Tiny Dresses and Bees

Dexter and I had a lovely evening at the park today. He was thrilled to find the entire area swarming with bumblebees. It was actually quite relaxing to watch them go about their buzzy business.

My mind has been preoccupied with lots of different types of bees lately… Particularly quilting bees.

I never manage to catch the beginning of a quilting bee, I just see blocks showing up on blogs I follow. So I’m toying with the idea of starting my own, although I honestly don’t know if I could come up with 12 interested quilters.

*If* I do this, these are the things I’m mulling over:

I’d definitely want it to be continental US only, because of shipping. During my research I saw some people say that there are 2 ways of doing things. You can either mail out fabric so you can control what goes into your quilt, or you can agree to use your own stash to create blocks for each quilt. The first option will be pricier. I am open to suggestions on that point.

I’ll also judge by interest whether to do a year long bee or a 6 month bee.

And I will be thinking about how many blocks each person should make, depending on the number of people interested and the agreement of quilt size and block number and size. (A typical bee consists of 12 members, 12 months, 1 block per person per month.)

So leave a comment if you’re interested in something like this. I will continue to update the status of the potential quilting bee when I have more info!

And for my followers who may not know about virtual quilting bees and really just keep up with my blog because you love me, tell me if you want more info. I didn’t go into what a quilting be really is because it’s getting late and I still want to watch TV with Alex :).

Finally, I made some dresses for my sister’s baby (Full disclosure, I may be more excited about this baby than any other baby besides my own. I LOVE the dickens out of all my nephews. But I’m really REALLY excited about this little girl person!) and I wanted to give a heads up that I will be putting out a tutorial and pattern for them very soon!

 

 

Book Review: Illustrated Guide to Sewing: Couture Techniques: The Home Sewer’s Guide to Creating Designer Looks

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I’ve been given the opportunity to review a few books in this line, and I chose Couture Techniques first because I knew I didn’t have the slightest clue about what constitutes couture. And I was right!

I thought couture was just a fancy schmancy term for “expensive clothing made by famous designers.” But really, these garments are set apart for a reason. So much thought and care goes into how these pieces are created, resulting in well-fitting, long-lasting, beautiful clothing.

This book was surprisingly easy to understand. I wondered if I’d just be wading through fashion-industry-gibberish accented by pretty pictures of clothing. Instead I found user-friendly charts and lots of great diagrams that teach you how to do everything, from choosing the right fabrics for your purpose to trouble-shooting common problems in clothing design.

You won’t learn how to draft patterns here, but you will learn a lot about fitting existing paper patterns to your measurements. It has never been quite clear to me how to execute those changes, and I’m certain this will be a valuable resource next time I’m working on my pieces.

The only thing I actually missed were more pictures of the final products. Partially so I’d have a better idea of whether or not I’d like to attempt some of the techniques (a tie collar?? I’ve got to see someone looking cute in that before I’ll attempt it!), but mostly because I like to look at pretty pictures 🙂

I’d be surprised if any intermediate seamstress was disappointed in this book. It might be overwhelming for newbies, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check it out. I could have benefitted from some of these tips long ago!

*Note: When looking for this book, I’ve seen the title listed 2 different ways. On the cover it says “Home Sewer’s Guide”, but it is listed everywhere as “Home Sewing Guide”. I don’t know how important this distinction is, but I thought I should point it out. I went with what was on the cover!

De-Stash Giveaway #2

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I bought this fabric with the intention of making curtains, but after several years of procrastination, I now know I don’t actually want sheer blue-brown curtains!

I haven’t recently measured this, but I think there are around 5 full yards! It would make great fabric for layers in a formal dress. I’m not sure what the fabric is, but it is translucent and is blue with brownish tones from different angles.

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Leave a comment to enter. Please include your email address in case you win! (Also, check out giveaway #1 for more details and for a chance to win other fabrics!)

Dollies Travelling Abroad!

I was excited to get a notification from Dolly Donations announcing that if we hurry and send in our dolls, they can leave the US for Haiti on December 18th!! If you have time to throw some together, there is still a little time to get them there!

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I wish I had more completed, but I’m very glad I got to participate. I have more cut out, so I’ll try to slowly make them and just send out what I have when drives are announced.

These were great practice dolls. I’m hoping we’ll eventually have a little girl in our family (It’s looking like my brother’s baby is going to be a boy as well!). I’m really glad I’ve found an outlet for my girly creative energy! Some of these babies are kind of funny looking, but it was a nice opportunity to figure out the best techniques. For example, take it easy with the eyebrows or your doll will look like a Marx brother!

They have faux fur for hair (faux fur for, say that 3 times fast!), acrylic painted faces, very simple scrap dresses, and coordinating diapers.

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