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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The RED for Ed. collection

As a public school teacher, these aren't exactly the best of times. Especially here in North Carolina where our legislature has attacked education 20 ways to Sunday, but teachers aren't taking in lying down. We are standing up for our schools and encouraging support for public education, a backbone of our communities.

Enter Red for Ed. days.

Many, many teachers wore red on the first day of school (this past Monday) - myself included. The plan is to make RED a Wednesday institution this year and I decided that was a good reason for a mini-collection.

The first look is a red (broadcloth with a hint of lycra) blouse from McCall's 3541 with a blue and red plaid skirt (view C) from Burda 7147. Both of these pieces will mix and match with a number of things already in my wardrobe.

I also made another plaid skirt in a red tartan. This one is a "Suede Says" pattern - Simplicity 2233. It is view B, the medium length circle skirt with a very narrow waistband.

I accessorized it with a red statement necklace (I'm calling it my "Red for Ed" necklace!) and a red patent leather Ralph Lauren belt I got 75% at Dillard's clearance sale.

The final pieces in the collection are from McCall's 5978 - a sweater set from grey, black, and red leopard print sweater knit. It's very soft and sewed up quickly.

Now who's ready for RED?!

Friday, August 23, 2013

More teacher clothes!

 I made up McCall's 6503 in a medium-weight woven. With the fall colors, it works for early fall in a warm climate like North Carolina. In fact, this was my dress for Open House (meet the teacher) at the school where I teach. I hand stitched the overlapping front to be sure I didn't have a PG-13 moment and the dress lays nicely.

The dress has a side zipper, but I was still able to accommodate an FBA by adding two inches to the bodice and gathering at the sides by the bust.

This is my second Simplicity 1622 - this time with 3/4 sleeves. I think this is such a cute style and easy to wear.
My last new item is from the Nov. 2012 La Mia Boutique - design #22. I inserted piping into the front seams to highlight the design. The navy print is a stretch cotton I picked up in New York City - very comfortable to wear.

While these will be great for work, I also have 4 RED items on the table and ready to sew. Why red? Well, it's RED FOR ED because public education is under attack in North Carolina and I will be wearing red on the first day of school and every Weds. this school year as a show of solidarity with my colleagues and support of our schools.

I work hard teaching middle school and I sew to relax, so it will be extra fun to make up a few things to wear for this cause. I hope every sewing teacher who sees this (and every parent, too) has a great start of the year and appreciates the hard work teachers do and the difference we make in students lives.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Fall tops for me

I have a couple of completed tops for my fall wardrobe to share. The first is one that will be lovely for casual wear. It's a kAtheRine Tilton Vogue design - 8691. I made it in a stretch velvet print I got for $1.99 a yard at Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet last summer. It's long enough to be perfect with leggings - back hemline even longer than front.

The second top is one for work - New Look 6816 - very quick to sew and great for a print like this since it has few seams to break up the design.

I should add that the black pants are from Loft. I just got them and they are the best fit I have ever found in dress pants. I just don't enjoy making pants for myself, so when I see these go on sale, I will be buying some more!

Next up - a dress and a skirt for me ;-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cuteness alert!

 When I found this "Disney Nerds" t-shirt on the clearance rack at a Disney outlet, I immediately thought about the cute embroidery designs I had seen that would match it. Of course, I got the $7 t-shirt, and decided to make one of my favorite little girl skirts - Farbenmix "Insa" to show off these designs.

The Nerds logo is stitched directly to the skirt (before I joined the last seam in that overskirt), but the 5 little "nerds" are all stitched on hot pink felt and then added to the skirt.

Big brother Jamie has declared this one a must for the first day of school. (He likes the Disney Nerds as well - even has Nerd Stitch on his bathrobe!)

I also returned to another tried and true little girl favorite: Ottobre 4/2011's jeggings (#20, 29 depending on size). I originally made indigo and black denim knit pairs (a couple of years ago), but when I found denim-like knits at Joann's in hot pink, purple, and aqua, I had to pick up all three colors with this pattern in mind.

She was into modeling them by way of handstands. Daddy helped spot her after she almost wiped out a couple of her brothers' Lego houses. ;-)

With jeggings at Justice costing a ridiculous $26 a pair (on "sale" of course), I cannot bring myself to buy them when I can make even cuter ones custom for her.

On a side note, I will not totally deny her Justice or GapKids, but I am very selective about what I will buy her. There are some things that are just wrong (particularly at Justice), but as long as I can balance out her fashion desires with fun mama-made swag like this, we are in good shape.

 We also seem to have a lot of "crazy face" going on at the moment. She just lost another baby tooth tonight so the open mouth was for that as well.

Brother Benjamin is also a master of the "crazy face" look.

Next projects: a couple of tops, a dress, and a skirt for ME!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seriously scholastic sewing

It doesn't get more "back-to-school" than this! I made up Bonnie Blue Design's reversible "Bridget" jumper for my soon-to-be first grader. Isn't this adorable - especially with the design from Planet Applique on it!

The dress is all the chevron print on the other side. I thought about adding an applique on that side, but didn't bother. I might do a Halloween/Thanksgiving version with double-sided appliques, but that'll depend on some timing issues.

The dress goes from size 6 mo. to 6 years. Gracie is 6 and wearing that size, but she has TONS of room, so I think she'll get at least two years out of this.

I also made myself a new lunch bag - using the school mascot image (digitized by a coworker with a side business in embroidery!) and the "Pride" lettering. I found the ribbon in NYC and I have enough left to make a hair bow for Gracie (that I might wear myself for spirit days!). A local fabric shop got this gold and navy chevron which happens to be in one of the high school's colors, but it also is the colors of the middle school I teach at (and my older two boys attend) AND the colors of the little one's elementary school.

The bag is insulated with "Shiny & Brite" which can also be used for pot holders, etc. as well as a layer of fusible fleece. I also added a divided pocket inside so I have a place for a pen and my phone or my key chain.

Next up - the Disney "Nerds" outfit!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Think Pink!

I like pink...and I had some great pink fabric to work with, so I have been sewing pink recently. 

(Not pictured - a pink Amy Butler "Chelsea" bag in progress and pink jeggings for Gracie)
The pale pink blouse is made from Colette's Hawthorn pattern. I added extra buttons to help it lay smooth at the front. I also added an inch of length to the bodice to accommodate the girls. The fabric has a touch of lycra and a very soft hand. I'm not always a fan of solid tops, but this one turned out very pretty.

The striped dress is a Vogue Marci Tilton pattern (8904). There is basically a double layer of knit fabric which helps smooth out the bumpy parts. I used two stripes of different widths. Given how this pattern is laid out, I would definitely make it in stripes - so cute! Also, it's very quick to do since there is minimal hemming. Everything but the neckline is a raw edge.