Saturday, August 23, 2014

Black shirt + cat shirt = cat gym shirt refashion

Cat shirt refashion

Thanks for all your comments about my black and white stretch lace tank for the gym.  I like that I've inspired some readers to try making some gym tanks of their own.  Why not look good while working out--and in your own-sewn tanks?     (I won't make gym pants, it's too easy to buy the Everlast ones at Sears and they fit me well.  I have been having trouble finding gym skirts, though, so I might need to make one....or just see if Marshall's has any.)

Oh, and about my red Vogue dress--I wore it today for the third time and I definitely need to do something about the armholes/bust.  I left room so I could make the bust area wider, though this will require a bit of finesse with my bound armholes.  It feels a bit risky but I think I can redo what I undo if necessary.  Fixing it will make me feel more confident while wearing it.

Soooo...I bought myself this cat shirt (above)  for the gym, for Christmas in 2012, from an etsy seller.  It was one of those "unisex" shirts; i.e. boxy and shapeless, but I loved the graphic. (If the seller had women's fit, I would have bought it.)

I thought I'd "take it in a bit" to make it less boxy and more shapely.  I took it in too much by, ahem, cutting it first, and because I had cut it, there was no going back.  I reported it like this on my blog.  Here's the visual:
t-shirt refashion
I was super frustrated.  It was supposed to be an easy refashion and I messed it up.
But I still loved the cat graphic.  Into the magic closet it went.

Soooo...18 months later I decided "I can do this".

I bought a t-shirt from JCP.
I cut out the cat face.
Cat shirt refashion

I pressed the cat face and the shirt with my Elna press.
I'm still loving my Elna press, btw.
And I still don't know who I am, doing all this pressing.  I press everything, even patterns, like you're supposed to, I know, but I was not much of a rules follower when it came to sewing.

Ok, back to the point.
I taped the cat face to the shirt.  I know I could have done this in a multitude of other ways but I was feeling confident.
Cat shirt refashion

I then sewed the face to the shirt with black thread.

I pressed again.  I know.  I also know the edges will curl with the first washing, but that's ok.  I wasn't going for applique here.  It will look fine with curled edges.  (I got that idea from a RTW gym shirt that has a frog on it, and frog's mouth is a piece of fabric stitched on, raw edges ablaze with wild unfinished abandon).

Now it looks like this:
Cat shirt refashion
And it looks like this on Izzy:
Cat shirt refashion

And it looks like this on me:

Cat shirt refashion

I went to the gym 4x last week during vacay (and made 2 tanks + this refashion) so I could have worn it before this post but I had not taken the pictures yet.  This means I have no classmate reactions, but I don't know if anyone will say anything about this. And I really wanted to take the pictures before wearing it--you know what I mean?  So I think this will be worn to balletone on Wednesday (on Monday I will wear a new lacey tank to boogietone--I plan to blog about it on Monday night).  Fingers crossed.

Cat shirt refashion
Cat shirt refashion
Crazy shot of the day

pink WF hibiscus
The pink Whole Foods hibiscus is in bloom today.  Aloha!!!

Be well!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

B&W gym tank, Simplicity 9776-ish

Simplicity 9776-ish

Thanks for your comments about the red dress, I really enjoyed reading them.  (Rose, I enjoyed how you called it "Kyle Red".  I think red and turquoise (separately, not together) are my best colors and I need to sew with them more.)  I wore the dress again today and I really enjoyed wearing it.  Definitely want to make it again, but need to cut the armholes deeper for sure.  It's a little too tight under the arms.

Soooo....I'm on vacay this week.  Is there anything more glorious than a summer vacation???   On Saturday I made this tank as I wanted some new gym wear.  I made my first tank for the gym last summer after taking "More Knits", a PR online class, where a tiny little tank was sewn to teach us how to sew FOE.   I was hooked, but I had no other pieces of stretch lace at the time.  Since then I've bought a few pieces of stretch lace, ahem.  And I've worn that tank almost once a week for the past year!  The lace is looking a bit worn but I'll keep wearing it til it disintegrates.

Simplicity 9776-ish
For my new tank, both fabrics (stretch lace and white knit underlining) are from Stitched Fabrics, purchased during PR weekend Austin earlier this year.  The FOE is from Pacific Trimming, purchased during MPB Day this year.  Yes, items that have been in stash less than 4 months, yahoo!!!
close up of black stretch lace with white knit underlining
Closeup shot of the black stretch lace with white knit underlining

I cut the tank on the cross grain, which was the stretchiest direction, and also allowed me to take advantage of the selvedge to use it as the bottom edge.
Simplicity 9776-ish

I wore it to 5pm boogietone today (basically 45 minutes of club, latin and other styles of dancing, you can choose the intensity but I usually go for it) and it held up well.  I feel like I could sew it a bit tighter for a closer fit, like it's slightly too loose, but I'll wear it a few more times before making that final determination.  My gym friend Sara, who continues to be a huge sewing cheerleader of mine, really loved it.

Simplicity 9776-ish
I also feel like it could be a bit lower on my chest, or maybe the tank should be shorter?  Something about the proportion doesn't seem quite right.  However, another one of my classmates asked me if I've lost weight (I haven't), so something must be right about this top.

Simplicity 9776-ish
I think I'm continually amazed at how slow I am at sewing.  I'm thinking "this will take me one hour" and I think it was almost 4 (includes everything from tracing the pattern onto swedish tracing paper so I could cut it single layer to serger rethreading to final press--yes, I pressed the seams of a stretch lace tank top and yes it made a difference!)

Simplicity 9776-ish

I basted it first  with a narrow zig zag on my sewing machine then serged the interior seams, then used the zig zag stitch on the FOE as I learned in the PR "More Knits" class.   There are no loving pictures of the inside of this tank as my serger really hacked it up; I have since figured out the correct settings (more on that in my next post about the next tank I made).

Simplicity 9776-ish
This picture is a riot.
hibsicus 8/21/14

I didn't get to plant any flowers this year, but I did manage to use a gift card from my friend Meg to buy two hibiscus plants from that famous nursery, Whole Foods.  Here is one of them, which bloomed with flowers that were sometimes orange and sometimes red.   The other one will bloom either tmw or Saturday and I'll get a picture of it as it's pink.

God-cat owner Christine wanted to know what's up with the soap in the pot.  It's Irish Spring and is initially quite fragrant--it deters the deer from eating the hibiscus which are delicious.  Deer don't like strong scents, or so says the internet, and it seems to work.

Be well!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vogue 8571 Red Dress Done!

Vogue 8571 DONE
So...let's recap.

I picked up the pattern at MPB Day 2013 last year
and thought it would be fun to wear it to MPB Day this year.
I finished it 5 days after MPB Day 2014 occurred, oops!
Vogue 8571 DONE
I purchased this fabric in San Diego at a swap meet last November with Elizabeth.  It has crosswise and lengthwise stretch.  It is a stretchy and synthetic, the kind of fabric I love because it means little-to-no wrinkles!!

Yes, the color is the same as the pattern envelope, in a case of "let's make exactly the same dress as shown on the pattern cover"

Vogue 8571 DONE
I really love the gathers in the back and the front.

Vogue 8571 DONE
The mug shot

My usual work photog and my backup work photog were both out of the office on Friday, so I had to ask another coworker.  She picked this conifer as "it's a scary looking tree."

My boss said, "it looks more complicated than what you usually make."

If there was something I could angst over, I did. I started out with a 14 bodice but after my initial runthrough I recut it as an 8 in the shoulders and neckline to effectively bring it up an inch.  Previous posts showed how the bodice was overall too long.  but I think I should have scooped the armholes a bit. I cut the side seams as 12 initially, but honestly who knows what size they are now.  I really struggled with the fit and resewed the side seams many times.  The skirt had too much volume in the front but looked ok from the back.  I took a triangle shaped wedge out of the front side seams which reduced the skirt volume but now the back shows from the front.

I also took a 1.5" swayback adjustment out of the skirt, which was probably too much, I futzed with the gathering too much,  I undid and redid the side seams multiple times, even taking out serger stitches.   I had trouble with serger tension when I sewed the side seams.  The first time they looked great, but the second time I forgot the DF and it was a wavy mess, blah blah blah.

I did bind the armholes using Amanda's method  of using bias tape to finish and that worked out pretty well.  It's just that I should have scooped the armholes more after reducing the shoulder-to-pit length by an inch.

Vogue 8571 DONE
Vogue 8571
On Izzy the day after I wore it
Vogue 8571
Inside out
Vogue 8571
My "signature"
Vogue 8571
Close-up of the gathers
Vogue 8571
Serged raw edge, then blind can see the texture of the fabric really well here.
Buddy and Izzy and Vogue 8571
My god-cat and Izzy.

Overall I love the dress and wonder why this one didn't catch on in the sewing blogger world when it was released in 2009.

I am on staycation now and have sewn 2 lace tanks for the gym and refashioned 2 shirts into one for the gym. I want to make this dress again in aqua blue and I'm hoping it will go faster next time....but I won't do it this week.  There are a few "easy" items I want to make....let's see how it goes!  I will be blogging them one-by-one for maximum reading pleasure.

Be well!

Monday, August 11, 2014

MPB Day 2014 Recap: A celebration of all things Peter Lappin

I. love. this. photo!  I stole it from Suzanne's Instagram--thank you Beau Baby!

This was my third MPB Day.   It was the largest and the most man-filled MPB Day ever, as Peter pointed out in his recap.

I had a rough night the night before and felt terrible when I woke up.  I thought about skipping the event entirely, but then I read a comment on my Friday night post from Mae who said she's in Australia and wished she could go.  So I dragged myself out of bed and went partly for her, a woman I've never met from a place I've never been, because I could go if I just got over myself.  And I'm so glad I did!

I wore Vogue 1351 that I made last summer (since I didn't finish my MPB Day dress on time) and carried this bag I made last November.

I did a little pre-MPB Day shopping at the City Quilter, then joined the group at the FIT Museum where we saw "Exposed", an exhibit about the history of lingerie.  There I ran into Tomasa, aka TJSews on PR.  I hadn't seen her since PR Weekend NYC 2012, and it was great to spend the day with her!

We all ate lunch at Panera, where Kathy of spottedroo joined us with her newborn and her sister.  I'm sorry we didn't get to talk more or get a picture, as I've read her blog a very long time and enjoyed it so much!  And I met Enrique of Enrique Sews.  What a talented guy--sewing his own dress shirts and skinny ties at night after he spends his days working on cars.  I also met Paula of Getting Things Sewn--she was the woman with the index cards with her fabric swatches in Peter's recap!!  We dumped, I mean swapped, our unwanted patterns right there on the second floor of Panera.  I brought my friend's unwanted patterns and took!  (well, maybe "win for me" as I'm guessing poor Michael had to drag the remainder home.)

Me with the King of Sewing Blogs, Mr. MPB himself
Crowding around Mr MPB post-Panera, to give directions for the afternoon
Tomasa and me with the garment worker. Tomasa just posted her first blog post, on why she sews. Great topic--I might have to cover that in a blog post of my own as it's a topic I struggle with every time I have trouble fitting.
My chunky metal zipper, cut to 60cm for the Maria Denmark Lotta Bag, descends from the second floor at Pacific Trim
Reach for the zipper! Reach!  Pacific Trimming is my favorite store on the planet, but the lack of a/c makes for a brief visit in the summer.
The scene at Paron, everything was 40% off and I wanted it all but showed shocking restraint. If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that buying only 2 pieces of fabric *is* shocking restraint.
Tomasa only bought one piece of fabric, this green Irish Linen at Paron's she saw on a prior trip.
Loved this description!!
I know, I know, more blue non-wrinkly non-natural fiber fabric was purchased! But it wasn't a ponte knit and it has amazing drape.

Anyway, Tomasa and I hit up Paron (twice, I had to go back for a second piece of fabric), Pacific Trimming, Daytona Trim, SIL Thread, and, um, was that it?  We also tried to find my favorite chocolate shop near Bryant Park but it was gone!  I didn't go to Mood this trip but heard that Tim Gunn had been there that day.    Rats!  We finished off the day at Bryant Park, where more peeps than ever from the original morning group met up to show off purchases and recount the day.  Peter is correct; stamina is increasing with every MPB Day.

My purchases.  The green tag had my shopping list and swatches of stretch lace, for color matching FOE.

I'm going to make a denim jacket and these compass shank buttons from Pacific Trimming are perfect.  I didn't want the boring star ones...

Black tailoring wax (which looks gigantic without scale) and square snaps that I have been coveting since PR Weekend 2012 from Daytona Trim.

I wonder what musical this is from...I guess I could google it...Peter gave us a list of stores on the back of sheet music.  The lyrics on mine start out innocent but become a bit risque....

Thank you Peter for getting the sewing community together in this way every year!  and thank you for all your sewing inspiration all year long!

Be well!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seriously, getting closer.

The finish line is in sight.
Just need to hand sew the facing to the interior and it'll be done.
This one is more of a wearable muslin than the amazing perfection I was hoping for, but I want to make it again, in aqua blue, and hopefully the whole thing will go faster next time.

I can probably wear this one to work but not to any sewing meetups.  You know what I mean.

See you during the week, for a recap of MPB Day and the grand finale of this dress.

Be well!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

V8571, still not done....

You're probably thinking, it doesn't look any different from last time...but it is different!!

I worked on the dress for hours tonight and it's still not done.

I was really struggling with the gathers, then with the fit.    And then I somehow forgot the setting on my serger to make nice side seams so the side seam was stretched out and puckered and  terrible and I had to unpick the whole seam. Always write down the serger settings!!!

The armholes are now bound; the facing is sewn to the neckband but the understitching looks terrible so after working almost non-stop on this dress tonight from 5:05 til 9:45pm I decided to stop there.  I can't unpick the understitching and re-understitch and hand sew the facing to the neckband inside and figure out the serger settings for a nice side seam serge and cut the bottom appropriately and then blind hem it all by 8:50am tmw.

I'll wear my favorite Vogue 1351  instead to MPB Day.

See you there, maybe??

p.s. god-cat says hello!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

More Vogue 8571 + cat + new-to-me patterns

Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday
Sooooo....continuing on......unhemmed, unbound neckline and armholes....
Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday
Swayback solved
Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday

You're not seeing the full front-head-on-view because it's very wide somehow.  I think I probably need to come in another half inch on each side and then it'll be good.

Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday
I think I'm not touching the bodice though (I have now serged the insides), so I can bind the armholes and also install the neckline facing. Then I'll probably baste the sides from the empire seamline down and see how it looks and see if I need to shave off some more SA. Then hem.
Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday

Yes, I sure know how to make a simple dress into an epic project.
Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday
I spent a large amount of time today obsessing over those gathers.  Cranking up the needle tension to 6 on my serger helped get the gathers I generally wanted.

The good news is I'm taking Wednesday off, so I think I can finish it then.  Or maybe even work on it a little each night this week.

I loved your guesses as to why I want to get this dress done before next Saturday.  Vanessa was the closest with her "special event" guess.  It's because I'm wearing it to MPB Day!  Or hope to, barring any missteps.  I need to make my list of notions to buy on Saturday.

Vogue 8571 continuing on Sunday

In other news, my god-cat is here, and he came bearing the patterns he was unable to sell at his yard sale!  How sweet of him!!  Many of the patterns were new-to-me but some I had sewn up, ha ha.

I have now cat proofed the sewing room, or so I think.  Lots of dangers for a cat in a sewing room, for sure.  Trumbelina, to steal someone else's cat & sewing joke, Buddy is my largest pattern weight.

Be well!