Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I made a skort! Skort!

So, to set the scene, I was laid off due to budget cuts at the end of June. I was very sad, so my BFF Stephanie drove up from Nashville to cheer me up. We had a lot of fun for a week and it made me feel much better! There is a chance I will get hired back in the fall, but I have to apply to other jobs in the meantime...

One day, we went to the zoo in Lincoln Park; I had never been since I don't really like zoos. It was a beautiful day and we had fun. The polar bear was being adorable, playing in the water with his fuzzy ball! Stephanie was complaining about how the cat house is horrible, but she was right. All the big cats were in such tiny rooms and they all looked miserable. After the zoo, we walked to Molly's Cupcakes and ate delicious cupcakes. I forgot to ask if I get a free one for being a Molly. Whoops!
 I made the Tania culottes from a PDF pattern. I cut out an XS, but I made it with a knit from Jo-Ann instead of a woven fabric. That made it hard to tell if my problems were pattern related, or Molly related. After putting in the zipper, I had to take in the opposite side seam by at least an inch because they were very saggy. I didn't use anything on my seams to prevent stretching, so that could be my fault.
 Stephanie claimed she would write a tutorial for her skirt because she bought it at the store, but the lining would always hang out the bottom. So she fixed it by hacking off a few inches of lining. Ta-da! lol We forgot to take pictures.

 So, everything I had read about the pattern made me afraid they would be super short. When I tried them on they were way down to my knees. I also didn't like that the back was so much longer than the front. I do not have enough butt for that to ever be an issue!

After letting them hang for a few days on my dummy, I trimmed them even with scissors. That took about 45 minutes and numerous tries to get it even.
Then they stayed on the dummy for a few more weeks, because I couldn't decide on how to finish the hem. Did I want to get a serger? I was undecided. Did I want to do a narrow hem? I kind of suck at narrow hems, especially on curves and especially x100 with knits. My machine does not do a zig-zag.... In the end, I decided to just leave it unhemmed. It's a knit, it won't fray, why make my life miserable trying and failing? 

The fabric is a neon, cheetah print.
 They have the secret pleats (front and back) to make the shorts appear to be a skirt. As a kid in the mid 90s, I remember having skorts. Now I guess it's not cool to call them skorts? Even though that word is so fun to say?
I definitely need a better top to go with them, but I am quite happy with my SKORT!




Friday, June 27, 2014

Giveaway Winners and Starting a Baby Quilt

The winner of May's giveaway is Bobbi!

The winner of June's giveaway is Joelle!

Ladies, please email me our mailing addresses at

On to my quilting fervor:

One of my oldest friends (and a bridesmaid at my wedding), Vicky, is having her first baby in August! That's so exciting! While I am going to make her a baby outfit out of the same fabric I made for Anna's baby, she also asked that I make her a baby quilt.

I have previously made my own quilt for a twin bed (2002), I made a quilt for Andrew (2006) before I started my blog, and I made a quilt for Andrew's little brother when he was born in 2009. Apparently, I never blogged about it? I'll try to find pictures, the baby quilt was so precious.

Andrew and his brother's quilts used the same pattern, below, to make a lattice quilt. It is still a delightful, fast slice and dice quilt, which are my absolute favorite. You know I am not a patient seamstress!
 I have never had a reason to go to any quilt stores in Chicagoland, but I happened upon the "Shop Hop" which had stores to visit, addresses and a tiny map. So on Tuesday, I set off on an adventure to suburbia and visited four quilt stores.

For the lattice quilt you need three fabric for the border stripes (that are echoed in some of the squares), two colors for the lattice and cornerstones, and then however many other fabrics to make up the squares. In my previous times, I used five prints. I was smart and actually made NOTES in the book!

Vicky and Ian are not finding out if it is a boy or a girl, so the quilt needs to be gender-neutral. Vicky is also not a girly-girl at ALL and specifically said "NO PINK!!!". So with that in mind, I set off to the quilt stores.

At Fabrics Etc 2 in Bensonville, I found my four main fabrics. They have a large selection and were super nice. The large blocks of the alphabet are going to be the back of the quilt. They are too big for the body, but were too cute to pass up. So instead of a plain, solid back it will be extra cute.
There I also bought the coordinating tiny animals, the diagonal stripes and the multi colored dots. They will be so cute together! They will make up the three borders and some of the squares in the body, too.
 Next, I went to the Quilt Merchant in Winfield. It is very small and has much more traditional, Civil War kind of fabrics. However, I did manage to find the coordinating orange and grey swirls. The orange will be the cornerstones and the grey will be the lattice.
 Then I went to Sew Generously in St. Charles. It was a cute store, but was mostly machines and not that much fabric. The fabric they did have was bright and modern, so I was able to find the hexagon print (above) to make up the triangles that finish the rows, and the dandelion puffs below to be some squares.

I went to a fourth store, but that was for Anna's (super late) baby quilt. Unfortunately (for my sewing timing), her baby arrived while I was making my wedding dress last year, so little Greyson will get his quilt in time for his 1.5 birthday, haha. That means I have until September, so it is second in my queue!

I am excited to start this quilt and I know it will be adorable and come together quickly! I already pre-washed the fabrics and I am ready to start cutting tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vintage Hand-Painted Circle Skirt

I wore this today to go buy some quilting cotton (more on that tomorrow) and I realized I have never blogged about it. I bought it at a vintage shop in Austin, TX in 2006 on a road trip my senior year of college. 
 It is a painted Mexican (style) circle skirt with a vaquero on the front and a church and some cacti on the back. It ties on both sides at the waist; I think maybe the ties are meant to wrap around the waist, but the skirt is big on me, so I just tie them tight until it won't fall off.
 It is a heavy, soft cotton and the narrow hem on the skirt is impeccable. My hems never look that good! Looking at the pictures, I really think that church dome looks kinda like something else.... cannot unsee...
Looking at vintage circle skirts on ebay, I think I got a good deal. Some of those prices are crazy!! I was a broke college student at the time, so I know I paid less than $50 for it. This is one of those finds that I will keep forever!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway by tomorrow if you want to win some vintage bust 36 patterns!

Monday, June 23, 2014

2 Vintage Pattern Giveaways

First, there are four patterns for April's giveaway. They are all for a 35-36 bust.
 Butterick 2363 for a 60s jacket/vest/skirt. Simplicity 6249 for a nightgown and housecoat with scallops.
 Simplicity 5737 for a really cute 70s dress. Spadea 1244 for a fitted dress with military style, postmarked '59.

For the second giveaway (June), there are five patterns. Again, they are all for a 35-37 bust.
 Simplicity 8353 has a vest, skirt, pants and cape wardrobe. Simplicity 6341 is for making your own Swirl-style wrap dress. Advance 6653is a double-breasted dress.
 Simplicity 3983 is a skirt with pocket details and Butterick 9961 is for a 60s suit.

Leave a comment mentioning which giveaway you want to enter (or both) by Thursday June 26. I will ship anywhere on Earth. Thanks for giving these patterns a new home where they will hopefully be used and enjoyed!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Any serger advice?

I am thinking about buying a serger. My sewing machine is from the 50s and it only does a straight stitch. I think having a serger would be a nice addition to my arsenal. 

Do you have any brand or model you would recommend? I want it to either come from Craigslist and be cheap, or cost less than 300 bucks. 

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Winners for March and April Giveaways!

The winner for March's small child patterns is...

The winner for April's large child patterns is...

Ladies, email me at mollysewsblog/gmail with your mailing addresses!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vogue fabric!

*Enter the giveaway by Thursday, if you want some vintage patterns*

On Sunday, I trekked south to Vogue Fabrics; when traffic is reasonable it's only about 20 minutes away and it was on a Sunday at noon. I wanted to find some silk to make some blouses. After a disappointing trip to the mall a few weekends ago, I decided I need to make myself some basics. I just cannot justify paying $90 bucks for a silk blouse at Banana Republic, when I can make one myself...though making basics is a boring task. 

The black and white print is a yard of silk for some kind of cute blouse. I have numerous blouse patterns, so no EXCUSES, Molly! Vogue didn't have any basic black or white silk for whatever reason, but they do have a section for Black Basics and White Basics. I found two super cheap, polyester fabrics that feel like silk. Even my nice cutting lady though it was silk before she looked at the tag. 
 I also could not resist this polyester print! It's red, white and blue (like the French flag) and it has tiny Parisian monuments and cafes and such all over it. I am going to make a dress, and be that Crazy French Teacher (TM). I mean, I already say bonjour to all my students every time I see them- so about a billion times a day. My brain is crossing some kind of line, where outside of class I say merci to people in stores...
Get pumped, I am making some clothes! Two more weeks of work and then I get summer too! Awwwww yeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssss!