Friday, December 31, 2010

Rescued Sweater Recon

I found this sweater at Goodwill a few months ago.  It was huge and long, but I could see the potential in the cute covered buttons and embroidery!  It's also 100% merino wool.

Before (I was a little overeager and had already ripped a sleeve off):

I chopped off the bottom below the buttons, resized the body and sleeves, reattached the sleeves with a little gathering at the top and at a 3/4 length, and made a bottom band out of the extra fabric.

I'm really happy with how it turned out!  The buttons aren't functional, it just slips on.  I thought about adding some colorful embroidery over the existing embellishment, but I think it'd be too much.  What do you think?

Next up: Simplicity 6459 in this gorgeous blue vintage-looking cotton.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Corduroy Dress Disaster?

Well, I guess I should've taken the advice of other reviewers on this one.  I got this brown baby wale corduroy at JoAnn about a month ago and I knew I wanted to make a shirt dress.  I researched shirt dress patterns and even though a bunch of people said the collar on McCall's 4769 was really difficult, I figured I could handle it.  I was so wrong!  The collar stumped me for a good three hours even with the help of my new dress form, Matilda.  I've never made a collar with revers before.  The way I'm used to seems so much easier!  Eventually I ended up fudging it and doing my own thing which sort of works.  Looking at these pictures, I realize just how obvious the discrepancy is between the sides.  Oh well!

Otherwise, the fit of the dress was surprisingly good.  Usually patterns are a little short waisted on me but this hits perfectly.  I chopped a good 5 inches off the length even though I did view E, the shorter length.  I like the sleeves even though they confused me at first.  I did have some issues with fitting the sleeve into the bodice matter how much I tried, I couldn't fit the sleeve in without at least a little gathering showing on the outside.  The bodice is also a little big on me, but I don't mind the extra space so much.

I like the look of this dress and I'm mostly satisfied with the finished product, but I won't be making this pattern again and wouldn't recommend it to others.  There must be an easier shirt dress pattern out there!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sketchbook Cover for Dad

My dad told me he wanted a new sketchbook for Christmas, but I wanted to find a way to personalize it a bit.  I found this free tutorial at Bloom and adapted it for an 8.5" x 11" book.  I used a quilting cotton from JoAnn's and some fusible fleece, and did some simple embroidery on a few of the leaves.

The thin brown border wasn't intentional...the tutorial was fantastic, but somehow when I basted it together and tried it on the sketchbook for the first time is was about .5" too short on the top and bottom.  Agh!  I added the brown linen to compensate, but it isn't as neat as I would've liked.  Oh well, I don't think my dad will be too critical.  I think next time I'll make one for my planner!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to life!

Whew.  I guess it's been awhile.  Actually, I guess it's been a full quarter.  School kept me pretty busy and then I got mono around Thanksgiving.  I'm home for break now (and feeling much better!) and I'm working a lot but am still finding time to sew.  I whipped up my version of Simplicity 2512, the immensely popular Cynthia Rowley skirt, in about 2 days.

The only changes I made were eliminating the tie and the binding at the hem.  Instead, I finished the hem with some yellow lace from my Oma's stash.  I sort of made up the technique...I'm not sure if it's legit or not, but it works!  I also added a tiny bow at the front to cover up my less-than-perfect binding.

I tried my first-ever handpicked zipper, and it worked okay.  It looked good until I tried it on and realized that the fabric didn't quite meet all the way at the top.  Oh well!

I love this pattern and will probably be making it many more times.  I'm thinking a spring version next, or maybe one in some pretty brocade.