Wining Wife®

Because housework goes better with Malbec...

Month: April 2015

Sofilantjes’ Brueram Dress

2015-04-19 19.39.44-1As if my little gal didn’t already have a bunch of dresses (seriously, though, a girl can never have too many dresses, and she loves them!), I made her two more. I was selected to pretest Sofilantjes’ Brueram Dress. This is a cute pattern that comes with top, dress, and maxi options. It was designed for a contest held by the Facebook group, Betties Basket a while back. The contestants could draw and send their design ideas in and designers could choose which ideas they wanted to make into a pattern. 

So, this very cute little dress pattern was created by the talented Annemieke Jacobs. I was excited about the opportunity to test the 12 months size, because it was a pattern I could build skills on. I’d never done shirring before – but I figured it couldn’t be too hard to do.  I wound up making two dresses – because I had trouble with the shirring on the first one. 

My first attempt at shirring

2015-04-14 06.43.102015-04-14 06.43.21 Oh boy. So I read the directions, hand-wound my elastic, popped it into the bobbin case of my Brother SE400, and stitched my little heart out…until I realized “Huh. That’s…strange…there’s no…shirring happening…plus the elastic looks loose.” So, I did what anyone would do. I took pictures of what was going on and posted in the testing group and in the SE400 group on Facebook to ask if anyone knew how to fix it there (see the images to the left), and then I took to Google.  What I found, didn’t seem to bode well for my Brother SE400.

You see…Brother machines with drop-in bobbins are notoriously difficult to use for shirring because there’s no easy way to adjust the tension – or so the story goes.  BUT! Dear readers, I found a blog post with a great video, that would solve ALL my problems – and I was determined (so determined) to make this dress work. I was in love with my fabric combination. The blog post I found was Grosgrain: Shirring With Your Brother

To make the long story short, you want to pull your elastic tight – but not too tight when winding the bobbin by hand (this didn’t take as long as I thought it would by the way) – and you want to tighten your bobbin tension just a bit. How do you do this? Take off the bottom plate and pull out the bobbin case. There will be a little dot of green paint – that’s where your tension screw is. Turn this just a bit to the right, and you’ll have the right tension – practice on scrap fabric first though. You also need to hand feed the elastic into the bobbin case, you’ll feel it click when it’s ready, then you’re good to go. (The video in the above link shows you how to do this really well).

2015-04-14 08.40.02Only…even with doing things right, my fabric still didn’t look as great and stretchy as the other ladies’ pictures looked – and yes, I steamed the shirring and everything. Plus, the fit was off and the bodice was way big on my little gal. I felt defeated – but only for a moment. You see, I idly wondered if my fabric choice (a vintage woven of some sort, a bit heavier in nature than the quilting cotton I used for the bottom) was tripping me up. So, I grabbed a piece of scrap fabric and tried – and it worked! It was WAY more scrunchy and elasticy! It was then I decided that I would take in the bodice on the first dress and make a second dress in lighter weight fabric – so that I could give Anne accurate feedback about fit.

The end results

Both dresses were relatively easy to sew (yes, even with the initial shirring trip up – it’s not hard, just takes some patience and some fandangling to get the hang of it). I’d recommend this pattern for an advanced beginner or intermediate sewer. You’ll want to be familiar with understitching as well as shirring, and you will want to have some patience for hand stitching since the lining inside will be hand stitched to finish (soooo worth the way it looks though). I took in the first dress an inch on each side. Both dresses fit snuggly – so there’s no slipping of the thick straps, which is a good thing when you have an active toddler. When I make the dress again (oh yes, I have plans for this) I will probably go ahead and use the 18 months size since the 12 months bodice was just a little difficult to get on and off of my gal). I hand sewed on a flower from Sunshine Shoppe to each of the dresses, and voila! They were done. 

The pattern is available now

The Brueram Top and Dresses pattern is available from Sofilantjes for $8.95.  You can also join the Sofilantjes Sew & Show group on Facebook. There is a contest starting today at 4pm EST/21.00 CET. Post pictures of your completed Brueram to the giveaway photo album in the group by 7pm EST/ 24.00 CET May 7th and get a chance to win your money back AND an additional pattern of your choice!!

The pictures

*This post contains affiliate links to Sunshine Shoppe and Sofilantjes. Should you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I will receive compensation, which helps me contribute to my family.*

LKC’s Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop Tour and Giveaway

2015-03-25 13.22.26 2015-03-26 13.46.52I’m really excited to share a new Bow Back Beauty Dress from Little Kiwi’s Closet I created for Little Miss.  As you remember, I pattern tested for the onesie peplum version of the dress. I created a stripes version and a floral version upcycling from shirts I’d found at the Salvation Army.  I loved this pattern so much, that when an opportunity to participate in a blog tour for the onesie, top, peplum, and dress presented itself, I was happy to join in. 

The pattern is available in sizes newborn through 12. If I have another girl, I’ll certainly have to make a newborn version. You can purchase it on Craftsy for $8.00 or, if you’re feeling lucky, you can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post to win one.Be sure to scroll down to the end after the pictures to submit your entry! Continue reading

Something Cool for the Teenager

So around here, I spend a lot of time making things for myself and the toddler. I have a few great men’s patterns to bust out – and I even got some nice fabric to make my husband some shirts. I’ve got a robe “in progress” for the teenager – but I haven’t finished it. I need to have a UFO weekend around here sometime and finish up all the things I’ve cut or started, but not sewn or finished. But for now, I have finished something for the teenager, and I think it’s pretty cool.

Dandelions ‘n’ Dungarees Adult Old Tyme Baseball Shirt

The teeIt’s no secret that around this house we love baseball. In fact, baseball season is about the only time the TV cable gets turned on around here (the other time is when someone is sick…but even then, it’s to watch marathon episodes of something terrible like Teen Mom). In our house, there’s a pretty big rivalry, since we’re fans of AL West teams – Wining Husband cheers for the Seattle Mariners, and the teenager and I cheer for the Oakland Athletics. I’m not sure who toddler girl is a fan of, but at the moment, it looks like it’s the Los Angeles Angels (each of these are affiliate links – and the only three in this article), since, well…she cries any time we watch a game where they lose.  So, when I saw that Dandelions ‘n’ Dungarees posted a call for testers for a baseball jersey shirt, I was quick to sign up. I was selected to test the XS for my teenage son. 

The jersey can be made out of twill, cottons, wovens, or even knit fabric. It uses piping – and it was my first time working with this notion.  It was surprisingly easy. I’ve already done understitching and stitching the ditch, so it wasn’t hard at all to use the piping. I want to get a piping foot for my machine so I can follow the directions to create my own custom piping.

Choosing the twill fabric for the shirt

Like I mentioned, The Teenager is a huge fan of the Oakland Athletics, so it was a given that I would do the shirt in the team’s colors. I originally had found some *great* baseball jersey like fabric at Goodwill a few weeks ago – but he said “Meh, Wrah, I want a white jersey.” So, I’ve set the gray aside to make Wining Husband a Mariners-themed jersey. I went to the fabric store and looked for my notions. I could only find a lemon-yellow piping (here’s where having that piping foot would be awesome), so I decided I’d do the piping green and the contrast cuffs and facing in yellow. I grabbed the yellow and white twill, and I was on my way. I have a vintage A’s patch on order (I’ll apply it later since there are rules about that stuff) and I’ll put the number “52” on the back for him (Yoenis Cespedes’ number…yes, he was traded, but he’s still my son’s favorite ball player). 

Sewing the shirt up

I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason, I had it in my head that this would be more challenging to sew up than it actually was. Perhaps it was the pregnancy fatigue talking, or maybe just my concern about fitting my son, or the attention to detail I paid in doing the work because I know he’s going to want to wear this shirt a bunch. I’m not sure. What I do know is that it was surprisingly easy to sew up, and it took about an hour and a half from start to finish…except for the time the iron decided to throw up some random brown gunk on the white! I wound up washing the shirt and cleaning the iron before I attached the snaps. I’ll have to make some more of these.

Waiting was the hardest part…

When the shirt was done, my son ran off to school to get there early before I could check the fit and get photographs of him! I stalked the front door starting mid-afternoon, waiting for him to get home so he could see his shirt and try it on. He was…not as enthusiastic as I was – not because he didn’t like it, but because he’d had a rigorous workout at track practice and he’d been up late and then up early studying hard, so he was tired. He says he’s looking forward to me putting the patches on. Once he tried it on, though, he really liked it. And it fit him great!

The photos:

Without further ado, here are the rest of the photos! There’s a link at the end if you’re interested in learning more about the pattern. 

The pattern is on sale through Saturday 4/25

Through Saturday 4/25, you can purchase a copy of the adult Old Tyme Baseball Shirt pattern in the Dandelions ‘n’ Dungarees Etsy shop (Not an affiliate link – just for you to grab) for just $5. In fact, you can get any of the baseball shirt patterns for this discounted price. (I may have to pick up the toddler size myself so we can be a matching family.)

What fabric would you use for making a baseball jersey? Post your thoughts in the comments. 

Kelly’s Twirly Skirts from Bella Sunshine Designs (and a Big Announcement)

So the last post I wrote got a LOT of traffic and attention, and some great comments, and I want to talk about all of that – and I will – in a separate post. Thank you all so much for all of your support and for reading! I feel bad about taking some time to get back to the blog after posting it – but I was struck by a wave of extreme exhaustion that came out of nowhere, so it seemed. I could not, for the life of me, get any energy to do beyond what needed to be done. 

An announcement from Wining Wife

Well, my friends, there’s a very good reason for this. It turns out that our family is growing! YAY! I’m super excited that Toddler Girl will be a big sister.  And PHEW. There was a good reason for the exhaustion, and once I started paying attention to my iron intake it’s slowly dropping off. This is how we announced it and made things “Facebook official” after we talked to family members and close friends. 

I'm expecting!!!!

What this means, dear readers, is that any wine reviews I post from here until the birth of our new little munchkin will be from notes that I’ve made previously. It also means that I’m going to be talking about plus size maternity clothes and sewing them…and preparing for a whole new person to be born…and other various shenanigans.  And well a bunch of other really good things!  Can you tell I’m excited? I can barely think straight! 

Onto the skirts!

Wearing Kelly's Twirly SkirtsSo whew! That’s really really exciting.  In the midst of all of this exhaustion, I managed to sew a little bit. I did a pattern test for Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link), which I think came out really well. I tested both the women’s and the girls’ version of the skirts…and what better way to do it than make skirts that would coordinate with one another? 

The fabric for the skirts

Okay, so I’ll admit that my fabric selection process took a little time. I wasn’t quite sure which fabric I wanted to use – and I had lots of ideas for fabrics that would work. Make. All. The. Skirts. Seriously, sometimes it’s really hard to choose what I’ll use for a project. It doesn’t help that my house is like a giant explosion of fabric right now. (I need to organize it soooooo bad…and don’t get me started on the sewing patterns).  I digress. So I’d used the light blue on white print on a top I made for a Cake Patterns top that I’ll talk about in a future post on here, and I had a lot of it left. It’s a really nice, drapy, pretty fabric, that I thought would have good twirl factor.  I still have a little of it left. It was, as you could guess, one of my thrift store finds. $3. I’m not even kidding. I keep meaning to do a thread test on it, because I suspect that it’s silk jersey. Anyway, so I have a ton of this fabric – what better project than making a couple of circle skirts? 

2015-04-09 19.19.11The problem was, I couldn’t decide what should go underneath. For a little bit, I considered a royal blue velour fabric. Yup. That would have been soooo spectacularly awful, I’m willing to bet. Well, maybe not awful, but not as great as the fabrics I wound up with.  Let’s start with the toddler skirt: the bottom skirt is made out of black stretch velvet from an upcycled dress I had. I’d cut the bottom of the dress off to make myself a skirt. The bottom of my skirt is a vintage (as in 35″) knit fabric in a navy blue. I think it’s polyester. It has really awesome drape itself – and is nice and dark since the top fabric is so lightweight. 

The skirt patterns

*All notes refer to the tester version of this skirt. I do have plans to make another set with the final version of the skirt.*

2015-04-09 19.23.51-1The girls’ pattern has modesty shorts underneath – which is great for a toddler who is always very busy investigating things. The women’s pattern doesn’t, but I don’t have any burning desires to randomly pull my skirt up to investigate the fabric, either. I’ll just admire it in other ways. There are four pieces for the girls’ pattern and three for the adult pattern – shorts legs, bottom circle skirt, top circle skirt, and waistband. The women’s has the layers and the waistband. The patterns include sizes 12 months – 14 for girls and 0-20 for women’s. The 20 fit me a little loose, actually (which was surprising since I thought it would be tight…but that works out well for my purposes anyway! Mwahahahah!); the waist is 41 1/2 ” and hips are 50″ and my measurements at the time were 44″ and 53″. I think part of it is the stretch fabric I used, and given the fact that I want to wear this skirt while pregnant, that’s a good thing!

My little gal is in the 12 months size. She’s a little peanut. She’s so petite! So it was a bit big on her waist as well. I added some elastic tape to the inside of both skirts to help hold it up (it has a yoga-style waistband), and that helped a lot! The skirts were easy to sew – I made both of them in an afternoon. Hemming took a little bit, but it always does on circle skirts.

In the pictures, I’m wearing my grandmother’s cardigan and  a camisole from Old Navy. My shoes are from Rampage. Toddler girl is wearing Circo shirts and Mary Janes that we found at thrift/consignment stores. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! I have good things in store for you soon! 



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