Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My first blog rating! My friend, Kat of Faerie Kat's Faerie Korner, gave me this "Excellent Blog" award - treating "After the dress..." as a continuation of "The Wedding Dress Saga."

There are a lot of truly excellent blogs out there, and I don't really think I'm in that league, but I'll happily accept - if only to be able to give a "shout out" to some of MY favorites! ;)

In fact, the rules of acceptance require that I pass it on to 10 more blogs that I find to be excellent. I subscribe to almost 80 blogs, so narrowing it down to anywhere near 10 was a bit of a challenge!

With apologies to all the other wonderful blogs that I enjoy, here is my list - in no particular order - of Excellent (sewing) Blogs:

A Dress A Day
All Sewn Up
Hungry Zombie Couture
Pins and Needles

Twistedangel’s Studio
Miss Celie’s Pants
Stitches and Seams
Another Creation
The Prolific Sewer

If you are looking for inspiration, warmth, humor and technical assistance with all things sewing-related, then look no further. You will find those in abundance here...

Finally, I thought I'd throw in one non-sewing blog. Edward describes the joys and challenges of being a stay-at-home Dad in this series of letters to a fictional friend, Dave. You don't have to be a parent (never mind a stay-at-home Dad) to enjoy these stories...

Dear Dave

Thanks, again, Kat! :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ani's Other Niece & My Nephews

My first "after the dress" project was a cap for our friend Ani's niece, Alicita. Ani also has a niece named Manuela, and my second project was a little outfit for "Manu" (as they call her). Ani asked for the jumper and pants (views D and E) on this Simplicity pattern:
She picked out a bright pink ribbed knit for the jumper, bright blue dragonfly buttons & applique, and a white ribbed knit for the pants.

This also came together quickly - I was able to construct the majority of it on my serger. I wasn't sure how large to make the button holes for those unusually shaped buttons, so I decided to practice on a scrap of the fabric first - good thing! Turns out the ribbed knit wasn't all that keen on accepting button holes... So, I switched to a velcro fastening and put the buttons on "for show".

All in all it came out pretty cute. Manu is only a few months old, so it may be a while before she can wear it. I made a "small", which is supposed to fit around 6 months. Hopefully I'll eventually get a picture that I can post. :)
In other news, my nephews came down from Ohio to spend part of their Spring Break with us. We enjoyed a day at Sea World's new waterpark, Aquatica. I can't believe how quickly they are growing up...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First Post-Dress Project

As you might imagine, after devoting the last few months to work on the dress, I've had a lot of other sewing projects queueing up in my sewing room. There were shirts and dresses for my nephews and nieces (Christmas presents), gifts for some friends' new babies, and even a couple of outfits for myself! ;)

As you also might imagine, the first thing I wanted to work on was anything QUICK and EASY! So, last weekend I selected this pattern:

My friend, Ani, had picked out the middle hat on the right for her young niece, Alicita. You might notice that all of the children in the picture are boys, but we figured that we could "girl it up" with the right fabric...

Ani selected a stretch pink corduroy for the outside of the hat and an adorable soft flannel - white with pink butterflies - for the lining. It came together in just a couple of hours and looks pretty cute on my Build-A-Bear.

(I don't really collect stuffed animals. I have "Joy" as a model for the outfits that I make for my nieces' stuffed bears. The fact that she has a name is totally coincidental and meaningless...)

The pattern was pretty simple. There were just 3 things that I felt could have been done differently.

Easing the two main hat pieces together around the curves was reasonable with the stretch corduroy, but not so easy with the flannel. So, I ended up adding basting stitches and doing some light gathering before pinning and sewing those pieces together.

I used pretty stiff interfacing for the brim and it was difficult to turn the seam allowance up and into the hat. I wish I had trimmed the interfacing so that it didn't extend into the seam allowance before attaching it.

For some reason the instructions actually had adding the snap (to attach the brim to the front of the hat) as the LAST step. In hindsight, I think it would have been much easier to sew on the snap BEFORE attaching the lining to the hat or sewing the two brim pieces together...

Other than that, it was exactly what the doctor ordered - almost immediate gratification! Hopefully I'll get a picture of Alicita modeling it someday...