Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bag Fail, Shirt Success!

Firstly, my husband is currently still sleeping. It is 12:15. I've been making all sorts of racket in the sewing room upstairs, and still he peacefully slumbers away. Amazing.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours attempting to make a canvas bag similar to one I saw at the Gap. Honestly, I don't even know why I try these things. Despite my best efforts, including the use of CAD to plot the pattern, the first result still looked a lot like a shapeless tote bag. I think I was meant to be a bag consumer and not a bag designer. I'm okay with that. I even decided against buying the bag, because I think the Gap bag would probably have looked the same loaded up with all of my crap.

This morning, I decided to tackle the men's shirt refashion as described here on Clevergirl's blog.

The first challenge for me is that I don't own a dress form, so I was winging the whole "pin to fit" part. On the first shirt that I attempted (purchased for 2 bux at the thrift store), I actually forgot that I am a pear, whereas Clevergirl is lucky enough to be normal shaped. So, I mistakenly cut too much off around the hips and wouldn't have been able to button the shirt after I sewed up the side seams. Back to the drawing board.

Luckily, my husband has recently outgrown a bunch of his dress shirts, so I have tons of raw material. I've been fixated on blue lately, so I chose a blue one to mess with. This time, I did better. A dress form would have definitely improved the end result. I tried to use an existing shirt to approximate where the shoulder/sleeve insertion point was located, and I still think I overshot the mark a bit. Also, it's a bit boring. It looks fine covered in a cardigan and with a scarf, but it feels a little blah all on it's own. See below.

To remake the sleeve, I used the sleeve pattern from Simplicity 4077. I'm getting better at the whole gathering and sleeve insertion process. It's like I actually enjoy it or something!

The end result
Men's Shirt Refashion

All dressed up
Shirt Refashion

Kind of blah
Headless shirt refashion

Friday, March 26, 2010

To do tomorrow morning...

Attempt to knock off a summer purse that I saw at Gap...

The best part of this project...all of the supplies cost me about $5 at Jomar. I'll work on it tomorrow, and if it is a total failure, I'll simply use the 20% off coupon that I have for Gap and just buy the real thing. I feel like I have to make an effort on my own, though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Colette Sencha: Fin

My first attempt at the Colette Sencha blouse was a success, I think. It definitely looks fine under a jacket or cardigan, and I can absolutely see it tucked into a super high waist pencil skirt (must get right on locating the perfect pattern for that).

Colette Sencha

I cut and sewed the size four with no alterations. I like that the pattern size is so close to ready to wear sizing! I used a cheapy fake silk from Joann Fabric. I spread my work out over the course of a few evenings after work...there is a lot of hand sewing (sleeve hems, bottom hem), and I didn't want to lose patience.

I will absolutely sew this again and hopefully improve the wonky parts. Oh, I used colored snaps instead of sew in snaps in the back closure. To accomplish this on such a thin fabric, I did interface the back facings per the advice of some others who had sewn the Sencha. I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Instant Gratification

I'm working on my Sencha blouse. I'm taking my time, doing a little each night. Still, I needed a little instant gratification. While killing time on the web today, I came across this scarf by Land's End. I remembered that I had some cheap knit in almost the same print left in my stash. Hence, this:


It took five minutes with the scissors, and it was a scrap piece of fabric. Nice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm not sure how to interpret this.

While donating my $5 to "dress casual for charity" at work today, the coworker collecting the money cheerfully chirped,"Thanks so much for donating, because I know you can dress down anytime you want, right?"

The answer to that is no, I cannot. Others in my department can, because of the work that they do, but I am expected to be "business casual" like every other desk worker in this place. So, am I just that much of a mess when I get dressed for work? I know I wear the same khaki/black work pant/sweater combo every day, but it's not sloppy, just boring. I've even started wearing earrings and necklaces almost every day! Sometimes there's even lipstick on my lips when I get to work, although I would never, ever reapply during the day as that would cut into my Burt's Bees addiction!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Things I won't do again.

1. Sew this McCall's pattern. I'm trashing it. Maybe it was the $1 a yard knit that I used, or maybe it's just heinous. I tried to do the version that is shown in red. Ugh. It came out super horrible, like it was a reject from a Wham video costume designer.

2. Drink the beverage known as the three R's at Farmicia. It supposedly contained Root Liquor, Rye, Ginger Ale, and was served over rocks in a glass with fruit. I was expecting a little rocks glass drink. Nope, it came in a giant coke glass. I finished it. I do not remember the ride home from the restaurant. Apparently I told my husband that he was not a nice person. I also could barely taste the Root part, which was the appealing part of the beverage when I read the description. I'll have to get a bottle to try in other ways.

3. Eat too much spinach. I am a mostly vegetarian gal. Thus, I live on mostly vegetables. You know what sucks? When vegetables make you feel like you are going to puke. Some fruits do this to me too. Currently on my list: zucchini, yellow squash, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon. I had to add spinach last night. I put it on a sandwich (with some veggie chicken, garlic, tomatoes and provolone) and was rudely awakened around midnight with a need to lay on the bathroom floor and feel like I was going to die. This has happened before with spinach, I was just in denial.

I'm on a roll.

Got myself some new Gingher scissors this weekend. They were a total impulse buy. I went to Joann for some sewing needles and interfacing and they magically appeared in my hand at the register. They are, in a word, amazing.
New Scissors! Gingher!

Started working on the Colette Sencha top. I'm using a cheap synthetic silk that I got at Joann to see how it comes out.
Colette Sencha Pattern

Performed up to my quality control representative's lofty standards. Why is it that as soon as I lay out fabric and a pattern, Rocky decides he needs to be right on top of me?
Performing Quality Control Oversight

Yes, this is acceptable.
Yes, this is acceptable

Monday, March 8, 2010

My list of good stuff from the weekend.

1. Seeing Jaime for the first time since January. We communicate almost every day via email/facebook/twitter, but there is nothing like a face to face chat.
2. Kidnapping Jaime and visiting the NE Philly fabric mecca Jomar, having my fabric cut ($1 per yard knits), waiting in line behind rejects from Maury Povich, only to find out that the registers were down and we couldn't buy anything. I'm calling this a good thing, because the experience was worth it. I am detoxing and sanitizing my skin before my next visit. I want my army green knit dammit! I will be back.
3. Birthday presents from Jaime! Built by Wendy Dresses and One Yard Wonders. I am a little intimidated by the dress book, but in a good way.
4. A really awesome Nightmare Before Christmas mug, also from Jaime and family. I must photograph it, because it does not exist online. I'm debating whether to use it or to display it near my other coveted skull items.
5. Fabulous weekend meals and time spent with my husband, who has been spending the work week in Baltimore. I miss him when he's away.
6. Had an idea for a skirt, whipped it up in about an hour, without using a pattern. Will upload pics once I fix my computer mouse tonight! Edited: See, here it is!
7. Fabulous spring like weather for the first time in months! I'm looking forward to riding my bike and riding my Vespa!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Houseguests = Weight Loss Challenge Fail

I'm pretty sure that I ate out for almost every dinner last week. That's what happens when CPM and I have house guests. I get all excited, and intend to cook lavish meals, and then the spouse decides that we have to visit various local eateries to showcase the cuisine of the greater Philadelphia area.

Restaurants visited during the course of the week:

White Elephant
Cantina los Caballitos
Cantina dos Segundos
Philly Soft Pretzel Factory

Yep, just doing our part to keep the local economy afloat.

CPM is away for work this week. I have several dates with Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Billy Banks' Full Body Blast!