Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quick Sewing Machine Cleaning Tip

I learned this little tip during my serger class a couple years ago and thought I would share since I was cleaning the dust bunnies from my sewing machine.

The best thing to clean out the uglies is an old, fluffy make-up brush.

For some reason, make-up brushes attract the lint better than anything else I've tried.

So go buy yourself a new powder brush and clean out your machine with the old!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Not so Fugly Muslin : M5525

I ditched the first jacket/coat pattern I was attempting.  I'm sure if I cut a smaller size it would not have looked so bad, but the sleeves were awful.  Such a weird 80's style that was totally unflattering.  Last night I cut out M5525. I cut view A with the overlapping peter pan collar.  I decided to cut a size 8 at the bust and graded to a 12 at the hips because in my first muslin of the other pattern, the 12 at the hips fit fine.  I definitely needed the ease there.  Here are the results:

I think the front fits pretty darn good.  The apex points are where they should be and so is the waist.

 I'm concerned a little about how the front is rising up in this picture.  The two front pieces are shorter as per the instructions, but I may need a FBA.  What do you all think? The sleeves are set in rather quickly and poorly so I know they will look better in the final.

And the back...Its better than the first time around, but I wasn't happy.  I need the ease over my shoulder blades but not from the mid back down.  Also I think shoulder pads would help.  I took in the CB seam 1/4" (for a 1/2" total from the mid back and then I blended back out to zero in the picture below this one. 

Unfortunately, I didn't press if before my photographer took the picture. A few minutes later she left and I had to attempt taking pictures of myself.

Here's one...It's not all that bad!  I think I might just go with it!

I also noticed that the left side is frumpier than the right.  I think it has to do with how I set in the sleeves.  I set in the left first by pin-easing very, very quickly.  Lots of puckers, but it went in...The right was done by crimping.  Much better and even quicker!  

If you have any advice, please let me know :) I'm thinking of just going for it and cutting into my purple wool!  Aww, so scary! My first attempt at a jacket!  I figure, the coat will be belted and be crumply (I made this word up) anyways.  

I'll keep you all posted on my next step.  

Thanks to my newest followers Temporary Cat and Tifia Gabrielle!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle...

Remember the Halloween costume I made for Pearl last year?

Well, this year for the Pattern Review Costume Contest, I made little Fritz a LEOPARD OUTFIT!

 In "captivity."

In the "wild."

On the prowl.

Scavenging for food?

Lions and Leopards and...

 Roxy...oh my!...

Pearl got second place last year, this year Fritz should take 1st!  Vote for our cute little leopard dog cat thing.  

The pattern Review:

Pattern Description: 

Dog costumes in 3 sizes: Elvis, Bumblebee, Cow, Lion
Pattern Sizing:

S - M- L . I started with a small and shrunk it down to 60% on a xerox. Because I made the pattern before, I increased the size of the pattern by slashing and spreading (which worked, to an extent).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

More or less. After I shrunk it down, and the graded the pattern up a bit, it ended up still being too small. I made this version a shirt as well and did not include the tail. I decided the problem with the fit was in the back legs. Maybe it was in reducing the pattern on the copier that did it, but the back legs are drafted poorly. There needed to be even more ease between the my dog's rear and his leg.
Were the instructions easy to follow?

I did not use them, but they seemed okay.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I think the pattern is cute, but not drafted well. I thought it was me the first time around, but I am more experienced now and I think it is the pattern. I wish the pattern companies made patterns for tiny dogs :)
Fabric Used:

Leopard print polar fleece from the swapmeet.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I shrunk the pattern down to 60% of the original and added back 1/2" seam allowances. I then slashed and spread and added an inch to the circumference about an inch to the length and split the legs open a bit for some more room. It still didn't fit in the back so I made it a shirt instead of a jumper.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Nope! I think I'll just use my self drafted dog pj pattern the next time I make a doggie onesie. I'll probably use the hood pattern piece and the ears again though.

Try something else if you have little dogs. It may work for larger breeds. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Fugly Muslin M6246

I started working on a muslin for this jacket.  I'm making view B, the pink jacket in the corner.  

For the muslin I used a winter white wool I bought at a Goodwill for $3.00.  I think there was about 5 yards and I used 1.5 for the muslin.  :)  

I measured a jacket that fits me well and flat pattern measured.  I decided a size 12 would be a good starting point, but I think its huge, especially in the back.  I also HATE the sleeves.  The darts are just weird.  I have very sloping shoulders and did not do an adjustment because the princess seam to the armhole was making things extra complicated. I did put in a temporary 1/4" should pad, which didn't do much.  Since I've been drafting my own patterns for school, I discovered I hate seam allowance.  I think I'll start making Burda patterns.  It is so much easier to manipulate the pattern before the seam allowance is added.   

I need help! The princess seams are in the wrong place, the body is huge, the sleeves are huge, the back looks awful... How should I adjust this muslin?  I'm thinking I should start again with a 10, but I'm not even liking the sleeves. I'd also need to shorten the pattern.  I might just switch to this pattern:


At least this jacket/coat has reviews on PR. Well, everyone and their mother has made it so I assume its a good pattern.  What do you think?

The Fabric Haul (Picture Heavy)

Thanks to everyone who commented here and on Sew Retro about the stinky fabric.  We washed the last few batches of fabric with vinegar, but the smell didn't come out completely.  I think I'm going to have to wash it again and try laying out small batches in the sun.  I do not have a clothesline, but maybe I'll have to rig one up in the backyard.  We are too lazy to wash the fabric again and lay in the sun, so I think we are going to make a "stinky bin" and put all the fabric in there.  When it is time to use it, I'll just wash it again.

Now to the fabric! I did burn tests for almost every piece of fabric and we did really well!  Cottons, SILKS, and a wool! I think some of the cottons could be rayon, but there is no real way to tell unless I put them under a microscope.  Too much work!

I love the little birdies embroidered on the yellow cotton.  I want a little house so I can make curtains out of fabric.  My mom likes the border print floral.  I think it would make a great little vintage sundress or better yet, a pretty skirt!

The rose print is adorable, but I LOVE the silk and the sheer embroidered cotton.  I think they were meant to be used together.  The blue fabric pictured is interesting, but I can't figure out what to do with it.  Probably a muslin.

A really pretty, soft wool plaid and a cotton olive green corduroy.  There is just enough plaid for a skirt and tons of the cord.  I think I want a cord skirt as well.

BEAUTIFUL SILKS from China.  They were in a paper package with Chinese written on it.  The inhabitants of the estate were big travelers.

A gorgeous, funky polished cotton!  I love the sheen. Weird, but cool! I don't know if I would ever wear it, but its nice to have.

LOVE the cotton plaid!

A fun stripe and a red silk my mom has claimed.  I'm not a huge fan, so I'm cool with it :)

Another bundle I just didn't want to photograph. The yellow dotted swiss is best piece of fabric in the bundle! Oh, and there were two rather hefty tricots in nude.  I'll definitely use them to line knit!

Super fun fish print! I'm going to use this one day.  Even though it is crazy.

Cutest fabric from the lot! I hope I get the diamond fabric before my mom does :) hehe.  We think the printed gingham would make a  great apron.

 The patterns were $5 each which is usually a lot for me, but I didn't have anything like them and they were in my size.

I had to post this too.  My mom got this travel kit for $3.  It has never been used, and I think it's just adorable. 

We also bought some cute trims, 2 pairs of funky shoes, interesting costume jewelry, and a beautiful necklace gold and amethyst from the turn of the century 1900 (not 2000). I get it at Christmas.  :)  Oh, and a gorgeous custom sheath dress and coat made for lady of the house.  It is white and beautifully embroidered in black.  The embroidery is also cut out.  I'll have to take pictures and share some of the details.  My favorite part is the quilted coat lining and the hidden pocket.  I get the dress and my mom gets the coat :)

My mom paid for everything, so thanks Mom!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ugg, the "Motif" Dress

My last draping assignment was something called a "motif dress."  We had to pick a shape and drape around and into it.  The shape had to be inspired by a picture of a place that we've been to or would like to go to.  I was inspired by this picture:

I didn't take this picture, but this is how I remember Big Ben from my study abroad trip to London.  I saw it at night the first time and it was so pretty.  I think there was even some sort of crew working just like in the picture.  

I wanted my dress to have a circle as its motif and I wanted to keep the dress kind of columnar, but have some flare.   By the way, I hate it, and polyester georgette is EVIL!  Sewing wasn't all that bad, but cutting was a nightmare.  Especially with humongous circle skirt panels!  Sewing pleats into a circle was no picnic either.  

Here's the dress.

It had to be hand hemmed.  I didn't do it and didn't get knocked down because my teacher didn't even check!  I did a chiffon hem instead and it worked out pretty well.  I merrow hemmed the lining.  There is an invisible zipper too.  I wish the back straps were made out of the gold fabric, but I didn't have time to make pattern pieces for them. I used this awful, flimsy vintage ribbon I found in my stash.  It kept shredding as I worked with it. 

I was up all night working on this and then had to do more homework for my Creative Design Applications class.  I was also sick, so I'm not really proud of the dress.  I hope to be able to make things that I want.  I'm tired of making crappy garments that I am not proud of.  

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  ^

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vintage Fabric Question

Pictures are coming, but does anyone know how to get the smell of old people out of vintage fabric?  You know, that musty smell in everyone's grandmother's house.  My mom and I just bought LOADS of fabric at an estate sale today and even after washing, it still smells funky.

Any suggestions????


A Wrinkled Hot (Pink) Mess

My last project in my Pattern Drafting class was a pair of shorts.  The requirements were:

1) Must be shortened (ie. not full length pants)
2) Must have rolled up cuffs
3) Must have mock-fly zipper
4) Must have patch pocket

I decided I wanted to make a retro-inspired high-waisted short.  I also wanted to try to get rid of side seams and create a side panel instead.  I saw similar pockets on BurdaStyle and wanted to try something like it.

The fabric is this cheap-o hot pink linen I found at the FIDM Scholarship store for $2/yd.  If you breathe on it, it wrinkles.  A lot!  Don't worry, this is not how I presented them for the critique.  They were pressed very nicely.  I took the pictures after they were folded in the bag.

This is what I came up with:

The pictures suck.  The cuffs ARE even in real life and the back waistline does not tilt like that.  I forgot that I hadn't taken pictures so I threw them back on a mannequin and snapped real quick photos with my phone in a cramped little sewing room full of students trying to finish final projects.  I didn't bother getting them on correctly.  I was so afraid they wouldn't fit, and they didn't, but thank God for linen and its stretchiness.  I stretched the fabric so the zipper would close!

I didn't know how they would turn out when I drafted/designed them.  I wish the inseam would have been shorter and the high waistline not so high, but overall it was a good project and I got 100%.  I think they are ugly, but who cares! They are done! Sometimes I think FIDM teachers grade really easy....oh well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I've been so busy that I haven't had time to thank Andrea for this great award! Andrea lives in Houston (I hope the weather is better!) and blogs at Invisible Flower.

I copied this from her blog:

This award is for "those who have less than 300 Google followers but deserves a lot more recognition and following than what they currently get. They are the unsung heroes of the blogsphere, plugging away in their little corner, churning out fantastic work and we need to do something to help them get some publicity." I'm truly honored and thrilled that Andrea thinks my blog deserves more recognition (even though I haven't posted anything in a while). Sorry, this quarter was EVIL!

So now I'll pass it on to a couple more people :)

I don't know how many followers she has by looking at her blog actually, but this is a great blog! I don't know the bloggers name even. I stumbled upon the blog a few months ago I think and am in awe of the garments! They are so well made and I can't believe she sews so fast! Its amazing!

Gwen of All My Seams
Gwen has around 230 followers and she deserves every one! Check out her blog!

Michelle of 
Cheap and Picky

Cheap and Picky was one of the first blogs I found when I started to sew. Michelle hasn't blogged for a few months and I miss her posts. I hope she starts back up again!

Now, for my follower appreciation:

Thanks to Jamie, Julia of Get Going...Sewing, Pearls and Lace (I looove the knitted bunny!), and Donna P!

Thanks ladies! Hope you like the blog!

Pearl is blown away by your Awesomeness!

Oh, and for everyone who was wondering or commented, I got into the FIDM Special Projects class. The Red Dress project with the American Heart Association. Anndddd, I got an internship with a children's clothing company/manufacturer in the L. A. area. Woohoo!

I'm going to be a very busy girl next quarter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crafty Cakes

I'm a sucker for cute cakes.  Found these on a blog I read and thought I would share.

Aren't they awesome?

More on Cake Wrecks!