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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / $3 yellow sundress, red dress with sleeves, and high-waisted skirt on: February 23, 2012 09:25:11 AM
I promise I really do find time to do things besides sew! The only brand new project is the yellow sundress, the other two things I finished a little while ago and never go around to posting.

First the sundress! I'm really proud of this. I found this awesome hawaiian fabric on sale for $1/yard, so I bought three yards figuring that would be enough for most sundress patterns. I used McCalls 5094, which I bought several years ago to make the blue and green dress I posted here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=316594.msg3645353#msg3645353 I ended up never wearing the blue and green dress because it was too cleavage-y, so I made the more conservative view this time. I ended up with straps that were just the tiniest bit too long. Instead of ripping them out and making them shorter I just added the two thin diagonal straps on the back to keep the shoulder straps from falling down.

Now for the red flowered dress with sleeves. I used New Look 6864, but in the end the sleeves just didn't look right. I think it would have looked okay if it was a softer, drapier fabric, but in the fabric I used they ended up making it look like a nightgown. To save the sleeves I sewed a thin piece of elastic along the hem to make the sleeves poofy/puckered like that.

Lastly I have a high-waisted skirt. It was really simple...it's just a tube slightly larger than my hip measurement, sewn directly onto a thick piece of elastic for the waist band. It was a very quick project, only two seams and a hem.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / little black dress and maroon maxi dress from one pattern on: February 19, 2012 03:25:03 PM
Awhile back I picked up McCall's M6074 at a thrift store for like 25 cents. I've made two versions of the pattern: a knee-length little black dress with cap sleeves, and a sleeveless maroon polka-dot maxi dress. They are both out of jersey knit fabric. I added a few inches to the maxi dress so I could wear it with heels, but I'm barefoot in this picture so it looks a little long.

I have a nice battle wound from making the black dress. I managed to sew through my finger, and the thread even looped into the bobbin thread, it was way gross. I was on like the last three inches of the hem, so maybe ten seconds from being done with the dress, and I had to stop and deal with bandaging up my finger. Then I had to wait all afternoon for it to stop hurting enough to finish the dress.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / poppy skirt on: February 18, 2012 08:39:21 AM
I made a simple skirt out of this cute poppy patterned fabric I got for $1/yard. It was the very end of a bolt so I was only able to get about 1.25 yards of it, so I didn't have enough to make pockets, but that's okay. The boyfriend got home as I was working on this one and his first comment, before even a "hello" was "well that's certainly a...bright...fabric", and he's right, it is pretty busy. But it looks okay toned down with a solid shirt right?

close up of fabric:

hello color!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / ottoman re-upholstery on: February 16, 2012 08:37:06 AM
 I re-upholstered an old ottoman to match my living room.

The ottoman was a hand-me-down from my grandparents, who bought it in the early 70s, and I think the original upholstery makes that pretty obvious:

I like the vintage look and all but the yellow was stained and didn't match my mostly blue and green living room.

I started with this white and teal fabric

but after my experience with a white table cloth I didn't want to risk white on something that was harder to wash, so I died it with RIt dye. The color was "cocoa" but it turned out a little more terracotta colored, but I like it anyway.

Covering it was pretty easy...it's really just five rectangles sewn together. To get the shaping right I just pinned it inside out right to the ottoman like this:

and sewed within about an inch of each corner. To get the corners nice and crisp I folded one side at an angle and stitched until I felt the little bump in the fabric where the corner fold was, and made one stitch into the fold and backstitched.

Then I turned the fabric and folded the other side, so I could just see the extra stitch into the fold, shown by the arrow below. Then I just stitched right to that point and backstitched.

Then the slid the whole thing over the ottoman, folded the edges under, and stapled them to the bottom with a stable gun.


5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / knit shell, corduroy mini-skirt, and navy ruffle skirt on: February 15, 2012 01:42:59 PM
So I have been sewing like crazy. It's so quick to finish projects compared to other crafts!

I whipped up this shell from some knit fabric leftover from the dress I made last week. I just traced a well-fitting tee. It's fairly tight, I plan on wearing it under a cardigan or blazer. I probably won't be wearing it with the corduroy skirt...the skirt is more casual than the top I think, but I liked how the colors happened to go together. The skirt is also made from leftover fabric--I've had it so long I don't even remember what I originally bought it for! It's a pretty thin corduroy and has some stretch, so the skirt is just two trapezoids sewn together with an elastic waist.

This skirt is a tiered ruffle skirt. It's four tiers long, each six inches tall before seaming. The top tier is my hip measurement + 2 inches with an elastic waist. The second tier is 48 inches wide, gathered to fit to the top tier. The third tier is 72 inches, and the fourth tier is 96 inches. It's a very poofy skirt but I like it!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / flirty apron revisted on: February 14, 2012 02:45:17 PM
So my friend saw the flirty apron I made for myself last week, and requested one for her birthday later this month. She picked out the brown and green fabrics, and then I appliqud some leaves and an acorn on one side using fabric scraps. I left the other side plain, so it's reversible. Her chest is much bigger than mine, so it looks a little low on me, but I think it'll be the right height on her.

Right side:

Reverse side:

Close up of pattern:

7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Drunkard's path quilt! First quilt that isn't just squares on: February 12, 2012 07:45:20 AM
My crazy Aunt (I say that with the upmost respect and admiration, I love her to death!) found a zillion upholstery samples at a rummage sale or for free somewhere or something and gave them to me to make something pretty. This was the result! I wanted to play around with drunkard's path, but it looks pretty complicated and I'm impatient and sometimes like to sew with a glass of wine, so I went with a very simplified version. I just arranged color families instead of following a strict pattern to get the stripes. The patterns are all so busy that I was able to use pretty large blocks, 8 inches square before seaming. Even though I used large blocks and didn't make a full size quilt, it's more of a throw for the couch size, it took me over a year to finish it. I'd work on it for a few days and then put it away for months at a time and forget about it.

I used little yarn ties to hold the quilt top, batting, and backing together. It's kinda thick so I was afraid too much top stitching would make it too stiff.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / knit maxi dress + pattern/mini tutorial on: February 11, 2012 09:21:47 AM
I made this maxi dress from some knit fabric I picked up. I was originally going to make the boho maxi dress but decided I didn't want to have to wear a belt or sash for the waist shaping to look all right so I went with this type of design instead.

To make the dress I used two yards of fabric, and I mean almost exactly two yards! I was getting nervous towards the end because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough to make the straps that wide. I wanted them wide to hide bra straps because I don't like strapless bras, but the dress would look cute with thinner, maybe braided straps too. The fabric was 60 inches wide, and that's how wide the very bottom is, minus seam allowances, so if you want a loose flow-y bottom to the dress you'll need more fabric. If you're shorter than me (5' 8") you could probably cut the dress pieces perpendicular to the selvage instead of parallel and then two yards would probably be plenty of fabric.

The only measurement I used was a width measurement, which I got by measuring a tight tank top (I wear it as an undershirt) as shown:

This measurement should be more than half the width of the tank top because you don't want the dress to be skin tight!

Then I took my fabric, folded with the selvages together, and folded it in half again, so I ended up with two identical, symmetrical pieces for the front and back of the dress. To make the waist shaping I just lined the tank top up on top of the fabric to make the little nip at the correct place, and then cut a straight line down to the bottom of the fabric so at the very bottom it ended up as wide as possible.

I stitched the front and back together at the side seams and tried it on to figure out the length. In the end I had to cut off about 6 inches and hem it to get the length right, and I used those leftovers to make the band at the top and the straps.

The top band and straps are just four rectangles folded in half, two identical ones for the front band and back band, and two identical ones for the straps. I sewed the top band to the dress and tried it on again. I gathered the center at the bust, which added a little bit of shaping. Then I pinned the straps in position and sewed them in.

Now if only spring would hurry up!

9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / granny square throw from leftover yarn on: February 11, 2012 05:56:08 AM
I'm finally getting around to posting what I'm calling my Thesis blanket. I started absentmindedly making granny squares out of scrap yarn for stress relief while finishing up writing my thesis and preparing for my defense last semester. I must have been really stressed because a month and a half later, not only did I have an accepted thesis, but I had a new throw for the living room as well!

It's 80 squares total, arranged 8x10. Each square was supposed to be 6 inches but I ended up crocheting a little lose so they are more like 6.5 inches. So the throw isn't quite twin bed sized, but is still pretty large.

I made the inner four rounds of the squares first, then arranged them and joined everything with the dark brown yarn on the last row using the join as you go method. Attic24 has a good tutorial for the joining as you go method here: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/joining-asyougo-sqaures.html

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Tutorial! Simple skirt with pockets. on: February 09, 2012 02:09:41 PM
If I make enough springy clothes it will warm up faster right?

I made a tutorial for my basic skirt pattern. I've made a few versions of this skirt and absolutely love it. It's really adaptable too. It's only four pieces (well, technically six because you have two pockets and two parts to the waistband) so it's pretty simple.

You'll need two measurements for the pattern: your waist measurement, W, and a length measurement, L. I always over-estimate on the length because it's much easier to make a skirt shorter than longer.

Make your pattern pieces using the measurements in the picture. The front and back are the same, except the front has the cut out for the pocket. If you want a skirt without pockets, just make the front just like the back and skip all the pocket instructions. The amount the skirt flares out is up to you. The first skirt shown at the top is a straight skirt and the blue and purple one I'm using for the tutorial is more A-line.

To make the pocket pieces, trace the top 10 inches or so of the front. Then fold the pocket in half and make the angle of the vertical side match the flared side.

Pin the pattern to your fabric and cut out the pieces. Cut the front and back on the fold, and cut two waistbands and two pockets. If your fabric is directional like mine be careful. I labeled my front pattern on the wrong side and almost ended up with upside fish!

Pin the pocket to the front of the skirt as shown and sew just the curved part. The yellow lines show where my pins were and the white paper is just to make it easier to see where the pocket is because this fabric doesn't have a right side and a wrong side. Make all seams 5/8".

Repeat for the other pocket. I pink the seams so they don't unravel too much, but it's optional. You could also overlock stitch, french seam, or just let them fray. Clip the curve and press the seam. You should end up with something like this:

Fold the pocket in half as shown and stitch the bottom of the pocket. Press seam.

With right sides together pin front and back together at the side seams, making sure the pockets are on the outside, so they will be on the inside when the skirt is turned right side out. Stitch the side seams and press open.

Pin waistbands with right sides together. Stitch short end on one side (shown in red), and on the other side leave a 1 inch gap for inserting elastic. Press seams open.

Fold the waistband long ways, right side out, and press. Pin waistband to skirt, matching side seams, and making sure that the opening will end up on the inside of the skirt. Stitch waistband to skirt and press seam allowances down.

** Edit: It's hard to see the waistband in this picture--I should have used that piece of paper to help show where it is. What is going on is that the main part of the skirt is right side out, and the waist band is around the top, upside-down, right sides together. The gap to insert the elastic is facing out at this point, so once the waistband is sewn to the skirt and folded back up it will be on the inside.**

Draw inch elastic through the waistband. Try on the skirt and adjust the elastic to the right size. Cut and sew the elastic ends together.

Hem the skirt using whatever method you like. I like using blind hem stitch. It's the stitch that looks like a half triangle wave, and you fold the hem in a way that most of the stitching doesn't show. I was pretty excited when I figured out how to use that stitch. But you can sew any hem you feel like.

Ta-da! Skirt with pockets!

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