Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Jump Rope Dress

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Hi. My name is Jill Manning and I am addicted to all things Oliver + S. Seriously, it is becoming an issue but when all their clothes turn out this adorable, it is so hard to resist.
I discovered them through my new blog crush, The Night Knitter. I want to hang out with the Night Knitter so that hopefully her adorable style will rub off on me. She has made all of her daughter's school clothes (she has a uniform code of some sort) using, for the most part, Oliver + S patterns. I can't believe I am jealous of this little girls wardrobe. I am quickly becoming jealous of Elsie's since I have started using Oliver + S. It is very Anthropology meets The Gap. I know, swoon!!!
One of the things I love about these patterns is that all the clothes are finished so beautifully. It takes a little bit of extra work to figure out the instructions (which are so perfectly written and illustrated) but it is so worth it considered how clean and professional everything looks in the end. The only exposed seams of an entire outfit are the side seams and shoulder seams, everything else is encased and not necessarily with bias tape or french seams. I am just so impressed with these patterns.
I have my eye's set on their Music Class Blouse and Skirt pattern:

and their Birthday Party Dress:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

So you say you want a revolution... well, you know we all want to change the world

I know we are a sewing blog and we focus on all things sewing - but a lot of us are also moms and I can't sleep tonight with out climbing up on a soap box and posting this clip.

As I watched this clip - I was disgusted but also feeling super guilty. What do I have in my freezer right now? I know what I ate today, I'm embarrassed to admit it: no breakfast, mini chocolates candy bars, pizza, coke zero, freezer lasagna, frozen corn, diet coke, popcorn, chocolate kisses, starbursts. What does that say about me? What am I teaching my children?

I am GUILTY as charged.

I want to make a difference. I want to change for my health, for my kids, and just to feel better. I feel like crap. I'm tired all the time? Why? I don't have to look any farther then today. I dare you to watch this show and not be affected by it. It's amazing... and Jamie's Revolution is a success if it has such a powerful impact on me. Let's start a REVOLUTION!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Sewing Kit

The cool thing about writing a research paper on your favorite hobby - you run into a lot of useful resources. I found this PDF just today that gives you the basics of a sewing kit and a lot of useful advice and tips that will save you time, money, and a lot of unnecessary cussing.

There are also a few places you can look that give you advice on a simplified version of a sewing kit you can make in minutes. Or here on how to make the cute modge podge travel case pictured above. I might have to go thrifting and create myself one of these vintage masterpieces.

Question: What is your favorite sewing tool - the one thing you can't live without?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What the scrap?!

So I've been working on a children's smock pattern. The one I made for the giveaway - I wasn't entirely in love with. I made some more alterations and I think I'm really liking this pattern.

My sister-in-law entered the giveaway like 6 times and didn't win - but because she has had such a crappy few months recently, I decided I would make her a couple smocks for her little angel devilina.

I literally went through my scrap box and "cut and pasted"some bits of fabric together. This is what I came up with. I closed them with velcro, but I think if you added a couple ties in the back it could easily be a summer top. It's sew nice to use scraps especially when you hate to throw away smaller pieces of perfectly good material. I think I might make a couple for etsy and a few for a silent auction at our church in a few weeks.

This is the back. I don't love the bias tape on this one (it was a touch too big) but it was left over from a bath apron I made a few months back. I think I will have to do a tutorial and post my finished patterns for all of you to use. Sew much scrappy fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Starting your own sewing group? YEAH!!

Kristen from Spokane, WA:
Can you tell everyone about the logistics of your sewing club. I live in Spokane and have started a sewing club as well, but it would help to know how you plan since you've been doing it for some time now.How many people come each week? Do you all bring your own machines? How does that work? Does everyone have a really big house? I would lov3e to know more. Thanks!

I could cry at the sheer joy of hearing there are other clubs out there like us. I love this sewing group and have found some best friends for life in this group. Not to mention free therapy! Ok so here are a few basic ideas I think you need to have a good sewing night.

1. Invite new people all the time - when you run into someone you have some things in common with or find out they like to sew invite them to join your group. Look for new members at church, play groups, work, etc. Even if they don't like to sew or never have - invite them to come and enjoy some "girl time" (they might just surprise you and begin sewing, right Beka?)

2. Decide how many times you want to meet a month - my mom started a sewing group that was once a month and it quickly fizzled out. We decided to meet once a week, at first it seemed like a lot, and there have been times when I've hosted sewing night and sewed solo, but other times I feel like I could meet twice a week, and a lot of people come out. I would say on average we have 5-7 ladies.

3. Set a specific day of the week - choose the one night that works best for you. We are currently Thursdays but it has changed a few times to work with school, families, husbands, etc.

4. Set a specific time - Every week we know we are welcome after 8pm. Many of us have small children and it's easier to sew when they sleep or husbands are home to care for them.

5. Have a home base - For the first couple years we met at my house. It was nice for me because of my husbands schedule, but on some nights I wanted to get away (or not have to clean for people coming over). Many group members lived in condos and thought they were too small to host in, but this last year we branched out and took turns hosting. My dining room where we sew is really big and Jessie's condo is tiny - but we make it work. We use her coffee table or just bring stuff to cut out that night. But if anything falls through everyone knows they can come to my house and sew. I send out an email with all the sewing dates asking when is a convienient time to host, and we work around that.

6. Share, steal, or borrow - When we first started none of us knew how to sew. We all had borrowed machines. I didn't own a machines for 6 months, and just borrowed anyone I could get my hands on. I think it's not a bad idea, I got to "test drive" a few machines before deciding on the one I wanted. Usually I don't take my machine unless I plan on sewing (instead of just chatting or cutting out).

6. Make it fun - We bring each other drinks, snacks, food, etc. We try out new recipes (my husbands favorite part is the food, when I host). We watch movies, tv shows, listen to music - mostly just enjoy each others company, and of course sew! We also like to do fabric swaps or apron/purse swaps to celebrate our anniversary or the holidays.

Thanks for your question Kristen, let me know if you have any other questions and please let us know if you start a group blog to share your sewing. We'd love to promote you and link to you.

**If your ever in town - (Phx. area) please come to one of our sewing nights. We would love to have you!! Send us an email and we will give you all the details.

Royalty Bowtique

I'm just going to brag on my little sister for a minute. Nicki and her long-time friend, Erin, just opened up their Royalty Bowtique. They sell superhero capes, tutus, hair bows, and bracelets. It's all so cute and at great prices! Perfect for your little princess or prince. (I'm a huge fan of the capes--and there are lots of designs to choose from. You can even request your own personal design.) Check out Nicki on Etsy as well.

They are having a giveaway to celebrate the opening of their shop. Go here to enter.

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