Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Make & Mend 2011

Photobucket

My fabric stash is steadily growing, as is my pile of unfinished items, so when Shelley announced this sew along, I was immediately on board.  My husband has been making snide comments about the amount of fabric I've been bringing home from thrift stores, and even though I feel like I'm sewing something every week, the pile is getting out of control!  I also realized that I have half a dozen unfinished projects that I either am too lazy to fix or have given up on. 

I need to fix the zipper on one of my favorite homemade dresses.  It came unraveled and I've been wearing it with safety pin holding it up.

Photobucket

I also started taking apart this vintage skirt with the intention of making the waistband a little bigger. It's kind of snug on me, so I thought I could cut a new waistband since there's about 6" of fabric in the hem. But, then I have to re-hem it. And my button holer sucks. So it sits, in unwearable condition.

Photobucket

This skirt is completely done except for the zipper, but I don't have one in the correct size and color.

Photobucket

This skirt is completely finished, zipper and all, but I got cocky while making it and never tried it on along the way. It's a good 2" too small in the waist. I've been toying with just giving it away...but I like it, and I have extra fabric, so I should just make a dang new waistband.

Photobucket

Finally, remember this guy? All that's left is one measly sleeve! I even have the facing already sewn on. I've just lost interest.

Photobucket

Photobucket

For my re-purpose, I was thinking of cutting this dress apart. It's Burda's Coffee Date Dress, and one of the first things I made when I took up sewing again. It's so poorly made, too short, and too high-waisted. I've always been sad about ruining that amazing piece of vintage seersucker, so I think it's time to give it a new life.

Photobucket

I've got the scraps saved, so I'm hoping I can eke out enough fabric to make this pattern.  I've got the muslin started!

Photobucket

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Well, That Went Fast!

It's hard to believe it was already a year ago that Mike and I got married.  Yesterday my sister asked if it's true that the first year of marriage is the hardest, and I said no!  It wasn't hard at all, it was amazing.  We have so much fun together and every day gets better and better.  Happy Anniversary, Mike!

Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

Photobucket

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers: Lining a Bodice

Photobucket

I dislike doing facings.  How about you?  I find them to be very tedious.  Iron on the interfacing, fold the long edge under and topstitch, sew it to the neckline/armholes, clip the curves, pin the facing back away from the bodice, understitch, iron again, and then hand tack the long edge to the bodice.  Whew!  You know what takes just about the same amount of steps but looks a million times nicer?  A lining.  I substitute a lining for facings whenever possible.

This dress was a little tricky in that it had a side zipper instead of a back zipper.  It's harder, but not impossible!  For reference, I consulted a bathing suit pattern I previously sewed.

Photobucket

I must've been in the zone while working on my dress, because I forgot to take pictures of some of the steps!  Luckily I have the photos from my muslin. 

  • The first step is to prepare the lining in the same manner as the outer bodice.  
Photobucket

  • Sew your bodice pieces back to front at ONE side seam, and do the same for the lining.
Photobucket
  • Pin right sides together, matching seams and raw edges.  Press under the shoulder edges of your lining 5/8".
Photobucket
  • Sew all the way around the bodice starting at the open side seam, leaving shoulders open.  Turn inside right and press.  Your shoulder seams should be unsewn and look like this.
Photobucket
  • Sew shoulder seams straight across, as close to the lining as possible without catching it in the threads.  Tuck the raw edges inside the lining.
Photobucket
  • Slipstitch lining opening shut.
Photobucket

You now have a bodice that's as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!

Photobucket

Don't forget to check out what the other ladies are sewing, and stay tuned next week for our big reveal.

Sam: http://hand-quilter.blogspot.com/
Marie: http://asewingodyssey.blogspot.com/
Reana Louise: http://curvespatternsandpins.blogspot.com/
Kat: http://petticoatsandpeplums.blogspot.com/
Jen: http://the-paperdoll.blogspot.com/
Rachel: http://mymessings.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Finds

Happy Sunday, everyone!  We finally had a gorgeous day in Milwaukee and I spent the entire afternoon outside enjoying it.  Mike and I grilled and had a picnic, and I wore my pear dress!  I also got to take another one of my Simplicity wrap dresses out on the town last night, in Chicago at a friend's party.

Photobucket

Kim and I making raspberry lambic floats
Photobucket

Stretching out my jimmy leg (I had run a 5K that morning)

So there is some proof I do wear the things I make!

Thursday I got to skip work and go to a Sales & Use Tax seminar (I know you are all jealous) which ended at 3:45, so I stopped at the antique store I never get to go to since it closes at 5:00.  I didn't find any fabric or patterns, so I hit my favorite thrift store, Bethesda.  I got a pretty good haul there!  The bandanna print cotton is not vintage, but I thought it would make a cute skirt.  The three floral prints seem to be, judging by how skinny they are.  I love sewing with vintage materials, but those 35" and 43" widths can be a little tricky for pattern placement.  Luckily, there's quite a few yards of all of these.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

PhotobucketPhotobucket

On Friday, I hit up a church rummage sale during lunch.  Those are usually pretty fruitful, but this one wasn't that great and mostly had children's clothes.  I only found a bag of Christmas ornaments and two patterns.

Photobucket

In non-thrifted sewing news, my Simplicity 6341 arrived!  Luckily it is cut so I can save myself the guilt of doing it myself.  Also, the previous owner had shortened the pattern (with pins, not cut) and it was the perfect length.  So, thanks for saving me the trouble!  I also won this amazing Simplicity pattern and fabric from Marie in her Blogiversary Giveaway.  I'm planning on making the view on the right.

Photobucket

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Patterns I'm Currently Coveting

Photobucket

1940's Simplicity found here.  Has there ever been a prettier sundress pattern?  No, I don't think so.  If only it were my size!

Photobucket

Simplicity Navy inspired playsuit found here.  SO cute, but honestly, where would I wear this?

Photobucket

1950's Butterick Playsuit/Dress pattern found here.   I think this might be the prettiest pattern I've ever seen,  and I really want a playsuit/skirt combo, but the instructions are missing.  Better leave something like that to a talented sewer like Peter!

Photobucket

1940's one shoulder dress pattern found here.  Isn't this amazing?!  Alas, it's tiny.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swirl Wrap Dress Project

I've been a very busy sewer lately!  In addition to the One Pattern, Seven Bloggers project, I've churned out four of my knockoff Swirl dresses using Simplicity 4986.

Photobucket

I think this is my favorite pattern I've ever sewn.  It's so easy and quick and the best part - no zippers!  The only closure is the one wrap tie.  I stopped at four because at the rate I was going, my entire closet was going to be only this dress.  Here's a rundown of my finished dresses.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Fabric:  Thrifted sheet from Salvation Army, $2.  This is the first one I made and I didn't do a muslin, so it was slow-going and a learning process for me.  It turned out a little bit big, and I don't love how high the neckline comes up.  Also, for the tie strap, it had you hem the edges.  Unless you tie it perfectly, you can see the wrong side of the fabric.  Even with it's minor issues, t's cute and I can see myself wearing it a lot this summer.  I already wore it once to work.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Fabric:  Thrifted curtain panel from Bethesda Thrift Shop, $1.99.  This is my favorite of the bunch.  It fits the best, and I LOVE the fabric.  Yes, it's a curtain, but you would think it was just regular old eyelet fabric if I hadn't told you that.  I love the buttercream color, too.  I've already worn this one three times!  I didn't have enough fabric, so I left out the pockets and and the skirt is not as full as it should be.  I also slightly lowered the neckline and hemmed it shorter.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Fabric:  Tropical print cotton from my friend MaryLee's stash, $0.  This one is Mike's least favorite because he thinks the color is drab.  It sort of is, but my entire closet is like Joseph's Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I thought it would be beneficial to have something neutral for a change.  I had TONS of this fabric, so the skirt is full like whoa.  I wore it to work yesterday with a bright green necklace and orange flats.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Fabric:  Vintage pear print cotton from eBay, $25.  And for my piece de resistance, I used an expensive (for me) piece of vintage cotton I bought on eBay.  When I started this project, this was the fabric I initially had in mind as it's the most Swirl-esque of any fabrics I own, but I was waiting to cut until I worked out every kink of the pattern.  I had three yards, but it was skinny - 35".  I didn't want to sacrifice pockets or skirt fullness, so instead I used plain white cotton for the facings and made the skirt as short as I possibly could.  I normally like to do a deep hem, but I kept this one to under an inch.

Next up for my Swirl project, I take on Simplicity 6341 with this butterfly print cotton from the antique store!

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers: The Fabric

Photobucket

I feel like it took me forever to find my fabric for this project, but I finally found three yards of vintage calico!  Bethesda Thrift Store came to my rescue with this pretty piece of cotton for $1.99.  I also picked up some eyelet curtains from the antique store for $3, which I am going to use to make a petticoat to peek out of the bottom of the dress.  It fits with my summer/country theme, and I hope to wear it on my trip to Colorado next month. 

Photobucket

The other bloggers are working on their muslins and fitting this week, so be sure to check them out! 

Sam: http://hand-quilter.blogspot.com/
Marie: http://asewingodyssey.blogspot.com/
Reana Louise: http://curvespatternsandpins.blogspot.com/
Kat: http://petticoatsandpeplums.blogspot.com/
Jen: http://the-paperdoll.blogspot.com/
Rachel: http://mymessings.blogspot.com/