Sunday, November 23, 2014

Are these panties really high enough?

I tried making underwear once before, and it didn't seem worth the effort (time + money) but was pretty fun. This time I made high-waisted panties since those are more difficult to purchase (and by making them I can use whatever cute fabric patterns I want). I wanted to make them out of lace for that pin-up look, and tried to match the front panel fabrics to lace I already had around.

I was inspired by one of my friends who mentioned buying a cheap pair of plain high-waisted undies to use as a pattern for some pin-up styled ones. This seemed like a good idea, so I also bought a pair. I then remembered some posts on Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing about making high-waisted panties, so I looked those up for reference. I like the pattern Gertie uses more than my sample panties, but it wasn't available when I made these.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Update: Galliano pirate jacket and vampire vest

I posted about finishing the Galliano Pirate Jacket quite a while ago, and also about making this sweet vampire inspired vest. The photos I had of them back then aren't the best, so I thought I would do a little update.

Bria modeled the jacket for me so I could take a couple better photos.

She also took some photos of me last month, and I wore my long vest:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm not sure what to call this - A dress? Overalls?

Back in August, a Reddit user was giving away a couple vintage patterns and I snagged this baby:

It's Le-Roy/Weldons number 9135, which is a brand I've never even heard of. I love the overall bib type top - it looks a lot like the backless dresses that were super popular this summer. I wanted a skirt that was a bit fancier, and had also recently acquired this Japanese sewing book (Otome no Sewing). It includes a pattern for a super cute gathered skirt with a yoke.

I then found this great flannel at the $1.99 fabric store. Put all that together, throw in some lace, and here's the result!

I had to get someone to help me fit the back because trying to do it myself when there's so little fabric was quite difficult.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This chiffon fabric sat in a pile on my floor for months.

I knew I wanted to make a ruffly skirt out of it as soon as I got it, but it's a pretty intimidating project because of all the hemming and gathering.

I took a while to figure out the easiest way to hem the chiffon. Eventually I settled on a serged rolled hem with wooly nylon thread. Wooly nylon thread is not twisted, so it spreads out and fills in some of the space between stitches. I hadn't done this before, but thought it would make a nice little border (and it's fast!) Once I decided on this, the skirt seemed less intimidating.

I didn't have a pattern (this type of skirt really doesn't need one since it's all rectangles) though I based the measurements on another skirt I own. They ended up as follows:

waistband 38" (with elastic 28")
first ruffle 54" (one width of the fabric)
second ruffle 108" (2 widths)
third ruffle 216" (4 widths)

each ruffle is 7" long and the overlap between them is  about 2".

I used a white base fabric for the ruffles. Since the chiffon is sheer, it creates light and dark stripes, which I really like.

The waistband is a simple elastic waistband.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

There's some cool stuff at "clothes by the pound"

If you have a "clothes by the pound" store near you and want to practice sewing, go there! In about twenty minutes, I found these two great pieces that were in pretty rough shape, but didn't have any stains or holes in the body of the fabric (this is important - things with popped seams, ragged hems, ripped sleeves are all good candidates for fixing, things with big mystery stains and holes in the center of a panel are not). With a couple hours of work, I have some awesome new dresses that I would have struggled to put together from scratch. I wouldn't normally post about "fixing" clothes, but I also thought these dresses were really awesome designs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

How many tries does it take to make a minky top?

Apparently, it's three.

After making tentacles for my friend Bria, she said I could have the leftover pink/peach minky fabric. I thought it would make a cute and comfy top that I could put together super quickly using a simple kimono sleeve top pattern (the one I used for these fishnet tops). It's just two pieces - front and back.

This is a story of what happens when I get too excited and lazy and don't think through what I'm doing.

I cut out the top and sewed it together, as easily as expected. Put it on and...
It's too tight. Dammit. I had enlarged the pattern some since this fabric is less stretchy than the fishnet, but apparently not enough. I serged the seams so there's absolutely no seam allowance to let out. It actually looks great in photos, but it's not comfortable.

Ok. Try again. The second time, the neck came out too wide because I foolishly added width at the center front and back (on the fold when cutting) without making the neck opening smaller. There's technically nothing wrong with this version, I just didn't want such a wide neck. Bria didn't mind so I passed it on to her.

 Third try, finally what I wanted... now that I've used up all the fabric.

(If you like this skirt, I talk about it in a previous post)