So this nest (once full of stinging wasps) was something my dad came across in my yard (by being stung). So he exterminated it (you couldn’t go within 10 feet of it safely which meant no use of one side of my porch or my backyard!)
So, I am a fan of using dye to make things look new and different. This time, I had a dress that was white. I want to wear it at homecoming, and wanted it in a color. Here it is “before” of it hanging in the laundry closet:
So here are my steps:
Make sure you’ve pre-washed your item. Choose a dye. I would highly recommend RIT dye, it’s been around for a long time and for good reason! It works best! It can be purchased from a craft store, or you can just go down to Wal-mart. It’s sold next to the laundry supplies. Don’t expect a huge range of colors there, just the basics. Anyway this is the dye I bought:
Now, I vary slightly from the directions on the package (but if you follow them that’s fine too!) What I do is I fill my utility sink enough to cover the item(s) I am dyeing with the hottest water the sink will produce. Then pour the dye in and mix it:
Now dump your item in. Mix it CONSTANTLY until you have reached the desired color. This may be immediately, in 10 minutes, in 20, whatever, depending on how dark you want it. Anything past an hour, though, is futile.
Now rinse it REALLY well. You don’t want it to bleed onto your skin when you wear it! Then you can spin it in the washing machine or if it’s delicate just hang in on a line to dry.
ALL DONE! Gorgeous, huh?
Tip: RIT recommends not trying to dye polyester. It does not dye as well, this is true, but it will dye somewhat. I say, go forth and experiment! My dress came out great and it was comprised of a bunch of different materials. Although be warned: Different materials on a single clothing item will dye different shades. As you can see in the (somewhat dark) photo above, the satin ribbons dyed much darker than the chiffon shell. Keep that in mind!
So, I know that for the normal person it’s a little early to be thinking about a fall wardrobe but for the seamstress…it’s about time!
My sewing plans for the fall/winter include the following:
Burdastyle’s Zoe jumper in a nice wool (probably with added bust darts to make the look more shapely), maybe in a berry hue:
Burdastyle’s Celestina is a nice dress, and it seems to be good for both summer AND winter. I think I’d make it in a jewel tone print; maybe a deep aqua-ish color!
I definitely like the shape of this wrap dress, the pattern for which was posted by burdastyle member erdronen. This I envision in a more-or-less neutral color like brown or ivory.
I have great ideas for the basic t-shirt pattern Lydia. First I plan on making a long sleeved babydoll dress using Lydia and the adorable thermal fabric I recieved last Christmas. Secondly I plan on making a long sleeved basic tee shirt dress. I’m not sure if I’d make it in a print or in a solid but we’ll see!
I have some tan colored wool coating which I want to make the Lady Grey Coat by Colette Patterns from. I got it from a friend who was moving. Maybe this time I’ll actually bother putting in a lining…I’m kind of lazy sometimes :-)
Speaking of Colette, I am hoping to get for Christmas the following Colette patterns: Rooibos, Parfait, and possibly Cinnamon as ell.
I want to make a Kasia skirt, maybe in fun polka dots or something!
Speaking of polka dots, this polka dot skirt really captured my attention - not just the skirt itself, but the styling. One like it could make a nice skirt for winter. Dang, I’m gonna need to get some sweater-knit tights. I’ve only got two pairs!
Next up, I am hoping to make the cardigan wrap variation of the Andrew cardigan out of a sweatshirt knit.
I also want to make a flannel pajama set or two, a holiday apron, a pair of ballet-style slippers, and a Sabrina jumper, if I have time. I will probably be making a few of my new(ish) Butterick patterns as well.
It’s been raining here in my hometown lately. I have quite a few accessories (cute ones!) that I use to keep me dry.
1.Rain boots. I used to have a REALLY CUTE pair of rain boots with little whales on them:
Unfortunately, the quality was low (well for $20 what did I expect, I suppose), the vinyl was too thin, and they cracked on the toe. So I brought them back to Target, and they gave me a store credit for the amount I bought the boots for! I proceeded to buy a sturdier looking pair (which got good reviews). Certainly not AS cute but same color scheme, and fairly cute looking:
If you can afford the little bit extra that quality rain boots usually cost (i.e. L.L. Bean) do it. When you get them, make sure the “frame” around the toe is not stressing the vinyl, and make sure it’s nice and thick. Make sure they are comfy and lined (at least with textile glued to the sides) and if you want, seal any potential crack areas with waterproofing sealer.
2. Rain coat. I have a super cute rain coat I bought at H&M for around $25. It was well worth buying it. It’s made fairly well (for RTW clothes), it looks cute, and it has a nice little peach print (pink and blue peaches on black). I can be seen wearing it in this picture:
The reason I am also wearing a sombrero is because I was at City of Dreams (which is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity in which you build a cardboard house and sleep in it; and my group’s box was Mexican-themed). Anyway, functional and cute (regarding the raincoat of course) is the combo you should be looking for. B-T-dubs, if you’re hoping to make a raincoat, I have a few suggestions: Use a pattern such as this one (specially designed for raincoats), make sure you use vinyl or a designated raincoat material, and use a Teflon foot on your machine.
3. Umbrella. It just so happens I have a coordinating umbrella. Cute umbrellas, luckily, are much easier to find than rain coats or even boots. They’re all over the internet (and stores as well). One of my favorites I’ve seen is, incidentally, from one of my favorite online stores, Modcloth:
Another sweet umbrella comes from Fredflare, another awesomely eclectic site:
Now, my own umbrella currently has a broken frame, and so I need to reframe it. This requires me to acquire a used umbrella with the correct diameter of frame, take the old umbrella fabric off, and put my umbrella fabric on. For some information on repairing umbrellas, check out this link.
4. A rain hat can of course be helpful on a rainy day, especially if your raincoat does not include a hood. I do not personally have a rain hat (I tend to have a phobia of non-beret hats because I don’t want to squish my hair…plus my raincoat does have a hood), but here are two cute ones. This one is from Amazon.com and it’s very military-chic if I do say so myself:
And this other one is from Kmart (gasp!) and it’s only 2.99 (double gasp!):
And in your (water resistant) bag, you should have perhaps a spare pair of socks. Don’t forget to make sure you wear contacts (if you are vision impaired like me) because having drips all over your glasses is especially annoying!
OK. So. Summer is awesome. I’ve had some good times. Now I only have a week left until my first day of senior year….I am so not ready to leave summer behind and start waking up at 6 in the morning. This is getting me down. Ah well, I’ll have to make the best of it. Who says I can’t keep going to the beach (afterschool) through September? Who says I can’t stay up late (on Friday and Saturday nights)?
It’s a little more pathetic but it’s a comfort that in one year from today I will be moving into college!
WARNING: If you follow trends a lot, you will probably be offended by this post. Be aware that it is meant solely for humorous purposes.
Some trends are getting old and should die soon. Other trends are new and still need to die. Either way, no good!
Uggs. They are at the top of my list. We all know: Ugg is for ugly. Uggs are shoes for lazy girls that want to be fashionable. The worst is when they’re worn with sweatpants tucked into them. And no, they are not practical. They get wet in the snow and they smell funny.
Leggings as pants. Leggings are meant to be leggings. That’s why they are called leggings, rather than pants. I personally dislike wearing leggings at all (THIS IS NOT THE 80s!) but can tolerate when people wear them right. But as pants….*shudder*. I find that the worst offenders are girls with big butts and too-small panties, thus creating ridiculous pantylines. My least favorite is when they are combined with Uggs. This way, they make me want to wash my eyeballs with bleach.
Crocs. Yes, I know these are beginning to die away already, but my hatred of them is too strong. I understand: They are comfortable and practical. However, they should only be worn in the following situations: Yardwork. If you need a waterproof, durable shoe in public, you should try this fabulous, attractive-looking invention called sandals.
Excessively showy backless gowns. When I was at prom this year, all the girls looked like exotic dancers from behind! It looked as though they were wearing a skirt and a fancy strappy bra from the back. Not saying that all low backs are scandalous…just that a lot of them had the skirts so low that they were in danger of their cracks showing. Not classy, ladies. Not classy at all.
Name earrings. Nothing screams “tacky ghetto girl” like a blingy pair of hoops sporting the wearer’s name in the middle. Mmm, tacky ghetto girl. My fave.
Bumped hairstyles. Okay, I’ll admit it: for two seconds in eighth grade, I almost liked bumps. They almost looked cute. But then I realized, I ought to leave it to fake tanned Jersey Shore girls and that on normal people, they just make your face look long.
Basketball shorts. On girls OR guys. On guys, it looks like you forgot to change after working out; it’s just sloppy. On girls, it looks like you forgot you were a girl and put on your brother’s shorts; it’s also sloppy.
Tutorial: How to add a cap sleeve to any sewing pattern!
I am a huge fan of cap sleeves, and utilized the added cap sleeve in the dress I made my mom:
I am making another dress similar to it and decided the time has come for me to post a quick tutorial on drafting and attaching cap sleeves. Here we go!
The pattern I’m using is the Coffee Date Dress pattern, but almost any sleeveless dress pattern will do. Sew in the darts as you normally would and sew the shoulder seam. Lay the open armhole flat on a piece of paper, like this:
Make sure it’s as flat as possible, and make sure it’s the armhole side!
Trace along the edge of the armhole, and draw a straight line across the bottom, about two inches up from the side-seam-to-be, like so:
It’s very faint, because I drew it in pencil, but it’s there for sure!
You should now have a shape drawn that looks like this:
Again, it’s faint but you can see it still. Cut the sleeve pattern out.
Now cut 2 sleeves from the fabric of your choice. Leave a hem allowance on the edge so the sleeves aren’t too short! You can see my hem allowance on the bottom in the picture:
Hem the bottom edge of your sleeve, where you left the hem allowance.
I only turned my hem under once, and used a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying, but if you leave a bigger hem allowance you can fold over twice and use a straight stitch.
Now, pin your sleeve to your armhole as you normally would.
I like to sew the sleeve on first, and then sew up the side seam, but if you like to use a different method feel free. As long as the sleeve gets attached to the bodice, right? Your sleeve should now look like this, when turned right side out:
Sew your facing on, only around the neckhole though. Do not attach it to the armholes. If there are armhole parts attached to the neck facing, just cut them off.
Sew up the side seams of your bodice if you have not already done so. Your bodice should now look like this:
The underarm of the sleeve should still have a raw edge. Notch the edge and fold it over to make a hem.
I would not try to fold it twice, as it might come out wonky, so you’ll probably have to use a zigzag stitch.
Now attach the bodice to the skirt as you normally would and finish the dress!
In case you haven’t guessed, you can consider this your preview to a coming creation! Although you may have to wait a while for it to actually be finished - in the store, I quickly switched a blue version of the fabric for a brown version, but forgot to switch zippers! So now I have a blue zipper and no brown zipper. Boo!
This is my first Autumn 2010 clothing item: a red gathered skirt made of a deliciously luxurious cotton (which, interestingly, came from Wal-Mart on clearance). It’s so twirly!
In other news, I tore a giant hole in my tire today….maybe if I get a chance I’ll post a picture. I did it by backing over a log which was behind my car. Now I have to pay $120 to buy a new tire….anyone want to buy a really expensive dress or two from me to fund my tire? (insert smiley here!)
So, I’ve been DYING to do a post on retro and vintage sewing within the online community. May I start with Casey, of Elegant Musings. Her stuff is fantastic! She seems to be particularly partial to the 40s.
Okay, next up is Elegant Impressions from Burdastyle. Most of their things also have (free) patterns!
Aaaaand, here’s the last for today, Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing! In case you didn’t know, the premise of her blog is that she wants to sew every project in Vogue’s New Book For Better Sewing.
So I was driving home from the gym and saw a sign: “Estate Sale 9-3”. Checked my clock, it was 10:30 - I’m in! Not only did I see an old, 60s sewing machine for $30 (had to remind myself I already have a better vintage machine), but I saw a box of fabric! Check out my haul (totaled $10):
Clockwise from top: Plaid, two different heart fabrics, a geometric pattern, and a floral design.
Clockwise from top: Poinsettias, plaid, stripes, corner of aforementioned hearts, large floral pattern, sheets (to be used as muslins/linings).
I’ve been told several times (in several different states as well) that I look like Elizabeth Taylor. (I also have been told that I look like Baby from Dirty Dancing and that I look like the singer St. Vincent.) Elizabeth Taylor had great style! Here are some fabulous pictures of her!