Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pattern Review

Good morning y'all! Who else was so excited for Missy Franklin and her Olympic Gold win last night? I might have cried a little...especially when she got to see her mom and dad. :) I love the personal stories that the media shows about our Olympians! As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to share with y'all a dress that I made over the weekend.  I'm super excited about this dress....I have so many ideas about how to wear it, especially as we head into the fall.

I used this vintage pattern. I was inspired to track down this pattern after seeing it on one of my favorite blogs, Tilly and the Buttons, seen here. I purchased my usual size in this pattern, and since it's from 1975, it's a one size envelope. It did not go well.... sort of.

I had no problems in constructing the dress or following the directions. Super easy to follow, and really easy to make. I used these knit interlock (from Joanns clearance rack earlier this spring). It's got a bit of stretch to it but it's still a sturdy and soft fabric. The pattern called for 2 1/4 yards for the shorter dress with cap sleeves. I didn't want to make the puffy sleeves (too outdated) and I wanted a shorter length. I only had 1 3/4 yards, which actually worked beautifully. I took off about 2 inches of length from the pattern before I even cut my fabric.

Once I got the dress mostly together, I quickly realized that it was going to be huge on me. Sure enough, the neckline was wide enough to fit another half of me in there. I ended up putting a center seam down the middle of the bodice to take in about an inch or so, and I ended up extending the bodice darts further up. In the back, I initially took off about three inches from each side of the garment. I had hoped that this would tighten it up on me. I put in the zipper, and my fabric bunched up in the back. Not good. See how it bunches with the zipper??

I ended up taking out the zipper, taking another inch and a half off each side, and seaming the back closed. You can see that I have three seam lines in the front and in the back (counting the darts and the center seam on each). It fits great now, and I'm really pleased with it. It was a quick sew, even with the problems I had. All told, it probably took me less than four hours.



It's a super comfortable dress, and I love the bright color of it. It's kind of a throw and go dress, but still looks pulled together. I'm envisioning it with cowboy boots and a denim jacket, maybe a scarf thrown in too! For now, I'm wearing it with Rainbows or wedges. Perfect for summertime living.

I'll definitely be making this dress again... although I'll probably end up doing more fit on the pattern pieces before I cut and put it together. We'll think of this one as my muslin. I think I'd like to try the long sleeves on a short one, maybe with a more structured fabric. Mine had a bit of stretch in it, and I wonder if that had anything to do with the fit... ? The pattern says that you can use any of these fabrics: challis, surah, printed silk, sateen, shantung, chintz, crepe, crepe-back satin, jersey, lightweight wool, soft lightweight double knit, velvet, velveteen, or satin. Whew. That's a lot of options to consider. (any idea what surah fabric is?)

This dress is going in my suitcase for our trip this week. Speaking of which, I've started packing. And unpacking. And repacking. I've even scoured Pinteret looking for tips on traveling with infants. My mom MOVED from Connecticut to Hawaii with me when I was not quite three weeks old.  If she can do that, then I should definitely be able to handle a two and a half hour flight with my almost-seven months old girl. Right?! :)
These days, her toes are her favorite toy!
Oh, and I'm so excited because I'm working on a dress for Reagan! It's coming together so quickly! I might even have to show it off for y'all soon!!!! :)

AND, I'm only a few posts away from my 100th post! I'm thinking a giveaway is in order for all y'all who faithfully read my blog.... What do you think? Up for a little giveaway?

Have a great Tuesday y'all!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Maxi Skirts and Tunics, Oh My!

Good morning y'all! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

We certainly did... it was pretty busy. Friday night was our first date night without the baby.... our church has a monthly date night for parents where you only have to pay $10 for four hours of childcare. We signed up.... I dropped Reagan at 5:30---and cried the whole way home. Hubby was waiting there for me with a bottle of champagne and sushi. After calming me down and a glass (okay okay, two glasses) of champagne, I actually relaxed and enjoyed a nice leisurely dinner! We just talked and took our time. It was nice. We decided to pick her up at 7:30, so we could watch most of the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I'm really proud of myself that I lasted two hours. I think next month's will go much much more smoothly...for one thing, I'll have plenty of time to get used to leaving her, since I joined the gym. Anyways, Saturday, we drove down to Augusta to spend the morning/midday with hubby's parents! Had a nice visit...the boys went and hit some golf balls, and my mother-in-law and I went to a sewing store. We came away with two patterns for little Reagan! :) We also popped into the nursing home to visit my husband's grandmother! We made her week! She loves to see us and especially Reagan!

I was super busy yesterday sewing away! I'm so excited about what I finished up! I finished a knit dress that I started on Friday... I'll be showcasing that one tomorrow with a pattern review.  I also took two maxi dressed that no longer fit in the top. And there's no way that those will fit again. The one was a gift from my hubby a couple years ago when we attended one of my college roommates' wedding. Here we are at her wedding.
And me with Ashley, one of the sweetest women you'll ever know!
Since the dress doesn't fit in the bodice section anymore, I went ahead and cut it off about an inch or so above the gathered waistband seam. I folded it over, and sewed in a two inch thick elastic waistband.  I'm so excited about this skirt. I loved the dress and was really sad to think about giving it away....so now I get to keep it, well, sort of!

It's a little limiting as far as what I can wear with it.... really, black, white or a really vibrant color (if I'm feeling adventurous). But, it doesn't wrinkle and folds up small. I'm actually planning on packing it for our trip later this week.

The second maxi skirt that I made came from a black halter dress that I bought from The Blue Door Boutique for our honeymoon last year. I love love loved this dress. And it was such a score because the length was perfect for my petite body from the get go! I'm so sad that it doesn't fit, but I'm beginning to recognize that halters are just not really an option anymore!

Here's a picture of us in Arizona last April on our honeymoon....

I wore it a couple times last summer before I hit my second trimester. Such a comfortable cute dress....and now, a cute cute skirt. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but there's a ruched band between the halter and the skirt of the dress. I cut the dress at the top of this ruched band. Then, I folded the band over and sewed it. This gives me more of a ruched waistband to my maxi skirt. Every girl can use a black maxi skirt! The possibilities here are endless...even into the fall and in the spring. :)

I also worked on a kaftan tunic...for me! :) I found the FREE pattern over at Fabric.com's blog. It's a PDF pattern, so I was able to save it to my computer, but the bummer is that it takes 25 pages to print out...then you have to cut out the grid, tape it together, and then cut out your pattern pieces. A lot of work but it was free, and turned out cute!!

Hot Patterns (the pattern company that sent this to Fabric.com) marketed the kaftan as more of a beach cover up, but I followed the blogger there, and made it more into a summer tunic. I used a cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks line for the main fabric, and a cotton bastiste from The Dressing Room (a cute fabric/sewing store in downtown Charleston that sadly went out of business earlier this month).
I ended up making a ten because I wanted to make sure that it had enough ease to get it over my chest comfortably. I was a little worried about the width in the hips area...it doesn't have a whole lot of give there, but I think it'll work. I might try a size up next time, unless I make one with a stretch fabric. I'm planning on wearing this with lightweight leggings and sandals... It's so cool and has a boutique look to it! Definitely a make again pattern. It literally took me about four hours, from start (printing the patter) to finish.
Sorry for the awkward picture... I was standing on my tiptoes so y'all could see the bottom contrast band over the bathroom counter (yup, I'm that short). Consequently, my posture is terrible... :( But at least y'all can see the whole thing! Definitely packing this one!

I mentioned that we're going on a trip later this week... we're taking Reagan to go meet my grandparents in Nebraska! First time on an airplane for little Reagan! We're flying with my parents, so luckily there will be lots of us to handle her!

But, I'm going to have to pack for her for four days on an airplane.I'm working on my packing list, and will probably start tomorrow.... ya know, so I have a day to unpack and repack again!  I don't exactly pack lightly to begin with and now I have to pack for two! Any tips on traveling by air with babies?

Oh, did anyone else watch the US women's gymnastics last night? I was so bummed out for Jordyn Wieber! So sad! She was my favorite gymnast...and it made me cry that she didn't make the all around team.. I like the other two girls but she's just so poised. Also, now that I'm a mommy...will P and G PLEASE stop doing all the parents commercials of the Olympics? I cry EVERY TIME. Thank you mommy hormones.
Have a great day y'all!!! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics

Good morning y'all! Hope everyone has a great Friday! :)

Around here, we're excited for the start of the Olympics today. I'm a huge Olympic nerd--can't WAIT to see the opening ceremony tonight. Anyone else planning on watching it?
NBC - 2012 Summer Olympics
The three events I'm most looking forward to:
1. Women's Gymnastics (team USA's supposed to be really good this year)
2. Equestrian events
3. Duchess of Cambridge's clothes oh, that's not an event... sorry!! :)---- probably, the Track and Field.

Hubby's looking forward to the soccer (as usual)! :)
What are y'all looking forward to watching?

Today's a big day around here...yesterday, I joined a gym! Yup. First time in years. I'm looking forward to it.... but I also know it's hard work. So, we (as in Reagan and I) will be taking ourselves over to the gym this morning. She gets to go to the child play area (which Mommy is SO NERVOUS ABOUT) while I work out.

Tonight, we signed Reagan up for "date night" at the church. Ten bucks for four hours of childcare. We're picking up sushi and going to watch the opening ceremony at home. We were going to go out to eat but decided we wanted to watch the Olympics (told ya I'm an Olympic nerd). Plus,  if I freak out about leaving her TWICE in one day, we can easily go pick her up early. Our church does this once a month, and we decided that it's time for us (okay, ME) to start working on being able to leave Reagan with others.

I'm a nervous wreck. Yup. I've had bad dreams about it all week. And I told hubby that if it's two fifteen year olds handling the childcare, she's not staying. Nope.

Yes, I know I'm a bit over protective. Yes, I know she'll be fine. Yes, I know that I was once a fifteen year old baby sitter. But... she's still my little girl. She's still my first child. She's still a preemie... I still feel like I'm so lucky just to have her at home with me.

So, prayers that both times go smoothly today. We'd appreciate that.

OH---guess what? Got my sewing machine back yesterday afternoon. So excited. :) I came home and started sewing right away (okay, after Reagan was fed and playing happily on her play mat). Yay! The Creative Sewing Machine Center is where I took it--it's where my mother-in-law purchased it and they're an authorized Babylock dealer and repair shop. They also have tons of great fabrics, patterns, classes, etc. I love going there. For one thing, the staff works to remember all of the people who come by regularly. And for another, I always feel like it's almost a home. Everyone is so warm (including the other customers) and welcoming. It's just like a big ol' family. It's kind of a bit of a drive from her... about 25 minutes. :) I'm spoiled that everything is so close. I do like that when I go there, I also pop in to Joanns because they are about five minutes apart.



And just for fun, thought I'd post a picture of Reagan from the first week we moved to SC and from yesterday... didn't really realize just how much she's changed in such a short amount of time.

Happy Friday y'all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

12 in 2012

Good morning y'all! Sewing machine is still in the shop... I'm getting a lot of prep work done on some upcoming projects, but way bummed that it's still there. Fingers crossed that it'll be coming home today. Didn't realize how much I really love sewing. :)

Thanks for the comments yesterday about my Christmas stockings! I had a few friends kid me about already thinking about Christmas...but hey, it's never too early to start thinking about it. Based on a few comments, wanted to update y'all on what I'm thinking... For the cuffs, think I'm going to go with two colors... Green for mine and Edmund's, and red for Reagan's and the extra one.That way, there's a bit more green incorporated because there is a lot of red. And luckily, the greens in mine and Edmund's match!! So now I just have to find that exact shade of green. No big deal, right?! Also, I'm thinking that I'm going to go with the little snowmen for the fourth one! Thanks for giving me a helping hand with that one! :)

Anyways, I'm super excited because my blogging friend, Vanessa (ya know, at Designs by Sessa) does sewing classes here in the Columbia area. She's doing one in August, and while she and I discussed that since it's a beginning class, I probably don't need it....she invited me to come anyway!! Just to hang out and help! :) I'm so excited!!!! Yay for new friends!

Okay, 'nuff nerding out.

Wanted to share with y'all this new blog that I found... call Su Sews So So. Suzanna, the author, lives in Ireland! It's a cute little blog, but one thing that she's doing that I really love is creating 12 attainable, specific goals for herself for the year 2012. Suzanna's invited her followers to join in. Obviously, I'm coming to this party late, but I thought I'd create my list of 12. I've kind of laid the groundwork with my wardrobe sewing plan, but thought that if I made some more specific goals (along with balancing some goals for Reagan), it'd actually happen.
So here are my 12 for 2012 (as far as sewing):

1. Make an Oliver +S dress for Reagan 
Purchased Playdate Pattern, have my fabric all cute out and ready to go!


2. Make a a tshirt quilt with my Sigma Sigma Sigma shirts
My old Tri Sigma shirts don't really fit that comfortably anymore but I don't want to get rid of them. Making them into a cute tshirt quilt would be a great way to hang on to them, and lots of great collegiate memories. 


3. Make a Megan Nielsen pattern 
Purchased the Banksia Top Pattern and just waiting for it to arrive so I can figure out fabric!


4. Make a pair of pants that I can actually wear


5. Sew with lace
Ordered lace, and have the pattern all picked out. It's in my sewing line of stuff to make.


6. Make the Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Have the pattern but can't decide which fabrics to order for it. 


7. Make a lightweight knit cardigan 
I have a pattern for this, and could really use a white cardigan, so I just need to find some fabric. I have a remnant of some from Joanns but I don't think it'll be enough. 


8. Make Reagan a Clemson dress or outfit
Have two different fabrics for this....now to settle on a pattern. If I like the Oliver + S Playdate dress, it might be another one of those. We'll see. 


9. Make Reagan small alphabet blocks for Christmas gift
I made her name blocks but they're really large so I want to scale them down before I pick out fabric. 


10. Make leggings (because once I learn, there will be no stopping me)
I've read enough tutorials and think I can figure this out. This is something I'd like to do pretty soon.... I love leggings, especially with a lightweight tunic in the summertime. 


11. Make a smocked dress or tunic for Reagan (means learning how to smock)
This one makes me a little nervous but my machine can do basic smocking so....fingers crossed when I get to this one. 


12. Make a top for myself without a "pattern"
I made Reagan a dress without a pattern--just drafted it off of other clothes of hers. I've seen a lot of tutorials online showing how to do this, and I think if I follow one of those, I can do this. 


Take care y'all! Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas Stockings Help!

Hey  y'all!! Today's been a pretty quiet day here in the Booth household. Yesterday, I was a busy busy bee getting chores and errands done, so it's been nice to have a quiet day. My sewing machine is in the shop for a little TLC, so I've spent my free time doing some sewing prep work.  I'm bummed because unless I get my machine back this afternoon or early tomorrow morning, it's going to be hard for me to finish up my shorts for the Shorts on the Line competition. :( AND, it means I can't actually sew up my project to share on Christmas in July.

I had to include these darling pictures of my Reagan from today (left) and last night (right). She's become so expressive these days, it's just so fun!!! :)

Here's a few pictures from last year's Christmas decorating... 

You get to help me with my Christmas project. I'm making Christmas stockings. Last year was our first Christmas together, and we didn't really bother with stockings. We definitely decorated our apartment, though. I just wanted to wait until this year once the baby was born.... and boy, am I glad I did.

It's much more fun to making Christmas stockings. My mom made our stockings growing up, and so did my mother-in-law. Something about it just seems like...the Christmas thing to do. So, when I saw this blog post on Fabric Worm, and this line of Christmas fabric, well, I was inspired!
This line is called Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Creative Thursday in green/natural (it also comes in aqua, pictured on the right). I'm a bit of a modern-ist when it comes to some things, but to me, Christmas should still be mostly green and red. I like the aqua, and I think it'd be so cute in some things but not for stockings. At least, not with our Christmas stuff. Our Christmas decor tends to be heavily on the red side of things (as you can tell from the pictures from last year). 

So, I selected three fabrics for our stockings... I'm doing a red fleece backing (so it kinda peeks through the natural and white backgrounds), and haven't picked out a lining yet. On my list for this week.... Each person's stocking will have a different fabric for the toe (matching someone else's stockings). That way they all coordinate even more! :) 
Edmund picked the Santa fabric for his, mine is the middle one (it says joy, peace, love), and Reagan's is the white with the little red cardinals. 

I have TWO areas that I need y'alls help with...

1. What kind of material should I do the cuff in? This is where our names will get monogrammed. I'm thinking it should probably be a solid fabric, so it's not so overwhelming and so you can see our names.... Maybe red? ?

2. I want to make a 4th stocking for our someday little brother or sister for Reagan. Yes, I know I'm a major planner, but I also recognize that once we go to have a second one, working on Christmas stockings will probably not be at the top of my priority list. Plus, this way it'll match and coordinate. So.... which fabric should I use? PLEASE comment on my blog post and let me know which choice you think...I'm terribly indecisive and could use some help!
Fabric 1 is the rick rac ribbon
Fabric 2 is the snowmen with antlers on them (green background)
Fabric 3 is the red background with green crowns
Fabric 4 is the green background with Christmas trees.

Thanks yall!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Monday

Good morning y'all! Even though I'm not "working" in the traditional sense, there is still something about Monday mornings that seems, well, icky. I don't have a job outside the home to rush off to, but there is still a foreboding sense that the weekend is over.

We had an amazing weekend with some family and friends. We drove down to Augusta to have dinner with the hubby's parents at their club. It was yummy, as always, and we enjoyed the chance to visit. Reagan did fairly well throughout dinner, and really only started to fuss when dessert came around. In her defense, it was close to her bedtime. We took turns walking around with her outside on the patio while the other enjoyed their dessert. Anybody else ever done that?

On Saturday, we slept in. And by we, I mean, hubby slept in! Haha. That's kind of the way it goes sometimes. To be honest, I don't really mind because I love how quiet the house is in the mornings when we're first starting to wake up. Reagan and I have our little routine, and that's okay. We drove up to Fort Mill,SC to see some friends for dinner at their new house. They are newlyweds (well, since March) and just moved from Columbia up to Fort Mill. We had a blast, and they loved spending some time with Reagan!

I made a cute little housewarming gift for our friends. I think it turned out rather well....what do yall think?

Today, Reagan and I are doing lots of chores. LOTS. Plus, I am planning/hoping on finishing up my shorts for Short On The Line. They are almost done.... we'll see if I like 'em. :) I've got some other sewing that I'd love to get in but I want to get these shorts done first!! 

Hope everyone's having a great day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Celebrating Southern: South Carolina


Good morning, y'all! Today is the last day of Leslie's Celebrating Southern week. It's the day where we exclaim our love for our region at the top of our lungs!! Of course, I'm going to be very specific and talk about my love of South Carolina.

I think that I'm personally very qualified to talk about South Carolina...not because I've always been from SC but because SC and I mutually decided to call each other adopted. I'm sure y'all have heard of the phrase GRITS.
Well, I'm no ordinary GRITS... I'm a
Yup. That's me. I decided that South Carolina was going to be my home. As a Navy brat, I'm really from nowhere and everywhere all at the same time. But, when we moved to Charleston, South Carolina my junior year of high school, my whole life changed. I attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and the finer points of Southern living really clicked to me. Suddenly, it was like I had found home. Yes, home will always be where the Navy sent my family, and walking onto a Navy base will always bring a sense of homecoming, but South Carolina is where my heart is.

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It's the only place where I can smell the pluff mud, walk the Cooper River Bridge, and see the palmetto trees waving in the wind. Home to rainbow row, more church steeples than you can shake a stick at, and sweetgrass baskets....

Rainy day picture of the Cooper River Bridge from Patriots Point last March on our mini 'moon!
South Carolina is home to plantations, rivers, spanish moss, little churches, small towns, horses,  front porches, and all the goodness of the South. It's the only place where I can see orange, purple, maroon, and black--and instantly, think of collegiate football. It's where women pride themselves on dressing appropriately for football games. Think pearls, dresses, heels, boots! It, simply is, the best. 
Because I'm a list maker, I made a list of the top 10 things about South Carolina (in my humble opinion, of course. You could ask anyone from SC, and their list might be a bit different). 

1. Clemson Tigers. 'Nuff said.
2. The food. Sweet tea, shrimp and grits, crabs, bbq, more shrimp, fried everything. Yummy.
3. Charleston.
4. Carolina beach music--and shagging to it! :) As Pat Conroy once said in his novel, Beach Music, "Carolina beach music....the holiest sound in the world."
5. The weather. Yes, the summers are brutally hot, but the majority of the year, the weather is bliss. It's so comfortable and mild in the winter. Usually, a fleece jacket is about all you need. :) 
6. Jobs. South Carolina is one of the fastest growing areas to live. Cost of living is low, gas is cheap, groceries aren't bad, and more and more companies are moving to SC. 
7. Piccolo Spoleto. Every year in Charleston, a huge festival to promote the many different kinds of arts. It's seriously cool. 
8. Manners. When we lived up North, manners were practically non-existent from a large chuck of the community around us. Here, please, thank you, and ma'am/sir are not only expected but required. It's just the way it is, y'all. 
9. Southern men....ladies, need I saw more? Seriously though, these men are gentlemen to the core. They understand the importance of loving life, working hard, and taking care of their families.
10. The value of family and community. In South Carolina, there simply is nothing finer than to be with family, friends, and to contribute to your community. 
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Celebrating Southern: Say I Do

 
Hey y'all!! Today, Leslie's blog is celebrating Southern Weddings!! Since I really hadn't done a wedding blog (gasp) and had really only shown y'all a few pictures, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to show off our wedding!

We married last March on Saint Simons Island down off the coast in Georgia. We choose March for a couple of reasons... well, the primary one is that we thought my spring break would coincide. Nope. But, the other big reason was because I did not want to get married in the midst of the Southern summer heat. No bride looks fabulous when she's glistening in the heat. 

We wanted a small, intimate wedding. I wanted a little white church near the ocean. Turns out, hubby had gone to church camp down in Saint Simons Island, and suggested it. It was exactly what we were looking for. 

It was absolutely perfect! The weather was gorgeous, and we loved being able to spend the beginning of our marriage with our closest family and friends! Hope you enjoy looking at our day!

  














This was the day that my happily ever after started! :) 
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