Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cake.

Holy cow it's March! We are 1/6th of the way through the calendar year. Crazy! I feel like this year only just started. Regardless, I feel like I've been such an inconsistent blogger this past year that it wasn't really worth doing a year in review/goals for 2015 post like everyone else. Now that we are this far into the year, I have been thinking more about the rest of 2015. I am in a classroom that I feel much better prepared for, I am no longer taking any online courses, my computer is broken (no Internet to waste the evening away on), and basketball season is now sadly over, which means that this year I will have a lot more time to spend sewing. 
(At first I wore this plain, now I love how it looks with a collared shirt)
This has led to me doing much more thinking about what it is that I actually want to sew. I love pretty dresses and I have a ton of fabric just itching to be made into pretty dresses. And to be honest, I actually do get a lot of wear out of the dresses both at work, and out and about. Even in the winter I will throw on some tights and head out in a flirty frosting skirt. BUT. When it feels like minus thirty with the windchill, all I want is cake. I want all the Brontes, and Lindens, and Ensis Tees, and Archers (LANA!!!!!!!!!), and, of course, Hot Cocoas. I want all the lovely graphic, and yes, even plain fuzzy fabrics, and I want all the ribbing too.
(Surprisingly not the most ridiculous photo taken.)
This sweater was an attempt to ease some of that neediness screaming for all the warmth. Let's call it my Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows. Warm and soothing for the soul, with a little bit of sugary sweetness for kicks.
(Without button up...looks like something is missing)
I made this, from cutting it out to finishing it, all on one lazy Sunday, which for me, is a big deal. And it wasn't even a rushed deal. I was doing dishes and laundry and taking breaks like nobody's business!
I wanted a replacement for my original Hot Cocoa, which I literally wear the heck out of. Like I've said, it has grease splatter on the front and I don't care, I still wear that sucker. Nothing new to report, I made the same change of lengthening it by about 3 inches. I've already worn the heck out of this one too. It must be love.

("Please, just put me down.")
On a very vaguely related note, if you are part of the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge: less than two weeks to go! Weeeeee! Don't forget we have prizes!
OOH! And let's get back into this: best picture award goes to..........

("Hey, can you get in there so I can test the lighting?"..."Sure!")
Please do tell: what are you into right now, frosting, or cake?

{Completely unrelated but hilarious...Rolling Sarcophagi}

Saturday, 28 February 2015

In search of half-assery.

Holla! Hope you are having a good week. I was a little (read: A LOT), overwhelmed at work this week and couldn't wait for basketball to be done so I could have some proper evenings back. For like a week because other things will get busy starting Tuesday.Oh well, that's adulthood or something, something.
Have you ever felt particularly smug about a blog post title? I feel pretty smug about this one. I was originally going to call it In search of perfection, just like the Heston Blumenthal show (complete with the theme song going in my head), but then I realized that that would be a complete load of crock. I mean, almost everything I did with this one was as far away as possible from doing things the right way, so there you go. In search of half-assery. Eat your heart out!
I want to talk t-shirts. Back even before I start sewing, I noticed something about my wardrobe (and I'm not very observant so this is a big deal**). I noticed that I had a lot of pretty, detailed tops, and a lot of pretty, detailed bottoms, which was great, but that when I wanted to wear a pretty detailed skirt, say, I really had nothing to wear it with because everything else I owned would be competing with all the detailing. This was a problem and so I started to buy (really shitty) plain tops to match with my detail-overloaded bottoms (and vice-versa). Now that I am sewing, all my plain tops are basically rags, and I want to replace them with quality me-mades.

**I once asked my mom when she painted the upstairs bathroom. She told me about a year ago. :|
To start, I was too cheap to start with an actual T-shirt pattern. So that's kind of a problem, but not too huge of a problem (on it's own). I used the Nettie since I already had one in my stash from my Madam-Mix-a-Nettie. Then, because my Nettie dress was rather tight, especially in the armpits, I decided I would go up in size. But then I had the brilliant idea to cut out the biggest size and just take it in. So, clearly, problems happened. The fit is okay, but it is still a bit too tight in the arm pits, which you can see in the picture above.
I used my leftover navy ponte knit from my original Nettie, and bound the sleeves and hem with some Liberty bias tape that I picked up at a local quilting shop. If I'm being honest, I don't think I should have added the binding. As we all know, I'm not really into florals, and tiny florals even less so.
I feel like by adding the bias tape, I just ended up making this one of those detailed tops I was trying to avoid. I find it hard to strike a balance between "interesting enough to wear on its own" and "can be used as a backdrop for fancier things". I don't think this one checks both of those boxes.
I also feel like the sleeves could be a tiny bit longer. I like three-quarter length, but these are more half-length sleeves. They kind of sit weird.

Having said all that, this shirt has gotten a fair bit of wear as a layering piece. I usually throw a cardigan over it and head into work like that, so I suppose that's okay. Overall, I think that this make could be summed up as:
"Meh." Since making this, I've finally decided that if I want to make some cake pieces, I need to stop half-assing things and just pick up the pattern I originally thought would make a great staple, so I've picked up the Bronte pattern, and after my dog lady sewing, I plan on making up quite a few of those. Actually, I'm pretty pumped and think that the Bronte can be interesting enough to wear on its own, AND simple enough to be used as a backdrop for other clothing items. Win-win. :)

[On a side note, if you have joined our Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge, just a reminder that the deadline is March 15 and we have four amazing prize packs! (In case you missed our prize pack posts, click here and here to see what you could win).]

What was your biggest fail as a result of half-assing your sewing? I'd love to know that I'm not alone in this!

{A friend's dog and a great song!}

Saturday, 21 February 2015

MOAR SPONSORS!

Hey all! We are pretty excited to announce today that we have two more sponsors joining us for the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge! If you haven't yet had a chance to check out all of our amazing prizes and discounts, please click here to see the original post.
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Our first new sponsor is Michael Levine (lowpricefabric.com). I am pretty excited about this one for two reasons. One: this fabric right here.
Do yourself a favour, click through the link, and then click to zoom in on the fabric. And then read it. Bwahahaha! Amazing!

Reason number two: they have a ton of patterns for dogs, including some that allow you to refashion old clothes into clothes for your dog! Recycling, dogs, and sewing!? Yes, please!

In addition to generously donating a $50 gift card to one of our participants (!), Michael Levine is also offering all participants a 10% discount on all online orders until April 30th with the code pup10, so be sure to head over to their website and type "dog" into the search bar to check out all of the other fabric, patterns, and buttons for dog-related sewing (And then check out the rest of the website to see what you can get with that $50 gift card!).
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Our second new sponsor is Gaylen of G Marie Sews. Gaylen has kindly offered to send one participant a doggy prize pack that includes a dog-themed picture frame, bookmark, and fabric! How sweet is that?! If you don't already follow her blog, you really should check it out. She makes some seriously sweet dresses, and you can check out all of her adorable dogs while there!
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Now, you may be wondering, which prize packs we are adding this to. The answer is none of them. Tanya, Sophie-Lee, and myself have decided that these two generous prizes will be grouped together to make a fourth prize pack! Huzzah!
While we are talking sponsors, I thought I would let you know that TuxedoCatButtons has added a few new dog themed buttons:
So be sure to take advantage of the discount code DOGLOVERS for 30% off your orders.
Secondly, the needle case from Kerso for prize pack two is complete. Check it out:

And last, but not least, my custom dog brooch from MrZhuo came in a week after I placed my order. Here is one of the photos I sent her:
And here is what I was sent in the mail:
Truly, my crappy pictures don't do it justice. I've worn this to work a few times and everyone comments on it (and a few people have inquired about getting their own). Want to be a really crazy dog lady? I highly recommend. :)

In the meantime, have you checked out our Flickr pool? Your amazing makes have been coming in, and I am so impressed! If you only have a few minutes to spare, check out the leggings on Ginger Makes, and the Michael Miller dress on The Recycled Haberdashery, you won't be disappointed.
That's all for today. I'd love to stay and gush about all the amazing things that are going on with the challenge but I need to do some planning for work and some major cleaning in the kitchen today (or basically, we won't be eating this weekend).

Toodles :)
{So true. Thanks, Rochelle!}