Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sailor Shorts

Hi, I am sorry for the prolonged silence. Life just overtakes you sometimes and a whole lot of stuff happened which I have now sorted and I am back to sewing with a vengeance. One of my goals for 2014 is to be better at sewing. I have ideas in my head but when it comes to execution, I sometimes ruin a garment because of massive unpicking and I put holes the fabric during the process. Or worse, I forget to put seam allowances or cut one fabric against the grain. You get the idea. That is why I keep practising with thrifted fabrics and sometimes, I buy extra large clothes because I can reuse the fabric to create something new.

 I like to create my own patterns and to be honest, I have never really been successful at following a commercial pattern. I find that I have to make adjustments to a commercial pattern so why not do them from scratch? I bought this great book called "Patternmaking Made Easy, 2nd edition" by Connie Amaden Crawford. She teaches you how to create slopers etc and then create variations from there.

I saw this pair of shorts on Burda and thought they were cute. However, shorts and pants are pretty difficult especially when it comes to the crotch length and after using the free pattern to make a mock up on a spare bedsheet, I found that it did not fit me right. So I had to go back to Ms Crawford's book and draft out a completely new pattern that fitted me.

I was in such a hurry to put them on to take a picture even before I completed hemming the left side.

Looking forward to wearing it in the summer!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Scalloped Shorts

I had a pair of white pants from the thrift store for 2 years. I never had an opportunity to wear them plus I found them a bit too baggy. The waist was fine and it was beautifully lined.

As it is summer, I was lacking in dressier shorts to wear and I found myself pinning scalloped shorts.

 So with some trepidation, I cut away the length of the pants and started working on the scalloped edges.

I made the scallops a lot smaller than my pinned images but I am pretty happy with them. Can't wait to get more wear out of them than I ever have with the longer trousers. If you are interested in any of the projects I have made, and want some instructions, please leave a comment and I will endeavour to write one up. However, this is a fairly easy project, and there are many good tutorials on how to make scalloped hemlines.

Cost of project: $4.00 for thrifted pants.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scalloped Dress

This is old news but I found out about the Great British Sewing Bee through a blog I enjoy and follow, Tilly and the Buttons. She was one of the contestants of the reality TV show and I really liked the ideas she came up with and was rooting for her to win.

During one of the challenges, the contestants had to make a dress of their choice and I literally gasped when I saw Tilly's dress. I have a thing for all things with scalloped edges and hems so this dress was just so perfect. I also loved how the inside of her dress had these cute scissors print. I looked high and low on her website to see if she sold the pattern or if I buy a pattern with a scalloped neckline somewhere.  I would have been prepared to buy a pattern from Tilly if she had one for sale, but alas! My searches showed up empty. (Tilly has another dress in gingham on her website which is adorable.)

So I decided to draft my own pattern, using a screen print of the dress on Youtube (where I watched the series from).

I found a big bundle of fabric at the thrift store about 5 feet! It was not a good quality fabric but I liked the red and that it was a stretchy material. It was 50% off and I paid $4 for the bundle.

I started drafting the dress.

This was the finished dress (not hemmed.) The back of my shoulders also needed some darts to be put in.

 The skirt had no flare, it was like a pencil skirt. Not flattering for my figure, which is straight up and down. The neckline was higher than I would have liked. I decided it was too much work to unpick everything and thought I might start from the beginning again. I had to go back to re-draft my neckline and the skirt.  I worked tirelessly, I finished this dress in 3 days. I was like a person possessed.

Below is the second attempt. I am not sure if I want to put a belt on it. 

I am not sure of the accessories and shoes - if I should be matching them like this but I was just eager to get a picture in for the blog.

I am much happier with the second piece. The first piece is now given to a friend who seems to like it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dolce & Gabbana Floral Skirt

Last year, I began seeing this trend of bright floral pants, and I thought it was too much and not for me. However, as I saw more bloggers and celebrities wearing the print, the trend began to grow on me.

I saw a few options being sold online and for a full price but I hesitated because I was reluctant to purchase something that was very risky and might not last more than 2 seasons. Yeah, I hoard all my stuff, including clothes so I do not want to throw something out just because it is no longer fashionable.

One of my most favourite thing to do while thrifting now is looking for bedsheets with interesting prints or larger sized clothing, so that I can have a chance to be creative. I look for thrifted because I still make many mistakes when it comes to sewing!

I found this at the fabric stash and it cost $4 for 4 yards. The fabric was a little stiff, and I was wondering about making a pair of pants. 

I have never sewn with a pattern and all the sewing I have done to date is drafted by me. Sometimes I just trace off a well fitted garment and cross my fingers that it will work out. I decided to start with a skirt because I figured I have enough fabric to sew both a skirt and pants. These skirts were my inspirations.

 Dolce & Gabbana

I wish I knew the source of this skirt.

Has it been that long since I drafted a pattern? After painstakingly being so careful be detailed with the sewing, even unpicking several times because the zipper looked crooked, and hand sewing the waistband, I put on the skirt and realised that I forgot to include an ease. NO EASE = NO ROOM! Argh! I could not tuck a shirt in, so I had to settle for a t-shirt.

The front looks ok. But it is very tight, I have to hold my belly in so that I can zip it up. 

Overall, I was very pleased with both the quality of the fabric and my sewing, I seem to be getting better at the details but I obviously need to work on my drafting. 

Back to the drawing board! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thrifted Finds: Too Good Not To Share

Every winter, the blues hit me really hard. I am trying to read books to lift my spirits and am reading Simple Abundance which was a birthday gift from one of my dearest friends, Renee and doing positive things. Going to the thrift store really helps me because as we all know, retail therapy is probably cheaper than therapy anyway! I go to one near my house and the volunteers there are all so friendly, mostly retired teachers who I know by name. I was having one of those days when I decided to stop by, even though I had already visited it a few days ago.

I check out the shoe section first and I saw these, waiting for me.

They were brand new, their soles unscuffed. Size 37.5. My size. The universe was smiling at me. I picked it up without even trying them on and when I went to pay for it, the lady exclaimed what a find it was for $12. Yes folks. Once the cashier made the announcement, other women came running up to see this and they wanted to know if other sizes were available in the thrift store too. It made me smile!

I went back yesterday and two ladies who were shoppers recognise me as the "Jimmy Choo lady". You know why I love this shop, because the shoppers are amazing and friendly too!

Inspired By Pinterest: Cream Slater Skirt

Hello readers! I apologise for the long absence from my blog. It is just that life became more busy and this blog was facing some sort of an identity crisis because it started as a place to talk about my craft and then it became more about fashion. I really should start a separate blog about my thrifted fashion finds but if I can't maintain this one, I think there is less hope of keeping up to date with the other one.

Last year, I pinned this image of a Victoria Secret model, Candice Swanepoel because I loved the simple yet chic look of this whole ensemble. It also helps that she is tall, young and blonde!

I looked through the internet to see if I could find something similar but then I thought, "Why not make it myself?"

So during a sale at Joann Fabrics, I spotted fabric in the remnant section. It was meant for curtains but it had a sheen to it that I liked. I think I paid $2-$4 for the whole lot.

I went through the internet to see if I could pick up some tips on how to sew a box pleated skirt and here is a helpful one. I did not use a yoke as she did and the width of my pleats were 2" wide.

After sewing the skirt, I realised that the colour and drape was different from Candice's. It was pretty labour intense because of the folding of the pleats.  

I did not zip up fully when I took the picture, oops. 

This is the bad thing about taking your own pictures. You don't get to see all the errors in your photo until the shoot is done. I did not notice that my shirt needed to be tucked in better so that there would be no wrinkling just above the waist. I have a preview screen but it is tiny and seriously when time is short, I don't really want to scroll through the pictures to see if anything is wrong. But I endeavour to improve my photography for my blog. The other strange thing is - can you see the stripes above? I reckon there is a funk with my camera because the lines are slanting in the picture. Does anyone know why that happens? All my photos have this slant and sometimes when I take pictures, it just makes people look weird.

Overall, I can't wait to wear this when summer rolls around. There is a blizzard outside and school is cancelled. I love snow days! My kids are outside sledding. Stay safe and warm, friends! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting: Woman with a Stick

Hi everyone! I have not been posting much here lately, it doesn't mean that I have been idle - I have been busy doing all sorts of DIY and some sewing here and there. The reason for me dithering on my blog was because I am having an identity crisis on what sort of blog this is turning out to be. I have been posting many fashion posts and this started off to document my craft.

I am thinking of starting another blog, I keep talking about it but I am horrible at making my blog look presentable. I might have to go to a professional to get my blog looking nicer and all.

But in the meantime, I finished a painting for my cousin who lives in New York. He and I grew up in very strict Malaysian schools where students get caned for mistakes or talking too loudly. He was in Poland and he saw a painting which reminded him of his student days so he wanted me to paint it.

So here it is, it took me a week. I painted it on paper, and had it in a frame which I bought from Michaels.

 I am only regretful that I did not take more pictures after the painting was done. Here it is already inside the frame and the glass is reflecting the stair rail. But I was also very pleased with how it turned out.