by Amber H

Pretty Pouch Sent, Pretty Pouch Recieved

May 29, 2011 in Finished Project, Online Swaps by Amber H

Well, now that I’ve received my pouch, and my partner finally got hers after 2.5 weeks -yay for shipping to Canada!- I can finally post the spoils I got as well as the ones I sent out.

My Pretty {Little} Pouch spoils!

I was Mary’s pouch partner, and this is what she sent me. I absolutely LOVE what she sent me! Here’s why:

  • I had mentioned in my inspirational mosaic that my nickname is Panda. So of course, she sent me a coin pouch with a Panda on it, and some panda cookies and a cute little panda necklace.
  • I love mustaches. I’m not really sure why; but they are hilarious, especially when they are related to crafts and clothes.. I need a mustache necklace. I was hoping my partner would be able to incorporate a mustache into my pouch some how, and I think Mary did an excellent job.
  • I mentioned I like woodland creatures of all types; however I did not mention I had a personal preference of Owls. I was super excited that she had made my bag owl themed, and gave me some owl fabric in addtion!
  • I mentioned I like linen. Now, I’m not reus if the fabric is linen, but it looks and feels like it so it probably is.
  • She used a ton of grey and green in the bag. There was no way she could have known it matches the diaperbackpack we use! And plus, I’m addicted to green and grey for some unknown reason.

I had Cindy as my pouch partner. I had actually finished the pouch a week or so before Oscar was born, but I wanted to include more goodies, so I didn’t mail it until after he was born and I was able to make the goodies I wanted.


Pouch and goodies I sent to my partner Cindy



I made Cindy a mug rug and did simple quilting along the honeycombs of the fabric on the back. In addition, I used some fabric, my snap caps and my snap pliers, and losely following this tutorial, I made covered snaps and attached them to these clips. I sent her 12; I figured that was a good even number. These clips are good for sewing up quilt binding.. way better to use than pins and also easier to find if they get dropped and also just way less dangerous to use. Due to the issues surrounding Canadian Postal Service and threats of strikes, I was very concerned that she hadn’t recieved her pouch after I sent it out over three weeks ago. Thankfully she received it finally last Tuesday.

I had a blast participating in this swap. It’s been a fun one and that’s one more swap under my belt.. now just waiting to start another one! I think I’m addicted to swaps.. but they are so fun and it’s a great way to have an excuse to make things, and make new friends and just in general giving and receiving.


by Amber H

And the Winner Is…

May 25, 2011 in Giveaway by Amber H

First off, I”m FLOORED. 525 people entered; although some people didn’t use the spreadsheet. *ahem*

But I’m not cruel and heartless, and so I added those of you who used the comments to enter into the spreadsheet.

With that said… let’s see who wins!

Number 411 is the winner!

According to my spreadsheet, that lucky winner is… Delaina! She did not leave a blog to link to.

I will be contacting her shortly! Thanks again for all of those who participated. I hope that you guys had a ton of fun with the May Giveaway Day, and I will be seeing you guys again in December for the next Giveaway Day!

by Amber H

Baby Melvin’s* Quilt

May 25, 2011 in Process Pledge by Amber H

If you’re looking for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway post, it’s below this one. But hurry, entries are closing soon!

Okay, gotta start out by saying Melvin isn’t REALLY my soon to be born nephew’s name. I only came up with that as a mash-up between his parents’ names.. Melissa and Devin. Melissa is one of two of my sister in laws, and she and her husband are expecting their third boy.. so there’s the quandary.. naming a third boy. I guess for some people it’s easier to pick names; but for them it’s been really difficult.

Anyways, since I’m making them a quilt I’ve decided to blog about it. First reason is to have something to blog about, but the second reason is to sign up for the process pledge, and this will be my debut process pledge project if you will.

Sooo, what is the process pledge? As r0ssie puts it on her blog..

The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let’s do more!  And let’s post about quilts as we work on them.  I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process.

I think this is perfectly sensible and perfectly acceptable. So without further ado, here’s my pledge for all to see in the blogosphere.

I, Amber of Wamber’s Whimsies, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

Ok, onto the first part of the pledge. The first thing I did was I picked the fabrics. I really love Laurie Wisbrun’s work. She’s awesomely cool because she was an orginial designer on Spoonflower, and somehow got the attention of the bigwigs of I think Robert Kaufmann and got her fabric printed by them! How awesome is that?  Anyway, her latest line, “Pooches and Pickup” is super fun and really perfect for boys. And of course me being me I had to have it. Unfortunately, I’m not married to Daddy Warbucks, so I can’t always ask him if I can buy fabric just to horde. So, I figured I would make a quilt for my nephew as an excuse to buy this fabric. I had offered to make the baby a quilt before they found out the gender, and so I’m sort of secretly glad they are having a boy. If they were having a girl I probably would have tried talking him into letting me buy some Liberty of London fabric. Crazy, I know. But my sister in law is pretty awesome, and worth every dollar for Liberty of London fabric!

At that point, I thought, well there’s only 6 prints in the line, and I can’t really make a quilt out of 6 fat quarters. So, I remember dimly seeing two quilts in my blog reader that used these fabrics.  The first place I remember seeing it was on Red Pepper Quilts.  The second place I remember seeing it was on Oh, Fransson. I remembered that they had both picked some solids, so I went and looked at their respective posts, and then wrote down the solids they both used. I then grabbed my Kona Cotton color card, and then narrowed down the colors a bit. They had some colors in common, however I decided to narrow down the colors if they had picked two different shades of the same color. For example, Rita at Red Pepper picked Fern, while Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson picked Jungle. I went with Jungle in this case, because I liked the shade of green slightly better than Fern.

After purchasing the Fat Quarters online and deciding what solids to use, I went ahead and pulled out my Kona Charm Squares to make sure they all went together. Yeah, I’ve got my color card that has all of the Kona colors in 1″ squares, but I really wanted to see them next to each other. After I picked my solids and then when I got Pooches and Pickups in the mail, I went ahead and took a picture of my charm squares with the fabrics.

From l to r; Pacific, Jungle, Tomato, Gold, Ash, School Bus & Corn Yellow

I decided for the ultimate quilt design, I wanted a dark color for contrast, and also a light color for sashing between the blocks. I’ve got a notebook that I use to write my sewing projects and ideas in, and here’s a glimpse of the page:


My handwriting isn't really this neat all the time.

I went through about 4 or 5 ideas until I finally settled on this one. I’ve got the layout in my head; however to keep it sort of a surprise, I’ve gone ahead and not shown the acutal layout; that’s for later! BTW, in case you were wondering, the colors that are check-marked are colors I was able to pick up locally. I checked three different shops, and was only able to find four of them. At that point, it was just going to be cheaper for me to go online and order off of a website. Shipping ended up costing less money than if we had gone to another store in the off chance they had the remaining colors.

Well, that’s all for now. I haven’t cut into my fabrics or anything yet but as soon as I’m done with this post, I plan on replacing the blade in my rotary cutter and getting to work!

by Amber H

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is Here! *Now Closed*

May 22, 2011 in Giveaway by Amber H

Giveaway is now closed. Winner will be selected shortly and notified.


I’m super excited to participate this year. Seriously! I caught wind of the Sew Mama Sew giveaway last year, but both times it was too late for me to be a hostess by the time I found out. But not this time!

So, onto the giveaway.

I’m giving away 6 fat quarters of assorted fabrics from Amy Butler’s new line, Soul Blossoms. I’ve also included a yard of Kona Cotton Bone, and I’ve also included two 10 inch zippers that coordinate with the fabrics, in case you wanted to make a pouch or a bag with the fabrics. I included the Kona, since I think the fat quarters and the yardage would be the perfect amount of fabric to make a small quilt top, but whatever you want to do with it is up to you!

Contents of the Giveaway!

Better picture of the Fat Quarters



Anyways, here’s how the giveaway will work:

I AM willing to ship international! So, if you live out of the US, I will mail to you.

This Giveaway is open from Monday, May 23rd until Wednesday May 25th. I will keep it open until probably 10pm MST and then close comments. Well, since I’m posting this on a Sunday, I’m going to allow comments from the time this posts until the end of the contest.

So, I don’t go cross-eyed trying to count my comments, I am using Google Spreadsheet for entries to make it easier on myself. And because I’m so awesome, I’m also going to make this easy for you guys as well. I’m not gonna ask that you follow my blog, or retweet about mygiveaway or post on twitter. Sure, I’d love new followers but it’s not gonna be a pre-requisite to enter. With that said, entries in the form only will be counted. Feel free to leave a comment on this post -or any other ones, I’m not picky- but it will not count as an entry!

I will be removing the spreadsheet when comments are closed. At that point, I will use Random Generator to pick a winner, and then I will announce and contact the winner. The winner has until Friday, May 27th to respond back. If I get no response via email or a comment in the post announcing the winner, I will go ahead and pick a new winner.

Good luck! And please, don’t forget to visit all of the other giveaways!

by Amber H

Mark May 23rd on Your Calendars!

May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized by Amber H

Because next Monday is Sew Mama Sew’s giveaway day! Last year I participated as a hopeful to win something, and I was caught unawares so I wasn’t able to participate as a giveaway person. BUT NOT THIS TIME!

Anyways, come back on Monday, I will be giving away some fabric and some extra goodies to make something for yourself or someone else! And of course, don’t forget to visit the other blogs to win some goodies as well!

by Amber H

I Got To Meet Anna Maria Horner!

May 16, 2011 in Personal by Amber H

Friday, I got to meet one of my favorite fabric designers. I’ve met one already; the awesome Lizzy House (silly me has no photographic evidence, unless you count the copy of a check I wrote to her for a purchase) but on Friday, I got to meet.. ANNA MARIA HORNER!



Here’s how I knew she was going ot make an appearance. Firstly, I knew she was going to be at Quilt Market, but sadly I don’t have a way to get into Quilt Market. (yet, heh heh) Anyhow, I was on Facebook playing a game keeping up with my social contacts, and there was an advertisement on the sidebar for a local quilt shop. And when I say local, I mean in the Salt Lake Valley; more specifically a store in the Sugarhouse neighborhood; I’m actually all the way in the south end of the valley and actually quite far away from the store. So I go click on the link; which I think either goes to their store website or their blog; I can’t remember.. I just somehow ended up on their blog. So, I started reading their posts and then I saw that Anna Maria Horner was going to make an appearance. After remembering how to breathe, I informed Jeff that we were going. I didn’t ask, I informed that we were going.

So, of course we drive to the store. We got there at the PERFECT time because as we pulled up into the parking lot, another customer was leaving, so we managed to score a parking spot. We go in, and I immediately get complements on my top I was wearing (I was wearing my top that I entered into the Spring Top Sewalong) and then I see Anna and a large group of people surrounded by this huge table where she’s discussing her new flosses and pearle cotton line that she has created to coordinate with her new fabric line Loulouthi and probably her other fabrics as well. I wove myself through a few people and then pick a bare spot at a corner of the table, and I ended up standing next to her daughter Juliana who was lucky enough to have a chair. She looked really tired; I’m willing to bet standing around at Quilt Market can take a lot out of you. So I get to my spot, and since Anna Maria is standing and addressing a crowd, she’s looking around and talking and she actually interrupts herself to say “Oh, and I really like your top!” and then continues talking. Now, that’s pretty freaking awesome. She actually interrupted herself to complement my top. I gotta say that TOTALLY made my day.

Eventually she gets a break from talking, and I managed to get a turn to chat with her. The first thing she says when she sees me is “Did we already meet, at Market or somplace?” and I said “No, I’m not cool enough to go to Quilt Market. Yet.” and then I asked her to sign a charm square of Kona Cotton; as she was signing I said “I think I have one of those familiar faces and she said “Yeah I think I do too.” Then she started asking questions about my top, and I explained that I used two patterns to make it -and she shared that her wedding dress was made from three different patterns- and then I showed her how it’s also a nursing top and she was just going over the top and commenting on how cute it was, and even lifted up the hemline and commented on the fact that it’s square. Then I had one of the ladies that works for her take two pictures.. good thing because the first one didn’t come out very well. I said nice to meet you, goodbye and that was it!

And of course here’s the photographic evidence:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

No, I’m not actually that tall, I’m wearing tall platform sandals -they are back in fashion again, yay!- and they boosted me up about 3-4 inches. I think had I been wearing flats I would have come about even with her shoulder.  Good thing I wore them! And I plan on doing something with that square of fabric she signed; although I’m not sure what yet; but most likely sew it into a small wall quilt featuring her fabrics.

by Amber H

My 2011 Spring Top Sewalong Entry

May 10, 2011 in Selfish Sewing by Amber H

When Rae posted the start of Spring Top Sewalong, I was actually in the hospital just have given birth to Oscar the night before. Funnily enough, even when pregnant I was planning on entering, and I was praying the official post wasn’t going to get posted until after he was born! And I guess my wish came true, haha.

So, onto the top. As seen in my previous post, my goal was to make it a nursing top.. and it worked! I’m very passionate about breastfeeding, and since Oscar’s been born, I’ve been going through my wardrobe trying to figure out what I have that’s nursing friendly without having to pull my shirt up and expose my back, and of course buying tops that are nursing friendly as well.. either button up blouses that I can layer over a nursing tank or just stretch tees with buttons that go well below my bustline so I can just simply button and unbutton.

I had also started browsing around online a few weeks before I delivered to see what the current fashions are.. I wanted to make a top that was going to be stylish of course! So, after seeing what’s out there, i decided on a tunic style top. I was planning on doing something with layered ruffles, but Jeff’s not a huge fan of ruffles, and since I learned from last time, making something that the husband will like is crucial.. otherwise it’ll never leave my closet.

So, last weekend I sat down and started looking at sewing patterns. The problem is that to my knowledge, there’s NO commercially available patterns out there for the nursing mom. Sure, you can find them in books (Anna Maria Horner features at least one in her book Handmade Beginnings) or possibly online in PDF format.. at the very least there’s tutorials out there! Thankfully because I’ve done it before, I was able to purchase commercial patterns and make one myself.

No, that’s not a typo. I really did make my top from TWO patterns.

Why and how? Well, why is the easy one to answer, so here goes. While browsing on the pattern website, I had come across this pattern.  I really like how this looks.. tunic style and it offers sleeve length variations, and I was planning on doing the short sleeve style or possibly even just cropping the sleeves a little bit to do a cap sleeve and then I was going to do nursing access cutouts in the bottom layer; after all since it’s sewn together I didn’t need to fiddle with overlapping fabrics, and I could use the top layer as a nursing cover. Unfortunately, the pattern is only for jersey or cotton knits, and I wanted a top with a patterned design on the fabric, and I didn’t want a top made entirely of knit fabric. WELL POO. So then I continued looking for a similar pattern so I could at least get the look I wanted. So that’s when I saw these two patterns..


McCall Pattern M6119

McCall Pattern M6359

And then it dawned on me that I could simply just do a mashup of these two patterns! I obviously took the bottom of pattern M6119 that’s used in the paisley pattern -upper right- due to the shorter length, and for the top portion, I used the grey and black view. I liked the fact that it had more coverage in the back, and that there’s contrast fabric used as well. So after deciding to use these patterns -and mentally figuring out if it would be possible to do what I wanted to do- of course, I started looking for fabric. Since it’s a spring top, I decided I wanted something springy and lightweight. I ended up buying two yards of this fabric, and for contrast, I purchased half a yard of this fabric. I made the purchase late Saturday night, and when I got the fabric  last Thursday, I went ahead and headed over to Hobby Lobby to buy the patterns. In addition to purchasing the patterns, I also purchased a yard of cotton knit to make a cropped cap sleeved top to wear under the top, because of the racerback style of the top, I can’t wear a nursing bra without the straps showing, and of course for modesty purposes.. I’m actually okay with bare shoulders; however if I wear the top to family functions it’s probably best that I dress a bit more modestly.

I then started working on the actual construction on Friday. First thing I did was I carefully pulled out the pattern pieces, and laid them out on my sewing table. I didn’t want to actually cut up the pattern pieces, so I grabbed wax paper -I didn’t have any more freezer paper which would have been ideal- and traced out the pattern pieces. I actually made two tracings of the lower part of the tunic since I needed one for the back and one for the front. Then, I figured out how to mash up the two patterns together, and then taped the pieces together. I’m actually pretty pleased with how quickly and easily this actually was; I think the key part is to use patterns that are made by the same company since their sizing will be more uniform and consistent. Here’s the pattern pieces after my mash up and after I used them to cut the fabric out.

Front of Tunic Pattern Pieces

Closeup of the front pattern where the two pieces are put together.

I know the pictures aren’t the greatest; partially because it’s white wax paper on my white design wall, but it’s easier for me to take a picture if the subject is directly in front of me versus on the floor or someplace else.. at least you can tell between the matte and shiny.. haha. The grey line going down is the side seam of M6359, and then the curved line going right is from the bottom of M6119.


Pattern of the back of the tunic



Closeup of where the two different patterns are put together.

Here’s the back piece. I actually did my figuring out with the backside so that’s why there’s notes all over the piece. In case my handwriting is too sloppy the glare washes it out, the dot’s note says “Hits back” and the X’s note says “crosses front pattern”; this is where M6119 intersects with the M659 piece; the curved line above that is actually where I made an adjustment so the two pieces flow together seamlessly. Of course, the back piece looks REALLY low at the shoulder; but keep in mind there was a third piece for the contrast part. There was no adjustments done to that piece, so I didn’t take a picture of it.

Of course, because it ALWAYS happens when I sew something, there’s always a mistake or an ‘oh crap’ moment. Mine came in the form of the bust area being too tight. After cursing myself for not making a mockup of some fugly fabric, I decided to rectify my mistake by adding some pieces of fabric to the underarm area… while the fabric wasn’t lined up perfectly to match, it worked very well to make a better fit, and quite honestly I figured since I don’t make it a habit of running around waving my arms above my head, I’d be okay with what I did. Of course, I utilized the same method for making the nursing access that I used on my dress -tutorial found here- and it worked perfectly! Instead of using elastic thread to do shirring though, I used the 1/8″ elastic that I had left over from my dress. I also did not do any elastic or shirring in the back of the tunic.

This top is also the first project I used my serger with, which went way smoother than I had anticipated! I used it for the side seams, and also for sewing the contrast panel to the front and back pieces, and I used my sewing machine to do the hem,  to the parts that were elasticized, and also to finish the armholes and the neckline.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention how I made my cropped jersey top.  All I did with that is I traced out a very fitted shirt I had using part of this tutorial, and used my serger to quickly piece the front and back together. The wonderful part of using knit fabrics is that you can leave the edges unhemmed, and the edges won’t fray or unravel, so I left the neckline and armholes and the bottom hem alone.

All in all, this was a fairly simple top to put together. The only thing i would do next time is take the time to make my own bias tape to finish the arm and neck holes out of the fabric i use to make the top, or even just serge finish the edges and fold them in. And without further ado, here’s my top!

The front of my Nursing Tunic

Back of Tunic

Here’s to hoping! *crosses fingers*


by Amber H

Revisiting an Old Blog Post (or two)

May 4, 2011 in Selfish Sewing by Amber H

Well, now that Oscar is almost three weeks old, I can finally sit down and start blogging again. I was pretty good about blogging when I was pregnant, and was even able to do some blogging right after he was born, but when I have THREE different blogs, one or two tends to get neglected.

So, normally I would have done this particular type of post on Sunday for Throwback-ing purposes, but I’ll do just this one today; I’ll explain why later down in the post. This is actually going to have two posts from my old blog; but that’s because they are related to each other. Here goes!


The Making and Designing of a Dress

(Originally posted on 06/11/10)

So, June is Make it, Wear it! month over at Sew, Mama, Sew! You can check their blog out for this month’s make it and wear it projects… so many awesome ideas!  Well, I figured it would be the perfect motivation to create something.. for myself!  I’ve made myself a top -that I’ve only worn once, because we have not had very many warm days this year.. hopefully we’ll get some scorchers soon- from a Simplicity pattern and because i’m a spendthrift these days, I carefully folded up the pattern for a later use.. and that time has come!

So you ask, “Wamber, are you going to make ANOTHER top?  Why would you want two of the same top but in different fabric?”  Well, let me tell you.

No.  I’m not making another top, but instead I’m slightly modifying the pattern to turn into a dress.  It’s going to involve a measuring tape, parchment paper, some heavy-ish stuff, tape and a marker, rotary cutter, cutting mat and a few prayers and crossed digits.  Basically, I’m going to alter the pattern and create a dress.

But not just ANY dress.  See, we’re planning on having another baby, and so I want a dress that will triple as a dress that’s wearable while not pregnant, a maternity dress AND a nursing dress.  Loose flowing dresses are in fashion right now, so that’s okay.  Now you’re probably thinking, “How are you going to pull off that?”  Here’s my VERY rough sketch.  Don’t laugh please.

Basically, I’ll make the front and the back full length, but the front will have cut outs or slits or something so I can have an opening to nurse.  Since I’m going to do this in an empire waist style, I will make a modesty panel that will be interfaced and have elastic casing (casting?) so it will elasticize in the front and so there will be no free peek shows.  I will also add a cas(t)ing in the back to keep both sides of dress consistent with each other.

I drew this with spaghetti straps, but in hindsight, I will more than likely be making thicker 1″-1.5″ straps.. when I’m nursing I cannot get away with going braless, so I’ll need to make the straps so they’ll cover bra straps.

Of course, now everyone’s wondering, “What fabric are you going to use?”  I’m going to be using Anna Maria Horner’s VAH01 in the Berry colorway from her Little Folks voile collection.  I went to The Material Girls Quilts store in South Jordan, UT over Memorial Day weekend to score at their sale, and to my great shock and dismay -this is a good thing in this case- they had some bolts of her fabric!  I stood there staring, heart pounding for about 3 minutes before I moved and sprang into action.  I saw the bolt of the fabric, and after asking if I should get the berry colorway or the sweet colorway (same  design) and after it was decided that the sweet colorway would wash my skintone out, I bought the rest of the bolt, which ended up being 2 yards.  SCORE!

I’ve actually got everything I need for this except the proper interfacing.. I need to go and buy some interfacing. However, I probably can get away with just doubling up on the fabric for the modesty panel.  I don’t want to buy anything for the project and use what I have on hand.  And because I’m so flippin’ short -4″11′ go me- I probably will end up with a TON of fabric left over.  I’m not complaining, it can in with the rest of my Little Folks Fabric.

I will of course, keep you updated on my progress, hopefully I’ll have this done in time for our wedding anniversary next month.


It’s Done!

(Originally posted on 6/15/10)

I finished my dress, and my plan worked perfectly!  I ended up browsing on the ‘net to find some ideas to create the nursing access, and I found a tutorial of sorts over at a blog called rostitchery.  Basically, You do a double layer of fabric overlapping and make it appear that the garment does not have nursing access at all.

However, I didn’t 100% follow her tutorial, because if you look carefully at the mannequin, the bottom layer stops under the bust Edit 06/22/10:  I contacted Rowena (rostitchery) to let her know about the dress since the nursing access was inspired by her top, and she corrected me; I apparently did follow her tutorial, the bottom layer DOES in fact go over the bust; she only had it pulled down to illustrate the nursing access, and due to the flowing style of my dress and it being an empire waist style, I decided the top of the bottom layer -try saying that 5 times fast- would be better suited to go over my bust, very similar to a tube top dress.  I did three rows of shirring with elastic thread -tutorial can be found here- and then I used 1/8″ wide elastic for under the bust, and then I did two rows of shirring in the back.

Here’s me modeling the dress outside by my wild looking rosebush.  What I love about the dress is how versatile it is, and yet at the same time, you can’t tell it’s a nursing dress.

What I liked about creating this dress:
Modifying an existing pattern to suit my needs. Yeah, I’m sure I could have found a similar dress pattern, but I didn’t want to go out and buy another pattern just to make this dress.  I just traced the original pattern pieces onto freezer paper and then added the length needed to turn it into a dress, and made a few other tweaks.  The original pattern can be found here, and I actually used the front and back pieces for style F, surprisingly enough.
Working with the voile. It’s made by Anna Maria Horner and is probably my most favorite fabric ever.  I used a size 9 needle and gutermann thread.  I LOVE gutermann thread because it’s thin, does not have a halo -where the thread looks fuzzy- and it’s also very strong.  I think any other thread would have been too thick.  Surprisingly enough, the voile is actually very durable despite how lightweight it is.

What I didn’t like about creating this dress:
The neckline. I had some difficulty gathering the neckline and then when I sewed on the bias tape to finish it, I had stretched it out again and made it all wonky.  I ended up having to shirr the gathered neckline, and then I had to shirr the bias tape twice to get it back up where it needed to be.  Once I got that taken care of, it was smooth sailing at that point.
I had to add extra fabric for the shoulder straps. In hindsight, I should have added extra length to the straps since the particular pieces I used were meant to be used with a yoke instead of straps.  I guess I could have used the front and back of a different style in the same package, but I didn’t want to bother with cutting the pattern out.  Even though I added extra fabric, it still kind of digs into my armpits a bit, but the fabric is soft enough that it doesn’t bother me at all.

Would I do this again?  UM YES.  Now that I know what I need to do for next time, I can see myself making the dress again; perhaps with sleeves or making it longer or even in a different fabric; I’m thinking jersy knit!  Jeff thinks I should make more of these dresses and sell them, but I’ll have to see about that.

Realistically, this can be done with almost any dress pattern that’s loose fitting and that can be modified into an empire style dress with some elastic.  You don’t have to modify a top pattern to duplicate this.  Experiment and see what works for you.

Anyways, gonna go add this to Sew Mama Sew’s Make It, Wear It! flickr challenge pool.  Hope it gets featured on their blog!  *crosses fingers*


Back to the present..

Well, in case you are curious, I still haven’t worn the dress; it’s been hanging in my closet since I made it last year.. yeah I know.. I fail.

So, the reason why I brought these particular posts up is because I’m participating in Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong 2011! In previous years it was called “Spring Top Week” but since it lasts longer than a week she changed the name. So, once again I’ve decided to make something with nursing access. And once again, I’ve decided to use Anna Maria Horner’s Voile.. this time however I’m mixing it up and using this fabric this time around. I selected this fabric, simply because Jeff doesn’t really like the fabric the dress is made from -part of the reason why I haven’t worn it yet- so I figured this time around I’d pick something he likes. And also, I picked a coordinating solid since there’s a bit of contrast fabric required for the top I plan on making. But no more on that. I’ve already bought the required fabrics and patterns and I’m just waiting for my Voile to get here; I’m expecting it sometime today or tomorrow. I’ve decided to document making the top in pictures; and once I’m done with that, I’ll post them here on the blog, and of course enter my top into the flickr pool. I gotta get working on it ASAP, since the deadline is next Monday!

And to make it offical; here’s the blog button:



by Amber H

One of My Best Creations by Far

April 25, 2011 in Personal by Amber H

As a crafter, I take pride in what I can create.. although I think this is one of my best creations by far..

He's here...


Oscar was born on April 14th, and he came into the world at 20.5 inches long and a whopping 8 lbs, 9 oz. I’m on the small side, as in I’m only 4’11″ and to see him come out of me that big.. I was shocked! In fact, I’m still shocked. He’s got my coloring, but he looks just like his daddy in his facial features and build. Everyone is over the moon about his arrival, and his two big sisters absolutely adore him. And who could resist those sweet cheeks?

by Amber H

This is Madness!

April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized by Amber H

Mug rug madness, not “No, this is Sparta!” (btw, I don’t know where that comes from, but I’ve seen it referenced many times on a website called My Life Is Average)

Anyway, I somehow came across a link for Mug Rug Madness -most likely on Flickr, I really need to start paying attention to how I find these things- and I’ve been having a ton of fun reading tutorials and looking at what people have been making. I spent probably a good two to three hours cleaning and organizing my sewing room last night -only got one side done, I’m not worried too much about the other side where my quilting frame is set up- and it dawned on me I’ve got a TON of scraps.. I filled up a gallon freezer bag full of smaller scraps, and then a plastic shopping bag and another bag full of larger scraps.. YIKES I’ve got a ton of scraps! Anyways, I’ve read about ticker tape quilts, and how they make good scrapbusters.. but I don’t really want to fully commit myself to sorting and trimming down my scraps right now, so I figured, “Hey I should make a mug rug!” So I did.

Gnome in the Deep Woods

I named it “Gnome in the Deep Woods” because I can picture in my head gnomes living in the woods tending to their gnome gardens and hiding away from people. I kind of wish I had made the gnome a little mushroom house, but I think it still looks cute the way it does! The green above the small tree and the gnome and his house is supposed to represent the woods, and then in the far distance -or the upper right corner- there’s a castle where humans live in. I was actually not planning on doing a little scenery; but it just sort of happened like that. I started from the bottom and then worked my way up.

The back of the mug rug, the roof of the gnome’s house and the castle are from Lizzy House’s line “Castle Peeps”, the two green dot prints I believe are from Riley Blake Designs.. I am 100% on that for the darker green, but only 80% sure of the lighter dots. The trunk of the tree is some unknown fabric that I just had in my stash, and the three solid greens are Kona; they are scraps from Oscar’s quilt. The grey is not Kona; I’m not entirely sure who made it. The gnome and the sky bit are made by Heather Ross. And the black fabric is a Moda Blender. All pieced with black Gutermann thread.

The raw edge applique was inspired by ticker tape quilts.. I’m not entirely sure if when you make a ticker tape project if the edges HAVE to be straight, but I do like the look. In addition, the binding was just folded over from the back and just sewn to the front.. I love how it came out.. less cutting for me! The size is approximately 9.5 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide… perfect size, and I love how it tells a story in such a small piece.