McCall’s M7093

Today I have a shirt to share that I absolutely love to wear. goodRhymes aside, I hate how it photographs. It’s a breezy, unfitted top made of a cotton gauze, and I feel good when I wear it, but I took pictures on breezy day and apparently it fills out like a sail. Not a good look.

DSCN5315

Ready to set sail! (This isn’t even the worst shot…)

But I like wearing it a lot, and I like the extra work I put into the construction.

See, the pattern suggest contrasting colors for parts of the shirt, which I liked. But I couldn’t find two fabrics that complemented each other and spoke to me. Instead, after cutting the side panels and sleeves, I used the end of an unsharpened pencil to stamp gold polka-dots on the fabric.DSCN5356 It’s very subtle, especially from a distance, but feels so special when worn. I also took the time to finish all the seams properly, with french seams and double-folded hems.

Bottom line, I still quite like this pattern, even if it’s not the most flattering thing I’ve ever worn. I cut a a size 22, but it has a lot of ease, so I think I’ll downsize to a 20 the next time I make it, to reduce sail potential. I might also try view D, which is a tunic and therefore beltable…good2

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Simplicity 1614

I have a new favorite summer top!DSCN5358

This is Simplicity 1614 version B. I made this once years ago out of quilting cotton, and it was just a little stiff. I mean, I wear it sometimes, but didn’t love it. This one, however, is made of a light and breezy printed rayon and is wonderful and drapey. I actually bought the fabric for a different project, but changed my mind. So I rummaged through my patterns and decided to revisit. So glad I did! I sewed up a size 20, and found the fit good, except the back strap. DSCN5360I think I’ll shorten it by about an inch next time I make this baby. (And believe me, there will be a next time!)DSCN5362

Very quick and easy to sew, even with making my own bias tape.

My favorite part of this top is that I took time to sew little straps and snaps inside the shoulders.

This way I can snap my bra straps in place! I tend to stay away from tanks because I don’t like my bra showing, but these snaps have worked like an absolute dream. I think I may need to go through my wardrobe and sew them on everything I own!

Beautiful Beaded Bracelets!

DSCN5292I’ve known you could crochet with beads and wire for years, and have tried it in the past, but was never super happy with the results. But then I crocheted three chains with beads and braided them together, and quite like the results!DSCN5284

I used clamshells over the ends of the wires, and then attached my findings to them. The biggest problem I had with these was estimating how long to make the chains, as I wasn’t sure how much the act of braiding would shorten them. But I estimated all right; it turns out I was right on with my first try, discounting the clasp: Oops! So this guy’s a little looser than I like, but still perfectly wearable 🙂 DSCN5281

I made both of these bracelets in under an hour! A fun, easy craft if you already know how to crochet!

Earrings that I made and like

DSCN5307Hi! I have been doing a ton of crafting, and very little blogging recently.  My goal in the next week or two is to share a number of quick posts about things I’ve made. First up is this pair of earrings!DSCN5300

I was inspired by a number of tutorials and images I saw on Pinterest, but I didn’t follow any particular directions. If you’ve ever picked up a pair of pliers and some wire, you can make these, but they’re very different from any other pairs I’ve personally made. I hope you like them too 🙂DSCN5296

Tiny Foxes

Recently I sewed a basic t-shirt with some remnant fabric from Jo-Ann fabrics. It’s a fun shirt, and I’ve gotten a lot of joy out of wearing it.

fox shirt

(sorry for the poor quality shot…)

But I’ve gotten even more joy out of what I made with the scraps: Tiny stuffed foxes 🙂DSCN4758

They are super easy to make, and would work with any fabric that has cute animals on it. The how-to for these cuties is pretty straight forward, but just in case you want to make your own, here goes!

  1. Cut out two of the animals, leaving a generous border.
  2. Face the pieces together, right side in.
  3. Sew around the outside, leaving an opening.
  4. Turn right side out (use something pointy like a dull pencil or chopstick to help!)
  5. Stuff with other smaller scraps or poly-fil, and neatly stitch closed.DSCN4754
  6. (optional) Have far too much fun placing them in your herb garden 🙂DSCN4753

A few tips and ideas:

  • If using a stretch fabric, like my foxes, make sure the pieces you cut out have the stretch going in the same direction.
  • If there are a lot of curves, clip the fabric outside the seams carefully (don’t cut through your stitches!) to make for smoother turning.
  • Stitch or glue your finished tiny creatures to a pin and wear for a dash of whimsy =^.^=

Last Minute Christmas Scarf

Hi! I’m still alive! I’ve been so busy with this school year that I’ve hardly had time to make, let alone craft. But the past week or two, I’ve finally gotten back into some sort of crafting groove, and I have few things to share. But today, with a week left until Christmas, I thought I’d put together a tutorial for a quick project that makes a great gift!dscn4666

That’s right; today, I’m sharing not just a make, but a tutorial. It’s a super simple project that can be made in under an hour, and makes a wonderfully cozy present. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but still, here goes!

Two-toned Pull Through Flannel Scarf

Materials:dscn4667

  • 2 cuts of flannel, each about 1 foot wide
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • pins
  • scissors

Directions:

  1. Cut your flannel to size. For length, I found the width of the bolt (56″) made a good length, so kept the selvedges the short ends, and cut strips 12″ wide.dscn4668
  2. Pin your two pieces together, right sides facing each other, and sew around using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Make sure to leave a 4″ opening along one of the long sides.dscn4669
  3. Trim corners and turn right side out. When you trim, be careful not to clip through your stitches!dscn4670
  4. Pin all around, making sure that the fabric around the opening in tucked inside. Sew around, about 1/4″ from the edge. If you’re having trouble getting the edges neat while pinning, feel free to break out the iron!dscn4671
  5. About a quarter of the way up from a short edge, mark a 4-5″ line in the center of your scarf. Zig-zag stitch around the line a few times.dscn4673
  6. Cut the line inside your stitching carefully, and avoid cutting the zig-zags. This is your pull-through opening. The flannel will fray a bit. I gently tugged at the cut edges and then trimmed all the little strands.
  7. Ta-dah! You’re ready to face the fiercest flurries!dscn4661

Variations:

  • Use a contrasting thread to make the edge stitching and pull-through really pop.
  • Add pom-pom fringe to the short ends.
  • Use a printed flannel with a solid, or be really vibrant and mix different prints!
  • Add a third layer of flannel and quilt the layers together.

And another one!

I may have to find a new go-to dress pattern. Three of the same may be excessive. But I can’t help myself! I love my Simplicity 1620. And each time I’ve made it (4 total, as I gifted one) it comes out different, as I keep using very different fabrics.dress

This time I made it with some steeply discounted silky fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I tend to avoid their simply silky prints, as they’re tricky to sew, but I couldn’t resist this print. But I knew it’d have to be a simply make with such a fiddly fabric, and, well, another 1620.dress-back

I love how it turned out 🙂

Just Zip and Swish!

A little while I ago, I shared a circle skirt I made out of an old sheet and thrifted zipper. After I posted it, a reader asked for a tutorial on putting a zipper in a circle skirt.DSCN4488

Now, what I’m about to share is neither revolutionary, nor is it even perhaps the best method. But it works for me! So without further ado, here’s how I do it!

Supplies:

  1. fabric, cut to be a circle skirt
  2. scissors
  3. a zipper – I use a 7 inch zipper, but a longer one will work.
  4. thread and sewing machine
  5. zipper foot
  6. seam ripper
  7. iron

Directions:

  1. Cut into your lovely circle, from hem to waist. Try your best to keep it a straight line.dscn4563
    1. Note: You can either attach a waist band using your favorite method before you cut, or after. You can even attach it after you’ve sewn in the zipper, and add a button closure, like you see in the photo up top.
  2. Now sew it back up!dscn4569 With right sides together, use your machine’s longest stitch from the waist down to where the zipper will stop, about seven inches, and then sew the rest of the way to the hem at a regular stitch length.
  3. Press the seam open.dscn4564-copy
  4. Now pin the zipper along the pressed seam.dscn4567-copy The key is to make sure the center of the zipper teeth line up perfectly with the pressed-open seam. If you’re off, then the zipper will be slightly wonky.dscn4565-copy
    1. In the interest of full disclosure, my zippers may sometimes be slightly wonky…
  5. Now hand baste the zipper. dscn4566-copyWhile you can technically skip this step, I highly recommend it. I always get a much better finish, and the hand basting gives you a chance to double check that the zipper is aligned with the seam. It also keeps the zipper in place even better than pins for the next step.
  6. Now, using the zipper foot attachment on your machine, sew the zipper in place. dscn4560Make sure to sew over the bottom end a few times so it’s secure.
  7. Once you’ve sewn both sides of the zipper, remove the basting stitches.dscn4559
  8. Finally, the magic happens. Turn your skirt right side out and grab your seam ripper. Carefully undo the top part of your seam, the bit that’s hiding the zipper.dscn4562 Don’t rip out any stitches from the bottom of the zipper down to the hem – only rip from the bottom of the zipper up to the waist!
  9. And Ta-Dah! Your circle skirt now has a zipper!dscn4557
    1. If you already attached the waistband, you’re good to go! Otherwise, attach the band and then add a button closure above the zipper.

Hopefully you find the tutorial helpful! If you have any questions, let me know. Good luck with your circle skirts!

 

Responsible Refashion: Part 2

Hey there!

In my last post, I talked about the documentary The True Cost and my decision to refashion some clothes that I bookmarked for the thrift store. I love my maxi-dress refashion, and have gotten compliments both times I’ve worn it out so far.

But I didn’t stop with the dress; I also refashioned a sweater!DSCN4347

This sweater was just…fine. I would often put it on in the morning, take a look in the mirror, and then take it off and put it back in my closet. It was a little short in the arms, and the fit was awkward: too loose to be fitted, not loose enough to be baggy-chic.

So I pinned the sides and sewed up to the shoulder seams. DSCN4349Then I cut off the sleeves and trimmed them to even rectangles. I also cut across the shoulder seams to the level of the neckline. Once everything was squared up, I sewed on the former sleeves as a waistband.DSCN4357

Now I have a cute sweater pencil skirt to wear once the weather gets chilly. I think this skirt will work very well with tights and a pair of boots 🙂

Easy Earrings

Hello!DSCN3979

I’ve been doing a lot of crafting and sewing and wedding planning, but very little blogging. But I’ve something to share today. This is a very easy craft, but I think it turned out really well.

Basically, I bought blank earring studs and E6000 adhesive and made earrings. Not difficult. DSCN3971But I had so much fun going through my button jars to find pairs that would work as a set.

I think the real crafty-ness comes in the making of the little cards.DSCN3977 I used what I had on hand, so just cut up a cereal box and poked holes in with a pin for the earrings to go through.DSCN3974

For this pair, I glued stone beads on the blanks studs. However, I didn’t like the look of the bead holes, so I glued small silver beads in them. I was originally going to write “You Rock” after the earrings, but then realized the earrings themselves could fill in for the o’s! So now there’s a nice little reminder/self-esteem boost to go with the earrings 🙂

Sometimes a simple craft can bring as much joy as a challenging one!