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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Old Clipboards Make Good Wall Frames

I often find old clipboards at the thrift shop.
Why not repurpose one as a picture frame?
Old clipboards make great frames for 8 by 10 photos.
Below is my sewing nook in the corner of my dining room. I often switch out wall decor and the clipboard is fun because I can easily print out 8 by 10 inch photos at the photo place and switch photos. This photo is of a mercury glass Madonna that I bought at the Rose Bowl flea market. It has such a special quality that I took a photo of it on my front porch. I love how She is framed by my old oak tree.
I made the corkboard from upholstery webbing. I also refinished the sewing desk myself.
The apron on my dress form is made from old vintage French linens.
I like to be surrounded by special mementos when I sew!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LMFAO Hip Hop Kids Style

Today I participated in a  blog series called Sew In Tune . Bloggers were to make a kids outfit inspired by a song.
I wasn't so much inspired by a song but more by the crazy style that is LMFAO. 
We love dancing to their songs!

LMFAO style
I used to be quite the party rocking girl myself, but nowadays I'm more likely to be shufflin' with my kids in the kitchen on a Friday night over at the Sew Country Ranch.
My party rocking days may be over but Gigi's are just beginning!
You Go Girl!
I wanted to copy the crazy animal print dropped crotch pants, and the graphic t shirt. And the BIG glasses!
I made the pants by altering a legging pattern I drafted and by refashioning a t shirt from Joann with some clever cutting and words cut out with my silhouette machine.

glitter toms DIY
And if you are wondering why the kid is barefoot..... I made these sparkled Tom's with Mod Podge and glitter to go with the outfit but one fell out of our stroller!
Gigi even had a little fur vest to complete her LMFAO look but would she wear it at the photo shoot? Of course not!

Add caption
We took these photos down at the Venice Beach boardwalk... you may have seen the LMFAO video "I'm Sexy And I know It" that was filmed here. Venice is a little freaky and a little funky. And I pretty much grew up roller discoing myself down there.
Holy Cow! Yes, Venice is pretty freaky...... country bumpkins beware.

Goodbye from Gigi's Party Rock sisters and mom!
So yes, this is a long post.
 Below I am outlining the process of creating this outfit.

First, I bought a kids size 14 flourescent plain t shirt at the hobby store. I placed one of my kids T shirts against it tio create adolman sleeve top. With the remainder of the fabric on the bottom I made a waistbad in her waist measurement. I gathered the top part and sewed it to the band.
To make the top I cut out letters with the Bauhaus font on my Silhouette cutter, I ironed the fabric onto double sided applique paper. Then ironed it to the shirt and used my sewing machine to sew a satin stitch around the letters. 

 To make drop waist or what I call MC HAmmer pants you can trace a normal legging pattern. Then lower the crotch depth and make the legs wider like I did by tracing around your original pattern. Make a separate waistband and add elatic to it. You can also taper in the bottom of the legs some more. I did.
These glittered shoes are easy. Just mix some glitter with some fabric Mod Podge and paint it on. The Mod Podge will dry clear and you will only see the glitter.

shared at Train To Crazy

Sew In Tune LMFAO Style

Hey readers. You should stop by the Boy oh boy oh boy blog to check out my crazy outfit I made for Gigi inspired by this wholesome duo below.
Gotta love that LMFAO style.
Stop by her blog to check out our freaky photo shoot taken at Venice Beach

Sew In Tune is a fun series where several bloggers are designing and sewing clothes for their kids based on songs they like.
If you are stopping by from Sew In Tune to check out my tutorial I will have it up later.
I have a wee bit of a horrible cold and am off to bed to rest!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Hair canvas, inner linings and tailoring as penance

I have been suffering through my latest project.
Well, it IS Lent....
After spending hours grading, fitting, and cutting out Richard's wool peacoat AND attaching goat hair facings, I decided that the wool itself felt too flimsy for a peacoat.
So I decided to back every piece with a canvas inner lining . Sewn in by hand.
While it now has the right drape I was looking for, it has been a lot of work to get there. Hours of hand basting every single wool piece with canvas.
And then there is the hole I cut in the front piece AFTER I had hand basted the facing onto it. I mistook it for a raw piece of wool and cut a welt pocket out of the front.
 Oh, brother!
The hole I cut into the front of the coat on accident.

This project is an act of penance! Which is working out great since I didn't give anything up for lent this year........
An example of the rows of basting stitches needed to attach the canvas backing to the wool.
The canvas MUST to be hand basted to the wool  by HAND because if you sew it on by machine the layers will get twisted and distorted ever so subtly. Trust me, I tried it already.
Did you know that the average top quality Savile Row tailored jacket can take as much as 120 hours to make? YEAH...
I digress....
And you should have a new thread for each row of stitching as shown above.
It also has to be very carefully sewn on so you don't see the stitches on the right side of the fabric. It's a long stitch that only just pricks the fashion fabric and shouldn't be visible. This is where the skill of the tailor shows.
My pricked and achy fingers can still feel it.
Hair canvas basted onto fabric to give the coat structure.
This is just one of the many things I have learned about tailoring from my exhaustive research since starting this project.
Which I'm sharing with you. In case you ever decide to make a hand tailored jacket the old fashioned way.

Now a word about Hair Canvas.
 What IS Hair Canvas, you ask?
Some sort of shirt that religious monks in the middle ages wore for punishment?
No that's a HAIR SHIRT, silly.
But it's close.
Hair canvas texture.
It's a fabric made of goat hair and rayon and is used in place of fusible interfacings. And it's purpose is to make the user feel like they are in sewing purgatory while they painstakingly sew this itchy fabric on by hand.
 Fusible interfacings which are frowned upon in the tailoring world.
Mais non, Cherie! That just won't do!
And why not?
Fusibles on a tailored garment can start to come unglued, creating ugly ripples. If you are paying thousands on your hand tailored suit it's the last thing you want.  
Horsehair canvas interfacings are sewn in by hand with a basting stitch.
The stitch just only barely pokes through the outside fabric and should be invisible.
It molds well with the wool not affecting it's drape at all.

Well, that's enough griping for today!

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B Black & Sons, Tailor Shop To The Stars

I bought the goat hair canvas from my previous post about tailoring Richard's Pea Coat at a tailor supply shop in downtown LA called Black & Sons.
 If you are ever in LA and interested in buying tailor supplies you MUST go to this shop. It's been there since 1922 and is a veritable institution. All the big movie costume designers shop there and the fabric for many period film costumes was purchased there. There are two floors of amazing woolens and shirtings at all different prices. The prices aren't as low as the textile district nearby but they are lower than the fabric stores across town and most online sites. 
It's tucked into a seedy line of shops on dilapidated Los Angeles street in downtown LA, near skid row. Hang on to your handbags ladies!
It's like going back in time as you peruse the musty wooly smelling shop!
Just my kind of place....

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Sow While You Sew

Today I am over at Daisy Chain Creations participating in a  series about sewing with children called 
Daisy Chain Creations

I am sharing this picnic blanket with pockets that Lily made for the county fair.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Sew & Tell Saturday: February List

Welcome to the February link up for Sew & Tell Saturday!
Please feel free to link up your handmade fashion projects here every Saturday.
I will have a continuous party going all month with features at the end of the month.
I have been working on my outfit for the
Sew In Tune Series
this week hosted by Melly Sews and Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy Crafts.
We have to design a kids outfit inspird by a song...
My inspiration is a song song by the band LMFAO.
It will be very LOUD!

What have you been working on this week?
Let's take a look !
Don't forget to link back with my button below or a text link. 
Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Pattern Sweat Shirt Dress Tutorial

sweatshirt dress
I love sewing with knits and often, I don't even use a pattern.
Knits are forgiving.
I will just trace something I own or draw my measurements right on to my fabric, eliminating the pattern tracing or making step.
Pattern making is a chore and this dress is easy to make without one!
This dress is made from sweatshirt fabric and has a ribbed cotton neckband and waist band.

 I added some metal trim to give this dress an 80's vibe.
To make this dress you need
  • About a yard of 60 inch sweatshirt fabric
  • About 1/3 yard cotton ribbing for the waistband and neck band
  • A double needle for hemming the sleeves and skirt.
  • A ruler and something to draw on the WRONG side of your fabric.
I hope you don't mind my sketches.
Just a glimpse into the inner machinations of my mind......
As Patrick on an old Sponge Bob Square Pants episode said....
Fold your sweatshirt fabric in half.
You will need to trace a well fitting tank top folded in half,onto the wrong side of the fabric on the fold.
Extend the sleeves like in the drawing above to create a dolman sleeve. 
You can also make the top a little wider like the drawing shows.

Now draw your skirt onto the folded sweatshirt fabric.
Make the 1/4 skirt cutting line from on the fold and draw out 1/4 of the hip measurement at the hip.
Measure up about 7 inches to draw the waistline. Taper the waistline in a little.
Cut out the half skirt piece and trace around it to make one more identical for the back.
You will need to make a ribbed cotton neckband and waistband.
Cut a two inch wide strip of ribbing 2 inches shorter than the measurement around the neckline you cut.
Sew the ends of the ribbing together. Then fold it in half and iron it along the fold.
Pin it to the neckline and sew it on.
Make the waistband inset.
Cut a piece of ribbing 6 inches long and the width of your waist.
Sew it together at the ends,
Sew the top to the top edge and then the skirt to the bottom edge.
Use your double needle on your machine to hem the sleeves and the skirt.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3 Tier Vintage Plate Server Tutorial

vintage plate server DIY
I was having a tea party and wanted to make a pretty server for the little goodies we would be serving.
I found three pretty plates at the thrift shop and two little glasses.
A little glue and I quickly had a pretty, 3 tier vintage plate serving dish!
No, I didn't make that cake.
But it was delicious!
But I did make the fabric banner in the background !
 To make the 3 tier serving dish you will need three vintage plates in different sizes, two glasses to use as the pedestals, and some Gorilla Glue.
Mark the placement on the center of each plate to attach the glasses.
Make sure the glasses will be centered. 
Apply Gorilla Glue to the edges of the glasses and attach plates.
Let dry and enjoy!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Little girls dress made from a 1942 pattern and a men's shirt.

This is a fun little project I made out of a men's shirt and a 1942 sewing pattern. Sustainable sewing on both ends!
If you read my blog you probably know I adore working with original, vintage patterns and have quite a large stash of patterns, one of which I sewed from  a man's shirt.

 I used the above Simplicity pattern from 1942 to make Genevieve's dress.
Can you see which one I copied?

Mens shirts are a great resource for cheap but high quality fabric. I once refashioned a Liberty of London top I bought at the thrift shop for two dollars while that fabric sells for forty dollars a yard in fabric shops!
You might be surprised how many fabric pieces you can get out of just one men's shirt:
This little blue dress I made from my men's shirt is sewn from the 1942 sewing pattern shown below.
Would you believe I fit 22 pattern pieces onto this one men's shirt. And yes they are all on grain!

I always learn something new when I use vintage patterns.
In my opinion people had much higher sewing skills than they have today.
This little dress has some very grown up details like  aside seam zipper, inset waistband and complicated facings.
There are 24 pattern pieces in all!
I do love a challenge.
I didn't have enough fabric for two pieces. Oh well!
If there's one tip to remember when it comes to refashioning men's shirts, it's to make sure you cut out your pattern pieces ON GRAIN. If you don't you will wonder why your sewn piece twists and turns in a funny way.
I would love for you to stop by my blog where I have  prepared a special post for you all. I will be sharing some of my favorite vintage pattern and upcycling projects. I hope you stop by!

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