Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3 Shirts for Finn

A friend of mine from Sewing Mamas asked me to do some long-sleeved versions of a couple of my recent boy's shirts. I was happy to do them, as Cathi has been a tremendous inspiration for me - I can pretty easily point to her super-cool boy sewing as the main reason why I bought an embroidery machine in the first place.

I've sewn for Cathi's son before, with rather disastrous results. Not long after I joined Sewing Mamas, she contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a clothing swap. Having only been sewing a bit longer than a year at that point, I was terribly nervous. What pattern to make! What fabric to use! What embroidery design to stitch! It was a little nerve-wracking, to be honest. Well, I finally got everything done and shipped off to Australia. A few weeks later, she very diplomatically asked if I had any leftover ribbing from the necklines of the shirts, as none of them would fit over her son's head. I was pretty mortified, as you can imagine.

Anyway, I hope these will fit over his head. I cut the ribbing extra long, just in case.

Freezer Paper Stenciled Darth Vader

Dragon embroidery from Urban Threads

Zig Zag Frame embroidery from Huups

Embroidery from tinimi.eu

Pattern for all shirts is Ottobre 1/10

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sewing Slump

I have barely sewn in the last few weeks. I admit, I've hit a rough patch, sewing-wise. It started with the items I made for the school auction. I don't want to sound like a whiner and complainer, because the auction was fantastic and raised an enormous amount of money for the school. But my items....well, they didn't do so well. One of them, the boy's shirts, did not sell at all - so mortifying! Nobody wanted them? Oh my lord.

If I had lots of sales over at Cobblestone Park, I would be ok with all of this. But, sales so far have been very, very slow. Practically non-existant, really. So I had to ask myself: what am I doing this for? I was killing myself, trying to sew every minute I had free, just so I could put as many things up on Cobblestone Park as pysically possible. The general consensus of Etsy is that you have to have a new listing everyday if you want to be really successful. I just couldn't keep up.

Things had to change. My initial thought was to deactivate Cobblestone Park and just focus on the fabric business, which is doing well. I may do that at some point, but for the time being, I"ll just leave all the listings up. If they sell, they sell; if not, well, I'll be set for birthday presents and baby showers for awhile!

So, I've gradually started sewing again. I made these two Gittas for my daughter. I tried to do another pirate girl shirt for Cobblestone Park, but my serger made a mess of one of the sleeves (after I had finished everything - the embroidery, the neckline, everything) and it was not salvageable. I did remove the embroidery, which I will use for something else, but that was pretty painful, on top of everything else!

Pattern: Farbenmix Gitta
Embroidery: Huups

I also managed to sew up a dress for a friend of mine, who needed a birthday present for a fairy-loving 3 year old girl. My friend wanted the little girl's name on it somewhere, since her mom probably has a hard time finding things with her particular name!


So that's it. All the sewing I've done in three weeks! Well, that's not really true: I also made a Darth Vader shirt for my friend's son, similar to this one, and I made myself a much-needed, long put off, long sleeved black v-neck shirt. Such a wardrobe essential, and I didn't have one! I used my tried and true Jalie pattern, and I love it. I'm wearing it right now. Oh, and of course I also made the winning bidder of the Vida auction her dress. It almost killed me to do it, since it went for so little ($75!  The fabric alone cost $40!), but the winner is such a sweet person and was SO ecstatic about the dress that I got over it.

In other news.....I have very, very yummy stuff coming in for Bamblue Fabrics next week. 10 more colors of bamboo jersey!! Plus five more colors of bamboo french terry! How's that for good news? I'm also getting samples of some rayon jersey and ITY prints - I'm crossing my fingers that these are nice! I would love to get some more prints in stock. Anyway, watch for those coming to Bamblue Fabrics next week!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sewing withdrawal

I haven't sewn since last Wednesday. It is now Tuesday. The last time I had such a long sewing break, I had just had a baby. I certainly don't have that excuse at the moment! But the last week or so has been particularly action-packed. First, we took a little trip to Monterey, which was absolutely lovely. The weather forecast had called for rain the entire time, but it was perfect: sunny skies and warm breezes.

When we got home, I had to frantically clean up the house in preparation for my son's 8th birthday party, which I, in what can only be assumed was a fit of total insanity, decided to have at our house. We have a very small house which really was not built to accomodate 15 sugar-fueled, party-amped, 8-year-old boys running amok through it. The party was a great success, although I had to collapse in a heap afterward (as did the over-stimulated birthday boy).

And to top everything off, I've been sick. I'm sorry, but mothers just cannot get sick. Especially mothers who run a business out of their homes.

But anyway, everything is slowly going back to normal now, so I think I can begin to conentrate on sewing matters again.

First up are a pair of very cute little short sleeved embroidered Antonias that I need to finish today (one for my daughter, one for Cobblestone Park, as usual). I made one for my niece last week before our trip, but I didn't get a great picture of it, unfortunately. They are extremely colorful and will feature embroidery from Huups. Then, I received some lovely colors of cotton lycra last week that I need to put up on Bamblue Fabrics.

And finally, I got an enormous load of inspiration last week, in the form of a few (*cough, cough*) new Farbenmix patterns.

These will keep me busy all summer, I think!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Adelinde Apron-Skirt

I tried this pattern for the first time yesterday. My, this is a cute little pattern, no? It is from Jolijou, but available for download on the Farbenmix site. As an added bonus, there is an English version. Hurray! No need for Google Translate to tell me that "If the document are located inside later, he is on the side finished with the scallops and put his right side of the fabric on the right side of the fabric of the tunic." (If you are curious, that is one of the instructions for the "Sammy" pattern. Good luck figuring that out.)

The pattern itself is easy enough, although I decided to make it vastly more complicated by adding the ruffles. I was totally committed to the ruffles, though, after seeing a version of this skirt on flickr that totally captivated me. And now, maddeningly, I cannot find that picture! Argh!

Anyhow, there were lots of ruffles, so I wanted lots of ruffles. The problem is, I always underestimate how much fabric I need to do ruffles. I had about 3/4 yard left of the gingham after cutting out the skirt panels, which I figured was plenty. Wrong. I had to keep piecing together scraps, thinking, surely this time I'll have enough! There was much switching my serger back and forth between rolled hem and serging - we all know how fun that is! Well, I just barely had enough, and it's not perfect, but I don't think anybody is going to look at the back of this skirt and say, "Well, it's pretty cute, but if only you had made your ruffles a little bit longer!"

I'll be making one of these for Cobblestone Park, eventually, but of course I'll be using a different gingham as all I have left of this one are some tiny scraps.