Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coffee Date Dress

Hello!  I recently came across a sew-along hosted by Project Sewn for the Coffee Date Dress by the Selfish Seamstress that's offered as a free pattern on the BurdaStyle website.  I've been wanting to try it for awhile, so I went for it. 
It was only my third time to sew up something for myself as I mostly sew for my daughter.  I'm not gonna lie, the idea of working with darts and an invisible zipper scared me, and I almost gave up before I began.  My sweet husband reminded me that I can sew anything, so I decided to keep going (It wasn't as sappy as that just sounded in real life).  I found a really in-depth sew-along from Bobbins of Basil that was just fabulous, and I really relied on her to hold my hand through it all since 99% of the patterns I sew are detailed and include lots of photographs. 
I decided to sew the pattern as is since it was my first go at it.  I used a green with navy damask print fabric I bought from JoAnn on sale last week.  I didn't want to ruin any of my nicer fabric should I have failed. 
The most difficult part for me were the darts.  I jumped ahead without paying attention to the fact that you don't actually cut the dart lines on the pattern.  Ooops.  Therefore I didn't really get the chance to play around with dart placement because I sort of had to sew that line up as is.  You live, you learn. 
But here's my finished product!  Yes, I look awkward in photographs, so forgive me :P  I never know what to do with my hands, lol! 
I'd like to thank my husband and 6-year old son for their exceptional photography skills ;) 
I really do love this dress.  It turned out even better than I thought it might.  I may have to give it another go with a solid top, print on bottom, and a fabric sash.  I think that would be cute, right? 

I'm ready for my coffee date now!

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Sunday, June 10, 2012


About a month ago, I decided to try a new idea out that I had seen someone talk about in a Facebook group I'm in. They had taken an applique of a jar of bugs and and removed the bugs from the design. Then a piece of vinyl was added and some small toy bugs were placed it. Super cute in theory!

I found a jar applique at Applique Alley and got to work. 

I went all over town trying to find some cheap toy bugs that were A) cute and B) flat enough to lay well under the vinyl.  I ended up finding some at Fred's (I think, but I went so many places I really don't remember).  Then I went to Wal-Mart (who did NOT have bugs) and bought some medium weight vinyl from their really fabulous new fabric department. 

It stitched really well, and I was super excited with the results!  

Until...Gabriel put it on and I realized that the vinyl had come apart from the stitching  :(  The bugs are kind of rubbery though, so there was enough friction against the vinyl to where they wouldn't fall out.  After all the work I put into it, I decided he was going to wear it at least once, even if it came apart on him, haha!  So he wore it on another trip to Wal-Mart (we go there a lot even though I am not a huge fan) and a lady actually stopped me to ask about his shirt.  I washed it and stuck the bugs back in, and it still seems to be wearable.  The vinyl lays flat against the shirt, so it isn't noticeable unless you are really looking.  I may try it again and see if I can attach the vinyl a little differently.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fabric Love!

Like anyone else who sews, appliques, or quilts, I have recently discovered that I am a fabric addict.  Whenever I set foot in JoAnn, Hancock's, or Hobby Lobby (oh, and now Wal-Mart has a fabulous fabric department) I get lured in and have to buy at least a yard of at least one fabric.  I've started buying from, too.  They have wonderful prices on designer fabrics and free shipping on orders over $35 (which is easy to do!)  I justify my purchases by saying things like, "Well... that fabric is so pretty that it won't be here the next time I come," or "I need a pretty orange for that pumpkin applique I was wanting to do."  But then, once I buy it, it sits in my pantry/sewing closet (yes, they are one in the same) for months, and I end up forgetting I have it. 

I had a few days with no boys in the house, meaning it was safe to explore my fabric hoard, and dug up lots of beautiful treasures that have inspired me to get sewing again.  Some of my favorite finds, you may ask?  Take a look!!


 All of these came from with the exception of the polka dots.  Those came from Hancock's. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Everything Applique Conference, Here I Come!!

I am so stinkin' excited!  This coming Saturday is the Everything Applique Conference at the BJCC in Birmingham.  I signed up for this over a month ago and have been daydreaming about it every day since.  My friends and family don't get it.  My best friend told me to say, "Hi!" to Myrtle and Ethel.  My mom and sis were in shock when I told them nearly 800 people from all over the country were coming.  Their response (while snickering) was, "Oh, we thought it would be like 30 people at someone's house."  Hmph. 

Nonetheless, I am pumped!  Kathy from Applique Corner is fabulous.  She and her husband are hosting the event and several other big name applique companies like Applique Alley, Applique Momma, Applique Junkie, The Itch 2 Stitch, Applique Cafe, Embroidery Boutique, and Applique Market are going to be presenters!  So not only do I get to hear these ladies teach about applique, starting/improving your applique businesses, and photography, there are lots of prizes to be won! 

Let me just say, that I plan on winning the big one.  I don't care about the smaller prizes, just give me my new machine, and no one gets hurt.  Ha!  I actually just got a PE-770 a few weeks ago, so I shouldn't be so greedy, but I would LOVE something bigger! 

In order to get your name in the drawing twice, instead of just once, you can applique the official Everything Applique Conference Logo onto a shirt, bag, whatever, that you carry or wear into the conference.

 So I'm off to make my bag, because this momma wants a new machine!  Wish me luck!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Turning Lemons into Lemonade!

So about a week ago I got my new embroidery machine in!  Hurray!  No more being restricted by a 4 x 4 hoop space! 

My first project was to make my 4-year old son a shirt.  I was way past the point of ever wanting to make anything for him (despite his begging) because my hoop was just so small that everything looked silly on his shirts.  So I was super excited to try out my new 5 x 7 hoop on one of his shirts. 

Since daddy is a drummer, I went with a drum set applique from Planet Applique.  She has great designs  :)  I decided to get creative and add Gabriel's name to the large bass drum.  It was a nice touch, if I do say so myself. 

But once I got nearly to the end of the design, my needle broke and pulled the shirt a little.  When I replaced the needle and started back where I left off, my design was slightly moved.  So when it came time to stitch "Gabriel" on the drum, the name wasn't centered.  Grrr...

Then I decided I would just take my seam ripper to the name, and just do without it.  Well, after about an hour of fighting with the stitches, this is as far as I got.

I thought about trying to line the design back up on my machine and restitching the drum, but I thought that with the satin stitches already on the drum, it would be too thick, and I might break another needle (or 5).  So I got creative and found a piece of ribbon that wasn't girly, laid it on the drum and cut it out to fit, burned the edges to prevent fraying, and sewed it on with my sewing machine. 

I actually really like the ribbon across the drum!  I think it turned out cute!  Gabriel loves it, too, and that's what really matters.  Plus he thinks it's funny that he can look inside his shirt and see part of his name.  Kids...  :)  Oh, and I decided to add a little wording to it, because, well, the kid rocks! 

And in other news, MCA Applique has launched their new website, and it is awesome!  She sells beautiful applique and embroidery designs (75% off right now!), fabric, clothing blanks, and so much more!  She has really fast shipping, too!  Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kelly's Kids Knock-Off Vintage Romper

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I DO NOT like to pay full price for things.  I'm a couponing fool, and still only try to buy groceries that are buy one get one free.  I look for free samples online and try to win contests to get things for free.  No shame here! 

Anyways, the point of telling you all that is to tell you how extremely proud of myself I am for recreating this super-cute Kelly's Kids Vintage Romper.

They are listed on the Kelly's Kids website for $48.00 and the monogram is an additional $10.  Cute, right? 

Well, I found a pattern from Mud Puddles and Ruffles on Etsy for this outfit ($10) and had to buy it!

I spent around $10 in fabric and had the ribbon already.  Another dollar or two on the buttons and elastic.  I own my own embroidery machine, so the monogram was free.  So add that to the cost of the pattern, and I made it myself for around $22. 

Now, that being said, it was a little time-consuming, and my time is valuable as I have two small children.  Also, the pattern needed some tweaking.  The shorts were way too big and I had to take a few inches off the width, and then still gather them more than was suggested.  As long as you have the measurements for the child you are making them for, it's not a big deal. 

So, here is my version...

The Front
                                                                            The Back

And my little angel hunting Easter eggs in it!

So, you can now make your own, or (if you prefer) I can make one for you!  I can do any color seersucker for the shorts and straps, any color ribbon, and any color monogram.  Just send me a message on my Facebook business page Just Grin and Wear It telling me you want one, what size, what color, and I'll just get a few measurements from you!  My version is $40 plus $3.99 shipping. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Lu!

This Saturday was my baby girl's first birthday!  We decided to do a bird theme since I've been slightly obsessed with birds lately.  We had a little Easter egg hunt for the kids (birds lay eggs, right?) since Sunday was Easter.  It was a lot of fun! 

Now, my favorite part about throwing a party is designing and making the invitations.  I wish I could say that I went to work right away on them this time, but I spent too much time debating what to do and ended up getting them sent out really late.  Oops!  They turned out pretty cute, nonetheless.  

To make these, I used A Pocket Full of Posies Matstack of scrapbooking card stock from JoAnn.  They are 4.5'' x 6.5''.

I designed the wording in Microsoft Word, and then had them printed onto the paper.  I did each invitation on a different piece of paper.  I LOVE the designs in this set!!

Then, I took a coordinating sheet of paper and traced out the little bird.  To make the template for the bird, I did a quick Google search and found one that I liked, shrunk it down to the size I wanted, and then printed it onto a sheet of freezer paper.  Then, I took an Exacto knife (make sure you use a cutting mat or a cutting board from your kitchen) and traced the birdie onto a piece of paper.  I used double sided tape to attach the bird and repeated the process for the wing. 

I think they turned out really cute!!  I spent about $12 for the paper and had everything else on hand, so the total cost of invitations was $12, AND I have plenty of paper left over for other projects!  Yay!!