Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dye! Dye! Dye! New Life for Vintage Lingerie

You all know that I have a love for all things, Mod, Hippie and '60's and '70's retro.  Earlier this year, a friend who owns an estate sale company had a household of vintage clothing. She felt  the items "screamed my vibe". She was right and I purchased the whole lot. In the lot was a collection of vintage lingerie including, full and half slips, camisoles, house coats, and pant slips. These lovely items reminded me of special occasions as a young girl and getting dressed in slips and pantyhose before leaving the house.

In a day and time where celebrities are "forgetting" to wear underwear, one may think there is no longer a place for these gems of the past. I looked through the lacy, silky, sultry garments and saw that they still had much life in them. After living with these garments for a few months and deciding how to use them, I was struck with a flash of inspiration. I would revitalize them with fabric dye making them wearable as outerwear! The effect of the dye on the fabric increases the opacity reducing the visibility of the under garments beneath.

I am feeling under the weather and am anxious to share this latest project with you. I got one (kinda) good shot before I enlisted the help of a friend to model a sampling of the garments.
Full Slip with Jersey Wrap

 Meet Cheri!

Full Slip dress with  Wrap Cardigan
Full Slip Dress with Denim Shirt
Camisole and Half Slip and Denim Jacket
Camisole and Half Slip and Denim Jacket
Maxi Skirt with Camisole as a scarf. 

I really love the one of a kind nature of each of these items. In making these, I felt like Christmas morning as a child. It was so thrilling to untie, unroll, and untwist each one piece not knowing what patterns would emerge. Some were  just as planned, others exceeded my hopes.

If you want to rock these items from the closet of a naughty Granny, you can! I have listed many of these gems in my Etsy store. Please stop by and take a look at them. I will be adding more to the store as I photograph them. Be sure to add the store to your favorites so you do not miss them.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wardrobe Refashion: Hippie Jeans and a Hobo bag.

On a recent resale shopping trip, I came across this wonderfully embroidered denim shirt. I love all of the elaborate stitches and colors. This heavily embellished shirt is too much for me to wear as is. When I saw it I  immediately thought of retro hippie jeans, I knew I had to use it in a wardrobe refashion.  

I had a pair of well loved flared jeans in my stash and thought this would be a perfect canvas to redesign. Using the fabric from the sleeves, I cut large triangular insets to be sewn to the outside side seam.

I wanted to use as much of the sleeve a possible while maintaining the original hems from both. I tucked the ends under to test the placement of the insert. I pressed it under and trimmed the seam leaving a 5/8th inch seam allowance.

I then traced the insert on the jeans and cut it out.

With right sides together, I stitched the insert to the jeans paying care to pivot at the point.

I also chose to remove the back pockets of the jeans and replaced them with fabric from the back.
To unify the look, I added hand embroidery details to the fly and pocket tops.

The shirt I used was a Chico's 3 (is that a large?). After making my Supa Dupa Fly hippie jeans, I had fabric remaining. Using fabric from the front and back of the shirt, I made a simple hobo bag. I wanted an uncomplicated shape to showcase the embroidery. For that, I chose to modify the Beautiful Belle bag by Amy Butler. I made that bag earlier this year and you can read about it here.  I made this bag larger, omitted the pleating and changed the handles. I lined the bag with denim, included pockets and added a magnetic closure. For this strap, I re-purposed the belt of a suede jacket from my stash.

 The bag is a great size for a busy Mama on the go. I am very pleased with it.

I really like both of these projects. As is becoming a theme of my sewing, I enjoy making things that make me happy and smile. It is an added delight to have people I encounter, smile and share their joy.

Peace (Or not? Apparently, my fingers are pointing the wrong way and I am showing an obscene gesture. So, sorry. I have been playing in fabric dyes this week and my nails are a mess! I was only thinking of that. Oops!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Weird, Wonderful, or WTH? Vogue 1410

Sometimes I come across a pattern and just have to make it. Usually, I am all-in and know exactly what attracts me to it. Other times, I see a pattern and I am simply confused by it and therefore compelled to make it in an attempt to figure it out. Vogue 1410 caught my eye at a recent sale and I was intrigued. The structure of the skirt, the front closure and the variable hem length drew me in.

Vogue 1410
I read a few reviews of this pattern and took those into account when making this. The instructions were extremely easy to follow. I was a bit surprised because the dress looks more complex than it is. There are just two pattern pieces and 16 steps to complete the dress.

The suggested fabrics were: Stretch Poplin, Seersucker, Silk Dupioni, Lt.Wt. Wool Crepe and required 3 yards of 60 inch width. I am working through my stash, so I wanted to use what I had on hand, and chose a cream and tan linen.
Based on other reviews and my style preferences, I made several changes to the pattern construction.

I raised the neckline and armsyce to the height of the largest pattern size to give greater coverage. I cut the body of the dress to a 12, but I could (should) have cut a 10 with no problem.

Upper openings raised about 1.5 inches.

 I made darts in the back rather than the tucking they suggested.
I installed small grommets and used a leather tie for the front closure. 
    This dress is made with french seaming. They are inside anchor points for the buttons that are used to adjust the hem.

    Here is the completed dress with the hem variations shown.

Full Length

Midi Length

Knee Length

Mini Length
I like that I still do not know how I feel about it. Do I like it? Hate it? Is it weird and "look at me!" attention seeking or artsy? I do not know? I enjoy that about it. The versatility in the four hem lengths is delightful. My favorite hem is the mini length, it reminds me of the bubble skirts from the 1980's. I am not sure I like the longest length, it hits below my calf at an awkward point that feels a little wrong. 

This pattern is that is worth the effort for its' quirkiness. It has only 2 pattern pieces and is a fast sew. If you are on the fence, I say jump to the side of doing it. I sew as an expression of creativity and this one helps me do that in a little time.

So, what do you say? Weird, Wonderful or WTH?


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Snowflake Dress a nod to Elsa from Disney's Frozen

I recently had a private sewing student who wanted to make a holiday dress for her granddaughter. She wanted a dress made with  Navy blue, organza, satin, and a large bow sash. For our project, she chose to use McCalls 5795.
Mccalls 5795

This dress is fully lined, has a skirt overlay of organza and a flower and bow sash. It was tricky project for a newbie but, together, we ended up with a very satisfying result. Sorry for the picture quality on this one. This was a test size picture on my daughter, but you get the gist.
Mccalls 5795
Her project got me thinking about making a lovely holiday dress for my Little Miss. The McCalls dress was a lot of work with a lined bodice and three layers of heavy gathering in the skirt. This last fact made inserting the zipper more trouble than I wanted to venture into again. I chose instead to use Simplicity 5704 from my stash. I chose this pattern because it did not require full lining, but also gave various sleeve and neckline options. It was shorter than I wanted but that was easily remedied.

    Simplicity  5704
Simplicity 5704
On a recent trip to Walmart, I found snowflake organza in Turquoise Ice. Given that Frozen mania is still alive and well here, I knew I had to buy it. I paired it with white satin from my stash, I went to work.
Snowflake Organza
Taking inspiration from the McCalls dress I chose to use the organza as an overlay for the skirt and sleeves. I lengthened it to the length of the size 8 and made the rest of the dress is size 5. I also chose to use the sash from the McCalls pattern. The McCalls dress uses facings for the bodice rather than full lining. Here is the completed dress.
Snowflake Dress

Sleeve Detail

I cut the overlay 3 inches longer than the skirt.

I finished the hem with a 3-thread rolled napkin edge.

Every princess needs a tiara.
Best of all, it is great for playtime!

Project Breakdown:

Pattern and Fabric cutting time: 45 minutes.
Approximate Fabric Yardage: 2.5 Yards
Approximate Sewing time: 3 hours
Additional Elsa Inspired Dresses Seen here:
Grateful hugs, kisses and cuddles: Endless

Happy Sewing,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Zipper Phobic Snap Clutch Tutorial

I recently received an awesome package of goodies for the Flickr Swap for which I made this pouch. My generous partner sent me all the loveliness seen below.
In addition to the selvedge pin cushion, fabric basket, fat quarters, covered measuring tape, she included two wonderful pencil cases for my kids. These cases were such a hit with my kids! They open with a pull tap and snap closed like a magnet. It is perfect for little hands that fumble with zippers. 


I loved them so much I asked my swap partner where she purchased the magnetic closure. I was gobsmacked when she shared that it opens and stays closed using the metal from a hardware store measuring tape!  She told me of a pattern I could purchase, but I immediately knew I could figure out how to make another using her wonderful cases as an example. 

I made my grown-up version of the bag using fabric I received in a care package from a friend. 

Here are the steps I used to make it:

My exterior fabric is a mid-weight home decor variety that did not require interfacing. You may choose to stabilize light-weight fabric for added structure.
Seam Allowance= 1/4 inch

Cut a rectangle of fabric from your exterior fabric and a rectangle of fabric from the lining making the lining fabric 5 inches longer. This will give 2.5 inches on either side of the exterior.

Press a crease down the lengthwise center of the right side of the exterior to mark the center. Make a triangular pull tab from fabric of the lining by cutting 4 triangles. Stitch the pair right sides together, flip and press. Alternatively, you can use 3 inches of ribbon folded in half on each end. With raw edges even, pin to edge of center crease.

For the strap, cut 12x 2 of lining fabric. Stitch right sides together, flip and press. Fold and pin on edge on long side of exterior. (I positioned my strap too low. I suggest you pin yours in place at the top, not where it is pictured). Baste tabs and strap in place.

With right sides together, pin only the short edges of lining and exterior together. Stitch.Turn right side out positioning 2.5 inches on each side of the exterior creating a band. Press.

Top-stitch along the lining band 1/4 inch from edge of exterior fabric. Baste along one long side closing one end of the band creating a casing.

Cut 2 lengths of measuring tape 1.5 inches less the length of the casing. Use scissors that will only be used for this purpose as it will dull your "good" scissors. Tape the edges to prevent injury to you or damage to the fabric over time. Insert tape inside the open end of the casing. Put the curve side out toward the exterior and numbers toward the interior of the bag. Repeat on other side.

Fold the bag right side out aligning the top and with raw edges even. Stitch. This will close the other end of the casing. You are almost done and can give the bag a try.

Flip the bag inside out. Stitch the sides again enclosing the previously stitched seam, creating a french seam.

To create a boxed base, pull the bottom corner flat and mark a 1 inch deep line. Stitch. I chose not to trim it down here. The bag is large enough that it will not get in the way when using it.

 Turn right side out and enjoy!

This fun little bag came together fairly quickly. I love the fun of the snappy closure. This is a great project for newbie sewers and those intimidated with sewing zippers. I envision many variations of this bag. A change in fabric and lining options would make this suitable for men, women, and children. Can somebody say for holiday gifts?

Happy Sewing,