Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

Happy New Years Eve! It's hard to believe 2014 is right around the corner. It was a busy, whirlwind of a year, but it was also a wonderful year. I have learned so much, completed another semester of school and of course found time to sew.

I wrote 32 blog posts this year, less than I hoped to do, but it's a decent amount especially since school takes up the majority of my life and I was away all summer working at camp, so I did not sew at all during those 3 months. :(  However, I did manage to blog some each month!

I made several projects, many of which did not get blogged. I estimate about 35 garments were made along with other small projects (purses, zipper pouches, etc.).

My three favorite projects of the year:

 The Lady Skater dress - my new favorite pattern
The Madeline Maxi Dress - in which I conquered the invisible zipper and wrote a post on Made it with Moxie for Selfish Sewing Week.
Last, but not least:

The Flip Vest - where I went crazy and sewed six vests for my little brothers and sister.

Next year, I plan to keep better track of my projects on this blog. I made my sisters and I matching dresses for Christmas using red lace. They are made of the same fabric, but all are different patterns. 2013 may be almost over, but I still plan on sharing those dresses here with you. I have a few other projects I recently made as I spent the weekend at my aunt's house and we accomplished a lot of sewing.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate you all so much! Happy New Year!!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Black Concert Dress

I made another Lady Skater Dress. This pattern is so great! Each time I make it I like it even more! I have been in orchestra for about 2 years and we are required to wear all black for our concerts. I had been wearing a black shirt and skirt, but I've been wanting a black dress for a long time.
I went to Joann Fabrics on Black Friday and found some crushed panne velour on sale for $2.99/yd. I decided to buy the black for a Lady Skater concert dress!

This dress was fun to make, but there were plenty of challenges along the way. First, I have never sewn with panne velour. It is a knit fabric with a 40 percent stretch and you have to press it on the wrong side. It can be slippery, so pins are a must especially for the neckline! I did not catch part of the neckline when sewing and had to use my seam ripper. It's hard to use a seam ripper on this fabric especially when the thread is the same exact color! It all worked out though and the fabric is pretty forgiving.

Here's a close up of the dress. It's hard to tell here, but I used the wrong side of the fabric for the neckband and arm cuffs. I ran into some problems with the arm cuffs. The right one went on perfectly! The left one was slipping a lot and so it is a little crooked. It's not noticeable when I'm wearing it (except by me).
I didn't have any clear elastic left, so I used 1/4 inch regular knit elastic. It worked fine, although the seam is somewhat bulky. That may be partly due to the fabric too.

Here you can see the arm cuff where I used the wrong side of the fabric. I love experimenting with using the wrong side of the fabric which usually isn't seen. It works great here!
I was able to wear my new dress for our Christmas concert on Dec. 8th. I'm planning on wearing it lots more too and not just for concerts. Black dresses are so versatile.

P.S. I also chopped off 11 inches of hair! My little sister and I donated our hair, and I love my new style. I haven't had a major haircut for a couple years and the change feels so great!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Ugly Christmas Sweater

It's the time of the year for Christmas parties. Many times those parties have a theme and sometimes it is "Ugly Christmas Sweater". Last year, was my first time experiencing an Ugly Christmas sweater party. I had no idea what to wear! All my sweaters were pretty (in my opinion anyway)!

As luck would have it, a friend gave me this beautiful sweater vest:

However, it was too plain. I got it the afternoon of the party. Boy, did I have work to do!

I have a lot of my sewing supplies at school, so I was sure I could find something to spruce up the sweater! I found green felt, ribbon, red felt and Christmassy fabric. I also found some bits of tinsel left over from decorating.

I only had a few hours before the party, so I got busy! First, I cut out a Christmas tree from the green felt and pinned it on to the sweater.

Sewing was next:

I added some red ribbon to the bottom.

It was too plain and needed more pizazz. A little tinsel and trim here, a little red felt there...much better!
Finally, a bow to top it all off.

Ta-da! The finished project!

Finally, here are a couple pictures from the party last year. We had a fashion show of everyone's ugly sweaters. I won the prize for "most creative".

It was a fun time had by all!

Have you ever been to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party? What did you wear?


Saturday, December 14, 2013


The semester is over!!! I am done with school for the year!! I am so happy to have finished another semester of nursing school. There is light at the end of the tunnel! To celebrate I made some snow angels. The snow is so pretty here and I love going for walks and hearing it crunch beneath my boots.

Soon I will be spending my month long winter break at home with my family. It will be great to be home! I can't wait to bake Christmas cookies and help decorate the Christmas tree. I also have a long list of sewing projects that need to be done before Christmas.
My sisters are the cutest! Here they are wearing matching skirts that I surprised them with a few weeks ago. I found the knit fabric for $2 at the thrift store. This was the best picture I took of the two of them - my baby sister doesn't like standing still for long!
I am making my sisters and I Christmas dresses. They are the same fabric, but different patterns. Other gifts I'm making are the Go-To Cape for my mom, some bimaa sweaters for my baby sister, the Ethan shirt for my brother, and maybe a purse.
A couple weeks ago, I went Black Friday shopping at Joann Fabrics with my mom. I bought some black panne velvet and made myself another Lady Skater dress. I have yet to take pictures and blog about it.
I'm in orchestra and we have to wear all black for concerts, so it is the perfect concert dress! Here's a sneak peek - the lighting wasn't the best in the hallway where this was taken.
With finals week over, it has been so nice to relax. Tomorrow I will think about packing and then home I go! Hope you're all having a lovely December!