keskiviikko 29. heinäkuuta 2015

Product: Princess and Keyhole Dress Sewing Pattern

Once upon a time, I had a bit of black cotton. 
I asked it what it wanted to be, and it said it wanted to be a dress. 
A dress, I sighed, aren't there enough dresses in my world? 
The cotton said no, and whispered a secret in my ear. 

I cut the dress with princess seams to gain a flattering fit. With non-elastic fabrics, narrow sleeves are a no-no. I chose a wide puff-shape for the sleeves of this dress for comfort. The collar is round but closed: I didn't want this dress to be overly dramatic. 
But a little bit of drama is only a good thing. 
The dress has channels concealed within the princess seams. The hem can be hitched high with ribbons that go through the channels. A wide ruffle at the hem adds to the shape of this dress. 
The hem can be gathered in many ways. My favourite style is hitching up the front hem to reveal a petticoat beneath. 
The hem can be raised in the back as well. 
The name Princess and Keyhole Dress comes from the princess seams, and a keyhole neck. 
The keyhole is entirely optional, but I like the little detail it adds.
This dress is one of my absolute favourites. I love the shape of the sleeves, the versatility of the hem, and the feel of soft cotton. The sewing pattern is available in my store and Craftsy. I hope you'll love it as much as I do!
Until next Wednesday. 

keskiviikko 22. heinäkuuta 2015

Let's Make... Add Ruffles to Blouse

Once upon a time, I had a short sleeved blouse. An ordinary blouse made with stretchy fabric. It was comfy, but getting a bit old and having a mid-life crisis. Much like its owner. It was pretty much the right size, all that really needed doing was adjusting darts on the back. 

But I wanted to make it less ordinary. So I decided to add a little something. 
I took a long strip of fabric that tinted quite a lot towards blue, and cut it into four pieces. 
I shaped the strips, and did a rolled hem on one of the long sides on each strip. 
I pinned the strips to the front of the blouse, rouching them a little as I went a long. I sewed them on, snapped a picture, GIMPed it, and then my computer ate it. Very impolite on its part. 
I left a gap between the ruffle and the button list. 
... so that I'd have room for another layer. I pinned the second pair of ruffles onto the front, hiding one of the raw edges under the button list. 
The other side was made differently, so I hid the edge of the ruffle with satin ribbon. 
After sewing the ribbon on, it made a nice little detail. 
And that was all it took. The blouse turned from meh to fun, and now I can't wait to wear it again!
For the pictures, I paired the blouse with pants, but it works well with long skirts and corsets as well. 
The ruffles give the blouse a feminine touch, and make it different in a very subtle way. 
This trick works for all kinds of blouses. Try adding patterned materials, or making many narrow rows of ruffles with different fabrics!

Until next Wednesday.

keskiviikko 15. heinäkuuta 2015

Let's Make... Boring Tee to Cool Top

Once upon a time, there was a T-shirt. 
Now I'm not much of a T-shirt -person. There's something I can't put my finger on that makes me uncomfortable when wearing one. 
Naturally, T-shirts are very common, and many find their way to me. 
I see it as my sworn duty to give each one a makeover. 
This Tee had a girly skull print. I liked it, and wanted to turn the Tee a bit more feminine. It was an almost perfect fit, so I didn't need to take it in at the sides. 
I started by folding the Tee with side seams facing. I cut off the collar and the sleeves, leaving a deep V-neck and a low rise back. 
The easiest way to do this is to first cut off the sleeves, and then open the shoulder seams. After that, it's much easier to get the Tee to lie flat on a surface. After, take any backless top, fold it accordingly, and use it as a pattern to find the right length for the back piece. The neckline is best shaped while trying the top on. You can cut it super low, or leave it higher for more coverage. 
When opening the fold, I got a backless V-neck top. 
Which naturally needed something. 
I measured the distance from shoulder to back, and covered it with elastic band. I didn't cut it, but used the same length of elastic to bind the back of the top. I left another bit of elastic to the other shoulder. These would later be used as straps. I used ordinary elastic band, since I'd accidentally ran out of all the nicer kinds. Elastic lace will look pretty as straps, too. 
I bound the neckline with narrow elastic lace. 
 I added two more straps to each shoulder, so that I had three pairs. I would have added some elastic lace to the straps, but, well, I ran out of that as well. 
 I attached the straps to the back piece. As an afterthought, it might have been a good idea to make the straps cross each other... that would have given me a trendy cage-detail. 
 The transformation didn't take long, but did wonders to an ordinary Tee!
The top turned out nice and comfy, and with a subtle skull print, I can wear it without feeling like an exclamation point. Next time I do this, I'll add an extra pair of straps (or two) and see how much fun can be had with crossing them!

Until next Wednesday. 

keskiviikko 8. heinäkuuta 2015

Elise Shawl

Once upon a time, I found a violet cotton cardigan from a flea market. I liked the colour, and I liked the feel of the knit, so I bought it and took it home. 
I do this a lot, buy a knit from wherever, give it a good wash, and unravel it for yarn. It's a cheap way to get loads of yarn, but it does take a bit of effort. I'm going to write a tutorial on how to upcycle sweaters for yarn, but today, I'm just going to flaunt something I made. 

Two years ago I got a bit of a Christmas-panic. I had five nights to go, and no present for Mom. So I got some red wool blend, and rummaged through Ravelry for something quick and lovely. 
What I happened upon was Evan Plevinski's Elise Shawl. It's a beautiful, airy shawl which can be made in any size. Mom's shawl ate 200 grams of yarn, and took three nights to make. 
Later, I decided to want one for myself. So I took my violet cotton, and set to work. 
The lace pattern is easy and consists of just two rows. It's quick to memorize, so this shawl is a pretty perfect watching TV -project. 
I had an entire cardigan's worth of yarn, and I used it all for my Elise. It turned out pretty big, and a good blocking would increase it size even further. It's just that I tend to wear this a lot, and can't be bothered to block it after each wash... 
Shawls are lovely, but they tend to be a bit tricky to wear. To force mine stay put, I crocheted a flower from the little yarn I had left over. 
Behind the flower, I sewed a button. I use this to close my Elise so it won't fall off when I see something shiny and get all exited. 
 Made from cotton, this is a perfect summer shawl. It's light, it breathes, and it still provides warmth when I need it. 
 And it's big! Of course, I'm tiny, but still that's a lot of shawl. 
 I'm very happy about the way the finished shawl came out, and I really like the Elise pattern. 
A shawl can be worn in many ways, but we often forget that it can work as a skirt. It complements gypsy-inspired outfits, and doubles as a hip scarf for belly dancing. Scarves and shawls are very versatile, so don't forget to take advantage of their full potential. 

Until next Wednesday. 

keskiviikko 1. heinäkuuta 2015

Let's Make... Sweatshirt to Skirt

Once upon a time, a friend brought me all sorts of discarded clothes. Among them was a hooded sweatshirt. 
I don't wear sweatshirts, full stop. 
But the fabric was kinda nice, a thick, white jersey with a skull print. 
So I asked the hoodie whether it might like to be something else. 
It contemplated on becoming a shrug, and as I picked up my scissors, it shrieked. 
"No! Wait! Skirt!" 
Trying the hoodie on to see if I could fit my wide ass derriere inside it was a bit impossible, so I decided to risk it. 
I started by cutting off the hood and the sleeves leaving a straight edge. 
Then I cut off the rib. White is a difficult colour, and white rib was just too much. 
And then I got to try it on. 
And it fit! 
I shaped the side seams to a curvier shape. I also shaped the waist a bit, making it lower in the front. This way, the waist will fit better, and the skirt won't look like the front of it is taller. 
 One of the sleeves got to be a waistband. I cut a strip from it, sewed short edges together, and folded it. 
I pinned it to the right side of the waist with raw edges together, and serged the seam. 
I got a tidy finish with minimal effort. 
 I hemmed the skirt using a zigzag-stitch. It gives more than a straight stitch, and looks a bit nicer, too. And that was all it took. Two hours, including planning, photos, and sewing. I bet you can do it in one!
The hoodie got a new life, and I got a white skirt with skulls on it.  

Until next Wednesday!