Thursday, September 24, 2009

One a Day

When I first started recording some of my sewing and craft projects on this blog I had a lofty goal. I honestly thought I could complete and write about every craft or sewing project I made. And I thought I could sew something new every day. Mmmwah ha ha hah a. That is hilarious to me, now. I can go a month without making anything other than a presentable school uniform (with a lot of hemming, zipper fixing, and taking in/letting out). But this week, I completed two things (actually three) in one night.
I finished the details on that cute purple dress. I finished the veil. Yes, the veil is done. And I whipped up this cowgirl market tote.

Granted, I was up kinda late. But it just goes to show you can't force creativity. It happens when it happens. I also believe, now more than ever, that when creativity knocks you have to walk through the door and go with it. Even if going with it takes you into the early hours of the morning. When you have an idea, grasp hold and go!

I don't feel tired this morning, even though I got about 4 hours of sleep. I think it's because I was doing something I love. Resetting expectations. Not every day. It's just not going to happen. But maybe once a week?!?!?!?

OK, let's see. What's next?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Costume: Purple Haze

I made another one. Did a few things differently. The sheer I used for the sleeves already had an edge, so I didn't need my serger to roll edge the hem of the edges. I did, however, elect to roll edge hem the seams of the sleeve, rather than use the french seam called for in the pattern. I also added a velvet ribbon. It covers up a gather (that I needed to fix these sleeves to accommodate that edging) and I think it adds a wintery touch even if on sheer sleeves.

I used a contrasting fabric for the middle panel. I did this because I realized the dark purple was a little severe for the 3 year old who will be wearing it. It still needs to be hemmed -- but won't do that until she tries it on again.
Speaking of trying it on. The first fitting showed me that I needed a zipper in this one, rather than the hook and eye I used on the pink-pink-pink version. This was a little difficult as I had already sewn the shawl collar on.
Considering the cold weather we've had around here, I'm starting to realize these little girls will be wearing long johns and snow pants under their skirts. Might make for a full skirt without the petticoat. Cute.

Now I will make a veil for this one, too. But I need a brainstorm on that one. The little girl who will wear it has a really cute, short bob. So, a headband might not stay on her head when weighted down by the veil. So, I need to noodle that.
PS -- I promise you the other costume is coming. Be patient.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Costume: Pink with Pink and Pink

Have you ever made something and laughed the entire time you were at the sewing machine? The past two projects I've worked on had me giggling with delight. The first is one I'll feature sometimes this week -- so check back -- and the other, this pink monster.

It was a costume request for a 5 year old. Her favorite color is pink, but that wasn't the real inspiration. Her middle name is Rose -- thus the roses in the texture of the fabric (is that considered jacquard or brocade, I never know). Having two little boys myself, I leaped at the opportunity to use things I never get to use on them, pink, ribbons, sparkles, silk flowers.

I followed costume pattern simplicity 5520 (which is a LOT like simplicity 4944) and vogue 7009. I made a few modifications and basically combined A with B and the flowers from E on 7009. Let me first say that this is just a costume, so the level of finish work called for in the pattern is mediocre. The pattern itself does call for a zipper, but I think pulling it over ones head is a bit easier for a 5 year old. Thus I modified the closure to be a simple hook/eye.

I put my serger to work on this project, using a 3-thread rolled hem for the sleeves and veil details. I also used a variegated thread in my serger so there is a bit of a rainbow effect on the rolled hem. I have never done that before. Not sure I would for anything other than a costume, but at least I know it can be done.

This project was the first time I had used the vogue 7009 pattern in conjunction with anything. What a waste of a pattern, if you ask me. Seriously, it's gathered strips of fabric. Don't buy the pattern. Just cut strips of fabric twice as wide as you'd like the petals (about 3 inches) by 5, 7, or 9 inches long. Then gather them and sew them together in concentric circles. SO easy. Please don't waste your money on the pattern -- unless it's on sale for 99 cents and you'll feel more confident using the pattern. It is a fun and useful embellishment and with the right amount of imagination could be modified to be raw edge petals (which I think would be more fashion forward).

My original plan was to make roses for the arm bands but I ran out of all the shimmery pink stuff and it was a remnant so I didn't think I could get more. The arm bands are optional and attach by velcro (thus one sleeve has one and the other does not).

The headband/veil is a simple headband cut on bias with an elastic lenth at the base. Then I sewed the gathered veil (I used my ruffler to make it super tight) between the two sides of the headband. The fabric roses and florists leaves are all wired together and then hand tacked onto the center of the headband. I was winging it with that at 2 a.m., but I like the result. The veil is not from the pattern, I just eyeballed that. It's a bit "bump-it" but I think any little girl will love it.

OK, now I promise I'm going to show you more costumes this month, maybe as early as next week. So, watch out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Real Men Cook

I just finished four chef sets for auction at a school fundraiser. (Auctions make me nervous, what if no one bids!?!??!) Before I sent the four little sets away I asked the boys to show them off.

The aprons are very high quality home dec weight "homespun" that resemble gingham. The hats are trouser weight poplin. I made my bias trim, as always, and I used a fairly heavy cotton. The result was that all the corners and stitches laid really flat and I love them.

This is an apron pattern I whipped up on my own (though you really can't take credit for something this simple) and the chef hat is from Simplicity 3650. I have used the pattern many times, but only for the chef's hat. Some day I'll branch out and make the cowgirl outfit... I hope.

I employed my cover stitch (on the serger) liberally on this project. I'm so pleased with the results. It sped things up from a production stand point and I like the finish on the hat -- see the picture. I also used my ruffler foot to create the gather in the hat this time. In the past I've just gathered it by hand. I LOVE my ruffler. Use it every chance I get, now.

Stay tuned because I finished Cooper's Halloween costume. It's a riot. I just need to photograph him in it. Also, up to my neck in another project, also for Halloween. Hot pink jacquard. That's all I'm saying.