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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

My Last Minute Rocky Horror Picture Show DIY Costume & Decor!

We have a projector screen at our camp, and had 3 people request the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We held it a bit later in the month than we originally planned due to life happening, but when Rocky week came, I decided last minute we needed decorations and I needed an outfit.

Yay me!

I made basic signs related to the movie from posterboard in order to direct people to our camp (it's really in the middle of nowhere with no interweb, and good luck getting your GPS to work). 

I put the Jump to the Left sign right before our camp - because you really did have to turn slightly left to get to our lot.

Seating set up for the guests.  I even put out some props, like party blowers, unicorn hats (why not??), sparklers, Melba Toast (which Gideon proceeded to eat throughout the movie), and bubbles

Of course I had to make the Time Warp directions sign. Just in case.  Basic posterboard and some scrapbook paper for the shoes.

My Columbia outfit consisted of:
- 5 out of 4's Rosanna Top
- Rebecca Page's Peggy Pencil Skirt (mini)
- Bella Sunshine Designs Eden Leggings
- Dollarama straw hat I covered in sparkles and put a cute sparkly black band around.

For the Rosanna Top, I colour blocked several sparkly fabrics together for the bodice and skirt, and it's brilliant!

More seating around the fire pit - you can see the screen on the right side

Our 120" projector screen!

Fire ban was on, so I put citronella candles on a well staged fire pit.

Just in case...updated our chalkboard paint message board!

Happy Horror sign - used the Rebecca Page Bunting Kit for the flags and direction, and just printed out some scary lettering on size 500.  Cutting them out by hand was a pain, but it added a cute effect.  

Then people started arriving - these ladies are a hoot!  Bras on the outside, and beads for all!

Husband will kill me if he sees this. We got him into it, and he wore a boa for at least a minute

Who doesn't have a 3 feet long dinosaur?

And let the movie begin! 

It was a great night with minimal (to me) decorating prep time - in total I spent about 5 or 6 hours getting the signs and costume made up, and it was appreciated by all.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sewing Pattern Review: Rebecca Paige's Pencil Skirt

Who doesn't like a flattering contoured skirt?

The Paige Pencil Skirt is that and more. 

It's a high waisted pencil skirt with slimming side seams, back vent, zip up back, darts, and even an optional "bow" at the front if you like. 

All the seams are hidden for a professional look.

It has options from 18" doll6 months to 12 years old, and up to ladies 50" waist sizing. 

Get all 3 in a Bundle!

Made with woven fabrics only (and lining interior), it fits just below the knee and has no wiggle room to "stretch" if it is too small. 

I found my normal L to XL grading for RP bottoms gives me the room to move without suffocating my mid section. 

I'm 5''2" and took 2" off the lengthen/shorten line to accommodate for my height (it's drafted for a 5'-6" height) 

With this pattern, you learn a different way of sewing in a zipper, unique back vent sewing skills, and in the end, a fancy looking pencil skirt 

The most challenging part of sewing up the skirt had to of been the vent during pattern testing - however, Rebecca came through and the final pattern has VERY detailed pictures and instructions (giving me that "Aha" moment of clarity for a rather simple sewing technique once the details were clearly laid out), so it shall not be an issue next time. 

For my skirt, I used a random suiting fabric for the main skirt, proper lining fabric for the lining, and flowy sheer fabric for the bow part - I really like the contrast and the look of the sheer bow. 

Overall, I love the moveability, length, and feel of this particular pencil skirt. It doesn't make me feel self conscious about my thighs or caboose, and I feel it gives me a flattering shape and look. 

It's also easy to walk in without shuffling, and I can get in and out of the car without doing pre-Olympic trials with my legs (anyone who has worn a pencil skirt knows what I mean!).


I've paired mine with the Neve Wrap Blouse (tucked in at the back) - I think it's a great pair for a casual day at the office or out with the girls!

Grab your Paige Pencil Skirt and give it a go - you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Sewing Pattern Review: Rebecca Page Family Passport Wallet


Have lots of important paperwork you need to have in your purse regularly?

Love your make up brushes to be organized?

What about your art supplies?

The Rebecca Page Family Passport Wallet is a simple sew, and a great way to use up scrappy fabrics, and fulfill the above needs!

I like that there are options for the closure - magnetic, button, snaps, or ribbon (and beyond!), and that it's large enough to hold all of our essential paperwork all in one handy personalized location.

The instructions are simple and easy to follow - but make sure you use the proper interfacing and fabric as per instructions!  

For my first wallet attempt, I had just inherited a Rubbermaid container (one of those big blue bins) FULL of fleece fabric from my mother-in-law's sister.  

Yay for her downgrading her house and sewing supplies!  

Boo for me using fleece instead of the instructed interfacing as the interfacing inside the lining and fabric pieces. 

This made for a much thicker than intended wallet - definitely not suitable for passports. 

But perfect for holding my paint brushes - or make up brushes, crayons - you get the picture. 

I used a normal cotton for the exterior, and the lining is a soft silky lining fabric that I only had scrappy bits of.

You can also hack the wallet and shorten the length to make it into a wallet, or just keep important papers, like insurance documents or receipts!  

It's a quick and easy sew with a bit of ironing and interfacing for a clean crisp finish. 

The pockets are easy to make, and keep everyone's paperwork separate and easy access.

I especially like the use of scraps to create this pattern.

For my passport wallet, I used all cotton - a striped blue print, owl print, and a Caique parrot tropical print from a dress I bought on impulse several years ago, but could never wear as it looked like a moo moo sack on me. 

Caique fabric makes a great tropical passport wallet though!

Overall, it's a quick sew and one more way to help get your life more organized!

And really - you'll be the most stylish traveller in the airport!

Get your free Passport pattern here, and whether it's for passports, crayons, make up brushes, paint brushes (or more!), it's an easy scrap buster sew with a well finished end result. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Sewing Pattern Review: The Neve Wrap Blouse

I love a nice flowy shirt that doesn't feel bulky.

Enter Rebecca Page's new pattern, the Neve Wrap Top.

On Sale throughout July 2018 for 30% Off!!

It's best made with flowy fabrics, like this chiffon type fabric I scored at Fabricland a few weeks ago! 

What more screams summer than Sunglasses?

Neve features:
- Options for either wovens or knits
-  Sleeve tab options

I prefer the tab feature, as it brings the loose sleeves up and makes the top a bit less billowy. 

The back is sewn with a middle seam, and is intentionally lower than the front - it can easily be tucked into your skirt or pants for a full billow look front and back.

I like the look of the back untucked - do you?

I used hemming tape for the hem so it sat still - especially while sewing it up - otherwise, it would leak to a wonky hemming job that I'd prefer not to have.

After sewing the hem, I ironed, ironed, ironed, and it sits flat now.

The front billows, and wraps around - I definitely recommend wearing a tank top or camisole underneath in order to prevent spillage from you-know-where.

It is sewn with an elastic waistband, and may be a higher rise than I generally wear, therefore I didn't cut the pattern piece on the shorten line (I'm 5'-2") so it sat as low as possible.

You can see the sleeve at the side - both arm up and down.

I've paired this with the new Peggy Skirt, which is sort of high waisted and a good fit with the Neve Wrap Top!

My recommendation:

- Sew slowly with lightweight fabrics!
- Use a lightweight fabric - anything medium weight or more structured will simply look boxy, and not feel so flattering
- Learn to love French seams - I've sewn so many in the last few weeks, I love the look of the finished seams inside! 
- Size down if you want a less billowy look (I went with Small vs my normal Medium, and didn't grade for my hips/waist to XL as I normally with with Rebecca Page Patterns).

The Neve Wrap Top is a lovely cover up top for the beach, summer party, or running errands

Sew on!

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Barbie's Wardrobe is Growing! McCalls 1970's Doll Clothes Patterns Come Alive!

So I'm getting the hang of Barbie clothes making again. 

I do recall trying to make some as a kid. But maybe two outfits as they were so small. 

For me, I have organized clear shoe boxes full of scrap fabrics screaming to be made into something. 

I have nieces with outdated Barbie clothes for their dolls.

And I have a sewing machine & Imagination. 

I took the chance and ordered to McCalls Barbie Doll clothes Pattern #869 from a random Etsy seller - Gail's Vintage Doll E-Patterns 

The pattern pieces print out on normal 8.5" x 11" paper, and are labelled well, thus no confusion as to what pattern pieces are for which outfit. 

There are a total of 12 outfits, and I made most of the pieces. 

Here are the outfits:

A) Ruffled Mermaid Dress - Ankle Length


I used some sparkly spandex (pretty sure all the patterns request woven, but I used what I felt fit modern Barbie), tulle, and light complimentary knit fabric. 

For the top hem, I used pink Bias tape. 


The pattern asks for snaps at the back, however, as I used stretch spandex, I sized down slightly at the sides, and it just goes on and off without snaps, but stays in place due to the curves.

I like the bottom ruffles-  they're fun & flirty!

2) Knee length dress with Bow


The next dress is made from woven suiting fabric.  

I used stretch ribbon for the "strap," and regular ribbon for the bow. 

I'm awful at tying bows, but this one isn't bad. 


I did use snaps for this dress as per instructions, and the dress doesn't fit too bad for a first woven attempt!

There's a few darts, a few snaps, and a lot of pretty!

C) Short Ruffle Dress

This is the short version of Dress A - I used another stretch spandex for the main portion, and black tulle for the ruffles. 

I also used rick rack for the straps (which tie into bows), which are okay, but not my favourite look - next time I'll go with normal ribbon. 

Just like with Dress A, I sized down a bit due to the spandex, and the fit is decent.  Not perfect, but it still looks cute!

This was an easy sew with darts - and it fits Barbie's curves!

D) Two Piece Dress - Peplum Top & Separate Skirt 


The next outfit is a two piece - a Peplum Top & Skirt.

I used woven cotton fabric, and it really pops with the bias tape on the top edge!

The Peplum is two pieces sewn together with some gathering, and the skirt has an elastic waistband, so easily goes on and off of Barbie. 

This was quick, easy, and still stylish these days!

E) Wrap Dress


The wrap dress entails a few pieces that are easily sewn together. 

I used a light crepe type fabric for this pattern, finished off with a simple ribbon belt.

There are snaps at the waist the keep the dress from peeping open and the best to finish off the look.


The lighter the fabric, the more this dress will drape.

Remember that the iron is your friend - especially when it comes to circled hems. Press, then sew in order to alleviate hem creases. 

I also finish the edges before hemming with a zig zag stitch to prevent future fabric freying, as the hem is only one fold.

The shoulders poof out a bit, but other than that, it's a cute dress for Barbies of any decade!

F) Camisole Set & G) Robe

I used a barely stretch knit fabric and lace for the housecoat. 

It was a simple sew, and finished off with a ribbon sash. 

The fit is on par, and Barbie seems to like it too.

But what Housecoat is complete without something underneath it?  Unless you're in X-rated Barbie land! 

Underneath the robe, Barbie sports a two piece camisole set.

It's made from cotton John Deere Fabric, Lace, and a few snaps at the back of the top to keep it together.

The instructions state materials in yardage - even for ribbon lengths, so all the ribbon I just guesstimated at, and didn't cut until I was finished sewing with it.

For the straps, I put the top against Barbie, and guessed the length - 3" seemed to be a good length for each strap without showing her cleavage.

I kind of want this outfit for myself!

H) Thigh length Coat and K) Slanted Top, and Shorts

The next outfits I opted to make were the short coat, which has a sewn in (attached) scarf and one button at the top.

I forgot the belt, hence the really large appearance.

This is the same coat pattern as the robe, but without the lace trim.

I paired it with the Shorts from patterns J & K, and the edgy top from pattern K.

The top has short sleeves, snaps on the back, and an angled appearance.

I made this from some sweater knit, and it looks pretty neat!

I made two pairs of shorts, as we tend to make more tops vs bottoms, and Barbie needs some bottoms.

If she were human, there is some bunching in the crotch area, so albheit not perfect, they seem to fit her well!

I opted to not make the long sleeved top version, as I have some other tops I'd rather sew up. 

And I failed at the bra top for pattern J (I was really tired), so went, "Meh," and decided it was too racy for my nieces anyhow.

J) Leggings

I found the leggings although simple to sew up, just didn't fit right - if Barbie were human, she'd have major camel toe here. 

I did use spandex...but the fit shouldn't be that bulky.  

But they look ok under a skirt. 

I think I'll cut the feet off like real leggings, and just have her wear them like that to take away some of the bulk. 
Overall, the outfits were simple to print out and make, the instructions were basic and easy to follow, and by following the 1/4" guide on my sewing machine, I was able to make the proper sized seams. 

I finished the edges of the woven fabric with zig zag stitches, and was happy to use up a bunch of scrappy fabrics and ribbons for this particular wardrobe. 

If you like these patterns, you can purchase them here

It was a whopping $3.41 Canadian for all 12 outfit patterns!