Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jungle January Leopard Skirt

Just in time for Jungle January - a wild new leopard skirt!  Okay, well it's not really that wild, what with its longer length and gray tones... but hey - it's wild enough for me :)

This is the Simplicity 2451 skirt pattern that I previously used for my Houndstooth Mini Skirt.  The main difference is the length - for this skirt, I went with View C instead of D. The longer length is still cute, but a bit more comfortable to move around in.

Some other details of this skirt include pleats in the front, pockets, a vent in the back, and darts along the back. One problem I have encountered with this skirt is that there is some extra poof of fabric between the waistband and where it hits around my hips. It looks like it might need a sway-back alteration, from what I've read, but I'm not sure if I have a sway back?  Anyone else run into this problem?

One other feature of this version is the exposed zipper. I used a great tutorial that I found here on Pattern Runway.  Which reminds me, I am super excited that Project Runway is back on - I think this teams idea is going to lend itself to some excellent drama - lol.  Anyways, there you have it!  Happy Jungle January everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fabric and Organization

In preparation for the Stashbusting Challenge, as well as keeping with my sewing goals for January 2013, I have made an effort to organize my fabric stash.  I sorted all my stash (except scraps) into piles by fabric type, then decided which ones I could actually see myself making something out of, or not. For example, it makes my eyes hurt just to look at that black and white striped chiffon. Unless I decide to make an optical illusion top, it's being donated.

After laying out all my fabrics, I kept out the ones that would be "in season" for the next few months of sewing.  I put these out where I could see them, as a constant reminder of my potential projects, and an encouragement to not buy more fabric!

On to fabric organization:

Ever since I started sewing, I have never really had a method to keep track of what fabrics I had purchased, how much yardage there was, or even the kind of fabric, which was easy to forget at the time, but could cause a lot of extra work and worry later.

For example, knowing when to pre-wash fabric - I actually just pre-washed fabric for the first time ever!  I know, I know, but no way was I spending handfuls of quarters on a load of laundry for fabric that may or may not shrink.  Now that I have my own washer and dryer (YAY!) I feel better about it. I went with a batch of mostly cotton fabrics, as I hear they can shrink a lot. I'm happy to report that nothing terrible happened!

In the past, I had attempted cataloging all my fabrics on little note-cards, but these got scattered all over the place, and most of them just had the swatch - I never remembered to write down the details when I purchased the fabric.  But that is all about to change...

In this adorable little sketch-book / journal from my excellent mom (gifted from etsy), I am going to keep track of all of the fabrics I purchase and use, especially for clothing.  Each page will have a swatch of the fabric, as well as:

Used for...

For example:

I have already started working on the fabrics I have recently purchased, (first time I remembered to snap pics of the bolt!) and I hope to have all of them in here soon!

So how about you? How do you keep track of all your fabrics?

Monday, January 21, 2013

The "All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go" Dress

Whewwww. Finally this dress is finished!

And just in time for ... nothing in particular.

Who doesn't make fettuccine in a fancy fuchsia frock?
The original intent was to wear it to my brother-in-law's wedding back in (ahem) May (ahem) but it just wasn't meant to be.  Now don't misunderstand, I did finish the dress in time.  It's just that I hated how it looked.  Has that ever happened to you? The entire time you are working on it, expecting gorgeousness and instead you get blah?  Well this blah happened to be the bottom half of the dress. It was so flat, it almost looked two dimensional!

Yes that is the old skirt... bo-ring - also GO BUCKS!  O - H -
When I referenced my original inspiration picture for this dress (Emma Stone at the 2012 Oscars - that bow!), I discovered it was much fuller on bottom that the pattern I chose (Burda 7260)

I knew what had to be done - rip the skirt off and attach a more voluminous one!  However, I had nor the time or energy for this before the big day, so I broke my 5 and 3/4 month no-buying-clothes-pledge (not too shabby, eh?) and bought a pretty strapless dress at H&M.

What???  It had to be done!
Fast forward eight months and I finally get back around to revamping the bottom of this dress. Keep in mind, I had done a heck of a lot already with the top half and didn't want to undo all that work. I admit, things got a little crazy...  Once I realized I had enough fabric leftover to make en entirely new skirt, I ripped off just the bottom half skirt fabric (not lining), including it's attachment to the invisible zipper. Then I cut the remaining fabric into 3 giant pieces (1 front, 2 back halves), gathered like heck, and attached the new skirt pieces to the old bodice. I then (somewhat) carefully reattached the skirt to the invisible zipper, sewed the back and side seams, and hemmed the whole thing.  I can tell you now, everything I did was probably wrong somehow, but those gathers cover a multitude of sins.

I love the end result!  It's now exactly how I originally pictured it! With the exception of the wonky back opening - it looked fine on the hanger, but apparently it doesn't like that my shoulders are not the same height. I will need to adjust the collar / neck thing just a bit for future wearings

but hey... it looks fine when you're twirling! ;)

and check out the cute thrifted belt I got for $1, baby.

Ironically, after donning the "All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go" Dress" for some pics in the kitchen, my hubs decided to take me to the movies to see Les Mis!  He even put on a tie (with his hoodie and jeans). I guess now it should be called "All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go" dress :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The 90 second, 90¢ scarf

I was pretty excited to find this soft, lacy knit remnant at Joanns - sale on a sale, it turned out to be only 90¢ (yes that is a good old fashioned cent sign).  Woo - hoo!  It was 1/2 a yard of fabric - I just sewed the ends together to make it into a lovely infinity scarf (I could wear those every day)!  I love the texture - swear I've seen a scarf like this in the Nordstrom juniors section (b/c who really can afford to shop elsewhere in that store).Yet another good day at the fabric store!

And some more pics, in which it looks like I'm making one of those I can sing every part à la Nick Pitera music videos :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stashbusting Challenge - ACCEPTED!

Today I was super psyched when I came across Cation Design's and EmSewCrazy's Stash Busting Sewing Challenge!  I think at first glance it was just love for the amazing anime-esque button I would get to put on my blog, but then I got really excited about all the things I was going to challenge myself to actually make!

The other day I laid out all my fabrics in groups and realized how many amazing outfits I could potentially have if I would start sewing it all up!  I always get so excited about the project when I'm designing it in my head.  Then "fear of somehow ruining said project" + "laziness" = fabric stash

Therefore here is my Stashbustin' pledge:  I, Sally (thequirkypeach), commit to using at least twelve pieces of stash fabric in 2013.  For every completed stash piece OVER twelve, I will buy myself something delicious at Starbucks!  (now that's motivation right there!)

To top it all off, these awesome ladies have themed each month.  Here are the themes for the first six:

1. January: Itty Bits! Sew up those remnants left over from another project, use up some of those tiny scraps that you've been long as it's less than a yard of fabric, it counts!
3. March: Impending Seasonal Change. Regardless of your hemispherical location, the weather will be changing soon...what will you make? Something fun for the coming spring, or something cozy for fall?
6. June: Containment! Get ready for those long car trips, summer outings or some good old fashioned cleaning and organizing! We're thinking bags, boxes, totes, purses, pouches, you name it; this month is all about making things to put other things in.

I am already so excited about January (thinking of making my first pair of undies!), and the April challenge, for which I have the perfect fabric and pattern already picked out!  Let the stashbusting commence!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

Dum-dah-dah!  Here are the lovely winners of the blog-versary pattern giveaway:

McCalls 6504
Simplicity 2258
Burda 8071
Nancy Doyens
Simplicity 2362
McCalls 6517

I will be contacting you directly to figure out how to best send you your winnings!  Thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway - hopefully I can host another one soon :)

In the meantime, see if you can guess what I've been working on:

Hint - no one else has reviewed this pattern yet on pattern review!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Stripey Renfrew

Greetings!  After last week's crazy success with the Renfrew top, I decided to make another!  I used a striped rayon / poly mohair blend in charcoal gray and cream.


1. I added four, that's right.... FOUR inches to the length of the body.  Now it looks so much better on my loooooong torso :)

2. After struggling to get the waistband to look okay with the stripe pattern, I decided to forgo the whole process and just hemmed the sleeves like normal.

This fabric was definitely more difficult to work with that the purple boucle knit I used the first time.  It was quite slippery AND stretchy (bad combo) AND I had to match the stripes!  What was I thinking?

In any case, it definitely turned out okay and I can totally see myself wearing this a thousand times in the future :)

The before

The after 

And here are a few more pics:

Also check out my shirt twin - Alison at "Cats and Crafts" who made the same shirt in the same fabric!  Have you ever found a sewing project twin on the world wide web???

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy Belated Blog-versary To Me :)

Apparently there is such a thing as a blog anniversary, in which one celebrates the start of their blog, and sometimes gives presents! I missed last year, so in double celebration of my blog's two year anniversary (technically it was January 1st, but oh well) I am hosting my very first giveaway!  After sorting through my way-too-enormous pattern stash, I choose five patterns that I think would be better off with someone who really loved and cared about them...

McCall's 6504 - Dresses (US Sizes 6 - 14)

Simplicity 2258 - Skirts, Shorts, Capris (US Sizes 14 - 22)

Burda 8071 - Sun Dresses (US Sizes 8 - 20)

Simplicity 2362 - Day to Night Dresses (US Sizes 6 - 14) 

McCall's 6517 - Rain Coats, Belt and Boot Liners (US Sizes 8 - 16)

All patterns are uncut and factory folded!

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post letting me know the pattern(s) you would like to win and how to contact you!  Get a BONUS entry by re-posting this giveaway on your blog or on facebook (let me know by commenting with the link).

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, January 15th at 11:59pm CST.  The five lucky winners will be announced Wednesday, January 16th (also my sister's birthday!).  I am pretty excited about this, and I hope you are too!  Let the commenting commence :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sewing Room Mods

Hello friends!  While I haven't had the chance to sew any amazing garments since my wonderful new Renfrew, I have been busy beautifying my sewing space!  Thought I would share a few pics, just b/c they're so cute ;)

First, I did an inspiration board make-over :)

Before... blah
After - yay!  So many projects :)
I just love this gray and white cotton fabric I found in my stash (more about that sorting project to come... I'm thinking a fabric giveaway may be in order :)  and so I painted the frame to match!  The fabric still needs officially fashioned to the board, but as I don't have my teacher-bulletin-board-stapler-of-awesomeness here at home, it's going to have to wait a while.

I liked that fabric so much, in fact, I made a wrist pin cushion (long needed) to match!

I also randomly tied my measuring tape around that boring white lamp, only to decide that I liked it that way, so I bought a black one (to match the theme) for only 50 cents :)

So there you have it!  Now I better get back to some real sewing projects - lookie lookie what I got in the mail from the wonderful Sweet Little Chickadee (highly recommend - great deal on all four patterns, free shipping, and it arrived in two days!)