August 28, 2012

Vote for me!

Hey Everybody!  No sewing post today, sorry!  But I do need your help.  I've entered an essay contest for a scholarship at CollegePlus and if I get the most votes from all of you I could win an iPad on top of it!  Woohoo!  Please go vote for me!

Please share on your blog or twitter too and help me get votes!  I didn't even learn about the scholarhsip until there was only a few days left till it was over, so I'm sneaking in right under the wire. :-)

You all know about my storytellers competition piece that I won, but what most of you don't know is that I declined the scholarship and have moved on.  If you don't want to go read the essay when you vote, here is the whole of it.

August 24, 2012

Sparkly Denim Circle Skirt

Pattern:McCalls 5811 view B
Fabric: Sparkly medium wight denim (Joann's red tag)

I made this skirt almost a year ago for a Barn Dance.  I wanted a fun circle skirt that would look good at the dance as well as in regular life.  I didn't buy the sparkly denim for the project but it looked fun so I gave it a whirl.  After numerous washing the glitter has come out of the denim, but that is fine.  I still has a nice dark wash skirt. :-)

I used view b of the McCalls pattern only I didn't make it quite a full circle and I drafted my own waistband.  I'm not sure why.  It was a while ago. :-)  I wanted the fun swish and petticoat compatibility so it is still very full but I've found that the full circle is just too much.

I've not yet learned to lengthen the backside of my skirts so that I get an even hem.  I never think about it till the skirt is done and hemmed. .:-)  As you can see there is a side covered zipper and the waistband connects with hooks and eyes.  I have since purchased the larger flat version of the hook-and-eye because I like their stability and look better, but I didn't have them for this so I used 2 small sets.
I usually wear a belt, so it doesn't look too bad.

I put this on for pictures straight out of the wash, so the covered zipper isn't laying flat like usual and you can see the bias tape on the hem in my twirly pictures. :-)  Bellow is a picture from the Barn Dance.  If you look in the lower right corner you can barley see my zipper.  That is the way it is supposed to be and looks when you iron it. 

I love this method of using bias tape and then doing an invisible hem.  When you iron it (which I didn't) you can't even see the hem.  That is rare on circle skirts because they are usually so hard.  I always hand stitch this latter part of the hemming process.

While fitting the skirt part to the waistband I was stretching the fabric and when I got to the straight of grain is ripped like 3 inches!  Devastation!  Not really. It just took a piece of fabric behind and 2 failed patch attempts before I found something that looks right and doesn't need any maintenance.

 Now I wear it with all sorts of things and fun belts. White above.  Black below.

August 23, 2012

Asparagus Knit Tee Refashion

Hey Guys!  I've never really done a refashion before.  I just don't think about getting clothes at good will that don't fit.  It always just slips my mind for some reason. ;-)  Anyway, I saw this t-shirt weaving thing on pinterest that pretty cool so I pinned it for later.  Then I got handed down this light green asparagus colored t-shirt.  It was a large AND had been all stretched out from wearing and washing.  I was going to throw it away, so I figured I could try the technique on it.

Before ---------------------------------------------------------After

If you're interested in doing it yourself, above is the tutorial.

This does shrink the sleeves and scrunch them up so keep that in mind when picking out your shirt.  It would be perfect for really big sleeves that are too short.  You know, that awkward length where you can see your wrist joint?  Yeah, that shirt.  The one you never wear without rolling up the sleeves. :-)

I made my slits about an inch wide, so when I unfolded it they were around 2 inches.  I just wung (spelling?  winged it?  wung it?  hmmm...) it and made them approxamately 1/2 inch apart.  With the thickness of this knit I was only able to get 3 round of weave in.

So far it is fine, but I haven't washed it yet, so I don't know how it will hold up.  

See that pucker above the shoulder up there?  That is the part I don't get.  There aren't any good directions about how to secure the top part of the weave so I just stitched it down in the least visible and awkward way.

I also cut the crewneck off and widened the neckline.  I didn't not intend for it to get this wide, but I didn't account for stretch. :-(  Oh well, at least is isn't falling off my shoulders.  I finished it with variegated green thread in a blanket stitch.  Since it is knit you don't need any serious finishing, this was just for looks and to prevent any further stretch.

I serged in the side seams an inch a piece and then added a hand-stitched line around the bottom to tie in the neckline.

And here is my little photographer for today and tomorrow's post. :-)  She is only 7 but with some coaching she did a pretty good job.  It is cute but a bit hilarious watching her hold up a heavy camera the size of her head. :-)

P.S. Do you know how hard it is to get 2 faces in a 50mm lens?  

August 22, 2012

Graduation Party Flowered Summer Dress

Patterns:  Butterick 6467 Bodice view B w/o sleeves size 10
Newlook 6589 Skirt size 10
Fabric: Vintage Green/yellow flowered bedsheet (goodwill)
Yellow table cloth (sharestuff)
White sheet for lining

I had an afternoon grad party with games and food and then we hired an English Country Line Dancing caller to come till sunset so we could dance.  My dress had to be cool because even though it was May 19th is was very warm.

I used the bodice from Butterick 6467 because I knew the fit was tried and true and I wanted to try a lace insert in the bodice.  As that was the case I did not raise the neckline any.  I didn't use the sleeves either.

 Also at my party I would be playing a good deal of volleyball and ultimate frisbee so I had to be able to run.  Que the Newlook 6589 skirt.  I know I can run in this because I've made it at least once.  Remember this green dress?

I remember falling in love with the lace on the bottom of that dress's lining, so I did in on this one as well.

Originally I was only planning to have lace at the neck, but I ended up having on the lining hem and as a sash as well. :-)  

While I was planning this I tried a bunch of different ways that I could sew the lace down while I had the right sides together but I found that it is humanly impossible.  Bummer.  So I just basted it and gingerly unpicked what I had to to insert the lace.  Then I topstitched around the neckline and armholes twice.

For absolute accuracy I hand-stitched the zipper in.

 The dress is fully lined, which means you don't have to wear anything under it and it is made of sheets so there is absolutely no chance of it shrinking.  :-)  The bummer with this is it is actually very heavy.

It's got to look just as neat on the inside as the outside. :-)
I usually wear it now with a cute belt at the empire waist or with a fun denim jacket. :-)  Gotta love it! 

August 21, 2012

Mahogany Knit Cardi-Wrap

Pattern: Simplicity 2603 view A
Fabric: Beautiful knit fabric from Joanns.  Sorry, I have no clue what it is but it reminds me of a bamboo knit.  It was pretty expensive so it actually could have been...I got it with a coupon though. :-)

Anyway, now for my sob story.  I got this pattern years ago and always thought it looked classy.  I got it out shortly thereafter to experiment with the tank portion of it.  That turned out to be a bit of a fail but what do you expect when you make a knit sized pattern with fabric that doesn't stretch AT ALL?  Yup, never doing that again.

Well, when I needed a very versatile sweater, or "jumper" as they call it, to take to London with me I splurged on some really nice fabric and dove in.  Much to my chagrin I found that I had missplaced the back, sleeve, and cuff parts of the pattern.  Thank God I still had the important front piece!  Anyway, after some deliberation I decided to wing it and make it anyway.  So.  I used one pattern piece and some of the directions from this pattern. :-)

You cut two identical front pieces which join at the base of the neck.  There are some puckers because I wasn't sure how to size the top edge of the back piece that I made up.  Thankfully this is a knit project and you can barely see the mistakes I made and  places I stretched to make the made-up-sleeves fit with the made-up-back.  :-)  Gotta love it.

As cute as the shorter version combined with 3/4 sleeves was I was bringing this along for warmth so I made it long and put long sleeves on it.  I'm so glad I did.  I wore it almost everyday before I left and then for the first 7 days of the trip.  It was cold and rainy you see. :-)

As you can see there are many, MANY, ways you can wear it.  My favorite is the left one above.  Twisted twice and tied in the back.

And yes, I did take these picture right after I took the ones for the skirt in the previous post. :-)

This is so incredibly comfortable and now my Mom wants one. :-)