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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Vintage Thrift Store Dress Refashion! on: July 18, 2012 04:36:54 PM
A couple of months ago, I picked up this vintage dress from a thrift store for $1. $1! How could I say no? It's 100% silk, and such a pretty colour. It was designed by Nora Noh, who was apparently Korea's first female fashion designer!

The dress had a few problems, as far as I could see. Firstly, it was completely shapeless. The only reason it has any shape at all in this photo is because I have my hands on my hips. Dropped waists are so unflattering (at least on me!) Secondly, the shoulder pads. So not a fan. Thirdly, the arms were really tight on me. And lastly, it was a really awkward, long length on me. Please excuse the mess and lank hair in this photo, I was really keen to get started and it was dark outside and I was already in my pajamas Tongue

So, I snipped out the shoulder pads, carefully unpicked and removed the sleeves, and restitched the armholes, and unpicked the whole drawstring waist thingy. I was worried that I would have to cut the dress in half at the drawstring point, but it turns out the whole thing could be completely unpicked and removed without any damage to the dress, except one tiny hole where the drawstring ties went through. I put the dress on inside-out and marked my waist, then sewed a length of elastic on the inside of the dress to match the marks. Finally, I cut off a good 5 inches of fabric from the bottom of the dress and sewed a new hem. I got a lot of conflicting info when I tried to research what kind of hem I should use (blind? hand-rolled?) so I ended up just doing a normal narrow hem and it looked fine to me.

I love the end result - it's light and flowy, flattering to my shape and perfect for summer!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Colette Parfait Dress on: July 03, 2012 09:24:50 PM

I recently completed my first ever Colette pattern, the Parfait dress! I made it from a bedsheet I found at Goodwill, because I didn't want to use a wonderful fabric for my first attempt in case all didn't go to plan.

I made a 10 in the bust, and graded up to a 14 in the hips, but I ended up having to take it in at the waist a little more even after that. I didn't bother putting buttonholes on the pockets, because I knew having them buttoned would only annoy me later.

I have to say that I love the pattern, I think it's flattering for my body type and I'll definitely be making more Parfaits and buying more Colette patterns in future! In fact, I'm working on a Pastille right now Smiley

PS: I do, in fact, have two legs. I was trying to be fashionable and strike a pose, but my darling husband didn't tell me that I looked like an ibis!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Black summery jersey dress with hearts! on: April 29, 2012 07:35:28 PM
I got bored this afternoon, and I have a rather severe lack of summery clothes, so I decided to whip up a quick dress Smiley

I've had the fabric for ages - it's a jersey cotton knit, black, with pink scribble hearts on it. The dress was really easy to make - just two rectangles, with a casing at the top for the sash. The sash is black cotton voile, leftover from lining another dress a while ago. It was super easy, and turned out looking way better than I expected!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Mens XXL shirt to cute tunic! on: March 04, 2012 06:30:13 PM
A month or two ago, I was browsing a local thrift store and found this XXL mens shirt. It was $7, but it was in fantastic condition, and I loved the colours, so I bought it (I wish I'd taken a before picture, but just imagine your usual mens shirt, button-down, huge). Originally I was hoping to make it into a dress, but I thought that might have been a bit too much of a challenge, so I made it into a tunic instead. I used Simplicity 2942 as a guide, but I had to freestyle some of it because the pattern pieces and the fabric didn't match up. The front of the shirt became the back of the tunic, and the back of the shirt became the front of the tunic. I used black cotton for the front yoke thingy and the cuffs, because I just couldn't squeeze enough fabric out of the shirt. The shirt had awesome gold buttons, which I used for the cuffs (first time doing buttonholes omg, I was so nervous), and I'm tossing up whether or not to sew a couple down the front of the black yoke. What do you think?

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first ever dress! on: February 12, 2012 06:23:12 PM

I started sewing about 2 years ago now, but I only really just started sewing clothes in the last few months. I recently made a top, which ended up being too big, and, well, not that great. But I recently scored a bunch of patterns for $2 each, and my birthday is coming up, so I decided to make myself a dress. I chose Butterick B4443, which is a fairly simple dress, and some polka-dot fabric I bought on sale ages ago.

Although it's apparently an easy pattern, I had some difficulties with. First of all, I cut out the size that matched my measurements (20) and the bodice was WAY too big. I ended up going with a 16 in the end, and it still could have been smaller at my waist. There are no darts in the pattern, which means the dress gapes slightly at my armpits, which I hate. Unfortunately, being a newbie sewer, I didn't realise the lack of darts would be a problem until it was too late. I just assumed the dress didn't need them. I also found hemming the skirt to be difficult, and as for comprehending Butterick's instructions on zip insertion...I ended up just doing the zip the best way I knew how. But I learned how to understitch lining, and let me tell you, I am so proud of the inside of the bodice I could just burst!

So yes, it's not perfect, but it's definitely suitable to wear out on my birthday. I originally planned not to do the sash the pattern includes, but after feedback from my husband I think I will add it in.

Now I need to sew more things!
6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / American McGee Alice Cosplay on: July 23, 2011 01:26:40 AM
For AVCon this year (Adelaide's anime and video game convention) I decided to cosplay as American McGee's Alice. I made the dress and the apron myself, and the Vorpal Blade and Omega necklace. I had the boots already, and I bought the tights and wig. The dress was a Simplicity pattern, and was some sort of slutty Alice dress, hence the off-the-shoulder look, which I wasn't an experience enough sewer to correct. The apron was a separate Simplicity pattern that I modified to fit over the dress correctly. It's far from perfect, but I learned a lot along the way!

7  CLOTHING / Shoes: Discussion and Questions / Leather boot modification help! on: July 13, 2011 07:23:52 PM
Hey guys, I'm currently wanting to modify a pair of leather boots for a costume I'm making. At the moment they are knee high leather boots (although the leather is really thin) with a zipper. I have fat calves, so the zipper only comes up to just above my ankle, haha, and won't go any further. I don't care much though because I need to modify them a fair bit to match the costume.

What I'm thinking is that I want to leave the zip up (maybe sew across the top so it won't unzip?), cut them down the front and insert adjustable velcro straps horizontally all the way up, if that makes sense. The kind of velco straps I'm thinking of are like the ones on little kids shoes, if that helps. I have the velcro, and I bought some faux leather stuff to use as a tongue (I think that will be necessary, otherwise you'll be able to see my legs through the gaps in the velcro) but I just wanted to see if anyone had any advice or tips for me before I take the plunge and cut into them! I've never worked on shoes at all before, but I'm cautiously optimistic, haha.

And one other thing, will my sewing machine be able to handle sewing the velcro onto the boots? It's some crappy Brother machine, like a beginner machine, and is frankly quite terrible, and I don't want to break it or snap needles or anything.

Thanks in advance!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / My first dress! on: March 09, 2011 04:02:51 PM
All I had sewn up until a few days ago were bags, but I really want to start making my own clothes! It just so happened that when my mother-in-law went on holiday, she brought me back some gigantic scarves. In my opinion, they're too big to wear as actual scarves, but they were the perfect size to make a dress from! So I bought some shirring elastic and went to town...and here is the final result.

I'm not unhappy, by the way, just squinting into the sun. And please excuse my horrendously chubby arms!

With a cardigan, which is how I plan to wear it tonight to a concert with said mother-in-law! I hope she doesn't mind me repurposing her impractically large scarf!

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / How to sew a curved hem? on: January 15, 2011 12:53:45 AM
Hi guys, this might be a stupid question, but how would I sew a curved hem? I don't even know if that's the right term for what I mean, haha. If I was to sew, say, a t-shirt or something, how do I sew the curved neckline so it doesn't have any raw edges or anything? I don't have a serger, btw. Because it's curved, when I try to fold it over to make a hem, it wrinkles and isn't a smooth line any more. What am I missing?
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Turned jeans into a skirt, but need ideas for a patch...help! on: November 21, 2010 03:09:54 AM
Long story short, tonight I decided to turn a pair of old jeans into a skirt. I've never done anything like it before, but it's turned out quite well, all things considered. However, because the jeans were old, they were quite worn in the crotch area, which is now the back of the skirt. There's no actual hole, but the material is quite thin, and I'm worried it might tear or split if I bend over, haha. I want to put a patch over that point (and possibly in other places so it doesn't look weird that I have a patch on my arse), but I'm not sure how to go about it. I have heaps of cute fabrics that I could use, but I'm worried they won't be strong enough, because they're cotton (would interfacing help?). I have leftover denim from the legs of the jeans I could use, and one intact pocket, but I already have two pockets on the back of the skirt, and I think a third one lower down in the middle might look a bit...weird.

Any idea for cute, yet sturdy, patches?
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