Sneak Peek

Take a look at these lovely fabrics I found! Today is a day for scarf-making.

Cool Dawn (LazyLens 20160114 063007 HD)

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New Year, New Scarf

Hello friends! The year of 2016 has already come and taken 7 days with it. I had high aspirations to post my resolutions in a somewhat organized manner here on the blog, but once I missed the first couple days of the new year, a bit of my resolve had already escaped. Oops.

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BUT, these winds of change blew a new business idea into my brain. I say “new business,” though what I really mean is a special kind of addition to my Etsy shop! Scarves have been everywhere. This winter, in the fall, last spring…  They seem to never go out of season. My new line of infinity scarves focuses on fun prints and colors that can be layered and worn year-around. It’s like a scarf edition of the capsule wardrobe (but it lasts through all the seasons!). I will be adding many more options within the next week hopefully… Foxes and flowers coming soon. Yippee!

Check out some of the pairings! Here’s a link to my shop.

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Thank you to the sweet friend who taught me how to make these! =D

Emerald Lady

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So after I had completely finished this dress, I realized that it is my third dress (in a row!) to be green… And, my past two dress posts each were titled after a “lady,” so I could not force myself to interrupt the pattern this time. Wearing this dress truly does make one feel a lady. It is very likely my most extravagant and most prized creation thus far.

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As some of you may know from my previous post, I made this dress by adapting a vintage evening gown pattern. Though the pattern sleeves were quite classy, I opted for a younger, sleeveless look. The fabric is from Cali Fabrics, a decently-priced shop with many kinds of materials in a great variety of colors. Funny story– I ordered 5 yards of emerald taffeta, 8 yards of emerald tulle, and 2 yards of cream chiffon…. I made the bodice and realized that chiffon was not working for the kind of bow I imagined. So, I had this crepe-y silk/taffeta (I’m really not sure what it is) sitting beside me, because I had made a muslin with it. As it turned out, I had just enough to make the sash, which ended up being the perfect thing!

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Recently, in an interview, I was asked if I have ever failed. While the obvious answer is “yes,” I groped for a noteworthy example. My many sewing endeavors provided me with just the right example. I explained how I have most likely failed many more times than I have succeeded when sewing. And yet, that is how I learn. Without the long list of failures, I would not be the pattern-drafter, fabric buyer, and stitcher that I am today. All this is an introduction to what was perhaps my biggest sewing fail ever… I had completely finished my lovely bodice when I noticed a narrow line of stitches down one of the back sides. I turned the fabric to see the inside. I had serged into my bodice. Ah, it made me sick. After meticulously seam-ripping the serged stitches and trying to patch the tiny holes cut into the fabric, I yielded to what I knew had to be done. The perfectly ironed facing– off. The scrupulously sewn darts– redo. That entire quarter of my bodice– throw away. I cut around the pattern once more, lined up the darts once more, and attached this new and perfect piece to the rest of my dress. But, I can tell you, I am so glad I did!! My beautiful handiwork is now blemish-free. And I learned the importance of careful serging.

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Christmas Lady

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Hello, all! Christmas is nearing quickly. I have always loved the idea of dressing according to the holiday– pink and red for Valentine’s Day, red and blue for July 4th, pumpkin for Thanksgiving, green and red for Christmas. But I rarely have accomplished this… for different reasons; sometimes I am too lazy and choose sweatpants over a carefully picked outfit. Other times, I can’t put together the right ensemble. I fixed that problem for Christmas this year with a casual green dress. I made my pattern to match the Lady Skater pattern which has been so popular lately. I learned a wonderful fact while in the process of making this dress… Serged seams stretch as much as the fabric stretches! Most of you likely have known this for years, but it was my first time to see this amazing phenomenon actually work. Every seam that went into this dress is serged, a first for me as well. Overall, making this dress was quite unproblematic, a nice condition to run into every once in a while. Paired with dark red tights, this dress is my go-to outfit for any Christmas activity!

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Lady Liberty

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To make the long story short, this post was due on July 4. Yes, it is mid-September. I’ll just say that I lost a bit of my motivation on this dress after the first couple of hours. Finally, over Labor Day weekend, I made myself labor over this dress until it was finished. I am so glad that I did complete it!

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When I first got this fabric from the Mood in New York City, I thought it was the perfect material to use for this dress I had been loving. It is a satin silk. And on top of that, the fabric is the same color as the Statue of Liberty. What could be better than a Statue of Liberty dress made out of New York fabric?!

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The design of the Modcloth dress that I copied was so unique but also risky. Making the pattern was definitely a project in itself. But I am glad for the practice. Also, I think this pattern is very flattering! I did have one recurring problem throughout the whole process– puckering seams. Does anyone have any advice for sewing with lightweight fabrics and keeping the fabric from puckering at the seams?

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Loveralls

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The title tells the whole story about my new pair of overalls. This summer has seen me in little else. The entire spring and first bit of summer I scoured Etsy, garage sales, and thrift stores for a pair of denim shortalls that were long enough to roll up and loose enough to wiggle in. I had very little luck till I found a pair of baggy overall pants for $6. I cut them to the right roll-up length… and now they are almost the only thing I wear. They can be worn for a work-day around the house or on a warm day at the farmers market or to a simple lunch outing. (Yes, I have worn them on all of these occasions in the past two weeks.)

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Refashioned: Striped Ruffles

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Here is a dress that I made, wore once (as a Halloween costume), and immediately refashioned. I love how it turned out! By simply cutting the bodice to a more desirable length and adjusting the skirt length accordingly, I ended out with what is possibly the most comfortable dress I’ve ever made. The fabric is light and airy, but the pattern is feminine and classy; so it’s basically perfect. I added a bit of elastic in the back so that the bodice would be a bit more fitting. I have been counting the possibilities– in the fall with knee-highs and a cardigan, winter with tights and a blazer, spring with a button-up shirt and belt, and summer with bare feet. What do you think? How should I wear it this fall and winter?

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Here’s what it looked like before:

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A Drop-Waist Dress

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If you saw my last post, you saw some of the inspiration I used in making this lovely 1920’s dress. But actually, I ended out being most influenced by these two other dresses I found later.

Look at Lady Mary’s striped dress!

While it is functioning as my Halloween costume, I may be more excited about wearing it afterwards. I have a few ideas for little changes here and there to make it more wearable. It will probably lose the drop-waist…. but you can’t say I didn’t try it out! I’m really glad I made it drop-waisted, so that I could try the technique and the look. I’m just not sold on the look. I guess I’m more of a waist-definition/high-waisted kind of girl. From the beginning, I was planning on using a cream fabric but could not find any. Is that not a shocker?!? No thin, cream fabric in my town. None. I should have used a sheet. Eh, but what am I griping about? I really love this tiny-striped, gray and white fabric. It’s very light, and all the gathers lay well. I feel like I was whisked straight off Downton Abbey when I wear this dress. By the way, I made the pattern, which was very simple, and made the dress in one afternoon. I think it turned out well for such a quickie!

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1920’s Inspiration

It seems like 1920’s fever has been going around. The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey have gotten into everybody’s heads, I guess. I’ve never loved the drop-waist trend that was so popular, but for some reason (I must have gotten the fever, too) I am dead-set on making a 20’s dress. I’m planning on this being my Halloween costume, though I would love for it to be something I will wear again. So, I come to you, my lovely readers, with a question… What should it look like? I am aiming for elegant, not flapper. Based on that fact and these photos, what aspects should I incorporate? Tiers, lace, vertical ruffles, deep v-neck, side bow, sleeves, sheer fabric…. And what color?

Winter Shift Dress

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I have completed my promised shift dress! It turned out every bit as cute as I imagined. Honestly, since my first try at drafting a sleeve pattern (my second pattern-drafting experience ever), I have been scared off from undertaking anymore sleeve drafting. This time, I carefully followed the instructions in my trusty old pattern-drafting book, and what do you know— drafting the sleeve was a piece of cake! The sleeves are undoubtedly my favorite part about the dress. As closure for the dress, I inserted an invisible zipper in the back. There are so many different ways a dress like this can be worn. I especially like the option of wearing a belt or going more plain-jane. One of the most troubling I questions I had when drafting the pattern (Oh, by the way, a great way to recycle newspaper is to draft patterns on it.) was the question of darts. Through a lot of research and some helpful advice, I came to the understanding that shift dresses may or may not have darts. And when I pinpointed a dress that was the exact pattern I wanted and discovered it had no darts, I decided to leave the darts out of this pattern. But I think, if I ever want to adapt this pattern, I could add some darts to it. That is the best thing about drafting your own patterns: you can make a a simple, versatile pattern and then add or take away whatever details you don’t want. Hope y’all had a merry Christmas and have a great New Year!

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My new Minnetonka boots, I got for Christmas!

My new Minnetonka boots, I got for Christmas!