Friday, May 13, 2011

I Have to Brag....

About a friend of mine. I've been following her blog for a while now, and have watched every step of the way as she has mostly hand sewn a full outfit from the 18th century. Yes you read that right, hand sewn.

Pop over and take a look-- it is absolutely amazing. Lest any of you be unaware, an outfit like this has about a million pieces to it, and each of hers are impeccable. She has embroidered pockets that are meant to stay under the skirt for crying out loud! Click around to her different posts about it, and you'll be amazed. The girl's got skills.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Bit of Beadwork (finished)

Any of you that follow Glee will probably recall the sweater clips that Emma Pilsbury wears that are a throwback to the fifties, well, I immediately fell in love with them and went on etsy to purchase some. Unfortunately, all the ones available featured low quality glass or plastic beads. Um, no thanks. I prefer semiprecious stones because I'm a snob. Plus they are so incredibly easy to make, and I wanted to personalize mine.

Beadwork and jewelry making is so much fun and so easy. And I have to say that shopping for the supplies is equally as fun. I kind of feel like a cross between Rosie the Riveter and a regular crafter. I get to use all of these specific tools and work with silver.

For this sweater clip, I decided on olive jade and little peridot beads as separators. On the ends, I had a strong desire to not copy the one I saw on etsy that featured scrabble tiles even though I think that is a really cute idea. Instead, I picked two of the same (I think Taiwanese) coins and glued them to the clips one "heads" up and one "tails" up. I actually use this quite a lot, more than I thought I would. It turns out that sweater clips are not only very cute, but also completely practical.

Next on the docket-- Crochet markers (above) and knitting markers (below). I made these for my mother for Christmas this year. These are laughably easy to make, but are very impressive looking especially when you use semiprecious stones. The stones above are citrine and coral, and I can't remember what the ones below are-- leave a comment if you must know and I'll get off my lazy hind end and go look it up-- otherwise I'm staying right here. You might think the ones above look like earrings, and that is because I used earring hoops, so it's kinda like getting two things for the price of one.

I really need to make some of these for myself. After making these, plastic markers just don't cut it anymore.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Little Girl's Dress (finished)

I think my Mom has a million pictures of me doing this exact same pose. Look out world, here comes another "Ali." Alright. So, this is the last project of my winter semester sewing class, a little girl's dress with a gathered skirt and flat collar. There can be so many interpretations of that, if you have a higher waistline, it could look like a mid 19th century dress, but I opted for a natural waistline and shot for a more mid 20th century look.

Because I wanted a more contemporary style, you'll notice that there are no bows or sashes or flowers etc. And I used a 1930's style print

First thing a girl does in a new dress is twirl of course.

This pose was entirely Greta's idea. That girl-- if you find her on a future episode of America's Next Top Model, don't bother shooting me because I will have already committed suicide.

And now we come to the inside. The bodice was fully lined, and the skirt was attached using a sandwich seam, and all other seams are french, so the entire thing is enclosed. Also, if you'll notice the hem-- it is 7 1/2" deep, which is an incredibly deep hem. Standard for this type of skirt is about 2-3" but we were informed that deep hems are somewhat luxurious, and also that because she is a growing girl, I'll be able to keep letting it out and fit it to her for many years. Also I just wanted to see what a deep hem looked like. It's pretty cool.

Here's one of the french seam if you can see it, my apologies for being too lazy to get out my macro lens.

Generally, I'm not sure I'd put this much extra detail into a child's garment because they are liable to rip it or spill something on it or get pen ink on it (like today for instance. *sigh*), or eventually grow out of it, and quite frankly it's just not worth it. But it is good practice, and I take solace in the idea that if I can ever get that pen ink out of her dress, she'll be able to wear it for a long time.

I'm not going to bother forwarding you the link to the pattern I used because it wasn't a very good one. For starters, it had only 1/4" for a seam allowance, and I had to increase them all myself. Not fun. On top of that, the instructions were poor. All in all, I'd suggest you find another pattern to use if you want-- for example one produced by a reputable pattern company.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Springtime Update

My life has pretty much been consumed by school lo these past many months, and sometime during fall semester statistics, I decided that I was finished putting off my fun classes, so I enrolled in an intermediate sewing class for winter.

I've been sewing as long as I can remember, so I kinda thought there wouldn't be much for me to learn in this particular class. Boy was I wrong. I mostly learned the correct ways to do the things I had been doing, and also a slew of brand new skills. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The projects we made were not necessarily things I had been dying to make though, and that was a challenge, but I ended up learning so much that I don't regret it.

I made a zip-up hoodie for myself, a man's dress shirt for my husband, and a dress for my daughter. Pictures and posts for these are a comin' I promise. In fact, I've been wanting to post these, but the weather here has been so foul that there haven't been many opportunities for outdoor photo sessions. Anyway, all in all, it was a fantastic class (I got an A- by the way. I don't know why I'm bragging about my grade, call me egotistical I guess. I suppose it helps though, when I decide to go into the fashion industry, to know that the clothes I design or make for you come from a girl that got good grades and not just passing C's and D's. Other than that, I suppose it's just unholy pride, but at least I'm honest about it right?)

While I was in that class, I discovered the secret under the table, only mentioned in hushed tones in corners of the room classes that BYU offers to those in the know (or in my case, those eavesdropping on conversations between those in the know). Apparently, there are certain special classes offered at special times-- this time was spring semester, and the class was Swimwear/Knits. Did I want the last seat in the class? Oh yes I did.

Now, I am blissfully sewing along in my Swimwear/Knits class, and you know what? *spoiler alert* I love it. First of all, the atmosphere is just plain fun. It's a very full class, and so despite the really well designed classrooms, we are literally working on top of each other. It's kind of like a delightful little sweatshop, in fact, I bet it is similar to what it would have been like to sew with a bunch of other women during the industrial era. We laugh and talk and listen to music and occasionally yell at our projects (ok, that could just be me), and we cheer everyone else on for any small achievement. It's a blast to see what everyone else is making too, I love to see so much creativity.

Sewing on knits is so much fun it feels a bit like I'm cheating on clothing construction. Like I'm having a little fling-- no pressing or ironing, no seam finishing, and it works up so fast. I can't wait to show you all what I've been up to, and I will I promise.

In other news, I've found a cache of vintage and folkwear patterns and pattern companies from which I am thrilled to take part of as soon as I get some more money. I especially love things from the 1930's-- what a beautiful and glamourous decade. It's really a timeless era, the clothing was very flattering. Fabric was high quality and frequently cut on the bias, both things which are very flattering to a woman's body. Things were made to look long and slender, unlike the super curvy look of the 50's, but not boyish like the 20's. Anyway, more on that to come I guarantee.

So, stay tuned, I've really got some fun things to come.