Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Match Stripes While Sewing Pants

The new season of Project Run and Play is here. I wasn't planning to sew along this time, but then when the themes were announced I just had to do the first week. About three years ago I purchased an Ottobre magazine just so I can make the elephant shirt that they had.  At the time my oldest was a bit obsessed with elephants and was still young enough to wear a cute elephant shirt. Of course, my plans never came to fruition. Now he is too old to wear something like that. Luckily, there is a certain three year old who loves animals. I knew if I don't make it now, it would never happen.  It's also my chance to share tricks I use to line up stripes.

I used two shirts I got on clearance at Target to make the shirt and pants. The whole outfit cost $4.20 in fabric. Not bad. I get zero points for the creativity, both patterns came from 4/2011 Ottobre magazine.

 I made it a size larger, hoping he gets to wear it in the fall, since he has enough clothes to dress at least two boys right now. :)

It super comfy and quite cute. Max loves it and didn't want to take it off.
So let's talk about matching stripes. A quick search will probably yield many pieces of advice on how to do it. These little tricks work well for me, particularly when making pants.
Pants are symmetrical so you have to cut mirror image of the same pattern piece.  Cut one, then put it on top of you fabric, right sides together and pin in place matching all the stripe.  To avoid any possibility of fabric shifting, pin well. Now cut around the existing piece. You have right/left pant legs perfectly matching.
To match front and back perfectly, pay attention to the  circled areas in the picture. When positioning your pattern piece on the fabric, make sure  to place it in a way that the stripes in the circled areas are exactly the same.   It's also very important not to shift your fabric while cutting. Use pins liberally while cutting and sewing. 
It worked!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Would Celina Do?

I am very excited this morning. Today is a very special day and we are honoring a very special lady, Celina Bailey of Petit a Petit and Family. A few months ago I received an email from Laura of Craftstorming asking me if I would be interested What Would Celina Do day.  The idea was to make something inspired by Celina. Of course. I am a huge fan of her work. Not only she is a very talented and well educated person, she is also one of the nicest and supportive bloggers.  I am happy she is my friend. Oh yeah, she doesn't know we are doing this. She thinks she is participating in My Signature Style series run by me.
We wanted her to post today, and Laura asked me if I can make that happen. Considering I am the worst liar in the world, it's a surprise I was actually able to pull it off. Make sure to visit Celina's blog and read about her amazing style. (As far as My Signature Style series, I am planning to invite other ladies to share. Stay tuned. :) )

Celina's style is certainly unique and easily recognizable. I like that her children's' wear looks modern and hip, but at the same time there is a certain charm and innocence to her pieces. The clothes is sweet without being sugary, a perfect mix for kids. I wanted to create the look. The pattern for the blouse came from Ottobre 1/2013 issue. I really liked the delicate pleats and gathers. The fabric is vintage voile that came from my mom's stash. I thought Celina would approve. ;) I remember my mom making a skirt from this fabric one day prior to our family vacation. As a child I was so fascinated by the whole process. She worked late into the night and was able to finish. We arrived at our destination the next day and she realized that she forgot a slip to wear with the skirt. Using the fabric made me think of the story. My mom was excited that I used it to make something for Ania. It makes the blouse so much more special, I think.

Ania chose a vintage brooch to wear with it.  I thought it was perfect for the slightly vintage vibe I was trying to create.

I happen to know that Celina loves Japanese patterns, so I used one to make the pants. This is my go to pattern for the pants. The electric blue fabric was a garage sale purchase. I just love the color. I also think they make the look more modern, sweet but not sugary. :)

The pants are topstitched with a contrasting thread. My machine would not cooperate. I probably had to unpick every single stitch, but I like the results. The neon color made the pants very difficult to photograph.

Of course, Ania had to jump around to make sure the outfit was play appropriate. It's all good. :)

Thank you so much Laura for inviting me to participate. I had fun. I am in awe of what others made. Check out the amazing interpretations of Celina's style.
Image Map

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pleated Dress

Please go HERE to vote .
When the themes were announced for Project Sewn, I knew I had to sew along for the shoes inspired challenged. I have just a few pairs of shoes. They only occupy two closets and half of the garage. I might have a tiny shoe buying problem. Nothing serious. Totally under control. :) This gorgeous pair is my new favorite. They are buttery leather inside and out and I just love the shape of the heels. I wore them for my Shades of Me post.

The fabric is silk with a touch of spandex, so it's stretchy. I bought it for a different project, but never used it. I used a Burda pattern as my based. I made the pleats in the fabric before cutting the pattern pieces.

I had to finagle with the fit a bit and I am not completely happy with it. You can kind of see what I had for lunch. :) Also the fabric doesn't hide anything. :) And as you can see the dress matches the shoes, the wall, and the carpet. :)  We are all about being monochromatic.

Don't worry I don't have severe stomach cramps. It just seemed like a good place to put my hands.  The back is plain with a tiny slit.

The detail in the front is, well, it's a just a detail. Just for fun. :) Overall, I am happy with the dress. Next time I make one, I would definitely use a bit more ease. :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sew in Tune

It's been so much fun to see what everybody made for Sew in Tune hosted by Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.  So much creativity! I sewed along last year and was super excited to be invited to participate this time.

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do.  I brainstormed different songs, but nothing really inspired me. The songs that I thought of were not the ones I wanted my children to hear; either the lyrics, or the message or the videos were inappropriate for young minds. I tried to think of a piece of music that I relate to Eli, my oldest.
 He was a very difficult baby. He was colicky, had to be taught how to nurse and would only sleep if somebody held him. It's really a miracle we all survived.  In our attempt to somehow soothe him and stop the screaming, we often had him listen to classical music. He seemed to always respond well to the soundtrack of "A River Runs Through It."
The soundtrack always made me want to sit on a couch wrapped in a woolen blanket, a cup of tea and a good book.  There is just something very soothing and relaxing about the music. I wanted to make a very comfortable and warm outfit for Eli. The whole outfit was upcycled. The sweater is a remake of mine, it's the softest cashmere. And no, I didn't just chop up a perfectly good cashmere sweater, it was too short for me. The pants had the coolest pockets in the back that I was able to save.
I was planning to make his shirt, but couldn't find the right fabric. Enter Target's clearance section and the problem was solved. Whenever I refashioned dress shirts, I cut them up completely. I don't like too much fabric around scrawny necks. The shirt I used came in size small, and the fit around the neck wasn't bad. I was able to keep the placket and the collar.

Eli likes his new outfit and wore it to school several times now.  Thank you so much for inviting me Stacey and Mellisa. I enjoyed the series very much. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

Shades of Me: Black

It's my turn for Shades of Me! I am enjoying the series greatly, so many talented people are participating! My color is black.  I knew what I wanted to make right away. My sister used to have a dress that I really liked and hoped that it would be mine one day. Well, she wore it to threads. What's a girl to do? Try to make a replica, of course.

For my pattern I used a night gown, of all things. :) What can I say, I liked the fit. The fabric is  jersey that I had in my stash. That's a lot of stripes. It was a stripe matching nightmare. It slipped and stretched and warped, but I put it in its place. Mostly. :)

I added a detail to add visual interest to the otherwise simple dress.  It also breaks the vertical stripes and creates an illusion of a slimmer waist. Would you like a tutorial?

It took me a while to find the right fabric for the inserts. I ended up with the fabric normally used as lining in swim suits. It works well, except it is tiny bit sheer. Doesn't really show much skin, but the undergarments will certainly be visible.  I am glad I placed it where I did.

I added darts in the back to make it more fitted. Overall I am happy with the final product. It's very me - comfortable, easy to wear and a bit different. Thank you so much Hayley and Celina for letting me participate!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Signature Look

I wasn't really planning to sew for Project Run and Play, but in the end couldn't resist. I love the sew along community - so genuine and supportive. I met many bloggers and received the sweetest comments through it. This week is a Signature Look week. I wrote about my signature look and how it developed before. I always liked to stand out from the crowd; not to be too loud or provocative, but just a bit different, to get the looks and comments from complete strangers. I think maybe because I grew up in the land of sameness, but I never wanted to conform, whether in my looks or attitudes. The beauty of sewing is that you can take the latest trends and reinterpret them into something completely unique and original.

The whole look started with a pair of my pants. They were brand new. I bought them a while ago when the flowery jeans look was all the rage. But then I got pregnant and never had a chance to wear them. (And no, I didn't pay $231.00 for them. I am not that crazy:) I pulled them out this year and realized that I would not be a trend setter, but rather a trend victim, looking like the floral trend threw up a whole meadow at me. A few randomly placed butterflies and metallic thread took the pants to a new level of craziness. It was time to chop them up for Ania.

I used Titchy Thread's Small Fry Skinny jeans pattern. I stayed true to the pattern, except made them a bit more narrow. I can't say enough about Laura's patterns, they are so well designed and the instructions are superb. If you never made a pair of jeans or are a bit intermediated by sewing actual jeans, I would highly recommend this patter. The instructions are very thorough.  I made size 7, and I should've made size 6. The denim is very stretchy and they are a little large in the waist area.

The cardigan, also known as the golden beauty was also mine. I think it's self explanatory why I didn't want it. :) It was in a Goodwill pile for a while and Ania pulled it out and made me promise that I will remake it for her. Her wish came true. :) I went for a slouchy look and I actual quite like it on her. :)

Of course, as a super model you need to wear sun glasses to protect your identity, even if you are inside your own house. You never know when the paparazzi might strike. LOL. Ania is happy with her new outfit, and I am glad the pants and the shirt can see the light of the day again. They are both different and fun, perfect for a little fashionista. LOL.

 Peace out!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Bond Top Tour

I am so excited to start the tour for the Bond Top by a very talented Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.  This is Stacey's first pattern and I am so happy it's a boy's pattern. That said, it can be easily remixed for a girl. I also like that you can make a super cute top for a younger child, or a trendy one for an older child.

Of course, I couldn't help myself and had to remix it. The pattern calls to use a combination of knit and woven fabric. I mixed two kinds of knits. It worked just fine.

Mine front placket is different, mostly because I wanted to keep the fabric design intact.  Also, I think this type of placket works better with knits. The sleeve is lengthened, the winter is brutal here, it will get more use that way.  I used bias tape cut from black knit to finish the seam around the collar.

I love the print on the knit and really wish I had more of it. :) I think it works well here.

This might be my favorite feature of the shirt. If you lift the collar, it says "chewing gum". It's fun. 

Check out other interpretations of the Bond Top and purchase a copy to make a cool shirt for a little boy/girl in your life. In honor of the pattern tour and Kids Clothes Week, Beatnik Kids will be having a sale.  Use the code BONDTOP to receive 2 dollars off the original $8 price. Thank you Stacey for inviting me!