June 23, 2017

Rifle Paper Southport Variation

 As so many of my recent sewing projects have been decided, this one started the same with.  With an email from Carolyn.  It said, "Do you want to buy that Rifle Floral to make a garment and then blog it?"  Do I?  Of course!  I started drooling over the lovely Rifle Paper Les Fluers as soon as I saw them hitting instagram. 

However, I am not buying fabric right now, and Carolyn is acting as my personal Susie Orman and she has been denying all of my purchase requests.  In fact, she had denied this when I first ran it past her (I'll provide the background in the next week or so).  

So - when Carolyn emailed and asked if I wanted to buy it - I was all over it.   This was my first order with Stylemaker fabrics and hope there are more 'approveds' in my future.  The site was easy to navigate and I really appreciate the Michelle sells her fabric in full yards as many small online only shops seem to sell in half yards.

Once the fabric was in my hot little hands, it went straight into the washer and dryer.  I have 3 dogs and I need easy care clothing.  Then I spent 3 days trying to figure out the perfect garment.  I was torn between a Southport and a shirtdress.  So, based on a email with Mary of IdleFancy, I made the Southport/Shirtdress hack.

First - I took new measurements and re-traced my pattern (and this, my friends, is why I don't cut my PDFs!).  I think this time I cut a straight 16 - I can see it needs a full bust adjustment in future - but honestly it's fine.  It didn't pull at the buttons.  When I traced the skirt - I added the same amount of width at the center front as the bodice for button bands.  I used the skirt pieces for the maxi and added 5" at the lengthen/shorten line and called it good.  Everything else I did the same.     


Construction:  I fully lined the bodice with white batiste, but not the skirt.  To do this, I sewed both bodices together at the shoulder seams, then put them right sides together and sewed up the neckline and armholes, turned the bodice rights side out, sewed up the side seams and serged the center front edges. Interfacing was added to the button bands before finishing that front edge.  Interfacing was added to the center front of the skirt, then it was folded under and topstitched just like the bodice.

To highlight the pale pink in the fabric - I used a pink ribbon at the waist and pale pink buttons.  I also added some buttons to the waist tie (which is way too long and needs to be shortened by about 12" on each side).   

This fabric was a dream to work with.  Michelle was lovely to order from and shipping was prompt.  I think this is fastest turn around in fabric history for me - it was sewn up within a week and has been hanging out waiting for it's photoshoot!  

Carolyn - thanks for "Approving" this purchase.      

June 17, 2017

Hello? Is this thing on?

hello!  I swear I didn't really fall off the face of the earth - although it certainly feels like it.

I feel in love with this goat at a local shop
 When last we spoke - I was just starting to tell you all about our vacation in San Juan last summer.  Well, let me tell you - that vacation launched an epic adventure.  Way back in March 2016, JB had his 3rd shoulder surgery - at least this time it was on a different arm.  Then, in April or possibly May  - The Princess advised us that she was going to be a mommy.  That little revelation set all the wheels in motion.  You see JB and I have long talked about owning a bed and breakfast somewhere.  We've always stayed in B&Bs, and 85% of them time the ones we stayed at were for sale.  See, that way the owners were a bit more willing to talk with us about the day to day running of a B&B.  

So - JB did what he does best, he focused everything on researching B&Bs for sale within a 3 hours drive of where our grandbaby would be.  We had narrowed our 'ideal location' down to a handful of place - Lancaster, PA; Horse Country, VA; The North Carolina Coast; and Buffalo, NY.  (Don't ask me how that made the list - because nobody wants to go to Buffalo).
beautiful houses in Jim Thorpe, PA

We had a great vacation planned and then we decided to to a quick stop over in PA on our way home from vacation last summer.  You might remember we did the same thing after vacationing in Spain, flew to New Jersey to spend a week with the kids.  So nobody was the wiser.

On our last day on the East Coast we agreed to meet the Princess at Carolyn's house.  It was a great halfway point from where we were and where we needed to be.  

We found a charming little (5 room) bed and breakfast with a great history.  We were able to take a little tour around while we were visiting, but then we asked the kids to go check it out - this was 2-fold; 1) we wanted to know how far it was from the kids; and 2) we needed their opinion.  It's really hard to buy real estate from across the country.  We flew home in early July and conversations started - with a real estate agent to sell our current house, with a broker about a loan, with an attorney (because they are needed in PA when you purchase property), with another real estate agent - and the list goes on.  We sent our intent to offer letter and listed our home.  From there - everything is a blur.  Honestly.  

So - that's enough for today's catch up.  If you follow me on Instagram - you probably know the story by now anyway.  You can find the B&B on Instagram and on facebook and I'd sure appreciate it if you would follow us.

September 9, 2016

M6559 Visits San Juan

At the end of June we left on an epic vacation.  I'll post just pictures and tell you about that soon - promise.  I just realized we haven't even been back for 2 months yet - but it feels like vacation was years ago!  

Like just about every person on the planet who makes their own clothing - I had to make some new dresses right before we left.  The week before I made my very first McCalls 6559 (this isn't it - but this was the first one that got photographed in San Juan)

San Juan, Puerto Rico was amazing!  We loved the island and would love to go back.  We stayed in Old San Juan and didn't have a car, so all of our exploring happened on foot and we only got lost a couple of times!

As so many of my makes seem to be - this one was inspired by Carolyn.   She made several M6559 last summer.  I love how easy and cool these dresses are and they can be dressed up or down with your shoes, cardigan or shawl and jewelry. 

Because I only packed for a week - and did laundry on vacation and we were gone for almost 3 weeks - my clothes got worn quite a bit while we were on vacation, but these pictures were all taken in San Juan - but on 2 different days. 

The first time it was worn, we were just wandering around town.  We might have done some shopping or sight seeing (because the entire trip involved shopping and sight seeing). 

So - there is nothing earth shattering to tell you about this pattern.  I did the easy version - 2 pieces and other than adding some width at the hips.  I sewed the dress up on my sewing machine as my serger is still not being cooperative.  The fabric came from Fabric Mart sometime in the past year and according to the sticker - I paid $3.50 a yard.  There wasn't enough left to keep the scraps - so this dress cost just over $10 in fabric and about an hour of my time.

The next time the dress saw sunshine was the day we toured Bacardi.
The wind was crazy  - but Jay got a good snap!          

And here's both of us - having a rum cocktail before the official tour started.
It was a good day!

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