Sewing Challenge: On Trend, Summer

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The Facts

Fabric: thrifted t-shirts

Pattern: from YouTube videos

Year: 2013

Notions: embroidery floss, bamboo skewers, spray paint, thread

Time to complete: I don’t remember

First worn: N/A

Wear again? No

Total Cost: Used items from my stash, so probably under $10 for everything.

I know that after the last post I haven’t really been available online. Turns out that it takes some time getting used to and settling into a new life. I had forgotten what it was like working a 40 hour work week and what it means in relation to time for everything else. Basically, there is none. I go to work in the morning, then I come home, eat dinner, unwind a little and then I realize that it is time for bed. Since moving into my new apartment, I have not been able to organize my creative space at all because I have too much fabric to be able to, well, to do much of anything. Also, I have found that I have a bit of a social life. It seems that people like me and want to spend time with me. Since hanging out with other people is more enjoyable than cleaning, I have been choosing to spend time away from home. I’m hoping that in the future, I will be able to find the balance and be able to do it all, but I get the feeling that is something that everyone hopes for and few achieve.

What this means is I am going to be blogging about some of the things that I have made previously, and counting it as though I made it this year. For this week, I am doing four things in one post.

About this time last year, Threadbanger had a contest of sorts that was inspired by summer camp crafts. If you made the items that they showed in their YouTube videos, then they would mail you a patch showing that you made the item. They did a tie dye, a friendship bracelet, a God’s eye, and a t-shirt reconstruction. I had mostly forgotten that I had done the projects, but one of the items, the tie dye shirt, surfaced.. I was pricing things that I am going to be selling at my parent’s yard sale, and I came across the shirt. I showed it to my mom and she really liked it. She actually liked it so much that she claimed it as her own shirt, which was actually a good thing as I had run out of hangers for the clothing for sale.

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The friendship bracelet that I made for the contest was actually the first friendship bracelet that I had ever attempted to make. I knew many friends in elementary school who would make them, but I never took the time to learn. Thank goodness for the tutorials on YouTube. My bracelet isn’t perfect, but it isn’t terrible for a first attempt. I don’t think I ever appreciated how much time goes into them, and because of that, it is possible that I won’t be making another one.

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The t-shirt reconstruction that I did was to take a t-shirt and turn it into a tube top. I try to avoid wearing tops that require faith to stay up. I did the reconstruction because it was the example given. After I followed the tutorial, I saw that I could have done any of the t-shirt reconstructions that Threadbanger has a tutorial for. I am pretty sure that this shirt ended up going to the thrift store, but I may have kept it because I like the olive drab color.

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The God’s eye was pretty quick to do and used up some embroidery floss. I picked some colors that looked pretty together and were at the top of the pile of embroidery floss. The only downside was that the floss had already been cut so I had to tie the end of one string to the beginning of the next more often than I would have liked. I used a skewer for the wood base as I have many of them for use with my grill.

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The tie dye shirt that my mom fell in love with was done using a white shirt from the thrift store and some spray paint that I had on hand. I scrunched the shirt, sprayed it with paint. Then I unfolded it, rescrunched it, and sprayed with the second paint. Then, I shook it out, rescrunched it again, and sprayed it with the last color. I would like to dye some shirts and other fabrics with liquid dye at some point in the future. I have some tie dye kits as well as some dye resist. I have many plans for what I would like to do, I just need to schedule and plan for when I am going to do them. Maybe have a tie dye party? That would be fun.

 

I took the pictures, posted them on Instagram with the appropriate hashtag. I wasn’t sure who to contact with my information, but they contacted me, I gave them my address, and I got my summer camp badges in the mail. I love them and need to figure out what really awesome thing that they can adorn.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

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Week 12 – Mad Men Inspired

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The Facts

Fabric: socks

Pattern: self-drafted

Year: current

Notions: buttons and thread from stash

Time to complete: I think I finished this one while watching Skyfall

First worn: N/A

Wear again? N/A

Total Cost: $5 for all materials

Interesting fact: Not directly related to the week’s theme. I mean, there are several characters that could have inspired this, but not quite like how it turned out. Also, I apologize for these challenges being out of order. I am trying my best.

I  have watched and enjoyed the show Mad Men. However, I tend to binge watch shows on Netflix and Mad Men can get to be a little intense if I watch too many episodes at once. With this in mind, I tend to choose shows with a lighter hearted storyline over the darker tones of Mad Men. In fact, I initially had heard about this show because of the sewing blogs that I follow and I ended up watching it a lot because of the fashion that the characters wear. I love seeing the styles evolve as the years go by and I love the matching ability of Betty Draper as well as the plaid ensembles that Peggy wears.

So while I have seen the show and drooled over its fashions, I have neither watched any episodes recently, nor have I done any research to see what I could find as inspiration to make an outfit. On top of that, I have been making items for the show that I will be vending at on May 24. I also managed to pick up additional hours at work, so my time that I would be using to work on the sewing challenge has been sucked up by everything else that I am working on and finishing up.

On the other hand, since I have been making items, and most of them seem to involve some sort of hand sewing, I felt that I had to share some sort of blog post this week. I don’t want to look back and think that I missed a sewing challenge because I did something silly like choosing sleep over sewing. So here it is, my sewing post for this week.

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This is a view from the center front. The thing sticking up in the middle is its dorsal fin. Not visible in the picture is the tail. I do realize that it looks nothing like any shark ever.

I started working on this plush awhile back. I’m not sure what I was thinking I was making when I started, but when I saw the components together I heard a voice in my head say, “I’m a shark!” I guess this means that I am officially addicted to that webcomic that I have been reading and the next step is to make a tinfoil hat. I will spare you the emotional rollercoaster by not telling you the title of the webcomic. I know it seems cruel, but I am trying to help you. However, if you feel like you can handle the flowy capes, the science, and the city on fire, then comment on my facebook page (either Sew Late at Night or Mrs. Uncommon Geek) and I will tell you which webcomic I am talking about.

If you like my plush and want to see more of it, or some of my other creations, then come on out to Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret tomorrow, May 24 in Dayton, OH and see what monster or minion you want to take home. I will also have books, old photos and other things available for purchase. If I have some time before the show, I may even refashion a new top for the event. I hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing!

Week 9 : Make Do, Make Anew

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The Facts

Fabric: dress from sample sale

Pattern: self drafted

Year: current

Notions: Thread, elastic

Time to complete: about 2 hours

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? I should get a lot of use out of this skirt this summer

Total Cost: $10 for the dress, thread from stash, elastic reused from dress

First, some history. Back when I was in high school, my mom worked for a women’s clothing catalog. Every so often, there would be a sale where employees could bring up to 2 guests and they could purchase clothing from the catalog at a super discount price. Selection would vary as the stock would include samples, overstock, customer returns and defective merchandise. For anyone willing to dig through racks of clothing and tables of shoes, deals could be had. Years passed. The catalog company got a new CEO. The clothing sold began targeting a younger crowd. Most importantly, the outside company responsible for organizing the associate sales discovered e-commerce. The associate only sales became more and more open to the public. Not widely advertised, but that is why it is important to sign up for their mailing lists. The merchandise decreased in quality and it was much harder to find the really good deals that had previously been available.

In present day, things have balanced out. My mother has retired and has been for a few years. The outside company that does the associate sales has expanded and there are a few brick and mortar stores in the Columbus, OH area, pop-up sales that happen in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, as well as the ever successful online stores. I purchased this dress for $10 at one of the pop-up sales. Not bad for something that retails at $88. Anyway, since my mom doesn’t work for the catalog anymore, and since I can’t afford their clothes, I am really not familiar with their merchandise. So I did not notice that this dress was missing its halter neck piece. All I noticed was that the dress, for all its supportive elastic, did not want to stay in one place. When I tried it on at home to confirm fit, I had to constantly pull up the top of the dress.

I did love the idea of this dress back.

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I threw the dress into a pile of things to modify later, and today it got transformed from a dress that doesn’t quite work into a maxi skirt for any occasion. I cut off the top of the dress and removed the elastic. Then, I reattached the elastic in the cut portion of the bottom of the dress, creating a waistband. Thus, a skirt was created.

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Happy sewing!

Week 11: Green

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The Facts

Fabric: Curtain from the thrift store

Pattern: From instructions from a panel done by Jessica of Ties that Bynde

Year: 2013

Notions: Safety pins and twill tape

Time to complete: About an hour

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? Hopefully

Total Cost: $10 – $5 for the curtain, $5 for the safety pins and twill tape at the panel.

Some time ago I attended a steampunk convention where Jessica of Ties that Bynde had a panel on how to create a bustle using a yard of fabric, some twill tape and some safety pins. Kits with or without fabric were for sale for anyone who wanted to learn how to create a simple bustle but did not bring materials with them. I picked up this curtain for the purpose of making something steampunk related. I love the light green color and how the fabric drapes. I also like that it is not meant to be a smooth fabric and I do not have to worry about ironing it. I do not like how reflective it is when a flash is used.

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The creation of the bustle is very simple. Twill tape is pinned to a piece of fabric that is pleated to fit the wearer at the waist (or where you want the bustle to sit). More pleats mean less coverage but a fuller looking bustle, less pleats mean more coverage but the fabric will be stretched out more and it will be harder to make the bustle look as full. This first piece of twill tape is also serving as the waistband and needs to be long enough for this purpose.

To this first piece of twill tape, attach 3 more pieces of twill tape, going vertically. Then, play with draping. Pick a spot and pin the fabric of the bustle to the twill tape. Make it symmetrical. Make it asymetrical. Find what works for you. Since the fabric is being attached to the twill tape with safety pins it can be changed for future wearings. Personally, I am going to play around with the bustle draping a little bit more and then I am going to sew the fabric down to the twill tape to create a permanent bustle.

The pictures above show the bustle with a bustle pad. I also took picture without the bustle pad as I have not yet incorporated a bustle pad into my steampunk outfits. Here is what the bustle looks like without the bustle pad.

From the back:

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From the side:

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Happy sewing!