So my goal was to finish one UFO from my stash each month. And these really were finished during February...mostly.
This was a combo of two pieces that weren't working on their own. My sister asked me to make her bridesmaid dress last spring. I've had the two muslin/trial bodices lying around ever since. I loved the plaid, so decided to make it work for me. Not as a dress--it wasn't my size. But jackets are supposed to be slightly larger than your normal size, right? But I don't have anything to wear it with--or do I? I made a sleeveless navy sheath dress 20 years ago for a friend's wedding. Back then I thought I knew more than I actually did. I never really finished it, it didn't really fit right, and I hadn't worn it since. This was the perfect thing to go with the jacket! I just had to cut off about 10 inches and hem it, then tack down the facing. Voila!
I got that far about two weeks ago and stalled at the buttonhole for the jacket. That was all that was left. But I couldn't let this sit as a second generation UFO! So I kicked my own butt in gear today and did the buttonhole. Finished! But I may save it for Easter.
Next is a UFO that I've been working on here and there for maybe 4-6 years. It comes on trips with me, but mostly sat in the sewing room. So in February I stuck it in the car and worked on it during all those 10 minute waits at the school and dentist office. The last round was all done in one fell swoop (2 hrs) because I was determined to just get it done! That was actually Feb 28. Of course, then I needed to wash it (I did mention it's been around for a while) and block it.
It took me about 40 hrs all together, and it's 34" across. What am I going to do with it? I'm calling it a small tablecloth, and probably saving it for when my daughter gets married. But that means that sometime I'll have to make something for my other daughter. There's always more projects!
I don't usually get much done over the weekend because I'm dealing with kids. But I just decided Fri afternoon to make a dress, got started, and finished Sat night! Wore it to church Sun, and started thinking about the next version as I lay in bed that night.
I finally decided to stop just looking at all the cute dresses people have made on the internet, and make my own. I really should step away from the computer more often!
I decided that the key to making a quick dress from a vintage pattern is to find a kimono sleeve. So I went through my stash and found one from my Grandma. I think she made the jacket some time, because the pattern pieces were labeled. It also helped my quick-make factor that there was only one size (mine), and the pattern didn't need to be cut out. Just slap it right on the fabric and cut!
It only took me a day and a half, but it was a good thing I didn't have too much else I needed to do. And DH was very good about letting me sew. But he likes it when I have a new dress--probably because they actually fit me and show off what curves I do have.
I've finished two more UFO's. Both of these were started in December, but it's good to get them out of the way.
First is the dress for my DD that I started as a Christmas dress. All the materials, including the zipper, were given to me. I had started, and asked her to try on the bodice to check the fit. She basically let me know that I have no clue what teenagers wear these days. (She is sooo 13!) So I decided not to waste my time on something she wouldn't wear. Now you can probably guess what happened when I finally did finish it. She said it was so cute and asked who it was for!
I also finished the dress that I promised my sister for Christmas. It's from a vintage pattern I bought at a thrift store, and made from fabric my Grandma-IL gave me. My DD is modeling it here. I should definitely get better photos when my sister comes to pick it up.
First is an amigurumi lion from one of Ana Paula Rimoli's books. His name is Fredrick Douglas--the kids suggested it, and now I need to review my US history. He'd been sitting in a bag without appendages for half a year. He's happy to get out.
Next is a denim blanket. I had accumulated a lot of cast-off jeans. (Don't we all?) I'd cut all of them up into 6" panels and 3" strips a couple months ago. I'd assembled two blankets in Dec, and this one was sitting around waiting to be attached to it's backing (which happens to be double-knit fabric).
Now I only have enough of the 6" panels left for one more blanket. But I really am not sure what to do with all the 3" strips. The one thing that surprised me about these denim blankets is that they are NOT WARM! The kids love them, but they're chilly when you first get under one. Think of pulling on jeans first thing on a winter morning. It takes a while for you body heat to warm them up. So I don't really want to make another blanket. And I have a ton of strips. They're about as long as a pant-leg, or half one if there were worn knees in the jeans I ripped them from. Any suggestions? That aren't too time intensive and fiddley?
So I'm jumping on the photos-of-truth bandwagon. And I know the photos are dark, but it's the basement. We all deal. (I call it the disaster room in homage to the X-men's danger room.)
It's actually *mostly* organized. I really just need to take care of all the piles and boxes that are on the floor. Then I would actually be able to get to all the stuff under my sewing bench. Like my boxes of fabric and patterns.
I do quick jobs right at the bench, standing up. But when there's some serious action going on, I make myself wipe down the kitchen table and take the machines there.
My biggest organizational challenge is figuring out what to do with all the leftover stuff after I've finished a project. Anybody have a system for dealing with that?
I hope this is the right place to post my challenge entry. Being first almost makes me as nervous as being last.
So a couple of years ago I saw a fabulous sweater here on craftster. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=283624.0 Later on I saw that the Lion Brand Cable Luxe Tunic was free and had a similar horizontal cable, and decided to give it a whirl. I took it with me lots of places to work on it. But it seemed like whenever people would comment on it and I would mention that it was for myself, that would stop the conversation. Strange.
I got it to the point that I could try it on. It just didn't fit right. Don't let the photo fool you. Maybe if I had followed the pattern... but we all know how that goes.
So I ripped it out and tried again. No good. Left it for a year. Ripped out and tried again. And again. Aargh!
So much later, I decided that I was sick of the reproachful and forlorn looks I got every time I glanced its way. I yanked that project bag out of the corner and ripped out everything but the main cable panel. All that yarn got knit into a small baby blanket for a new neice.
But I couldn't get rid of that beautiful cable. So I kept enough to go round my noggin, ripped out what was leftover, and used it to form the crown and rib for a hat. For me.
And it's not perfect, but it has memories in it from all the places I took it when I thought it was a sweater.
So I get a discount on my daughters' ballet lessons in exchange for sewing some of the costumes. I mentioned to someone that I haven't sewn any tutus even though I've been doing this for three years. Mostly just fancy leotards. And within a month the studio director got a hold of me and said that she'd bought this great new pattern, and could I sew some tutus. Not just any tutus either. Real, stick-straight-out, pancake, classical tutus for teenage girls! I have to say that I was a bit trepidatious, but excited to try! And so the odyssey began....
I have to say that I never could have done it without the fabulous pattern from Suzanne Deickman! If you ever need to sew a legitimate tutu, check out her site "Tutus That Dance."
I was laughing my head off half the time because I felt like I was hugging a big ball of netting. Once you get all nine layers of netting sewn on, you press or steam them so they flatten out. But before that....
Now I know why tutus cost so much. Even the very plain tutus, without any decoration, too 17 hours to complete. They aren't super hard, just time intensive. And you can factor in that I'm a newbie, but still. I made five plain, white tutus for our swans.
There was a bluebird solo (a variation on the Bluebird pas de deux from the Sleeping Beauty ballet). It's got lace over a bright satin, with a sturdy twill lining. Fully boned, but only with the cheap poly boning from the store. I'm not brave enough to use steel, yet, but see that it'll be necessary in the future. Decorated bodice and tutu took about 30 hours, but I wasn't so good about keeping track of my time there near the end.
And we had a firefly solo. This was my favorite tutu, as was the dancer. The tutu is already sagging, but I made it with a hoop casing, so that won't be hard to fix.
These, with a few leotards and odds and ends, took about three months, working what amounted to part-time. At one point, I tried to tell a lady from church that I was spending all my time making tutus, but somehow I said tatoos!
So I'm doing costumes for my daughters' ballet studio. They're doing Little Red Riding Hood. I've made the costume for Red, and the satiny capelet. But that thing slides around like crazy when she dances! I need to somehow secure it, but it has to be removable. She isn't wearing it at the beginning of the first scene. Then the mother puts it on her, and she immediately exits the stage. This is when something could be fiddled with to secure it, before she goes on in the next scene.
Sorry, the capelet is at the studio so they can practice with it. So no picture, but it's pretty basic. Ties at the front neck. We'll stick bobby pins in to secure the hood, but I need to think of something for the shoulders.
The strap is underneath the peasant top. I'm sure there's a simple solution, but my brain is a little fried from working on ballet costumes about 20 hours a week for the past three months! It's a good thing it gets me a hefty discount on the girls' tuition, or the stress would outweigh the fun. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
I feel so bad because my package came from redpopsicles, but I've been out of town. It was fun to open because I got a fabulous headscarf, and as I unrolled it, everything else was wrapped up in it! I got the luscious, silky headscarf, a tree-of-life hairpin, a tiger's eye hairpin, and a wire-spirals clip. Thanks redpopsicles--I can't imagine the time you put into these.