Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Planning

 I went to Hancock Fabrics for the first time in forever last weekend, and I actually think I did pretty well in the self-control least I have an idea of what I want to make with most of what I bought, which is better than just buying for the stash, right? Right! 
I'm writing this post in the hopes that it'll motivate me to actually sew up everything I'm planning! Not sure if this tactic will work but there's no harm trying!
First up in Butterick 6054, a wrap dress, in a super soft turquoise knit. It's for my sister, who I said I'd make a dress for a really long time ago and have not thus far actually done. I've never made a wrap dress before so I'm a bit nervous about the dreaded neckline gape, especially because the Vneck looks like it's supposed to be deep anyway...
 Ok, I'm not gonna lie: I saw this coating at a super discount and couldn't resist. Then I had to go back and find a coat pattern haha At least I already had the lining! I cannot wait to turn these materials into a super girls coat, hopefully something like this one! I've never made a coat before so fingers crossed!
 Sidenote: I love the black haired girl's hipster glasses. This pattern calls for challis/crepe, but I think it'd look cute in a stiffer fabric like this. I'm not actually sure what it is, besides polyester. I found it in this "Flat Folds" bin, which is apparently a thing now at reminds me of the bins at mall stores full of $1 panties xD
 This dress has me sososos excited, I honestly want to skip all my obligatory sewing and make it, even though it's probably the most impractical of my planned projects. But that shimmery fabric! Be still my heart! And you can't tell too well from the photo, but the bodice has such pretty pleats! I need a wedding or other type of shmancy occasion so I have an excuse to make this dress NOW
And finally...this sweater knit is straight-up Slytherin colors, and because of that, I needed it. I don't have a specific plan for it; I'm thinking something in the sweater/sweater dress area. A lady in back of me in line at the cutting table asked what I was going to make, saying it'd make a good scarf. I told her I wasn't sure what I'd make, I just loved the colors because they're Slytherin-esque, and the lady was like "Oh, for a Halloween costume!" ...I didn't want to earn a weird look by saying no, not for a costume, for everyday wear, so I kept quiet...

So that's it, all my fall sewing plans sofar! Hopefully I'll stick to it!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kimon-ohmygosh I finally used that awesome fabric and didn't screw it up hells yes!

Cheese and crackers, I feel like I haven't done ANY sewing lately! I transferred schools this semester so now I'm in STL fulltime. It's taking getting used to, and I'm getting back into the swing of things for school, so that's my excuse. BUT I have my own room at school and it's hugeee (compared to most dorms anyway)
And it has enough room to fit in a sewing table!! I am way too excited about this fact because this is the first time in my sewing machine owning life that my little Brother gets to stay out fulltime and doesn't have to share space with my school stuff on my desk! Woot!
I christened my new sewing space by making a kimono as per By Hand London's tutorial. I used the lacy knit fabric I bought in Costa Rica at the end of freshman year and lemme tell you: I was absolutely terrified of cutting into it and fucking it up, but I managed to not do that, so score one for me ;) I think going with a super simple design was a good choice because a) there wasn't much to mess up, just 2 seams and b) it lets the awesome fabric shine.

 I've seen so much on blogs lately about taking nice photos and editing, and here I am with my crappy camera and nonexistent editing. Wellll to be fair Tumblr told me I could download an old version of Photoshop as freeware and I'm trying to get in on that sweet action but I need to put in my computer's serial number for it and the program keeps telling me that the number I put in isn't right. And I'm like, dude, I opened up the command program and gave it the command to find out the serial number and it gave me this number and I don't think my computer would lie about its identity so let me have freeware. But so far my pleas have gone unanswered. So the blog gets crappy unedited photos in the meantime.

Of course now that I've sewn this cute, super light kimono, Missouri might be going into premature winter. Yesterday morning was in the low 40s, and it sucked. But it's kind of warm out right now so I may get to wear this piece a few times before the cold decides to settle in for good.

Coolest fabric evah

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I'm just about certain that these are the coolest pants I've ever worn. And the craziest.

If you drool over Oonaballoona's makes as much as I do, then you'll probably recognize this pattern, Simplicity 4192. WRAP PANTS! I didn't even know they were a thing until I saw Oona's! I wanted to copy those suckers as soon as I saw 'em, and a month later I caved and bought the pattern. I would've never considered getting it if not for Oona's wonderful pair, because the envelope art looks sooooo...middle aged touristy? Not judging anyone who is middle aged, but that's not the look I want.
And then I found this wonderful pink and purple print at a thrift store and knew that my dream of blatantly copied pants would soon come to be. 6 yards for $3.50; that is called a WIN. And at my height I could totally make a maxi dress out of what's left.

The construction of these pants is super quick; there are only three pattern pieces and four or five seams! But I was soooo confused while trying to visualize how each seam would turn out in relation to the garment, probably because I had no clue what the hell the pants were supposed to look like when complete. And I couldn't find any complete-but-not-on-people's-bodies versions online! So I basted everything together to make sure I wasn't going to fuck shit up. Which I guess responsible sewists usually do anyway? Whatever :P
In case you were wondering, this is what they look like without me in them.
Since my all fabric I buy seems to fray like no one's business, I used French seams AGAIN. Wooo French seams for making me feel fancy!

I love these crazies. They're fun to wear and hella comfy! My sister called them "skirt pants" which I'll take as a compliment. They're so swishy and harem-ey-- what's not to love? They would be the perfect pants to complete an Avatar the Last Airbender outfit, dontcha think?

Oh, and it turns out that right as I was finishing these up, the Sewcialists announced Oonapalooza! Well I didn't really go into this project with the mindset of "how can I jazz this up on the fly" but more of an "THESE PANTS LOOKED FANTABULOUS ON OONA I WILL MAKE SOME AND THEY WILL BE FABULOUS ON ME DAMMIT" Extreme determination is very Oona though, right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lekala Bow Blouse

barefoot and booty shorts. judge all ya want.

This is Lekala 4286, a top with a scarf neckline. I wonder why I've never heard much about Lekala patterns; I think I discovered the brand on Craftsy. They're hella cheap! They only give you one size-- you put in your measurements for a custom fit, but I'm fine with that because it saves on paper that I've gotta print out and tape together.

I was going to use this for the Indie Pattern Month New to Me contest. I was all set to take pictures when my camera battery died. Around my house, camera chargers are rare treasures. My parents, sisters and I technically each had one when we got our cameras, but the days when everyone's had their own are long since past. Now if you see one out in the open you grab it and hoard it for yourself, Gollum-style. Point is, by the time I got my camera charged it was too late to enter the contest. Boooooo.
I'm really happy with this make. I usually skulk the online sewing community for pattern reviews, so I was a little unsure about Lekala's obscurity, but I'm glad I tried them out! It's a cute top, something that's not a Tshirt, which is what most of my tops are.
 I found the bow print at Hancock fabrics and knew I wanted to try it out for this blouse. Cause it's bows, and the blouse ties at the neckline, and bows are seemed clever to me at the time :P For all it's cuteness, it's kinda dumb to work with. Cutting was a real bitch, but I used a ton of pins so sewing wasn't too bad.

 I used French seams on all the seams with the main print because it frayed like nooooobody's business. I was originally going to use the bow print for the cuffs but I'm glad I used the black for them, it  gives focus points, or something.
please ignore the stain on the tie, no idea where it came from and of course only noticed it after taking photos xP
I put the zipper in by hand with a prick stitch. It's not my best work; this technique looks much nicer with more sturdy fabrics instead of this type of floaty gauzy stuff. I'm not beating myself up over it since it's on the side underneath my arm so it's not that noticeable.
One thing I was able to read about Lekala review-wise said they give a close fit, and that held true with this top. Next time I'll go with a smaller seam allowance, cause even with the zipper it's a tight fit. Also, it was too short, like, self conscious about my tummy before I even hemmed it short. I'm not sure if it's the pattern or if it's user error from when the pattern shifted around during cutting. I just sewed an extra strip of fabric to the bottom and cut it so it curved like the original shape. I did a rolled hem by hand because I just love how they look on floaty fabrics.
If you're considering using a Lekala pattern I'd say try it! But a word of warning besides the tightness: the directions weren't in depth at all. I didn't follow them at all and kind of figured out the collar and cuffs as I went. So if you like lots of hand holding then be warned that Lekala patterns DON'T give you that, but they have so many styles (forreal, SO MANY COOL PATTERNS And they're $3 each, so even if it doesn't work out, no biggie, right?

Friday, June 20, 2014


...such an aggravation. ahhhh see what I did there? ;)

I've read sooo many blog posts about getting one's sewjo back. Some people like to find small, easy projects when they're lacking inspiration; some pick out an extra icing-ey, fun, in no way practical project that they can just let their imagination run wild on; others give themselves a break from sewing to recharge their drive. I can't seem to make any of these techniques work though.

Sometimes I sew for a week straight, night and day. And sometimes I don't sew anything for months at a time. It's just like I'm overrun by motivation one hour and the next it's left me in the dust, wondering why I wanted the damn project in the first place.  I'd get so much more done if I worked consistently instead of in random spurts.

I will be the first to admit I'm not the best at scheduling my time, and I'm sure that doesn't help. Many bloggers I read suggest setting time aside consistently to sew, but if I don't feel like sewing, I have a really hard time getting myself to do it. I have no problem getting myself to go to work when I need to, and heck, I can even get myself to do my homework pretty consistently. But if  the sewjo ain't there, progress ain't happening. Also, my creative brainwave levels peak really late at night. Call me an extreme night owl. So lots of times I feel like sewing at 12:30 in the morning, and the next thing I know it's 4:30. And then I sleep in way too late the next day.

Another thing that bugs me about my wishy-washy sewtivation is that deadlines usually ALWAYS kick my ass into gear. School projects, applications with deadlines, all that crud: I pretty much always wait till the last minute before (most of the time) somehow pulling it off pretty well. But with sewing...let's just say that there are a few gifts that were supposed to be done months ago that STILL aren't a reality yet. It really annoys me not just because I haven't done the sewing but because, duh, they're gifts that I haven't been able to give to their recipients.

these dresses NEED to happen by my cousin's baby shower!

I have noticed that if I get as far as cutting out a pattern there's a pretty good chance that I'll see it through. But I have so many plans that haven't had a chance at being the real deal because my motivation took a sabbatical.

If you have tips for me, I'd love to hear them. And if you feel like wishing me luck, that'd be greatly appreciated too, seeing as I want to finish a jacket, make a dress, and whip up a few baby dresses as gifts by early July. AND sew a few things that would be good for my upcoming semester in Spain. HELP!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Coach Tour Dress Knockoff: Gift Reprise

I made another Coach Tour dress knockoff! I decided to make my oldest sister a dress a looooong time ago but the good news is I finally finished it and gave it to her, and she wore it to work and didn't fall apart! So that's pretty great ;)
 When I told her I would make a dress for her, she requested one that looked like my Coach Tour knockoff. The first fabric I got for this was double knit, like my original, but I didn't buy enough and couldn't fit it. Dur. I got this jersey and hoped it'd work, and I think it does. It's looser than my dress is, but that's ok because Liz moves around alot (she works in a kindergarten classroom).
 Oh, and it has pockets, which I think might be Liz's favorite She is enraged by the skimpy pockets-to-dress ratio found in most RTW.
Oh, and last night Liz and I made crayon art! I think it turned out rather great, if I may say so myself :D

Sunday, June 8, 2014

World Traveler

 Hey look at that, it's summer! So far I've spent it laying around the house, fishing, and playing a ridiculous amount of Settlers of Catan. I've been sewing a bit too, but I actually made this dress last June. I'm bad getting pictures of my makes, ok?! I don't have a tripod and I feel weird asking people to take photos for me :P
 So this is my world traveler dress. My sister got a dress pretty much exactly like this at our Plato's Closet. When I found this fabric at my college town's thrift shop I knew I would make it into the same style dress as Ally's. My fabric is a different pattern, but it's the same weight and the print definitely gives off the same vibe, if that makes any sense.
 Ally's dress has a black slip attached underneath the main dress, and I'd like to get around to getting/making a similar one. I'm wearing a white slip underneath the dress in these photos. It doesn't look bad, but I think a dark slip would be better.
 I self-drafted this puppy, and am pretty proud of myself for that. It's a really simple design, so I made cutouts on the sleeves for a little bit of interest. I used bias strips to bind the neckline and sleeve cutouts, and since the fabric is so floaty and I knew it'd be hell to work with, I mixed instant gelatin mix with water and put let the bias strips sit in it for a while, then dry. Stiffened the fabric up perfectly! And I have a ton of gelatin for some reason--I think I found a face mask recipe that uses it--so I'm totes going to use this trick for the rest of forever. I gathered the waist with some clear elastic thread stuff. I'm not sure if it's actually meant to be used for sewing purposes or if this is a legit technique, but it worked and that's good 'nough for me!

 "Wait I have to take another picture, this one looks like you're smelling your armpit"
So this is the pattern (you need to cut 2 of them) :) the top is your wingspan; cut a hole in the middle for your head and one on either side of this for the arm cutouts. The vertical measurement is how long you want the dress to be. And then you just gather it below the bust to your waist measurement (a shit ton of gathering. seriously.) I tried it on before gathering the waist and it looked HIDEOUS lol. Like some kind of ethnic robe muumuu monstrosity.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Never Thought I'd Be In This Kinda Situation

 I feel so honored right now. Do you know Annette Tirette? She is awesome, makes wonderful clothes, makes her own GIFS, and on April 1 she posted a post in which she named ME as a giveaway winner. 
I need to pause the story here to explain that I love the online sewing community; even though I sew very sporadically and off-and-on, I read sewing blogs pretty much every day. I don't care at all that most of you guys are older and wiser than I (I don't mean any offense in this at all; I'm just saying that I'm in a different stage of life than most of the bloggers I follow) because you make the most amazing things evah.Not only that, but you seem like awesome individuals too. And another thing I love about the sewing community is how much you love giveaways! I've entered so many, even though I'm hesitant to comment on all those official blogs--me? Little old me communicating with you sewing deities?? Intimidating!
So entering blog giveaways; I've done that before. But WINNING one?? No way!! When I emailed Anneke, I even mentioned how I wanted to make sure that this happenstance wasn't an Arpil Fool's joke. Do they have April Fools Day in Belgium? Idk.
But it wasn't a fluke! I won something! And seriously, it made my whole week. I was so damn excited!! I knew that shipping from Belgium to Iowa would take a while, but when I returned to school to start Mayterm, that wonderful little package slip was in my mailbox :) Behold:

 3 meters :) I couldn't really see the red stripes in the blog post, and it kind of reminds me of my high school plaid uniform skirt, which is made up of these colors. This scared me for a second, but  the difference is that this fabric actually makes the color combo look nice, so I'm not worried.
When I saw that I won, I immediately thought of making it into a Colette Hazel, but now I'm feeling the totally irrational need to make it into a romper. I've haven't worn a romper since I stopped wearing diapers, so I think it'd be pretty dumb of me to test the trend out on super special Annette Tirette fabric. What to do, what to do...

Oh, and not only did Anneke send me the fabric, but also a handwritten not with a Flight of the Conchords sketch (reinforcing my suspicion that this lady is amazing) and some BELGIUM CHOCOLATE. Best. Day. EVER.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Circle Skirt Dress

      A few weeks ago I found this awesome floofy circle skirt at the thrift store across the street from campus. I go there way more than I should because they have a bin of sewing notions for 50 cents ;)
It's a really long skirt; it hits me almost at my ankles. This doesn't look very flattering on me but I loved the print so I got it anyway, paid $4.25 yo!
     Then I had the idea to wear it as a dress. It was really tight though, turns out my waist and upper chest collarbone area aren't the same size. So I ripped the waistband off and turned it into a belt. I put elastic on the skirt's waistband to make sure it stays up. So now I have a pretty strapless dress and I could theoretically wear it as a skirt still!
 Student Senate hosted a formal, so I actually had someplace to wear the dress! I made boyfriend take cheesy homecoming-style picture with me :D
I really meant to get some pictures of it on the hanger, but I never did, and now I'm at home on break and the dress is still at school. And I wrote this post at least two weeks ago, so I'm calling it good and posting.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Dad Made Me a Box!

Don't you love getting new things to aid you in your hobbling? I sure do!
And for once I got something to HOLD my sewing gear instead of adding to the pile!
AND it was a Christmas present!
And my dad MADE it!
 One night in mid-December, I was holding my sewing box when the bottom fell out of it. 
It looked like something from out of a carton--the bottom just fell, followed closely by my sewing tools.
But it's cool because now I have this lovely to keep all my thread neatly stored in!
(The rest of my tools are still chilling in a Maurices shoebox)
My dad's awesome, y'all. He even put my initial on the front!
And varnished it all glossy!
And it kind of reeks of varnish but I'm okay with that :D 
Because now I have a wooden briefcase-y box for all my thread needs!