Monday, May 25, 2009

"Hey, I recognize that sheet!" (Summer Dress!)

...Because some things are, undoubtedly, quite recognizable for sheets. Even if you've turned them into dresses.

This was me, sitting down one evening (see: 9:45 PM) and thinking, "I don't have enough dresses. If I'm going to go through with this plan of wearing dresses and heels all summer, I will have to make more."

So I sewed until after midnight, and finished the zipper right after breakfast the next morning. Yes, I am freakishly obsessive about my sewing. No, there is nothing unusual about this.

So there you have it: another dress to go with my yellow shoes! It was only after I cut everything out that I realized the skirt portion was more faded than the top. The belt kind of breaks it up, but maybe I'll screen print on it to draw the eye away. I'm awfully excited to have new dresses to wear this summer!

Also, a small note on the watermarks: There was a bit of drama over on Threadbanger when a guy stole photos of someone else's work and claimed they were his own--and had people believing him for a few months until it was discovered. While I don't mean to flatter myself into thinking someone would want to do this to me, I would really rather not take the risk. I'm trying to watermark my photos from now on, although sometimes I do forget. So... that's why. ^^

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Featured Artist: Checkered Heart

This time around I get to blog about the super talented, incredibly sweet Amie. Her shop, Checkered Heart, is filled with an array of totally sweet items, from bags to shirts to earrings. My favorite, without a doubt, is the Sewing Machine Tote.

Isn't it fantastic?? As a huge lover of sewing machines & all things vintage (it probably goes without saying, but especially vintage sewing machines), this caught my eye immediately. She also has a t-shirt printed with the same image. She has such awesome stuff. You should definitely check her out! (<--Click there for her shop, or the image above.)

& as always, you can find out more on the TBGuild here,
and find all our shops at our Etsy profile.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reconstruction: Pink Eyelet Dress

I got the replacement shoes for my blue "Porch Swing Peep Toes" (as seen in my spring collection photoshoot--the Taos pictures. The strap had broken.)--but in yellow. They were out of blue in my size! So the last couple of days, I've been wracking my brain--and my dresser--to try to find things to work with them. The idea to reconstruct this dress came to me late one night as I was trying to fall asleep.

This is a vintage dress, and I highly suspect it was handmade. This is just a guess based on what I found as I was taking it apart, but at first I felt guilty for cutting into the loving handiwork of someone. But then I realized that, as a seamstress, they'd probably be pleased that it was getting a second life, and would be worn for years to come. Maybe someday, in 50 or 60 years, someone will be reworking what I've made into something else--the idea delights me!

I was somewhat terrified of cutting into this dress, and my first idea for it was quite different than what it has turned out to be. I had hoped for it to be somewhat like this dress from ModCloth, but as I tried to create the pattern, I realized it just wasn't working for me. I scrapped it, and decided to do a ruffled bust instead. I admit, I need to work on these! The shaping didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and the fit isn't perfect, but for my second try--and first in non-stretch--I'm pleased.

Corset: optional. Only when I'm in the mood for pain & constriction (because that's steel boning, there, baby! **). I'm also planning on making a black vinyl belt/waist cincher to go with this, for days when I'm feeling less "Pretty in Pink". (Can I hear a woOt for movies featuring DIYers?) I'm really glad to have a dress all set to wear with my new shoes!

ALSO, big epic news... I've defeated the Evil Invisible Zipper with the help of a simple, 3$ Coats & Clarke Invisible Zipper foot. These things are easier than normal zippers! Count me impressed and completely converted to an invisible zipper fan. (Maybe I'll post pictures of my disaster attempt on my prom dress someday--back when I didn't even have a regular zipper foot!) This is, truly, invisible. Hoorah for new skills!

**Steel boning, yes, but not proper, healthy & good for your ribs kind of boning. More like steel strapping from a bundle of lumber --but recycled!!-- boning. So who knows what kind of rearranging my organs are doing right now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Threadless "Foxy" Reconstruction

I had a lot of fun with this shirt. I really like the print, and although orange isn't the easiest color to work with, there was enough black in the print itself that I could add black fabric and not overwhelm it.

Much better! I love the triangle insert... and there's a pocket there, too! It was cool to play around, seeing how I could incorporate the black fabric into it more subtly.

Right now it is raining, but they say tomorrow will be in the 70's here, so if it is nice I'll dress up in my new sundresses and take some photos for you. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Daily Outfit

I'm figuring that because this is my blog, I can make my own rules for it (haha)... and stray away a little from the construction of clothing, and a little towards the wearing of it, at least for a post here and there. I'm trying to take photos of what I'm wearing--when it's somewhat interesting--to find out what does & does not work, and as a sort of guide if I'm in a rush and don't know what to throw together.

So I got my brother (home from college! ^_^) to come take photos on our porch. It was freezing yesterday, so I went for layers & warmth.

I am wearing:

Big wooden circle earrings: Modcloth
Adorable owl necklace:
Long gray toggle cardigan: My brother gave it to me. :)
"Liberty" Tee: Threadless, resized by me
Bubble dress: Me!
Vintage French heels:

I love these shoes. Pure, pure love. They're leather, made in France, found in a vintage market in Paris, and sent to me from Dublin. We were meant to be, these shoes and I. They're a little tight, but as my mom would say, "It hurts to be beautiful!" (It was always in jest when she said it, but it tends to be true at times!)

Sometimes I feel far too dressed up for the life I live, but it is so much fun to wear nice things, and if I don't wear them here, where else will I?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Threadless "Liberty" Reconstruction

Oh, Threadless. How I love thee. I've been absolutely drooling over this shirt for ages, and a couple months ago (time flies!) they had a 5$ tee sale... and I had to get it! By the time I was ready to order, they had only 3XL. I ordered two--one for me!--and waited impatiently for their arrival.

These are so amazing. First, the name "Liberty" is fantastic--we all know I go for that stuff. :) The color is unusual for a Threadless shirt, and I really like it! And, of course, the print. I lovelovelove it. The bird glows in the dark, too! How awesome is that?

Anyway, I resized one for me, because I wanted just a regular tee, and then made the second one into this. It has a ruched bust, a super long cut, and capped sleeve-style straps.

So. It's spring here! I'm suddenly going to become overwhelmingly busy for the next few months (I have three jobs this summer!), so if I'm not around much... that will be why! I'm going to try my very hardest to at least not neglect my shop, and when I update that I'll try to post here as well. Bear with me, and know I'll be back to posting regularly this fall!

Monday, May 11, 2009

ShilynJoy on Etsy!

Okay, so even though Shilyn is a very awesome, clever, lovely, sweet doll of a friend of mine, I am not being at all biased when I say she's a ridiculously talented seamstress.

She has a style that's entirely unique and her own. She taught herself to not only sew, but to draft patterns and drape, all within a couple years. She opened her Etsy shop this winter, putting fabulous clothing and bags into it. (I'm a particular fan of the Asymmetric Halter Mini Dress, myself, as is pictured below.) She's the one who had the idea for an Etsy Team for ThreadBanger, and continues to come up with fantastic ideas and challenges for it.

Asymmetric Halter Mini Dress (4/6) from ShilynJoy --- DISCOUNTED

Please check out her shop by clicking the photo above!

& as always, you can find out more on the TBGuild here,
and find all our shops at our Etsy profile.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So, taking photos is really difficult now...

I mean, really, really difficult. I can only estimate what I'm taking a photo of, and I have to always guess the setting and hope I hit the right button for it. I think I'll switch to film from now on, haha. (Except that my film camera doesn't have a light meter or flash and I have no idea how to properly take photos with it! Shame on me.)

Anyway, remember when I was on a vacation and I mentioned the amazing fabric store I stopped into in Taos, New Mexico? I got some beautiful China silk there, and I gushed about the blue. I finally got around to taking a picture of the fabric! I got blue and black to make a skirt, but now I'm not certain that's what I'll be making. Whatever I do make, however, will have french seams and will be perfect.

See??? It's beautiful! I think it looks better in person, but I just love this color. It drapes beautifully, too, and of course it is silky to the touch... it's a bit sheer, though, so I got the black for a second layer. Perhaps a loose-fitting dress? Hm... Any ideas?

In other news, I've been at such a loss for inspiration the last couple of days! I hate it when that happens, especially now when I know I don't have much longer to just sit and sew. Everything I touched seemed to become hideous or a bundle of scraps. It's terribly disheartening. I've been longing to just make something and have it click--to have that wonderful moment where the design goes from being just an image in your head to a beautiful garment that's even better than you imagined.

It's actually been since I made this hideous skirt (made infamous on twitter) out of all my black scraps. It was supposed to be like my blue scrappy skirt, but I just failed. On so many levels. Pretty much ever since then, with only a couple happy exceptions, I've been messing up, or not following through, or losing motivation. Hm. It's like a curse... perhaps I should get it out of my sewing room! Haha! I kid.

But tonight, thank goodness, I think I got some of my inspiration back! You see, there's this Fiber show thing that I'm hoping to contribute to this summer--June & July--and I currently have nothing to offer! But if these ideas I have pan out, I might just have some awesome, incredibly artsy things to display. (More on that later. Maybe I'll do a whole progression of "progress" pictures for you.)

When all else fails, there's the internet & photos on Flickr to help inspire me. What inspires you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May!

It's still not spring here most of the time, though! Darn Minnesota. The ice on our lake has yet to go out, but if it gets windy today it might. But it's cooold!

We had a bit of sun the other day, though, and I took advantage of that to have a bit of a photoshoot. Have I mentioned that my camera is broken? Well, it is. Just after these photos were taken, that evening, I turned it on at the screen was cracked. The most annoying part is that I have no idea how it even happened! I assume I must have dropped it, but I can't recall it. Hm. So now I'll be begging & borrowing cameras off of my family members, haha.

So, I made a skirt! High waisted and vintage inspired, this lovely is out of the most fabulous pink fabric I could find from Hancocks. It has a super wide waistband, a zipper up the side, and the skirt is a circle so it's very flattering.
These pictures aren't as cool as the Grand Canyon or anything, but I'm still figuring out the best places to photograph things here at home. I'm so glad it's not winter so I can take some outside!

Yesterday I recieved my order from yards of a bamboo/lyrca blend (94/6! It's amazing!), for 3.74 a yard. I am so ecstatic and I can't decide what to make! I want it to be very drapey, because this fabric hangs so well and it so luxurious--it also has a sheen, so it catches the light subtley. Maybe a cowl neck, maybe a wrap... haha, here I am thinking as I type. Anyway, that's what is new in my sewing room!!