I wore it in public!

May 19, 2012 § 19 Comments

Being able to sew something you chose from style to fabric to cut and wear it soon after has been quite an empowering thing for me. And I can’t thank Rikka of Ricochet and AwayΒ enough for hosting the I will wear it in public challenge. My thanks too to all the ladies who participated and have been showing such support, considering that we come from all walks of life and have found sewing as our common ground. This was such a fun challenge to do.

You’ve seen the test dress, so you basically know what I’ve done, though I did a few changes.

Choose your fabrics. This time I chose a flowery print for the top and a solid aqua for the bottom.

For the top, it’s basically a tube top made from two rectangles of fabric. For the length, measure the top of your chest to your lower hip and sew at the sides.

Then fold in the top about half an inch. This will be the “casing” for your elastic. The elastic should be as snug as you’ll be confident to wear. What I did was take the elastic all the way around the top of my chest and cut it about two inches shorter.

Make sure to leave a small opening so you can insert your elastic.

Take the elastic all the way around then sew ends together and sew your opening closed.

Since I don’t have an . . . eherm . . . ample bosom, I wasn’t too confident about the dress being just a tube top, so I added straps to mine.

I know I should have kept the straps stitched from the inside of the tube but I never liked straps biting into my skin and sewed them on the outside πŸ˜€

And done.

I’m very happy about this dress and can’t wait to wear it to the beach. It’s very comfortable and perfect for this crazy desert heat. I got to wear out to lunch with a friend though. Thanks to Meagan for setting aside her disdain of public picture taking and taking this shot of me.

 

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The accidentally grown-up dress

May 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’m not sure yet whether this is a happy accident or not, but I do know that this is not the dress I set out to do.

There I was, trying to recreate yesterday’s garment challenge dress with different fabrics and something completely different happened.

I did set out to do a sleeveless version, so I used a tank top for a pattern this time.

I chose a heavier print stretchy cotton fabric (yes, very technical) for the top and jersey knit for the bottom of the dress.

I sewed up everything together like before, except this time I wanted to try out a cowl neckline. Grab two rectangles. The length will depend on the neckline of your top, and the width depends on how “cowly” you want your neckline to be. Just make sure the fabric you use is the kind that would drape nicely. I used the same jersey knit as my skirt.

Sew up the sides of the rectangles together so you end up with a tube. Pin the right side of the “cowl” to the right side your top and sew right around.

When you flip the dress right side up, you’ll end up with something like this.

Now before you decide to go around robbing banks with this on, fold in the cowl in half and sew the bottom to your neckline again. And you’re done. Are you ready to see me all grown up? First let me show you the back.

I’m actually quite happy by how this turned out. It’s as close to professionally looking work I’ve ever done. I’m just not sure it’s me.

Takes some getting used to, I know! But still, this helped me try out something new with the cowl. Best of all, it showed me how my sewing and pattern making skills have improved a bit. All in all a good sewing day πŸ™‚ What do you think?

Garment Sewing Challenge Test Dress

May 11, 2012 § 10 Comments

As you all know, I haven’t been feeling quite myself lately and my crafting has suffered most of all. Then I saw this challenge from Rikka of Ricochet and Away and I just thought this was exactly the motivation I needed. Yet I still kept pushing it aside, saying I didn’t have the fabrics yet, I didn’t know what to do, blah blah blah and more blah. Till I finally decided to just shut up and do it already.

So here goes nothing πŸ™‚

The challenge was to make a garment you would be proud to wear in public. Sounds easy enough, but then you also had to try something you’ve never done before in making the garment. So my challenge for myself was to make a drop-waist dress with pleats and elastic. I’ve seen so many tutorials out there using elastic but I’ve been too chicken to try it out. Well, no time like the present to boldly go where every seamstress must go sometime.

First things first, for the top part of the dress, I chose a favorite top and traced a pattern from that.

 

I kept telling myself I’d buy new fabric for this challenge but realized it was just another excuse. So we’re going to use a familiar aquamarine jersey for this dress.

Make sure the front neckline is lower than the back neckline, pin together and sew along the sides. Keeping arm and neck holes open, of course πŸ˜‰

Now the skirt. I’m lazy, but that’s no excuse not to finish a challenge so I just put two ends of the leftover jersey together and sewed the open side seam closed to make a longish tube. I’m guestimating that for the whole dress I used up about 1.5 yards of fabric (yes, I am quite a small person).

So now, we need to put everything together.

Yes, you noticed that my thread is a much, much brighter blue than my fabric. But like I said, I was determined to at least do a dry run for this challenge this weekend, lack of right materials be damned. Which explains why I had to cheat on the pleats.

Instead of sewing them in place vertically, I sort of basted them in place. I figured this would at least hold their shape a bit. Now to sew the top and bottom together.

Sew the top and bottom together by inverting the top ride side in the skirt, topstitching the wrong side of the skirt. I hope that makes sense, I still get confused about it in theory but it works out right when you actually do it πŸ™‚ Now for the exciting part: sewing on the elastic.

I’ve seen so many tutorials for this but never really thought it would work. Truth: it does! I took the elastic all the way around the sewn together ends of the top and bottom (of course, you could just measure your hip but again, lazy) and cut the elastic about 3 inches shorter. Pin one end of the elastic to one of the side seams and sew about an inch or two, just to keep it in place. As you can see, my elastic was helpfully marked with zigzag lines I could follow so I sewed it on that way. After the first inch or so, start stretching the elastic as you sew all the way around until you get back to the pinned end. DO NOT stretch your fabric along with it. Especially since I was using jersey, this could have some disastrous results.

And you know what? I was done πŸ™‚

It’s a bit on the plain side, even for me. I think for the actual garment I’m entering in the challenge I’ll do a little jazzing up to it and maybe shorten the skirt a bit more. But for now a bright sash will do and I’ll still be happy to wear this outside anyway. I’m just really happy to be sewing again πŸ™‚

 

 

 

DIY Bunny Bed

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I haven’t been entirely lazy the past few weeks. Having a house bunny is almost like having a hyperactive two-year-old in the house, minus the noise. I’ve been spoiling the Bunny Boss, feeding her twice a day, playing with her, scanning the net for more information about taking care of her. And it’s been fun, except that a lot of websites try to sell you cutesy stuff for your bunny that are so darned expensive, you feel like you’re subjecting your rabbit to cruel and abject poverty. Case in point: bunny beds. I dare you to find a pet bed out there that’s not at least $30. And that just goes against my newfound DIY creed. If I can’t buy readymade clothes for myself, then I can’t buy readymade toys and stuff for the bunny.

I’ve been feeling a bit guilty though, since a place to sleep in seems pretty basic, considering that she does not even have a cage as it is. And she does either sleep in a cardboard hideyhole I made for her or beside me in bed, but still, I did have the materials and the time. So one bunny bed DIY project made a lot of sense.

There’s this one pillow on my bed that Pet Lee loves to sleep in so we used that as a base.

I bought about two yards of a fabric called Funky Monkey sometime back and it had these cute sock monkeys all over it. I originally thought of making pyjamas for a friend’s kid with them but somehow lost interest. Good thing because Pet Lee loves it a lot. She always pulls this off the fabric stash when I’m not looking so we might as well use that for her.

The bunny bed comes in two pieces, one is the flat “bed,” which is what the pillow is for, and a tube of stuffing that goes right around it to form a sort of doughnut shape. I made a fabric tube and stuffed it full with the stuffing, wrapped fabric around the pillow and sewed both pieces together.

And voila, no-cost bunny bed and very happy customer. Though, between you and me, she still sneaks under the covers with me at 5:00 a.m.

 

Inspiring laundry room makeover

March 8, 2012 § 2 Comments

Β  Every ThursdayΒ Amy over at Life Through My Eyes writes a post called Delightfully Inspiring Thursdays, which I always enjoy. This week’s post is about doing over her laundry room, which for me was inspiring indeed. I don’t have a laundry room but I have a space in front of my wardrobe (my developer apparently ran out of money when fitting out the flat and left me with just one instead of two) which is dying for me to do something with PLUS I have a storeroom I’ve been thinking to convert into a craft room. Whichever I decide to do first (and when), will owe much credit to Amy’s post. Spending very little for something that looks awesome (and neat, as in clean and organized neat) is something I always aim for and that’s what this entire post is about. Get the full before and after story from Amy right here.

Stone tile placemat

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s been a slow (hah! say complete standstill) for crafting this week. I’ve been in such a blah mood (mainly because 8 hours of my day is spent in an unproductive funk) that I just haven’t been inspired to do anything. But I plan to change that next week after completing my pattern-drafting classes. Then we’ll be going on a garment-making frenzy to justify the cost of the classes. Or so we’ll see.

Anyhoo, admiring other people’s crafts always lifts my spirits and sure enough I found this. I can’t credit this to anyone since I followed a Pinterest link and only got as far as the image. So if this is yours, please do leave me a note of approval or if not tell me to FO and I’ll remove it πŸ˜€

I really love the look of this and I like that it’s an upcycle of something. I do believe this wouldn’t be practical for actual use though. I’m just thinking of the many richly sauced Filipino dishes I love so much and no way will I let those near this. Still, great idea to visit your local hardware store and find a nice and big enough tile to use as a placemat.

Boring sweater hack

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

If I had an infinite number of shirts, I think cutting them up would now be my new hobby. This is Cardigan Attempt No.3. Well technically No. 2 since I started this before the cardigan from scratch. But I realized it wouldn’t be as warm as I needed it to be so I set it aside for a bit.

I bought this sweater just because it was going for 20 AED when its original price was 165 AED. I got home and realized it didn’t really go with anything but it was too thin to wear alone. At least not while it’s still winter in the Sand Globe. So what to do?

Cut it up, of course, especially now that we’ve learned we could put two shirts together and make them into a drapey cardigan.Β 

This is a project you can do when you’re having an especially bad day. Cutting things up seem to release endorphins and make me happy. It could help you too πŸ™‚ So cut up an old shirt at the seams, remove the neckline and the bottom hem and pin along the newly cut up middle of your sweater. See that extra bit of fabric hanging at the end? Cut that away but keep it. We’ll use it for something else. Sew both tops together.

Remember that bit of t-shirt left over that we cut away? Grab that and make circles. Small ones, big ones, whatever floats your fancy. You could also add circles from other fabric scraps and make a petal neckline like Lindsey’s on The Pleated Poppy.

Once you’ve sewn the petals in place, you’re done. Yay πŸ™‚ I’ve been timing myself because I’ve noticed that I spend waaaaaay too much time crafting and have to cram in everything else in my life in whatever time I have remaining. Thankfully this one only took me half an hour to do. Not bad, eh? Three down, one last garment for the week to go.

And demmit, I can’t believe my weekend is over 😦

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