Tag Archives: pink

Pink Ava Dress

At some point last year, I stumbled across a project called Perfect Pattern Parcel. They were offering a themed groups of patterns from independent designers. There were 5 patterns in the bundle. The awesome premise was that you could name your own price for the parcel. There was also a bonus 6th pattern of you paid over a certain amount. The proceeds were then donated to various projects on Donors Choose (which I appreciated being a teacher). There were a handful of parcels offered throughout the year, but I only snagged one. The theme I bought was women’s clothing.

The first dress I’m sharing is the Ava by Victory Patterns. I did make this dress almost immediately after purchasing the pattern last summer and have had opportunity to wear this dress many times. For the most part with success. There was one morning I managed to put the dress on backwards and had a very uncomfortable day thinking something was wrong with the dress. Please pay attention when getting dressed in the morning so this doesn’t happen to you!

Since taking these photos, I have added a belt to help break up the continuous pink of the dress. When I make this dress again, I’m going to lengthen the bodice. It hits just a little to high for my comfort. I think I’ll also change out the skirt to a dirndl skirt rather than the almost circle skirt of the pattern. Though I may have to just make a top for the next go.

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JARA Pink Pattern Lampshade

Pink Lampshade

I’ve discovered through my few years of blogging that most craft/sewing challenges run through the school year. I really want to participate in these challenges, but usually cannot find the extra time to put something together. I am delighted to have found the Craft Challenge over at punk projects. Katie is running an 8 week project challenge. On Sunday, the topic is posted and then we have until Friday night to link up our project for the week.

I missed week one since school wasn’t out for summer yet. I tried, but there is no tired like end of school year tired. I waited impatiently for week two’s challenge to be posted; then I struggled for 3 days to will my brain to be creative. My brain finally emerged from the tired, structured thinking of school and switched to creative mode. Just in the nick of time!

This week, the challenge was to use our favourite colours! Well, my favourite colour is pink. I spent a lot of time pondering what exactly I should do for this project. It wasn’t until I was researching another project, that I found the perfect idea. The best part of this project being that I didn’t have to purchase any of the supplies. Completing this would tie up a loose end of a larger project to light my craft room we started at Christmas (I’ll share those details at a later date).

My inspiration came from the Esty shop, Patturn. I like how she uses old maps and pattern paper to cover lampshades. As I had a lampshade to cover, I decided it would fit right into my room.

Pink Lampshade

To incorporate pink, I first painted the lampshade a lovely light pink. I used the very inexpensive brand Apple Barrel acrylic paint called Cameo Pink. I thought that since the pattern paper is thin, the pink would bleed through. I also hoped it would give a faint pink glow.

Pink Lampshade

After allowing the paint to dry for a bit, I pulled out an old pattern I found at a rummage sale and my bottle of Mod Podge. I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the shade, then spread the pattern paper over the glue. Since the paper is fairly thin, it rips easily, so I didn’t smooth the paper out smoothly. I used larger pieces to cover the entire shade. I then added a couple smaller pieces to provide a distinct pattern piece look.

Pink Lampshade

As I said, I had hoped the pink paint would show through the paper, but apparently patterns from the 70’s used thicker paper than now because it didn’t show through much at all. If I hold the shade in direct sunlight, I can see the pink, but that defeats the purpose of having a lamp. In order to add a little more pink, I grabbed a roll of Washi tape and added a “ribbon” detail to the top and bottom of the shade.

To finish up, I re-glued the pattern paper around the edges and trimmed the paper close to the seams. Finally, I used my Mod Podge to seal the outside of the lampshade.

Pink Lampshade

To try this project on your own, you will need the following supplies:

  • white fabric lampshade (mine is the JARA from IKEA )
  • small bottle of acrylic paint – in your favourite colour
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brushes (I used a 1 inch brush
  • unwanted pattern pieces

Pink Lampshade

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The Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

Part of the amazingness of the Ringling museum are their gardens. The Ringling family amassed a rather large portion of land that now surrounds the museums and house. They filled this land with banyan trees and walking paths. I fully intend to go back to explore these. Since the most direct path from the house to the art museum was through the rose garden, I took some time to take a few photos. Enjoy!

Ringling Rose Garden

You can also head over to Flickr to check out the rest of the photos.

Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

 

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Birthday Baking

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

This year, I decided to try something new for my birthday treats. Yep, I still make birthday treats for myself. All my co-workers appreciate it. Then again, we are teachers and get birthday treats on a regular basis. Since those treats are store bought, I like to add a little homemade goodness to the mix.

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

I’ve seen stacked cupcakes featured on a few blogs and thought I would give them a try. Rather than try to bake something already round, I opted to bake the cake mixture as a flat sheet. I used a jelly roll pan that is 15 x 11 inches. By baking the cake in this manner, I ended up with a 1 inch thick cake. I then used a 2 in circle cutter to cut out my circles (I think next time, I’ll use a sharper edged cutter as the edges were a little rough).

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

I used a basic buttercream frosting. To make it interesting, I used variegated shades of pink, starting with white. After completing a layer of filling, I added a little more food coloring paste to darken the pink. (I’ll have to do this again as I didn’t take photos of each step.)

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

They turned out amazingly! The cake was fudgey. By using thin layers of frosting, I managed to avoid them being overly sweet.

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

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India Fabric Top

Nearly everyone who sews has a stash of fabric. Some are larger than others. Some have collections dating back decades. Some maybe only a few weeks (Yep, I think that counts!) Some, if they are lucky, have a stash that came from various locations and come with a bit of a story.

Pink India-3909

The white-flowered overlay on this top came from my stash. It comes with a bit of a story of which I only know a small part. This fabric was bought for me by my sister. She spent a short time in India on a missions trip. While on this trip, she managed to remember me and found this fabric. I was so excited to have her home and that she brought me something, that I never thought to ask about where she bought it. Did she barter for it? Was it in an open market? Was there a huge fabric store? It’s been a dozen years or so now, I doubt she even remembers the particular details. I do hope she remembers the fabric when she sees me wearing the top.

Pink India

I used Simplicity 2587. (This pattern is currently out of print, but I saw a couple on Etsy.)  This isn’t my first time using this pattern. It’s quickly becoming a go to summer top pattern. It is an unlined top, so with the right fabric choice, it is nice and cool. The one major adjustment I’ve made is in the placement of the bodice front. I only gather a little in the front and allow the front triangles to overlap rather than rest side-by-side. This adds a little more coverage.

To add the overlay, I treated the solid pink like an underlining. An underlining is a second layer of fabric that is attached to the outside fabric, then they are sewn as if there were only one layer. The only place this created an issue was the midriff band where there ended up being 6 layers of fabric.

Pink India

 

I have already worn this top several times. I am hoping with washing and wearing, the fabric relaxes a bit. It feels a little stiff sometimes.

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Last of the Laurels

These are the last 2 Laurel dresses I have to show you (for now). I’m telling you, this is a great pattern. It looks great on (someday, I’ll get photos of myself wearing one), even when it is too big as mine now are. The pattern is simple with easy to follow instructions. There are so many ways to vary the design that no one will realise you used the same pattern for 6 dresses!

My Purple Laurel, was my muslin version. I used an old sheet for my fabric. I’m glad I made a muslin. The pattern is created to be a bit lose, but on me, that actually meant my normal size was a little too big. Yay! I get to make a smaller size. Making the muslin also gave me the opportunity to test out some design changes I planned to use on other versions.

First off, I made this version sleeveless. This was a simple change. Rather than sewing the underlining as an underlining, I sewed it in as a lining. This gave me the ability to close the arm holes inside. I still used a binding around the neckline to add stability as I didn’t add any facings.

Second (this is my favourite addition), I added buttons down the back. I did this partially to save on sewing in a zipper, but also because I thought buttons down the back sounded fun. To do this, I extended the back by an inch on each side. Since there is already a seam allowance for a zipper, I didn’t need much more wiggle room.

My final Laurel project was inspired by all the projects with variegation I had been seeing. My plan had been to make a dress with 3 colours of fabric that were slightly different shade of each other. The plan didn’t work out as my local shop didn’t have the color variety I needed. I modified my plan and went with two colours instead.

 

The photos show pockets, but I later removed them as the sewing was poorly done  (in my opinion). Once I took them off, I liked the dress better without the pockets.

 

I did finish this dress with short sleeves. Yes, I know, I don’t have completed photos. This is so far my favourite version of the Laurel that I have made. As I’ve mentioned, I am inspired to make a couple more. I’ll be sure to share them when I do.

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Flapper Laurel

Nearly a year ago now, Colette Patterns released a new pattern. I just had to have it! It was the Laurel. This pattern inspired a flurry of designing in my little sewing nook in our old place (That’s right, this project happened a year ago. I’m catching up on posts I missed last summer). The release of this pattern came with a contest. I just realised I never got around to sharing them properly. You can find a few sample photos on Flickr.

Around this same time, we had a handful of invitations to Twenties themed parties. Rather than spending a small fortune on a skimpy-itchy polyester costume, I decided to create my own version of a flapper dress. After a bit of research, I realised that the Laurel pattern lent itself to the proper shape of a flapper dress. It is rather straight (with just a little shaping) and the length can easily be modified.

My intention was to find a dark fabric such as a navy or black. Maybe even green. But then we (I was shopping with my fiance) found the dangling circles fabric in hot pink and I was in love!

My first modification was with the neckline. I created a deep scoop (deep for me) down the back and a shallower scoop in the front. I think next time, I will make sure not to widen the opening so the straps stay wider than they ended up on this version.

                                             

I also shortened the length of the tunic to end just below my bum. This added a seam to create a dropped-waist look.

The skirt ended up being a little more complicated than it should have become. If you do this, I recommend leaving your lining from the top long enough to also be the lining for the skirt portion. Then you can attach your skirt fabric to the top fabric without worrying about tugging and bunching the skirt. I’m leaving my instructions at that because I cannot make what I did understandable.

                                                         

Finally, I added a wide sparkly black ribbon at the top of the skirt and a massive rosette at the side. They really topped the dress off nicely, don’t you think?

Make It and Love It

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Adding Some Pizzazz

We bought a new house recently (ok, like 6 months ago, is that still recently?) and we have been slowly organising and reorganising. We are also doing some decorating as we go. The entire process is going slowly as we both have very busy schedules. During one of my recent long weekends, I decided to start unpacking all of the sewing and craft supplies. About halfway through unpacking, inspiration hit and I finally decided how I wanted to paint my room!

The room before.

I had known I wanted to paint it pink, I just couldn’t settle on which shade. Too pale and it would look white or like a little girl’s room. I was also concerned that if I went too bright, it would be distracting rather than inspirational. I finally decided I needed a bright pink with a bright white.

Other side of the room, before painting.

I chose First Kiss as my pink (I tried to include a color sample, but the site wouldn’t let me). I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out. Every time I walk past or into the room I get a huge grin just looking at the walls.

The primer layer is finished.

Reorganising back into the room went quickly. I still have a few projects in mind for new furniture. I also have plans for artwork for the walls. Including a huge bulletin board (maybe). I will also be getting a closet organiser and will be painting the closet the matching pink.

All painted pink!

I have even had to opportunity to complete a few projects in the newly painted room.

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Summer Tops

I love strappy summer tops that are light and airy. The kind that flow with the breeze. They don’t restrict movement or feel binding. In fact, they really don’t feel there at all, but you know they are because people aren’t staring at you any more than usual. This top has the potential to be just that.

It’s not in the design, I think it’s my fabric choice. It feels stiff as if someone over-starched it when ironing.  Maybe it just needs a few more times through the wash. Like maybe 50! I’ll choose a better fabric next time. This fabric is rather adorable though. I do feel great in the top. Maybe I’ll just increase the size a tiny little bit.

I admit to copying another seamstress by making this dress a top. I thought the idea brilliant and her top looked really comfortable. Much like my well-worn tops in my closet. I picked up the pattern in a 99 cent sale. The only way to buy most patterns. Decided on some fabric. I even got so far as cutting it out. Then it got stuffed away, to sit until I had time again to sew.

The top isn’t difficult to make, but it is time-consuming. Though buying bias tape rather than using the pattern pieces would cut down on some time. I also highly recommend using a zipper that is the proper length. I used a much shorter zip and I have to wiggle a bit to get it on.

I took the time to add loads of top-stitching. The way some of the bias tape is attached leaves the opportunity for it to stand up rather than lie flat.

I will be making more versions of this top. Though I plan to add a little wiggle room by increasing the size a bit. I will also be using a longer zipper. I think it will also be a bit shorter. This one is almost long enough to be a dress. Maybe with tights.

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Hawaiian Print Sundress

I have fallen in love with Vogue patterns. It’s true! The instructions include details such as understitching and topstitching. The garments you can make have more details such as pleats and tucks. Not that you can’t add those when using other brands, but with Vogue patterns, you don’t have to remember or alter the pattern to add them, they are already there. This also adds sewing time to projects, but I believe it is well worth the extra effort.

Take for example my recent new dress. I used this pink Hawaiian print fabric I picked up in Phoenix (I must remember to share that fabric shopping trip). I used Vogue Pattern 1174. I love the extra detailing of the bodice and the fact that it has pockets! I don’t understand why more dresses don’t have pockets. They are very useful.

Making the bodice was the best part. I started with 16 pieces not including the lining and foundation. That’s right three layers went in to making this bodice. The directions were straightforward and I proceeded with few problems. I did rediscover my need for a dressmaker’s ham. Pressing the seams would have been loads easier. The only change I made to the bodice was that I left out the boning (I wish I hadn’t).

  

I had intended to include the boning. I knew I had some somewhere, but I couldn’t locate it. I looked everywhere, or at least I thought I did! I wanted to take the dress on vacation the next day and the shop was already closed so I went ahead without the boning. The bodice looks great; though a little flat. I think the boning would give it a bit of dimension. Oh! I did find the boning with the start of my next project. It was hiding with my zippers.

The skirt of the dress also got some changes. I left in the pockets! I didn’t line the skirt. The fabric was heavy enough to be on its own. It’s also really hot here, so the less layers the better. I have also discovered that depending on where the bodice ends, I look better with a gathered skirt rather than a pleated skirt. After trying on the dress with the pleats in the skirt, I started over and made it a gathered skirt instead. Doing so made all the difference!

 

I am excited how well this dress turned out! It fits comfortably. Though it feels a little fancy to wear for everyday reasons, I’m not going to let that stop me! I don’t want to leave this dress hanging in my closet! It deserves to be worn so everyone can see it!

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