Monday, July 30, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy...

That is my life right now! LOL We had a little mini-vacation from Thursday-Sunday as we had a wedding to attend in Idaho over the weekend (DH's side of the family). And to make the trip even more fun, we visited Silverwood Park while we were in the area too. The kids of course had a blast and we did as well. Most of Friday was actually spent at the water park they have (Boulder Beach) and not on any of the rides. Too bad vacations are never long enough.

Now it's back to reality and a mountain of laundry. I did finish my swimsuit before we left and plan to review that and a dress I made last week too on PR this week. I'll post here when they are up.

I guess that is all the news that is the news here, just trying to get back in the swing of things after being gone since Thursday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I love Ottobre!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I made a t-shirt from the 2/07 issue of Ottobre Woman magazine. The first one I made was using the size 38 pattern (normally I'm a 36 in Ottobre tops), but I had read several reviews saying the pattern ran small, so I decided to just size up and avoid the pain of making a top that was too small. Well it turned out to be a mistake. While the first top is cute, it's a little loose. I then made a size 36 and it fits beautifully! It was so easy too, plus I love the scoop neck. I posted a review with more of the details about the sizing and where to buy the magazine if you don't have your own copy.

On a sad note (LOL), my new fall issue of Ottobre didn't arrive today. I was so bummed when I opened my mailbox and that gorgeous white envelope was not waiting for me, but atlas I have other projects to do so it's not like I *need* it, I just could want to lay my paws on it and see all the new kids patterns I have at my fingertips. Hopefully it will come before we leave for our little weekend trip to DH's second cousin's wedding (it surely will be here by Thursday, right?????). Sure hope so!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tank Tops and such

Bad things come in threes, right? Well I think I've had my "threes" for now. First was my swimsuit fiasco. I still don't have a wearable top and our vacation is next week! Hopefully my pattern will arrive today so I can work it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it fits and I like it.

My next thing in a group of bad threes is my Burda Knotted Tank top (picture above). I had read several good reviews about this top and decided to give it a try. It is cute and wearable, but I'm just not too sure it's my favorite. I am going to have to wear a cami under it or make a modesty panel for it. I posted a review on PR if you're so inclined to know more about why this top didn't work out so well for me.

My next (and hopefully last) bad "three" item is the banded tank top from the June issue of Burda WOF. The moment I saw this top I loved it except for the fact it had a "peep hole" under the gathered bust band. I figured that would be simple enough to fix since the band wasn't part of the actual tank top, but an overlay piece. Well I did pretty good, but the tank top needed to be a bit higher in the front scoop to keep my bra covered. I guess I should get an "A" for trying tho and DH said the white looked like I was wear my bra on the outside of my body! LOL I also posted a review of this pattern as well.

I guess we can't have perfect garments every time we sew. I have been on a run of good garments, so it was probably high time I did have some wadders. Oh well, I'm just thankful it wasn't in a favorite fabric and just good ole white cotton/lycra jersey.

On a good note, the other night I made a tee from the 2/07 issue of Ottobre Woman which turned out well. I still need to post a review of and hopefully I'll get that done in the new few days. It is a cute top and a good pattern ~ I've had much success with the garments I've sew from both Ottobre and Ottobre Woman - I love both sooooo much!

Lastly, I'm taking a class on Pattern Review called making a pants muslin. It's a fitting class and so that is taking up part of my sewing time. I think it might have been a poor decision for me to take this class during summer break because of all the other stuff that is going on with the kids home, but I made the commitment and paid for the class, so I must go forth. Hopefully my persistence will pay off and I'll finally figure out how to get good fitting pants.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Swimsuit Success!

At least for string bean DD there is! I took a break from all my fitting woes with my suit and worked on one for DD (aka beanpole). I used Kwik Sew 3165 and was very pleased with the pattern. So pleased I made DD another suit immediately after I got the first one done!

It amazes me how little fabric it takes to make a swimsuit, but what a huge price tag they come with - jeez, what a ripoff! Both fabrics I got for $1.99/yd and each took about 1/2 yard of fabric, so that is $1/suit, plus the cost of elastic and a little swimsuit lining. What a bargain! Here is my review on Pattern Review (you can see the other suit in the review as well as details on the alterations I made).

Since I'm still in a quandary about what I'm doing with my suit and what direction to go, I decided to give myself a break and work on a quick and easy project. DS #2 has been dinging me to death about making him a shirt with the M&M fabric I bought off eBay. The kids all love M&M's because Grammie collects them and each one has their own "color". Hattie is green (the girl of course), Jack is red, Will is yellow (suits his personality too!), and Andy is blue. Well I had originally planned to make them each t-shirts with the fabric and make the sleeves "their M&M color" (and I probably still will), but for now Will got a "muscle shirt" shirt instead. He informed me he loves it, but wants a t-shirt still too (kids are so thankful aren't they??? LOL). This pattern is Ottobre 2-2003-28 and can be made into a tank top/muscle shirt or a t-shirt by adding or leaving off the sleeves. For this shirt I used the M&M fabric on the front, solid orange cotton/lycra jersey on the back, and yellow ribbing for the trim. I also posted a review of this top on Pattern Review.

Speaking of Ottobre, the new issue is up and get a load of that super cute baby on the cover! I could just eat him up - chubby babies are just so yummy! :-) In case you don't know about Ottobre, it's a sewing magazine that is published in Finland which specializes in children and youth sewing patterns. I have almost every issue of Ottobre (even the foreign ones - it's now published in English as well as four other languages) and it's definitely the most bang for your buck if you're sewing for children. I can't speak highly enough about the patterns - they are just phenomenal (both in style and pattern drafting). Plus flipping through the magzines always provides me with a huge dose of inspration! I do buy a few other patterns, but mainly sew Ottobre for my children. The subscription costs 32.50 Euros for the four children's issues (they are published once per season) or you can subscribe to the four children's issues plus the two women's issues (I also highly recommend their women's pattern magazine) for 42.50 Euros. Yes, it's a little spendy, but well worth it in my opinion considering there are about 45 patterns in each kids issue.

Since the preview of the fall issue just came up today, it will be time to start stalking the mail lady later in the week. I suspect the magazine will arrive by next Saturday - yippee!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Swimsuit not going so well...

Well the bottoms have been done for a week now, but the top just isn't going too well. The first run of the top was done "as is" per the pattern instructions and I could not get the darts to be curved and nice. Instead I had a nice pointy Madonna cone boob! LOL

For try number two, I decided to cut the bust piece without the dart and gather it instead. My plan was to insert bra cups to help add a little oomph to my chest. I picked up some padded/gel filled sew-in swimsuit bra cups at Joann's. Well my end result was ridiculous looking boobs way out to the side! ROFL On to try number three ~ third time is the charm right????

Top number three is complete and per the advice of someone more experienced with swimsuit sewing, she suggested I just use removable cups and insert them between the lining. That way I could just use the same pair for multiple suits. Brilliant! I checked my RTW suits and had one that was designed this way so I figured this would be perfect. Well I got the top all done and it's HUGE in the chest!!! There is no way I can even be an "A" cup - I have to be negative (is there such a thing??? LOL). So I grabbed this dumb silicone bra inserts I bought at Joann's a while ago when the notions wall was half off and slipped them in between the lining and the fashion fabric. The pads definitely make it look better and fill out the cups, but I'm still not too sure. I'm to the "three strikes you're out" theory now and am thinking I'll just ditch this top. It's clearly made for someone with some boobs and that is something I just don't have without the help of my fantastic Victoria's Secret bras.

So on that note, I'm looking at picking up Kwik Sew 3063 ~ I emailed the reviewer and she said this top is great for flat chested gals since the gathers camouflage the fact. I'm pondering just running out and grabbing it now. I know I could get it online for cheaper than full price at my local independent sewing store, but part of me feels it's my duty to support the local business people, plus it's instant gratification (I really want to get a swimsuit top made pronto), I can get more 3/8" elastic and swimsuit lining, oh and maybe I should grab a take & bake pizza while I'm out too since DH is working late tonight. Thoughts to ponder.... LOL!

I will post pictures when I have some I'm willing to share, I'm a little leery about the fit of this suit right now. Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully good results will follow soon.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Presenting Vogue 8386!!!

I know it's hard to see the dress because it's black, but I did my best to lighten the picture up without making me look like Frankenstein. I'm very pleased with how the dress turned out, tho it's slightly different from the pattern envelope picture because it's meant for people with more boobs than I have. I just posted my review on Pattern Review for your reading pleasure and have an additional picture of the bodice up close.

The wedding was very fun and we (DH, my sister, my brother-in-law, and myself) shut the place down! I haven't been out past midnight in eons and it was so fun. When I woke up this morning I told DH I was so glad I wasn't one of the people who was drunk last night because I can't even imagine the hangover some of them have ~ yuck! It was an all Diet Pepsi night for me, plus I find it hilarious to see how stupid drunk people are! LOL No offense if you like to get drunk, but seriously people can make some complete fools of themselves. Oh well, it gave us all a good laugh!

My next project is a swim suit. I have never made a swim suit, but got some really pretty swimwear fabrics when my family went to Disneyland this spring. On the recommendation of my sweet PR friend Vonne, I went to M&L fabrics in Anaheim. I probably could have spent all day there, but I only had a few hours before we had to checkout of our hotel so I went on my way and counted my blessings that I was even able to go (DH thought it was ridiculous I wanted to go fabric shopping while we were on vacation ~ obviously he doesn't understand how important it is to explore your resources, huh?). Vonne told me that M&L had a huge back room of flat folds where everything was super cheap. I got several cuts of swimwear fabric for only $1.98/yd! For the first suit tho, I'm using a fabric I got for $1.99/yd from - it's a Chez Ami fabric overrun they had that is super cute. I'm using Kwik Sew 3238 ~ the bottoms are the skimpier ones from view A, but the top is from view B. I got the bottoms made the other night and they fit perfectly! I'm not sure if I'll get to work on the top today, but should have it done in the next day or so. I plan to make DD swimsuit using the same fabric too using Kwik Sew 3165 ~ view C for hers.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pictures of my "Baby"

I'm having a "mommy moment" and want to share the pictures I just got back of Andy from JCPenney. He's such a sweetie (well most of the time! LOL) and they captured his personality to perfectly.

The outfit is something I made. I love to be creative with the kids clothing, but I don't make too many really creative things anymore. The kids are so hard on their clothing and it just kills me when they only wear things once because I'm so afraid they'll ruin it so I just make a few extra extra special things now and again.

I got my Vogue dress all finished. It's in the dryer right now (thank goodness for poly/lycra blends ~ wash and wear is so nice!) because I got some deodorant on it during the fitting process. I will have DH take pictures of me and post them tomorrow along with a review on PR.

Friday, July 06, 2007

WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited, I got through to Dave Ramsey today and got to scream "We're Debt Free!!!" on the air with my three older children! It was just a quick conversation and I really didn't get to tell much of "my story", but still I pray that I've given inspiration to some other listener. Hearing those debt free screams has given me so much motivation and now it's my turn to pay it forward. Thank you Dave for the opportunity to shout out to the world! :-) You'll be able to listen to my call by going to the Show Archives. It's the show from July 6th and I'm about 15 minutes into the first hour (I'm the second caller).

In the sewing world, I am still working on my Vogue 8386 dress and I have to have it done by tomorrow night - eek! It's been a little slow going with DH's birthday, the 4th of July holiday, and then a friend coming to visit yesterday, but I really have it mostly done. Since I'm a member of the IBTC (aka small boobs), I'm having a really hard time getting it to fit in the chest. I guess that is why they have recommended body types on the envelope and mine was not one of the recommended ones - oops! Hopefully I can salvage it to wear tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

First off, Happy 4th of July!!! Hard to believe it's already here once again.

Well yesterday was DH's birthday (Happy Birthday Honey!!!!) and we had a fun "date day" thanks to my in-laws watching all four kiddos for us. We drove into the city and had a fabulous time walking around and just enjoying each other's company. It's fun to be a couple once in a while and not just "mom & dad". So for this special occasion, I had to make a fun new dress - dare I say sexy dress??? I have wanted to make this dress for a long time and am so glad I made time to make it. It's 125 from the Burda WOF magazine 5/2005 and turned out to be just what I was looking for ~ and best of all DH LOVED it! I posted a review on Pattern Review with a little more details about the dress as well as some more pictures (back view, side view showing the sexy slit, and an up close view of the twist section). Definitely a keeper of a pattern plus there is also a tank top version that I plan to sew. By the way, if you click on the above picture, it will enlarge so you can see it in better detail ~ just a little FYI! ;-)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The safari jacket is finally finished!

Gosh, I feel like the safari jacket has taken forever to finish, but finally it's done!!!! The fabric is a bit more wrinkly than I'd like it to be, but live and learn is just going to have to be the case. It's a 100% cotton twill from Joann's ~ I think something with a little stretch in it (or poly) would have helped with the wrinkle factor). I posted a review on PR ~ it has another picture showing the jacket with the belt.

Since I was on a roll, I also made myself two pairs of shorts using a pants pattern from the May 2007 issue of Burda WOF. I am so ecstatic at how well they turned out! Pants are a major struggle for me - getting them to fit that is (sewing is the easy part!). I was so delighted that they turned out to fit so well and will definitely be using this pattern again and again. I posted a review of these as well. They are #112 in that issue (the picture at the top with the jacket is one pair of the shorts I made).

I started working on Vogue 8386 last night for the wedding that is coming up next Saturday. I'm a little late in starting it, but so far it's going together well and hopefully it will fit well once it's completed. Keep your fingers crossed!

In other news, DH finished his last work weekend of overtime today and now will be officially debt free (not including the house) on Friday when he receives his paycheck! I'm so excited and plan to call Dave Ramsey on Friday to scream "WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!" on the air. The other time I called his show I got through on the first ring, not sure if I'll be that lucky this time - I sure hope so. I find it so motivational to hear people call in and share their stories about getting out of debt. According to my excel spreadsheet, we have paid off right at $90,000!!! The number is actually a bit higher because I didn't include all the interest we paid that I didn't keep track of. That is some serious debt reduction and sacrifice in the last 14 months ~ I'm so proud of my DH & myself for being able to keep focused and kick our debt to the curb. Thank you honey for working so hard for our family ~ I love you more than you'll ever know! XOXOX