Victorian Dresses and Glittery Ghosts!

I seem to have stumbled into Selfish Sewing Week! Hooray! I love when my project links with some sort of sewing celebration. It helps push me to finish something when I otherwise would procrastinate. For instance now that it is getting dark so early I need to have my husband take picture on the weekends. So last weekend he took photos of my new dress. but I didn’t like the photos. Luckily he was home earlier tonight, so yay! New better pictures in time for the celebration!

Enter another Washi!

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This one is even better than my last Washi Dress. Made with soft Cotton + Steel Spellbound I bought at my local quilt store. I’d originally fallen in love with this pattern in lavender, but my LQS only had this soft rose in stock. This is probably a better color with my complexion anyways.

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I also added the sleeves from the Washi Expansion Pack and am totally thrilled with the fit of them! Usually my arm measurement is far far different from a pattern’s measurement, but in this case fit so well that I didn’t have to alter the pattern one little bit. Yes!!!

I also added about 2 inches to the length of the skirt.

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It is a little hard to see in the photos, but on my previous version in Liberty the length ends at this odd point in the middle of my knee. So this version I aimed for just below the knee and when I wear it with my black shoes the length looks really nice. Those are the shoes I’ll usually wear with this dress. We were racing the daylight and the baby’s desire for dinner tonight so I didn’t change shoes after work tonight.

There is still one more alteration I’m going to need to make to the Washi pattern before I make it again. The neckline. It gaps a lot more than I’d like. I’m sure part of it is the FBA I added, but I’ve seen quite a few people have the same issues. I’d finished the whole dress and had to go back and somehow fix it.

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This will do, but next time for sure I will be rotating the extra fabric out to the bust dart. Having to take out all the top stitching was a pain, but worth it.

Now if only the weather would cooperate. I really want to wear this fun fabric as much as I can before Halloween and especially when I volunteer for Mourning Tours. Victorian gowns and glittering ghosts seem the perfect combination when helping guests at the event. But we’ll see. I may need to dress in my full Victorian dress depending on where I’m stationed. If nothing else I can wear this once a week to work where it is air conditioned.

And look who is 11 months old! We sent out invitations to her Halloween 1st birthday party and I can’t wait to celebrate my funny and determined tiny girl.

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Podcast Review – Seamwork Radio

There is a new podcast in town and it is well worth a listen.

Today Seamwork Radio released their first episode A Radical Change in Confidence with Jenny Rushmore. It was so nice I listened twice. I think you might enjoy a listen too.

Prior to today I’d only heard of Jenny Rushmore through the Curvy Sewing Collectivea site that is full of pattern reviews, tutorials, and other posts all related to sewing for the curvy figure. I admit, I do not look at her projects terribly often because we have opposite shapes. But her interview at Seamwork today was amazing.

I think nearly everyone can relate to feeling ostracized and I admire Jenny for taking control of her life and persevering to learn to sew. She also acknowledges the ups and downs of being an active member of social media, such as internet trolls/bullies (Ugh! !Aready been the target myself!).

So run, don’t walk over to Seamwork Radio and give it a listen! I’d love to hear your take on the episode and if you loved listening as much as I did.

So This Is Love Sweater

I’ve been finishing up a lot of lingering projects lately, but this is my favorite. My husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage in June, so I cast on a sweater the same color as my dress.

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And I think you’ll agree the sweater is a fitting homage.

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I had a lot of fun knitting it. This sweater went beer tasting on our vacation.

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And to see a concert performed by a few hundred french horn players.

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And for more beer. I guess you could say this sweater is brought to you by beer. But my husband is a home brewer and we went to Belgium on our honeymoon so bar knitting is fitting.

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The design is mine on a base pattern from Custom Fit. I wrote about Custom Fit recently and the program makes is so easy to take an idea in your head to reality! In this case I wanted a lace panel up the front and along the side seams and onto the shoulder.

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I’ve never seen a set in sleeve pattern with lace along the outside edge of the shoulder.

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But I fell in love with the design feature and plan to try it again in the future! It look a little more thinking ahead, but not that much.

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The yarn color is Pocket Full of Posy from the supremely talented Ridgely at Astralbath and the base is Compass which is very similar to Madelinetosh Sock.

This sweater also gave me a chance to break into one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries! I’m not sure what the title is, but here is a photo of the cover. Japanese stitch dictionaries are great because they have photos and charts for all the stitch patterns!

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Happy Anniversary babe!

Liberty Meets Washi

Oh Liberty of London. I wanted to believe your fabric was not worth the crazy high price. That it was just the name and not really that nice. But this week I had my first chance to make a garment and I’m a believer.

Oh and maybe you have heard of a sewing pattern called Washi Dress? It might have been featured on a blog or two or perhaps about a thousand. Forgive me. I’ve been busy having babies and am just catching onto these trends!

Anyways, a few months ago I opened my Liberty Club package from Westwood Acres and gasped when I saw the top fabric on the pack. It was the Whiltshire pattern in color way S. A classic, but new to me!  They offered a discount to club members who wanted to purchase yardage, so I took advantage to purchase 3.5 yards, the recommended yardage for Washi in an XL.

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And I love it. The combination worked so well. Because Liberty is 53 inches wide I was able to cut the pieces on the cross grain and fully line the entire dress with the 3.5 yards. Fully self lined. Luxurious.

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And after wearing nothing but knit dresses with a cross over front for the last oh…10 months, it feels amazing to wear a regular dress. A-ma-zing. Plus all the shirring in the back highlights the fact that I do still have a waist!

Of course I did have to make a few alterations. I did a 2 inch FBA, lowered the bust dart 1 inch, added 1.5 inches to the bodice length, and added about 1 inch to the hips. All of these alterations were relatively simple and made the Washi pattern into something that will be incredibly versatile for my life. Casual enough for the weekend, but nice enough for the office with better shoes and my favorite sweater. Looks like I might need to make a sway back adjustment next time, but this is still a solid start.

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Okay, maybe the sweater isn’t the best shape, but oh so soft and a perfect weight for LA. And I just put buttons on a new cardigan today. Perhaps it will suit the shape a little better. We’ll see.

But my main take away from this project is that 1) shirring is so damn easy and 2) Liberty is worth every penny. These pictures were taken on a hot day when I’d been running around and sweating and it did not wrinkle a bit. Magic.

Mommy Is Worth It

My mom just celebrated her 60th birthday and to celebrate I made her…a quilt. I know you’re not the least bit shocked. Quilts have become my go-to gift for super spacial occasions because they take less time than knitting and are way more fun to make than knitting a blanket.

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Way back in April I received this package of fat quarters from Westwood Acre’s I Want Her Stash Club and I knew back then I wanted to make my mom a quilt with them, but I just wasn’t sure when I would do it.

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Plus while the quilt pattern that came with the bundle is really fun I just didn’t feel like my skill level was up to snuff yet.

Fast forward to July and it hit me. This could and should be a quilt for her birthday! Settled on an idea I started playing around with the fabrics and thinking on which pattern to use. And then we went on vacation. And Charlie learned to stand. And Lu ‘needed’ skirts for all the summer school weekly themes. Then I needed to make an Edwardian dress (more on that later). Before I knew it July had gone poof!

Oh wait, wasn’t I making a quilt? Yes I was. Wait what was the pattern again? What fabrics did I decide on? It took me a while to make decisions and it cost me quite a bit of sewing time.

Finally I got my butt in gear and picked a pattern (Fireworks from Thimble Blossoms) and got to cutting on August 1st.

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Her party was on August 15th and I still can’t believe I got it all finished. Mom, that’s how much I love you. I spent a minimum of 2.5 hours every single night for two weeks in my non-air conditioned kitchen in August to make your gift. But it was worth it.

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The quilt is totally gorgeous. Most of the fabrics were from the original I Want Her Stash bundle, but I added a couple others such as Sacred Seeds Brittle from April Rhode’s Wanderer and this print from Moda’s Sweet Serenade.

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The back is a print that I cannot remember. I picked it up at my local quilt shop New Moon Textiles. I want to say it’s from Robert Kaufman, but I could be totally wrong. Then I used the left overs from piecing the quilt blocks to break up the backing and frame my favorite print from the whole bundle, Moda’s Passport in China White Paris Map. My nod to the trip to Paris my mother, aunt, sister, and I took many years ago.

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My only regret was procrastinating. I like deadlines, but this one was a little too close and next time I really should start early. I’m just glad I got it done and that my mom likes it!

I love you mom!