Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mash Up with Simple Life and Violette Field

The other night, I was looking through some of the fabric I had here at the house, and found some of my Petal & Plume from Art Gallery.  I love this line of fabric and Bitty Bee needed a new dress out of it.  But what dress to make?

The new Mia's Tie-Back Top and Dress by The Simple Life Pattern Co caught my eye, I just purchased that pattern and loved the bodice of it.  But I wanted a different skirt.  I had the Violette Field Threads Maggie Dress for girls that I haven't had a chance to make yet and I love the hi-lo skirt on it.  In my mind, Mia's bodice with Maggie's skirt was the perfect match up.

The end result was amazing!

Because both dresses have similar size bodices, there were no adjustments needed for the length, which made this a very easy project!

Bitty Bee loves anything out of Art Gallery fabrics because of how comfortable it is to wear!  The fabrics are especially great for summer, because of how light and flowy they are.

And, of course, true to Texas form, it's been HOT HOT HOT for the past few weeks, yesterday I was burning up outside in a tank top and as soon as I make Bitty Bee a summery dress, the temps drop to 58!  Poor girl was freezing as we were taking these pictures!

But she was a trooper and didn't complain too much about the cold.

This dress is sure to be a summer favorite, once this crazy Texas weather decides to leave winter behind for good this year!

If you haven't had a chance to work with Art Gallery Fabrics yet, I highly suggest you get a few yards and try them out.  They have such a great hand and are just amazing to work with!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beehive Buzz - Monday May 18

Time for the weekly update from the Beehive!  We have a lot going on this week!

First, there have been some updates to the rules and such in our group on Facebook for pre-orders.  Come join us if you haven't yet, we have a great time over there!

This week, Color Me should be in and we will start cutting this weekend.  I'm heading to the Beehive on Friday to help cut Color Me so we can get it shipped out.

We're still working on the website, waiting to hear back from our new host and then uploading all of our fabric to the new site for our big re-launch!  No estimated date yet on when it'll all be done.

Last weekend was Spring Quilt Market and from the pictures we saw, the new fabrics coming out are simply amazing!  Tula Pink showed off her new line, Eden, with some beautiful quilts done in the three colorways, Amethyst, Sapphire and Tourmaline.

Art Gallery also had their new lines on display, we already have pre-orders up for many of them in the group, so make sure to get your order in, they're all breathtaking.

Pictures of the Art Gallery booth are from the Art Gallery Facebook page.

So many pretty fabrics, there really needs to be more than 24 hours in a day for more sewing!

This week, I'm hoping to finish up a new tutorial that I have in my mind, users of Essential Oils will really enjoy this one!

Until next week, Beauties!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What I Learned While Teaching Kids to Sew

I homeschool my children and part of our homeschool routine includes our wonderful co-op.  One day a week, we meet up with other homeschooling families and our kids take classes together.  All of the classes are taught by fellow parents and the kids all love it!

In previous semesters, my kids have taken classes like Native American Studies, Musical Theater, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Birds, Art, and many others.  We have students ranging in age from toddlers to high schoolers.  It is a wonderful, diverse, friendly, amazing group!

This semester, I taught Machine Sewing.  I had 7 children in my class, 6 girls and my son.  My youngest was 5 years old and the oldest was 12.  It was an interesting semester.

Not only did my kids learn a ton about sewing (and they have all requested that I teach another sewing class next year), but I learned a lot too.  Here's a few of the things I learned.

1. Keep the projects simple.  We started off with simple projects like fabric bookmarks and t-shirt bags.  But then I got adventurous and decided that they could make simple sundresses to donate to children in Uganda.  We used a simple pattern which would normally take me less than an hour from start to finish.  It took us about a month.  Granted, we were learning as we went and we only had one 45 minute class per week.  One whole day was spent on learning how to put a PDF pattern together.  Next time, I'll keep the projects smaller, ones that can be completed in one to two classes.

2. Precut things for your students.  Kids are impatient and lose interest in things that take too long.  While all of them did a fairly decent job of cutting out their patterns and fabric, we would have gotten through things much faster if I had done the cutting at home.  When teaching one-on-one, letting your student cut their own stuff out would be fine, but trying to keep your eyes on 7 students at once was a little overwhelming for me.  And I was doing this with 3 additional parents in the class helping!  The day I precut the fabric bookmarks should have been a heads up to how much better it would be if I cut things out before class.

3. Keep the fabric options simple and make sure you're aware of what's in the fabric bin before coming to class with it.  When it was time for the students to pick out their fabric for their dresses, I brought in a bin of fabric that was living in my garage.  It was mostly cotton quilting fabric, which was perfect for the dresses.  But there were a few that should have been taken out before class, some pieces didn't have enough fabric to make a dress, some were too thin, some were too thick.  Too much time was spent digging through the box of fabric.

Those were the biggest things I learned during this semester.  I'm really hoping that the sewing class makes for next year, from the sound of it, chances are good.  I'll be working on some new projects over the summer and will even be posting my own tutorials as I test them out with Bitty Bee and Gamer.  

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the semester.  Those are some pretty awesome kids in these pictures!  They made the class a joy to teach!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Beehive Buzz - Monday May 11

Your hot spot for the weekly Beehive Announcements!

It's Monday!! Hope all y'all Beauties had a wonderful Mother's Day!! We had a fun filled weekend of birthdays - painting party and fun with the grandkids. On a sad note - the website has had many problems this past week and we are looking into getting a new website up and different hosting.  (A little update can be found here) Hopefully we won't be down long and will redo the sale for those that missed out!! 

Looking back on the last two years I definitely have a bigger "stash" now, but more importantly I have some new Beauties that I call "family". It's been a wonderful ride - we've been in business for two years and have had this group a little over a year now. We wish we could do a round the world trip to meet each and every one of y'all. Wouldn't that be fun!!

On the cutting table this week (some done last week) - Wednesday sales orders, Website sales orders, Skopelos, Cultivate, Pokemon, Penny's Doll House, and anything else that happens to come in in the next couple of days. Dear Little World, BonBon Bebe have been charged. Calling today to check on True Colors and Caravelle Arcade. Talked to Michael Miller last week and Color Me (Royal border) is scheduled to ship on the 15th (and Princess Bee will be coming down to help me cut).

As many of you know - this weekend is Spring Quilt Market, but we won't be attending - but no worries my sales reps will be keeping me informed on what new fabrics are coming out and I have an appt. set up with the C+S rep (among others) to see the new lines. I'll try to post some market updates as I get them from the reps or from the fabric companies. Spring Market was just too far away for us to attend this year, maybe next Spring, but we will be at Fall Market!!

Be sure to follow our blog with email updates so you don't ever miss out on the Beehive Buzz!

~*~Queen Bee~*~

Under Construction

Some of you may have seen my post yesterday in the Bee Quilted Beauties group that we were having some website difficulties this weekend during our Big Anniversary Sale.  As of yesterday, our site became almost unusable.  A few Beauties were able to still get orders completed, but the majority of you were not.  As of today, that changes.

There are big changes in store for the website and blog.  As you may have noticed, I'm moving the blog back to where it started.  It will be separate from the website in the future, with links on each page to take you back and forth.

We are talking to a new host for our site and as soon as I'm able, all contents of the shop will be transferred over to the new website.

We are joining the Fab Shop Network and with that, also joining the Fab Shop Hop in coming months!  It's a fun little game where you hop around to different quilt shop websites and find hidden bunnies!  If you find them all, you're entered into the grand prize drawing!
It's pretty awesome for our customers.

Thank you for being so understanding as we make these changes.

Up next: A bigger and better Bee Quilted Beauties website!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cotton + Steel Black & White

Cotton + Steel has burst into the fabric world with a bang and they continue to amaze everyone with their new lines for 2015.  One of those lines is Black & White, which I am in love with!  

These fabrics have such a wonderful vintage feel to them and I couldn't resist making a new vintage dress for Bitty Bee!  I picked the typewriters and added a pop of color with one of the fabrics from Playful, also by Cotton + Steel.

Vintage typewriters and a cute dress.

Bitty Bee is in heaven.  She had fun typing on the vintage typewriter I have.  She told me that she wants to write a story using the typewriter.  I told her that I would find a new ink ribbon and she could go to town with her story.  I wish her luck.

I used the Ginger pattern by Violette Field Threads.  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this little dress came together and it's adorable on her!

With the vintage inspired dress, she needed a vintage inspired headband to match.

I used a couple of my scraps and a bit of fold over elastic to make this headband.
It took me less than 15 minutes to put together and she loved it.  

You can find Black & White as well as Playful in our shop.

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Women’s Bundle Up Tour – EYMM

I love any excuse to sew for myself, so when word of the Women’s Bundle Up Tour reached me, I was quick to sign up!  There were so many awesome options to pick from this time!!!  I went with the EYMM Everyday Essentials pattern and I have to say, I love this pattern!  I live in Texas and summer is right around the corner.  I need cute sleeveless tops and lots of them!

I chose to make the cami option, which is adorable as a top with jeans or a maxi skirt.  For mine, I used some of the Art Gallery Etno knit from the shop.  I absolutely love working with Art Gallery knits, and that’s saying something because I’m not a huge knit person.  I’m slowly conquering my fear of sewing with knits and it’s paying off.

For the EYMM cami, I chose not to do the gathers under the bust.  For my next one (and there will be many next ones), I’ll go ahead and do them, I think they’ll give a better fit on me in the bust.
I used fold over elastic for the neck and armholes, which was a really fast and easy way to finish those edges.  Overall, I think this top took me less than 30 minutes to make from cutting out the fabric to finishing the hem.  I can only guess, I did have two children interrupting me every few minutes.  You moms know how it is, trying to sew during the day with kids home.  Not always an easy task!  But this is certainly something that can be whipped up amid the chaos of children!

You get so many options with this pattern and I can’t wait to use it again!  I think the slip will make an adorable skirt out of some cute knit, I can’t wait to make a cute dress for hot summer date nights, more cami-style tops, and maybe even a sleep bra or two.

~*~Princess Bee~*~