Monday, February 27, 2012

Finished: Scallop(less) Waisted Skirt

Remember the circle skirt I was having so many problems with? (See here and here.) Well, I finally finished it!

The inspiration! Link to pattern and tutorial.
My final product lost the scallops along the waist. Since it came out to be much too short, I added a panel to the bottom. (I also tried out my new modeling poses, ha!) What do you think?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mad Men Dress Challenge!

After all the deliberating I did over which pattern to go with next, my mind was suddenly made up for me! Julia Bobbin is having a Mad Men Dress Challenge, and I'm excited to get started on that! I've spent the last few hours looking at the gorgeous dresses online, and I've (finally) narrowed it down to a couple.

This is such a cute and simple dress. I love the waist and the bow. Not really a fan of the sleeves... Maybe it should be sleeveless?
Another one I love. I'm concerned that my hips might be too large for a simple shift, or rather, that it would look strange since I'm not proportionate. I would also want a fabric that isn't so green.
And finally, I know this isn't technically in the show, but I can still use it, right?
I really like all three and maybe I'll make them all at some point, but right now I'm leaning towards the last one. I suppose it really all depends on what my little fabric store has in stock tomorrow! I'm so excited!

Mad Men Challenge Blogger Button

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So many patterns!

Something amazing happened: as someone without a sewing machine (temporarily) and as someone with a lot to learn about sewing, I came into a lot of patterns.

The first was pure luck. I won a contest by Jill over at Laugh, But Not Loudly for her Sew Giveaway contest. As the winner, I won two 70s patterns that I can't wait to get started on! Aren't they cute?!

The second I found after doing a bit of hunting and exploring. During Sew Giveaway, I discovered a lot of new sewing blogs that I loved. And one such blog (I'm sorry, I can't remember who it was!) had the info to someone who works at the Commercial Pattern Archive. Whenever they get duplicate patterns, they box them up and ship them out to loving homes (like me!). So for $36, including shipping, you get a box of 60 patterns: 6 from the 1940s, 12 from the 1950s, 14 from the 1960s, 14 from the 1970s, 2 from the 1980s, and 2 from Vogue couturier. My contact was Joy Emery, and she had them out to me within a week!

I spoke with her briefly, and she said that she doesn't always have enough to send out, but she usually does. Also, occasionally the patterns aren't complete, but it would never be so noticeable that something couldn't be completed. She also said that if I were to order another "goody bag" of patterns, the chance of a repeat pattern was low. I really want to order another box, but I need to make some of the patterns I have now before I can justify it!

A couple I'm not sure when I'll use, like the fabric book for children.

Or even the patterns for children themselves! I don't know anyone with kids... Maybe I could modify some of them to fit me? (What? They're cute!)

And then of course there's one that I won't be using any time soon that I may pass off to pregnant friends!
I asked my boyfriend if he wanted me to make any of these for him and he politely declined. He just can't see past the fabric on the cover yet!
And now to the patterns I can use right away! Look at these amazing coats! And the dress that also comes with  in the top left corner. I think I may want to start on the cape/jacket on the bottom left for next winter...

These blouses are absolutely adorable. I could make any of them, and I would love it.

These I lumped together as "costumes," though I'm sure with a couple slight modifications, I could wear them normally. I love the idea of making my own Halloween costume!

Lady suits, looking amazing. I don't generally wear business clothes , but it's not bad to have a well made suit.

So I know this apron looks a little dowdy, but I'm actually really digging this look. I'm thinking about making it a full length dress. You know, just something to wear around the house.

Sooo many dresses! I really love the older ones, and I want to make all of them. (This should keep me happy and out of stores for quite awhile!)

These are short little jackets, that one can never have too much of!

Nightgowns/lingerie. Once again, for some odd reason, I really like the full length flannel look., and of course all the others.

Lots of skirts! To go with my new blouses above!

I've never even thought of making my own swimsuit before. It just seemed... too complicated or something.

These have a lot of options and I couldn't just categorize it into one category. Also, the bottom left picture is freaking me out.

Various tops. I'll have to make matching tunics for me and the boyfriend. ;-)
I'm so excited about my expanded pattern collection, and I almost don't know where to begin!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinwheel Painting: Valentine's Day Gift #2

So I'm sure everyone's tired of talking about Valentine's Day, but I still have one more post about it! I made my beau some paintings, 3 in total, and this is the second one.

I was completely into the idea of using my vinyl letters to make quotes and whatnot on the art, so I did a lot of research on quotes, mostly by typing "Quotes" into the search by on Pinterest. I figured they would have a good amount, I could sort by what was popular, and I could avoid those terrible websites with PAGES of terrible quotes that no one would ever use.

I compiled a list, but one really stuck out at me. I hesitated to use it because it's from Alice in Wonderland, but it just seemed perfect. "You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are."

This works, in my life in general, but especially in my relationship because he's a little nuts, though not usually in a bad way, and he can't understand why a perfectly sane female could ever want to be around a crazy person.

Once I had my quote picked out, I knew instantly what painting I should use. Once again, I was inspired on Pinterest, this time by a pinwheel painting.

The tutorial looked so easy! How could it go wrong?

I'll tell you. It was the freaking tape. And the letters. The painter's tape that allowed the paint to bleed. And the letters that would move as my paintbrush moved. Sigh.

Generally though, it doesn't look that bad!

I first painted the canvas a sky blue color because white just seemed like too much of a contrast. Then I carefully placed all the letters where I wanted them. Then, after finding my "center," I carefully taped painter's tape to the canvas and painted in the colors I wanted.

As I stated before, the painter's tape didn't work exactly as I wanted, but after doing 2 sections, I learned how to avoid lots of paint bleeding. Once I picked off the vinyl letters, after everything dried, I realized that the letters had moved while I was painting. I still need to go back and touch them up.

But I still gave it to the boyfriend, and he loved it! He seemed a little confused by the quote, but once I explained it, he became a fan. And unlike my last painting, there wasn't any, "I like it because you made it" nonsense. That counts as a success for me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fort Painting: Valentine's Day Gift #1

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I'm a little late, but I've been too lazy to take pictures off my camera of some crafts I made for my boyfriend. This post is dedicated to the first craft, that I've dubbed the Fort Painting.

I've been going a little crazy on the craft section on Pinterest, and I've been inspired by a lot of artwork to the point where I've decided my new apartment will generally only have art hung done by me.

I found a tutorial from someone who liked a photo and decided to pixelate the original and paint it herself. I loved the idea of pixelating a photo and going from there, but my boyfriend is not a big fan of modern art (or whatever this would be considered) and he vetoed the idea.

But when I saw ANOTHER idea that involved painting over an old/unwanted painting, I knew I could do both!

Oh. One last thing I was inspired by: this card on Etsy. My sister posted it on facebook, and I knew it was amazing. I hate cards though, and I didn't really care for the inside of the card either. I thought it was summed up nicely on the front. And it was pretty awesome since my boyfriend and I like to make forts in his room.

So I did a google search for forts, then adult forts since I thought it might be weird to pixelate a bunch of kids, though it probably didn't matter because you can't really make the picture out anyway... So after I picked a picture (that had a tv in it, since tvs are crucial to good forts!), I cropped it, played with the colors, and pixelated it in Then I set to work!

I grabbed a ruler and traced a grid onto the canvas. Somehow I found a ruler that wasn't straight. Seriously. But I suppose it added a little something, don't you think?

Here I am halfway thought it! As you can see, I had limited colors, but I adjusted them by adding drops of white or black paint. There's probably a way to adjust the colors in some photo editing software, but I wasn't sure how to do that nor did I care when I first started. But if I do it again, it would probably help because I got tired of doing exact matches about 5 minutes in. I looked at a couple tutorials, and they all said it was as easy as doing a paint by number, but if you choose not to adjust the colors, it's not that simple. That being said, I was happy with how it was turning out, so I didn't really care.

 Here it is finished! You can't really tell, but the tv is on the left, and the rest are curtains and some lights. Even though you can't really tell what it is, I thought it turned out quite nice! Well, nice enough considering that I didn't bother staying in the little squares or getting the colors right. My boyfriend was present for all of this (I decided it didn't matter for this stage because it was still preliminary- and I had already told him he was getting a homemade craft.) and he nodded and said, "I like it because you did it. I never understood what parents meant when they said that, but now I know." Haha, I appreciate the support.

So then I applied reusable vinyl letters exactly where I wanted them, and painted white over the entire canvas. Even though the paint seemed dry, it started to run, so I panicked and stopped, letting it dry overnight. When I picked it up again the next day, somehow the existing paint still ran when I painted over it with white, but I just decided to go with it.

And there it is! Not exactly high quality, but I'm happy and proud of it, and considering it's the first artwork I've ever done, I don't think it's that bad. Plus, like most things, it looks better in person. My boyfriend likes it better than the original - he LOVES the three sentences. I just thought it was fun and romantic, but not overly cheesy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Scalloped Waisted Skirt Updated

So the skirt didn't get finished today. But I think that after another power sewing day next Saturday, I'll finally have something to wear out!

I took a picture of my waist band. As you can see, I failed at cutting out the scallops AND I failed at sewing them properly. So I measured out an inch and a quarter waist band and stitched a straight line down the middle of the scallops. Problem solved.

Ha, these pictures aren't the best, but you can see my progress! It hangs nicely and I think it fits pretty well. It's all right with leggings, but I certainly can't wear it out of the house without them! It's far too short. I'm going to figure out the ruffle at some point during the week... Also, check out the back seam in the right picture (if you can!). I'm so proud of my invisible zipper!

It's only the second time I've ever sewn in a zipper, and we didn't even have an invisible zipper foot! It was also difficult because the online tutorials were incredibly detailed... until they weren't. Because there was a point where they all just went, "And then just stitch up the other side." Um. I have questions. Lots. Anyway, I eventually got tired with it and figured out a way to cheat it (OR MAYBE IT WAS RIGHT?!) so I'm pleased.

Except for this one little bit:
Seriously, what is that little bit threatening to ruin my new skirt?!

I was considering ripping the seams out and re-doing it, but then I found some fabric glue, and I just knew that dropping some glue in there and holding it shut was the perfect solution to my roblem.

So next week: figuring out the ruffles. I feel like I need to do a mock-up of what I'm envisioning before I actually commit to it. We'll see. I'm so close to the end of my first sewing project- I'm so excited!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Memory Candles

I can't believe this is the only picture I have of any of these candles! (Ignore the cracks! My sister's cat decided she was mad at me and knocked over everything on the table, effectively ruining this candle.)

This was my go-to gift last Christmas. Basically, I tooka picture that's near to someone's heart (or that I stole off of facebook), edit it a bit, then stick it on a candle. It's so simple, and everyone who got one loved it.

What do you think?

Lengthening A Circle Skirt: Decision, Decisions!

Argh, so the attempt was to make the scalloped skirt. I screwed up the scallops (some were scallopy, and some... were more flat). I probably could've ripped out the seams and re-sewn, but who likes scallops, anyway? So I folded it over and I have a nice waist band (pictures to come!), but now I need to address the issue of length.

If you notice, it's a little short in the picture. Which I totally noticed when I first looked over the tutorial. But did I bother to say or alter anything when I cut out the pattern? Of course not. So I'm off to the fabric store tomorrow to see about maybe a lace insert or adding a block of color somewhere. Maybe gray? Pink? White? The color I choose will forever alter how I wear this skirt... My fabric:

Any suggestions?