Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seams to Me ~ Smashing Smock

Rae is organizing Spring Top Week. It started yesterday with her tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew! Her top is really cute and has just been added to my ever growing list of things to sew.

{Just Smashing}

My first Spring Top was made using the Smashing Smock pattern from Anna Maria Horner's book Seams to Me. Even though I've had this book since Christmas, this is the first thing I have made from it. Actually, I thought this might be the only thing I wouldn't make. I just didn't care for smocks in general and I think the fabrics used in the sample in the book turned me off. While perusing through the flickr group I saw several people had made it from thirfted sheets and I really liked the way they turned out. Earlier this week I had some free time so I decided to make it with a recently purchased thrifted sheet.

I love this pattern. It was fairly easy to put together and it looks really cute, if I do say so myself. I like how loose and airy it is. It is perfect for the sizzling summers here.

{French seam horizontal with the bottom hem to the left}

I usually wear a size small, but I wanted to make sure this was loose so I added about 1/2" to each piece and I am glad I did. The top of the top fits nicely. I think it would have been a little too small without the extra space. I probably didn't need the extra on the sides of the main pieces, but it's OK. I don't have a serger, so I used french seams on the sides (for the first time). This seam is going to go into many more garments. It just finishes the seams so nicely.

{The back}

The fabric is an off white with a little diamond/leaf pattern made with little red dots. The button on the back is a slightly shimmery gray that I got in a sewing box that came with an old sewing machine I got for $20 at a flea market last year.

I already have plans to make another Smashing Smock from a delightfully lovely sea green sheet I bought yesterday. Next time I am going to make it into a summer dress. I can't wait!

I also finished my project for the Itching 2B Stitching Swap, but I want to make sure my partner gets it before I post pictures of it. More of those are to come, too, with one alteration, which I will share later, but can't now because it will give away what I made for her.

In other Anna Maria Horner news, we spent the day at our booth in our local arts market (like a farmer's market, but for artists and other handmade things) for the first time. I wore this top today and we made our first sale to a lovely girl who was carrying a sweet messenger bag she made from Drawing Room fabric. I complimented her on it right away, which I think cemented the deal. She bought a concrete ring!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy aka Park City Girl had the incredible idea to hostess the first annual Bloggers' Quilt Festival. Entry consists of adding a blog post link to the favorite quilt you made and leave a comment. Although there aren't any "prizes" (whew), many shops are sponsoring an extensive giveaway. So far 171 people have entered and the post has only been up for a few hours. I can't wait to look through all the quilts for inspiration and admiration.

{Lily's EZ Camper Quilt}
Lily's EZ Camper Quilt is my favorite quilt that I have made so far. When I was first sketching out this quilt I was going to make it a crazy nine patch, but after sketching it a few times and considering the fabrics I was using, I decided to go for the disappearing nine patch instead. I am so glad I did. I love, love, love how it turned out.
It's not perfect, not even close, but I am proud of it. It's the first quilt I machine quilted, appliqued and hand sewn the binding. I think my favorite part of the quilt is the applique to resemble her dad's Volkswagen EZ Camper. I drew it by hand, cut it out in pieces to applique and stitched the VW logo on the nose. The back is a brown plaid to match the curtains in the bus.

{The adorable Miss Lily and her quilt}

The EZ Camper quilt was made in honor of Lily's first Bulli Brigade last November. It's a big day in the life of a VW kid.

I'll be checking in with the quilt festival post and the flickr group frequently. I can't even imagine how many entries there will be by the time it "closes".


Friday, April 10, 2009

How not to photograph bats

Several weeks ago while playing fetch with Pea in the lot next door we had a visit from some long lost friends--the bats. I don't know if bats migrate or not, but I haven't seen them since last summer. Our bug eating web-winged friends are back and we can't be happier. I tried to get some pictures of them, but bats are particularly hard to photograph. They are always dipping and diving and changing directions it is nearly impossible to get lucky enough to catch them in the frame. After about 50 attempts, I gave up and just watched them.

{Can you find the bats? Me, either.}

No pictures of the bats yet, but I got some pretty and creepy pictures of the trees against the twilight sky. The tiny orange dot in the bottom right corner of the picture above is the sun. I love twilight...

Welcome back, batty friends!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Scores from the thrift store and pizza

{Thrifted sheets}
Last Saturday my guy and I visited a local thrift store. It was totally packed, being Saturday afternoon and all, but we were able to find some great stuff. I easily could have spent $50 and blown the budget but I showed some self-control and rolled out with three bed sheets, two pillow cases and two 95 cent Pyrex pie plates. Total=$16.80
{Yellow flowers}
I was hoping to make this sheet into a sun dress but I was told that we needed to use it on the bed instead. A little nostalgia came over my guy when he saw it hanging on the clothes line.
{Pink floral}
Part of this queen size sheet is going to be turned into the Smashing Smock from Anna Maria Horner's Seams to Me. I wasn't smitten with this particular pattern until I saw the super cute versions on the book's flickr pool. Inspiration for making a shirt for myself came from Rae and her Spring Top week. More info by clicking on the button in the sidebar.
These are the pillow cases. I was hoping to us these in a quilt or as binding, but they too got re-appropriated to the bed. They actually looks good on the bed with the yellow floral sheets and our brown bed spread. I really want to make us a quilt but can't find just the right fabric/pattern combination (and courage). I also got a plain white twin size flat sheet, but it's not an interesting picture.
{Homemade Pizzas}
We put the pie plates to work Wednesday night. Homemade pizzas are one of my most favorite meals. It's a family tradition from way back. The left pizza is pepperoni, olive, onion, fresh oregano, mozzarella and the right is tomato, fresh oregano, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Mmm. The pizza dough was made from a Jiffy box (less than $1) and was surprisingly really good. All my guy had to do was add water and mix, let set, bake, top and bake some more. So, so good.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More of a splish than a splash

{Etsy banner}

Even though I feel like a tiny spec of plankton in the Pacific Ocean, I jumped into the ever astonishing talent pool that is Etsy. My personal shop is See the link over on the side? That goes to my stuff.
{A little snapshot of some of the handmade goodness currently awaiting purchase}

Right now the shop is smallish, but hopefully not too haphazard. Since I opened it a few weeks ago I've been thinking more about what I like to create and have felt more driven to get it out of my head and into tangible states rather than just sketching it and putting it on the bottom of the to do list.
{Sneak peek}

I am almost done with this cute little item, but not quite yet. Hopefully it will be up in the shop this weekend, along with some friends.