Friday, February 28, 2014

Sweatshirt makeover revealed

I wanted to makeover a sweatshirt so I could tie into the trend of upscale sweatshirt tops. I embroidered on mine and replaced the sleeves with a sheer material. I then styled it with some elements I already had in my wardrobe: skinny leggins, motor-cross booties, a 3/4 length coat, and silk chiffon black/white scarf. Hope you like the effect.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

American Sewing Guild (a plug) sweatshirt makeover project

Have or do you know there is a national sewing organization called American Sewing Guild ? Well two years ago I became a member because I was able to spend more time doing my hobbies. It is a very worthwhile organization. It is especially helpful when none of your friends sew.

Not so crafty
very cute and crafty but not me
Another cute crafty version
another crafty version
We are doing sweatshirt makeovers in my local wearable arts group. Yes some of them can turn out very artsy crafty which may not be chic by your standards. I saw that sweatshirt type tops are in and I like the look. I am going to give one a go and so far I have embroidered a Fleur de Lis on mine. The next step is to replace the sleeves with a sheer fabric. I am not sure I will like the look but may try it anyways here is a picture of the project so far.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A touch of royality with embroidery

I spent a huge amount of time in 2013 learning how to make sewing machine embroidery. There is a huge learning curve for this hobby. I do not want to embroider on 'blanks' but to use the technique to embellish and add another element of interest to my clothing and hats.
There is a huge range of prices for these machines. I wanted a home sewers model which typically has one needle. Most of the machines are sewing machines as well as embroidery machines. Suffice it to say that I did not see the need to spend maximum money to doodle in this art.  My husband bought me a Singer xl 550 Futura on HSN(Home Shopping Network) in Dec of 2012. The software that comes with it can do innumerable things and once you master it the creations are really impressive.The hoop that comes with it is quite large which is an advantage.
However the downside is that this machine is so finicky and has many problems in the sew out mode.
There are issues with tension and bird-nesting of the thread on the underside of the design. There are pages on Facebook which members can offer advice and support and that has been very helpful. BUT the machine is fraught with problems and if you have never used an embroidery machine before you have nothing to compare it. After a year and two weekend classes I decided that my machine was in need of repair and back to a warranty center it has gone. I have since bought another brand a more basic machine. This one has a smaller hoop and there is really no design software that comes with it. It has built in designs that can be minimally manipulated but it sews out beautifully. Such a frustration that this machine works so much better than the original one purchased.
Anyways the monogram that I pictured above was done on the easier machine Brother 6800PRW. I put this on the back center neckline of my daughter's sweater. It seems at her office several ladies have the same one so now her's is unique. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sewing Blunders can lead to creative process

A while back I decided to make a sleeveless blouse to go with some brown walking shorts I had made. I figured I would whip this baby out in two days- WRONG. I had major fitting issues that I think I figured out but it took some time. I also thought the fabric was a checked cotton. Nope it was polyester and it frayed like mad. I also ended cutting a wee bit too small size for myself. It was bigger in the shoulders and armholes but I still needed more room in the bust dart area. I find pattern fitting so tedious so I postponed the final fitting until I got my Duct tape twin made; Duck tape Dorthy to the rescue.

The Pattern is Butterick 6085. I decided to add a back shoulder panel that I embroidered on appliqued circles with a new gadget I had bought for my Singer which by the way works on my Brother machine. I also decided I wanted to make the under collar and the front facing out of coordinating print fabrics. I ended up having to add fabric panels on each side seam to add some movement room and to get rid of the frayed seams. The bottom of the garment had also frayed so I added bias binding the same that I used on the armholes. I moved the buttons down and made them 2 inches apart because I wanted to eliminate bust-line gaposis.This blouse will go with my brown shorts and I am planning on making a brown and tan print skirt. I am big into mixing prints in my statement pieces. Hope you like it.
I will model it once I add the buttonholes and buttons........


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spelling out my fashion intentions;thinking about Spring2014

I am midway through my project runway sewing challenge and I have been looking for a theme to what I am sewing. My initial idea was to just sew up some pieces that I liked using my stash of fabric. I hope to then have a group of patterns that I have adjusted the fit on so I can use them again. I also was hoping to see if there is a theme to what I am picking. So far I have a few neutrals and a few statement pieces.
I guess that is a Method of dressing mixing statement pieces with basics. Another idea bantering about the blog-isphere is the idea of creating a 'uniform'; a combination of clothing items that you frequently pair together and wear. I basically wear jeans or casual pants, a top either a knit or a button down woven and a third piece  a draped sweater or a jacket of sorts.
I add scarves boots cause it is that season, and always earrings and bracelets and necklaces.
This modular approach works for me but I am not crazy in love with my pieces. I am hoping by sewing my own pieces I will have the colors and styles that are more to my personal aesthetic.
Sewing statement pieces is where I believe I am headed and buying the basics. I am sticking to my fall coloring palette. I am very much influenced these days by Into Mind

If you haven't gone over to her blog she has some wonderful information about curating a wonderful workable wardrobe with a big infusion of yourself and tells how to do this step by step.

everyday uniform
everyday uniform

Dressy uniform
I love her idea of coming up with a 'uniform' and making a few versions of these based upon the types of items you love to wear. An example for me is a dress and a Pashima I seem to like to pair these items together along with dressy flats or ballerina flats as some call them. This combination would be my 'dressed up' uniform.
How about you do you intentionally plan out your next seasons wardrobe and does someone guide you in this direction??