Monday, October 28, 2013

A Perfectly Purple Penny Purse

  So many of my sewing endeavors have gone so wrong lately (I haven't blogged about most of them) that I was quite pleasantly surprised when this one turned out as well as it did:

  I bought several little coin purse frames from this Etsy shop (if you order from her, be aware that items will take over a month to arrive) and this is the first coin purse that I've sewn using them.

  It isn't perfect... the gusset is sewn on a bit crooked, so it doesn't sit straight, and the entire opening is a teensy bit small for the frame, so the back isn't seated in the frame as tightly as it should be, but I still love it.

   The fabric is some that my Tia Eva gave me... small scraps from the quilt I shared in this post.  The ric-rac and eyelet came from my Grandma Judy, and the button is one of several given to me by a young girl whose dress I altered a few weeks ago. The only thing I bought for this was the frame- the interfacing and glue I already owned. I love having a bit of so many gifts in this purse. =)

  I followed Bethany's tutorial on how to assemble the coin purse, except that I used my own pattern and didn't use any fusible fleece, as I didn't have any. I think it would have turned out better with the fleece though, and I do need to adjust my pattern just a tiny bit.

  I will definitely be making more variations of this... hopefully soon. 

  Here's what else I've been working on: I altered my skirt pattern to a yoked, a-line skirt with a front pleat, and finished a denim skirt with the fabric that my mother-in-love gave me. Unfortunately, I didn't think to stay-stitch the yoke before sewing it on and it and the skirt both stretched and have some horrid bubbles at their juncture. I think that if I just leave my tops un-tucked it will still be wearable, though the zipper does pinch a bit, so it isn't too miserable a fail. Also, I want to deepen the yoke before sewing up the pattern again.

  I also drafted a sheath dress pattern for myself, made a muslin of it, and altered the pattern for a full-skirted princess seam dress, which was the goal to begin with. I haven't tested the princess seam version yet, but I hope to do so soon.  It's a lot of drafting I've been doing! I finished off my entire roll of freezer paper and still haven't traced out the finished patterns.

  Now I must be off to take care of tiny people.
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Baby-Love Shirt

  My sister-in-law (the same one whose twins I made these overalls for) is pregnant with her third baby! It's early enough in the pregnancy that they don't know the gender yet, but I wanted to make something for her anyway. So I made her a maternity tee:

  I traced around an adult sized small tee, then added width and length to the front to make it fit a pregnant belly. I also lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length. I gathered the sides of the front piece to match the back with some clear elastic before sewing them together.

    I lettuce-edged the sleeves and hem of the shirt... I was planning on hemming them with a twin needle, but at the last minute I decided a little more femininity couldn't hurt. =)

  On the belly, I added a pretty heart with printable transfer paper.
  The heart image is a sticker from the 'blend' section of iPiccy, my favorite free photo editing site.

  It was really nice to sew something simple after all the time I've spent drafting lately. The neck binding is a little puckery, but other than that it came together surprisingly smoothly.

  I hope she likes it! (And I hope that it fits. =)
Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sewing Disappointments

  Can you believe that it's been almost a month since my last post? I have been sewing... but things just aren't turning out the way I want them to. For example: I spent several days perfecting my skirt sloper and once it was finished, I made a skirt out of it. Unfortunately, I forgot to a-line the skirt, and I just don't look good in straight skirts. On top of that, the fabric I used has a touch of stretch, and the invisible zipper in the side seam was just stiff enough that it poked the fabric out really oddly at the hip. I don't even have any photos of that skirt, because I am so disappointed with it.

 Next I spent a week drafting and fitting my bodice sloper... which still is imperfect, but is much better than my previous attempts, especially the sleeves. I sewed a dress up from the sloper, and once the bodice was half-way finished, I thought I was going to love it. But I don't. I feel like a nun in it.
 And oddly enough, even though the sloper fit beautifully, and the dress bodice looks well in real life, there is some pulling in the photos. The thing I hate is the skirt. It's just bunchy and puffy in all the wrong places, and terribly unflattering. I wanted to put in a circle-skirt, for a 50's look, but I just didn't have enough fabric. As it turns out, pleats in this cheap, stiff, fabric really don't work.

  It's shorter than my dresses usually are, because again, I was going for a 50's look, but it should have been even shorter to look right.

 The collar.... it's okay. I would have preferred it to be a bit taller, and maybe open in the front, but I don't hate it. And at least I know that the length of the sleeves works, though some cuffs would have been nice.

 All in all though, it makes me look a lot shorter and even chunkier than I actually am.

  At least my husband likes it. =) Here's what I'd change, if I were to sew this dress again: Add just a bit more wearing ease, lengthen the bodice a bit, leave the collar front open and make it taller, add cuffs to the sleeves, use either a paneled skirt or a circle skirt, and use a fabric with better drape. At least I learned something, right?

  I don't normally wear heels, but again... 50's. I actually didn't even own any heels, but I wanted some just for photos, so I picked some up at the thrift store. And no, I didn't luck out and find some that perfectly matched the snaps on my dress. They originally looked like this:
  Which is a pretty color but obviously doesn't work with a black-and-seafoam dress. I attacked them with some acrylic paints and they turned out like this:

  It's easy to tell they were painted if you get close, but honestly nobody looks that closely at my feet , and I don't plan to wear these again anyway. I'll probably pass them along to someone who does wear heels.

  The rough thing about all the sewing flops is that I really don't have much time to sew right now, and I really need new clothing. I'm just hoping the next thing I sew comes out better... my sweet mother-in-love gave me some denim as an early birthday present, and I want to make a skirt with it.

  Have any of you ever had a streak of bad luck/judgement/taste when it comes to sewing?

Thanks for stopping by,

PS... I have a Facebook page now! It's if you'd like to check it out.