Saturday, February 28, 2015

By Hand London - Textured Sabrina Dress

I was trying to catch the light so you could see dress and the fabric texture

Fabric: textured ponte like knit - Colorado Fabrics
Pattern:  Sabrina Dress - By Hand London

How's it going everyone? I feel like it's that part of the winter where I'm anxious for spring but we're really no where close - do you guys ever feel like that? That all being said I figured making a dress would perk me up even though it hasn't really been dress weather here. Oh well...This is a pattern I've made twice before to make dresses as Christmas presents for my two roommates. I never posted about those dresses because I hadn't taken any pictures but the pattern is pretty easy to follow and sew up.

Both times prior to making this version I had used a non-stretch fabric which gives the dress a much more crisp appearance. This is a pretty sturdy knit and I actually like the drape and weight of how this turned out. Not to mention that because it's a cozy knit fabric this dress is super comfortable. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper up the back. I left that out due to the ease of the knit and it was a good decision because I didn't need it at all. I actually might need to take in the dress a bit on the sides but I'm going to wait until after I wash it just in case it shrinks a little bit.

I flat-felled all of the seams in order to get a nice clean finish on the inside but I kind of wish I hadn't. The reason for that is that the texture and weight of the fabric makes the seams look a little bulky at least to me. I feel like if I had just left the seams unfinished the inside of the dress might be a little ugly but the outside would look more smooth. This dress can definitely be dressed up or down depending on what I wear it with and all in all I think it's a great addition to my wardrobe. I love the texture of the fabric - I actually think it might be the same fabric Erin from sewbon used in her magena fringe jumper. Textured fabrics really stand out to me as different and they just add that extra detail that you don't see in a lot of clothes. That being said it was super hard to photograph but I tried my best.

It felt great to make a dress and I'm already planning my next one. Hopefully I'll have some chair updates to share with you all by the end of the week...i'll just say, it's looking great!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lingerie: Cloth Habit's Watson Bra & Bikini and Rosy Ladyshorts Patterns

 I still can't believe these turned out so great!
Pattern: Watson Bra & Bikini , Rosy Ladyshorts - Cloth Habit
Fabric/Notions: Blackbird Lingerie Kit 

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you these pictures might look familiar. I just couldn't wait to share my latest creations with the world because I'm so excited and proud of how they turned out. This is my first venture into underwear/lingerie sewing and I can see why so many bloggers have been making their own undergarments nonstop over the last couple of months. It's addicting, easy, and a really quick project. I wanted to take a break from the wing back chair project (updates on that here & here) and sew something that I could finish quickly and feel accomplished.

Enter the Watson Bra & Bikini Pattern by Cloth Habit, this pattern was just released a few months ago and people were giving it really good reviews. It's a nice entry into bra sewing as it doesn't involve underwire and it's only $15. The bra can be made in either the long line form pictured above or a shorter typical style bra. Over Christmas I ordered a lingerie kit from Blackbird Fabrics which was great. It included enough fabric to make the bra and two sets of underwear, it included all the notions, and it was only $35. The only problem I had is that shipping was kind of expensive since it was coming from Canada. Next time I would probably source my own notions and fabric, but as an alternative Grey's Fabric based out of Boston also has lingerie kits and a lot of theirs are very lacy & hard to resist.

The pattern was really easy to understand and the diagrams were clear. Some of my elastic stitching was a little uneven and I could probably do a better job of stretching the elastic next time. I think that's just something you get a feel for over time.

                                Watson Bikini                                                                 Rosy Ladyshorts

I made the bikini bottoms that were included in the Watson pattern and those were really straightforward and simple. Probably only took me about an hour to sew up completely. I had quite a bit of fabric left and so I decided to make another matching pair of underwear and so I downloaded the Rosy Ladyshorts Pattern which is a free pattern from Cloth Habit. I actually didn't have enough of the main pink fabric to cut out the pattern pieces completely so I hacked the pattern a bit in order to include a mesh panel using the leftover fabric from the bra band.

I actually think these are much cuter than the basic bikini underwear, but those could always be jazzed up with fancier elastic lace. I actually used a hem stretch lace for these which was a bad idea because it doesn't have nearly as much stretch as a stretch lace does. They fit fine, but they do dig in a little bit and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the case if the lace was different.

All in all I'm really pleased and I know I will be coming back to this pattern again. The fit of the bra is quite nice and comfortable and it provides really good support considering there is no underwire. I'm on a bit of a buying ban however so it may be awhile before I do purchase new supplies. Until then I'm lucky enough to have a stash of other fabrics and projects (like the wing back chair!) to keep me busy.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Reupholstery: Spring tying, padding, and covering the seat

I just thought I'd share a brief update of how my chair project is coming along. It's going good so far if you can't tell by the pictures above.

1. The original chair
2. The chair completely stripped and wiped down
3. The current progress on the chair. The seat padding has been added and the top fabric cut out but it is not yet attached. I have to sew together the fabric that goes along the deck and add piping before I can staple it down completely.
4. The first stage in reconstructing the chair was to apply new webbing to the bottom. This is what holds the springs.
5. The springs then got tied on to the webbing
6. Then the springs got tied down themselves in an 8-point tie. This helps to compress them into shape and make them act as a unit when you're sitting down.
7. I stained the legs and all parts underneath the chair that would be visible a nice rosewood color. The springs were covered with a piece of burlap.
8. Edge roll was added along the edge of the seat in order to help stabilize an area that gets a lot of wear and tear. Cotton batting was added on top of the burlap for padding and to smooth out an bumps from the springs.
9. The foam for the seat was cut out and glued onto another piece of burlap. This piece of burlap then got stapled down to the chair effectively holding the foam seat in place.
10. Maurice the cat thinks that it's good as is.
11. A layer of Dacron got glued on top and around the deck to add more padding.
12. The seat fabric has been cut out and checked for fit.

Even thought I haven't had much time during the week to work on this it's actually coming along quite nicely. I'm hoping to finish it up in the coming week so check back soon!