Monday, April 7, 2014

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

And here is my second swimsuit with fabric I designed and had printed! I use the word "designed" loosely with this one because while I did create the pattern in Illustrator, I copied the idea from this print. I'm not selling this fabric or anything so I felt okay recreating it for personal use.

I added the black fringe along the top and the contrasting black ties. There are so many ways to embellish a swimsuit. They are one of my favorite things to make.

And what is this next pose all about? I can't even control her posing these days.

Check out the first suit I designed fabric for here. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Flamingo Halter Suit

So, here I am sewing along with Project Run & Play again, even though I am a new mother of a brand new baby girl (will share pics soon) and over three weeks sleep deprived. I can't even manage to do a load of laundry, but when you must sew, you must sew. I've had this flamingo suit in the works now for a couple of months and when I saw the first theme for this season of PR&P was Put Me in The Zoo, this project moved to the front of the queue.

So I have a connection with someone who has a fabric sublimation printer that prints specifically on spandex/swimwear fabric. I love making swimsuits and the thought of designing my own fabric for suits is thrilling! Because I have my swimsuit pattern digitized already, I simply bought this flamingo image off of Shutterstock, and fit it onto my pattern piece on Photoshop how I wanted, then had it printed off! I also printed off the solid coral back piece to match.

Since week three's theme is to design your own fabric, I will be sharing another swimsuit design I have in the works! Hopefully... 

How do you mothers of 3+ children get ANYTHING done?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shades of Me- Denim Blue

A couple months ago when I heard about the Shades of Me series being hosted by Petit a Petit and Mouse House Creations and their goal to sew more for themselves in 2014, I got super excited! It has been my goal for a long time now to sew more for myself, but for some reason it is out of my comfort zone. I knew participating in this series would give me the motivation to do it. In the midst of my excitement I admit I forgot at first that I was largely pregnant, growing only larger, and would need to make a look to fit my third-trimester self.

So my goals for this look were to...

1. Use my assigned color, blue.

2. Make something that I could wear being largely pregnant and also post-partum and beyond.

3. Get the look sewn early enough that I could take pictures of myself before puffy face and ankles took over my body.

Some of these things were accomplished :).

When I was able to sign up for the color blue I felt I really scored, since it was my number one choice. But I actually had a hard time deciding what I was going to do with blue. I am in the midst of a fabric shopping hiatus and really didn't want to buy any fabric for this look. Once I decided what kind of dress I wanted to make, I searched my stash for anything blue, and came up with this super stretchy denim jegging material.

I had my doubts about a jegging-material dress, but us preggos, we like us some stretch. And it sure turned out comfortable.

The top of the dress I drafted from a fitted non-maternity tee of mine then just attached the midi skirt.

I live midi-length dresses.

When my bump is gone I plan to take in the waist just a bit at the side seams and the front of the dress should fall at just the right length. You know what else I really love? Mid-length sleeves. I do them all the time when I sew for my daughter. So I guess I have a thing for mid-length in my designs.

After sewing the finishing hem on the dress, I eagerly tried it on and instinctively my hands groped around for pockets to hide in. Why hadn't I thought of pockets?! Pockets in dresses take it up like 15 notches in my book and everything else was perfect about the dress, so it had to be done. I opened up the side seams and inserted some pockets and my hands were so happy.

Since I had used up every bit of jegging denim, I used some striped fabric for the pockets. It's kinda fun.

Making this dress and sewing for myself was so rewarding. My husband called me a nerd when I told him it gave me "a sewing high". The day after completing this dress I cut out two more of these dresses in different fabrics and whipped those out, almost doubling the size of my dwindling maternity closet. (Nothing fits me anymore! And I try not to sport the belly midriff look if at all possible.)

And guess what else was accomplished in all of this? I have sort-of maternity pictures! I am not one for a maternity photo shoot and definitely feel much more comfortable being behind the camera than in front of. Someday I think I will really like looking back at that belly though.

Want to keep track of all the lovely bloggers participating? Every day is a new color! And everyone can join the sew along and get that "sewing high" by sewing something for yourself. Follow along...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Romper Refashion

For refashion week I cut up an old favorite dress of mine. It's so old that I wore it in high school. I still love it but it has a couple of patched up tears on the back and some stains as well. Since I've got about five more weeks until this baby makes her appearance, it felt about time to finally start sewing for her! The rosebud fabric felt just a little too sweet for me though so I added the green stripe piecing to make it more modern and fun. I also sewed the romper up in a 6-12mo size since my babies don't wear anything smaller for very long. I picture her wearing this throughout summer! You get one picture of the romper since the back looks the same as the front and I've got no little model yet to help it look even more adorable.

Here is the dress I started out with...

There was plenty of fabric to work with, even working around the patches and the stains. Since the fabric is thin, I also cut out the lining from the dress and lined the romper with it. I cut off the pretty clear buttons from the front bodice to use with a different project sometime.

Goodbye old dress, hello my summertime baby girl!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Girl on Fire

The theme this week at Project Run & Play is Let's Go to the Movies, one of the themes used back in the season I competed on. Last time I chose one of Drew's favorite movies, Willy Wonka. This time I chose to make a look based off of my favorite movie of 2013, Catching Fire. I walked out of the theater wishing that I could go back in and watch it again. It was great.

There was also really great fashion in the movie. It would be fun to make a look based off of trends in the Capitol, especially the colorful Effie. But I chose to make a look based off of Katniss. Besides the beautiful gowns she wore and the skin tight arena uniform, Katniss wore clothes that were mostly functional and neutral. As she travels through the victory tour, her clothes become more fashionable, but still remains true to her aesthetic. In the picture below on the right you can see where I drew my inspiration for my tunic with the leather sleeves and hip pieces.

Last week I mentioned that I am not spending any money on fabric, notions, etc, at this time. I have so much money invested in fabric that just sits in my closets and drawers. Since we are planning a big move in the summer I have to decide what to do with my hoard and the last thing I want to do is add to it! So to make this look with what I had on hand I went through my tub of clothes meant to be refashioned. Meaning, I don't wear it (maybe have never worn it) but someday I could possibly turn it into something else.

I shared some of my thoughts on refashioning back in this post, but basically despite some design challenges it presents, refashioning or upcycling is very rewarding for me. First up I turned this Old Navy clearance dress I've had for probably four years (and wore zero times) into a little tunic. The upper waist gathering in the dress fell perfectly at her hips, then I gathered in the neckline, cut off the sleeves, brought in the side seams a bunch, and cut it short. To make the sleeves and hip pieces I used some brown vinyl I had in my stash then just stitched lines across the pieces to give them a quilted look.

Next up are her black look-like-leather leggings. I bought these for me for $5 online thinking that I could wear them because they are called Super Stretch Treggings and the fabric is only treated to look like leather. If you follow me on instagram (you can if you like, I am @chelisepatterson), then you might know that I am pregnant. Largely pregnant, in fact. Only about six weeks left to go! After my third pregnancy you'd think I'd learn that I can't fit into my old size pants/shorts for at least 6-9 months after having baby. So of course I tried pulling up these "stretchy" pants and they didn't make it past my butt. Ah well, they were only $5. And after about 20 minutes they looked so dang cute on Drew!

I used my regular leggings pattern but cut more width around the leg because the fabric was not as super stretchy as it claimed to be (my butt will attest to that). I cut the pieces from the bottom of the pant leg to keep the hem, quickly sewed up the seams, cut off the stretchy waistband, downsized it, then attached it back on to the new pants. They fit her like a glove. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll be jealous of how cute everything looks on her!

Some more views of my Girl on Fire...

Next week the actual challenge is refashioning. I sort of combined the two challenges in one this week, but I do have something else in mind for next week with another dress I found in my old clothes tub. And this time it will be for the new soon-to-arrive girl in our family!

I would have loved to have another boy to steal my heart the way my son has, but having another girl to sew for is a real dream come true for me!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter's Night dress

I'm sewing along with another season of Project Run & Play that starts today and the first challenge is a Winter Wonderland theme. I remember the very first time I experienced a real winter with snow when my husband started medical school in Iowa City many years ago. Growing up in Phoenix it's not like I had never seen snow in my life, but I had never experienced looking out the front window of my home at a peaceful, fluffy, evening snowfall. It seemed magical to me. The days after of brown slush and ice... not so magical. But I get it. I get "Winter Wonderland".

Now that we have been living back in the Valley of the Sun, winter is full of beautiful sun and fresh outdoors air. It's the time of year we are able to actually be outside and not melt. We do own jackets and long sleeves and I think a pair of thin mittens at the bottom of our dress up box, but most of the time those are unnecessary. My look for this theme needed to be something that Drew could wear here in our kind of winter, but I wanted to evoke the feeling of a peaceful "real" winter's night.

And maybe most importantly with this challenge (and with each challenge I actually finish in this season of PR&P) I am refusing to spend even a penny on any of my looks. Not so much as a button, zipper, or spool of thread. We are preparing for a cross-country move this summer (to Iowa City again of all places) and I either need to toss out my hoards of fabric or put them to use. So with my goal to evoke a winter's night feel and only using what I had on hand, I came up with this raglan chiffon number.

I was so tempted to run to Joann's to buy a spool of gray thread for all the topstitching on the dress since my spool of gray was just about gone, but NO. Not a penny. I had to use a turquoise thread that definitely doesn't match the royal blue chiffon, but guess what... you can't even tell. And we all know one spool of gray thread turns into a bag of freshly cut fabric, several cards of buttons, a couple bottles of craft paint, and who-knows-what from a place like Joanns. I have a problem.

This dress is very loved and has been worn much in its short existence. Next winter we will actually be in a Winter Wonderland, but for now I am enjoying every sunny minute Phoenix has to give.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!