Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Etsy can kiss my butt......

As I was waiting, impatiently, for contest winners to be published on a blog I follow/stalk yesterday, I got involved in some complex link-clicking that landed me on the COOLEST website ever!

Art Fire is an online marketplace for handmade products designed by artisans. Like Etsy, but without the confusing categories, snooty communities, and creepy commercial feel. Art Fire is like a neighborhood knitting circle where a bunch of old ladies are sitting around talking comfortably about the insane deal on yarn they found at the church yard sale over the weekend.
ArtFire Handmade Artisan Community

It's very possible that this site is already ridiculously popular within the crafting community, and that I have been living under a rock. But, I knew nothing about it until recently, and after some serious browsing I fell in deep, deep lust with this site. Within 5 minutes I found 3 things that I HAD to buy:

Of course, you're like, "patterns? Big whoop.." And that leaves me to respond with, "$3.50 total for all 3 plus shipping!!!" Then you stare at me, mouth gaping, with a glazed look that indicates your extreme disbelief and impending euphoria over me finding such an amazing bargain and sharing this coveted information with you.

I think it's pretty obvious that I will be spending most of my time today taking photos and listing outfits for sale on the site. I'm going to dump Etsy like a sack of used tampons, and start my new endeavor as an Art Fire groupie. So, be prepared for a new listing link on the right side of this page showcasing my spring children's clothes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Frilly Frosted Cupcake

How much pink is too much pink??

This much pink:
Egad. I'm going to have frothy pink nightmares after this.

I bought the heart fabric on super clearance awhile back and after experiencing the linen-esque texture, I was dying to use it. But, I had no coordinating fabric until yesterday. I found this M'Liss Rae (more on her at the end of this post) print on sale, and even though I retardedly forgot the swatch of heart print to match it to, it turned out to be the perfect companion. A little too perfect, actually. Almost like twins with a diffent hair cut. Too much pink!!

But, I did get to practice my new applique technique on this dress, and that made me super psyched!!

Until I started sewing the applique on, that is. My generally agreeable sewing machine threw a mini-fit over the applique pattern I chose and decided that it did not want to make my life easier. So, my stitchery looks a little like I was sewing during a cab ride in New York:

I know that my imperfections aren't obvious. That's why I chose the pattern and fabrics the way that I did. I know, genius!! I'm confident that I will get better with practice and I can graduate to bolder images.

Total time was about 3 hours, and the total cost was a little higher than normal at around $3. Still not bad!

Now, M'Liss Rae.... Listen lady, I appreciate your terrific print that was vital in helping me complete dress #7 for Pretty Pretty Princess, but we need to chat about your name. Dropping the "e" and "a" from your name is ridiculous. An apostrophe is not an acceptable character in a proper name. It's like when Prince changed his moniker to that androgynous symbol. It's confusing and totally uncool. So, Melissa, I stongly urge you to rethink your marketing strategy because, quite frankly, it annoys me enough to not want to buy your products in the future. Think about it.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I have been hording this fabric for awhile just waiting for a bolt of inspiration to slam in to my brain, and when I saw the pictures of my new niece (who will be hereby referred to as Princess Peanut) I knew she had to be draped in this like a miniature greek goddess.

It turns out that I don't own a "greek goddess" draping pattern, so I used an old standby style that I love for 9-12mo. old girls. The only problem is that, upon completion, I felt like this is the MOST boring dress I have ever made. I mean, the fabric is cute, but so what? Where's the pizzazz? Where's the embellishment possibilities?

I, pathetically, added a decorative stitch that does nothing to excite the overall appearance.

I am totally bummed by this dress. Granted, it is a dress for an infant, but I still wanted it to be a little more special than just some fabric sewn into a pretty shape. I have some ribbon that would have been nice, but the only appropriate place for it is the hem, and I decided that would be even more creatively disturbing than my fancy stitchery. *sigh* I think I need to spend a few hours in the notions department of the fabric store to recharge my inspiration...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Funky Flower Girl

Dress #6 for Pretty Pretty Princess is complete. I totally adore this dress pattern because it is super quick and very easy, and I think the style has just the right amount of twirliness to please a little girl.

I realized, after finishing this dress, that I've gone a little ribbon-mad lately. I'm hoping to curb my ribbon obsession with a new applique addiction that I am forming. Once I buy some fusible webbing be prepared for an onslought of applique'd outfits!!

Here's the ribbon I chose for this fabric:

And the total picture:

I think the ribbon gives it a "sporty" feel and it creates a cool contrast with the funky flowers.

Total time was only 2 1/2 hours (no annoying straps to turn!) and the Total Cost ended up being about $2 (the fabric was on clearance, and the ribbon was FREE!).

This is how the Pretty Pretty Princess will look in the dress...(I made one just like it to sell on Etsy last year, but she loved it so much that I gave it to her instead.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

T-Skirt: Round 2..

Why didn't they tell us in math class that the subject matter would be useful when we are planning on making really cute skirts for ourselves? I may have actually paid attention and done my own work! But, alas, these skirts keep proving that I am terrible at math. After the first t-skirt, I sized down the pattern and was much more careful with waistband measurement. But, it was still TOO BIG!! I ended up having to make a casing and insert a drawstring. At least it isn't elastic this time, but still. The waist looks a little jacked up (which is why there are no pictures of it....again).

I think it still turned out pretty cute. And, I put the drawstring on the inside, so there's no "bulky belly syndrome." I really need to enlist my resident Hottie to help me with the math so that the next one turns out better. These skirts are too comfortable for me to give up because of some measurement issues.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Babies on Fire...

So, my Sister in law brought a new little princess into the world last week, and I was inspired to make her a little "Flame On!" outfit.

Let me just preface by saying that this is the first pattern I ever bought, and I forgot how much I HATED IT!! It wasn't until I started sewing that I remembered why this abomination of a poorly produced pattern was at the bottom of the pile. For example, I despise turning straps that are the size of spaghetti noodles:

Also, see that little bubble effect near the band on the left? Yeah, the pattern measurements suck.

But, I think the complete outfit looks okay. I'm only in "like" with it, though. Oh, and IGNORE the dots near the pocket. I have to wash the dress, and those will go away. Stop looking at them. Stop it!!

Total time: Who knows? The straps made me walk away from this in fury more than once, so I have no idea how long it finally took me to put it together.
Total cost: Previously used pattern, previously used fabric, free ribbon.... I guess, $0!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Girl on Fire

Okay, this post is a quickie since I have to get The Bear to the bus..

After using black fabric in the last dress I finished, I was still feeling the need for a little darkness. So, I pulled out some completely mismatched patterns (flames and flowers) and totally dug the way they coordinated:

This outfit ended up being a 2 piece rather than a dress, and I am thrilled with the results. I kept the embellishment to a minimum, and I completely excluded fancy stitchery. The flames are powerful enough as is:

The shorts seemed boring with just the black flower print fabric, so I added some racing stripes up the sides in the flame print:

And this is how the 2 pieces look separately. All I have left is to put the shorts on Pretty Pretty Princess so that I can close up the elastic on the waistband.

It may be a little much for a "girly girl," but I'm confident that my niece is badass enough to pull this off. This is what I would dress my own girl in if I had one.
Total time was 3 hours since the pattern was already cut and the sewing was super quick. Plus, Sergio was a champ, and ALL of the exposed seams are serged! VICTORY IS MINE!!
I have no idea what the cost is since I bought these fabrics last year, and the pattern was previously used.
I know I said I was making 5-ish outfits, but I still have 2 1/2 weeks until her birthday, and LOADS of ideas still floating around in my head. What will I make next???

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Black & White & Buttons

Dress #4 is officially complete. I have had this black with white fleur de lis-ush fabric remnant for ages, and I thought I would put it to use. Since black and white has such a formal feel, I tried to create a little whimsy appropriate for a 2 year old's dress. This is my button caterpillar:

And the dress in full ( I hate this picture. I wish I wasn't too lazy to bring the camera upstairs because then I wouldn't have to hang it on a chair.)

A close-up of the top of the dress. I obviously bought a bulk package of heart-shaped buttons..

The rick rack was really an afterthought. It went on during assembly, but it wasn't part of my original plan. I'm glad I added it, but, generally speaking, rick rack is so tacky.
I have no idea how long this took since I didn't get to do the dress in one day. But, it couldn't have taken me more than 4 hours. I used the serger on all of the seams, and I think that added time since I'm a dork and CONTINUED to forget to lift the spool holder thingy, so threads got stuck and broke and I had to re-thread. *sigh* I will get better with that beast, I just know it.
Total cost is on par with the others. About $2
On to the next....