Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 Refashion #7: Comfy Nightie from lace LBD and modal skirt

I usually prefer to work on one item at a time (UFOs not included), but somehow this time around I have 2 projects currently on my table that I cannot put away but dragging my feet to work on, AND the nagging need to make this particular refashion ASAP.

It literally took a few hours (A couple last night, and a couple this morning) even at my very casual pace.

The black (with silver metallic) Guess dress has been in my possession almost a decade it seems. It used to be loose on me. LOL. Very rarely worn. But I do remember wearing it during a work presentation I had to make at the UN in Geneva way back when. I can't even remember exactly what about, it was a lifetime ago, but I remember that it was a last minute trip coz my boss had conflicting schedule, and I didn't have my suits or formal stuff with me (i was living and working in another country at the time). Worn it with a green cardigan buttoned up I think, so as to look as if only that I was wearing a black pencil skirt? Who knows what those delegations thought. 

I've been holding on to the dress to make embellishment on a white or red charmeuse top (yet to be made, perpetually on my mental to do list), especially after inspired to do so by Carolyn's designer interpretations series (of the diary of sewing fanatic blog). But I won't need the whole dress for what I had in mind anyways. 

Chop the top part plus 3 inches under the bust. Fold to keep the bottom half, for my inspired-by-Carolyn project.

Choosing what to use for the bottom part of the nightie took the longest coz I had a few ideas. But this modal knit maxi skirt (which was already refashioned once into a hilo skirt and last worn out on my birthday picnic in May) made the cut. The modal knit fabric is a dream against the skin, but I lined the skirt with the same fabric, so it was quite heavy. Not a good idea, hence skirt not popular with me. I reckon that it will be a dream to wear as a lounge wear/sleepwear. Provided that I don't make it heavy again.

I unpick the zipper from the back of the bodice, and added 1.5in strip of the modal knit in lieu of the zipper. I kinda trace a shorter version (hits 2 inches above my knee or thereabouts) of a maxi skirt pattern (minus the waist band) for the skirt portion here. Stitch the sides and then stitch the bodice and skirt part together.

Yes, very comfy! :) Lots of the modal knit fabric left to practice making lounge/sleep shorts and so on. Next time...

Happy sewing!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gone the sparky, the fiddly and the girly route

So, it took me a half day mulling over what to make next over the last weekend after the quilt top, and home dec-y stuff. That's a short mull for me coz I can really get sidetracked (how weird that word "mull" sounds now).

I chose the sparkiest, fiddliest and imo girliest fabric in my stash, the one that I've bought online (Gorgeous Fabrics) more than a year ago, at least, not knowing what to expect. While loving it upon receipt, was at a loss at what to make of it... Plus was kinda intimidated to cut into it (which was the same story with most of my "precious" stash, all waiting for the time I feel that I'm a bit ahead in my learning curve, and nerve). It's a mint and gold velvet burnout on silk (chiffon), and I have a lil over 3 yards of it.

I think the fabric in different lighting/or day and night will look different as the above pictures.

A simple design that can showcase the fabric. I wanted something like a kimono style or a duster jacket/long coat style, if you may. Which I think a style that would suit me when I think along the lines of Sarah Liz's Body shape style guide for oval/diamond. My interpretation is to wear this open over a skimming/or a lil loose sleeveless hip length top and skinny pants for example.

The quick mull also lends to a rather (surprisingly) quick rummage in my unorganized pattern stash. I unearthed Simplicity 7406, apparently an OOP pattern, that I thrifted back in Iowa for 25 cents. :) The description says that it's a loose-fitting jacket with front band, has full-length sleeves from dropped shoulder line. Comes in size 8-20. I think it's a good base for what I have in mind.

Continuing with the adventurous spirit that seems to come in abundance in this project, I cut a size 20 to ensure fit over my middle and bottom half, and then work it out from there on. My reasoning is that after all, it's a dropped shoulder style anyways, and my fitting issues was always with the shoulders running big, but it should cease to be a problem with this style.

The only change I made to the pattern was to change the sleeves to be straight and a lil wider, in line with the kimono-esque feel I desired. And I cut the fabric. Then I remembered that I never washed/pretreated the fabric before. Duhhh... Yikess! Do I sew and then wash? What if they shrink on me? Sob sob... 

I ended up soaking the cut fabric in a tub with tap water+fabric softener, lightly squashing and thoroughly rinsing them, something I used to always do when washing my silk traditional clothes back when I was in boarding school (high school) and we had to wear traditional clothes or blouses with dressy pants/long skirts during prep classes (I suppose it's like homeroom time in schools here in US? Except that this is in boarding school, so it's a few hours at every weeknight. We have afternoon prep hours too, after lunch and rest, but we have to wear school uniform for that. I guess in uni (lived at home) and then work, my mom and I just send them to the dry cleaners.) Here, I guess I've been lazy and put everything in the washer! Note to self: I really should handwash all my me mades........

Thankfully, it didn't shrunk or anything like that, so the next morning I was able to iron on and proceed. The instruction was easy breezy, very short. I french seamed all seams (not in the instruction, but I've made enough french seamed projects to remember to add the step this time).

Oh, by the way, I saw that the selvage is kinda nice and I wanted to use that as a hem feature on the sleeves and the jacket's front band. For the sleeves, I just made sure that I cut the sleeves pieces with the selvage on the hem edge. ;)

So after the front bodice pieces sewn to the back piece (and french seamed), and then the sleeves attached to the dropped shoulders (and french seamed), I pin and basted (i do a lot of pin and hand basting in all my projects) the sides  together and tried it on (before stitching and then french seamed). Man.... It was too big around the chest area. Now, looking at the pattern pieces, am not sure if this is because I cut a size 20 straight (probably more coz of the style), coz usually my bust go with size 16, and my shoulders go with size 14. Usually. But worry not. In true Far fashion, I just pinned and marked to where I want the sides to be (sewn in one time from sleeves to sides). 

Now its a better skimming to the bust and flowy from there on down. Rather than a kimono style, it's kinda resembled a loose kebaya (another variation of the traditional malay dress). Which is not a bad thing. After all, the month-long Eid celebration will commence in early August after we're done with this fasting month. Now I have something festive to don, in case I don't have time to work on my intended dress (tunic and long skirt) in the fabric I planned for that to match with my boys (my extended family is big on matchy colors for our many celebrations, it makes for fun photo session).

Okay, I'm jumping the gun here by posting the finished outfit. But I forgot to take picture of it while it was baggy (coz there was frenzy of stuff around the house as well as this project related) and I was trying and pinning and basting and so on. Oh... did I tell you that the gold part sheds so much? From start to the end, and I know it will keep on shedding! I've never had to sweep and vacuum so many times in my life, esp for just one project! Last time my clothes shed so much was the fully beaded (again on chiffon!) wedding solemnization dress of mine. (Nope, didn't shed during the ceremony (didn't notice anyways LOL), but I've worn it a number of times up to early pregnancy (mainly events like Eid party) and I shed tiny glass beads everywhere! Hmmm... I wish I can fit into it again. No, it wasn't a me made, but I love the fabric! Refashion it? Hmmmm.... Not yet I guess.)

I'll back up a bit to the part of the front band, and wanting to use the fabric selvage as a finish/feature. I cut 2 pieces of the band pattern with the selvage there of course. Then I join the 2 pieces to make one long band (this is as instruction) french seam style (my preference). Then I iron the band in half right side together, and sandwiching the staystiched front of the bodice (like in pic below) I hand baste and then machine stitch it down (making sure that the selvage part will be on the front).

Iron them. This is how it looks like after stitching down. Oh, and I stitch and fold/iron 1/4 inch of the raw edge of the front band:

Pin the band together and baste (the selvage part to the folded down raw edge on the inside):

 And topstitch down.
Iron iron..... Lots of ironing, and shedding, and sweeping, etc etc.

What's left was hemming the bottom part. But I let it hang on the dressform whole day, before I made a tiny (for me) hem the boring dirty way: stitch 1/4 inch at the bottom, iron and fold over on the stitchline, pink cut the seam to smaller, then fold and iron a tiny hem, and then stitch down approx 3/8 inch. Iron. Done. Phew.

BACK: I dunno why one of the sleeves look longer than the other here. I assure you it's not so in real life. I think. LOL.
And that's that.

For my friends over at the 2013 Style the Stash Sewalong, I think I might have used 2 1/2 yards for this. :)

What's next? Quilt the baby quilt already! and then another shirt for hubby with some tweaks to be done from his first shirt during the June stashbusting. And maybe a button up shirt for the Bean too... Ah, plans... we'll see about that!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Productivity up for Stash busting

At least to my standard, and pace... ;)

I guess that was mainly because I didn't sit in front of computer trying to string words together when posting on this blog (amid chaotic ruckus made by the Bean, which usually grow tenfold if he catches me on the computer and we get into a fight ;) no... it's mommy's turn, no, it's MY turn, no, it's mine, NOOOOO!!! ho-yeah! Fun times)

Another reason could be because I've moved my sewing space from the hallway closet to literally in the hallway/by the entrance. Good lighting there truly helps! Plus wooden floor means I can see dropped pins and clean up threads after a project rather easily. Since I "liberated" the only other closet from my sewing table and machines and books, there are finally a place to put things that usually clutters the eyes, like the vacuum! :)

So far in July here's what I've been working on:

1) Patchwork quilt top for 2013 nephew #2
Exploring the blocks placement: 6 x 4 blocks of wonky stars

All done! Front view

All done: Closeup front view

All done: Back view of top        

2) Bean's cotton pillow case #2 (1/2 yard main fabric, 1/4 yard of orange fabric for inside = 3/4 yards)

3) Ironing board cover

Ironing board: After
Ironing board: Before

The bright green fabric used to cover the ironing board was from a thrifted (brand new though) curtain (that comes in a pair). I had a total of 1.4 yards leftover from previous projects. From this 1.4 yards I used some for the ironing board, and the rest for oven mittens (that's not done yet coz apparently I need insulated batting also, so that will have to wait) with little scraps left.

I'm torn between wanting to proceed with the quilt, or starting with garment sewing... :) Hmmm.... I'll mull things over for a while. Watch this space to see what I end up doing this weekend ;)

Happy weekend, and happy sewing!


2013 Refashion #6: Tardy Neon Toddler Pants

This was done back in May, but was posted onto the blog nor Refashion Coop then. Main excuse would be that each time that I managed to actually get in front of PC, I can't find the original photo on the pc ;) But now it's all sorted out (and am seizing the opportunity while the boys are still slumbering...)

Original pieces:
1) My old neon barely worn CK cotton dress

2) Scraps from the sleeves of denim shirt from another of May 2013 refashion project
The play pants was based on the pyjama bottom pattern of McCall's 6458 I've made for the Bean made previously with tweaks to the sizing. I also added patch pockets to the sides, and added "appliques" of the letter I on one side and giraffe on the other. 

More play shots:

:) Happy refashioning and sewing!


Monday, July 1, 2013

June 2013 Stashbusting!

Hello there!

Here's the rundown of my stashbusting effort so far:

2 yards of floral cotton+silk voile ---> M6702 top number 2 (my blouse)
2.5 yards of window pane shirting of probably a blend fibre ----> first ever shirt for hubby (definitely wearable muslin)
2 yards of soft pin striped shirting cotton ----> baby quilt backing
1.5 yards of quilting cotton ----> continuous bias binding for baby quilt, with leftover binding
0.5 yards of home dec fabric and some layers of felt/batting ---> exercise bicycle padding

Total yardage out of the stash in June 2013 is 8.5 yards

Photographic evidence:
Item #1: Already blogged M6702 top #2

Item #2: Hubby's first shirt is a wearable muslin from a fabric purchased at a thrift store maybe 2 years ago for $2. Buttons were from an old shirt. Based of the pattern V8759 for the front, but forgo the pattern's seamed/pieced back. I made the back based on an existing shirt he loves and comfortable in (quite simple).

Item #3: A quick pad for the stationery bicycle that really should be used!

Item #4 and #5: Added batting and back on previously completed patchwork, and made continuous bias strip too for the binding. Haven't taken the completed quilt picture yet.

:) i've been awol most of the month on my own blog, a lot of things going on (of course home and kiddo, and there there's also my father's bypass operation earlier in the month-went well by the way, and he's at home now recuperating.... :) ) but I've definitely been working on working down my stash, and making space in the stash closet... and once a while resurface to say hello and comment on our 2013 Style the Stash Sew-A-Long blog, which I'm heading off to right about now...

Happy sewing!!!