Friday, November 23, 2012

The Houndstooth Skirt

so i finished the houndstooth coat for class and i had at least a yard of fabric left over.  this as not on purpose, though.  my mom and i bought the amount the pattern called for, but my mom is short-waisted and as a result i had to shorten all the body pieces by at least 3 inches.  which left me with all the unexpected leftover fabric and lining.  no problems though, because i knew what i was going to do with it.  i decided i was going to make my mom a skirt.  which shows how much we think alike, because before i even mentioned anything about what i was going to do with the excess she goes, "you can make me a skirt."  well surprise, surprise i was already ahead of her!

so, for the skirt i used the same pattern from my first class assignment.  also, this time i knew how bad the fabric frayed so i was prepared.  since the skirt pieces were simple i cut them out using my rotary cutter and immediately serged all the edges once they were cut.  i even figured out how to serge the edges and turn to knife off so i didn't cut off any of my seam allowance.  this is amazing! =D

onto the skirt!

one modification i made to the pattern was by cutting the front piece into two separate pieces, instead of one, so i could get the pattern on the skirt to work out the way i wanted it to.  for the pattern on the skirt i wanted the to point down and to the sides.   so to do this i had to cut each skirt piece separately and flip and rotate my fabric.  luckily this worked out because there was really no right or wrong side to the fabric.  then, where i sewed the front pieces together down the center i did a topstitch on both sides of the middle seam.

another modification i made to the skirt was by adding a lining.  the skirt pattern is just the skirt pieces and the facing.  but i wanted to add a lining to prevent the skirt from riding up.  i simply cut the lining exactly form the pattern pieces.  i didn't worry about cutting the front in two pieces since it was on the inside and wouldn't make a difference.  i then sewed the lining pieces the way it called for but left the back open.  then it was time to attach everything to the waist.  to make this easier i basted the facing to the skirt before sewing the lining, facing, and skirt.  then i turned everything down and pressed so it would hold its shape.  due to the thickness of the fabric, though, the facing wouldn't stay down.  so to remedy this i did a topstitch BY HAND near the top.  i love the result, but boy did it take me a while, because i would get to a point and realize the stitches had started slanting up, so i had to pull it out an redo it.

once that was done i attached the lining around the zipper.  to do this i ironed under the edges of the lining and did a catch stitch to attach it to the zipper tape.  then i sewed up the back seam of the lining as close to the zipper as i could.  next the hem.

for the hem of the skirt i pressed up an inch and did a slipstitch to hold it in place.  for the lining i ironed up 1/2" and did a zig-zag stitch.  i could've been finished there, but i decided to do a bar/french tack to attach the lining to the skirt but still allow it to have free movement. this was the first time i had ever done a bar/french tack but i figured it out.  now the skirt is complete!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Houndstooth Coat

my final assignment for my Clothing Construction 1 class is complete!!...3 weeks ahead of when it's due, might i add :)  i typically don't wear jackets, well, blazer-type jackets, so i chose a coat pattern...and i ended up making the coat for my mom.  we went shopping for the materials and all i did was tell her what i needed.  the part of picking out the fabric and buttons was all up to her.  so of course she wanted a houndstooth coat.  which, houndstooth is very in this season, apparently.

for the coat pattern i used Simplicity 2311.  
the pattern was fairly easy to follow, although there was a lot of jumping around since i made the double-breasted coat.  so, that part was a little annoying.  also, because the fabric was so thick, it's a wool blend, it kept wanting to give me trouble on some parts when i would try to sew it.  other than those things i enjoyed the pattern and want to make myself a coat now, in the shorter, single-breasted version.

another issue i had with the coat was the fabric.  the fabric is great for the coat, but it frays like crazy!  i mean, it's like you just look at the stuff and pieces are falling off.  i had to make sure and be gentle when moving it around a lot to prevent losing my seam allowances.  for the hem it told me to turn up the hem on the part that was left open to turn it and stitch the lining to the fabric.  well, since my fabric frayed so much doing that was impossible.  so my teacher for the class gave me the idea of buying some kind of fusible ribbon to put along the edge.  well, i didn't want to go out and buy that, especially since i didn't know what she was talking about, so i improvised.  basically i took a piece of fusible pellon, that's fusible on both sides, folded it over the edge of the wool and ironed it on.  then i just took some scrap muslin, folded it over the edge on top of the interfacing and ironed it in place.  problem solved!...and you can't see it either with the lining in place.

during this whole process my mom kept trying to get me to do so many different things to the coat and change things.  i told her just because i was making the coat didn't mean she could get all diva on me. hehe  one suggestion she had was to do a cuff on the sleeve...well, that was when i had hemmed the sleeve to where it was supposed to be and ended up being too short.  luckily though, i had just done a slip stitch to hold the hem so it was easy to undo.  once i took out the original hem the length was good, but being the wonderful daughter i am =D i decided to do the cuff for her anyway.

for the cuff, i cut a piece of my fabric 5" tall and the width of the sleeve pattern piece.  then i sewed the short edges together...and serged since my fabric frayed so badly.

next, i turned the cuff piece right side out and pinned it to the inside of the sleeve, matching seams.

once it's sewn you can pull the cuff piece out and the seams of the cuff will be facing out.

next, i just pressed the free serged edge of the cuff down so i could sew it in place.  when turning up the cuff i pushed the seam allowance where the two pieces are sewn together down.  that way when the cuff is in place it gave me more of the cuff inside the sleeve.

and voila! the cuff is done.  and then i added a couple 1" buttons.  i tried to get my mom to get red, since she's gonna be wearing a reed hat with it, but she shot down that idea. lol  now i have a completed coat!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Three Little Bowties

i received another request from the mother of my favorite little 3 year old customer.  this time she wanted me to do 3 bowties for her son so she could give them to him for Christmas.  she asked me to make a red one, a black one, and a polka dot one.  the last one i made for him, turned out pretty well, but not as great as i would've liked.  so this time i made some changes.

i used the same tutorial as last time, over at Prudent Baby.  this time instead of using satin, i used cotton for all of them.  a main reason i chose cotton was because i couldn't find any other fabric with a cute polka dot pattern.  i like the way they turned out though using the cotton.  another change i made was using actual bowtie sliders and clips.

last time was my first time ever making a bowtie, so i didn't really know what i was doing and didn't have the proper hardware.  i ended up using velcro for the closure and it wasn't adjustable enough.  so, lessons learned i knew what to do this time to make them better!  i made the strap longer and bought some bowtie sliders and clips from Etsy.  all-in-all, these bowties turned out way better than the last one!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Projects On My Sewing Table...

well, actually the only table i use is the one with my 2 sewing machines and serger on it.  everything else i do is on the living room floor.  one day though, i will have a cutting/sewing table!

so, currently i cam working on the jacket/coat that is due in December for my Clothing Construction 1 class.  i have the outer shell done and just need to construct my lining, sew it in place, hem the coat and put on buttons.  i know, it's not due until December, so am i soooo ahead you ask?  well, once i get into my sewing moods it's always hard for me to stop and, this fabric (a wool blend) frays like crazy so i wanted to get the outside constructed so i could get the edges serged and stop the fraying.

one thing i am having to do though is redo the belt.  my mom needs extra length on the belt so it will close correctly across the front.  i hate to have to do this though because i already have the seams serged and that means i have to cut the serged stitches, take out the seam a little and replace the belt.  at least the coat will fit better once it's done.

and here's a close up of the buttons my mom chose for her coat.  they go with the coat perfectly and have a classy, vintage look to them.  so cute!

the other project i'll be working on is 3 bowties for my mom's hairdresser's little boy.  i've made one bowtie for him before (although the fitting of it is weird since i didn't have actual bowtie closures) and she asked me for 3 more.  this time i ordered some bowtie slides from Etsy so she ail be able to get a lot of use out of the bowties as he gets older.  so, i will be working on those this weekend to get them done.  i'll be doing a red one, black one, and polka dot one.  i'm especially excited about the polka dot one because i think it'll be so cute!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Seein' Red...Jeans

for the longest i have wanted a pair of red skinny jeans.  i've looked in stores but could never find the perfect pair.  well, finally a solution!  for my Clothing Construction 1 class our second sewing assignment was to make a pair of pants.  so what did i do?!  i bought some lightweight red denim and made me some red skinny jeans, of course!

this was my first time EVER making a pair of pants.  i must say though, they turned out pretty darn good!  i am sooooo ready to rock my red skinny jeans.

i pretty much followed the pattern to a 't'...i mean, we kind of had to for the class.  

the only tiny change i did make was adding pockets on the back.  i'm not a fan of jeans that have no back pockets...well, except for my amazingly awesome and comfy pair of denim i took another air of jeans, traced the pocket and made a template.  easy peasy!

also, in class, we talked about the different types of seams you can find on you have your classic seam, there's a flat-felled seam (which is done on the inside seam of jeans), and a fake flat felled seam(which is when they basically do a traditional seam then on the outside they do a topstitch).  for my jeans i chose to do a true flat-felled seam.  and i'm glad i did because the end result was great!
gorgeous flat-felled seam

and to make the jeans even better is the fact that they are long enough!  for those of you that have never had the wonderful opportunity of having jeans that are supposed to be long but hit above your ankles, you don't know what you're missing.  just kidding!  while many can empathize about jeans being too long it stinks hardly being able to find a pair of jeans that are actually long enough.  with these though, i don't have that issue!...even if i did have to add 5" to the pattern.  that's what i love about being able to make clothing now.  i can tailor it to fit me!

another awesome thing I love about these jeans is that they have a higher rise.  i have gotten to the point in my life-gosh i sound so old!-where i'm not a fan of the uberlow-cut jeans that like to shimmy their way down and make you look like a plumber when you try to do the most ordinary tasks.  these jeans hit me just below my natural waistline...although they could be just a tad lower.  all-in-all though, i love the jeans, and i may just have to make more. 

and here is a great little video that shows how a flat-felled seam is done, for those of you that don't know how to do one.