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.

Pairing Vintage

I like vintage but I can’t wear all vintage, all the time. Why not, actually? Well, it’s expensive but also, probably too Jane Austen for everyday activities. But pairing one vintage piece with something plain is far more palatable for my wallet and stretches out my wardrobe, which means less washing and less tear on my wear.

My fave, new old shirt for work is a day at the Copa cabana.

Ignore the messy bed in the background

Paired with a plain skirt helps give people something else to look at so their eyes don’t burn, because she’s a bright one.

The shirt is a perfect fit and I’d love to use it as a pattern to make another shirt, and I have a lovely, white linen tablecloth which would be perfect for it. If only there was time for all of my ideas, sad emoji.

I Went Shopping!

And yes, judging by that exclamation point, it is safe to assume I found something wonderful.

The antique store downtown knows me and my boys as purveyors of good taste and good manners (so help them) respectively, as much as we know them purveyors of treasures as yet undiscovered. We sauntered around for a bit and a small pile grew on one of the counters as we walked to and fro.

The boys always want expensive, collectible cars and I always want vintage dresses and linens; it’s a tale as old as time. Sometimes, miracles do happen!

Just a tiny peekaboo seam that wants mending

I found this stunner, which at first I thought would go the other way because it was quite peekabooby. Lovely, nonetheless, but I’d hardly carry that off in a town where I see people I know and their husbands. No sir, my eyes are up here. But then I found something when I was fiddling inside that peekabooby neckline…

Church tongue. Far more appropriate. 

I also found a lovely headpiece and I will just need an equally small comb to attach to the pink one I found last time. I love these big bows!

I actually have a similar gown but with a far more modest neckline, e.g. lace to my chin, and I will measure against this dress to hem the other one the same, since they appear to have the same waist panels etc. Goodness know what I can do with the remainder of the fabric, but I will use that green bow as a thinking cap.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who that applies to, and happy shopping to all.