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1  UNknitting a sweater? in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by littlepierre on: February 10, 2010 10:33:53 AM
Call me crazy, but I've got a great big Johnny-Rotten style striped mohair sweater I want to tear up.

I'm thinking along the lines of Rodarte. It's not as open of a knit, so I want to know the best way to put runs in it. Can I just snip strategic knit stitches and pull? I want the runs to go vertically, not across. I'm not enough of a knitter to know how to wreck it properly.

Knitters, help me ruin my sweater!
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2  The bum's rush! Schiaparelli inspired pieced dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by littlepierre on: December 04, 2009 09:10:39 AM

Here's another dress I made for my senior design class! It's tailored for my friend Megan who is wearing it in the picture. The pattern is basically the same as the trench dress I just posted, but altered to be one-shouldered! It has wide bias facings turned to the outside. I found the technique in a high-fashion sewing book and I will definitely use it again. You can do the same thing with shaped facings, too, it's really easy to do and it secures the facings completely. It'd be an easy way to add contrast trim to a little mod dress.

The real special part of this dress is the pieced bow on the back of the skirt. It's finished on the inside with narrow seam allowances and a 3mm zigzag, pressed open. It lies surprisingly flat, especially after I nipped out all the extra fabric from the intersections and topstitched it with heavy thread to define the shape of the bow more and make it look more ribbon-like!

The bow was inspired by a famous Schiaparelli sweater with a bow knitted into the design that almost caused a riot when it was released in 1927, hope my designs can do that some day haha.

It's cotton twill with an exposed back zipper, totally machine washable. I think I still need to take it in a bit more, I wound up having to wear it for a presentation and I'm a bit thicker than my friend, haha. Do you like it?
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3  Trompe l'oeil, trompe le monde! A trench dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by littlepierre on: December 03, 2009 02:19:52 AM
This is a dress I made for my senior design class at Florida State.

All the topstitching was done freehand with heavy duty thread, and hand-knotted on the backside to avoid unraveling or (gasp!) ugly backstitching. I did some of the topstitching before construction, like the front of the bodice, the sleeve "buckles" and the "pockets". Stuff like the "belts", hems, etc. was done after construction so I could line the stitching up exactly.  

It's 100% cotton so it's comfy AND machine-washable (yeah, I machine washed it already!) and it fits me like a dream. I copied the raglan sleeve from a dress I already owned, and made the rest of the pattern custom to my measurements. You can check out the hats I'm wearing (and a few others, and my cute friends, and my DOG) here:

Mmmm topstitching. You can also catch a glimpse of the big exposed brass zipper in the back.

I've already worn this a ton, and know I will wear it a ton more. What do you think?

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4  Rescuing ruined sweaters for the greater good! A collection of soft hats in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by littlepierre on: August 16, 2009 09:23:26 AM
More hats I've made! These are all soft hats made from reclaimed materials.

One of the first soft hats I ever made. It's from a wool Navy uniform, the sleeve cuff with buttons became the side band. I brought this to the millinery teacher when I wanted to take her class and she let me, I guess that's good!

This was the first soft hat I made once actually enrolled in Millinery. Thus, it's hand-draped, fully lined, and has a softly shaped brim made out of Fosshape. The fabric is all from a Harris Tweed blazer from the Goodwill bins, I even salvaged and reused the lining fabric since it was a pretty dyed-to-match silk. Harris tweeds are amazing, Vivienne Westwood uses them a lot and their logos are very similar. I actually did sew the label back into the hat.

Another menswear reconstruction... this was a Lanvin tie my friend was tossing because it was ripped. Lanvin!! Needless to say I stitched the label back in this one, too. (I like to think I'm not a label whore, but when it's vintage I feel allowed to get a little giddy, hahah)

The other headband in the series, a sleeve from a vintage silk dress with my half-assed attempt at kanzashi flowers on it... hahah. Still like it, though. These both have elastic at the back to hold them on.

pre-felted merino sweater and punk studs!

I've been buying a lot of old sweaters at Goodwill to felt. Cashmere, merino, and regular wool sweaters can be felted really easily in your home washer/dryer, and chances are you'll find some that already have been accidentally felted if you look around any thrift store. Felt is an awesome material, it's like working with drapable knit fabric but it doesn't fray at all. Plus, a $2 sweater with moth holes can yield enough fabric for 3 snuggly-wuggly hats.

snuggly #1: you could sleep in this hat. I have! Reclaimed felted cashmere with pom-poms stitched in the front for bobbles. I draped it on my (hilariously homemade, probably deserves it's own post) headblock. I started by making the bobbles at the center back hem of the sweater, and draping it continuing the hem around to the back of the head. I set deep pleats across the top, and pulled them under the hem/headband. Stitch them down, trim out the excess, take out the pins... you've got a comfy turban hat!

Cashmere covered pillbox hat, this has a plastic canvas base.

Last one! Mother of pearl monogram hat! I was going through my button stash the other day and opened a tin I haven't opened in a few years... I always ignore it because it's just plain white shirt buttons. I have since learned a lot about older clothes and just generally gotten better at finding old things. The ignored box of buttons is actually at least 3 or 4 pounds of old-old-old mother of pearl and bone buttons, a lot of them handcarved. They all have really interesting characteristics, especially when you mix up a bunch of different kinds! Plus, they belonged to my grandmother(s) so this hat almost has an heirloom quality. Only almost, because it's MY initials so who else is going to wear it?? heehee. Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you have any questions.
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5  A hundred pillbox hats! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by littlepierre on: August 16, 2009 08:38:33 AM
OK not really a hundred, but it sounds good! These hats were whipped up in a 4-day period, photographed, printed, and became the bulk of my portfolio! How's that for procrastination? Aside from some repurposed materials (most of which came from Goodwill anyway), everything used to make these hats came from Joann. Traditional methods for buckram construction, done up mostly with plastic canvas and hot glue (or Fabritac, love that stuff) instead!

Start with my favorite and work backwards, I guess! This is a wet-look vinyl pillbox hat, probably one of the only ones in the world?? It's mostly held together with hot glue. I started out with epoxy, but clamping this vinyl dented it so I went out and bought a(nother) hot glue gun. The epoxy left a lot of shmutz around the edge of the hat. I needed something to cover it, but it was impossible to cut the vinyl without the white knit lining showing. PUFF PAINT. I have always loved it for stencilling, it gives results like silk screen and holds up well. It also dries to almost the same sheen as the vinyl, and you can make little spikes with it! I really am a goth kid at heart, hahah.

Asia modeling one of the only other vinyl pillbox hats in existance... this one is red wet look vinyl decorated with white garage sale price stickers for polkadots. Once I got going I was whipping up the base for a pillbox hat in probably 30-45 minutes.

This has been affectionately dubbed "the Bra Bow Hat". Grey crepe back satin and little silver nailhead bows glued on! They were from my grandmother's stash and I still have a few hundred of them, expect more like this. I love this hat, I like to wear it out with my grey silk harem pants. You ever want more attention from guys at a bar, wear a pretty hat! Or you know, look like Megan does, that helps too hahahah.

Plastic canvas stitched with black acrylic yarn = high fashion crafting! Plastic canvas is really a fun material, plus those circles are 20 or 30 cents. Rad. My friends are telling me I need to mail the bow hat to Lady Gaga to see if she'll wear it out, hahaha.

The 5th element series! The blue and white is plastic lawnchair webbing that I found at a thrift store. It has a really fun hand to it, you can twist it into all kinds of voluminous swirls. Plus, it's thin enough to sew by machine, so I was able to make a hat entirely out of it. No inner support or anything! The other is gingham covered plastic canvas with a webbing flourish. Also, it fits the dog.

Last one! Ironically, the first one I made. This was lighter weight plastic canvas that I already had on hand, the hats worked a lot better after I bought the heavier weight and stitched with yarn instead of thread. It's taller, smaller, and covered in scraps from a cashmere cardigan I felted and cut up. It also yielded a beret and a turban-style hat, which I'm going to put up in another post. If you look really close, you can also see the eyepatch I made for my fabulous creature when his glass eye got broken.

What do you think? I had a ton of fun putting these together, it really made me think differently about my materials.

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6  Re: Fill a match box R3 (send outs by June 30th) in The Swap Gallery by littlepierre on: July 28, 2007 05:53:30 PM

From sewknitter! I had to cut my box open, too, but I kind of like it this way! The fabric is my favorite.

From farmgirljane, all wrapped up.

everything unpacked. So cute!

I also recieved from dragonslair, but sadly in the fray of having a new roommate move in it's gotten misplaced. I'll be sure to post pictures if it shows back up!
Thanks everybody for making my first swap so much fun!
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7  Pleated and tucked teatime dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by littlepierre on: May 08, 2007 05:12:32 PM

(Please appreciate the woodstove. We are vikings to be feared!)

This dress started out great, the waist pleats came together easily, but the top turned into a bit of a fitting nightmare. Still fun, though, I managed to only use the tucks along the gingham pattern for fitting, no darts or anything else. There's a Vogue pattern that does the striping at the waist like I did, it's where I got the idea, but it's not their pattern.

It's posted in the latest clothing challenge, so if you like, consider voting!
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8  60's teatime gingham dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by littlepierre on: May 07, 2007 06:11:14 PM

I've been into 60's style for quite a while, but I've been dressing more the part lately. This dress reminds me of something you'd wear to a fashionable tea.

Pockets! Also, you can see my sweet woodstove that's been cold since we moved in, haha. We're not the Vikings we've made ourselves out to be.

I got the idea for the tucks to turn the gingham into stripes from a Vogue pattern that I can't afford. It wasn't so simple as theirs, though. There are a TON of tucks along the top of the bodice.
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9  McCalls 5314 - gingham wrap dress in Sewing Pattern Reviews by littlepierre on: April 21, 2007 08:27:00 AM
Since Joann's had all the McCalls patterns for 99 cents, I bought several.

This is 5314, a wrap dress that takes 5 yards of fabric. I changed up the layout by moving the one facing that's cut on the bias to a double cut of the piece that was half the length. It allowed me to get all of the pieces onto the fabric folded in half, instead of cutting almost everything out twice like their layout suggested.

and here it is! Sorry about the lackluster picture.
I'd make the dress again in a heartbeat, especially if I can find suitable fabric for $1.50/yard again!
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10  Jinkies! Peter pan jersey knit dress! in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by littlepierre on: April 13, 2007 11:14:04 PM

This sad little dress and a mens M tee become:

Ahhhh! I think I'm going to wear it to see the Flaming Lips on Sunday.  Grin
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