Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sewaholic Cambie

Yes, I made a Cambie! And I had some fun with it.

I really like the Sewaholic patterns. They fit me in the top without any adjustments. I made 'View B' with the full skirt.

The back and front bodice both have a nice shape. It's stylish but also allows for wearing a bra underneath (unlike most dresses).


I choose a nice cotton, eyelet fabric. And, although it's hard to tell from the pictures, the dress is a light orange with a darker orange border. The lining is also cotton. The only other materials are an invisible zipper and thread.


Sewaholic Cambie

I was inspired from some vintage dresses I saw online to add the border detail to the waistband.

And I added a bit to the sleeves. 

I think that by doing this, the bottom border doesn't look out of place. Also, the dress becomes a more interesting, unified piece. I had to topstitch where the sleeve joined the bodice. After trying to zip it up a few times by myself, the strain I was putting on the sleeves was starting to make them rip. It should be much stronger now. Hopefully, it is not too noticeable.


The only change I made was to move the pockets closer to the side seams. According to the pattern, the pockets are much closer to the front, which felt uncomfortable to me. I'm not sure if it is a typo on the pattern and the notches on the waistband were actually for the 'View A' dress, but it just did not seem right. The only other thing I had to do because of this alteration, was gather more fabric in the back.

As mentioned before, I did not have to alter to make it fit. I am a size 6 with a waist of 30" and bust of 35.5".

What I Learned

It is hard to undo sections that are gathered. I had to do this to move the pockets. Next time, I'll make sure the pockets are where I want them before I sew.

Also, I had a hard time stitching in the ditch along the waistband. At first I had the pins perpendicular to the waistband, but the lining just slipped out. The second time, I pinned parallel to the waistband and the lining stayed in place.

Overall, I really like the pattern and will make another Cambie in the future.

Update... I forgot to mention that I spent a lot of time trying to get the eyelet border to match up at the seams. It worked, it just took time. Also, I finished the side seams with a faux french seam so that the seams looked ok when viewed through the holes in the eyelet.

Doctor Who Sencha!

Here's a nice way to geek it up a little and look classy doing it - a Doctor Who top.

Laura Lee of Notes on a Needle added a little personality to this Coletterie Sencha pattern with some Tardis fabric. It looks so great! Now I want to make one...

I should try to get some interesting fabric for the pieces I add to my wardrobe. Something like the Doctor Who fabric that is nice and subtle, but still celebrates your inner geek.

Doctor Who and a lot of other fan create fabrics can be found on sites like Spoonflower.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wardrobe Deconstruction

As it is now turning to more fall like weather, I'm once again reviewing my Wardrobe Plan. Whenever the seasons change, I like to look at what I have and get rid of anything I'm not wearing. I should especially get rid of any summer stuff that didn't get worn this year.

My overall goal is to have a pared-down wardrobe with stuff that I'll actually wear. There is very little storage space in my house and my closet is tiny (and shared with my husband!). I don't want to waste space on things I don't need.

I also want to make sure that what I wear is stuff that I'll be comfortable in and that will look good for the forseeable future. Fads are nice, but they really are a waste of time and money and storage space. Basically, I want to look classy and be at ease doing it.

So, I am going to share something I found out when figuring out what to wear: the deconstructed wardrobe.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Refashion Project and Steampunk Costume Round-up

I have lots of projects on my plate. Two of my 'to-dos' were a nice blouse for my sister's costume and to refashion something for my latest sewing challenge for my Stitch Once Rip Twice sewing group. I decided to combine the two together and refashion a blouse for my sister's costume.

My sister really wanted a nice, Victorian-esque blouse to go with her steampunk costume. This was a picture of something she liked.

I found this blouse second hand and had my sister try it on:

It was quite baggy, but the stretchy, krinkly fabric made it easy to take in. I kept the shirt right side out and sewed along the side seams and underarms until it seemed to fit my sister. I then turned the shirt inside out and sewed the new seams up, thereby creating a french seam. Easy peasy!

I made the sleeves a little more interesting and fitted by adding some elastic at the wrist.

Here is the elastic inside the sleeve.

And now for the whole costume put together.....drum roll please....

Check out those boots!

This is just a quick shot that my sister took. Stay tuned for more professional photos!

If you would like to read about all the hard work I've put into this costume, read these past posts:

Back from BronyCan!

I'm back from BronyCan. My friend and I had a great time. Everyone loved her pony plushies and I got quite a few compliments on my knitting. This is a picture of our table before everything was sold off.

Here is a picture of my friend and I in our costumes. More details on our fabulous dresses to follow.

I had quite a lot of fun and I'm thinking of going next year, too!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MLP Hats!

In case you were wondering, no, I haven't stopped knitting. Although, all this sewing is definitely slowing me down a bit. I've been working on a cardigan (coming soon) and some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic hats.


Pinkie Pie
So far, I've made these two hats. I am going to bring them to BronyCan this weekend in hopes of showcasing my geek knitting skills.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Simplicity 2581 and 2895

My mom and I got roped into sewing a bit more for my sister - She had me make a jacket and hat (Simplicity 2581) and had my mom make her a vest (Simpicity 2895). This is for her husband's steampunk costume to go along with hers.

Simplicity 2581
Simplicity 2895
The vest turned out quite well. The fabric is from a curtain with a bedsheet used for lining.


The back is adjustable, which is good since my brother-in-law wasn't around to try it on.

My mom seemed to have fun sewing it. Although, the welt pockets were a bit tricky. Thanks for sewing that, Mom! I had to concentrate on the jacket and hat.

My dad threw on the ensemble to see how it looked. Thanks for modelling, Dad! The welt pockets on the jacket gave me a lot of grief! We used thick twill fabric and it just wouldn't sit right. They look ok now.

Outside view
I got the pocket to look okay by cutting out the pocket and fusing the opening shut with some interfacing. Nothing that the lining won't hide.

Inside view

The jacket was already pretty heavy with just the outer layer. So, I used some of the bedsheet to make part of the lining. This large piece is suppose to be all main fabric material, now just the button hole band and lapel area are in the main fabric.

Taking a tip from sewing the hat, I covered the sleeves seams with ribbon so they won't poke out.

The hat was interesting to sew. I've never made anything like that before. It turned out very well. I told my sister she could reuse it for a Sea Captain costume or something.

The green grosgrain ribbon on the inside hides the final seams.

Here is the costume again. The back of the jacket has a nice large pleat, which made me confident it will fit my brother-in-law even if he couldn't try it on.

That was an interesting project. It had definitely boosted my confidence with certain techiniques (just maybe not welt pockets...). I really can't wait to see my sister and her hubby's final steampunk pictures!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Simplicity 1819 Part 7

Here are the final pieces of Simplicity 1819. Using fabric from an old shirt, I threw together the bustle pillow.

It's an interesting article of clothing. My sister stuffed the pillow and my mom sewed it shut, while I continued on with the costume.

Here is a look at the skirt with the pillow in place.

The pillow adds quite a bit of 'omph', don't you think? The skirt turned out quite well. I made a size 22 in the back and 20 in the front, which was my sister's original size. But, she lost enough weight that she was acutally a size 18 near the end! Not a big problem. I cut the waistband for a size 18 and just gathered the extra fabric where it gathers in the back.

I only lined the side cascades. I used black satin, so that they stand out and are noticeable with all the plaid. I also tacked them into place - the satin was slippery, so they weren't staying nice and folded. Now, they keep their shape.

The last piece of Simiplicity 1819 I made was the undershirt.

I made it in a very comfortable jersey that is close to my sister's skin colour. The plan is for her to wear another, slightly see-through or lacy blouse on top.

I graded it from a size 16 in the bust to a size 20 for the hips, as her measurements dictate, and it fit perfectly on the first try. I zig-zag stitched to finish the seams, since I didn't have my serger with me. Plus, trying to make this shirt last forever might be overkill. It is for a costume, afterall. Altough, it's comfy enough that might sister might start wearing it as a pajama top.

Well, those are the final sewing notes on Simplicity 1819. But, that is not it for the costume. More posts on my sister's Steampunk Plaid Costume Extraordinaire to come.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Simplicity 1819 Part 6

I'm finished Simplicity 1819 for my sister! I'm going to break it up into a few posts, since I have quite a bit of notes and photos. So, here is the corset when it was almost finished.

Tartan Side
With a bit of patience, I was able to do a decent job lining up the tartan stripes. As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided to mirror the tartan, since it is unbalanced.

The Dark Side!
I'm really happy with how the other side of the corset turned out. I made the corset reversible simply by skipping the underflap.

The material is embossed with leaves. I actually reused what might be called a 'granny shirt' for the materials (no offence grannies out there, you just might not see someone under the age of 60 wear such a shirt).

Again, I used plastic zip ties for the boning. It worked very well. It's easy to use and probably more comfortable to wear than metal boning. My sister tried it on and it fit perfectly, yay!

Here is the finished corset with grommets and cording. I chose antiqued brass grommets to go with the other accessories my sister has for her costume.

So, that's it for the corset. More photos and notes on Simplicity 1819 aka. Steampunk Costume Extraordinaire for Sister coming soon.