some art

I thought it might be cool to share some of my artwork.  I've actually been drawing for much, much longer than I've been sewing or knitting, and in my personal life that is more what people know me for.  So these are some of my more successful drawings that I have done:

This is one of few that came out of my head, but it's sort of inspired by some Eischer art that I've been forever fascinated by.  My perspective looks off because of the camera angle and then trying to crop it, but it's not too bad in real life.

Here is one that is a copy of a photo from an old nat geo magazine. The sky in the photo was not so unrealistically bright looking, though!  This one is in oil pastels. I love the heavy, heavy contrast that the pastels give, which is definitely missing in this next one:

This one is done in crayons, just your eight basic crayola colors.  They didn't have the sharpness and softness to give the sharp edges and deep shadows, and it doesn't quite capture the gloominess of the photo (this is also from the same magazine).  I added some edges with a marker, but it didn't quite do it.
These two drawings are from a phase when I was copying a bunch of cool photos from this one magazine.  There are a few more, actually.  Another time!


drawstring cami tutorial

Here is a tutorial for this top:

It is super easy and it only took me maybe twenty minutes to put together.  So, here's what you need:

A big tee shirt.  For this one, it should be a good deal bigger than your bust measurement, but exact measurements are not that important.

First, cut it across under the arms, for a large tube.  Cut a one inch strip from the top.  This is for the drawstring straps, which should be long enough.  I had to cut excess off myself.  But, if you're working with a shirt that is closer to your size and not so big as this one, you may need to cut some extra length from the top of the shirt.

Cut the underarms.  For me, this is a 3" deep, 3" wide curve in the fabric when it is folded.  You can use another shirt as a guide if you think this is not the right size.

cut a curve out of the front.  mine is 2" deep, just a gentle curve from the center front to the top of the underarm.

So you see this is the blue version, but that doesn't matter. Fold and sew the edges of the underarms.  Maybe there are more professional ways to finish an underarm of a knit garment, but this works, and it's good not to have too much bulk since the drawstring has to pass through.

Ignoring the zipper in the picture, fold both front and back top edges 3/4" under.  It's not important to be exact, it just needs to be big enough for the drawstring.  Sew 5/8" in.

Sew the drawstring.  You'll have to cut it, since it is a big loop.  turn it.  It's a lot easier to turn it if you use a safety pin and crochet hook.  If the fabric is stretchy or if the stitches tore while turning, you can stitch down the center to reinforce it.  Thread through the front and back casings.  This is easier with a safety pin and crochet hook, too.  Fit it to yourself and sew the two ends of the drawstring together.  you can arrange it so that the sewn part is inside the back casing, not showing.

I added a pocket to mine, which you can do if you like.  I cut it from the sleeve so that the stitching would match.   I was not exact with any of it, I just cut and pinned till I liked how it looked, and tapered it in 1/4" at the bottom so that it was slightly drapy on the top. 

So yeah, there you have it!  Enjoy!


three easy refashions

So I got this dress thing from the thrift store.  It was just this giant square that had been sewn into a triangle, with slits for the arms, legs and neck and birds printed on the front.  Some people may think that I ruined a perfectly good piece of clothing, because I mean it was hip and all and not like totally outdated or anything.  It just wasn't my style, and hey, it was five bucks!   Anyway, this is the first top I made out of it.

Just two squares, you know, using the birds on the front.  It is definitely a whole lot more useable for me than the triangle thing. 

I also had a good deal of fabric left, so I made this:

I wore this outfit to Six Flags Magic Mountain last week (except with pants), and it was very comfortable, you know, just a comfy cami over a tank (Yes, I am wearing a tank!). I like how nice it looks in the drapy fabric, which isn't something you get to work with too much when you sew.  At least not me.  I'm usually stuck with pretty stiff jersey like you get from old tees.  Not that that's bad!  Here's a similar top out of my dad's old tee:

I liked the blue one so much I decided use the tee for another zipperless one.  This thing took like twenty minutes.  A tutorial is in the works, so stay tuned!  So, yeah, love this top, wear it constantly now.  I love the look that the fading from the original tee gives this top.  Kinda rugged, you know, how you would think it should look, being made out of a guy's old shirt.  Like boyfriend jeans. 

The backpack was something I threw together for a trip.  It's in need of some finishing touches, so I'll show it to you in time, maybe.  The same fabric as those darned skinnies!  I forgot about those skinnies.  Maybe now that it's going to cool off (not today, we've got triple digits!) I can fix them up, tighten them.


lace insert tutorial

Wow!  it's been a long time.  I've been having computer troubles. >:(  Oh well...Anyway, I've finally made a tutorial for you guys!  I think you'll like this one because you could use basically any lightweight woven for the main body.  I have it here in a crazy vintage fabric that I rescued from the reject pile.

 What you need is a piece of fabric that when folded is half your bust plus 10-12" wide and the length of which is what you want the finished length of the top to be, plus 1.5" for shoulder seams and hem.  You also need a small piece of lace for the insert.  If you had one, one of those pre-made vintage lace inserts would be great, but sewing it in would be a little different.  You would probably applique it onto the front and cut the main body out on the inside or something.  Anyway, here's the tutorial.

I have my piece sideways as you can see, which doesn't matter as long as patterns go the right direction.

you need two measurements: Half your bust, and the length from the shoulder to the underarm.  I just measured another shirt from the shoulder seam to across from the underarm, and added a couple inches.  You want to add 2-3 inches.

So here is a diagram for the measurements.  on the bottom, "a" stands for half your bust.  "b" stands for the measurement from the shoulder to the underarm.  The neckline is a smooth curve starting four inches from the center, cutting off maybe two inches in the middle.  The lace section is completely up to you, but here I show what I did.  The rest is pretty self-explanatory.  You need to add width to the bottom, for ease (especially with a woven) and SA.  Cut the bottom of the sleeve 2.5" in, and make the curve.

When you cut out the place where the lace goes, lay it over the lace to get the right size.  you need 1.5" around the sides.

On the body, baste around the part where the lace goes, and clop corners.

Fold over and press.

Pin the lace under the folded part, and topstitch close to the edge.

Sew the top of the sleeve, ending just before the curve starts for the neckline.  Press open, and extend the pressing to the neckline, opening it up.  Pin it, and using thread that matches your lace, stitch 3/8" or so around the neck.

Sew the side seams, clip curved part, and press open.

Fold the sleeve part 1.5" or so under, and stitch.  On right side, fold 1" and press.  Stitch right in the seam of both the top shoulder and bottom side seam to secure.  

Hem bottom.

So there you have it!  I hope it will work out well for whoever wants to try it, since it's really pretty basic and can be tweaked easily.  Good luck to you!


octopus tee

a refashion made from two old tees:

Chloe was all excited!  The time these pics were taken was when I normally take her and Crosby for their walk.  Seeing me standing next to a door was more than she could handle.  She sort of messed me up though, cuz there's no really good picture of the octo.

Basically, I like the way it looks, but the neckline gathers it in a way I don't like.  It's hard to find the right length for the neckband!  If it's too long, it'll that bacon collar thing going on, if it's too short, you gather the fabric it's sewn to.  I'm thinking I'll try some different methods for attaching them...we'll see.


dress refashion


It's weird looking, very long, but free so I had it sitting around for a while. 


There was a lot of funky things going on with those sleeves.  It was going to just have spaghetti straps, but I wanted to try and do something with the original sleeves.  I don't even remember how I got those things on!  They're not very comfortable, either, and I had to put little straps in back to keep them on my arms. 

But, for all that, I think it looks cute!  And you have to love that it was free! lol


backpack attempt

yeah, I know that it's been a while.  I went on a semi-long trip and haven't quite gotten back in the groove of things.  Anyway, here is a backpack that I tried to make, but am not too thrilled with the way it turned out:

This bag is made from some of a huge men's wool coat and a leather jacket.  This is my first time sewing with leather, and though I absolutely love leather, and want to sew with it more often, I don't think I will any time soon because my sewing machines don't like it too well.  If I were to show you the inside where the flap was sewn to the back, you would understand.  Sigh!  

In the pictures, it doesn't actually look too bad.  But in person, or rather, on my body, you can see that it doesn't sit very well.  Personally, I think it's a flop.

But, never to be deterred, studying this adorable bag from Target (if you ever see someone studying one bag for ages and not buying it, that's me) has shown me the changes I need to make in the shape and construction. 

I would love to make it in a vintage floral too, but the fabric I would have used went to those pants.  But anyway, you should see another attempt at some point, when I can buy the hardware and cotton webbing 'n stuff.  We'll have to see what fabric I'll use...


linen top refashion

This is made from a thrifted linen top that I picked up for fifty cents.  It had some holes and stains, but the front was so cool and there was just enough to make a cropped top. 

I had a lot of trouble with the sleeves.  I wanted plain cap sleeves, but I had to redo them because of a silly mistake, and then I redid them too small and I couldn't lift my arms up without making them stand up all weird.  I ended up having to use an old doily to make the little inserts, but I think the lace really looks nice!


first jeans ever

It's been a little while, but I can blame the heat!  It's finally come upon us!  The hot weather totally zaps my energy when it first starts coming.

But, there's been a little break in the heat, so I've finished these pants that I've been working on.

They are sort of jeans, with the fit and the back yoke and the five pockets, but they're made of some vintage corduroy from a yard sale.  I don't know if that disqualifies them from being called jeans or what.  They're cords, anyway.

This is my first attempt at jeans, and my first successful attempt at pants from scratch.  I guess they look okay! 

This pattern is killing me.  There is still way too much fabric in the seat, even after modifying the original twice then adding the back yoke (which is supposed to help with that).  I also took it in a size from when I used it for these shorts, and then again while sewing, but they still look a little baggy, as you can see.  My goal for this pattern is to eventually have the perfect go-to base pattern for any shorts, slim trousers, and skinny pants, tailored to me, but it is slow in coming!