It’s costume time again, but not just because it’s Halloween month. Our local high school homecoming is this week, and today each class has a theme to follow for dressing up. I made two costumes, both without patterns.
First, my 5th grader decided to be a Circus Ringmaster (his class theme is circus/carnival):
I was able to make this from fabrics I had on hand (other than the top hat which I bought online). The vest is really just the two fronts attached at the shoulder and side seams to the jacket. I cut out 4 and seamed them together so they are completely lined. It was a little too tight so I added the rectangular trim to the front to make a placket. I ran out of time to add buttons and buttonholes so it is safety-pinned closed from the inside here. The jacket gave me fits…but of course I was sewing and designing it as I went, so that meant seam ripping, re-cutting, etc. I guess for no pattern it turned out okay. My biggest disappointment with it was thinking I was out of the red fabric so I improvised and cut the tails of the coat out of black. Only after I finished did I find another large scrap of the red corduroy! ARGH! I used an old buttondown shirt with the sleeves cut off (so he wouldn’t get hot) for the white shirt and made the bowtie out of the same red corduroy (21 wale, very lightweight). The pants are a pair of my old jersey lounge pants cut off just below the knee. I draped the faux leather fabric over his shoes to get an idea of shaping, cutting three pieces (two side and one back), seamed those together, then seamed a wedge shaped rectangle for the leg section. Of course I did this at 11pm last night, and when he tried them on this morning the calves were too tight. Alas this morning was a marathon seam ripping/adding in a back panel/re-attaching to the pants sewing session (Hey, he was only 15 minutes late for school! ;-D)
The second costume I made is for a friend’s daughter who is a senior this year. Her class theme was “The Hunters and The Hunted”, and she chose to be a squirrel.
Her mom bought 1 1/4 yards of faux fur, and I used an existing vest as the template to cut out the top. I cut out a slightly shaped tube for the tail, seamed it up, stuffed lightly with polyfil, and straightened a metal hanger out to give the tube some stability. I then just safety pinned it to the vest so it would stay upright. The ears are just rounded triangles seamed about an inch at the top and folded in at the bottom and seamed, then turned right side out and pinned to a headband. Voila! She had faux fur boot tops that matched perfectly and just added a brown top and leggings. I think she is the most adorable squirrel I have ever seen!
Where I live (The Deep South) football is the king of fall. People sport their favorite team logos on everything from hats and Tshirts to, you guessed it, ties. I decided to design a fabric for bow ties featuring my sons’ school mascot the Volunteers (think Minutemen) in our school colors orange and black. I chose bow ties over neckties for two main reasons. One, they take much less fabric per tie, and second, bow ties seem to be pretty popular with the boys at our school right now. I am pretty chuffed with the result!
I already have several orders, but the undeniable proof of success is this: my 16 year old, who before now has never worn anything but neckties, has already claimed this first one as his own to wear to Homecoming (if it doesn’t clash with his date’s dress, of course!)
I had another bout of “fabric design fever” a couple of weeks ago. This time I decided to order fat quarters of them so I could get a better idea of the print layout. Previously I had only ordered 8″x8″ swatches, and it really was not large enough to get a good visual of overall pattern. The result? I love them! I can now envision some of my prints as scarves, some as totes or accessory bags, and some as clothing. Here are a few quick snapshots I took this morning of them laid out on my breakfast table:
I love the two coral/pink fabrics. One is a geometric print and the other an abstract floral . Both of these I can see as workout tanks in Spoonflower.com’s new Sport Lycra fabric. The geometric sample is in the sport lycra. It has 12% lycra and is moisture-wicking, so it is perfect for workout wear.
I ordered several of my prints in the linen cotton canvas and the heavy cotton twill because I just knew I would want them for sewing ipad cases, makeup bags, pouches, etc.
I decided upon viewing them that I really liked the feathers and floral print above for clothing also (with its coordinating mini print below), especially after seeing it on Spoonflower’s new site SproutPatterns.com (beta version right now) as a Myrtle Dress. SproutPatterns.com is a sister site to Spoonflower.com where they offer a limited number of patterns that can be customized with your fabric choices from their site (your own designs or any others they offer for sale) and the pattern pieces are printed out with your design choices directly on the fabric. All you have to do when you get it is cut out and sew. How cool is that???
I leave you with a couple more pictures (because this post isn’t picture heavy already, right?)
Pencil skirts are about as basic a wardrobe staple there is. I had just enough denim left over from my shirt dress to eek this one out.
When I say eek, I mean eek! The “twist” I referenced in my title came about because I had to cut my skirt a couple of inches shorter than I like due to fabric limitations. Then I noticed all the pretty selvage scraps and an idea was born.
I stitched two rows of selvage to my skirt bottom edge and voila! My skirt is now the perfect length AND it now has this sassy casual vibe.
I flat felled the side seams and used white thread for all the decorative top stitching.
The pattern is an old favorite of mine, the Magic Pencil Skirt from Pamela’s Patterns. This is probably the 4th or 5th version I have made , but this one is different on two counts: I used a stretch woven instead of a knit, and I cut the high waist instead of the regular waist. This pattern has ample ease. So much so that I cut a medium waist and graded to a large hip then tapered and slightly pegged it toward the hem. Considering I am a full 16W, you can see this pattern runs large. Of course I do prefer my pencil skirts fitted since I normally wear my tops out instead of tucked in.
I sewed this skirt thinking it would make a great casual spring/summer look paired with the white linen top I just completed. I can throw a lightweight cardi on top for cool nights or air conditioned spaces. Choice of shoes and jewelry can take it from work to church to weekend casual. I’m looking forward to making it a regular part of my wardrobe.
I sewed another version of BootstrapFashion.com pattern #42279. This time I made a sleeveless top. Further changes to the pattern included leaving off the sleeves and collar, shortening the placket, adding side vents, and taking about 10″ off the length to make it low hip length.
The fabric is a lovely linen rayon blend from MarcyTilton.com. It has the most gorgeous drape, really a delight to wear!
I used very narrow hems on the bottom, vents, and armholes. I top stitched the front princess sleeves. As I stated previously, I omitted the collar but I chose to keep the collar stand for a mandarin collar look. I brought the top of the armholes in about half an inch; I prefer more of my shoulder exposed in a sleeveless top.
The final touch was sewing in one of my new labels…this is an updated version of a work in Progress 😊
I have been seeing floral pants everywhere this spring. These are just a few that I liked from Asos
and Lands End
I decided I just had to have a pair. The problem was that I could not find a floral fabric that ticked all the boxes. If I loved the print, the type of fabric was all wrong. Finally I found just what I wanted on MarcyTilton.com. As I said in a previous post, this was my first purchase from her but it won’t be the last. The fabric is considered a twill denim, but it is a VERY lightweight denim. It has good stretch and recovery and is perfect for warm weather pants.
I used my Angela Wolf Angel bootcut jeans pattern. So far I have used this pattern to make two pair of jeans, a pair of yoga pant capris, and now these skinny jeans. It really is a TNT pattern for me. It can easily be adjusted by taping the yoke to the pants pattern and cutting them as one. I have also altered the waistband width successfully and taped the front pocket facing to the pants front to cut as one and added patch pockets. If you have never heard of Angela Wolf, you need to check out her website and also her Craftsy class Sewing Designer Jeans with Angela Wolf. Craftsy also has a couple of classes she teaches about using a serger, which I need to take. I have had my serger for over a year and have not used it yet…I am afraid of it, but that is for another post!
I have already washed and worn these several times so I already count them a win.
I have designed labels for my sewing and knitting projects. These are the designs:
I have purchased transfer paper and cotton twill tape. Cannot wait to print these out and iron them on the tape. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time the last few months trying to come up with a cute, catchy logo for labels to no avail. So these are pretty plain. I do however love the font. it is “Jane Austen”.