Friday, October 25, 2013

Maternity Jean Make-Over -- Photo Update

Remember how I said I would check back in to let you know of the maternity jeans worked out once the belly got a bit bigger?

Well, they won't fit for too much longer, so quick!  Here are some pics before my derriere requires the next size up.

A belt with these is a definite must because they don't have maternity-specific ease through the seat area.  For me there's still plenty of room in the belly, but the rest of the jeans are getting too tight. 

I'm very tempted to hit up the thrift stores and get a larger pair to alter for the third trimester.  I love the feel and look of "normal" jeans!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Packing Up My Etsy Things For Now

Yesterday I carefully wrapped and packed away the things from my Etsy shop.  I couldn't quite decide whether I should be happy or depressed.  You know how sometimes you make a decision and you just know it is right and the rightness makes you happy but the sadness is still there?

Though I only began selling online a year ago, I'm in a different season of life now than I was when I started and I've decided to carve out more space for myself and put aside my business venture for a time.

I'm not gonna lie -- it drives the German pride in me crazy not to keep my shop open come hell or high water, but I'm trying to grow in humility and create healthy boundaries for body and mind.  That's more important.

When I first opened shop, numerous friends reacted with awe.  How in the world do you do all of that sewing when you have three small children??? they wanted to know. "Oh, I make time!" I'd say.  But I seem to have lost the time-making-machine.  I think it disappeared the day my toddler son learned to move chairs across the kitchen floor and it hasn't turned up since.

There are other personal reasons why I feel like the time is right to set aside my Etsy things.  I won't go into the details, but I want you to know that I will miss my customers and the privilege to share my work.  I sincerely hope this is not a permanent hiatus.  I even purposefully packed away some untouched designer yardage for future projects along with my other supplies.  I'm counting on that gorgeous fabric to lure me back into creating for Sparrow and Twig before too long.

Perhaps the new baby and I will sew together come January?  Hey, ya never know.  In the meantime, you can find me here blogging like usual. The holidays are fast approaching...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Hem Chiffon the Easy Way {needle and thREAD}

By popular demand, this week's needle and thREAD post is dedicated to the "easy and neat little way to hem chiffon" I mentioned in last week's post.

I worked in a bridal shop for a few years and picked up some valuable sewing tricks from the in-house seamstress.  Hands-down the most practical and versatile thing I learned was how to make a hem suitable for chiffon.

Meet my very best friend, the narrow hem:

I'm going to get into all of the juicy hemming details here, so feel free to skip on down to the thREAD portion of things if learning bridal seamstress trade-secrets is not your cup of tea :o).

For those of you waiting impatiently to get your hands on my fool-proof method, let's get going:

Before you begin, pin your chiffon hem at whatever length you want it -- this is always the hardest part I think!  For a full-length dress, pin it 3/4 inches to 1 inch off of the ground (with your fancy shmancy shoes on) if you want a standard length hem.

1)  With the pins in, press your hem.

2)  Sew a straight stitch right up next to the fold (1/8 inch from the edge at the most). 

Use a smaller machine needle on chiffon.  Either size 70/10 or 75/11.

3)  VERY CAREFULLY trim off the extra fabric, leaving a tiny bit of fabric next to the stitching.

4) Fold up and press.  No need to pin.

5) Sew.  I like to move my needle to the right one notch and run the fabric next to the feed.  

6).  Done.  Press it and go!

This hem can be used for satin and works great for almost any kind of a-line bridesmaid dress.  I use it for linings*.  And wedding dresses.  You can make shawls with this method, too.  Versatile, I tell ya.

The best part about this hem is that it doesn't require a specialized sewing machine foot.  A win for simplicity!

In regard to reading this week, I'm still working on the Esolen book and the Trelease book I mentioned last week. The girls and I are doing FIAR and enjoying a colorful book by Marjorie Priceman.

Mmmm.  I could really go for a warm piece of apple pie right now.

Thanks for stopping by! For more needle and thREAD, head on over to In the Heart of My Home and see what everyone is up to!

If you need me in the next few days, I'll be fixing the halter strap on this dress and prepping for my sister's wedding on Saturday.  Prayers for safe travel and beautiful weather much appreciated!


*To cut down on time when hemming linings (there are usually two of them and who has time for that???), I am less meticulous about trimming off the extra fabric and I don't do any pressing until after the hem is finished.

Love. This. Hem.