Wednesday, March 18, 2009

puffy skirt

I sewed this skirt without a pattern. The main measurement I used was based on my waist measurement. The skirt part is a rectangle. I doubled the waist measurement to figure out how long of a rectangle I needed, then gathered it to fit the waist measurement. I also included a built-in net underskirt for volume.

Inspired by:

(pictures found on Adventures of Me and Eilowny. The three-tiered skirt is by Built By Wendy)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shirt Refashion

My roommate left a bunch of clothes behind when he flew to Argentina for his biking trip (check it out at I nabbed this men's size medium billabong button-up and converted it into a shirt that fit me better.


I gathered the front at an empire waist. I took in the sides. I shortened and gathered the sleeves.

Monday, March 9, 2009

new top

I made this cowl neck top yesterday.

Pattern: Simplicity 7719

Fabric: brown synthetic stretch knit from Value Village

Construction details: I took in the sides so they hugged my curves, and gathered the sleeves to accomodate the taking in. I had a hard time sewing the knit with my standard sewing machine. Wish I had a serger. I took in the shoulders, but I wish I would have done so more, because the sleeves fall at the side of my shoulder, instead of starting at the top.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kasia Skirt

I have been wanting a high wasted skirt. I tried another one in purple wool, but the fit wasn't good, so I tried my hand at a new project. (I gave the purple skirt to my roommate and it fit her fabulously!).

The pattern is from They offer open source patterns, and it was therefore free. I was drawn to the pattern because it was a high wasted skirt, but also because all of the photos of user creations turned out looking fabulous.

Pattern modifications: none.

Fabric: The fabric is a purply-blue heavy weight cotton, with a little bit of stretch. When I washed it after getting it from the thrift store it got a wrinkle-dye look to it. I liked the effect so I went ahead an used it!

Construction details:
I saw another users creation (after I had finished mine) that recommended cutting the inside pocket piece to the full length of the skirt so that the seam line doesn't show across the thighs. Also, she added a snap attaching the button flap to the inside liner to avoid gapping. I think both of those things would help my skirt out, although the snap is the only one I can help now. Also, I used a bulky zipper and I saw it show through the fabric in a few of the photos I took.

I learned how to make bound button holes for this one! Yay! Oh, and how to use the button hole attachment on a sewing machine. However, the buttons are slightly crooked, but I don't think it is too noticeable.

Conclusion: Fit is great! I can't wait to wear it out. Thanks to my partner Curtis for taking these photos! He was very patient and considerate, and the photos look gooood.

Spring fever

I have been inspired lately by a) the birds singing and b) other bloggers excitement over springs arrival. I can't wait for the weather to wear this dress! Although it has been warmer, there is still lots of snow on the ground.

Pattern: I combined two patterns: McCalls 3148 for the bodice (size 12, view A) and Simplicity 2884 (size 12, view B) for the skirt.

Pattern modifications:
In order to combine the two patterns I just substituted the button up top with princess seams for the halter. I kept the side zip of the dress, but still kept the buttons from the bodice for looks. Fit-wise I did end up having to take a little in on the sides, and overlap the button flap more, but I am really happy with the fit. My best fitting hand sewn garment so far! I also added the blue pre-gathered lace.

Fabric: blue fabric with lilacs. I'm not sure exactly what kind of fabric it is. It definitely has cotton in it, but the fabric has a waxy sheen to it. Looks vintage. Bought it for $4.00.

Conclusion: As I said, I am excited to wear it for spring, and the fit is great! It looks great with a petticoat, as in these photos.

contra dance dress #4

Pattern: Kwik Sew 914, Ebay $10.00
size 14-16-18-20
I searched for square dance patterns on Ebay and this is what I got!

Pattern modifications:

I unintentionally bought a size that is too big for me. The black and red contra dance dress I made is from the same company. When I made that dress I just added extra fabric in the darts, but it still didn't fit quite tight enough. This time I slashed and tucked to create a smaller size. I focused on the bust fit. The size 14 bust measurement was 38.5 inches, and mine is 34.5.

Also, I used the square neckline bodice and the belt from view A, but used the alternating gores from view B.

Fabric: I used three 100% cotton fabrics with a green and white theme. Two have green dots, and the third has little green hearts. I got all of the fabric from Value Village for an estimated $0.25 a yard.

Construction details: I learned how to use a narrow hemmer sewing attachment for the first time. It saved me a lot of time hemming all those yards of ruffle.

Conclusion: The fit was better on this dress than the other one I made, but there are still some issues. The biggest one being that the back gaps. If I ever feel motivated I will try to edit that, but for now it is wearable. Great for spinning!

Good news and bad news

The good news is that I got to keep the sewing machine for another week and a half. Also, my boss said I could borrow her machine! Yay.

The bad news is that I have created four new projects in the last week or so, and haven't posted a single one.