Monday, December 27, 2010

Noir Scarflette & Eyelet Skirt

I was going through my failed sewing projects and found this skirt that I had sewn a few months ago.  I had botched the hem and could not fix it or it would be too short for me. 
This skirt is a black cotton eyelet and I lined it in a white stretch cotton fabric.  I cut this skirt on the bias with a side zipper.  So while I was designing my scarflette I thought about this skirt and how it would look nice when worn together.  I made the bias trim for the scarflette and added the same trim to the hem of my skirt.
From one of my sewing books I got instructions on how to make your own bias trim and it is easy!

The scarflette is also my own design and very easy to make.  Just measure how long and wide you want the scarflette to be and cut into half, sew the back together, this one I made just reaches below my shoulders.  

  Then add your hood.  I used a hoodie pattern that I already had.  Add your trim or serge or sew the edges & your done!
 I am always cold in the winter even driving with the heat on because I'm usually getting in & out of the car running errands or getting Starbucks like I did today after getting the middle childs retainer replaced! So this scarflette is great for keeping me extra warm!

Its also warm to wear without the hood.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coco Capelet & Skirt

 I found this violet tweed boucle wool fabric and loved it.  This is the second hooded capelet that I have made from this violet fabric.  This one has pockets, button and hook & eye closure too. 

To make the skirt I used a pencil tweed skirt that fits me perfect and used that as a pattern.
I kept the selvages at the bottom of the skirt and stitched above because I like the darker contrast.

    This is the hood.

       I wore this on a cold night when we took the family to dinner at our favorite restaurant Sagres!

The hood is warm for our cold Vancouver nights!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Little Black Heart Dress

I have been surprised and excited that my Femme Capelet has been a success!  I sewed this capelet only for me but I have had women stop and ask where I purchased it, and when I told them I made it they wanted to purchase from me!!  I also have come to realize what a powerful marketing tool the internet is and have had orders for my capelet on line.  So I have been busy working full time and sewing the orders at night.  I enjoy making this so this is a bonus that I can sell something I enjoy doing!!  In the midst of this its that time of year when my husband and I are invited to dinners and parties.  I needed a little black dress and came up with this design.  I like hearts and the colour hot pink so I combined these two for this dress. I used a heavy crepe satin for this dress.
Here is my mini tutorial for making the heart cut out back.   I first cut out a heart template from white tracing paper.
then I cut out the interfacing for around the heart at least 1 inch bigger all around using your template as a guide and then cut out the center- I used a light but next time I would use a medium weight interfacing.
Measure where your heart goes on your bodice piece and cut out.

 Do the same for the lining.
 Iron on facing to wrong side of lining.  (My ironing board is white so it looks like a whole heart but it actually the cut out.
Pin right side of fabric and right side of lining together.

 sew together
 turn right side out and press well
 this is what the lining looks like

 and the fabric

 Sewingadicta has a great blog and I used her tip and cut the lining for the bra on the bias.
 I had to hand sew the cups to the lining

This is the bodice I designed!

I also added inseam pockets using the left over cut out hearts 

 Place pockets about 3 inches from waist
 sew together along seam
 fold pocket over and press and pin skirt together at seams
 sew seam but do not sew pocket together (leave opening)
 Now sew pocket together around curves (not down the center)
 its done your inseam pocket!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Femme Capelet

I have been having a few sewing failures this week with patterns so I have decided to go back to sewing my own designs.  That is really how I how got interested in sewing - I wanted to design and sew my own clothes.  I was not impressed of how clothes were fitting me and how cheap some of the material was - even the so called "designer clothes" lacked design and fit.  I also could never find a dress that fit me properly on the bodice  and skirt.  It was always too big or too small.   So I poured over every "teach your self how to sew" books and I was hooked.  I designed and sewed my first few dresses and skirts without a pattern and had fun creating something from a few meters of fabric.  I also read some great tutorials from other blogs by some really great seamstresses.  I was amazed at what these women could sew and seemed to make it look so easy.  Also when I emailed these wonderful women with a newbie question on how they used a certain technique they were very generous with their time to email me back with an answer!  I never new this wonderful sewing world existed and I was encouraged to be part of it and this was 6 months before I started my blog.  No one in my group of friends sews so books and blog tutorials have been my sewing education.  Here I am babbling - back to my pattern failures, I have learned quite alot from patterns, one being patience (which I don't have) and proper cuttings and I guess sometimes fit.  My last few projects I have measured properly, cut properly and sewn with the correct needles and after all that - disaster - the red skirt, purple dress, merlot cardi-wrap does not fit!  I have not posted these projects, that will be for another post.  For the merlot cardi-wrap I even took apart the stitches to see where my mistakes might be - with no luck.  I used the correct fabric, thread and it was still too big and hung on me funny.  I put those 3 garments away (flung them in the closet) and went to watch Top Gear on BBC.   The next day after work I went to the fabric store (they pretty much know me now) and purchased some gorgeous wool fabric and designed this capelet (since the cardi-wrap was a no go).

I love capelets and had made a simple one this summer with a matching skirt.  For this one I added a hood, the same hood design as my Volturi Dress and wool was a fabric that I have not yet sewed with so might as well try something new and not give up!  I also wanted this capelet to be warm so wool was the choice.  The armhole was something new to learn and went smoothly.  I used my own measurements and height for this design.  I also put in a hook & eye closure at the bottom and a button & buttonhole at the top (another new technique that I read from my Singer manual and practised on scrap fabric until I got it). 

I sewed this on my other Singer 1960's machine because I thought the wool was quite thick and this machine is my workhorse for thicker fabric.  I also usually keep it threaded black for quick sewing.

I hemmed all the edges of this capelet and made it so the darker brown selvages are draping in the front of it.

When I finished this I sewed up a another top in my favorite Metropolitan design fabric(this is my 2nd top with this great fabric), this time I sew it with a contrasting long black jersey sleeves and then finally a  black duiponi silk skirt, both my own designs.  I made the skirt in a asymmetrical design and I have no problems cutting or sewing with duiponi silk! 

All these photos were taken by my Model (middle child) and all it cost me was a Baconator at Wendy's!!  I like this one with the sun setting.
This skirt is 3 pieces with a yoke and gathers.  By accident I found a simple way to add gathers to the silk, I just layered or scrunched up the fabric and pushed it through as I was sewing- it gathered!  Real seamstresses are cringing right about now and I don't know if this will hold up but I will wear it and hand wash and see what happens.  I was doing the gathering before the correct way by sewing 2 lines and then pulling together but I always seem to break the thread!  I like the way silk drapes and it is one of my favorite fabrics.  I am so happy that I finished this outfit as we are going out for our anniversary dinner tonight.  I have not completely given up on patterns, just taking a break and to see what I can design next!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pink Leather iPad Case

I have been having fun with my iPad these past couple of weeks.  I was initially going to get the iTouch (the Model (middle child) has one & I liked it)  but mini-me told me that the iPad would be better for me to see and had more features!  The 11 year old knew so much about these I was amazed!!  She is definitely an old soul! So I went to look and asked alot of questions (I always do my research before purchasing anything -  a bit OCD about that).  I went home did more research on the computer and decided it was better for me.  I went the next day and purchased one.  When I asked for a case I was shown a hideous brown case selling for $59.99.  I said no thanks and went home & stayed up for hours amazed at what this little computer could do!  I had all of the materials to make my own case so I started with the padding, just took the measurements and sewed right sides together on my serger.  I used some of this navy blue soft light quilt fabric that I have had a long time in my stash.

I had some pink leather to use for the actual case and decided to sew on my old Singer machine.  I knew it would sew the leather better than my new machine.  I cut out the leather with sharp scissors that I only use for cutting leather.  I was going to make handles but I usually carry my iPad like a notebook or it goes into my purse or it sits on the front passenger seat of my car, so I made a cover of how I use it.

It looked rather plain so I added some hearts that I cut out free hand to add to the front flap.

I then sewed a line down the middle of each heart to the flap.

Ta Da!! the new leather case made with materials and fabric that I already had!!  While I was on a roll I made a matching case for my crackberry with little hearts.

This was a simple project that mini-me and I did together and I have a fashionable protector for my iPad.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Popsicle Dress

We are in the midst of some major home renovations and to take a break from it I thought I would try and sew myself some "easy" summer dresses. This dress was started two months ago and put away several times out of shear frustration. This colour combination comes from turquoise being my fav colour for 2010 and these great red shoes that my BFF got me for my birthday this year. 
When I wore this dress the Princess (my oldest teenage daughter) announced that the colours looked like a Popsicle) I also had some red bias tape and I purchased the turquoise stretch cotton fabric for a great price (buy one meter get two free at the fabric store that I stalk three times a week.
 I designed this dress myself - easy one seam - well easy if you are shaped like a rectangle. I got to know the seam ripper very well (I had first added the ruffle to the bodice and it did not look right) and my serger saved this dress by being able to serge off my mistakes.
 I really like ruffles now and thanks to Tea Rose for her online tutorial. The first dress I started I actually serged too much off so I put that one aside to make for my youngest daughter. This on was finished and when I wore it for date night dinner the weather was really hot and I was very comfortable in this dress. 
The cotton felt great and soft. I am planning on making more of this style of dress but next time I will use a A line or pencil skirt pattern for the bottom part of the dress.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My new blog

I am new at blogging & a novice seamstress
learning to sew my own skirts & dresses.
I shamelessly use my 3 daughters as models
& dress forms.

They have all been very supportive

since I started to sew this past January.

Skirts & dresses for Easter that I made.

My youngest, Mini-me has been there right
from the start!

So this is my place to share my novice projects & my start 
to blogging!