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11  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vogue1090 - sometimes you just have to pull the scissors out and call it a day on: July 26, 2010 07:53:30 PM
This is Vogue 1090: http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v1090-products-9750.php?page_id=854

Nice, eh?  I thought so and bought some awesome blue and white linen to make this color blocked 60s throw-back dress.  Cut the pieces all out and pinned them up on my indoor clothes line I put all my sewing projects on.  That was a year ago.  I was apparently very distracted.

So, the dress:



If you checked out the link you'll notice that there are sleeves on that pattern.  Mine too originally had sleeves, but they didn't sit right.  And I tried to fix them.  And they were better, but not quite right.  And I tried some more, thinking I was getting better at troubleshooting and congratulating myself on being able to fix the sleeves.  Then the whole thing went pear-shaped and I ended up having to cut the sleeves out entirely and decided it would be sleeveless.  Sergers, while awesome, make irreversible sewing decisions.

If you've set in sleeves you've probably noticed that a nicely cut sleeve has more space underneath your armpit so the garment sleeve will move with you.  My dress now had gaping arm holes which displayed some side boob.  In the picture below you'll see the armpit gussets I had to add.



Also, that neckline was hard to do and required some hand sewing.  Plus linen is begging to be unraveled so there was alot of serging and lapped seams involved in this dress.  All in all, it was a Vogue "easy" pattern which means "geez, I really have to think about this to do it right" or "way harder than any other pattern company's definition of 'easy'".  I still don't really understand why the sleeves were weird.

Anyway, I got a nice summer shift out of it.  Hopefully the linen won't be too wrinkly to wear to work.

Oh, I did put the zipper using this tutorial: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/07/techique-tuesday-invisible-zipper.html which was absolutely fantastic.  I've had that foot forever and never knew what it was for.  The zipper went in like butter and I'm going to go back to some old dresses to rip the zipper out and put it back in using this technique.

12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Button down - Simplicity 3684 on: July 11, 2010 07:32:00 PM
I picked up this pattern ages ago during one of those $0.99 sales at Hancocks.  It's a pretty handy pattern in that you pick a dress size and a bust size (by cup).  Cools.  It's straightforward with the instructions, but I'm biased because I also have David Coffin's shirtmaking book so have a decent idea of how collars are done (though this is the first time I've finished a button-down).  I finished ALL the seams.  French seams and those nice shoulder seams all around, most of the techniques courtesy of Mr. Coffin.  I serged the sleeves on after basting them on with the regular machine.

I've seen short sleeve button-downs described as "camp shirts" which I like.  Wearing them out with shorts feels a little bit old fashioned and kind of dressed up, kind of not. 

Anyway, the shirt:


I made the collar maybe a tad large, but I like it.  It sits pretty well.



Excuse the wrinkled armpits.  I wore the shirt today so it's a bit broken in already.



The sleeve details I did myself.  A friend had something like this on a shirt I admired so I decided to add them here.

Things I'll change next time:  I'll nip it in a bit more through the waist (it's fine as it is though) and I'll use a lighter interfacing up the front.  The button line is a bit stiff when I sit, but it might soften with a wash.

Anyway, it's a good pattern, I recommend it and will use it more.  Happy sewing.
13  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Art-Nouveau iron-on transfer on: May 17, 2010 01:52:23 PM
First of all, I didn't make the tote.  The lovely people at Michaels did.  I didn't seem to fit into the reconstructed category and I didn't see a posting section for "lazy bums who are just embellishing store bought items".

Second of all, the Dover Pictura line of clip art books are fantastic.  This is the one I used for this project:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Nouveau-Dover-Pictura/dp/0486996395/ref=pd_sim_b_7
I also have the Japanese one.  I covered up a chocolate stain on a friend's white skirt with some very lovely cranes. 

I dropped the picture into Photoshop (this may or may not have been done on my work computer), copied it out so that it was the length I wanted, made the background color roughly the same as the bag, and added my initial in the same color.  Then I just printed it out on that color iron on paper, cut it out, and voila:



Detail:



It's been a book or crochet bag (pfpht, like I ever finish anything crocheting) for a while now and seems to be holding up just fine.
14  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Hot Patterns Weekender Monaco Top on: May 17, 2010 01:40:28 PM
Sometimes you find a quilting cotton you just can't live without.  I bought this fabric a while ago and only recently decided to make something out of it.  This is the Weekender Monaco Top from Hot Patterns.



If you google the pattern (I'd like but there's something up with their site at the moment I'm posting) you'll see that my collar is nothing like theirs.  I used too stiff of interfacing and the mandarin collar was too wide so it came halfway up my neck.  So I flipped it down and out and it seems to be working out.  I've worn it a few times like this now and quite like it.



I do love things with yokes though.  I had to set the sleeves in twice though.  I somehow always forget that my shoulders are narrower than what most patterns allow so I end up with sleeves about a half inch out too far.  You think at some point I'd start to remember.



I made the sleeveless, collarless dress from this pattern a few years back and at some point I'll take some pictures of it. 

Comments about Hot Patterns:  They're perfectly fine and functional patterns.  I personally prefer the tissue patterns over white paper ones for storage reasons, but people are different.  If you're not swayed by the paper issue, they're honestly not any more stylish than stuff you can get from the big four - they just do a better job with the pictures to make the patterns seem more stylish.  Elongated fashion drawings of people always look way better than the comparably stumpy legged human in the actual garment.
15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vogue 7848 in an Indian fabric on: May 16, 2010 01:00:19 PM
A friend of mine went to India last fall for a family wedding and brought me back some what I assume to be sari fabric (he doesn't have a clue, his aunts picked it out).  It's a thin cotton with blue and green threads which makes the color change with movement and there are little mirrors sewn into the middle of gold printed sunbursts.  The edge is a wine and gold stripped border, which I wanted to make a design point of anything I made out of it.



I decided to use Vogue 7848, which I've had for years, and make it into a dress.  On a side note, I think the pattern might be discontinued as I couldn't find it in the catalog when I was at the store buying boning, but I was in a bit of a rush.  Here's the dress on my dress form (which I didn't use to make this).



A few notes on the pattern:  It's a Vogue Easy, but it has boning in it.  Honestly, the boning is simple to put in and it is an easy dress.  I taught my roommate to sew years ago using this pattern.  It's also a great versatile pattern that just needs interesting fabric to make it a great dress.

Unfortunately I don't have any great wedding action shots due to my husband abandoning picture taking duty for bourbon drinking duty.  Another friend hopefully has some good ones since my mother has been demanding them.  This is my friend (a bridesmaid) and I acting out awkward middle school dances from our youths.  Notice the kick-ass fascinators my mom brought back from Ireland in all our hair (mine's the most obvious).  Start the trend in the US, wear them to weddings!

16  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / I love thrifting-"Cardigan re-do" on: April 11, 2010 04:07:53 PM
I'm lucky enough to live near two really great thrift stores.  I stroll through the racks looking for decent quality stuff that's not too worn and in colors I like.  This was a J.Crew sweater with sleeves that folded back.  Loved the color, but it was too small and the sleeves were clunky.  So I cut off the bottom of the arms and up the front to make a cardigan.



I'm not a knitter so I just ran a zig-zag stitch along all the raw edges.  Here you can see the original finish at the bottom of the body and the raw finish on the arms.



I made the mistake of cutting out the neck of the sweater which wasn't bad to begin with and led to some strange gaping that had to be fixed with a hot steam iron.  I originally wanted to sew ribbon around all the raw edges but that just turned out awful so I pulled it all off.  In the end I used the ribbon to make a little rose for the top.



It's a bit more homespun than I usually like to wear, but I like it and wore it quite a bit this winter.  I love thrifting because even if this had of turned out to be a disaster, I would have only been out $5.
17  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hidden Jewelry Box on: April 10, 2010 07:38:46 AM
Sometime around the new year I was sorting through all my jewelry and realized I had a metric ton of necklaces.  Some nice, some "bargain", but most of them languishing somewhere forgotten and unseen.  I don't know about you but I tend to wear the same pair of earrings and one of three necklaces most days.

Anyway, I saw this: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/01/diy-project-hidden-jewelry-box.html on Design Sponge and during the big February snows while the federal government was closed (weeeee!) I was able to make it down to my in-laws to build my own hidden jewelry box.  The Design Sponge link has a nice how-to that the FIL and I totally didn't use.  FIL is a very good woodworker so we just went by feel with scrap wood from his shop.  I bought all the little fittings at the hardware store on the way down.

This is the front:



I got the tree panel from Target on clearance.  Interestingly, when my father-in-law and I went to assemble it, it was no where near plumb.

Here's it cracked open:



You can see the little latch that holds in shut (this is crucial due to the non-plumbness of the panel).  The necklaces are all held up with little brass cup hooks I screwed into the top piece of wood.

Here's the whole interior:



We put the hinges on the inside so they're not as noticeable when closed.  Most of the box is scrap maple and I stained the side pieces so they complemented the front (nothing really matches, just looks nice together).  I was going to paper the back like they did in the example, but I decided a busy background could make it harder to see the jewelry and besides, what's prettier than a nice piece of wood (even if it is sheet)?  The whole thing just screws into the wall through the back panel with four screws.

I love it.  It's been fantastic and I've been wearing way more of my jewelry, plus it really goes with our room.

18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Tip for printing out a pattern at home (like from BurdaStyle or a pattern book) on: January 31, 2010 07:13:33 AM
I just printed out 54 pages of a pattern from the Twinkle Sew book and was looking at people's complaints on Amazon.com about the patterns using up so much paper.  At my work we go through alot of paper for various projects or proofreading people's powerpoints and papers and such (I print double sided, but some old guys have problems with that).  We have a good recycling program, but I'll gather up a pile of paper that's been printed on one side and take it home for these patterns.  It's super recycling and I then recycle the left over paper scraps at home.

Just make sure you don't take home proprietary/FOUO stuff or anything with people's names and information on it.  That could get you in trouble.  I don't want to hear a news story about a crafter who used sheets of people's SSNs or nuke launch codes to make paper mache pinatas. 
19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Take Manhattan pattern from Twinkle Sews on: January 30, 2010 11:17:10 AM
Just before Christmas I bought myself the Twinkle Sews book because I loved the patterns in it.  Most of them I wouldn't do exactly as she did and I'm not a fan of the model styling, but they're still very modern and cool.  Anyway, last night and today I finished Take Manhattan.  I used a nice weight purple wool that was on sale.  I got the end of the bolt which made me have to some creative cutting to get all the pieces.  I didn't line mine.





Here's what it looks like in the book made of linen.



Things I learned:

The wool drapes much thicker than the linen.  It still hangs, but not as softly as the linen in the picture.  It's very warm and I like it, but I might make a linen one for spring.  Cotton would probably not be a good choice for this pattern.  Sweatshirt material would probably work fine but be different.  There's another pattern that's for sweatshirt material that I want to try out.

Twinkle Sews is not for beginners.  The patterns are fine (once you print them out, arrange them, tape them together, then cut out the pieces), but the instructions are very brief.  It helps to already have a basic idea of how garments are assembled because the book won't help you that much.

Geez, the darts that were called for were unfortunate.  I ended up just taking them out all together.  I should have taken a picture of just how unfortunate they were.

I made every seam a french seam.  It's nice and finished, but I think that contributes to the sleeves sticking out a bit. 

They only have every other size (0, 4, 8, 12, 16) and each size is its own pattern to print out which makes fitting weird.  I'm usually about a six, printed out an eight to be safe, but probably should have done the four.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it and it looks good over a long sleeved t-shirt.  I think I'm going to go put it on and go play in the snow.
20  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / PR starts in less than an hour! Squeeeeee! on: January 14, 2010 06:25:40 PM
BWAH!!!!  I can hardly wait!  I just wish I knew an in-the-flesh person as excited as I am.  I love the people at Project Rungay, but the interwebs is not cutting it right now.  My husband just keeps looking at me like I'm crazy.

Nice television (a first!) - check.
Ice cream - check.
Bottle of chianti - check.
Knitting for during commercial breaks - check.

As a side note:  Do people tell you now that "you should be on Project Runway" because you made a skirt?  I try to explain that PR is hard and those people have mad skillz and I mainly sew from patterns.  This usually gets a hand wave and "p-sha, how hard can it be?" 

Woo!  New season be better than last season!
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