September 27, 2012

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

-bringing a package to the post office and the guy looking at you like a moron because you didn't know that you had to tape the box before you bring it.
-Wearing a headset for my first CollegePlus call and getting it so tangled in my hair that I had to take everything down to get it out. :-/
-Teaching little Emmy the months of the year in french when she doesn't even know them in english...
-Hiking up your very full skirt while teaching swing dancing to the girls and the party so they can see your feet and looking like a bright purple gourd.  It wasn't pretty. :-)

-A wonderful Evangelism Conference this past weekend!
-Hand-me-downs!  Gotta love the two new dresses I got.
-Princess parties with friends.  (I'm on the left, birthday girl is in the middle with the blue dress and white shawl)
-Going fabric shopping with a friend today for fabric that I am going to teach her how to sew with!
-Having my first CollegePlus call with my coach today!
-My grandma is here!
-Selling another pair of earrings on etsy!  I just know these are going to be great in their new home!

-Babel!  Mumford and Sons has done it again!  I LOVE this album.

Beautiful folk sound with gorgeous harmonies.  It grows on you.  And then nothing can get it off.  It is truly awesome.  

September 26, 2012

Dress From the Limberlost

I listened to A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter while sewing this up, hence its name.

Pattern: Simplicity 1880
Fabric: Sheet from goodwill and leftover interfacing
Notions: zip form stash, 4 covered buttons form stash

First a note on this pattern.  Just looking at the cover I never would have gotten this pattern.  The colors and drawings just didn't catch my attention.  For some reason though I returned to the yellow dress and studied its elements.  Then I checked the other elements.  People!  This has some incredibly versatile pieces.  I am so happy I got it.  This dress that I made if fabulous and I have dozens of ideas running around in my head for other variations.

There aren't "views" in this pattern so buying fabric would really be a pain if you were going from the envelope.  Because I bought a sheet though I just had to figure out how to squeeze all of the pieces out of it while lengthening the skirt 2 inches at the same time.  By the way, this was a fitted double sheet, so there isn't a lot on it. :-)

While you didn't have to, I self-lined the front and back yoke sections for stability.  It just seamed (haha I love puns) like the right thing to do.  Wow, that was lame.  Anyway, it looks neater and feels better on the inside.  I had to topstitch to make it work.  You can see it in some of these pictures.

Covered Buttons!  I love the cohesive look that the fabric sash and covered buttons render to this dress. I lengthened the sash/tie thing by a foot because I like medium bows and lonnnggggg tails.

Because there is a side zipper (which I love btw) I wasn't sure how the opening would work but I was very careful and it is just swell.

Pockets!  My one modification.  Normally I do hidden pockets, but I had just done tried different method on my dressing gown and I thought is would work nicely.  So I drafted my own pocket shape and size, serged the edges, and attached it to the front panels of the dress with two neat rows of top-stitching, per the instructions from Simplicity 2739.

 I cut a 10 and when I tried it on I was afraid it would be fitted.  I wanted it to be a little looser and more comfortable but I had already made it up and sewn the buttonholes!  So I just extended the button holes toward the edge.  It fits perfectly but the buttonholes are abnormally long.  Thankfully everyone who has seen it so far thought it was stylistic and supposed to be that way. :-)

Cute little cap sleeves

Neat hem.  It is incredible how helpful the iron is in the hemming process. :-)  Double top-stitching like on the pockets.

 I'm so excited to try different views of this pattern with different fabrics. :-)

Thanks to 7 year old little sis for the pictures of me.  That is why some are accidentally artistically off center, blurry, or cut off.  I think she actually does a rather good job when you get her in a good mood. :-)

September 23, 2012

Sophisticated Lavender Office Dress

Pattern: McCalls 6433 view B without sleeves.
Fabric: Lavender bedsheet from goodwill $2.49
Lining also a sheet.  White, of course.

My new favorite color today!  I love wearing it and I imagine if I had actually used it as a bedsheets I would have loved it that way too.

[note to self: remember you were going to get into essential oils and get some Lavender?  Receipt acknowledged.]

(It looks like I'm holding a tissue, but it is just the ribbon. :-)
Pleats!  The straight lines in the pleats, darts, and neckline of this dress read sophistication to me.  It is a step closer to haute couture than I usually go and it felt like it!  I did everything right.  I took my time and ironed everything.   (who woulda thunk?  but it actually helps!  :-P ) 

Without   -   With
My only mod to this dress?  A removable lace insert.  I love the feminine look of lace but I also wanted to wear this dress with other colors beneath it and the lace just wasn't working so I made it optional!

It is attached with four sew on snaps in a trapezoidal shape

Without   -   With

Did anyone else inherit their mother's barbies that had clothes with closures like this?  I call them Barbie snaps.  So much better than "Sew on snaps" isn't it?

The Back - slightly wrinkled because I wore it to church Sunday morning
This was a rather time-consuming element.  I wanted the zipper to lay flat and line up perfectly so I hand-stitched it all.  Ugh.  Ah well, I saved time for later by stitching the lining inside down at the same time so it looks and feels neat inside.

These are the first darts I have been really happy with.  When helping a friend fix her very pointy (ugly) darts I was kinda wary but they turned out great.  DON'T backstitch at the end.  Leave tails and tie them twice or in a square knot.  It makes a big difference.

The Invisible Hem
Also hand done.  It looks spectacular.  I wouldn't do it any other way on this type of dress but definitely get something to listen to!  Multitasking is awesome.

Sewing down the lining on the inside...This is the first dress I haven't fully lined in a while.  This means I have to wear a slip but its not so bad really and I'm really happy with the light and airy feel it gives the pleats while I walk.

A very happy seamstress!
With the lace insert and this gorgeous satin ribbon I could totally wear this to a wedding!  I love the femininity of the whole thing.  However, without the insert, adding  a brown tank underneath and a neat brown belt looks great too and I think it would be a perfect office ensemble.

September 21, 2012

Update: Life

Hello all!  103 followers?  Wow!  Thanks guys!    It has suddenly gotten quite chilly here, which is unfortunate because I just made two new adorable summer dresses!  Thankfully they are autumn colors and will work wonderfully with sweaters!

You can look forward to some posts on those in the future as well as some formalwear.  I made myself a dress out of curtain just to experiment with one-shoulder gowns and a friend loved it so much that she bought some gorgeous fabric for me to make her one!

Other awesomeness...

  • I think I'm going to start awkward and awesome Thursdays...I just love reading all of my blogger friends goings-on!
  • Audiobooks!  I listen to them while I sew and have gotten through 2 1/2 already!  Now whenever I look at a project though I think of the book I listened to while making it.
  • Conferences!  Some good friends (10 in all I think) are staying with us this weekend for our church's evangelism conference this weekend and I'm so excited!  Does anyone else get high off of hospitality?  
  • I start College next Thursday!  Yippee!  I can't wait to learn all this new stuff!!!
  • Sewing patterns: I probably have over a hundred now.  But come on!  They were only 99¢ a piece!  
  • Sheets.  Bedsheets from Goodwill.  Totes the awesomest way to get fabric to try a pattern and then still end up with an adorable wearable item!
  • French.  It is so beautiful.  I love learning it.
And in general, blogs.  Web logs.  I am going to start treating this sadly neglected blog more like a log and write pertinent things at least once a week, even after school starts. :-)

Happy cold and wet Friday!

September 11, 2012

21st Century Dressing Gown

So my family thinks I'm nuts, but I think it is pretty cool.  I mean come on!  Don't you sometimes wish you were born a couple hundred years ago?  Well we can still dress like they did to a degree. :-)  I, for one, don't like walking around in my pajamas right after I get up and before I go to bed.  What to do?  Make a dressing gown!  a.k.a. a robe. :-)

Pattern: Simplicity 2739 view E (robe)
Fabric: Comfy throw blanket from goodwill.  Shocker, I know.
Sage green grosgrain ribbon from my stash
white piping from my stash

The blanket was not a knit.  Even so it is super comfortable.  It was loose-woven yarns. As you can imagine it wanted to stretch out of shape and fray like crazy.  I didn't want to take any chances so I serged around every cut edge of every piece.  It solved the fraying and edge stretch splendidly!

The bulk of the fabric could still stretch though so the entire robe ended up a couple sizes to big.  Que taking in all the bodice seams.  There are really only three. :-)

It is still a little big so if I want a snug fit I have to bring the ties to the back and tie it in a bow there. I added the ribbon to the edge of the sleeves to tie in the color.

I was afraid the neckline was going to stretch annoyingly so before it had a chance I finished it off with piping.  I never knew how much I liked that stuff.  We have a piping foot and it works like magic.  It is SO easy!  I'm going to have to make some more piping and put it on lots of projects. :-)

I added length to the pattern because I wanted it floor length.  With the stretch of the fabric though it drags the floor like an elegant train.  The one thing I didn't "fix."

Overall super comfy and elegant.  Seriously, listen to me, as soon as you put it on you feel 30 times more feminine!  Even in your PJs (cami and sweatpants) you feel like a princess.  Good stuff guys.  Good stuff.  Let's bring this fashion back ok?  Ok.

September 10, 2012

Denim Play Skirt

Clothes for little kids are so quick and easy to make!  This skirt took about 2 hours.  

The 8 flared gores are cut from 2 different pairs of old jeans, serged together and top-stitched.
I saved the top of one of the pairs to make a tiered skirt for myself sometime later.

Add a simple elastic waistband...

Zigzag and start a frayed hem...

and Emily has a new skirt to play in!

That's how we roll.