Sunday, August 6, 2017

My Favorite Things

I hopped back on the Sewing By Ti tour this month! So today, I get to share with you a few of my favorite (sewing) things.

At first I wasn't sure which item was my favorite, especially since most of what I've sewn (and failed to blog about... oops!) recently had been cosplay items. But then I realized that it really wasn't such a difficult choice. My favorite item that I've made that's in regular rotation in my closet is, hands down, my N7 themed Halla Elora Convertible Dress. I love how I feel in this dress, and now that I'm done con sewing for awhile, I really need to make another!

The skirt on this dress has been around for almost two years. It began life as the skirt portion of this dress. When I realized I wasn't wearing it as a dress, I took the bodice off and added a yoga waistband, and wore just the skirt until this past May. That waistband had gotten too large, so I cut it off and used it as the skirt portion of my first Elora. The best part about this pattern? Fold the top down, and it's back to being a skirt. The skirt is a rayon spandex blend, but I used a sturdier cotton lycra for the bodice to be sure it would hold the weight of a maxi dress.

Unfortunately, I did not make that tee. I love my geek inspired handmade items and official merch, but I came across this design on TeePublic, and couldn't pass it up. A game reference to musical theater by one of my favorite characters is just too me.

As for my current favorite sewing notion? Wash away wonder tape.
This stuff is magic, and has made me change my "too lazy to hem things made of knits) ways, which is probably for the best! Essentially, it's double stick tape for fabric that you can easily sew through, and then washes away with water. If you've never seen it before, it's super easy to use: stick it along the raw edge, being careful not to stretch out your fabric, then pull off the paper and fold it up. Stitch with your preferred hemming technique for whatever you're making. This works even on a curved hem, which is a huge headache saver. Here I used it on a top made with a cotton/lycra blend, but it works on slippery fabrics as well to stabilize your hem while you sew.

I really should have gotten a picture of the finished hem, but I'll confess that it's still sitting on my table with the hem taped and not sewn. Some weeks are like that! I hope you enjoyed my favorites. Don't forget to check out last week's tour posts if you haven't yet, and make sure to follow along for the rest of the month to see everyone's favorite things!

Tuesday, August 1st: Intro, Tenille's Thread

Sunday, August 6th: The Fairy Dust Bin ***You are here.
11th: EYMM

Sunday, August 13th: Lulu & Celeste
18th: Ma Moose

Sunday, August 20th: Embrace Everyday

Sunday, August 27th: Made By Melli
30th: Me Made

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Changes and transitions seem to be a theme in my life right now. Spring to summer, new beginnings, old to new. I decided to take some old things that no longer fit (or, to be fair, never really did) now that I've lost 30 pounds(!) and upcycle them into something new and wearable. Unfortunately, it totally slipped my mind to take "before" photos until I'd already cut things up. Oops.

I'd bought a men's XL Hogwarts tee at Target at some point, maybe with the intention to make something else, but I never did. It became a sleep tee instead, because it was oversized. Last time I wore it, I was absolutely swimming in it - there's no way I need a men's XL anything! So I used the Patterns for Pirates Cross My Heart Cami to turn it into a summer cami that will actually get some wear. I love it, but I will shorten the straps next time. This style has been a go to for me for years, but I never had a pattern to make my own. I'm pretty excited that now I can! I think I'll go raid the men's tees at Target next time they go on sale. ;)

The skirt is upcycled from this dress. I love this style, and when it fits properly I find it to be super flattering. It fit well enough when I bought it, but the top became huge and the waist started sitting several inches below mine. I just couldn't wear it anymore. So I chopped it off at the waist and made a skirt! I had to add a waistband lining and put some elastic in it, and I'm really not used to things sitting at my natural waist, but I kind of love it.

Thanks for checking out my post! Now go click through to check out the rest of the month's Ch-Ch-Changes inspiration!

Sunday, May 1st- Sewing By Ti, Tenille's Thread

Monday, May 8- Sewing By Ti

May 9th- Sewing By Ti

May 10th- Sewing By Ti

May 11th- Lilliepawillie

May 12th- Sewing By Ti

Monday, May 15th- Anne Mari Sews

May 16th- Mahlica Designs

May 17th- Ma Moose

May 18th- The Fairy Dust Bin

May 19th- Harper + Lu

Monday, May 22nd- Margarita on the Ross

May 23rd- Very Blissful

May 24th- Creative Counselor

May 25th- Doodle Number 5

May 26th- Ade Says

Sunday, May 28th- Sew Like a Sloth

May 29th- Anne Mari Sews

May 30th- Stitching and Making

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Me Made May '17 Pledge

This year, I have totally dropped the ball on getting prepped for Me Made May. Thanks to some fairly significant weight loss in the past few months (Yay!) a number of my handmade items no longer fit (Boo!). Just like a lot of my rtw clothing. Funny how they don't magically change size with you. I'm crossing my fingers that I can manage without having to sew up 20 new things, because I really don't have time for that. I have a 5 year old with a broken leg, and cosplays to get working on for June.

So with that, here's my MMMay17 pledge:

'I, Kate of The Fairy Dust Bin blog and @thefairydustbin, sign up as a participant of Me Made May '17. I endeavor to wear at least one item of me-made clothing each day, and all me-made outfits (excluding underwear, socks, footwear) 3 days per week for the duration of Me Made May.'

Typically I take daily photos and post them to IG. I plan to do that again, but am not making it part of my pledge this year.

At a glance, with most of my me-mades tossed on a bed, this will definitely be a challenge.

Yeah... That's a mess.
Several things that no longer fit well haven't made it out of my closet, and one pair of leggings is my lone pair of pants. Yikes. It's not as warm this year doing Me Made May in Maine instead of Maryland (whoa, that's a lot of "M"s), so I see at least a couple new pairs of leggings being sewn in my near future. Maybe a pair of real pants if I can make the time. But we'll make this work! Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sewing Up Spring

I am so, so ready for spring this year. Signs of it are finally starting to pop up here, and we've had a couple of teaser days that warm weather might decide to stick around eventually. Mostly though, it's still been pretty cold, so planning new things for warm weather has been more like dreaming. I wasn't feeling terribly springy when it came time to plan for this tour, but at some point I mentioned it to a friend who not only puts up with my babble about craft stuff, but is super amazing and sometimes even actually pays attention. ;) He gave me a suggestion that bears little resemblance to what I ultimately made, but it was enough to spark a new stream of ideas, which was exactly what I needed.

I'd found the butterfly voile at JoAnns, while looking in the quilting fabrics with my mom. I had no idea what I'd do with it, but I loved it and just had to buy it. It was perfectly springy for this project, but I don't typically wear a lot of light colored dresses. Black? You bet. Darks and brights? I like them too. But pastels and white? Um, no. Solution? Layer it with black. Add lace. I'm really just excited that this pretty much worked just like it did in my head, because in the past things usually haven't.

This dress, believe it or not, started out as the Made for Mermaids Mama Quinn. Yup. I made up a straight from the pattern version first (oh hey, that one's pretty light and springy too!), which I also adore, and then hacked the pattern to pieces and redrafted them to make the dress pattern that I just. could. not. find. I added in a waistband, made the back bodice more fitted, and used a skater style skirt instead of an a-line. It took two test versions, and it's not totally perfect, but I'm very pleased with how it turned out. The bodice is both underlined and lined in black, and there are two black underskirts, both with lace in the hems.

For this project, I actually broke out my grandmother's old pinking shears to finish a lot of the inside seams. The lining is only sewn in around the neckline, so the bodice seams aren't truly enclosed. Serging felt like it would add too much bulk, but these fabrics really wanted to fray, so I decided it was as good a time as any to try out pinking them to help things hold up a little better.

I had intended to style this with the tights and boots. The arm warmers weren't in my original plan, but the colors worked, and it was just over 40 degrees when I went out to take pictures. Not so much on the spring weather here in Maine. I'm looking forward to warmer weather, whenever it finally comes to stay, and wearing this without all of the extras!

Thanks for checking this out, now go see what the rest of the bloggers have done this month!
Be sure to follow along to be inspired!

April 1st: Sewing By Ti

Monday, April 3rd Sewing By Ti

April 4th Crafty Like a Rox

April 5th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 6th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 7th Robynne and the Bobbin

Sunday April 9th Sew Like a Sloth

April 10th That's Sew Lily

April 11th Hazelnut Handmade

April 12th Doodle Number 5

April 13th Crafty Like a Rox

April 14th Sewing By Ti, Ma Moose

Monday April 17th Anne Mari Sews, Robynne and the Bobbin

April 18th Rebel and Malice

April 19th Very Blissful

April 20th The Fairy Dust Bin

April 21st Sewing By Ti

Sunday April 23rd On Wednesdays We Sew

April 24th Tenille's Thread

April 25th Ma Moose

April 26th Margarita on the Ross

April 27th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 28th Sewing By Ti

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.