Friday, September 28, 2012

To Shirr or not to Shirr.....that is the question

Have you heard of Shirring? You probably have and didn’t know that is what is it called. It’s a technique used to make a smocking effect on a garment using elastic thread. It has recently been seen all over and so I thought a few weeks ago I would give my hand a try at it.

Fail. I could not get it to work. I read more and more about it and decided to try again. Perhaps my machine settings were off or something. I used this tutorial here.

I decided I really wanted to learn how to do this so I attempted again last night. Success!

So all you do is hand wind some elastic thread on your bobbin. Hand wind so that you aren’t stretching the elastic but just simply winding it tightly enough that it stays on, but so that you aren’t stretching it out. There are a dozen and a half or more tutorials on this, but since I was trying it new, I thought I would give my take on it.  

My machine just has a drop in bobbin, so here is my machine loaded with the elastic thread.

Since I was just playing with some scrap from recent projects, I wanted to see if I could just get it to work.

I started out with some vintage jersey/polyester. Remember is textile from this dress. This was just leftover scrap. I don’t know what it is, but it is a thinner material. Thinner textiles then to work better than thicker. 

Then I just sewed one line down the middle of the piece. Its like an instant ruffle. And no pulling strings? I may have found a new best friend. (move over seam ripper!)

So then I grabbed a piece of cotton fabric. It ruffled up nicely too.

Then I started to get crazy. A zipper? Would it work? Somewhat.

The zipper material is a little too thick. But it ruffled it just “enough” to make a little rosette.

Then I tried this tutorial here. Its for shirred flowers. You zig zag your stitch down the whole piece and then you just twist it around itself and you have a little rosette. Easy Peasy.

Flower with a little green leaf?

By this time, I had used all the elastic thread that I had on my bobbin and so I switched it out and decided to do something with my new little friends I had just created.
I remember that Livy had a long sleeve tee that I found recently that I wanted to embellish for her, because well I hadn’t really done one yet other than for Disney.

The shirt had a stain on the front that was like a blue marker. It was small, but right in the center.

The sleeves also has blue on one of them and I didn’t notice that until I was started. I decided she could use a ¾ sleeve shirt anyway and I cut off the hideous blue stained part.

So I took my first piece of ruffled orange and I pinned it and sewed it to the collar of the shirt.

Then I got to thinking about fall and making a pumpkin on the front. I already had the Orange rosette “pumpkin”. I just needed a stump and a leaf.

I used some brown lace that I had and just rolled it onto itself to give it some depth. Then sewed it on and the leaf.

Then I had stitched the pumpkin on top. I don’t know what is worse than hand stitching. I am just not coordinated for some reason to do it "properly". I can see this shirt going into the “handwash only” pile. So I attempted to hand stitch the pumpkin on and did the best I could. I don’t know why it was so difficult for me.

Then I got to looking at the sleeves. I didn’t have enough orange left to embellish them, and then I thought even if I did that might be overkill. I can hear Tim Gunn saying “ Chrissy you need to step back and give it a good editing eye”. Ha.

So since I didn’t want to just leave the sleeves I thought I would rouch them on the sides. I did this before with my Cardigan I made here. I found an easier way though. Use Elastic on the underside. I just cut 2 small strips of elastic and where I would normally sew and pull the strings, I just sewed a piece of elastic in, remember to pull it taunt in order for it to scrunch up.


It really didn’t take that long and I like the way it turned out. Not too bad for a stained shirt and some scraps of material that would have ended up in the trash.

What do you think? Have you tried Shirring before?

Stay Calm……and get some elastic thread….you won’t be sorry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Momma to be.....

This weekend the weather was BEAUTIFUL. I mean flat out gorgeous. Especially for the maternity shoot I was doing for a great friend. She is due in just a few short weeks. I was so honored and privileged to get to take these for her. I already love her little guy so much and he isn't even here yet.

These are some of my favorites.

Talk about a beauty! I am a little partial I am sure, but look at her glow!

I still can't decide if I like the color one better or not. I am a big fan of color, but love the simplicity of the sepia filter. What do you think?

A little silhouette fun.

I am not sure why this one shows a little grainy, but this is probably one of my favorites. Beautiful mother to be!

 We also met a new friend. Well technically we didn't stick around long, but ran into this fellow. I kind of felt like Indiana Jones...."Snakes!"

We were just like little girls and freaked out a little. Thank goodness for a camera with a zoom. haha. (Only a good blogger would get a picture so I could share it with you!)

It looks like the photo bug has bitten me lately. I have a potential photo shoot again this Saturday weather permitting. I love it. Most people don't know that I went to school to be a photojournalist. I have always had a passion for photography, but I am just finally now letting it come out and shine on its own.

Until Next time....

Stay Calm....and look out for Snakes!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Super Stax is not a Jelly Roll....

Sew, As it seems I am not an expert at this new found love of sewing. I am not even a professional or amateur. I am more like a kindergartner in the sandbox trying to make a sandcastle with a rock, stick and plastic cup. I would like to think one day I will become very insightful and wisdomatic but its all just a sink or swim learning process for me.

I said all that to say this....

What I used to make these dresses here and here recently were NOT made with Jelly Rolls. Jelly Rolls of fabric are long strips of fabric mainly quilting cotton to make quilts with. What I used was Super Stax which is this.

Super Stax which I thought was a Jelly Roll is actually 8 individual Fat Quarters that equal 2 yards of fabric total. 

I apologize for any confusion as I was confused myself. See how the fabric is kind of rolled so I assumed incorrectly. I have seen some cute tutorials where you can still make a dress or skirt out of Jelly Rolls, but that is not what I used.

I guess we can't win them all right? Am I forgiven?

Again looking to get "sewing for dummies" book for Christmas! ha.

Have a great weekend!

Stay Calm ........ and admit some silly mistakes... ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting the hang of these sleeves and running out of elastic....

So I think I am going to designate Tuesday's as Chrissy Couture night. Over the weekend I was asked if I had a business card for my designs and I was extremely flattered, but Chrissy Couture isn't quite in the market yet to purchase. Now I say that by saying if someone just really loved something I did and wanted one, I would be more than happy to oblige, but I am not in "business" mode. I am in "having fun and enjoy the therapy that creating gives me mode."

So on to last night. I finished the rest of my Jelly Roll pieces by making Miss O another dress. Here is the start of it.

I decided I wanted to try a longer sleeve. I got all of my pieces cut and sewn and ready for the model in less than 2 hours. I am getting the hang of this pattern and I love it. Its simple but can be altered in so many ways! I was almost finished when I ran out of elastic. Oh no! So I searched and searched and thankfully I found some more. What a tragedy it would have been if I wouldn't have been able to finish the garment in time for the runway show!

I opted out on the belt this time and went with a large hot pink bow at the top.

What do you think? Am I getting better at this pattern?

We had a little model issue. She really wasn't feeling it and threw one of her dramatic fits.
 I am a good mom so I photographed it for you. haha.

There that is a little better. A smiling model always makes it better. It also didn't help that these are Cell phone camera pics and there was no natural light.

I am pretty proud of it.

Noah asked what I was going to make for him, so I see a Spiderman shirt or something in our future.
Can't leave him out!

Until Next time....

Stay Calm and don't forget the elastic......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A bad day is still a day to be Thankful....

So I normally don't use this blog to vent or carry on about personal issues. I try to mainstream it to Chrissy Couture items I have created but I wanted to take a minute to go over my day yesterday.

While driving the infamous missing backpack to my in-laws house where my son was, I came upon a 4 way stop. Right after I stopped I saw a school bus pull up and stop. We both relatively got there at the same time, but since I had stopped and waited for them to stop, I made my way through the intersection first. (I knew something was going to happen, I could just feel the intuition, but I didn't know what so I went ahead). About 3/4 the way through...>BOOM. Smacked in the passenger rear of my van. The driver gets out, apologizes and says he just didn't even see me, it was completely his fault and that he couldn't believe he did that. Since I generally am a pleasant person, I told him it was no problem, we would get it worked out and he called in dispatch to the bus station to have them radio a policeman. In 20 years he said he has been driving a bus, he hadn't ever hit anything. I told him, well that's a Monday for us. Then his supervisor and the principle of the school arrive, (since we are literally right next to the school) and then a policeman shows up. Now all of a sudden the man is stating we got there at the same time and we must have just pulled out at the same time. I told the officer that although we did arrive close to the same time, I did arrive first and I was 3/4 through the intersection when he pulled out and that he admitted that I was in his blind spot and didn't see me. The police officer told me I was free to go and I went on to take my son his backpack for school. My mother in law suggested I stop by my insurance agent since it was close by and just let them know what was coming their way. Deep down I had an awful feeling that it was going to be called duel fault. The police officer kept stating "well are you sure you both just didn't arrive at the same time?". My nerves for the day began. I also stop by the body shop and get an estimate and am told that because my van is older and not "worth" what it will cost to repair, that they may just count it as a total loss. Hmmmm. I don't know too much about this stuff and I understand that insurance companies don't want to pay more than a vehicle is worth, but I do know before 8am yesterday morning, I had a vehicle that ran reliably and had relatively new tires put on it, so It may not be worth much to insurance, but finding another reliable vehicle for the amount of money they are likely to give us just sent me into an anxiety attack.

(Now why in the world was I so worried about this?? Gods got it all under control! I think because on Sunday I made up my mind I was going to trust HIM and either the devil thought he would throw me a curve ball and try and discourage me or the Lord was testing me. Either way, I know today that its all under his control and I am going to end up with something better than before and its all going to work out.)

Police report comes out and sure enough it is noted dual fault. The school's insurance agent said he didn't know how they would not be responsible considering where my damage was, but it wasn't up to him to make that call. So now I have to deal with insurance companies and begin looking for a vehicle. I needed something better on gas anyway, so maybe its a blessing in disguise. :)
I have also been on an ice crunching kick. I went through Mcdonalds last night to just get a cup of ice. About half way through it I look in and see a dead fly looking back at me! GAG! Thinking about it now even grosses me out. GRRRR! At that point I was just ready to go to bed.

I caught part of the Kardashians (don't judge) before I went to sleep and I heard Kris Jenner say "its been a good day" in regards to her new grand baby being born and I thought "you know what? My kids weren't in the van, No one was hurt, we are all healthy and God has provided so far my needs, so why do I worry he won't continue?" So regardless of how terrible I thought the day was yesterday, when I laid my head down last night and was praying I was able to say, Thank you Lord for a good day! Things could have been a lot worse and I am thankful that even though I spazed out a bit and had an anxiety attack, that I know he is in control and that's enough comfort to me.

I hope you have enjoyed my little personal blog today. Hope it encourages you and helps you realize that no matter what. Jesus has "GOT THIS"! He has it all in his hands and that is so much more reliving than thinking its in mine.

Stay Calm.....and really stay calm, Jesus got yo back! ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jelly Rolls ....and not the ones you eat....

Wild Chrissy Couture got into action again Tuesday night. So why a post on Thursday instead of Wednesday? Well I had this new little dress all done Tuesday night, but Miss Livy wasn’t available to model it until Wednesday. (Can you believe she was sleeping? Haha)

Of course just like I had figured the next day she wasn’t very cooperative and I didn’t get fabulous pictures but I snapped a few ok ones.

First off, I utilized the same pattern as I did on my last dress. It is really extremely simple. I won the pattern, but after using it, I would definitely say it’s worth the money as this pattern can be adjusted in so many ways once you get the basics down.  Since I am using a pattern, I don’t know if its “appropriate” or “tasteful” to give a tutorial. Since I adapted the pattern this time to do a different dress, maybe I can give you a little instruction on what took place.

I did not take photos as I went because I didn’t know how it would turn out. I should have and I apologize and you can Gibbs slap me in the back of the head next time you see me.

So instead of making a dress out of one pattern of fabric, I wanted to make a “top” of the dress in one pattern and the “bottom” another and then use a coordinating color/print as a cute belt. I had gotten a “jelly roll” of fabric at Walmart. Now, if you don’t have a clue what this is, that’s ok, I am not 100% familiar with everything either. It looks similar to this.

Since posting this blog - I have learned that this below is a Jelly Roll. This is not what I used. I used what is called a SUPER STAX which is 8 fat quarters. I apologize for the confusion! This is what happens when you are self learning. So every time I mention Jelly Roll below, I mean, Super Stax. :)

This is not the one I used, but you get the picture right? See how its all "rolled" up.

It was over by the fat quarters. It’s a roll of different fabrics all from the same line that are cohesive in color and pattern. They are generally used for quilting as it is quiting cotton.

Here is the start of my dress.  I fell in love with the colors and decided this is what I wanted to use. Jelly Rolls make it easy if you struggle with trying to put fabrics together and wonder if the “go”. All the work is done for you, you just pick a few out of the roll and it “goes!”

 I decided to make a size 2 dress according to my pattern and a belt with a big flower.  I had JUST enough from the jelly roll to make this size, and the sleeves were SHORT. So, if you want to buy a jelly roll, you get a lot of different fabrics, but you are limited in what you can do. Just keep that in mind. I still have a bunch of fabric left for another little dress or 2 depending on size. I could have easily made the sleeves in a different fabric and really went wild, but we kept it to 3 patterns this time. J

This was my inspiration.



This was the finished product. Jelly Roll was $8 and I used not quite half so $4!

Then I tried it on and it was slightly short for my taste. I hate seeing diapers and I didn’t know what to do about a diaper cover. I threw on these leggings she has had forever under it and Wa-lah it turned out really cute!

Diva in training?

What do you think ?  Do you like the colors and patterns all together? 

What about the Fab Belt and Rosette? I couldn’t help but use one of my new buttons that have a royal seal on them. I mean what is Chrissy Couture without a crown? Eeeep!

I think I might make me one similar. They really are so easy!

Until Next time,

Stay Calm and consider using a Jelly Roll……hmmm now I’m getting hungry….

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Attempt at Sleeves and a little lace bow….

Last night I was super motivated to sew. I have wanted to work on this “peasant dress”, that I had won a pattern from, from Little Lizard King for some time.

I had not yet learned how to do sleeves but desperately wanted to learn. I have been terrified because when I look at the patterns for sleeves, they look nothing like what I think a sleeve should look like. Well I bit the bullet and tried it out. This is the pattern I used. I haven’t used many patterns yet, but this was very different.  Normally when I use a pattern, it is a cut out piece that you cut your fabric from in a certain size. Perhaps because of the simplicity of this dress, I was given a chart of measurements to cut my pieces and one tiny pattern piece for the sleeve. It was just different than what I am used to. Included with my pattern was a step by step tutorial which was VERY helpful.

I began by cutting my piece to the chart given. Under “Dress” for size 2 which is what I was going for, was a 17.5 X 17 piece and it had a (2 cut) next to it so I knew to cut 2. One for the front and one for the back. I cut my pieces and I cut my sleeves and I got things pinned and sewn and was really excited. I altered what I was doing a little because I did not account for the “border” at the bottom of the dress. When I tried my dress on miss Livy, it wasn’t terrible, but a little short. (it actually was kind of cute, but without bloomers or something to cover that hideous diaper, it just wouldn’t work). So I managed to cut some more fabric and just Chrissy Couture a bottom drop waist ruffle.

Whats a picture without Spiderman hands? When Livy sat down I heard some stitches snap crackle and pop....but all seemed to remain intact......:)

Then a little bow to add some Couture. J

The sleeves really weren’t as difficult as I thought they would be. I opted for the short sleeve length rather than the ¾ due to the fabric I had. It’s a stretch vintage fabric, but again, I couldn’t tell you what it is. I cut my first sleeve wrong and had to re-do it, but other than that, the whole dress came together pretty smoothly. No seams to rip and re-sew! That’s a first I think! J
Overall it took me about 3 hours total, stopping occasionally to make sure children weren’t killing each other and a few fittings. Definitely going to make more of these.

What do you think?

Until Next time…..

Stay Calm…..and try out a pattern with Sleeves….