Wednesday, February 19, 2014

leopard knit dress

wow. so, way back in september i mentioned that i had new fabric picked out for my second lady skater dress. in october i had it cut out and i think i had it finished sometime in november. and now it's... february. and i finally took some photos. this dress would've worked perfectly for "jungle january" or even for "ferocious february" except that i finished it last year...

this is a leopard print ponte from in my blue lady skater the waist was too low, but now i think it's just slightly too high. i'll have to find a happy middle ground next time. i had to also go down a few sleeve sizes because of my tiny arms/lack of bi-ceps. but now this dress is a little too tight in the bust and i think i messed that up when i was trying to merge in the smaller sleeves. plus this ponte is not quite as stretchy. i found a link on pinterest for an FBA on knits so maybe i'll try that next time.

all in all i'm pretty happy with it. leopard print isn't usually something i gravitate toward, but i like this! and the colors are more cream, black, grey than it looks in these photos i think.

love a good knit dress! makes me do silly poses. i guess this is what i think an ice skater does? i already bought fabric for several more knit dresses, but i've been sidetracked by several other sewing projects: some volunteer sewing, mending/altering for a few friends, sewing a bunting banner for a friend's bridal shower. can't wait to get back to sewing for myself soon!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

i caved in to pinterest

i had been holding out so well for so long. but i'm sad to say, i finally caved in and joined pinterest.

i was so resistant because i didn't want something else sucking up my time. i hear how easy it can be to get lost in pinning things to pinterest boards and then hours pass by and you're still pinning things, and then you never actually get around to doing any of the adorable clever crafty projects you pin. i already have a limited amount of free time, so i really have to prioritize. i never joined twitter, barely use facebook, and my instagram (which is also fairly new) is mostly just pictures of my dog (love her! she's just so cute!).

but i came across a very useful way to use pinterest: to store and organize all of your bookmarks in a clean, visual way. awesome idea! my bookmark list in firefox was a mile long. so i started a pinterest account and moved all of my bookmarks onto pinterest boards. i made 4 boards: "sewing tips," "free sewing patterns," "free sewing patterns - baby gifts," and "sewing inspiration" (haven't pinned anything to that last one just yet). it's great! i can see everything and it's organized! i tried to keep it to tips and patterns i will actually use and not let it get too crazy.

are you already using pinterest to organize your bookmarks? and do you have any sewing related pinterest boards? let me know so i can check yours out!

here's a link to my page and you can also find it under the "free patterns and sewing tips i like" tab up at the top of my blog page. i moved all of those tips onto pinterest too! woohoo! anybody else get excited as me about getting things organized, ha ha!

and i'll leave you with an adorable instagram shot of our dog:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Sewlution - Mission Accomplished

I was actually on the ball about my 2013 sewlution that i tossed into Karen of the blog Did You Make That?'s jar. She kept everyone's sewlutions ("sewlution" meaning a sewing-related resolution) in a jar to hold everyone accountable that wanted to participate. i'm not a fan of waiting til the last minute before a deadline because i hate that stressful feeling of being rushed, especially when it comes to sewing which is my hobby which means it should be fun and not stressful. but seeing as the deadline would be a whole year away when i made the resolution last january, i had plenty of time.

so i decided to get right to it. my resolution was to make something fully lined because i hadn't done that yet. by april i had it completed! for some reason i made it difficult for myself. i should have picked a pattern that included instructions for a lining, the sewaholic Cambie would've been a good choice, but instead i used a pattern that did not have pattern pieces or instructions for a lining. i just used the main pattern pieces to make my lining and i also drafted a facing. i picked a slinky fabric, which also made it more difficult. i should've just used a cotton for my first fully lined project. but after a little bit of back and forth (maybe a lot) and some google searching for tips about the right way to go about things, i did fairly well. my main hurdle was inserting the invisible zip so that it was sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining. i just had to actually do it in order to wrap my brain around the process.

i posted about the dress here and then more details here. it turned out pretty well! however, i only wore the dress out once. i'm not a huge fan of the color and the smallish print on me. it's just so-so. not exciting. i just don't love it, so something else always wins out when i'm picking what to wear.

the dress on me
the dress
front view, insides
back view, insides

later in the year, i did a second fully lined dress, but with no zipper, so it went together much quicker. this time it was the sewaholic saltspring. details here. this pattern included a lining piece for the bodice and then i just added a lining to the skirt mainly due to the lightness of this fabric. it worked well, and i'm sure i'll make another when spring rolls around.

second fully lined dress

so, yay me! 2013 sewlution complete!! did you complete yours? and now what goal should i make for 2014?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Little Dress Kits' Dungarees in Action!

Back in september i made a pair of dungarees/overalls for my friend's one year old's birthday. Recently she sent me these photos! and they fit now! so cute!


Monday, October 21, 2013

handmade gift - vintage cameras pillow

after making an elephant pillow for a friend's birthday back in august, i knew i wanted to sew up another cute pillow for a friend whose birthday is in october, actually this friday.

this was really quick to make, just 2 squares and an invisible zip. and i think it looks really cute and it incorporates 2 things my friend loves: photography and typography. she also collects vintage cameras. the fabric is from Times of Your Life Cameras Blue and Moda Odds & Ends Junk Drawer Rosebud Red (which is out of stock on at the moment, but can also be found on etsy)

i love how these fabrics ended up working together. some of the cameras on the front pick up the red color from the back.

i can't wait to give it to her, and i hope she likes it! what are your thoughts on giving handmade gifts? love it? loathe it?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finish those serged seams!

i came across this tip somewhere (if you originally came up with it, let me know! although i'm sure several people thought of it and it's hard to track down who really came up with something, plus it's probably in some sewing book somewhere or maybe it's something they'd teach you if you went to school for sewing... ?) anyway. this tip was very helpful in finishing off the serged seams on my recent lady skater dress. in the lady skater pattern they have you sew the neckband and armbands on flat and then sew up the shoulder seam and side seams after, which leaves you with a serger thread chain at one shoulder and under each arm. if you were to sew the shoulder seams and side seams first, then sew the neckband and armbands into circles, and then attached them, this would solve the serger thread chain issue. but again, the other method is a little faster, less finicky, and some people aren't OCD about serger/overlocker thread chains.

i, on the other hand, am OCD about serger thread chains, which you probably realize from this post. i don't like to just lop them off and risk all my hard work coming apart. and i tried tying them off in knots. but then you have little knots sticking out. some people use fray check, but i don't have any on hand. plus i really like this method.

first, get a needle with a large eye. this one i "borrowed" from my mom's sewing tools many years ago. it was for sewing couch cushions. it's perfect for this. insert the needle into your serged stitches as shown in the photo above. do this first, because if you're like me and thread the needle first and then try to bend the needle back toward your stitching it won't work because you clipped your serger thread shorter than your needle. or just leave a very long serger thread... but this way works well. stick the needle in first, then thread it.

you might have to twist the threads together, wetting them also helps, so that you can get them all through the needle eye. again, a needle with a large eye is the way to go. or they sell needle threader thingies if you're so inclined.

then just pull your needle down, and your thread chain is held in place underneath your stitches!


trim it and you're done! (did you notice the fun fabric i'm working on? i'll save that for the next post!)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress in Royal Blue

i love this dress pattern! this is the Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo. i finished it last week and wore it out over the weekend. it's easy to just throw on and look put together. it would also be so comfortable for traveling. i used a royal blue ponte knit on sale from be careful if you use a ponte because they don't all have a lot of stretch and might not work well, because this needs a knit with a decent amount of stretch. but the ponte i used was fairly stretchy so i gave it a go. and i think it worked out well!

the fabric was labeled "medium weight" and i think the weight of the skirt is pulling the bodice down a bit, so i'll probably raise the waist up a little on my next one. maybe an inch. on the sleeves i ended up taking 1.25 inches off the sides of each because the sleeves were too loose, but that's probably a "me issue" because of my lack of biceps. on the next one i'll try taking a wedge out of the center of the sleeve pattern piece beforehand to see if that works better.

this was actually my first time using a pdf pattern to sew a garment for myself. i've used pdfs to sew some baby clothes and purses, but those had only a few pages. the pages of this covered nearly all of the empty floor space in my sewing room, but it really wasn't too bad. i found that it was quicker to just trim the right and bottom sides off of all of the pages and then layer them and tape together. 

be sure to transfer all of the markings on this one! confession: sometimes i'm lazy and i don't transfer all of the markings. well it kicked me in the butt this time. there is a very important mark on the neckline that shows where the center of the neckband will meet. i sat in confusion for a good ten minutes before i looked back at my pattern piece and found the mark that i forgot to transfer to my fabric, oops! but it worked out! and the neckline looks super awesome. 

i already have my fabric picked out for my next lady skater dress! i'm going to do the 3/4 sleeved version because it's finally starting to get cooler here. and i'm using a patterned knit fabric that's not my typical style, but i think it will be fun, yay!