A new dress…

Every time I have an evening out, I never have anything to wear (even though I have tons of clothes). Tonight, I am going out to a 1960’s DJ night, and I wanted something fun to wear. I whipped this dress up in about an hour, with materials that were floating around in my stash. The bodice is made of a lovely black material that has a beautiful drape (I used it to make a pencil skirt for my Grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary party last summer) , and the skirt is a 1960’s vintage fabric that I had laying around. I put the two together, using this pattern, and now I have a lovely new dress for my wardrobe. Of course, this is all due to my affiliation with Wardrobe Refashion, it has now been a month and I have not purchased any new clothes. It feels very liberating.

On with the photos!

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Close-up of bodice, good detail of skirt fabric…

new_mod_dress1.jpg

Bottom of skirt still has pins which are holding up my blind hem…

new_mod_dress3.jpg

Dress skirt….please ignore the disaster that is my sewing room!!!

I will be posting again soon…I’ve been working very hard…

November 2, 2007 at 9:48 pm 1 comment

My Mom

I thought I would share this beautiful sweater my mom made for me last Christmas. I have yet an occasion to wear it, this being hot, hot, Texas, and the sweater is quite warm Well, Fall weather is finally here and I can not wait to bust this sweater out! My mom put a lot of time and effort into it, and it really shows. It is absolutely beautiful.

mom_sweater.jpg

Here is a close-up of the detail on the sleeves:

mom_sweater3.jpg

It is knit in Knit Picks Elegance, which is 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% cashmere…sooooo soft. My mom taught me how to knit when I was 7 or 8. I used to love making things, even back then. I stopped knitting for nearly 10 years, until about 6 years ago I picked it up again, with the help of my mom. She is a super good knitter, and now we exchange patterns, tips and more. She helps me out a lot, even though she is 2,000 miles away. Any time I encounter a problem in a pattern, she works through it with me on the telephone!! That is some good parenting, right there. Well, I hope you enjoy my Christmas sweater. I am finishing up a few more projects today, that I will post tonight.

October 30, 2007 at 3:09 pm 11 comments

Refashioned Sweater into Cardigan

I finished a couple more projects over this weekend, including a refashioned sweater into a delightful cardigan! I am still new to blogging, so I am not sure how to put this tutorial into a seperate page (so those that are not interested don’t have to read a super long post!), but I will figure it out soon enough. The project took approximately 2.5 hours to make, and was really fun to do. If you’re interested in a tutorial, see below. If not, here are some before and after pics:

yellowsweater_recon1.jpg

Before, butter- yellow, yet boring cabled sweater…

yellowsweater_recon_20.jpg

Snazzy new cardigan!

(Read on for tutorial….)

Materials Needed:

  • One sweater that fits you well (crew neck or V-neck)
  • 1/2 yard complimentary fabric (cotton works best, look in the quilting section for inspiration!)
  • 1/2 yard light-weight interfacing
  • complimentary thread
  • 4 or 5 matching buttons, depending on size

Total time: 2.5 hours
Total cost: About $3.50 (for fabric; sweater, buttons, interfacing, thread were in stash!)

Step 1:

Prewash and iron all fabric, including sweater. Measure the neck circumfrence of sweater.

yellowsweater_recon_1.jpg

Measure the length of the body of the sweater so you know how long to make the button bands.

yellowsweater_recon_2.jpg

Step 2: Cut your pattern pieces. I used  a peter pan collar template for my collar, but you can use any kind of collar you desire. For the peter pan collar, cut 4 pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of interfacing:

yellowsweater_recon_3.jpg

In addition cut 4 pieces of fabric that are 2.5″ in width and the length of your sweater (mine was 18″, so I added an additional 1/2″ for seam allowances). Cut two matching pieces of interfacing.

(Totally unrelated – my kitten was begging to come in and help me sew <I never let the kittens into the craft room – disaster!>, so I let her in and she instantly fell asleep as she watched me press pattern pieces)

kitten_asleep2.jpg

Step 3: Iron interfacing to pieces of matching fabric. You should have 2 interfaced collar pieces and 2 interfaced button bands.

yellowsweater_recon_4.jpg

Step 4: Match un-interfaced pieces with their interfaced counterparts, right sides together. Pin and stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

yellowsweater_recon_7.jpg

Step 5: Trim edges on button bands, and notch edges of collar pieces, so that they will lie flat when turned right-side out.

yellowsweater_recon_9.jpg

Step 6: Turn pattern pieces right-side out, top stitch if desired (I recommend this).  Press pieces to set stitches. Set aside.

Step 7: Cut a 2.5″ strip out of your sweater, making sure it is centered.

yellowsweater_recon_13.jpg

Step 8: Pin button band pieces along center seams that you just created, right sides together.  Do the same for the other side. Stitch, staying close to edge and press seams towards body of the sweater.

yellowsweater_recon_15.jpg

Step 8: Pin collar pieces to inside of collar seam, matching front of collar so that it sits near the button band. Pin, and stitch in place. Press seam down towards the sweater, flipping collar to other side of the sweater so that the right side shows.

yellowsweater_recon_17.jpg

yellowsweater_recon_18.jpg

Step 9: Mark out placement of button holes and buttons on button band. If you have an automatic buttonhole maker on your machine, use that. Add buttons to other button band so that they match up with holes. Press button bands and collar. You may want to use a few anchoring stitches to hold collar in place. That’s it!

yellowsweater_recon_19.jpg

You could now add matching sleeve cuffs, pockets, or whatever else you want to do.

yellowsweater_recon_21.jpg

Close-up of button band.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can clarify anything. Happy sewing.

October 28, 2007 at 5:36 pm 31 comments

Refashions!

In conjunction with my Wardrobe Refashion promise, I have recently completed a few new refashions for my wardrobe. Lately, I have been aware that I have a lack of shirts to wear. Luckily, after sifting through my “to-do” pile (it’s huge), I found several dresses that I could refashion into shirts to incorporate into my everyday wardrobe.

First, I had this super long (to the floor) knit dress that I bought at an expensive boutique for $4. It was on super clearance because the bodice was tearing and the dress needed repairs. I liked the fabric, so I bought it but never did anything with it. A year later, I fixed the bodice and chopped off the skirt to make this:

geometrictop_recon.jpg

A  super comfy, light-weight knit cami. I also have plenty of leftover fabric to make something else.

Lurking in the pile was this all black, shirtdress with a HUGE circle skirt. I thought the dress was cute, but it was so heavy and black that it made me look like I was going to a funeral. I cut off about 12″ of the skirt and then removed some of the volume by removing strategically cut triangles from the skirt. This created a little blouse that will be perfect for everyday wear:

black_shirt_recong.jpg

The “to-do” pile also contained this dress that I created from a vintage Butterick pattern, however it came out way too big and I couldn’t decide what to do with it.

pinkflowerdress_b4.jpg

 So I turned it into a fresh new top:

pinkflowerdress_recon.jpg

I also tailored a pair of stretchy, flared jeans into skinny jeans!

skinnyjeans.jpg

And that’s all for now! I am slowly working through the pile. Lots more in store, with a couple of tutorials on the way as well. Sorry about the bad quality photos, I really need a new digital camera! Any suggestions?

October 24, 2007 at 5:48 pm 5 comments

Other People Make Stuff, too….

I have been sewing, knitting, and crafting for years, however, there is one art form that I have yet to learn – jewelry making. For some reason, I just have not found the time to learn this craft, nor do I have a desperate desire to do so, mainly because of all the talented jewelry makers that are out there. I prefer to support handmade artisans, if I am able, and here is one artist that has grabbed my attention with her store on etsy, Heatherly Designs. Her pieces are exquisite, some with a very vintage feel, and others more modern. And the prices are incrediably reasonable. Here are some picks of mine (I hope to purchase these after this post!):

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So lovely! And they’re only $12!

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I am already envisioning wearing these everyday of the week….(can you tell I like green?)

etsy_necklace.jpg

This necklace at only $23, would be lovely for the Fall when paired with a chocolate brown tweed wool jumper…

If you know of any other deserving jewelry artists, please let me know. I am always looking for handmade jewelry to accesorize my handmade wardrobe.

October 19, 2007 at 3:10 pm 4 comments

Life always gets in the way…

…of crafting. Sorry I’ve been away. Busy with school, and other menial life tasks. I have found a little time to sneak in some sewing, and I am always knitting something while I watch TV at the end of the night to unwind. I recently finished knitting these little gloves from Knitty. I used the recommended yarn, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. A lovely yarn, it only takes one skein of yarn, or in my case, a little bit over one skein. I extended the glove to make it longer for those colder nights, but if you follow the pattern exactly, one skein of yarn will do it! That means these glove only cost about $7 to make, and about 2 hours of your time. They make an excellent gift, as well.

fetching_gloves2.jpg

I will be knitting a couple more pairs of these babies for friends and classmates.

I am also working on a lovely quilt (that’s what you see in the background!) for my etsy store that I recently opened. There is nothing there yet, but I intend to choc it full of handmade goodies, including this lovely, queen-sized quilt…

orange_quilt2.jpg

It’s made with the most deliciously soft burnt orange “suede”….I would like to keep it for myself. I will post a photo when it is complete!

Lastly, I am working on a couple new jumpers for Fall, with this pattern:

jumper_pattern.jpg

It is the easiest pattern I have ever worked with, I think I whipped this gem up in under an hour! It was a teensy bit too large for me, so I have some altering and finishing to do, and then, another post with photos. Promise.

October 17, 2007 at 4:27 pm 2 comments

See? I still make stuff…

Yes, I know. I’ve been away for a little while, not my intentions but that’s what happens sometimes. The good news is I have a few new projects that I’ve finished as I enter week #2 of my Wardrobe Refashion. I am happy to report that I have not purchased any new clothing, however, I did break down and buy some new fabric….oh well.  On to my projects!

I made a simply short jacket with kimono style sleeves from this pattern, view A:

mccalls_pattern.jpg

I thought I would really love it, made up in some steel blue corderoy fabric.

short_jacket1.jpg

I have not finished  it yet, I still need to hem the edges and add a button at the collar. It didn’t take me very long, although the directions could be a bit more explicit. I don’t love the way it looks on me; it is just super baggy (that’s the style, Erica…) so I may play around with it a little more.

short_jacket2.jpg and one more…. short_jacket3.jpg

Secondly, I made a dress from this pattern:

simplicity_pattern.jpg

Yes, of course I know that isn’t a dress pattern, per se, but I just did a few simple changes and voila! A new dress:

plaid_dress_finishes.jpg

Details on the changes: Very simply, you extend the hem line from the bodice to any length you desire. I added 9 inches to mine and it hits me right at the knee.

plaid_dress2.jpg

Make sure you cut both your front and back pieces to the same length. Then you can finish the pattern with the normal instructions. I love this pattern! I am not so crazy about this particular fabric pairing with this dress, but it fits well. I would love to create a knit dress with a different fabric for the collar and sleeves. This pattern is really adaptable and is a great purchase. I can’t wait to make something else from it.

plaid_dress_bodixe.jpg

Close-up of bodice

One last thing! I knit a handbag from a Knitting Daily pattern (if you haven’t signed up already, what are you waiting for?). I chose Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Rose. It was only around $5 for two skeins and I didn’t even use all of it! The bag knit up rather quickly, seaming and lining took about 2 hours. Although the pattern called for knitting needles instead of binding off, I decided to do the latter and attach a vintage button for closure.

knit_bag.jpg

Things I would change? I would make the handles shorter, make the bag wider and shorten this as well. It is really roomy, though! I can’t wait to use it…

To line a knitted bag, I just measured some fabric (you will only use about 1/4 of a yard) with my knitted bag piece comme ca,

knit_bag_project.jpg

And then press down the top edge to conceal any raw edges:

knit_bag_project2.jpg

And then handstitch it into your bag. Tres simple.

I know this post is just overflowing with photos, but here is one more. My new fabric purchase, Amy Butler Nigella. This print is HUGE and I have 1 1/2 yards from a 64″ bolt, plenty to do a number of things, but what should I make?

butler_fabric.jpg

On a last note, I need a new digital camera. xo.

October 8, 2007 at 7:56 am 6 comments

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