Saturday, July 14, 2012

Transparent Rain Jacket


Forever ago (really just January), I made this clear vinyl raincoat. I'd seen a few on the internet, and thought it would be really fun to do for a local fashion show. The fashion show was a smaller scale thing, and I asked my lovely friend Lindsay to model for me. It was a good show, fun stuff, good experience, but honestly, it was so long ago that I guess I don't have much to say about it!


Here's a photo of me and Lindsay (isn't she pretty?) after the show, courtesy of Lindsay's mom. Lindsay's wearing a quick dress I made, and I'm wearing another dress I had made. My dress unfortunately shrank a bit--just in the length, not the width, even though I prewashed the fabric. Ugh. I'll see if I can find more pictures of it, though... it was pretty cute! I think it was an accidental too-hot temperature setting or something that did it. Does this ever happen to you guys?


Anyway, today we had a bit of a torrential downpour so I asked my mom to quick take pictures of the raincoat in action! It was so nice of her to help me out, as she had just been out in the rain herself, without an umbrella. We watched the storm on the porch and it was too cool. We got an inch and a half of rain in just half an hour!


It was a ridiculous thing to make--there are special things you need to do to sew vinyl, like taping your presser foot and machine plate, and selecting the right needle--but that wasn't even the most difficult part. The challenge was moving the large, partially constructed garment around when the vinyl stuck to everything. It would just get caught on any plastic or metal surface and stick like a window cling.



I sewed every seam and then covered it with bias tape to hid to seam allowance. So every seam is bound and it's comfy to wear (well, as comfy as plastic can be), and it blocks out rain pretty well even at the stitch lines! And then I added those twisty things on the side panels just for some visual interest.


Goofy. So there it is! A clear rain coat!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apple-Printed Fabric


Today seemed like a good day to get crafty. I'd seen this on Pinterest, and what a better way to make some fabric more interesting than to add a cute print?

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Better yet, I got to be outside in the sun to work on it. It's a beautiful day up here in the woods, the kind of day I long for in the never-ending winter. Tonight we're having an Unemployment Party (what a thing to celebrate!) on the barge, which is a pontoon boat stripped of all furniture and canopy--basically a flat boat used for hauling. We put a grill on it, and I believe it will be adorned with a couple couches for proper seating. I may be soon employed, however: I applied for a job today to telemarket donations at my school this fall. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the summer weather in the best place possible: the lake!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Gold Splattered Denim Jeans


I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago in March over my spring break, and I ventured out to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston--it was my friend Molly's & my #1 stop. It lived up to the hype, let me tell you! While I was there I picked up some of this stunning gold denim, and about a month later, I made jeans for my beautiful friend Cassie to model for me.


I drafted a pattern just off of a pair of her jeans, and then Cassie and I spent all night in the lab of one of our campus buildings working on our respective fashion show garments. (I don't think we're supposed to be in there over night. I probably shouldn't be saying this. Incriminating stuff!) We seriously were there working from about 10pm until 5:30am, when we figured we should leave before the cleaning staff arrived. It was on a Tuesday night, and the garments had to be turned in on Thursday that week. So, we didn't have much choice! But I got the bulk of the work done over night, and only had to sew the waistband on that afternoon.


Sewing jeans was a surprisingly straightforward task. They miraculously fit her like a glove, with only a few minor adjustments. Beyond that, it was simply the time consuming details: j-front zipper, inset front pockets, back patch pockets, and the double topstitching everywhere. I don't have a double needle, though I realize it would have been a wise investment. Instead, I just had to be really precise, and run everything through twice.


All the pockets are trimmed in distressed leather. The waistband has two snaps and a fully functioning fly. They're really just basic jeans, but the fabric makes them so striking. In fact, I'm so nuts about them that I went back to Vogue Fabrics this June, and bought more to make myself a pair. I was practically dancing when I found they still had the fabric!



They were a hit at the fashion show, too. Cassie is an amazing model, and she just rocked them like none other. I got nominated for an award for the look, up against some seniors, and I was so so humbled to win. The award was Best Technical Achievement in Fit. It was such an honor--only a couple underclassmen won awards. Cassie was nominated for Best Female Model for the second year in a row... I have my fingers crossed that next year she'll win! She deserves it.

*Runway photos taken by Hannah Riordan.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blue Bow Pleated Skirt


When I got back from Alaska in May but before I gallivanted off to Chicago, I spent a few days at home in the woods. In this brief respite, I got down and dirty & did a little stash busting. This blue fabric had been around for about 5 or 6 years, so it was high time to give it some new life. So, I made this nice little blue skirt with a happy bow. I love the length--I think it's the perfect happy medium!



There is a handpicked zipper in back with an extended waistband & button. I was just too lazy to do a hook and eye. I think I even sewed the button on with my machine! And, of course, pockets. I never ever regret putting pockets into a garment.


It's really nice to clean out the stash and make a little more room on my shelves. But it is never long before I fill them back up again! Do you find that you're a fabric hoarder? I just always plan on future projects and then never get to them. And I can't say no to a good deal on nice fabric.


Excuse the wrinkles! I knew I should've ironed it. On a less fun note, I found something disastrous today--TWO GRAY HAIRS ON MY HEAD. This is the worst thing in the history of ever. (I know, I'm being over-dramatic. But I'm only twenty!) Woe is me!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pinstriped Trousers & Sheer Blouse


Hello! You might notice some small changes around here--it was time to spring clean my design and I had started changing it forever ago, but never finished. I think my favorite part of the new set up is the large space for posts--and thus, large photos!

These were pants I made for my Advanced Pattern Development class. We had to make lined wool trousers from our drafted patterns. My initial draft fit almost perfectly--all I needed to do was shorten the front rise and raise the back rise, and taper the waist a bit more. Then I widened the pant leg and made it into a sailor front style. The pattern development for pants was a total breeze after working on my coat!


Actually, making the pants was quite a breeze, too. I did fellstitch twill tape along the entire waist binding, and the six mini bound buttonholes were pretty painful to do, but everything else went really quick, even the pockets. There is a stitched crease in front and a seam down the back of each leg. The lining hangs freely at the bottom for ease of movement. I must say, it is bizarre to have lined pants. It feels so weird! I understand the reasoning, but it's just so much extra fabric. Speaking of the fabric, I got this wool at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago in March. It's a nice weight for pants, I think--and so super soft.


The triangle welt pockets were so fun to do. I just love how funky they are! And they were easy. It was just a faced triangle hole, and then stitching the welts along the opening! This makes me want to try all sorts of shapes--maybe some ovals or circles?

All photos taken by Hannah Riordan.

I also made the chiffon button down. It's just a simple collared shirt and I kind of fudged my way through it because working with chiffon was an absolute pain the neck. Everything was slipping around as I cut it (though it surely didn't help that I was working on my dorm room floor), so it was a pretty imprecise process. But it looks pretty okay, and you can't tell that the grain was all wonky, haha.

Oh, there is so much to update on! June simply flew by. I had a blast in Chicago, and even met up with a blog friend, Amber of Leah Leaf Designs! We walked around Wicker Park, in and out of vintage shops, and talked about sewing, blogging, Etsy, clothing, and lots more! It was so fun to meet in real life--so much fun that we forgot to take pictures! But it was a wonderful first experience of meeting someone from the blogosphere!

I have so many projects to post, too, so hopefully you'll hear from me again soon. Link me up to projects you've been working on lately, too! I'd love to see!