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Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Gingham Christmas {Simplicity 1099}

I almost forgot to share my my Christmas Eve outfit!
It's Simplicity 1099 the same pattern I used for Kimberly's skirt here!

The fabric is a polyester and it really has a formal feeling to it.
I paired it with a thrifted blouse that's also is polyester but it has more of a silk feel whereas the skirt has more of a taffeta feel to it.
The blouse actually has a traditional collar like a typical button up but it looks better folded underneath.

It's one of the of the most beautiful and fun outfits that I have ever worn. I feel so regal and lady-like in it!

This project is going down as a win!
-'- Jewel

See the skirt in action in episode 5 of Sewing Desk Sit-Down HERE!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vintage Faux Fur Coat {Thrift Store Score}

Of course I had to edit at least two with a vintage vibe! ;)

It's been awhile since I've shared a Thrift Store Score...probably because thrifting has become more of an occasional event then almost weekly like I was a couple years ago.

My NEW winter coat was from one of my thrifting trips not so long ago...a vintage faux fur coat found at Goodwill for $9.99!

I was a little worried how it was going to come out after being cleaned.
The coat says "Dry Clean Only" but our dry cleaner doesn't do fur (faux or real) so I decided to just wash it in the washing machine. It'd either get clean or fall apart... Thankfully it came out just fine!
If you're curious I washed it in-side out, on the gentle cycle and took it out as soon as it was done washing. Letting it hang dry both ways out, I brushed the fur down with my hand before it dried and it was a no complaint process!

I'm actually a bit amazed how warm it is! Which why should I be?? It's heavier then the coat I was wearing!

-'- Jewel

Saturday, December 24, 2016

TaMera's Christmas Dress

Merry Christmas! I am incredibly excited to share TaMera's Christmas dress with you!

The pattern is vintage mail-order pattern Sew-Rite 8238 that was originally our Grandma's. It has slight gathers where the front bodice and yoke join (I'd consider them more the shoulder straps but the pattern called it a yoke) and pleats above the waist seam for the bust shaping.
At TaMera's request I moved the zipper to center back instead of the side zipper. To cut it out without distorting the look and shape of the dress I simply cut the back bodice and back skirt as two pieces (rather than on the fold) and added 5/8 for the seam allowance at the center.

I love the ever so slight shaping at the neckline! Curved edges and sharp corners...this dress has it all!

This fabric has been in the stash for ages...I remember Mom making us dresses out of it when I has about 7 or 8. Yes over ten years ago! 
Because of the way I had to layout the skirt pieces to get the border print to match up there's only a strange shaped scrap left. At one point, I was worried if I'd even find an area big enough (after cutting the skirt) to get the bodice pieces out. ...Misreading the perforated dots and cutting the front bodice wrong didn't help either... 
Thankfully everything came out alright! *sigh of relief*

I'm also relieved that I chose to make a test dress prior to sewing the actual dress. Since I had already made the pattern for TaMera by making the test dress I had already figured out the few fitting tweaks that needed to be made and was more familiar with constructing it.

I really have no regrets with this dress! Which is amazing because I tend to over-obsess about the mistakes and little things in projects even when it's something only I'll probably notice.

 I'll be sharing my own Christmas outfit soon so keep watching... 
Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a fabulous weekend!
-'- Jewel

  • Pattern: Vintage Mail-Order Sew-Rite 8238 / Fabric: Stash / Fabric used on project: 3+ yards (not including test dress)

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2017 Make Nine

With just eleven more days of 2016 I thought it was time to make my nine-item goal for 2017!

Before we jump into the list of nine items I want to make...let's talk about 2016's list and how I did...
  • I made three out of nine.
  • Yes. 
  • Three. 
Terrible I know...
Looking back I think I was too specific. Many of the un-made items I still want to make (such as Cat Overalls/Dungarees, a cape for Mom, something with lace and a button-up) but maybe where I went wrong was having the list so detailed and specific.

This year I'm taking a different approach.
I've been taking notes of gaps in my wardrobe and filled the list with the majority of those.

  • 1. Relaxed Fitting Pants
I've noticed that I'm lacking in relaxed...lounging (if you will) pants. 
When I'm sitting at my desk sewing you'll usually find me wearing denim capris. They aren't the most comfortable pair of pants or the most efficient. When it's time to try something on it's un-button, un-zip and then reverse. Whereas a elastic band would make trying on so much faster...which is a more productive use of my time.

  • 2. Little Black Dress
This year, has been a year of loss for me. More funerals then I wish to attend in three hundred and sixty-five days and every time I found out about the next service it was to the closet I went...trying to find something respectable to wear. 
I don't like dark colors and I don't wear black! I absolutely love bright prints so my closet has an abundance but naturally that's not something you wear to an occasion such as this.
My plan is two black dresses (or outfits) that are cute, can be dressed up for classier events and are respectable for funerals. 

  • 3. A Classic Button-Up
It's no secret I want to sew a classic button-up. Hey, I even tried to sew one last year by putting it on the list! A classic button-up is going to happen in 2017. Period. 

  • 4. Adorable Aprons
When you work at a cafe (located on the campus of your community college) you find yourself in black, navy, dark green or red boring aprons... but since I sew; I can change that! The aprons just need to do the job of an apron (protect your clothes) and look cute while doing it! ;)
I have a few patterns to choose from with varying styles and coverage choices. Now to decide on what fabric would be the best?

  • 5. Workout/Gym Bag
My current bag barely has enough room for me gym shoes and a pair of socks. (Not kidding!) Forceably, I make it fit my exercise clothes or my work clothes depending. It's just not working. 😑 
I haven't decided on a pattern for sure but two of the options are Elsa Everyday Tote from "Everyday Style" by Lotta Jansdotter or the Cooper bag by Colette Patterns. I'd make slight modifications to both patterns because I'll be using it for a gym bag.

  • 6. Yoga Mat Carrying Bag
I'll need to make (at least) two yoga mat carrying bags; one for my yoga mat and one for Kimberly's.
Lotta Jansdotter has the Cecilia Yoga Bag pattern in her book "Everyday Style" which I'll be using.

  • 7.  Vogue 9201 Shirtdress
Every time, I start planning a new garment...I pull this pattern out.
There's a fabric I'd love to use but the pattern calls for more fabric them I have. I'm hoping after looking at the actual pieces of the pattern I can figure out a way to make it work!
We'll just have to wait and see...

  • 8. Elliott Berman Textiles Digital Printed Wool/Silk Blend Classic Dress
Back in September of 2015 I won the September Sew-A-Long with my sewing group "Sew-A-Longs & Sewing Contests". (Join our group HERE) A part of the prize package was a gorgeous printed fabric from Elliott Berman Textiles! The print is absolutely breathtaking. It has taken me this long to figure out what style of garment is needed with such a unique and beautiful print.
It'll be a classic a-line skirt with a simple bodice and basic sleeves which will let the fabric do ALL the talking.

  • 9. Jumpsuit
Jumpsuits have been on trend for awhile...and hopefully they aren't going to go anywhere because I want one!
Not as if it being on trend is going to determine if I sew one or not. ;)
We have a few modern patterns in the stash and also a vintage pattern I'd love to make!

Do you have any sewing goals for 2017? Or have any pattern suggestions for some of mine? Comment below and let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Marigold Peplum

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States and per tradition we’re in Texas visiting Edwin, Samantha and baby Timothy.
This trip I packed more fabric to become garments then actual, wearable, finished garments! ...I think that means I am a true sewist. lol 
Between sewing and napping (mine and Timothy’s) there has been plenty of time to cuddle and play with my nine month old nephew.

Why do I look so weird in this picture?? o_O

This is the same pattern I used for this dress HERE but the peplum option. 
I’ve been learning so much about fitting the last couple of months (...even weeks!) that I realized there are some fitting adjustments that need to be made before the next make.
The bodice (above the elastic) needs to be lengthened about an inch and I need some more room in the shoulders, upper back and arms for a comfier wear. 

One vacation make done! I wonder how many more I can do??

-'- Jewel

Pattern: Marigold by Blank Slate Patterns / Fabric: Stash / Fabric used on project: 2 ⅜ yards / Buttons: Stash 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"That's a really ugly shirt, Jewel."

When I first walked into work and heard those took me a second before I caught the jab. See the co-worker who said from Kansas. So of course this shirt would be "ugly" in his mind! (K-State's Wildcats are a rival of Nebraska University's Cornhuskers. I'm not a big sports person so I don't care either way.) I just shrugged my shoulders and said "Somebody has to wear the ugly shirts." Not my best comeback but it also could have been worse. ;)

This outfit gives me a athletic vibe...most likely it's the athletic pants and tennis shoes...
It's an Esme tunic made out of leftover fabric from a skirt Kimberly made to wear to Husker parties. The tunic is slightly longer in the back then the front giving it a nice high low hem. It was made for workwear as my work uniform is hair pulled back, sleeves, covered shoes, and no-tears-shed when grease or bleach gets spilled on the garments. Obviously, I don't wear a lot of my hand-mades to work because of the grease aspect of the job. Even though we wear aprons and all my best efforts...stains still happen!

Just doing some crunches. :P Kidding!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Back at the helm with 1948 Skirt

I have missed blogging. For so many different (and mostly legit) reasons I've been lollygagging (that's a thing right?) so finally I decided to dust off the blog and start again. 
Blogging is a part of the creative process for me. It's how I document what I've sewn and it reminds me that although I don't have as much sewing/creative time, I can still create.

Honestly, I feel like I reconnected with an old friend!

Part of that is because I'm writing and editing on my old, all-my-fave-bookmarks-in-the-tab, files-exactly-where-I-know-them-to-be, super-slow laptop.
(Did I mention the keyboard "clacks"? It's strange but nice.) But not nearly as nice as my new computer. Newbie is like the best...except that I haven't figured everything out yet. (Like why my online photo editing program won't work) 

But that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my new skirt.
The skirt that came out exactly as planned! The skirt that I actually did some hand sewing in! The skirt that made me excited about sewing again!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

12 inches and 6 1/2 hours later! NEW HAIR!!

I honestly don't remember the last time I was as excited about anything as I am about my hair change. 
Of course when you haven't changed your hair since 2014 (the first time ever!) AND you've never changed the way your hair frames your face, there's a lot of questions and doubts. 

"What if I don't like it?" 

"What if I LOVE it?" 

"What if everyone who knows me hates it?"

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What I'm sewing...

Wow...this is crazy!! I haven't blogged for ages...but hopefully that's going to change. Because I have have missed every aspect of it...taking the photos, editing the photos, writing the posts and the sense of accomplishment that comes from sewing and documenting my projects.

This summer has been one of the craziest and one of the weirdest summer's I've ever had in my life! 
I won't go into detail but instead talk to you about what's on the sewing queue...
I'm super excited about what in the plans to sew! 

Are you ready to hear it???

It's a Lucille Ball inspired 8 piece wardrobe for TaMera for the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe on the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests group!!

TaMera and I have been saving a ton of photos of Lucille's fashion and style! 
(Yes, we are planning on recreating the outfit and photo on the left as well as quite a few others!)

The first item, I'm working on now, is a necessary one in TaMera's closet...well fitting pants. 
Pants are one of the hardest things to get a good fit on and I decided if we were going to do this...I needed to at least get her one good pair of pants. 
...Just in case I run out of time for the deadline of the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe. 
The whole reason behind this is to get TaMera a collection of well fitting and very "her" styled garments so I just thought I better start with the hardest and most needed item!

I could show you some of the photos we saved and screenshots from Pinterest...but I don't have a rock solid sewing "plan" just Lucille Ball inspired garments that fit TaMera to a T. (...did you see what I did there?? ;) )

I should have an item to share with you in the next couple of days!

-'- Jewel

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Flowerbed Pajama's (SSW:SE) {Oywn & Esme from Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter}

I'm a terrible host.
We are into the second month of the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe and I'm just now sharing my first and second piece!
It is time to bring the hammer down and get moving!

I'm currently working on my 1940's pajamas, after which I'll move onto my Aunt's pajama's and hopefully get to my brother-in-law's pajamas before too long!

But you didn't come here to read about me falling behind and trying to get myself into gear...nope. You came to read about my "Flowerbed Pajamas" and all the details are below!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake + Gluten Free Ginger Cookies!

If you like pumpkin pie, you will LOVE this cheesecake. It's the idea of pumpkin pie but improved so it's creamier, yummier and the perfect balance of cheesecake and pumpkin. I found the original recipe (almost already completely gluten free) here;

I know pumpkin is traditionally a fall thing but this recipe is so good, it should be an all year round tradition. 

We start off with an (optional) gluten free ginger cookie crust. An extra step but so worth it! 

(PLUS, they're cookies so if you're not feeling the full on cheesecake, make a batch of these, with some pumpkin cream cheese filling for ginger-pumpkin whoopie pies! Here's a pumpkin cream cheese dip recipe to get you started;

Or eat them with just some milk. They're good like that too.)

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Scott Has To Be Bluffing - Travel Vlog

We spent an awesome day up in the sandhills of Nebraska before heading on to Colorado for a cousin's wedding! Take a peek into our trip in this vlog!
- Jewel & TaMera

Friday, July 01, 2016

June Stashbusting Overview

To celebrate the half-year gone by I grabbed an old photo from back in the beginning of my blogging days and the series Wildflower Wednesday. Where every Wednesday, I shared photos of different wildflowers that grow around our area. (You can see them HERE)

June I didn't BUY any fabric but my cousin did gift me some!
Which I haven't measured, but find it kind of interesting because I got fabric from my Grandmother last year around this time and it also grew my stash. 
Thankfully, we in the stashbusting group can choose to not count gifted fabric as "stash adding" and I'm doing that yet again! ;) 

But how much was sewn??

I sewed a lot more projects then I've shared on the blog. 
(Due to a crazy and out of the ordinary schedule I am quite behind!)

3 yards       - Pajama Pants for TaMera (Not yet blogged)
3 1/2 yards - Marigold Dress for TaMera (Not yet blogged)
2 2/3 yards - Kiomi Dress for Kimberly (Not yet blogged)
2 1/4 yards - Owyn Pajama Pants (Not yet blogged)

14 1/2 yards sounds like a pretty good number to me!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with that number! 


9 3/4 yards - January 
15 7/8 yards - February
14 7/8 yards - March
2 yards - April
7 5/8 yards - May
14 1/2 yards - June...


64 5/8 yardsssssssssss of fabric sewn*!!!!

*So far this year

Wow!! I'm extremely happy with that number!

It's July 1st and I have so much planned to sew and share with you all!!
Happy Fri-YAY!! ;)
-'- Jewel

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Shirtdress for TaMera {Vintage Butterick 6071}

Finally sewed my dress for the Shirtdress Sew-Along hosted by McCall's Pattern Company! 

The pattern is a vintage Butterick pattern from my Grandma.
The pattern envelope front was in tatters and the instructions were missing so...I'm guessing she made it sometime in her life. Which made it special.

So how did I get along without the instructions?

Not terribly! A bit to my surprise! :)
I believe the pattern was released in the late 50s and having a McCall's button-up blouse pattern (from 1964) which greatly resembles the bodice of the dress. I used it as a "guideline" for the bodice construction...which worked surprisingly well!

I created what I'm calling a "faux yoke" to fix a waistline issue that I didn't notice until the end of the construction process.
The waistline (not so) gradually got lower in the back!

I think it was the result of (at least) two things...
1. The "shoulder" seam didn't go as far forward to the front as I initially thought.
2. TaMera's sway back.

I'm enrolled in Custom Fitting: Back, Neck & Shoulders by Kathleen Cheetham on Craftsy but haven't started it yet. (I'm working my way through Custom Fitting: Waist & Hips first.)
But Kathleen addresses how to adjust for sway backs in the class and it's a issue I'm excited to tackle!

To make the "faux yoke" I pinched the back up (while she was wearing it) and pinned the "yoke" where I wanted it to be. Then topstitched the "yoke" in place.
With it being a shirtdress, I think you only notice that it's not a true yoke if you really look at it and put two and two together. Basically, oblivious to the untrained eye.
Fabric: Thrifted / Pattern: Inherited from Grandma / Buttons: Gifted from Grandmother's stash / Belt Buckle: Antique Store Find

Considering the bumps in the road, I think it came together quite well and stands with the pattern boasting of an "Easy Make". 
It's also another piece for TaMera's Summer Wardrobe I'm sewing for her! "Sew" I'm happy! ;)
-'- Jewel

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