Archive | completed projects – reconstructed RSS feed for this section

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

5-1
5/1
Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-2
5/2
Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-3
5/3
Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5-4
5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
YES
YES YES YES
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine :) But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this -
.
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.

About these ads

Recon: The Hawaiian Sundress

30 Apr

I’m still slogging away on my Bombshell dress – although right now it appears to be more of a bed than anything:
Current Bombshell state

More on that later! Today, we will talk about my newest recon.

I actually started plotting the making of this dress on Friday afternoon – I found this sweet Hawaiian maxi dress and I spent the rest of the afternoon obsessing over how to make my own. My drive home from work ended taking A FUCKING HOUR AND A HALF (I drive about 5 miles & it usually takes 15-20 minutes – tops! 25 minutes is long enough to make me feel desperate, no lie) – thanks, Country Music Marathon! – so I had plenty of time to plan the making of my new dress. I realized the head start was actually hanging in my closet.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - before
If you’re feeling underwhelmed, well, so was I. I picked this dress up at the thrift store last summer – I loved the print, and it’s rayon which is my faaaavorite fiber to wear in the summer. Also, it was $2. Unfortunately, it’s a big shapeless muumuu. I thought I could cinch it with a belt and be done with it, but belting that much fabric leaves some weird gathers & poof, so this was a dress reserved for hanging around the house.

This was a REALLY easy (and fast!) recon – I sewed a strip of wide elastic at the waistline, cut 6″ off the hem & sewed that to the elastic neckline. Done and done!

Hawaiian Dress Recon
The original inspiration is sleeveless, but I actually like the extra ruffle the sleeves give, so they stay… for now.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
It is hemmed a little short – you can’t tell from these pictures, since I have the tripod angled, but I could definitely use an extra inch. Although I did wear this to shop the flea market with my mom on Saturday & she never mentioned the length (or lack thereof), so maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
I got a LOT of compliments on this dress! Probably more than I’ve ever received for any of my clothing – funny! It seemed like every other person I ran into had something nice to say about it :)

Hawaiian Dress Recon - no belt
Oh, and thanks to the elastic waistband – it looks great without a belt! This will be extremely important once the rest summer heat+humidity hits :)

Some construction notes…
Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, inside
The elastic waistband was really easy to insert – I measured the elastic around my waist, and then sewed it to the middle of the dress (try it on first to check the placement), giving the elastic a good stretch while I sewed it on. I just used a straight stitch, since it’s not a really high-stress area.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, outside
From the front – it gathered up nicely, I think!

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, inside
To make the ruffled collar, I sewed cut-off dress bottom (hem intact!) to the inside of the dress, wrong side up. Again, I stretched it as I sewed so it would gather up.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, outside
Then just flip the ruffle of the outside, hiding the seams.

The hem is finished with a small rolled hem. No, I didn’t take a picture. I’m sure you can use your imagination ;)

Hawaiian Dress Recon
And that’s it! Easy, breezy, beautiful… err, this’ll be great for Me-Made-May :)

As for the flea market… well, the pickings were pretty slim this go-round :( I did meet two vendors who said they have loads of fabric they need to sell off, so I gave them my contact information and hopefully I can spend the money I didn’t spend at the flea market on their fabric :) Haha!

I did pick up this pattern… there’s not a listed manufacturer anywhere, just the pattern number.
Pattern 8452
I love the button placket.

Pattern 8452
It’s undated, but based on the fact that it’s unprinted & it has THIS across the top of the (sparse)instructions, I reckon it’s from the war era :)

I also bought two pieces of stretchy fabric, although they were from the thrift store, not the flea.
Floral stretch fabric
Probably going to save this one for winter, it’s kind of… velvety? I like how loud it is, though. And yes, my cat is modeling because she refused to get off the table.

Stripey poly stretch fabric
This is polyester, but I just love those 70s stripes!

Bombshell list
The Bombshell is making excellent progress – and it still fits! YAY!

Completed: Embroidered Silk Shell Top

22 Mar

shell top

And another one down!

I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I picked up this silk turquoise skirt at my favorite thrift store about a month ago – at half off, it was $2. And it was plus size, and long, which meant lots of fabric for me to play with. Silk for $2? I’ll take it! I was able to salvage some giant pieces of fabric, plus the lining. And the zipper, for about 5 minutes (until I forgot that there wasn’t a zipper stop and I immediately pulled the zipper off the teeth. DERP.). I know the tag says ‘dry clean only,’ but I washed a little swatch of the fabric in the sink & it didn’t seem to be an issue at all – no water spotting, no weird shrinkage. Anyway, I had enough fabric to make the little top in Simplicity 4400 (which, I might point out, is the very first vintage pattern I ever bought – at the same thrift store, no less!). I was even able to finagle the pieces so that I kept the original skirt hem intact. Yeah!

A word about this pattern (and every other vintage pattern I’ve ever sewn up) – there is still ease in vintage patterns. Lot and lots of ease. Notice the size on that pattern is for a 32″ bust? My bust is actually 36″ – and the top fits me perfectly. I have noticed this a lot with vintage patterns, so do what you will & make a muslin (or tissue fit, like lazy me :3).

To keep this top from being *too* simple, I embroidered a rose by the right shoulder:
Silk Shell Top - embroidery
I got the design from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers on Flickr – a GREAT embroidery pattern resource! To transfer the design, I laid it over a sheet of wax transfer paper and traced with a pencil. The stitches here are split stitch (on the rose) and back stitch (on the leaves & stems). Oh, and if you are apt to try this – make sure you staystitch those curved seams before you start! It’ll keep them from stretching out with all that extra handling :) I probably should have serged my edges too, since this silk frays like nobodies business, but you know me… livin’ on the edge & shit.

As a side note, can we discuss these wtf directions?
Silk Shell Top
I’ve never seen this before – it’s a dart, but without the dart legs. I have to make my own dart legs. How intriguing!

Ok, anyway, back to my top.

Construction was fairly simple & straight forward. I opted to hand-pick a center zipper (instead of the machine-stitched lapped zip in the directions) and did not topstitch the facings, as I wanted the top to be simple so the focus would be on that embroidery. The top sewn as-is ended up being too billowy for my tastes, so I added vertical darts below the bust for a little shape. I originally planned to wear it tucked but I think I prefer it untucked now! Unfortunately, the arm holes are a little on the tight side but, eh, I think I can deal.

Silk Shell Top
(huh, I really need to re-press those dart tips!)

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

BONUS: Tucked!

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top - handpicked zipper
Hand picked zipper – I got a little obsessive & tried to match the stitches up on both sides hahaha

Silk Shell Top
Remember when I said I broke the zipper that came with the skirt? Well I found this one in my stash – and it matches perfectly! Talk about a happy accident!

Pretty pleased with this little top – I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer. The silk is so deliciously soft, and I just love the color!

Silk Shell Top

recon: taffeta christmas skirt

5 Dec

my favorite kind of recon – easy easy!

holiday skirt

i’ve been pining for a plaid taffeta party something for a couple of weeks now – didn’t care if it was a skirt or a dress. i actually wanted to make a taffeta peony, so i started lurking plaid taffetas online. well, i scrapped that idea to the back burner when i realized how expensive that stuff is – and i wanted silk!

so imagine my delight when i found a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress during my saturday shopping trip with lauren. it’s polyester, but whatever – PLAID. and $2.50!

holiday skirt - the before
here’s what i started with. it’s pretty small, but that empire waist is exactly my waist measurement. and before anyone gets sad about the death of a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress, i will point out that it’s a walmart brand. pretty cheap stuff to begin with.

anyway, i removed the skirt from the bodice (and discarded the bodice – not enough fabric to do anything with!) and cut the hem off the bottom to form a waistband. since the hem is on the bias, i stabilized it with horsehair interfacing to give it some structure. i shortened the zipper & stuck it back in there with the skirt lining. the hem is just a simple rolled hem. easy!

holiday skirt

this whole project probably took about 2 hours, and now i have a new skirt to wear for christmas parties :) i already wore it this morning to put up the office christmas tree.

holiday skirt - waistband

holiday skirt - inside

i even had enough taffeta left over to make a matching headband.

matching headband

i look like a damn christmas present.

holiday skirt
i’m okay with that :)

boot fur cuffs & pom poms!

30 Dec

happy holidays (whichever you prefer, i’m not picky!) to everyone! i’ve been MIA for the past week or so, and about to disappear again for another week due to this:
Photobucket
my poor bb sewing machine + serger awaiting the sewing machine doctor!

nothing is wrong with them… they just need their yearly check-up (same as you’d do for your pet, or your car, or uhh yourself). turnaround time is about a week, so i took the opportunity to drop them off today since i will be spending my new year’s weekend in new orleans :)
but i miss them already!

in other happy fun-times news, i did get a new camera for christmas! so i can start taking pictures again, although this camera is much different than my previous one so it is taking some getting used to. my pictures are pretty sucky right now, hopefully i’ll figure it out sooner than later!

oh, and i got new sewing books!
Photobucket
kwik sew method for sewing lingerie

Photobucket
singer sewing for special occasions

my brother & sister-in-law bought me a couple sewing books for christmas – tailoring and boutique apparel. i couldn’t get a good picture of them, but here is the art of sewing flickr set. aren’t they gorgeous? there is a great cape pattern in the apparel book that i am dying to try!

i also made some little fur cuffs & pom poms for my boots over the weekend :)
Photobucket
Continue reading

lladybird: fall/winter 2010

20 Oct

i originally started this blog to post pictures of my clothing line, lladybird (hence why the blog is ‘lladybird’ and not something clever, witty or, at the very least, involving my name somehow). lately, though, my poor clothing line has become my bastard child… much like this blog, actually. HA!

ok ok, so anyway, i made a cute new little collection and had it photographed last month by a lovely photographer, shea! this shit was legit – we even had hair and makeup done!

photos are under the cut because uhh there are a lot of them.

Continue reading

new recon!

8 Dec

sorry about this little hiatus! in my defense, i haven’t sewn a thing since friday – i slipped on a puddle of water at the bar (no, i was NOT drunk!) and severely strained a bunch of muscles and built up a mess of fluid in my elbow. i just was able to retire the sling this morning, but it still hurts. having one hand sucks, man.

here is a little recon i did last week for a livejournal friend. she sent me this vintage dress and asked me to redesign it into something similar to what i’ve made before – it was a lot of fun to cut up and sew back together!

Photobucket
before
the main issues with the dress was that it was too long, too big, and she hated the necktie. we decided to remove the zipper, add in a waistband and bottom band, sleeve cuffs, and turn the neckline into a nice scoop neck.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,142 other followers