Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Can you make me some post-apocalyptic clothing?"

My boyfriend asked me if I could buy or make him some new clothes. I pointed out how this will result in him wearing strange clothing I want to see him in, but okay!

I was going to use this interesting double layered cut up fabric for a dress, but it's a bit sheer. One day I got the idea to make a shirt for him. Sweet, I get a use for the fabric and he gets something vaguely post-apocalyptic.

This is only the third thing I've made on my serger after not having used it for a couple years, so it's not perfect (it didn't help that the fabric was inherently difficult to work with). The biggest problem is that the back of the neckline got a bit stretched out. It's not too bad, but enough to bother me.

It's kind of interesting that the inside of this looks like flowers and leaves because of how the outside layer is tacked onto the fabric. It's such a contrast to the outside.

Like I mentioned in my previous post about using this machine, I like having different colored threads in the stitching instead of four spools of all one color. In this case, I used one golden brown and the rest black to match the fabric.

I didn't use a pattern. Instead, I traced around a t-shirt onto the fabric, basted it on a regular machine, had him try it on and made adjustments. Once I had the fit right I serged everything so I didn't have to worry about him stretching the shirt and busting any seams. I finished all the hems with the serger too for a rougher look.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How are my calves too big for everything?

Every once in a while, I'll find a pair of skinny jeans or pants that I really like and convince myself that they'll totally fit. They pretty much never do because of my calves. I guess no one expects my size waist/hips to actually have thighs and calf muscles.

I received the leggings pattern from So Sew Easy as one of my prizes for winning their "Make it Yours Contest" with my fox clutch. Okay. They're leggings. I've made leggings before, and they fit well enough. I used a self drafted pattern that had 4 pieces, so I wanted to try out this one because it's only 2 (one per leg). It looks like it fits very well for only having two pieces, and it's so much less work.

I also wanted to start using my serger more. It's been sitting in a box for years because I don't really have the space for it or the patience to thread it. But what the hell, I'm going to try using it when appropriate. My sewing table is only big enough for one machine so I literally switch between having the regular machine or serger on the table and the other unusable on the floor. It's kind of annoying, but doable.

This pattern seemed like a great choice for getting the serger working. It's simple, stretchy, and quick to put together. I also had some appropriate fabric conveniently on hand. I bought it because I liked the color and it was so very cheap, but had no plans for what to do with it.

I chose the size and cut out the pattern according to the instruction (woah, what? who am I?), thinking mostly that "hey, this fabric is super stretchy. It'll fit even if my calves are bigger than usual." Ahem. I should know better.

I made one pair of these, tried them on, and well... Good thing I have a friend who is about my size. I had wanted to make her some leggings as a gift anyways so I finished these up. She says they fit, phew.

I made a second pair, adding about an inch to the calves. They're still a little too snug in places but not uncomfortable.

I used the serger for all the seams and the bottom hems, though I had to get the other machine for the waistband.

You might notice I didn't use serger thread of all one color. For those who don't know, sergers use 4 spools of thread (or 3 depending on the stitch). I don't really have enough spools in a single color so I decided to do multicolored stitching. I actually really like it. I'll probably do this a lot.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"This looks like some kind of bacteria in a petri dish... and these are clearly pigs"

I see a lot of hippie wrap skirts in photos from music festivals and other such things, and they seem both cute and functional. They also look like a fairly easy project. Come on, wrap skirt? It doesn't even have to be an exact size!

I do my own tie-dying sometimes, so I feel like I'm cheating a bit here, but I used some cool batik fabric remnants I bought. The prints on them are flowers and bears (or bacteria and pigs if you ask one of my friends).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I've decided to start doing tutorials. First up: wtf are culottes anyways?

I mean, this is a tutorial for culottes? a skort? A split-skirt. That's probably most accurate.

According to internet sources (aka Wikipedia) culottes are any women's garment that looks like a skirt but is pants. They used to be a men's garment kind of like knickerbockers. (I just wanted to use the word knickerbockers.) It seems much more accurate to call the women's version a split skirt.

Someone linked me to a pattern for some culottes made to look like a circle skirt a while ago, but I can't justify buying a pattern for something I can easily do, even if I rarely have the motivation to draft these things. I convinced myself this time around by deciding to do a tutorial as I went along, and here it is!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I don't think these kitties are qualified to bake muffins

A couple weeks ago I saw this awesome fabric of kitties baking muffins and promptly bought five yards of it. Did I have any idea what I would do with it? Of course not. But kitties! Baking!

(I'm really bad at only buying fabric I need. I'm fully out of storage space at this point. I have to stop. I keep telling myself I won't buy any more but then things like this show up and I can't help myself).

I knew I wanted to make a dress, but wasn't sure what style. Since I had a lot of the fabric, I decided on the retro whirl-away dress, as seen in a bunch of reprint patterns. Here are two current ones:

Butterick B4790
Vogue V8788

I have the Butterick pattern. This was one of the first serious sewing projects I ever did (back in 2009) and of course it came out pretty horrible. The pattern is very ill-fitting in the bodice portion and fixing it was far beyond my skill set at the time. Even now, I wasn't willing to take on the job. Sometimes things just aren't worth figuring out.

Instead, I pulled out my sloper and altered that into the wrap-around style of these dresses. It went way better than I expected. Of course there could be some improvements, but hey, it worked! There's more info about using a sloper later in the post, but first the finished dress:

I'm wearing it with the pink organza petticoat I made a couple weeks ago. It's exactly the amount of poof I like. In the one photo below, you can see it without any petticoat. It's a bit more casual.