Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BWOF 6/2010 skirt 134, Revival of Sloppy College Sweatshirt.

Let it be said that I'm new to the blogging thing.  And therefore, I get going on a project and forget to take pictures as I go and end up trying to retro fit it so you can see what happened.  Here it is the original Oregon State University Sweatshirt.  (PS. I did not pick my living room rug based on my college affiliation)

Now, I graduated in '93, and I'm positive that I bought this either upon exiting the school or some time shortly after so it's a total mystery as to why it says 88 and why it shows XL as the size because it is a large.  At any rate I've had it in my closet for close to 18 years and I never never never wore it even around the house.  About 3 years ago when I moved back to Oregon from California I tried to motivate myself to wear big sloppy collage sweatshirt by cutting the neck a la Flash Dance, but alas it become no more appealing to wear. 

So, I've had in my head for some time to make it into another garment because it's a really great quality Champion thick fleece and if you look in the fabric stores it's nearly impossible to find a brushed fleece in heather gray anywhere.  Along comes the June issue of Burda Style and what do I find in the "sewing and styling" section but a grey fleece skirt and lo and behold there's a pattern for it!  Yippee.  Enter big sloppy college sweatshirt that has followed me around for 18 years and my scissors.  I cut and assembled part of the skirt before I took the above picture but you get the gist that this is what it looked like before I cut it up.  Anyway, I decided that I wanted to use the bottom rib hem for the hem of the skirt so I just layed out the pattern pieces and cut so that I just had to sew the darts and side seams. Magic right? 
The lame part was that in order to do that it meant that I could't get much of the design on the actual skirt piece because it was so long and I wanted it above the knee. And, I thought it was better to have the rib at the bottom then to have the logo XL across my bottom, which it kind of is, but if I wear a shirt untucked you don't see.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this does absolutely nothing for my actual XL a$s, but man is it comfy.   I digress.  So I ditched the pockets even though I did cut them out of leftover black knit and I was going to use the rib as the pattern advises, but because the way the sweat shirt was originally there is a double panel of rib along the side seam so that would be WAY too bulky on my hips and I didn't need the pockets.   The waist is finished with a facing and then the black and gray cording is passed through it for a drawstring.  I just punched holes in the front with my eyelet tool from scrapbook world.  I'm sure they'll frey out at some point.    But it works for now.
And finally because there was only half of the design used for the back panel, I thought I would use the rest to make a little kanga pocket on the front, repeating the rib at the edges of the pocket openings there instead of at the side seam. 

I just applied it flat to the front panel w/a raw edge in the rip n repair sort of manner which makes it OK that the the design is not centered on the pocket but pretty much is on the garment.   Also, I don't have a close up, but the bottom edge of the pocket is not jaged it's just the negative space in the print making look like it is.   

So there you have it the random skirt that I made from an old college sweatshirt and am actually wearing to work today.  We have a pretty casual crew here but I do usually try to step it up.  Then my boss tells me that some peeps are coming from a well know shoe company, that we are doing a collaboration with, today and I'm totally embarrassed that I'm wearing a sweatshirt as a skirt to work when we have a meeting that I didn't know about.  Whatever, they can get over it.    This is the perfect skirt for lounging around, doing laundry, running to the grocery store etc.  AND, this weekend I'm going down to OSU w/my sistas to visit the old sorority and have a sleepover!  So I can wear this skirt while we braid each other's hair and have pillow fights (yeah that's what we are going to do with our time).  Yes, look out Corvallis, we're coming to the Kastle and you will never be the same.  If we can stay up past 10 pm that is..... AND I hope to purchase another college sweatshirt or item that I will actually wear.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coming up on a very special... Circus.

I hit the fabric store on my half day Friday to pick up fabric for my next few projects.  The store was empty except for the staff who all hung out with me ooing and ahhing my fabulous fabric choices.  I felt very special.  I know they were just bored but hey, I had fun.

First up: 40th birthday party dress 
My best friend's husband and I are throwing a "surprise" birthday for her 40th in August. We are having it at a winery in Wilsonville.  I hope this turns out well and in time for the party.  Stay tuned. Now I just need to figure out what to wear to MY 40th birthday party. I have 5 months. tick tock.
Next: This McCalls 6083 jumpsuit.  I'm either going to do; Crop pants w/halter B, or shorts with short sleeves D
I have no idea why I think I need this garment but I thought it might be fun to try this trend with a knit. Could be cute with a black belt and black sandals.  OR could be total disaster.  I know you are on the edge of your sofa.
Next, and actually I think I'm making this first:
BWOF 7/10 Dress123 in this lovely Hawaiian print.  I've become compelled to make a dress out of a tropical print.
I found this awhile back and took a swatch of it home. I thought I wanted to do this dress, Vogue 7848
and I think I was drawn to the tropical print on the envelope. Or maybe I was thirsty for a margarita and Jimmy Buffet was on the radio.  Anyway, I decided that I needed a dress with sleeves, so i had more options to wear it.  The Burda dress could be too dumpy though. I'm a little nervous about it being a sack. Let's see.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ikat Skirt- Self Traced/ Drafted pattern

In the way back I made patterns.  I totally hated it.  I much preferred draping to drafting.  I had no patience and didn't want to fuss around with the paper.  For some reason I'm into it now.  And, I think the results are going to be better this time around. 
For this skirt I copied my printed cotton canvas J. Crew skirt that fits well.  I wear it all the time so I thought it would make a good pattern.  I actually wear this more around my hips but it looks nicer on the form sitting at the waist.
First I laid out the skirt flat on top of a piece of pattern paper and then with my tracing wheel I traced around it along the seam lines as well as the waistband.  I really need to get a wheel with the long pins, but I haven't seen one in a while, I think my mom used to have one but maybe they don't exist anymore.

Anyway, then I traced the lines and trued the pattern so the pieces on the front and back walked and then added seam allowance.  I had to make the darts by slashing and pivoting and when I did this I still couldn't find my old pattern book so I'm not convinced that I did it exactly right but the outcome was great.  This sounds like it was fast but I went back and forth between my pattern and the skirt measuring, remeasuring and fixing things and then changing it.  At one point I changed something on the front only to realize I had just measured the back and had to do it over.  BUT, now I have this great skirt pattern.  So I guess it was worth it.

I made a muslin and it seemed too big, the orig skirt is a little big so I took out 1/4" of front and back. Bad idea- because that equals an 1" all around and it was too much.  The orig skirt sits at the hips and is short but with the low waist it is a reasonable length.  The new skirt fits like a glove but is now just a little too short.  And frankly, I have great legs, but I'm not 25 and I'm not Lindsey Lohan, so I have some sense of what is ok for my age group. Although, others might disagree.

I cut the  garment so that the stripe pattern was the same on the front and back.  I realized that I didn't have enough fabric to have the same pattern on the front and back waistband but since they are different, it helps me to remember which way to put it on.  I used narrow seam allowances to counter my pattern adjustment faux paux and I finished the seam allowances with bias tape since the fabric is loosely woven and frayed A LOT when I washed it.  To counter the shortness of the skirt I hemmed it by binding the bottom edge with bias tape and then just barely turned to the inside and hand stitched.

It has an invisible zipper that I did a shameful job of lining up, but it doesn't really effect the over all look of the skirt so I'm OK with it.   I wore this wine tasting last weekend when it was 85 degrees and it was really comfortable.  I think one of my friends has a picture of me in it, I'll see if I can get it. I swear I'm not camera shy but I don't really love pictures of myself and I don't have a tripod either.  I had some photos taken of me in some of the last few garments but that's when I noticed that you can really tell I've gained 5 pounds- blah.  I gotta get back to running more.......... OK, that's it for now. I'm off to Pump IT UP for my nephews birthday.  I'm scared.  Wish me luck.

Next up, planned projects. Fabric is in the dryer as I type this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vogue Wrap Dress Redux

Yo!  When they say, will you sew it again and you say yes- DO IT!
And here it is, the Vogue 1027 from this, my second post redone in a cotton jersey.  It's NOT peach. Not, not, not, peach.  It's kinda pinkie orange.  OK?

So I did some adjustments.  I took 1" out of the center front panel. and about 1/8" out of center back panel. And then I took 1" out of the skirt panel- 2" all around.  I had to stretch the skirt a tiny bit to fit the bodice but barely.   And that made the bodice fit better, BUT!  That's a big but.  The point that the tie comes from the bodice was even closer to center front so it doesn't give very much room to cinch/tie it.    So, it gives a wierd tuck at the CF- more than before when it was just big.

What I would do- if I were the type to rip this apart- is to take the waist seam apart, and finish the tie up to the side seam and then apply it to the waistband so that it would start at the side seam and have the whole front to cinch/tie.  I think that would take care of the awkwardness that makes it seem like it's too big but it's just really that the faux wrap tie apparatus doesn't have enough room to fool.   IF I were the type to rip this apart and fix it, that's what I would do.  Who knows, I might be that person tomorrow. Today it's 85 and summer in my apartment and I'm done for the day.

Oh yeah, I also left off the sleeve facing. I just finished the edge by pressing stitch witchery 1/4" under in place, then turning and pressing another 1/4" and top stitching.  Looks Great.  I did the same thing for the neck and front edge AND the hem.  I think it gave a great finished look. 

I think I'll wear this to work tomorrow- it's going to be 95! Finally, summer has arrived in Portland. YAY!

Maiden Voyage- Burda pattern 7493 view B

My first Burda!  From the 2010 collection:

I have not made anything from the magazine yet, but that's next. Have tracing paper, will trace. Stay tuned.

Fabric is 100% cotton Ikat woven stripe. Ikat is super hot right now. Mine is very light shirting weight, so I lined it with a 100% cotton lawn in olive color. Both fabrics purchased from the wonderful Josephine's Dry Goods in Portland, OR.

Since this was my first time making a Burda pattern, and the first fitted woven in many moons, I made a muslin.  Also, there was no pattern review yet for this style so I didn't want to risk it. Now there is!

Made the muslin out of, what else?  Muslin. Then put it on the dress form and marked the pieces with their pattern piece numbers. I wanted the side panel pieces to be on the bias, and then the side seams to chevron.  See below the interesting intersection of side seam and armband under arm. Next, I drew the direction of the grain that I wanted on each piece to guide me and marked the tissue pieces, so when I cut the fashion fabric I wouldn't get confused.  I also drew a sketch before hand- several actually.

I constructed the front and back bodice and skirt and then connected them at the waist, as the instructions. Then I also constructed all the same pieces out of the lining material, sewing them right sides together with the body fabric at the armhole and then turning the lining to the inside creating a clean finished armhole. This way I eliminated the facing (hate facings). 

The rest of the garment I made as per the instructions.  After getting hooked on reading all the blogs I was reminded by the lovely Amanda, that seam binding makes the a garment look finished and polished. She has some fantastic tutorials, and finishes everything beautifully.   My mother used to say "a garment should look as beautiful on the inside as it does on the outside."   Advice that I summarily ignored till I was in school and I was graded on it. Also, I realized that this fabric will probably fray a bit with washing as my other ikat project did when I pre-washed and lost about 1" to fraying.  So I used bias tape on the seam where I applied the zipper.

I finished the hem using 2" wide poly lace.  I didn't mean to get such a wide lace and then when I sewed it in it looked super cute, but itched the back of my legs like crazy when I sat down. So I need to take it out and do somethings else.

The fit of this garment was great in the chest and neck and bust. The mid bodice waist needed a little more fitting/shaping so it wasn't a "shapeless"shift.   I didn't go back in and adjust those seams as I didn't want to change the shape of the side bodice and skirt pieces. After seeing pics of me in it, I wish I did, but I've other Burda to conquer.

I know that with some drafting I could have adjusted the center and created more shape but ultimately I was looking for kind of a shift.  Also, it pulled a little at the hips in the muslin, so I sewed the side and cb seams with 1/2" seam allowance i/o 5/8".  I also shortened the skirt 5" so it was just above the knee.  This is a great kicking around doing errands when it's 80 degrees, or meeting friends for lunch dress.

The other advice I have on this garment is that finishing the neck band so that it's even is not easy. Mine looks a little wonky on one side but I think I might be the only one that can tell.  I would probably use a template constructed out of heavy paper to press it so that it's even all the way around. 

Edit... added photo 
Here it is: a photo of me in the dress.  I won't wear those shoes now that I see them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Things that make me happy....

It can be said that it's the little things in life that make us happy.  For me that's also true and for some reason those things are usually beauty products.  Now I know that at my age I shouldn't be so giddy over such a thing and that it might be a bit childish but, what can I do? I'm a girl through and through.

I was browsing Shape Magazine ( I got a free three month subscription for some reason that I can't remember) when I came across this advertisement......

....and I thought:  I need that immediately!  So, I rationalized buying it for some girlfriends' birthdays' and threw one into the cart for myself.  Purchased here:

Now, the polish is $18.00 plus about $6.00 for shipping so if you are buying one bottle it's a little steep but if you are buying several the shipping is amortized (rationalizing: it's a gift, the rationalizing AND the nail polish).

This polish is AWESOME!  You can't tell from the picture but the chunks are huge and all different shapes. There are even ones that are sliver with a little pink dot in the middle.  The coverage is great and the polish base holds onto the glitter like cement!  Which, is great to keep it on, not great when you want to get it off.  My nieces loved it when we did their annual year end spa day at my house. Ok, they didn't love it as much as I do, for some reason.  I found a fellow nail polish lover, Cidell, and shamelessly copied her application pictured here. Perfect for the 4th of July celebration because it's like fireworks on your fingers.  Like I said, it's the little things....

Yes, I'm gonna sew something else soon, now that I've shaken jet lag and begun my THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!