UFO, Finished Projects, Future Projects, and Excessive Thoughts

Monday, December 30, 2013

I got bored with my purse.  I was getting so frustrated trying to sew the damn straps that I just gave up.  I did sew one strap on, as well as snap a needle.  Here is a picture of the almost finished product:

It came out satisfactory.  My mother in law actually gave me a book on bag making for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to picking up new ideas and info from it.

Moving right along, just because I finally have an official UFO (unfinished object) doesn't mean I haven't been sewing and planning future projects.  I try not to plan too far ahead or buy the fabric before I have an intended purpose for it.  Otherwise I'll just go crazy with all the stuff I want to do but can't do.  So I try to take it one project at a time.

First up, I made a Lady Skater dress.  It's imperfect, but it's stupid comfortable and I love the fabric.  I got this charcoal rayon blend jersey from Joanns.
My apologies for the dirty mirror.  I really should clean it someday.  Or upgrade to taking real pictures.
This was my first adventure sewing with knits.  Well, besides Hub's Renaissance Festival costume which was whipped up with minimal thought put into it.  (I meant to link to a post on this, but apparently I never blogged about it.  It just consisted of a modified long sleeve t-shirt and modified pj pants.)  Honestly, I don't know why people are so afraid of sewing with knits on a regular sewing machine.  With the right tools it was easy as (frozen) pie, and the end result is about a million times more comfortable than a woven.  The Lady Skater pattern also came with insanely excellent instructions and lots of resources for info sewing with knits.  I'll very likely make another one and work out the kinks.

I also made a Christmas skirt inspired by Lauren's Tree Skirt Skirt.
I was trying to draft a circle skirt, but they're a total mathy PITA, so I used the circle skirt pattern pieces from a dress I've made previously and modified the waist to sit lower on the hips.  I cut a long rectangle for the waistband, inserted a pocket in the side seam, and hand picked the zipper on the opposite seam.  I also made a new black petticoat to go with it.  I could have made it fluffier but I was short on time (nothing like last minute projects!) and, well, petticoats are a huge headache to make.
This is what happens when someone tells me to dress festive - I go all out!  I literally picked out the loudest, most colorful holiday fabric from Joanns and went crazy.  You can't tell, but the skirt is also covered in silver glitter.  Bam.  My side seams are perfect and my hand picked zipper is gorgeous.  Unfortunately the skirt ended up several inches too big so I had to pin the sides to make it wearable.  I say unfortunately because the waistband is adorbs and it's a shame no one got to see it.  (These pictures were taken after a full day of sitting at work, hence the wrinkles.)  Oh well.  I made the skirt knowing I would only get to wear it a couple times so I didn't bother taking it in.

Next I have two patterns I plan on working on.  I'm not sure which one I'll do first, probably the dress.

I bought this royal purple jersey for the dress...
and this Paris Green tonal stripe jersey for the top, both from Girl Charlee, which is now my favorite online source of jersey fabric.  Everything is like $6/yard, which is perfectly in my price range!
I tried to keep in mind my personal style and what colors and prints really appeal to me for every day wear.  I know sometimes this is an issue with sewing because we get so excited over pretty prints and colors when really they aren't things we would reach for on a daily basis.  I know these jewel tones and a subtle stripe will fit right into my wardrobe.

The dress I first saw on another blogger's page and decided it was for me! 
It's basically like a Lady Skater with a cowl neck.  I might even use the Lady Skater skirt pieces, because they are just so swingy and fun.  Oddly enough I can't find this dress on the interwebs, only the blog I found it on and one other.  So that will be great fodder for my blog!  I will make sure to tag it up the wazoo for other people to find.

Next up is Cake Patterns RiFF Cabarita top.
This is a nice basic t-shirt with a little visual interest in the collar and back v.  It's really made to highlight stripes, but I would like to make it in a solid too just to have another basic top to wear around.  I plan on making the sleeves elbow length for a little extra warmth.

I might have mentioned before that I was planning on making a pattern off a dress I already own, which I did, but I haven't made progress on the dress except to buy lining fabric.  I plan on making a muslin out of my lining fabric to make sure the dress will fit properly, but it isn't really a priority since it's been so cold.  Wearing a short sleeve dress isn't very appealing right now.  More dresses out of a nice weight jersey sound much warmer, so that's what I've been looking at!

So, there is a lengthy update on what I'm up to and what I've been doing.  What kind of clothes do you like to make in the winter?

Haunted Mansion Purse: Fabric and Purse Guts

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Now that I have a pattern, I laid out all my purse goodies in preparation for purse making.
To add fanciness, I'm installing purse feet.  A good purse should always have some feet.  I'm also using magnetic snaps to close the outer pocket and the purse itself, as well as metal rings for the straps.
Now, I've never made a real purse before so I did some research on what goes into a purse.  There are so many choices for interfacing and of course, many opinions on what should be used.  Luckily this purse is just for me so I have freedom for trial and error.

I chose to go with Thermolam and some fusible fleece.  Thermolam, I thought, is supposed to be stiffer than fusible fleece so I planned to interface my exterior with Thermolam and my interior with fusible fleece.  However, even though I bought 1 yard of each, the fusible fleece was much more narrow than the Thermolam.  I ended up interfacing my interior and exterior opposite how I planned, but I think it's going to work anyway.  The fusible fleece I bought actually seems stiffer than the Thermolam though there is not that much difference.  I also read that Thermolam is less likely to crinkle when fused.  I know there are people out there who could read this post and tell me that I'm totally wrong, but like I said, I'm ok with trial and error here.  Wish me luck!

Haunted Mansion Purse: Drafting a Pattern

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Once I had my own little line drawing of my purse design, I needed to figure out how to translate that into a pattern.  I took my trusty ruler and figured out what dimensions I wanted my purse and all it's features.  I dissected the drawing and drew out examples of all the pieces I needed.  From there it was just a matter of measuring and drawing it out on Swedish Tracing Paper, adding seam allowance, and cutting it all out.

Don't forget to label each pattern piece and write how many pieces need to be cut, just like a normal pattern.
Next up, cutting the fabric!