Denim Number 2

Last week I nabbed a handful of jeans at a store downtown… I’m all about denim refashions, now, skirts of course.

And then, wouldn’t you know it, a few days later, I had this thing thrust upon me.

I might have sported this back in the day but I wouldn’t look twice at it now. But I also won’t say no to a challenge, much less free fabric. So I got to unpicking last night and came up with a few ideas.

Knickers? Probably not. Wow, the couch needs a decent clean. Note to self: don’t have kids.

I unpicked the shit out of the stripes and have two skirts in mind, the second of which will begin with the striped undies.

Obviously, I’ll be adding in extra denim to replace the ass I’ve ripped out of this little ensemble, but I’m thinking chevron stripes at the front…

Okay, the chevron proved too tricky for my impatient mind, so I moved things around a bit, but I liked the one-sided affair.

The back was difficult because I cut out the ripped bit, whereas last time I sewed it flat and added the heart.

But I prevailed and this is a winner!

Death by denim.

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A Lace Refashion

When I started working back in the day, my Oma made me a bunch of clothes to mix and match. Down the track, I bought from some outlet stores before moving to the big smoke and was super fancy, except I was the only one! I ended up downplaying the fancy in favour of the cool, so that I wore concert tees with my super hot pencil skirt and a pair of slides to work. Obvs that’s not going to play these days, so I go again for (far less sleek) skirts and office casual shirts. Well, some of them are too casual when I run out of fab necklaces, so I finally sat down with the shirts and the lace pieces I’ve scavenged and came up with this, the first of my autumn line.

Lace is gangsta, in case you don’t know!

I love me some collars, especially when they go asymmetrical.

Honey I Shrunk Your Dress

I bought a beautiful dress at Old Navy a few years ago and it shrunk in the wash. Too bad, so sad. Except that I really liked it, and had the idea to make it fit again by adding space where the space had shrunk. I added black triangles into the side seams and now I only have to worry about fitting my boobs into the only slightly smaller top of the dress, and what shoes to wear!

More Sleeves

I’m obsessed with sleeves, no idea why. I cut out another shirt with the same pattern as last time, after much discussion about which side of the fabric I should be using: dark or light, smooth or textured? The moral of the story is pick a side and make sure you are consistent, and perhaps, drape it over your skin to see what feels nice, because I like to look at the shiny side but the textured side sort of feels terrible against my skin.

Anyhoo, sewing sleeves has become less intimidating with the actual undertaking, and I was excited to get to that part this time because I wanted to try something else with the gathering at the shoulder, but something terrible has happened…

They are different sizes! There is one adorable little princess pleat – think Snow White sleeves – and one big pleat. I don’t know what the fuck happened because I cut them out the same, and pinned them the same way…

I started from the armpit and worked my way up evenly on both sides, until I got to the top of the shoulder and folded a pleat. I even had the idea to fold it the opposite way on the next shirt, but how the hell do I fix this?

Unpick it. Fuck it.

I cheated. I unpicked only the top half and measured it against the pattern… it didn’t line up so I trimmed and trimmed again. It’s still not 100% but I dont want to go too far and have to do the other side again and end up with the half sleeves that start on my elbow. I think it’ll be fine when I iron it. 

Besides, I appear to have a bigger problem with uneven shoulders.

Sleeves

Yesterday I made a shirt for work, with sleeves! As I was pinning – yes, pinning! – them to the bodice, I wondered if I’d ever done sleeves before. I can’t recall any save for the over-sized coat I made for myself in high school, which was fleece and probably terrible.

Anyhoo, I started with a pattern but when I cut it out, it was awful, so I used the same pieces on a different pattern and adjusted them. The first pattern looked easier, luckily, the second pattern was one I have used before so I knew it would work out. 

These shots are pre-iron because I wasn’t sure it would fit! I sewed the whole bloody thing without trying it on. Not true, actually, I did try it on before I put the waist on. It was super short so I added the tiny peplum, and also a little wedge on each side of the waist since I’ve eaten a lot of cake since the last time I made this pattern.

So, the sleeves! I made them an inch wider than the pattern because nothing makes me throw balled-up fabric in a fit of rage as when sleeves are too tight on my mean-business arms. This pattern has a small dart on the inner elbow, for reasons of…? When I got to the shoulder part of the sleeve, the actual sewing the sleeve part of the sleeve, I pinned it fine and there was too much at the top, so I folded it as a dart, which makes a nice little pleat, and adds a hint of puffiness.

For the next one, I’ll be using a softer fabric and not putting in the front and back darts, so I’m hoping it will be more like a shirt, rather than the structured cotton of this green number.

Denim Dan

I’ve thought of refashioning denim a number of times because it all looks cute and amazing on pinterest, and I have a handful of old jeans laying around the place, but it took someone calling me out on facebook for me to actually do it.

I used to have a long denim skirt and I simply adored the heavy swish of it against my legs, so I didn’t want to make a short denim skirt like I’ve seen online. I scrimped and scrounged from my fabric pile and made it work. You can really see the hot and heavy parts of me when my old jeans are laid bare for the world to see, oh my.

I unpicked the seams rather than cutting them off, because then I have an extra half inch of fabric to use. When the denim scraps were sewed into a larger piece, I pinned it together and eventually got the denim flat, and sewed that mofo.

My thighs are especially sexy and my jeans get worn out there first, as you can tell by the cute hole right on my date. It’s nothing a passive-aggressive kiss my ass won’t fix.

KK eat your heart out, or mine.

Vintage Seams

Part of the problem with buying vintage is not the armpit stains (blech), yes they are a problem but more of a gross factor. The problem for me is ripping around some of the seams. But I can fix it, now, or most of the time, anyway.

If you saw the fun, mustard lace dress I made (remember that mofo’ing flower crown!) I used some seam reinforcer tape, then as well, think Buzz Lightyear and bonding tape. 

The side seams are ironed open on this dress, so I held them closed with the bonding strip on both outsides, and sewed it all together.

The strip strengths the seam so it’s not just the old fabric being held by the cotton. Think He-Man helping Granny  with her shopping.

The seams are folded back open, maybe give them a bit of an iron – low heat, mind, don’t want to burn the damn thing I just so patiently fixed – and voila!

Remember, it’s not supposed to be a peekaboo dress…

That’s better.

No more peekabooks back here, either. Hey, check out my sweet sewing cabinet in the background! It’s vintage, too.

Butchering Beautiful Linens

It’s risky for me to try new things, but I justify them by asking myself if I am using them (these beautiful linens) as they are, or if they are merely stunning dust bunnies, gathering a plethora of skin and hair and other choice particles to themselves as I contemplate what might happen to them if I try. Case in point: that pretty tablecloth which is now a pil of annoying tulips and cotton on the floor with a hole in the middle, albeit with a well-sewn zip.

Anyhoo, I cut off the bit down the middle and am going to pleat the shit out of it, since the hem will only work if it is circular. Circular my ass.

Another Tablecloth Skirt

I’ve had the week off work and thought about doing some rad sewing but I was a bit busy, so here is me trying to squeeze it in before things go back to the way they were, sad emoji.

I was out with the boys the other day and intended to open a bank account, but somebody decided they simply had to go the bathroom, and where do you go if there are no public restrooms? Somewhere there are private restrooms, for paying customers only. Excluding food establishments, an antique store is the next best thing, especially when it is actually next door. But one can’t simply wend one’s way through the store straight to the shitter, especially when one has kids and you just know the beady eyes behind the desk know exactly what I’m on about. So you casually wander and while people are fighting over who lifts the seat up first [is this really my life], you grab a few choice items to justify it all.

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This gorgeous fabric is a duvet cover, AKA twice the fabric for the same bargain price!

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And this gorgeous tablecloth has got ‘skirt’ written all over it. But first I had to get rid of the peekaboo monkey so I could eat my secret bacon in secret.

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For my other tablecloth skirts, I cut them in half and pleated the shit out of them, but I don’t want to interrupt the pattern, this time, so I’m going for another pinterest diy so I can keep the slim waistline and rev up the twirl factor. Sweet tip: a super cool reason to repurpose tablecloths for skirts is that the hem is already done!

I’m using some leftover fabric from the kindy quilt I made a few months ago, for the waistband.

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Cue the thousand interruptions from the children, and then take note of how she does the waistband, which covers the seam and the inside of the zip. I’m a fan, though it’s hard to concentrate while someone else farts in my bathroom and draws on the tiles.

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Update: I hate this skirt. I hate the asymmetric hemline because it’s a square and now looks like a bunch of fucking teatowels hanging off me, and the waist is too big. Fuck. I’m going to have wine and rethink this.

A Sewing Success Story

I found this dress at Goodwill or etc and figured I’d take it in and it would be perfect, like many of my other cotton rescues. Except that’s what actually happened, this time. 

Look how tidy my house is!

I added an extra pleat on both sides of the skirt and took in the waist section, and then sewed the two pieces back together like magic! 

The print is a little bit pajamas, but honestly, what vintage print isn’t? 

Husband asked this morning if I was wearing a nightie. Dick move. And his surprise was palpable when I told him the lady behind the counter when I nabbed a gift card for a birthday party, loved my dress. The dude is clueless. And paired with some sweet, suede shoes, I’ll mop the floor with him.