Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Jean Thing

I am the proud owner of numerous pairs of old and not-so-old jeans, given to me by a friend who had no use for them. I have actually owned these jeans for several months, and just haven't had the time to sit down and do something with them! 

Finally, last week, I decided to make myself a skirt. It was more of an experimental project than anything else. What would happen if I combined several different colors of jean in one skirt? I decided to make a skirt like the one below (a pattern I had come up with myself several years earlier). I liked the shape of the hem, and the paneled design was perfect for using different kinds of jean.

I chose two pairs of light jeans, one of black, and some flower-embroidered jean that was left over from a project of my sister's. There would be eight panels, light jean alternating with black or flowered.

I think it was the easiest skirt I have ever sewn! There were a lot of panels, but they went quickly enough. For the hem and waist, I just zig-zagged the edge, folded it under, and sewed it down - simple, quick, and efficient. 

Just a house skirt, but I think the experiment turned out rather well! I can either wear it perfectly symmetrical, like the picture on the right, or randomly off-center, as on the left. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Back in Business

Well, with graduation finally passed and the push to the end of the semester over, I am once again able to devote a lot of time to sewing! Hence, more frequent blog posts! :-)

Just because I didn't have time to sew doesn't mean I didn't begin projects and accumulate fabric. In fact, I have a full drawer, a bin, and various other bags filled with cloth or projects in the works or clothes that need to be altered. And...I just went fabric shopping the other day. Because that's what a seamstress does when she has time on her hands and new projects in her head! I was so excited about seeing my purchases drying on the line that I had to take a few pictures for you.

One of the new projects is aprons, like the one below:

                   I made two like this and still have two more                        each of black and white zigzags and black                          and white checks planned. The pattern was                        inspired by a 1950's dress I saw in an old                          magazine. So cute!

                   If you want one, they are now up for sale                          on my Etsy shop. Stay posted for the two                          other designs as well!

Happy spring!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Making it Modest

Sometimes, I see a formal dress I really like, but it's just not wearable! That was the case with the purple dress below:

                                                          I loved the color and the fabric, but those spaghetti
                                straps and the low back just wouldn't do! So, I bought it                                 anyway and set to work.

The dress came with a purple sheer sash, which I decided to turn into a draped collar. For the pattern, I used this drape-necked shirt I had made:

I made the draped collar with a double layer of sheer, but it still needed something more than straps under it. The silk under-layer of the skirt was long enough that I was able to cut a narrow band off the bottom. With this, I made a square collar and attached it to the dress.

All that was left to do was to attach the sheer drape at the shoulders. In order to make it lay perfectly, I lightly ironed pleats along the drape.

As you can see, I also added a white sheer sash. This is because of another slight alteration I made. The dress was a little too low under the arms, so I shortened the straps a bit. It worked well, except that the silk top of the dress now looked too short! The sash was the perfect way to disguise this fact, and it also added some contrast to the dress.

The end result was a much more modest dress - and more attractive, if I may say so. I love beautifying things!