So 2011 trip to Singapore I bought all of this great fabric with really only ideas in my head of what I wanted to do with it. I also had only just received my sewing machine from my father-in-law and really would have to learn how to sew all over again. I hadn't truly tackled a project since 7th grade.
Love this fabric!
I am in love with maxi dresses, maxi skirts, and well dresses in general so I knew that's what I would be making. first project was to take a t-shirt and attach a skirt to it sounds easy enough right? Well no not really. For one I had never worked with this silky fabric before and man is it slippery and you are paranoid because you don't want to ruin it with too many holes.
No close-ups please. I'm sans makeup!
As you can see I so wish it was longer.
I had help doing the math to get the right measurements from my best friend. She's amazing and much more experienced than I when it comes to sewing. We did an a line style dress. So really just made sure that the widest part was at least 2 inches bigger than my hips. This fabric has no stretch whatsoever so it had to be wide enough for me to walk easily. I just sewed up the sides and than attached it to the t-shirt that I had trimmed about 2 inches from the armpit. In hind site I wish it was longer. I should have overcompensated how long I wanted it and than hemmed it. Also I only wanted gathering in the back with a little gather just under the bust. didn't quite accomplish that and instead it is just really bunchy in the back more than I would like, but I made the top of the front piece slightly narrower since I wasn't going to gather it. The more fabric you use the fuller it will be and the more gathered. Hopefully that didn't come off too confusing. I always say every project I learn something and I think I learned a hundred on this one. Next time will be better including making sure I love the t-shirt I use and that it isn't too see thru! Luckily I have two of the same t-shirt so I just double up when I wear it.
A back view
This sight has a great tutorial on how she did her daughter's dress. And even has links to another site for adult size.
Close up of my band.
For my band I didn't want it tied in the back so I made a flat front band with elastic in the back. I don't have an easy way to describe how I did it and didn't take pictures, but this site shows you how if you have stretchy fabric. There is also this site which shows you another way using elastic thread. What I have learned is there is a ton of ways to do it and personal preference is key. Plus the fabric you choose helps to determine which way you should go. When in doubt you don't even need a waistband throw on a cute chunky belt and your good to go.
For my slippery fabric I had to use the no fray fabric stuff on all of the edges. I don't have a serger and this was a pain because you have to be so careful not to get it anywhere else because it makes it hard. Overall I love my dress and get compliments every time I wear it. And it was my first project with my new sewing machine! Success!
Flat Front Pocket Pants
So I decided to set aside Mondays as my project posts. Seeing as I tend to do a lot of them. Lately they've been sewing projects and today was no different. This time I took on a project for Maddox. I had this fabric for what seems like forever so I thought I would finally put it to use before he grew out of it! Although I probably have enough for another project.
I found this pattern online and thought it sounded simple enough why not give it a go.
The pockets probably gave me the hardest time. Sounds ridiculous I know, but put of my was going, "I could so make internal pockets in a snap. Why am I making exposed pockets?" I know they started out the same size, but then I accidentally sewed them both the same way and then had to take the one apart and fix it. Ugh! Somehow in the process I had one pocket slightly bigger than the other. So then I had to somehow fix them the same size again. Let's just say that every time I do a project I learn something new which is probably why I keep sewing. It challenges me. Not because I have some sort of magical skill.
I changed the pattern in two areas. First? I only had 1/2 inch elastic and I was going to go out and get 1 inch so I adjusted the band size. Two? I added cotton ribbon to the front by sewing one edge at the seam and then again close to the middle. Repeated on both sides and tied in the middle. Still unsure if I will sew it in place so it doesn't come undone. I guess I will have to see how I like it. I also listened to the advice and made it extra long so that he could grow into it.
He loves them and says the are so comfy. Good thing he is so skinny because the pattern was perfect in the waist and I even cut it a 1/4 in. past the pattern.
Will definitely do this again I found this website where she made corduroys and added funky rocker pockets to the back. And they are green Maddox's favourite colour. I will have to keep an eye out for green fabric that I like.
Jersey and Cotton Zipper Backed Dress
Ok. So I have been on a sewing craze for the past few years. Teaching myself to sew all over again. Definitely bumps along the way, but with help from a friend and the world wide web things are going pretty good. I almost can't wait for another trip overseas so I can stock up on more fabric for my projects. Last week I made a dress for McKayla. I used a Burda pattern #9489.
I mostly followed the pattern except I gave it more of a cap sleeve instead of being sleeveless, I added lining to the skirt and finished out the insides much nicer, and I made the back zipper a more exposed look since that seems to be the trend these days. I also liked the colour of my zipper.
Sewing with jersey knit was a first for me and the biggest learning experience for me on this project. I think I sewed the binding around the sleeves and the neck 4 times. Ugh! I know but seeing as I altered the sleeves it's not surprising it took me a few tries to get the length figured out. Biggest lesson learned binding smaller than opening and must pull tighter around curves than straight places. Lesson learned and perhaps when I am not frustrated with it anymore I might redo it. Or not as I am really the only one to look close enough and care that it's not perfect. Learning to modify patterns has been a great learning experience too. Especially when you need it smaller in some areas and longer in others. Definitely takes patience and a good eye to not go crazy. Sometimes I feel like I am putting together one of those big lego projects which has instructions, but you can't quite see what it's talking about because the colour is wrong or you've missed a piece. The challenge is fun for sure.
McKayla loves her new dress and now we have to find the perfect belt for her to where with it. So I guess that's all that is important. When the kids start school I will really be able to improve my skills. The best part of making things they are one of kind and made with love and she appreciates them. Because let's face it it is so much easier to go out and buy a new dress. Although I am not sure if I am the only one who finds it hard to find things out there that are cute,affordable, appropriate, and in her size! Sizing is a big problem out there. If your a mom and feel my frustration then you know why I go through all the trouble of making clothes.
I used leftover fabric from last years Halloween costumes for most of the capes. Maddox's was yellow fabric I found in a scrap bin and then I went out and bought the black fabric which lucky for me was on on clearance for only $4 a meter which is a big deal living here in Canada where things tend to be more expensive and not have major sales. I used an old cape Maddox already had for the pattern and than after cutting I used iron on seam glue to seal the hems. A little time consuming, but I didn't want the fabric to fray and I also didn't want to used 2 yards of fabric for every cape!
I used the computer to create an oval stencil and the found mask and letter stencils on Martha Stewart's website which I used to create the felt masks and monogram letters for each kid. For the masks I used grommets and elastic thread. They worked perfectly.
iron on fabric glue
Each kid was able to design it the way they wanted and using tacky glue they put it together. I do recommend sewing them on to make sure they stay put, but once again I was going to sew on ovals and letters for 12 kids. Especially given my time constrain of three days!
Bags I put cape and mask in plus all the green candy I could find.
Maddox loves his super heroes and the Hulk is one of his favourites. I actually think he is most like the Hulk. Thinks his huge Hulk is actually huge, favourite color is green Hulk is green, has a temper, will get angry and scream and punch, and enjoys smashing things.