Friday, July 27, 2012

IKEA Is So Nice

I love IKEA. Who doesn't love IKEA? Cheap shelving and funky do-dads. Basics and food. Good times. After living in California and then in Virginia, there was always an IKEA around. There was even access to one in New York City via provided shuttle. But when I got back to Utah, there was no good cheap alternative and certainly none of the real thing. I didn't even think there was a remote chance of getting one in Utah. But I always knew that it would be a good place for an IKEA. Cheap people on budgets that they seldom stayed within, tons of kids that need beds and furniture, loads of students, and creative do-it-yourselfers needing stuff to convert into better or prettier stuff. You can imagine my excitement when IKEA finally came to Draper, only 10 minutes from my home.

So this morning, among other things on my very busy schedule, I decided to go to a blogger event that was held at IKEA. I was invited. I didn't just crash it, of course. And I was amazed by how cool it was. 

First they fed us each a big breakfast. Yum. This is me with my friend, Ruth, who always seems to be my date at these things. She is fun and smart. So you should check out her blog. She has many a yummy recipe to share. 

It was fun to see all of the mommy bloggers there with their kiddos, soaking it all up. IKEA gave us each a new catalog. We are the first to see it. And it is full of textiles textiles textiles. They have so many new, delicious fabrics in their store. We got to peruse their displays and do some shopping. 

Since I was in a rush, I just got a huge shelf that I needed anyway and loaded up on Swedish fish. Ironically, I had to pay and dash because I had to get a root canal. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten all of those Swedish fish. 

This was the cute marketing employee who showed us our way and told us about the changes at the store. They recently got a roof covered in solar panels and all sorts of fun changes in the store as well. I am grateful for their time and generosity toward us and possibly love IKEA even more than I did before. I can't wait to go back and look more at their new fabrics.  Good stuff. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Following a Skirt Tutorial-- LOVE!

This was the result of following a really great interest pin. I mean, how many things do I pin that I don't even ever actually look at, let alone actually make. But this time, since I have been on a skirt kick, I actually went through with it. The fabric I chose was Joel Dewberry's Blockprint Blossom in Crimson. And this is the tutorial I pinned and followed-through with. 

I thought she did an AMAZING job on her skirt. I, of course, did a few things differently because I can't ever leave a good thing good.

1. I left off the tulle at the bottom of the skirt.
2. I made mine a bit longer. I wanted it to hit slightly below the knee.
3. The way this wonderful blogger put the skirt together was that she created a full back of the skirt and then a full front of the skirt with waist band and ruffles attached and then just sewed the whole thing together up the sides. I did not do that. I did not attach the waistband to the top of the front or back of the skirt. a. I opened the waistband pieces up and sewed the front and back waistbands together at one side. b. I sewed the 2 front skirt layers to the skirt back on the side where the ruffle comes up high. c. Then I stitched the bottom of the waistband to the top of the skirt with right sides together, starting from the side of the skirt that isn't yet stitched together. (Previously I had finished the edges of the open skirt side.) I also did a rolled hem on the inside waistband edge. d. I attached the invisible zipper to the open side of skirt and then sewed down to the bottom of the skirt. e. I edge stitched top of skirt and then hand sewed the inside of waistband next to inside of zipper so it was more like a facing. I stitched the waistband "facing" to waistband on the side by hand stitching in the ditch.

I only did it differently to make it a more finished garment in the way I like it, but I don't think mine looks any better than hers when photographed. Great tutorial. I learned a lot from it. I would love to see what other people came up with.

I would also like to try using contrasting fabrics and a pencil skirt instead of A-line just to see how the variations look.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reversible Sun Hat Tutorial Video and free pattern

Recently, I wrote a pattern to make reversible sun hats. Riley Blake created this video tutorial in their "Sewing With Cindy" series and it is located on the Riley Blake YouTube channel. In this video, I demonstrate how to make the hats.

It only went live a few days ago and already it has so many views and people all over the world have downloaded the pattern off of my website: in the sewing pattern section.

There are pattern pieces on my site as well as written instructions. There are extra tips that we point out on the video tutorial. It was a lot of work to make this pattern because I don't like math, and there was a lot of math in creating all of the circles that fit together for a hat pattern. But in the end, the feedback has been so great and people have emailed me and are so appreciative. It was worth it for sure.

Let me know what you think. An enjoy making these fun hats for your kids or for yourself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Amy Butler Love Video Skirt... Two Generations Later

I watched this movie made by Amy Butler Designs many moons ago and fell in love with this beautiful skirt. It was made out of 5 or 6 different fabrics from Amy Butler's line of fabric, Love. The things is that there is no pattern for it. I asked Amy Butler herself if there was ever a pattern for it. She told me no. She said that someone on her staff made it up for the video. I wanted it badly enough that I used the formula for pi and figured out a pattern myself. When you lay it on the floor, it makes a perfect circle. So it took a LOT of fabric because I had to cut huge triangles out of big sections of fabric, leaving mostly unusable but large scraps. It cost me $70 to buy the fabric to make it.

I completed the skirt (all but hemming it) and found that I had measured myself a little wrong so it was a size too big, and even if it hadn't been, I knew I would never wear it. It is just too wild. I couldn't imagine myself wearing it to church. I would feel sort of like a gypsy. Or I thought people might think that I had really gone overboard with my fabric obsession. You know, I think those of us who immerse ourselves in the modern quilting fabric world tend to forget how normal people wear and use mostly basic looking textiles. These large, beautiful prints are more for accents than for the whole enchilada. So I decided that I would just hang it up and look at it but never actually complete it or wear it. Sort of a waste of money.

So then I was at Material Girls Quilt Shop and saw this cute skirt pattern. Notice how it is modeled on teenagers? Maybe that was for a reason. It is the Hippy Chick No. 19 Stripwork Skirt Pattern by Pink Fig. Well, I thought it was a sign when I saw that the skirt was not only made of strips of fabric but of strips of fabric out of the same line as my other skirt... Love by Amy Butler. 

So I decided to make the skirt on the left, the classic. So I took my $70 skirt and cut it down into rectangles, leaving even more useless scraps to add to my pile. I attached the strips and then added the waist band and elastic on top. I put it on... all excited... and guess what??!! It was a disaster. I happen to have hips and the grown-up size 8 was super poofy, using lots of fabric strips. It was so unflattering. My husband agreed that it was not suitable AT ALL. What another waste. But I was not done yet.

I made a cute A-line skirt eventually, as you can see from the picture above, I have been actually wearing my creation this time.

 In the end, I took the strips to complete the bottom portion of an A-line skirt. There is no rhyme or reason to the strips.

You get something a little different with each angle of the skirt.

But I like the result. These pictures are after I had washed the skirt and hadn't ironed it yet. So sorry for the wrinkles, but you get the idea. This is probably the most fabric consuming A-line skirt in history. Of course cutting the hippy skirt down to the A-line skirt left a bunch more unusable scraps. But at least I have finally made something that I will wear. And I have for sure noticed that compliments come from my fabric loving friends. Perhaps everyone else thinks I am crazy. What do you think? Oh, and I threw a block print of Joel Dewberry's in too. It is the bright pink one just to give credit where credit is due.