Monthly Archives: June 2010

One-hour Dress

Another pattern from CraftStylish/SewStylish! This dress was in the spring SewStylish magazine – very cute and very easy!

Magazine dress, so cute!


The final product!


I followed the instructions as close as I could. You can follow along here.

Took my measurements and inserted them into my diagram (yeah, you’ll want to check out the link above). Couple of issues:

1. A 3-inch and 12-inch shoulder wasn’t enough for me. With my measurements, that made my neck hole HUGE – half falling off the shoulders and whatnot. That wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t making this dress for work. So I think I did like 5 inches on one side, and 12+ on the other (I don’t remember exactly). 

2. The pattern calls for a 7 inch arm hole – from the top of the dress. That comes out to be LESS than 7 inches because you aren’t counting in the seam allowance. Seven inches doesn’t sound likc much, so I half-ass measured from the top of my shoulder to my armpit, and I was right – seven wasn’t enough. So I added two inches. I should have added four, and made a total of 11 inches from the top of the dress to the armpit. So if you’re making this, measure the top of your shoulder to your armpit for that number.

One-hour is pushing it – it probly took me a total of two. But I was doing lots of math trying to get my measurements right. I’m sure the next one will go even faster.

Ummm… Other than that, the directions were right-on. I was kinda dreading the pleat/gathers on the arm, but that took like 2 minutes. I just folded and pinned, then sewed it over a couple of times. 

Shoulder pleats


As you can see, the background is cream (almost white, but not quite), and the polka dots are navy, blue, yellow and rust/maroon. No black. I have a black belt, but none of my other belts fit yet, so I thought I’d make a belt. I cut a strip of fabric and decided to dye it. First, I put it in some black coffee – grinds and everything, left it overnight. Nothing, the fabric didn’t take ANY of the color. I was hoping to turn the strip a light brown. So then I decided to try food coloring. I put some black and red Wilton paste coloring in a glass jar with the fabric, left it overnight again. I couldn’t believe the coffee didn’t do anything, and then I just wanted the fabric to absorb any color. The water was black looking, you couldn’t tell there was any red in it. So what color did the strip turn? Pink of course. The one color I do not wear anymore (burnt out on it in college). 

The pink belt up close.


With the pink belt. Veto.


I think my favorite part about this dress is that my husband loves it too!

Look Mom, no hands!

I was too tired and swollen during my pregnancy to get some good sewing in – so as soon as I got Kenny home, I went on a sewing binge (ok, a few weeks later). Here’s what went down (so far):

Simplicity 2449

This skirt belongs to my friend Michelle. It’s pretty kick ass. It’s Simplicity 2449, just a basic elastic skirt, six panels. Went together fast, and looks great! I think it looks so fantastic because of the fabric, she did a great job picking it out!

McCalls 5659

Ok, I’m starting with the pattern on this one. I shouldn’t admit this (Mom, please don’t be upset!!!) but… I fell in love with this pattern because of the black and white dress. Ahhhh! I know better than to pick a pattern because of the fabric they chose, mainly because they pick ugly ones. If I could have found that exact fabric, I would have an identical dress – minus the things on the yellow band. 

The title of my blog, “Look Mom, no hands!” is based on this dress. Here’s why:

1. I am borrowing my mom’s serger. That means I brought it to my house and used it without her supervision. She has always changed the thread for me. I’ve used it while she was in another room, but it was a big deal for me to bring the machine 20 minutes away. I insisted on watching her change threads before I left with it. Thank goodness I did. She also mentioned that once I got it threaded, to pull up on the thread to make sure the tension was tight.

Now, in all of the times I’ve used it, I have NEVER had thread break, I have NEVER had to have her rethread anything. So, of course as soon as I get it set up and about 3 inches in, I realize that one of the threads isn’t moving because it’s tangled with another. Rethread. Thread ran out. Had to go buy new. Thread broke, rethread. Machine is threaded, but threads are not tight on fabric… pull on tension, thread breaks, rethread. I was determined NOT to have to call my mom and make her drive 20 minutes to help me, or to pack ALL of my stuff and head back to her house. I’m so glad I listened to all of her advice. Eventually, I got the serger working, and all of my projects done. 

2. The top band of the dress is tricky – sew here, here and here, turn right-side out, pin to dress, turn inside out, clap three times. Tricky for me anyways, these collar things always confuse me. However, I took my time – read the directions, sewed, seam ripped, and sewed again. I ironed too (I never iron). It worked, I should take my time more often. 

So here you go mom, I did it! All by myself! I troubleshot the serger, and read a pattern. It was like riding a bike no handed – you don’t really have to learn, but you should, and when you do, you’re pretty proud 🙂

McCalls 5659


McCalls 5659 - belted

I was soooo proud when I finished the dress, I rushed upstairs and put it on to show my husband, who proceeded to tell me it looks like a mu-mu. Well, his initial reaction was much nicer, he knew I was excited about it. He doesn’t like many of my big dresses. I said that I could belt it, he really liked that idea. So now I wear it with a belt 🙂 I think I like it better too – except the pockets AND belt make it look funky. I bought fabric to make another, so I think I will omit the pockets but add the border at the bottom of the dress (see the pattern photo).

Welcome Kenny

So, I’ve been busy. 

We welcomed our little Kenny bear into the family on May 18 at 12:16am! He was 8lbs, 20 inches long. He is the perfect addition to our family. Brian and I find ourselves just staring at him, we had no idea how entertaining babies are. Anyways, we are absolutely IN LOVE with this little man. 

Photos are by Stephanie Starr. We had these taken when he was one week old. Super cute. He loved the camera 🙂

Kenny is pretty relaxed, he lets us know when he is hungry or wants to cuddle, and other than that he is game for whatever. That means Mom has had some time to go on a sewing binge and do some baking! 

We took Kenny to Illinois for his cousin Jade’s 5th birthday. She had a frog themed party, so my mom and I made her a Kermit big top cupcake and regular sized froggy cupcakes. She loved them!

Muppets are the easiest character to duplicate on the Big Top Cupcake. He is filled with pudding/cream cheese/cool whip filling, his eyes made of Oreos dipped in white candies. The frogs below are cupcakes (obviously), the eyes are made from Wilton candies with chocolate chips. The kids all went for the cupcakes, little did they know there was delicious filling in the cake, not the cupcakes. 

New posts to come soon. Sewing binge, Sock Monkey quilt and more.