Saturday, December 31, 2011

Awesome new fabric store!

Yesterday, I got to meet Meg in person! Very exciting! I found a new fabric store that I had never been to and recruited her to go along. It is called Discount Textile Outlet and I found it on Yelp, which often has good (or hilarious) reviews. Basically the review trend in 2 directions: awesome, cheap awesomeness OR disgusting, messy and disorganized. I thought this sounded like a place I would enjoy...

It's a giant warehouse and on the first floor is mostly fashion fabric for clothes. There is a whole room of what I would call "prom dress heaven" full of satin, chiffon, beads and such. A whole room or ribbon and trim. They have nice men's suiting and a ton of spandex. A back room of upholstery fabric. 

This seems to be the only picture I took, but I think it expresses our excitement about finding a great, cheap fabric store that is not Joann/Hancock.
There was so much to look at. This is in the basement, which is disorganized, but exciting. More upholstery (even for cars, lol) and so many tacky buckles and a room full of zippers in every color and size!

Plus there's an upstairs! It is slightly more organized than the basement and there are so many rolls of fabric. It is all so cheap. Lots of stuff is priced 4.95 a yard and the nicer fabric we bought was 7.98 a yard. 

On a practical note, expect to park on the street and they take cash or cards. If you are in Chicago (and not overly prissy about organization) definitely go give a try! Also, it is owned by Orthodox Jewish people, so it closes early on Fridays and is closed on Saturdays, FYI. 

It was super fun to meet Meg and I'm sure I will be going back often!
 I bought two yards of this fabric. Yes it is velour. Yes it is gold! Yes, it does have sheer squiggles up and down it!! Hell yeah!! I am going to make another mardi gras maxi dress to take down in  February! PS- they had it about ten colors. Would it be so wrong to make one dress from each color? LOL

Then I went to Joann for their pattern sale and bought:
yes, 10 more patterns. And then I went home and ordered two more online because the store was out of my size! 

Whoo hoo! 

Now I am off to work on NY Eve, and a double tomorrow and a double on Sunday. If you go out, tip your waiters and waitresses nicely since they will be ringing in the New Year at work, and you don't have to!!! :)

Have a good night!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Advice, please: Etsy

Hello ladies!

I just cleaned out my closet and I have some handmade clothes I want to sell on etsy. Do any of you have shops on etsy or buy things from there often? What are reasonable prices for vintage-styled handmade dresses (mostly)?

I am going to sell those vintage heels I bought, some buttons, the plaid 50s dress, the purple dress with red buttons, the "social studies" dress, these tweed pants, the scary diner waitress dress and my cupcake dress of pinkness.

I would appreciate any advice!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

T-Rex's Merry Christmas

I bought T-Rex a sheepskin at Ikea for Xmas. He loves it a lot.
 My mom sewed some dog pajamas for him ans mailed them- how cute are these?
 He refused to look even the slightest bit happy when I put them on.
 They are so cute! Thanks, mom!
Here is a video of him walking like he's being tortured. Hahaha. It reminds me of this video on youtube that I find hysterical.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Stockings!

I finally found time yesterday to make our Xmas stockings. I took the pieces of cut fabric to All Seasons Screenprinting and they embroidered the names. That was about 30 bucks, but I don't have the tools to do it on my machine and it wouldn't look as nice. 
 I used that piece of vintage holly fabric from an estate sale. I added the green pom pom trim and gold ric rac.

 I love them! I went to Joann and was determined to have pom pom trim. They were totally sold out of red and they had a really dark, ugly green and this bright green. Luckily I had a fabric swatch and it matched. I later realized it is exactly the same as my crazy 70s pajamas!
Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ye Olde Christmas Tree Skirt

Actually, ye newe Xmas tree skirt! There was nothing math-related in the creation of this guy, so it does not close all the way in the back. I also ended up gathering the center, but that's okay. You can pull it up over the stand so it doesn't show. 
 It was 2 yards each of three different Xmas fabrics, which ended up being about 30 bucks. LOL, not really saving any money... Oh well. I like it and it's really big.

Do you like our tree? We drove all the way up to Antioch to go to Ben's Christmas Tree Farm and cut it down ourselves! It's a blue spruce, so it's really pretty!

It always looks sort of blue like that, but the light is extra piercing because it snowed! I am still excited to see snow every time. Ten years in New Orleans will do that...
 I gave the lemon tree a few ornaments so it wouldn't be jealous.
 Up close the fabrics are gingerbread men, holiday penguins and snowmen.
Merry Christmas to everyone if I don't manage to post anything this week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Irish Cap Version 3: Progress

Alright, the pictures are awful (taken with the iphone) because I just wanted to text them to my mom to show her I made a damn hat! I did it! 

Now, it is not perfect and has more of a Newsie/ Dickensian chimney sweep/ train conductor yet I have made a hat. 
 It needs to be a little deeper to get the slouch on the front and it is too snug.
On to version 4, which will be part of dad's present even if it is not flawless...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Estate Sale Loot: We did not get murdered!

Thursday was hilarious. Emma and I met at the house and then rang the bell. Knocked. Rang the bell. Peered in the windows. Agreed that we weren't leaving because we had already driven all the way here. Looked for the post on craigslist, only to find it had been deleted.

The Emma knocked on the door really hard and it swung open a little bit. That made it a little creepy, but we yelled "hellllooo" in the open door and still no one answered. Repeat all of this for about 15 minutes. Then we go to the back door to knock and a car pulls into the driveway, so we scamper back to the front door.

Apparently the guy cancelled his ad and called an estate sale company after people came to buy stuff and trashed the place. He did let us come in and look around, since he had already said that we could. We did not get murdered, hooray!

Now, on to the loot!

 I was too lazy to bring these in, but we're getting the Xmas tree tomorrow... $12.75 worth of National Geographics at 25 c each.
 Total was 20 bucks, so the rest of this stuff came to 9.25, which would be about 66 cents each. 5 packs of seam binding, 2 aprons, 1 holiday table runner, one piece of fabric with blue flowers (which I realized is extremely similar to this dress. I like blue flowers, I guess!).
I bought two knitting books since I am trying to re-learn how to knit (correctly this time). I also found an ancient buttonhole attachment and another zigzag attachment, which I will sell on etsy. Also buttons, which I will also sell on etsy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two wins and a FAIL

Let's start with a win:
Look at my awesome tarte aux poires, aka pear pie. I complete stole the decorating idea from Meg and it turned out great! 
 Win 2: Emma is going to go with me on Thursday to the sketchy estate sale. The rest of you (Meg) should skip work and come too! Email me at mollysewsblog [at] gmail [dot] com if you want to...

Win 3: Adorable Andrew and his trench coat got chosen for Burdastyle's Best of November! I am super excited!

and now....
for the EPIC fail...
I present to you...
Dad's Irish tweed cap version 2...

Yeah, I know. WTF. Who even knows what is going on up in here. So frightening. When (and if) I ever sort this out I am going to make my first tutorial so that no one has to suffer like me (and your eyes). I even drew sketches and discussed it with Andrew...he is good at the logic puzzles of sewing.

I'm going to start version 3 this afternoon before work. Wish me luck, it seems I desperately need it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Ok, so my dad told me he wants an "Irish cap" made by me for Christmas. I bought this wool that I had been eyeing at Jo-Anns to make a practice version. 

Did I go online and look at pictures to study them and make my own pattern? No, of course not. I decided I knew EXACTLY how it would be made and then drew and cut out 6 triangles. I cut them out and sewed them together and then put it on. 

 LOL, I am an idiot. This looks NOTHING like a tweed cap. So I added a band and decided I will wear it until it falls apart. This will happen soon because the weave is really loose.
I made a thin scarf out of the leftover fabric. I did manage to match up the plaid on the scarf, but not the hat.

Don't worry, I have since looked at some pictures and am going to attempt version 2 tonight. Or make a tarte aux poires. We shall see.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Want to go?

Ahh I want to go to this "estate sale" but it sounds too sketchy to go to alone! Thanks, mom, for giving me such a strong sense of paranoia.

It sounds like so much LOOT!

Anyone off during the day sometime this week and want to go? I feel like I am less likely to be murdered by a sewing blogger than "Vic" from craigslist...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quick estate sale loot

I went to an estate sale yesterday in a nearly condemned "fixer-upper" which was creaky and gross. I braved my way into the basement only to find these awesome shoes! They are sadly too small (prob a 5.5 US) but I guess I'll clean them up a bit and sell them on etsy. 
 Someone has gone over this in what I hope is white shoe polish, and not paint. The faux opals on the toe are so pretty!
 Two random patterns, since I am a hoarder.
 These are so awesome!!!! Look at these Mondrian style heels. They are adorable, but again a 5.5. So small. They are really pretty clean, but the paper label on the sole is cracking and coming off. LOVE!

So cute! LOVE love love!

Ok we're off to get a Xmas tree and a daybed for guests from Ikea!

Have a fun Saturday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vintage dress copy, with artistic license

I bought this dress on ebay in 2005 or 2006. It fit fairly well but it had a few rust stains, some permanent discoloration under the armpits and places where the bodice and lining were fraying apart. My plan originally was to take it apart and reline it, hopefully making it look nice again. As I took it apart, which was very simple as the thread pretty much disintegrated if you tugged on it, the fabric tore in several places as well. This is yet another reason I don't like actual vintage clothing. 
 So instead, I saved the pieces and waited and waited for this Lisette fabric to go off of sale, so I could use a coupon. It never happened, so I just bought it a few weeks ago. I bought two yards. How did I think that was enough to make a circle skirt?
 Anyways, I was too stingy/lazy to go buy more fabric, so I reduced the skirt by half. Oh plus I started this in July (lol) so when I went to actually make it, I realized I had thrown away the front bodice! What! So I had to guesstimate, which is always a FAIL waiting to happen. It turned out huge, so there a center seam. I also added two tucks at the neckline at the very end, because it was so baggy and awful looking.
 You really can't see the details, the bodice has no darts; instead it makes a triangle at the center waist and there are two side pieces that fill in the triangle. The fabric has white swirls on it.
 I made a belt too, as I already has this pearly belt buckle.
 I reused the zipper from the original dress. Oh I also used part of the original's skirt to line T-Rex's Napoleon costume.
It's not exactly the same, but I am pretty happy with it. Now I just need to wait for Spring to wear it....

Working at the restaurant has made me in way better shape- my arms and legs are stronger, my stomach is flatter, but... sniff... my bobs are smaller. So sad.

Also, since some of you also love the Walking Dead, which character do you hate? It seems like everyone hates at least one. For example, Andrew HATES Andrea so much. I absolutely despise Lori. She is so STUPID and weak and annoying and prissy. Really, it's a zombie apocalypse and you're not going to teach your son how to shoot a gun properly? OMG...... ahhhhhh. I wnat her to get really pregnant and then get feasted on by zombies. lol. Ok, share your thoughts....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simplicity 6769- 70s dress in brown

Here is my pattern, which was about 15 cents. I used that brown polyester from a recent estate sale ($1). This was really easy to make and didn't even need a zipper, so I whipped it together in just one day last week!
 Please pardon these horrible pictures. It was so gloomy yesterday and the only light was in the dining room. Um, they would probably be better if you couldn't see the garbage can and the stuff on the back porch. Meh.
 Oh matchy-matchy with my coat and elvin green tights!
 It's pretty warm and I've been wearing it quite a bit lately.
 This was another "teen" pattern. My Molly's Ews: the thick polyester did not gather evenly at the bust and the hem is really wrinkly/wavy. It is not the type of fabric to hand sew, so I'm just going to leave it like that.
There is just a tie for the back and no darts, so I left out the back zipper. I can easily pull it over my head.

More projects soon, I have Wed and Thurs off! Yay!

On a random note, is anyone else OBSESSED with The Walking Dead? It is sooo great, Andrew and I are really into it. Sunday's episode was awesome! I love the zombies, but now it's on a break until Feb...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mardi Gras madness dress

Here is my pattern, Simplicity 6057. It is for girls, but with a 32 chest. Works for me!I made the long sleeve maxi dress version with this fabric from that estate sale two weeks ago. Click the link for a close-up of the fabric and its border print. 
 The fabric has a little stretch and was about 2 yards of really, really wide fabric. I had a lot to work with.
 I used the border print around the bottom, and parts of it at the waist and for the cuffs. It doesn't fray at all, so I didn't hem it. I might still trim a bit off at the bottom, I haven't decided.
 I was able to leave out the zipper because it was stretchy, so I made this one day that I had off from work.
 Whoops, the facing is sticking out a bit!
It might not be so practical, but we are going to see Steph and Steven in New Orleans for Mardi Gras and I plan on wearing it then! It is perfect because I can wear layers underneath and it is very flashy so I will catch lots of throws! Whoo hoo. (Also, no one flashes anything at the parades. That is only trashy people and/or tourists on Bourbon St.)

Ok, I'm working at the restaurant for Thanksgiving. Cross your fingers I make a ton of money!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vintage lace dress rehab

I bought this dress in 2006 or 2007 from a vintage shop on Magazine St in New Orleans that was going out of business. It was cheap because the lace was falling apart. I wanted to do a genius "before/after" post for you, but I failed! I know I took pictures in it before I repaired the lace, but I can't find them in the ten billion folders of pictures on my computer. 

Before, it had a sheer, skin-color net overlay up to the neck that buttoned in the back. The lace was extremely tattered, especially around the armpits and sides. 

Last winter (?) sometime I spent hours patching up the lace with hand sewing and Fray-chek. 

Then, I tried it on and realized that while the waist and hips fit, the chest was desperately and pitifully loose. Then I added it to the pile of shame and ignored it for a year. 
 I finally dug it out. I needed to take in the boobs quite a bit. No, a lot. A ton. Like 2 inch pinches on each side. At least 4 inches total. Who was this lady with her real hourglass figure? Damn her!

This required taking out the side zip and putting it back in. Done.
 It has this interesting drape on one side of the back only. The dress is probably rayon. It is handmade, I think. All the seams are pinked inside and there are no tags.
This could also be called "having fun with the self-timer on my new camera" time. I really don't know where I would wear this dress.... oh well. One less unfinished project in the dresser.

Here's a close-up of the detail:
One down, three more projects to share!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway winners and some estate sale loot

First, here are the giveaway winners:

Katherine, who wanted the skirt and Advance 9928. You can see her favorite project here.

Heather, who wanted Vogue 1384 and 1510. You can see here favorite project here.

Lladybird, who wanted Vogue 2926 and the Dolores slip. You can see her favorite project here.

Lholy-chan, who wanted Simplicity 8805 and 4087. You can see her favorite project here.

Congrats winners. Email me your mailing addresses to mollysewsblog (at) gmail [dot]com. when I get all the addresses I will mail them out to only make one trip to the post office. If you ever want a laugh, read the online reviews people write about your local post funny. Like on Yelp or google reviews.

Finally, some estate sale loot. I don't really have a lot of time on the weekends to go to a ton so I have just been searching "estate fabric" or "estate sewing" and then choosing a few that are fairly close. We went to one on Saturday way out west near Addison.

Loot: 5 pieces of fabric for 5 dollars. All are at least 2 yards and the orange and brown one is much longer.
 Bag of seam binding:$3

 Misc Xmas ornaments, cookie cutters and decorations: $7

I also finaly got my camera and am buying a new memory card before work at 4. I also have 4 finished projects that I have been waiting on to take pictures!