The Litter Box

Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« August 2018 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics
A Bonus in the Box!
blast from the past!
Busy Day in the Box!
Cats, Catz and Kats
Fashionable Kat
fun with fabric friday
Graph Paper Patterns
grumble grumble
Happy Kat!
I can has topik?
I Made It!  «
I need a topic?
Jeebus sightings!
Jewelry and Beads
No Topic Today!
odds and ends
Project Runway Canada II
Random KatBox Droppings
Rants and Raves
Really Important Stuff
Retro Rules!
Sewing FAQ's
Squirrels in the news
The Fungus AmungUs
The Kreative Kat
The New Box!
The weekly flower report!
Things to make.
this 'n that 'n the other
Throwback Thurdays
Web Insanity
Weird Science
What I Did This Weekend
Works in Progress
Friday, 18 November 2016
Suede Fringed Purse From Fake Suede
Topic: I Made It!

Still working on the suede jacket. I mentioned a few technical problem related to sewing the fake suede and how I needed to work them out. Skipped stitches and jams were only part of the problem.  It's always important to work out technical issues before sewing the garment so I put the jacket aside for a while I started a small project to hone my fake suede sewing skills. The photo spread for the magazine also included this little bag:


...and the magazine had a small pattern for it in the sewing instructions. It is NOT on the BurdaStyle website, sadly. It was all cut from a measurent chart -cut one piece this big by this big and another this big etc. and the only pattern piece not a rectangle was self drafted.  The instructions were sparse but I've made enough bags that this one was a piece of cake. And it was; taking me one afternoon to sew. It's made with the same fake suede as the jacket and it has a funky modern quilt print lining. The pattern didn't require interfacing or batting so it's soft and unstructured. There's a small purse charm with beads and a tassel on it. I did my own version. There was no zipper or snaps so I improvised my onw button and loop closure. And here it is! 

My fringe isn't as perfectly cut as theirs because I cut the fringe the night before while watching TV.

Her's the inside. The pattern did have pockets so I added two pockets, one for hair doodles and one for my cell phone. Yoyu can also see the large button and the loop.

And here's a picture of the tassel, dangles, handle rivets and the button.

I worked out ALL my sewing problems with this without having to take apart large long jacket seams. I can apply what I learned to the jacket and in the end I get a cute little cross-body bag. It's not going to hold three tons of stuff, but it will hold enough for an afternoon's outing.

When I am done the jacket I can post a picture along with a few things I learned about sewing microfiber fake suedes. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:47 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Monday, 19 September 2016
What I Sewed this Summer
Topic: I Made It!

...and there's more than just these things. These are the ones I took pictures of yesterday. There's a couple things in the laundry.

We'll start with this dress. It from the September 2016 burdastyle only I ommitted the sleeves. It's got a little tie on the V neck and the front and back has pleats and gathers onto the midriff band. It's made from Amy Butler Glow collection in cotton voile. It's cool, light and desperately needs a lkining for the skirt. Same with:

This one, also made from Amy Butler's Glow collection cotton Voile. This is the floaty dress from BurdaStyle that I first posted a year or two ago. I wanted a light cotton and this was light, cotton and I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make from it. Here's a back detail:

I added loops and laces for a corset back look. It fits quite well and the corset back lets me snug it up to the body. Instead of putting elastic in the sleeves I left them loose and floaty -justy like the dress's name. Next is my favorite:

This turned out spectacular! I LOVE this dress. I tried to keep the sillohette as simple as possible and I tried to keep constirction as simple as possible in order to show off the fabric print. I cut the waistband with the horizontal stripe to add a bit of visual interest and tp help show off this amazing print. The band is shirred with elastic so it fits close to the body wheile the rest of the dress floats around the body. Lets look a the neckkline:

There's the beaded trim that I got for the dress. It's PERFECT!!! I love the look: it's sort of elegant, primitive and tribal, yet citified and sophisticated. And the back:

...carries the front fabric details to the back. There's a center back seam because I wasn't sure if I would need a zipper or no zipper. No zipper, as it turns out.

And finally:  a preview of tomorrow's summer sewing of 2016:

...this knotted top which was the subject of a BurdaStyle sewing lesson found here:

The only thing I don't like is the neckline/shoulderline -it is quite wide and needs to be narrowed. I'm going to re-cut the pattern and alter the neckline. Maybe I will post a tutorial on how to do it I like the results. 

That's all for today. Tomorrow I will post the rest of th projects including the final "not so fun with fabric friday" dress

Posted by lincatz at 10:31 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Sprucing up the Sewing Space
Topic: I Made It!

Let's get THIS out ugly shameful sewing room secret of the way first: 

My old ironing board cover. As we can see it has a few serious issues. First -and why it came off -the elastic cords holding it snapped apart because they had turned to dust. I thought about threading in new bungee cords, but then noticed the cover was black in some areas, shiny in others, and really disgusting over all. I tried to remember where I got it. It came from Bridgeport Road Plaza...WalMart? Nope, older than that. Zellers? No, because it had a label on the underside that said "Made for TOWERS CANADA"

Towers? Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long, long time.  Towers closed in the1990's.  Long ago I bought old 7 inch vinyl records there, like Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Rock and Roll All Night by Kiss, and more. When I was 15 I got a shiny red satin bomber jacket and matching red satin basketball shorts from there. That combo was a HUGE fad back in the mid 70's for some reason. It's a fad that not many remember and few talk about. Back to sewing! After 20 years it is time, I decided, for a brand new ironing board cover. I decided to make one rather than buy one! Before I removed the cover from the board I used a brown sharpie to trace the outline of the metal ironing surface. You can see the brown sharpie clearly. I cut along the sharpie lines to make a pattern that I could pin on the fabric

Here's the old cover weighted and pinned to the new canvas. I decided to go with a plain easy-on-the-eyes spring green color canvas. I cut out the canvas adding a 3/4 inch seam allowance. For the sides that contain the elastic need to fit it under the metal table I cut canvas strips 4 inches wide. with a 3/4 inch seam allowance at the top edge that sews to the main board cover.

The old board had shifted, stretched and shrank as I used it. It had inch marking on it but the stretching and shrinking rendered them quite useless as time went on. The markings had stetched at the pointed tip and shrunk at the square end, leaving me with the above results.

For the strips I used the dotted print canvas above. As you can see the  cover is all cut. After cutting the canvas I cut another under-layer from a firm unbleached cotton canvas. I did not cut the side strips from canvas, only the top. I wanted to cut the complete board from one piece of fabric but the fabric shrunk when pre-washed so it wasn't quite long enough. Turning the sides into strips made the cover fit better and solved a practical problem. I was planning to place to old cover directly on the fabric and use that as the pattern for a new cover.

At this point I would like to mention a tutorial on line that instructed people to take their ironing board and flip it UPSIDE-DOWN onto the fabric on the cutting table to cut the fabric. NO! Why would you do that? Do you like making things as awkward as possible? What's wrong with merely using the OLD cover as a pattern for a new cover?  And if you do want to trace the shape of the board onto the fabric why not place the fabric on the board. I'm really not into strained muscles and herniated discs so I did not flip the board upside down onto the fabric.

Sewing was very simple. I sewed the side strips together in one long strip. I sewed it to the top starting and ending at the center of the square end. A serged the lower edge and turned it over once and stitched it down to make a casing. I inserted the elastic cord, pulled it snug, knotted it and added a spring cord lock bead. I had enough left over canvas to make a sleeve roll and a schmoo that matched.

And here's my freshly covered ironing board. The spring green is a fresh warm color that's easy on the eyes and the dotty fabric adds a bit of whimsy. I made a board caddy and sewed it right into the seam attaching the board to the sides. If there is no seam the caddy is atached by heavy snaps or by heavy duty velcro. You can see it has a few pairs of scissors and a couple other tools. 


Here's a close-up of the pockets and details. The little loops at the bottom are for pencils and pens. Above the ruler holder will be a pincushion. I made a few other things to spiff up the space!

This little wall caddy is made with some fat quarters and an embroidery hoop. The base is quiltcotton backed with unbleached canvas to support the weight of the tools. The fabrics are stretched together in anembroidery hoop. The hoop is tightened then I added a couple tacks around the edge to hold everything together. I pulled the excess fabric to the back and glue gunned it in place. I added a ring of glue along the back of the ring so the fabric will never ever slip out. It's full of seam rippers, pens, pencils marking tools, and more. It holds a lot of stuff in a small space.

And here's a little thing for my serger. It has tool pockets, a little trash catcher, pin cushion and the framed with turquoise white area is that stuff that has no-slip rummer dots on it. There's a piece of no-slip dots on the top and bottom to keep my serger from running away while I serge.

I have a few more things I want to make, like little notion boxes, a covered cork board for the wall behind my machines and a few little fabric storage boxes. I also want to make a larger round dome shaped pressing ham, pressing mitt and a little finger protector for ironing in tight spaces. 

After using the board the cover is perfect. I do need to get a new cotton pad for the board, but that's easy enough to get at Len's. So now I am off to Len's and then to sew some more.  Bye!

Posted by lincatz at 10:38 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Friday, 29 April 2016
Fit to be tied! And then Dyed!
Topic: I Made It!

It's friday and it's time for a little fun with fabrics. As you may have noticed on Project Runway designers often use dyes to help bring a bit of uniqueness to their creations. Dyeing is taught early on in a designer's education and once a few simple rules are learned dying opens up so many creative options for changing the color of fabrics and made up garments.Dyeing can be the ultimate fun with fabrics, in some ways you don't know what you will get until after the fabric is dry and washed for the first time. 

First rule of Dyeing: Some farbics Can't be dyed. Polymer based fibers, coated fabrics and fabrics with any type of surface treatment can not be dyed. micro denier fibers can not be died. Dry clean only fabrics can not be dyed. Polyester can't be dyed. Finished coats and jackets can not be dyed. Lined and finished dresses can't be dyed. Acetates can't be dyed. Dry clewan only clothing can't be dyed. Did I mention that polyester can't be dyed at home?

Second rule of Dyeing: You can esily dye all cottons, linens, hemp and other plant based fibers including rayons and viscoses with fiber reactive dyesand soda ash. Dyes labelled as"permanent dye" have some soda ash included, but soak rayon in a soda ash solution to ensure full dye reaction.

Third Rule of Dyeing: Animal based fibers such as Wools and silk need an acid based dye and some wools need additional Mordants. Mordants allow wool to pick up more dye, make it colorfast and some mordants cubtley change the color. Nylon is dyed like an animal based fiber, but some nyon doesn't dye.The best acid for acid dyeing is acetic acid -AKA Vinegar.

Fourth rule of dyeing: Dyeing is unpredictable and you can get results you don't expect. Be prepared for both pleasant and unpleasant surprises. 

Fifth rule of dyeing: Never dye a garment unless you are willing to risk wrecking it forever.

Sixth rule of dyeing: Be willing to experiment and try new methods and ideas.

The techer emphasized  rule four and five above all others. Dyeing is not for the faint of heart. It is not for people who don't like surprises. Dyeing is not for control freaks. Even when everything is weighed, measured and mixed exactly you still get surprises. 

I'd rather not go into long winded explanations about dyeing. Ther's plenty out there and the chemistry doesn't interest me -so a quick cut to the chase. A recent very warm spring day gave me the opportunity to have fun with tie dyeing. I wanted a pink tank top to wear with a couple of my long boho maxi skirts and with shorts. I had just made a pair of tops from some slubbed-knit  rayon jersey and though one would work well. I picked the one with an integrated scarf on the neck: this pattern here on BurdaStyle and got everything I needed to tie dye the top.

Here's what's needed: A basin that can be dyed and not matter. A much of boiling water, a squeeze bottle, soda ash, powdered all purpose dye. I used the all purpose dye because it fades after the first wash so the color isn't as intense as when it's freshly dyed. I placed some powdered dye into the bottle, some soda ash and then dissolved it all with the boiling water, capped the bottle and shook it until the soda ash was completely dissolved. No, you can't have my recipe. Mostly because I don't measure.

Next the fabric gets all tied and twisted. Tighter bunches have more contrast in dye absorption and in the deep center folds some areas stay white. After tying and twisting the fabric goes into the basin and sprayed with water. Wet areas absorb the dye differently than dry areas. Dry areas dye clean and crisp, wetted areas are more smudgy and blurry.

Next I drizzle the dye over the fabric. I flip the bundle over and over and try to get a bit of dye everhere. I don't immerse the bundle in the dye, I want the randomness of a low-to-no immersion dye. 

Next I sprinkle a bit of leftover dye powder directly onto the bundle. This will give me spots of very intense color. 



In this close up you can see how the intense dye powder dissipates and spreads. Next I let the basin and the bundle sit in the hot sun for about half an hour. This is like low water immersion in the microwave but without the microwave oven.

After doing the tank top I had a few more things that needed dyeing so I mixed up a couple more squirt bottles and went to town on a half width length of fabric, several pairs of snooze inducing cotton panties and a tee-shirt. Of all the things the tee was the not-so-pleasant surprise. After soaking in soda ash and not rinsing and using dye directly on the ashed shirt the colors still faded when dry.  Everything else took the dye quite well. Those things up there are much brigher than they are now because the dye is still wet.

And here is is all done. It's got a nice mottled look that will work well with a boho look. It's also long enough to wear over a bathing suit or to wear over a pair of shorts or whatever.It will fade a bit more in the next washing but after that it will stay pink.

And that's the basics of tie dye. There are hundreds of tie and bundle tutorials on line, some give heart shapes, some do spirals, stripes and more.  Use care when placing the bundles and spirals, some can look terrible and a few can make something unwearable and a couple can boder on obscene. 

Be especially careful around the bust and the butt. Watch out for round things centered on the boobs. Start swirls and bundles either above or below the bust line and bust points.  If you are doing shorts, pants, or undies avoid swirls on the center back seam below the curve point. You don't want a tie dyed circle that reminds people of goatse or other infamous holes and their location. You don't want a target on your butthole! Avoid using brown when tie dyeing shorts, panties and panties because a blob of brown on the backside (or anywhere for that matter) looks really poopy. 

And that's all for today! I'm going off to get more dye and some white tees from michael's. The best part of white tees is that they don't have to remain tees. They can become dresses, tank tops, other tops, tote bags, knit and crochet yarns and so much more. all you need is scissors, thread and bit of imagination. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:39 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 29 April 2016 10:47 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
New purse -after I said No New Purses! Ever!
Topic: I Made It!
After swearing a thousand times over and over that I would never ever make another leather purse because it is nothing but a pain in the ass, time consuming and frustrating guess what I did. Yup! I made another leather purse. And it took a while, had it's share of problems and frustrations and there were times it was a pain in the ass. But I think in the end it was totally worth it!

Here it is! I used the suede I got in Toronto and some scaraps I had in my leather and suede scrap bag. I also used turquoise cab rivets and pink swarocski crystal rivets. The medallion covering the magnet clasp is recycled from a differnt purse that fell apart long ago.

This is the back. Rather than leave it blank or put a useless tiny zipper pocket on it I decided to use a fanny pack pattern and put a fanny pack on the back. It's big enough for my phone and keys. Again, the medallion is from an old purse and the suede is from my scarp bag. See the blue suede? It's in reality that backside of some blotchy weirdly colored black leather. It looks like someone machine washed a leather skirt and the dyes went all screwy. The smooth side is unusable do to weird abrasions on the surafce but the suede side is fine.

This wasn't as much as a pain in the ass as the blue and brown one. I tried to keep the interfacing to a minimum and instead of lining the purse right sides together and pulling the whole thing through an opening in the lining bottom -which is very much like turning a cardboard box inside out -I made the outer bag first and didn't attach the flap, then I made the lining as a separate unit then put the lining inside the purse wrong sides togfether and then used a silk satin bias binding on the top edge which covered everything and gave it a sleek and chic look. Then I atached the flap sudes to suede and slip stitched the flap lining to the bag lining. Much quicker and easier. 

There are still a few stray threads to trim and I am not entirely happy with the composition of embellishments on the bag flap.  I might add a bit more to it -or possibly remove some embellisments. 

Another thing that made this bag easier is that I invested in a good riveting tool.  Applying rivets is easier when you are NOT using a hammer and tiny little two inch long metal thing. I ended up hammering my fingers more than the tool so I figured that a rivet tool would save time, frustration and my thumbs. While it is a bad craftman who blames his tools you simply can't make a mnemonic memory curcuit with bear skins and stone knives. 

And this last piucture isn't a purse, it's a knitting project: 

This is the blanket pattern here: worked in two colors of Blanket yarn. I used pale aqua and "mallard"  Again, it's stuff I got in Toronto at the show.  This picture was taken just before casting off. This blanket is so warm and soft and cuddly and comfy that The second it gets anywhere near me it puts me to sleep. Posing on the blanket is my Grumpy Cat plushy who is not at all impressed with my work and is indeed quite immune to its sleep inducing effects.

And that's all for today! 

Posted by lincatz at 10:10 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Thursday, 18 February 2016
TBT: then and now!
Topic: I Made It!
Here are a couple of pieces made from my Throwback Thursday Burda magazines. One is completed and one is awaiting buttons and a hem.  Here's the completed outfit:

this is the blouse from This entry HERE and the skirt is from this on HERE that blouse is completely finished, embroidery and all. The skirt doesn't have the contrast yokes and is in need of buttons and a hem. Are you ready for your close-up headless person? Good!


The blouse was lengthened enough so it can be tusked in if that's what I want. The flowers were raised up -but maybe not as much as they should have been. The buttons are all vintage mother of pearl buttons from the old Berlin Button Company -the people who supplied Arrow Shirts back in the day.

The denim is embroidered with lots of little flowers and leaves and some of the flowers are embroidered with sequins. All the seams are top stitched with shiny Wonderfuil 40wt rayon. More is going to be done to the edge of the yoke so the vertical lines are emphasized. The little tabbed belt carriers will be riveted in place with decorative rivets and decorative rivets will be used on the usual rivet points. I will probably cut out and applique a few more of the flowers to the yoke for even more decoration.

Here is the completed embroidery. You can see just a hint of the pink transfer pencil -this is after one washing and by the second the rest of the pencil will be gone.  The leaves have been filled with a bit of needle lace -same with the centre of the flowers. The leaves are worked in buttonhole stitch, the stems and flowers in flat satin stitch. The eyelets were made by poking and awl into the fabric to separate the weave into a hole. The hole was outlined with short stem stitches with the awl in the fabric. with the outline complete the awl was removed and the buttonhole stitches worked into the hole. No threads were cut so the fabric won't fray or fall apart when washed. I learned this awl trick for eyelets from an 1800's needlework book -a british Godey's Ladies' Book type of fashion and needlework magazine.

Although these two pieces weren't really made to be worn together they do work well as an outfit. They have a kind of old fashioned prim and proper look only with a modern twist in the sequinned and embroidered denim. I think they will make a good spring outfit for when the days begin warming up and the winter coats and boots can come off. The best shoes would probably be wedge espadrilles in denim, maybe with a couple of the sequinned flowers added by sewing or gluing. Shoe Hack!

And what kind of jewellery? Something I've made of course! Like one of these guys right here:

These are made with both fake and real suede lacing, vintage and new beads and more. The shell on the far right has a cool "throwback thursday worthy story: Someone went to a tropical island and brought back a couple shells with hole in them for me. I was about 12 and already was making a lot of jewellery. The person thought I could make a really nice necklace by putting string in the holes. I did after gluing some random stuff in the shell. Not sure what kind of glue I used -all I know is that it didn't discolour and it's still holding as strong as ever.  I wanted the things to tell a little story in the shell and I think I was quite successful.

Flash forward to today: The old pink suede lacing is now more brown than pink and instead of soft it's now hard. I hadn't worn it in a long time because it did look so old and yucky.  I did try it one recently only to have the sued break apart  where and when stress was put on it. I threw them in in the "repair me basket and forgot about it until I went through the basket looking for a couple particular beads. I decided to re-make the piece.

The suede is brand new from Bead Boutique. The ring is a ring of jasper from the same place. The beads are vintage macrame beads from the 1970's. I think it looks really great! What I love is that I originally made it when I was 12 and it shows that I had the same unique vision and style back then as I do now. It expresses who and what I am as a designer and is probably the second most ME piece I have. The first? Might be this one next:

And here's a future pair of earrings and the other shell I decorated many years ago. There's a couple pieces of shells, a pair of dice beads, a ceramic violin shaped bead, and a couple plastic faceted beads and pearls. The dice are a visual pun. The person went to a tropical paradise so my shell-story about her trip needed it own pair-a-dice! When I was 12 it was hilarious and now that I'm much older it's still rather whimsical. The violin is the closet thing I had to a ukulele so that's why it's there.

once I have buttons and everything I'll post the finished pictures of the skirt. For now I'm quite pleased with it and maybe I'll post a picture of me wearing it with my tropical Pair-a-dice necklace!

Posted by lincatz at 10:33 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Topic: I Made It!

A while ago I posted a few of my personal sewing projects for the summer with the promise I would post a couple more later. It's is now officially LATER! or l8r in txt speak.

The project That I am most proud of is the denim shirt made with recycled Battenburg laces. The denim came from a bin in Len's that had all their hopeless fabrics -stuff that was ripped, faded, had runs, end of the mill pieces with grease pencil lot numbers and other things that rendered them almost useless. The denim I found was super light weight -about 4 to 6 ounces and had a multitude of fade lines. The main fabric fold was almost white and where the fabric once roled over the cardboard bolt holder was also faded on the corners and darker on the flat. I actually liked the fade marks. I though they added a well-worn character to the fabric and thought that whatever was made with it would immediately look well worn and well-loved. 

So I bought it -and the girls and the fabric table pointed out the fading and looked quizzical when I said the faded colors made it even more perfect. By the time I got home I know I was going to use it for a long length blouse with battenburg lace trims. I sketched out the design and it can be found here:  with a brief explanation of battenburg lace. 

I cut the pattern first and tested the fit in muslin. Beacuse of the elaborate seaming and shaping  combined with the eye-catching embellishments I wanted the fit to be spot-on. I knew people would look twice so it was super important that it fit me perfectly. On the muslin pattern I laid out the laces and arranged them until I was 100% happy that the layout was perfect.

I sewed the blouse and before adding the facings I added the lace to the hem and the shaped yoke. I moved each piece from the muslin to the blouse and used a zillion pins to hold it in place.  To secure them I sued a narrow zig zag with white thread. It took a while to do but was worth the effort.  And her's the finished project:

This is the front. I used some vinatge heart shaped concha-style buttons recycled from an old denim Mommy Dress. The two trefoils on the lapel were made by me so they were the correct size for the lapels. Battenburg lace is lazy lace -very fast and easy. Each trefoil ook fifteen minutes from pinning the tape on the pattern to finishing the last needle lace knot.

Here's the back. The lace fit over the yoke perfectly and it continues over the shoulders. Some narrow width lace went on the collar. I thought about edging the collar with the lace -as it did in the 1980's bridesmaid dress -but it look way to precious and juvenile.  tightens it up at the waist and gives an hourglass shape to the blouse and to me when I wear it.

Here's a close up of the lace at the front. After the lace was applied I trimmed away all the fabric from the edges and left them as is. I then added the facings and made sure the lower edge with the buttons and buttonhokes was crisp and well turned.  Again you can see some of the fade lines. I think they look natural and like I embellished a well worn and well loved shirt.

Here's a close up look at the back yoke. The lace had to be cut apart in a few areas to make it spread out and lay flat. I think this piece came from a tablecloth? Large square collar? Not sure? You can see some of the fading at the center back below the lace. 

And here's the bottom. This lace was from a tablecloth and goes all the way around to the front. Again I had to detatch a couple motifs to get the lace to lay flat on the fabric.

I'm quite pleased with the results of this project. It looks exactly how I wanted and it fits very well. I have worn it several times this summer and I might wear it to the Creative Festival show.  Rugged denim and light lace always work well together and this blouse is now one of my favorites.  And it was a great way to make use of some lovely 1990's batterburg lace from some old andout of style things that were destined for the rag bin.  

Posted by lincatz at 10:12 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Look what I made this summer: Part One!
Topic: I Made It!

Remember this entry:  and this one: Would you like to see the finished results?  OF COURSE YOU WOULD!

Here it is all done.  It went together quite easily EXCEPT for one problem area: The midriff pleated band. The pattern called for the band to be cut on the bias and all the pleats worked on the bias. Needless to say this rippled, stretched, waved and worse. And really, there was no reason whatsoever to cut it on the bias. So I re-cut a new band on the straight grain. It worked much better. Pressing and sewing with the grain went much easier and whole bunch less wobbly.  It' still a bit wobbly but that's because I sewed it in the evening when I was quite tired. No matter -I stil like the way it looks. 

I also love the little raised tulip style neckline and the small buttons in the front. They do nothing because the dress closes with a side zipper but they are a perfect decorative addition to the front.  I cut the bodice twice; once from the print and once from some solic blue rayon, basted the two together and used tem as one piece of fabric. The fabric was a bit sheer so it needed the extra layer. To compensate for sheerness in the skirt I made it much fuller and hoped that the extra fullness gathered to the band would compensate for the sheerness. And it did. I love this dress and I've worn it quite abit this summer.  Here's the pattern on the US burdastyle site:

I also raved at length about a floral chiffon that was a tan background with bold turquoise flowers and how I was going to make a flouncy ruffled shirt.I made it and here it is:

I did a few adjustments and it looks diffrent fom the original. First I elmininated the bateau neckline and changed it to a V. The bateau did nothing for me. I also added fullness across the bust because it was cut for someone much flatter chested than me. Some of the fullness went up to the shoulders so I added a bit of pleating and smoking to the the shoulders. To rein in the fullenss at the waist that resulted fomr the bust adjustment I added a tie at the waist. The V at the front has a small pleat concealed with the beaded medallion.

The medallion was simple to make. I cut a circle of placemat fleece slightly smaller than the finished size.The tan colored center is some tan colored rattail cord braided and wrapped inot a circle shape. I sewed it to the fleece.  I then threaded some e-beads to onto beading thread and then sewed them to the fleece so they rimmed the raw edge of the fleece. I then strung two colors of beads with some larger dangle beads on the end of each fringe and then sewed that the the bottom. I sewed the medallion on the center of the V to cover the pleat. All the beads are recycled from a pair of flip flops I got several years ago.

This is inside at the waist where the front, side and ruffle all meet. On either side of the seam I sewed buttonholes on a bit of ribbon for reifocment. Chiffon and georgetttes can tear if there's any pressure on them so the ribbon takes the strain instead of the fabric.Here's thepattern from burdastyle:

I love this blouse. It flutters in the breeze and is wonderful to wear. It's surprisingly cool for something made of ployester and it dresses up jean and jeans shorts. It absolutely sings when paired with a pair of shorts in the same color as the turquoise flowers. There's a sample of the fabric in the original blog entry up there ↑ It does not go with the skirt I made from the same fabric:

Because there are too maky ruffles and it's overwhelming. You only see the fabric and ruffles -not me. The skirt is very nice on it's own. It's a four gore skirt and each seam has a large spiral cut ruffle sewn in. Here's Ben holding the hem out so you can see the shape of the gores.

Each gore has a large swirl on one side and a simple flare on the other. The ruffled is in each seam. The one on the left side is more dramaticaly flared than the others and hangs a bit longer and loower that the skirt. I can adust this train so it's in the front, the back or on the side. Thre's a concealed zipper in one of the seams. The skirt is lined with some light stretch crepe in light beige. The skirt looks nice when worn with beige, tan, white or turqiouse tops. They need to fit closer to the body without a lot of excess fullness -or once again the look is too voluminous.  I like this skirt. It's quite an eye-catcher.

A have more of what I made this summer to show off. This is just a start. I've been quite prolific this year!

Posted by lincatz at 10:09 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Friday, 28 August 2015
Fun With Fabric Firday: finished project!
Topic: I Made It!

On the weekend I got a box of fabric from someone. There was some full pieces, some with pieces cut out and a few that were uncut.  One of the uncut lengths was this whimsical pink snail polyester blouse fabric:


How could I resist? Who doesn't want a blouse with mollusks on it? I knew exactly what I wanted to make. The Spring and Summer BurdaEasy magazine had a 1940's inspired summer blouse pattern with princess seaming and wing sleeves that would be perfect. BurdaEasy magazine patterns are different from the regular BurdaStyle patterns: they are on tissue paper and you don't need to trace them. They are simply snip out, pin on fabric and sew. It's instant sewing gratification. 


This is the style I chose. You can see that I selected this shirt as a "must Make" when I bought the magazine. I added a small collar because I prefer the look of collared blouses. Uncollared blouses look unfinished to me.  One of my quirks. I also skipped the heavy concealed button band. It was a bit too heavy on the soft light fabric and I don't mind if my buttons show. I snipped the pattern from the giant sheet in the center of the magazine, pinned it on the fabric and cut it out. Simple as can be.

And this is how it turned out. It's completely finished. It fits really well and it has a whimsical retro vibe to it. As I was making it I began calling the blouse design "sporty forties"  The collar sits on my body better than it does on the dressform. It needs one more pressing.

And that's what I did this week! I think I might get more fabric for a little more instant sewing gratification from the BurdaEasy magazine.

Posted by lincatz at 10:18 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Friday, 15 May 2015

Topic: I Made It!

I have a few pictures from current projects, not as many as I wanted to take but it's a start. I want to begin with the FreePeople inspired caftan:

This is it! I have elastic at the seam between bodice and skirt and it's just pinned in place so I can see how it looks.  It has a real 1912 look about it with the orientation of the print and the contrast in directions between top and bottom.

Here's a close up of the top. I spent a bit of time fussing over the direction of the larger dark colored band -either across the front or dopwn the neckline.  I am quite happy I chose across because of the contrast with the vertical lines of the skirt.

this is the blouse I made from the sketch. I used the lining from a skirt that fell apart and added lots of tatted lace in brown and blue varigated thread. Since this will be mostly worn with jeans the blue works as an accent color.

(Ignore the little fold at the hem) This is the back detail. I used a bunch of piuntucks at the center back to make it more difficult to sew. I mean LOOK BETTER.

Here's a close up of the tatted edging used around the neckline.


And here's a close up of the front showing the buttons, the tatting at the waist seam and the tatting along the buttonholes. I had to hand work the buttonholes. Now the blouse needs all the loose threads trimmed away and a good pressing and it's complete. 

And that's all the pics for today. Nest week I should have more. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:19 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Newer | Latest | Older