a new outfit
NEWLOOK 6108 Skirt & Kirsten Kimono Tee ~ again!

A new top and skirt have been made.
As you may recall, my August's "Make a Garment a Month" plans...
was to duplicate a favored rtw peasant skirt, photo below.....
....using NEWLOOK 6108 and the striped, gauzy fabric shown below.....
....using this photo as  inspiration for the stripe placement.....
....of which I made a skirt.
Did I succeed in 'copying' my rtw peasant skirt?  No.  My skirt looks nothing like a peasant skirt.
Do I love it?  A resounding YES!
This skirt was such fun to make!  I've made this pattern before and knew the fit, or so I thought... but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself a little here.  Using my size 10 pattern, traced and re-cut it out of thin interfacing, which has become my favorite medium to use when tracing patterns.  You can see in the photo below, I lengthened it 5". 
As I began to lay out the pattern on my fabric, I needed to take into consideration the stripe placement, so cut both front and back as one piece- no laying the pattern on the fold.  It was a simple procedure to match up both my pieces of pattern and as I cut, gently realign the longer one over the shorter one to cut that side.  Oh, but the thought process of the stripes gave my brain a workout!  I carefully made notes of exactly where on the stripe I began my cut, measuring my angle of the stripe so both front and back would align on the seam(s) and would have the same stripe angle.   Front, photo below....
Back, photo below.  As you can also see, each piece had to be cut in mirror images of each other.  Let's see how we did on the stripe placement.
Not bad. It's hard to see in the photo below, but the stripes, after careful pinning and slow sewing, matched perfectly at the seam.
Let's compare my skirt to my inspiration photo.
This is the look I was trying to achieve with the stripes.  On the opposite side, the stripes just kind of disappear into the seam.   Sorry my hand is in the way, photo below.    All seams are serged with the hem of both lining and skirt a 1/4" rolled hem.  Lining was cut from the original pattern piece, thus is @5" shorter than the skirt.
At this point, all was going well so forged ahead and attached the waist band to the top of the skirt, after already adding the lining, to find.... I could not.... get it over.... my hips..... at all!  I'd forgotten this pattern is for knits and my previous skirt I'd made was a knit!  What to do.... What to do...!  Proud of myself that I didn't spend too much time pondering (i.e. procrastinating) on this problem and quickly came up with a solution.  Picked the waistband off and sewed a 3/8" elastic right on the top of the skirt, as I knew I could get that part on, using the quartering the elastic with pins, then matching the pins with sides, front and back of skirt method.  Then turned down the elastic-sewn-to-the-top and tacked it in place on each side and love this look even better.  No waistband stripes to compete with the skirt stripes.  See how nice and clean it looks in the photo below.  I may need to tack it in a couple more inconspicuous places, but for now all stays tucked in pretty well.
Another view of the front.....
.....along with a view of the back.  Our chickens were so interested in the photo shoot this morning!  They kept peering out the side of their fenced-in yard to see what was going on.  They are very social.
The skirt fulfills my Make a Garment a Month Challenge for August and also fulfills August's theme of 'stash buster' as this fabric has been wanting to be made into a skirt since last year.
Now, let's turn briefly to the top.  Another Kirsten Kimono Tee.... my 4th... what can I say.... love 'em!!  The free pattern from MariaDenmark can be found here.  This is my modified version flaring a small at the top to a medium and narrowing the neck by 3/8".  This is a nubby, stretchy, soft creamy knit fabric that tricked me, just like the last one, with being sew through once I had it made, sans finishing the neckline and hem.  Lined it with a medium weight white jersey, serging the armholes together and turning in 1/2" treating as one fabric.   Top-stitched the neckline 1/2" as the jersey knit kept poking out. 
What is interesting about this skirt, is that it was supposed to be a casual-feeling, peasant skirt-ish, throw on to wear anywhere, kind of skirt.... and instead feels... 'nice'.   I wanted to wear it to the mountains this past weekend, knowing we'd be making some short hikes, but after putting it on to get ready to leave, it felt too 'nice', so it was switched out for another pleasant, casual-feeling skirt.  In contrast, this outfit was chosen to wear to church on Sunday, coupled with an unstructured chocolate brown rtw suede jacket, and it felt perfect.  So, I guess, this is now officially categorized into the 'nice skirt' section of my closet.
Wanted to leave you with a photo taken of something that gives this Southern girl great pleasure - ripening Muscadines on the vine.  Muscadines are the Grape of the South and make into the best jams and jellies, which is what I will be doing as soon as this post is published.  They are also delicious eating fresh off the vine.
Hope all is having a very good August day!


Thank you Abbi May's Online Fabric Store and Lily Pad Quilting! You made my day!

Recently I participated in Lily Pad Quilting's Pets on Quilts Show 2014 and had the most fun looking at the other participant's quilts and sweet pets.  You might remember my entry from here:
A cute trio of pugs won the 'Dog on Quilt' category of the viewer choice awards, but my humble entry was eligible to be entered to win one of the other sponsor's gifts and be-still-my-heart, her cute Padsworth and Dragon Drop, combined with Mr. Random Number Generator, picked me to win a $25 gift certificate from Abbi May's Online Fabric Store!   This is what my eyes beheld when I checked her website from my sidebar's blogroll:

Abbi May's online fabric store sponsored a gift certificate for shopping, and Lisa is the lucky winner! Woot!
Can I say a big THANK YOU to both Abbi May's Online Fabric Store and Lily Pad Quilting!  I've never, ever, ever, won anything online before and this just made my day!!!!!   I've been drooling over the most beautiful fabrics in so many colors and blends from Abbi May's website and have already got plans in mind for the fabric.  Let me also add that Lily Pad Quilting puts on the Pets on Quilt Show each year in August.  There are all sorts of categories with a 'live' pet on a quilt, and also a category for an 'animal-themed' quilt.  It is such a fun and friendly time with many wonderful sponsors backing the show.  I'm already looking forward to next year!


A day on the Blue Ridge Parkway = Inspiration

Living in such a beautiful part of the United States, my husband and I decided to spend this past Saturday on North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway, a mere hour's drive from our home.  Neither of us had ever been on this part of the Parkway before and neither of us could figure out why?!  It is stunningly beautiful.

The Blue Ridge Parkway's road system was built as part of the New Deal with construction beginning in 1935, to link the Shenandoah National Park to the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  One should not be in a hurry to drive this historic, scenic route, as speed limits range from 35 mph to 45 mph.  In some ways one feels they've stepped back in time to a slower, gentler age.

Beauty surrounded us at every overlook....
 ...and every tunnel.  I love tunnels and we traveled through at least ten of these.   All were constructed in this same rock/stone manner.
A short hike near Mt. Pisgah, led us into a shady picnic area to eat our lunch of hummus, pita chips and fruit with sweet iced tea.  I set the camera for a self-timed photo to commemorate our peaceful lunch.
Since this is a sewing/creative blog one has to include our stop at the Southern Highland Craft Guild's Folk Art Center built on the Blue Ridge Parkway, located a little north of Asheville, North Carolina.  A most fantastic place with guild members' work showcased in permanent exhibits as well as galleries with items for purchase.  Photography was not allowed, but trust me, it was amazing.  Works ranged from wood, to metal, to pottery, to my favorite - fiber.  A craftsman was busy showing how she made wool-felted hats and vests..... but my favorites were the quilts, created in both traditional and modern styles.
I have come home completely inspired.

As a side-note here, I was wearing my NEWLOOK 6192 skirt with my white Kirsten Kimono Tee.  We also hiked a short trail at one of the overlooks and my little skirt was so comfortable, though I had thought ahead and packed hiking shoes.


Another Kirsten Kimono Tee and NEWLOOK 6192 Skirt

A new top and skirt.
The top:
What should've been a 30 minute-from-the-time-you-cut-your-fabric-to-finished-top took me going on 3 days to make!  And the reason why you may ask?  My slubby knit fabric was so slubby, the 'slubs' were see-through.  So not me.  But perseverance prevailed and I hung in there and finally! completed this top and it's ready for public wearing.  Having made the Kirsten Kimono Tee 2 times before, it is clearly one of my favorites.  The free pattern from Maria Denmark can be found here.

This top was made from my modified pattern flaring a small at the top to a medium at the bottom and (this time) cutting the neckline in @ 3/8" to make it not quite so wide.
From the time I saw this fabric on the remnant table at Hancock's, I loved it.... it's color as well as its slubbiness and knew it would be my next Kirsten Kimono Tee. I just didn't expect the slubbiness to be so see-through until I tried on the top to check the fit before putting on the neckline and hemming the sleeves and hem.   Agonized for a little while on how high on the unacceptable list it was and decided I could not wear it that way and thought a lining would work.  That way I would not have to add the neckline and let the lining act also as a facing.  Spurred on by this most brilliant idea it soon became clear there was not enough fabric to cut on the right stretch grain, as this fabric only stretches one-way, so lost a bunch of time agonizing whether it would wear correctly cutting it off-grain.  All I could do, was cut it off-grain and see.  You can see in the photo below my vertical 'lining' slubs versus the horizontal fashion fabric slubs.  What I found is that when I first put it on, it feels a little snug, but after wearing it for a bit, it feels fine.  Also, as you can see in the photos, for the most part it doesn't 'look' too snug.  I also only hemmed the fashion fabric and not the lining - yet.  Right now it seems to work.
Had to really wrap my brain around lining this simple top as I'd sewn the lining to the neckline first, and had to work from there.  Simply used both fabrics as one to turn in the sleeves and topstitch.  No top-stitching at the neckline.
Hard to see in this photo below, but used a simple zig-zag for the bottom hem and I really like it.  In the past I've used a straight-stitch on knit and as we all know that stitch does not 'stretch' and this works so much better and I really like the way it looks.
View from the back.
The skirt:
This skirt was made from another favorite pattern I've already made a gazillion times before, okay only 2, well, maybe 3 counting one for my daugher  :),  NEWLOOK 6192, view B
For this skirt I used a polyester-ish fabric that sort of looks like linen from my thrift store treasure box,  and used the entire process as a skill-builder. At first I wasn't sure I really cared for this skirt, as the fabric finished with a 'stiffer' flared look than I wanted.  But with a more form-fitting top, it looks okay, I think.
Using every single scrap of fabric available, I even pieced the skirt casing on the diagonal to have enough.  Somehow that made me feel good.  Creamy white is hard to photograph, so the arrows point to the diagonal seams below.  I even centered them.
First time ever using my cool little binding-making tool to make the binding to attach to the bottom of the skirt to then.....
....blind-hem stitch the skirt's hem.  Hard to see in the photo below, but the blind-hem really turned out 'blind'.....
.....and again, even though this is an elastic-waist skirt, I lined it so no slip is needed.  Love that!
I am happy with my new outfit and feel my skills and thought process was stretched and improved with these two 'simple' pieces.
Happy Sewing All!


Bugs! for a baby boy's quilt

"Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails,
That's what little boys are made of!"
...and that's what's in this quilt for a newborn baby boy!  Well maybe not 'puppy dogs tails' but there's plenty of snails and bugs.
You might remember this photo, below, from yesterday's post as my entry for Lily Pad Quilting's annual Pet on Quilts Show 2014... thank you so much for all the kind comments!
This quilt's story began with wanting to make a quilt for a friend's daughter's baby boy, who is due any day now.  All the fabrics used in this quilt came from my stash and it was such fun to pull the colors together - usually a weakness of mine, but think they worked really well on this quilt.  Love the happy bugs!
Inspired by Lori's Rail Fence Baby Quilt, decided on 4 - 2 1/2" wide strips to make an 8 1/2" wide block.  The problem was, my 'rail fence' design didn't look anywhere near like hers with the fabrics I'd chosen.  In fact, it looked awful.  Decisions, decisions.  After playing around with the blocks on my flannel wall, settled on this simple design incorporating a lot of white.  It needed the white to offset the bright fabric, I think.   Forgot to take a pre-quilted photo.
Added a few 'bug accent' fussy cut pieces here and there.
Pieced, sandwiched, pinned and ready to quilt.  Now what quilting 'design' to do?  More decisions!
This is only my second quilt I've ever made and not owning a walking foot for my machine I was reeeeeaaally nervous about messing up this cute quilt with the quilting.  After looking at quilts on the internet, it seemed the 'waves' and 'curls' are popular.  I practiced free motion quilting (fmq) on this little 5"x8" sandwich....
...I practiced on the extra quilt block sandwich I'd made.... 
...and still didn't feel this was going to look right for this quilt until I started fooling around with the settings on my machine and came up with this wavy stitch in the white sashing, photo below.  This would (could!!) be doable for me.
My machine calls this a 'running stitch' and I extended the stitch length to 3 and elongated the entire stitch 'pattern' with the bottom right hand setting.  I'm writing and photographing all this so I will remember what I did for the next time I want this wavy stitch!  I really like it.
I used my presser foot guide to match up with the 'ditch' and wavy stitched all seams.  Then did a couple of wavy lines in the border sashing.

Found stripe fabric in my stash that matched the colors of this quilt to use for the binding.  The binding was cut on grain, not bias, but worked fine for this application.  Used my Alabama Quilt post links to re-read the post on how I made the binding and bound that quilt.
Again, used Wendi's technique at Shiny Happy World How to Bind a Quilt's video with the exception, again, that I sewed the binding to the back first...
....then machine stitched very carefully to the front.  I love how she has you join the ends of the binding.  It is so easy and the results are nice and neat.
My daughter was great help in being the quilt holder this morning!  The quilt finished at 31" x 31".... a little smaller than I wanted, but that was all the fabric I had!
The front.....
.....the back.  I really sweated this back as I didn't have enough of any one color, so thought I'd be most clever making a square of light blue trimmed in white neglecting to think about lining everything up when sandwiching.  I was so afraid my 'square' on the back would come out catawampus.   It came out fine.   Whew!    You can see the quilting drag lines that I think a walking foot would take care of.  Oh well.
 It folds up nice and square. 
It was nice taking a little break from garment sewing and work on my quilting skills.  Now I'm ready to make another Kirsten Tee, or two, and copy that rtw Peasant Skirt..... and plan another quilt....:)!