Thursday, January 30, 2014

Orange and Pink Dress

Another project I neglected to write about in 2013!
I purchased this fabric back in August and didn’t start sewing it until November. Oops!
This project was inspired by the “Spring has Sprung” dress I saw on Modcloth about a year ago. Of course, when I finally decided to purchase this dress, it was sold out.
When I saw this fabric at Joann’s, I knew I could pull this dress off fairly easily and the result would be similar enough to the Modcloth dress. Instead of a cotton neck strap, I turned to Etsy for the black appliques, which I hand stitched on carefully. Beneath the dress is a white cotton lining, complete with ruffle skirt, to give it even more fullness.
Unfortunately, I made the body of this dress back in the beginning of November, when I was about 10 pounds heavier. When I finally got around to sewing the lace on and finishing it, it was rather large on me and taking it in was not a task I was feeling up to. It looks pretty good on me with a belt, but my mother has kind of stolen it away from me and is wearing it herself.
Oh well! I’m still very happy with the result.
More coat sew along happenings on Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Coat Sew Along- Cutting the test

I usually don’t do a muslin tests before my projects, but I really want this one to turn out nicely, so I will be doing a test. I had this red cotton left over from a project I did in middle school. I just want to test the fit of the bodice and the shape of the skirt, so I will not be including sleeves and such things.
I started by cutting the bodice of my pattern out, pinning it and cutting it out. I chose to go up a size with my pattern because the wool be on top of several layers.
Then I cut out a few rectangles for the skirt. I pleated, pinned, and tacked to get the shape I wanted.
Then I sewed the bodice and skirt together.
I concluded a few things
  1. The bodice was too long. I want the seam where the bodice and skirt meet to sit higher on my waist, therefore I will have to adjust my pattern.
  2. The skirt needs to be cut a more of angle to give it more fullness.
  3. The length of the back skirt piece was good. The front pieces were too short only because I didn’t have enough cotton.
  4. The skirt needs to be cut wider to allow for the number of pleats I want. It didn’t quite meet up with the bodice in the front.
  5. I know where I want my pockets to go.
  6. Overall, the coat needs to be a little smaller. Even with the bulk underneath, it was still rather larger on me.
As you can see, I made notes directly on the cotton. I took  it apart and will be using it in addition to my pattern to cut out my wool and linings.
Next week we cut the wool!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Red plaid shirt

I’ve been wanting a red plaid shirt for about a year now, but I could not find anything in any store I liked. I vowed to never do a button up shirt again after making Aaron’s because it was so much work (even though it turned out great) and I was determined to buy one instead of make one. Of course, I was on my weekly trip to Joanns and found the perfect fabric. I knew I had to make myself one and put in all that work again. 
I’ll admit, I cut corners. I barely ironed this thing, where as with Aaron’s I was so meticulous with ironing ever piece and every seam. I didn’t double stitch for “that look.” I was sparse with my button holes, due to laziness. Oops. 
I modified a pattern that was just “meh” and didn’t make it as fitted as I like, but I still love how it turned out. I’ve been wearing it open over T-Shirts almost like a sweater more than anything. 
Here I am on Christmas wearing it over a “Stashing Through the Snow” shirt with a mustache on it. No idea why I was so unamuesd with my mother’s picture taking, but my face is something else.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coat Sew Along- Materials and Inspiration

Many of these supplies can be bought at your local craft/fabric store. I got many of my supplies at Joann Fabrics, however if you’re looking for something more unique as far as color and prints go, they may not be your best bet.
For this project, you will need
A pattern. I choose pattern A from the Burda Young 7458 pattern, however I will be modifying it a bit to add a skirt to the bottom. I chose it because I liked the look of the collar and front and knew adding a skirt would be fairly easy.
Outer fabric. This is the part of the coat you will see the most. I’m using the beautiful red wool pictured above. I have about 5 yards for mine because I want the skirt part to be fuller and because I wanted extra in case I mess up. Joann Fabrics doesn’t have much of a selection beyond plain, muted colors in their wool, so this is where you may want to branch out.  If you’re following a pattern exactly, use that to determine how much outer fabric you need.  Wool and tweed are great if you are making a nice warm coat like me. If you want something lighter, you have a little more of a selection when it comes to fabric type.  I’d recommend fleece for something medium weight.
Lining. Choose a fabric that is smooth and will glide easily so that your coat is easy to take off and put on. Because my coat is a plain color outside, I chose something a little more fun on the inside. I love coats with fun linings because you only see it sometimes. My fabric is the animal print above, a satiny polyester blend, purchased from Joanns.
- Interlining. This is not the same as lining or interfacing. Interlining is what keeps your warmth inside the coat and the cold stuff out, between the wool and lining. If you are making a lighter coat you can skip this step or go with one of the lighter options below. Types of interlining you can include: basic quilting batting, cotton flannel, or fleece are good for lighter coats; where as wool interlining, thinsulate, and primaloft are great for warmer coats. (these are the only types I’ve researched, but if you have other suggestions let me know.) 
I chose to go with the thinsulate. Joanns only had lambswool, to be used mostly for quilting. I purchased my thinsulate through Vouge Fabrics here. I only purchased 3 yards because obviously the interlining will not be as full as the outer skirt. You can chose to interline just the bodice of your coat, or the bodice and the sleeves.
Cotton/muslin (optional.) because I am not following an exact pattern and because my fabric was very expensive, I will be making a “rough draft” of the coat before I cut up my beautiful wool. I have some leftover cotton laying around from an old school project and it’s almost the exact shade of my coat so I will really get a good idea of how it will look.  If you feel confident that you will cut and sew correctly the first time, then by all means skip this. But I will be overly cautious.
Thread. Duh.
Buttons and any other trimmings you want. I contemplated putting piping on this coat, but it was an added cost and I couldn’t decide on a coordinating color, so I chose to skip it. You will most likely need buttons or snaps of some sort. Any other types of trimmings you’d like to add as well. I have some leftover lace that I may add to the lining for fun, but we’ll see.
I think that’s all for now! If I’m missing anything let me know.
 I’ve also created a Pinterest inspiration board so you can see where I got some ideas for this design. 
Can’t wait to start my cotton test for next week!

Monday, January 20, 2014

J Crew Inspired Vest

I love J. Crew. I am a poor college student. You can see how this is a problem.
I saw this beautiful vest all over Pinterest, really wanted it, and eventually found out it was from none other than J. Crew. I checked their website and it was gone. “Oh well, must have been a few season ago.” I thought. Time passed and I kind of forgot about it. I went outlet shopping with my boyfriend one day and low and behold, there in the J. Crew factory store was this beautiful vest, at 40% off. I walked up to it and was very disappointed to discover that it was not the grey herringbone wool it appeared to be on the internet, but rather a synthetic, almost lining material with herringbone printed on it. It was also still like $80, even with the 40% off. 
"Nope. No way. Not spending that kinda money on this." I thought.
But after seeing it in person, I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I made it.
I purchased some great grey wool from Amazon, got some lining from Joann’s, and pulled up some spare quilting batting my mother had (no one in my family quilts nor has ever quilted. I have no idea where this came from.)
I modified the bodice of a shirt pattern and cut out the pieces based on that. I then measured and marked with chalked where I wanted my quilting lines to go. Quilting it was not as hard as I thought, putting it all together was.
I’m not used to working with that bulky of a fabric and I have a lot of sloppy seams.
In order to contain the fluff inside the seams, I finished them with double sided biased tape.
Attaching the biased tape and the zipper was my biggest problem. The biased tape just did not want to fold or catch on that much fabric and the zipper somehow got put in crookedly. I’m gonna blame the bulk on that one too. 
In places where the biased tape didn’t catch, instead of seam ripping and redoing, I just used some fabric glue to keep it together. 
Overall, I’m really happy with it. It was my first time working on any type of project like this and although the fit is wonky, the quilting is a little uneven and the bias is sloppy, it turned out well. Fairly easy and a much cheaper option. Probably cost me $40.
First post in the coat sew along coming at you tomorrow! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coat sew along

It’s finally here! I am all caught up on projects and I’m ready to start my biggest one yet! For my next trick, I’m going to attempt to make an elegant, warm, wool, winter coat. For all my loverly followers, I’m going to be doing a coat sew along as I go. Basically, I’m going to blog every detail about this, each step I take, so maybe you can try it along with me and we can learn together. I’ve never taken on some thing this large before and I’m excited to learn along with you. My plan is to post each step I complete every Tuesday from now until it’s done. If you choose to sew along with me, great! If not, the posts will all be up around Februrary 28 and you can check them all out and go at your own pace. I recommend you follow this sew along only if you have experience sewing. This is going to be a challenge, but if you’re a beginner and really want to try, then join us. I’m excited.
I’ll be making my first post next week all about materials!
Here is the complete list of scheduled posts.
1. Materials and preparation, my inspiration for this project (Scheduled for 1/21/2014)
2. Cutting out a test (Scheduled for 1/28/2014)
3. Cutting out and sewing the wool (Scheduled for 2/4/2014)
5. Interlining (Scheduled for 2/11/2014)
6. Lining (Scheduled for 2/18/2014)
7. Putting it all together, finishes and the final result (Scheduled for 2/25/2014)
In case you’re not excited enough, here is a coat sew along that happened a few years ago. I used this site for inspiration in my planning, though it is a little hard to navigate. 
Just to note, I am not a professional seamstress in any way. I’m just a college girl who is basically self taught and loves to sew and learn new things. I’m doing this sew along as a way for me to document my process and for those who are interested in coat sewing to use as “grain of sand advice” and to learn along with me. I am going to mess up. I am going to forget to include information. I am going to do things “the wrong way.” I am okay with this. 
That being said, if you are interested in this sew along, shoot me a message. I’ll make a running list post of who’s in so we can click each others blogs for help, advice, and inspiration (and for accountability.) If you care to post about it, tag it with “coat sew along” if not just enjoy the posts and send me a picture when you finish!
If you’re magically finding this post some time in the future, shoot me a message too of anything I forgot to mention in my posts OR if you did the sew along and have an image to submit! 
The first post, all about materials, is coming at you Tuesday 
I’m excited!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Remember last Christmas when I was in the middle of my 75 project challenge and I made everyone’s gifts and I was a stress monkey? Yep, didn’t make that mistake again. I only chose hand made projects as gifts that I knew could be 1.Fast 2.Easy 3.Cheap. So I decided on lovely, simple skirts for some of the closest ladies in my life and everyone else got boring purchased things.
Anna got an Avengers skirt after she pined over this Spider Man Dress. Please note, this is the famous skirt that I sewed through my finger making. Anna’s comment was “You literally shed blood, sweat and tears for this!” My response was “Mostly tears.” That’s true friendship.
Maura, Addie, and Kiersten all got this loverly blue bird fabric because it is feminine and pretty just like them!
Here is Maura, being a model
Tomorrow I’ve got a post on my next big project coming up, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Holiday Haul

Ohhhhh! Did Santa bring me some wonderful craft related things! Between Christmas and my birthday, I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I got from family and friends, just to help me in my crafting adventures.
Here is just a sampling of what I got.
My mom got me a cutting mat for Christmas
My boyfriend got me some beautiful red wool for an upcoming project that I don’t want to give too much away on ;) I’ll have a very special post on Thursday, all about it!
For my birthday on the 30th, my mother and father got me A SERGER!!!!!!!
Eeep! I’m so excited to break this out and use it!
Aaron’s mom and my Aunt both got me Joann gift cards for my birthday, with which I purchased
Rotary blade and ruler
Lining for my secret project 
Thread for my beautiful new serger
Two Vouge patterns because they were $4 each (originally $30 each. What a steal.)
Whew. It was quite a great holiday season. I’m so thankful to all the wonderful people in my life who support my passion for sewing and crafting and continue to feed my addiction through gifts :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Halloween 2013

I really really really should have posted this on the first of November to share the awesomeness of my costume with you all. But I was a bad blogger and I didn’t! I shared this on my personal blog and people loved it which should have been an indicator that it needed to be on here. 
Without further ado, I give you Aaron and Shannon- Halloween 2013- The Stanley Cup and the Keeper of the Cup (featuring Chester Crosby, world’s cutest dog.)
The only DIY part of this costume was the bottom skirt part of my dress. Aaron’s was easy enough to find at good will and I had a silver sports bra from a dance show. I was able to find a fabric that matched fairly easily. I just made an extra wide skirt, put some elastic in the top, sewed biased tape horizontally across the skirt 3 times, then I cut up my hamper and threaded the wires through the bias tape. Then I put a bunt cake pan on my head. Easy easy easy.
In addition to our costumes, I also made a tutu and hat to go with my friend Anna’s R2D2 costume, inspired by this girl’s gorgeous costume here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Project Haul of 2013

So, I was a terrible blogger for the last 3 months of 2013. Resolutions are dumb, but I’m making it a goal to make a post a week this year. Since I’m so behind on all my crafts from 2013, I’m going to condense them in a few posts. Here are the things I made in October and November of 2013 that you didn’t get to see yet!
This beautiful skirt
This lovely top
Two paper covered picture frames
Some hometown cuff links for the boyfriend
Fabric stamps from erasers
This modified tank top
And a little clutch
I’m truly sorry for the lack of posting and I can’t wait to get back at it in the new year!