Friday, February 28, 2014

West Texas Chili Monster Angie Dress & Apron

The Scientific Seamstress
I love to read and sew SisBoom patterns, so there was no question that I would be joining the I Love to Read Sewing Challenge.  It took some thought to figure out what pattern and book though....

My youngest daughter, Mallory, picks the book The West Texas Chili Monster by Judy Cox every time she finds it at the library.  It was an instant favorite at age 3 and still is at age 6.  The story begins with a widow named Mama, an infamous hot chili maker, working at the stove wearing a dress, apron, hat and scarf.  Mama and her 6 children enter the West Texas Fair chili contest and the adventure ends with them meeting a friendly monster from space who helps them.   

My inspiration for this challenge is Mama.  I have been waiting to sew an Angie Dress (great name, BTW!) and used the pattern to make a Mama outfit.  Perfectly fitting,  as I am Angie and my sewing name is Mama Lusco!  In addition to my Angie dress, I crafted an Angie apron and will post a tutorial, so check back soon. 

Since this is my first Angie, I would typically sew a muslin.  This version is a wearable muslin, using navy linen and space fabric from my stash.  The fit is not quite perfect, as I will change the dart placement a bit next time, but a very wearable muslin!  The lining fabric represents the Space Monster from this book and I used this tutorial from Jeanine for SS to fully line my bodice.  I was hesitant to fit my bodice more closely because it has no zips - you wiggle in & out of this one!  I chose my size by the measurement chart and the fit is quite good without modification. 

I love wearing aprons and always tie one on while in the house or gardening.  Our Mama only wore a 1/2 apron, but I'm messy and prefer a full apron. I decided to use a modified Angie front bodice and skirt front to craft this apron.  This time, the space fabric is the feature and the lining & pockets are blue linen.  It's a little bit sassy with the fitted bodice and fun straps, but fully functional and an apron I will wear often.  This apron will make a great bridal shower & birthday gift, so watch for an Angie apron tutorial soon! 

Thanks for the fun challenge and check out the other entries hereSisBoom is also having a special 50% off sale through Sat 3/1 at 2pm.  Details here.  Also linking up at Pattern Revolution's Build a Better Wardrobe.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Self Care Sewing Pledge

I love what Pattern Revolution is doing to end "Selfish Sewing."  Reading this blog post was an "Ah-Ha" moment for me.  So much of what we do as wives and mothers is for others.  There is no reason to call doing a little sewing myself "selfish."  I plan to take the pledge to end Selfish Sewing, instead choosing Self Care Sewing, guilt-free.  Take the pledge!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mini-Log Cabin block & Shirt Pattern review

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I was a little late to get sewing, but I joined in the Sew Can She mini-log cabin block sew-along.  I am not a quilter but this little 4.5" block looked like one I could manage.  Caroline walked us through selecting fabricscutting our fabrics, sewing the blocks and finally making something.  I appreciated the tutorials and tips!

I have been wanting some new t-shirts and thought my little block would make a nice pocket. I love pattern & tutorials that Its Always Autumn has put together for her Easy Tee.  I haven't sewn Autumn's pattern yet, but used her Peter Pan collar on my trusted Jocole Mix & Match Ladies shirt pattern.  I have made 4 of these Jocole shirts and have adapted the neckline and length for my body.  I've added 1.25" to each side of the shoulder and shortened it by 4" in the front, tapering down in the back for a high-low hemline.  It's hard to give up a good thing!

I added the pocket to the front shirt panel before starting the shirt construction.  Another modification I make to the Jocole pattern is adding clear elastic to the shoulder and arm seams.  This was recommended in another free t-shirt pattern, the Blank Canvas Tee from 3 Hours Past on Craftsy. I like the stability it gives the seams and I add it while serging the seam.  After sewing the shoulder seams, it is time to add your collar.

Autumn provides the front collar template and I traced the back neckline, adding 2.5" length to pattern the back collar piece.  I really like the bias binding on the neckline and love the punch of color it adds inside.  My fabric was a light-weight slub knit, so next time I would add light interfacing to the collar for more structure. 

To finish my hems, I serged the edges then slip-stitched them.  I wanted to give my shirt a special finish and love the results.  All 5 of us are getting over influenza, so you'll have to live with dress-form pictures for this one. 

Thanks, Caroline and Sew Can She for a fun sew-along.  I learned how to make a mini-log cabin block and how to add a collar to a t-shirt.  Check out the other entries on Facebook  or the SCS blog.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sew Sweetness Pattern Review ~ Quilted Sawyer Bag

This is my fourth Sew Sweetness bag and all the patterns have been easy to follow with great results!  Sarah and Sew, Mama, Sew are sponsoring a bag-making contest using Sew Sweetness patterns.  There have been dozens of gorgeous bags entered!  Check them out here

Here is my version of the free Sawyer Bag tutorial from Sew Sweetness.  This is a simple, tote style bag that measures approx. 16"L x 14"w x 3"D.  It has long accent handle strips and O-ring hardware for some detail.  It would be a great beginner bag or quick gift.  This bag took about 4 hrs to sew because of the quilting, but otherwise would be about a 2 hr project. 

I like to have a bag closure and decided to add a recessed zippered top panel.  I used a technique similar to this tutorial from Charmed Liebling.  It would also be quick & easy to add a magnetic snap closure instead.  No pockets are included in the original pattern, so I added a double patch pocket and zippered pocket inside, along with a key clasp.  I also substituted D-rings, as I could not find O-rings locally. 

I am a very novice quilter, but I was inspired after seeing some Quilt-as-you-go blocks, as shown in this tutorial (also a great bag pattern!) and this one.  I had purchased a big bag of designer scraps from the Michael Levine Loft store in LA for only $2 and thought this would be a perfect chance to use them.  Most of the fabrics I chose were in greens & blues from Free Spirit designers.  Both the front and back panels are quilted.

The quilting was done on cotton batting.  I used Pellon 70 to add stiffness and shape to the lining and a heavy interfacing for the straps.  I like to use one of my older, mechanical sewing machines, a Viking 1010 or Pfaff 360, for bag-making.  They are great for sewing through heavy fabrics & interfacings, something my low-end Janome can't handle. 

If one can ignore the not-so-straight quilting and imperfect rectangles, this is a fantastic bag!  I am really happy with it.  It will be hard to give away this Christmas! 

Check out more free Sew Sweetness tutorials here and Sarah's pattern shop here.  I just bought her Big City Bags book and would like to sew one of everything! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

~Now CLOSED~ SMS Giveaway Day

Congratulation to Judy H. of the Knotty Needle blog!  Please email me or leave a comment to claim your prize :) 

Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day is here again!  I've enjoyed visiting hundreds of blogs during their Giveaway Days and even won a few prizes along the way.  I'm happy you've found your way to Mama Lusco Handmade.
Jocole's Ladies A-Line Yoga Skirt
I'm a busy wife, registered nurse and mom of 3 who enjoys sewing clothing and bags.  Someday I'd like to try quilting, but at this point I enjoy quick, easy sewing projects.  My blog has been somewhat neglected the past 2 years, but I share my sewing projects, pattern & product reviews and host giveaways here on the blog. 
Self-drafted Guitar Bag
I am most active on my Facebook page and would love to have you following!  I'm also on Pinterest here, where I love to share free patterns & tutorials for bags, clothing, kids, toys and home d├ęcor. 
Swoon Rosie Bag
This Giveaway Day, I am offering A set of Pink Fig patterns, the Olivia top No. 3 and the Sweet Heart pants No. 16.  These paper patterns are new and uncut, for sizes 12 mo - 10 yrs.  I'm also including a set of jumbo ric-rac, perfect for trimming the patterns.  To enter, please tell me what you like to sew and leave a link to your favorite free tutorial.  A winner will be chosen randomly on Dec 13th at 5 pm, PST.  Good luck and I'd love for you to follow the blog, on Facebook, or Pinterest.

Enjoy visiting all the blogs during Giveaway Day.  Return to Sew, Mama, Sew blog to find more links.  Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Purse Palooza ~ OSU Beaver Aragon Bag

Sew Sweetness
Well, friends, today is the last day to enter a bag for Purse Palooza 2013.  I finally finished a bag on my gift-sewing list today, the OSU Beaver Aragon bag. 
This bag is made using the Sew Sweetness Aragon pattern found here.  The fabrics are a black twill and Oregon State printed quilter's cotton.  This pattern calls for Annie's Soft & Stable, but I substituted auto headliner fabric, as it is cheaper and what I had in my stash.  I also substituted a med-weight fusible interfacing for the Pellon Shape-Flex, since I'm sewing from my stash and 3 hrs from a fabric store! 

This is  a large shoulder bag and will be gifted as a diaper bag to my Oregon State-loving cousin.  It measures approx. 12" tall x 16" wide x 5.5" deep at the base with oodles of pockets!  The outside features a zip pocket on the back side and two elasticized side pockets. I added black piping around the front main panels for extra detail and changed the magnetic snap to a swivel closure. The inside features a large double-pocket with top elastic, two side elasticized pockets and another large zippered pocket.  I also added a key holder.  The top closure is a large sport zipper.  I omitted the back zipper flap as I wanted to show-off the orange zipper and contrasting pocket fabric.

Sara's instructions for bag construction were good, as always.  I did struggle with putting this one together, though.  Instead of constructing inner & outer bags and sewing them together, this one is constructed with an inside exposed seam, then the inside seam is hidden with bias tape.  It was a challenge attaching the bias tape to such a large seam, but I slowly got it done.  The bias finish is not as neat as I prefer, but it is mostly hidden in the bag corners. 
I hope Rachelle and baby Jackson enjoy this bag.  I am happy with the results.  I didn't want the orange camo print to be overwhelming and think I accomplished this.  Check out all the beautiful bags entered into Purse Palooza 2013 at Sew Sweetness here.