i've been wearing a lot more "classy" looking clothes lately... trying to find stuff i can wear to the office and still feel comfortable trolling around the bar in (bonus: i get a lot of free drinks when i'm dressed like this. no idea why). i found this pattern for a high-waisted pencil skirt and it fits me better than anything i could have bought at express!
the pattern is butterick 5249, view C. i generally like butterick; i think their fit is spot-on, but this one was kind of weird.. i usually wear an 2 or a 4 in ready-to-wear (and subsequently an 8 or 10 in patterns on my bottom half), but based on the measurements, i wear a 12 in this one and it fits me like a GLOVE. so be forewarned if you try this one; you may have to go up a size or two the pattern was reeeeeally easy and straightforward, the only adjustment i made was adding a lining (so i can wear it in the winter with tights! ), which was easy enough in itself: i just cut the lining to match the front and back pieces once they were sewing together, and sewed it to the bottom of the waistband facing. oh, and i used an invisble zipper because that is all i had on hand. the fabric is a tweed wool blend that my mama bought me last year - a little itchy, but the lining took care of that!
how i wore it today
closer shot of the front
i need to steam press my hem (again!) and fit that little pucker where the ruffles meet the front panel... next time, i will probably sew that panel in last so it will stay smooth.
lining! i used purple because that's all i had, but the fabric has a bit of purple woven in, so it does match oh, and i had to totally frankenstein that lining because it was just scraps. whatever, it's lining, no one is going to look at it
i'm posting this picture because i'm pretty please with the inner construction - i took the time to serge eeeevery edge and then press the seams open. since the fabric is so thick, it took out a lot of the bulk (important when you are wearing such a form-fitting skirt, yeesh!)
i know it looks like it should be tight since there is no slit, but there is enough ease in the pattern so the skirt is quite comfortable. i love it! i think i'm going to make my next one in the same red suiting fabric i used for my mad men dress...
anyway, thanks for looking! please let me know what you think
joann's had a $1.99 pattern sale recently, so i had to stock up this here is simplicity 2965 - it is a project runway pattern (which, to be honest, makes me feel kinda dorky ) but i liked all the different options they give you so you can use this pattern over and over with different results. my kinda thinking! and POCKETS omfg i love me some pockets.
i used a thick-ish red suiting material and lined the entire thing in red lining (even though the pattern only calls for the bodice to be lined... suiting is kind of itchy and i'd like to be able to wear this thing with tights in the winter). next time i make this, i will probably need to shorten the shoulders - once again, mine prove to slope more than normal.
i ended up using this dress to enter in the mad-men casting call contest... the winner gets a walk-on role in the show i LOVE mad men, it's my favorite, so obviously i took every opportunity to go as retro as possible! my hair, although looks cool, definitely did not look so cool from the back and yes, that is my kitchen, re-styled a little for photography's sake. my friend morgan took the pictures, aren't they awesome?!
(i actually quit smoking 4 months ago... just pretended to light up for the pictures. don't worry, the cigarette was never lit )
if you want to vote for me, the link is at http://madmencastingcall.amctv.com/photos/view/4214. i need five stars!! if you want to comment on how great these pictures looked (because my photographer is amazing, not because of my lack of modeling skills ), you can do that too either way, please let me know what you think!
busted out a new pattern recently... actually, this was the hardest pattern i've attempted to date. i'm not really that swell with patterns... i'm self-taught, and the jargon confuses me a lot but i think this one turned out pretty good!
i used butterick 5319, and made both views (yes, two dresses). i think i like the sleeveless better than the sleeves... if i make it again with the sleeves, i will make the sleeve lining flat since all that extra gathering made the sleeves WAY too poofy. this pattern is super-intense - fully lined (even the skirt!), lots of understitching and slip stitching, pockets, gathering, etc etc.
first up: purple dress. actually, i made this one second, but i like it better it is fully lined in purple lining fabric. the only modification i made to the pattern was that i used an invisible zipper (because, srsly, those zipper instructions in the pattern are WHACK). invisible zippers are really easy to insert - easier than regular zippers, i think - and i'm kind of angry that i never learned how to insert them until recently.
i really wish i could get a better shot of the purple color, it's a really great wine-reddish-purple. really awesome fabric.
the back, sorry my hair looks like crap (i never curl the back )
the side. i had the frankenstein the pattern because the sizing was a little off - the bodice is a size 12, the waist and skirt are a size 8. but i think it ended up fitting really nicely! i did not have to do ANY size adjusting over than shortening the shoulder straps by like 1.5"
on the dressform without the sash
the red dress: i made this one first with some fabric i've been hoarding for a little over a year. it is lined with a super soft white bedsheet. this being the first dress i made out of this pattern, it's got some mistakes - i inserted the pockets backwards (hahaha HOW is that even possible?!), and the shoulders are a little too big. also, let's not discuss the zipper. anyway, i don't have any pictures of it irl because i'm not totally pleased with the fit, especially the sleeves.
thanks for looking!! please let me know what you think
no, really! i know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. i saw this in a recent(ish?) issue of threads magazine. it seemed like one of those 'd'oh! why didn't i think of that!?' moments - using masking tape to create a pattern from ready-made clothing! easy, right? yes, it actually is easy. check it:
the culprit: my favorite pair of gym shorts. ooh, i love the neon yellow, but i really wanted some black ones. i started by laying them flat and covering the fabric between the seams with painter's tape. i think you can use any tape that is sturdy and doesn't leave a residue, i just had painter's tape laying around anyway, make sure you overlap the tape a generous amount - you want to make sure it all stays together!
after i finished covering the first piece, i caaaaarefully peeled the whole thing off (this is where overlapping counts!) and slapped it on a piece of paper. obviously, my paper is small (i just use sheets of copy paper for patterns hurr hurr) so i frankenstein'd that shizz with more paper and tape.
i then traced around the pattern piece and cut it out. i also labeled it because i am a ditz and tend to get confused with pattern piece look-alikes
repeat the same process with all other expanses of fabric between seams. shorts are easy - these only have two pieces. front and back, no problem! i didn't add a seam allowance; i usually do that when i'm cutting. you can if you want, though.
for the first time, it is a LOT easier if you make this out of similar fabric to what the original garment is constructed from. in my case - stretch knit with only a lil' bit of stretch. had i decided to work with cotton, i would have had to adjust the sizing of the pattern since the fabric doesn't lay the same way.
aaaaand here is what i got from my new pattern skillz:
GYM SHORTS, ALL RIGHT!! mine have an elastic waistband (which reminds me... i forgot to buy more elastic while i was at the store. crap.) and the bottom hem is serged. i didn't bother with the white piping that the yellow shorts have because, frankly, i'm lazy and i just wanted black shorts.
lovin' these black shorts, though!
so there ya have it! tape is AWESOME for easy-peasy pattern making - i can't wait to try it with tshirts and dress bodices OMG. sure beats drafting, or - my personal favorite - laying tracing paper over the seams and drawing over it with a pencil i hope this baby tut helps someone!! let me know what you think
bit of background: i've lived in this apartment for a little over 3 years, and i consider myself fairly lucky to have a landlord who allows painting and general destruction of said building interior the apartment was already painted when i moved in, back in ol' 2006. since then, i've slowly been revamping each room into something stellar. never paid much attention to the entryway. i mean, it's a foyer, it's not like i hang out in there... right?
here's a before:
once again - that gold room *and* the red hallway were already painted those colors when i moved in. i liked 'em enough, but i was ready for a change. especially since the hallway doesn't get much light, the red made it extremely dark.
a general rundown of what i did: - designed and cut out the wall stencil (from project transparency plastic; that stuff is amazing!) - painted the base coat for all walls - stenciled 3 said walls - primed and painted the table, bookshelf, mirror, and small shelf - painted the chandelier over the table (oooh my landlord is going to kill me ) - hung coat hooks on the wall for some of my scarf and cardigan collection - discovered the red hallway looked like crap next to the blue walls, primed and painted that shizz gray - primed and painted the picture frames so they all match - spilled paint all over the floor and am still trying to clean it up
all in all, i spent about two days working on this and a little less than $60. would have been cheaper if i had bought cheaper paint, but i don't believe in cheap paint so whatev. the stenciling was not as difficult as it would seem - probably took me about an hour to do all 3 walls. stencils rule!!!
onto the pictures!
this is what you see when you walk in the front door.
different angle; to the left is my gray hallway (!!) and to the right leads to the bedroom.
yep, that mirror is crooked. don't care
to the right of the bedroom is the bathroom, and where the stenciling begins!
continuing to the right leads to the green sewing room
directly opposite from the bookshelf; the bit of door on the right is the front door
i know sergeant deputy piggy doesn't exactly match (nor does the tiki lamp on the table), but we all have to make sacrifices sometimes
gray hallway leading to living room
other side of hallway, leading to the front door
this is my favorite painting in the hallway. my great-grandmother painted it in the 60s!
if this chandelier looks familiar, well, it should because i shamelessly copied it from a blik wall sticker. except that mine is actually painted to the wall.
the lil guy on the front door - this is the only thing in the room that wasn't thrifted; i bought him at old time pottery for $5
whew, sorry for all those pictures! as always, please let me know what you think!!!
i make a birthday dress every year... to the point where they are over-the-top and i probably won't ever wear them again this past weekend was my 24th birthday, and since i guess i'm about getting to that ol' age where i'm not supposed to make a huge deal out of my birthdays... might as well go big or go home.
i found this pattern on etsy:
i know it is ridiculous. the first time i saw it, i thought, "man, that thing is ugly" continued with my shopping. but it HAUNTED me until i finally went through an extensive search to locate it.
all my fabric came from the fancy fabric store that is normally too expensive for me to shop at (i think just the solid colors alone were $40+), and the only alterations i made to the pattern was adding the tulle underlayer and messing around with the back seams to make them lay flat. were i to construct this pattern again, i'd probably make the neckline a little lower and more scoop-y. also, i really would not reccomend attempting this unless you have a dressform or a friend to help you size and pin - the back took a LOT of tweaking to get it to look right, and even then it could have been improved. all in all, it was a super easy pattern and the dress itself is extremely comfortable.
back sorry about my black bra poking out - promise i had on proper undergarments when i wore it in action!
and then on the dressform:
my dressform has smaller b00bz than i do, hence the ill darts.
and the only action shot of me that night (sorry! i don't normally take pictures!)
i was wearing pink stilettos with it, too
anyway, thanks for sludging through that epic entry with me; please let me know what you think
i just got done with my first fashion show, and i had SO much fun!! i have been preparing for this since march - everything from designing and constructing the clothes, to recruiting the models, to making outfit accessories, to figuring out hair and make-up. lots of work, but totally worth it!
my line, LLADYBIRD, drew a lot of inspiration from the 80s - lots of bright, juicy colors and super short lil dresses. i made the flower hair pieces (fake gerber daisies hot glued to hairclips) and bought a whole bag of 80s geometric earrings for my girls to wear. we had hair and makeup artists who did an awesome job (and they said my hairstyles were the most fun to do ).
one more thing before i dive into the pictures - this show, naked without us, is an annual event here in nashville. this year they stretched it into a 3 day event - there were that many designers. in addition to the fashion show, there is also live music (going on during the runway walk!). definitely a lot of fun for everyone who goes! the band that played during my set was called the worsties - super cute, super happy girl-fronted rock!
lavendar and white striped sleeveless dress.
gray dress with teal v-turtleneck and purple sleeve binding.
gray with red triangle insert dress.
blue dress with black side inserts and black raglan sleeves.
black and white striped sleeveless dress with blue insert and blue assymetrical cowl neck... there are small blue tabs on the blue strip, tacked down with silver buttons (not sure if you can see that!)
black and white zigzag dress with turquoise raglan sleeves (same black and white stripes as in the previous dress... i just turned them to angles )
gray/turquoise/blue colorblock dress.
i had an 8th model, but she scampered off before i could remember to take a picture! whoops!!
here are some runway shots:
THERE'S MODEL #8!!!
ok, and this last one doesn't really involve the fashion show clothes... but they made me walk on stage with my models on the final walk:
wearing my laura ashley party dress!! hehe!
sorry the pictures are so cloudy - i took the singular shots with my crummy $70 camera, and my dad took the runway shots, but he had trouble getting a good angle/lighting to make them super awesome. there were a lot of people taking pictures and doing video footage, so hopefully i will get some better ones as time goes on!! anyway, that's it! thank you for looking - please let me know what you think
i loove buying the ugliest stuff i can find and trying to recon it into something fun found this gal at a thrift store - to be specific, the goodwill outlet, where all the bad clothes go to die i don't know how much it cost, but they charge $1 a pound and this stuff is made of silk... so yeah, cheap cheap cheap.
you can't really tell in this picture, but it had huuuge batwing sleeves (i know they're back in style, but i still don't care for 'em) and that weird grayish square in the middle is actually ribbing. also, the entire thing is 100% silk - very nice!
first i took up the sides until it was more fitted as a whole. i cut the sleeves so they come down to the elbow (what would you call those? half sleeves, i guess?) and gave the collar deeper cut. finally, i cut straight through the middle and inserted a zipper. at first, i could not figure out how to sew it on the stretchy stuff or the delicate silk without causing waves (and this is why you've never seen me make a tshirt hoodie ), but i solved that problem with grosgrain ribbon. i also cut the shirt a little short for the zipper, but i discovered that by melting the teeth and smooshing them back into place (it's a plastic zip, obvs), that served enough as a zipper stop
anyway, here are the afters!
zipped up (sry about my legs, they wanted to be in the picture i guess)
partially unzipped, for that sexy dancin' look (shirt optional)
totally and completely unzipped
aaand the back. kind boring.
that's it!! questions/comments - bomb away. please let me know what you think
FIRST i don't have a before pic on this :'(sorry, but it was essentially a 2x men's plaid button-up with long sleeves. are you imagining that? good. i cut the sleeves off and re-attached them so they would be 3/4 sleeves... i originally wanted them to be puffy sleeves, but i didn't have enough sleeve to gather into a puff oh well. the original cuffs are still at the bottom, so they can be buttoned up or unbuttoned and folded! when i took in the sides, i added a couple longish ties so that the dress can be tied back for a more fitted look. and that's it! no hemming, no darts, just a simple recon. i think i'll be making a few more of these - i definitely have a nice-sized stash of men's 2x button-ups
kitty doesn't like her picture being taken
oooh LT the model (sorry, i got a little carried away with the pictures )
SECOND this recon was a recon of a recon... does that make sense? i don't have a picture of the original original, but it was a sweatshirt that i bought at a thrift store for $1. i put a kangaroo pocket on the front. actually, i think i may have posted it to craftster like forever ago.
i wasn't too thrilled with the way it fit, especially since that particular material had no stretch to it... so no matter how many alterations i did with it, it always was a bit boxy on me. so i turned it into a mini! this, too, was actually pretty easy - the main part of the mini is from the body of the sweatshirt (i added black panels for 2 reasons - one, because it was too small to fit over my b00ty otherwise, and two, to add a little bit of stretch!) and the ruffles are from the sleeves! it has an elastic waistband (made from the bottom band of the original sweatshirt, plus some elastic) and the ruffles are hemmed with a black rolled hem.
that's all i got! please let me know what you think
i am seriously busting through my fabric stash at this point - my mama bought me this alexander henry fabric nearly 2 years ago and i'm just now getting the nerve to cut into it (my excuse: it's way too modern for a flowy dress like i usually make. i was holding off for the perfect pattern ). i found this pattern at a thrift store a little while ago... it was already cut to my size and soo easy. except that i'm 5'2" and i had to cut nearly a foot off the hem.
pattern... it was less than a dollar when it was new!
and the dress!! other than cutting a huge amount off the hem, i also had to alter the sides in something crazy like 6" (although the top fit perfectly with no adjustments). the original shape is supposed to be kind of sack-like, but i can't get away with wearing stuff like that because my chest sticks out too far . oh, and i also originally cut it too short, so that's why there's a black band at the bottom. i actually like it best that way, i think.
here is the dress on the form. it is actually quite comfortable and easy to move around in.
close-up of the pleats on on the bodice. well, i tried, anyway!
i actually like this pattern a lot, i'm thinking about doing another in blue gingham (like dorothy in the wizard of oz... and yes, i will wear red shoes). i will probably cut the neck a little lower and wider, though. anyway, thanks for looking! please let me know what you think