Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jeans are boring, I'd rather wear a skirt.

At work we're allowed to wear denim, black, or khaki pants or skirts. I really dislike jeans (so uncomfortable!), but that's what I usually end up in because they have pockets and are easy to throw on. A couple weeks ago I set out to make black skirts for work with large enough pockets. Success! I can both follow the dress code, and still wear a style I feel comfortable in. The fabric is from a sheet that has these cool embossed polka-dots. It's a bit too rough/stiff - it clings to my tights and tends to ride up unless I wear a slip, though the stiffness also helps give the skirts some body.

The first one is a simple 3/4 circle skirt with an elastic waist and, of course, side pockets. (shown with a light petticoat).

The second skirt is a 3/4 circle wrap with a yoke waistband, belt loops, and again, pockets. At first I completely forgot about the pockets and didn't have side seams, but fortunately I realized my mistake before attaching the waistband. The whole point of making these skirts was to have some with pockets!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maybe I like it when people pet me.

What did you do this weekend? I spent my Saturday night struggling to align animal ears and get fur out of my mouth. Sewing faux fur is both frustrating and easy... it gets everywhere, but it's very forgiving since mistakes are easily hidden by it.

It caught me off guard the first time someone wanted to pet me when I wore the outfit that matches this first hat (see below), but now I find it pretty entertaining to see people's reactions.

The ears still aren't perfect, but after redoing them multiple times I've accepted my fate. I think they're pretty close to being in the same spot, but one has become floppy from all the handling and re-stitching, so it looks lower (the photo makes this look even worse because this head tilts to one side). I don't know, I'm trying to convince myself the floppy ear is charming. Also, the short fur lining sticks out more than I expected at the edges, probably because it's stretchier than the outside fur. It's not really a problem. I had a very limited amount of fur to work with since it's just leftovers from the outfit I made a while ago, but I think it still worked out okay.

This other hat I made a while ago is more symmetrical and a little larger because I had enough fur to work with. There's no issues with it, I love the thing.

For both hats, I used this tutorial/pattern, trimming and changing some of the curves slightly until I was satisfied. There isn't much of a difference visually, but the changes make the hats fit my head a little better.

I made both of these hats to match outfit pieces I made within the past couple years. The first one includes a skirt with buttoned pockets (you can kind of see one in the photo), leg coverings (aka fluffies), plus a tail and wristcuffs (not pictured, sorry). The second set is fluffies and wristcuffs (again, sorry no photo of the cuffs).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh no, it's been months!

I said I'd keep this up... I really want to, things have been pretty busy though. To make up for my lack of posts, here are some other costumes from Halloween. This isn't even half of all the ones I wore since I dressed up almost every day for work. I think it came to something like 36 costumes.

I was a couple characters from Alice in Wonderland, Alice being one of them. The dress isn't something I made specifically for Halloween - I've had it for a couple years now. I remember using a pattern, heavily altered though.

I didn't make any of these specifically to use in a clown costume either, but it all worked together pretty well. The no-sew tutu, leggings, and tank top with side gathers are all sewn by me, long sleeve shirt is some tie dye I did.

Funny story on this one - I purposefully didn't do full white clown makeup because I didn't want to scare anyone, and yet there was still a girl at the store I work in (probably around 13 years old) who could not look at me and had to close her eyes whenever I walked by.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So, I really like capes.

Capes are awesome. They're fun to wear, work with lots of styles, and are super easy to put together. I guess the downsides are the amount of fabric they use and how they choke if they slide back. I tried finding information on stopping this, but short of attaching the cape to clothing underneath I can't find much - guess I'm not cut out to be a superhero.

Over the past couple weeks I've made 3 very different capes, using zero patterns and vague measurements:

1. I have to get to dress up for work on the weekends from now till Halloween, and when I saw this cheap red velour I thought it would be great for Little Red Riding Hood. It's a bit scratchy on the neck seam so I'll probably have to wear something with a higher collar underneath, but I like the look. This "pattern" is a half circle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Punk lolita inspired skirt

A while ago (and by that I mean like, two years), I made a square overskirt inspired by some from Putumayo, and finally got some quick photos today. Typically I wear it with a different underskirt that I don't have any photos of, but this one is also a skirt I made, using some awesome border embroidery fabric. I LOVE border prints/embroidery.

This is unfortunately the best photo I have of the front, in the middle of fluffing the petticoat. There are three straps around the skirt that I can use to pull it up into these poofs.

Walking in these shoes is actually pretty fun, though I did get a blister on my pinky toe - Can't win everything.

Quick tie dye update

If you remember from my last post, I didn't expect this tie dyeing to go very well since I was pretty lazy about it. It's all sort of... meh. Not terrible by any means, but nothing special either. Ah well.
These shorts in the first two photos (front and back respectively) are also something I made. I pretty much wing it on pants like this, copying only the crotch curve from a random pattern. They have two front pockets, two back pockets, and an elastic waist/hems.

A couple more of the better shirts:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And now for something completely different

By that I mean not sewing, but dyeing is sort of related...

I've been doing tie dye for 5 + years now, but had taken quite a long break recently. Here's my try getting back into it (mostly because I'd gathered way too much white clothing with stains). Granted I didn't try very hard... I had a lot of dye left over after doing the things I wanted to get done, so I just started tying things up randomly.

I can't wait to see if there's any accidental gems in the bunch (that I'll never be able to repeat since I did this so haphazardly - one of the best yet worst parts of tie dyeing).

Speaking of bad things about tie dyeing - this was more of an adventure than I expected. First, I got black dye powder airborne in my bathroom trying to tap it into a squeeze bottle. You do not want to breathe this stuff in! I'm still not sure if I got it all cleaned up.
Later, I was doing the actual dyeing in the utility sink in my basement. Well, this sink drains into a container with a pump that then goes out to a drainage pipe. The pump malfunctioned and the container overflowed into the basement. Bah.
...and now, my wrist/hand is hurting in a spectacular way. I'm quite thankful for washing machines because after wringing out just 16 pieces of whatever, I am in pain.

Anyways, here's a preview:

Monday, July 9, 2012

When I don't know what to wear, I make something new

Picture this:
It's Friday night, I still have work-from-home projects to finish, and another job to go to at 7:30 am Saturday*. I'm going out after work on Saturday, but won't have much time in between to find an outfit, so I decide to plan it now. I have A LOT of clothes - it takes a while to find something that works. Well, I can't really find anything I want to wear, so of course, like any crazy seamstress, I make something instead!

The pink fabric is a blacklight reactive organza, and the black is just regular tulle. At first, I only wanted the skirt to be pink, but it was looking pretty bland, so I added the black. Better, but now the pink layer looked too long and not fluffy enough (it started as 12" long). To fix that, I added a shorter lining made out of the waistband fabric (some sort of stretchy remnant) and attached the bottom of the pink layer to it to give the skirt a bubble hem. Much Better!
I wore it with my "go-to" top, as you can see below (and of course with some shorts underneath; from the waistband to the bottom the skirt is only 7 or 8 inches long). 

* I've been working a lot lately, which has left little time for new projects or even blog posts. I haven't give up on posting! I just have to find the time... it should be better in 2 months when one of my 3, sometimes 4, jobs ends.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Picked up a "new" sewing machine today

That is, new to me. This baby is now sitting in my basement (please excuse general basement mess), waiting patiently until I find some time to clean it up. It's a Singer 9610 if I recall correctly.

"Bold. Power." technically refers to Kohler and not my machine, but I think, in a way, it's an appropriate description.
 When I was a little girl, we had a treadle machine in our hallway. I still remember playing with it constantly, though I don't know what brand it was or even what it looked like anymore. The second half of my childhood was spent in an apartment at a triple decker where I eventually found the machine above. It was in the corner of the attic, untouched for many, many years, gathering dust and other grime. I think the layers of wood that make up the table (below) have split apart from the wildly fluctuating temperature and humidity in the attic, but the machine looks to be in good shape and feels smooth when I turn the hand wheel.

A couple months ago I asked the owner of the triple decker if I could have the machine. That's when I learned it would probably go into a dumpster when they cleaned out the attic in the near future. How could I let this go into a dumpster!? I decided that I had to at least try to save the machine... I know I could get one in great shape and with a nicer design for even just $100, but there's something special about knowing I can keep this one out of the trash, have something from a house I grew up in, and have something to remember my landlords by (they became sort of like grandparents to me over the years).

Today I finally got around to heading over there and, with the help of my father, bringing machine and table down the three flights of stairs. This thing is HEAVY. He said he never would have come with me had I told him I needed help with the machine in the attic. Hah! He thought the landlord was giving me one from her apartment.

Next step: find time to clean all the dirt off.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Turns out frosted pink vinyl and dry erase markers don't mix. Who knew?

When I bought all that fabric a couple weeks ago, I also picked up some translucent pink vinyl. Today, some of that vinyl became a skirt. I've seen these skirts online before and liked them, though never really considered making one until I found the colored vinyl.

It was a pretty quick project overall. I drew two doughnut shapes with a center hole the size of my hips, one a little narrower than the other (on paper then traced onto the vinyl), cut them out, edged with bias binding, and added a jersey waistband so it's stretchy without needing elastic. The hardest part was sewing the waistband on since the vinyl didn't really want to move though my machine smoothly and kept getting in the way (it doesn't exactly smoosh and fold out of the way like fabric would).

I could really use a wish right now ~

Airplanes by B.o.B. has been stuck in my head since I started working on this skirt. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a remix I kind of like of the song in question (on youtube).

I really like how the skirt looks paired with this top. I've had it for years but never wore it until now. Glad I didn't get rid of it!

As you may have noticed, I love quirky prints in clothing, so when I saw this fabric at the store I knew right away it was meant to be a skirt. One of the best parts: the repeat of the print was the right size to use without cutting any planes in half.

The skirt has side-seam pockets, two rows of elastic in the waistband, thread belt loops, and a hand-done invisible hem. As far as I remember, this is the first project I used my serger on. I like how much faster than zig-zagging it is, but for some reason the stitching is not very pretty. I need to fiddle with the tension settings on it, and learn how to keep the stitching from coming apart where I start/stop.

One of the more popular questions about my skirts when I'm out in public is "do you have something under it to make it so big/poofy/etc.?" I usually answer by flashing a couple inches of petticoat. To answer the question in picture form, here's what it looks like if you were to peek under my skirt! Of course I'd normally have legs, not a metal pole like my dress form : P

Friday, May 25, 2012

Candy-colored heart-covered skirt and Victorian project news

A couple weeks ago I started this circle skirt and stopped working on it when I got to the hem, but last night I took a break from work for a few minutes and got it finished! The hem, waistband, and lapped zipper are all top stitched in pink to make it easier for myself (much less hand sewing) and add some detail at the same time. I wore it out today to run errands and got some photos while I was at it. I had made the top a while ago as well; it's sort of a fancy t-shirt.

I stopped by work dressed like this and my supervisor did a double take. It looks a whole lot different than a black shirt and jeans! Oh and the hair... that too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Victorian project - update 3

I'm sorry I haven't been updating as much as I promised myself I would. There's so many (sometimes odd) things going on lately that sometimes I feel like I'm in an Asian drama, though that may be because I was watching one a couple weeks ago.

I have made some progress on the Victorian costume, but it still has a long way to go. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the deadline has moved to May 26th, so at least I don't have to get this done by the end of the week!
Tonight, I made a bustle pad of sorts (following these instructions) to help fill out the back of the costume.  This is pushing it to a different year, but I'm okay with that since it makes the bodice sit better.

Last week (or the week before maybe), I got the back pleats of the bodice taken in, overskirt figured out, and added a waist tape to the inside of the bodice. The bodice is much lighter with the smaller pleats and feels much nicer when on, though the lining still peeks out.

Friday, May 4, 2012

She's here! and a whole lot of fabric is too

There's been a lot going on lately, giving me little time to post, but Monday of this week deserves a mention.
First of all, my dress form finally came! She still needs a name; I'm a little stumped. My friends have made some good suggestions, but none of them feel quite right. Here she is in her natural habitat:

I think there's someone in my room every time I walk in... wonder how long it's going to take for me to get used to that.
Draping my Victorian costume skirt is a lot easier with the form, though the bodice does not fit her at all because of my sway back, even with the size set to the smallest one (which is around 3 inches smaller than me).

That same day, I went fabric shopping and came home with something like 35 yards of these awesome fabrics! I'm hoping to use some of them to make items for sale, most likely skirts and bloomers/lounge shorts. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I know the market for these items is pretty saturated but eh, might as well give it a try, that is, if I find the time to.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Completed: Victorian hat

It is done! Well, mostly. I should sew some elastic or combs to the inside so it stays on my head better.

Here's a shot of the back to show the trim on the underside:

Before I could finish it, of course it needed to threaten me with more physical pain... I wasn't falling for it this time! (here's the previous post if you're wondering what I'm talking about). After pinning the purple trim on, I went to put the hat on my head twice, not considering the pins were sticking straight out into the inside, as seen below. Ouch! Glad I stopped myself both times, disappointed in myself that I didn't learn the first time.

Oh thrift shopping, how I love thee.

I really want to take a moment for a short post about my most recent thrift shopping trip. I've scored some great stuff in the past (two pairs of platform sneakers and UFO pants within an hour in one store, on a half off sale day? One of my best shopping days ever.), and yesterday's haul is pretty sweet. To keep this somewhat sewing related...

check out all that bias tape! If I recall correctly, there's 13 packages there, with only 4 or so that have been opened - all for $3! On my way to the CD section after grabbing up that bias tape I noticed the modern cookie press ($8, a little pricey compared to my usual finds but it looks well made) then turn around and find the vintage one from the 1950s for only $4! It even has the instruction book! Check out the animal shaped disc for it, isn't that awesome?
I also got a new wallet, beads, tights, and some CDs (it's weird I didn't already own DJ Sammy's Heaven... It's one of the things that got me into electronic music in the first place, and still one of my favorite CD cover/insert designs. The other one is 97 Octane by Dieselboy. I'm not much of a fan, but it caught my eye the last couple times I saw it at this store so I went for it).

I can't praise thrift shopping enough. You never know what great things you'll find.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The hat of pain and pattern of many pieces

In my last post, I wrote about purchasing this hat pattern from Truly Victorian and some millinery supplies. Well, the pattern came on Saturday and the supplies a day before, so I got to work on my hat all day Saturday. I probably could have finished it in a day, but got stuck because I don't have enough trim for the edge of the brim. (Why do I never have trim?)

The pattern is great though (it's not the pattern of many pieces, that one will be discussed later). I've been doing it a little differently than instructed, mostly because of the qualities of my fabric - not because I can't understand the instructions or think they make things more difficult than necessary, which can happen with commercial patterns. This fabric is not the easiest to work with, don't let its simple black appearance fool you. It's pretty drapey, so the edges of the frame were very obvious when I tried covering it. To remedy this, I added a layer of fleece over the buckram frame.

"So," you may be wondering, "how is this the hat of pain?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

New fabric, and some other exciting thoughts

Today, I wanted to share my latest fabric acquisitions. The heart fabric especially drew me in, so cute! I might go back for more to make a couple skirts for sale (if the store still has it).

These both came from one of my favorite fabric stores, where everything is $1.99 a yard. They always seem to have something super cute or useful and just because all the fabric there is cheap doesn't mean it's poor quality. It's the same quality of fabric you'd find anywhere else, sometimes with factory errors or already cut into odd sized pieces, but often times no issues at all. The downfall is that the stock is not constant - see something amazing today? It probably won't be there the next time you go. I've gotten awesome fabrics in the past then wished later that I had bought twice as much, only to never see them sold again (the one I used for the yellow polka dot skirt is a perfect example of this).

They had several other fabrics I loved, though I'm trying not to buy more than I can store (it's becoming a problem...). This leads to the other thoughts I mentioned: I'm feeling particularly adventurous right now and considering pulling some money together to purchase some of the other fabrics I saw, then making some skirts in several styles/sizes to sell. It's risky, I don't know if anyone will buy my products because the market is pretty saturated with the skirt styles I like (well and there's that storage issue), but perhaps worth a shot. I'll see how I feel about the idea in a couple days, though I welcome any thoughts from you in the mean time.
Like I mentioned before, a dress form would really help in this sort of endeavor, so I caved and just ordered one.
I think I've fallen into the "retail therapy" trap this week, having spent money on patterns, millinery supplies, fabric, and now a dress form. I can just call these business expenses, right? Let's hope that's how this ends up.
Speaking of millinery supplies, I am expecting some in the mail soon to make a hat to go with my Victorian costume. It won't be exactly like the one pictured but similar. I purchased this pattern from Truly Victorian since I've never made a structured hat before. Lots of things to look forward to in the mail!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sims 2 Cosplay

Like I mentioned at the end of my post about my first pair of jeans, I cosplayed a character from the Sims 2 game last year with my best friend Eddy. 
Getting right to the point, here's the character I was aiming for:

and my rendition (The shoes were the only part of this costume I already had and didn't need to make):

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Victorian project - update 2

I went shopping last week to find trim for the polka dot mermaid dress but was unsuccessful. That shopping trip didn't go very well overall - I got some bias tape for the Victorian costume, but nothing else from my list. ugh. So, I'm still stuck on the dress.
On the plus side, I made some progress on the Victorian costume last week. Except, well, the cuffs are done but sticking out oddly. I thought it was just a matter of pressing them but that didn't help. I'm not really willing to re-do them... maybe I will though. You can kind of see what I mean in these photos if you look closely.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

To buy or not to buy...

Yesterday, I started thinking of some things I should probably buy soon. The biggest of these things is a dress form. I've never really wanted a dress form before because after working with the ones at the costume shop, I know my proportions don't match them very well (though, they don't match anyone very well do they?). Maybe it wouldn't really help me fit dresses and blouses, and definitely not pants, but it should help with skirts. Cutting circle skirt hems has always annoyed me because I can't keep them even. Being able to throw the skirt on a dress form would let me mark the hem with the bias stretched naturally, in theory getting a more even hem. Draping the overskirt for my Victorian costume would also be much easier. I could use it for photos of finished projects with less hassle than trying to take photos of myself. It could help with fitting and photographing commissions as well.
But...where would I put this thing? I'd need it to be accessible pretty much on a daily basis or there's no point of owning it, and I don't really have free space in my bedroom/sewing room. I guess I could move a box or two of fabric down to the basement to make space.
Probably the biggest issue - dress forms are expensive. The cheaper ones are $100 to $150. I don't really need anything more than a cheap adjustable form, but being unemployed, that's costly enough to make me hesitate. A little more and I could get a nice point-and-shoot camera instead. Though if I got some commissions that I needed it for, it would pay for itself pretty quickly.

Any thoughts anyone? Should I just go for it?

The other things I've been looking at are some patterns from Truly Victorian. I do need to make a hat to go along with my Victorian costume and I like one of the hat patterns they have. Of course then I'd need buckram and millinery wire too. If I ordered the hat pattern I might as well get a corset pattern at the same time, since I've wanted to make a corset for a while and have seen a lot of praise for theirs. I've never paid this much for patterns before, but it's not too bad, having to get the materials will be worse. I probably will go ahead and buy these sometime soon so I can make a hat in time for May 19th.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Victorian Project - update

I've made a good bit of progress since the last time I took pictures of this outfit. I say "took pictures" because in the last post I mentioned the bodice was mostly cut out already and I had been working on it for a couple days before posting.
So, here's what I've done over the past couple weeks:
- put the main bodice pieces together.
- figured out the shawl collar, which was one of the parts I was least enthusiastic about doing. It's not perfect, but acceptable.
- re-cut and fit the sleeves. Again, I wasn't really looking forward to this part. Back when I was doing this project for class, I had fit and re-cut the sleeves so many times I don't even remember. They're still not perfect, but much better than any of the other versions.
- adjusted the darts.

Time for a quick and easy project

A couple days ago I got stuck on the projects I have in progress. The Victorian costume gets tedious pretty quickly, and I need some trim for the polka dot mermaid dress before I can continue working on it.
Over the past week or so, my mind kept going back to a skirt I remembered my sister-in-law wearing. It's tiered with an embroidered border print and good proportions. I called up my sister-in-law and asked to borrow her skirt, which took a bit of explaining because I couldn't remember what color it was - for some reason I thought black/gray gingham, woops. Anyways, I'm not sure where she got it but here's that pretty skirt:

I already had the perfect fabric in my stash waiting for just the right project, a pin-dot cotton with border embroidery. Border designs on fabric are awesome by the way. I wish there was more of them available.
Here I've already cut up my fabric:

A little rant about photos

I know a lot of sewing bloggers take photos of themselves on their own but I've always disliked doing that myself. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to take photos for me on a regular basis, and I didn't win that mega millions lottery drawing last week to hire someone, so I'll just have to put up with self-portraits. Don't get me wrong, I don't always dislike self-portraits. I set up mini photo shoots for myself just for fun sometimes, but I don't want to have to put that level of effort into a shot of a mock-up or progress of a project.
Even though I have a remote for my camera, I never seem to have someplace I can set it up. This house doesn't have much I can use as backgrounds either. There's always too much furniture, other clutter, not enough light or backlight from windows. I'd go outside, but I don't trust my tripod on the uneven ground. It makes me miss my old living room (visible in the indoor shots of the wedding dress post). Even there I was never completely satisfied with photos, so I'm probably idealizing the place since I miss it, but at least I had a consistent spot to use. I've been in the new house about a year and a half now and I can't find a spot I'm satisfied with. Oh well, can't do much about it except keep looking for something that works. Some of my education focused on photography and part of me would like to work in that field, so it pains me a little to say this, but please forgive the sometimes poor photos. I know I'm capable of better, but things just aren't working out.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What to do with a mock-up that works?

There are a couple ways I handle mock-ups (sometimes I refer to these as "trial runs" so I'm not constantly saying "mock-up"):
- if the pattern had a lot of fitting issues and I made it work, I save the mock up to use as a future pattern
- if it didn't work at all, it goes back in the fabric pile to be cut again as something else
- this one might be a little different than what other people do: if I think the pattern will work with only minor adjustments, I cut it in my lining fabric so I can just use it to line whatever I'm making once it's fitted. I baste the lining together, fit it, rip it apart to use as a pattern for the outside fabric, and put it back together.
- or, if the piece doesn't need a lining, I turn the mock-up into a garment on it's own. This can work since I mostly use plain sheets for my mock-ups. They take dye well if they have some cotton content so once that's done, no one knows the garment was just a trial run or is made from a sheet.

In this case, I went with the last option. When I made the Sims jeans for Eddy, I did a trial run to work out any kinks in my pattern alterations and sizing for his tiny self.

Of course they have some seams that don't quite make sense when they're not made in two colors, but that's not something most people notice right away.

Pants to dance in

There once was a girl who liked pants called UFO's (really there's lots of girls like that). Unfortunately, these pants were not in the budget of an unemployed college student. So, what's a girl to do? Make her own of course, this is a sewing blog after all (and a project from 2010).

I had seen other people wearing UFO's and got a chance to look at my friend's a bit, but since I didn't own any to even measure I had to make everything up as I went along. I do have some capri pants in a somewhat similar style, and those were definitely helpful for figuring out some of the details like where to attach straps.

These had no pattern and no trial run because they really didn't need it - I just went for it measuring and drawing directly onto some plain white fabric (a sheet to be exact). I'm pretty sure I had traced the crotch curve from a shorts pattern, but that's all. I used my hip measurement plus a couple for the waist (divided by 4 for each half leg piece) and made the pant legs 40" on the bottom (20" per leg piece). 40 inch wide pant legs are amazing by the way. They have drawstring in the waist and legs, lots of pockets, straps, and star buttons (those weren't sewn on yet in the photo above). One of the more interesting details I noticed in pants of this style is the little tucks at the knees - two on each side, so 4 per knee, only in the front. You can see them in the above photo. I believe they give you more knee room so you don't rip your pants doing crazy dance moves.

Why yes, I do things the hard way.

Here's another project from the past year. Although I mostly sew for myself, it's not because I don't like sewing for others. I like doing commissions (hint hint), as long as the person I'm working with is willing to try things on and discuss what is and isn't possible. In this case, my best friend asked for some pants from the Sims 2 game, like these:

 ... and here's my version (plumbob also made by me using a template found online. It's card stock that's been painted and wired to a headband):

I did kind of promise to sew Eddy something for Christmas and he's pretty easy to work with, so I didn't mind taking on a complex project I had never done before. By that I mean I'd never made structured pants, put in a fly front, or worked with denim. I'll say now that I was a little amazed when I finished them and they turned out better than I expected. There were some tough times with how much my machine did not enjoy sewing through 8 layers of denim.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's black and white, and spotted all over?

This new dress I'm working on of course!

A little while ago I saw the Victorian Noble Mermaid Dress from Victorian Maiden, and thought it looked pretty similar to the pencil skirt version of Simplicity 3673. I have this pattern, so I thought, "I can totally make that!"
I'm not sure why I like this dress as much as I do - maybe it's the gentle curve of the bottom and the shape of the neckline. Usually I'm not a big fan of wearing pencil skirts, but what the heck, I can't be poofy all the time, right?

As you may have gathered from my post title, this isn't exactly a replica of the VM dress. The first difference is that I'm using this awesome black and white polka dot fabric from "That $1.99 Fabric Store" (yes, that's really the name of the store). It has a nice weight to it, and slight stretch - great for a fitted dress so I can still move freely. When I got it, it was covered in tiny red arrow stickers, pointing out print errors, but none of these are significant enough to be visible in a finished garment. (Photo further down)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Satyr costume

Since I'm already in a Halloween mood after the last post, here's another costume. This was for Halloween last year. I've seen lots of these costumes in the past and really wanted to make one of my own after that. I wasn't actually planning on doing it last year, but my boyfriend at the time helped convince me. Once I was done, I was glad I went through with it even though it was a lot of work. It's also a bit of a storage nightmare.
I used several tutorials scattered around the web as guidelines - sorry, I don't have all the links now. The necklace is the only piece I did not make or alter in any way.
Fun fact: I got a lot more compliments than I expected on my butt and tail while wearing this.

The Lady Gaga Wedding Dress

Here's one of my favorite projects from 2010. It's proven to be quite versatile. I originally made it for a Craftster challenge that had us use a bed sheet to make something. I wanted a gown inspired by Lady Gaga, but since I was using white, it turned into pretty much a wedding dress... made out of a bed sheet. Someone sang the wedding march as I walked by to take photos outside. People have also mentioned it reminds them of the Labyrinth, but that's a great movie so I don't mind the comparison at all. I've also worn it in a fairy godmother costume and as a dead bride/theatre ghost at school.
The main pattern was Simplicity 3673 with some changes - clearly the sleeves, which were a pattern I enlarged from a textbook. I just winged it on the collar, which ties in the back with some ribbon.
I like doing weird makeup too, so to add a little more Lady Gaga inspiration, I used CD pieces as face decoration. (Pictures after the jump - click on any photo to enlarge)

The Victorian Project - in progress

I've always admired Victorian clothing and enjoy seeing people still make such things. Back in 2010, I decided I would make my own Victorian gown. To help motivate me, I turned the project into an independent study for college. Well, I graduated school and the outfit is still in way more pieces than it should be...
When finished, it should look something like this. The outfit is based on images from the 1870s and 80s, so it's not totally accurate for any specific year, but I doubt too many people now will pick out the anachronistic details.

Who doesn't love polka dots?

I mean really, they're awesome. These are two of my projects from last year: a blouse and skirt. I haven't gotten a chance to wear either piece out yet, which leaves me a little disappointed, but there will come a time for them.
I found these awesome fabrics at a discount fabric store for just $1.99 a yard. I wish I'd gotten more! The yellow is a sateen finish, and flows beautifully, although it tends to stretch like mad on the bias so the hem never hangs even. Ah, well, I'll still wear it.
I used this tutorial for the circle skirt:
and heavily altered New Look 6599 for the blouse. I changed all the darts to princess seams, did plain sleeve ruffles instead of cuffs, got rid of the yoke, made it close all the way up, and drafted the new collar.
The entire blouse is french seamed, including the armholes... this seemed like it would never work, but it did. I think it had to do with how light weight the fabric is.
I'm wearing a camisole since the blouse is sheer, and organza petticoats I also made a while ago.

Hello readers

My name is Gosia and I had wanted to learn to sew way back when I watched my mom doing it while I was a little girl. A couple years ago (2008 or so...) I finally started to get into it seriously. Now, I have quite a backlog of projects I keep telling myself I'll do one day and a fabric stash to match, so hopefully starting a blog to keep track of what I'm working on will motivate me to get some of those things done.
Once in a while, I'll include projects I finished before starting a blog. I enjoy some of them quite a bit and maybe someone can find them inspiring.
Feel free to contact me with questions, tips, critique, or any other comments you may have : )