Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Father's Day Ties (finished)

Happy Father's Day!

........20 days ago. I always feel a bit sad that I am unable to post these time sensitive projects before the event so that someone can possibly get an idea of what to give (I myself struggle with this), but I'm also so worried that that'll be the day the recipient of the gift will choose to check my blog. So consider this an advance on an idea for next year, and maybe if you start now you'll have them finished the night before. Haha-- that's a little joke at the expense of hand sewing. Those of you who know me should know that I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and I spent many a wee early morning hour finishing these up.

The fabric I chose is L: Dupioni Silk and R: Silk twill weave. It occurred to me, as I was beginning these ties, that ties are completely non-functional. Essentially, ties are showing off good fabric. That's all that's going on here, and in light of that, one must pick the very best fabric available. Yes, that brings the price up, but when you consider that you are making a tie that would otherwise sell for 100 dollars or more retail, 30$ doesn't seem too terrible for the 7/8 of a yard required for one tie. Yes you read that right-- good fabric is expensive!

I have to say, these were fun to make, but very time consuming. I think the hardest part was my thread on the gray striped tie kept knotting and twisting. I think I spent more time dealing with the thread then actually sewing with it. Part of that was the fabric, it was stiff and grippy and liked to tug at the thread. Part of that was my stubborn need to have it all done with one long piece of thread. Bad habit though-- I really must quit that and use smaller more manageable lengths.

Well, I dare say (sorry, I've been watching a lot of BBC period dramas lately, so you'll have to put up with the odd British phrase like "dare say") that my father and the father of my children liked their ties very much, and one guy at church even came up to me and told me that my husband's tie is so nice he would even buy it if he saw it in a store. I think that's a compliment... I should have asked him which store.

Loads of fun though-- I think that with just about everything I make, I tell myself that I should make a whole lot of them and sell them, but afterward I'm just so anxious to get on to something new that I never come back to the idea. Maybe some day I'll work that out and become a tie maker.

Pattern: McCall's 2447 (also the same pattern used for men's dress shirt)
Fabric: 100% Silk Dupioni (gray striped) and 100% Silk Twill (pattern)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Knit Hopscotch Dress (finished)

This dress is another project from my swimwear & knits course. I love how it turned out! I made it from this interlock knit that is so very soft, you could use it for pajamas. This was very fun and fast to make, I definitely want to make this again.

Happily, the pattern offers different variations in length of sleeve and also a shirt variation. I could seriously make Greta a ton of different pieces using this pattern.

The one thing I struggle with is the twin needle hemming situation. The bobbin thread pulls too tight and it creates a bit of a ridge. I decided to try it with a looser bobbin tension (on my grey knit shirt), and I was able to eliminate the ridge for the most part, but at the expense of even stitch tension. Oh well.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Knit Shirt (finished)

This is one of the projects for my swimwear & knits course, I think it turned out well. Knits are both tricky and easy: easy because you just whip them through the serger, but tricky because you need to use a few secret tips to get it to look halfway decent (so it doesn't look homemade).

All in all I'm fairly happy with it, aside from a few fitting issues. I was being a bit lazy about fitting because I figured knits are forgiving (they are), and I was on a bit of a deadline and anxious to start my Father's Day gifts (forthcoming).

I do love sewing with knits though, I plan to do much more!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Men's Dress Shirt (finished)

Jon is very good with the GQ poses isn't he?

This is the very first time I have ever attempted to make anything for a man. It was loads of fun. Huge amount of work though! If anyone ever wants to know why men's shirts cost so much, just try making one. Trust me, by the end of the process, you'll be happy you can get them so inexpensively.

I bought this fabric from Yellow Bird Fabrics in Salt Lake City, and I was told that it was a runoff of Jcrew shirting fabric. Cool!

I should have taken a close-up of the plackets, because I'm very proud that I matched the stripes... you'll just have to trust me.

Here's the pocket and button band, check out the stripe matching!

FYI-- collars are very hard and labor intensive. I'm a little bummed that I couldn't get a sharper point, but my professor and I worked on it, and this was the best we could do.

We learned and used a lot of industry standard methods on this shirt, and I feel like I know so much more about clothing construction in general now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Zip Hoodie (finished)

Doesn't Zip Hoodie sound like a name some looney celebrity would give his or her child?


Here is my very first BYU-under-professor-supervision project. It was supposed to be a fleece hoodie, but for some reason I was feeling nonconformist and decided to ask for special permission to use french terry (also a stable knit, meaning it is technically knit, but doesn't stretch much). I like french terry, but what was I thinking buying this color?? Someone want to take a stab at that one? Because I'm at a loss. What a horrid color choice.

Moving on. I think I did a pretty good job, but there are a few things I'm not terribly happy about. One of them is the size-- I'm not sure I can adequately describe the amount of second guessing and indecision that can happen when you are suddenly in control of your clothes (especially when you have a professor, a Teacher's Assistant, and 20 or so others weighing in), but I agonized on how tight to make this. We decided that I didn't want it to be skin tight (did I?) and also that I'd be wearing it over other clothing. Then, when I tried it on for my professor, she said, "oh what a cute slouchy jacket!" Slouchy? I didn't think that was the look I was going for, so I went to the mirror and pinched the back together taking out an inch or two. Yeah-- that was much better. Also, the sleeves were too long, so I decided to do a cool technique and sew pleats in the sleeves. I love how it turned out, but somehow one ended up shorter than the other (it must be my arms because I swear I measured the heck out of it).

So to be truly happy with this, I'd have to take out a chunk of the bodice and refit the short sleeve, but I'm too busy now with other things.