Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Embracing Maternity Clothes, At least trying to...

Ugh, I do not like maternity clothes.  Every pregnancy I try to get away with not wearing them for as long as I can. I’m sure it’s silly of me but maternity clothes seriously give me anxiety.  All the extra tent like fabric and frou frou embellishments.  They make me look and feel larger than I already do. So I’ve been on a quest to find cute maternity clothes that I might feel comfortable wearing, because I have to wear something. In the mean time I was desperate for a shirt that fits me the other day. While browsing through my closet I saw a beach cover up that I had half made last year. It was just hanging in my closet unfinished.  I cut it off at tunic length and finished the neck and sleeves. Then sewed a little tie to go with it.  I think it turned out pretty cute.
 I loosely used a pattern from our new book, Just For You, that’s coming out in a couple of months.  It’s called the Saturday Night Tunic, the girl on the front cover is wearing it.

 I turned mine into a V-neck just to see how it would turn out. I think I need a little more practice hemming a “V” neckline because this one didn’t turn out too great.

 But it’s still wearable so I’m happy.

I have a stack of miscellaneous knit fabric waiting for me to sew it into something comfortable. And it looks like I like navy blue and grays. :)

I already have another shirt cut out and ready to sew from it.  Hopefully it whips up as quickly as I think it will and I’ll have something else to show soon! 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Sewing

I hope you all had a lovely summer! We had a big, exciting and busy summer here. We learned that we are expecting baby #5 and decided our house is just to small to accommodate our growing family.

And yes it's another boy! Looks like that's what we know how to raise best.  I'll get to sew up all the fun things I never got around to sewing for my last 3 boys :) Hooray! Anyhow, we spent a month purging stuff, touching up paint, and updating a few things so we could put our house up for sale.  Combine that with the usual squeezing in summer fun and vacations it made for one BUSY summer!
Sadly I had to pack away most of my sewing supplies. Off to the storage unit they went.

I kept my sewing machine and a little fabric just in case. I did get to do some summer sewing while getting our house ready.  First off,  I made new patio cushion slipcovers for the dingy chairs on my back porch.

It gets really grimy out there so I made the new slipcovers out of Tula Pink Laminated cotton. I love them.  They stay clean and they even go along with my fabric covered ceiling fan that I made a few years ago. Which I'm happy to say looks as good as the day I made it. I thought for sure the Florida humidity would have that fabric falling off in no time. I'm glad I was wrong

We added a cute little table and plant and the back porch was ready.

My realtor said she liked all my crafty decorations so we left most of them in place instead of redoing everything. I did have to make a bunch of new pillows for the couches. She said to go turquoise to match my little Pier One chair. I pulled out all my turquoise Anna Maria Horner Drawing room fabric and went a little crazy with it.

One of my favorites is this rosette pillow.  It would look cuter with a better pillow form though. I must admit, I was in such a hurry that I ended up hot-gluing all the flowers on instead of sewing them. I've already had to re-glue 5 or 6 of them. But it's still my favorite.

I also covered some wooden frames for wall art. A little fabric overload but I was desperate I tell you :)

Okay, that's all for now. Hopefully this the start to a great blog comeback. :)
Happy sewing!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Quilt for a Favorite Teacher

Summer is in full swing over here. I'm busy keeping kids busy and doing a bit of traveling and enjoying family visits. We are also doing a lot of arts and crafts to keeps little hands entertained. I'll try to post some soon in case you are looking for ideas, I know I always am.  Today I want to show you the quilt I made for our Kindergarten teacher. We loved her and she retired this year so I thought a special memory quilt would be a good gift for her.
This quilt was inspired by one I saw on The Tilted Quilt. I started out having the kids all write their name and draw a picture of themselves. I was originally just going to turn them into a fun big card but when I found at the last minute that she was retiring this year I thought she deserved something a little more grandiose. I scanned and printed the circles onto iron on transfer paper and ironed them onto fabric. I cut them into a 6" hexagon shape, then just sewed a 5" strip to every side and put them all together.  I also appliqued their favorite kindergarten memories to under each picture.
For a quick quilting job I just swirled around each hexagon.  Clearly I needed to pin a little more carefully, there are quite a few puckers on the back. 

It was my first time trying out "Y" seams. I'm just so glad it all worked out and that it was finished in the nick of time. I bound it the morning of our party and my daughter trimmed all the threads and held it up for a quick photo on the way to school. Phew!

In other news I had a bunch of wonderful people test out my Tulip tote pattern and I will hopefully be putting on the finishing touches on the final draft this week. I am a little nervous to pull the trigger and actually publish it but I keep telling myself it's just an experiment, so we'll see if I can really pull it off. 
Until next time...
 Happy Summer and Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Winner, Fabric Finds & WIP's

Thanks to everyone for playing along on with my Mama Sew Giveaway last week. The winner was "RedSetter", who requested the yellow handled Tulip tote. I will be sending it her way just as soon as I get her address. I have a few more slots open for pattern testers if you are interested in a free pattern for this little Tulip Tote. Email me!

I have been following #quiltmarket on Instagram all weekend. So much pretty eye candy!! So many fabulous new lines of fabric coming out.

I have a stack of pretty fabric sitting on my desk just waiting for me to find time to play with it. I found a steal of a deal on these end of bolt cuts at Mountain of the Dragon. I snatched them up as a birthday present to myself last month. They are from Anna Maria Horner's Dowry line. What should I make?

And I'm getting close to finishing the blocks for my Bejeweled Churn-dash Quilt.   I was hoping to have it finished in time to link up the the Blogger's Quilt Festival but alas I have a few graduation presents to make that will trump that project. Here are all my little block piles ready and waiting.

Ta Ta for Now!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Tulip Tote

Hello there sewing fans!  Today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I'm so excited to share with you a little handbag I designed called the Tulip Tote.

It is a small, stylish little thing that is just big enough to swing on your forearm and carry the essentials.

The dimensions are about 7'' tall x 14'' wide x 4'' deep.  It has lovely Soft and Stable interfacing and a great boxed bottom which makes it stand up all on it's own.  It also has 2 magnetic snaps that keep the top closed snugly. (okay, the yellow handled one is slightly smaller than the other)

Today you get the chance to win ONE of these cute little handbags. Which one do you like best...yellow or navy? To enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter widget below and don't forget to tell me which bag you'd like to win. These are the prototypes for a pattern I'll be releasing and I am looking for some pattern testers to try it out.  So if you aren't a winner, perhaps you will consider being a pattern tester for me.   If you are interested please contact me at sarahmarkos(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know what kind of sewing experience you've had.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining me for giveaway day and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Top Photoshoot

Made by Rae's SPRING TOP SEWALONG is just finishing up this week.  There is a lot of great inspiration over there if you are looking to sew something for yourself to wear.  Today I'm posting the top I made for our book headshot photoshoot. 

It was a little nerve racking to pose for a professional shoot.  I'm a pretty shy person, so it is a little embarrassing to even post these. But just look at my shirt okay? not me. :)  The top is self drafted for the most part. I altered the sleeve from the Shift Dress pattern to fit.  

I initially sewed this up as a muslin to see if it my idea would even work.  The neck was really gaping so to fix it I sewed a little channel in the neckline for a strip of elastic and I really like how it turned out.  
And listen to this crazy thing, when I washed my shirt after the photo shoot all those pretty little roses washed right off. Completely gone!  I can't remember where I got that fabric, clearly not high quality. Now I have just a plain gray top which is not quite as cute.

A big thank you to Nathaly Blalock who took such beautiful photos and made me look younger than I am, and to my SIL Liz who let me text her a dozen photos to figure out which necklace to buy. It worked out perfectly.

  Not sure which one of these I like best.

After I made this I realized that Rae made a pattern that is very similar to this but with no sleeves called the Ruby top.  I think I'll try it out next time, with a sleeve hack of course.
Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Ruffle Skirt

I made a quick ruffle skirt for Mer for this year's "Easter Dress" 
We came home from church and she requested that her brother come out and take pictures of her.  You know, so she can have a good instagram pic to post. 
 I wasn't there for the photo shoot but it looks like it was a ton of fun, don't you think?
 I was laughing out loud when I uploaded the photos today. :) There are about 20 that look like this...

 I'd say the skirt AND the photo shoot was a success! 

Sewing notes:

  • This skirt is basically ruffle fabric with wide elastic sewn to the top of it.  It took about an hour to make...about 2 times as long as I had expected. It turns out those ruffles can be a little tricky to keep flat when your are laying the side seams together.  I recommend A LOT of pins if you make one of these. 
  • I also recommend sewing the side seams with the regular machine first and then with the serger AFTER you make sure those ruffles are in the right place.  I learned that one the hard way.
  •  I also had to change the differential feed on the serger to 1.5 to accomodate for the super stretchy-ness of the the fabric. 
  • We tried to dye the elastic to match. It turned out perfectly until we sent it through the washing machine.  There wasn't time to dye it again so we settled for off white instead of pale pink. 
  • I would also recommend stretching out the elastic a bit before you measure for the right size.  After Mer tried the skirt on 4 or 5 times the waistband was suddenly way too lose, and we had to do some last minute adjustments just 15 minutes before we walked out the door. That's how we roll. :)

Happy Sewing!