I signed up for Me-Made-May!

I just signed up at So, Zo for the Me-Made Challenge.

I, Mary Reed at https://ladyreed.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear 1 me-made piece each week for the duration of May 2014.

Bonus personal challenge: I will wear/carry 1 me-made accessory each week for the duration of May 2014.

I know, not exactly ground breaking, but seeing as I have only three me-made items in my wardrobe, I think anything else besides that would be wishful thinking. This gives me room to be successful and go beyond what I think I can do.

I added the bonus challenge because while fast fashion clothing gets all the (negative) attention, fast fashion includes bags and jewelry as well.

Besides, accessories are fun and easy to make, so it’s win-win all around!

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Baby Wearing in DIY Ring Sling

DIY Ring Sling Baby Wearing

A friend of mine asked a group of us if we wanted to get together and make ring slings. Of course, I said yes! I love sewing and I’ve been wanting to try baby wearing to see if it helps on the fussy/no napping days. We weren’t able to coordinate a time to get together; instead she sent me a link to the tutorial she uses, here. She had the rings already and I bought one from her.

I’m still getting used to it, and Baby isn’t sure how she likes it either. I’m still practicing with it and I like it a lot so far. Once Baby can hold her head up better, I think she’ll like it a little more, too. In this picture, she’s actually screaming her head off. 🙂

DIY Ring Sling Baby Wearing

DIY Ring Sling Baby Wearing

 

Becuase Baby Girl had gotten her shots on Friday, she was extra fussy. My mom’s birthday was Saturday and we were going out to eat as a family. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to try to get this sling finished and use it to keep baby content at a restaurant and hopefully keep the loud baby from annoying others. Since DH had class in the morning and I had errands to run when he got back, I ended up with about 3 hrs to sew this. Fortunately, it only ended up taking me about 2 to 2.5 hrs. For me, that’s a quick sew! Here’s a couple things I did that I thought worked well that were specifically said to do in the tutorial.

Because the fabric was two different widths, I laid them down folds lined up, wider fabric on the bottom. Then, because I was in a hurry and preciseness was what suffered, I simply lined my 6.5″ wide quilting ruler on the smaller fabric’s edge and cut along it.

Cutting fabric for Ring Sling

Cutting fabric for Ring Sling

Next time saver was to pin the right sides together as I was cutting. Before I scooted the fabric down to cut the next section, I lifted the top layer out of the way and pinned the two right sides together, leaving the bottom layer out. When I was all done cutting and I’d squared up the two ends, I simply shook out the fabric, holding the right sides together and pinned the other side. Quick and easy.

Pinning right sides of fabric together while cutting

Pinning right sides of fabric together while cutting

I also finished the ends differently than the tutorial says. This wasn’t any easier or quicker, I just think it gave it a better finish. After turning the whole thing inside out, I did a quick iron on the seams and then top stitched around the entire piece (not just three sides like the tutorial says). That gave it a really sharp, clean edge on all sides. Then, instead of folding down the raw edge 1/2″, I simply folded the 5″ down and pressed, then continued with the instructions, lining up the finished edge with the pressed line. That was probably as clear as mud, so let me know if you have any questions.

My friend recommended that I make it only 28″ wide instead of the tutorial’s 33″ instructions. I’m glad I did (well, as close to 28″ as possible with my quick cut method) as I can barely move all the fabric through the ring as it is. That might be something to keep in mind if you’re making one yourself.

February Lucky Stars BOM finished

February Lucky Stars BOM

February Lucky Stars BOM

I think part of why I like to color in the blocks before I make them is that it removes some of the ambiguity from the process. I’ve had several blocks that I thought would come out one way but ended up being very different from how I imagined them. Since I’m using solid fabrics for these blocks, they really dolook almost identical to how I colored it in. That always makes me happy. Maybe as I quilt more, I’ll get better at imagining the blocks. Or, more likely, I’ll just get better at accepting that the blocks look a little different than I thought they would 🙂

Until then, I’m still going to color. March block is being colored today!

 

Don’t Call Me Betsy - the 2014 Lucky Stars BOM Club

Yellow And Black Easter Skirt

I’m adding a new life first to my list of new things this year, albeit a much smaller one than others of this year. This Easter was the first time I sewed something intentionally as an Easter outfit. My mom sewed one or two for me in my life, but this was my first Easter sewing. I highly enjoyed it! Baby Girl is wearing a RTW outfit that I had to buy as soon as I saw it. Mom and Baby coordinating outfits was too cute to pass up for her first Easter. 🙂

Mom and Baby Easter Dresses

Mom and Baby Easter Dresses

Skirt Details

I made this skirt from Craftsy’s class Design and Sew an A-line skirt. This was my first pattern drafting adventure, as well, so there were several firsts here. To get the fit right, I had to do a couple muslins (post-baby belly makes for some challenges), but it was worth it! The outer fabric is a linen fabric and it’s fully lined on the inside. The closure is a side invisible zipper. Since this was my first invisible zipper in a fully lined garment, I also referenced the Craftsy class Mastering the Zipper.

Easter Skirt Back

Easter Skirt Back

Inside Zip

Inside Zip

Open Zipper

Open Zipper

Invvvisible Zipper Closed

Invvvisible Zipper Closed

 

February Lucky Stars BOM Inspiration

Coloring February Blocks
Coloring February Blocks

Coloring February Blocks

I’m finally ready to start the February block in the Lucky Stars BOM! I wasn’t planning on doing any more coloring of the block since the January ones I did were just to play around with it. But I decided to go ahead for a couple reasons. One, it was fun! I loved seeing what I could come up with. Two, since I didn’t know exactly what color I wanted where, coloring it in was the safest (think: least wasting fabric way) to try it out. I”m glad I did, because I tried a couple variations before I settled on the one I liked. (I also renamed this block from January, from Alternate Orbit to Abstract Orbit, but that is really only meaningful to me.. because it makes me happy to name them…) After finishing that one, it wasn’t easy to talk myself into doing the rest of them as well. I decided not to redo my least favorite color scheme, Primary Rings. If I every want to, I’ll go back and do it

I love them all again, just like I did in January, but if I were to put them in favorite order, they would be a little different than January. Of course, Abstract Orbit is fabulous. I think my second favorite this month is actually Burst. I’m still not completely satisfied with Illusion, so I may tweak that one sometime. Enjoy!

Abstract Orbit

Abstract Orbit

Illusion

Illusion

Fractured Blades

Fractured Blades

Blades

Blades

Bubble Gum

Bubble Gum

Burst

Burst

Thin Pin

Thin Pin

Don’t Call Me Betsy - the 2014 Lucky Stars BOM Club

January Lucky Stars block finished

January Block - Abstract Orbit

January Block – Alternative Orbit

I have finally completed the January block for the Lucky Stars BOM. In January I knew I wouldn’t have time to sew the block, so I decided to use Photoshop and color it in, just for fun. I posted all the ones I did here. From those, I made the Alternative Orbit block. My favorite was Illusion but I forgot to write down fabric requirements, etc, before I went to the store, so I just got the colors for the only one I could remember. I’m glad I did, because I love this one! I’ve got a layout in mind for all the blocks that I think will set off the abstractness of the blocks nicely. (Assuming I ever make it that far, which is a pretty big assumption…)

This went together fairly easily except the final center seam. You can kind of see in the picture where it’s a bit weird. I don’t think I’m going to redo this as of now. It’s a pretty tiny issue and I think it will disappear in a full quilt with quilting on top of it. If it still bothers me when the other blocks are done, maybe I’ll fix it then.

Now, on to February! Dare I hope I acutally catch up?!

Don’t Call Me Betsy - the 2014 Lucky Stars BOM Club

Shiny Maternity Top

My brother got married at the end of February. I was nine months pregnant at the time and was huge! I wanted to have something nice to wear, but seeing as this could be the only time I would probably wear this outfit, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this. During a pattern sale at Joann’s, I got Burda Style 7320 and decided to make view B, but sleeveless.

Originally, I planned to make a muslin shirt out of some crepe backed satin my mom had left over from a project and then a full dress out of some fabric that I got on clearance. I made my alterations to the paper pattern and tested a couple muslins (more on that later) but then ran out of time. I decided to just make the shirt from the fabric I got from Mom and call it good. Actually, it took me so long to get the alterations done that I didn’t think I was going to be able to get the shirt done at all, but insomnia had a silver lining (the only time ever!) and I woke up at 4:30 the day of the wedding and was able to finish it when I should have been sleeping.

Ok, so back to the pattern. Based on the packaging, I should have been a 24. When I cut a muslin of that, however, it fit horribly. Most of it was too big, except the bust which was still too small. So, I went back and used a size 22 and adjusted from there. The alterations I needed were: full bust, dowager hump (hate that name), and sway back. I think in a normal pattern I would have just done a short torso adjustment, but the way the FBA worked with the princess seams, a sway back worked better for me. I did three rounds of adjustments and two muslins and the fit was perfect.

I didn’t have to adjust the belly at all, which may mean for others, it would be too big. Like I said, I was huge! I know all pregnant women feel that way, but the doc was estimating a 9-10 lb. baby at that point. (She was born at 8 lbs. 13 oz., so thankfully she was estimating high) and I was carrying her all out front.

Overall, the shirt turned out very nice. I love the feel of the satin and the shininess of it looked fancy while actually being very comfortable. Since I was nine months pregnant, the fabric might have been too warm, but choosing the sleeveless option balanced it out nicely. I would make this again, if I needed to.

Enough talking, here’s the pictures. These aren’t the greatest because I almost forgot to take them at all. Just as I was starting to get ready for bed after a long day at the wedding and receptions, I got my husband to take these in the kitchen. Hopefully you can still see at least a little of the details.

How I Wore It

How I Wore It

I had a black sweater (cardigan?) on with a black skirt, black leggings and boots. I know it’s lots of black to a wedding, but it’s suppose to be slimming…..

Front Details

Front Details

I can’t believe I actually got the seams of the princess top to line up with the pleats in the bottom. Whohoo!

Back Details

Back Details

The back looks like it’s pulling funny here, but it’s just how I’m standing. It actually does fit very nicely.

This top is the first thing I’ve finished sewing for myself in who knows how long. It’s also the absolutely first time I’ve every done alterations on a pattern. Overall, I call it a total win!