Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ruffled Repurpose--Week 3 of Project Run and Play

 I originally blogged about this dress a couple of weeks ago here, but didn't have any close ups of the details.  I retell the story again, since I'm using this for the third week of Project Run and Play.
I started out with 2 shirts of mine that were really comfortable, but had kind of gotten wonky in the couple of years I have had them.  Since they were still comfortable I decided to turn them into a dress for my daughter.
 I started by using one of her shirts to use as a pattern.
Then I cut up the pieces and figured out the placements.  I changed it from this picture a little by not putting the bottom red ruffle on and adding a little more gray onto the final gray piece.
 Here's the final look.  She says it is super comfortable.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project Run & Play: Sportswear

 Here's the outfit I created for this weeks Project Run and Play--Sportswear Week.  I started by giving the shorts pattern I created a trial run.  I had these 2 great fabrics (1st pair made from Giddy by Sandy Gervis for moda and the 2nd is Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin/Lilla Rogers Studio for P&B Textiles) and one little girl that needed shorts for the warm weather.  One of the things I challenged myself to do while 'playing' along was to learn some new things.  This time around I figured out how to add side pockets and I created the buttoned bow closure.  
The difference between the 2 shorts--Sophia said the 1st pair was a little too baggy so I streamlined it a bit more, which made it lose some of the gathered look around the legs (I was going for this look that I've seen in a ton of kids clothing lines), but it did make for a happier girl.  I had also made the pockets too small, so I adjusted that.  I had decided that the shorts were just a little bland, so I added the bow closure and bows on the bottom last minute.
 Close up of the button bow closure
 Another thing I figured out is how to make sure your pattern lines up(at least stripes)--when cutting fold lengthwise to get the doubled fabric needed to cut out your pattern pieces and do not fold widthwise (the way fabric is folded on the bolts).  Ta-da!  They lined up!
 Close up of the embroidery I did around the tunic top.  I did it in the colors that match both pairs of shorts.  I also added a yolk to the collar so that backside of the embroidery is enclosed.
 Tunic top created from tracing a favorite shirt of Sophia's.
 Another look at the embroidery...Sophia says the top is super comfortable.  I used a brown linen look a like that I actually found in the section of burlap.  It's got a wide weave and is actually super soft and washed well.
 Just a cute shot of her with the neighborhood roaming cat.

 Close up of shorts on Sophia.  She actually has a lot of coordinating t-shirts for these 2 shorts and the top will go well with her jean shorts and a couple of skirts.
Now she is ready to head out and put her sportswear to use.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Take on the Circle Skirt

Remember these beauties?  Well I finally committed them to another project.  I've so loved the curtains, but haven't been able to bring myself to turn them into anything else.  You see, I hated to have to cut them up and all of the potential ideas involved cutting.  How could I cut something so beautiful and in the act of cutting, render them useless for the purpose they were designed?  Well I did it.  I just needed a push.  I decided to play along with this season of Project Run and Play and thought they would make a pretty skirt for the remake of the circle skirt.  While the white slip underneath is essentially just the skirt, the vintage hankies required some additional geometry to get it right and I gathered them a little to give it some flounce (Clara loves saying "It's so flouncy.")
I've done a circle skirt a couple of different ways (here and here), but I must say this one was the easiest. I originally had grand plans of taking my remake far--making it into wide flowy pants, a maxi dress or some kind of top--but then decided that the genius of this pattern is it's simplicity.  Why make it hard?  Just make it beautiful!

Back View
For the bottom of the white part, I decided to just zig zag it as a finish and pull on it a little as I went.  This gave it a nice wavy finish.
And of course, it makes an excellent twirling skirt.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Dresses

Edited:  This is the look I'm using for Project Run and Play's final week of Signature Look.  Really anything I made in the past couple of weeks could have fit the bill. However, seeing as the last week coincides with the last week of school for us, I planned my Easter dresses on being my signature look.
What makes them me you ask?  Clean simple lines, nothing too bold or bright, simple details, reusing and re-purposing material and it comes in 2--a necessity when you have two opinionated girls.
I present My Signature Look:
 I did it!  Two Easter dresses done in time to wear to church on Easter Sunday.  That doesn't happen very often.  Thank goodness for 1pm church time, because Clara's dress was sewn up on Sunday morning:)  We got up to do Easter with my husband before he left for the hospital at 6am, so I had a lot of time to kill.
Here they are: Dress #1--A complete Sally creation which means no patterns. A lot of the details came from ideas I've seen around, but when it came to making it, I just measured and cut out.  It's an A-line dress with petal sleeves and a belt. 
 When I cut out the front, I added 4 inches to account for the fact that I wanted to do the pleats at the neck line.  Each pleat is 1/2 inch, so you double that.  I tacked the pleats down to hold in the ric rac.  I put fray check at the bottom of the ric rac in the pleats to keep it from fraying, seeing as it is just secured with the stitching on the pleat.
 I love how the sleeves turned out.  I just took my basic sleeve pattern that I sketched out and when I cut it out just curved up about 2/3rds of the way, cutting 2 pieces for each sleeve.  Make sure when cutting that they end up opposites.  I added the homemade bias tape and ric rac before I added the sleeves.  I also basted them together before I sewed them on to the dress.
As for the belt, I just created a tube, stitched on the ric rac, flipped in the ends and added some hooks and eyes for fasteners.  I had contemplated doing buttons, but I wanted something a little more simple and stream lined since the dress already had so much detail.
 The main floral fabric came from JoAnne's and the green is a reuse of a former project.
 Dress #2--Kind of a re-purpose of some sorts.  I knew I only had enough fabric from the original floral to get a skirt and maybe some sleeves if I was lucky.  I never really intended to make a second dress or I would have bought more--the second daughter has more dresses than she needs and I was just going to let her choose one to wear on Easter. She however, loved the fabric and begged for a dress too. 

Since I went with the green and navy blue for the first dress as accent colors, I chose to go with gray and robin's egg blue for this one.  Problem was the color of gray I wanted was not to be had at the fabric store (at least in some kind of cotton--I did find it in the fancy section).  My husband had a shirt that would have worked perfectly and I didn't think he would mind letting me cut up, because he had bought it for a dollar in Africa when he needed a short sleeve button up shirt.  However, it had some sentimentality attached to it (go figure) and he didn't want to donate to the cause.  When I couldn't find fabric at the fabric store and he wouldn't let me have the shirt, I decided to go to Good Will and get another shirt.  The advantage of using an old men's shirt you ask--no sewing a placket (that thing where the buttons go).  You just use the one from the shirt.
 For the basic shape of the dress I used the Oliver & S Jump Rope dress pattern.  I used the bodice piece to cut up the shirt, taking into account that I already had a placket in place, the collar and the sash.  The sleeves came kind of from another pattern, but it was a 2T size so I made them bigger.  I just wanted a sleeve that was gathered at the top and the bottom, because I wanted to use the blue at the bottom of the sleeve as well.  For the skirt I just cut out 2 panels as big as I could from the fabric I had left.  This dress came together in a couple of hours on Sunday morning, while my kids played happily together in their sugar highs from Easter candy.  However, I was kind of rushing and didn't pause to think when I was doing the cutting.  Can you guess what bugs me?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tale of Two Shirts

 Here's the tale of two shirts that I was going to get rid of.  I really like these shirts, but they didn't fit right anymore.  The grey striped one was just too short (I have a really long torso) and the red one was just kind of stretched out and wonky, as my sis-in-law would say.  The one thing they did have going for them though was that they were both still really soft and comfy.  Therefore, I decided to make them into a dress for my daughter.  Here's how I started out:  Took a shirt of hers that she like how it fit and cut out the main part of the dress.  Looking back, I wish I would have worked out how I was going to assemble it first, because I wouldn't have cut off the part that belonged to the lower half.  It would have been nice to have it in one continual piece to sew back on later.  Oh well, live and learn.
 Next I cut off some pieces from the red to add length and a little color.  This is how I figured I was going to use the red, more or less.  Then I went to it with my machine set on zig zag and ruffled all of the edges but the ones around the neck.  Those I just gathered and then sewed on around the neck.
 Here's the finished look.  She says it is very comfortable, but the neck ruffles are a little too much.  She's a simple kind of gal, probably taking after me.  She does like the red peeking out on the sleeves though.  I ended up not putting a red ruffle at the bottom and opted instead to just use the red thread to ruffle the edge.


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