Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrift Store Hack: Frumpy Frock into Gathered Waist Sundress

Let me start by saying that this hack was both a success and a failure. Obviously, maybe this is a bit presumptuous of me, the sundress after version looks much better than the before; however, this was a bit of a hack job on my part and I made a ton of simple sewing errors. If I'm being really honest the majority of the errors were made because I was rushing, and that's when most of the mistakes I make when sewing happen. The center gather channel that the tied waist band sits in is crooked (guess who didn't draw a straight line to follow!) and all of the hems are rippled. I have all of these great (at least to me) ideas in my head and not enough time so I sew faster than I should, then get angry with the mistakes, then get more angry fixing my mistakes and the time it's taking. The end result: i'm just a mess of pins, a whirring sewing machine, and usually a piece that's ruined beyond repair or not wearable outside. This happens to me over and over again, but I've really been trying to work at taking my time when sewing. Realizing that I don't have to complete a piece from start to finish in one day even though I'd like to is a big help as well. When I push myself that hard I'm not enjoying myself or doing my best work. As my skills advance hopefully my speed will pick up as well, but I'm just not there. So I said all of that to say that from far away this dress looks nice, especially compared to what it was before, but at least to me up close it has a lot of faults. I may just sound like I'm being hard on myself, but I don't want to give the home sewers out there a bad rep. I feel like a lot of people picture home sewn clothes as dowdy, plain, lacking style. That can't be further from the truth, but a lot of people are unaware of that. I'm always afraid people will be able to tell the difference between my made items and ready to wear (RTW) items. Besides the individuality of the clothes I'm sewing from patterns to style I want my pieces to look professional.... If I wanted to I could fix these things, but in reality I'm not going to. This fits in with my wardrobe overhaul, fits my body nicely, and even though it might not last for more than a season I got this dress for about $4 from Goodwill.  At the time I didn't have any purpose for it so I threw it in my stash. The dress was hideous unless shiny purple frock dresses that fit like a sack with a necktie and shoulder pads are your thing. Make sure to click the link below to get the 'How To' and more pictures!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tiny Pocket Tank - Grainline Patterns

 Pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank - Grainline Patterns
 Fabric: Quilting Cotton

It took me about a week to make mainly because I was sewing very patiently, but I finally finished my first Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Patterns. I've seen tons of people post on not only this pattern but numerous grainline patterns, and I was excited to try this one out.  It was a very simple sew once I figured out all of the instructions. Luckily there's a step by step post with pictures that can help deconstruct the instructions.

I cut out a size 6 across the chest and then graded down to a size 4 for the waist and the hips. Unfortunately I ended up having to make some adjustments after I cut out my pattern pieces. I tried it on quickly after I sewed up the side seams and realized it was fitting tightly across the bust. I'm not sure if this was a pattern problem or if this was because the cotton material I was using had no stretch at all. I ended up just changing the seam allowance on the side seams from 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch. The armsyce (area around the armpit) was also a little bit tight so i cut it a little bit lower.

I was also a bit confused by where to put the darts. There were two dart points and I ended up choosing the lower and longer of the two. I think I'd definitely make this pattern again, but I'd cut a size 8 across the top, and I'd lengthen the front by about 2 inches. The material on this shirt ended up being a bit stiff even if it was cotton and so I think I'd use a more drapey fabric next time to get a more flowy look.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cake Patterns Espresso Leggings

Pattern: Espresso Leggings - Cake Patterns  
Fabric: Ponte DeRoma (poly/rayon/spandex) & a spandex blend both from Colorado Fabrics

Hey everyone, I haven't posted in awhile because I was out of town. Before I left I managed to get a ton of things sewn, like the two pairs of leggings above, but I didn't have time to post all of the makes until now. I love leggings, mainly for lounging and working out in and one of the two pairs I have was getting pretty worn out. I remembered seeing a post awhile back on Dixie's blog about a legging pattern that she had used and really liked due to the fact that you use your exact measurements to get a perfectly fitting pair! Sold. I had previously taken a trip down to Colorado Fabrics in Denver which is an amazing fabric store. The place is huge and they have all of these discount tables in the back with different amounts of pre-cut fabric in varying amounts. The only downside to shopping from these tables is that the type of fabric is rarely listed on the tags. That being said I was very careful when looking for fabric, I knew I wanted to be working with a very stretchy material like spandex, but I didn't want it to be see-through when stretched. I had to stop myself from bankrupting myself and so I just grabbed these two fabrics for now, and I plan on making many more leggings in the future because I really liked this pattern especially after I worked out a few kinks.