Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sew much to do, so little time...

This weekend was lovely -- not in terms of the weather (we're still waiting for the sun to appear), but in terms of slowing down and doing some things that we enjoy.  The Teenager did what he does every weekend, so it's nothing new for him, but Honey was able to devote some time to bottling the current vintage of wine and I was able to do a bazillion sewing projects.

Confession: I am a terrible seamstress.
Confession #2: Every other year or so I go on a sewing blitz. (And yes, that does mean that things are destroyed and general havoc is wreaked upon the local villagers as I obsessively use the Miracle Machine, aka a Singer.)
Confession #3: This house is currently suffering from a sewing blitzkrieg. Fabric and elastic and thread has taken over the dining table with lightening speed and is pushing forward without regard to my flank (as you'll see later), catching me off-guard and defenseless.

I blame Pinterest for part of this current battlefield.  It is a completely addicting site and I see so many cool projects every night that I want to do everything (except, of course, the things I'm supposed to do, like work and cook and clean and all that).

This weekend I made a number of things based off tutorials created by master blogger-seamstresses.  Needless to say, they made everything look really easy!  I ended up spending half my time ripping seams, but that is my Normal.

Projects completed this weekend:
  • T-shirt dresses (2)
  • Twirly skirts (2)
  • Eye masks (2 +)
  • Laundry bag
  • Shoe saver
  • "Pencil" skirt
  • Tunic shirt from man's dress shirt
  • All the mending that's been piling up (wait, strike that, I just realized I finished Honey's mending and forgot my own...maybe I need to move this bullet to the next category)
Projects attempted and discarded for something for fun:
  • Refashioning a large skirt into a dress
  • Finishing a rag quilt
  • More skirts
  • Finishing the t-shirt quilt
I did not take pictures of everything.  Maybe I should?  I just didn't want to stop for any reason!  Thankfully, I have links to all of the wonderful tutorials so that you can at least get an idea of what I did.

My first project of the weekend was the refashioned tunic shirt.  I got the idea from a tutorial on Domestic Deadline.  The shirt was something I found at the local thrift store for $1.  I think that it was some guy's working shirt in a previous life -- plaid and soft with a bit of caulking on the sleeve.  The tunic looks okay (no picture, maybe some day), but I forgot to leave room for my rather ample hips, so it's not perfect. Thankfully I have another shirt I picked up for $1, so I'll be trying this again.

My next attempt was a twirly skirt.  I love this idea, but I must warn people: if you must hem, as I must because I live without a serger, then it takes a lot longer.  Or maybe I should say that if you are sewing-challenged it takes longer.  The first skirt that I made looks okay as long as I wear a shirt long enough to cover the elastic.  I also broke two needles trying to stretch the elastic.  Bad idea.  I ended up getting better elastic (only 1.5" and very stretchy) and some thin jersey material and whipped out a better skirt in under 30 minutes, start to finish.  I don't have pictures of either of these, but please check out the excellent tutorial by Dana on her "Made" blog and you can at least see what I attempted to do.  For those of you who are gifted seamstresses, this skirt really is fun to wear, so I definitely encourage trying it.

My dining room table is too large for a tablecloth, and I really don't understand tablecloths anyway.  Why put something on the table that I will just have to wash after every meal?  That doesn't stop me from buying a tablecloth at a thrift store.  My reasoning was this:  "Ooo! Pretty!"  And so I've had this sitting around, convinced that it had a higher purpose in life.  This weekend I found that purpose: skirts.  The tablecloth was less than $6.  Do you know how many skirts I can get out of this much material?  The answer is many.  I made two this weekend and still have plenty of fabric.  Okay, true confession: I made three skirts this weekend, but the first was very long and bulky and Honey said I looked like our former neighbors, the Old Believers, so that skirt was a dud.  Instead, I decided to make my own version of an easy pencil skirt: measure hips, cut fabric that width, sew together, sew a pocket for elastic, insert elastic: done.  I didn't hem because I used the tablecloth hem.  Yes, I am that lazy.

I made two t-shirt dresses based on the tutorial that I found at Elle Apparel.
I used an old tank top that I loved and matched it with a pit of fabric that I love.  Note: please remember to leave space for your hips.  I did not do that with this first attempt -- and probably wouldn't have had enough fabric for that anyway -- and so this is very tight and bunches at the waist.  I'll probably still wear it and have it be an incentive to lose those pesky ten pounds that crept back into my life this year. (See what I mean about "without regard for my flank"? Damn you, sewing blitzkrieg! **shakes fist in air**)

The second attempt was better. I used a shirt that Honey loves but I don't wear because it was too short.  The skirt fabric is part of the old tablecloth.  I also gave it some ties so that I could make it big enough to flow over my hips but still pull it tighter around my waist.  This dress is going with me to Vietnam -- the fabric doesn't wrinkle.

Honey's needed a cloth bag for shoes for all the business travel, so I took and old tshirt and the idea that I found on the Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business blog (I wonder if that title comes from Arrested Development?) and tried a shoe bag.

I didn't realize that Honey wanted one bag per shoe, so we repurposed the first bag for use as a travel laundry bag and I actually followed the cut-the-tshirt-in-half instructions and made two smaller shoe bags. The best part is that I had shoelaces in my misc. sewing stash (for whatever reason -- I have no idea) and they made great drawstrings!

Last, but not least, I made an eye mask for me and one for Honey.  But I think I'll actually post a tutorial on that later...once I take pictures...

1 comment:

  1. love those dresses! might have to give it a go too!


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