The Essential Denim Dress

I have been drooling over the essential denim dress for quite some time now.  Actually I have been hoarding old jeans and denim fabric just to use for this dress.  So, today is cutting day!  I’m scrambling around, rummaging through all the closets, trying to decide exactly what I can sacrifice for this dress!  I have fabric.  I just don’t have all the varieties I want to have for this dress.  Then, in a container of scraps I found a deconstructed chambray shirt.  EUREKA….the perfect piece for the top portion of the dress.  It’s lightweight so I won’t feel like I’m frying.  The fabric is also a light color.  This is a definite plus, I seem to gravitate towards dark colors causing serious lack of variety.

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[envira-gallery slug="1375"]Did I mention this pattern is online?  Did I mention it is also FREE? The essential denim dress is my first attempt at using an online pattern for anything.  I’m kind of nervous.  The pattern doesn’t have seam allowances, so I am purposely cutting it larger than needed.  It’s easier to make something smaller than it is to add pieces later hoping for the best!

Sew Different is one of my favorite sites right now.  She’s from the UK, that to me is pretty cool because fashion there is so different than run of the mill US clothing.  Probably because I don’t live in the UK, so it looks new and exciting to me.  Nonetheless, she does a wonderful tutorial on mix and match denim, in case you are afraid to try.  Her photos will put you at ease and make you want to try everything she has to offer.

Pressing Matters

Press, press, press, then press some more.  It seems like sewing involves more use of the iron than the sewing machine, doesn’t it? I don’t know, some people love using the iron while others skip the pressing steps and wear the finished garment anyway. I remember as a child, my grandmother would set up an ironing board for me.  I don’t know if ironing boards still do this, but somehow it was short so I could iron easily.  She would set the iron on the lowest setting and I ironed my grandpa’s handkerchiefs all day long.  I loved it.  Then as I learned to sew she pressed the issue further.  “Skipping pressing makes clothes look homemade!”  Heaven forbid someone find out she made my clothing. lol

I am a firm believer in pressing as you go. It makes such a difference in how the finished product looks and wears. Seriously, I press so hard you cannot tell there is a seam.  My goal when pressing is to make it look like the dress just “happened” pressing is the trick. Megan Nielson is a fan of pressing too.  She actually presses her fabric before cutting.  I never thought of doing that.  But, guess who’s going to start doing it now.  Then there are the suggestions of never pressing over pins.  Great point!  They melt and then I cry!  But, I have learned buying pins with glass heads prevents this problem.[envira-gallery id=”1237″]

I learned that pressing is not the same as ironing.  Ironing is a method used when moving the iron back and forth over the cloth to remove wrinkles.  Pressing is entirely different.  to press you must, pick up the iron and then set it down on a different part of the cloth, applying heat to the cloth with pressure. If the fabric is delicate and may scorch, it’s best to use a pressing cloth. Really, any piece of light weight woven fabric will do for this.  Most of all, no matter how much you dislike pressing, ENJOY!

Mad Men loves Aprons

Mad Men may have created an apron frenzy! Think about Betty, always in the kitchen with aprons on she makes everyone want one.  Without a television filming in your kitchen, or someone always taking your picture when you are at home who knows if you wear an apron? I think aprons are kind of sexy.  You know, like wearing a dress over your yoga pants and tee shirt. 🙂 No one really knows who does and who does not wear aprons.  Think about it.  This isn’t a topic normally discussed.  Lucy Lou 918 began selling aprons in April 2015.  The conception is the result of a Facebook conversation.  “Karen” also the name of my first offering, announced she was putting the apron on to protect her yoga pants and tee-shirt.  Immediately, I realized maybe I should make her an apron.  As soon as the idea hit the Facebook page, others began asking about aprons also.  Lucy Lou 918’s apron line was born.

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[envira-gallery slug="aprons"]Lucy Lou 918 is a source for Mad Men inspired unique aprons.  I’ll offer other styles as my inventory grows.  Feel free to email me with your questions and ideas about the aprons.  I’m currently working on an order of camouflage aprons.  Aprons for every area of your life, not just the kitchen.  Think of those school teachers, musicians, artists, gardeners, and men in your life. Lucy Lou 918 can make the perfect apron for your needs.

The inventory is low at the moment but will be increasing quickly.  If you do not see your idea pictured, please email me to ask about a customized apron.  Be patient while the dust settles.  I can’t wait to show you what I have for sale!


Christmas….21 weeks away

Can you believe it?  Christmas is 21 weeks away, that’s 10 paydays for some, or even fewer (5) for others.  I don’t work outside the home anymore so I tend to lose track of things like how soon Christmas will be here.  I start shopping around now though, just picking up this and that, you know little things I see that would be cool in a stocking?  Stockings are a FAVORITE in my family.  So, those get filled first and overfilled so some of the things end up getting wrapped as well.  Last year was my first ever handmade Christmas.  I made everyone blankets.  It started out as me making blankets for the grandchildren, but as their parents caught glimpses of them they wanted one too.  Then on Christmas, everyone that didn’t get a blanket wanted one of their own.  I also made some throw pillows for one of my daughters.

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[envira-gallery slug="broken-arms"]Oh, I think I forgot to mention, one week into December, I broke both my arms. Take this as a lesson you do not have to learn.  Plan, buy, make Christmas presents early.  Sewing with two broken arms was not easy!  There are lots of places online for shopping Lucy Lou 918 [envira-gallery id="1289"]
[envira-gallery slug="lucylou918-collage"] is a great place for handmade jewelry, aprons, throw pillows, and custom orders.  J and T Creations has all your Rock and Roll needs.  This girl is amazing!  Even if you think you don’t like her style, check it out.  I promise someone on your list will need something she has to offer.  The Happy Nest has everything else.  Seriously, her shop has something for every single person on your Christmas list. Her items are not handmade, so if you feel weird about giving handmade items as presents, be sure to visit her!

If you are Christmas shopping, sitting by the pool, or making something for yourself, ENJOY!

Vintage Irons

Vintage irons make me so happy!  I remember them as a child.  My grandmother had several with and without cords.  I also remember being told pressing is the most important part of sewing.  Nothing, in my opinion, compares to a vintage iron.  They are heavy, get super hot, super fast, and look cool.  🙂

Saturday, I was driving through my neighborhood and stumbled upon an ESTATE SALE.  Not one of those where the people come in and price everything and have their yellow signs everywhere.  Those prices are generally too high to bring me happiness.  This estate sale was operated by the family members.  They were so kind and helpful.  I walked in and immediately found my true love.  A vintage ironing board!  [envira-gallery id="1241"]
[envira-gallery slug="ironing-board"]Is it just me or do they make these things today too flimsy to even use for fear of them bending under pressure?  Okay, LOVE it, want it, need it, and it’s half price!  So, the ironing board sold for half of $15 that  was marked on it.  I found lots of other wonderful things there as well,  I’ll wait and share those later.

I purchased the new love of my life, a Sunbeam steam iron.  The iron is so special, it has the date written inside of the box, “December 25, 1962.”  [envira-gallery id="1237"]
[envira-gallery slug="vintage-iron"]It works amazingly well.  Of course, since the hubby does not sew, I had to explain to him how important this iron is to my life.  How the weight of the iron helps set the seam.  This was not an easy concept to explain.  Thankfully I was wearing a color blocked dress I made.  I pointed out where the two colors met. I told him, when the fabric is properly pressed, the two colors appear as one piece of fabric. I guess he understood that, he nodded. lol

When I came home I had to research the vintage irons, to make sure I was not just an emotional nut. Okay, I may be but there is validity to my love of vintage irons.  Ebay explains it pretty well.

Reasons to LOVE and desire a Vintage Iron
.  Made in the USA – back when that meant something.
.  Heavy, which helps get the wrinkles out
.  Put out a lot of heat
.  Solid irons that are well-build, all metal
.  Last decades