Can you believe it? I broke out my sewing machine again.
It seems like with most sewing projects that I’ve done before, I always get frustrated with the complications to the project that once its over, I don’t want near a sewing machine for a long time. Even though I’ve made some pretty cool things before and I’m usually always happy with the final results of the project. But it was the complete opposite reaction this time. I was so happy with how well my Drop Cloth Drapes went, that I went looking around the house for other things I could sew. (without coming up with a huge sewing project, because I have lots of other things I need to get done around here before school starts on Monday)
So, that’s where this shirt comes in:
I bought this shirt while shopping with my sisters in Nashville the weekend I ordered my wedding dress. It was sort of an impulse buy. It was at the end of the day and the little girls were tired and hungry and we were in a hurry to get out of the mall. I tried it on and I was in the middle of trying to decide if I should get it or not, and since I was rushing around, I just threw it in with the other stuff I was getting and went ahead and bought it. I do really like the softness and flowy-ness of the fabric and I really like the little pink elephants all over it. (My Mamaw loved elephants and they remind me of her.)
However, what I don’t like about it, is the fact that it is so big and open. It isn’t fitted at all. Some people really like that style, but it is a style that I don’t think looks very good on me. I have a rather large bust for my figure and if I wear clothes that aren’t fitted, then I just look as fat as my bust everywhere. Underneath all that unfitted-ness I do actually have a small waist. I think that clothes look better on me if they accentuate that fact. Plus, being so big it was also looking a little too nightgown-y for my tastes.
I thought it would look better more like this:
So, I figured what better small sewing project to tackle than this. You might think that the first picture above didn’t look so bad. Well, I do admit, it actually photographed a lot better than it looked in person. In reality, it looked about three times too big everywhere but in the sleeves. You can see how big it looks laying flat on my desk:
It looks big enough, that well, an elephant should be able to fit in it. However, I didn’t feel the need to cut down the size, I simply wanted it to make it look a little more flattering in the front. So what did I do?
I commissioned the help of this little guy:
A piece of light pink ribbon from my sewing stash. Just the right length for what I needed it to do. I cut it in two equal pieces, snipped off the ends and fray-checked them.
Then I looked in the mirror to see where I wanted the ribbons to go in the side seams to pull the front of the shirt a little tighter and put pins in to mark that spot.
Then I took it off, turned it inside out and measured down to see how far down my pins were and made sure both sides were down equal amounts.
Then I used my seam ripper to rip a small hole in my seam where I wanted my ties to go.
Next, I pinned my ribbon in, sewed across it several times and did the same to the other side. I trimmed off all my threads and then for safe measure, used a little fray check across the seam to make sure my shirt fabric didn’t fray in that spot. I turned it right side out again and I was done! Yay for 5 minute sewing fixes!
Here is my completed shirt.
It fits so much better. (Sorry for the crappy pictures–I was too lazy to get out the tripod and camera remote to use my DSLR) No more hiding underneath a huge shirt! I like the way the back looks even better though:
I love the little pink bow and all the soft, ruffly creases. So pretty and a thousand times better than before. :)
Since I pulled a muscle in my lower back when I was home the other week, I’ve been trying my best to sit up straight and to take breaks from working on the computer (Since I tend to slouch over when I’ve been working on the computer for a while). I’m on the computer a lot– reading blogs, blogging, working on design work or websites for our business, checking e-mails and when school starts I will be on it even more for papers and school work. As much as I love being on the computer, it definitely is nice to take breaks to do other things. Since I only have two more weeks before fall semester starts, I decided to try my best to spend the next two weeks doing something that I enjoy and that I never have time for during the school year.
It was perfect timing when I ran across this August stitch-along on an embroidery blog. (see week 1 & week 2 & the flickr group) I really like hand sewing and I think it is a mindless and relaxing thing to do. (Plus it is easy to sit and sew while watching television, chatting with a friend, etc…) I really like the freestyle type project that they have going on this month, so I decided to jump in and stitch along.
This project is basically to just grab a piece of fabric that you want to embellish and some coordinating thread colors and follow the pattern of the fabric with your embroidery. Pretty simple and mindless.
I chose this green fabric with a basic cream floral pattern. It is some leftover fabric that I had in my fabric stash that I had used for a project and didn’t have any plans to use for anything else. I think it is pretty, but I thought some colored embroidery might spruce it up a little.
Here are my thread colors. I think they will be pretty accents to the petals on the flowers on the fabric.
If you’ve never hand sewn before or don’t know how, no worries! It is never too late to learn! You should join me on my August stitch along. Just grab a small piece of fabric, some embroidery thread in coordinating colors, a needle, scissors, and an embroidery hoop. That’s all you need!
I’m using a 5 inch embroidery hoop, but any will work. Just stretch your fabric in there and you are ready to roll.
Start with a simple back stitch around the outlines of your fabric design and then use other stitches from there for more embellishment.
If you don’t know any stitches or even where to start, here are some embroidery tips/tutorials from the blog, Wild Olive: strands, sewing, stabbing and starting, running and back stitch, stem and split stitches, chain and detached chain stitch, fill stitches part 1, fill stitches part 2.
I only worked on mine for a little bit last night while Drew was watching the first Saints pre-season football game and I got more done than I expected to. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I like projects like this that you can make up as you go. :)
Join me on the August stitch-along! I’d love to see what pretty things you create!
Today has been a great day! I found lots of cool things!
Drew and I went thrift shopping and found a cute picnic basket and some other cool props for our engagement pictures! We are thinking of having a sort-of picnic in the park for them. I say “sort-of” picnic, because I want it to look nicer with a vase of fresh flowers, old books, a big pretty glass pitcher of lemonade…the sort of things that are too much work for any normal person to take on a real picnic. But I’m hoping they will make for nice pictures. We’ll see how it goes. ;)
We then ran by Jo-Ann’s to look for some other fun crafty things. We found some pretty burlap fabric to use for a picnic blanket for our engagement pictures (I wanted to use a quilt, but the ones we have aren’t in the prettiest colors and I won’t be home anytime soon to find a different one or make a new one). Lately I’ve really been into linen, burlap, and other fabrics that have noticeable grain lines. As you can see from my blog background. I don’t think that it will be the softest fabric to sit on, but it is really pretty and goes with the natural/country but classy look we are going for. :) Plus, burlap is super cheap as far as fabric goes! It was $3.99 a yard! (before using any coupons/discounts/or sales) Ahh, just look at that nice prettiness:
As we were looking through the fabric selection, I found some pretty home decor fabrics that were on sale! I bought a little bit of two of them to make some pillows for Drew’s couch. (I really like the patterns on them, especially the brown/creme one!)
I also got some linen fabric and some other fun things to make a stitchery wall hanging thing. I miss sewing. As I was looking at the crafts stuff, Drew was walking around complaining about me taking too long and I guess looking cute at the same time, because somehow he got two different ladies to give him coupons. One for 50% off any fabric and another for 25% off of your entire purchase. Yay!
We went to Target because I had to get some toiletries and I wanted to look for a cute, simple and inexpensive tote bag to put all my painting supplies in, because next week we are starting a plein air painting series and we have to haul all of our painting stuff to Audubon Park all week. I toted my stuff to Drew’s house the other day in a plastic bag and it not only cut into my hands because it was too heavy, but the bag started to rip. My painting supplies were really expensive, so I really don’t want to drop them all over the place. Way to go me– I left all my bags of any sort at my home in Harrisburg. But, I found a really cute one for only $12.99. :) Yay again! (I also found a really cute pink floral scarf there too! I love scarves!)
After that, we stopped to eat at a little cafe for lunch and then off to the mall. I swear, I hardly ever buy anything, or find anything I really like, but today I seemed to just hit the jackpot everywhere. I found a dress to wear for our engagement pictures that is really well made for a inexpensive dress from Macy’s, shoes to wear with it, that were a lot cheaper than I thought they would be, AND a Fossil cross-body small purse that is almost identical to Trang’s that I love and have been searching for something similar for months (Drew had promised to get me one as a Valentine’s day present and I hadn’t found one since then that I liked)! YAY! It was a very successful day! Plus, almost everything I bought was either on sale or reasonably priced! Quadruple yay! :)
Here is a little sneak peek of my engagement outfit: (That floral print is actually the scarf I bought from Target today. I’m thinking about using it as the sash for the dress because I’m not in love with the sash that came with it. It is a little thick for a sash, but I think it would work. It is a pretty perfect match for those shoes!)
I’m getting really excited about our engagement pictures. We’ve got a little project up our sleeves with them. I’ll tell you all about it, once I’m sure that it is going to work. :) Wedding planning has actually made some progress in the last month. We’ve talked to venues, caterers, photographers, looked into prices for honeymoon locations, priced lots of things and come up with a how-much-we-think-this-wedding-is-going-to-cost-budget. Now we are trying to come up with a lets-actually-be-able-to-afford-this-wedding-budget. We are trying to figure out what is necessary, what isn’t, what we can do ourselves, and want we absolutely have to pay for. We’ve had a lot of good ideas lately about ways that we can save and how we can do things ourselves. It is starting to feel a little better. I want it to be a fun and pretty day, but I also don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money for just ONE DAY! Is it a little too ambitious to cater a 250ish person event ourselves? What do you think? :)
When I bought my Pineapple Brocade fabric from Heather Bailey a couple months ago, I received a 10% off any order coupon for her store. It expired at the end of December, so I just couldn’t resist, I had to buy some more fabric. Her fabrics are just so pretty! So my order came in today and I’m so excited! :)
Hello Roses – Olive
Rose Bouquet – Blue
Sway – Olive
Tiled Primrose – Canary
Paisley – Lime
You can check out her fabric collections on her website, here.
Hopefully Clementine will look this this when I’m done:
All the other ones are cute too! I almost got Edna:
Here is Alice:
She doesn’t have kits for them, but Effie and Ollie the Elephants are cute too. You can buy her mini pattern for them, here.
This is starting to sound like an ad for Heather Bailey. Sorry! I just like her stuff! It inspires me to want to sew all kinds of things and make my own fabrics! (maybe one day) :)