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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Button tree bandwagon on: February 12, 2011 07:08:34 PM
Thanks so much to several other Craftsters that posted their button trees for inspiration! I made my own as a thank you gift to my grandfather who sent me some plants--ivy that my grandmother started growing over 30 years ago! This barely qualifies as needlework, especially since I cheated and used embossed felt for the tree trunk, but I think it looks really cool. This took only about an hour of actual sewing in front of the TV (but took longer to sort through my huge button stash!) And it was a great way to use up my green buttons since I don't really wear green. Originally I planned to use only old buttons of my grandmother's (I inherited two big tins full of them after she passed away, and my grandfather has been calling me "Miss Buttons" ever since.) But as it turns out, there weren't many green buttons in there. She didn't really like to wear green either!

Thanks for looking and thanks again to all the other Craftsters who posted their button trees!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / five dresses on: January 14, 2009 01:58:27 PM
I've been making dresses lately. Generally I make either the top or the bottom and then don't know how to finish it, so I have a bin full of half-finished dresses, but here are a few I've managed to finish.

I had such difficulty with this one, I made three different skirts for it. The top should've been longer, but I'm sick of working on it so it's good enough as is:


Same fabric as above, different colours. This fabric is so soft and comfortable, I bought lots (it was buy 1m get 2m free!!!)

Again, top is too short, waistband too long but if I shortened the waistband now, the skirt would be shorter than I'm comfortable with. I tried a drape-y neckline for the first time--not quite drape-y enough but I think I'll know how to do it next time:

All kinds of things went wrong in the making of this one... well, at least I'm happy with the cowl neck!

Thanks for looking!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / summer recons on: January 14, 2009 01:49:48 PM
I haven't posted here in ages but thought I would share some shirts (and a skirt) I made back in August. Everything is made from thrift clothes.

with ladybug buttons:

with star buttons:

and the skirt:

Thanks for looking!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / my neck gets cold part two, plus jumpers on: March 24, 2008 05:34:15 PM
I've been making shirts with big collars because my weird long neck gets cold in winter, and wearing a scarf indoors is often inconvenient. So here's a few tops to keep my neck warm. All are made from bargain bin fabrics that were either $1.99 or $2.99/m.

I love the light blue fabric and wish I'd bought more of it. But i bought it during my first trip to the fabric store in November, just after I'd started sewing. I had no concept yet of how much fabric is needed to make things, and I  thought, "Sure, a metre is plenty!" Now I know better.

This one is made of really slinky fabric. I made it long because I intended it for layering, but I'm probably going to cut off a few inches and hem it to a normal length. The yoke and cuffs are just the reverse side.

Tried to put a keyhole in this and it just wasn't working, despite the fact that I was using one of smarmyclothes' fantastic tutorials. The  fabric is a light, stretchy rib knit, and the keyhole stretched out sooo much when i was trying to hem it. However, it laid nice and flat once I sewed in the light purple fabric so I wonder if maybe my fabric was just too thin and I should have been using some kind of stabilizer/interfacing...? I dunno, I'm still pretty new to this. Also, the collar and cuffs have a nice ruffly lettuce edge that you can't really see that well here.

Made a pinafore, 'cause all the cool kids are doing it. It's got pointless exposed seams, because I love the look of exposed seams.

Stole this idea from Free People. I saw a few dresses on their site that were basically backless hooded dresses, and I thought that was a really neat idea. This was actually difficult for me to work out as I'm not that experienced, but it somehow fell together in the end.

(the length of the skirt is just above the knee.)

Thanks for looking!

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / my neck gets cold on: March 24, 2008 05:12:55 PM
...so here's two shirts with big collars to keep my oddly long neck warm! All fabric is thrifted from Salvation Army. Both of these shirts got screwed up about a dozen times along the way. I like how they turned out, but because I never wear pants or jeans I'm actually having a hard time matching them to other clothes. I think I'll stick to plainer fabrics and designs until I get a little better at sewing.

This shirt is actually burgundy (I don't have very good lighting in my apartment), with off-white apple print and apple buttons:

Close-up of cute apple, acorn and leaf print:

This shirt is more of a dark purple.  It has a nice big fat turtleneck made of greenish floral knit.  I screwed up the shirt and made the waistband too high, but then couldn't figure out how to fix it since I had only a limited amount of fabric. At first I  tried sewing in extra fabric at the shoulders (you can barely see a strip of the greenish fabric there) but it wasn't enough. So I just started sewing random scraps on the top part to make it longer, leaving the seams exposed. I like how it turned, the shirt is much more interesting than I originally planned.

You can see that I didn't have the right colour of thread, but that doesn't really bother me.

And a skirt made from a men's shirt, nothing fancy. There are little exposed seams/darts on the top. (I also made the top, but it's from scratch)

Thanks for looking!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / first shirts, and first skirt, from scratch on: January 13, 2008 05:46:21 PM
Hello all! I started sewing in October and I finally made some shirts from scratch! I got a little too ambitious for my skill level, but they turned out pretty well and I'm definitely learning a lot with each project.

I started out using the Burda style pattern for a basic long sleeve top, but modified to make it longer like a tunic, and to add the hood. You can see how at first I made the sleeves way too short (I used the smallest size of the pattern, but I'm sort of tall and have long limbs), but actually I really like the cuffs anyway.

I made this stretchy pencil skirt also from scratch. Don't know whatever possessed me to try something like this for my first skirt! I wanted it to have frayed edges, but of course it didn't fray in the wash as it's stretch fabric (  ::)I know, so dumb, but I'm learning!) so I trimmed the edges with pinking shears instead. I quite like the effect.

Um, houndstooth and plaid match, right? Right. Grin

At finally, I decided I needed a nice black top to wear with the skirt, so I made this. Again, too ambitious for my level right now, but I figured a lot of things out along the way! Like that ruffles take up a lot of fabric.

I'm so proud of the turtleneck part! It was supposed to be more of a cowl neck, but the fabric is kind of thick.

I need opinions on this top--the puffy sleeves, stay or go? I like them, but my roommate gave them a raised eyebrow and a comment about Anne of Green Gables. She then admitted that she's not fond of puffy sleeves in general, but maybe she was just trying not to be too critical. The sleeves are just basted on at this point, so I could fix them without too much trouble. What do you think?

Thanks for looking!
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / can you help me learn to use a twin needle? on: January 03, 2008 10:27:03 PM
I'm still new to sewing, and I can't figure out how to get my twin needle to work. I know I have to use a zigzag stitch, but I can't seem to do it right. Basically only one needle works out-- the other side has no tension. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here but I really want to get it working as it seems like it'll save me some time. Help?
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Some reconned dresses and cool SPIDEY shirt! on: December 04, 2007 10:29:11 PM
Now that I'm getting the hang of the sewing machine, I can finally attack my hoard of thrift store clothes that I've stashed for the past few years! I wish I'd been smart enough to take before pics, but I've been too excited to get going.... plus not really wanting to take pics of myself in ugly, unflattering clothing, you know?

First up this dress--used to be a floor length shapeless sack about 10 sizes too big for me. But I loved the fabric, red paisley stretch knit, in fact I have wanted a red paisley dress for years! I cut the body and sleeves up to resize it, sewed the red cuffs to make the sleeves fit my long stick arms, and added the sash. (cuff and sash are simply the reverse side of the fabric.)
I've got extra fabric too, because it was so big! Grin
Close-up of pretty paisley:

This dress was reconned from a giant sweatshirt. The fabric is a stretch velour with a tiny houndstooth pattern. For the light gray fabric I used the reverse side. (the long-sleeved shirt underneath--also a thrift store find--is not part of the dress)

I think it's a little short (...do you?), but because I mucked up by making the waistband too wide at first (it looked weird), I don't have enough fabric left to add more at the bottom. I plan to add some kind of black or gray trim at when I find something suitable.

It was easy to see the potential for awesome when I found this dress, formerly a batwinged shapeless sack of a sweater dress. All I had to do was cut off the sleeves, sew up the sides, and hem it several inches shorter. And I love the cowl neck. (again, I'm wearing a long-sleeved shirt underneath)

And I've saved the best for last. Little boy's long-sleeve shirt, too short for me (obviously  Grin) but oddly enough, too wide for me... I knew I had to wear it. So I sewed up the sides, cropped the sleeves in half, added the black fabric to make it fit me, and now I have this:

which I looove! And I had the Spider-man theme running through my head the whole time I was making this (the Moxy Fruvous version, if you happen to know it.) I kept singing it to the cats.

and I want to wear it everyday! I'm in such denial about my true age  Grin I also have a Batman and a Wolverine shirt to be reconned (I am just such a nerd.)

thanks for looking!!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first (simple) dresses from scratch! on: December 04, 2007 10:05:46 PM
Well, I've been sewing for about a month and a half or so, and finally got up the guts to cut up some virgin fabric. Honestly, I really had to work up the nerve to do it, I was afraid I'd waste the material. As I have only a vague sense of my measurements, and I've been limiting myself to stretchy fabrics, I decided to just use another dress as a template. So nothing fancy, but I'm really happy with how these turned out... not only do they look like actual human clothing but they're even sort of pretty Cheesy :
(so as not to confuse you, I will point out that in photos I am wearing a long sleeve top and skirt under each dress. I love the layered look Grin)

Purple fabric with tiny stripes and purple plaid fabric! I only used a little bit of the plaid and I think I want to make a hoodie with the rest of it.

Not perfectly straight since I couldn't be bothered to measure while I was working, plus I suck at pinning, so I just eyeballed a lot of it.

And this gray dress was next;

It's hard to see, but there's a square panel sewn on the front that the buttons are on. I first tried to make the bottom part sort of gathered or pleated, but because of the texture of the fabric (it's like long-john material, I don't know what it is called) it was too poofy and made it look like a maternity dress. So it was a good learning experience anyway Smiley I had no idea sewing was so fun AND rewarding! I wish I'd started sewing years ago! I've a lot of catching up to do!

Next challenge: learn to read patterns!
Thanks for looking!

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Manga-fabric dress and flowery sweater on: November 17, 2007 03:49:11 PM
Hello all, I am so excited about teaching myself to sew. I've had my mom's sewing machine on long-term loan for a while but I only just figured out a few weeks ago why it wasn't working for me (didn't know the presser foot lever existed. Seriously. Roll Eyes) But I've just been zooming along since then! So far I am restricting myself to stretchy fabrics because it seems way easier.

I'm a big fan of comics of all sorts, so I was super excited to find this cool Japanese T-shirt second-hand (I actually exclaimed, "Yoink!!" out loud as I grabbed it in the store). The shirt was too big for me, and I badly wanted it to be a dress. I took two other shirts that I never wore and threw this together. I'm so proud that it actually fits me, even more proud that it actually looks cool.

(I'm not photogenic but, since I personally prefer to see Craftsters enjoying their crafts, I'm sucking it up...)

(I'm wearing a long sleeve Tee under it. And apparently something unsettling is happening just off to my left. So bad at posing.)

Here's my half-mannequin Elizabeth wearing it. It looks better on her because she's, like, 36-20-34 with a 7-inch neck.

(And that's one of my helper-cats, the "good" helper who likes to curl up quietly on a pile of scraps and sleep beside the sewing machine.)

Close-up of awesome fabric. Little kids versus biker gang, apparently.

(That's the "bad" helper who likes to wrestle with clothes that I'm trying to pin and run off with the measuring tape. So cute though.)

This sweater is a combination of two Value Village items--the pink top I loved, but it was a bit too snug (it's a child's shirt.) The brown sweater was way too big.

On me

On the floor.

I didn't actually sew in the zipper, I just cut that whole strip off the other sweater.

Sorry about the ridiculously long post, can you tell I'm just super excited about sewing? It's so much easier to make clothes than I thought it would be!! Now, I just have to learn to read patterns...

thanks for looking!!
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