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Schoolhouse Tunics Finished! February 24, 2010

OK so the first Schoolhouse Tunic (Sew Liberated pattern here) was a tad small across the bust, so off it went to Molly in California as a very early birthday present (ha, ha her birthday is in late June!) which is good because last year her present was three months late!  I had planned on making her one anyway and had her help me pick out the fabric (Amy Butler Daisy Chain in gray) by sending her various links to Alewives Fabrics (here).

I apologize for the horrible picture, but D. was on his way out the door and offered to take it to the post office for me, so I had just a second (and terrible lighting) to take a pic and wrap it up.  This first one was made up in the tunic length.

I chose to go with an Anna Maria Horner fabric, Little Folks ~ Fortune Sun, for mine and to make it in the shirt length instead of the tunic length.

The pictures don’t do it justice…the colors are so pretty and springy (as I sit here typing with a foot and a half of snow outside and it is still snowing!)  I don’t love the turquoise tank under…I will have to pick up a soft lavender next time I am in town.

I wish I would have looked at her pattern sizing in terms of xs, s, m, l, and xl instead of numbers…this is the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made for myself…and I should have used my measurements instead of my “normal store-bought” sizing, as I had to go a size up.  I don’t feel too terrible though, Molly is such a tiny little thing and it fit her perfect!  Lesson learned…really…I know I should have learned that when making my daughter’s “twirly skirt”!

This pattern was easy enough to follow.  A few suggestions though…make sure you mark the pleats on the skirt front and back accurately, as well as the marks on the bodice bottom (where the center of the pleat is supposed to match up), and use an embroidery needle, a double strand of sewing thread, and a  small whip stitch to hand sew the top of the placket to the bodice shoulders (so it won’t show through on the bodice top).  I finished all of my seams by using a small zig-zag stitch and then cut the excess fabric with pinking shears (although I wish I had a serger to finish the seams properly!)

I am excited to make up another one, tunic length, in one of Anna Maria Horner’s cotton voiles.  But first I think I want to make the Amy Butler “Anna Tunic” (here).  I am trying to assemble a small collection of blouses to throw on with Jeans to bring on our trip to D.C. this spring.

Happy sewing,



Sew Long… January 31, 2010

My Husband doesn’t call me his “busy bee” for nothing.  I am forever working on a project (or four or five!)  Well now I know why…I never have everything I need to finish it!  I scrimp and save and buy a piece here and there and figure, “I’ll buy that later when I need it and buy this pattern or this great fabric instead!”  Ha, ha, well my willy-nilly ways have come to bite me in the back of my tush!

I had big plans to spend the weekend sewing that “Schoolhouse Tunic” and thought I would have it finished and posted bright and early come Monday morning…I thought wrong.  I was sure I had enough thread on a dark linen (ish color) Gutermann spool but on closer inspection it wasn’t much at all.  I thought, “I’ll just order it online and use what I have until it comes.”  Great idea, unfortunately I did not have the sticker with the color number on it and apparently the number CA 20776 does not correspond to the color in any way?  Am I wrong here?  Wouldn’t you think Gutermann would put the color number on that spool somewhere so that nubes like me could reorder the same thread?  Hunh, who knew you had to save that dumb sticker?  When I searched online with the “code” (obviously put there by disgruntled Gutermann employees out for a good laugh) I came up with a dark brown color and it was definitely not the color of my thread.  Don’t think I didn’t consider driving to JoAnn Fabric’s…I did…but for one it is over an hour away and for twoD.’s car is in the shop and he is using mine for work (kind of more important than thread in his world…but of course not in mine ha, ha).  Long story short (well shorter anyway) I blindly ordered thread online for this and a few other projects (crossing my fingers and toes they are close enough in color to what I need!) and must wait to work on all of those fabulous projects for now.

So instead of spending my weekend merrily sewing, I spent it cutting (not exactly my most favorite part of sewing).  My tunic is cut and ready to go, as are two baby birthday gifts (I’ll tell you about those later), and I have a dining room table filled with half-finished projects eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next day’s mail in hopes of getting worn or used.

On the upside, I started cutting out the pieces for R.’s “Far Far Away” quilt for her birthday present.  I spent the entire afternoon “fussy cutting on the point” (a fancy way to say “cut by hand”) each of 16 six-inch squares from a template I made and cutting my charm squares on the diagonal into four equal parts.  That took all of the patience I have for today, but I have high hopes of finishing the cutting tomorrow.

D. says all of this waiting is the universe’s way of teaching me patience…that the good things in life take time and that I shouldn’t be all about “instant gratification” and blah, blah, blah.  Point taken…but can’t a girl dream of a small shop (something along the lines of Alewives Fabrics would be nice!) moving right into my sleepy little town?

PS – Have you heard that Heather Ross is coming out with a “Far Far Away, Part 2“?

Happy sewing,



Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic January 29, 2010

My Amy Butler Daisy Chain in pink/gray came and I am ready to start cutting into that gorgeous fabric!  I spent the afternoon yesterday tracing the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper and then cutting it out.  This is the first time I’ve ever used this type of tracing paper, and I have to say I really like it!  It feels like a fabric softener dryer sheet and gently grips the fabric while you are tracing it preventing it from slipping around (I still used a few pins to keep it in place) too much. I’ve even read reviews that you can sew the entire pattern up (basting) with the tracing paper to see how it fits (sorry, but I am a bit too impatient to try this) which would be great for making up your own patterns (someday?)

R. is totally in love with the Amy Butler fabric and the tunic itself, “Mommy will you please make me a matching one?”  Oh I just adore her and am so excited she wants to be just like me!  I found a pattern for a “Sophie Tunic” by Sis Boom on Sew, Mama, Sew! that looks almost the same as the Schoolhouse Tunic only tiny.  I love that the pattern size ranges from 6mos through 11/12 (how many of those can I make as gifts?)  The only drawback is that is in PDF form which will probably be a huge hassle!  I have to say, it is really nice that the Sew Liberated patterns come in full-size and don’t have to be enlarged or pieced together with multiple sheets and tape…who has time for that?  Oh the thing we do for our little lovies!

My afternoon will be spent cutting out the fabric and hopefully this weekend I will get to move onto sewing up the tunic.

Happy Sewing,