Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Project Run and Play: March Challenge

It's time for the March Project Run and Play Challenge! This month's inspiration pattern is the Knot Dress by Me Sew Crazy/The Sewing Rabbit.
For my take on the knot dress, I envisioned a spring dress. The sleeveless knot dress was too summery for little miss's spring wardrobe. So I decided the first thing I would do is add some sleeves. I used the Sally Dress pattern and traced the armscye onto the knot dress bodice and chopped off the knot ties. Then I just used the Sally Dress elbow length sleeves.
I kept the back the same, except instead of the knot ties, I just inserted a invisible zipper. Usually I have no trouble with invisible zips, but for some reason this zipper was a pain. I think it was the silk wanna-be fabric. It wasn't my friend.
I used a size 3 bodice and used the size 4 length on the skirt. I used two fabrics for the skirt a pink kona cotton for the underlay and this silk-look poly for the top. I extended the silk about 2 inches longer than the underlay. As I said, the wanna-be silk was a PAIN to work with. ug. It was fraying out of control. This type of fabric requires french seams on the sides and a narrow hem. Which I really like, but I guess I just need more practice (and a finer needle) to get the fabric to not look so tortured. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous and has a beautiful drape, I just don't want anyone to examine my seams too closely.
At this point I was feeling like I had removed the essence of the knot dress, and I needed to bring more back into the design. So I decided to add a knot at the neck. I took pictures of how I added this detail and will have a tutorial up in the next week!
Lastly, I whipped up a cute headband to go with the dress. Recognize the stretch lace? (and the bird fabric for the dress too) I used CINO's felt bow tutorial for the bow.
On a completely unrelated tangent, don't you just love the blossoms on my little peach tree? We planted it a year ago, and I've managed to keep it alive!

The tutorial for how I modified the bodice will be up in a few days so check back next week or follow my Zuzzy pinterest board or like the new Zuzzy facebook page to be updated when the tutorial is up.

Check out the other PR&P March Challenge entries here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Chestnut Pants Pattern is here!

Today is the big day! The Chestnut Pants are here! I am so proud of this pattern. It's my best yet (you know... out of the three). The Chestnut pants are a great slim fitting, dressy pair of pants for babies and toddlers sizes 0-3 months to 4T. The pants feature a flat-front waistband and elastic back. The pattern includes three pocket options: front pockets, rounded back pockets, and pointed back pockets. I imagine these pants being sewn up for little boy Easter outfits, and special occasion outfits, and even stylish every day pants. You can get your pattern over at Craftsy here or Etsy here for only $6
This pattern release is part of the Aspiring Designers Challenge over at Pattern Revolution. You can read my post over there AND you will find a giveaway for the pattern while you are over too!
I don't want to repeat myself, so over here on Zuzzy I want to share with you the "behind the scenes" story.
The concept began with Jacob. Jacob is crazy skinny, and so all of his pants either are several inches too short OR they fall off and end up around his ankles. His wardrobe was seriously lacking, especially his church pants. He needed something nice to wear with sweaters and button-up shirts. Something with a modern, skinny fit. I hate baggy dress pants. On top of it, I would only remember that I needed these pants when it was late Saturday night as I was laying out clothes for the next day. So these pants needed to look awesome but also be a quick sew. No welt pockets, no darts, nothing time consuming. Just something I could whip up the night before church. 

The original pants had no pockets at all, and they looked great. However, as I was grading and digitizing the pattern, I drew my technical spec drawing (pictured above) and felt that my drawing needed some side pockets and back pockets. So I added the front side pockets and the rounded back pocket shape. Then when the pattern went into testing, one of my testers wanted a pointed back pocket shape, and I thought it was a great idea (I just love testers!). So, I added the pointed back pocket option, and love it just as much as my rounded pocket option. And that my friends is how the Chestnut Pants came to be.
I had a really great group of testers on this pattern. They did such a great job, and even sewed up more than one pair of pants. Huge shout out to

Come back tomorrow for a round up of fabric ideas for the Chestnut pants.
Get your Chestnut Pants pattern today at Craftsy here or Etsy here for only $6

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Look

Notice anything different around here? Yep, I cleaned up the blog a bit. Nothing really changed, just better fonts, a cleaner header, and I added another little social media icon up there next to the email and pinterest.
Do you see the little f? yep! I created a Facebook page for Zuzzy too! Come on over and like the page to get Zuzzy updates on facebook.

Why all the sprucing up? I have something big coming tomorrow! (okay, it's not really that big and you probably already know what it is if you read this post) But I'm excited for it and want Zuzzy to look nice for her big debut.

See you tomorrow for the exciting news (hint there will be a pattern giveaway too!)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Twilight Sparkle Shirt

A few days ago I mentioned that I received an email from Christine's preschool teacher saying that Christine's shirts are not long enough for the dress code. So I have been on a mission to turn amp up her preschool wardrobe.
Luckily, earlier this month I picked up several $3 walmart t-shirts for embroidering. So I embroidered a Twighlight Sparkle Pony on the front of this pink shirt, added a ruffle to the bottom of the shirt, and bam! preschool-appropriate tunic!
The pony applique design is from SEWcialBflyDesigns on Etsy. I had a little bit of puckering around the tail and mane because I'm still learning how to stabilize and hoop properly. Other than that I think it stitched out pretty well.
For the ruffle I cut a strip of knit fabric that was 4" by 1.5 times the width of the t-shirt. Then I serged the short sizes together, basted around the top and gathered it until it was the the same length as the t-shirt hem. Pinned the ruffle to the shirt. Then sewed the ruffle to the shirt with a zig-zag stitch. Finally, I serged around the hem of the ruffle. I may fold it under and top-stitch to keep it from rolling, but this monkey was anxious to wear her shirt so I just let her have it un-finished. Eh, I kind of like it that way anyways.

Now if only it would warm up so she could wear short sleeves to preschool again!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dallas Fabric District Shopping

Last week my husband had a little time off of work so we thought it would be fun to drive to Dallas. My in-laws came to watch the kids for us so we could have the whole day together. We were planning on going to the Dallas LDS temple, but because of "severe weather conditions" the temple was closed, so we spent the day checking out the fabric warehouse district of Dallas.
The "severe" weather conditions in Dallas. There was slush on the roads and everyone was panicking.
I wish I had thought to take more photos of all the warehouses, but these give you a little idea. I had read online that the warehouses aren't in the nicest part of town, so I was expecting a really sketchy neighborhood, but it wasn't bad at all. Just a little old and rundown, what you would expect from a warehouse. The first store we went to was Golden D'or Fabrics Outlet (10797 Harry Hines Blvd). The about picture is at Golden D'or. It's VERY large. I wasn't interested in most of the fabric though, I wanted apparel cottons, quilting cottons, and knits. There is a large room a quilting cottons and a large row of knits, and a clearance room that I spent the most time looking at. I didn't learn until I got to the cutting counter that fabrics from the clearance room were half off of the marked price (average price was $8 yard). Honestly, I wasn't too excited about the selection, and I was disappointed with the prices at Golden D'or. They weren't overpriced, but they were the same as you would pay at fabric.com and about the same quality too. Just FYI  Golden D'or will cut small pieces (as small as 1/8 yard) other shops have a minimum of a yard cut.
I ended up buying some grey rib knit, blue double knit, a light blue sweater knit, an aqua bamboo knit, purple double knit, and a yellow jersey. I also grabbed some mango acrylic felt that you can see in the later photos. I do wish I had bought more felt, they had a lot of great colors that I can't buy at my local stores.
There are about 8 fabric warehouses on the block. We stopped in all but 2 of them (the last 2 we skipped were upholstery ones- I was hungry and although it seems hard to believe, tired of looking at fabric).
I wish I had grabbed a business card for all the shops, so I could tell you the name of all the shops we went to. This white eyelet came from a nice shop that had mostly upholstery/ home decor fabrics. They had a large "grand opening" sign on the outside of the building so I'm guessing it's new. They were nice and clean. They were well priced, this eyelet was $4 a yard (60" wide). I was tempted by some well priced faux leather that I regret not buying, I couldn't think of anything I could make from it so I passed, but when I got home I saw an adorable tote made from faux leather on pinterest that would have been a perfect project. Oh well.
My second favorite shop was Super Textiles (2667 Perth). Look for the sign that says "Fabric, Buttons, Zippers" with a bunch of buttons on it.  They had a small amount of uninteresting fabric, and 3 small rooms of buttons. Nothing is labeled very well. I had to ask the owner how much the buttons cost. 50 cents for the specialty ones (the wood ones), 25 cents for the large ones, 10 cents for the small ones. There was a box of ziplock baggies that you help yourself to and fill with all the buttons you want. Then when they rang me up, they just looked at the pile and said this looks like $10. I don't know which ones counted as small and which ones counted as large buttons, but I feel like I got a good amount of buttons for 10 bucks. 

There was another shop next to the button shop called something like C&C fabrics that had nice quilting fabrics, and bolts of fabric that were only $1 a yard but you had to buy the entire bolt. I was worried about just filling my sewing room with fabric I wouldn't used, but of course when I got home I regretted not being a little more adventurous.
My very favorite shop was Warehouse Fabrics (2675 Perth St) I bought the majority of my fabric from here. It's not as large as Golden D'or but had a lot more of the fabrics I was interested in.
At the back of the warehouse is a small section of designer cotton prints (my favorite!) for $3.50 a yard. I was really excited to find some Heather Ross, Aneela Hoey, Lotta Jansdotter, Joel Dewberry, and some other Cloud 9 fabric. (Isn't my husband a good sport? He's the best!)
One thing to note, is that they have a one yard minimum cut on their fabrics. I may not have grabbed every colorway of the Far Far Away snails if I had known I couldn't get just half a yard of it.
I also picked up some mint stretch lace fabric ($5 a yard I think) stretchy lace (.99 cents a yard), some pink serger thread, and an entire cone of 1/2" elastic.
They had an entire table of this stretch lace, I grabbed some to make some headbands for a local backyard boutique I'm participating in a couple weeks.
And this serger thread is delicious! It is high quality and was $2 a cone.
 I didn't realize until I got home that the regular Maxi lock thread I usually buy only has 3,000 yards, and these cones have 6,000 yards so they were a killer deal. I wish I had bought all the colors they offered.
Last fall I bought an entire spool of 1/4" elastic off ebay and it was the best decision ever. I loooooooove having an endless supply of elastic, and $12 is a great deal. If they had 3/4" wide and 1" wide I would have bought those too. I really liked that the elastic and thread was in plastic so it was nice and clean.
Here's my entire pile I brought home with me. Mmmmmm yummy! If you are going to the Warehouse district I would recommend going to the smaller stores first, saving Golden D'or for last. I don't know if I would make the two hour drive just for the fabric, but if I'm ever near Dallas again I will definitely stop.