Monday, January 23, 2012

The Last and the New Year

I have no excuse for not blogging in awhile, so let's skip that. I have however, been very busy at a new job that is riddled with daily challenges. Most days this is a good thing. I'm learning a whole heck of a lot and discovering that if there is something I don't know how to do, I can ask someone...simple as that. Took me 28 years to figure that one out. I don't like to ask questions, but I'm coming along.

I've also been enjoying some independent project challenges. Word has been getting around that I sew. It helps that I have a sewing machine in my living room window to act as a beacon for potential customers. People have been coming to me with projects and I've been doing a few of my own, mostly as gifts, but also a little something for myself.

First up! Brandi! She contacted me, out of the blue, to make her a dress for engagement photos. I hadn't talked to Brandi since High School! So, along with a fun challenge, was a chance to catch up with a lovely person I lost touch with. Working from a picture she sent me, I made a mock up first in a hideous burgundy velvet (not sure what I was thinking there) and then had her try it on before cutting into the good fabric we shopped for together. All in all it went quite smoothly. Little to no cursing or stitch ripping, which is my measure of success!


After seeing this in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric crafts, I either had to make it for a little girl, or a larger version for myself. I did both. Above are the two I made for my boyfriend's nieces. It's incredibly simple. You take a man's shirt and either using the print out pattern or eye balling it, chop off the sides in the shape of an A-line dress. I cut some off the bottom and then reattached the bottom of the shirt to the bottom of the dress, making it shorter but keeping the nice dress shirt bottom shape (I realize how awkward that series of words are together, my apologies, I write as I sew) Then you sew some bias tape around the arms and neckline. I used some fancy satin, like you see on blankets. Then thread really narrow elastic through until it looks snug enough. A couple of matching belts to go with them and they were probably the most adorable things I've made to date (except for maybe the baby moccasins, impossible to beat those). When Christmas came however, they didn't stand a chance against Barbie in a convertible.

This is Jeff, ever so patiently, and handsomely I might (and did!) add, sporting his new tie so I can take a couple of pictures. Doesn't hurt to practise tying ties. I still need to watch a youtube video every time I attempt it. Turns out making these things isn't as terrifying as I thought. I made one for my Dad out of the most beautiful shade of silk dupioni. It is sort of a light green silver...but not really. I don't have a picture, so it will be up to your imagination to fill in my gaps. The one pictured is from straight up cotton shirting and I think it's smart.

Against my best efforts not to, I caved and made a New Years dress. Not that I mind, but I was trying to take it easy over the holidays and adding a dress to the list of things to finish usually results in me still sewing about an hour before it's time to go out. And that's what happened. It came together and worked out though. This fabric was a georgette, a lovely sheer fabric that doesn't have that icky sheen some sheers can have. This one however, had sparkles! Luckily it fell into my criteria for working with sparkle fabric; sparkles must not shed, nor should they be sewn in via sparkly thread. This was more of a sparkle smear, which doesn't sound great, but actually worked. A lot of pleats later and I got a fun little versatile over-dress, to layer with and wear many ways. Like with a great leather skinny belt made by Paige Harris!

This is my newest project. Using a 1975 McCall's pattern I bought at the Green Man for the main part of the jacket, I changed up the front slightly and added a hood. The pattern called for hooks and eyes, but I find those things miserable at times so I went with big buttons! Much easier for fumbley fingers. There's something about survival clothing that really appeals to me. Survival isn't really the right word though. Pioneer clothes maybe? Jeff called this a ranger jacket, and I like that as well. If I had sewn a lining in, this would be a proper jacket, but as it is it feels incomplete on the inside...maybe that explains the sad far off look I have in the last picture. Seeing shots like this makes me wonder if that's my sitting face. The face I hold when nothing in particular is happening. Working in retail gave me time to look at other people's sitting and browsing faces and there are some...peculiar ones. Ones that seem like they take more effort to hold than a deadpan face.

Now that I've trailed off from the topic at hand I'll end this post. There are a couple more projects to report, but I'll save them for another time.

If you are interested in getting something custom made, I may be able to help you out.

1 comment:

  1. Love your new pics, info and prejects Erin. Well done both with the sewing and descriptions. Mom