Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Poodle Skirt

I attended a Relay For Life event On Friday night. These are held all over the country as a fund raising effort for The American Cancer Society. Teams are formed and team members walk a course throughout the night. I went to support my good friend Patti who lost her husband to cancer just three weeks ago. I can relate to her so much because I too lost my husband to cancer twelve years ago. I have been a team leader in the past for my local Relay For Life event.

The theme for Patti's team was 50's and she ask me to make her a Poodle skirt. Since I am still in the Stashbusting September I had to find everything I needed in my stash. I knew I had everything I needed I just had to find it. I have been in a sort of putting away mode for a while now. And for some strange reason I can't remember where I put things. When everything was in a mess I seemed to know where everything was.

I had a pattern for the poodle skirt but it was a child's size 8 and while Patti is tiny that size was way to small. However this is a pretty basic pattern for a circle skirt with only two seams and elastic waistband. It would be easy to enlarge. I added six inches to it by cutting the sides 1 1/2 inches larger. When this is multiplied by the four edges it gives the size I needed. I also added 6 inches to the waistband piece. I used a heavy polyester satin that I had in my stash for several years. My original idea for the poodle was to use an applique from a dance costume my daughter wore when she was little. I started to remove the poodle and thought it would probably be faster to just make the poodle out of some pink fur I had in my stash. But now I had to find the pink fur. The skirt itself only took about an hour and a half to make but I spent way more time than that looking for the fabrics. As I was sewing I spotted some pink scalloped trim in my sewing room. I decided to use it in the hem. I think it added just the right touch and it also made it easier to finish the hem as quickly as possible. I was in kind of a time crunch for this project. I finished it at 2:30 and left the house at 3:00 to meet Patti and go to the Relay. The skirt fit her nice and she looked cute in it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A new top.

I made this top a few weeks ago from fabric in my stash. I joined Stashbusting September and I am supposed to be using up my stash and not buying new. I have done well at not buying anything to add to my already large stash. But I have been so busy with other things that I haven't had much time to spend in my sewing room. So far I have only sewed two items from my stash. One was the pink dress from a few post ago. The other is this top. And actually both fabrics are relatively new to my stash. The pink fabric I bought last year at the Sewing Expo. This dotted jersey I got at Jo-Ann Fabric at the beginning of the summer. The pattern I used was Simplicity 2345 view A. I was about 2 inches short on my fabric. But I was able to make it work by shortening the front facing a bit. This is not noticeable at all in the finished top. All in all I like this top.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Swap Apron Arrived

It has been a while since I have been able to post a blog. I received my apron from The Super Simple Apron Swap. My partner sent an adorable apron with one of my favorite themes (cupcakes). She also sent a couple of extras, some dish scrubbies and a bar of lovely homemade soap. I have participated in several apron swaps and all were such fun and I received some nice aprons. I have really started wearing aprons around the house for cooking and cleaning and sometimes for just eating. I tend to be a messy eater too. I want to wear an apron to protect my clothes but at the same time I don't want to mess up my pretty apron. I guess I need to make some out of leather or something practical. I wore one of my older aprons the other month for making funnel cakes at a local fair and it got really yucky from all the oil splatters. My clothes stayed nice but my apron wouldn't come clean. Oh well I guess that is what aprons are for.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Wrap Dress

When I received my package from Goodwill Online a few weeks ago this New Look Pattern 6861 was among the goodies inside. Wrap dresses seem to be in style right now. Even though this pattern is probably out of print (I think it may be from somewhere in the 90's) I decided if I shortened the length it would be just about right. I purchased this pink rayon circle fabric at the Sewing Expo I went to last year. I love the feel and drape of this fabric as well as the colors. This pattern seemed like it would be a good use of this fabric. I spent yesterday putting it together.

This was actually a very easy to make dress. But of course I seem to complicate things by discovering fitting problems when the dress is almost complete. I plan to adjust my pattern now just in case I ever make this one again. As I mentioned I knew that the length was way to long for the look of today's wrap dresses. So I shortened the length of the pattern by 10 inches. Also the pattern was one size to small so I added a bit to the sides as well. There is nothing worse than going to all the trouble of making a dress to discover that you can't get your big toe into it. And normally in the big four pattern companies you wear a few sizes larger than ready to wear. You just need to go by your body measurements for the size you wear and ignore the size you wear in ready to wear. I know for most of us women we don't want to admit to wearing several sizes larger. But it is just a number and no one is going to know what size you made unless you tell them. When you make it yourself you don't even need to put a size anywhere on the garment. Enough said about that.

Well since I joined Stashbusting September over at T-Shirt Diaries I am not supposed to buy any new stash and just use what I already have. I had everything I needed except for the perfect color of thread. Even though there are many shades of pink in my fabric the two shades of pink thread I had were a bit off. I had one that was to light a shade and the other was a smokey pink while all the pinks in my fabric were bright. The smokey pink blended well enough and I even had enough matching serger thread to go with it.

All was going well and I was trying the dress on as I sewed to make sure it was fitting as I wanted. My main concern was the neckline. Those crossover necklines can be fitting problems by being to gaping and floppy. And they tend to be very low cut. Since I am fairly short this seems to be something I run into quite often. At every stage of trying on I thought the neckline was lying smooth and covering well. But when I tried it on after sewing the facing on it turned out to fit terribly floppy and ill fitting. I am also a bit short waisted and this flaw showed up after I had the dress all finished except for the hem. And for some unknown reason I decided to sew the sleeves on before sewing the front facing on. I knew I could get the dress to fit me but it was going to take some time.

I have worked in clothing alterations most of my life so I was determined to get this dress right. I had to reduce the front neck edge by about 2 inches. To do this I had to remove the sleeves and take the shoulders apart and remove enough of the facing to make room for the new seam. When I had that all done every thing fit smooth and even the waist line was brought up to where it belonged. Now I felt like I could wear this dress in public. Now I need to work on altering my waist line as these wrap dresses would look so much better on a thinner frame. But that is something that will take much more work than making this dress.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The T-Shirt Diaries: Stashbusting September Blogs - Link Up Time

The T-Shirt Diaries: Stashbusting September Blogs - Link Up Time
I joined The T-Shirt Diaries Stashbusting September. This means that I have promissed to craft only from my stash for the whole month. I am not allowed to buy any new supplies or even any old supplies from a thrift store. I realized that I have enough stash to last me for several years but suddenly I feel the urge to go to JoAnn's and use my latest coupon. It is sort of like being on a diet and craving cheesecake.

Last night while watching TV I cut out several patterns and looked through some of my stash in an effort to actually use the stash I have. I have several garments in mind to stitch up. I also have several projects that I have started so this may be a good opportunity to finish what I have started. I have been wanting to crochet a rug for my kitchen using all my ugly fabrics. You know the ones you look at and think why in the world did I ever buy that. I knitted a huge rug last year from many of my uglies and it turned out quite cute. The fabrics get muted and you can no longer see the patterns and it seems like everything blends together even though some of the fabrics would look horrible together in a quilt or garment. I want a long runner for my kitchen.

OK now that I have this plan in writing I may be able to stick with it. Wish me luck!!