Sunday, April 10, 2011

No ducks!

Well, at least not the costume kind. I have removed all custom-order costumes from my etsy shop while I work on costumes for the upcoming Arts Alive student production of Les Miserables. So far, I have counted 133 different characters and some of them will require costume changes. Yikes!

Thanks for understanding. I plan to have several costume options available again at the end of the summer for Halloween 2011 orders

Disney x 3 and a prom dress

Yes, it's me, the busy one! In addition to all of this sewing, I have also started a part-time job at Elon University, and subsequently enrolled my kids in public school for the first time ever (we have homeschooled their entire lives). My job is only through the end of the semester and I've always been curious about how they'd do in school (wonderful, so far!) Still, I do miss all the time I had at home to sew before I started working.

Okay time for the project wrap-up:
* the last-minute Sleeping Beauty dress (it wasn't supposed to look exactly like the Disney version)

* Donald & Daisy Duck costumes

* and a prom dress for a sweet girl, based on a paper doll dress she found online that was based on a vintage 1940's gown. Here are the originals:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pretty dresses for pretty girls!

No, I did not leave the planet, country, or state. It feels like I haven't even left my sewing room! I had noble intentions of writing up a fun tutorial for my 100th blog post, but then I got slammed with orders in addition to keeping up with life in general.

In addition to the 2 colonial girl dresses from my last post, I also made 3 boys shirt/breeches sets and one additional dress for the same family, one full boy's costume with the vest, AND then I costumed my friend's 4 kiddos with only a week's notice before their trip to Williamsburg!

Moving forward in history (only about 15 years), I made dresses for three beautiful young ladies who attended a Regency-style English Country dance. It was like I stepped into a Jane Austen novel!

After I caught up with those orders, I moved on to costumes for Sleeping Beauty Kids, starting with eight gorgeous, fluffy, pastel-colored tutus for the fairies. I was in cotton candy heaven! After a few other minor projects for the play, I was also drafted to make an 11th hour dress for Sleeping Beauty herself when the one they had fell through (still working on that one- pictures to come!)

Whew! Are you exhausted yet? I've got to get another Donald and Daisy in the mail before next week, then I'll be moving on to my next costuming project: Les Miserables Student Edition!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's my 100th post!

And I'm just going to be boring and give you 2 weeks worth of updates because last Tuesday (which it the day I told myself I was going to blog each week) the internet was out at my house. I nearly went insane. And I did, in fact, go to the McDonald's parking lot and sit in my car with my laptop and use their free wifi for about an hour. Thankfully, internet service was restored the following day, but my desire to blog was not.

So, in the past 2 weeks, I have:

* finished & shipped a Donald Duck costume to its new home in Utah where it will be a part of a school's 3rd grade play for many years to come.

* made 2 colonial girl's dresses for a family who will be visiting Colonial Williamsburg next month. I also made 2 pairs of breeches (knee-length knicker-ish pants) for the boys in the family, but I still need to get to their shirts.

* sewed 3 iPod touch covers for a friend in need

* made a really quick belt for myself yesterday when I realized I didn't own any belts (how does that happen, anyway?) but the outfit I was wearing needed one.

So now I have a few more colonial costume pieces to finish, and then I can move on to fairy tutus for Sleeping Beauty Kids! It is the first of 3 plays that I am costuming through June.

While my 100th post wasn't monumental, my 101st is going to be a great sew-along tutorial to make a little girl's skirt and matching dolly skirt in about an hour. I had lots of fun this afternoon working on it with my friend's daughter, Ashley, and her doll Isabella. Let's see if I can have it done by next Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clean up- everybody, everywhere

Yesterday, I embarked on a (seemingly) simple project: I was going to put labels on the cloth bins that hold each family member's hat, gloves, etc. And I wanted to use some cute little scrapbooking stickers that I am no longer using for scrapbooking. Except I couldn't find those stickers. That led to an all day purge/reorganization/clean-up of my sewing room. I eventually found the stickers. I got rid of a bunch of stuff that didn't belong in there. I found a lot of random, long-lost personal items (pocketknife, anyone?) And the room is still in a state of upheaval. Not quite as bad as this. And it doesn't look like this, yet. But I'm getting there.

Knit hat- done

Lion costume- done!

Ducks- uh. yeah, about those Ducks... I bought some fabric for them. That counts for something, right?

A Match Made in Heaven

A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to join the pattern-making club. My first pattern was the Peek A Boo Pleats skirt, which has been sold on You Can Make This for almost 2 years. I've also written up- to varying degrees of completeness- several other patterns that I don't really have the time or skill to finish up and publish.

Enter Jen, the Tie Dye Diva. She's an excellent pattern maker/eBook author, and was in need of some new patterns for her collection.

Do you see where this is going?

I am now authoring patterns for Tie Dye Diva! Jen has tweaked the Peek A Boo Pleats skirt pattern, and it's now available for sale in her etsy shop.

We've got several more patterns on the way, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Update from last week's projects: My Cosmo Bag is done! This was sort of an accidental project; I found out that JemJam was hosting a sew-along, and I thought "hmm, that's nice." Then I saw the fabrics a friend had picked out to make her Cosmo bag, and I really wanted to get involved. Why? I don't know. I think it might have been because I liked my friend's fabrics. And the fact that she pulled them all from her stash was certainly appealing. I began to wonder what I could pull together from my stash. But I didn't have the book, and I didn't want to buy the book.

And then I needed to order orange faux fur. Yes, you heard me right. 1.5 inch long, orange shaggy faux fur for a custom-ordered lion costume. All I can say is God Bless, because where on earth else would I find something as amazing as what they sent me (and it was on sale, too!) But in order to get free shipping, I needed $35 worth of merchandise in my cart so... in went Amy Butler's Style Stitches.

Well, once that book arrived, it was all I could think about. It didn't take me long to select my fabrics, and I cut the pieces out while watching Pride and Prejudice. Gosh, I love that movie! It makes even tedious fabric cutting utterly delightful.

First of all, this bag is BIG. Like, pack for an entire weekend big. I've even seen pictures that people have taken of their not-so-small children in this bag! The worst thing I can say about it is that it took an absurd amount of interfacing (around 6 yards), because it went together very nicely after everything was cut out and interfaced. Upon the recommendation of a fellow sewer-alonger, I used plastic canvas to stiffen the bottom of the bag, which gives it a little more structure, and I also added a zipper to part of one of the interior pockets to secure things that need securing. Overall, I am really happy with how it turned out, but I'm not an enormous bag kind of girl, so I think I'll put it in my etsy shop. The very best part was that each and every component, even the interfacing, even the perfect little pink zipper and even the adorable vintage button all came from my stash. Yay me!

Other things I did this week:

1) Continued on the hat I started knitting for myself last week. It's about 70% done.

2) Made a yellow lion costume with an orange fux fur mane :o)

3) Cleaned up my sewing room a little more. Decided to evict the neglected scrapbooking supplies. Still not anywhere close to being ready to paint, and I have lots of other orders that will be taking up my time.

This coming week will be devoted to the Donald & Daisy Duck costumes that have been ordered, and then a monster clean-up from all the left over orange fur and white duck fluff before I move back to my good old woven cotton that does not shed all over me and my sewing room.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm off to a positive, creative start to 2011. I have decided to eliminate several things from my life that have taken away from my sewing and crafting time. I'm going to do better with blogging and sharing what I'm making, and getting/keeping my name out there in the creative community. Yes, it's January 10 and I'm just getting around to making resolutions.

My sewing room took a major hit due to lack of attention after my busy Halloween season, and I just spent the last week getting it back in working order. My goal is to get everything really cleaned up so I can paint the walls.

So far in 2011, I have:

1) Tested the Tie Dye Diva's new fleece mitten pattern

2) Sewed an Emmeline apron by Sew Liberated for myself! Yes, I am actually keeping it!

3) Made an art smock for my youngest son.

4) Bought Amy Butler's Style Stitches book to participate in JemJam's sew-along (Cosmo bag is already cut using stash fabric- yippee!)

5) During my TV time, I'm knitting a hat for myself using some yarn that matches my way-too-old ski jacket.

Whew- that's a lot for 10 days, and most of it was done since Friday!

I'm determined to keep going strong; I've got 7 costume orders to work on in the next few weeks, a huge stash to sew through, and I'm determined to get some new things in my etsy store, too. Check back soon to make sure I'm staying on track! I welcome encouragement and feedback on twitter and Facebook, too.