Friday, June 24, 2011

Finally, Some Sewing!

I didn't mean to take a two-week hiatus!  Summer just gets crazy, you know?  Last weekend I went camping, then I had plans on Tuesday and Wednesday, so there just wasn't any time to sew.  Last night I had a couple hours, so I put together almost a whole dress.

My friend Sara is getting married in Colorado next Friday, and I have nothing to wear.  It's casual-ish and the bride is going to be in cowboy boots.  I first bought this dress, which everyone hated.

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Okay, so the boots look terrible.  But I like the dress!  I felt like a daffodil in it, and they are my FAVORITE flower.  Plus, isn't the skirt nice and flirty?  Apparently the cape is "ridiculous" and "too costumey".  Boo!

Then I bought this dress from Etsy. 

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It's gorgeous, but HUGE.  I don't know if the measurements listed were wrong or what, but it seemed like it was going to be my size and it was four inches too big all over.

I don't really want to wear something I've already worn (it feels less special) so I made something!  I used Simplicity 5822 and made the sleeveless full-skirt version on the bottom left.

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It only took three hours to put together, and I didn't even have to look at the instructions.  It was a really easy dress.  It still needs a zipper, a hem, and buttons, but I am saving that for Tuesday when I'm going to a friend's house to do crafty things.

Mike wasn't home to take a picture of it on me, so picture it with a tulle petticoat and a pair of retro heels.  Should I wear a bow in my hair like the model?

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It was a super easy pattern, and I'll definitely make it again in a different fabric. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rompin' in my Repurpose

My McCalls romper is done!  I finished the zipper and hand sewing last night.  I LOVE it.

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It even looks good inside out!

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It was 91 degrees when I got home from work today, so I had the perfect excuse to throw it on and romp around.  I'm really proud of this project.  It fits amazingly well, and I'm so happy I gave new life to a piece of fabric I regretted ruining.  It's super short, but I am generally not self-conscious and will wear anything, so I'm hoping I can take this little number out in public a couple times.  I'm thinking a music fest on a hot day or maybe a summer bbq or just a day of relaxing in the yard.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Still Repurposing: McCalls M6331

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I am still hard at work on my McCalls romper repurposed from an ugly Burda dress.  I did a few more hours of work on it last night, and now I have basically everything done but the finicky stuff - attaching the bodice to the shorts, hem, zipper.

I couldn't find lining in the right color of purple, so I used this Robert Kaufman Kona cotton in Lagoon.  It was $5.99/yard and I only needed one.  I've never used Robert Kaufman fabric before and I am definitely going to be using it again.  It's so sturdy and thick and irons like a dream.  It's vastly better than Joann's Symphony broadcloth and only $2 more/yard.

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I mentioned in my last post that the bodice is self-lined, meaning that you cut 4 of each bodice piece out of your main fabric and use two of the pieces as lining.  Truthfully, I don't really ever see the point to that, especially if your fabric is a print on a light background where it would possibly show through.  I usually just use a contrasting cotton.  In this case, there is a piece of the lining that folds over and is visible on the outside.  To remedy that, I cut just the bodice points out of some scraps of my seersucker and pieced it together with the lining.

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Then I placed my pattern piece on top just to make sure it was perfect, and just trimmed off a little excess.

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Here's what it looks like from the inside:

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And outside. Pretty, hey?

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Lastly, I made the lining for the shorts.

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Shorts are done! I even have the left leg bias-taped and ready to be hemmed. Then I ran out of purple thread. I'm hoping to have everything finished tonight save for the zipper and hemming the legs.

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In the spirit of repurposing, I also gave a makeover to a little dresser I found in the alley.  It was sad and scuffed and needed some love.

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And after! A few coats of paint and some new knobs and my sewing desk has a mate. I'm going to put all my fabric in it, which is currently precariously piled on a wire rack.

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Happy Repurposing!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Make & Mend 2011: Repurposing

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Three-ish years ago, I made this ugly dress from a Burda pattern. There were no instructions, so my friends Ellie, Jess, and I decided to wing it and put it together as best as we could. In addition to no instructions, there were no sizes or seam allowances! But it was free, so I guess I can't complain. The resulting dress was obscenely short, too high-waisted, and poorly constructed. I didn't even hem the facing edges? I just left them all raw and frayed.

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The saddest part of that dress was the wasted piece of vintage seersucker. Oh, the gorgeous dress I could make with that now! I check eBay and Etsy frequently for vintage seersucker and have only ever found one piece with enough yardage, that was affordable. What a waste!

Since I didn't have a lot of fabric to work with, I picked this McCalls romper pattern and I'm hoping the finished project looks like a vintage bathing suit.

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I made my muslin out of a sheet, and it's wearable. I lined it and did a zipper and everything. I somehow sewed the lining for the shorts in backwards? Not sure how that happened, but it didn't seem to affect the fit too much. The shorts fit great, but the top is a little loose. I just need to make minor adjustments to the side and back bodice seams.

Sorry for the self-portraits, Mike was busy and I didn't want to bother him.

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I barely had enough fabric. It took me almost an hour to figure out how I was going to cut everything. The bodice is self-lined and says "cut 4" but that was no way that was happening. So I cut out just the foldover bust detail and will piece it together with the lining fabric. From the outside, you won't even be able to tell.

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I put together the entire bodice and shorts tonight, but that's as far as I got. I need to run to the store and pick up some purple cotton for my lining.

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I'm going to Chicago for the weekend, so no sewing for me until Sunday. Have a great weekend and good luck with all your projects!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers: Finished!

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Six weeks ago, six bloggers and I set out to make this Burdastyle dress and put our own personal spin on it. Muslins have been made, fabric has been selected, tutorials have been done, and now it's time for the big reveal!
My inspiration for my dress was a winter-turning-to-spring, simpler times kind of thing, and I think I acheived that. I love how it turned out. It's the perfect summer dress for hanging out in the yard and grilling. The best part is, it only cost $10 to make! $5 for the pattern, $2 for the fabric, and $3 for the eyelet ruffle around the bottom.
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The bodice ended up a little loose on top, but I'm okay with that.  You don't want something clinging to your flesh on a hot summer day.

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Obligatory photo with a surly orange cat!

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The entire dress is lined in comfy cotton muslin and it feels really good to wear.  It's so soft.  The great thing about this pattern is that it's really a blank canvas.  You can dress it up or dress it down depending on the fabric and embellishments.  When I make it again (and you know I will, I'm all about sewing multiples) I want to use a dressier fabric for going out.  The only changes I made to the original pattern were adding a full lining and making the neckline higher.  The original neckline was REALLY low.  Like obscene-style on me.  I raised it about 1.5".

There isn't a pattern piece for the skirt - the instructions just say to gather a rectangle of fabric.  I took some liberties and used four yards of fabric in that skirt!  It was about an inch thick when I was sewing through the gathers.  I used my serger to attach the ruffle which ended up being a huge time saver.  No hemming!  Hemming that much skirt would have taken me hours.

The rest of the ladies already have their big reveals posted, so make sure you stop by their blogs to see!