Archive | August, 2012

Completed: Thurlow Shorts (the sequel)

27 Aug

Y’ALL. I am still having trouble getting over these Thurlow Shorts – I wear them all the time. Seriously! I actually worry that my friends are starting to think I only own one pair of shorts :B They are such a great fit, so comfortable, and look fantastic. Could this be love? Could this be TNT??

As a christening to my new sewing room – I made a second pair! Those gingham babes definitely need a break :)
Thurlow Shorts

I made these using leftover chambray from my last pair of trousers – at 60″, I only needed about a yard of material. Nice! The gingham insides are from a piece of fabric I found at the Goodwill Outlet. Overall, cheap cheap. And fast – I cannot believe how quickly these basically flew together.

Thurlow Shorts

There’s not much to say about the construction of these, since they are essentially the exact same as my previous pair. There are a couple of things I would like to point out, however.
- I forgot to interface the fly facing. DERP. I am quite sure that normally, this would not be a problem… however, my fabric is very lightweight. Which means there is wrinkling all over the fly since it’s not stablized. By the time I realized my error, I had already sewn on the waistband. Oh well! They’re chambray – they wrinkle everywhere else, so hopefully the fly doesn’t look too bad :)
- Instead of shortening the length, I just made the cuffs extra wide. Me likey!
- I couldn’t find a pants hook & eye – and trust me, I ripped my entire sewing room apart looking for them (which bums me out because I KNOW I recently bought some! Where are they!?) So these are closed with regular hooks & eyes. It works for now, although I’m still looking for my lost babies.
- The pockets as drafted are pretty shallow – you can’t really put anything in them. I slashed & taped mine so they would accommodate my phone and/or wallet:
Thurlow Shorts - adjusted pattern piece
Since this piece has to be folded at the line, I slashed both above & below the fold line & added 3″. I can still insert the pocket as instructed – and it will hold all my junk. Win!

Thurlow Shorts
I actually wore these out last night for a bike ride/dinner meet up with these awesome ladies. These definitely pass the cycling test – especially with my new rear pockets :) This will also explain why they are super wrinkly. And also why there is a giant grease stain on my cuff & my leg. lol

Thurlow Shorts

Thurlow Shorts

I forgot to get a picture of the back! I’m sure you can imagine what it looks like.

Thurlow Shorts
Here I am yawning instead. I got up extra early to shoot these photos :)

Thurlow Shorts

Thurlow Shorts - fly

Thurlow Shorts - inside

Thurlow Shorts - back

Thurlow Shorts - welt pockets

Oh, and while I have your attention – check out all these crazy patterns I found at the flea market this past weekend! All $1 each!
McCall 1391
McCall’s 1391
I am DYING to make some gloves, but this pattern is Large & I have child-sized hands… so I may be learning how to grade down a glove pattern haha.

Simplicity 1390
Simplicity 1390
Would you guys still be my friend if I started channeling my inner Pilgrim?

Vogue 9993
Vogue 9993
This style of hat would look terrible on me. I couldn’t resist, though – the artwork is beautiful!

Vogue 9992
Vogue 9992
This style of hat, however, has been proven to look awesome on me :)

Advance 9046
Advance 9046
Sleeves!

Butterick 7206
Butterick 7206
Because, why not?

Butterick 9945
Butterick 9945
I almost did not buy this one, but changed my mine at the last minute. I love the scallops with the peter pan collar – so sweet!

Vogue ?614
Vogue ?614 (sorry, I forgot to make sure the # was in the picture!)
Another sweet blouse.

Advance 8511
Advance 8511
I really love the neckline darts on this thing.

And one piece of fabric:
Fabric
I have enough to make a simple dress… but what pattern? Hmmmm.

I may be quiet for the next couple of weeks while I knock out some commissioned sewing. It sucks, but mama’s got bills to pay! And by “bills,” I mean “fabric.” Haha!

Thurlow Shorts

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Introducing – My New Sewing Room!

24 Aug

I should really call this a sewing studio – it’s a HUGE room! Huge, I tell you!

Let’s back up a little. When I last left off – three freakin’ weeks ago, eeeewww! – I was still living in a sorry state of moving purgatory. You know what I’m talking about – everything is packed except one of each dish, getting anywhere requires maneuvering around piles of boxes & there are weird outlines on the wall where artwork used to hang. Pretty depressing living situation, if you ask me! We actually did not move until the end of that week, on the 10th. And lucky me – the power company refused to turn our power & water on until the following Monday, so we spent a couple of nights sleeping on the mattress in the middle of the old bedroom (I can handle living a couple of days without one or the other, but not both!). Then there was a full week of unpacking – and I refused to let myself do anything fun until the house was put together (mostly because I know me, and I know it’ll never get done otherwise. Hey, at least I’m honest haha).

Then my old landlord called & said the paint colors in the house were all wrong, and I needed to paint them back. Not wanting to spend $200+ on neutral paint, Landon & I went to Lowe’s & bought out all their OOPS paint, mixed it all together in a 5 gallon bucket & crossed our fingers. The end result was something that closely matches my flesh haha. So I had a painting party with a few awesome friends, PBR, pizza & 90s jams. We knocked out 3 rooms in about 2 hours and told ghost stories and yes, it was as fun as it sounds. And I just found out yesterday that I’m getting my full deposit back! Yay! Money!

So now let me show you my new sewing room!

Sewing Room
Standing in the doorway – aren’t the hardwoods gorgeous?! Unfortunately, this room doesn’t get as good natural light as the bedroom does. Pretty sure I’ll manage ;)

Sewing Room
Turning just a bit, my sewing & ironing stations.

Sewing Room

Sewing Room

Sewing Room
There is actually a closet & more wall that I’m not showing; Landon still hasn’t unpacked all his clothes so I’m not going to show that section because it’s a MESS. Instead – cabinet! Patterns & books & yarn, yay!

Sewing Room
I edited down my stash a bit before I moved, but I still have a metric shit ton of patterns. They are organized by garment type, fyi.

Sewing Room
Speaking of things I have a metric shit-ton of – fabric!!

I forgot to take detail shots, sorrrry! Here are a couple of close-ups:
Sewing Room
Hanging space for rulers & scissors & things that strike my fancy.

Sewing machine art
Have I posted this yet? I made this using an old frame (25¢, painted mint green), a fabric remnant & a sewing machine charm. It makes me so happy haha :)

Some notes on the sewing room, if anyone is curious.
- The cutting table is the Norden Gateleg (Ikea). It is on wood blocks because it’s a tad short for cutting. Eventually I’d like to buy castors, but those fuckers are expensive!
- The fabric shelf is the 4×4 Expedit (Ikea)
- Pretty much everything else (glass cabinet, sewing table, shelves, chairs, even the ironing board) was either thrifted, dumpstered, or a hand-me-down.
- The wall color is Behr Mint Majesty – my landlords painted it for me, but I got to pick the color woohooo!

Here are some other bits & pieces of my house, for those of you who want to be nosy without actually admitting to it (hey, no shame, I’m the same way :B)
Living Room
This is the living room (I’m standing by the front door). I am looooooving these hardwood floors, even if they do make my feet filthy at the end of the day.

Here is an Instagram pic of the other side of the plant:
This is the only part of the living room that is finished haha
Someone asked me the other day if the dude bust was Jesus with his hair blowing – I WISH!

His name is Saul.
His name is Saul, actually.

Living room
This is an ugly picture (I need to hang that mirror, haaa), but I’m including it so you can see the layout of the house. The turquoise doorway is my sewing room (!!), that’s the dining room straight through, and then the kitchen is farther back. The bedroom door is on the other side of the wall.

Dining Room
Here is the dining room! The table/chairs (their matching hutch is in the previous picture) & the curtains are from the flea market. There is a pile of stuff in the floor because Landon’s desk is out of the frame; he’s still organizing that mess so I cropped it out of the picture. Oh, and the lady on the wall is not Marilyn Monroe :)
I don’t really care for that wall color, but it does go well with my curtains.
Sorry about all the bandannas everywhere. Wtf is up with me & bandannas?

So that’s it! I’m really loving my new house – and new neighborhood!! – and I’m looking forward to actually being able to start sewing again. It’s been too long! I just started a new project last night, actually-
REUNITED AT LAST ❤
Good stuff!

Completed: The Gazer – A Ginger/Hazel Hybrid

6 Aug

Ha, remember when I said I was going to be moving soon so there wouldn’t be much sewing coming out of my end? I LIED (or rather, my new landlords lied. Dur!). Move-in date has been tentatively pushed to mid-week. The awesome part is that I thought we were going to be moving on Saturday, so I packed eeeeverything in anticipation & we didn’t move on Saturday and oh wait, that’s not awesome, this shit sucks ass.

Long story short, about a quarter of my sewing room is unpacked (oops) and I have a new dress! Yay!

Gazel
So why is this dress called the Gazer? Well no shit, it’s a hybrid pattern – the top is a Hazel, the bottom is a Ginger. Hence, Gazer lolol (previous name considerations were Gazel & Hinger). Also, if you look at this dress too long you WILL get dizzy so the name could very well be a cautionary tale, if you will.

Anyway, I received this pattern as a birthday gift from reader Tracy. I actually tried to make it up a couple of months ago, but the fabric I chose was super tragic & the result was one of those wadders that lived in the corner of my sewing room until I threw it away, ahem, a couple of days ago when I was packing. Haha! I’ve come to the conclusion that gathered skirts just don’t suit my shape whatsoever. I knew that I wanted to do something with this pattern, though, so I stewed for a few weeks on what to do about the skirt. I had a lot of gingham left over from my Thurlow shorts (seriously, like 2+ yards! The fuck!?)… and then an idea was born.

First, I had to drag out my cardboard cutting mat (what? Doesn’t everyone have two cutting mats?) and somehow clear floor space for all that cutting:
Soooo I packed my whole house... And we're not moving until at least Wednesday. Living room floor is now my new cutting table, ew
My back is STILL angry at me, by the way!

I cut the bodice pieces for the Hazel and the skirt (minus the waistband) is the Ginger, version 3. Due to the gingham being sheer, everything is underlined with white cotton batiste.

Gazel
I was initially unsure whether the multiple check directions were going to result in a Hot Mess, but I think this turned out pretty cute!

Gazel
I mean – LOOK AT THAT CHECK-MATCHING!

Gazer
FORREAL, THO.

Gazer
Not to toot my own horn here (I’m totally tootin’ my own horn), but this shit ain’t half-bad.

Gazer
I do think this pattern is pretty flattering!

Gazer
The original version actually had pockets… but I must have placed them too low, or else they were fighting with the bias… either way, they kept making these weird lumps around my hips & the openings kept bagging out, so I just ripped them out & called it a day. I’m not really a pocket-person, anyway – I never put anything in them haha. So they won’t really be missed!

Gazer
Psst – the white bow isn’t part of the dress, it’s just part of my massive belt collection.

Gazer
I do love the way the skirt looks, but I don’t think I like wearing bias garments. They just feel weird to me.

Gazer
Oh, here’s how it looks without the belt – I wasn’t able to get the checks to match up at the waist :’( Mostly because I didn’t take that into account when cutting. OOPS. I mean, it’s close enough I suppose – but also just off enough so that it bothers me.

As mentioned before, my cutting table is down for the count (it’s currently holding a lot of boxes!), so have some flat shots on my quilt. Before anyone asks – I did not make the quilt, but my great-Grandmother did :)
Gazer - front
The center front at the waistline totally looks like a vortex, fyi.

Gazer - back

Gazer - Insidessss

I guess that’s it! I hope they let us move this week haha. All these boxes are driving me crazy!

Gazel

Pattern Testing: The Alma Blouse

2 Aug

I actually finished this blouse almost 2 months ago ago & I have been DYING to share it with you guys! This is Sewaholic’s newest pattern, the Alma Blouse. I got to be one of the pattern tester’s for this. I LOVE being a pattern tester, by the way – something about being able to not only see a pattern before the rest of the world, but even sew it up?! Count me in! It doesn’t hurt when the pattern in question is something totally awesome that I absolutely would have bought anyway. Double yay!

Alma Blouse
Am I right, though? This blouse is totally cute – and I love that it’s a woven top that is *not* a button-up. Those kinds of options are few & far in between. This is version A, with the cap sleeves & notched neckline.

I did make a few changes to the pattern – you’ll notice that it is much more form-fitting than Tasia’s sample photos. I did originally cut it in a straight size 4, but the muslin was a bit more blousey than what I am comfortable wearing. The final piece is a size 4 at the bust, tapered to a 0 at the waist & a 2 at the shoulders & hips. I did not do any sort of FBA besides grading the pattern sizes. I did take about 1/4″ out of the center back seam, but the end result is a little snug so I’ll probably slap that back in for future Almas (and yes, there will be future Almas). I pinched about 1/4″ out of the sleeves because they originally stuck out too far – I have small shoulders, though, and this is a pretty typical alteration for me.

Alma Blouse
One thing that I love about this pattern is that it closes with a side invisible zipper – which makes it possible to be so form-fitting (yet still be able to get it on).

Alma Blouse
Man, I love those tiny cap sleeves. They are super flattering!

Alma Blouse
Also, I can personally vouch that this pattern is suitable for plaids – everything matched up beautifully! And since there aren’t a lot of pieces involved, the process of cutting/matching isn’t really much of a horror story.

Alma Blouse

Alma Blouse
Look at how much shorter my hair is in these pictures! Haha! I took these about 2 months ago :)

Alma Blouse
The only design changes I made were actually post-construction – I felt like the notched collar was getting lost in the plaid, so I added a row of rick-rack 1″ from the edge. I also cut a tiny pocket on the bias, because tiny pockets are adorable.

Alma Blouse
I love the waist tie! I think that might be what sets this blouse over the top – of course, it looks great without the tie, but one of my favorite ways to wear it is tucked in to a high-waisted skirt with the tie as a belt. Of course, it looks great untucked too!

Alma Blouse
Sorry the lighting in this picture is so bad! The fabric is a light cotton/poly plaid seersucker, one of the many that my mom picked up at a yard sale for me a few months ago :) Thanks, mom!

Alma Blouse
The pocket is really simple to make – I sketched until I had a shape that I liked, then traced it onto a cardboard template. When I cut the fabric, I added my seam allowance & used the cardboard template to press the seam allowance back so everything would be crisp & even. I figured out the placement by putting the shirt on & holding the pocket up until I was happy with the way it looked. Easy!

Final words: I’m totally happy with this pattern, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to make tops with wovens that don’t involve a bunch of button holes front & center. There are several options in the pattern, which is great since that makes it work for all seasons :) Thinking about making a long sleeved version next – with embroidery on the peter pan collar! Ooh la la!

Alma Blouse
Now run – don’t walk – over to the pattern store & pick up your own copy!

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