Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Productively unemployed

Someday I'll have a real job, I imagine. At least that's what happens in books I read or movies I watch. A life where the days of the week matter and I become concerned about "quick meal ideas". So for now, while I'm still somehow getting by on odd jobs and living simply and content, I should be making as much clothing as possible. The day will come where I arrive home with aching feet and numbness of mind and spend my evening looking in the opposite direction of my sewing machine so as not to feel creative guilt. Then again, maybe not.

That leads me to the latest items hot off of my Singer Starlet! I should photograph my "new" sewing machine to show you all, she is a beaut. Even has a decal on it of a sunset in rather ominous tones of orange and brown.

Second Hand Fabrics. Size Medium.
 This is a rather sexy tank top in my opinion. (Using the word 'rather' probably takes away from the sexiness huh? I'll work on my lingo.) Could be the slim fit underneath or the flowing pieces of fabric in the front, either way I know for a fact it should be danced in.

Second and First Hand Fabrics. Small/Medium.

Newest dress!
Similar to the last ones. I used cotton for the main part and silk for the center. Yes, plaid silk. I love this combination of colours. A perfect palette for earth and water.

This morning, when I should have been still sleeping, instead I was imagining this next top as a dress. So, that is next to come. The same design as these summer tops but longer and with belts.  I still do very much love this top as it is. It kind of reminds me of a grandmother's throw pillow but there is a loveliness about the crochet design and a slight sheen to the sky blue cotton that makes it quite elegant and pretty and all together very nostalgic.

Second Hand Fabrics. Size Medium/Large.

Prison Mannequin.

Once again these items are available at The Green Man. The first two are already there and the third is on it's way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring/summer designs, pre-made!

I was urged by friend, and owner and operator of The Green Man, Kelly Caseley, to make some clothing for her store. Initially I was going to make items using the designs from Stay-Stitched, but realized the fun part of sewing is the designing. For me, the challenge of finding a solution to a particular problem, as in how to use natural fabric rather than stretch fabric or how to make an item with as few steps as possible, is the most exciting part. After that it's an endless variety of combinations of colours and fabric to achieve the final result. I worked mostly with second hand fabric, mainly because of the environmental concern of wasted fabric but also because it is much more affordable and it narrows down my choice significantly, so that I'm not staring at a pile of fabric with blurry eyes and a lot of sighing.

I really enjoy the following designs. Each involve a process of steps I still find fun, like attaching trims or bias tape. They still don't involve things that are not fun, like sewing in zippers or buttons. And in the case of the dress (at end of post), I never really know how they will look until almost finished since they really need a form to fill it out, so that's always a fun surprise.

Size Large. Mix of first and second hand fabric.

Size small. Mix of first and second hand fabric.
 First up are some simple tank tops. I always have issues with hemming necklines and I've found facing to be the best solution. Facing is usually on the inside of a garment but I found it pretty effective to have it on the outside as a decorative element.

Size Medium. Second hand fabrics.
In the case of the shirt on the left, the over layer goes around the armholes as well, eliminating all kinds of hemming! I like how these shirts hang, sort of out on a diagonal and somewhat wide. Pair them with slim fitting pants or shorts for that 50's or 60's mod look.

For those who still want it cinched at the waist you could wear it with a belt or tuck it into high waist pants and have the over layer stand out.

Size Large. Second hand fabric and handkerchief.
Size Medium. Second hand fabrics.
I'm kind of in love with this top on the left and may keep it for myself. The crocheted piece came from an old dress that I had already dismantled for parts. (I think I made the skirt of it into yoga pants...it was not crocheted)

The top on the right reminds me of eggs.

Skirts! What could be simpler than these? The nice and wide elastic waist band is super flattering. Just tuck in a slim fitting, simple tank top and your done.

Size small and medium available. Second hand fabric.
Size Medium/Large. Second hand fabric.
Size Large. Very vintage fabric.

Size small-large. Second hand fabric.
Bicycle dress! This is actually a pattern from my book, so I didn't abandon it entirely. I wanted to use the entire image on the fabric so it was the perfect fit for this design. Very accommodating as it works on pretty much anyone ranging from size small to large.

This is a new design that I love a lot and will be using much more. So very comfortable, versatile, and accepting of different kinds of fabric. You can use basically anything and it will work out.
Size Medium/Large. Second hand fabric.

Detail of back ties.

Size Medium/Large. Second hand fabrics.
 They are made from two different fabrics, matching or contrasting or whatever I think works well and stands out from the pile. This first one is shown tied in the back with the back detail. Since there is a tie, they are adjustable and can fit a couple of sizes.

The one in two shades of green is a bit shorter, more like a tunic, and would be great with tights.

Size Medium/Large.
Back detail
Second hand fabric and handkercheif.
Backgammon anyone? The silk handkerchief used in the dress above reminds me of that and cards. Gold, in silk, can't really go wrong. I felt the blue went with it tonally and also added a splash of necessary colour to eliminate the 70's bachelor vibe I was getting.

Size Small/Medium. Second hand fabric and handkerchief.
All my favorite colours (right now) wrapped up in one dress. Blush and gold and creamy beige with some black to make it all stand out. Yep, pretty happy with this one. 

Well that is all for now. A few weeks worth of sewing that I'm really happy with. Stay tuned for high waist shorts! They're cranberry, they've got pockets, and they kind of remind me of gym class in the 60's. They take a bit longer to make so I'll whip some out when the season is right...although, they look mighty good with tights.

These items will be for sale at The Green Man as soon as tomorrow! (April 12th)