Monday, January 31, 2011

Make it Monday: An Intro and debut

It order to help me feel like I am a little more in control (and less like I have a zillion things I want to do and can't figure out what order I want to do them in) I decided to set specific dates for certain posts. We will see how long this last and if you as readers like it :) This will definitely be malleable and change according to what is going on in our crazy household. Right now I am thinking of the following:

Make it Monday: A new Pattern and tutorial is debuted
Take a look Tuesday: I will show a project I have been working on that hasn't been on the blog
Whats cookin' good lookin' Wednesday: What I made for dinner lately and love
Tricks and Trades Thursday: Examples of how I photoshop pictures I took recently, camera settings I used and photography trade secrets I think might be helpful.
Foreign Service Friday: A post about what it is like working for the Foreign Service and living abroad
Saturday and Sunday are free days (I will most likely do a pattern and tutorial together on one of these days and take Sunday off)

Before I jump into my first Make It Monday I want to remind you lovely readers that each pattern I make is completely original and property of No Mans Land by Kelly Crawford. I have zero problem with anyone making and selling items made from my patterns but they are under no circumstance to be sold, re-offered on any other blog or reproduced in anyway. I also want to make sure that it is understood that while I try pretty hard to make the patterns perfect there may be some pieces that don't line up perfectly. If this is the case it will usually only be a minor misalignment that you can work around. As for sizing since I do not use a pattern making program I only offer the pattern in the size I make it. Unfortunately you will have to use a copier to enlarge or reduce the patterns. I am hoping to eventually purchase a pattern making program but am weighing the options of spending the mola ha!  Alright now that all the small print is out of the way lets get to it!
For my first Make it Monday we will be making the San Marino dress.
This was a MAJOR undertaking, making this dress. Really one of my most intense projects to date. I am very proud of how the dress turned out (even if it isn't fairing all that well in the competition ha!) It is a very well made dress ie. it isn't going to fall apart and has hardly and raw edges. It has tons of fun little details. Plus making an entirely new pattern is always a bit of a challenge (that I enjoy of course!)
The pattern can be downloaded and printed HERE. I was hesitant to offer it, as the dress itself did not receive much of a response so I don't know how much use the pattern will get. But I figure I took the time to make it so might as well get it out there :) It is 20 pages long... yeah, 20! As always the pattern pieces will need to be taped together and then cut out. I tried a new method this week. Some of the pattern pieces have stars that you line up, some of them letters. If you are going to make the dress and you download the pattern will you let me know which you like better? I want to make sure I make it as easy as possible. If you would like to sew a long I would love the company!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Children's Clothes-- Stores you should know

While I LOVE being able to whip out a dress for myself every now and then (and am feeling the itch to this weekend) my real love is {duh} making clothes for my cuties. After everyone else is asleep I am either sewing away OR browsing my favorite children's clothiers online. Since most of these stores are only found outside the US I mainly look at them for inspiration, but there are a few that do sell items online. There are of course hundreds of fun children's clothiers out there, I just thought every so often I could share one of my favorites with you. Today I have to tell you about:
First of all you should know I am OBSESSED with cute little girl shoes. 

So even if Elias & Grace only sold their shoes I would STILL be addicted to their site
But they don't just sell shoes. They sell Uh-mazingly perfect children's clothes as well. 
They also have this in Chambray and I LOVE it. Added bonus their boy items are fabulous
Now their prices are fairly steep but their sales are fantastic. I am considering grabbing these wellies since I think they would look awesome on either my boys or Evie

I guess I kinda see this store as England's answer to America's Crewcuts
They also have a fun little "magazine" that comes out each season dubbing the must have items. 
They are currently have a great winter sale and *bonus* they do ship.... although it will set you back 25 sterling to ship to the states, ouch. But for some of those shoes? Yeah, I totally did it. Hope you find some of your own inspiration!
PS Remember to leave a comment on the last post to be entered into the Couture Cutie giveaway!
PPS Have you voted for your favorite over on Project Run and Play? You, like, totally should!

Couture Cutie Tutorial and Give A Way

I am excited to share the tutorial on how to make your own Couture Cutie {Mullet Dress}. I have received several emails about buying one and since I don't have a shop I wanted to make sure you can make one for yourself!

In order to make this tutorial I had to make another dress (I was silly and didn't take pictures as I went for the one pictured above). This time I did the front a little different and it is a larger size. Sorry for the rather lame pictures but it is too big for Evie and I didn't have the time to round up a model :)
The back has the same pleating and bustle, but instead of a rosette I did a pretty blue bow.
This particular one is up for grabs! All you need to do is hop over to Project Run and Play, check out this weeks competition and vote! Of course I would love if you would vote for my creation but I don't think that is a very good "spirit of competition" to require it :) Once you have voted hop back here and leave a comment letting me know you voted and you will be entered! Easy-peasy 1-2-threasy! 

Now, lets get sewing!!!

San Marino Dress for Project Run and Play

This weeks challenge over at Project Run and Play was to find an adult
outfit and create it for children. I took this to mean we were
supposed to be inspired by an adult outfit and "minify" it for our
munchkins... I am over the top nervous that I interpreted this wrong
but whatcha gunna do right? Anyhow, I have been coveting Shabby Apples San Gabriel dress for
over a year.

Every time there is a sale I pop it in my cart and then after an hour
of browsing other sites I force myself to close the browser and walk
away. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try it out on a
less intimidating scale. So, I can up with the San Marino (a small
suburb of San Gabriel in CA).
I love how it turned out. Although when I make an adult version I will
tone down the ruffle a tad to be more like the original. But my
gorgeous little model loves over the top ruffles so I had to deliver.
In an effort to make it more child friendly, instead of a ton of
buttons you have to wrangle your cutie into  I used several
little velcro strips to close the bodice then just sewed the faux
buttons onto the top ;) Saves you time getting your princess in and
out with the added bonus of not having to make a zillion button holes
woo hoo! (of course you can put the real buttons in if you like).
I just love the sea of ruffles everywhere and I must say I am really
proud of how well made this dress it. It took me a LONG time to create
and get the pattern right but it was worth it!
The pattern and tutorial will be available at this weekend so you
can take your own sewing vaca to a suburb in sunny California :) If
you have a moment hop on over and vote for it on Project Run and Play
(make sure to cast a vote not just leave a comment, not that we don't
LOVE comments). I am super nervous about this week. Mainly because I
am really excited about next weeks theme and am just crossing my
fingers at this point that I squeak through :)

still no internet


Friday, January 28, 2011

Won't you be my neighbor?

I have not been well these past few days... I dunno what is up by my tum tum has decided I am its mortal enemy. I will spare you any horrid details. To make matters worse our internet is completely out, gone, kaput. One of my neighbors was kind enough to let me jump on and email off a picture of my entry for this weeks creation for Project Run and Play. I was having a mild freak out thinking I spent hours and hours of work on a dress that would not make it to Micalah in time to be part of the week. Thank heavens for good neighbors!
Unfortunately the short amount of time and my not being able to haul my desk top over to her house means I won't be able to post the Mullet tutorial. I am so sorry and I thank you for being patient. I promise if your patient... it will come (new low for movie reciting lameness? I think so!) I did however put an email in to the lovely ladies at Sugar City Shop and I have decided if I don't hear back from them in a week I will release a pattern and tutorial for my version of the Village Frock. It does indeed as some of you lovely ladies pointed out, say clearly on their blog that they have no intention of printing anymore editions of the pattern.
We also finally got our bid list and lets just say we are less then thrilled totally bummed that none of the places we were really hoping for are on it. Don't get me wrong we will love where ever we go but I was really hoping for somewhere cool like Istanbul or Morocco (My mom and mother in law are probably gasping in horror right now hee hee). Don't worry ladies much to my dismay neither were on the list :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Mans Land-- Yeah, We Have A Logo

Things have been nuts around here! To add to the craziness that is signing for our first home, doing our first "real" taxes as non-students and lots of Embassy visitors we have also been expecting to receive our bid list every night! In the State Department your first two posts are what they call "directed". This means you are given a list of potential posts, you rank them, they supposedly (I am beginning to doubt this) take it into consideration and decide where you are going. There is a big fun ceremony for your first (that I will talk about in my first "Foreign Service Friday" post tomorrow) but for your second one you get an email. Eyeyiyi are we on pins and needles. The poor hubby goes in every night to be there for "open" of business day DC time and so far a big yucky {nothing}. So, needless to say I have been a bit on edge and letting every little thing overwhelm me ha! On a wonderfully amazing note this week one of my favorite photographers Leah Miller sent me the "No Mans Land" logo and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
I am so excited to get the tags here and sew them into some clothes! What do you think? It is my goal to also post the tutorial for the Couture Cutie aka Mullet dress tomorrow. I am trying also get the tutorial for my entry for this weeks Project Run and Play ready so I can post it the same day the contest starts. This one was a BEAR. Seriously, making this pattern was so difficulty I briefly thought about charging for it... but then I got over it ha! Well I am off to lay in bed not sleeping trying to absorb everything that is going on :)
Hope your day/ night is a lovely one!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Market To Market

Don't get me wrong, I am all for trying to knock off super expensive dresses that I think would be easy to make, but I have received a few requests to try and make a pattern similar to the Village Frock that used to be offered by the Sugar City Shop. I was hesitant because I don't like the idea of taking money away from a mom who came up with a cute idea and worked hard on a pattern. Having said that it has been sold out for over a year (I believe) with little to no signs of it being restocked. So, I thought if nothing else I could try and make one for Evie and see how it goes. Keep in mind I have never seen this pattern (I actually didn't know about it until the first request came in) and I have never seen in person a dress made with this pattern. So, lets just say my first attempt had some major kinks I worked out before I made the pattern. It still turned out pretty cute tough and I had to document my first attempt, no matter how hilariously off it turned out.
I second guessed myself as I was cutting out the fabric for the neck portion and thought no way was it as wide as I originally thought so I ended up cutting it in half, bad idea, should have stuck with my own pattern ha! I also did not gather it as much as I should have (again a little gun shy). I also made Evie's sleeves shorter then the original because she hates billowy sleeves that hang down. She pulls and pulls on them until I finally take whatever top she is wearing off for her. Anyhow next time (and for the pattern) I will make the gathered portion longer and the straight portion shorter.
I also sewed it with a brighter thread so that you can see where I sewed better during the tutorial. I would recommend matching your thread as close as possible to your fabric. Anyhow, before I post the pattern and tutorial I 100% want to know your opinion, do you think this is okay? Or should I just leave it be and we can hope Sugar City restocks the pattern? I REALLY don't want to step on toes or make people up set with my knock offs. So, please leave a kind opinion in the comments (if you have an opinion on the subject hee hee) and we will go from there. Oh and since mine is slightly different I called it the "To Market To Market" frock. Evie liked it okay, when she is happy she sticks out her belly, I take it as her stamp of approval.
Now I am off to finish my week 3 challenge for Project Run and Play, let me just say I think this competition is giving me an ulcer I am so nervous every week! :) I will be posting a tutorial on how to make the bustled back as soon as the results are posted.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project Run and Play Week Two: Sweet Little Dress Pattern

This week on Project Run and Play we were asked to take THIS pattern and do with it what we will. This is totally ironic because this is one of the first patterns I ever downloaded. I think it is adorable and Evie and her good buddy Gwyneth have a slue of dresses made from this pattern. I had been searching and searching for downloadable patterns and Leila and Ben was one of the only places I could find cute ones. This is what originally sparked my desire to start a blog offering free downloadable patterns. So I am not putting it mildly when I say this pattern and I go way back. This actually made it kind of hard though because after making it so many times I really wanted to do something totally new and fresh, without changing the pattern drastically (which I think is the whole point of the challenge, make it fresh without creating a whole different dress). I originally made an entirely different dress from the one you will see today, I really should take a pic so you could see it. It is cute, BUT I felt it was a pretty run of the mill, anyone could make it type dress and this time I wanted to be more edgy, more rough around the edges, more couture....but still cute. Well, as you know by now (from THIS post) I LOVE bustles. The bustles and the "edgy" collided and I came up with this:
I was describing it to a friend and I said "well the front will have a tiered cravat, with unfinished messy edges and the rest of the front is very plain, but the back is all crazy fun. She looked at me and said "ah, like a mullet" HA! So, I lovingly joke that this is my mullet dress. Oh how I love my mullet dress.
I love the orange and the purple, the covered buttons, the raw edges
I love that Evie can still run for tasting looking rocks to eat... okay maybe I don't love that she is eating rocks :)
Even though I know they aren't part of the judging I am so excited about how her accessories turned out. Specifically her shoes.
I am gaga over Joy Folie shoes (I mean to the point where I was trying to make up excuses as to why I needed to fly home to the states so I could attend Jessica's class at The Makerie) and FINALLY was able to order a pair, alas they are boots and won't fit Evie until next year. BUT everything else is always sold out. I decided that wouldn't stop me and I set out to make my own pair. What I love is that they actually hold their shape and are nice and sturdy. I am just warning you that there will probably be a lot more posts about shoes around here ha!
Okay tangents aside I hope you think the Couture Cutie dress is as adorable as I do.
Or at least appreciate the 6 layers of ruffles and the hand pleating
Which I believe is at it's cutest when she is bent over ha!
I totally would have loved to make a bunch of these for my nieces for flower girl dresses (you hear that Claire? No pressure or anything, but when you find the right guy wink wink)
If nothing else Evie gets a kick out of it!
If you have a moment and would like to vote for the Couture Cutie dress and check out the other entries simply click HERE and you will be taken to Project Run and Play.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Frosted Pane Bolero

Before we jump into the bolero tutorial 2 quick things:
1. The beret I made was knitted not crocheted. I feel a little embaressed that I didn't know the difference but what can I say this was my first major project ha! The beret was the only thing I knitted, the bolero was always made out of cotton fabric so unfortunatly the few requests I have recieved for a knitted bolero pattern I won't be able to offer. I have asked my teacher if she could write down the pattern we used for the beret so we will see if she has a chance to do that for us. 
2. The pattern for the Bolero is actually two pieces. I thought I had been able to fit them on one sheet but I was wrong. You can download both pattern pieces HERE
This bolero is wonderfully easy and totally versitile. I made mine out of cotton but I am sure you could to it with a stiffer fabric like cordurouy or a soft fabric like velvet. While my ruffle stops are the arms you could make yours longer and have it go all the way around.
I think I am going to make another one in brown. They are just so fun to throw on over things.


Friday, January 21, 2011

A Promise & A Peak

I promise the bolero tutorial is coming. The pattern piece (you only need one, told yah it was easy) is already available to print out HERE  I am just trying to get pictures to upload ugha mugha the internet has been awful this week. Tomorrow I will post my entry for week two or Project Run and Play but I thought for now you could see a little sneak peak:
Hope you come back tomorrow to see the rest!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Frosted Pane Skirt

Thank you all sooooo much for the kind words and encouragement with Project Run and Play. Weren't the entries amazing?!? I am excited to share how to make the Bolero and the fun flouncy skirt!
Today I will do the tutorial for the skirt.
It is sooo easy BUT it is one of those ones with out a set pattern. Believe me you can totally do this without a pattern! Seriously anything that has this much gathering is extremely forgiving.
Lets get sewing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pimp My Stoller

We have HUGE doll stroller fans in our house, and I am not just talking about Evie. My boys love racing around the house with the strollers pretending they are transformers. When they are up they are cars, when they are folded down they are motorcycles and much to my dismay they are often folded and lifted and made to be missal launchers. This is usually okay with me because thanks to Grandma and a neighbors garage sale we now have a dolly stroller for each child hence no squabbling or at least minimized amounts. This weekend we had a tragedy though. One of the strollers seats ripped, pretty bad actually. This has happened before and I usually just mend it up but this time I had an idea. Now I am not a huge fan of licensed merchandise. Don't get me wrong we have plenty of it in our house because the boys LOVE wearing it but that doesn't mean I like it :) I want Evie to love princesses as much as the next mommy but I also thought it would be fun for her "boutique" Bonjour Evette dolly to have a matching on e of a kind stroller. Evie's original stroller was just a 10 dollar one from a toy store in Jakarta that had 3 of the Disney princesses on it. I tired it on the second stroller that Grandma sent from Italy and it fit that one perfectly as well so I think it will probably work for all simple doll strollers. I am sure I am not the first to do this but I love how it turned out so I had to share it.
Evie was a fan... okay so she didn't really notice a difference.
But I am sure Evette felt good rollin' in style
Of course we had to stop every now and then to eat some rocks
Evie is doning one of her new spring outfits and looked so comfy and cool.
I made it in a soft pink from organic cotton and off white lace trim this weekend and am in LOVE. I am toying with the idea of making a pattern available but this is also one of the outfits I might make and sell at the Beehive Bazaar so I kinda don't know if I should release it?
The locals were out in mass as it was a weekend. They got a kick out of Evie pushing her stroller. I had to get a picture of Evie and this little girl who wanted to sit by her.
There is a pattern available for this nifty stroller seat though and it is soooo easy. Even if you have never sewn before you can totally make this I promise. I wouldn't have been able to make it if it weren't for a package I received from Jana at Weekend Vintage if you are looking for great vintage patterns she is a wonderful resource. She sent me some of her gorgeous twill tape and vintage patterns that I am dying to sew.
You could absolutely use store purchased bias tape but I love the texture the twill tape provides.
Wanna take a stroll?

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