Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Those look like 70s sex party pants"

One of my friends came up with this great name for my pants while I was making them. Seems appropriate.

A couple weeks ago I saw a girl on the train wearing a simple maxi skirt in a cool pattern. When I first spotted her I thought she was wearing loose flowing pants, and thought they were awesome. Even though she wasn't wearing pants, I decided to make some. I used soft knit fabric, so these are super comfortable.

I started out with this tutorial. I've used it before, years ago when I first started sewing, but this time when I followed it the crotch ended up far too low. When I brought it up, of course the pants ended up too short. I didn't have much extra fabric, but managed to cut some bands to add to the bottom. It's really my own fault for not accounting for my added band on the top (and small butt).

I did the waistband a bit differently. Instead of folding over the top of the pants' fabric, I added a wide band on one half of the pants, and a narrow one on the other (so it is more easily hidden under the wrapping).

Gotta show some leg at those 70s sex parties.

Here's that bottom band. as you can see, I didn't have enough fabric to finish the edges properly, like I had on the non-lengthened edges. These pants are just for me though so I'm not too concerned.

I then made another pair, being much more careful about length. I had even less of this fabric to work with (I got both of them as remnants).

Since I had so little fabric I really didn't expect to match the stripes on these, but hey, it worked out!

These pants all look humorously gigantic when not wrapped. They also take way more fabric than you think because of this.

I zig-zagged the "waistbands" on so they would keep their stretch. It worked pretty well, though I do have some skipped stitches here and there.

If you need some super comfy lounge pants I definitely recommend these. They take less than 2 hours to make. Super easy and wearable.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Remember how I was looking for newsprint fabric?

I mean, you probably don't, and I still haven't found any... but! I did get a bunch of these t-shirts recently that have classic books printed on them!

I need to think of other projects to do with them since I have so many, but my first though was to make a dress with some of that shiny, leather-looking spandex as a skirt. I copied the bodice shape from the dress I always use for knit fabric sleeveless pieces, as seen here. The skirt is just a regular circle skirt, which isn't even hemmed because this spandex is awesome and doesn't fray or run.

I quite like how it looks with this wide belt. The skirt is a little heavy for the t-shirt knit top, so it keeps it up a bit better.

Here is what this looks like with a small petticoat:

The back of the shirts has a corresponding print. I had to take my bra off for this photo because it causes some obvious bunching in the back. This is a bit unfortunate because I need it in the front to keep the bodice from being see-through. I also cut my hair somewhere in between taking all these photos.

I made binding out of the spandex for the top, along with a bow (Whaaat? Yea I actually made a bow in a timely manner). There's some twisting in the binding but it's not as obvious when the dress is worn as it is when it's laying flat or hanging.

I don't think I even really want newsprint fabric anymore. After working with this, I realize I don't want more black and white. Perhaps I will switch my sights to comic strip fabric so I can use some more color.

PS. This is available in my Etsy shop

Oh man, this fabric is super cool, quick, think of something to make!

I went to a new (well, to me) fabric store a couple weeks ago and one of the fabrics I picked up was this pink striped silk blend. It's not something I typically work with, but it felt so awesome and the colors are so pretty I had to get at least a little of it. This awesomeness is of course no use to me if I don't make something out of the fabric. The texture reminded me of kimono sleeve blouses common in the 1980s, so that's what I went with.

I have a couple patterns for this style of blouse so I picked one of those: burda 5765 from the 80s. The pattern is plain, and I don't really follow patterns anyways, so I traced it and altered the back to have a tie, shortened it, and made the neckline wider.

I kind of wish I had put in the effort to match the stripes on the shoulders. Bah. I didn't really think about it until it was too late.

The shoulders are French seamed, and the side seams are folded under and stitched down. This stitching is visible on the outside, but the line follows from the "sleeve" hem. All the other edges are bound with a continuous strip of bias binding I made, which as you can see has a lot of rippling happening. I don't really have the proper tools to make binding out of a thin silk like this, so I'm learning to live with it.

Though it's meant to tie in back, the shirt does still kind of work the other way around as a little jacket. Just for fun, here's some photos of that:

Meet the storage fox (for the Make it Yours sewing contest)

A while ago my boyfriend Kelly and I came up with a mythical beast called a storage fox, which specifically holds shoes, but (for the sake of this post) can hold other things. This is the story of the creation of the storage fox purse.

A couple weeks ago I came upon a clutch bag pattern and sewing contest at
Here are the contest details and also the pattern:

So, I don't usually make purses. They're too fiddly. But when I saw this pattern for some reason I kept thinking it looked like an animal face and suddenly I wanted to make it. These were my initial sketches:

I asked my boyfriend which one he liked better (fox or kitty) and he said fox, definitely, and the once forgotten storage fox was remembered.

I wasn't sure what to do for a strap at this point, and then I got the idea to use a chain, leading to the next sketch (also note elongated snout, and how I crumpled this in my pocket while shopping for materials). I don't use clutch bags so some kind of strap was definitely needed.

I brought this with me to buy fabric, which took way, WAY longer than it should have because for some reason fabric stores around me carry short pile fur in orange and black but not white or even cream. I had to settle for corduroy, and beg someone else who was purchasing everything the store had for a small piece because I didn't grab it right away and she beat me to it. I wanted a finer wale, but yea, she got it all. I'm glad she was kind enough to let me have this piece.

The contest specifically states the bag cannot be altered to a point of making the pattern unrecognizable, and I really hope mine still fits that criteria. If you look past the colors, the only alteration to the shape is the snout (and well, some ears).

I cut the pattern apart on the fold lines to make sure I could get the fox colors where needed. I also added a zippered pocket to the lining because I'm not a fan of bags without zippers. Here's everything cut out, except I cut the pocket wrong the first time and had to re-do it, so that's not correct here. The photo is also missing some quilt batting I added to the ears to make them squishier and more cuddly.

At this point the bag looked like the one in the pattern instructions again.

I had a hard time understanding how to sew the lining and outside together. I couldn't do it in the order it asked because I would not have been able to flip my bag through the small opening on the front flap. Instead I sewed the lining to the flap first, leaving the bottom edge open, then top-stitched that closed after flipping. It was also troublesome that the pattern doesn't account for "turn of cloth." This probably isn't an issue for someone using lighter materials, but with the added thickness of the fur, I ended up with some extra lining bunching on the inside.

There you go! The storage fox! The contest will be open for voting in early June. Perhaps I will link to that then.

PS. I also carry a fox-faced wallet, meaning I store a storage fox in my storage fox (hey we heard you like foxes so we put a... oh you know.)