Merry Christmas!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, whatever you believe....I pray that you are all celebrating the holidays in a pleasant and meaningful way with the people you love.

Here, we celebrate Christmas, without much of Santa, but we still do plenty gift giving. My parents flew in from Colorado and we surprised the kids!

The calm before the storm of unwrapping gifts and torn wrapping paper!

My three kids opening their presents from my parents.

My daughter's favorite present was actually a gift card and coupons to our shop. She's a crafty, creative girl just like me--- which has its share of pluses and minuses. A chip off the old block.

 I may have overdone the photo taking.

Of course, Craftsy is having a great sale, ALL Craftsy classes under $20
 so click here on my affiliate insturctor's link if you'd like to get yourself  a little something. Maybe my second class?

The Tunic Challenge Finale

It's the big reveal day for my tunic as part of "The Tunic Challenge" with quilting friend, Leah Day. We started the challenge as a mutual deadline to help each of us sew something for ourselves. This challenge definitely made me get it done. Well, mostly....

Remember my first muslin? Much adjusting was needed.
What was I thinking? An extra project in the midst of the Christmas shopping season while owning a retail shop and extra activities with the kids? Throw in a leaking water heater at the shop (the neighbor's, not even my own!) and this week was a real humdinger. Though this has been a week full of wonderful customers as well, so it's really still all good.

While it might sound like sewing nirvana to own a sewing machine shop, I don't actually get much time to sew. I do need to know all the machines I sell, so I hop around from machine to machine. I decided to give the Janome Skyline S3 some attention. It's my current favorite pic for someone who wants more room to quilt, but doesn't have a lot of money to spend. While it has a fairly roomy 8.25 inches to the right of the needle, it lacks a few features I've grown accustomed to. There were multiple times I was trying to raise the presser foot with the non-existant knee lift.

While as a plus sized gal, I had quite a few tweaks I needed to make to the pattern even though it goes up to a 2XL, another part I struggled with seems silly..... With a placket that sat on the outside of the bodice, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around which way to layer my fabric before stitching and understitching (above). I kept checking and rechecking that I really was supposed to stitch right side to wrong side instead of the usual right sides together.

The tunic didn't get the attention I had hoped to give it, but it is done!

I think I need to fine tune my pattern pieces a little, darts mostly, but after that, I will definitely make another tunic. The Tunic Bilble is full of variations for this basic pattern. Head over to Leah's Free Motion Quilting Project to see what she's stitched up. My many thanks to Leah for proposing this challenge.

It was good to stretch my sewing skills and get back to making something for myself. Plus, now I can wear a shop sample! The denim I used was from Art Gallery and I am looking forward to making another tunic with their cotton voile. It feels absolutely luscious.

Tunic Challenge Part 3

It's week 3 of the Tunic Challenge with Leah Day and myself. This week we are to choose our materials, embellishments, and cut out our tunics.

 Last week was a bit of a bugger for me as I really needed to adjust the pattern quite a bit, not only for the size but also for the so-called fullness of my bust. This really took me out of my comfort zone as garment sewing isn't something I do for myself much, and I've never tried to tweak a pattern to this extent.. I did a lot of sewing for my daughter when she was a little girl and sewed for myself when I was a much smaller and younger woman.

So I learned how to do a full-bust adjustment, or rather my poor hack of a version. You can see in the picture above how much I changed the pattern. That's not to say this was a poor pattern, but rather I was at least 2 sizes bigger than the largest size.

I got my daughter into the act when it was time to take a few measurements. She and I are starting to do more sewing together and I'm really excited about it.

For my choice of fabrics, I chose these lusciously soft, fine weight printed denim and its solid counterpart from Art Gallery. I'm still a little uncertain about the fit, so I've decided to use the print for the tunic and the solid for the placket.

It's all cut out and next week I'll be sewing it up. I'm toying with embellishing the placket with some decorative stitches and have two pretty close thread choices.

As challenging as this has been for me, I am so happy to have had this push from Leah to do this as making myself figure out the adjustments needed to customize the pattern for myself is something I really wanted to do.

Check out Leah's week 3 post and see how she's planning her garment. There are some beautiful ribbons involved! Think you'd like to try your hand at your own tunic? Take a look at The Tunic Bible. With a great pattern and so many ideas for variations, I'm certain I won't stop at just one.