Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Re-imagined Dress

Long time no blog post!! It's not that I haven't been sewing. Actually I have been working on a lot of projects...all at once! Which is why I haven't had anything to post about recently. One of the projects  was decorations for a wedding shower for a friend which I will (hopefully) be posting about soon. Another was the formal dress below that I remade.

A friend I met in school years ago contacted me over Facebook recently. She had noticed my blog posts and knew that I sewed, and she had a couple of dresses she wanted to send me. She wasn't going to use them, and figured I might be able to. It's amazing the things that can happen over the internet!

One of the dresses was a burgundy-colored formal. It was really pretty, but the velvet top just looked a little too vintage. So...I set out to remake it! Here are the before pictures:

Step 1 of the remodel: Take out the shoulder pads. And the dress straps. 

Step 2: Take off the bow and take it apart. There was a lot of fabric there that I knew I could use later.

Step 3: Those sleeves had to go. Not that I'm against sleeves on formal dresses, but I just didn't think it worked with the velvet.

Step 4: Brainstorm. I don't have a picture, but imagine me sitting on the floor alternating between staring at the dress and squeezing my eyes shut with the wheels turning in my brain behind them. This was actually a hard dress to re-imagine! I finally ended up deciding on doing something like what I did with this dress:

Step 5, then, was to make a bunch of flowers. I used the fabric I had from the sleeves and the bow. The bow had had black netting inside it, so I used that as well.

 I combined my flower-making techniques from this post with my sister's fabric-melting idea.

Together, they made these:

I needed lots of flowers...

Step 6: Prepare the top. If I wanted it to look like the black-and-aqua dress, I would need contrasting fabric on one shoulder. I cut a piece out of the front on one side...

...and cut out a matching piece from the leftover bow fabric to replace it.

Here's a sneak peak of what it's going to look like:

Step 7: Sew the top together. I had to use lots of pins when working with the velvet, because it tended to stretch and bubble up. I also found that having the velvet on the bottom when I was sewing helped it to lay more smoothly.

Step 8: The armholes. I folded both the lining and top fabric under a little and sewed them together close to the edge. Once again, lots of pins were needed!

Here the top is all sewn together:

Step 9: Sew on the flowers. I sewed a small, crystal bead in the middle of each flower for a little contrast.

And the dress is done!

And for some perspective:

I apologize for the bad pictures. For some reason, this dress was very unphotogenic! I didn't know that was possible, but apparently it is.

I hope you all have a blessed Sunday! I'll be back soon with more to tell you about!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday Sewing

Usually, on Sundays, I am at church pretty much all day long. It is a wonderful day of worship and fellowship with other believers. So when I am sick and have to stay home on a Sunday, it's a sad thing. Yesterday, I woke up hoping to be well enough to attend church, but I immediately realized that wasn't going to happen. What to do? I had to do something to keep myself from being too depressed! My brain instantly said: What fun sewing project could I work on? Thus, I spent most of the day making some jean skirts. One of them is still in the works, but I finished the other one today.

I have been needing another jean skirt for a while, now. I have owned several in the past with cool panels or designs, so I decided to take a stab at something out of the ordinary. Here is what I cut out:

Five irregular pieces each with the grain line going a different direction. I sewed them together and this is what I got:

Pretty cool, huh? And actually, the back looks even cooler!

I sewed the front and back together, hemmed it, and folded a simple hem on the top for a waistband. I used the zipper from an old pair of jeans, since I didn't have one laying around and didn't want to take the time (or money) to go buy one.

The zipper was a little short, so I added a hook and eye near the top.

All finished!

Yay! I made a cool jean skirt!! I will have to experiment more with this in the future!

Oh, and I got this jean fabric at the same store as I got my sewing desk, during the same 50% off sale. Inexpensive jean material is hard to find these days. That was one successful shopping trip!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Own Little Corner

I went shopping again. This time, the thrift store had a 50% off Labor Day sale. And this time, I got what I had been looking for on my other shopping trip: a desk! Why a desk? Well, I really needed a place to put all my sewing stuff, because it was pretty much all over my room.

Quite a mess, as you can see. So I left the house before nine o'clock Labor Day morning in the pouring rain to see if I could find a desk. And finding it wasn't really the most complicated part. When I drove my car around to the loading door, they wouldn't even try to put it in. I thought it would fit, but it was raining, and I didn't want to stand there and argue. So now I had two hours to find someone with a larger vehicle who could pick it up for me. A desperate help message on Facebook yielded a couple of responses, and a friend met me at the loading door in a little over an hour with her parent's minivan. Thank you Abbie!!

With the desk finally in the house, I could begin arranging and decorating! I started by unloading my room. I didn't remember there being so much space there!

The desk was a computer desk, so it had a keyboard tray. I really wanted a drawer there instead, so I decided to make one. I found a long, skinny box and cut off the lid. Then I covered it with fabric.

 I used staples to fasten the fabric to the cardboard. It worked really well.

It is amazing what you can fit in a small space when you need to! I was surprised how much I was able to put in the few shelves and drawer space I had to work with.

Everything is so organized!! I love it!!! No more messy piles! The only thing that is messy is the scrap drawer...but then, it's supposed to be that way.

Decorating the top of the desk was the most fun part.

My own little corner.

My pattern box...

...and its lid!

If you don't have bookends, use a purse!

A friend gave me this little organizer, which is actually a mug with a cover full of pouches. Once I pulled it out, I realized there was a lot I could stick in it!

The finished product:

Yay!! I am super, super happy about my new desk!!! I have my own little space for all of my projects, and a clean room as well! :-)