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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Who wouldn't be inspired by Eartha Kitt? on: January 08, 2010 05:17:36 PM
Ages ago I was watching an old movie with my FIL about a guy who had to choose between coming a preacher like his father or being a blues musician.  The preacher side came complete with a very nice woman who wanted to marry him.  The music side came with Eartha Kitt singing in smoky bars filmed in shadowy black and white.  Eartha Kitt smolders through the movie.  Anyway, in the movie, one of the women was wearing a skirt with these cool pleats at the back instead of a slit.  I filed it away in my memory.

Last week I started making a simple pencil skirt out of some IKEA fabric.  The plan was to use this cool cotton with birds on it as a removable overskirt.  Anyway, I cut it too small and it didn't go around (forgot about that whole thing about store vs pattern sizes, don't talk to other people while cutting out patterns, kids).  Anyway, I decided to salvage it by adding a panel in the back and doing the pleats.  And dropping the overskirt.

I'm pretty happy with it.  The fabric is a bit stiff so the darts lay funny, but it's a bit difficult to notice because of the stripes.  Also, I'd probably make the pleats go further up so they start a bit closer to my butt (for emphasis)(when you don't have a butt, emphasis is important).
22  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Vogue Knitting at the library? - Yes, way. on: June 15, 2009 06:04:02 PM
Dudes and dudettes,

I do not knit, but I was in the library looking for some floral design books and noticed a shelf of Vogue Knitting magazine in hardback.  Now, I live in Alexandria, VA and the library system tries hard to live up to its Library-at-Alexandria image, but I just thought I'd suggest you check out your local library to see what they've got.  And if they don't have anything, you can always request they get it or see if you can get it on loan from another library.

The stuff nearly made me want to try knitting because between getting married, starting a new job, and looking for a house I have so much time on my hands.  Oh, and the 20+ yards of stash fabric I have doesn't make me feel guilty about trying out another craft hobby.
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / this pattern or that one for bridesmaids' dresses on: May 18, 2009 06:12:37 AM
So I'm getting married and my MIL to be and I have decided to make my dress and the bridesmaids' dresses (she's a very good sewer).  My mother thinks we're nuts (she can sew too, but knows when enough is enough) and my cousin warned me about this (she did it) saying it will all end in tears.  Regardless, we press on.

Anyway, I like this dress from J.Crew: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WeddingParties/womens/w_bridesmaids/PRDOVR~86686/86686.jsp
Nice, but ridiculous price for something so simple.  Love the green.  Figured it would flatter most figures (three women: two bridesmaids and a groomsmaid?) as there will be one very tall, one somewhat wide, and one relatively average.

So MIL and I went to the fabric store and were distracted by the fact that my dress is going to be silk dupioni (like the picture) and bought this pattern for the v neck with little cap sleeves: http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=2591
It's cute, but when I got it home (I was going to knock out a summer dress in it to see how it goes) I became conflicted.  I asked the dude and he said he disliked "that stuff around the neck".  Yes, the gathers are really starting to bother me.

This morning I poked around to find this dress: http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=2648
More in line with the J.Crew one.  Which do you guys think is better?  I'm thinking of letting go of the idea that the girls should also be in the dupioni.  I think it was a moment of non-thought.  I really like that cotton cady the dress comes in.
24  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 35 ENTRIES / All my clothing on: February 01, 2009 12:12:05 PM
Some time in early January I stepped into a shop that was having an incredible sale and bought a good number of good things for less than $50.  When I got home I realized that I didn't have many open hangers and start doing a closet purge.  I have a problem with losing things in my closet.  Clothes slide down in between things and I don't see them, so I pulled everything out and I decided that I was going to take a picture of EVERYTHING in my closet.  Looking at all the pictures on my computer was overwhelming.  I have great clothes; I just need to remember what they are and be more creative about pairing things up.

So I decided that my resolution should be that I am going to utilize my ENTIRE wardrobe this year.  I don't need to buy anything new, I can work with what I have.

Which leads us after my very long intro into what I actually did about all this.  First, I printed out all my pictures wallet-sized, nine to a page.  Then I laminated the front with some of that press on laminate stuff and stuck a small square magnet on the back.

T-shirts I did multiples to one photograph.  I did all solid t's in one pic, long sleeve in another, etc.

Then I stuck them all to the back of my metal bedroom door, right next to my closet.

They're somewhat organized into groups of sweaters, tops, work trousers, etc.  I use the middle area to kind of work out some things in my head and think about layering summer tops and long sleeve t's and things.  So far it's worked out really, really well.  I feel like I'm on one of those tv shows where they teach you to shop your closet and everyone cries and hugs at the end.  Well, without the crying and hugging.

So no more clothes shopping for me for a while.  Of course that doesn't mean I can't keep making clothes.  I can't stifle my creativity, right?
25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / what the heck IS a pintuck? on: January 07, 2009 07:19:50 AM
So I saw this tutorial on Craftzine/etsy: http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/how-to-stitch-an-apron-3128/ and thought it was cute and started poking around a bit more for pintuck information.  There seems to be two theories as to what is a pintuck.

Theory one (from apron, etc) results in flap sort of things: http://www.burdastyle.com/howto/show/184#

Theory two requires a double needle and pulls fabric together just a bit: http://www.sewingmachine-sales.co.uk/sewing_machine_info/video/57/pintuck-foot-with-decorative-stitch-guide.html (not the best cause it had that decorative thing going on)

Then there's theory one and a half which is kind of inbetween: http://www.burdastyle.com/howtos/show/1426#

This is really just a curiosity question.  Obviously you'd do whatever you like for the look you want, but I'm curious if theory one is *technically* a pleat.  Sew, Mama, Sew has a nice pleat things here: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=490.

Anyway, I think I'm going to make that apron.
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / two "practice" dresses of moderate success on: January 04, 2009 06:28:56 PM
Over Christmas my mom and I were watching What Not to Wear and I suddenly decided I wanted a mini-dress in black-watch tartan.  I found the fabric online at Gorgeous Fabrics but didn't want to go cutting up nice Pendelton wool without knowing what's going to happen.  So I made a practice dress of on sale fabric using Simplicity 3507 (PR pattern).  I buy patterns in bulk when they go on sale for $.99.  Here's how it turned out:

Now, I wore it out to dinner on NYE and learned the first thing to note: IT IS NOT A-LINE.  I kind of noticed this cutting it out but didn't think about it.  When I put it on I realized it was close around the legs (and baggy in the middle) but thought it looked cute.  I decided I needed a slip to keep the dress from sticking to the tights and when I lifted my left leg to step into the slip I ripped the sh*t out of the side seams below the teal piping.  Wore it out anyway, it wasn't that noticeable.  Anyway, the future dress may look a bit more like this with more leg room (I'm just holding it in with my hands):

It's going to require a zipper.  Maybe a whole new pattern.  And some solid black pumps.  Smiley  Hopefully still patent though.

Second practice dress is for my cousin's wedding.  I showed my mom and boyfriend McCalls 5655 and they both thought it looked like a maternity dress.  I thought it would look nice in one of those duponi (sp) silks but thought I'd mock it up with a sheet first.  Well, it's a bit of a babydoll dress.

The socks and shoes are just what I was wearing under my jeans before I pulled this on.  It's too summery for right now, but I think a heavier material like the silk would hang a bit heavier and dull the pregnancy look.  I like this one anyway and will rock it this summer for sure.  I'm not sold that I will use the pattern for this wedding though.  I'm going to have to think a bit more and dig through my pattern library.
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / two quick tops on: January 04, 2009 06:14:13 PM
I made these a few months ago and hadn't posted them.  I've gotten a good bit of wear out of them which makes me happy.

Autumn top: Simplicity 3504 (PR pattern)

Flower tunic: From Sew U by Wendy

28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / stash busting aprons on: December 29, 2008 10:33:24 AM
My mom asked me to make her an apron for Christmas and while I was at the store I grabbed some black and red candy cane fabric for myself. 

I had so much fun making this one (I don't have pictures of my mom's unfortunately) that it started a bit of a trend.  I have left over fabric from a number of quilts that doesn't really lend itself well to clothing and has just been taking up space.  First was the cowboy quilt (a wedding present):

It's split in the front because that was the only way I could get the horses facing up.  There are two pockets with flaps.  Next came the sewing apron.  My boyfriend calls it the frankenstein apron due all the different fabrics.  It's made from a load of random little bits I had around.  It's been super handy so far. 

Finally, last night I made this from the left over squares of another quilt (another wedding present). 

I was at the fabric store and saw some really cute Valentine fabric but managed to not buy any.  Aprons shall only be made from scraps from now on to help cull the stash (the stash must be reduced, I'm running out of space).  I've been wearing them anytime I'm in the kitchen and have helped keep me a bit cleaner (I am not clean in the kitchen).
29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Gripe about "Creative Sewing Solution" machine feet at Hancock on: November 11, 2008 01:44:08 PM
So a few weeks ago I was in Hancocks and saw a big display of all these different specialty feet at very reasonable prices.  After seeing alwright and others use a ruffle foot, I bought one.  It's advertised as fitting any machine and having videos to help you learn to use it.

Today I finally got around to trying it out.  I went online and watched the one video (no diagrams) and was thoroughly disappointed by how little they actually showed.  Someone rushes through the attachment with no real close up while a voice over that's not insych drowls on.  Anyway, I gathered enough to figure out how it's supposed to go on and tried it out (Full disclosure: I have a masters degree in mechanical engineering).  It does not securely fit on my basic Kenmore machine that I bought about four years ago.  I had to kind of wedge it in and use the edge of the screw to try to anchor it, but the foot is not made for a machine with as low of a shank as mine.  The needle, no matter how much I fiddled with it, scraped against the base metal which is not a good sign.  Plus the whole thing was precarious and liable to shake off at any moment.  Rather than break my machine I put the thing back in its package and am returning it.

The website only has those bad videos and no other instructions or explanations.  I'm just writing to say buyer beware.
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Winter/fall coat with asymmetrical collar on: October 15, 2008 06:39:30 PM
Sometime this summer I picked up McCalls 5525 with the plan to make a new coat for this winter.  I live in Virginia so I only need a heavy coat a few times a year and have for years worn a khaki trenchcoat my mom bought me in college.  Poor thing is just done and needed to be replaced.

I bought the fabric at IKEA since I wanted something a little different and IKEA's fabrics are a bit heavier since they're for housewares.  The color is black and white with light blue buttons and the lining is kind of aqua.  It has pockets in the front kind of like a pea coat does.  The pattern was great and easy to follow.  I'd really recommend it.  I LOVE the jacket.

The front:

Side.  You can just see the pocket open a bit:


Open front with interior button:

I went back and forth about it, but did put in the 1/2" shoulder pads the pattern called for.  I did it because my nice wool coat has them and it seems fine.  Right now I'm happy with them; they add structure without too much bulk.  I'll see how I feel about them in the long run.
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