| August 27, 2011 | 12:16 pm
I’ve had legitimate reasons not to post lately. Beside the girls finishing up summer, and a week of vacation, I took on a project that really pushed me to take my professionalism to a new level. Not to mention the new level of creativity.
Inspired by my few friends who’ve taken their interest in photography and turned it into a wedding and portrait photography business, I took on my first commissioned wedding dress project. My friend Paula was wedding dress shopping, and her sister joking/half-jokingly suggested she ask me to do it. I’ve sewn many many baby slings and gifts for their family in the past. So I asked to see some inspiration photos, determined the project to be within my skill level, and said “you sure you’re just kidding, cause I can totally make that.”
And thus it began. We shopped for a pattern to alter. I altered that pattern to match Paula’s vision. Then I put in the hours, and hours. In the end, I couldn’t have been more proud of my work, and Paula really looks stunning. Here’s a sneak peak of the hemline, can’t show too much before the wedding!
And here is a shot of the fascinator which I threw into the deal, modeled by my sweet nearly five-year-old daughter. I have no idea what her hair style plans are, so I don’t know if it will be worn or not, but I loved her color choices for the flowers and I wanted to throw something together with more color.
After the wedding next weekend I’ll be sure to share some better shots. And just in case anyone was wondering what the fee was, I charge $25 a hour for sewing, and Paula purchased the fabric.
| March 21, 2011 | 9:31 pm
It’s Easter Dress sewing season, and I’ve been so busy with being creative on other things I haven’t had time to even think about designing a dress for the girls this year. This turned out to be a blessing, really, because Creative Publishing International had sent us some books for review and now I had the opportunity to try one out!
Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn has been on my night side table for a few months as evening reading (yes I read sewing books for fun) but I haven’t sewn anything in it yet. Since I have gotten very familiar with the designs from reading through it so many times I had already picked out the Feliz Dress as my pattern of choice. Feliz is a two layered dress/skirt which has a sort of pinafore look to it. Perfect for spring.
The authors challenge their readers to be creative in their fabric combinations and trims. All of the samples in the book are over-the-top colorful, a real treat for the eyes. It inspired me to dig through my stash and pair things I wouldn’t necessarily put together. My final choice was to use a yellow cut-out cotton for the over dress and a purple gingham for the under dress. I added the bird applique and used the fabric the birds came from as the straps and sash.
Finding the pattern pieces for Feliz was kind of challenging. All of the patterns for the book are on tissue paper, and some pieces for the Brooklyn Shrug were on the same sheet. Really, the only real criticism I have for the book was the choice to use tissue for the patterns. The sizing for the patterns run from 18 months to 11/12 which is great, but I can’t see the tissue holding up for the life of your child. If you want to sew the patterns over and over, it would make sense to transfer all the pattern pieces for your favorite garments to sturdier paper to add to their longevity. I’m not going to do that because I’m lazy, so I might not get as much use out of this book as I’d like.
As for sewing Feliz up, it came together like clock work. The directions don’t hold your hand, so I’d say you have to be an intermediate sewer to not get frustrated. An advanced beginner would be able to make it work, but there might be some unpicking and sweating involved. But the complexity of the patterns lead to clothes more inspired than a simple circle skirt or a-line dress. And this is true for each pattern in the book. These patterns are for unique garments, well worth the time invested in sewing them up. They are also wide open for changes and embellishments.
All in all I was in my studio working on this dress for four hours, from tracing the pattern pieces to the final pressing. The next time I work through it I should get done a little faster because today was my first run through, and I had an argument with my serger. I plan on making each of my older two a dress in the same pattern so I’ll share those as I finish them. I would show you the cute action shots, but Cressida is 18 months now so she won’t hold still for pictures in low light. They’re all blurry, so hopefully there will be a sunny warm day soon and I can get a picture of her outside. The fit is perfect, so I really want to show it off!
| February 24, 2011 | 1:41 pm
To celebrate 2 years of Nesting Cleverly we had a fabric giveaway which ended yesterday night, which was also my birthday. So today I went to the wonderful Random.org and put in our stats.
Here’s the screen shot of our winner:
Mary Beth from Portage Trail Barn is our winner! So Mary Beth, let me know which fabric you’d like best and I’ll get it to you soon. Congratulations! And thanks again, everyone, for reading and commenting. It’s been a great 2 years!
| February 23, 2011 | 2:43 pm
I must say, the dress from Casey’s Sew Along is very wearable. I LOVE the sweep of the skirt, I love the fabric choice, I love the sleeves. I do not LOVE the bodice. I had to make sweeping changes to it, and I just couldn’t get the right mix of blouse-y and fit for my frame.
That’s OK though. I do LIKE the bodice and I wore the dress to church on Sunday. No one asked me if my dress was handmade, so that must mean it looks pretty good to the average person, right?
I want to make this dress again, but I’d like to change the bodice a lot. Maybe I’ll draft something up for an Easter dress for myself. I have to make the girl’s dresses soon too, so we’ll see how that goes. I am also about to cut and make a swing dress for my sister. That’s quite a bit of sewing… It’s good for me to keep busy.
Don’t forget to enter our give away, it closes tonight! 2 yards of vintage fabric in your choice of print!
| February 8, 2011 | 12:10 pm
It was January in 2009 that Clever Nesting went live. In these 2 years we’ve come a long way. From no readers to our best month yet. January 2011 had 20,000 pages views. I’d say that’s pretty exciting and well worth celebrating. Plus, my birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and that’s ALSO well worth celebrating.
decorator weight fabric. Cotton blend.
Polyester, dress weight knit. Lovely Drape!
Cotton/poly blend. Seersucker. Beautiful!
Cotton, seersucker. Great for Easter dresses!
That means good things for you! I am going to give away some fabric to one reader. All you have to do is comment on this post with some sort of indication that you are human (like a congratulations or something), and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a cut of vintage fabric. Comments will close on my birthday at 11:59pm, February 23rd. The winner will choose between four prints, each from the late 70s/early 80s.
If you want to be entered more than once, you can follow us on Twitter @clevernesting and come back and write a comment letting us know. Or if you already follow us on Twitter, you can let us know that too and it’ll count as an entry.
And! If you “like” us on Facebook, which there is a link to do so right over there in the sidebar, you can put in another comment for an entry.
What the heck, just to up the odds, if we get 50 comments to this post, I will draw a second winner and they can choose between the 3 fabrics which are left over. I am just feeling that festive!
Thanks for reading, sharing and tweeting about us, Friends! We’ve met so many fun crafters in the 2 years we’ve been here, I feel so blessed!
| January 25, 2011 | 5:44 pm
I’ve been changing color scheme of the accessories in my living room to a more goldenrod and blue theme, thus I needed new throw pillows. I had this really lovely upholstery fabric in sample sizes and it seemed like it wanted to be a pillow with a formal finish. I really wanted to dress is up without making it too frilly, so I decided to use self fabric covered buttons. It is really very simple to a make them and once you know how you’ll find yourself wanting to make covered buttons for all sorts of projects from housewares to dresses. Read more »
| January 3, 2011 | 3:28 pm
I sewed my first tote bag! I love how it turned out, and I’m really pleased with the fabric (It takes me a painful amount of time to make fabric choices). I took the Intermediate Sewing Skills Tote Bag class from Martha at Craft Akron, and she was amazingly patient & encouraging. This is my first time doing a zipper, button hole, and using interfacing. Actually, this was my very first sewing class because I’ve been self-taught. This class revealed a few things I thought I was doing right but wasn’t.
Thank you Martha!
inside of tote
| December 16, 2010 | 4:35 pm
This is one of the few handmade gifts I’ve made this year. I’m still adjusting to life with two kids and taking life at a more relaxed pace. I’ve opted to make less & give more books this year.
I did manage five of these hair flowers so far. I researched how to melt the fabric edges from a tutorial at Simply Vintage Girl. Her flowers have more of a petal look while mine are rounded. For mine I cutout stackable circles from silky fabric, then melted the edges over a candle. I sewed the layers together, sewed beads in the center, and glued on a piece of fabric to the back to hold the clip in place.
| November 19, 2010 | 12:20 pm
I must admit that I am sort of band-wagon jumping here, but how could you not? The best craft “fad” I’ve seen yet is the mustache. It’s just so funny. Something about the awkwardness of a bad mustache makes me really love the idea of putting them all over stuff.
For Crafty Mart (which was fantastic by the way, loved seeing many of you there!) I made “stir-staches” or a mustache on a stir stick for your cocktail glass. I held one up in front of my face for most of the day, and enjoyed making conversation with shoppers incognito. A good deal of people borrowed one for conversing with me. We enjoyed the silliness of it a great deal.
These guys are going to be for sale in my etsy shop soon. I’m waiting for the next sunny day to grab my camera and photo everything I have left over from the fair. As much fun as it is having a suitcase full of crafty-wares, it is more fun to have people out in the world wearing them.
| November 5, 2010 | 10:36 am
I am simplifying my palette for my Templeton line and Crafty Mart this year. Trial and error has convinced me that I had overshot what I make and mostly left buyers confused as to what it is I offer at my booth. So this year I am making many of the same items, but only using men’s clothing fabrics that I have upcycled.
I have made flower pins many times in the past, and even made a tutorial on it. But this time I did box pleating and cinched it in the center, which I think makes a fabulous flower shape I hadn’t achieved before. I also have some other broach shapes I’m experimenting with. I haven’t decided if they are turning out or not, so no pictures at this time.
I have some other ideas brewing, this week is a big making week, so you’ll see how they’re turning out in a few more days.