Archive | September, 2011

FO, sort of: Simplicity 3511

21 Sep

I wish I had something better to show for the past two weeks, but the fact is that I don’t. This project was frustrating. I expected it to be easy (the package even claims to be easy-to-sew), and I guess it wasn’t exactly hard, but there were some time-consuming bits. Sleeves always add an extra day for me, and I had to unpick and resew the yoke because of a stupid error, and the fabric was cheap and so I could never get it quite true. That’s why the body of the dress looks a little slanted. I admit that it looks a little Laura Ingalls, but shortening it and adding some leggings will updated the whole thing.

The kicker is that it’s much too big for A right now, so big that there’s not even any point in taking pictures, much less hemming it. So instead of cute baby pictures, I have only poorly exposed hanger-on-a-door pictures. I know that it’ll fit her great sometime next year, but after all that work I would like to ooh and aah over an adorable baby in a dress.

Despite the agony, I’m pleased with how it came out. The sleeves went in perfectly, and everything nicely finished and lined up. Oh! Except for the buttons. My machine just doesn’t do buttonholes–it claims to, but it lies–and the zigzag isn’t even enough to manually sew it, so I have no choice but to do it by hand or to use snaps. I think I’m going to go with snaps.

I love a set-in sleeve!

Next up: when I was at Joann’s two weeks ago, Abby went nuts for a bolt of fabric, bright blue covered with stylized owls. I bought it for her and am going to try my hand at quilting. Let’s see what happens!

FO: Simplicity 2451

7 Sep

This is my very first adult garment, and my very first successful zipper (invisible, no less!) installation. I have a lot to say about it!

First, I’m really glad I’ve made so many baby clothes using tutorials. Since tutorials make you do a lot of the work yourself, they end up teaching garment construction really well. This skirt felt very straightforward and came together with no major mistakes (although making the muslin sure helped with that).

side view; check out those pocket!

Second, I used this tutorial to insert the zipper, although this one at Colette also looks good. I’m pretty happy with it. There’s a slight bulge at the bottom left, but it’s not very noticeable and, anyway, I’m really going after process rather than perfection right now. I’m sure the second will be better.

I stole the superhero pose.

Third, the facing. Yikes. I tried machine sewing and it looked terrible; then I tried handsewing and it also looked terrible plus was too difficult, and so I finally decided on a half-handsewing half-machine sewing solution: I used the handwheel to sew the entire thing to make sure that I was stitching right in the ditch.

Fourth, the hem. Well, there’s not much to say, really: handsewed it, and thank goodness for This American Life.

Final result? Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to get much wear–the combination of the print and the shape is maybe a teensy matronly, and I don’t really have anything to wear with it. But the major point was for me to get over my fear of adult garment sewing, so a success on that front!

Next time  with this pattern I’ll use a fabric with more drape and also cut a size smaller. I took this one in half an inch and it’s still a little big. Also, about the facing business: I inspected my similarly shaped Merona skirt to see what it did about the facing business (I mean the business of having to sew it down in a non-noticeable fashion) and realized that the lining took care of it. Merona is my go-to for assessing home-sewn garments: I figure I should be able to sew something at least as adeptly as Target, and in theory I can add the details that distinguish nice clothes that I can’t afford anymore, like contrasting facings and pockets, not to mention decent sewing. I bought a shirt from Target recently and was outraged at how poorly it was sewn.

Anyway, I might try inserting a lining in the next one, especially since I’m planning on wool. It’s got to cool off here sometime, right?

FO: The Kate Dress

3 Sep

This dress is Frankensteined out of some scrap fabric and a onesie, both of which were gifts–well, the scrap fabric was just a leftover–from a lovely friend, hence the name.

This doesn't look like a baby who woke up at 5.30 this morning.

A started wearing this onesie at 6 weeks and fit into it until about 6 months. I know for a fact it was six weeks, because I took an iPhone picture to send to my friend.

A rare moment of non-crying.

When I could no longer squeeze it over her butt, I chopped off the crotch* and sleeves and made a dress. There’s not too much to say about it: if I had a serger, I would have serged the edges of the sleeves but as it is I just zigzagged them tightly to make them ruffle and to finish the edges. I just used up the fabric I had for the skirt and turned a narrow hem.

She's about to stuff one of those flowers into her mouth.

I was not too sure about the results at first, but now that she’s fits into it, I think it’s pretty cute!

Yum yum!

I didn’t use a tutorial for this, but they do exist. This is a nice one over at Prudent Baby, and here is a fancier one that I might try.

*I’ve noticed a lot of craft bloggers apologizing for the word “crotch” or looking for a different one. But why? It’s the technical term for the area, isn’t it?

This moment

2 Sep

Inspired by soulemama: {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.