Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

About a week before my bro-in-law’s wedding I asked the bride-to- be what I should put the kids in for the big day (I was a bride’s maid), and she said anything in the wedding colors would be fine. Well, don’t you know, I didn’t have single article of clothing for them in mint, coral or even grey and the words weren’t even out of her mouth before I knew I was gonna bust out a whole new ensemble. I could have whipped up a bow, or maybe a  sash, but why do that when you have some pretty swiss dot organza that the neighbor gave you just lying around and some dye, and a week!? I mean, I had to go the distance, and make a couple of fancy little dresses for my girlies and a bow tie for the little man (he always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop, poor kid). I had plenty of time so it wasn’t a marathon or anything, but still. Silly me. At least it all turned out super cute, and you know, we all were matchy matchy which is weirdly fun sometimes.

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I used Ottobre  Spring 1/2013 #25 for the starting point of Twinkle’s dress, although I did make some basic changes to it (no button-up, short sleeves, no collar). I really like it because of the pretty princess seams. I also added the skinny and long ties from Ottobre Summer 3/2013 #17, and a little more fullness to the skirt.  mad mim_wedding best_02
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Bub got a little bow tie, and I threw him some handsome little white linen trouser shorts I made him for easter (and still haven’t blogged about). I used a real bow tie pattern I got from Miranda (something like this  I would just enlarge it 150% rather than 200%). Anyway, I make the two sides, tie the bow tie, and then add velcro or a safety pin the back.

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Girly Girl got Ottobre Summer 3/2012 #12, which is such a sweet little pattern–the fit is perfect.  It looks a little balloony in this picture, but it’s really just perfect, very sweet.

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And just look how close I matched the dye to my bride’s maid dress, I nailed that one. And I did it so ghetto too! I was just dumping in the color to the washer like a crazy woman.  Little green here, little yellow there, and boom. Perfecto.

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And I just had to throw this one in cause it’s sweet.

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Ah, nothing like family sewing and that’s a fact.

IMAG0284It was a lovely day, she was gorgeous, he was handsome, and it was great to see and be with Allan’s wonderful family. We’re so happy that Brittany has joined The Tribe! (Hehe, pun always intended).

Printed Peplum Swimsuit

So I’m pretty sure I was certain from about 1990 to 2011 that swimsuit peplums were reserved for toddlers or Grandma’s.  It wasn’t til pretty recently that I spied this beauty and started to think that maybe I was mistaken.  This suit definitely still has an old-timey feel but I think the mini peplum adds a youthful flare to a 90’s special. Maybe? Puede ser?  I love the vintage swimwear trend, and the added coverage doesn’t hurt my feelings either.

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And I printed it! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? On a whim I decided to see if my leaching technique with discharge paste would work on my swim fabric, and I was kinda amazed to see it did! As you see it wasn’t as clear or bold a result, but I dig the sort of faded look, which ironically won’t fade because the color has been leached out.  It’s kinda crazy and maybe a little bit  hodge podge (still not sure about the stripes in back), but I do love it, I think it’s my favorite suit to date.

 

 

I started with a vintage gem of a pattern that I thrifted– Sew-Knit-N-Stretch #151 by Kerstin Martensson, who I’m a big fan of. It was a GREAT pattern, and I just lengthened through the trunk, added a waist seam, brought up the back and made it a V, and went up a size in the bottom. For chest support, I actually sewed in one of my old bras! Wasn’t sure it was gonna work, but it wasn’t super padded or absorbent and I figured it would be fine. I just positioned and pinned it in there, cut it off at the straps and sideseams, and then sandwhiched it between the lining and shell and zig zagged that sucker in.  No biggy.

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I seriously DO NOT go swimming enough to validate making another suit (I’ve only worn last summer’s a couple of times!), but I love swimwear because they’re pretty fast and super fun.  Don’t judge.

Triangle Scrap Top + Short Hair!

So as some of you know, I’ve been contemplating a big haircut for the last few weeks. I’ve always wanted to go short at some point, and although I’m not one of those people who get super attached to their hair, I was just waiting for the right time, ya know? I did actually have a super short haircut in college for like 2.5 seconds, but I hated it and grew it out immediately. I’ve always thought though, that the infamous short-period was  just a bad cut, and I thought it deserved another go. By the time I was done pinning and obsessing over a million different styles, I had the feeling that everyone was like just do it already, Mim. So I decided to go for an asymmetrical pixie, and peeps, I actually got butterflies walking to the salon from my car which is so not me. I mean I used to be known as “Double Dare Mim”, so I was kinda ashamed to be wimping out over a haircut. But I muscled through the consult just hoping I wasn’t making a massive mistake, and as soon as my hairdresser (Cynthia–who was amazing) started snipping I was at peace with the world and my hair.  The two words people have kept on saying is that it’s “modern” or really “80’s”, which are the same thing I guess–I’m just a little insecure that people don’t know that.  I’m hoping that everyone isn’t like, wow, that was soooo 30 years ago. 

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I love it though. Love it love it love it. It’s a pretty unique cut, I haven’t seen anything exactly like I don’t think (especially the back which I didn’t get a full on shot of, but it’s sort of like a duck tale back there), and it feels a little edgy but still feminine. Hubs loves it, and so do my kiddos which matters to me for some reason. Overall I’ve gotten positive reviews, except for a girl at church who said my husband would kill me if I did anything like that.   To each their own [80’s haircut] right?!

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Now about this shirt. Isn’t cool?? While deep sea diving at  Michael Levine Loft, I found this itty bitty piece of floral that I LOVED. I think I initially just boo hoo’d that there wasn’t more of it, but then I decided to take it anyway—maybe I could make it shine despite its lack of yardage. It was probably around a 18 inches by 12 inches, although I didn’t measure. When I was looking back through my Ottobre women’s issue of Spring/Summer , I saw this triangle blocked blouse and thought it was just the ticket (design #9).  And man, I just eeked that sucker out (I had to piece the button band), but am so happy with how it turned out, it’s just my flavor.

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The main fabric is this unbelievable rayon lawn (on sale for $4.02/yard!) that’s so pretty and floaty and drapey I wanted to wrap up in it, turn on a fan, and sing You Were Meant for Me if you know what I mean. It looks and feels a lot like matte silk, and was a bit tricky to cut out–I had two yards to work with hallelujah,  because I ended up cutting several pieces twice because I didn’t get them exactly on grain the first go round. I dyed it Havana Brown using my beloved fiber reactive dyes, and it matched so perfectly with my floral that I knew it was providential. I also love that even though it’s light as air, it’s completely opaque.  The only alteration I made was to slash and spread the back just a tad to give it a bit of flare. The simple striped pencil I whipped up the morning of my haircut, because I swear, I can’t make myself wear pants of even shorts this Summer.

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So speaking of Summer, this one is fading away from me, and I’m mad about it. I’ve been busy with my fruit trees and garden, and it’s passed so quickly without my permission. It’s been such a low key, lovely couple of months, and I find myself not enjoying it because I am sad it will end. Do you ever do that? I do, all the time. I get this way especially during Summer and Christmas time–every nice thing has a twinge of sadness because somewhere inside I’m thinking it’s almost over! One bright spot of getting ready for the Fall is sewing for Twinkle’s back to school wardrobe, but that too is bittersweet because that means she’ll be gone for a full day this year. I’m already missing her, and think it might be a hard transition for me.  But I’ve heard the elementary is a good one, and she’s so excited about her head is gonna pop off. Ah, these new chapters and changing seasons! I can only hope it will be as nice as the last.

Easy Swing Tee in Green // Color Your Summer

Green has always been my fave (although orange has sort of taken over my life lately), and today I’m over at sweet Delia’s to share my tutorial and pattern for an easy swing tee in her and KoJo’s rad Color Your Summer series, which I’m assuming you know about and love already (if not, buckle up!).

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mad mim_color my summer_green swing shirt_03Things around here are chugging along. I’ve almost finished unpacking (just barely got my sewing room/office in working order), and now have the daunting task of decorating the place.  It always takes me a bit to jump in and decorate because its such an overwhelming task. For me. AND, I feel like I need a ton more art, so that’s holding me up. AND, I want to make some of that art myself. AND we have next to no furniture despite our 7 1/2 years of marriage, and I am filled with aspirations to build some like for starters a dining table, sewing desk, and craft hutch. Ambitious much? Yeah, I know I know. But the house we’re renting has a couple really nice table saws, and I feel I would be wasting an opportunity to learn a craft I’ve always wanted to if I didn’t at least give it a valiant effort. So I’ll be switching it up around here, which will be F. U. N. and maybe a little dangerous.  And thanks for all your encouragement for chopping my hair! I’m gonna go the glory and do it (I think)!

 

Stripes and Floral Dress // aka the design that somehow took over

This dress sort of just made itself. And what I mean by that, is that I didn’t intend to make it, it just sort of happened. I had been planning, for some time, a dress using that striped knit. I had sketched it a number of times, and knew just what I wanted. And then mysteriously, when I went to cut into it, I started cutting out a different dress all together.  Como se wha? I know! Quality scope for a juicy sewing novel, for sure.  I honestly don’t know what came over me, but suddenly I was cutting out a completely different design that had just materialized in my head at the moment of contact. It involved a small bit of this 80’s floral knit that a neighbor had given me, and I was halfway finished before I was like wait, what? How did this happen? At that point I was filled with remorse, because I really did want the dress that I had planning on making, and the one that was coming together wasn’t feeling very me-ish. When I finished, I was still feeling like the whole affair was sort of a bummer–I really liked the dress, but wasn’t loving it for me. I think I even threw around the word hate a few times, which may have been in the heat of the moment, but you know, this dress had hijacked my plans and I was feeling cheated and defensive.

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Buuut, turns out I really like it. I know, because I’ve worn it a ton. True, it t isn’t completely me (I think it’s mostly the circle skirt that just isn’t my flavor), but it can be really nice to wear something that is refreshing and different from the bulk of what I have. And it’s reeaaally comfy, so that gives an unfair advantage over the rest of my dresses.

The deets. I think I used the Renfrew as a starting point, and just added the buttons and collar.  The collar gave me some grief with gapage and what not, so I actually fished some elastic through the facing seam (my trusty old trick), to reign that sucker in. Worked, but not perfectly, as you can see in some pictures it kind of gathers where it ought not. The skirt is just your basic circle skirt, I tried to make it a  bit hi-low, but that was mostly a fail as you can barely notice the difference. Not the first time I’ve under hi-lowed myself.

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So your dying to know about my origional sketch? Patience, young ones.  It turns out I had more than enough fabric to make it too. But I actually wear this one more though, funny enough; I think it’s the waistline on the other one, which I gotta fix that before I show you here. Also. How do you feel about my grown-out bang look? I felt just like Becky (Jessie’s wife)  from Full house all night. I’m growing them out so I can chop my hair really short. I want it to be longer in front, and I think I’m almost there. Still nervous about it (you can see my current hair fantasies here), so tell me if I’m cray cray.

Fringe Swimsuit Tutorial

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In between my LA trip and moving, my kids and I spent a week in Vegas with family.  The entire week can summed up efficiently in a few words: pool, popsicles, and TV.  While my kids gloried in the excess of chlorine and sugar, I enjoyed the excellent conversation of good company.  It was a great time, and no mistake.

The one blip of the whole trip was that I severely over packed. I actually brought a change of clothes for each of us daily (what was I thinking??), and it turns all we needed was swimwear and pjs. Twinkle had a few suits to rotate through, but this one that I made her for her birthday was the definite favorite.

The fluttery number was inspired by this suit, and I used my dependable Kwik Sew k3785 as the base. I had plans to change up the design a little more than I did, but in the end I went for the quicker alternative of simply adding a contrasting edge to the neckline (as well as the fringe of course). This fringe can be applied to any round neck swimsuit patterns.

Fringe Swimsuit + contrasting edge:

Begin by cutting some strips of swimsuit fabric, about 5 inches long, and 3/8’s of an inch thick.

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Apply some wonder tape to the raw neck edge, and then pressed the strips of fabric firmly across the neckline.

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Repeat for a doubly thick fringe.

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Measure your neck opening and then cut a band of contrasting fabric that length and about 1 1/2″ wide; sew together at the short ends. Pin to neck opening, right sides together, and then stitch in place using a slight zig zag stitch.

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Cut a length of 3/8″ swim elastic that is again the length of your neck opening, maybe just slightly smaller, and zig zag into the seam allowance. Fold contrasting band snuggly to inside (over the elastic), and pin in place. mad mim_fringe swimsuit_09

Sew closely to the edge of the elastic using a double needle, and then trim as closely as possible to your stitching.

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That’s it, finish the suit according to the pattern instructions. I think it would be equally cute for an adult as it is in miniature, do you agree? Tempted to sew it up Mama style. Twinkle loves it, it floats like seaweed in the water, and flutters like feathers in the wind, which I’m told is a plus. 
mad mim_fringe swimsuit_05Other swim posts: contrasting binding with Creative Chicks, Wild Hearts Swim Tank, Coral Rashguard suit, Colorblocked Peplum Swimsuit, Striped Crewcuts Suit, Striped Long Tankini

 

Sailboat Pendant DIY with Ruche

Hey hey! I’ve got such a fun little bit of craftiness to share today! Hop over to Ruche’s lovely youtube channel to see my sailboat pendant DIY, Melissa and I both are sharing our nautical themed DIYs from when we visited their headquarters during our trip to LA.  We had so much fun shooting these videos, and it was fascinating for me to the see the behind-the-scenes of Ruche, I was so impressed. I loved the craft room!! They have such a wonderful team, and they were so fantastic to work with. Thanks Ruche! Don’t miss Melissa’s painted leather cuff tutorial, it’s pitch perfect, just like everything she does!

The pendant is a spin-off of my gold confetti earrings, and the instructions in the video can be applied to them as well, so bonus!

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Fabric Game Plan + Giveaway

Whirlwind has taken on a new meaning for me, this past month has been crazy nuts coo coo cray cray busy for me. We’ve been traveling lots and then we came home this week just long enough to pack up our little box house and move to a beautiful home with a garden, fruit trees, plenty of space, and most importantly (especially if you ask my DH) a dishwasher (first time we’ve had one in 7 1/2 years of marriage!)  Along with traveling, packing, errands, cleaning and planning, I’ve also been emotionally drained, as my parents got a divorce this last Friday.  It’s been a long time coming, but it still shook me up a little bit, which surprised me.  I think all these changes although new and foreign, feel like forward progress to me, and this morning when I walked around our yard and found the most perfect little pink ranunculous bush, it all felt like a new beginning.

But today I want to rewind a couple weeks and  gush about my LA fabric weekend trip with you. If I were to sum up this trip in one word, it would be this word: FABASM. Oh my goodness, it was so fun. All the shopping met all my crazy high expectations, and far exceeded everything else I had in mind. I met so many great girls, made some wonderful new friends, and just enjoyed the cuss out of myself. It was kinda like the Willy Wonka of Fabric Shopping–all dazzling and impressive, but with tons of other fabric-heads who ooh’d and ahhh’d and generally freaked out over all the juicy fabric.

I had wanted to try and make something to show off my new fabric, but I ran out of time and decided what would be funner than to show you some of my big plans for some of my new yardage (all subject to my whim and fancy of course. PS where I bought the cut of fabric is indicated in parenthesis). First some selfish sewing:
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Followed up by some pretties for my girlies:mad-mim_WRAP-UP_family

I actually did buy some handsome plaids for button-ups for the Hub and the Bub, but I’ll have to show you those later as the photos of them are on my other computer that’s not set up yet!

I got a modest amount of fabric (just enough to fill my carry-on).  I was constantly reminding myself what I had at home, and wanted to just get what I LOVED and can’t find around here– and also knowing that I can get all the basics + whatever notions etc I need from my local BFF JoAnn.

Some highlights for me. Michael Levine was so so amazing. It was a wonderland–the loft is where you get the fabric by the pound (for $2.50!), and that was like deep sea diving for treasure. I got hot and sweaty, and loved every minute of it. Here’s Melissa demonstrating our playful mood there, I got to give a huge thanks to this girl, she really is the one who made it all happen for us, she’s amazing.  Back to Michael Levine, the main store is so vast, and so varied, and just so so great, I could have spent hours and hours there.

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And then there was Mood. Holy Fruitcake. I was sort of like a deer in headlights there, I didn’t even know where to start, and was just in shock and all the beautiful silks, cottons and knits. It was even more amazing than I had imagined, and even though it was much more expensive it was so fun to splurge on a few favorites.

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My other favorite LA fabric district shop was Angel Textiles. It was like this diamond in the rough, and I was so impressed with what they had for how CHEAP they had it. I got some of my favorite finds there.

And Golden Cutting and Sewing Supplies, this store was awesome. I got stuff like a roll of elastic, quality zippers for like 50 cents, and serger thread for cheap cheap cheap. I know I know, you gotta beware of cheap serger thread, but it looked pretty decent to me, and I needed more white thread!

I also loved our tour of FIDM (I loved looking at their –crystal ball 2014 fashion books!!), and got a few treasures at their scholarship store.

And last but not least, I had SO MUCH fun shopping, eating, and talking with these ladies.  I especially enjoyed our GNO dinner on Saturday night, it was so fun and so delicious!fabric-weekend-girlies

It was so fantastic, and now I get to share a little of it with you! I am WAY LATE posting this giveaway, but you have until TOMORROW to enter, and enter you should, this is such a stellar giveaway!!

FABRIC WEEKEND GIVEAWAY!

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • Brother 1034D serger!! (I’ve heard amazing things about this model, donated by GoToPatterns.com)

Four Lucky Winners will receive:

sponsorsFW

Contest Rules:

Giveaway open internationally to contestants 18 years or older. Contestants must enter their email address to be added to the LowPriceFabric.com and GoToPatterns.com email newsletters to win. All prizes are awarded in the form of gift certificates. Winners responsible for paying shipping. Gift certificate value of serger is $210. Contest open from June 11, 2013 through June 20, 2013 EST. Winners will be notified within 24 hours of winning. Winners have 48 hours to claim their reward. New winners will be chosen if prizes are unclaimed. Winners will be emailed their rewards within 7 days of claiming their prize. ONE ENTRY per person. This contest is being held on multiple blogs. Please enter only once. You will be counted only once.

*giveaway closed*

Winner of the Grand Prize, Brother Serger: Shannon R

Winners of the $50 Gift Certificate to LowPriceFabrics.com, GoToPatterns.com and a Craftsy class are:

Nicole B
Maria levin
Linda

Congrats!

Fabric Weekend 2013 // Fly-Away Tee + Patch Knee Print Leggings

The first time I heard my friend LeAnne talk about the wonder that is the LA fabric district, I was like Como say Wha…..?!?! Yeah, and Oz is a real place too, right? But then she was like No, for real. And I was like HOW THIS BE TRUE?! But I say unto you that it is true, and I’m going to be finding all about it this weekend for the first ever Fabric Weekend organized by the amazing Andrea, who has worked her little tooshy off making this amazing. It’s a blogger get together/event/fabric extravaganza, and I’m really excited to fabric dive with 20+ amazing bloggers.

This event is sponsored by Michael Levine, who DL has it is a staple in the Los Angeles Fabric scene, and between their main store, the upholstry fabric store and the Loft where you can buy fabric by the pound, you can just go ahead and cut out the middle man (Santy Claus), and walk away with a bag full of happiness of your own. They also have an awesome online store, lowpricefabric.com, which I’ve heard SO MUCH great stuff about but am just now connecting that they’re the same thing!

My good friend  Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is also helping us make this happen, thank you to them!  You just can’t beat them for having exactly what you need when you need it, and also throwing in all those 40 and 50% coupons to make it all that much easier to get my hands on. Pretty sure a healthy chunk of my income goes to them each year, but a girl needs a brass zipper at 8:47 pm, Jo-Ann has your back.

“You better believe we’ll be checking out the new Mood Fabrics as well, and I will have fun pretending Project Runway style that I’m frantically looking for something, and maybe lose my wallet or something just for good drama’s sake.

ALSO–jazz hands– Melissa and I are so thrilled to be shooting some DIY videos for Ruche  tomorrow! More on that later!

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Because many of you know that I already have quite a bit of fabric, I did my best to deplete my stash as much as possible before I loaded up this weekend. Because I’m in the middle of moving and it’s the end of school and a million other things going on, I had plenty of time don’t worry about it.

This shirt is a variation on the Briar Tee, I slashed and spread the body to create the fly-away look, and then added a ruffle in the back initially to creatively solve the fact I didn’t cut it long enough. I’ve embraced the look now, although Allan did tell me that it does occasionally rest on my booty and gives me shelf-butt, which is why I look like I’m really amused in the second photo here.

The leggings are self drafted using Miranda’s technique, and I did some patch printing there on the knees to satisfy my knee-blocking needs.

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So I’m so excited! And unprepared! Gotta go pack, and maybe make one or two more things tonight. And dye my roots…and clean the house…good thing it’s only Midnight! Wish I were kidding.

 

Smashed Glass Maxi // Ombre Block Printing DIY

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Doesn’t this ombre print remind you of broken glass mosaic tiling? I was going to entitle it thus, but it seemed a little excessive. I could have also appropriately named it never-give-up-even-when-you-are-super-frustrated-and-want-to-throw-it-out-the-window- maxi.  Some ideas (it feels like most of mine), seem so brilliant in my head, but once I try them out, I’m usually disappointed because they just don’t work like I want. So I brainstorm, and trouble shoot, and try try again which SOMETIMES results in a successful technique, and sometimes results in the good-idea-fail file.  I have had this printing technique in my  mind for a long time, but when I tried it out I wasn’t getting clear printing at all–it looked pretty crappy! My problem was that the acrylic block is so solid and hard that it doesn’t provide any give, and I wasn’t able to apply even and heavy enough pressure towards the middle of the stamp which resulted in a bad print.  I tried unsuccessfully for quite sometime, before I decided to put the project to bed for a while until I wasn’t so frustrated and could look at it with a fresh perspective. That happened to be the next day when I had the idea to print on the top of some folded yardage of muslin to provide that give I needed. No dice. So I put it aside again, and thought about it again the next day. It occurred to me that maybe I just needed MORE give, so I tried printing over some thick knit folded a few times. BETTER! So I folded it again (at least 8 layers of fabric I think), and BAM. A clear print. I also discovered that adding the tiniest bit of water to the printing ink also resulted in a much more solid and clear print. It took quite a while to figure this beast out, but once I did, the printing went quick and well.   I wanted to share the behind-the-scenes on this project because it represents so much of my process. Good ideas usually take a lot of work, but through much trial and error I finally discovered an awesome printing trick that helped me make this skirt that I really really love. And hopefully it will help you too!

For this printing project you’ll need:

  • Something to print. I drafted this a-line skirt using this technique, but on step number 5 I added maybe 20″ to my hip measurement for the full width of the hem.  I also cut the hem at about a 45 degree angle to create that diamond silhouette that I first fell in love with here. I used a lovely heathered jersey that is sturdy but so light and drapey.  Like always, I printed each piece (in this case front and back) BEFORE I constructed.
  • Sure Stamp flexible printing plate. This stuff is so awesome! It cuts easily, and it’s so great for creating precise silhouettes and designs. It’s great to use with
  • acrylic stamp mounting blocks, and
  • Tack ‘n Peel, which is a very thin, double sided almost-gelly-like adhesive sheet (reusuable!!) that you apply to your acrylic blocks in order to temporarily (and very securely) adhere you different carved or cut stamps. This stuff is the shiz, I was very happy with it.
  • printing ink. I tried out Jacquard’s Neopaque line for the first time, and loved it–I think it may be be my favorite printing medium to date.
  • a  brayer and plastic lid to roll it in (see here)
  • scrap knit fabric to use as a print surface.
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Begin by snipping some of your printing plate into geometric shapes–no rhyme or reason here, just go to town.

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Then apply your Tack ‘n Peel to the acrylic block,mad mim_ombre printing tutorial_1503

and stick those suckers onto the block in a close design. Think mosaic tiling
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Using your folded knit as a printing surface (very important!), apply your paint to the stamp, and make a test print to see how you’re looking. Practice how close to print each print to each other, and see if your paint needs to be thinned down slightly to create a more solid design. You also might need to play around with the thickness of your folded knit. NEVER start printing on your actual fabric/garment until you have produced a good practice print!

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Now print your bottom row, in my case it was just the point of the skirt. For your second row, your will remove some of your geometric printing bits from the stamp–leaving the bottom more dense then the middle and top. You may have to rearrange your printing bits a little to get the right distribution. Make a practice print, and then print your second row, taking care to print close to your first pass. Sometimes I find that built up paint on the stamp and roller can affect the printing, so I rinsed both off between each row. The third and fourth rows are done exactly the same, you just continue to remove your printing plate bits before each row, until the last row when your block will be quite sparse. On the last two rows it’s important to make sure your don’t get paint on the block itself so that excess paint doesn’t mess up your print.

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See if you can distinguish between rows here, there are four in total. By removing the printing plate bits as you go you get such a cool ombre effect! My back skirt panel was much less clean than my front, so I used quilter’s tape to stencil around some of the individual shapes to clean up the overall look.

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Isn’t this a cool technique? I love love really dig the result, and can imagine it would be awesome on so many applications–everything from tea towels to lamp shades! 

I don’t want to freak ya’ll out, but buckle up for TWO posts this week! I’ve been sewing like a madwoman lately, and will share a little su’im su’im while giving you some more juicy details about my LA trip this weekend!

Ikat Foldover Makeup Pouch

So, news. We’re moving!

For a kazillion and one reasons we feel it’s time for our little family to get a move on to a home that meets our family’s needs better than where we’re at right now. It’s not just needing more space although heaven knows that’s a huge part of it, there were lots of reasons that we needed a change. After a couple of weeks of looking and turning up empty handed, a beautiful, dreamy, lovely home in South Weber sort of fell into our laps, and we can hardly believe it’s going to be our new home! We’re set to move in a few weeks, and honestly we can hardly wait.

But until then it’s going to be an onslaught of busy-ness.  First off, I’m going to LA at the end of the month and I’m SO EXCITED! Yay! Of course I have to whip a few little lovelies for that, so I’ve been doing some selfish sewing and thoroughly enjoying some late nights. Right after I get home I’ve got a birthday party to throw  for Twinkle, and then we’ll head south to spend a week soaking some of that broiling Las Vegas sun with family.  And then, we’ll get home just in time to spend some time with Allan’s family and say goodbye to  his little brother who is going on a mission for our church in the Phillipines for the next two years. And THEN I’ll pack us up to move. Yikes, when I write it all out like that it makes me feel nauseated.

With all that traveling planned, I finally decided to treat myself to a new makeup pouch, my current one was pretty nasty (WHY do make up bags get so gross??). I wanted something pretty big that could handle all my travel lotions and potions, but that could still stand up on it’s own for easy rooting. I once again turned to Vanessa’s perfect  foldover pouch pattern (first version here), but this time I boxed out the bottom so it can stand alone.  For convenience, I also added an inside zip for my tweezers and brow brush–two things I loathe having to dig for). I love how sturdy and legit this thing is. It’s exactly what I was hoping for, and I love the blocked ethnic-looking fabrics. The main fabric was thrifted and gifted to me by my sister, and the ikat print was an 1/8 of a yard scrap from my friend Melissa that I scored at the fabric swap a while back.

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So I have a feeling I won’t get all my planned projects done, I won’t get my house packed, I will stress out and break out over the party (never thrown one before), and I will likely burn in Vegas. BUT. It will all turn out fine, and at least my makeup is now housed in a sweet pouch and not  the dusty-with-shattered-eye shadow, too small and flimsy alternative!

Vintage May // Mustard Mu Mu Refashion

vintagemay6vVintage is the coolest, right? You love it, you’re Mom loves it, and so does Grandma. It seems like now more than ever fashion is dipping into each decade of the last 10 for the current fashion trends. Fashion roots go pretty deep, and it seems like we cycle through them all–even the bad ones (anyone a little horrified about the Mom Jeans popping up lately??) I’m a huge fan of vintage, and have lately been having fun identifying my style decade (I think I’m a 40’s girl). And besides being inspired by old fashion, I’m frequently sewing with vintage fabric or clothing.  I’m so excited today to be joining the wonderful Kristin from Skirt as Top and Jessica  from Craftiness is Not Optional  for their fantastic series Vintage May, and sharing with you my refashion + tutorial of this remake of a thrifted mumu c. 1970’s.

We’ve all most likely seen some pretty fantastic mumu (really mu’u mu’u) before-and-afters in our days, because let’s be honest–they can’t be beat when it comes to refashioning! They often have happy prints and oodles of fabric, and they make the most hysterical “before” shots ever. This is my second epic mumu refashion, and it promises to be just as loved as the first.

I found this delightful representation of 1970’s leisure at my local thrift shop for $4, and was immediately drawn to the wonderful mustard floral and piped yoke! Detail like that is special and it was a design element not to be overlooked or wasted!  Although the fit isn’t perfect (I added front and back darts), it looks really cute, and love the retro house-dress feel!

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Instead of finding a pattern to work from like I usually do, I just took some scissors to that beauty with this vintage inspiration in mind, and it ended up pretty close to the mark.

  1. Cut where you want your bodice/skirt seam to be (allow for seam allowance).
  2. Add darts (front and back), and take in side seams. I actually removed the sleeves, took in the sides seams, adjusted the sleeves and then re-inserted them for a better fit).
  3. Gather skirt to fit bodice circumference.
  4. Sew bodice to skirt right sides together.
  5. Add a back zipper, make any adjustments needed, and then rock it like it’s 1949!

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mad mim_vintage may_yellow mumu refashion_01Pretty fun and flirty, right? Can’t go wrong with some mumu love, I always say. Pretty sure it won’t be the last time I cut up one of those babies! Don’t forget to hop on over to both Kristin and Jessica for more Vintage May delight, and especially check out my posting partner Delia, for the sweet bonnet she made for her girly!