Thursday, April 18, 2013

Don't Try This at Home...Or Do

I've used several marking tools over the years.  My first sewing teachers taught us to use the transfer paper for marking darts.  My mom used a special white pencil for marking.  My teacher in college showed us that we could mark the dots with thread that could be removed later.  This worked especially well if the garment was sheer or if I didn't want the markings to show from the other side.  Six months ago, I tried the Mark-B-Gone pen, but it dried up so quickly, I regret the $4 I spent on it.

Lately, I open up my desk drawer and take out whatever marker strikes my fancy.  Today it was a Sharpie.

My fabric is thick and dark enough that it won't show through.  I don't have to worry about the markings fading or rubbing off (as with chalk).  Most of the sewing gurus would not agree, but this is my easy free solution...and it works!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My $2 Nautical Dress - Vogue 8667

A few weeks ago I was searching the racks at Goodwill and found a gem in the linens section.  This stable knit was hanging there with a $4 price tag, just begging to be taken home.  I took all 3 yards to the register and got it half off for $2. This double knit is soft and stretchy. 

I decided to use Vogue 8667, a wovens pattern, because some people on have had success using it with double knits.

I cut it out and sewed most of it in an evening.  I used clear elastic to reinforce the shoulder and waist seams.  I took it in a bunch at the side seams and center back, and it fits like a glove.  I think I brought the neckline up, but now I can't really remember.

I was going to take pictures outside, but we just got 8" of snow last night.  It's chilly!

Hmm...didn't know that the back bodice bunched a bit in this picture.  I wonder if it's just the way I'm standing or if the fit needs adjusting.

I used my twin needle to finish the sleeve edges and skirt hem edge.  I folded the neckline over 1/2" and also finished it with the twin needle.  I'm glad I took a risk instead of doing a facing.   It would have just added bulk.

Dude!  It's time for spring.  Look at those white legs!  Why do we keep getting snow?!  We're getting another storm tomorrow.  I forgot to take down my snowflake ballerinas.  One of them makes an appearance in these pictures.  In other news, the hem looks flawless.  Oh, how I love stable knits!

 This is probably the first dress I've made that is a basic.  I can dress it up or down.  I can wear it with a brown belt and boots or red heels and a long necklace.  I can wear it with a cardigan in colder weather.  I could probably even wear it with cute white Keds.

I removed 3/8" at center front and back to account for the stretchiness of the knit.  I can fit into this dress without a zipper, so I omitted that. 

I wasn't crazy about the way the back bodice distorts the sleeves, pulling them back.  I sewed this dress in a woven last winter and it was a disaster.  With the woven, it felt like the fit of the sleeve was cutting off my circulation.  Thank goodness for forgiving knits!  This dress is sooo comfy.  If I use this pattern again, I'm going to try to fix the sleeve issue.  Other people on complained of this problem.

Here are some other examples of how to accessorize a navy-striped dress:


Red lips, shoes and purse:

I love the idea of adding a red belt:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Time to Sew, Not to Blog

Today is the first day off I've had to sew in a while.  So, instead of blogging, I'll be stitching!  Here's a little quote I put together on PicMonkey.  You're welcome to it, as well.

This quote reminds me that my life isn't as hard or serious as I think it is.  When I get a free moment, I'll be printing it out to fit in my empty 4x6 frame.  Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, April 1, 2013

UPDATE: APRIL FOOLS!!! How To Super-Shrink Clothing

THIS IS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE.  I COULDN'T RESIST!  If you keep reading I'll tell you how I really 'shrunk' my sweatshirt.

I always hate it when I find a piece of clothing, put it on, and realize it no longer fits.  Now, instead of giving it to Goodwill, I can super-shrink it!

My old hoodie:
Mix this together:
2 Tb. Hand Sanitizer
1 Tb. Astringent
1 t. Hydrogen Peroxide
3 cups water

Mix it thoroughly in a bowl, so it will shrink evenly.  Then, poor the mixture over your garment and soak it completely.

Find a cord from an appliance that runs on AC, and that gets warm but not hot.  Wrap your wet garment up in saran wrap and coil it with the cord.  I used my vacuum cord.
(Do not actually try this.  It will not produce the desired results.)

(Do not actually try this.  It will not produce the desired results.)
Plug the device into the wall.  While it is on, it will make a magnetic field.  My husband is a physicist, he said something about the AC current and the magnetic field, I didn't get it.  The point is, it helps to shrink it.  Leave it there for 10 minutes, then remove from the plastic and the cord and place it in the wash.

Wash and dry it on the hottest setting.  After you put it in the dryer, the shrinking process will be complete.  If your garment is not small enough, you can do it again until it produces desired results.

So cute, right?  Now I just need to find a doll or small child in need of a tiny sweatshirt.  I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.  Let me know if you give it a whirl!

Update: I 'shrunk' my sweatshirt by making it into an infant sized shirt.  I removed the zipper with a seam ripper and salvaged the ribbing and fabric.  I even used the edges of the pocket and just sized them down.  
It was not until after it was finished that my husband suggested I should turn it into an April Fool's Joke.  Good thing I had already taken a 'before' picture of my sweatshirt!  Someday soon, I will share with you the pattern I created and a tutorial on how I made this mini sweatshirt.

This is one of my favorite sweatshirts, and it had gotten too small for me, so I'm glad I could turn it into something useful.