Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dressember Bound!

It's almost December, which means it's almost time for Dressember! 10 days until my jeans settle into my closet for the month and I will wear a dress every day in December to raise awareness and money to help end modern day slavery. This is my fourth year as a Dressember advocate, and I've determined I need to make a few changes.

First, this year I'll be joining in #Dressemberbound on Instagram and Disneybounding in my dresses! If you're unfamiliar with Disneybounding, the short answer is that it's creating an everyday look inspired by a character instead of wearing a costume. This gives me a chance to plan ahead, though a few of the prompts are tough - how do I even choose one favorite Disney song?

Second, the past few years I haven't done well at meeting my fundraising goals, so this year I'm offering a few incentives. Yes, they stack!

$5 - I will send you a handwritten note. Who doesn't like getting real, non spam mail?
$10 - Sponsor a Disneybound. You get to choose a day and character. Bonus if it follows the prompts, but I'll make it work anyway if it doesn't!
$20 - A dozen homemade cookies. You choose what kind, I bake and send them to you. OR if you don't want cookies, I will make you a little zip pouch.
$50 - I will record and post a song related to your chosen Disneybound.

If I meet my goal of $350, Ellie will record a duet with me. She also plans to Dressemberbound as a soft start to being an advocate herself!

My donation page is already live: Kate's Dressember Page

Again this year, I plan to wear dresses I've made, and hopefully mainly handmade or ethically purchased accessories. For these Frozen 2 Anna pictures, this is a George+Ginger December Dress, and my well loved Mouse House Creations Julia Cardigan.

And it was freezing! This is how I really felt.

Together, we can make this world a better, freer place. #It'sBiggerThanADress

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Me Made May 2019

Another May has snuck up on me! Which means it's once again time for a month of wearing clothes I've made. This will be my fifth year of this challenge, and while I still want to participate, I admit that I've found the last couple of Mays to be more stressful than enjoyable. After some thought, I've decided that really isn't the intended result, so I'm going about it a little differently this year. Instead of increasing the challenge, I'm going to give myself some grace. So I simply pledge to wear something me made every day in May, and be mindful of choosing handmade. I will probably post most days on Instagram as well, so be sure to follow me over there to see how my Me Made May is going!

I started off with my favorite Sunny tee, and a Vermont Cardigan that I find I don't choose to wear often. It's not my favorite shade of pink, but it goes really nicely with the hint of pink in the floral, which I hadn't noticed before! And it was actually pretty comfortable to wear all day, so I'll try to show it a little more love in the future. This shirt has become one of my favorites over the last year, even though the fit isn't quite perfect. These pieces were paired with RTW jeans since, I'll be honest, I'm fairly happy with how my jeans fit. So while I have pants on my to sew list and even have a pair of jeans in my UFO pile, they haven't made it to the top of my priorities. I did make my necklace though! Do accessories count?

Since this is a pretty short post, if you made it this far, have a bonus and unrelated music video! Heavy Metal Heroes is possibly my newest favorite.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Boys Can Wear Pink!

I've been intermittent in joining this blog tour, but we're back this year for season 5 of Boys Can Wear Pink!

Truthfully, Cyrus is STILL not really into pink, but for some reason he's become adamant about doing this tour. It's funny, really - we've done season 1 and season 3. I'm not sure why I didn't do 2, but when I skipped last year due to being overwhelmed by school, he was pretty upset with me. So this year I made sure to sign up! You'll notice he's no stranger to rolling his eyes at traditional gender stereotypes. These photos were taken after he finally let me cut 5 inches off of his hair. Yup. His gorgeous long hair often gets him mistaken for a girl by strangers, but he's so unbothered by it that he typically doesn't even correct them. So wearing pink? He's got this. And since he's solidly in that "tween well on his way to being a teenager" phase, if mom isn't looking, he just might give any judgement the finger. ;)

My original idea looked nothing like this. Cy was on board with doing a hoodie inspired by the Phoenix Armor from Mass Effect, but my fabric didn't arrive in the timely fashion I'd hoped for. I ended up at JoAnns, and my kid knows what he likes - neon brights, the brighter the better. So when he saw this big cat print in neon pink and orange (his favorite color), he said "That one!". It's not my style at all, but he loves it. Both the print and the black are performance knits from JoAnns, which was perfect since this kid absolutely lives in athleisure wear.

I used the New Horizons Summit Peak Hoodie to take advantage of the built in places to color block, which was probably the only thing I didn't change from the hoodie I had intended to make. It has princess seams with side panels and a lined hood, which are perfect places to use a second fabric. This one is the kids' version, but if he grows any more I'll need to print the men's version. When did he get so grown up? And so TALL? This was my first time making it, and it came together perfectly and quickly. The cowl hood is his favorite, and he's already playing with ways to keep it over his nose. Apparently he's a fabulous and not very stealthy ninja - there's NO way you don't take a stealth check penalty in that neon cat print!

He's loving this crazy hoodie, but already planning something truly, eye poppingly pink for next year if the tour runs again! We'll see how he feels about that in a few months. Pink seems to be in for men this year, so perhaps he's coming around to it. Or maybe it's just because he's inherited the contrary, stubborn genes. I, um, have no idea where he might have gotten those... Well, here's one last picture with him all ninja'd up!

You've made it to the end of my rambling, so go visit the rest of the awesome bloggers who are sewing pink for their amazing boys this season!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sew Thankful Tour

Want to know a secret? I've typically passed on November tours before this one. Why, you ask? With Thanksgiving as the notable November holiday, they always have themes of thankfulness. That's great, and I certainly have things I'm thankful for, but I'm terrible at writing about them. I'm worse at finding a way to tie it into sewing, or any other crafting.

Ellie saved me at the last minute by asking for a new dress for Thanksgiving. In past years I might have questioned it, but we're fortunate to have been able to travel this year to celebrate Thanksgiving with Patrick, and a new dress for Thanksgiving with Daddy's Boss seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea to me.

She loves twirly dresses, so my current go-to pattern for her is the Patterns for Pirates Me Hearties Dress. It's fast to make, comfy, and the circle skirt is just perfect for twirling. I bought the fabric for this after lunch, and in spite of taking time for a trip out to get ice cream and a break for dinner, the dress was finished by bed time. Originally she asked for turkeys, but JoAnn's was pretty much devoid of any turkey prints by the weekend before Thanksgiving. As a second choice, the feather print jersey is super soft, and twirls nicely.

This dress was a hit. She says it's super comfortable, and even wore it for one of the long days of driving on our way home. I'm so glad I could fulfill her request and make her happy.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to check out more Sew Thankful posts from some great bloggers!

Week of November 6th:

Week of November 11th:

Week of November 18th:

Week of November 25th:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Monster: The Wicked Witch in Residence

Today is my stop on the Sewing By Ti My Monster tour! So my wicked witch and I cordially welcome you to Castle Hangnail.

Castle Hangnail is an excellent book by Ursula Vernon about 12 year old Molly, the sweetest wicked witch you've ever known, who shows up to fill the vacancy for a master at Castle Hangnail. She may not be a monster, but certainly some of the loyal minions of the castle are! Both my son and daughter absolutely adore this book (and really anything by Ursula Vernon), and honestly so do I. So when Ellie firmly decided she was going to be Molly for Halloween I was happy to oblige.

For better and worse, there are very few pictures, so I was largely on my own to interpret Molly's outfit from those plus the written descriptions. Her basic outfit and hat aren't really mentioned, but ARE shown in the illustrations. Ellie was adamant about a top and skirt instead of a dress, so I made a Go To Patterns Adventure Tee with slightly gathered sleeves. Instead of a regular band I finished the neckline with lace elastic, and the hems were all left raw. For the skirt, I used the circle skirt from the Patterns for Pirates Me Hearties Dress - even little wicked witches can't resist a twirly skirt! I'm honestly not entirely sure of what fabric I used since it was all leftover bits from my stash (I, um, have a lot of black fabric), but I think the top is a bamboo jersey, and the skirt is a rayon knit from JoAnn's. I used this tutorial from Delia Creates for the hat, and black premium felt from JoAnn's. The brim is a tad floppier than I'd prefer, but the cone scrunches perfectly so overall I'm really pleased with the result.

Really though, the best part of this outfit is the witchy coat. This piece was a big deal in the book, so I was determined to get it as right as possible. Getting the right fabric and trims was important, possibly more to me than her! It's described as being different shades of black, which ended up very frustrating when you have difficulty drawing the line between "Halloween costume" and "cosplay".

As a base pattern I went back to the Peekaboo Pattern Shop Little Gentleman Suit Jacket - for the fourth time. After my son grew out of it, I didn't expect to use it again, but I knew I would heavily modify almost any pattern I used - so why buy a new one? I used the top half of the jacket, and redrafted the bottom to make it a longer, full dress coat. I also added in seam pockets, because who doesn't need pockets?

For the outer sleeve I just added a french cuff and the lace trim, but I drafted and added a fitted, knit inner sleeve. I used a gabardine suiting for the body of the coat, and lined it with some silky, iridescent fabric I bought for last year's costume and didn't use. I also added a flannel interlining for warmth, because let's be real here - we live in Maine, and by evening on Halloween it can be downright cold.

Probably the most frustrating part was finding a trim for the collar that I was happy with. I'm not sure the one I chose is really metallic, but it's shiny without having sequins or glitter, which had to be good enough. The buttons are from Etsy - I couldn't find raven skull buttons with twinkling black eyes, but I found custom cast raven silhouette buttons which are so freaking amazing. I am ridiculously proud of how this coat turned out, and fortunately she adores it too. For finishing touches, I upcycled some striped socks into no-sew hand warmers.

To finish the look, she has a vulture necklace (another Etsy find), tights, and her Very Witchy boots. The pictures and the written description don't entirely agree, so we went with the book and bought boots with laces, then replaced them with purple ones. She has a tiny bat that likes to be awake during the day, so when I found this little bat puppet we decided he was a perfect Bugbane. And of course, a witch needs her spell book! I whipped up this version of the little gray book with a faux leather remnant.

Now you should grab a copy of Castle Hangnail, then be sure to visit the rest of this month's tour stops!

Monday, October 1st- Sewing By Ti (intro)

2nd- Tales from a Southern Mom

3rd- Shalini's Sewing Space

4th- Tenille's Thread

5th- Sewing By Ti

Monday, October 8th- Back 40 Life

9th- Family of Makers

10th- Made for Little Gents

11th- Big Fly Notions

Sunday, October 14th- The Fairy Dust Bin

17th- Sewing With D

18th- 52 Week Sewing Challenge

19th- Auschick Sews

20th- Sew Cute Couture by Kathy

Sunday, October 21st- The Bear and the Pear Atelier

22nd- Seams Like Style

23rd- Seams Sew Lo

24th- My Heart Will Sew On

25th- JOT Designs USA

26th- My Sewing Roots

27th- Manning the Machine

Monday, October 29th- Frulle Mieke

30th- Sew Like a Sloth

31st- Sewing By Ti

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Me Made May '18 Pledge

This has been one crazy busy year so far! Given how little sewing time I have, it's way past time to take inventory for Me Made May this year. Each year I participate I try to push myself a little bit further for this challenge. This will be my fifth(!!!) year, so to increase the challenge is, well, a challenge. It has taken me awhile to decide, but I'm ready to officially make my pledge. Is this the first time you've heard of Me Made May? Check out the details on So, Zo...

'I, Kate of The Fairy Dust Bin blog and @thefairydustbin on Instagram, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '18. I endeavour to wear at least 2 handmade items daily, and fully handmade outfits 4 days per week (with the exception of gym clothes, undergarments, hoisery and footwear) with minimal outfit repeats throughout May 2018.' I intend to document by photographing and posting to Instagram most days, and will have a writeup on my blog at the end of the challenge.

Having gone through my current handmade wardrobe, I still have a little work to do. Specifically some quick, and a couple not so quick, alterations, and finishing some UFOs. I have plenty of skirts and a couple of pairs of leggings, but my plan to work on some things last week did not come to fruition thanks to illness.

With that said, I think I need to go sew myself some pants!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Into Color

Thank goodness for these tours, or I might forget to make posts for months. I swear I've been sewing, but I've been so busy with school and parenting and basically life that I can't seem to get around to taking decent pictures of anything to put up here, especially in the freezing cold. At least the last part of that might change, now that it's officially spring! Now if the weather would just get the memo, because it definitely snowed today...

March's theme for the Sewing By Ti blog tour is the spring Pantone color forecast.

Most of the colors are, well, really not ones I wear. Hm. Plus, for colors that are supposedly the big thing for this season, the ones I liked were very hard to find! So I tried for Palace Blue, and ordered this beautiful Art Gallery Challis, only to realize once my fabric arrived that there was no lighting that would make it match that shade, no matter how much I love it. Those sketched roses though, they have a pink that's definitely somewhere between Ash Rose and Blooming Dahlia, and I realized I had some french terry in my stash that was almost precisely the same color.

I made a Deer & Doe Reglisse Dress, which is also on my #2018makenine list this year so it's a two birds with one stone make! This is view B, with no collar and a faux button placket. Even though I was running out of time, I was a responsible seamstress and whipped up a muslin of the bodice. I'm petite from shoulder to bust, and found that this was a little long for me, plus the armscye was really low. The front fit okay since I took up the room in the bust, but for the final version I took almost an inch of length out of the back between the shoulders, which also shortened the armscye. It turned out gorgeous in the challis, and the skirt has amazing twirl factor. This sewed up surprisingly quickly, though I found the directions for the bias neckline finish a little confusing at first. I finished the skirt with a rolled hem instead of the bias tape finish used in the pattern to prevent stiffening the hem.

To go with it, both for the color and because it will be cardi weather for months still, I made the New Horizons Vermont Cardigan with sparkle french terry from So Sew English that I had on hand. I chose the cropped version, which didn't exactly turn out all that cropped, or at least not quite like I'd envisioned. I'd call this hip length on me. But remember that petite adjustment I did on the dress? I definitely didn't do anything similar here, so that's pretty much my own fault. The pattern itself was straightforward and came together really quickly, and the French terry is oh so soft and easy to work with.

Apparently I'm going to be wearing pink sweaters this spring, who'd have figured? And also get to be closer friends with my rolled hem foot for finishing these circle-type skirts that I seem to have a thing for right now. I think I'm good with that one!

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to check out the rest of this month's great color inspiration!

Thursday, March 1st: Sewing By Ti- Intro

2nd: Tenille's Thread

Monday, March 5th: Confessions of the Pink Obsessed

6th: Sewn By Lone

7th: Sewing By Ti, Stylin Stacy

8th: EYMM

9th: Stitched by Jennie

10th: Elli and Nels

Sunday, March 11th: Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier

12th: Very Blissful

13th: My Heart Will Sew On

14th: Sewing Blue

15th: Seams Like Style

16th: Kate Will Knit

17th: Twinado Alley

Sunday March 18th: Mermaids Den

19th: My Sewing Roots

20th: Our Play Palace

21st: Kathys Kwilts and More

22nd: The Fairy Dust Bin

23rd: Oak Blue Designs

24th: Aurora Designs Fabrics

Sunday March 25th: Flaxfield Sewing

26th: Seams Sew Lo

27th: Ma Moose

28th: Back 40 Life

29th: Auschick Sews

30th: Manning the Machine

31st: Mermaids Den