Tag Archives: design

A Summery Dress & Some Spiky Thistle

IMG_7446When I saw this thistle on the side of the road, I thought it would make the perfect backdrop for a couple pictures. Unfortunately, a couple of pictures is all I got in because there was a sudden influx of passersby.

I tried to take one of those giant thistle flowers home with me, but there were spikes on everything, including the leaves. Yikes! I don’t think I’d ever been close enough to thistle to realize how “thistle-y” it is. Ha! My penchant for doting on weeds is becoming well-documented. I’m once again guilty of being a weed-lover, because I think thistle is really cool looking. If I could’ve taken one of the stalks home with me without getting bloody, I would’ve.

Anyway, let’s talk about the new dress…I have made this design several times over the past three years, or so (the ones below are some of the custom orders I did through my Etsy shop). It usually popped up in the form of a top, with a cowl or a split cowl. Continue reading

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In Progress – Great Gatsby Challenge Dress

IMG_20130514_125120_260Last month I mentioned that I wanted to make something inspired by my great-grandmother Coles for the Great Gatsby ’20s sewing challenge.

I meant to post my plan a couple weeks ago, but I was busy sewing up a storm. Boy, am I glad that I have until the end of this month for this challenge. I’m almost finished sewing the dress, but I plan to add beading, too. :O Continue reading

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More Unselfish Sewing

DSCN1429I have more unselfish sewing to share with you. I made a dress for my momma, using my self-drafted cowl top pattern. I’m getting pretty good at pattern grading, but it still took me a while to get the fit of the pattern right. It was well worth it though.

I took my “first draft” of the dress with me to California in February, had my mom try it on, and took notes on alterations I needed to make. I had to take most of the dress apart and resew it. I finally finished the alterations a couple of weeks ago and sent the dress to her with the dress I made for my youngest sister. Continue reading

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To the dump and back again, and again, and again

IMG_5729I haven’t posted an update about our home renovation in a LONG time, but Alex and I have been working on the house quite a but lately. We’ve been doing lots of demolition, and we’re getting very excited about seeing our vision come to life. We have set a goal to finish a large portion of the inside of the house before the warmth of spring arrives. That way we can focus on the outside of the house in the spring…

Destroying that old, nasty, moldy kitchen was invigorating!

We found another gem of a message left for us from the teenage girl who used to live here… Continue reading

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Wide Neck Dolman Top Tutorial

dolmantopI decided to split up the tutorial for this shirt and the one for the lace yoke dolman sleeve sweatshirt. I’ll post the lace yoke sweatshirt tutorial immediately after this one.

To make this top, you will need a basic shirt pattern. If you don’t have one, please see this post for how-to instructions. Grab some tracing paper, a pencil, a ruler and and an angle. Continue reading

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Reconstructed Lace Insert Shirt Tutorial

laceinserttutorialThis is the second of the three tutorials I mentioned in this post. The tutorial below explains how to make a top with lace yokes and sleeve inserts, using a large recycled turtleneck and some stretchy lace. The lace I used was in the remnant pile at Hancock, but you could probably find a lace top to recycle if you want you’re top to be made entirely from recycled materials.

It wasn’t necessary to take a picture of the shirt before because it was just a big turtleneck. So, I’ll start with an explanation of how I cut it up. Continue reading

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The Louisa Coat: Pattern and Construction Process

As I said in my previous post about this coat, I modeled it after a favorite well-worn coat that I have had for several years…

The store-bought coat is an extra-small, so it has always been difficult to wear anything too bulky underneath it in the winter. Therefore, I sized up just a tad for the pattern, to make it more like a size small.

My biggest complaint with this jacket was always the sleeves and armholes. I could hardly lift my arms in the jacket, especially when it was buttoned. It was so bad, I had difficulty extending my arms out in front of me, parallel to the ground…

There were some other changes. I widened the welt pocket opening a bit because I could hardly fit my hand into the opening on the store-bought jacket (and I have small hands). I also changed the placement of the welt pocket. Continue reading

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The Louisa Coat

Technically this was a muslin, and there are several things I will change about the pattern after making this coat, but I hope you’ll agree that this is a very wearable muslin.

The material is actually a vintage double-knit that I found at a thrift store several years ago. The pattern in the fabric is perfect for a coat. At first, I chose the material because there was plenty of it and I didn’t have plans for it otherwise. However, once I started cutting it out, I realized how perfect the material was for a coat…

The design is based on a well-worn and well-loved coat that I have had for several years.

Continue reading

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Turquoise Leopake Tie-Back Dress

I finished this reconstruction project more than a month ago, but I’d still like to show it to you….

I’ve tried to imagine what this print is actually supposed to be, but it boggles my mind.

It does seem like some sort of abstract mystery animal print. Is it supposed to be a drug-induced vision of a leopard? Or maybe a psychedelic snake? Or perhaps some sort of prehistoric bug? Maybe I’m completely off-base here, and its supposed to be interpreted as cracked dirt, or sections of cooled rock floating in molten lava….

Below are the steps in the reconstruction process. You can skip to the end if you’re only interested in the final product…. Continue reading

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Retro Floral and Lace Swimsuit

I know it’s the end of summer, but I finally finished a new swimsuit a couple of weeks ago.

\This is the first swimsuit that I have actually felt good wearing in a long time.

The material was a thrift store discovery last year. I brought it home for about $0.25 without knowing what I would use it for. Continue reading

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