BOOK! BOOK!! EFFING BOOK!!!

BOOK! BOOK!! EFFING BOOK!!!

I will, if all goes according to plan ;D,  be featured alongside many talented lovelies in the forthcoming BurdaStyle Book!!

I cannot tell you how excited I am! I have never been in a book before. I will make a variation of a basic dress pattern. I was able to choose my own fabric and color (PURPLE!!). I think the most exciting thing about the whole business was having my sketch approved. I have very limited drawing skills and I was worried that my vision for my variation would not be clear. But it was! And they chose ME!

You can read more about the book over on BurdaStyle.

Half-Assed Shorts

My creation

Don’t be fooled by the picture.
These shorts, though simple looking, have been the most frustrating sewing project of the year (so far).

If I hope to complete my Wardrobe Refashion project, I will either have to become a much better shorts/trousers sewer or rethink my selected projects.

Pattern: Burda Mag 6/2009
Fabric: Cotton Sateen, which may be cursed. I had fit issues with the last project I used this fabric for. I didn’t even bother fixing any of the issues, like the too thin waistband and the atrocious front zip panel (which is zip-less, I just sewed it up). Let’s just say, I will be wearing all of my tunics and long shirts with these, lol

I’m rocking my lace cami with it. I have another lace project on the brain now. If only it would cool down by about 20 degrees. I might feel like moving then. Until that time, I will dream about cool cotton shirting in a dark navy and deep blue lace.

Image from Forever 21′s website.

Sew, Mama, Sew!

The blog, not what my children cheer when they watch me sew ;o)

Believe it, or not. A project of mine was selected to be featured there!!!

How awesome is that?

Very, very awesome is the answer!

I think I was too stunned to give sufficient construction details when I was contacted about being featured. So, here are some more photos of the project in question, the shirt that inspired it and a bit more about how  I did it.

My creation
1. My First Shirt -The Cowl Neck Top, 2. 29/365: My First Shirt – The Cowl Neck Top, 3. My First Shirt -The Cowl Neck Top—-Cowl Folded, 4. 11.19.09

Inspiration shirt:
The Inspiration

As you can see, what I ended up with was similar to rather than an exact copy of the original. Which is fine. I think when setting out to copy any item you have to give yourself leave to make it close enough to the inspiration. Otherwise you set yourself up for failure.

I like the extra fullness in my cowl, which came from cutting on a diagonal making the middle section section of the cowl longer than either end. My sleeves are also shorter, which is fortunate since this poly knit is extremely HOT. My neckline is more v-shaped than the original, which makes the cowl sit a little deeper.

From Sew, Mama, Sew!:

This was the very first shirt I made. I was fearless in attacking it because the fabric I used was so stunningly inexpensive (read-cheap) and so wildly different (also read- cheap) than what I hoped it would be, that I had zero fear of wasting it. None. Whatsoever. I just whacked into it and stitched it together. I only needed to make one adjustment to the cowl’s length and it was done.

To cut the pieces, I used a method that I still use now. I simply folded the inspiration shirt and pinned it to the fabric, using it as a template for cutting. The first attempt at the sleeves was laughable, but I didn’t care. I had (and still have) a TON of this fabric… I took my construction clues straight from the top itself, looking at where things were attached and how to know how it should go together. I find that to be the best way to wrap my mind around what might work and what won’t. I think that anyone attempting something for the first time should put aside any fear of failure. It’s all practice. Who knows, you may have beginners luck like I did.

The funny thing about sewing knowledge, I wouldn’t have been able to tell most of that back when I first made this. You learn so much by doing and reading blogs and messing up and commiserating with other people who messed up via blog/flickr/pattern review/burdastyle/meet-up groups. It’s amazing!

Thanks to those of you popping over from Sew, Mama, Sew! and thanks again to the team over at the blog.

Damn Shorts!!

Damn shorts!!!

These are the first shorts I’ve ever made and I am having one hell of a time following Burda Mag’s lame ass instructions.

This fabric has a TON of stretch, otherwise I would have never been able to get into these. As it is, the back waistband needs about three inches taken in and I have decided to eliminate the front zip closure in favor of a back zip.

I have this same fit issue when I make skirts but I’m not sure what to do with these shorts. I would normally make darts on either side of the ones already included in the pattern, but it makes it sit weird on my (rather prominent) backside when I pin it in that way.

And the front is hitting high on my belly and the back is just barely covering my ass. This also happens when I make skirts.

First shorts

They look OK from the front…and with the waist covered. But I would like to wear them with something other than this baggy ass tank top.

What to do??

Lace Cami Copy

Lacy Cami Copy(ish)

My creation

1. Lacy Cami Copy(ish), 2. Armhole finish and strap, 3. Lace Hem, 4. Lace Facings

This was so much fun to figure out! I have officially become addicted to shopping for lace and trim on etsy. I used 100% cotton (listed as cotton lining) for the body, all of the thick white lace and most of the the thin one from this order www.etsy.com/transaction/30065312, some reclaimed buttons (likely taken from a shirt before I tossed it), some poly hem tape to finish the armholes and thin elastic thread for the button loops.

This was mostly inspired by this top from Victoria’s Secret that I saw in Lucky Magazine. Though, this is a really simple top, there were a ton of little things that made it take a long time. Attaching the armhole finishing and pressing those thin straps took the longest. I nearly lost some finger prints pressing such thin pieces of material! I used a racer back tank top from Old Navy as a guide for cutting the top.

I initially made it too boxy and had to take it in about an inch, tapering out the side seams. If I had fabric with more drape, I could have left it like that. I attached the lace to the front exactly like I would attach facings, except with the intention for them to stay to the outside. I can already think of some changes to make in the order of construction next time. Like attaching the strap to the tape at the armhole for a cleaner finish and adding the lace across the top so that the raw edge is concealed.

All in all, VERY satisfying! I sometimes prefer these go with the flow projects to following patterns. I may try another one using some cotton jersey. That would be my second top for the pattern review contest complete!

Darling Dainties

There is a contest going on over at Colette Patterns. I wasn’t going to enter, but after the difficulty I had creating my Pattern Review story board without the benefit of Photoshop, I was curious about using Polyvore. Let’s just say, I could have saved myself a TON of trouble yesterday. It was so easy and so fun!

Pattern Review Wardrobe Challenge

Pattern Review Wardrobe Challenge

My children are at the age where it would probably be best if I wore dark jeans and (long enough to cover all my bits while lifting and bending) black t-shirts all the time. But, like most women, I would like to look a bit nicer than that. I was doing okay while working outside the home. I’m worried that now that I’m back to staying at home with the kids I will revert back to my old bad dressing habits.
May this contest, and the resulting wardrobe keep that from happening!

This storyboard may change, but I feel pretty satisfied with it at the moment. I am still not sure if I can officially enter this challenge and upload photos without having a paid membership at Pattern Review, something I’m not sure I want to invest in. But, the challenge and it’s deadlines will stand whether I am “officially” competing or not.

Click here for Pattern Review Rules

Skirt to Flouncy Top Refashion

Skirt Refashion

There was not a chance in hell of my ass ever fitting into this size 6 skirt (and looking well) again. I almost tossed it in the donate pile, but the soft bias cut linen begged to stay with me.

After a date with my sewing machine and serger, a new top was born!

It was DEAD simple.

1. Cut off the drawstring waist plus about 2 inches.
2. Use a sleeveless top (or pattern) as a guide for cutting the armholes.
3. Serge or zig zag stitch the top edges.
4. Using your iron, press the armholes edges back about 1/2 inch. You can alternatively finish with bias tape or lace. Or make facings. My method worked just fine.
5. Fold over and sew the top edges to make a casing for your drawstring. I basted the hem first to try it on, to be sure that it was long enough. Then finished with a decorative stitch.
6. Weave in your drawstring. I used the one that came with the skirt.

DONE!

It’s soooo comfy. I’m still wearing it now.

Summer Essentials

A couple of posts back, I extolled Me-Made-May and Kid’s Clothes week and then promptly fell out of sight. I did manage to complete the jammies I planned.

New PJs!!

And the Matryoshka top from the last post was completed that week. Me-Made-May suffered a worse fate. I ended up spending most of May in my home. The furthest I went from the house was the grocery store most days. I had little motivation to dress up or sew new things. I did do some pattern drafting and altering for some projects I had in mind, but that was about it. Oh! I did sew a new bag which has been in heavy rotation.

June has seen a slight change in my attitude. I am feeling more inclined to watch what I wear. The warm weather has helped some with that. The problems that made May difficult haven’t been resolved, but my resolve not to let them get to me has strengthened. I think my new haircut may have helped ;o)

I am ready to jump back in the sewing saddle and with that new challenges. The first of which is the:

I had already been thinking of ways to maximum my sewing skills by making things that I actually love to wear. My essentials list was shockingly easy to come up with:

1. Long flirty tiered skirt that can double as a dress. With that versatile wide smocked waist.

  • my husband LOVES me in these, and I LOVE to wear them.

2. Loose flow-y top. Possibly with a handkerchief hem.

3. Paper bag waist shorts/pants.

  • With a nice slim tank and flats, I can wrangle the kiddies and still look nice.

4. A Playsuit/Romper/Jumper/Jumpsuit

  • I do not know why I am compelled to make this. I don’t even really like shorts… But, the desire will not go away. If I hate it, I can give it to my sister.

5. Loose flowy cotton pants. Possibly wrap pants like these. I am trying to stay away from Hammer pants… I can’t reasonably wear a romper and harem pants in the same year.

  • These are usually made of linen, but I am too cheap to buy linen and I have a TON of cotton shirting readily available.

BONUS: Lacy cami type tops for the extreme heat days.

  • I’m ordering a whack of lace from an etsy seller or this express purpose.

So there we are! A nice, doable list. Well, it’s doable on paper (web-blog) anyway. Let’s see how much real life  (continues to) get in the way, shall we ;o)