HI EVERYONE! I'M BACK!!!!! Did you miss me? So sorry about my absence here on the blog but I'm *finally* able to catch up now so hang on to your hats! 'Cuz I've got some exciting news!
So I've come to the realization that I've had this little blog for a whole year now! One year, one month and ten days to be exact.
All through September I had been suspecting it but my life as of late has been like this:
So thus, I missed it (sad face).
That's not going to stop me from celebrating now! So after washing a load of dishes (giving me a moment to think of something I could do), I thought that first I'd do a flash back to where I've come from since my first post then I'll move on to a giveaway (sneaky sneaky).
Since this is a sewing blog (that I throw in a bit of my personal life here and there) one of my goals was to document my sewing journey. Since I first started blogging I've:
Learned to sew with knit materials (see a dress I made here)
Learned to crochet
Learned a bit of alteration skills (see here where I altered my first dress)
Costumed half of a web series
Made my first dog costume (you can view the cutie modeling it at The Athens' Regional Cancer Center in Athens TN)
Created a wedding veil from scratch
Sewed with terry cloth for the first time (see the apron I made here)
and learned how to sew a vent in a sleeve (see a tutorial I made here)
And I've also done a bit of business throughout the year (as in, projects I've gotten paid for! YAY!). I hope to double that amount of knowledge by this time next year, but we'll see...
So what's in store for the upcoming year? What projects are next? Well hopefully if all goes as planned (which is never in my case) I'll be taking a few more online classes to increase my sewing skills and I have a few projects that I want to do on the side as well like:
Sew a coat for the first time (I've never worked with wool before so I'd like to give it a shot)
Add some new skirts and dresses to my wardrobe (because who doesn't want new clothes especially ones you made yourself?)
Some tee shirts
A new medieval gown for me (because for some reason I do not have a princess gown in my costumes stash. What's wrong with me?!?)
More crochet and knitting projects
A dress that I already bought fabric for (just haven't made yet...)
and maybe some other things as well! We'll see as the year goes by!
On the non-sewing related side, I'll still be sharing bits of my crazy life with you all including more book reviews and something else I'm working on. I can't tell you now but just know it's a part of my business and ministry. Hopefully, I'll *finally* start working on some of the other aspects of my website and this will become a part of that. If it helps, no one in my family but my brother Jonathan knows what it is either. But I hope to start posting about it soon.
Okay, now onto the giveaway!
Now that you all have gotten to know me over the past year I would like to get to know you! What's your name? Where are you from? Do you like Charlie Brown (I mean who doesn't?)? So here's how the giveaway works!
Leave a comment on this post answering these questions:
1: What's your first name + gender?
2: What's your age?
3: What's your favorite part about this blog?
4: Do you sew?
Then give at least one question you would like to ask me and I'll answer them (within reason) in another post after the giveaway is closed. It's that easy!
What's that? What do you win? Oh yeah! Well be patient, I'm getting there...
The giveaway will close exactly two weeks from today (Nov 2nd). You can comment as many times as you want, but you'll only be eligible to enter once. In other words, you can leave six comments with different questions for me but you'll only be put in the drawing one time and only if you answer the four questions above about yourself. Make sense? Good!
I know, I know, I'm getting there! Just be patient (it's a virtue ya know)...
The winner will be selected at random the ole' fashion way, I'll write all the entries down on a slip of paper and have one of my handsome brothers draw a name out of a hat. Hey, remember this is my first anniversary party to throw! Give me a break! But y'all trust me right? ;)
Okay, okay, OKAY! FINE! I'll tell you what the prize is now!
If you'll remember I mentioned above (for those of you that skipped that part and moved on down to the giveaway) that one of the skills I learned this year was crocheting. So in celebration of all my achievements, I'm giving away a pair of crochet earrings that I made with me own two hands!
Ain't they purdy? And if for some reason a guy is following this blog, (which would be slightly creepy...) if you win, I'll make a handmade bow tie that is an exact replica of the one Mr. News wears in S.C. TreeHouse Productions' Web series Literal: What We Believe. 'Cuz you wouldn't want a pair of earrings now would you? Course not! So I'll be fair.
Leave a comment before November 2nd answering the following questions:
1: What's your first name+gender?
2: What's your age?
3: What's your favorite part about this blog?
4: Do you sew?
and at least ONE question you would like me to answer. You can only be eligible to enter ONCE but feel free to leave as many questions for me to answer. And don't be shy to ask random ones like:
"Have you ever ridden a dragon before?" or "Do you have one pink toe?"
I'll do my best to answer within reason :).
Thank you all soooooo much for following along with me on this journey! I can't wait to see what else my Father and Creator has in store for me and to be able to share it with you all!
Now go enter the giveaway quick! Remember, you only have two weeks!
Have you ever heard the phrase "kill two birds with one stone"? Well I killed multiple birds with this one dress. Not literally, but theoretically. So I've officially dubbed this as my "hunting dress" because sometimes I name my sewing projects epic names. Hey, parents name their children and the way I see it every sewing project I work on is a labor of love, thus these are my children. Call me crazy if you'd like but that's just who I am! :)
I've been taking a few sewing classes online as a way of expanding my sewing skills. This is what I've been doing for the moment instead of college. I call it "homeschooling through college". It's not for everyone but it works for me. One of the classes I've been doing is how to sew with knit fabrics (like t-shirt material). This is my final project for the class and definitely my absolute favorite!
The fabric I ordered online at Mood Fabric. Before whenever I needed fabric for a project I always got it from either Joann's, Hobby Lobby, my personal stash and occasionally Hancock's. But as I was taking the class the instructor said that the only place to get quality knit fabric is to order it online. The ones in the stores aren't good at all. After trying some I bought at Joann's I decided she was right.
One of the places she suggested was Mood Fabrics. The fabric was pretty expensive, the color was darker than I thought it be and the fabric was REALLY clingy and thin! I was not pleased with the overall product but the service was pretty good and the delivery speed was timely. I think I'll try ordering from them again because I ordered some other knits at the same time and they seemed to be really nice. So I'm thinking that maybe this fabric just wasn't that great. But it was a learning experience and I definitely learned a lot from it!
I was still in need of one more costume for my character in Literal and since I had yet to make a costume for myself I decided to use this as one of them. Christopher helped me pick out fabric that we both liked for Ann so now I have one more costume. That I made! See if you can spot it in the episodes to come.
The dress pattern came with the class so I didn't have to buy it separately. It has an empire waist, quarter length sleeves and an A-line skirt. The dress shape is more or less created by clear elastic sewn into the waistband that helps hold it against the body. You would think that it would be tight but it's really very comfortable.
I hemmed the sleeves in a way I've never done before. I cut a band out of the fabric that was the length of the sleeve end and 3/4" wide. I pinned it up underneath the sleeve with just a 1/4" still peeking out then I sewed it in place. After that I sewed up the rest of the sleeve as the directions called for and, because jersey tends to roll, I just let the fabric do its thing creating the effect you see here. Basically I just worked with how the fabric naturally acts to achieve the look I wanted.
Even though I loved how the sleeves turned out, they are not my favorite part about this dress. No my favorite part is still yet to come.
Wait for it...
Wait for iiiit...
Yes that's right, pockets! The pattern did not originally call for pockets but I used a pocket pattern from another pattern from the same class and added it in. See, in my opinion, all skirts and dresses should have pockets. You know just in case the need for one arises. Guys are so lucky because almost every pair of pants out there has pockets. So if you're a girl and want pockets, you're going to have to wear pants. But what if you feel like wearing a skirt? This is a major problem in the clothing industry that I think needs addressing.
If anyone is interested in the class I took to make this dress (or the patterns) you can find out about it at Craftsy: Sewing with Knits. I would TOTALLY recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to sew with this tricky material. The instructor is amazing and carefully walks you through every step so you know exactly what to do. Well worth every penny!
Mr. News Literal
If you have been following my brother's google + account you'll have noticed that he has started revealing characters from Literal. For the next 5 weeks, until the first episode premieres, Christopher is going to be revealing a new character at random and I will be doing a blog post on how I costumed that character. For the first "reveal" Christopher shared the character of "Mr. News" (to read his description click here). I'm so excited to share how I costumed this character so let's get started!
Mr. News is the main character's best friend so I kinda wanted their costumes to go together as well. As you will learn, Doug's wardrobe is very.... how should I say this?... eccentric, and I wanted Mr. News' costume to mirror that without taking the focus away from Doug. So I decided to go with the "dorky" look for Mr. News.
The first thing you'll notice about Mr. News' outfit is his sweater vest. Originally I had wanted an argyle sweater vest but my mom found this one online at Macy's on clearance for $ 21.94 (much cheaper than some of the argyle ones we had seen). The vest buttons up the front and is made of 100% cotton. The color is a grey that almost looks tan in some lighting which I think is pretty cool! The actor for Mr. News likes the fact that the vest has two pockets on the front. The first time he tried it on he stuck his hands in the pockets and went "ooh pockets!" and began flapping around like some retarded bird; thus earning him the nickname "Mr. Flappy".
The second thing you'll notice is his smashing-looking bow tie. As you will soon learn I didn't do as much "sewing" for this film as I have in our previous projects due to a lower budget and a modern day setting (which required no period pieces.) So, because I really do like to sew I simply put my foot down on some issues and stated that "I WILL make that!". One of which was Mr. News' bow tie. Mom and I both agreed that he needed a bow tie and an ugly one at that! (then it turned out super cute so we just went with it!) We found some cotton fabric at Hobby Lobby for about $5.59 a yard. I used interfacing I already had on hand and a hook that was $1.99 for two. I'm so pleased with how it turned out and how easy it was!
The shirt and pants are actually the actor's own clothes. This helped cut costs because he already had them. I simply asked him if he had a short-sleeve button-up dress shirt and a pair of dress khakis. Isn't it great how G-D makes things work out? (Notice the belt with pink duct tape. That is NOT a part of the costume that I put together. Rather it was the only belt he had to hold his pants up with. Thankfully the flappy vest covers it!)
To top off the look, we added a hat that my brother Christopher already owned. All we did was add a card that said "NEWS" to the side and Mr. News was completed!
So all in all, here's how much Mr. News' costume cost:
Shirt- actor's own $0
Pants-actor's own $0
Hat- ours $0
Bow Tie- $4.50
Shoes-actor's own $0
Socks- $4.00 for three pair
TOTAL = $30.50
When I was explaining my vision for Mr. News' costume with the Director and Assistant Costume Director I said that I wanted his outfit to look like he was in his grandfather's attic one day and found all this and thought it looked stylish, (when it really wasn't). When I first showed my dad a picture of the actor in costume he laughed and said the Mr. News looked like he should be sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons.
A friend of mine gave me this dress back in January that she didn't want anymore. Because it was super cute (and free) I took it. But the bad new is that it was a little too big and pushing being too short.
(Please excuse my odd facial expressions)
I'll admit, not the most figure flattering dress I've ever put on. I had to wear a tank on underneath in order to get these pictures and still obtain some modesty.
As you can see, there were a few problem-os. So with the help of my AMAZING alterations teacher (I call her my Jedi Master) I ripped that thing apart and made a few adjustments (praying the whole time that I wouldn't utterly destroy it in the process!).
The first thing I did was to add a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt making it not so short. I found the ruffle at Hancocks in Chattanooga and it matched perfectly! I was so excited!
After that I took up the side seams which fixed the whole gaping arm hole issue which included replacing my first invisible zipper. It turned out to be much easier than I thought so I didn't have to worry!
Next came taking up the shoulder seams. Doing this took the neck line up as well and raised the hemline, which is why the ruffle was needed.
Once that was done, I made a few more minor adjustments here and there just to get everything to lay right and fit better.
So after a lot of ripping out seams, restitching said seams, ripping out some more, sewing some more then realizing "oh wait, that part needs to be fixed as well" I finally finished!
Ah... much better! Wouldn't you agree? I so so so pleased with how it turned out especially considering that I had never altered an entire dress before! What do y'all think?
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