Sunday, March 31, 2013

Yellow Chevron Easy Tee


What a beautiful weekend it's been! Good Friday, sunshine, Easter Sunday, fun times with family, April Fools Day, and more sunshine!  I've been sewing quite a bit the past few days, with some extra motivation from my Spring Break Fabric Giveaway Challenge!  I have one new thing to show you today, and another one for tomorrow!

Presenting: The Yellow Chevron Easy Tee! (or the Sunshine Tee, as the hubs calls it)

Fabric:  Riley Blake The Sweetest Thing Jersey Knit Chevron Gold, purchased on Etsy
Yardage: 1 yard
Time to Make:  1 hour? It was late - lol
Changes:  Lengthened sleeves a bit, omitted neck facing

Originally I was going to use this fabric for another Renfrew.  However the print was just too busy, IMO, for all those pieces - neck binding, sleeve band, waist band, etc.  I needed something a little more plain.  I purchased this pattern a day or so ago for the adorable skirt, and I didn't realize it also came with a top pattern! While the pattern was intended for a woven, it totally works with a knit also.  It was a very quick make - only two pattern pieces (I omitted the neck facing and just turned under the neckline and the sleeves).

I really love how this turned out! I have been wearing it non-stop since I made it :) Except of course when I wore the Easter dress I also made (watch this space!).  I can't wait to try it in a woven fabric - I'm thinking it would be a great pattern for a tricky fabric like chiffon.  I love this tee SO MUCH! It was super easy, it's very comfy cuddly, and such happy colors! Goes very nicely with my Easter flowers, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1940's Sew for Victory Dress Completed!

Finally, my 1940's Sew for Victory Dress is done!!!

The pattern I used is Hollywood 472 Circa 1940's: One Piece Dress: An inset belt joins the four piece bias skirt to the blouse in the back and the front is joined under the tie belt extension of the back. Gathers below a shoulder yoke, front and back and a double breasted closing below the collarless square neck. Long or short sleeves. Features Betty Grable, of Paramount Studio

I used a size 18, which is one size bigger than my measurements.  I figured it would still be fine, but I can see that the bodice is a little big on me.


The only back view, walking to a tree that wasn't surrounded with mud pits - lol :)

Not only was it windy, but that skirt is crazy static-y.  I made it with cotton that had been treated, apparently, to be less wrinkly. Not only did that turn out to be a bunch of bull-honky, but it was also a great  lint collector. I went through two sheets on the lint roller before these pictures!

My favorite part of the dress is the buttons! Unfortunately, after all my proud boasting about my bound button holes in this post, I realized that I had made them on the WRONG SIDE! Thankfully they were only supposed to be decorative (which brings me to my first point - why did I spend all that time making decorative bound button holes? I guess we'll chalk this up to an "educational experience").  In any case, I'm glad the buttons completely hide the button holes (bringing me to my second point - I ask again, why did I spend all that time making bound button holes? Haha).

All I could do was laugh and imagine that back in the day, some other girl must have done the exact same thing - oh the joys of sewing :)  Also, do you notice the girl on the pattern with the sweet glasses? When I saw these hot purple ones on clearance for $2 at Target, I had to get them... for historical accuracy of course. 

Also, did you notice something lurking in the background of this pic? It's my new dress form - Babette! As proud as I was of making my old one out of duct tape, it just wasn't really doing it for me anymore - I could only use it in the bathroom, hanging on the shower rod, and it had become somewhat more squat over a few years of use.  So, when I saw these dress forms on sale at Joann's, I figured it would be a good investment.

I named her Babette because I love that name, it sounds nice with Archibald (my sewing machine) and when I brought her home and set her up in the sewing room for the first time, I started singing that ridiculous swiffer jingle "Who's that ladyyyy? Ooooh... sexy ladyyy"...... yes, weird times here at the quirky peach.

In any case, here are a few more pics of the dress, as modeled by Babette:

Dress front  ::   Sleeve detail  ::   Button panel detail  ::  Dress back
I like how the dress turned out, very much! But now I wonder what I am going to do with it - I wouldn't be one to wear a 1940's dress out and about :)  Also, let's chalk up ONE PROJECT DONE to the Spring Break Fabric Giveaway Challenge! If you haven't entered yet, be sure to submit your comment before April 4th, 2013 to win some free fabric! One down, four to go :) Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break Fabric Giveaway Challenge

Hello wonderful readers! It's been a little quite on the blog lately because my life has NOT been quiet! I have just lived through the most stressful time of every school year - putting on the Drama Club production! The little kiddos did such a great job, and I am so proud, but also relieved that is is OVER! :)

My Crazy Kiddos!
I got three bouquets of flowers! Hello Spring!
Now that I am on SpRiNg BrEaK, I can't wait to get sewing! However, it is equally tempting for me to stay on the couch twittering away on the world wide web and such, so as a little extra motivation, I'm having a giveaway! Wait... a giveaway? As motivation? Yes my friends. You see these five fabrics:

They have been in my stash for quite some time, but I have fallen rather out of sorts with them. As I love spring cleaning, and getting rid of anything that's not of use or nailed down, I have decided that I am going to give them away to someone who would better use them, and I LOVE giving away things - hence the motivation.

However, this giveaway comes with a catch - I can only give away as many fabrics as garments I complete by the end of Spring Break! That's April 1st, 2013. So if I finish one garment, I can only give away one piece of fabric, but if I finish five, I can give all of them away!

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment below by Thursday, April 4th (11:59pm - EST).  Vote for your favorite fabric and make sure I have your contact info in case you win.

The fabrics will be given away in order of favorite votes, so if I finish only one garment, the fabric with the most votes will be the only one given away, etc...

The winner will be announced on Friday, April 5th!

Here are a few of my project goals:

1 - Finish Sew for Victory Dress
2 - Hoodie for the Hubs
3 - Archer Shirt Sewalong
4 - Easter Dress
5 - Either a knit top or some baby bibs, or who knows?

Happy Spring Break! Now enough of this blogging - I gotta get sewing! :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

1940's Dress Progress + Some Amazing Finds

Hello readers! Just wanted to post a few exciting new things I've found, and been sewing.  At the top of my list has been my Sew for Victory 1940's dress, and I have to say it's going quite well.  After sewing up the back of the dress a couple days ago, today was the challenge: bound button holes! It took me awhile to decide if I even wanted to attempt them, but then I thought "what would Sam do?" After a few practice tries using the method in Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, I decided to give it a go.

Yes, the stitching is visible on the ends, but hey, it will be under a button most of the time, right?
For a first try, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!

A few tips of my own to add to Gertie's method:

1. When stitching the rectangle around the edge of the buttonhole, don't backstitch except at the very ends - this really helps it turn nicely and lay flat

2. Make sure your "lips" aren't overlapping when you sew them on

3. Stitching in the ditch does take longer by hand, but it is worth it!

4. The iron is your friend :)

iPhone pic of the front bodice w/ all four bound buttonholes
Before I attempted the buttonholes, I had to find the buttons - there was no size specified on the pattern, I just knew I needed eight buttons.  I firmly believe that every garment has a perfect button - soul-mates, perhaps? Haha :)  But really, I probably spend just as much time looking at buttons as I do fabric!  It was a wonderful surprise when I walked into Joann's with my hubs the other day, and he immediately pointed out the perfect buttons for this dress.  I looked at the entire rest of the selection, but none were as perfect as these:

Burnished silver, pewter, perfection!
Why, you may ask, was the hubs in Joanns?  I am making him a hoodie and I wanted to look at fabric together. However, the selection was very lacking (it doesn't help that he already owns a hoodie in basically every color) so we looked at buttons instead :)

Speaking of the hubs, can I just tell everyone how amazing he is! The same day as the button find, I get a call from him at work (Half Price Books) that they just had the Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing, First Edition, come into the store, and wondered if I would want it. WHAT?!? Absolutely I would! I am no vintage seamstress aficionado, but I know something amazing when I see (or hear about) it! And apparently so does he :)  So this beauty came into my ownership as of today:

How cool is this cover art! You can't even find this one on e-bay or amazon!
How beautiful!
I can't wait to look through it - all the beautiful clothing and illustrations! Definitely more inspiration to finish my 1940's Sew for Victory dress and get started on the Mad Men Challenge! It's going to be a busy week!

P.S. After failing to find sweatshirt fabric for the hoodie at any local stores, I turned to to the internet where I found this on e-bay:

It's green. It was a great deal. And it's from Ireland.  HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY, PEOPLE!!! :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Faux Button Down Skirt

Today for your viewing pleasure, the faux button down skirt:

Pattern: Simplicity 2226, second version

Fabric: Pink / Taupe / Gray Gabardine Suiting

Changes:  Like my first version, I omitted the belt loops and tie. I wanted an easy a-line skirt with pockets, which I could pretend was a button down.  The buttons were actually intended for a different skirt (which is now in the scrap pile) but they matched this fabric perfectly!

Thoughts: I really like the feel of this fabric, although it frayed like crazy.  The color is also very nice - perfect neutral for the colder months and layering.  My issue with the finished skirt is that I still can't get the idea of drapes / curtains out of my head - I don't know if it's the texture / pattern or the sheen.  I would love this color more in a heavy twill or some other matte bottom weight fabric.  In any case, I love the buttons and will wear this skirt more because of them :)

HOW TO create a faux button down placket:

This skirt front pattern piece was intended to be on the fold. To create my faux button placket, I placed the pattern's "fold" edge 2.5 inches away from the actual fold of the fabric. I cut it out with this extra length in the middle, then cut the front piece in half along the fabric fold line.

To put it together, I simply folded under 1" on each front middle edge and then placed the pieces so they overlapped in the middle 1.5".  I matched this up with original front piece to make sure I didn't add any extra width, then sewed two straight lines 1.5" apart down the middle, creating my fake button placket.

You could always just sew two straight lines down the middle of an existing front piece, but I wanted mine to look like it was actually overlapping :)

So there you have it! A finished garment... during play season... what is going on here?!?  Usually March is when I fall off the sewing bandwagon due to all the stress from directing a musical with my after school drama club.  However, this year I have tried to be very consistent in making room to sew for fun in my limited free time :)  It helps that I have committed to some very fun sewing challenges that are coming up soon, including the 1940's Sew for Victory Challenge.

Speaking of that, I had showed a little of what I was planning for my 1940's dress in my previous post.  I have changed my idea, however (big surprise in the sewing world). I decided the purple strawberry print was just too cute to only be half a dress. I decided to save it to make into a dress of which it will be the featured fabric on top and bottom! Perhaps my new Colette Macaron pattern would work :)

Anywho, I got a new fabric to make the top half of my 1940's dress, and I really like it:

It is gray with white, purple, and pink graphic dots.  I think it will be adorable with the dark purple contrast skirt and buttons! Can't wait to cut it out this week!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

* Snow * Day * Sewing *

Today was a snow day! No school for me :)  That means a whole day stuck at home... with nothing to do but sew! Obviously I did a little cleaning and eating and chilling on the couch, but most of the day was spent working on a plethora of sewing projects that have been piling up. And watching the beautiful snow fall:

First up, I started my 1940's dress for the Sew for Victory challenge! While searching for the perfect fabric, I found this adorable purple strawberry print cotton that is actually from the 1940's (or so it claimed on e-bay...I'm an optimist :) and I knew it was the one...

Sadly, there was less yardage than I originally thought, so I decided to use it as the top half of one of the dress patterns I purchased, with solid purple as the skirt.  I cut out the skirt half today, and hope to get to the top half later this week.

Next, it was costume sewing for our upcoming school play, based on the story of Robin Hood.  I have a lot of little green capes with hoods to make, so I got them all cut out and pinned and sewed a few... maybe tried on one just for fun... sadly too small for me - which is good b/c they are intended for elementary schoolers...

Back to sewing for ME - lol.  Besides my 1940's dress, I wanted to work on something a little more contemporary that would be a quick and easy make.  I bought this super soft rayon fabric a couple months ago for a great deal and I immediately knew I wanted it to be a Darling Ranges dress :) So today I cut out the pattern and fabric and stitched the skirt and bodice.  I would have probably continued working on it, but I don't have the buttons yet, and after the sleeves, that's pretty much all there is to do!

Speaking of buttons, I just bought some adorable buttons on etsy - it seems like you can get super cute buttons on there for waaaay cheaper than buying them from a retailer like Joann's.  Here are a few of the buttons I got:

   set of 12 eggplant purple buttons  vintage buttons 10 blue candies  10 lavender and gold vintage buttons

I'm hoping to use the large purple ones for my 1940's dress and the cute blue ones for a new Grainline Archer Button Up Shirt! Just bought the pdf today - can't wait for the Sewalong, which starts on March 18th. Maybe I will use the cool lavender and gold buttons for a version of that shirt too! I found all my buttons on Earthgatherings, which I thought was a very reasonably priced Etsy shop.

So there you have it - quite a productive day of sewing in my opinion :) I hope to post some finished projects soon, but with the school play coming up, I never know how much time I will have for my own sewing projects.  Of course, after the play is spring break... mmmm - a whole week of sewing? Maybe :)