Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Perfection in Purple

... or "this will probably be my go-to Lent shirt." Who am I kidding. I already wear this shirt often, since I love purple. I am very pleased with the result. I actually made this weeks ago but was too busy to post about it. 

I am in love with this pattern. So many options! And it's super easy. I of course chose "View E." I think I'm going to try view "B" next. It looks like it would also work well a collar. 

This material has been sitting at my parent's house for ages. My Mom bought it while we were on a trip to Europe with my school. I think we decided it must have been Zurich, Switzerland. I vaguely remember it, since it was back when I was in high school. I think it was from a little fabric shop in this really cute, old-looking part of the city. Mom's been afraid to use it, but I decided to be brave and take the plunge!

The fabric is very interesting - different shades of purple but not tie-dye-ish. it also has a nice stretch in one direction. 

The V part of the neck was kind of challenging, but it turned out. It was also my first time using fusible interfacing for the neck part to keep the flappy neck facing from flapping around, obviously. It looks good with or without blazer, obviously. An all around perfect shirt!

Thanks for the pattern and the material, Mom!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let it Sew Part 2!

As you can see, I originally made this dress a size too big, so when she tried it on, it was too large and dragged on the floor!

So I did some hemming and adjusting,  and it came out much better. Still a bit large in places,  but at least she won't trip while trick-or-treating. And she can grow into it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let it Sew! Part 1: My adventure in making an ice princess dress

Growing up with a Mom who can sew was awesome. For Halloween I've been a purple unicorn, Princess Leia, at least three Renaissance princesses, and my brothers have been vampires and ninja turtles with real shells made out of felt. I've noticed, with the advent of pop-up Halloween Spirit stores, that homemade costumes are now a thing of the past. People just don't have the time and the skills anymore. So I am keeping the tradition alive, I guess!
This is where this journey began - with McCall's pattern 7000. A very special little girl in my life LOVES Frozen and loves Elsa. She's also going to be turning 5 in December and having a princess themed party, so having a great costume was important for her. And I thought: hey I can totally do this. My mom taught me some mad skills! So what if I've never put in a zipper before! 

This was a big job, and I wanted to get it right. So I opted to make a "test dress," at least for doing some of the more complicated parts like the overlay and yoke. I made the sheer part out of some old curtains and the bodice out of the lining of a bridesmaid's dress. Success: I got my mistakes out of the way!

 I found some material that was PERFECT. Sturdy and slightly sparkly fabric for the top, flowy fabric for the skirt.

 My mom found some star-y sheer fabric for the yoke, sleeves, and overlay. Unfortunately it was super glittery, and got glitter EVERYWHERE! Here is the skirt and bodice sewn together. You can't see it, but I've already (successfully) attached the zipper.

 Here it is with yoke and overlay. Glitter is everywhere. I've tried to contain it to the bedroom, which is where I have my sewing area.

I made the dress too big, so I cut off a good 4 inches. It was also a bit too wide, so my mom had a the great idea of making a sash coming out of the side seams of the dress. So that's what I did - I hemmed up the edges of the 4 inches, cut it in half, carefully opened the side seams and resewed with the ties. It works perfectly, and you can't really tell.

Here is the finished dress!! I will post pictures of what it looks like on her when her Halloween parade happens, which is on Friday. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Holy Trinity in Summer Professional Wear

I fell in love with this material as soon as I saw it at my Mom's, and she let me keep it! Originally, I was intending to make some sort of summery scarf out if it, but when I saw this pattern (also from my Mom), I knew that it was the perfect choice. It's a light, transparent material that looks like a big abstract painted mural. I decided to make view A (the purple one). It was a challenge to sew because the fabric tended to stretch and fray while I hemmed it, causing a slight rippling effect at the hems. But you really can't tell, unless you look really close. And maybe it's just supposed to be that way! :) All told, I think it took me about 2.5 hours to sew. 

It's the perfect summer option - lightweight enough to not be sweltering, having enough substance not to let me freeze in air-conditioning, and is classy enough to wear to the office. Most of the time, summer clothes look more appropriate on the beach than the office, or aren't quite substantial enough to wear in AC, and my nice clothes tend to be fine in AC but too much for the NJ heat. This is the perfect trinity united in one garment! And it's just so colorful and fun and flowy!

Here I have a black tank top on underneath, but the day I actually wore it, I had black pants for a monochromatic look where the top could really POP! Next time I might try it with a collar on a summer Sunday morning! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Inagural Post - Shirt, Shoes, and a (worship) Service

So this is what I wore to church on Sunday morning, going solo during my pastor colleague's annual vacation. The shirt I adapted a bit, making the sleeves shorter, and the torso longer, without the odd asymmetrical peplum thing.

Clergy "Janie" -
Jacket - Thrifted
Shirt - hand-made
Pants - Thrifted
Liturgically Appropriate Shoes - Kohl's Clearance!
I love these green shoes. They are super comfy flats that are a nice shade of green, and I get comments nearly every time I wear them. My members even noticed they were the right color for the Sundays after Pentecost!

Close up on the shirt
Here is the original pattern FYI. I like the shape of the collar, but it was very hard to make the other changes I wanted, so I don't know if I'll use it again. My mom gave me other easy shirt patterns I can try!