Thursday, July 28, 2011

MADE Header Contest

Hey all my digi friends! Did you see the header contest on the MADE website? Here are my entries:

Simplicity 2191 - sort of

I like the School House Tunic, but the bottom portion has a tendency to poof out and make me look pregnant. Then I came across this version of the Shearwater Kaftan and I got the tunic bug again. But I would have to mail order the pattern and that would require effort and patience, which I don't have. So instead I decided to draft my own! I just can't buy ALL the patterns I want and drafting them myself is rewarding and helps improve my skills. Anyway....... this shirt is based on the line art for Simplicity 2191. It's really great fitting. It has princess seams and vents on the sides and the sleeves. And the neck is cut to the perfect depth - not too low and not too high.

And those shorts used to be these pants. After an unfortunate run through the wash they were too short for pants. So a quick chop and hem and now they are perfect fitting capris. Thank you mom for sewing when I was growing up! I LOVE making my own clothes!

Did anyone notice that it's the end of July and I'm wearing long sleeves? It is the end of July and STILL raining and cold! I think the sun came out for about 5 minutes today. I keep hearing about this heat wave in the States. I guess the heat is pushing all the rain to Germany because this has been the wettest summer I can remember since we moved here! I mean on the one hand since there is no air conditioning here we aren't suffering from being too hot... but on the other hand I haven't been able to get my summer clothes out much. On the bright side, it is BEAUTIFUL here! So green. But pleeeeeeease bring back the sun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Sewing

This should be my last sewing post for a few days. I hope you're not bored!

I've been wanting to try my hand at a cowl neck shirt for awhile now (not the tube kind but the drapey kind) but I didn't have a pattern. I looked at some instructions online and figured I could do it without actually having to buy a pattern. So I took one of my t-shirts and drafted a pattern. First mistake was the t-shirt I picked. I should have tried it on first and seen that it wasn't as flattering now as it was when I was 20 pounds lighter! That's ok though because it looks GREAT on Haven!

I only had to shorten the shoulder seams for it to fit her. So you can imagine how snug it was on me! Oops! So I went back to the knit and tried widening it. But guess what - that makes a deeper cowl. Hmmm... maybe I do need a pattern.

Even though I shortened this one at the shoulders too I still had to wear a tank underneath. But I think it turned out fine.

And this is the hemline of the other bias skirt I made. I figured you didn't need to see the whole skirt again. For this one I added two bias strips to the bottom to make it look like layers. They are all un-hemmed so I get that nice frayed edge.

Haven has been spending some time with me at the craft store during her summer vacation and yesterday she started making these little Sculpey clay monster babies. Aren't they the cutest?! Don't you just want to take them home and cuddle them?!

Look at the eyes on that green one! I love it! And that red one has a party hat and a noise maker! He's for a friend of hers who has a birthday party this weekend.

And lastly, here's a lesson we want to share with all our friends. When there is a two hour stau (traffic jam) on the roads and you are trapped on base and decide to stay for dinner with your friends, be sure and look at the sky before deciding to eat out on the patio.

We got drenched! Everything was fine until the sky opened up and dumped a bucket of rain on our heads! It was still a fun way to spend an evening trapped with no where to go.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Corinnea's Bias Skirt

Did you all catch Corinnea's guest post on Crafterhours? It's so much fun to know a celebrity! :) It's a great look and such an easy tutorial! Great job Corinnea! So I've made two now. This was my second one, but I don't have a picture of the first one yet.

Pattern: Corinnea's Bias Skirt
Fabric: Navy cotton/linen blend
Waistband: navy t-shirt (I don't actually recommend using t-shirts because by the end of the day it's all stretched out and falling down! But it's what I had on hand.)

I added the ruffle by cutting 2" bias strips, sewing them together and then sewing the ruffling seam down the middle of the strip. The easy way to do this is to set your stitch length and your tension all the way to the highest settings (for mine the stitch length was 6 and tension was 9) and then just sew a straight line. Don't forget to reset everything once you're finished! I used the same technique to make Haven's ruffle skirts. I still had to tighten up the ruffle on her skirts to fit the pieces, but for this skirt it worked perfectly.

And here's my other Anna Maria Horner camisole with adjustments. This one is an Americana print but I forgot to write down the fabric line.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Made Jeans!

I went for three weeks without sewing anything (two weeks in the States plus one week of recovery), so over the weekend I may have gone a little crazy with the sewing. There were the skirts for Haven, the items in this post, plus a few more that haven't been photographed yet. 

This shirt is an alteration of the Anna Maria Horner camisole (slip) pattern. I tried to make it cowl at the top, but I didn't cut it properly to do that. It's ok though, because I still really like it. And since I finally invested in one of those little bias tape folding tools I've actually enjoyed making my own bias tape!

Fabric: Bazaar Style, Exotic Flora from Art Gallery
Pattern: AMH Camisole (with alterations)

And.... drumroll please... my first pair of jeans!

Pattern: Burda Young flared jeans

I say this is my first pair of jeans because I think I will have to make at least one more pair. I learned a lot from making this pair, such as:

1. I'm short. I have to alter the top of the pants to be ultra low rise, or I end up with pants up to my armpits.
2. I'm short. The flair that looks good on the tall skinny model will most definitely be too wide for me!
3. I'm short. The pattern may say that's where the back pockets go, but most likely I want them higher than the back of my knee.

I'm just sayin... but hey! I installed a jeans button and designed my own back pockets! And I used real jeans thread and a double needle for the details!
These were very surprisingly not that hard. After making all those pairs of Vogue pants it didn't even matter that the pattern was entirely in German. I just looked at the pictures. I do want to try jeans again. Like I said, I learned a lot, I made a lot of notes, and I have a decent pattern to start with that I think can become a great pair of custom jeans.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sewing for the Teen

Haven has let me sew for her so few times I can probably count them on one hand. So when she told me she wanted me to make her a whole new wardrobe for school next year I nearly fell out of my chair! She had seen some skirts at a not-so-appropriate-for-teens online store that were completely adorable but WAY too short. No problem! They were super simple layered ruffle skirts. So Haven picked out the fabrics and we made up a pattern and they turned out really cute! The waistbands are knit and the ruffles are quilting cottons. Next we're going to attempt a black tulle petty coat that will stick out just below the bottom ruffle. We all (all the girls at the shop) wish we had the legs to pull off these skirts...