Wednesday, March 19, 2008

T-Shirt Surgeries

It was not lack of anything to post that prevented any updates this time. No: it was, yet again, that camera cable. I really need to work on keeping track of that. But here I am now, with two pretty recons to show!

I actually have a before picture, I was so proud of myself for remembering. This first one was a thrifted tee which I got from either Goodwill or a consignment shop. It says "Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France" in flowing script on the front. My original plan was to just edge the bottom and neckline in the black & white fabric and make princess puff sleeves for it, but it evolved into something rather different.

You can't see it very well, but after chopping the shirt in half (which was oddly satisfying) and sewing the wide strip of jersey in, I... well, I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but I took the fabric in a little. You can kind of see in the below picture. But anyway, I added a cute little bow, and called it macaroni.
No before pictures for this lovely top, but the after pictures make up for it. :) This is currently my favorite shirt, and yes, I'm keeping it! I'll make more like it to sell, but I just loved it and I need something nice to wear tomorrow. Anyway, it was a size large thrifted tee from our local thrift store, and it reads "Fight The Good Fight" in faded lettering with eagles, roses, and other corny things like that. I made a tunic top out of it, with a satin belt making it into an empire-waist. There are satin straps and a satin channel for ruching on the side.

I don't really need more clothing for myself, but hey, at least I'm not spending any money! And as my mom says, (and I paraphrase...), I'm my best billboard!
If you like t-shirt recons, definitely check out T_Shirt_Surgery, a LiveJournal community devoted to the cutting-up and sewing-back-together of shirts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Spring Coat

For spring weather!! It's been drippy the last two days and I finally got around to making myself something I've been planning on for months. Once again I officially fail at taking before pictures. I even thought of it, I was ripping apart the inside seams and it was still in tact, I was just too... erm... lazy. But if your imagination is good, think of a large, long, shoulder-padded men's formal coat with two buttons very low at the waist. Add a seam ripper, scissors, my dressform, a few pins, and the Complete Symphonic Recording of Les Miserables.


And here's a shot of this baby in action!

I am probably far too pleased with myself. It fits perfectly, and, being 100% wool, it is warm enough to wear in 30 degree + weather. I love spring clothes!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Necessary Week of Unfinished Projects

It'll often happen that I'll start half a dozen projects all in a row, and a few months later I'll come back to them. I think it's necessary to my creative flow-- I can't go be too productive or I feel like a sweatshop of one. So I fussed around, cut up three t-shirts (which I haven't sew back together yet), made a couple patterns, cut a few pieces out... and did, surprisingly, finally finish a few things. Not in time to post when I usually do, but I'm here now and that is what counts.

My cousin's daughter Eva's birthday (keep track of that list!) is the same day as my mom's (March 20, first day of spring!), but her party (Eva's, not Mom's) was on Saturday. She's turning 1. I scrambled a bit on Friday night, but I came up with this little summer dress out of a t-shirt. I'm sure you can recognize the fabric from a different project. I do realize this is a bad quality photo, but it's all I have. (And I couldn't very well model it!) Maybe someday I'll have a picture of Eva herself modeling it.

I've never fancied myself a painter, and I doubt this will ever change, but I do enjoy messing around a bit, especially when it comes to fabric paint. I was very awed by this beautiful corset, and figured I'd try my own hand at painting a corset. (Corset was made using this tutorial. It's a good tut, but I prefer the style and fit of the corsets I made using my commercial pattern. Still, you can easily alter the design and it's a clever way to make a corset out of what you have lying around. I am finding that spending the money on real boning is worth it in most things, but if plastic bottles are all ya got, use 'em!)

Anyway, on to the pictures. The corset fits Doris rather ill-- what can I say, humans are just more squishable! You can clearly tell the tree design was practically stolen from the other corset. Um... oops?

While we're on the subject of corsets...
I finished this one tonight, but I was disappointed to find that it just doesn't fit me quite right. I don't need another corset anyway. I learned a couple things making it, however, such as why I maybe shouldn't try the chaos stitch on my rattle-y machine when people are trying to sleep. I'm sending it off to a friend who will hopefully get more use out of it than I could!
Ah, sweet fun with fabric paint. Here's a top I made out of an old t-shirt a while back. It's got a bit of a sailor theme to it, but to make it funky and chic, I splattered bleach and silver paint all over. This one's probably going to end up in the shop when it opens. I went a litte crazy with the paint, as you can see, but it was just so fun!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Empire Waists, Spats, Sheets, Petticoats, and Stripes!

There are a lot of pictures ahead! You have been warned!

Yeah. I've been a wee bit busy in the sewing department. I recently saw "Becoming Jane", and I was really impressed with the costumes. I always admire movies set in a time of empire waists, because making the dresses real and historical, and yet cutting them in such a way that they don't make the wearer look three months pregnant is difficult. I was also extremely impressed with the menswear. The coats were fabulous, and don't get me started on the boots and hats. Anyway, after seeing the movie, I was wondering how such a period style would translate to modern clothing. Here's one thing I came up with (I still have ideas bouncing around my head.)

And this is me with my corset over it:

I'm still not sure what I should do on the length. I like it longer for a dress, but it'd be so cute if I shortened it to wear over jeans. Opinions, anyone?

Did you notice the darling little legwarmer/spat things? Made out of fleece using this tutorial.

I love them! I love the buttons, how warm they are, and how they go over the heel of the shoe!
Remember those sheets I dyed last week? I used the fitted sheet to make this:

No, your eyes do not decieve you-- those are, in fact, soda can tabs used to lace the dress up. Eyelets cost money, and I figured this would add a cute, interesting, recycled detail.

I used up most of the stripey fabric to work on my hoodie pattern. I'm pleased with how it turned out. The long sleeves were mostly free-handed, and I was nervous as to how they'd turn out. Luckily, they worked! Here's a question, folks: pocket or no pocket?

This is the hood. Ignore my wacky hair!
I also made a petticoat! I used the sheet scraps from the dress up above, and 1.5 yards of tule. It was fun and fairly simple, and really makes my skirts go poofy. (See above green skirt: I'm wearing the petticoat underneath.)

So that's all, folks. Now that it's really late and I'm going to be tired tomorrow morning from getting gussied up to take photos at ten and onward to this point at past the magic hour I should've turned into a pumpkin. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!