Category Archives: Work In Porgress

Work in Progress :: Perfectly Imperfect

Alturas Quilt :: Dandelion Drift

I’m trying to learn a few new sewing techniques, one being needle turn applique.  I love Carolyn Friedlander’s philosophy of slow sewing.  I choose to sew because I enjoy it, and I am in no hurry to get a project done.  I want to enjoy the process of sewing, not just the product!

I picked up one of Carolyn’s patterns and tried a little bit of needle turn applique.  This block is absolutely imperfect, but in my eyes, it’s perfect.  There are little wavy lines where the edge should be straight.  Some places my stitches are visible.  My points are more round than pointy.  But all of these imperfections are perfect to me.  They are my starting point.  They are the beginning of my learning journey.  Perfectly imperfect.

Work In Progress :: My Craft Hour

I love how we are all a work in progress.  I am slowly learning what works for me, and what does not.  One thing I have always known is I am not a night owl.  I never have been.  I remember at sleep overs as a kid I would always be the first to fall asleep.  Even now as an adult, I just cannot stay up late.  I don’t function that way!

Oddly, I have been saving my crafting hour for after the kids go to bed at night.  I’d pull out my sewing machine and start to work on a project after 9 pm.  No surprise, but I’d make silly mistakes, pull out my seam ripper, and then have to set it all down and put it away because I was just not functioning!

Well this week Josh and I have decided to try going to bed right after the kids go down.  No projects are being pulled out, nothing is getting worked on in the wee hours of the night.  And do you know what?  It is perfect.  This earlier bedtime is leaving me feeling rested and waking up in the early hours of the morning to work on things.  My mind is clear in the morning.  I feel awake and focused.  And that little seam ripper hasn’t made an appearance once!

Sunset :: Dandelion Drift

So I’m curious, when is your craft hour?

Work in Progress :: Too Much Fabric

Hi, my name is Teresa and I’m a creator.  I love to make things.  I love to draw.  I love to craft.  I love to sew.  And because of all the things I like to create, I hesitate when I clean up whether I should throw something away or keep it.  I see potential in just about everything to become something beautiful.  So I keep things just in case I might someday transform it into it’s beauty that is lying within.

Well, I can’t live among all of this stuff!  It’s stuff, and yes, it might have potential beauty within, but right now it is a pile of stuff and I can’t live with it anymore!  So I’m purging.  I’m getting rid of a lot of my stuff!  I want my home to be peaceful and relaxing and hanging onto a million things that have potential is standing in the way of my home and it’s peaceful potential.

Fabric :: Dandelion Drift

So yesterday I started with my fabric.  That first sentence up there that said my name is Teresa and I’m a creator.  Well it should have said my name is Teresa and I am a hoarder.  Ahhh!  When did I become a hoarder?  I am not a hoarder in most areas of my life.  I have a small closet with a small wardrobe. I have a small kitchen with just the dishes we use and need.  I don’t hang onto my kids clothes for sentiments sake.  I have a happily functioning memory (and pictures) to help me remember all of those happy memories.  But my craft things, well they have taken over.  I grabbed all of the fabric I own yesterday and threw them into these three Rubbermaid bins.  They overflowingly filled three bins!  Yikes.  Well yesterday I dug and tossed and got that number down to one.  All of the fabric I own fits into one Rubbermaid bin and it makes me so happy!  (I forgot to take an after picture, but trust me, it’s just one bin.)

Fabric :: Dandelion Drift

So now that I have my fabric down to one bin, I want to know how do you store your fabric?  Do you have a shelf for it?  Are you able to keep your fabric stash (that word is not my favorite anymore) to less than a bin?

Okay, I’m leaving you saying my name is Teresa and I will no longer be a hoarder of craft supplies!  Hold me to it, okay!

Work in Progress :: Sewing with Rayon Challis

Allie over at Indiesew recently wrote an article on rayon challis, leaving me itching to buy some and sew with it.  When it comes to my own clothes, I usually prefer to sew with solid colors.  I know on this little computer screen prints are more fun, but really solid colors are more my thing, more what I reach for.  So I started my little hunt for solid colored rayon challis.  Rachael, over at imagine gnats, recently started stocking rayon challis, and in solid colors, so I snatched up three yards right away and was amazed when the fabric came in the mail.

Have you ever sewed with rayon challis?  Have you ever felt it?  It is so flowey and smooth.  The best description I could give you of rayon challis is that it’s like a liquid, but I know it’s a solid.  The three yards I purchased of this fabric was destined to become a southport dress, in the long maxi length (Kelli from True Bias just released this pattern).  I cut out the pattern a couple days ago, and finished sewing the bodice together this morning.

Sourthport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Allie’s tips on sewing with rayon challis are perfect.  I sewed with a brand new needle, to make sure I didn’t cause any runs in the fabric.  There were times when I was sewing that I was worried that the rayon stretched out and lost it’s shape, but I quickly steamed the fabric with my iron, and the fabric snapped right back to where it should be!  I can’t wait to finish up this dress and share the results!  And I now want to have a whole closet full of clothes sewn out of rayon challis!  Dreamy stuff!

Work in Progress :: Bellows Swimsuit Pattern

Hey all!  I just wanted to pop in and say happy Wednesday!

Bellows Swimsuit Pattern :: Dandelion Drift

This little swimsuit pattern of mine is plugging along.  I have loved, loved, loved working on this, and my girl wore her swimsuit to the community pool this week!  It was an awesome feeling to see her wearing something that I have made, made from the core.  I designed it, I fabric shopped, I sewed it….ah what a rewarding feeling!

As a mom, it’s not often that I do things for myself, and I am so glad that this time I did.  Designing a sewing pattern has given me an opportunity to exercise my brain, learn new skills, and push my creative thinking to the limits!

I’m not sure how other pattern designers work, but this swimsuit has evolved.  First my idea was a one piece suit.  It’s what Sweet Pea reaches for the most, but I had a different vision.  So that one piece suit was chopped and became a two piece, with very high waisted bottoms and a sweet v-neck peplum top.  I cannot wait to share more details with you, but for now I just wanted to say I am so glad to have leaped out onto this creative journey!

Oh and the suit has a name, the Bellows Swimsuit (named after a beach I grew up visiting)!

 

Work in Progress :: Big Project

I’ve been sewing for years.  Many, many years.  Ever since I was a kid.  And I love it.  And I love getting inspiration from others.  And I love sharing and helping inspire others to sew.  And this whole rambling thing is me trying to tell you about how I have made progress and grown in all of my sewing to where I am now.  And I want to keep growing.  So I’ve decided to work on designing a pattern….ahhh….a little crazy!

I’ve had this idea floating in my head for over a year now, and am finally growing the courage to start working on it and learning how to design patterns, how to grade patterns, how to do this all on software that I’ve never used before!  I first purchased a few books, and read all I could.  Then I decided I need to enroll in Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop Creating PDF patterns from Sketch to Sale (affiliate link) and she is amazing.  She has been guiding me through learning illustrator and how to make my designs actually happen.  The things you can do in illustrator are mind boggling!  I was slow (it took me a whole year) to actually hit the buy button on Pattern Workshop, but I am so glad I did.  As a mom, it sometimes feels funny to spend money on yourself.  I often only buy things for myself if I need them.  But it feels so good to learn something new!

Swimsuit Fabric :: Dandelion Drift

Immediately when this whole designing a sewing pattern idea popped in my head, I knew right away it would be swimwear.  We live in swimsuits 12 months out of the year!  Swimming is like home to me, and my kiddos.  So I’m starting with a swimsuit pattern for my daughter and I have one in mind for myself too.  Swimsuits are easy to sew…if you can sew a tee shirt, or anything with knit fabric, you can sew a swimsuit!

Phew, okay, that’s all out there.  And now I’m shaking in my boots.  I’m making no promises on timelines for my first pattern.  My goal is end of spring or early summer, but we’ll see what life throws at me!

Okay, thanks for listening to my rambling, I’m super excited to keep learning and of course keep sewing!

Work in Progress :: Zippers (and the act of patience)

Raise your hand if you can be impatient!  My hand is up in the air.  Patience is a funny thing.  It’s there sometimes, and others, it’s as if I don’t even know what that word is!  I am (generally) a pretty patient person.  When it comes to my kids, my family, my day to day life, I have loads of patience.  I’m not the type to lose my cool.

Zippers :: Dandelion Drift

But if you are talking about patience with things that I want, it vanishes…whoosh, gone out the door!  I’m in the middle of sewing a caravan tote (great pattern by Anna of noodle-head).  It calls for two zippers so I first looked in my pile of vintage zippers I’ve had stored up from previous thrift store finds.  None fit the bill.  Next stop, the local big chain craft store.  I stared at that wall of zippers for several minutes.  I found the right size zippers, but none were actually what I wanted.  But I wanted to finish sewing this bag now, so I bought two zippers that I didn’t love and was ready to sew this bag up!

Caravan-Tote

When I got home though I was ready to kick myself.  Why did I settle?  Is this a bag I need now? no Did I have a deadline to finish sewing the bag?  nope  Those zippers that weren’t perfect for the bag are headed back to the store.  I can patiently wait to find the right zipper for the job.  I am not in such a hurry to churn out a new bag that I need to settle!

How are you with patience?  Does it show up in some areas of your life but hide in others?

 

Work in Progress :: Making Bias Tape

Part of my trying to slow down this year means I am also trying to do things the way that I like them.  I’m in the middle of sewing a pattern that calls for bias tape.  Old me would have gone to the store and purchased bias tape.  It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s done!  (But really I prefer handmade bias tape.)

Bias Tape Maker :: Dandelion Drift

New me, the one who is not in a rush, is making her own bias tape.  Want to know why I prefer the handmade stuff?

  • it matches my dress perfectly (ha…that’s because it’s made out of the same fabric)!
  • it feels so much nicer than the stiff packaged bias tape
  • because my in laws gave me every size bias tape maker possible and it’s fun to play with new toys!

Bias Tape Maker :: Dandelion Drift

If you’re looking into making your own bias tape, there’s a great video tutorial over at Dana Made It and if you don’t have a fancy bias tape maker, there’s a printable one here (never tried it but it looks like it would work)!

Are you intentionally sewing down on any projects?

 

Work In Progress :: How I Store Things

I’ve been on a bit of a “finish it up” roll this past month!  I finished the washi dress and then finished the cabin shirt!  Nothing like finishing a few projects to motivate you to dig out projects that have been sitting in your sewing room, fabric cut out, oh for six months.  Yikes that’s a lot of procrastinating!  I had this brilliant crazy idea last year that I would cut out a handful of projects at once, just because that is my least favorite part of sewing.  I thought I would tackle the boring part first, and then I would get to do the fun part, sewing!  Well, I tackled the cutting, and then my attention was pulled somewhere else.

Marritime Shorts :: Dandelion Drift

This week that is changing.  I’m pulling out a few projects that have been bagged for far too long, like these maritime shorts.  I’m always curious what everyone’s system is for storing PDF patterns.  When I sew a pattern, and decide it’s a keeper, I pull out a gallon sized ziploc bag and store my pattern in there.  The best part of this system is I can cut out the fabric I want to use, and store it in the same bag until I’m ready to sew.  I file all of these ziploc bags in a basket that sits atop my sewing cabinet.  That’s my system…how do you store your files?

Marritime Shorts :: Dandelion Drift

P.S.  These shorts have been sitting in this bag so long that there are giant creases all over the place.  I hope it all irons out!

Work in Progress :: Too Short

Cabin Sewing Pattern :: Dandelion Drift

I finished sewing my cabin dress over a week ago, and I hung it in the closet to think about it.  I LOVE everything about it, except one little detail, it’s too short.  It is a tunic (or shirt) pattern, and I’m not really a tunic girl.  I knew that going into it, so I added an inch in length, just guessing that would be long enough for me to wear it comfortably as a dress, a cute plaid shift dress.  I was wrong.  I should have done a little more than just guess.

So then I just let it hang in my closet trying to decide what to do with it.  Can I become a tunic girl?  It would look cute over jeans or leggings, and I’m sure many people could pull it off, but it’s just not my style.  I wouldn’t reach for it as a tunic.  I polled some opinions from the family if I could add length to it, but in the end I decided I’m chopping off the bottom and letting it become a shirt.  At first I was bummed over the cute fabric I wasted, but I need to also remember it would be a whole lot more wasted fabric if I left it as is (I wouldn’t wear it).  So I’m happily chopping off a little and rehemming it as a shirt!