Sunday, January 25, 2009

My First T-Skirt

I have a surplus of weird t-shirts lying around right now, and after doing some research online this morning, I found the perfect project to rid me of my t-shirt clutter - The T-Skirt!!!

So, I chose these three shirts:

And in less than 2 hours I created this:

And look who got "Sergio" to behave today:

I am mostly pleased with how the skirt turned out, but I really need to be more meticulous with my waistband measurements next time. I ended up making the band too big, and I had to use elastic (blech). It looks okay (even though I didn't include it in any of these pictures), but I want to do a better job next time. Here are my potential future skirts:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dress #3

As you can see, when I'm back in the swing of things I become consumed. As a matter of fact, if my sewing area wasn't right next to The Bear's bedroom I would be starting my next project right now. But, since I can't sew anymore tonight, I thought I would post the pics of the dress I put together this afternoon. Hot off the ironing board:

I put these fabrics together today after being bored by the combinations I had already put together. The magenta fabric (gotten for free from MIL, btw) was originally paired with a different material for a shorts outfit, but I really wanted to use the yellow, and they go so well together!!

Now, since I have used this pattern a few times before, the pieces were already cut, so that shaved some time off my total. Total time = 3 hours

Total cost = $1.00 (previously used pattern, clearance yellow fabric, free magenta fabric)

Back in the game...

So, after a slight hiatus due to ribbon indecision, I finally finished dress #2. This is the ribbon I ultimately chose:

I am very pleased with how the dress turned out. These pictures are kind of crummy, but the ribbon provides the perfect kooky contrast to the fabric:

And I added a little dragonfly embellishment at the collar to indicate the front of the dress (since I don't use tags).

I actually serged the first two tiers of the skirt, but then "Sergio" threw a temper tantrum, so I left the last tier raw. With the ribbon being sewn on, the edge of the seam is pretty well tucked, resulting in minimal fraying (I hope).
The time on this dress was a little longer than the last one because of my putzing around with the serger, but I don't think I surpassed a total time of 5 hours from pattern cut to final stitch.
Total cost = $1.99 (I bought the ribbon on clearance with a gift card, so that was FREE!!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Serger Struggle

So, project #2 for the pretty pretty princess' handmade wardrobe is this dress:

Made out of this fabric (I know, super cute):

And since the pattern involves some of this stuff (see below), I thought it would be cool to break out the hand-me-down serger.

Here is the demon machine born in the fiery pits of hell:

What's that you say? It looks like a regular, innocent serger? Hmmm.... Really? DID YOU SEE THIS????:

Yeah. That's right. Thread routes that look like a Boston street map (planned by the devil himself, of course). I thought I could handle it. I was positive and optimistic (totally outside my usual demeanor), and I had an owner's manual. What could go wrong?? hour and a half later I found myself verbally bludgeoning the machine with a barrage of expletives while I cradled my bruised fingers. The damn thing wouldn't create a chain. It was laughing at me, mocking me, and injuring me, BUT NOT MAKING A CHAIN. You're a serger! Your sole job in life is to make a chain! What good is a serger that doesn't interlock the thread? I hate you, machine! You are the bane of my existence!!
And then my resident hotty handyman took pity on his physically (and emotionally) disabled wife and took a stab at getting my nemesis to function properly:

Of course he made it work (which made me dislike him a little bit in a temporary bout of feminist jealousy) and I was full of glee and joy and whatever else I was supposed to feel when a machine chooses to work for stranger rather than its owner.
So, I exacted my revenge on my nemesis by mastering tension, stitch length, and everything else non-threading-related to create the perfect overlock:

If the serger is lucky, I will put it to work on that dress tomorrow. But, I feel like it is still in need of some severe punishment for what it put me through, so I may just use some flat fell seams with my beautiful angel of a Singer right in front of the red-headed stepchild Riccar serger so that it can think about it's behavior.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spring Sew-a-thon...

I finally decided to create a sewing/crafty/crazy thought blog so that I can distinguish my individual identity from the "family picture" blog. Also, I felt like an ass posting my projects between pictures of the kids. Like, "Hey look at me! I'm great too!! I know the kids are cute, but what about meeeeeeee???" Seemed whiny and desperate.

Anywho, here I am, in the midst of January, finally starting on the pretty pretty princess' 2 year old birthday gifts. I trekked to JoAnn's the other day (the nearest one being about as close as China), and I found some super awesome bargains so I thought it would be a good time to start my spring sewing projects.

This is the first dress I have made so far. Well, not the first dress EVER, but the first dress for my niece's 2nd birthday. I will probably end up with about 4 or 5 outfits when I am done, but I am no where near done, so back to this dress..

I loved this cotton linen-y fabric because it has a watercolor/tie dye look too it, and I find that whimsically appealing. But, once I started cutting out pieces I realized that it may be a seizure inducer without some contrast fabric, and that's how the purple brush stroke cotton print ended up in there. But then, the original length of the pattern made the dress mumu-rific, so I cut it down and added some homemade bias tape, and Voila!! How cute are the little tulip-sleeves? (Totally my term, by the way. I am not a professional, and I have no idea what the tulip sleeves are actually called).

I think it's got a peasant girl, bohemian vibe and it is going to make the pretty pretty princess' hazel eyes pop right out!!

I also threw in some flirty stitchery because I'm crazy that way.

And a picture of my expert elastic placement and gathering technique in the sleeves....

Total project time was about 4 hours from pattern cutting to final stitch. Not bad considering that this is a brand new pattern!
Total cost was SUPER CHEAP!! The main fabric was on clearance at JoAnn's, and the clearance was on sale, so I got 3 million percent off and ended up paying, like, $1 per yard. This dress took less than a yard of material, plus the pattern was $0.99 (also on sale), and the thread I got for free from my MIL. Final tally, $1.99. Woo hoo!