Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sewing By Ti Blog Tours: Date Night

I got all excited when I first signed up for this tour. Date night! Sounds fun! And then I had time to think about it and went - what the heck would I wear on a date? I don't go on dates, and on the occasion that I get out without the kids it's usually a day date. So eventually I decided on a pencil skirt and top - simple, comfortable, and not overly dressy. Unfortunately for all of us, the shirt I made did not turn out right, and since we ended up with last minute travel plans last week, I didn't have time to re-do. Such is life, right? So the top is a rtw one I happened to have with me. But I have a skirt! A pretty, Patterns for Pirates Pirate Pencil Skirt.

I used some floral ponte that I had in my stash, and it worked really nice for this. It's thicker than the knits I usually work with, and is really nice for a skirt. It keeps it's structure really nicely even though it's still stretchy and comfortable to wear.

I made this one using the mid rise, above knee options. Since I'm somewhat petite, I find I prefer my skirts to either hit above the knee to show off my legs and give more visual length, or to be full length. I usually have to straighten the hip curve on things that are very shaped. I'm pretty straight through the hips, so I end up with some bunching along the sides of my hip. With that slight change, this skirt hangs pretty nicely.

I ended up dressing this down a bit with the boots and top I paired with it, since it was more a daytime lunch date look for me. You could easily switch it up with a fitted and/or tucked in top and heels for a sexier night time look.

It's simple and versatile to style, and a quick sew for a last minute date night or lunch date. Add accessories as desired and go! If you're looking for fabric for your date night sew, Simply By Ti is offering 10% off to all the Date Night February readers! Use coupon code DATENIGHT

If you're like me, you're going to love all of the inspiration my fellow bloggers have for you. Be sure to check back all February long to see what patterns work for us!

Wednesday, February 1st: Sewing By Ti

February 2nd: Crafty Like a Rox

February 3rd: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 5th: Embrace Everyday

February 6th: Tenille's Thread

February 7th: Robynne and the Bobbin

February 9th: Sewingly, Michelle

February 10th: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 12th: Embrace Every Day

February 13th: A Phoenix Risen

February 14th: Creative Counselor

February 15th: Creamer and Chaos

February 16th: Everything Your Mama Made and More

February 17th: Sewing By Ti

February 18th: Sew Like a Sloth

Sunday, February 19th: Very Blissful

February 20th: Tenille's Thread

February 21st: Mamoose Handmade

February 22nd: Rebel and Malice

February 23rd: Margarita on the Ross

February 24th: Sewing By Ti

February 25th: On Wednesday We Sew

Sunday, February 26th: The Fairy Dust Bin

February 27th: Sewing By Ti

February 28th: Sew Haute

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Boys Can Wear Pink - Galaxy Tee

My boy isn't really all that into pink, but when I asked if he'd be up for doing Handmade Boy's blog tour again this year, he gave me a very enthusiastic yes! He's good like that. Because even though it's not typically his preference, he firmly believes that anyone who wants to can wear pink. Even boys.

When I first asked for his design input he started picking some very pink stuff, which was awesome except that I know he won't wear it again. Well, except as pajamas, but I wanted to make something that both had pink and that he'd really want to wear again. We ended up poking around online and found this amazing galaxy print that happens to have bright pink in the print. As a bonus, it also has amazing pops of orange, which IS his favorite.

I used Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan, with the front V accent and elbow patches. He's recently decided that elbow patches are pretty awesome, after I put them on another shirt on a whim. His favorite part about the V is that since I haven't yet found tags he can stand, he doesn't have to come ask me if his shirt is on backwards. Win! It won't be long before I have to give up and buy a men's pattern, though. He only has one size left before he outgrows this one. Where did my sweet little guy go?

Sewing on the elbow patches is not always my favorite, but I used my new favorite sewing tool to make it easier: wash away hem tape. I've been sewing for a lot of years, and finally tried it recently for a curved hem. Now I use it for everything - it worked amazingly in place of pins to place both the elbow pads and the V. In addition to keeping things in place, it stabilizes where I'm putting the seam so knits don't stretch out of place, and it's been the best thing ever.

He's getting so grown up and still sweet, but he'll take on anyone who dares to say anything bad about his shirt. It has pink? Big deal. Also don't bother mentioning that his hair is always in his eyes, because he'll just roll them and tell you he likes it that way. ;)

You've made it to the good stuff! Enter this awesome giveaway, then go check out the rest of the bloggers if you haven't already.

Prizes: (bundles excluded)

Pattern of choice from Max & Meena Patterns
Pattern of choice from PUPERITA
Pattern of choice from Striped Swallow Designs
Pattern of choice from Stitch Upon a Time
Pattern of choice from EYMM
Pattern of choice from The Wolf and the Tree
$30 gift certificate from Girl Charlee

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the rest of the week's bloggers and giveaways!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 Sewing Outlook - Tower of Sewing

Last year, and for a couple of years before that, I've had fairly ambitions crafting plans. Also for those years, and probably pretty much every other one before, I've been wildly disorganized in spite of my best attempts to use about 3 billion different organizational systems. I always end up with a pile of supplies surrounded by good intentions, and only a few finished projects. This year, I also have ambitious crafting plans, as well as other life goals such as returning to college, but I'm feeling optimistic that maybe this is the year I'll get a few more of them done than usual. I won't say all, but maybe most.

Why the extra optimism this year? Last fall, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It took until my 30s to put the pieces together, and now? With help, I'm finally able to make some of those organizational tools and skills work, and it looks possible that I can make a plan and execute it with fewer hiccups and without leaving everything until the 11th hour. I ordered the 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook, found a free printable blog planner that I changed slightly for my own use, and I even made a spreadsheet to organize my projects by month. So just maybe this will be the year that I am actually successful at getting my shit together.

Collage Credit @selfassemblyrequired
So first, I joined Project #SewMyStyle. The goal is to sew one piece each month for a year, focusing on slow sewing to end up with something of a capsule wardrobe. A couple of the chosen patterns I already own, or have looked at buying. Several of the patterns are not necessarily styles I would typically choose, or projects I would decide to take on, but for now I'm planning to stick with them as a way to push out of my comfort zone. My bigger problem is that, right now, I'm outside of the size chart for a couple of the patterns, and I'm currently undecided about how to tackle that.

From top left: Closet Case Morgan Jeans, Love Notions Pemberly Tunic, Patterns for Pirates Cocoon Cardigan, True Bias Hudson Pants, Colette Sorbetto Top, Mouse House Julia Cardigan, Sew House Seven Toaster 2, Simplicity 8231, Kate & Rose Zsalya
Additionally, I decided to be part of the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe: Deep Stash challenge. This one is a minimum of eight items in 4 months, all sewn with patterns that were acquired before January 1, 2017. It's also encouraged to pull fabrics from your stash, but much of my stash isn't readily accessible to me right now. I've managed to choose a few things that will use stash fabric, but I've had to buy some new to match the patterns that I think I'm going to make. Of course, since this goes through the end of April, there's a good possibility that I'll wind up changing my mind, and already have at least once during the planning phase. Since I now have the fabric that I plan to use with each pattern, I will try very hard not to go too far off of my plan.

Image credits: Jessie's Girl, Saffron Cosplay, Upcycle PJs, Flannel Shirt Dress (unable to find original image), Morgan Jeans, Jasper Sweater, Skyrim Logo, Pajama Eaters, Chain Maille Bracelet
Lastly, so far, I joined 2017 Make Nine. I had trouble deciding on nine projects, and not all of them are sewing. There's a knitting project, and at least one jewelry project, as well as a cosplay that will involve multiple craft media. Most of these don't have any specific deadline, so I'm currently sorting out how best to space them throughout the year. These are mostly direct "make this pattern" or "follow this tutorial" ideas. Exceptions: I plan to make a Tilly and the Buttons Fifi camisole to go with the Colette Madeline Bloomers for my (probably not upcycled) pjs. The Skyrim image is beads, but I'm actually planning to try making a small quilt. It will retain a geeky theme, but may or may not stay Skyrim inspired. And the Saffron cosplay depends on a number of things. There will hopefully be some sort of cosplay, but the exact one may change. I've done costumes and cosplays for everyone else, but for one reason or another I've never quite managed to commit and make one for myself, so I'm aiming to do that this year.

It remains to be seen how close I get to making everything on these lists, but regardless it looks like a full, fun crafting year ahead!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

It's Four in the Morning, the End of Dressember

It's not really four in the morning here, but it is somewhere. For some reason, when I was titling this as "End of Dressember", I got Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" in my head, so y'all can get it stuck in yours too. You're welcome.

I didn't start this to write about song lyrics, though. Dressember wrapped up a few days ago, and I'm glad to have participated. Over the month of December, more than $1.3 million was raised, and donations are still rolling in. Fundraisers are open through the end of January, but no more having to wear a dress everyday. So far, over $1.4 million has been raised, enough to fund 222 rescue operations. No one deserves to live in slavery, so if you can, please donate to help reach the $1.5 million goal!

For those who don't follow me on IG, here's a quick and dirty roundup of the second half of December's dress selfies.

I won't lie, I was sooo happy to wear jeans and no dress New Years' Day! But I am planning to participate again this year. If anyone else is interested in joining me, we can be a team! So consider wearing dresses next December to end modern day slavery. And remember.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Halfway Through Dressember!

December, and thus Dressember, is just over halfway through, and I have managed to make it this far while wearing a dress every day. If you are able to donate to help victims of human trafficking, you can find my fundraiser here.

Honest? It's so weird. I don't actually wear dresses that often at any time of year, and if it's cold? Fugeddaboutit. So this has definitely been a challenge, and way out of the norm for me. Some days it's actually fun, and I've tried out some funkier style choices. Some of them I think I'll probably wear again. Other days? I really, really just want to put on my jeans and a t-shirt, especially when it's below freezing. Those days, choosing from my limited supply of dresses can be very hard. But no longer do I find it weird to layer a sweatshirt over a dress! The best thing I ever did, though, was buy fleece lined tights. They are so cozy, and warmer than my leggings. These tights have made this challenge bearable.

I attempted to hem a dress that I didn't like the length of. It's a brown sundress that I've had for years, I think it was maybe originally a swimsuit coverup? I don't remember. It cannot be worn without a layer underneath at any time of year, or being chilly would be the least of my problems, so I haven't worn it much. But I got a bit ahead of myself, mismeasured, and sliced off about twice as much length as I should have. I'm not convinced it still qualifies as a dress until I fix the length again, but I wore it as one anyway, over my brand new Peg Legs in Serenity fabric. No brown coat, so a brown dress had to do.

One new dress has been made so far this month! It's nothing fancy - I used the Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up Shirt and just flared it from the waist and lengthened it to be a dress. I used a black bamboo knit that I've been hoarding for the last year or two, and it's sooooo soft and comfortable. It clings more than I hoped around the middle, but that's what I get for winging it. It's still super comfortable, and it works really well for layering a t-shirt over. And it's the only long sleeved dress in my closet right now, so I guess I just need to remember to do some more planks! ;)

Most of my dresses are store bought. Thrown in are the new one, a polka dot Lady Skater, and my fox Free Spirit Tank dress. I've also gotten a lot of use out of some handmade layers. My Layer Me Up Shirts have put in appearances, as have my Women's Raglan and Julia Cardigan. I've so far been successful at switching up the layering so that I haven't worn the same outfit twice. Still two weeks to go, though. Follow me over on Instagram if you're curious to see my daily selfies before the end of the month!

Friday, December 2, 2016


Have you ever heard of Dressember? Until yesterday, neither had I. The Dressember Foundation was created to raise funds to end human trafficking. All money raised goes to International Justice Mission and the A21 Campaign. There are millions of victims across the globe who have been trafficked into slavery. Every one of them deserves freedom and justice.

I may have missed the first day, but as of December 2, 2016, I'll be participating by wearing a dress every day for the month of December. If you'd like to donate, you can find my fundraising page here. For daily updates, follow me over on Instagram.

How is this sewing related? It isn't really, except that I found I only own a handful of dresses. There are a couple of new ones on my to-make list, and while they encourage wearing the same few dresses for Dressember, I'd like to have a couple more to stretch my laundry days! Plus, I may need to make a few new layering pieces to wear with said few dresses. There, now it's sewing related!

Today I'm wearing a storebought dress with a Julia Cardigan

So check out Dressember and get involved!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Nightmare Before Christmas Costume Details!

I know it's super late, but I'm finally getting around to posting more about this year's costumes, with the good pictures! Hey, at least it's vaguely appropriate for Nightmare Before Christmas to be posted between the two holidays, right? In addition to Halloween, we're also occasional con goers, so our costumes lean slightly towards cosplay so they can be worn again if they haven't been outgrown - and now my kids expect detailed and accurate costumes. No idea how that happened... But I'll be incredibly lucky if the suit still fits the next time we head to a con! Anyone know of any in the near future? ;)

Last year, they found The Nightmare Before Christmas on Netflix, and became totally obsessed. It was too late to do it last year, so THIS year they decided to be Jack Skellington and Sally.

The first challenge was finding fabric for Jack's suit. I had assumed, silly me, that some sort of stripes in an appropriate fabric would be much easier to find. Instead, it took forever to find the right fabric. I'd seen some people make theirs from black and draw the stripes on, but I really wasn't up for that. Eventually I found exactly what I was after at a local salvage place that carries fabric. After hacking the Little Gentleman Suit Jacket from Peekaboo Patterns last year to have tuxedo tails, I used essentially the same alteration to make Jack's jacket, and just changed the tails to look a little more tattered. He wore a basic white tee under the jacket.

I only used one button, but did keep the jacket length to the waist in the front, since my son is not a skeleton, nor will he be persuaded to wear pants that cover most of his torso. My go-to for pants to use with the jacket are the Classic Chinos, also from Peekaboo Patterns. For the bow tie, I used this tutorial and left off the stripes - I tried them with the first one, and didn't like how the puff paint was coming out.

Tackling the Sally dress was more difficult. I looked up dozens of pictures and watched part of the movie with the kids. The movie version has very washed out colors, while most of the available merchandise and art uses bright colors. When I went fabric shopping, there was very little that was anywhere near resembling the patterns and colors from either version, so I bought a bunch of solids and a fabric marker. I started with the Very Shannon Sally Dress pattern - fitting, right? - and redrew the neckline to be rounded in back and a vee in front. I made a muslin to check that it would still go over her head, then sketched the shapes onto the inside of the muslin with pencil and traced them into pattern pieces. After I went back and used the original pieces to redraw the armscye so that the sleeve piece would fit in cleanly, I cut the pieces and drew the fabric patterns on in marker. The patchwork pieces are sewn together like a crazy quilt, and then the black stitching was added with embroidery floss. I left the sleeves and bottom unhemmed to let it look more raggedy.

To make the arms and legs with stitching I bought a white leotard, gloves, and tights, then drew the stitch marks on with the aforementioned fabric marker. I cut off the feet of a pair of black and white striped knee socks to make her leg warmers.

I'll admit, I rolled the dice on whether to go faded or bright. I ended up choosing bright, but the first time Ellie saw the finished dress she had a fit that the colors weren't right and it wasn't the one she saw in the movie... Oops. Mom fail. In the end she came around and she loves it, but I'll know better next time.

In the end, they're thrilled with the costumes. If I'm lucky, they'll still fit the next time we go to a con, and maybe I'll even win the argument about wearing makeup - Ellie usually will, but Cy adamantly refuses after enduring last year's makeup. If I win that fight, I'll be sure to post pictures on my blog!

I hope you enjoy our costumes, and if you'd like to see some previous years, you can check out The Joker and Harley Quinn, and Harry Potter (which also has a picture of the 10th Doctor costume from the year before).