Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Pearl!

Today, my dog Pearl turns 3!  That's 21 in dog years! Happy Birthday pups!

Also....I have 4 new followers to celebrate!

Thanks to Wanilianna and  Shanna! Shanna is a part of three different blogs.  That's impressive because I have a hard time keeping up with just one!  And thanks to The Sewing Loft for becoming a follower!  Her blog is set to private, but I'm sure you can view her creations on PR!  Finally, a big thank you to Stefanie of  She's an astrophysicist who sews vintage aprons.  Hooray for science-y people who sew!

School starts on Monday! I'm excited, but so nervous.  Today my best friend and I did a test drive to L.A. to see if I could find the campus and parking.  It was a success and then we headed to the Fashion District.  It was a lot of fun. I didn't take any pictures :( but I might post more about it later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vogue 8593 Stripe Knit Dress! (plus some pretty darn cute doggie onesies)

And no, we will never dress as triplets again.  
I finished Vogue 8593 and two doggie onesies and I am beat!  (I figured out what to do with the fabric scraps...silly dog PJs!)  I had a harder time with the dog clothes than the dress...that's how easy the dress was.  I did have some difficulty getting the facing to lay down properly.  

I had to cut everything out in single layer to match up the stripes properly.  I also used tailor tacks to mark all of those small and large circles. 
I use washers from the hardware store as pattern weights!

All of my tailor tacks.  I used a single thread to save me from constantly reloading the needle.

To make sure the sleeves and the 2 back pieces were identical, I cut out one piece and laid it out on top of the fabric in the exact same position to ensure the stripes lined up.  

Can you see the sleeve outline on top of the uncut fabric?
Here are more pictures of me in the dress:

I feel like Joan Holloway in this dress!

And now the puppies:

This one is my favorite!
Thanks for the suggestions of what to do with the scraps. I cut up a the fabric for the dog onesies before any suggestions were made.  Oh well.   I still might have enough for a scarf.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

McCall's 6069: WADDER!

I was so excited to get started on my McCall 6069 dress.  All the other versions I have seen are great!

And then one bad thing after another happened until I decided to quit and call it a "wadder."  Let's see where I went wrong:

1)  I decided to use a thin, drapey cotton jersey ($1/yd) my Mom bought for me;  an ideal fabric for this project.  It is a blackish grey with a interesting motif in white going crosswise along the fabric.  Border print!  I thought, "This will be perfect! Drapey, nice border print, light-weight, great color...." I tried to lay out the pattern as shown in the layout and realized the print was off grain.  Stupidly, I decided to try it anyways because, hey, the fabric was free to me and the pattern was $2 on sale.  To get the border to line up, I had to cut the fabric in one layer.  I couldn't even cut on the fold.  It took forever, but it looked like I had done a good job.

2)  I cut the pattern in a size 8 at top grading to a 10 at the bottom.  With a style like this I should have cut a straight 10 or even a 12.

3)  I didn't follow directions at first and accidently sewed the back strap on incorrectly and then had to pick out the stitches.  In doing so, I made little rips in the fabric.  Uggh.

4)  The layout was ridiculous!  I tried to avoid the weird motif centering on my boobs, but I never thought about how it would look on the bottom.  Even though it was off grain, I did match up the motif well, but look what it does on the skirt portion.  Totally ridiculous!

Anyways, here's me in the "dress."  It's not actually put together, but I tried to give you an idea of what it would have looked like.  It's a monstrosity...

Oh well, you win some and you lose some.  I just wasted a few hours today, but I'm not too worried about it.

Next up:

The stripey dress and the doggie outfits!  I finished the Vogue knit dress a few days ago, but went out of town this weekend and it's been too hot here to wear a long sleeve poly knit dress around.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Interfacing Tutorial...and some new Followers!

While cutting the interfacing for my Vogue knit dress, I had an epiphany.  To reduce bulk, I was taught to cut away the interfacing from the seam allowances (SAs).  Well, for fusible interfacing, once you fuse, it's pretty much impossible (or a real pain!) to remove it from the SAs.  In the past, I was cutting out interfacing using the pattern pieces, unpinning the tissue, and then clipping away the SAs from the interfacing.  It always ended up kind of wonky.  This is what I came up with:

1.  Pin facing to interfacing. I had the facing on the fold pinned to the interfacing on the fold.  

2.  Cut out interfacing using the facing as a template.

3.  Once the piece is cut out, do not unpin.  Flip the whole piece over and start removing the SAs from the interfacing only.  Be careful not to clip the underlying fabric.  Duckbill applique scissors would be great here, but I do not own any.  You can see I already trimmed the SA from the bottom and I'm working on the top.  

4.  And here is the interfacing unpinned, all cut out.  This way I more accurate and did not have to deal with the flimsy tissue paper again.

If you find this helpful let me know or even link to it.  

And next up, I have two more followers. 

Thanks to Marian of * k1, 1 dc, yo.  We were volunteers together at the UCD Craft Center many years ago.  Check out the outfits she puts together on her blog. I envy her Anthropology wardrobe.

Thanks to Pammie of Pammie and the P's for becoming the newest follower!  She just bought an old serger (as old as mine!) and made a funky Macaroon dress. 

Also readers, do you think I can make anything else from this stripped knit?  I have a lot of waste because I wanted the black band around my waist.  What do you think? Any use for it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

McCall's 5978 Bow Tie Cardigan Done!

I finished my M5978 cardigan a couple days ago and I looove it! It is so much better than the first one I made. This one was made in XS, and it fits so much better. I also topstitched the lace after the facing was attached so the lace anchored the facing in and prevented it from flipping out all the time like the first. Can you believe this thing only cost me $1.20! The fabric was $1 and the lace was 10 cents a yard. I did not have enough fabric for long sleeves, but I like them short.

Detail of the lace front and the facing:

And now me in the sweater.  This is the outfit I wore last night to my mom's friend's clothing trunk show.  It was boring, but I had nothing else to do. Hehe.

I'm working on Vogue 8593 using this knit:

Hopefully soon I'll show how I lined the stripes up (not new) and how I cut out the interfacing (something I came up with!)

Pearl's Floral Sun dress!

I made Pearl a new dress a couple of days ago from a vintage 50/50 cotton/poly vintage sheet I found in the scraps bin at the Craft Center this summer.  I used the same self-drafted pattern I made for this dress.  This time though, I fully lined the "bodice instead of binding all the edges with bias tape.  The pink and lace skirt was actually from the top of the sheet, the part you fold over.  The buttons are vintage metal buttons I covered using the kit.  I love vintage notions! 

Esmeralda, my Mom's dressform, is modeling Pearl's outfit because Pearl was being a little difficult today.  She wanted to sunbathe in her sun dress instead of model.  Here are the pictures of her in it anyways:

In the last picture, the other dog is named Fritz.  He's the macho male of the household.  Pearl and Fritz are just friends.  (Gail, don't show Alfie this picture or he might get jealous!)

Follow, Follow, Follow, Followers!

Yippee! I have two new Blogger followers (and a bunch more on the Google Reader).  Does anyone know  how to really track the number of people who are "following" a blog?  Are there special sites other than the new Blogger Stats page ?

Anyways, thank you so much to:

P1xie for becoming a follower!  I hope you enjoy my posts!


Tina of What-I-Found!  I don't remember where I read it, but I remember reading about Tina on someone's blog.  Tina runs an online vintage pattern shop.  Lots and lots of amazing patterns!  I love the AMAZING SEARCH BOX.  It is so handy to find what you are looking for.  I perused the site and it is great. :)

Thanks again ladies for reading about my sewing, craft, and Pearl related adventures.

And speaking of Pearl...

Pearl in her jammies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Simplicity 3849 Pleated Shorts!

It's surprising how few tools and notions you actually need to make a garment.  I cut out the shorts in July or August and constructed them after I moved out of my apartment and was living out of a suitcase with The Boyfriend in his house before the official move to Southern California.  I had left my sewing machine at his house when I moved my stuff down south, but forgot to bring any tools and notions back up with me.  I bought cheap-o scissors at the dollar store, a small box of pins at Joann's, a zipper, and my friend gave me some matching thread from her stash.  I used The Boyfriend's steamless iron on a sleeve board in the kitchen, a ballpoint pen to make my corners nice, and the wooden "dowel" off of his roommate's paper towel holder to invert and press the tube I made for the tie that I never used.  

I really wanted cuffs and tabs at the hem, but I was a moron and cut the fabric out too short, on the fold line, not the actual cut line.  The hem is blind stitched on the machine.  I'm not sure the fit is all that great, but it's not bad.  

Trust me, the hem is "blind." That is the pressing mark when I pressed up the hem to do the stitching on the machine.
Not loving the waistband, but it will do.

I love this button. "R" for Rebecca!  I found it in my Mom's stash.

The finished measurements on the back of the envelope did not match the finished measurements on the tissue! I had to grade the tissue a whole size down.  I would have bought the smaller size, but the pattern info was incorrect! Such a pain in the butt.  I think I did pretty good though.  Pardon the wrinkles.  I wore the shorts all day before I took pictures.  

And now for some scary close-ups!

They aren't that wrinkly in real life. I promise.  

I'll edit this post later with a Pattern Review.  

Anyone know how to fix the baggy crotch for future pairs of shorts and pants? I found it difficult to do anything alterations-wise because of the fly. 

Next up:  Followers, Pearl's new outfit, the bow cardigan, and a cool interface cutting tip that I came up with!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More PJs!

I wish I woke up every morning with perfect hair and makeup. Life would be so much simpler.

I will never buy PJs again.  I actually made this pair before the Disney PJs, but I thought I would post the 2nd pair first  because they are so much more fun.  This fabric was almost as cheap as the *FREE* Disney fabric.  I believe it was $1 to $1.50/yd.   It's  a super soft and cozy cotton flannel.  I've washed these things so many times and they still look great too.  I followed the instructions and they were very easy to construct.  I will post a review on Pattern Review shortly.

This was my first attempt at matching plaids and I did good job on the pants and the side seams of the top.  I can't figure out how to get the plaid to seamlessly ring around my body without a break or overlap in the pattern.  It's one of those things that hurts my brain to think about.  I did a very bad job matching the plaids on the top part of the shirt to the bottom half. And the sleeve matching.  Oh well, they are only PJs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

1984 Disney Pajamas!

I'm a child of the 80's.  So when my friend pulled a few yards this baby Disney character fabric made in 1984 from her bag to put in the Craft Center "Free Pile", a wave of nostalgia hit me and I knew I had to own it.   My room for the first part of my life was decorated in primary colors and, gasp, clowns.  Looking back, it was a little scary.  The fabric really reminded me of my childhood, but I didn't quite know what to do with it once it was in my possession.   I would never want to be really seen wearing it in public (except for on this blog of course) so the only thing I could think to make was PJs.  I used Simplicity 3935.

And here they are!

Excited, can you tell?

Pardon the wrinkles. They jammed in a drawer prior to the photoshoot.

Oops! I got the lines to match up pretty well, but I have 2 wading pools on my butt!

Next up:

My other set of pajamas, pleated shorts, my bow cardigan, and a Pearl outfit!