Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Susie Homemaker

Aprons, man.
Living in a major city near dozens of thrift stores for most of my life, I had no appreciation for the utility of a kitchen apron. Why put on another article of clothing before I cook, when I could just replace my tomato-sauce-stained t-shirts at the local thrift for less than $1? It didn't make sense. But, now that I live out in the boonies where thrift stores are scarce and clothes are expensive, I get it. So, when I finally stumbled upon this "tutorial" for a "Flirty Apron," I dove into it with gusto!

 The red apron was my first experience following the measurements and instructions provided to me. The belt straps were insanely long, the pocket doesn't really make sense on the front (and it is way too big to be practical), and that bottom ruffle is just not my style.

So, I made the sunflower apron with my own adjustments - rick rack instead of ruffle, side pocket (with a quickie applique), and shorter straps at the waist. I accidentally made the neck strap a little long on this one, but it's not a huge issue.
 One of the things that I most appreciate about this particular design is that it is so basic and infinitely embellishable (is that a word? It is now.). Also, this project is a great way to use up my ever-accumulating scraps!
Now I just have to find a place to keep them in my crowded kitchen. :P

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Soopah Star!

 I have been looking for a good "palazzo"-style pants pattern for awhile now.  Most of the styles that I have come across are elastic waist versions, and I am NOT into elastic waist. I know that a lot of people enjoy the comfort and versatility of elastic in their pants, but I hate it. It's so bulky and scrunchy and gross. So, when I came across this Simplicity pattern I was geeked about the fitted waist, wide-leg pant style.
 I had a lovely lightweight cotton blend fabric that would be perfect for this project, but I have serious fitting issues when I sew. It seemed like making a muslin would be the smart thing to do, and I had this TRULY HEINOUS polyester-type, red, granny fabric that entered my home mysteriously. I honestly do not remember where on Earth I would have gotten it from.
 Anyway, once I had sewn up the muslin, the fit was so AMAZING that I couldn't justify tossing this garment away. I mean, yeah the fabric is not my favorite, but it's not like people don't wear polyester pants (they still do, right?). The red was slightly off-putting, but I figured I could jazz it up a little to suit my tastes.
 And, so I did. I thought of dip-dying the hems, but...polyester. Instead, I grabbed my fabric markers and made a star stencil, and away we went....
Obviously, this fabric doesn't drape that well, but I'm cool with it. I also made a black pair for work from that lovely cotton, but after embellishing the muslin my intended pair seem so BORING! The red "practice" pair are my fave right now. The crotch could come up a smidge on this pattern, but they are still incredibly comfortable and SO FUN to wear!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Top That Shall Not Be Named..

 I had grand plans and high hopes for this super cute summer top pattern that I picked up at Goodwill several months ago.  This style caught my eye because I love the idea of the fitted bodice with flowing skirt portion. Plus, since the bust area is separately constructed from the bottom section I figured that I could scale the fit better to my 30" rib cage and 36" bust.
I found the perfect lightweight synthetic fabric in my stash, and I actually spent some time fussy-cutting to get the painted design showcased in key areas.  But, once I got the bodice put together, I tried it on and realized that it was WAAAAAAY too low cut. I mean, this goes beyond tasteful cleavage and into the might-as-well-be-wearing-pasties realm.
 The rest of the pieces had already been cut out, and I was conflicted about whether or not to bother finishing this. I knew that there was no way in hell I would ever wear this top, but I hated that I was wasting all that time and effort that I spent cutting and planning.  So, I finished it....sorta.
 As you can see, I didn't install the zipper. But, I did spend SO MUCH TIME doing stupid rolled hems along all 4 stupid sides of all 4 stupid panels on stupid, gauzy, synthetic fabric.  And, when I tried it on again (because I'm terrific at convincing myself that things aren't THAT bad), it turns out that the lack of boob coverage wasn't even the worst of this style on me. Those gathered panels gave me a ridiculous potato shape. Ugh!
I'm not even sure what to do with this thing now. I'm not wasting a zipper on it, but I hate to toss it. I'll probably just throw it in my scrap pile and salvage the fabric down the road for something else.

As for the pattern - I could probably fix the pattern to have better coverage, but I really have no business wearing this style. Any tops that don't cut in at the waist just make me look frumpy. I knew that before going in to this, but we've discussed my poor decision-making and delusional optimism previously. I'm sure this wont be the last time that I make something so terribly inadequate for my shape.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

 I wear t-shirts all of the time. I pair them with hooded sweatshirts in the cold weather which means that I am basically a grown woman that dresses like a lazy teenager because knits are just SO COMFORTABLE!! So, I thought I would make myself a knit top that was a little more adult.
 This McCall's pattern was just as easy as the claim on the envelope. I made view "F" which has these beautiful drapey folds that cascade down from a low neck.
 There is a band at the bottom that creates a "blouson" effect (McCall's word, not mine) which also hugs my hips just right. The medium size fit really well with no alterations.
 This top requires a tank top or camisole underneath. Any lining top with a sleeve gets caught up at the shoulders and makes the drape weird. I'm wearing a tank in the photos. (Ignore the wonky shoulder. I have no mirror in my sewing room). 
 Sadly, the side view is a little too "maternity" looking for my taste.
I don't know about this one, guys. It's very comfortable in a lightweight knit, but the shape that it gives me makes me self-conscious. If I settle the band higher on my hips it looks frumpy, but if I pull it down I get a belly pooch that looks like a baby bump. This is what happens when I try to adult!!!