Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mens patterns, or the lack thereof

Is anyone disturbed by the amount (or lack of) patterns for men? What's a girl supposed to do. Perusing the men's pattern market= slim pickings. And I'm talking about a  real  pattern.
I flat out refuse to make my husband anything that has both genders on the cover, or labled "unisex" . Gross. Like these:

Hahahaha. Hah. Ha. Seriously? No.
But the only honest looking things I've seen are these:
This one from McCall's
and these from Vogue

Unless you want to make a vest. Then there's a bazillion patterns. Who knew they were in such demand?

Wait wait wait...I forgot about something....

Erica B blogged about an outfit she made her husband from some Kwik Sew patterns and it looks like they have some reasonable ones. And from what I've read apparently they're sizing is reasonably accurate

So I guess as I've done research (can I call it that) to write this post, I've stumbled upon more than I thought I would. Hallelujah.

On a lighter note... don't worry because I was able to find this "robe"

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Okay, not much to update. We're here. Not much going on. Just mostly hanging around the house. The past few days have been very cloudy and hazy so beach time has been less than ideal. Also, the waves are large. I tired to surf on Chris' short board but I could barely paddle out ( 1. huge bunched up wetsuit, 2. short boards are a lot harder than long boards and 3. the size of the waves were terrifying me and it took loads of courage just to get out there)
As far as sewing goes....well I haven't done any! I know shame on me.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my summer sewing goals. I got some fabric yesterday which I'm planning to use on a dress. Do you ever feel like the patterns you have just aren't quite good, interesting, or challenging enough? I'm starting to feel that way about all my sewing patterns.A little discontent.
I also decided to pick up some Fimo clay. I know it's not sewing related, but I thought I'd try making some earrings. I've never ventured into the world of polymer clay, avoiding some hokey-ness that can happen....
I'm going to break out the ol' sewing machine and if I've got time, try making some earrings.
But until then, lasagna for dinner!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

In San Diego, and a free bin dress

We made it. We're here. It been sunny and warm, but refeshingly cool in the shade. I have to adjust to the aridness in the air, I'm so used to thick bogs of humidity. We're going to explore the city today and run some errands but I though I'd post a dress a did a couple of weeks ago that I wore yesterday to church.

I found this wonder in the magical free bin. You know I love that thing! I just stumbled upon it. It was kinda weird looking but then I saw the front part which reminded me of this


I know it might be a stretch, maybe i was just thinking of the color and the pin tucks in front. Either way it had potential.

The first thing that needed to go was the lace around the neckline, too dowdy!

Overall this was extremely simple. Most of my sewing in the last few weeks has been quick projects to make a piece of clothing fit better. I took in the sides. There were pockets that I cut out when making the sides smaller but I was in a rush to pack up and thre them away, so I guess I won't be putting them back in. I Hemmed it up a few inches to make it more appealing on me and voila! a new dress. I was going to cut it down into a shirt but I'm in need of some summery dresses. It gets pretty warm here and a dress isjust what I'm in th market for.

I love the little ties that attach with a button. I pulled them around the back and then tied a little bow in the front. I really like how it turned out.
Chris wanted me to show off the braid I did in the front of my hair. I don't have any close pictures of it though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Moving Day!

It's finally here: our moving day! Tonight we'll be heading back to San Diego.
We've been so busy packing, hence why I've been slacking on both posting and my summer sewing goals. Fret not though, becuase I'm going to be back on target soon. I can't wait to use my serger! Did I mention that I left a serger at Chris' parents house? Well that and my sewing machine. (which, let me tell you, only has two stitch functions: straight and zigzag.) I know those are the two most important in sewing basic clothing though, but also things like jersey-stitches and blindhems and buttons holes don't hurt! Big big big thanks to Adele for graciously letting me use her sewing machine while I've been here in Hawaii. I'm sad to go, but excited about the new phase in our lives. Look for my updates soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Sewing: Bow Front Bag

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about my Summer Sewing Goals? Well. Here is another one I can cross off.
I started with this shirt from... you guessed it...the free bin. I liked the ticking pattern, but when I put it on it was so shapeless. I thought about just trying to tailor it....but I don't need anymore shirts right now. What do need is a spiffy purse!!
You can see above the front of the original shirt with lots of pin tucks.
Basically I made two rectangles, rounded off the bottom corners, made a long strip and sewed it in between the two sides. I'm gonna be honest: it was kind of all over the place. Not my most thought out project, but still fun.

I used a yellow and white plaid Cotton for the lining. I had lots of bits of this in my sewing stash (yes, I have one). You can see in the above picture what I meant about making two rectangles, rounding off the corners and then a long strip to sew them together

You ready for the finished bag?
Here it is in it's sewn glory::

(Do you like my photography skills?)
Let me just say I'm kinda in love with bows right now.

The back of the tote. I used a pocket from the shirt to make an outside pocket on the bag. I could have sewn it on a bit better though.
An up close of the sublet yellow plaid lining.

Only three more days until our big move!
Once we're in San Diego you can expect me to fulfill the rest of my summer sewing goals.

Oh an if you're interested, I found these very cute bags on craftster.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Super Easy Maternity ReCon

I think I can scratch off  a little bit from my Summer Sewing Goals as I tailored this shirt sitting in my refashion pile
It started out as a cute, but frumpy maternity shirt. It also had a whole other layer underneath from the bust gathers down....I've never been pregnant, so I'm not sure of the function that this plays? Keeping the belly button  a little more subdued under two layers? Fill me in.

(doesn't actually have any kind of stain)

I started by cutting that out, since, well, that would be quite warm.All I did after that was just reshape the sides and the bagginess in the arms.
I told you it was super easy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mens Button Up Shirt to cute ruffle front shirt

I know, I  know. There are one zillion mens shirt refashions. And you know what? I love them all.

This men's button up shirt refashion is pretty straight forward. I  don't haveabefore picture but just imagine a large blue and white mens button up shirt. (ha) I cut off the sleeves, sewed up the sides, cut off the collar (but left it so it was like a mandarin collar, made the sleeves smaller and shorter and sewed them back on. The last thing I did was to take some leftover pieces from the sides, ruffle them up andsew them next to the button placket. Does that sound like a lot? It really wasn't. I'm sure I'll do it again.

Big shout out to the free bin for providing me with this shirt and to lex from Made By Lex for providing me some inspiration.

My camera can't handle the tiny check! It's doing some crazy designs. I left the ruffleand collar with raw edges because I liked the way it looked.

Oh yeah, I put a little piece of elastic in the back waist to give it some shape.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Simplicity 3875 and our Last Sunday

Today is our last Sunday here! It's so bitter sweet for me. I didn't break down today at church, but almost. I wore my favorite dress, which I happened to also make from Simplicity 3875. I never posted about this dress, but I  actually made it over a year ago while we were at Chris' house. You can't find cute fabric like this here. It's all Hawaiian. I saw an "easy skirt" project through CraftZine forever ago with the same fabric.

I made Chris walk over to the temple today after church was over. This is the Laie, Hawaii Temple; it's close to the North Shore on Oahu. It's closed for rennovations right now but will be opening November 22, 2010. Unfortunatly it has been closed the whole time we've been in Hawaii married which is a shame because we can see the temple from out apartment- it's that close.
Do you recognize those shoes? I wore them at the wedding! Ha.

This pattern (like all my patterns) is out of print now but I really like it. Despite my rants about how Simplicity and other companies never make properly fitted patterns, I do like this one. I've actually made it three times now. On this dress I drafted a combintion of the front detailing of A, but with a set in sleeve like version D/C. I even helped my neighbor to make her first dress with version D. I love it because it's simple but you can really make it look cute. I'm sure all make it again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pink Shirt ReCon

I'd liket o thank the freee bin for giving me the materials to make this shirt happen.
 It started as a regular [bubble gum] pink crew neck shirt and a white and gray stripped shirt.
First I cut the neck of the shirt off. It was cute but a little too constricting. I lined up the shoulder seams and just cut a circle out of the front to create a scoop neck.

This is the only in-progress shot that I took of the shirt while making it. After I cut the scoop I interfaced around the edge of the shirt with lightweight interfacing to give it some stability. I mostly just used scraps and small bits to go around the neckline since it was fusible. Here's what I mean..
Don't mind the food in the background; the only space to iron is on the kitchen counter!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Simplicty= Boo

I keep  hearing lots of people lately say that patterns aren't made like they used to be. In the fit I mean. Also there are issues of standardizing the sizing. I am in favor of fixing both of these issues. Let me draw your attention to Exhibit A:

I bought this pattern at JoAnns when they were having one of their crazy pattern sales (Hobby Lobby also has great sales as well, being $.99 or $1.99). I think I was drawn in my view C and D with the fluttery sleeves. I don't know. Maybe my first mistake was buying it, but I had it in my patterns for many months and decided to make it this past week. I have this interesting plaid-like sheer material (Also on major sale at JoAnns) that I wanted to use before I moved. I don't have a lot of patterns here in Hawaii- a left most of them back at my moms house in Kentucky. So I thought I'd try it out.

The result was something less magical than I'd hoped. You're probably wondering why I'm not wearing in the picture....well that would be because after I made it, the blouse didn't fit!
The overall design of the shirt isn't great. They seriously don't make the beautiful fitting and use of interesting technique sewing  patterns like they do in older patterns.
I have older simplicity patterns that I do like a lot, although now that I think about it, none of them are really fitted. They all seem to be loose and flowy. Not that there's anything wrong with the potato sack look....
I was horribly disappointed to realize that after I'd sewn the whole thing together that it was too tight in the chest and arms. I cut this pattern out in a size that I have used for other garments by the same manufacturer(simplicity 12) and often it comes out just a tad too big. So I thought I'd err on the side of large because it is loose blouse. So why did it end up too tight?
Also, I realize that the front gathers and insets are a bit ski-wompous. But it would have still been wearable had it actually fit...
Sham on you pattern manufacturers with you ambiguous fitting and poor sizing continuity!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bathing Suit Numero Uno finished

Okay, so I haven't posted enough the past few days. Shame on me.
I started this bathing suit a few weeks ago. It's made from a 4 way stretch (dance-like) jersey that I got for free. I have some more substantial weighted bathing suit fabric but I didn't want to ruin it; essentially this became my bathing suit muslin. I used Pattern School to make draft a complete block. I really liked creating it though. I was unsure of how to draft the halter parts and after I completed it realized where I went wrong. I think I maybe should have done a simpler design for my first bathing suit, but it did turn out alright. This is from earlier today at Kawela Bay (pronounced Ka-Vela) just part Turtle Bay on the North Shore. It's a beautiful secluded cove with the most amazing Banyon Trees. Also, they were setting up  to begin shooting for the next Pirates movie. Pretty cool
Okay I know this is a weird one but props to my husband for the pictures. It was so bright he couldn't see what he was shooting. Love him.
Obviously a one piece is more ambitious that a bikini (in my opinion); it has to fit more parts of your body at once.

The fabric isn't great, but it was free! (ps. not pregnant)

Please ignore my love handles. This is actually the second time I wore it.  I tried to finish it really quickly (hence why the back straps look wonky) to wear it to the beach a week ago. However, I soon realized where I had gone wrong. Just being in the water isn't so bad but I was surfing and the ladies, though quite petite, didn't want to stay put. (can you tell i usually wear a different bathing suit that comes up higher in the back)

What I learned: Somehow I managed to get the legs perfect. They fit well. I read Sarah at Vintage Bobbin attempt at making a bathing suit and how fitting the legs was hard. I guess I lucked out, but I couldn't get the sides and the top quite right. The halter top sides need to be more straight- mine are too curved. I tried to make it a mix between mono-kini and backless one piece but I just don't think it works in stretch. It may be hard to tell, but the upper sides gap horrendously. On top of that, the elastic (which I zigzagged on then rolled over and top stitched) kind of sticks out. Imma research and practice that more.

My ultimate goal is to create a vintage inspired one piece bathing suit that is not only cute, but stays on, especially while surfing!

I can't believe I'm going to put this last one on here but the water just looks so magical I can't resist.

PS!!!: protect your skin. I am still peeling something awful from my Kahuku-Turtle Bay trek from a week and half ago. Don't be dumb like me and get burnt! It's completely uncool.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

White Skirt

I used this pattern, which is apparently out of print! Who knew? I made it once before in leopard print.. I know leopard print pencil skirt, who am I trying to fool? I made version C without the lace , but it came out really tight. I also didn't like the small waist band. This time I used version C with has front and back darts, plus the wide yoke of version B. I cut it a little bit bigger this time too. Much better. However, when I tried it on the bottom looked weird so I took in the side seams to taper the bottom more. I'm not sure I'm in love with it but it might grow on me. I had the white fabric laying around, jut enough for this skirt and it was too heavy to use for much else. I'm unsure about white on the bottom- I've always avoided white pants and skirts for good reason. Will this be a new me?

It was kind of wrinkled because I wore it to church. I'm feel like maybe these pictures aren't as flattering at I'd like them to be. Like maybe white doesn't have the same slimming effect as black.