My Biggest Project Ever

Sorry for the radio silence, but I've been on a bit of a emotional roller coaster, and frankly haven't had time to really put thread to fabric.

But we are friends right? and I can tell you anything, so here goes:

It all started a week or two ago when I saw my doctor for my yearly check up. Long story short my doc was worried that I had been "trying" to have kids for years, to no avail. The doc sent me to a specialist who did some blood work. Shit came back not normal and scared the shit out of me. Some hormone levels were high, so I had to do this, not do that, and then got re-tested, with the same to worse results.  

The worry was that I had a brain tumor. ECK! The MRI was scheduled, and my mind raced as the day got closer and closer.  

PLOT TWIST! I found the reason for my elevated hormone levels on my own, I was not growing a tumor, I was growing a baby!

I took a prego test the day before the MRI, and had to rush around the morning of, proving I was pregnant so they could cancel the MRI. 

Isn't that nuts? A specialist skipped the most obvious reason for the elevated levels.

It's still super early (6 weeks in) but I made it past my first weekend without drinking, Charlie on the other hand has had a harder time giving up the sauce.

Sherlock Homes Dress

I'm calling this version of the dress the Sherlock Homes, because well, I already made a plaid dress and I can't shake the Sherlock Homes vibe I get from it. 

This time I kept the two extra inches on the hem and then added full length sleeves, and pockets.

 And this is me noticing a hole in the pocket.

There isn't a ton to say about this dress since this is the third time I've made it, but I'm pretty proud of my pattern matching all around, SO LOOK AT IT!

I still need to put in a hook and eye, but look at that zipper. LOOK AT IT!

For a long time I was planning on sewing on some buttons, like on one side of the diagonal arm seam, then I thought maybe at the bottom of each sleeve... Then I thought, fuck it, I will just wear a belt and boots.

Casual Plaid

Hey look! a causal dress!

The plaid is from my grandmother's scarf stash. Which is totally a sentimental jack pot for me. I would always go through her scarves as a kid and pick out my faves. As an adult I have no use for scarves in my life. Lucky for me my fave scarf was one that was supposed to go over your shoulders and JUST big enough to make the majority of the dress. (ps I even lined it with some of Grandma's guest sheets, and used some of her thread)

I used the same pattern as the bear dress, but didn't add sleeve length for this one, but I did add pockets.

I put the zipper in by hand again and frankly don't think I'll ever go back.

Can you see the thread? Yeah, me neither. It was a bit tricky, but I got it.

I love this dress, it goes with everything. Even margaritas!

The Right to Bear Arms

I love this dress and it's unbearable.

Yes, that is red flannel plaid, with bears on it.

I started with pattern New Look 0112 (which I can't find a link to anywhere, but really it's just a darted sheath dress) and had to add  long sleeves. Sadly I ran out of fabric for pockets.

UPDATE: I found it online! they changed the pattern number I guess, so here it is.

I gave up on zipper foots and put this zipper in by hand. I had been craving some hand sewing ever since the cape. Best zipper execution ever.

Best part part of the dress? I messed up and forgot to match up the pattern so I get weird bear sex on the sides.

To Scrap or Not to Scrap

After flipping through my sketch book I thought it was time to finally tackle this yellow skirt.

All I have left is to add the waist band, but I can't help but think I should scrap it.

So here it is. I like it. Don't get me wrong, I mean look at those pocket stripes, right? Ribbon on the inside hem just for funzies, and it's mustard yellow

It even has back kick pleats, they look good flat, but only then. I used old trusty, and just cut a square out of the back and then sewed in a pleat panel. Easy mode. Well, turns out I should have angled something somewhere...hmm...I tried to fix it... I didn't fit it.

And I don't know if you noticed, but it wrinkles. Oh and I figured out the fabric smells.

Yeah, smells. I got it in my mobster deal where you don't ask questions on where it all came from. Anyway I think this hunk was stored on some damp basement floor, and the smell will not wash out. 

I guess I won't finish it, but it was so close to being so cool. I just wanted someone else to see it before I threw it away.

On a positive note, my sewing room is still on its way to getting done. This is above my work table. Those jars wine carafes are not only storage, but also pattern weights. Oh and BIG ups to the artist behind the art. Love ya girl.

McCall's M6446 cape

I am in love.

Meet Cape M6446

I love every stitch about it...except the pocket flaps. It still needs something to break up all the white together. Maybe some black thread stitching? 

Since I don't do buttons, this was my way around it. I hand stitched on these things. I have no idea what they are called, if you ask me, they really "make" the cape.

The back. 

Sweet ass comfortable lining. Lining wasn't part of the pattern, but leave it to me to make things harder than they need to be. Totally worth the trouble. 

Inside facing topped off with fleece bias tape.

It's super warm, so get ready to see me doing this all winter long.

Fat Camp

I haven't been able work on my cape as much as I would like, why? I got the shakes! (no, really I do, plus blurred vision)

I have been a LONG time lover addict of Mt Dew. For the last 13 years I have had at least 2 cans a day. 

I had always been under the impression that I was addicted to the caffeine. WRONG. I was/am addicted to the sugar. 

I cut off Mt Dew, and my head quickly collapsed. I've drank tea, coffee, eaten endless painkillers and nothing has even touched the headache. Ate a handful of gummie worms? Feel back to normal for about 10 min. 

I'll spare you the details because who really gives a shit about anyone else's weight loss, but I have already lost 2 full inches off my muffin top waist. Which is cool because then I can be someone's bitch in jail after my withdrawal induced murdering spree.

The Caped Adventure!

For the most part I have ditched all other projects and have been tooling away on a CAPE! I was hesitant to buy a cape pattern (see video below), but now that it's half done I have a full blown winter coat crush.

I've convinced myself that I can be a cape kind of person. Iowa winters SUUUCK and most of the time you don't want get out from underneath a blanket. Comfort, check. It seems British, and thus stylish. Classy Snuggie, check. Will it go with spats? check yes! BTW I will be making some black and white classic spats and pretty much wear them every chance I get, and to do that they need to go with everything.

Well, there you have it folks. I am a cape person.  

Those notches by the flaps are arm holes. The flaps always seemed upside down to me, but at first I thought I was making a test cape, and should just make the pattern "as is" but it has turned into a final product project. I lined those, what they call, welts, in white. When they flop over I do get a cute pop of white, so that works out.

You can kinda see here that it's not just black fabric, it does have a blue/pink plaid. You can also see here I should have interfaced the welt. 

I got sick of reading the word welt in the instructions and went rouge on the arm hole. I used white piping to create this nice arm vagina.

I even figured out a way to weasel in some hounds tooth as the lining. It was elementary, my dear Watson!

Yellow Frankenstein dress

Meet my yellow Frankenstein dress. Like I said yesterday I made most of it in a blind rage. I was SO over thin flowy fabric, so I hit my stash and found some yellow canvas and some thick gray/white upholstery fabric and got to work on a strapless top, and this is what came out.

So-the base top came from my pageant gown, the fabric from my mobster deal. Jean zipper from a garage sale. Thread and lace hem from my grandmothers stash.

The zipper came out a bit wonky. I used my zipper foot, but a fly zipper is much thicker and wouldn't fit, so I did the best I could. 

I am in love with the impromptu back pleat. Walking away has never been my best angle, so I think the pleat leads the eye well. Oh! cool zipper...nice legs.

I'm still not so sure about the front safety pin. I'm afraid to tack it wrong and ruin the whole thing in the 11th hour. I don't mind staying true to my roots and leaving it there, maybe add a few more so it looks more on purpose?

I wonder about the hem as well. I feel like the black thread is in this weird "not really invisible, not really on purpose" area.

The lace is just fucking cute.

Flowy Fail and a Structured Win

Sorry for the bit of radio silence, but I have been in the middle of the best summer ever. With that I was commissioned to make a few tank tops for a friend and have been busy in my work shop ever since.

It's a simple tank. It's even is under the "learn to sew" category. The tricky part however is the fabric. Sheer fabric comes with horror stories all over the internet, but so did sequins so I thought I was game. I tried everything I could, I followed the how to sew this shit to the T. Nothing helped. I even tried the "sandwich the fabric in tissue paper" trick. That seemed to work, it felt right, but in the end I got the same wonky result. (and now have shreds of tissue paper all over the floor no matter how many I step on and throw away)

I need to figure out what a walking foot is, and buy one. It's my only hope. I quit while I was ahead and will only need to re-cut the front. I hope to ding a few more sewing skill levels and come back to it. I will not let some flowy fabric beat me.

But since I was in a blind rage I thought that it was a perfect time to rip up my pageant ball gown. Boy was that fun! I now have miles of tulle that might become niece tutus. But the top had some boning in it, and fit... so why waste it?

I only took 1 pic of version 1, and it was Snapchat to the Hubs, hence the writing on the bottom. I didn't use a pattern, that why it didn't fit on the bottom (wayyy too tight). But I cut off most of the skirt and added a circle skirt to it.

As you can see in a fight to have enough fabric I had to cut one of the skirt pieces out on the bias. I think it adds a little something but I want it to hang/stretch out over night before I hem it.

I'll post full shots tomorrow when the lighting is better. Get ready, it totally rules. 

How I fixed a Belt Loop

I had always thought of the brand Lucky to be of pretty high quality. They spare no expense on denim thickness or dark dye costs. In my mind, they have always had their shit together and worth the 80 bucks.

Then I saw this

A friend had returned a pair just like it because this rip happened, and the second pair ripped in the same place. They got fancy and made it a double loop in the back, leaving the loops to be sewn to just the denim with NO reinforcement on the inside. So it also ripped a hole straight through.

On the inside I made a little patch wide enough to cover both belt loops. I got fancy by matching the color scheme. I just tucked the raw edge into the main band seam and under the tag.

The only thing holding the patch in place is where the two belt loops are sewn onto it. (I didn't want to fuss with trying to sew it into the main band seam)

Lucky also tried to be fancy and use a color of thread that would be hard to find (and thus having to take them into THEIR seamstresses). It was a neon yellow/green that I have never seen before. But lucky for me my grandmother bought thread in the 60's where weird greens were the norm. Thanks Granny!

How To Change Flare Jeans Into Skinny Jeans Off a Pair Known to Fit

Once upon a time flare jeans were the IT jeans to wear. It was the late nineties and 70's influence ruled our leg width. As the 2000's crept in, what was worn in high school soon became passe.

So here is how to turn your flare legged jeans into skinny jeans:

1. Iron. Turn the jeans inside out. Iron the outside seams back closed. Keep the outside seams flush and iron/push the extra fabric toward the inner thigh

2. Mark. I am sizing off a pair of jeans known to fit, so I don't have to mess with pinning/fitting and re-drawing lines that everyone else on the internet seems to do. 

Make sure to start by lining it all up with the center crotch notch.

Mark it. I used a regular pen.

The line should ease into the "old seam"

Check yo shit. Make sure this seam merge happens at the same point on both sides and everything is exact. 

3. Iron again.(same way) Get these jeans so steamed and pressed it could be a plate you could eat off of. Don't burn it though, I got away with the lowest steam setting. This takes time. The flatter it is, the easier the sewing will be. 

4. Sew it. Back stitch more than usual, remember these are jeans, and will be washed and worn, jumped in, danced in... If in doubt about an area, back stitch.

Keep everything flat and the seam merge should go so smoothly it will bring you joy. The end of the seam should be an inch into the old seam. Back stitch.

5. Cut/finish. Cut the triangle flap off to a sewable length. Sew both new seam allowances with a zig-zag stitch to keep from fraying. Iron the seams open. 

BAM you, my friend, just saved yourself 80 bucks.

Before, yes weird angle, but I hit my head on the ceiling fan trying to take this photo. I guess it did affect me because this was the best shot I took.

After, and yes they do kinda look like cowboy pants, but the lady owner rolls them up, and frankly all skinny jeans look that way when they're laid out.

Can't even tell.