Thursday, February 16, 2017

Holiday Outfit


A little late in posting, but I think fashion bloggers, especially DIY ones who make their own clothes understand how long it takes from idea to posting... There's designing, actually making the garment, taking photos of the garment, editing the photos, writing the post...

Anyway, this was my holiday outfit. The duster style jacket is made from this brushed cotton I got years ago. I thought the red flowers with simple black & white accents were rather winter/christmas-like.

I used a two-way zipper for adjustability. 



Paired with my favorite pair of pin-stripe stretchy pants (Longer version of the Pattern By Gertie capris in Butterick 5895), black lacy camisole, vintage hand-me-down belt, black & white fossil necklace, silver & glass bead bracelet, and in this photo, my high-heel t-strap oxfords (in real life, black flats with bows on the toes).



Monday, February 6, 2017

Tartan Dress



Confession: Since I work primarily at home, I wear "loungwear" (pajama bottoms and a t-shirt) most of the time. But deciding maybe I should try not to be such a bum, I got some supersoft brushed cotton tartan fabric for a dress. (Don't want to sacrifice comfort for style.)




I altered Burda 7224 which I used to make my Bohemian Dress that I love. I lowered the waistline a couple inches since the original pattern fell in an awkward place, not empire and not at the natural waist. Also, had to adjust the underbust darts to pick up another few inches for a better fit. And I only had enough fabric for the sleeveless variation after fussy cutting the tartan.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DIY BEDSHEET PRINCESS LEIA COSTUME (A Tutorial)




The theme for this past New Year’s party was Celebrities Who Died in 2016 and we couldn’t let Carrie Fisher go unrepresented. So I grabbed a couple sheets up from the thrift store and did a quick Princess Leia white dress. I ended up double layering it because the white sheet I got was sheer and the other sheet I got was off-white. But the tutorial is worded for one layer.

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TUTORIAL


(Some of the photos are a little blurry since I took them with my phone as I went.)

MATERIALS:

-Thrifted White Sheet (full size or larger -I used full size)
-Velcro (or hook and eye)
-White Bias Tape Remnant (about ten inches; not required)
-Interfacing remnant (about 15-20 inches long by 6 inches wide)
-Scissors
-Iron
-Measuring Tape
-Thread
-Sewing Machine
-Pins

1. [Skip this step if you have a top sheet]. I only found fitted sheets in white, so they had to be unfitted before proceeding.

Use a seam ripper to open up part of the hem and pull out the elastic. OR cut the hem off (if you aren’t worried about saving every inch for length. I’m 5’5” and the full-sized sheet seemed to be a decent length).



Cut open the seams on the corners. (This will allow the sheet to lay flat.)



PRESS THE HEM/EDGE to get out the wrinkles from being elasticated.



2. FOLD THE SHEET IN HALF WIDTH-WISE (so that the longest side of the sheet is halved -this is for a full-size. I believe Queen size may be square).



FOLD IN HALF LENGTHWISE (so that you now have four layers and two folded sides).



3. MEASURE ARM LENGTH FOR SLEEVE & CHEST LENGTH (from shoulder to a couple inches beneath armpit)

TRANSFER MEASUREMENT TO FABRIC BY MEASURING IN FROM UNFOLDED SIDE EDGE (sleeve length) AND DOWN FROM FOLD#1 (chest length)



DRAW LINE FOR SLEEVE, WIDENING AS YOU APPROACH UNFOLDED SIDE AND BOTTOM EDGE



CUT ALONG LINE, MAKE A CLASSIC T-SHIRT SHAPE



CUT REMNANT INTO TWO RECTANGLES, RESERVE FOR COLLAR AND HOOD.



4. MEASURE NECK. Add 2 inches for overlap. This is your COLLAR MEASUREMENT. Divide the Collar Measurement by 4 to get NECKLINE MEASUREMENT. Using a soft measuring tape, create the neckline on a curve to the NECKLINE MEASUREMENT. CUT.




OPEN OUT FOLD #2. ON BACK OF GARMENT, MEASURE DOWN FIVE INCHES (from CENTER of neckline).



CUT ALONG PLACKET LINE (through BACK LAYER only)


FINISH PLACKET using scrap of BIAS TAPE or by NARROW HEMMING or with SERGER/OVERLOCK



5. MAKE HOOD The hood supposedly is more of a tube (not closed in the back). Take TWO of the large rectangles of scrap leftover from creating the T shape (there should’ve been four layers/rectangles). PLACE them RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and SEW a seam along the shorter end, finishing with SERGER or FRENCH SEAM or etc (if desired).



FINISH LONG EDGES if you did not reserve the sheet hem.

You should now have ONE HOOD PIECE, vaguely rectangular (you may want to curve the seam/top of the head part to fit better).



GATHER RAW EDGES (with long machine stitches or hand basting). PIN RAW EDGES TO NECKLINE, PULLING UP GATHERING STITCHES, so that the hood it even with the placket in the back but leaves a few inches space in the center front. BASTE HOOD TO COLLAR. REMOVE PINS




6. MAKE COLLAR by taking another one of the four remnant pieces. MEASURE the neckline of the garment and add seam allowances. CUT A RECTANGLE to this length with a width of 6 INCHES (which includes ½ inch seam allowances). CUT ONE OF INTERFACING (fusible light to medium garment weight recommended). FUSE/SEW INTERFACING TO WRONG SIDE OF COLLAR



RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, FOLD COLLAR IN HALF LENGTHWISE & SEW ENDS WITH ½ INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE. TURN AND PRESS.



SEW RAW EDGE OF COLLAR TO NECKLINE OVER GATHERED EDGE OF HOOD. FINISH SEAM & PRESS.

7. ATTACH VELCRO TO BACK OF COLLAR. Hooks on side that will overlap. Loops on side that will underlap.



8. TRY ON (with belt) and ADJUST SLEEVE LENGTH. FINISH ANY EDGES/HEMS THAT ARE STILL RAW. (I kept the original sheet hem in several places).

9. RESIST THE EMPIRE!





BELT


I ended up using a piece of twill because it’s sturdier and the remnants of the sheet would have to be pieces. The belt shape can be easily replicated with just one piece that looks like this…



1. MEASURE WAIST. AND FIGURE OUT LENGTH NEEDED.
2.CUT ONE OF FABRIC AND OF INTERFACING
3. FUSE INTERFACING TO BACK OF BELT
4. FOLD IN HALF LENGTHWISE (along dotted line in pic).
5. SEW RAW EDGES (ends and length, leaving hole for turning).
6. TURN AND PRESS. STITCH UP HOLE.
7. ADD VELCRO TO ENDS, ADJUSTING FIT.
8. ADD METALLIC DETAILS (hers are geometric panels of silver metal… I didn’t have any gray fabric but do have a stash of old fashion belts. So I just attached one of those.)


...





Monday, December 5, 2016

Mod Farmgirl Look



Overall Dress & Vintage Style Top

OVERALL DRESS


I have this love for overalls and overall-dresses, probably because you can’t find them anywhere. Nor can you even find a pattern for them. One of those ‘I want it because I can’t have it’ situations, I guess.


Simplicity 2656

So I finally decided just to make my own by altering a skirt pattern (Simplicity 2656). Well, not altering as much as making additions. All it needs is a bib and some straps and it’s an overall dress.  


I had this black and khaki plaid cotton (with just a touch of stretch to it) in my stash. (I apparently have an affinity for plaid prints as well overall dresses.) Not sure the print turned out to be the most flattering for this cut/style of garment, but I still enjoy it.

1940s STYLE BLOUSE


As you are probably aware if you follow this blog (or know me in real life), I hoard patterns. In particular all of the vintage  and retro style ones. Always looking for an excuse to use them.  And wouldn’t a vintage blouse pair just perfectly with an overall dress?

Simplicity 1692


I altered the pattern by putting in a shirring effect (casing with elastic sewn to the inside of the shirt) in place of the darts. This makes the top comfortably fitted both in the front and back (and eliminates the need for a side fastener).


The fabric is this vintage-looking cotton (I also had in my stash) with a small floral print in red, blue and goldenrod on a white background. I also used it for this 1930s Dustbowl dress I made.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Star Trek TNG Outfit

Knit Top & Skirt (Butterick 6285)


  THE SKIRT

This is going to surprise anyone who knows how I'm a lifelong sci-fi nerd, but I just went to my first convention this past October. My friend who also sews costuming invited me to be on a costuming panel. (If you're unfamiliar with the con world, this is sort of like a seminar, where we discussed methods of reproducing costuming... a very large topic to cover in just an hour, for certain!)

Anyway, I wore my Alice costume the first day (for our presentation). But I wanted something more casual for the second day.

Okay. I'll be honest. I wanted an excuse to get some of the new line of Star Trek fabric featuring characters from The Next Generation (the Star Trek I watched when I was little).


I also wanted to try out this Pattern by Gertie that I'd recently picked up on sale. The skirt looked like it would be fun. It's very full but rather than gathered at the waist or in circle-skirt fashion, it has deep, multi-layered pleats.

Butterick 6285
It turned out way too large... but I think this was due to the fact that I had to fussy cut and piece the sections (hiding the seams in the pleats) because the fabric was too narrow (I think the pattern calls for at least 45" wide... standard quilters cotton is only 42" -sometimes less with the selvage waste). Also, it's a directional print. However, I only rounded up to the nearest yard from the requirement, and had the perfect amount of fabric.


 

THE TOP



I had both a black and teal-blue knit in my stash, so decided to just make a simple knit top reminiscent of the Star Trek TNG uniforms. It's a basic raglan sleeve cut with about 1 inch wide collar/neckline yoke.

I pieced the main part of the shirt to have the asymmetrical triangle design distinctive of the uniforms. This is the detail that really sells the look.

Problems with this piece were mainly that the knits were two different types of fabric with a different stretch variable. So it doesn’t lay completely smooth flat at some joins.
I could have also made it a little bit shorter and fitted for a better looking top, but I wanted a comfy one.

...
 I did receive several compliments. It is definitely a flirty fun style.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bohemian Hippie Dress (Burda 7224)

Bohemian Hippie Dress (Burda 7224)


THE FABRIC

This was a 'shopping my stash' project and I had a large amount of this soft, almost crepe-like cotton jersey knit that I ordered on sale sort of by mistake before. Even when you're familiar with textile terminology, it's hard to know precisely what you're getting without seeing it in person. However, into the stash it went. And it just happened to be perfect for this project (if not for the purpose I had originally intended).


I can't describe how comfy and soft this fabric is! Lovely to wear. And it has a cute stylized floral pattern, green with purple accents on a cream base.

...

THE PATTERN

Quick confession: I am a pattern hoarder. I buy a bunch of them whenever there's a sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Burda has some unique and interesting styles but is rarely on sale, so I have to be choosy with which patterns I get. Therefore, this one was one that I seriously considered making before (not just purchasing as a passing fancy).

What can I say? I love a shirt-dress.

As far as the fact that it's a Burda "Young" pattern, the "young" seems only denote the fact that their designers think the style is more suited to younger women. Not that I believe anyone should ever be restricted in their fashion choices by the opinions of others, but this design especially seems odd to imply only younger woman can wear it. It looks quite universal to me.

Maybe they just meant young at heart. (aka Hippies and free spirits.)

I opted for the long sleeves variation, which features a gathered flare like on medieval dresses. The bodice is simple and not very fitted (definitely needs some extra fit adjustment despite the darts, especially if using a stretch fabric such as a knit). I think if I made it again, I would lengthen the bodice. It sits about an inch higher than my natural waist (likely due to my bust size).

The pattern lends itself wonderfully to use with knits. (Especially with the aid of an overlock/serger.)

AND IT HAS POCKETS!

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HOW I STYLE IT

I opted for some wooden buttons I had in my stash for the dress placket. This was primarily to match a vintage wooden bead-macramé belt I inherited from another crafter's de-stash cleanse.

Pair with moccasins, sandals, flats or bare feet (seems like the most accurate option), loosely styled hair (or tie-dye bandana) and some eclectic jewelry (my Moroccan wooden bangle and magpie pocket watch necklace here) to finish off the bohemian look.