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Friday, April 26, 2013

Week 4 - Final Round!!!


I really never imagined that I would make it to the final round in my first sewing competition.  It is really humbling to even be picked to participate!  I know my blog is pretty small compared to some of you out there - I'm just so honored to have been able to make it this far!

Thank you so much for your comments - I love it when you link back to your blog so I can see what you've created and "meet" other crafty mamas!

This week is "Contestant Choice" and it's a no brainer for me - Kids Clothes!!!!

It also happens to be the week of Kids Clothes Week Challenge and I would love to complete a wardrobe like a lot of ladies are doing but I have no desire to burn the midnight oil in order to complete a to-do list! haha!  So, I'm going to officially consider my final Sew Off look to also be my KCWC look!!!

You should go check out the flickr pool and blog for great kids clothes inspiration and ideas!!!

Ok, on to my entry! :)

This is another one of those outfits that when inspiration hit, there was no stopping me!!!  I bought a pair of sandals at Target that had pink strawberries on them and I thought a romper to match would be so cute!
And then the more I thought about it, I wanted to try making a pair of cute handmade sandals and preferred red strawberries!  I sketched two looks for the romper - either a traditional bib romper with an applique strawberry or make the bib of the romper in the SHAPE of a strawberry!!!  Hubby agreed that the 2nd option was more unique so that's how we came up with the final product!!!

The romper is 2 pieces - I made the top by drawing my own strawberry shape - it's fully lined and topstitched with double sided topstitched leaves that were hand sewn to the strawberry.
I made the leaves so the front of the leaf is the right side of the fabric and the back is the wrong side - it provides a nice contrast if you're looking closely!

I attached the straps to the top of the strawberry so they tie at the neck and I painstakingly hand tied french knot "seeds" all over the front!!!  (I know how long it took by how many TV shows I "watched" while working!  Want to guess?)

I put cloud cover on the back of the strawberry so the little knot ends don't bother Eva Mae's little tummy!

On to the bottom!  I just did a basic bloomer/short self drafted pattern but spiffed it up with some piping and contrast at the bottom leg!

I ran a casing of elastic at the leg to give it a little ruffle/bubble look and attached the strawberry by hand to the middle of the shorts front.

I drafted my own little baby sandal and I know there are better patterns/tutorials out there so I won't even try to make a tutorial! haha!  It's basically a shoe print shape cut out with elastic and ribbon sandwiched in and sewn with right sides together and then turned out and topstitched.  The cuteness factor comes from the felt embroidery design from Just Peachy Applique!  I had to put two on a clip for her hair as well!

I commented to some friends that I know this verges on the side of "costumey" rather than "fashion" but I am all about amping up the cuteness factor while my baby girl is little!!! ;-)

If you are a local friend/family visiting my blog let's plan a trip to the strawberry patch together and you can get some squishy piggy fat loves from Eva Mae in her Strawberry Sweetness outfit!

Thank you again for voting me into the final round of the Sew Off!!!  We need to give a standing ovation to Amy Hindemann for organizing/planning the contest in the middle of trying to get ready to move out of state!  You are truly a superwoman, Amy! :)

Now go vote and give Amy some comment love on the Naptime Crafter site!

Sewing Mama RaeAnna Blog

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Week 3 - For ME!

So I have gone into completely new territory this week!  While I was finishing the home decor look last week I bought the Casual Lady .pdf pattern from Go To Pattern Shop as my framework for the look I planned to make this week.  Did you also know that Andrea from Go To Patterns was donating the profit from pattern sales on the Casual Lady to help women and children in India and Cambodia?  Click the link to read more!  So far she's been able to donate over $800 from the pattern sales!

I must say that I'm pretty darn proud of myself because I have NEVER (I repeat.....NEVER!) sewn an article of clothing over a size 5-6T!  I have seen pictures of blogging friends like Veronica from Sew Very and their Casual Lady shirts and dresses and got a boost of confidence that I CAN DO IT!

One of the other hesitations I had was that I am not really happy with my body image right now.  2 kids in the past 4 years have added extra weight that I've struggled to lose.  I wish I was a slim size 6-8 but that is not the reality.  When I expressed my frustrations to my husband he very sweetly told me how beautiful I was and the next day sent me an e-mail with the new Dove commercial that has seemed to go viral.  I know, I have a keeper! ;-)

Because of my size I wanted to alter the Casual Lady to make it even more flattering to my body type.  I sewed up a test garment with some ugly brown knit to see if I liked the fit.  I also experimented with adding a little slit at the neck.

I was pleased with the underarm and side proportions but I wanted a little more cap in the sleeve and decided to create some drape in the bust area.  And I decided against a slit because of the change in the bust - adding too many components would make it look too busy.

The way I altered the pattern was to add a few more inches to the shoulder/arm sleeve and to cut the front fabric pattern in 2 pieces.  The top piece would be cut as normal but when I cut the bottom part of the front I placed it 4-5 inches away from the fold so that I would have the extra fabric to gather.

I gathered the bottom section of the front and serged it to the top section before following the rest of the pattern construction.  There were two other derivations I made.
1.  I cut the lining to be 2 inches shorter than the outer fabric which is a lot longer than the pattern lining piece.  My outer knit is really lightweight and I wanted the extra stability of a lining behind it.
2.  Instead of following the instructions for hemming the sleeve and sewing the sides, I created the top like I would a reversible dress.  The only thing I didn't do was attach the lining fabric to the main fabric at the bottom.  Because of the extra fabric in the front I would end up with a bubble looking shirt so the lining is serged at the bottom and the main fabric is hemmed with a double needle.

I have to say this top is going to be one of my favorites this spring/summer!!!  I've also created a couple accessories to go with it......I present  "The Casual Lady Two Ways!"

(Thank you to Amber Speck Photography for the photos!)
This is the dressier version of my look - I paired the top with some linen pants and a turquoise necklace from Kohl's!  Amber was so sweet to take all of my "Casual" Casual Lady pictures!  This girl knows how to rock the camera!  Can we say "camera envy????"  She's so talented!


(Thank you to Amanda Love for the photos!  My sweet friend met me at the park with her 8 month old and took pictures for me while wearing him in her Ergo! Supermom!!!)
I decided to refashion some sweat pants into shorts for this look!  I cut off the bottom of the pants and used my double needle to hem the bottom

Then I added a strip of fabric on the sides from the leftover knit in my top.  I used more of the leftover knit for a covered button to add to the bottom and now I have a cute pair of sweat shorts to wear comfortably this spring and summer!

Just for fun I decided to make a cute ribbon chain necklace to go with the look.  I bought a pack of multi colored grosgrain ribbon at JoAnn's and looped them together and then secured on a metal chain to wear with the outfit!  It's very casual and easy - just hot glue the ends as you make the chain and then tie your necklace chain around the end loops.

Thank you so much for voting me into week 3!  I have been challenged and have stretched my skills and creativity coming up with projects for each theme!  I hope I can be a part of the final week!  I would love your vote!
Click here to scroll through the entries and vote!
(Thank you for reading this far and letting your browser load all these photos!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm still in the Sew Off!

Woo hoo!  It's week 3 and I'm still in it!!!  I have a LOT of work to do in order to make it another round.  Sewing something for me is COMPLETELY new territory!  I have been working on modifying the Casual Lady shirt by Go To Patterns as the basis of my look!  Here's a sneak peek!

If you're curious, here's how the rounds have played out!  

Week 1:
the official score sheet...
Contestant Judge 1 2 3 4 5 total Judge Score Polls Score Score
nest full of eggs 8 8 11 11 11 49 12.56% 30% 21.28%
Sewing Mama RaeAnna 9 12 9 6 6 42 10.77% 22% 16.38%
Max California 12 9 10 9 10 50 12.82% 11% 11.91%
ocd 1 6 8 4 1 20 5.13% 17% 11.06%
The Velvet Aubergine 3 2 6 12 9 32 8.21% 13% 10.60%
Stubbornly Crafty 4 3 2 7 7 23 5.90% 15% 10.45%
Slipcovers by Shelley 2 1 12 10 5 30 7.69% 13% 10.35%
Stephanie's Beautiful Creations 6 5 3 2 12 28 7.18% 13% 10.09%
House of Estrella 10 7 5 8 8 38 9.74% 10% 9.87%
Cherished Bliss 5 10 7 5 3 30 7.69% 9% 8.35%
Sew Chibi 7 11 1 3 4 26 6.67% 6% 6.33%
Falafel and the Bee 11 4 4 1 2 22 5.64% 7% 6.32%

*Judges ranked the contestants 1 to 12. Their top pick received 12 points, 2nd pick 11 points, etc.
Week 2:
the official score sheet...
Contestant Judge 1 2 3 4 5 total Judge Score Polls Score Score
Slipcovers by Shelley 8 9 9 7 9 42 18.67% 19.14% 18.90%
Sewing Mama RaeAnna 9 8 8 6 6 37 16.44% 20.06% 18.25%
nest full of eggs 7 7 3 9 8 34 15.11% 18.36% 16.74%
Stephanie's Beautiful Creations 6 1 7 1 7 22 9.78% 10.65% 10.21%
Cherished Bliss 4 5 5 8 3 25 11.11% 9.10% 10.11%
Stubbornly Crafty 1 2 6 2 2 13 5.78% 10.49% 8.13%
Max California 3 4 4 5 5 21 9.33% 3.40% 6.37%
House of Estrela 5 6 2 3 1 17 7.56% 4.78% 6.17%
The Velvet Aubergine 2 3 1 4 4 14 6.22% 4.01% 5.12%
Note: Judges are not in the same order as last time around
So here we go in week 3!!!  This should be interesting!


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