Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Sewing Loot

My mom gave me a bunch of patterns, which are cool. These are the blouses, and you can click on each picture to enlarge it.
Then three dresses, which are all super cute in different styles.
My aunt Sherry gave me the two dresses on the left, my mom gave me the freaky pajamas and cap pattern, and I bought the last one at St Vincent de Paul. It's eighties, but also kind of forties styled.
Mom also gave me a jacket pattern for Andrew, and some vintage buttons.
She also made me a ham and sleeve for pressing! Yay! I sewed them up after they were stuffed, so the weird shaped ends are entirely my fault.
We also drove up to POrtland and went to Fabric Depot, the largest fabric store in the USA. It was fun, especially if you like sewing with cotton. It was almost too much to look at; after awhile, I started getting that museum feeling, where you're sleepy and have looked at too many things. Or is that just me?
A cotton lawn from Fabric Depot.
A cotton mom found at Goodwill.
A cotton from Fabric Depot.

I'm excited for a new year! Everyone have a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A hand-picked zipper

The pictures are a little blurry since they're from the ipod. My mom helped me finish my lingering purple dress from November and rip out the zipper on my red velvet dress and re-do it. Although, after doing it again on the machine, it still was lumpy and noticeable. So Mom helped me with hand sewing the hem on the puple dress and I finally tried a hand picked zipper.

I thought doing a zipper by hand would be a gigantic PITA, but it turned out to be a piece of cake. You only need to know how to do a pick stitch. I guess I'm a convert; it looks great!!!
It gives you big stitches on the inside, but the zipper is totally secure! Wow!
There's lots of tutorials around for learning this technique- I used the one from Threads here.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas- I'm having a great time in Oregon with my family!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Red Velvet Dress

While cleaning for the arrival of Andrew's family, we put a bunch of stuf in the attic and found a big white, fake Christmas tree! How fun! I bought some ornaments and made Andrew the Grinch help me.
This is my red dress, which I sloppily hemmed on the machine last night and finished this morning. I did not, of course, finish it on time for the work party on Saturday. It's done now, however.

These are parish decorations on the way to work. I desperately wanted my picture with one, and my friends and I look some hilarious pictures. Nothing says Christmas like a giant shrimp and a candy cane!!!
Everyone really liked the dress, and while shoddily made, it is really striking. Due to the red velvet, mainly. It fits perfectly, since it was the second time making up this pattern.
On to the shoddy construction: I steam ironed the velvet, which shockingly didn't ruin it; I seriously f*ed up the zipper and had to rip it out and re-do half of it, which then led to; the back being entirely uneven, as you can see below. Geck. I'll fix it somehow (without doing the zipper again). Oh, and then I hemmed it on the machine, ran out of bobbin thread, threaded it in a different red and then finished it- this morning.
I really like the dress, and I think I like velvet a lot too. I'll do something else in velvet, for sure. I also like the tacky white tree, that was free! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Last night I felt inspired to make a dress for the holidays, something red. I went to Jo-Ann with my 40% off coupon in my hand, and I didn't like all of the red fabric; it was too shiny. Or stretchy. Or stiff. Or cheap-looking. A real Goldilocks dilemma here!

The I noticed they had red velvet and I went over to rub it. The 12.99 version felt stiff and cheap, like something you would use for Xmas decorating purposes. The 26.99 version was soft and wonderful and drapey. I bought the latter, since I only needed a yard and a half. With my savings, it will be a beautiful, red, velvet dress for less than 30 bucks. That's why I love sewing!!!

I will be using the same pattern as this dress. I remember thinking I wanted to remake it as a little black dress, but why not a little red dress instead? Yeah! Black is so boring.

I am going to whip it up on Saturday for my work Xmas party, then on Tuesday for the last day of school with my santa hat, and then for the family Xmas on the 26th!

Hopefully, I will have awesome results on Saturday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sewing Club

With a 26th student in my honor's class, my room was getting really crowded. Well, crowded if I want to keep the desks in partners, which I do. So I got rid of my filing cabinet, and I wanted to get rid of my big cabinet too, which has all the sewing stuff in it. The principal agreed to let the sewing club use a room that is only used for lunch detentions.

Today we moved all of the stuff up there, and I brought the Necchi machine to school. I had a hard time threading it, which of course made the girls ask me why I couldn't do it. LOL, it's not my machine I use normally, I just bought it for sewing club. I did get it threaded and it works, but I can't figure out how to get it off of a zig zag. Oh well.

I think it is the perfect machine for learning to sew (minus the exquisitely complicated threading system) because it is so old that it only goes medium slow when the knee pedal is pushed to its limit. No girls will sew over their fingers! (knock on wood)

We are still working on pajama shorts, and I guess we will finish them after the new year. Wish us luck, they definitely need it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Revised Goal 6: Complete!

Well, originally I was going to make an awesome dress for New Year's Eve. However, Andrew has decided to ruin it for me, and is going to New York to visit his family and do some job interviews until January 9th! Cruel! His logic: "Well, I was going to be stuck here alone for 2 days while you are in Oregon." Hmph, leaving me here with the dog for 12 days is obviously better! So now I have no use for a cool dress, since I'll be sitting at home with the dog, drinking alone. Boo hoo, ha ha ha ha. Ok, enough whining.

So, I revised my goal into making Andrew and myself fleece pants for lounging around the house. I have a pair of ugly, grey, fleece pants that I have had since high school (going on 8-9 years maybe). When it gets cold, and I'm still being stingy and refusing to heat the house, I wear them every day when I get home from work. Which clearly is gross, since I then wash them once a week maybe. Thus, instead of wasting precious hours of my life trying to find a similar pair for a reasonable price at the horrible mall, I decided to make some.

I took my fleece pants and traced them, and made a rough approximation. They fit fine, since the waist is elastic.

Back, with the print, which is monkeys holding flowers and cupcakes.

Andrew's have some random print of bears and bear tracks. They did turn out kinda big and poofy, but he said he wanted them looser than his other ones. They are long enough for his spider legs, at least. Also, he refused to show his face because he doesn't want to be on the internet. Too bad I've definitely posted his picture before.

Anyways, he's happy with his (part of) Xmas present, I like mine, and now I have more wonderful fleece pants!

Total cost: $20 for the fleece, which was 50% off, and the elastic.
Time spent: 2 hours maximum, for cutting and sewing both pairs.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


Hmm, I am so bad at typing. I have to look at the keys. The 6th graders are better typists than I am. When I typed the title, it said Gloce! That's what I get for not looking.

Anyways, I wore a pair of my garage sale vintage gloves to work today, for the cold car ride. By the time I got to school, several of the seams had split open. I have been thinking about finding a glove pattern lately, so I took the opportunity to use some tiny scissors and pick the gloves apart over the course of the day. The students were writing and editing paragraphs comparing monotheistic religions, and it is boring watching people write.

(I have already made about 600 typing errors. I am not bad at spelling, I am bad at controlling my fingers! I won a spelling bee in elementary school, spelling animal correctly after the other girl spelled it aminal!)

So, I am going to trace the glove onto paper and label it correctly. Then I am going to sew up the one I ripped apart for practice, because they are nice gloves.

Do only crazy people want to make their own gloves?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some progress...

I washed and dried my flannel, and cut out all my underlining pieces, and then transferred all the marks in sharpie. I still need to pre-shrink the wool and cut them out and then baste them all together, but it's a bit of progress!
The dog was cold, so I put him in his jacket and wrapped him in blankets. He spent the whole evening like that!
It's reaching freezing at night, so I brought the lemon tree in.
It's dark every night when I get home, so I don't know when I'll ever take pictures of the Swirl dresses.

In French Club tomorrow the kids will be trying to make crepes. I made the batter tonight, but they will cook them and fill them. That should be fun!

Oh, and I feel like this is an uglier version of my cape from American Apparel, which also cost 155$. Mine was maybe 50, since I bought nice fabric...

This was cool! Sam liked my cape so much she went and bought the same pattern to make one of her own! I can't wait to see it!

That's enough for now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Monkey Paw!

Here's the promised pictures of the Thanksgiving Glove Dyeing Debacle. In the future, I will try not to be a giant moron and dye LEATHER gloves in HOT water on the stove. Andrew was making me fun of me and my thought process yesterday in the car and I was laughing until I couldn't breathe. If I had thought about it for one second, I think I wouldn't have two monkey paws.

Now, I don't know if they give you wishes, but I hope so!

(For anyone who has never read the short story, here is a link.)
Not only did thy shrink to child-size, they also dried rock hard with twisted fingers. Shockingly, neither Andrew nor the dog enjoyed being poked with the monkey paw. T-Rex tried to bite off the rigid, mutant fingers with no success.
Here are two tiny bell pepper from the garden. Andrew said they tasted gross, but the dog and I enjoyed them.
I also hemmed both of my Swirl dresses. I will wear them Monday and Tuesday and then post pictures. I bought flannel for my coat underlining and washed it, so I will start cutting those out today too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Goals

It is officially December and I need some new goals. Last month was very successful, as it forced me to finish projects in a time frame. I will finish the purple dress this weekend- hand hemming that whole skirt has made me slightly despondent. I had planned on doing it while I watched the Closer, which is my most favorite, beloved show, but instead I sat like a lump on the sofa and just watched it. Oh well.

I wrote these last weekend, and am just getting around to typing them now:

1. Make T-Rex a fleece jacket (done)

2. Treat wool for Vogue coat. I read some post I can't find about doing it in the dryer with het towel to steam it. Has anyone tried this? I'm going to try it with a bit first, to see.

3. Cut out coat pieces in wool and flannel underlining. I decided to underline it because it will be super warm, and I can transfer all the marks onto the underlining in pen and then be good to go. I hate tailors tacks, and will not mark up this expensive wool with chalk!

4. Hem last 2 swirl dresses.

5. Draft my own pattern for a military-inspired long sleeve dress. The fabric is a olive green peach skin from Vogue fabrics.

6. Make a flashy dress for New Year's Eve.

So, that's probably more than I can handle, but I will try!