Squee!  I made stuff tonight

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Just a happy sewing mess after a great Friday night.  Made about 80% of a cute top (Jungle March, anyone?), then got totally inspired by the next Monthly Stitch theme–Here’s a hint:



–and made a quickie mock-up dress out of some gorgeous fabric from the generous Anne of http://prttynpnk.com.  It’s gonna be so silly and fun. 

Can’t wait to finish it.  And they can’t wait either.  



Have a great and fancy weekend. 

Shelley

Some photos courtesy of IFC.com and the awesomeness of Armisen and Brownstein. 

I Can’t Bear the Cute

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Another Oscar night.  Another weekend during which I got almost nothing done.  I blame my cat.

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How can you get up and fold fabric and organize scraps and patterns when this little guy is all snuggled in your lap?  I just noticed my way-underused Dyson in the background.  How adorable.

This week I actually have been making progress organizing patterns and fabric, making lists, feeling generally overwhelmed by everything I want to make, and shuddering at the amount of money I must have spent on all of this!   I think it’s going to be an amazing 2015 creativitywise–once my head stops spinning.

At some point yesterday I got off the couch and located my box o’ flannel, because I am way behind in making something for my brand-new, inordinately cute nephew, Gradyn.

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The Gingercake Traveling Changing Pad is so precious and functional.  Such a cool idea to keep your baby’s tushie warm, clean, and dry (Clearly I am not a mother, because this changing pad thing is entirely new to me.).  The additional pockets, including the PUL-lined one suitable for wipes, really set this apart from any other changing pad I’ve seen out there.   I bought this pattern forever ago, but somehow never got off my butt to make it.  Now I’m kicking said butt, because it’s awesome.  The babies I probably originally bought this to make for are undoubtedly in kindergarten by now and probably wouldn’t want or need to be changed in public.

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As with other Gingercake patterns, the instructions are very clear, with plenty of photos and tips.  I chose to be lazy (big surprise) and not finish with binding, but the pattern gives links for different binding techniques, which will prove useful in the future.  It is a beautiful look, and I promise I will try it next time.

Here are some shots of the finished product.  I’m really pleased with it.

This is how it looks all compact and bundled.  It would take up very little space in your diaper bag or hubby’s manpurse.

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Some shots in various states of folding and unfolding

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And all laid out

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Okay, Neil Patrick is singing.  Good timing.   Hooray for sewing and Hollywood!!

P.S.  The parents were kind enough to send a pic of the recipient with his new prezzie. 



A problem we can all handle–I hope.

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After several hours of organizing fabric, patterns, and other notions, and making almost zero progress, I spotted this on the I Love Sewing Facebook page.

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Thanks, I Love Sewing, for feeling my pain and helping me feel less alone.  :)

The good news is I have a fresh new sewing project list and something resembling a direction for late winter and early spring, if in fact spring arrives.  Very exciting.

That is all.  Anyone out there have a similar experience lately?  Anyone need a pep talk?  I’m feeling peppier by the day.

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

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Trying something a little different and going the microblogging route, since I have so little to bring to the table in terms of sewing technique. I learned that word “microblog” when I decided to Google what the heck Tumblr is. I still don’t know, even though I have a Tumblr account.

Anyway here’s my Mardi Gras skirt, made a year or two ago out of some mega-fun Mardi mask fabric. There’s a full post about it here somewhere (here it is). I finished off the ensemble with some killer Naughty Monkey shoes and my favorite new socks. And beads of course.

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Hope everyone is celebrating your Carnival, etc., celebrations today, or at least surviving winter. I actually have a new item or two to macro-blog. Will do so when the inspiration strikes. In the meantime, keep making and posting pretty things, you lovelies.

Happy Stitching,
Shelley

Weddings and Funerals

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Hey all.  Having fun in 2015 yet?

2014 was definitely not my best year, but I’m moving forward and hoping to get some inspiration in all facets of my life.  I did, interestingly enough, attend exactly four weddings and a funeral in 2014, and wore the same dress to the first three weddings and the same dress to the last wedding and the funeral.  When I like a me-made, I REALLY like a me-made.  Plus the no overlap of wedding attendees helped.  Posting pics just for documentation.  As sewing blog photos go, they utterly suck.  Here’s a full-length view of the beloved dress, McCalls 6559, stitched sometime during Me-Made-May 2014.  I can’t recommend this pattern highly enough.  Super easy, and the funner the print, the better!!  It’s made of an ITY knit and I just adore it, obviously.

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Here’s me with my mother-in-law (brief rundown–I’m not married, but my boyfriend’s family have married me so there you go.  Keeps it simple.) at wedding #1 in New Jersey

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And wedding #2 in Ohio, with the beautiful brides.

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Third wedding, in West Virginia, Lenny-less as in #2, so still stuck with selfies.  The bride has only been my friend for 40 years, and we managed not to get a photo together.  Utter fail!

IMG_1736 I do love this shot, and it has annoyingly been my Facebook profile picture since June.  Sorry for the lack of variety, FB friends.

Wedding 4 was in late September back here in New Jersey, and I couldn’t get away with the maxi again because it was a family wedding and way too many people saw it in May.  The wedding photographer caught this sweet moment, and as much as I hate this angle (Could I BE any wider?), it’s a nice shot of the boy and myself, with my beautiful angelic friend (and mother of the groom) Pam smiling in the background.

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The dress is my other favorite pattern, the full-wrap Vogue 8379.  I will be making at least a few more of these before the end of winter/spring.

Dudettes, seriously, if you enjoy easy knits but somehow don’t have these patterns, your life is not complete.  Use my handy links and order them next time there’s a BMV sale.

Let’s end with the weddings, shall we?  I try to avoid the maudlin in my social media.  I’ll just say that it’s been kind of an awful couple of months, and I’ve already had a funeral in 2015.

Moving forward.

I’ll be bahhhhhhk, sooner than later.  Maybe with a belated Jungle, uh, February frock.  Thanks to my new followers who are keeping the sewing faith even though I haven’t posted in ages.  You are so very appreciated, along with the lovelies who have checked in on me (You know who you are, Nothy ;) )  and my extraordinarily crafty Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook friends.

MAJOR HUGS
Shelley

I Pledge Allegiance To Me-Made-May

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Less than 48 hours until I’m on Flickr lurking sewists from all across the planet. Well, lurking more than usual. Oh, how I love this time of year. Me-Made-May has always meant a lot to me, as it was one of the first social events in which I participated as a less than three-month-old baby seamstress in 2012. The encouragement and inspiration during the challenge, not to mention Zoe’s fun and fearless leadership, kept my newfound sewing enthusiasm at a high level, and I got to know so many lovely blogoddesses and their unique styles.

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By my second year, I was able to challenge myself by wearing a complete me-made ensemble every day with no outfit repeats. While I was happy to stick with that pledge, those parameters occasionally prevented me from wearing beloved separates that didn’t have a me-made ‘partner’ as it were. This year my pledge is to wear virtually all new-to-you garments, either made since last Me-Made-May or previously un-MMM-ed due to weather or the separates issue.

I, Shelley of Cuckoo Chanel, pledge to complete Me-Made-May’14. I endeavor to wear and document at least one me-made garment per day, previously unworn during a Me-Made-May challenge.

Be on the lookout for me. I’m shelshel on Flickr and @shelleyhesson on Instagram. Please join me in this celebration of pattern enabling and fabric drooling. Thanks again, Zoe!

Ahhhhlisalex, AKA Sew Dolly Clackett Dress #2

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Ahhhhlisalex, AKA Sew Dolly Clackett Dress #2

Shall we list the ways that Sew Dolly Clackett has enhanced our lives?

1. A Flickr group to stalk relentlessly
2. Discovering new blogoddesses through said Flickr group
3. An excuse to celebrate–as though we need one
4. Getting past previous hurdles and coming out looking fabulous

So yes, all that and more. Who knew that one sewing event could do so much?

I’ll try to keep the bla bla bla short. I’ve been wanting to make a successful Elisalex by those impossibly well-dressed and well-tressed ladies at By Hand London for over a year now. My first and only Mood trip (so far) was heavily focused on finding the perfect fabric to make that tulip pop. Thing is, I overthought and underthought this dress every step of the way.

I did okay with the muslin, following the impeccably written FBA post by Elisalex herself. Twas looking good

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Then it all went pear-shaped. Literally.

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Don’t ask. I won’t even post a pic of the original muslin, out of this crazy faille (insert fail/faille pun here).

I was so focused on having the fabric be sturdy enough to be a tulip that I didn’t concentrate enough on making the bodice look good. I overlengthened the waist in my crazy bastardization of the FBA, so it never looked right once I attached the skirt. The back was all saggy, etc. etc. I had given up.

Then I started witnessing all of these happy cotton Sew Dolly Clackett creations, and I did a facepalm. Why didn’t I ever just try a cotton version and work it out that way first? If the tulip didn’t ‘bloom’, I could always try the recommendation of using fusible interfacing on the skirt. I chose this crazy print in my stash called Olivia’s Holiday, by Westminster Fibers, and tried out the new theory.

Ta-daaaaaa

Look how happy I was last night when I started having breakthroughs with the fit. And by the way, the skirt was NEVER a problem, in any of my attempts. The pattern design is so good that the shape just happens.

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This morning my actual tulips congratulated me by opening just in time for some Earth Day shots. Thank goodness I bought an iPhone tripod attachment because the man was sound asleep.

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This is just a hands-on-hips kinda dress. I love the whimsy of it. The tulip shape is a riot.

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My only true regret about making a second dress is that I’m wearing the same pink shoes as in my first Dolly Clackett dress. May the shoe gods forgive me for not splashing out for some new ones. I did throw in a little variety later though. Scroll on…

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I promise the back bodice fits, or at least better than in any previous version. I was in a hurry, and mortified imagining my neighbors peeking out their windows at my narcissism. And I know we’re supposed to celebrate our lumps, but back fat doesn’t help in any fitted dress.

Grabbed the now-awake boyfriend for a lunch break photo shoot, and here’s some more frivolity.

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Just had to twirl and scream with glee. Good weather, time with my honey, and a new dress

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Had to celebrate even more by taking Elisalex out to dinner. Look how irritatingly well it matches this jacket.
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From the bottom of my heart, I thank Sarah (Check out her Lilly Laurel) for dreaming up and running this whole thing. I know it’s been a lot of work, but you have created something phenomenal. Thank you Roisin, for being the muse to SO many in the blogging community. Thank you, crazy women in the Flickr pool, for being so beautiful. There are over 430 photos in the group at this moment. How jaw-droppingly wonderful. Have fun judging, Roisin!

Shelley