Wednesday, June 24, 2009

not really a sewing project but a craft one! For all the guys out there!

This one is for my Dad!! I can just see him shaking his head the same way my husband did when he walked past my sewing room and saw what I was up too....

I decorated my fishing tackle box! hehe

Just wanted to make sure that no one would get mixed up and pick up the wrong one! I spent a lot of time picking out all the different 'things' that are inside of that box. Not quite sure what I was picking out... so I just sort of went with the pretty factor and wild guesses. Not sure Dad would approve of that either.... hehe

Top of the box, a little bling glued on, nice designs with dimensional paint and of course I had to do a fishy call!

Front view

Up close of my fish call. Do you think it will work???

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Part UFO, Part new, ALL nice!

This jacket part of this ensemble was another UFO that I finished up. Of all things all it needed was to have the sleeve linings finished...
wool blend fashion fabric with iron on interfacing all over and a fun lining.

I recently wore the jacket on a trip and was doing some shopping at the Pittsburgh Airport while waiting for a flight delay. (this airport basically has a full mall in it!) the Tie rack was having a blow out sale on all woman's scarves and as I was browsing the store manager came up to me and gave me such wonderful compliments on my 'Chanel' look. I was thrilled :)

The top and skirt is a new project that I whipped up from New Look 6735.
I like this pattern, easy to work with and since it is for knits I can whip it up on my serger in no time! The only thing that I will try changing the next time I make it is removing the back seam. It is only slightly shaped and I don't think it is needed on this style shirt.

The belt was from my stash, I actually bought it quite a few years ago to be used with a pirate Halloween costume.

Nice looking outfit! Great for travel and meeting with customers.

This project is from a larger project idea that I had to put together several separates that I could use while traveling for work. I often have to travel several days in a row and I often try to coordinate my color palate and style so that I can minimize my accessories and still look good! (and keep the suitcase lighter!)
My color/texture/fabric palate to work with

Project bin

I first assembled my fabrics at various lengths. I buy fabric because I like it and have a rough idea how much yardage I need for different pieces and then figure out a pattern later. The color palate I went with here is teals and browns. I also like to use a 'project' basket where I pull all the necessary items from the various places in my sewing room and put them all in one place. I find this makes it easier for me when working on the project, I don't get myself distracted looking for things.

I have several more pieces that I am planning to add to the collection. A dress, a pair of knit pants and a short sleeved shirt. So far I am quite happy with how it has turned out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

UFO: lurking in my sewing closet!

So, I have been trying to clean up my sewing room. A never ending task... but must be done! I need a semblance of organization to get things done.

I had this red/black/pink plaid jacket UFO hanging there for well over a year now and I decided to tackle it and do my best to A, figure out why it is a UFO and B, whatever the reason is, deal with it.

The pattern is from a small independent company. I bought it because I tried on a model garment at the trade show and liked it. I wish I could remember why I really like it and had taken some pictures, or at least wrote down what size I had tried on.

Just For You! by Darlene Miller 'Triangle Jacket'
"your own 'Designer Canvas' Jacket!

Apparently my brain was just not functioning the day I decided to cut out this pattern because I cut it out for an extra-large and according to the measurements on the pattern I only needed to cut for a medium.... hmmmm.... maybe I was feeling fat that day???? Who knows.

The fabric is a cute poly blend plaid slightly open weaved, not very expensive. I think from vogues super sale tables. But, I like the fabric and decided to just be creative and try my best to make it work. I figured worst comes to worst it could be delivered to the trash can (or recycle bin).
UFO: unfinished front

UFO: unfinished back, pointing right to my hiney :-/
It was huge on me, I was swimming in it and my barely c cups were invisible. And the back of the jacket had this point that ended right in the middle of my hiney. Not to flattering.
  • I added extra tucks at the waistline
  • I added a dart above my breast that goes vertically from my bust tip almost to the middle of the shoulder seam to take out some extra fullness.
  • I tapered in the side seams
  • took off the point in the back
  • shortened the whole thing by an inch
  • used pink buttons from the stash for interest
  • tried to move the buttons in as much as I can without throwing off the whole front.
What this left me with was an interesting short jacket that actually looks quite cute with a black knit tee underneath. It is fitted (sort of) at the waist and then boxy higher up. The side sits just at my waist with the back dipping slightly below in a nice graceful curve and front points extend below waist line. And the sleeves are dropped with a raglan type look to them.

Finished front

Finished back, no hiney point :)
I do believe that I will try this pattern again...and make sure to use the correct size!! and then I can give it a proper pattern review!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

sweater makeover

I had this wonderful wool sweater from Eddie Bauer that my husband bought for me about 10 years ago. The past 2 or so years I have stopped wearing it regularly for several reasons.

It was very pilly, I had worn out the edges of the cuffs of the sleeves, it somehow over the years shrunk just a little... (surely it was not because I had gotten any bigger :)

I just could not part with it so I re-made it!

  1. I de-pilled it using a shaver
  2. I drew out several ideas on paper to get my creative juices flowing
  3. I cut off the cuffs and collar
  4. I marked out the exact center and cut up it and angle out to give it a little v-neck shape.
  5. The yellow satin ribbon is from my grandmothers stash (probably from before I was born... it was used in bassinet making when we were born)
  6. I used a foldover technique for the ribbon
  7. the large button is from my antique button collection.
  8. made a button loop with the ribbon.

in progress: ribbon pinned on

Playing with button placement

Final product!

Button detail

I just love it! My husband was a little dismayed when he saw me cutting up the sweater.. however he loves the finished product!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2 shirts into 1!

My next project was a fun one! A re-fashion or re-design project.

This was an idea that I got from one of my Threads magazines at some time or another. I just never put it to use.

SO I decided to play a little. The 2 original shirts were bought about 3 or 4 summers ago at Kohls on a super sale. As you can see they have been worn and washed a zillion times and needed to put down. Fading, shrinking, the orange one had some strange spots here and there.

Orange knit shirt
Brown knit shirt

They were in the undecided pile... rags or donate..

I figured I had nothing to lose by cutting them up and playing with them! And I was right!! I adore the finished outcome. Comfortable, fashionable and super cute, and I know have a cute summer shirt for another season or two!

I cut a four inch band off the bottom of the brown shirt and added it to the bottom of the orange shirt to give it a layered look and to add some much needed length.
Then I cut the diamond embroidered lace detail off the brown shirt to place on the orange shirt somewhere. I then cut four 2 inch wide strips from the brown shirt as I could crosswise. I took these and sewed 2 together so that I had 2 long strips of 2 inch wide brown fabric. These strips I then played around with placement over the orange shirt. Once I found a pleasing (and not old lady looking) design. I transferred the placement to the inside. Sewed the brown strips to the inside of the shirt and then just cut away the orange part. I also sewed on the brown diamond patch to my back left hip. I left the cut away orange edges raw as well as the diamond patch edges.

Final front of shirt

Final back with diamond placement

Back detail

Front detail

Work shirt project

This was an easy one.

The company I work for has changed logo's 3 or 4 times over the past 4 years for various reasons. I had a couple shirts with old logos on them and decided to make them into rags. Last minute I decided to take any blue shaded shirts and cut the old logo's off and patch them on to this zip up sweater that I like to wear. It has one of the newest logo's on it.

The idea

I cut the patches out, determined the size, ironed on some HeatnBond, cut them down to size, peeled off the paper backing, positioned them onto the sweater, ironed them on, then satin stitched around the outside edges. After washing and drying the top patch which is from a knit polo turned out a little wavy. Looks fine when wearing.
The rest of the shirt pieces went into the rag pile.

Sewn on patches


I have been working on this idea of re-use, re-cycle and make my own cloths and accessories for several months.

But, have not really gotten super serious about it.

I have this great sewing/craft room all to myself and over the past 9 years in this house it has seen untold number of projects come through. From craft items, scrapbooks, to Halloween costumes and power suits and quilts projects. And it has seen it's days as a guest room and when our daughter moved out it even turned into a storage room for a while.

I have recently re-claimed my room!! Yeah!! And have been working on some projects. All the hype in the media about 'being green' and being environmentally responsible along with the dreadful economy really got my ideas flowing.

What kind of things could I do?
  • save money
  • re-use favorite items
  • re-fashion outdated items
  • find new homes for things (to actual people)
  • re-cycling
  • composting
  • etc... etc...
So , it all started with a bag of clothes that I had put aside for Goodwill. Goodwill is an easy way for me to feel like I have not wasted clothes and other items. But... I just kept thinking there is so much more I can do.

I went back through that bag of clothes, which consisted of old clothes, clothes that did not fit and things I just did not use anymore. My closet was too stuffed with unworn items. I reorganized my closet and ended up with a big black bag of stuff that sat in my sewing room for a long time.
Out of this bag I came up with several very cute and sexy tops that I passed down to my daughter and some of her friends. Great items for a night out on the town.
I had some awesome button down shirts that just did not fit anymore and were well appreciated by the college girls. I also had some work shirts that I made over into rags plus a cute zip-up. Etc.... etc...

And on top of it all... I have a massive stash of fabric. Yes I am a fabric whore, can't help myself.
I am vowing to NOT BUY another single piece of fabric until I can at least store all my fabric neatly in the sewing room closet. (I may not be buying any fabric for a long, long time!)