Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Flu (out)Break

I'm sorry for the lack of posting and even sorry I haven't been sewing the past couple of weeks. Me, and my family have been suffering from the flu :-(

Feeling much much much better today and everyone seemed well this morning so I think the storm has passed. Hopefully I'll get something done by the weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Honky Tonk Blues"

My post finally went up at Sew Weekly. This week's theme was 'Make this Look' and I chose to make a dress I'd seen on Sewing On Pins. A few month's ago Heather, at Sewing on Pins had a giveaway. I won a pattern she was generously giving away, for a vintage coat dress. When the button challenge was announced I instantly thought of that pattern! Unfortunately it was the wrong size. In the post though Heather mentioned she made a coat dress from McCall's 6279, I decided to give it a try. Thus my previous project.

I love this pattern, and I think Heather's version is so flattering on her. I had some complications with fabric this time around, but my quilting experience got me through it.

Thanks again to Heather for the pattern, and the inspiration!


Sorry about the sour face! I was using the self timer on the camera and we weren't getting along.

The Facts
Fabric: 5 yards of blue outer fabric, 3 yrds of lining fabric
Pattern: McCalls 6279 second use
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 11 Buttons $12
Time to complete: 10 Hours
First Worn: February 3, 2012 for pictures
Wear Again: Yes definitely!
Total price: fabric $25, buttons $12, thread, interfacing $10 total: $47
 The biggest story with this piece is the crappy fabric. I purchased new fabric on sale from the only place that sells fabric in my part of town, Hobby Lobby. It will be the last time. I washed it, as I want my dress to be machine washable, and it practically disintegrated.  I had to develop a plan B. So I cut out all the pieces again from a piece of fabric I got when buying a ‘lot’ on ebay. Worked great. I love the weight and security the extra layer gives me and the color of the disintegrating fabric looks suede -y.
It's pretty 'bold' on the inside.
I did change a few things this time, other than completely lining it, I also changed the button placement to prevent unfortunate button placement, and I shortened the sleeves and made the sleeve cuffs 1/2 the width of the pattern.
 The other sleeves were a bit too puffy for me.
I’m slowly but surely getting projects done. I appreciate Heather allowing me to use her piece for my ‘Made this Look’.

Heather's Version


Friday, January 27, 2012

Today I Started Loving You Again and the 'My Button's Got a Hole In It' Dress

My sewing machine and I have fallen back in love. We used to be the best of friends, staying up all night making quilts. I longed for it forEVER before I could afford the price. I found the reciept inside the instruction manual and I paid $1496.77us in April of 1997 for a Husqvarna model 500. I had researched for months on what I wanted and oh how I loved it. The used machine I had just wouldn't hold up under my hours of sewing. But alas we drifted apart and we really hadn't seen much of each other in the past 10 years. This button challenge piece really showed me what a doll I have. The time I've spent with my machine this past few weeks has rekindled my love for sewing.

You see I procrastinated for days about doing the buttons and buttonholes, knowing I needed to get the book out and figure out how the fancy looking buttonhole foot worked. Well, I was a little let down when 30 minutes after finding the book the buttonholes and buttons were done! My machine sews buttonholes in one step, and I used it to sew on the buttons too. I didn't even know it did that! I'm hoping when I get to zippers I have a simular revelation, but I feel I'm setting myself up for disappointment.

Anyways, it might not look like much to anyone else but I am extremely proud of my progress with this project. The pattern fit good, the instructions were direct, and I totally enjoyed my time with my sewing machine!

My buttons got a hole in it,
otherwise I couldn’t sew with it
My buttons got a hole in it,
 can’t find no thread…

I’ve been singing this little diddy for a week, but I finally completed the second challenge, and got pictures, not good ones mind you, but a couple of pictures none the less. For the record getting the pictures and writing the blog post seems the hardest part to me!

After my first two weeks were taken up with struggling with the bombshell dress, I’m glad to report this dress went together perfectly. I used a scant seam allowance along the bust seams, but other than that I didn’t change anything. Its categorized as an easy pattern and I would agree with that. The facings are hand sewn down, but the buttons! I did on my machine. I had no idea I just put the button next to the chart, keyed in a number, put the presser foot down and viola! buttonholes! I also used the machine to attach the 11 buttons.

I’m very proud of this dress as I intended it to be my muslin for the real one but the thick sheet fabric made a nice texture, so I went with it!

Very cold and windy outside, my next challenge pictures may have to be inside ones!
The Facts
Fabric: Bedsheet purchased at thrift store $1.75
Pattern: McCalls 6279 $1 on sale at Hobby Lobby
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 11 Buttons $6.00
Time to complete: 12 Hours (!!!!??)
First Worn: January 25, 2012 for pictures
Wear Again: Yes definitely, I love it! In fact I wore it to work today.
Total price: $8.75

I'm also very pleased my thrifted jacket from a couple of years ago, that I've never gotten to wear matched the dress so well several people told me they thought they went together as in......I bought them that way. Ah, success :-)

And I want to make sure I give credit to Hank Williams for inspiring, My Button's Got A Hole In It

Well back to sewing...

Honky Tonkin'

Well yes I am still here and I am still sewing. I've learned so much over the past few weeks that posting now about the first dress seems silly, but here I've got these pictures and all so I guess I will go ahead with it.

The facts:
Fabric: The fabric was purchased from JoAnn’s Fabric and is one of their quilting cottons.
Pattern: I used an Eva Dress Pattern for 1950′s Sarong.
Year: I believe this is a reprint of a 1950′s pattern.
Notions: Zipper, padding, boning, I didn’t add the boning as I was very disappointed with fit issues.
Time to complete: Every spare moment I had for 2 weeks :( Approximately 20 hours?
First Worn: January 15, 2012
Wear Again? No it isn’t really wearable, I put it on for the photos but there are gaping issues in the back, I tried to add inches back there, then needed darts, uh not good!
Total price: Well for this exact version about $19, but all total with the pattern, notions, 3 muslin’s I made, and Craftsy course, its over $100.
I think I started with too hard of a project, what with not having the right size pattern, and not having the pattern from the course. I needed more step by step instructions.

I think that once I gain more pattern modifying skills I will be able to fix this piece. I had to add approximately 12inches around to get the pattern to fit. I did a good job of fitting it in the front. The back though, even though it fit at the waist line, had several inches of excess around the bust. I put darts in the back to help with this and it perfectly fixed the issue, so now it fits around the top and at the waist, unfortunately though the seam where the zipper should be placed is almost zig zag? I wanted pictures to post to see if anyone could help, but alas computer and camera issues made that impossible for today. I do still love the idea and haven't given up on it though, as I said I think it can be fixed.

And because I think of this as a 'party' dress, I offer up to you my inspiration for the name:

I have finished my second dress and started the third challenge, I will post them here as soon as they have posted at the sew weekly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A whole lotta sewing going on over here

 A few more outfit photos. I like the longer shirts better. Its been too cold and rainy to get out much and take any photos. Still working on fit/proportions. I've seen several people put up 'croquis' aparently from the Collette Sewing Handbook. I have that book on my list to buy. Here is the tutorial I used to make mine, Lladybird. Lladybird's blog is worth checking out, she's got a lot of great projects.

I'm still doing the Sew Weekly Challenges. My first project, for the accessory challenge, took up two weeks! I am still not happy enough with the results to wear it anywhere, but I am done with it. I have alot to say about the project, but I want to wait until my post at the Sew Weekly blog goes up.

In other sewing news, I got a great deal on some fabrics on ebay. For $20 us I got these:

And then while searching for something to make muslins out of at the thrift shop my daughter and I ran into even better bargains:

Total for all this was about $9us

I don't have much of a stash of garment fabrics so this will really help me keep up with the weekly challenges.

Well, with school, work and keeping up with the kids I haven't had much time to put in to blog posts, but I appreciate those that keep checking back!

One last shot today, a picture of my daughter who turns 18 today, in a dress she made over Christmas with her Grandmother.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outfits/Learning Process

There is a theory in self-help/human development that in order to assimilate a trait into a personality the person should 'mirror' or basically copy cat the process the ideal person used to accomplish the same thing. Confusing? Umm, I'm just trying to distract you from these awful photos of myself.

Anyway my idea is, that I look at alot of blogs everyday. If I really like a blog I will go through the posts from the beginning up until what is current, to sort of get the history of the person and see how they have progressed. I've noticed that individuals that participate in daily outfit photos often morph and quickly, into a much more polished confident person. Looking at yourself in a picture is much different than looking at yourself in the mirror, for me anyway.

So all that to say this, please be kind, this is hard for me. I have to start somewhere though. Here are my daily outfit photos from last week.

I liked this one the best, I wore my jacket all day with it, but the shirt is longer and I always like red on me.

I was shocked to realize this shirt was see through with the flash!!

This is my pretty typical uniform, I need to do something with my hair, I'm not sure what to do  in the waist area I think this shirt is too short.
Still I think this shirt is too short/too small, gaping at the bust

I love this shirt but I think its too short, the sleeves are way too long, from what I can find and see of proportions I need my shirt to come down to the break at my hip.

 I bought all these pieces for .99 on New Years Day at the thrift store. I'm trying to work out fit and proportion issues so I will know how my self made garments need to fit me. If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment. As I said, this is hard for me, please be kind, I know I need to loose weight!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Sew Weekly Challenge

This year I took a big plunge and signed up to be a contributor at The Sew Weekly. I'm very excited about how much I'm going to learn creating a weekly piece. Hopefully by January 2013 I will be well on my way of realizing my dream of being able to create stage pieces for musicians here in Nashville. I'm working on my piece for this week. Stay tuned!
Pictured here with a western shirt I sewed about 8 years ago, with the guidance of my mother in law when she was visiting from Idaho. This shirt is awesome, but still does not have the snaps as I never figured out a good way to place the snaps. This is just a prototype of a design and idea I've been working with for years.

Well I better get back to this weeks creation.