Sunday Style Set: Dreaming of Spring

Hey Friends,

I'm going to try something new.  I really need to get better at putting together outfits, so in order to push myself I'm going to try and post a set from Polyvore every Sunday.  Truly, you can ignore brand names etc, I'm just trying to better grasp colors and styles.  I have found a wonderful blog Design Seed, and she says that her inspiration boards can be used on blogs, so I'm using her color schemes and basis for the style set.

Let me know if these are something you enjoy :)

Dreaming of Spring


12 in 2012 Project!

Hello friends!

Have you heard about the challenge that Suzie, from Su Sews So So is doing?  She is calling it the 12 in 2012 challenge.  She has picked out 12 projects, 12 skills, and 12 techniques that she wants to accomplish in 2012.  I really think this is a great idea and want to join!  I wasn't really sure what techniques and skills I wanted to do so I decided to just make a list of 12 projects and will talk about new techniques and skills that I may have learned or used when I blog about each completed project.  So without further beating-around-the-bushage...

For my first project, I decided I would give myself a little leg up...  I've already made my Peony dress, but it was a goal that was totally on my list before Suzie came up with this fantastic idea.  So, why not cheat a lot a little and put a completed garment on the list.  My peony!  Blogged about here and here.
And since I said I would talk about techniques and skills used when I blog about the piece (which I didn't do) I'll talk about it now!  This is the very first dress that I have ever put pockets into!  It was a great learning experience that I have since used on other patterns.  I also used Colette's technique for inserting invisible zippers.  This was a dream!!  I will never put one in another way.  I also moved darts for the first time!  The waist darts were too narrow and I moved them outwards about 1/2 inch each.  Very easy to do, but still a good skill to learn.  Along the same lines, I also shortened the waist to meet where my actual natural waist was.

What is my second goal you ask?  Why, my Minoru jacket of course!  Which is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself!  I'm itching to show it to you!  Can I be super honest with you all and tell you a secret?  I may have already finished my jacket... shhh!!!  *ahem* I mean...  I'm strictly following the sew-a-long, and will unveil my finished Minoru jacket along with everyone else.  But just in case you missed the preview of my fabric or *gasp* forgot, here it is again.

Kokka Trefle Oxford Cotton Canvas Cherries Red

Third.... bomb, bomb, bum..... Bombshell!  I bought this Craftsy course quite a while ago, and I watched the entire video and thought to myself, "wow, I can actually do that!"  then promptly didn't.  You know how doubt creeps in... that voice in my head can be a real little rascal sometimes!  The rational side of myself says, "oh I'm waiting until I have a little more experience under my belt before I try something that involved."  So this darn dress is for sure on my list of 12 in 2012.  I need to just do it!


I have been dying to make a circle skirt!  I'm pretty sure my love of circle skirts started with Sunni's skirt.  And then I found the wonderful blog Casey's Elegant Musings, and discovered that she had a fantastic Circle Skirt Sew Along.  I was reminded again how much I wanted to sew a circle skirt when I saw Lauren's fan-frickin-tastic version here!  So, needless to say, if you didn't already have it monotonously repeated into your head... I want to sew a circle skirt.  


Gertie's Gathered Skirt Tutorial!  Gah, this skirt makes me go weak at the knees and want to put on heels and dance around like a lil' trollop (in a good way, mom.)  I just mean, looking at the skirt makes me feel sassy, and spunky, and utterly feminine at the same time!  Yes please!

Numero Seis...  A tailored coat.  Through A Good Wardrobe's wonderful list of indie pattern designers, I discovered Jamie Christina Design and this adorable coat pattern!  The Abby Coat is so fun and flirty, with an adorable peter pan collar detail.  I would probably add a few details to really make it my own, but I want to go through Gertie's Lady Grey tutorials and really learn how to tailor a coat, and apply the principals toward the Abby Coat.  I am torn though, because the original Lady Grey pattern is so darling!  Oh the choices!



Next project on my list to tackle is a good pair of jeans.  I have actually been quite terrified of this idea until I stumbled upon the Jean-ius course that I blogged about here.  I'm so thrilled to be taking a class taught by Kenneth D. King, and he makes it all seem so easy and manageable.  I actually have two different pairs of jeans that I'm considering copying.  One pair is a boyfriend fit jean that is oh-so-comfortable, and the other is a skinny jean that has a slightly more relaxed fit than most. 


The Chantilly dress pattern by Colette Patterns is a dress that I have lusted over, ever since I saw Tasia's version.  I have some fabric stashed away exactly for this project, but I've been putting it off because the fabric is slippery and I'm going to have to not only line, but probably underline most of the dress.  


What is one wardrobe staple that every girl should have?  A basic pencil skirt, yes?  I think so.  Probably one in black, and probably one in just about any other color imaginable ~grins~  I do love me some color.  My roommate has a knack of calling them "Montana colors", and then I tease her about her increasingly gray wardrobe!  I don't know exactly which pattern yet, but I think the Jenny, by Burda would be a good place to start.


Next on the list, the Pendrell blouse by Sewaholic Patterns.  If I'm being truly honest with you about it, I've made one before and was really unsatisfied with it.  But it wasn't anyone's fault but my own.  I used fabric that was too thick and had too heavy a drape to it.  I just didn't fit right.  I also needed to chose a smaller size, because the pattern has so much ease and I like my tops to be slightly more fitted.  


So, I am an American, but will everyone forgive me and/or accept me if I say that our friends in the UK have a much better idea with the word knickers!  Underwear is just so blah... but there you have it.  I want to make my own knickers!  It seems like such a fun idea and a fairly easy pattern.  There would also be so many fun colorful fabrics and bits of lace that I could add.  Suzie, who actually came up with the whole 12 in 2012 idea just posted a lovely tutorial for making lace knickers!  There are also several lovely tutorials to be found on Pintrest.

Last, but not least;  Mary from Idle Fancy has totally inspired me to make a dress.  She continues to make Simplicity 2215, which is a button down dress that is so lovely!  I'm dying to give it a go, I just have to find the right fabric... and belt, and cardigan, and shoes, and.... I feel like I'm finding excuses to go spend money.

So there you have it!  My twelve projects I hope to accomplish this year.  I don't expect to do them in order, but I will try to do them all!  Geez, it seems a little daunting, doesn't it!  How about you?  Have you joined the challenge, or do you have a personal goal list?  Do we have any goals in common?  I'd love to hear from you!

P.S.  Maybe you have already noticed, but I've added two pages to my blog.  One is a little more about me, if you're interested, and the second is a page with audiobooks that I enjoy, since I'm usually listening to one while sewing.



    Hello friends!

    Isn't amazing how sometimes, just when you throw a question out to the universe, an answer bounces right back at you?!  Remember how in the last post I wondered how best to make garments that are more wearable for every day.  Well I found a solution that not only helps out my scrubs problem, but also with making jeans, which if I'm honest with myself, I wear almost everyday when I'm not in scrubs.  The answer is jean-ius!

    The course is taught by Kenneth D. King, and he teaches you how to copy your favorite jeans without harming them at all.  And he uses a method similar to the rub-off method that Shawnta (one of my readers!) mentioned on my Sewn Wardrobe post.  

    I'm so excited!  I was able to pick up some supplies while I was on a trip to Portland for the holiday weekend.  I can't wait to get started on them, but I am going to try and pace myself.

    Speaking of Craftsy courses, they are trying to suck me in!  Gah!  Not only is there the amazing Starlet Suit Jacket by Gretchen Hirsch, but also the Couture Dress by Susan Khalje.  If I had no self control what-so-ever, I would just buy them all!!

    Have you checked out Craftsy courses?  Are you just dying to take any of them?  I really love the format of how they teach their courses.


    A Sewn Wardrobe

    Ok friends,

    I have a dilemma.

    I'm a nurse.  I wear scrubs.  The end. 

    I love to sew, and I really want to sew clothes that I get to wear, but really?!  Scrubs?!

    I want to sew dresses!  And tops, and skirts, and all sorts of pretty things!  ( Can you just hear me throwing a three-year-old tantrum and stomping my foot indignantly on the ground?  Because in my head, that is totally what I'm doing right now!)
    Now, I know that I could sew scrubs.  Pretty easily in fact, but there is also the problem of me being really, really picky about my scrubs.  The fabric has to be just right, and then there are the pockets, and the fit, and everything!  The scrub patterns that you can find in the store all kind of suck.


    I know, I need to just take one of my favorite pairs of scrubs and tear them apart and use the for a pattern, but I can't bring myself to do it yet, plus, does anyone know what type of fabric they use?!  It's not regular cotton, I swear.  I just don't know what it is.  It's thicker, and possibly has some sort of stain treatment or something.  I don't know, maybe I'm imagining things.  But the fabric feels different.

    So, am I the only one with this problem?  Am I the only one who doesn't have the opportunity to wear cute clothes every day (or night in my case) for work?  I really want to work on a wardrobe for myself, but where do I draw the line at sewing things that aren't practical?


    Sew Grateful: Giveaway Winner!!

    And the winner is:

    Claudia E B!!

    Claudia, send me an e-mail at montana(dot)nelson(at)gmail(dot)com with your address and information and I will send this gift to you as soon as possible!  Thank-you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and participate in this giveaway!  And a big thank-you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Sew Grateful Week!  

    P.S.  Sorry I was unable to correctly get the random number generator to show on my blog.  Next time I'll figure out how to post the little box thingy!  Have a great day everyone!


    Hourglass Figure

    Hello friends!

    I was reading one of the posts that Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones wrote, and I was intrigued by a few of the links she had at the bottom of her page that were referring to different body shapes.  I was led to this fantastic new-to-me blog Cardigan Empire which is currently having a week about falling in love with your body type.  In this post, Rachel even has a wonderful spread sheet for you to figure out your body type based on your measurements.

    I have very recently taken my measurements, so I was able to quickly run through the spread sheet and figure out my body type.  Let me say, Rachel has a real knack for making one feel like your body is likened to a goddess!  I am an hourglass shape, which was actually kind of a surprise to me.  I am always my harshest critic when looking at my body (a fact that I'm trying to change).  I tend to feel like my middle has no definition, and that I generally look short and fat stout.

    Once I discovered that I truly was an hourglass, the post written specifically for those with mythical curves had some great tips for dressing to enhance your body's most positive attributes.  There are also great posts for middle figured bodies, pear shapes, linear bodies, and upper figured body types.

    Interestingly enough, I decided to look into my own Sew-spiration Board on Pintrest to see if I generally picked out clothes and wardrobe items that were recommended for me.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that my taste has improved since high-school, and that I do tend to lean towards garments that will work with my body type, such as the following examples.

    They really talked about for hourglass shapes, how it is wonderful to emphasize your waist.  They suggested a lot of belts, which is another glimpse into why I really enjoyed my peony so much!  Bring on the belts!


    One stunning historical example of an hourglass figure that I'm sure every one else was already screaming about in their minds is Marilyn.  Her iconic beauty is something that has started to finally come back into fashion today thanks to inspiring celebrities such as Christina Hendricks who plays Joan on Mad Men.  Kate Winslet also has a wonderful body that has been the subject of controversy ever since Titanic!
    So here is to enjoying our bodies, and being proud of the women that we are.  Embrace the joy that you get from knowing that not only are you beautiful, but that you can sew clothes that are tailor made to enhance every glowing curve, or lithe slender line you have to offer!  Go.  Feel beautiful today!

    P.S.  I didn't even realize as I was writing this, that it is the perfect valentine's day post!  Show yourself some love!  Happy Valentine's Day everyone! xoxo


    My Closet: Bikes and Top Hats!

    Hello friends!

    I've been holding out on you.  It's true.  I once upon a time (around November of 2011) made a shirt, that I was so excited about.  And I was reading lots of sewing blogs and thought to myself, "Well, gosh!  Maybe I should start one too, because then I would get to share things like the shirt I just made!! And, maybe people would give me tips and hints, and say lovely things about my creations (because lets be honest, we all love a little praise and love from our fellow sewists!)"

    So I started this blog.  I had so much fun getting it started that I totally forgot to blog about the shirt.  It was my very first Sorbetto!  I made it from a cotton fabric that I had gotten in my grandma's enormous stash of fabric!  I actually had to fight over this particular fabric with my dad, and he only relented when I promised that I would make him something out of it as well!  Which, reminds me that I need to still do that.  My dad liked this fabric so much because it has old fashioned bikes on it.  Along with the old bikes, there are men in top hats, and ladies in big dresses; the print really is fabulous.

    I've enlarged the photo in hopes that you can get a better look at the print
    I have a few things that I wish I would have known before making the shirt, but hindsight is always 20/20, yes?  I didn't bother making a muslin of this shirt because I thought the pattern looked simple enough that I would be able to make any necessary changes to the fashion fabric itself.  It's true, I was able to make all the changes that I wanted, except one.  For some reason, once you've cut out fabric, you can't make it grow longer if the shirt is too short, boo.  It's not necessarily too short, but I don't like my belly skin to flash if I move wrong, and this shirt could use another inch or two, but I've had fun finding things to layer it with.

    Other than the length, this garment is wonderful!  I did all french seams, so the inside looks great, and the cotton itself is incredibly soft, heavy, and has a great drape to it.  I probably would have made a skirt out of the fabric instead of a shirt, if I'd had enough yardage.


    Do you have any specific item of clothing that inspired you to start your blog?  What blogs do you find that have the most inspiration to keep you blogging and sewing?

    On a slightly different note, but seeking feedback please!!  Do you any of you bloggers have any great resources for getting better at photography?  Books, blogs, tutorials?  Please send ideas my way if you have any.  Thanks!

    P.S.  You can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


    Indie Pattern Designers

    Hello friends!

    Has everyone seen this yet?  Lizz at A Good Wardrobe has made this great list of independent pattern designers and has made this great button.  The list is extensive and has pattern designers such as Colette, Victory Patterns, Sewaholic, Megan Nielsen Sewing Patterns, and a lot more!  Look into it, and if you agree, show your support!

    A Good Wardrobe

    If you want to grab the button for your blog as well, the code can be found here



    Hello friends!

    So I posted ages ago that I was going to show you my Meringue skirt that I completed for Sew Colette.  I didn't get around to it until just now, so... oops.  The sewing community is a forgiving one, yes?  Maybe as punishment I will have nightmares about endless tracing patterns, and cutting out fabric, and never getting to sew a stitch!  I would be one miserable little sassafras!

    On to better things.  My skirt!  I made it out of some fabulously fuscia corduroy fabric.  I got the fabric from fabric.com and was really just curious because I had never sewn with corduroy before.  It's fun!  One very interesting thing that I noted, was that chalk goes right through all the layers!  I'm sure that could be really annoying sometimes, but for this skirt, it was really great when marking the darts... I marked one and the other was already done!

    I made the hem facing out of some fun polka-dot fabric that I had left in my stash from a book bag that I made years ago.  I was excited to put a flash of something fun in there!  The waistband has the same fabric for the facing as well!  I should mention that I used Caitlin's (Design assistant for Coletterie) awesome tutorial for adding a waistband to the Meringue.  

    Fun hem facing!

    So I have a silly confession.  I had my roommate take these photos (she is so awesome to help me with that!)  And after taking a bunch of different photos, I was scrolling through them later and noticed something a little funny about my purple sweater.  Lets just say *ahem* it is a good thing that I always wear and undershirt beneath this sweater.  I wasn't really thinking about it for the photo shoot, and just threw on the sweater.  These two photos are the only two where you can't glaringly see my white bra.  Ha! Oh dear.  I figured you all didn't want to see better pictures of the lovely scallops on the bottom if it meant that your eyes would be burned by my lady support.

    Not my best angle, but hey at least you can see the skirt!
    There was one little wonky spot on the skirt that makes me furrow my brow in frustration.  On the inside, right where the waistband and facing meet with skirt, I did something wrong I'm sure, because the zip gets stuck.  there is a little part of the facing that is just close enough to the zip that when you're trying to pull up, the zipper head gets stuck and you have to wrench the waistband apart a little just to get the zipper up all the way.  Annoying enough to take out and fix?  Eh, we'll see... 

    If you peek in the bottom left corner you can see some of the fabric that I'm using in my Minoru Jacket.  Yes folks, I finally got started on it!  I'm so so excited to show it to you when it is finished!

    What are you working on?  Any interesting new fabrics that you are trying out?  How about the weird waistband and zipper problem?  Anyone else ever dealt with that?

    Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

    P.S.  On the subject of the Sew Colette project;  I've opted to skip February's Pastille.  I'm not sold on the dress, plus, I just put so much time into a fitted bodice with the Peony, which is the learning goal with making the Pastille.  I think I'd rather use my time to make the Minoru Jacket and pick up with Sew Colette in march.


    Sew Grateful: Reflections and Buttons!

    Hello friends!

    Sew Grateful Week

     I was looking at the rest of the schedule that Debi posted for the second Sew Grateful week and saw:

    • Write a reflection post (on what your 'sew grateful' for): post by Wednesday, February 8th
    • Finish a sewing project: post by Saturday, February 11th
    Well, I am late for getting my reflection post up by Wednesday, but I thought I would combine the two into one nice post. 

    I feel that most girls learn sewing from their mothers.  I love my mama, and she helped me hem somethings while I was younger (with gritted teeth I imagine), but even she will tell you that I did not inherit my crafting gene from her.  Both of my grandmothers were wonderful seamstresses, even my daddy has some way better than adequate sewing skills (although he hasn't pulled those out in years).  I definitely got my sewing obsession from my grandmothers.  They have both passed away and I sure wish that I could pick both of their brains for sewing help and thank them properly for all the inspiration they have given me.

    One memory that I have of my maternal grandma Winona, is of her teaching me how to cross stitch!  I don't really remember much of it now, all the counting and tiny stitches gave me a headache.  I do remember though, that she patiently taught me how to do the stitches, how to count the rows, she let me use her big magnifier to make it easier, and she also bought me the cutest bear patterns to cross stitch!  I also remember playing dress up in her closet of fantastic mu-mu's and polyester track suits.  Her eyes would laugh as I tried them on, and she would tell me about making them.

    My paternal grandma, Enid, was a professional seamstress.  She taught me the basics of sewing, letting me learn on her machine, and letting me pick out fabric to make a skirt with!  I remember rolling my eyes when she tried to explain to me the importance of matching my plaids...  I really didn't get it at that point!  Haha, how things change.  

    I have both of these women to thank for so much.  Not only did they teach me so much, but they also left me many sewing and crafting related goodies to play with.  My first sewing machine was inherited from my grandma Enid, and the serger that I still use was Winona's.  Since they have passed away, I have gotten boxes of fabric, and lots of haberdashery!  Which leads me to the finished project portion of the post.

    I already had posted a few pictures of my finished Peony for you, but I wanted to post a few more pictures, especially showcasing these adorable buttons!  I first spied these buttons when I opened up a box of haberdashery that I had gotten from Grandma W.  they were sitting right on top, and I remember squealing in delight, and then promptly forgetting about them.  When putting the finishing touches on my dress, I was about to head to trusty JoAnn's when I remember that I had boxes and boxes of vintage buttons; and what should be on  the top of the very first box I open...?  You guessed it.  Perfection!

    Peony!  Sorry for the dark night-time photo.

    It is hard to tell in these photos, but the blue almost perfectly matches the light blue background color in the print.  And the buttons themselves are so fun!  They remind me of the waves at the ocean, part smooth, part foamy/lacy.  Very pretty!  And I really love the contrast they make with the saffron sash.

    Fun side note.  Can anyone guess what my new fun word of the day is?!  Haberdashery!!  So, maybe I am just behind in my vocabulary, but I had never heard of this word, until I started reading some blogs based in the UK.  I finally looked it up, because I was prone to believe it meant tom-foolery  But when it was so often used with sewing in context I realized, it must not be related to mischief!  Trusty Wikipedia helped me out with this definition (for anyone else who may be wondering...)

    haberdasher is a person who sells small articles for sewing, such as buttonsribbons,zips, and other notionsA haberdasher's shop or the items sold therein are called haberdashery.

    So, as a final word, if you haven't signed up for my giveaway of a great little gadget (dare it be called haberdashery), please do!  Go here and leave a comment telling me what you are grateful for!

    P.S.  My computer is tweaking out and not letting me post the wonderful pictures that I have of my grandmothers, so I will keep working and update the post if I can figure out what the glitch is.  Thanks for stopping by!


    My Sew Grateful Giveaway!

    Sew Grateful Week

    Hello friends!

    Debi is again hosting this wonderful week of thankfulness, which I truly believe is so important!  I really wanted to give something away since that was the theme for Monday.  As you can see I think I am a few hours late, but I think I can fudge it, yes?

    So, for my giveaway I wanted to give one of you this wonderful tool!

    You can find out more about it here.

    To enter this giveaway, just leave me a comment about something you are grateful for!  I will leave this giveaway open until midnight on Tuesday, February 14th.  These are great for when you use a Burda pattern that doesn't have the seam allowance included!  Hope you enjoy!