Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A new stocking for the newest family member!

When I made our family holiday stockings a few years ago, Lorelei was most definitely not part of the equation, so fast forward to this year and at fleeting moments throughout her first year, I've thought of how she'd need a stocking, but over the last two weeks, that need became super pressing. We're one of those families that does our Christmas decorating the days after Thanksgiving, often on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but this year, I was truly worried the stocking issue would keep us from it! That and the Gilmore Girls revival release at 3am that very Friday (which of course was just about equally as important!).


But somehow, I finished up a stocking for sweet Lorelei, and managed to watch the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival (no spoilers ahead, I promise!), and our family decorating tradition is still holding strong. Phew.


I realized when I hung the stockings that Lorelei's stocking is fairly matching, save for two things - the embroidery thread is different (white-white instead of off-white, darn it!) and then I managed to introduce mint to the color palette, but it works, I think, so I'm not going to go and restitch, that's for sure!


Oh! And this year, the stockings are hung differently! When the husband saw what 3M Command hooks cost (this is precisely why you shouldn't take husbands to Target), we re-thought things for something we didn't have to keep re-buying year over year, so this is a fun set of lights from Target, a shower rod in bronze from Amazon, and shower hooks, plus various Christmas decorations I've gathered over the years (some new, some old). And one day, I'll have a real fireplace and mantel to hang the stockings on. Just not in Florida.



What are you stitching up for the holidays? I'm finishing up some fun hand-stitched gifts, which you can follow along with some sneak peeks on Instagram @dontcallmebetsy and I'll post the finished makes as soon as the receivers open them! Happy holiday stitching everyone :)
Friday, November 18, 2016

Stitching with Lorelai - You've Been Gilmored

Next week promises to be a really good week. Not only will it be Thanksgiving, but it's going to be the week where the Gilmore Girls releases four new episodes, "A Year in the Life," with each episode showing us a season in the life of the Gilmore Girls, now that it's been nine years since we last saw them. Admittedly, they never left my life. It's been one of my favorite shows of all-time, and constantly a show that I watch (or listen to) while working or sewing. It's the kind of show that you can enjoy just listening to, because the dialogue is so sparkling, or you can get the full experience and watch and listen too. All that to say, if what I've said so far sounds like a foreign language, you've got some time left before the "new" season pops up on Netflix next week, so you could totally start catching up...


And while you catch up, or while you watch the new episodes, why don't you stitch up a little something? I've got a fun little cross-stitch pattern you can make! Download your You've Been Gilmored tutorial right here :)


You've Been Gilmored happens to be both a great quote from the series and an episode title from Season 6, when Emily and Richard (Lorelai's parents) try to get to know Lorelai's beau, Luke, better, and in the process, Luke and Lorelai find themselves pummeled by the elder Gilmores. They leave dinner in a daze, worrying about insurance and real estate and con men, until Lorelai coms to her senses and says "You've been Gilmored!" She tells Luke that this is what the Gilmores do best, mess with your head, and it's precisely on point, it's one of the things they frequently do throughout the years of the show, so it's why I picked the phrase. It's totally evocative of the show, of the rapid-fire dialogue and spit-fire relationship between Lorelai and Emily, which is often one of the best parts of the show.


For the record, I used a few Cosmo thread colors, but you could use whatever floats your boat! I used a Seasons ombre blue, color 910, with two shades of pink for the flowers, and black for the block letters at the top.

Never cross-stitched before? No worries, here's a super simple basic tutorial you can use!

You can check out the other Stitching with Lorelei tutorials right here:
May Chappell will have a bonus one tomorrow too!

Stitch something up? I'd love to see it! Tag it on social media with #stitchingwithlorelai and #dontcallmebetsy and I'll be sure to check it out! Have a great weekend everyone :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A stitchy reminder I really needed and other random updates

Sometimes I'm guilty of not saying "No" often enough - whether it's to my kids, or to friends, or in a million other ways. I like to help people, sometimes too much so, so when I saw this awesome cross-stitch pattern on Etsy for the word "Nope," I knew it was the perfect reminder for me to use the word more often. It kind of took forever, but that's one of the things I love about cross-stitch - I can do a bit here and there, and kind of everywhere, literally, because I can take it wherever with me. It's been to Cleveland to the set of Fresh Quilting, it's been to the park, it's been to the school carline, it's definitely accrued some mileage! And now it's done, and gracing my desk :)


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My other big project lately involves this ginormous stack of AMH charm squares I cut when I realized to was time to stop just collecting my favorite fabrics and start actually using them. So I rounded up all my Anna Maria Horner fabrics and just started cutting into 5" squares. My good friend Lee convinced me that rather than just straight up rows of patchwork that I ought to go with on-point patchwork, and I'm glad I did, because it looks real pretty so far. Still quite a ways to go, though...

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Speaking of Lee, she's hosting a really fun and simple stitch-along this week called Stitching with Lorelai to help celebrate the return of the Gilmore Girls next week to Netflix with their four new episodes/mini-series/reasons to stay up late Thanksgiving night/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. I've been a Gilmore Girls fan since day 1, and I'm super excited to share a simple cross-stitch tutorial on Friday for a Gilmore-themed stitching you can do while bingeing your way through the series if you've never watched before (gasp!) or if you need a refresher. Head over to May Chappell to get the details on the first tutorial and the subsequent tutorials for the rest of this week!

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In other news, my Lorelei is growing way too fast, she's crawling everywhere at the speed of Cookie Monster racing for the world's last cookie, and she's peek-a-boo'ing like a pro, all the time. She's constantly trying to help me while I work (which is hilarious and not all at the same time), and is working on her fifth tooth. I cannot believe she's nearly eleven months old already. Hope you all are doing well, and thank you for tolerating my all-too random blog posts as of late. Between working full time and chasing this one around and mothering the nearly nine year old kiddo (eek!), life feels very full these days.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lorelei's Building Block Dress Adventure

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When I heard about Liesl Gibson's new Building Block Dress book, I was super excited to see it. Not only has she chosen to self-publish it, but the book itself is like having a garment teacher in your sewing room. Your very own Liesl Gibson, if you will. Liesl's Oliver + S patterns are some of the first modern garment sewing patterns I first noticed when I first started quilting that made me think to myself, hey, maybe I should try sewing garments!

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The Building Block Dress book is focused on the art of learning a simple dress, the Building Block Dress, and then learning a zillion ways to alter or customize it, to make it in a bunch of different ways, essentially giving you a ton of new skills along the way. I look forward to spending more time with this book because I know I am going to learn ever so much from it!!! There's custom sleeves, different skirt options, pockets, necklines, you name it. Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? It's like that, but with garment patterns, in sizes from 6 months all the way up through size 12. For a beginning seamstress like me, it's a little overwhelming to start from, but at the same time, it's super exciting because I know it's the kind of book I'll come back to over and over again. In fact, I need to take it to my local UPS Store to get the binding cut off so I can have them spiralize it!

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Download your own planning sheet right here!

I started off planning to make a sleeveless tunic for my daughter, Lorelei, who's now nine months old and crawling up a storm. I still love putting her in dresses, but she seems to get kind of irritated by them lately, because they get caught under her knees. Measuring her to figure out how long I could make a tunic however, proved to be easier said than done so what I thought could be a tunic, really wound up being a dress. For that same reason, I also didn't quite follow Liesl's advice about making a muslin - though I think maybe next time, or maybe when she stops growing so quickly, I will go that route. I definitely can see why that would be wise.

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While not everything went exactly as planned in making this dress, partly because I managed to slam my thumb in a car door (for the record, it's my right thumb, not shown above, and you're welcome for that!) and it severely changed my hand's normal mobility, I'm still super proud that I made this dress. I love that I sewed a bias neckline. I love that I shortened the bodice and skirt of the dress without fear. I love that my dress is unique, and is a mish-mash of many different techniques in the book. I think it looks adorable and I can't wait to plan out my next Building Block dress.

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You can check out all things Oliver + S, including their fantastic patterns, great videos and tutorials and so forth on their website right here. And best of all, you can find the new book right here.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and hopefully once my thumb heals, I can manage to sneak into my sewing room to sew up another Building Blocks dress, or do some more fun cross-stitching. :)

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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy eight year old boy and a newborn baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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