Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Repair Work

The other day I spent all of my available sewing time doing repair work. I patched up knees on three pairs of pants, turned one pair of pants into shorts, and stitched popped seams on a teddy bear and a pillow pet. I was feeling quite accomplished and thrifty when I was done!

These pants were getting a bit on the short side (and those knees were looking pretty worn), so I decided to make them into shorts.

pants to shorts 1

Rather than try to make a nice finished edge myself, I cut off the original cuffs and reused them.

pants to shorts 2

Here's my goofball showing off his "new" shorts.

pants to shorts 3

Then I patched up a few left knees on his jeans. That's right- only the left ones get holes. We know which knee he favors for sliding around on the floor.

knee repair 1

For the pair on the left, I used the same technique as I did on these pants. It's held up pretty well, although that pair of pants was on my repair pile too. He managed to rip them again below the original patch. This time I tried a grid of straight lines in a bright blue thread (but I don't know that you can see it in the photos!).

knee repair 2

I especially like the circuit fabric I used to patch these jeans. And I think it will look even better after they've been through the wash a few times and the edges fray a bit more. He calls them his Transformer pants, which I think is pretty cool. :) He asked if I could put that fabric on all his pants. I'm sure it will only be a matter of time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Shirt... For ME!

I've been inspired by the Spring Top Sewalong to try sewing clothing for myself for a change. Not since that pair of 4-H project gym shorts I made back when I was 12 have I sewn a piece of clothing for myself. I believe I used a Bugs Bunny print for those ill-fitting shorts. Ah, high fashion.
[*I should say, I haven't sewn anything for myself from a pattern since I was 12. I did make those Christmas pajama pants, but I don't really count tracing around an existing pair of pants as real garment sewing.]

summer tank 1

I started with the Summer Blouse pattern in Weekend Sewing, but there were lots of modifications along the way. Not planned modifications, but necessary ones due to unforeseen problems and my lack of apparel sewing knowledge. First off, even though I bought the yardage called for in the pattern, I didn't have enough fabric for the sleeves so the shirt became a tank. Then after trying it on, I felt like it was a bit short so I added the yellow band at the bottom. Adding the band affected the drape of the shirt and the sides stuck out and made me look like a big ol' triangle. I ended up taking it in more than 2" on both sides. My seam ripper has never seen more action.

But the good news is that I've made a wearable grown-up shirt! And it's all a learning experience, so the next time I try to sew myself something will be easier... right??!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why I Wanted an iPhone...

So I could get one of these cases!

cross stitch iphone case 1

It gave me a reason to use colors from this beautiful set of floss.

cross stitch iphone case 2

I've had the case for a few weeks and just couldn't decide on a design I wanted to stitch. I used EQ7 to work up some of my ideas. Not the program's intended use, but still fun! And it's much less time-consuming than trying to work out a bunch of designs on graph paper. I made a quilt layout with the same number of blocks as the phone case had cross stitch spaces (for mine, it was 22 wide x 43 high).

cross stitch iphone case 4

Now to see how long the stitching holds up on an object that's going to have lots of wear and tear. If it doesn't last, at least I'll have an excuse to make another one!

cross stitch iphone case 3

Sunday, April 1, 2012

ltts sew along: tea party doll dress

So here it is, the last month of the Little Things to Sew sew along *sniff, sniff*. I've really enjoyed this sew along month after month. I've never made so many projects from one book, and the monthly deadlines gave me the extra push I sometimes need to get things done. And of course I liked being a part of a little sewing community, as I don't know too many sewists in "real life". Doesn't everyone seem to say that on their blogs? Where are we all hiding with our sewing machines?? Anyway, a big thank you to Jessica at A Little Gray for organizing this wonderful sew along!

Since we already have an explorer-type vest that was purchased during A's Dino Dan phase, and has not been touched in ages, I decided to make the Tea Party Doll Dress this month. I had fabric left over, so I made it to match K's birthday dress.

doll dress 1

Isn't it cute? Now I wanna splurge on the actual tea party dress pattern for K. That flared hem is just adorable. Luckily K has an American Doll-esque doll (thank you, Target!) that this dress fits perfectly.

doll dress 2

And here's the birthday girl and her doll in their matching dresses. She had a wonderful party with her family!

doll dress 3