I Don’t Give a Damn!

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Since I decided to channel Scarlet this week and create a top from draperies, I just had to name this pattern appropriately.  Meet the “I Don’t Give a Damn” tank.

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As cute as this top it, it’s not nearly as cute as my photographers assistant was.  “O” insisted on helping her daddy take the photos this morning and the results were a bit blurry.  This was actually the only front view I was able to salvage from the shoot.

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Last summer, while I was pregnant with “O”, I purchased two tanks from Wal-Mart that had an amazing fit.  They were nicely proportioned through the shoulders and chest and widened to a swingy hemline that was great both for pregnancy and then beyond.  When I bought them I intended them only for maternity wear, but found myself layering with them all winter.  I knew that was the fit I needed for this summer, so I used one of the tops to slip a pattern from.  Then of course I had to add a few extra details.

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I redrafted the back of the pattern to include a simple yoke with a sheer back panel.  I also lengthened and curved the front so that despite my rather round tummy, the front and back would maintain an even hemline.  The entire front and yoke were made with a layer of thrifted lace curtain over a piece of vintage cotton that was given to me years ago.  The lower back panel is lace only.

I didn’t bother to line the pattern of the lace up in any particular manner because I love randomness, but my husband believes that was a mistake.  Looking at the sheer panel, I can see what he means.  The piece is just enough “off” to look like an accidental misalignment.  The arm holes are also a bit snug and cause the top to pull a bit during wear.  It’s not a deal breaker, but I will fix that flaw before I put the pattern away.

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This month I have joined a 1 Project Per Week sew-a-long instigated by the talented seamstress over at bernie and I.  She has issued a challenge to other bloggers to try and complete one sewing project every week for the entire month of June.  This project completes my first week of the sew-a-long and I have already been rummaging through my stash for next weeks inspiration.

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Let’s Go Camping!

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When I found 3/4 yard of 60 wide,quilted rip-stop fabric at the thrift a few months ago, I just had to have it.  Initially I though it would become a coat for one of the littles next winter, but as camping season approached I realized it had a much higher calling.  “O” is extremely independent and demands her own space at bedtime, so creating a sleeping bag of her very own became a must.  With her first birthday coming up, I decided that this would be the perfect gift for our busy little girl.

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This project is a blend of thrifted, repurposed, and new materials.  Of course, the quilted rip-stop came from the thrift, but then I added a insulated center layer made from a repurposed mattress pad and a cotton flannel lining of new material.  On the fly, this looked like a quick easy project.  It really was a pretty straight forward, but it was not a project my old machine relished.  The multiple layers of thick fabric posed a bit of a challenge on my test swatch, so I had to use a few alternative methods of construction.  Instead of sewing all the layers into a sandwich and then simply turning and top stitching as I had planned, I had to size the insulating layer down by an inch on every side and then center it on my lining fabric and stitch the two together.  I then used my sandwich and topstitch method.  Also, the density of my fabrics and lack of a zipper foot made a standard zipper application impossible.  Since I have outstanding faith in my hand stitching abilities, I simply adhered the zipper by hand.  That is the method I usually employ in dress making anyway.

“O’s” birthday is still over 3 weeks away, but having this project finished will be a relief to her daddy.  Ever since I announced that I was creating this sleeping bag, he has asked about it almost daily.  I guess he still isn’t completely familiar with the Ames family genetics that allow me to do amazing last minute work.  Just wait, I’ll go buy wrapping paper at 1 am the morning of her birthday, while her cake is in the oven.

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Looking at this last photo, I know I could have done a better job presenting the project for photographing.  It is so bumpy that it almost looks as if a little person has just crawled out of it!  I really wanted to get this blogged yesterday, so it was do-or-die this morning and with the little red battery button blinking on the camera I was a little haphazard.