Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Black and Watercolor Dress

I picked up Simplicity 3775 (oop) at Goodwill a little while ago. To my pleasant surprise, it had 93 reviews on, so I knew it was pretty good! The pattern I bought was already cut out - but for my size! Yay! I chose to do a sleeveless version with no overlay on the midriff and the surplice front.

A trip to SR Harris yielded a fantastic panel-print knit: black with what I'm calling a "watercolor" in jeweltones. I cut it with the colors on the bottom of the skirt and on the bodice. It's a very soft, somewhat thin fabric, so I doubled up layers on the bodice.

Post-workout hair, sorry.

I love it! The color is smashing and the fabric feels very luxurious. The fit is ok. It fits great everywhere except for at the bust. The front bodice could be a little longer. Live and learn!

Lots of reviewers said the dress was kind of short on them. I'm 5'3", and it hit exactly at my knee. That would make it pretty short on a lot of people.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I decided to try sewing leather on my Singer 328k. I used a leather needle, heavy-duty thread, and went slowly. It went really well! I do want to get a spare bobbin case. I think the only problems I had were all caused by the bobbin tension being a bit tight for the thicker thread. 

Now I have a new problem - how do I source affordable leather? SR Harris has bins of scraps you can buy by weight. Very affordable, but hard to find just the right thing. Maybe I'll get some $$ at Christmas and splurge on a whole hide from SR Harris. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Travel Bag

This little hanging bag is from Kwik Sew 3748. (I think it's out of print?)

A LOT of my patterns are out of print, and not just the vintage ones. I think this is because I get about 60% of my patterns at Goodwill and another 35% were grabbed up when the Hancock fabrics near my house was closing (as were they all). 

Anyway, for anyone out there who has this pattern - I like it! I only interfaced the outer fabric. The inner fabrics are quilting-weight cottons. If I ever make it, again, I'll interface everything. It feels a little wimpy, as it is. 

The hardware at the top was one of the more difficult things to find. I ended up buying a smaller, somewhat ripped-up bag at Goodwill and scavenging the hook from that. It was cheaper than anything else I could find, and had a swivel, which I hadn't seen in the two fabric stores I checked. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Padding Out My Dress Form

As a very early Christmas present, my wife bought me a dress form! It's an adjustable one from Dritz. 

I started by turning dials until the form was about 1 inch to 2 inches smaller than my measurements. 

Then, I took wide tape and covered all of the gaps.

I added a bra and padded it out a bit.

Then, it got a little weird. I made a booty for my dress form using layers of bonded quilt batting. Also, some back fluff, because, let's be honest, I have some.

Tummy fluff added.

I used plastic wrap to cinch the waist in. The angle between the bottom of my ribcage, the center of my waist, and the outward curve of my hip is very sharp, so this is actually a pretty good approximation.

Ta da! I thought about making an actual form cover, and I may, someday, but I decided that I'd rather spend my time sewing things that I will wear vs. things for my dress form to wear. T-shirt to the rescue! Bonus cat-themed skirt from semi-failed cami-sewing experiment.

It's not perfect, but it's better than just guessing. I added a pin to each bust apex, to make them easier to find.