Friday, March 24, 2017

New Dress! The Littlest Studio: Free Dress Pattern

Friends! I made this dress! I made this dress with a friend in an afternoon!

I was trying this whole brown shoes with black clothes thing.
Please excuse the weirdness.
When digging for projects on Pinterest I immediately put this looker on the fast track. My friend, Veronica, has mentioned she would like to learn more about machine sewing and I thought this easy pattern would be a great start to give her, and myself, confidence. Its only four pieces and you get a pattern for the extremely flattering circle skirt, which you can use with a bunch of bodices and blouses. Super useful.

Veronica and I picked a Saturday to have a sewathon. I printed the pattern from The Littlest Studio. We made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to buy material and got excited. The Saturday came and I packed my machine up and went over to her place. (Speaking of, I love my travel box. I have moved so much and I don't have a dedicated sewing area so being able to protect my expensive machine is marvelously useful.)

Cutting the pattern pieces is a snap. And ponte, the fabric that we used, doesn't fray so hemming is much easier. Ponte is like a heavier, yoga pant-like fabric that smoothes out your figure and keeps it in place. I love it and I want to make everything out of it. Even my husband noticed the weight. It gives the skirt a beautiful drape. The Littlest Studio gives a rundown on stretch stitches which is very helpful for begining stitchers. Veronica and I used a zigzag stitch because her machine had that as its only stretch stitch option and I think that our sturdy material didn't need a more delicate stitch. However I recommend taking a scrap piece of fabric and making that decision for yourself. This pattern calls for elastic to stabalize the weight of the fabric. We thought about skipping this step but don't! It is very worth it especially with ponte.

Another lovely aspect of this pattern is that it gives you a handy pattern to figure out the waist cut out. You can easily draft your own circle skirt pattern by figuring out the circumference of your waist or just use this extemely simple pattern. Woot.

I own a dress that looks just like this from H&M. That dress is made of crap material and pilled right away. I had to make darts in the bust to better fit me anyway! So I spent the same amount of money, around $25, on good material and about 4 hours of my own time to make a dress that I'll keep for years as opposed to the H&M dress which looks like garbage and was probably made in a sweatshop.

This project is a total win! I love it and I feel pretty in it. And the skirt twirl is exceptional!


Monday, March 13, 2017

How did I spend January?

I know February is a tad bit late when starting the conversation on a 2017 long project. However! I was finishing up some projects for other people before I had the clear slate and mind to start my own work.

I have an acquaintance who dreams big. We work on costume-y projects for Burning Man and it's smaller events. In the past, I have created for him a sweatsuit dino costume and a highly decorative naval officer jacket. This time around I made Pac-man lingerie for a friend of his. The costume world takes all kinds. It is three pieces: Bra with Pac-man chasing Mrs. Pac-man, panty with ghost, and skirt that does a little peek-a-boo with the ghost.

Aprons in Progress
My aunt often goes to comic book and anime conventions as Carousel Accessories (though she is on the edge of a rebranding), selling really cute stuffed animals and other cute goodies. She asked me to make her some clothespin aprons (basically a big pocket) for easy cash transactions and a place to put business cards. Which was a total blast because I could add trims and bobs to dress them up! And I got to use those adorable cartoony cottons from Jo-Ann's and I always oogle and never have a reason to use. They came out super cute!

But now that these are off my plate I CANNOT wait to start projects for me! And the wait is almost over! My next post with definitely be my first new garment of 2017!!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My New Favorite Resource: The Library!

As I started to delve into finding patterns for myself I, of course, tripped headlong into Pinterest where I found some really interesting online pattern retailers. But I also pinned some patterns found in books. With my trusty, rusty library card I did some searches and came out with a few new books in my request list.

THIS MEANS! That you can rent pattern books from the library and make copies of the pattern pieces kept in the envelope in the back! What a terrific discovery! I feel like I've been telling everyone who will listen this week about my new-found favorite part of the library. (Note: I will be following this up with a How To on copying patterns from books)

I had kind of forgotten the section of the library that had coffee table books detailing the careers of fashion designers but as I browsed I also found more pattern books, auto and biographies of designers, treatises on gender and fashion, and several books by Tim Gunn!

I am certainly obsessed! This photo is just one of several similar piles. Have you found anything as useful or empowering at the library?


Monday, February 13, 2017

Back in the hot seat again!

I am not the kind of girl who thinks you need to wait until New Years Eve to make a big change. But I do like to use the new year to fine tune my hobbies. A few years ago I made it my goal to read a book a week. Which seems ambitious but it helped me assess how I was using my free time. Like "Hey Brittany, how long have you been on facebook? Do you think this time would be better spent with your nose in a book?"

The stack of fabric waiting to be pants and jumpers!
So I have decided that this year I want to make and alter more of my own clothes. I have done pretty well buying clothing from thrift stores and altering them to fit my figure but I have seriously slacked on the alterations that ended up in a pile in my closet-re: loose buttons, worn spots, broken zippers. And I cannot ever remember the last time I made something from scratch for my closet!

I've decided to blog through 2017 to keep myself honest and to remember what I learned! Let's be honest 365 days is a long time. I'll certainly forget stuff!

I started by pinning like crazy! I posted pictures of fashion I dig with no patterns under Get Dressed! and pictures of fashion with patterns under Sew What. I bought a few of those patterns that haven't any buttons or zippers. Let's start easy! And they are mostly wrapped garments and jumpers. I've got specific tastes.

I'm so jazzed! I have already stacked the To Sew list! 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Halloween Craft/DIY/Everything Sites

Hey Malloweenies,

Instructables has a great Halloween thread. Its got a bit of everything too! Make up tutorials, cool decor tips, snacks, pumpkin carving. You won't regret it.

Brit+Co has really great tutorials on Halloween crafts and costume ideas. I've always liked how Brit+Co's team isn't super professional and glossy with their crafts. They look like anyone can, and has, done them.

So You Think You're Crafty (who once hosted BK in their competition) did a Halloween contest in their 17th season.

How About Orange's Halloween paper crafts are amazing. So cute and so versatile.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thrift Store Costumes

Hey Costume Ceepers,

I love pulling together a Halloween outfit from the thrift store because you can get a better quality and more authentic version of your chosen costume character than if you buy it from the store. If you take like $10 bucks in, I bet you can get a great costume. The trick here is creativity. Any of these can be turned into a zombie.

A dude and a Fortune Teller
Tourist: Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts, any camera with a strap (can be broken); Bonus detail: Fanny pack

Fortune Teller: Long skirt, blousey top, scarf; Bonus detail: Chunky jewelry

Bride (Miss Havisham)/Disney Princess: Any bridal or prom dress; Bonus Detail: The signifiers of your character usually a necklace/crown/veil

Professor (could be a Harry Potter thing if you find a black graduation robe which thrift stores love to trot out before Halloween): Tweed suit or jacket; Bonus detail: Patches on the elbows, colors of your HP house

Rosie the Riveter: Blue work shirt (men's dress shirt), bandanna, red lipstick; Bonus Detail: Voice bubble

Lady Liberty
Grunge Rocker: Flannel worn open with a concert/band tee or while tee, baggy jeans (holes option but recommend), wear hair down; Bonus Detail: Guitar Hero guitar

Marley from Xmas Carol: Grey suit, buy plastic chains at Home Depot, dark grey spray paint; Bonus Detail: Scarf around the head

Sherlock Holmes: Trench, two baseball caps (one pointing forward the other backward; Bonus Detail (twofer): Cover the baseball caps with some plaid or tweed, pipe.

Have a blast and please send photos of your Halloween costumes!!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spoonflower Design Contest: Pies!

Pumpkin Pie !! by demigoutte
Hey Fabric Fiends,

Spoonflower's most recent contest is Pie themed! Check out my Spoonflower Pinterest page to see my votes. I tend to lean towards two groups, geometric and cutesy pie designs. I always love the 50's like designs with a ton of tiny images in a design. But the design above was my number one favorite, Pumpkin Pie !! by demigoutte. I love that it looks a bit Halloweenie in its color scheme.