Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jeans redux

I guess last winter I ordered this pair of jeans after trying some on in the store.  The ones in the store fit great but this pair was always just a tiny bit tight.  So if I wore them I always had a muffin top and was uncomfortable.  I thought about getting ride of them but this weeks challenge on Sew Weekly was to redo something and I thought of these. 
All I did was cut the sides open about 1/4 inch from the side seam to avoid the pocket rivets and add a strip of patchwork down each side.  I also put a bit of elastic in the back so they would stay up as they stretched out during the day.  I don't think I'd want more then one pair but I'm really like having this pair.  Its only too bad I didn't have them at any point during the 90s because I 1990 something me would have killed for these.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yellow Belle Dress

Emily, Laura, and I went to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D a few weeks ago.  We all had a great time and Emily requested two Belle dresses.  I've only done the yellow one so far.
I made it by modifying the peasant dress pattern from the book Little Girls Big Style.  I picked this pattern because I wanted her to be able to put it on and take it off without help.
It has a simple gathered skirt then I marked vertical lines to make the vertical gathers using elastic.
The swag is really just a ruffle with a fabric flower sewn in the middle.
Hope you like it she sure does.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Boy Jeans

This is Elijah.  He does not like having his picture taken or changing clothes in the middle of the day for not good reason.  He is also grows like a weed and wears through the knees of pants constantly.  I love him just the same though and he was in need of a new pair of jeans.  Well or two or three but we're starting with one pair here.

I made these out of the same denim that I made my first pair of jeans out of.  It seems pretty sturdy so I hope they will hold up for a while.

I asked for Jalie 2107 the pants and shorts pattern thinking it was a jeans pattern.  I don't know why I thought this as there are not jeans on the cover but I did.  Thankfully they were pretty close though.  All I had to do was adjust the back so that it had a yoke instead of darts which is actually quite easy to do.  Well adjust the back, make them out of denim, and of course do lots and lots of top stitching.

He's also a bit hard to size.  His hip measurement is a good 4 sizes smaller then his outseam.  The difference between the waist of the two sizes was 4in and the length difference was 6in.  I ended up tracing both on the same paper then adjusting to have the length and rise of one with the width of the other.  They have a bit of a higher rise then his usual pants but I like this because it means you can't see the top of his boxers.  They also fit well enough that he has to unbutton and unzip them to take them off.  He's a little less thrilled about that but says its  OK.  I don't know if he will get more pants from this pattern but I'm sure there will be lots of shorts this summer and of course pants next winter.  It all depends on what I get around to before it warms up here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Resolution Update

Sorry I don't have pictures of a great new project for you today.  I'm working on getting ahead in the Sew Weekly Challenges.  I was also at a scrap booking retreat all weekend and while I had a great time it left me feeling a little like all the creativity had been sucked out of me. 

Now as for my one big sewing resolution I wanted to let you know that I'm still going strong.  So far I've sewn up 14 patterns for the first time.  I've also made 6 projects using patterns that I had used before.  I'm not going to lie to you and say that I haven't wanted to buy any but I will say it hasn't been too tempting.  Mostly, because I have so many that all I really have to do when I see an idea I really like is go through my stash till I find something similar.  I've also resisted the temptation to enter drawings to win new patterns.  At first I was going to consider this a loop hole but I've decided that my goal is to reduce my stash and while free patterns don't cost money they do keep me from using what I have.  I think the same rule applies to free downloads.  The only exception I'm willing to give myself at the moment is if I actually draft a pattern myself.  Since I have three drafting books this would still be using my stash and it is decidedly a skill that I need to work on.

How's that for some rambling.  I'm also pondering what I would make as a signature look.  Honestly I have no idea.  I don't have to figure it out yet though.  I have jeans cut out for my son and a dress cut out for my daughter. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Me and Mini Me

Emily believes that she should have first dibs on all of my fabric purchases. Not that she likes everything I buy. She just likes to be the one deciding what is for me and what is for her. That made this particular fabric upsetting for her because I bought it specifically for this weeks Sew Weekly challenge and almost immediately cut out a dress for myself.

You see this weeks challenge was red in honor of Valentines day. Personally I'm not a big fan of red so I did not have any fabric in my stash that would work.  Thankfully Elegant Stitches was having an end of bolt sale and I was able to get nearly 4 yards of Little Folks Voile for 40% off.  To me this screamed "try the Licorice dress."   
Since I knew Emily loved the fabric I was very careful doing my cutting layout and sewing the dress so there would be extra fabric.  There was just enough left to make her this cute little tie back peasant dress.  It is modified from the pattern in Little Girls Big Style
My dress is the Licorice dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook.  It went together beautifully and since I didn't have to alter it I used my muslin as the lining.  The only change I made was leaving off the belt.  Technically I made the belt but I like the dress much better without it.  I cut and sewed a size 10.  Hope you like it.  I'm planning to wear it on a date this weekend and I'm sure lots of other times this spring.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dress

Hi, I decided to update this post to be my Project Run and Play audition.  I love to smock and started sewing for my daughter mostly because I wanted to make her pretty smocked dresses.  Needless to say everything she owns isn't smocked but I love sweet simple little girl dresses.  I also use patterns as at least a base for most of my sewing.  I think this could be a nice addition to cycle 4 because if you want to make something that I made I can tell you which pattern to use and how to change it up to achieve the effect that I did.
The dress pattern is Ottobre design 3/2008 design 18 “China grass” dress.  I made this one twirlier though by using a full width of fabric for both skirt pieces.  I also made the "tutu slip" from the same issue with added fluff (lots of added fluff).  They are both good basic patterns that could be jazzed up in a number of different ways.  The dress went together quickly and easily.  The only challenging part was the invisible zipper but I used the directions from the Colette Sewing Handbook and it was a breeze.
Here she is posing with Neil.  I didn't make his outfit but he was a good sport and wore the purple check shirt I got him to match her dress.
The collar directions came from an old and out of print sewing book.  They were OK at best and said to use just one width of fabric.  I really don't think that was enough so in the future I will use two.  I'll just cut one width in half so that there will be two shoulder seams and not a seam right in the middle. Hopefully,  this one won't turtleneck up in the wash.  I'll be avoiding washing it as long as possible but she is a 4 year old so eventually something is going to get the thing dirty.
Lastly, I finally got a good picture of one of these hair barrettes.  My mom made these for me when I was little and I made a bunch for Emily this fall.  I made them using this tutorial.
If you've made it this far I wanted to add that I also know how to make jeans and am happy working with lots of different fabrics.  If things were always just up to me my signature pieces would look like this or like the heirloom dress I made Emily last Easter but part of why I sew is to make things my kids really want so I also make a lot of things out of wild prints to please their ever changing tastes.

Friday, February 3, 2012

kiss dress

I bought the fabric for this dress at some point last year because I thought it was hilarious.  It has little broken hearts all over it and says "you break it you buy it".  I think I like it so much because it reminds me of the book 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.  Specifically the rule that once you start dating the author's daughter you must continue to do so until she is done with you.  Turns out not everyone thinks its funny but whatever.
The front is done with a freezer paper stencil using an image I cut with my Silhouette.  I thought it would be hard since its a pretty detailed image but it worked out really well and I just love the little kids kissing.  Though I would not like to see my little kid kiss a boy any time soon.
The pattern is the Farbenmix Henrika.  I bought it from a coop a while ago and just now got around to using trying it out.  The best part of this dress is the super twirl power.  I finished the bottom with double fold bias tape to show off the skirt and to keep from having to actually hem the curved bottom.
We've been having a sort of weird lack of winter this year so I was having trouble deciding what type of sleeves to make.  Then in what I like to think of as a stroke of genius I decided to make a short sleeve dress with a long sleeve coordinating under shirt so that it could work as both.

I also added thumb holes to the under shirt.  Emily thinks these are about the coolest things ever.
It twirls well.
It also jumps well.

Here's one more shot of the thumb hole.  Plus a close up of the stencil.  Hope you like the dress.  I've already got some ideas for this pattern so I'm sure you will see it here again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm Tall

Actually, one of my gym friends is 6'1" and claims that I am not tall at all and should never need to buy tall or long pants. In some ways she is right but according to Serendipity Studios I'm a giant. Don't get me wrong I think her patterns are beautiful but I was shocked to discover they are drafted for someone who is 5'4".  Thankfully, I read the directions before cutting my fabric and realized I would need a muslin.  Otherwise the empire waist seam would have gone right across my chest. 

This dress is the Serendipity Studies Claire.  I bought the pattern and fabric last summer but never got around to actually sewing it up or well cutting it out.  Sometimes that's where I stall out in the creative process.  I guess another idea or two or three struck and I just didn't make it back.  This week was down under week at Sew Weekly  so I figured it was time to pull this project out and get going.  The idea was for those of us in the norther hemisphere to have to sew for the opposite season since our Aussie friends end up doing this quite a bit if they want to participate.  That said we are having such a mild winter I ended up wearing this outfit to dinner Friday night.
I like the final product.  I ended up adding 1in to the bodice in the strap area and another 2in to the bottom of the bodice.  This brings it closer to my natural waist which I prefer anyways.  I did not add length to the skirt.  Instead I cut it to be mid calf length and as you can see it comes just past my knee.  I don't think I'll be making this pattern again though.  I can get a similar effect adding a skirt to the bottom of a fitted tank top and I think I prefer the fit of that.