Friday, April 27, 2012

Fashion Upcycle 2

Well, I finished the lopsided dress. Ya, that was fun. It's not a dress anymore. In fact, it was almost stuffing for my dog bed. Some days are just not made for sewing. That day, every stitch I took seemed to lead to a problem. I should have just packed it away and started again later. But nooo...I couldn't let the bad vibes win. So, here is the result...

Pretty bad huh?  ha, ha, ha, ha, just kidding!

After repeated struggles to make the previous alterations go away, I finally gave up. That seamstress even cut the darts and you can't put back what ain't there. So, I cut. Well, first it went in the scrap bin but then being the recycler (cheapo) that I am, I gave it one more try. A skirt. Of course I screwed up one more time by accidentally catching the hem in the serger while finishing a seam. That meant I had to re-sew the hem. Again it went in the bin. And again I fished it out.
Here is the finished product. Stupid dress.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

McCall's 6503 Pattern Review

Summer Dress Expo continued:
McCall's 6503 Review
I loved making this dress. It was as easy as the pattern envelope says. Clear instruction, nothing too tricky. Just read and follow. There are about three parts that call for hand-stitching but you can always use steam-a-seam or other iron-on hem stuff.

I used a brown and white smocked cotton madras print that included silver threads throughout. When using a smocked fabric, remember that it stretches. Treat it that way for sizing.
The dress only required a couple of pattern alterations. It is easy to fit because it isn't supposed to be tight and you don't have to mess around with hips.

The only other change I would do next time is to use an invisible zipper on the side zip.

Wouldn't these shoes look great with that dress? And they are on sale!

Love it!
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Summer Tops and Dresses Expo 2012 and Butterick 5485 Pattern Review

Well I had to give it some kind of fancy name.

I have a plan to sew up a lot of dresses and tops for this summer. This is like my final for Professional Custom Clothing. I'm getting all my practice in and then bring it on! Clothes that fit YOU, in styles YOU want, and the fabrics YOU pick. None of us want to be at the mercy of those evil ready-to-wear companies that think we all have one body shape.

First is my Linen Blend, Kiwi colored sundress. I used Butterick pattern 5485.

This is the result. I didn't like the overlay extending beyond the skirt hem as the patterns goes, so I went back and shortened the overlay hem above the skirt hem. Just one more nice thing about custom made.

It actually fits me better than the dress form. I used a full bust adjustment (FBA) and increased the waist some. Amazingly enough, the hem is exactly the length of the original pattern. Normally I hem shorter since at 5'4", I am just between Petite and Misses sizes. Loved sewing this dress but next time I'll know to be extra careful with the grainline, and pinning and cutting. This fabric likes to shift. It was worth it though because it is a soft, drapey fabric that feels good on and in the summer that will be a huge plus.

Next up: McCall's 6503 using a cotton, smocked shirting in brown and white plaid with subtle silver threads.

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Fashion Upcycle

Whew! I've been busy. Not busy blogging obviously but busy! Anyway, I haven't finished my upcycles yet but I wanted to give you and idea of what I am working on.

This dress is not my favorite but I like the fabric.

I bought it for my honeymoon (10 years ago) and it's been worn once. Don't like the off-the-shoulder or the asymetrical hem.

So....I will cut off the hem to make it even and I'll use the leftover hem to make a strap on the empty side.

All was going well until I tried it on before completing the sewing and remembered (thanks to the tight fit), that I'd had it altered before the wedding, and then I went and had 3 children. Sooooo, now I am picking out the stitches of the alterations (she cut off the excess fabric so now I have very little to work with) and working to make it fit. Fortunately it is cut on the bias so if I can just loosen the bust area it should fit fine.

Come back to find out if the finished project goes into MY closet or Good Will's.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring/Summer Wardrobe

Thank you banking system, thank you Wall Street, thank you self-serving politicians...I won't be buying a new Spring or Summer wardrobe this year. Nope, with a house worth 25% less than we paid for it 9 years ago, the all mighty dollar is going into savings - not my closet.

Never fear! I will not be brought down by the external forces of suckiness. No! God gave me a talent and I will use it for a new wardrobe. Will I buy a ton of new fabric? No! (although I did buy some for about 5 dresses but it was all heavily discounted fabric) Will I steal it? No! That's not a very Christian talent.

Instead, I am going to rework, recylcle, upcycle and alter my current clothes into something new. Follow along as I turn the old into new again. I'll try to post every couple of days. If you see something you like and would like me to do the same, give a holler. I can do the same for you.

Here is our starting batch:

See you soon and when I do it will be with "new" clothes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My daughter in her birthday suit...ur...I mean dress.

Well, I haven't done any smocking yet but I did take a pretty good stab at children's wear. Used a little imagination and came up with this:

I already had the little girl, I just put a dress on her. ha, ha, ha. And then she gave me this:

Yes, the "Aren't I a precious little angel?" look. Only it really wasn't a question, more of a statement. But that's okay because her look took the words right out of my mouth.

Gonna do some recyling next. Sha, this ought to be good!

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Attitude, New Ideas, New Techniques

My resolution this year is to step out of my comfort zone with sewing. I'd like to try some smocking, hand embroidery, decorative stitching, and other things I can't remember right now due to the Champagne and late hour last night. Best of all, I plan to learn it all using the wisdom of the great sewing bloggers. No books, classes or videos. Just other crafters kind enough to share their knowledge and experience.

Inserting Gussets:

Once I learn this I can finish that dress I started two or maybe three years ago but stopped because I couldn't get the gusset right.

Shell Stitched Edge:

I can see this on skirts and table linens.

Madeira Hem Technique:

here are some how to's of the Madeira Hem/Applique:

Pleats and Smocking:

Beaded Trim:

Well, I don't know how long it will be before I come back but rest assured...I am learning new things and returning to blab about them. BTW, why is it called a blog when really we are blabbing? Anyway, I'm probably too old for this stuff anyway.