Thursday, December 5, 2013

Red Knit Dress - Completed

Saying that I've been neglecting my blog would be the understatement of the year. Between completing my Master's Degree in Library and Information Science, job searching, and then acquiring and working four part-time jobs, I haven't posted since February. Since so much time has passed, I'd be lying to you if I said I had nothing to post here. I do have a few new(ish) makes. Not as many as I would have liked by now, and not enough to keep the Mistress of the Sewlutions Jar at bay, but hopefully enough to make up for my disappearance from the blogosphere.

My make from March/April is actually on the drying rack right now, so that will have to come later.

This dress was my June make. It was my first foray into knits, and I can't possibly tell you how happy it makes me. Every time I put it on, I feel good, and I almost always get compliments on it, which makes me feel even better. :) I wear it more than any other article of clothing in my closet, except perhaps the black wrap cardi I'm wearing it with today. (I must get the Coppelia pattern to make a replacement. This cardi is starting to die, and I'll be devastated when it goes.)


So. The red dress. It's Vogue 8787, view C with the cap sleeves from another view. I honestly have no idea what size this dress is, just that it spans several. 8-12? 6-10? No clue. I did shorten the bodice by 1 1/4", and I took in massive amounts of side and back seams. I also ditched the zipper because...knit. In retrospect, this particular knit probably could have used the zipper. But I do what I want!

I added the cap sleeves to this version of the dress to make it more work appropriate. Not that sleeveless wouldn't have been appropriate, but, well, I also wanted to make this dress a dozen times and have all of them look different. So there. Those were the only modifications I made to the dress, and it fits like a dream.

I love the interesting details on the bodice. The side gathering and the swooping asymmetrical neckline make the dress interesting, rather than it just being a boring basic knit dress.

 Also, pockets!

Onyx was fascinated by the whole photoshoot thing. Also a little miffed that I was up in his space when he was trying to take a nap.

Honestly, Onyx doesn't get miffed about anything. Ever. He's one of the most mild-mannered dogs I've ever met. Except on walks. And when there are cats. But our other dog can steal his toys, bones, etc., and he just looks at her and lets her take what she wants. In these photos, he looks more like a statue of a dog than a real dog. He hardly moved at all! :)

And just because when you make a full circle skirt, you have to have a twirly picture:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two Altered Pairs of Jeans - Completed!

Okay. So. Y'all almost didn't get a blog post from me this month. It's been a crazy month. Three classes and an 8-hour-a-week practicum plus a part-time job and dogs, my wife, and friends have all made for a very busy semester. In spite of all of that, I did manage a tiny bit of sewing, and I'm here to share it with you. :)

I didn't actually sew these jeans from scratch. I feel obliged to tell you that. One pair is from Banana Republic, and the other pair is from Express. What I did was make basically unwearable items into super cute, perfectly fitting jeans. Sadly, I don't have before pictures, but they looked kind of like this:

And now, they look like this:

And this:

No more gape! One pair of perfectly hemmed short jeans for flats and long jeans for heels! Yay! So how did I work this miracle, you ask? You would. ;) I found a tutorial through that shows you how. Basically, you rip out the waistband seams, cut out however much you need to in the center of the waistband, put a couple of darts in above the pockets (like below),

...then you stitch the whole thing together again, and you end up with this:

I took two inches out of each waistband and two more inches off the hem of my "skinny" jeans (the ones I'm wearing with gray flats...those are about as skinny as it's going to get around here). I hand-stitched the topstitching, because I wasn't super confident about my sewing-two-perfectly-straight-parallel-lines skills with the machine, but the darts, the center seam, and the hem were done by machine.

These are the first pairs of jeans I've ever had that fit properly, and I'm super excited about it. I couldn't manage to get the back beltloops back on prettily, so I just tossed them both, and I don't really care, because my shirts always cover the waistbands of my jeans anyway.

Just skating in with a February post. I hope you all had a wonderful short month and are looking forward to March and maybe some spring weather (or fall, for those of you in the southern hemisphere)!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wool Flannel PJ Pants - Completed!

If you haven't yet heard about Karen's Sewlutions Jar, it's time to come out from under that rock! My Sewlution is in the jar, and like 21% of other Sewlutionists (new word? can I coin it?), I've vowed to complete at least one garment every month for a minimum of 12 garments, and post about them for evidence. My blog posts tend to be few and far between sometimes (all right, often!), but you're guaranteed at least one new make post every month, starting now! Yay!!

My first make is pj pants for my wife. They were part of her Christmas gift, but I wanted to make sure that I made the style she wanted, so I didn't make them until we came home after the holidays. I finished them two weeks ago, but the weather has been sucky for photos, so I didn't get any good ones until today.

Fabric: gray plaid wool flannel from Mood, maroon satin for waistband, tie, bias binding on hems
Pattern: none - traced my own pjs onto pattern paper
Notions: athletic elastic for the waistband, thread
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: January 26
Wear again?  Every day since, and hopefully a lot more to come!
Total cost: ~$33

The fabric is a gray wool flannel from Mood fabrics, and it's really just delicious. One side is super soft and slightly fuzzy, and the other side is smooth and looks like it could be used for a casual button-down (the fuzzy side faces inside, of course!). I have more of it (not quite enough for another pair of pjs), and I'm not sure what to do with it! I used a maroon satin (also from Mood) for the waistband, tie, and the bias binding on the hems.


Instead of using a pattern, I traced my own pj pants onto tracing paper and used that as a pattern. I also checked out the construction of my pjs as I went. I vaguely followed the instructions from the book Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit, which I got for Christmas, and I found it useful and pretty intuitive. I think the book will be even more useful for more complicated garments.

There was a minor problem with what I did, though. I couldn't figure out how to get the proper grainline, so I just kind of made it up, and I ended up with the plaid not quite matching up. So I forced the plaid to match, cut the waistband and hem to make up for it, and hoped that the pjs wouldn't skew because of my mistake. :) Next time, I think I'll use a pattern instead of going prancing off into Pants-making Land with no map. (Sorry for the wrinkly photos! The pants have been super well-loved!)

I used French seams for all four seams, so the pants are just as pretty inside as outside. Also, see how fuzzy? :)