Friday, December 24, 2010

If you haven't noticed by now

I've been taking a break from blogging. Haven't really had the chance to sew let alone think about writing about what I've made. I don't plan to completely abandon pro-craft-ination, but I think it needs some time alone.

Hope your holidays are going well,

P.S. in case anyone was wondering I only had one day during self stitched September where I did not wear something I made.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

S.S.S. Week Two

Really, I had every intention of posting this yesterday, but time kind of got away from me. With that being said here is a super quick recap of my S.S.S. wardrobe for week 2 of Self-Stitched September.

Well almost, never got a picture for September 9th-it was a repeat-the teal knit cardigan that I wore on day 6 of SSS. It was a cruddy kind of day, didn't feel like posing for the camera on such a dreary and overcast day.

September 10th
Day 10 : Wore my one and only pair of self-stitched pants, made earlier this year. They've actually grown on me, though I'd still never wear them outside of the house. I still want to try my hand at making pants again, and after reading Real Pants for Real People I think I have an idea as to my plan of attack. It's just a matter of finding fabric and time for the next pair.

September 11th
Day 11 :Wore one of my first t-shirt recons ever while attending the mother of all town wide tag sales.
September 12th
Day 12 Crazy circle skirt, made shortly after the striped circle skirt. This was the first time I ever actually wore it, not only did I wear it, but I actually wore it outside of the house in front of people. Huge steps being taken here people!

September 13th
Day 13: Ah the owl shirt, I have worn it a handful of times and those bright little owls always make me smile.
September 14th
Day 14: I believe I've already mentioned how much I love this striped skirt. Topped it of with my vegetarian t-shirt, all in all a fun outfit. Wore it to a super casual business meeting.

September 15th
Day 15: The leopard tank, another repeat, but I really do like it and I feel good when I'm wearing it, even got a compliment on it while waiting to give blood. 

Feeling pretty good about the month so far, however it is starting to get quite chilly here and I am beginning to realize how ill prepared I am when it comes to a self-stitched cold weather wardrobe. I guess I'll have to go do something about that,


like right now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One week in

I promised in my last post that I would try to post my Self Stitched September outfits every couple of days, so here it goes! All outfits include self stitched underwear, you'll have to trust me on that
Day one has already been posted so I'll skip on over to day two.

Day two: Literally a pain in the neck. I don't know exactly what I did that morning that caused my neck to make a horrible grind/pop noise that it did, but boy it sure did hurt a bunch. I decided that I would go for comfort over style that day. The skirt was refashioned from a long and large skirt at the salvation army. I made a new elastic casing, shortened it about 5 inches, and turned it into an a-line skirt rather than a rectangle. I'll get a standing up picture of it at some point.
Day three: A busy day working from home. Later in the evening the boyfriend and I strolled into downtown and checked out a meditation labyrinth that would have been more peaceful if that family hadn't shown up and provide commentary on our wanderings. We then grabbed a quick dinner and dessert at the diner and headed back out for a friend's monthly goth/80's dance night at a local club. Not my normal scene but I had a really good time, the people were friendly and the tunes were enjoyable. I made the circle skirt a few years back, but until this summer I had never worn it, now it's one of my favorite pieces of clothing ever.

took this picture the morning after, excuse the hair

Day four: Never got a proper picture of the outfit, but you aren't missing much. Just a quick t-shirt refashion. Worn while going to garage sales and a really awesome thrift store that featured mostly knick knacks.

Day five: Went to visit the boyfriend's parents and attend a family BBQ. Up until this day I had never work the shirt out in public. I believe it's simplicity 4076, one of pattern review's most reviewed patterns. I really do like the top, but I still feel like it is too short and that is why I don't wear it.

Day six: I totally dig this outfit. I refashioned the green leopard tank from an XL salvation army shirt topped it with my second version of simplicity 2560 (made in late July, never blogged). I loved the color combination, however due to strenuous physical activity (stuffing the futon cushion full of foam) I only wore the tank top for a majority of the day.  

Day seven: Lazy day around the house, ended up doing that thing to my neck yet again. The tank top is made from the same fabric as my circle skirt. I don't know when it was made exactly, I had forgotten about it up until a few weeks ago when I found it while rummaging through my scrap bin. I promise I will get a picture wearing it at some point. Also being worn are my refashioned shorts from day one.
 Day eight (today!): Broke out the moose shirt. This is one of those shirts that gets neglected for whatever reason. not much to say about it. Wore it out to the farmers market, then to ihop for some new york strawberry cheesecake pancakes, followed by a not so fruitful trip to the Salvation Army, and  wrapped up with a grocery store run.

 I've really enjoyed checking out the outfits people have been posting on the SSS Flickr group, and I'm slowly trying to check out everyone on the participants list. It's been a great month so far, let's see how the rest of the month pans out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Self-Stitched September!

Here it goes...
'I, Rebecca, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavor to wear at least one handmade and/or refashioned item of clothing every day for the duration of September 2010'.
I signed up in the beginning of August after coming across this post, and was super eager to start sewing up some essentials. Within a week of signing up I produced a pair of pajama pants, 9 pairs of underwear, and an almost completed vest.

9 pairs of underwear

I paused for a day or two, stuck on the issue of what to do about work shirts. Plain boring black work shirts, I wasn't inspired at all so I didn't do anything sewing wise. Then the rest of August happened, during which I learned/applied new skills, and submitted my letter of resignation to my current employer, thus solving my issue of what to about work shirts. No, I didn't quit because of  work shirts, in all honesty it is just my time to leave and start something new.

The whole thing is bittersweet, I'm happy because I'll have a career rather than just a job in a mall, but I am kind of down that I'll no longer be working with a bunch of really great people.
Anyways back to Self-Stitched September. I woke up today, not with S.S.S. on my mind, but with thoughts of my first ever business meeting floating around in my head. It wasn't until half way through getting dressed that I realized what I had to do. At least it wasn't a formal business meeting, I'd like to call it semi-business casual at its finest.

What I Wore:
Shirt: Banana Republic(thrifted)
Shorts: Refashioned
Bracelet and Necklace: Made by me
Underwear(not shown): Made by me

Close up of necklace

That's everything, I plan to post every couple of days with what I've worn this month, and perhaps finish up a few things that have been tucked away in my sewing corner. But for now, it's time for coffee.

Friday, July 30, 2010

it was a day of firsts

A few weeks back I went to visit my family and see the first of my childhood friends get married (She looked gorgeous!). I'm still finding it hard to fathom that we are actually adults now, and that our 10 year high school reunion is only a year and a half away.

It was my first time wearing heels much higher than 1 inch. Technically they were wedges but still, they count in my book.

Ah yes, and it was my first time wearing a dress since 5th grade. My friends didn't even recognize me when I came running up to them outside the church.

That dress was the first dress I have made in my life. I used simplicity 2406 and made the closed back version of it sans pockets. When this pattern came out, I knew I had to have it if only for the sleeves.

 The fabric I used was a cotton/poly stretch twill that I picked up from Joann's, sure I didn't have the greatest selection to choose from but at least I could touch and see the actual fabric. I personally have bad luck when it comes to online fabric shopping, I chalk it up to lack of fabric buying experience which I vow to work on.
 Back- Take 1


 I was slightly worried about under taking this project for two reasons. One, I'm really not a dress person and I find it really hard to visualize things like this on myself. Two, I doubted my ability to actually create something nice enough for such a special occasion.

I went ahead and checked out all the reviews on pattern review. The one thing that every one seemed to mention were the directions for making the sleeves. Taking that information, I sat down one night and read the sleeve directions about 10 times, made my muslin and jotted down notes to help myself out along the way.
Once I figured out the sleeves, everything else just came together.

Well, almost everything, I didn't mention that this was my first time inserting an invisible zipper. I tried to put it in by machine three times, but ended up with puckers every time. So I did what anybody would do, popped on Bright Star (followed by Zombieland) and hand stitched the 16 inch zipper into my dress.
Back- Take two,  the back facing was tacked down after this was shot
I am quite happy to say that the dress held up well, even with my 3, possibly 4 hours on the dance floor.

Front- I still need to work on standing like a lady

In action!
So yes, that is my first ever foray into dressmaking and it turned out well in my opinion. I will probably never make this dress again, but I would love to make a tunic length top from it at some point.

That is it for now, hopefully I'll be posting a smidge more often, but I make no promises.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not much sewing going on...

except for this little thing, which will be fully completed tonight or tomorrow. More details and pictures (with accurate color) eventually

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Simplicity 2560...what can I say. It was quick, it was easy and I'll probably make it again at some point.

I made view A, but used the cutting line of view D for the sleeves. The fabric I used was picked up from the local Goodwill, I believe I got at least 3 yards of it for 99 cents on two color Tuesday. It is a very light weight knit jersey with clear sequins(not a whole bunch but enough). To be honest I didn't notice the sequins until I got the fabric home and I was a tad put off on the fabric when I discovered them. I figured I'd use it to test out the pattern, but after trying it on I am in love with it.

{Simplicity 2560}
The sequins are more subtle than I originally thought and as long as I pair it with more neutral pieces I think I can get a lot of daytime wear out of it.
Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the remaining yardage.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh how I love thee Christmas Tree Shop

I arrived at my place place of employment early yesterday, so I decided to walk around the nearby Christmas Tree Shop store to kill some time. I picked up some awesome nail polish and strolled around the book section. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this book on the shelf with the price tag of $3.99.


A few months back I looked it over in Barnes & Nobles and put it back. There are some nice pieces in it and the software that comes with it allows you to input your own measurements for a customized pattern, but I could not justify buying it at the time. Into the basket it went, it was then joined by this book with the price tag of $1.99


I consider the BBC version of What Not to Wear to be vastly superior to the American version of the show. It really all boils down to the hosts, I find Trinny and Susannah to be more likable than Clinton and Stacey, simple as that. The fashions book may be slightly dated(especially the trendy pieces) but still gives some solid advice on dressing well. Gotta love unexpected bargains.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Once upon a time

We all know this story, once upon a time I wrote a post promising pictures of some recently finished projects. Then life got busy the way life typically does, I was forced to choose between sewing and posting. I chose to sew. Now things have slowed down a bit, so I figure I can start working on posting some of my completed projects.

 I used Simplicity 2594 view A, but opted not to make the tie due to the busy print of the purple paisley fabric that I chose. Instead I figured I can use my one and only wide belt to cinch in the waist.


{Belted Front}

{Belted Back View}

The pattern came together quickly, instructions were easy to follow. I cut a size 10 for the top and graded out to a 12 from the waist down.

One shirt down, four more to go. I hope to post those all by the end of April, but I think we know how that goes. For now I'll leave you with a picture of Gatsby, the laziest bunny in the Capitol District.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Still Kicking

First off I want to say that it has been so freaking beautiful outside for the past week and I love it. This early spring weather has most certainly helped motivate me to start thinking about spring/ summer wardrobe pieces that I would like to make.

The last time I posted I was venting slightly about my wrinkly fitting pants. Since then I have picked up Palmer and Alto's Pants for Real People and have spent many nights since trying to absorb all of the fitting knowledge that it contains before I start another pair of pants. That being said I have been able to accomplish quite a bit of sewing these past few weeks- 4shirts woohoo! Of course I still need pictures for three of the  four shirts but that is besides the point.

 The first shirt I made was simplicity 3789 view B. I had been very intimidated by this pattern ever since I picked it up last spring...I mean come on it has a collar and buttons.

 I wanted to play it safe and make a muslin out of a lightweight bed sheet before using any of my nicer fabric. The shirt, to my surprise, was relatively easy to make. The instructions for the button placket required a few re-re-readings but I eventually caught on. I made a size 14 according to my bust measurement and it turned out to be somewhat roomy, next time I think I will make a 12.


In addition to going down a size I would like to bring the shoulder line in a bit so that it rests on my shoulder at the pivot point rather than at the end of my shoulder. I have a feeling if I do that that I'll look a little less linebacker-y.

 By next week hope to have pictures of the other shirts I have made, but I make no promises. If I still have my sewing mojo intact after a week of working for the man I'm going to focus on production rather than pictures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh crud...

It has taken me one week to write this post about my first completed attempt to make real pants, and I think I'm going to use the word "crotch" as many times as I possibly can because I find it to be a fun word. Here we go!

What I wouldn't give for a well fitting pair of pants, a pair that doesn't require constant tugging at the belt loops (despite wearing a belt) to prevent the waistband of my medium rise pants from slipping half way down my rear and simultaneously thwart the crotch seam's attempt to migrate down to my knees. I live my life in pants and I spend it constantly tugging and pulling and readjusting. Sitting down is the worst thing ever, it requires holding on to the waistband while descending, if I don't do this the waistband slips down and once seated the crotch seam will have migrated 2 inches down from were it should be leaving me with all this fabric just stretched out across across my lap. It's not a pretty picture but it is what it is. With that being said I set about to make my first real pair of pants, well at least a muslin. 
The pattern: Simplicity 3850, View A. In retrospect perhaps this style wasn't best suited for my figure, but I loved a lot of the project photos that reviewers had posted on pattern review...I just couldn't help myself.

The pants came together fairly easily, some issues with the fly front zipper but I stuck with it and eventually I got it.I finished them about a week ago and was admiring them in the mirror, I acknowledged that there were some flaws but that is what a muslin is for right? Then I saw the pictures and my bubble burst.Every wrinkle, every flaw hit me at once. I have front crotch wrinkles, under-butt wrinkles, extra fabric pooling right above my butt and very little clue as to where to begin fixing these flaws.And the crotch seam, don't get me started on the crotch seam, I hate the crotch seam.

Still I am determined to find my fit, from what I've gathered there are a few possible alterations I could make.

The first one being a full front thigh adjustment, what can I say? I have muscular thighs that will come in handy when the zombie apocalypse eventually comes. As you can see in the diagram below, the front of my thigh extends past the crotch line which could possibly lead to pulling and whatnot in the front.

The second adjustment I've been pondering is a full inner thigh adjustment. I'm leaning towards this one, I know that much of my RTW pant frustration stems from the fact that I have to buy pants to fit my thighs.Perhaps the wrinkles pictured below have been caused by my fabric stealing inner thighs. Unfortunately I just don't know, and there is only so much internet research I can do before getting all head-achy.

So that is were I am, I'm planning on purchasing Pants for Real People: Fit and Sew for Any Body by Palmer and Alto in the next few days and I will continue my horrible new habit of glancing at the crotches of strangers to see what wrinkles and imperfections they have until the book arrives.
I know won't be able to achieve perfect pants right away but I'm willing to invest some serious time and effort into, because if I leave it up to RTW, I will be 80 years old with my crotch seam hanging down around my calves.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Its 2010, where is my robot?!

This is one of those obligatory New Years resolution posts, nothing major, nothing ground breaking.

To start it off I'll post the unfinished garment that made me feel the need to make said resolutions.

Pattern: Simplicity 4076 - View E
Status: unfinished, unwanted

        1. When buying and choosing fabrics I will take into consideration that I am a 25 year old woman, not a 15 year old girl. I like bright colors and loud prints, but this is just a bit too much.          
        2. Though I don't plan on purchasing tons of fabric this year, I promise to purchase better quality fabric when I do. I purchased this fabric about two years ago from, I'm pretty sure it was from the "everything under $1.95"  section. At least it feels like it was from the 1.95 section.                   
        3. When choosing a pattern I will try to base my decision on what suits my figure, my taste, and my lifestyle. I originally picked up this pattern for the faux-wrap top (views A & B) which I loved. This top was really made out of curiosity about the construction of the twist, I never thought about the fact that I wouldn't wear it due to several factors:
        • The shirt hits a little too high for me.What can I say? I have a long torso and I like to keep my backside covered. I added an inch in length to the pattern anticipating this problem and still it is too short.
        • The deep neck line- I don't really show off "the girls" that much. I'm just more comfortable that way. I knew from the envelope that this shirt had a deeper neckline than I'd like, but still I made the top not taking my personal preferences into account.
        • Those damn bell sleeves- I took an inch off the bell and it is still way too much.
              4.  Finish what I start. Honestly I do not plan on finishing this particular garment due to my dislike for it.   That being said this year I hope to finish more of the projects that I start or have previously started but since lost interest.
           Happy New year and until next time, take care.