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This cheerful buttery-yellow Mimi blouse (from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch <–affiliate link) is perfect for spring.

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I started it way back in February, as I was compiling a set of patterns to use for my #epicdressproject, and I love the gathered details, the shape of the neckline and the collar, and the cute pleats in the sleeves.

But when I got to the buttonholes, I stalled.  I was simply procrastinating, and it bothered me that I was procrastinating.  So I finally finished it up this past week so that I could check it off my list.

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The fabric is from my stash, and it’s a similar feel to a shirting even though it’s a former sheet.  I also found the buttons in my stash, so aside from the thread, this project was free!

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I have to admit, I messed up the buttonholes.  I was trying to multitask and help my kids do some schoolwork review (like almost everyone else in the US, our schools are closed right now, and I made them horizontally all the way down the front!  I don’t know what I was thinking… but since it’s a wearable muslin, I’m not too worried… we’ll just call it a design feature, ha.

P.S. the skirt I’m wearing is the Delphine skirt I made using the pattern from the same book!

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As of the writing of this post, I have fabric to make six outfits for my #epicdressproject (a Disney-bounding wardrobe for our week-long Disney World trip).  I’ll talk a bit about the fabric, and then I’ll update you on the status of the project.

At the very beginning of March, Husband and I drove about 45 minutes to a fabric store I’d heard of, but that I’d not yet been to yet.  And it was worth the drive!  What a great store.  G Street Fabrics has showrooms for different kinds of fabrics and notions, and they have great quality fabrics and great prices.  It was better than being a kid in a candy store!!

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the showroom with garment fabric

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the clearance section–everything in this room was $2.97/yard!

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on my way to check out with my cut yardage!

My wonderful Husband helped me to choose fabrics for some of the outfits for my #epicdressproject. I have appreciated SO much how willing he is to be involved in this project (at the beginning, he sat down with me to talk through and narrow down the patterns I was going to try… he has been invaluable during the fitting process… and he was a great sounding board and co-searcher for just the right fabrics while we were out shopping).

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The stack at the top of the post represents five outfits!  Here’s a closer view:

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From top to bottom:

  • Bright yellow rose batik cotton from G Street (for Simplicity 8051A)
  • Blue knit from G Street (for Blank Slate Abrazo tee <–affil. link)
  • White twill from my stash (for Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt <–affil. link)
  • Peter Pan print (Michael Miller Fabrics) from Hobby Lobby (for Simplicity 8096B)
  • Blue poly crepe from G Street (for Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse <–affil. link)
  • Light yellow linen from G Street (for Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt)
  • Green with yellow stars cotton from G Street (for Butterick 5209B)

I also wanted to find a red-with-white-polka-dot, but I didn’t find the right scale of polkas at G Street… I ended up buying yardage later at another store, and so that is intended for Simplicity 8051B.

P.S. As I’ve started cutting out the different garments, I’ve posted sneak-peek closeups of each of the fabrics on my Instagram account, and I will continue to do so.

~ ~ ~

So all of this fabric shopping and planning happened before the COVID-19 pandemic really set in, and suddenly the world has changed.  There are major restrictions on gatherings, many stores are closed, and we are staying home.  My kids are home from school for at least 6 weeks, and our Disney trip will be postponed.  We are very blessed that we have many of the supplies we need on hand, and we are still able to get to the grocery store every so often for food.

It seems strange in the midst of such dread and upheaval to work on a project that seems frivolous.  However, I have decided to try and continue on, even attempting to finish the six garments by the date we should have departed for our trip.  This sewing hobby of mine is a great stress-reliever and it brings me joy.  I am going to continue sewing for fun when I can for a sense of normalcy and fun.

I am prioritizing other responsibilities, and having my kids home has drastically reduced my available hobby time, so it will be an interesting challenge to see if I can stick to my original “deadline.”

 

 

I am enrolled in Sandy Allnock’s (self-paced) Underwater Scenes Copic mini-course at art-classes.com, and back in the fall while I was off my feet recovering from ankle surgery, I completed the first lesson (the shallows):

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I LOVED it (and I was so impressed at what I’d made), but then I got busy with other things and didn’t come back to the class until just a few days ago.  I wanted to make a special birthday card for a dear friend, and I had an idea in mind, but I needed to do the second lesson!

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While my kids played outside, I sat at the dining room table where I could keep an eye on them, and I worked through lesson 2 (the surface).  I have to admit, at first I was pretty intimidated by the thought of creating realistic water surface and bubbles, but Sandy makes it so straightforward and approachable in the class! I made two small attempts– the second one in a more “tropical” set of colors…

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…and when I was finished, I just kinda sat there in shock for a bit after I saw what I’d made, haha!!

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As you can see in the photo above showing my in-progress work, I was making these with a card design in mind.  After I finished my water, I trimmed the two strips into vertical panels.  I colored one of the cute mermaids from Lawn Fawn’s “Mermaid for You” set (also with my Copics and white gel pen accents) and added her (with foam) to make it look like she was joyfully leaping above the wave.

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On the inside, I added my sentiment.  I didn’t have the phrase I wanted in the set, so I hand-wrote “mermazing” in the style of Lawn Fawn’s script, and I used some other sentiment stamps to add “You’re” and “Happy Birthday” above and below!

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For my own records, and also in case anyone is interested, I wanted to give an update on my #epicdressproject!

As I mentioned in my first post about this project, the goal is to make up to seven Disney-bounding outfits (mostly retro-inspired dresses) for our upcoming trip to Disney World.

From November through the very beginning of March, I was sewing up a storm and cutting into old sheets like it was my job… trying out a number of potential patterns and getting them fitted to myself.  This post will be about all the patterns I tried, and will end with my “final cut” of the patterns.

  • The very first dress I attempted to make was a surplice bodice + 3/4 circle skirt from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.  Unfortunately, even though I muslined it from a sheet, my attempt to make a wearable practice version from a rayon-like fabric failed miserably.  First, I had a very bad experience inserting the lapped zipper (I suspect that I stretched the fabric as I was working with it…
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    And once I fixed the zipper (I spent at least a couple hours with that darn zipper), the dress fit terribly.  The bodice gapes and sags unflatteringly, and I just don’t have the skills that I need to adjust the pattern, especially in the time crunch I have for this project.

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    my “wearable muslin” attempt (fail). It may look ok here, but there are definitely problems with it. 

The first round of dress patterns I bought was from Simplicity.

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  • I love both views of Simplicity 8051; I graded the midriff pieces between two sizes and shortened them by 1″ for a better fit.

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    Simplicity 8051A muslins: before and after

  • I made a muslin of the bodice of Simplicity 8439 (view B), but I was unhappy with the way it was fitting in my shoulders, so I’ve decided to put that one off indefinitely.
  • The first muslin of Simplicity 8096 (view B) needed SO much work.  Husband is an absolute gem, and he patiently helped me pin and take tucks enough to see that it was worth putting in the work.  I ended up shortening the bodice pieces by TWO INCHES in order for the horizontal bodice seam to end up in the correct place.  Shortening the bodice also went a long way toward correcting some of the other issues, so I feel confident that this dress will work out in the final version.

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    Simplicity 8096B muslins: before and after

  • I decided that I didn’t like the silhouette of 8592 enough to attempt it, so I returned it unopened (I had other patterns that I liked more).

The next round of dress patterns was from Butterick:

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  • Currently, I’ve only tested Butterick 5209 (view B) from this set.  Again, I needed to grade the midriff pieces between two sizes and shorten them by 1″ for a good fit.

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    Butterick 5209 muslins: before and after

  • I’m keeping Butterick 6018 because it is a fantastic silhouette, and I’d like to make it, but at this point, I’m going to work on the outfits for which I’ve purchased fabric before starting to fit another pattern.
  • If I have time and/or need more dresses for my wardrobe, I’m keeping 6556 and 6094 (a new copy) to hand for now (I’ve made 6094 twice before: comic book and mint-chocolate style!), but it is likely that I will end up returning these unopened.

I’ve also successfully fitted two patterns from from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<– Amazon affiliate link), the Delphine skirt (see my denim one HERE), and the Mimi blouse.  

Finally, I’m also going to be making the fantastic Abrazo tee from Blank Slate Patterns (<– affiliate link) to go with one of those skirts.  You can see my past Abrazo tees HERE and HERE

So after all that, here’s the summary of outfits I hope to make:

  • Simplicity 8051, view A
  • Simplicity 5209, view B
  • Simplicity 8096, view B
  • Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo tee + Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt
  • Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse + Delphine skirt
  • Simplicity 8051, view B

I already have much of the fabric that I’ll be using, so stay tuned for a post about that!

 

 

This page is on the back of the righthand side of the spread I just shared in my previous post!  Crafty Jen Schow’s sixth Stashbusting Month challenge is to “fill in the blanks” in an album.  For the most part, I prefer to make “traditional” (non-pocket) layouts, so this challenge was a welcome motivation to keep working on the pocket pages in my Disney 2016 album.

We got some lovely photos of my daughter and Princess Aurora in the France Pavilion of the Epcot World Showcase, and so this layout is meant to really feature them.

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When I was planning out my prints for this page, I decided to make the more “full-length” shot of the two of them really large: I created a 6″x8″ canvas for my photo in Photoshop Elements and subdivided it into two 4″x6″ to add to my print order.  When I received my prints, I cut the lower 4″x6″ in half so that the pockets collage together to make the whole.

The rest of the layout was pretty straightforward.  I wanted to add in some of Shimelle’s “Head in the Clouds” collection with the “Starshine”, and this layout even includes colorful starry paper from “Glitter Girl!”  I thought it would be fun to reference Sleeping Beauty with a quote about a dreamer…

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The rose-gold alphas from the “Head in the Clouds” project pad were a perfect compliment to all the pink…

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And this castle card from a cut-apart sheet was exactly what I needed to fill in the last pocket (isn’t that rose-gold foiling so pretty??).

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P.S. I’m so excited that I was able to complete all six of Crafty Jen Schow’s Stashbusting Month challenges!!  What a great series…

Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Starshine” 6″x6″ paper pad, 12″x12″ paper pad (detail-cut rose from Mercury floral paper, journaling block from Astro cut-apart paper), “Glitter Girl” Treat Yourself, “Head in the Clouds” project pad
embellishments: Shimelle “Starshine” chipboard stickers, ephemera, Project Life Baby Edition journaling card
alphas: Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” project pad stickers, Shimelle #stickerbook

This next spread that I completed for my Disney 2016 album is the beginning of our afternoon in Epcot’s World Showcase.

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When we entered that section of the park, I took a series of photographs that I later stitched together in Lightroom to create a panorama view of the different country pavilions around the lake.  I printed it as four 4×6 photos and cut them each in half so that the panorama spans the spread.  I really like the effect!!

Here are individual photos of the left and right pages (by the way, the left page is an upside-down design F pocket page:

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I used the map print paper from Shimelle’s Starshine to create a large title block at the top left of the spread.  I trimmed the border from the paper and reassembled it around the 4″x12″ piece to frame it.  For the title, I hand-lettered the word “world” and cut it out.  I’m still not convinced that I love it (originally I had intended to scan it and make it into a cut file…), but I do like how it picks up the navy blue lettering in the large circular chipboard sticker, and the white helps it to stand out from the aqua behind it.

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Thanks to Crafty Jen Schow’s fifth Stashbusting Month challenge, I had some “rails” to put this layout together. The challenge was “Scrapbook Bingo”, and I chose to use the fourth row of the grid:

  • use 3+ patterned papers: I used 6 different papers from my Shimelle Starshine pad  (some are cut-aparts)
  • use scraps: I cut into only one whole sheet of paper for this one–the map print for the title block.  All the other bits and pieces are cut (banners, backgrounds, photo mats) or fussy-cut (flowers, camera, stamped camera) from scraps.
  • use something I’ve been hoarding: the chipboard stickers from Shimelle’s “Starshine” have definitely been hoarded! I will admit I was stingy in using them even on this page, since I only used two…  but I have so much album still to make!  I will also say that some of the patterned papers also fall into that “hoarded” category, especially the floral from Starshine.
  • use journal cards: I used two 4″x6″ journal cards from old Project Life core kits (Clementine and Jade) to hold the longer stories on this spread, and on the bottom left, I used a patterned journal card from Clementine behind a photo.
  • use sequins: I sprinkled some gold sequins around where I would have otherwise used enamel dots

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Starshine” : Mercury, Hubble, Orion, Galileo, Pioneer, Pathfinder
journaling cards: Project Life “Jade” and “Clementine” core kits
embellishments: Shimelle “Starshine” chipboard stickers, Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” stamps, one little flower sticker from Echo Park “Beautiful Life” 12×12 sticker sheet, sequins
alphas: American Crafts Thickers “Happy” gold glitter

 

I’ve been wanting to make this layout for a long time.

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I ordered the background paper for this layout back in December of 2016. I printed my photos, and I mulled over my journaling.  In the meantime, my ankle injury forced me to step away from ballet (hopefully I’ll go back eventually), and honestly, it became emotionally a bit difficult to think about making this page.

However, Crafty Jen Schow’s Stashbusting month challenge #4 to make a layout about myself immediately brought this to mind, so I pulled out the plastic slip that had been holding the paper and my photos together and got to work.

The hardest part of this layout was the journaling.  I had a lot more to say than I thought (which was already a lot), and so I decided to make a facing 8.5″x11″ page to hold it all, plus an additional photo.

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Since I put my journaling onto the facing page, I was able to feature the majority of the Maggie Holmes “On Point” paper by clustering my photos near the top.  I cut the paper and flipped it over so that the white-on-black music print could be at the top.

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I added lots of little layers under the photos, but they are sneaky layers– I cut off the branding strips from some of the Maggie Holmes “Gather” 6×6 paper pad and cut into four strips one of the patterned stickers in her #stickerbook.  This gives the look of lots of pieces of paper, but they’re only about 1/2″ wide or less!

I used bits of paper doily and rhinestones to add to the delicate effect.

I also used a lot of the gorgeous florals from the #stickerbook to cluster in with the photos, and a couple of the word strips.

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I used pale and white alphas to form my title, because while I wanted it to be obvious, I didn’t want it to dominate the delicate colors in the rest of the layout.

I printed my journaling on a plain 8.5″x11″ sheet of cardstock, and then I added another large photo that I took of myself in the dance studio one night before class.

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To tie the two pages together, I used more branding strips and stickers from the #stickerbook.  Plus more doily bits and rhinestones, of course!

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Maggie Holmes “Gather”: “On Point” 12×12 paper (both sides) and 6×6 paper pad (branding strips)
embellishments: Maggie Holmes #stickerbook, Queen & Co. adhesive gems, paper doilies, crochet thread
alphas: American Crafts “Daiquiri” white foam, Glitz “Teeny Alphas” aqua stripe