Thursday, September 18, 2014

Estherlyn's Jumper on S is for Sewing

All photos are courtesy of Ana Sofia and S is for Sewing

Today I am privileged to be a part of Ana Sofia's S is for Sewing blog. Ana Sofia has written a review of my Estherlyn's Jumper pattern.

I have been following S is for Sewing for quite a while now, and I am always impressed with the beautiful things that Ana Sofia sews for her daughter.  I am truly honored that she would take the time to review my pattern.  I just love this beautiful blue print that she chose and the trims are very pretty as well!

I encourage you to stop by her blog and read the review, but also just spend some time perusing all the lovely posts she has written in the past.  You won't be disappointed.

Join me again Monday for the third variation of the Shoulder Tie Dress Mod Monday series and again the following Monday for the link party to share what you have created.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mod Mondays - The Shoulder Tie Dress : Variation 2

Welcome to variation 2 of the Mod Monday series!  This series features simple modifications that can be made to my easy and free Shoulder Tie Dress pattern.  See the sidebar to the right for the links to the tutorial series.  If you missed out on week one please take the time to go back and see it, you don't want to miss out on that cuteness!

The variation for this week involves changing the neckline a little bit.

For this variation I drafted a simple flutter sleeve, sewed it so that the straight edge of the flutter sleeve continued the casing line and then used elastic to gather the neckline instead of ribbon or ties.  For this little one, I could have probably shortened the elastic a bit as it was just slightly big on her, but I didn't get the chance to do that before picture day.

The flutter sleeve is drafted as just a very simple shape.  It looks something like the shape below.  The amount of curve that you add will determine the shape of the flutter sleeve.  There is no real right or wrong, it just depends on your taste.  I used a pretty steep curve for mine.  The more steep the curve, the more dramatic the sleeve will be.

The skirt portion of this variation, once again, follows the tutorial as it is written.

For this variation I chose a pretty blue print because this little one has the most beautiful pale blue eyes and I knew that the dress would only show them off.

I'm looking forward to the link party coming up on Monday, September 29.  I hope that you will share your variations with me!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Little Vacation

Earlier this week my husband and I made a little trip up to Duluth, Minnesota on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Since we live in central Minnesota, this was only a little over a 3 hour drive for us.  I'm ashamed to say that I have lived in central Minnesota for nearly 17 years and this is the first trip we have made up to the Duluth area.  Now I am wondering why we waited so long.

The first day we drove up about 45 minutes north of Duluth to Split Rock Lighthouse.  The lighthouse served to guide ships through Lake Superior.  It served the area from 1910 to 1969.

It's location is dramatically beautiful, perched high on a rocky cliff with the vastness of Lake Superior below.

We first went up onto the cliff where the lighthouse stands.  The view from up there was stunning.

The lighthouse itself was open and we were able to go inside.  My husband made the trek to the top of these stairs to see the lamp.  I got about 6 steps up and decided that it was not a good idea for me to climb all the way up.  I could just see myself having a panic attack on the way back down.  Spiral staircases have always freaked me out, and these, well... you can see why I hesitated.

After exploring the lighthouse itself we walked down, down, down, down, down the path to the water itself.  The shore was rocky and rugged.  No sandy beach here.  It was amazing to just sit and watch the water, it was a little choppy that day and the waves were splashing against the rocks.

When the lighthouse was first built, there were no roads in that part of Minnesota.  The only way to get there was by boat.  When supplies came for the lighthouse, as you can imagine, it was quite a trek to get them up to the top of the cliff.  A tramway was built from the shore up to the lighthouse to help move supplies more easily.  The old tramway is no longer there, only the cement pilasters remain, but there is a stairway that follows the same route.  This stairway consists of 171 steps.  This, my friends, was definitely the hardest part of the day... but I made it. Luckily there are a few places to stop and enjoy the view along the way, otherwise I'd probably be dead.

After a beautiful day at the lighthouse, we drove back south again to the city of Duluth.  We stayed at the South Pier Inn which is right next to the famous lift bridge.  Our room faced the canal and the bridge. This shot was taken from the deck of our hotel room.

On the second day, it so happens that I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up and went out into the little living room area of our suite.  I got there just in time to hear the horn that signifies that the bridge is going up and a ship is about to come through the canal.  I went to the window and watched as a HUGE ship came through from the lake into the harbor.  I watched in awe as the Arthur M Anderson made its way under the bridge.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to grab my camera and take a picture, but it was still dark anyway and the picture probably would not have turned out well.

I did a little research on the ship, just to see if I could find out anything about it.  As it turns out, the ship is quite old and is known for being the last ship to have been in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald before it sank in 1975 with all 29 crewmen on board.  They weathered the storm only a few miles apart from each other.  The Arthur M Anderson made it to Whitefish Bay, but the Edmund Fitzgerald did not.  The ship I watched go under the bridge is a piece of history, still in operation after all these years.  If that ship could talk, oh the stories it could tell.

The rest of that day was spent shopping in shops and walking along the edge of the lake before heading home mid afternoon.

It was really nice to just be able to get out of the house for a couple of days and do something that we have wanted to do for years.

I am off of work for the rest of the week and I hope to get some sewing accomplished while I am home.  I just printed off a new pattern to sew up a test muslin.  I'll be hoping to get rolling on that pattern before long, if the muslin goes ok. :)

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mod Mondays - The Shoulder Tie Dress: Variation 1

Welcome to Week 1 of the Mod Monday series!  This series will feature simple modifications that can be made to my easy and free Shoulder Tie Dress pattern.  See the sidebar to the right for the links to the tutorial series.

For this first modification, the change made to the pattern is as simple as adding one buttonhole.  Really, that's all there is.

I changed the location of the bow to the center back by simply adding a buttonhole to the center back before sewing the casing down.  Thread the tie through the buttonhole into the back casing, through the front and then back through the back casing and back out the buttonhole. I used an extra long piece of ribbon to add a bit of romantic drama to this particular dress.   Super easy, super cute!

Everything else about this mod follows the tutorial instructions just as they are written.

I had been told that some of the favorite things of the little miss who modeled the dress are pink, flowers and dresses.  She was incredibly cute when she saw the dress for the first time.  She hugged it to her chest, jumped up and down and ran to try it on. I think it was a hit with her and she looks lovely wearing it. She is so very photogenic that it was really difficult to choose which photos to use, so I will leave you with just a couple more of my favorites.

I hope you will join me next week for Variation 2!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lauren's Flower Girl Dress - Finished!

A while back I posted about the flower girl dress that I have been working on for a friend's wedding.   The bride-to-be wanted a one shoulder design to go along with the bridesmaid dresses, but was having a hard time finding exactly what she wanted.  Long story short... she asked me to see if I could design something more like what she envisioned.  We conversed back and forth a bit and finally agreed upon a one shoulder design with a little strap on the other side to help hold it in place, because... well you know why. :)  This black ruffle elastic was perfect for the strap.

And I think the black sash is just what it needed to finish it off.

I love that I was able to draft the pattern from the little gal's measurements so that it will be a perfect fit for her.  I wouldn't have been able to do that without having taken the Pattern Workshop Course.  

Here is a side by side comparison of the real dress and the photoshop mock up of what I had planned.  I think I got it pretty close!  The skirt was intentionally longer and the sash was also planned to be different.    I think the fabric is almost, if not completely identical.

All in all, I am pretty proud of how awesome this dress turned out!  Satin charmeuse is NOT my favorite fabric to work with, but I pulled through.  I have to confess that I was a bit nervous sewing this kind of fabric and having two cats who think anytime the sewing room door is open that "kitty wonderland" is open for business.   It really is the perfect fabric for this dress.  It has such a wonderful light, flowing drape.  It just moves beautifully!

The skirt uses two pieces the full 60 inch width of the fabric minus just the selvages.  I was lucky enough that when it was gathered as full as it would go, it was an exact fit for the bottom of the bodice.  I couldn't have hoped for it to be any better than that!

I also made a little tiered, double layer cotton petticoat to go under it, which I think is just the exact right amount of pouf without being too much and without using that itchy tulle. Plus, added bonus, she can use the petticoat with other dresses because it is a separate piece.

I am so glad to be finished with the dress and I plan to try and get it to its rightful owner in the next few days.  The wedding is only a couple of weeks away!   This is a big check mark off of my list of things to do and I'm glad to have it done before I go on vacation next week. :)

What have you been working on?  I'd love to see!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mod Mondays - The Shoulder Tie Dress

I have a fun little series planned for the month of September and I have been waiting anxiously to share it with you! I had originally planned to do this series earlier in the summer. Pattern writing, however, took longer than I anticipated and so I had to put this off for a little bit.

Back in the early spring I did a tutorial series on my Shoulder Tie Dress pattern.  The links for this series are in the right hand side bar of my blog. There are so many ways that this simple pattern can be modified to truly make it your own that I wanted to showcase some of them. My hope is that I might inspire some of you to try your own ideas. All of these are very simple modifications that any adventurous beginner to intermediate sewist can do with ease.

The posts will appear on Mondays with the last Monday of September featuring a link party in which you can link to your blog post with your creation. I hope that you will join in on the fun!

Until next Monday, I will leave you with a few teaser pictures. I had so much fun with this little photo shoot!  We set up a little picnic in the park with bubbles and pinwheels and cookies and pink lemonade.  The girls were all great and had a good time playing together, even though some of them had never met before that evening.

Until next time, happy sewing!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Estherlyn's Tobago Jumper Mashup

Graphic Courtesy of Call Ajaire

I happened to be looking through my blog feed this morning and saw that Call Ajaire's Monthly Mash Up using my pattern was featured on The Inspired Wren's blog yesterday!  What fun, and congratulations to Ajaire.  I know that she works hard on this series and has such wonderful ideas.  It's a little surreal to me to see my pattern (or part of it) on someone else's blog. LOL

There is still time to get your Estherlyn's Jumper pattern and mash along!  The 25% code MASHUP will be good through the weekend at both my Etsy shop and my Big Cartel shop.  The Scientific Seamstress also has a sale at their Etsy shop as well, get 40% off with the coupon code GLUESTICK.
And don't forget to join the Facebook page and share your creation!

In other news, I haven't been posting much because I have been working on a flower girl dress and trying to rebuild my website, which is currently a huge mess.  I will post more on those topics later.  I DO however have a little series coming up which will start on Monday and will run through September.

So, until next time...
Happy Sewing!