 1 and bedroom 2) to hang the beams on that will span the roof like the ceiling joists are now. I’m sure that will make a lot more sense once it’s finished and I can show you pictures and/or video.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to put the new master bathroom plumbing in and start on the new framing upstairs. We poured a concrete pad for the air conditioning unit, and hopefully, we’ll be putting our ducts in soon. We have a little window unit to keep us cool in our bedroom, but the rest of the house can get pretty warm. Luckily, the weather has been much cooler this last week than it was throughout the beginning of July.

We’ll be doing a lot of work on the renovation over the next several months to meet our self-imposed deadline. So, I’ll probably be posting monthly updates from now on. I’m going to try to do a video update soon, because I know that will make it easier to understand the layout, etc. Soon enough, the house will actually start to look like a house again. :D

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Summer of Kelly Skirts

I don’t often make the same pattern multiple times, but since I love my first Kelly skirt so much, I made a couple more for an easy summer wardrobe. It’s so easy to slip one of these on with a basic tank or tee.

kellyskirtsI actually finished these skirts a little over a month ago, and they’ve already seen a lot of wear. Both skirts were made with fabrics from my stash.

IMG_8195The blue one is made from a vintage, poly blend of some sort. It was a thrift store find a couple of years ago.

IMG_8286The beige one is made from what I think is some form of twill. I purchased it about a year and a half ago from the clearance section at G Street Fabrics. kellybacksI cut these in the same size as I did for my first Kelly skirt: I cut the waistband between the XS and S and I flared the skirt out from an XS at the waist to S by the bottom of the skirt. For more details about the construction, please see this post about my original Kelly skirt.

kelly hairYes, I know, I need to add a snap underneath the waistband on the beige one. ;)

kellybacksI chose to use topstitching thread for the topstitching on these skirts. I like the look of it better than the regular thread that I used on my first Kelly skirt.

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kellyscloserMy favorite way to where my blue Kelly skirt is paired with my polka dot Renfrew or a black tank. Both skirts are very versatile, and I can easily pair them with most of my shirts and blouses.

kellycloseI chose to use a contrasting fabric for the pocket lining on the beige skirt. I like having surprise colors and patterns inside my clothes. It brings a smile to my face when I catch a glimpse of it during the day. Yep, colors definitely affect me that much.

IMG_8314I liked working with this pattern a lot, so I think it’s time to get another Megan Nielsen pattern or two. Luckily, my birthday’s coming up next month. :)

kellyposeI think I’ve been disciplined enough in making a few separates for the summer. Now, it’s time to go make a dress! :D

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My Wardrobe is Abuzz with Hummingbirds

The Hummingbird pattern has certainly tickled my fancy. This is the third of four items (so far) that I’ve shown you that was made using this pattern. I actually finished all three tops and the skirt I’ve made from this pattern over a month ago, but we all know how easy it can be to fall behind with taking photos and posting about finished projects.

I shared this Hummingbird skirt last week and mentioned that I had made a top that matched the pocket lining. Well, here’s the top I was referring to.

IMG_8271I found the knit that I used for this top at one of my favorite thrift stores. This material was part of the thrift haul, I mentioned in this post. I believe it was $2 for about 4 yards! It is super lightweight, so unfortunately I have to wear an undershirt with it to go out in public. It’s perfect for days that I’m at home and want to stay cool though.

IMG_8280I cut this top in the same size as my first Hummingbird: 35″ bust, 26.5″ waist (between the 28″ and 26″) and 17″ bodice length. However, the material didn’t have as much stretch, so everything seemed to work out better. I still took the side seams in a bit, but nothing as drastic as the first top, and the neckline was perfectly fine on this one.

IMG_8266I debated about how to cut the peplum out, but finally decided to cut it so that the stripes would be vertical at my sides. I figured this was more likely to have a slimming effect at my hips.

IMG_8267I found the necklace in these photos at an antique store when I was in Iowa. This type of necklace would normally be outside of my realm of comfort, but for some reason I couldn’t leave it behind. I was going to give it to one of my sisters who used to like jewelry like this, but I was afraid that her tastes had changed too much and that she would never wear it. So, I decided to keep it for myself. It seems fitting for this top, as the striped material could almost be a circus tent. Ha! Some of you may think it’s garish, but I dig it. I may change the chain to something with smaller links because I don’t like necklaces with such large chains.

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Pay no mind to the bruises on my legs.  There are even more on the top halves of my legs. Believe it or not, most of them are from bug bites. No, not from me scratching them too hard. The overzealous little buggers actually gave me bruises.

IMG_8263I like it when I have an outfit that has surprise matching elements. In the case of this outfit, the pockets in the skirt match the top. :)

IMG_8275You might think that the pockets would bunch up since the material is a knit, but they stay in place because of the way the pockets are sewn into the side and center panel seams.

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I feel the need to explain my slapdash photo backdrop. I was taking photos of myself in my Bombshell swimsuit for part of my husband’s anniversary gift, and I decided to take pictures of several other completed outfits at the same time. I didn’t want all of my neighbors to see me posing in my swimsuit, so I slapped together a little tent on my deck.

I’m sure this set-up mixed with the necklace makes some of you wonder about my level of classiness. Let me assure you, I took the little tent down immediately after…a whole day had gone by. ;) Not that bad, right? Given our track record with half-finished home and yard renovations, it could have easily been up for weeks. Yep, I am that neighbor. But honestly, when we’re all done with fixing up the house, our neighbors should have nothing but thanks to share with us.

IMG_8249Alright, back to the shirt. I must admit, I’m a recent convert to the peplum. I used to shun them with no exception. However, just like my tastes for foods have changed over time (I used to be the pickiest of picky, and now I’ll try just about anything), I’ve become more open-minded and experimental in the realm of fashion. Are you a fan of peplums? If you haven’t already made a peplum top, have you been tempted by the Hummingbird pattern?

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Blasting into Summer with a Bombshell

I’ve been debating since last week about posting pictures of my Bombshell swimsuit on me. I know that it’s helpful for other sewists to see garments on a body rather than flat or on a hanger, but I just would rather not have pictures of me in a swimsuit floating around the internet (Let the “chick-chick-chicken” calls ensue). I’d still like to share some pictures of the suit, with you though. :)

IMG_8441When the sewing blogs exploded with Bombshells (forgive me, I just couldn’t help myself :-P), I too was filled with excitement about the pattern. I bought the pattern almost immediately after its release, and I’ve had this swimsuit completed for several weeks. I’ve worn it several times already, and I have to say, I really LOVE this suit. I may not be posting pictures of it on me, but that has nothing to do with being self-conscious. The suit accentuates curves in all the right ways. I truly feel beautiful and confident while wearing it. It probably would have been too much for y’all to handle anyway. ;)  The dress form certainly keeps things on this blog innocuous, albeit somewhat boring.

IMG_8453I did take a few pin-up type pictures in the suit to use as part of a gift for my DH. It’s our 5-year wedding anniversary today. Yay! :-D It’s almost unbelievable that it has been 5 years already. I’m so blessed to be trekking through life with such an amazing man.

Ehem. I’ll stop there for those of you who were worried this post would derail into sappy land.

OK. Let’s talk a bit about the making of the suit.

IMG_8447I knew right away that I wanted to use that white floral material, but I’m saving most of that material for another project. So, I just cut the bust portion of the swimsuit from the floral material and went with a black swimwear material for the bottom.

IMG_8448 I think having white on top and black on the bottom helps to balance my proportions a bit.

IMG_8445As you can see, I made version A with the sweetheart neckline. For those who may be wondering: I cut size 10 bust, size 8 waist, size 14 hips. Check out the picture below of the back piece. Someone has a big booty! :-P To be honest, I could’ve used a bit more curve for it to sit flat against my lower back.

IMG_20130619_202650_606One of my favorite things about this suit is the complete booty coverage. There’s no worry about showing any cheek while wearing this suit.

IMG_8452I should have cut the bust slightly smaller than the size 10, because I’m technically between 8 and 10. I like the bust to be pretty snug, so I ended up having to take it in at the back seam line to help it stay in place better.

IMG_8439It seems like I may have gathered the center of the bust a bit more than the pattern called for. I didn’t mark it, so I just kind of gathered it and tried it on to see if it looked OK. If I make this again, I will definitely be moving the straps in so they’ll pull the top up a bit more to give me a bit more coverage. They’re just set widely, so the suit gapes a tad in the front, and the top of the suit doesn’t go up quite as far on me as I’d like. But, honestly, this covers way more than most swimsuits out there.

IMG_8451The lining material that I used doesn’t have the same amount of stretch as the swimwear material. That, on top of the waist size, makes it extremely difficult to get it on over my hips and bum, but once it’s on it fits perfectly. I just have to hope that I won’t have to go to the bathroom while wearing it. Haha!

IMG_8443I added some foam cups from an old exercise top. Before sewing the elastic to the top, I tried the suit on, and I knew I needed something to help me feel a bit more secure. So I sewed some last-minute elastic below the cups for a bit of a shelf support (No, my lazy self wasn’t about to pick apart the side seams to sew the elastic into them ;-P).

IMG_20130709_163200_137I wouldn’t wear this suit to do much activity, but it works for lounging or leisurely swimming. If I were to make it again, I would probably add cups with underwire to the lining.  I would use the cups from an old bra and sew the edge of the bands into the side seams of the suit.

Oh, by the way, the reason the elastic shows on the inside is because my swimwear elastic was a bit wider than the pattern called for. Oh well!

IMG_8440Well, that’s all I have to say about the suit. I have really enjoyed seeing all the amazing Bombshell swimsuits out there. Have you made a swimsuit yet this summer? If you haven’t, I encourage you to give it a go. It’s a much more enjoyable process than the torture that is searching for a RTW swimsuit. Once you make your own swimwear you’ll never go back to buying RTW swimsuits.

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Hummingbird Skirt & Refashioned Pink Plaid Shirt

IMG_8233Denim Hummingbird Skirt

I finished this denim Hummingbird skirt several weeks ago, and I’ve worn it at least five times already. I was really unsure how I’d like it when I first got the pattern because I’m not usually a fan of skirts like this, but it has grown on me.

Please pardon the wrinkles. That's what happens when you take pictures at the end of the day. :)

Please pardon the wrinkles. That’s what happens when you take pictures at the end of the day. :)

This is the Hummingbird skirt pattern, which came with the Hummingbird pattern I used to make my peplum top.

IMG_8231For Cake patterns, you cut the size closest to your own measurements. It’s recommended that you cut the next size up if you’re between sizes, and adjust the fit during the sewing process. So, I cut the 28″ waist and 40″ hip. The finished hip measurement was perfect, but because my waist measurement is currently 26.5″, I made several adjustments to the skirt once I had it together. I took a lot out of the side seams, especially above the widest part of my hips. That way the skirt doesn’t poof out unattractively at the sides between my waist and the widest part of my legs (which is wear I measure the widest, not my hips). I took about an inch out of the side seams at the waist and curved out to the original seam at the hips. I also had to take in the back darts at the waist. I took each of them in about an inch at the waist.

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Next time I make this skirt, I think I’ll just cut the 26″ waist to make it sit at my natural waist. That way I can comfortably wear it with tops like this or crop tops without baring my midriff.

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The pocket lining matches another Hbird top that I made and will share soon.

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This is such a quick and easy project, and I have at least one more copy of this version planned and a version with the flounce in the back.

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Not sure what’s up with my dwerpy face here, but it’s a nice picture of the clothes.

Refashioned Pink Plaid Shirt

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I refashioned the pink plaid shirt back in May. You may recall it from the last day of MMM.

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It started out as a shapeless button-down shirt. The shirt sat for about two years waiting to be reconstructed. I purchased it at a thrift store in Post Falls, Idaho when I went with my husband on a business trip in May 2011. In May of this year, I finally decided to do something with it.

Here is a terrible cell phone pic of the shirt before.

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Luckily, this is the last of the items I have to show you that I made back in May. On the last day of MMM, I wore the top untied and buttoned up.

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However, my favorite way to wear this shirt is with the front tied and unbottoned.

IMG_8080I don’t have pictures of the refashion process, but it was all pretty standard stuff that I’ve detailed on this blog before. I removed the sleeves and cuffs, shaped the sides, added darts at the bust, shortened the length, and finished the armholes.

Here’s a side shot, so you can see how I decided to do the dart. I tried the shirt on and pinned the dart the same way I pinned it on my refashioned plaid dress.

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Well, that’s all I have to say about this outfit, so I’ll leave you with this laughable photo.

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What in the world kind of pose was I going for here? We’ll just call this one, “The Cavewoman Scratch.” Haha! :-P

Posted in General, Reconstructing & Thrifting, Sewing & Crafting Tagged , , , , , , , | |12 Comments

Turquoise Polka Dot Hummingbird

Being the procrastinator that I am when it comes to photographing projects, I have created quite the backlog. Rather than going in chronological order, I’ve decided to skip around and share some of my more recent makes. I made this top about 3 weeks ago.

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I’d been saving this knit polka dot material for a Hummingbird top since I bought it at a thrift store a couple of months ago. It came in a $1 bag with mostly 1/2 yard cuts of material. I had a little more than half a yard to work with, but I was determined to make it work. Happily, I was able to just squeeze all the pattern pieces onto the material.

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I was careful not to stretch the neckline out, but there must’ve been too much stretch in my material because my top was huge and gaping in the front when I first finished sewing. In order to save the top, I sewed a seam down the center front and made it into a v-neck. On the two subsequent versions that I’ve made, I didn’t have as much trouble with the neckline gaping. However, I did end up having to take the side seams in a bit on the other two versions. For those who want to know, I cut a 35″ bust, 26.5″ waist and 17″ bodice length.

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Apparently, I was drunk when I put my lipstick on. Haha!

My four younger sisters (I’m the oldest of five girls) sent me that necklace a couple of weeks ago. Aren’t they the sweetest?! They were out shopping together and said they thought of me when they saw this necklace. It makes me feel like I was a part of their sister day from afar. :) My siblings are the best!

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I have two other Hummingbird tops and a denim Hummingbird skirt to share. I also whipped up two more Kelly skirts because they’re so easy to make and wear. It’s time to kick my butt into gear and catch up on taking photos.

I’ve had a Bombshell swimsuit finished for about two weeks, and I’m getting ready to take some photos of it. So, that’s next on my list of posts. I’m apprehensive about posting pictures of myself in a swimsuit on the internet, so I’ll probably just post pictures of the suit flat, or something.

Posted in General, Sewing & Crafting Tagged , , , , , , , | |22 Comments

Vacation & the Fourth of July

We (Alex and I and my in-laws) just returned this weekend from a trip to Spirit Lake, IA to visit some friends. They live on East Okoboji Lake, so we had the privilege of waking up to this view every morning.

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We all had a wonderful time and they were terrific hosts. We even got to go out on a boat a couple of times.

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You’d think I would’ve had plenty of extra time to do a few posts here and there, but I really had no interest. Let’s be real, here…Can you blame me?

I think I only went on the internet once or twice during the trip. It was nice to unplug for a while. I worked a bit on my computer, but nothing that required internet access. I did a lot of looking out at the lake and thinking or reading. I even had the opportunity to do a little sewing. :-D Our hostess was sweet enough to let me use her sewing machine while we were there. Sewing while listening to the water lap onto the shore was a restorative experience.

Our hostess also took us to all the great thrift and antique stores in the area. When I say, “us,” I mean me and my mother-in-law. The day the guys come with us to thrift stores would be the day the earth stands still. ;) Anyway, those of you who follow on Instagram may have seen some of the goodies that I brought home with me.

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I can’t wait to use some of those buttons and belt buckles!

I finally have a tailor's ham. :-D

I finally have a tailor’s ham. :-D

The 4th of July was a lovely, lazy day for all of us. I wanted to be outside all day and soak up the beautiful weather, knowing I’d be back in the heat and humidity of Southern Maryland soon enough.

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Me and Alex, enjoying the view and hatching plans

It was a very festive day. There was a barge with a huge flag that circled the lake a couple of times.

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A fireworks barge glided past, too.

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There were fireworks in the evening on West Okoboji Lake and we rode a boat to the edge of East Okoboji Lake to watch them. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to watch fireworks on the water two times now. It’s an experience I won’t soon forget.

I hope those of you in the U.S. had a wonderful 4th of July and weekend, and for those of you not in the U.S., I still hope you had an enjoyable weekend. ;)

Posted in Life & Writing, Reconstructing & Thrifting |10 Comments

Pink Lemonade Shirt

Wow, I am so behind on posting about completed clothing. So, in the interest of catching up, I’m going to keep this post short.

Today, I’m showing you a yoked sweetheart top that I made using the same pattern I used last fall to make the sweetheart top with the lace yoke.

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I made this top in May (Yep, I’m a full month behind :-/). You may remember it from my last week of  Me-Made-May.

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The shorts in the picture are the navy blue ones that I made last summer.

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I topstitched along the edge of the yoke, and I know you can’t tell in the picture, but the neckline is also topstitched. My twin needle setting was being a pain in the rear when I was trying to hem my sleeves. Depending on the material, it can be really difficult to find the tension and stitch length sweet spots. I finally just gave up, said, “whatever” and sewed them the way you see here. I know there shouldn’t be a ridge between the rows of stitching, but we’ll just call it a “design feature.” ;-D

IMG_7544IMG_7542Well, there ya’ go, a quick post to let you know that I’m still here and I don’t plan on disappearing over the summer (as I’ve been known to do ;)). I probably have about ten things (mostly separates, as that was my greatest summer wardrobe gap) in the to-be-blogged line up, so stay tuned.

Posted in General, Sewing & Crafting Tagged , , , , , , | |20 Comments