Saturday, July 15, 2017

Still blogging, still sewing: Shirts

The blog was on a bit of hiatus, but I was not. I've been working on a couple of things since I moved about 6 months ago (including using the new sewing machine my mom got me!) I've been making cute maternity shirts, because apparently there is a lackage of cute options out there. These patterns are not strictly maternity, but are flowy and gathered in the front in some way.

I've learned that I apparently suck at doing button holes on my new machine, so I will be taking a class while I'm with my family in WI to learn how. So in the meantime, I cheat a bit and use snaps, with buttons sewn on the front.

I'll start with the most recently finished (well, almost) first, this is Butterick B5763. I think I will make one of these for myself!

All I have left to do is sew on the snaps!

Friday, February 3, 2017

LLR Hacks

I am probably part of too many LuLaRoe groups! For the uninitiated, LLR is like Tupperware meets Russian roulette for clothes. I saw this shirt in a size or two bigger than I needed, but I loved it so much (because I LOVE white and black patterns) I bought it and added a seam up the back to make it less bulky, which can be seen on the pic on the right. The seam is actually straight though it doesn't look it, it's hard to take a pic of your back! This kind of shirt (called an Irma) has a hi-low hem, which makes it a challenge to layer in the winter with certain sweaters. I thought of a way to fix that using a skinny belt. Blouse the back. Tada!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

In the Red

I took a chance when I ordered my first Lularoe and got a dress that is super comfortable but more red than I was expecting, a little outside of my comfort zone. But this dress should not be relegated to only Pentecost and Reformation Sunday. After some googling, here's what I've come up with for regular "around the office" wear.

pop of color belt

Neutral navy (I'm kind of in love with this outfit -
I have a feeling it's going to be in heavy rotation) 
Neutral jacket and metallic necklace 
Aaaaaaand looks great with the collar
(Janie from Womenspirit)
on Reformation Sunday!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Make Pockets Great Again

Pockets. Women's clothing often lacks them. It can be hard to find a pair of pants with a decent set. Dresses, a challenge. Jackets? Fah-gedda-bout-it (as they say in NYC). It's very frustrating. Women need to carry things on their person too. Especially on a Sunday morning! But the fashion industry has decided that pockets ruin the silhouette, or something, because women's clothes are created for looks, not function. So we have to get a little creative...

I scored some nice, cat-hair resistant $8 straight leg trousers at Burlington Coat Factory sometime in early summer during the sales to make way for summer. They had some fun zipper detailing, though most of the time my shirts would cover that up (see bottom pic). A little impractical for pants pockets, but was I going to argue for $8? Nope. Until I realized, that while these are functional zippers, there was NO POCKETS. Like, what? Why would you put in function zippers that zip NOTHING? Time to fix this situation.

With the help of my mom, I've added an interior pocket to a suit jacket, so I thought I could do something a little similar with these pants. I took some extra knit fabric scraps, folded it in half, sewed up the sides......

Here I pinned the pocket around the wrong side of the side of the inside of the zipper, matching it as best as I could. It didn't have to be perfect, but just completely closed around it. I hand-stitched the edges that didn't quite match up.

Here is the finished pocket. After I sewed the pocket to the zipper, I took a seam ripper and spit the middle of the fabric between the two halves of the zipper, then snipped the edges clean. I only made one, because that was enough for one day!

Not a very big pocket, but that's better than nothing!! It probably would just barely take a mic pack.

Take that, patriarchy! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016


What do you do when you want to wear a dress you can move around in for a wedding, but the neckline is wide and shows some strap? Stitch in a little holder! For the ceremony, I wore a "Janie" from Women Spirit, so straps showing wouldn't be an issue, but I wanted to fix this for later in the evening when the collar was off.

Some ribbon, snaps, and thread are all that's needed. Stitch one part of snap to dress, thread ribbon though other half to make a flap, stitch end to dress, and voila. No more slipping straps. 

Going from sad strap to wedding ready in no time! They stayed strong through some serious dancing! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Belt it Out!

Belts are so expensive! And yet, I have recently learned that they give variety to my already existing wardrobe and outfits by adding different colors and styles. Many belts, like at Target, run $12.99 or more, and that's just for a "skinny" belt. But occasionally they go on sale or clearance - though finding a clearance belt I like in my size can be hard. My sister and I were walking around the mall when I was back in WI and we spotted some clearance belts -  I got 4 belts for $5! What a great deal!!! One problem - the only belts left that were a size to big for me. And none of these had that extra little flap to tuck in the extra. No problem! I had an idea...

What I needed was a way to keep the extra belt bit from flapping away. I could use a small black hair tie, but that would only work on the black belt, really. I needed something clear or transparent, at least.

I bought some of these clear plastic hair ties from Walmart for around $2.50, and put it around a colored belt to make it easier to see... not quite clear, but less noticeable than black!

I tried it out today on the black patterned belt from the picture above. It worked! It helped that for most of the day I wore a lightweight layer. But there was no flapping or flopping around!

This is what I did. I wrapped the band twice around, like on the yellow belt, then I rolled the band about three quarters of the way around, till it was almost to the buckle. After I buckled the belt (since this are big, usually the very last hole) and pulled one of the loops over the extra belt, near the end. You can just barely see it on the middle and bottom picture.Just one, not both, was sufficient, since wrapping it twice around was a bit tight, though just once around would have been too loose. It hits right on the side, where the arms rest, so not in an obvious place. And there you have it!