Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Announcing a Contest!

A contest? Yes, a contest! Why? Because I can.
The announcement will be made tomorrow since tomorrow marks the beginning of my favorite month of the year. The announcement will be made here and on Facebook, and the contest will run all month long. **Squee** Just another reason September is awesome, right? (The answer to this question is always "yes").
See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Look what I sent!

Okay, so it arrived in Canada the same day my outfit arrived here, and I am a slack blogger for not putting my pictures up here yet.
My swap recipient filled out this questionnaire (I edited out personal info), and upon seeing her answers, I knew I could either challenge myself or go with the easy one. If you know me, you know I don't always take the easy way.

Which doll are you hoping to receive an outfit for? Elizabeth or Kirsten
What kind of outfit do you absolutely NOT want to receive? nothing really comes to mind
Keeping in mind that not everyone is able to sew for all time periods, which time periods would you prefer your outfit be for? either for Elizabeth (colonial) or Kirsten
What would be your dream outfit? a very nice dress/apron cap for either Kirsten or Elizabeth as these two of my dollies have no extra clothes
Do you have any fabric allergies or are you allergic to anything else that might be used in a swap? no
Is there anything else you would like me to consider when I match you up? my favorite colors are purple and blue

For those of my readers that have no idea what the dolls names are, Elizabeth is based on the Colonial era and her family are royalists. Kirsten is a Swedish immigrant during the Pioneer era.

Now, I've sewn for Kirsten many times. I think I've made everything from her Pleasant Company pattern set, including a short sleeve version of her school dress. So, this could have easily been an easy out. 

Elizabeth on the other hand would be the challenge. In all the 15 years I've been making doll clothes I've never made something from the Colonial era. So, there was a challenge that I needed to take head on.

So, out came the pattern stash. I had Felicity's Pleasant Company patterns (for the non AG folks, Felicity and Elizabeth are friends in their stories and Felicity is the main character and these patterns were released and retired way before the Elizabeth doll was released), and a few other patterns to choose from. This is what I chose:
McCall's 3627 (image borrowed from McCall's website)

I wanted the view in the lower left hand corner but to pair it with the hat and bag in the view on the lower right hand corner. 

Then it was off to the fabric stash. The fabric stash vastly out numbers my pattern stash. When the questionnaire stated her two favorite colors are purple and blue, well that was just the icing on the cake since those are my favorite colors as well. So, 17 boxes of blue fabric later I had a handle of print to choose from and a few solids. Matching the solids to the prints helped me narrow it down some more. The final elimination round came down to which fabric combinations looked more Summery since after all the Sewing Swap was Summer Fun themed.

All went well; so well in fact, that I made two tops, and if I would have had the time I would have made a second dress out of the solid blue for even more mix and match fun. So instead I sent my extra fabric along with the outfit and a card letting my recipient know which pattern I used and how much fun I had making the outfit.

Here is the link to my recipients pictures (showing th outfit on an Elizabeth doll since I do not have an Elizabeth doll yet): http://picasaweb.google.com/kizziescreations/SummerSwap2010#

And here are a few of my pictures, plus a link to some more I took before I mailed off the outfit.

The skirt

The skirt with top #1 (which has handsewn pearl ball trim on the seams on the bodice and on the sleeve cuffs)

The skirt with top #2 (which has lace all the way around the neckline and sleeve cuffs)

The bum roll! (Ties around the waist with the tie being in the front as a way to make the hips bigger so the dress with poof out more)

And here is the link to my album which has more pictures including close ups of the handsewn trim: http://picasaweb.google.com/Gomunk/AGPTSewingSwap#

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Look what I got!

My outfit from my Sewing Swap on AG Playthings arrived today. Well, technically yesterday, but a CERTAIN SOMEONE slept through the mailman knocking on the door while I was at the gym. So, after some morning chaos, I finally got to head to the post office and pick up my package. Here's what I got, a 3 in 1 outfit for my 1904 Nellie:
1. Bathing Costume

2. School Outfit

3. After School outfit

Such attention to detail! I love the striped seersucker, the embroidery, the buttons, and the trim.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not quite a month, HA!

Well, it's been almost a month, but not quite, so I am doing better about my blogging.
I just mailed out a completed Mix and Match outfit for a sewing swap over on AG Playthings. I thoroughly enjoyed making the outfit. I used a pattern and actually followed the directions. Weird, I know. Usually I make some modifications hear and there and laugh at the directions, but not this time. In my swap recipient's questionnaire she gave two eras to chose from: one I was very comfortable with, and the other was an era I had been wanting to sew for but hadn't made myself do it yet. So, knowing me, I went for the challenge. For a pattern from the Big 4 (Butterick, McCall's, Simplicity, and Vogue) I was very impressed with the directions. There was only one part of the first piece that made me go "WHAT?!", but it was easily remedied. I made one piece twice using different fabrics, and when I made it the second time I didn't even look at the directions. Honestly, this outfit was much easier that I thought it would be. Now, my cape blows in the breeze as my chest swells with pride as I have now conquered an era that was intimidating. In all of my years of sewing I am still learning new tips and tricks. After all, you can teach and old dog new tricks. But I'm not old right? Right?!?
So, all of this talk of this new outfit, you would think I'd post a picture, right? Nope. Well, at least not today. Since I just mailed it off today, it will be a few days before my swap recipient receives it, and I don't want to spoil the surprise. But what I can do is give you a sneak peek. I finally got over straight angle photography, so I played around with some creative angles to show off the cute little details of the whole outfit. There was a good bit of hand sewing, and as much as I hate hand sewing, it wasn't too rough on my hands since I made sure to take lots of breaks.
This picture only gives a hint of this outfit's beauty. Will I make it again? Probably, but not with this fabric since I included the leftover fabric in the package since it's for another seamstress. I figure they can use it to make more mix and match pieces or a different doll outfit.

So, besides working on the above outfit, I've been continuing to work on my scrapbooking. At the 36 hour Christmas in July crop at my LSS (local scrapbooking store), I was able to sew some of my sewing swap outfit, but I also did some layouts during my 24 hours of straight cropping. Here's the layouts:
Noah (The title isn't glued down yet since I'm not 100% crazy about my handwriting with the Distress Stickels and the white marker I used didn't tickle my fancy either, but everything else I love)


Dylan (yes, my ScrapCessories box for my Cricut cartridges snuck into the picture. If you don't have one of these for your Cricut cartridges, GET ONE! They are AWESOME!) 

Yep, 24 hours straight, and I did 3 layouts. In my defense I also did some sewing of the swap outfit, cut out some more pieces for the swap outfit, and even had to make a quick run to the fabric store for a spool of thread and a spool of lace (but came back with a spool of thread and 12 spools of lace). 

This is Rosie the Crop Robot. Since yesterday she has been the centerpiece of a crop table for my mom and some friends at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Charlotte, NC until Sunday. She is 11" tall and made from glitter paper and Bazzill Bling. I don't have pink paper in my paper stash, so I made this at the Friday Night Crop last week since I could purchase the paper at the crop (and get opinions from other croppers who don't cringe at all the pink).

Dylan. This was done at the crop on July 16th. Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy, is awesome! I used it on the pumpkins (from Cricut cartridge Designer's Calender, font is from Cricut cartridge Don Juan) after I inked them with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and the Ranger Foam Ink Blending tool. I used a vanishing ink pen to make my journaling lines, and whew, that was helpful!

So, my bloggy buddies, next time I'll post the rest of the pictures of the sewing swap outfit that I sent out, plus the one that I get from the swap.

Until next time...
straight stitch or glue glider adhesive, you decide :)