…You spend WAY too much time on Erica Bunker’s blog? Erica loves herself an exposed zipper, and now I do too. My mama, who spent forever teaching me how to insert an invisible zipper, would be horrified. I loved this fabric when I saw the cute little top Erica made on her blog. But I really need some summer skirts. (Yeah I know in the rest of the universe it’s almost fall, but here in Georgia summer lasts for nine months more or less. Anyway, I made a simple little A-line skirt, and I wanted it to be a bit more edgy, so I did the exposed zipper. Then I saw this skirt at Anthropologie, and loved the way the zipper is all fancy. (I probably would’ve bought the skirt, but do you see how short that thing is? I’m a little long in the tooth to wear a skirt that short, thought I might copy it at some point.) They sell those fancy zipper at Joann, but I’d already bought this zipper, and I have a ton of scrap lace and such so I just added it. I really like it a lot. It’s funny, I’ve never been much of a fashion sewist, but with my time so limited these days I like being able to finish a project in a weekend. And having something I can wear is an added bonus. I’ll take pictures when I finally wear the skirt, but my iron died last night and I need to give it a good pressing first.
During my daily visit to the Anthropologie site I came across this skirt. Isn’t it unbelievably gorgeous? And like most things at Anthro, insanely priced at $148. Even so, I probably would’ve bought it anyway, but the damned thing doesn’t come in an XL. After looking at it closely I realized it’s simply an A-line skirt which even with my limited sewing skills I can whip up pretty easily. Of course, the fabric is what makes it and I assumed it would cost $30 a yard. Which would make making it cost-prohibitive.
Imagine my amazement when I came across this fabric at Fabric.com. And it’s only $13 a yard!!! Even buying four yards is less than $60 and I already have a pattern. Plus drafting an A-line is insanely easy, it’s only three pieces a waistband and a zipper. I will have to line it, and I haven’t done that since school but it should be okay.
I have no idea why all of a sudden I can’t stop making clothes. I made a maxi dress off Mimi’s site and I made a faux wrap blouse. I’m still not happy with the blouse. I loved the fabric before a cotton jersey, but I think for work I need a dressier knit. I also made a dirndl skirt out of some wonderful chiffon I bought last year. I plan to make a knock off DVF wrap dress out of some knock-off Missoni I bought last week. Inspired by the fabulous Erica B., of course.
I don’t really have a place to sew aside for my dining room and that’s annoying when you have a toddler, but I’ve almost got him trained to keep his paws off my sewing machine, so it’s all good. My game plan is to master several fave patterns, a wrap dress, a faux wrap blouse and really well-fitting pair of pants and use those to build myself a wardrobe of stuff I love. I have never mastered pants, my mama ruined me in that respect because she was an absolute master of pants fitting. I believe with some patience though, I can get there.
For reasons I don’t even begin to understand, it’s almost impossible to find boy sewing patterns. It was Colonial Day at Luke’s school and he needed a Colonial boy costume. Normally I wouldn’t have heard about this until the day before, but for some reason this time I had advance notice. So I began looking around the internet for the makings for said costume. Well the pickings were very slim, though I did laugh my southern ass off at this blogger. I don’t know what that school was thinking expecting costumes in April. April? By April of a school year my kids are lucky if they’re fed and bathed.
I got most of my ideas from this blogger. Luke had a pair of pants that were worn through at the knee so I cut them off and made knickers per her instructions. I also did the shirt as well. I was lucky to find a tuxedo shirt at the thrift store and I just cut the cuffs off and put elastic in the sleeves. I didn’t like her idea of making a vest out of a t-shirt. Originally I had planned to just buy some fleece and make a vest from this pattern I got from this blogger. I’ve used the pattern a lot, and probably would’ve just made it longer and sewed on some buttons to make it fancy. Fleece is very forgiving and there’s no hemming involved. But since I had some time I decided to cut down a sports coat to make a vest. I liked this idea because Luke has at least one more year to wear the costume, and of course, I can use the same with Kell. This is the jacket I started with. I got it in the smallest size I could find at the thrift store.
Using the Frontier vest pattern, I traced the Frontier vest pattern on my sports coat.
As you can see here.
Then I cut it out.
Now here’s where things got tricky. Initially I’d hoped to find a nice heavy weight wool that I could just rip the lining out of, but my thrift store is kind of lame, so I had to settle for this one. The fabric was really too flimsy to take the lining out, so I had to deal with the neckline and the armholes. I folded the raw edges under and topstitched them on the machine. If it had been a real jacket instead of a costume, I probably would’ve done this by hand using a blind hemstitch. But for a costume, all that hand sewing was unnecessary.
I had to fuss a bit with the lapels, so the project took longer than I’d initially anticipated, eventually I just tacked them down with a few hand stitches to keep them in place. His socks were not long enough, next year when I do the pants I’ll make them longer. It was impossible to find longer socks, and I ran out of time because the baby got sick. What do y’all think?
Inspired by the delectable creations of Erica B. and Mimi G. I’ve been sewing a little bit here lately. I’ve known how to sew forever, but fashion sewing didn’t particularly interest me. But I bought a dress at Chico’s that cost far too much money for what it is and decided to duplicate it. Essentially it’s a long tank top. I took the dress I originally had, folded it in half and pinned it to the fabric. I didn’t even bother to make a pattern. I took in a little bit of ease in the sides, but other than that I copied it. This fabric is absolutely delicious. After Mimi set off a feeding frenzy for this fabric on her blog I discovered lowpricefabric.com. The fabric in my dress was only $5 a yard. At that price even if I totally screwed the pooch I was out of a total of $15.
I love these type of easy dresses. I like to look nice when Whit comes home, but after chasing after kids all day I don’t have time for a lot of muss and fuss. This fabric is so comfortable I can do housework in it, but still look nice at the end of the day. I was out in the yard filling the birdbath when Luke shot this picture, but with heels and a little makeup and some work on my hair I’d be ready for dinner out. These ITY knits are literally comfortable enough to sleep in, but I don’t look like an slumpadinka when Whit gets home.
I’ll probably never be all that big on fashion sewing. I’ve only got so much time and would rather spend it on quilts, but I do have a couple more projects I plan to do
I know it’s only taken forever, but keep in mind I’ve been raising two kids and have written five books in the interim! But isn’t it darling? The pattern is called Crossroads. I still have the first quilt I ever made and it’s from this pattern as well. I like it a lot. It’s very striking and graphic. I always make baby quilts at least twin bed sized so they can use it a long time. What do you guys think?
The deets: 100% fabric, mainly scraps, some from from 20s/30s retro prints. The only fabric I purchased is the red pindot and the backing. Warm & Natural all cotton unbleached batt. I didn’t pre-wash any of the fabric (insane, I know, especially with the red) but I LOVE the old timey look a quilt gets when it’s washed and the fabric shrinks a bit. It looks snuggly and lived in, so yeah, I take a big risk, and yes, I’ve had a MAJOR disaster, with BLUE of all colors!