Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

It’s like a wearable disco ball!

I may swear off of sequins for a while, this dress was almost the death of me.  There are still some little things that I’m not completely satisfied with but there really isn’t much I can do about it except to start over…like that’s gonna happen. 😀

So here it is for your viewing pleasure.  If you would like to see it up close and personal, feel free to drop by Fabricland at 1352 Weber Street N in Kitchener where it will be on display for the next few months.

Sparkle Dress update

I think this dress is gonna take a bit longer than anticipated.  I find the sequin removal a bit tedious but I know it will be worth the end results.  I will have to pick up some invisible thread so when the dress is together I can re-sew some of the sequins back onto the dress.

In order to do the dart I knew i had to take out the sequins first, especially at the point, so it would lay flat.  What I did the first time was to draw on the sewing line with a marker and then cut out the sequins from that line.  The yellow dot in the first picture is my pin marking the end of the dart.

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Once the lines were on I simply snipped the sequins in half being careful not to cut the thread holding them to the fabric.  The sequins are attached with a chain stitch so I didn’t want to accidently cut the thread and have it unravel.

When I did the first dart I just removed the sequins along the stitching line.  I realized after sewing that I needed to remove almost all of the sequins, especially at the dart point, so that it would lay flat.  I also cut the dart open to remove any bulk.

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Once the dart was done, I moved on to working on the seams.  In hindsight I should have cut the front as one piece, despite the fact that the pattern has it in two pieces.  The pattern shows this center front seamline as a decorative seam with topstitching on either side but due to the fabric I’m using, it wouldn’t show so I’m not doing any topstitching.  One thing I did want to show is what the dart looks like, and this will be how my seams will appear as well.  Because I had to remove sequins, there is a line around the seam where the backing fabric shows through.  To remedy this I’ll need to sew sequins back on to the dress to cover up these spaces.

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If the sequins were in a straighter pattern this may not have been as much of an issue but the wavy pattern makes it near impossible to avoid having the backing fabric show through.

I’ll be updating again soon, hopefully with photos of the finished dress.

Sparkle Sparkle!!

I love things that sparkle, with the exception of certain vampires but that is a whole other story.

One of my fav things about my job is that we have an opportunity to make displays to show off the fabrics in the store.  It’s been proven time and time again that these displays help sell the fabrics because it allows our customers to visualize what it will look like when made up.  It also allows us, the employee’s, to understand how the fabric is when making something out of it.  Sometimes we get so excited about a fabric only to find out it is incredibly difficult to work with, or doesn’t wash well or something like that.

For me, it allows me to make fun stuff that I normally wouldn’t bother with because of the expense.  I also like that it gives me an opportunity to use fabrics that are challenging, such as my next display.

We got in several bolts of sequined fabric.  Not the kind that is just sprinkled with a few sequins, but the kind that is completely covered with no fabric backing showing.  I’m naturally attracted to shiny things so I’ve been coveting this a bit since it showed up in the back room. 

Earlier, before the shiny fabrics arrived, I had asked to do this Vogue dress out our our Ponti De Roma knit.
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It’s a fantastic dress and I spent more time than I should have trying to avoid black but ultimately I ended up with black because it was all I could find a contrast fabric for.  So I submitted my idea but I got it back with the note that the fabric has already been used and to try something else.  I let it sit for about a week before it hit me.  I could use the sparkly sequin fabric!  I thought about it for a few more days, partially because it’s a difficult fabric to work with and partially because I was unsure about the pockets on the dress and how that would look in the sequins.

What I settled on was to do the silver sequin fabric with black pvc contrast around the zipper.  I also decided to add the black pvc around the pockets to add a little contrast and to make them stand out a bit. 

So here’s my fabric!

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The sequin fabric as this cool flame-like design at the borders so I plan to use that at the hem of my dress.  I will be lining the whole thing with black knit lining fabric.  I plan to line the inside of the collar with the lining fabric as well so it won’t be scratchy on my neck.

I am going to try stitching through the sequins first.  Failing that, I’ll have to remove the sequins from the seam allowances first.  I’ll be using a heavier ball point needle on my machine since it’s a knit mesh backing.

The pieces are almost all cut out so I’ll be updating the progress of the dress shortly!

Now that it’s fall, I need swimsuits…

Of course, it’s logical right? It figures, as soon as the temperature drops and the leaves are on the ground I find myself in need of swimsuits for the kids not to mention, I had cleaned out their summer stuff a few weeks ago.  I put away what may fit next year, sorted out what can go to goodwill and what can go to consignment and lastly threw out what wasn’t going to fit and was not in any shape to pass on.  Their swimsuits were in that last category and I thought, oh well, it’s not like they will be going swimming anytime soon.  yeah. right.

My in-laws have generously paid for swim lessons for the kids.  We registered them at the beginning of the week.  Their first lesson is on Saturday, it’s now Thursday and I realized they have no swim suits.  So I set about making them some.

Patrick’s suit was easy.  Remember these shorts? If you missed the post, click the photo.
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I took a pair of Parker’s underpants and removed the elastic.  Then I stitched them to the waistband of the shorts on the inside.  There. done. swim shorts. lol!

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For Parker’s suit I used a kwiksew pattern for a dance leotard.  It’s discontinued but if you are interested in looking it up it’s Kwiksew 2263.  I left the sleeves off and I still have to put some elastic in it but it seems to fit her well and should serve it’s purpose.  I used some black poly lycra knit for the top portion and this ruffled lycra that a friend gave me a small piece of.  I lined the bottom with the same fabric the top was made out of.  I think both suits took about 1 hr to put together (that’s figuring in time to put the elastic in).

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And there it is.  The kids are ready for swim lessons!

Spider-Patrick and Witchy Parker (thrifty costumes since I hate spending money if I don’t have to)

The Halloween costumes are done! well, almost, I still have to put some elastic in the boy’s spiderman suit but otherwise things are done.

Patrick is gonna be spiderman.  For anyone that knows him, this will not come as a shock.  He is enraptured with spiderman.  It’s gonna be a cold Halloween so I wanted to make his costume warm.

I used polar fleece and a pyjama pattern that had a two piece, footed pyjama.  I had bought a remnant of red fleece at work and decided it was time to part with a royal blue polar fleece sweater that I had purchased at Old Navy ages ago.  I traced out the pattern for the pj’s on wax paper so I could work out the design and not destroy my pattern.

I cut out the blue and red pieces using a spiderman toy as guidance.  I then pieced everything together and other than sewing on the applique and doing the hems, I did everything on the serger.  I then used black paint to re-create the spiderweb design.

Since I’m planning for him to wear this overtop of his shoes, I left the sole off the bottom of the pj feet.  After Halloween, I’ll sew the soles on and he will  have nice, warm spiderman pj’s! (The pants will fit better once I have the elastic in the waist and ankles).

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Parker decided she was going to be a witch.  I had some variegated green satin with gold sparkles on it that was leftover from a dress I made a few months back.  I made her a witchy dress from that and a hat as well.  I bought some spiderweb fabric from work ($1.99/meter! and I only needed about .6 of a meter)

I used the spiderweb fabric to make a cape, sleeves and decoration on the hat.  I’m going to have her wear a long sleeve shirt and pants with her costume so she wont’ freeze to death but I don’t think that will detract from the outfit. 🙂

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All in all, I think I spent under $10 bucks total to make these. 

Cost breakdown:
Green satin fabric- $0 (on hand)
Blue fleece sweater- $0 (on hand)
red fleece remnant- $3
spiderweb fabric – $1.50
black paint – $0 (on hand)
interfacing for the hat – $1 (clearance)

Even if I had to pay for all the materials I probably would have spent between $15 and $20 dollars total.  Not too bad considering the costumes in the store are about that much each. 🙂

Fit to be tied.

So yesterday I visited Tamara at Rare Funk where some of my kid stuff is for sale.  I had some new baby bibs to drop off and I wanted to discuss how things were selling.

The bibs I make seem to do well.  I usually make them with recycled fabrics and scraps that I applique on them.  One design that does really well are the ones for the boys that have a tie on them.  It’s a cute way to dress up the little man and it keeps his clothes protected from drool and such.

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My problem is that the t-shirts and onesies I make are just not selling.  In order to clear out my stock to make room for new stuff, from October 1st to Christmas all my older stock at Rare Funk will be on sale for 50% off.  It’s a great time to get an original gift for your favourite little punk!

The shirts and onesies I make get lots of compliments but rarely any sales so I’m hoping that I can get some insight into why they aren’t moving and what you may be looking for when shopping for clothing for little ones, whether it’s for your own offspring or a gift for someone else.      As a thanks for completing this poll, your name will be entered into a draw for a custom sized bowling shirt.  The shirt will be made from black poly/cotton with a fun contrast stripe, collar and pocket in a boyish or girlish print (depending on who the shirt will be for 😀 )  I’ll make the draw on November 1st so the shirt can be completed and delivered/picked-up in time for Christmas.

Click Here to take survey

After my discussion with Tamara we both agreed that fun boy clothes are in fairly high demand so I tried out a thought last night.  Let me know what you think!

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The Dreaded Bathing suit

I am not much of a shopper when it comes to clothing, which is probably why I sew.  Probably at the top of my least favourite shopping trips is buying a new bathing suit.  It’s right up there with bra shopping really.  They are over priced.  They rarely fit.  The change rooms barely give you enough room to get changed let alone get an idea of what this silly suit actually looks like…and do I need to get into the whole issue of lighting and mirrors?

Admittedly, the last bathing suit I bought was one piece, black and I barely tried it on before heading to the checkout.  The main reason I bought it was because it was on sale for under 15 dollars.  And the last time I attempted to make my own bathing suit was in college and let me just say it was a disaster.

So you may wonder why I even bothered to do it.  I asked myself the same question but something inside me said “it can’t be worse than the one you have so just go for it”.  I had been eyeing up this suit from Kwik sew, number 3608.  I thought it was practically perfect.  After having two kids I’m actually in better shape than I was before having kids, but they did do quite a number on my tummy with all the stretch marks etc.  I wanted to wear a two piece but wanted the coverage of a one piece.  Check out the first bathing suit in that pattern and it’s pretty much both rolled into one!  My only drawback was the fact that it was strapless but I decided to give it a try anyhow.

I had picked up a piece of turquoise Lycra that was headed for the remnant bin (one big bonus of working at the fabric store) and decided it was time to give it a go.  I got my fabric, my elastic and pattern and cut it out.  Of course I wasn’t satisfied with just using a plain colour so I grabbed a piece of navy lycra out of my stash and used that as a contrasting trim.

It turned out beautifully!

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But I mistakenly assumed that since the fabric and elastic stretches, that it would be fine to cut it out in the size that was best suited for my bust.  Well let me tell you, that was not the way to go!  Sadly the elastic cut into my hips and side creating horrible indentations in my figure, which actually looked less curvy despite the lines of the suit.  I thought it would sortof create the illusion of a more defined waist but on me it sort of did the opposite.  So now that I was feeling, and looking, like a sausage, I set it aside.  At first I thought perhaps it was just the elastic was too tight and I could just take it off and try again but anyone that has ever worked with lycra or that clear swimsuit elastic will tell you what a waste of time that is.  Eventually I decided it best to just send it off to my friend and hope it fit her better.

I was not ready to give up though!  That is totally unlike me.  If you ever get a chance to talk with my husband he’ll tell you how time and time again we go shopping for something and after the first horribly fitting pair of jeans/shirt/dress etc. the shopping trip is over.  But I had been to the thrift shop a few weeks earlier and found, amongst other things, a fabulous piece of purple lycra.  So I attempted bathing suit number two, this time opting for the second ‘tankini’ version.  Not as sexy but probably a better fit for me.  Again I wanted to add the contrasting trim so I used the leftovers from bathing suit number one.  I cut out a larger top and bottom this time and it turned out pretty good too, and it fit better.

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My only complaint is that the top feels as though it is slipping down and the elastic in the bra lining could probably stand to be a little more snug.  Other than that, and some rippling caused by my stitching which I’m hoping will go away after a good washing, it fits pretty good, covers all the bits I need covered and it looks pretty good on me.  I don’t think I’ll be doing any diving in it but since I’m not much for swimming I don’t think that will be an issue. 🙂

Next on my list is to make that cover up before we go camping, amongst a million other things on my list of things to do!