52 Weeks of Sewing

Imagine a Hoodie

Posted on Sep 28, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects, Sewing

My boyfriend has this T-Shirt that has the word imagine on it with a little heart over the “i.” It’s one of those things that’s so simple, but somehow resonates with me, so I wanted to incorporate the idea into something of my own.

Everyone associates the word “imagine” with the John Lennon song, right? I hope so, because it’s one of my favorite songs ever.

The pattern was Burda 8042, and what a wonderful pattern! This is the kind of hoodie you never want to take off. The only modification I made was to lengthen the sleeves by 3 inches (I have the wingspan of a chimpanzee). It’s made with a spandex-jersey blend I got on clearance at Spotlight in New Zealand when I was visiting my parents.

The applique was the most time consuming part and I backed it with white interfacing which I should have made slightly smaller than the applique itself because now it peeks out on the edges. I can live with that, though.

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Raincoat Raincoat Go Away

Posted on Sep 23, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects, Sewing

Raincoat reducedNote to self: sewing with clear vinyl is a terrible terrible idea. This raincoat was dangled over my trashcan several times throughout the construction of this garment. But I’m still plugging through my 52 Weeks of Sewing project and a raincoat is on the list, so I felt obligated to finish.

The pattern was McCall’s 6517, which despite my trials and tribulations was actually a great pattern. I think my problem was primarily that I chose a gauge of clear vinyl that was too thick – it would have been nice if the pattern had given some more direction on exactly what type of “clear plastic” to use, but alas it did not and wearing this coat is somewhat like wearing a cheap shower curtain.

I had originally planned to use buttons, but by the end I was so irritated that I decided to use snaps instead because it would get the whole thing over and done with quicker. I’m glad I did, because I think the snaps are actually nicer than buttons would have been. The snaps are actually by Babyville Boutique, which I discovered on my baby clothes sewing rampage. So what if they’re supposed to be used on washable diapers?

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For the Sake of Sequins

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects, Sewing

I think this might now be my favorite dress in my entire wardrobe. I’m pretty sure I like it better than my prom dress (which yes, is still in my wardrobe. You know, just in case I get invited to another prom.) I made it to wear to the Cleveland Lindy Exchange this weekend, which is a big event where lots of swing dancers get together to do the Lindy Hop. Seriously, if you like wearing awesome cutesy skirts and dresses, swing dance is the best excuse to do it. Definitely on my top 10 list of reasons why I do it.

The pattern is Burda 7232, which for some reason gets mediocre reviews on pattern review. I don’t understand why! I thought it was a great pattern, and I’m not sure what everyone else is talking about regarding the sizing and the construction of the back – the skirt fit fine, the back went together nicely, construction was logical, there was not an unreasonable amount of hand-stitching to do on the lining like in a lot of the Simplicity/McCalls patterns. I will agree with another seamstress’s comment that the middle button is, in fact, really hard to button without a buddy. I’ll probably be using a side zipper if I make it again.

The details were inspired by a number from Son Jung Wan’s Spring 2013 Collection from New York Fashion Week. I didn’t want anything that formal, but I fell in love with the asymmetrical hem exposing the underskirt and the counterbalanced sequin pattern. Plus, I needed to make something sequined for my 52 Weeks of Sewingproject. Sequins made possible by the magic of the sequin foot that came with my new sewing machine :-).  The underskirt is slightly larger at the bottom (I cut it 8 inches wider) to prevent the two skirts from hanging exactly together and give a little bit of volume effect.

All in all, I’m super excited about this dress, and so excited to dance in it!

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Everyone should Have the Best Boyfriend In The World

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects

But… I already found him and you can’t have him. So, tough luck.

I mean, what are the chances of finding a guy who even thinks to give you this magical beast for your birthday?

Yeah, that’s right. All MINE.

And here’s its inaugural project:

The pattern is Vogue 8747, which incidentally I somehow liked enough in my subconscious to buy two copies of (on separate occasions). And I do like it rather a lot – it’s a good fit right out of the envelope. The only slight change I made was shortening the sleeves fairly significantly (maybe 1-2 inches?). Other than that, went swimmingly.

Some things:

  • Those buttons? Sewn on by my NEW sewing machine
  •  Those button holes? Sewn with one press of the foot pedal by my NEW sewing machine
  • It can sew lettering! (and other fancy stitches)
  • I’ve yet to see it drop a stitch! (I don’t believe it’s possible)
  • It winds a bobbin evenly!
  • It takes bobbins that I can actually buy in a store (I only had 4 bobbins for the old one and couldn’t buy extras to fit)
  • It is SHINY
  • So SHINY

I can’t even adequately explain the difference. It’s like upgrading from the beat up 10 year old car you got when you were 19 to a brand new Lexus. I may still have a 10-year-old Honda Civic, but my sewing machine is totally a Lexus. I’ve had a hard time tearing myself away to do much of anything else all week long :-)

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Men’s Shirt to Racerback Ruffles

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects, Sewing

A while ago, I was inspired by this pin on pinterest of what looked like a men’s shirt, reworked to turn it into a racerback collared tank with ruffles down the back. I was never able to find the original source of the image or what the front of the shirt looked like, but I put it on my list as a thing to try out some day.

I thrifted a men’s shirt for $3 at goodwill and set to cutting it up. I cut the arms off first and then started pinning it on my dress form. I ended up taking in the front with darts, and cutting a large amount of fabric out of the center back of the shirt. Some dressform manipulation and a lot basting later, I came to this! The ruffles were made with pieces cut from the sleeves.

It’s still a little bit too big for me and I think I’ll have to take it in some more, but I was too eager to wait any longer to share :-)

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Burdastyle – Ruby Shorts

Posted on Aug 24, 2012 in 52 Weeks of Sewing, Projects

I bought the Ruby Shorts pattern a while ago with the intent to make them at the beginning of the summer… in any case, the weather forecast for this weekend in Pittsburgh is 91 degrees, so it’s not over yet!

As for the pattern, oh Burdastyle, why why why? Perhaps I’ve been spoiled since childhood with Simplicity and McCall’s precise and dumbed-down instructions, but would it really hurt you to adequately explain a welt pocket? Or how to sew the rest of the pattern for that matter? The instructions may as well have just read “sew all the pieces together.” With that said, even without proper instructions they were straightforward to put together.

This pair is made of “Linen Look” fabric (I think that means something cheap and synthetic that looks like linen but doesn’t wrinkle as much?). The only diversion I made from the actual pattern was to line it as well as to shorten the legs by about 2 inches. Next time I might cut it to a 38 instead of a 36 – I always forget that Burdastyle patterns actually run true to size.

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