Friday, October 31, 2014

DIY Halloween Costumes: The Best Of

Happy Halloween!  I have no exciting plans this year but I thought it would be fun to share some of my better DIY Halloween costumes from previous years.

Halloween 2013 - Loofa:

My boyfriend Bruce (the one I crocheted a hat for) was soap on a rope and I was an adorable - if I do say so myself - loofa.  I used the leftover tulle from my Design Wars/Project Pink Competition Entry dress to make this costume.  I ended up having to buy more, which sort of defeated the purpose, but my costume was wicked cute, so whatever.  And I bought a home dec trim from Jo-Ann Fabrics to use as the loofa string.

For Bruce's costume I ironed white SOAP letters onto one of his white t-shirts and he tied a rope around his waist.  He actually wore that shirt around for months after Halloween and it just looked like a plain t-shirt.  Not much of a costume, but pretty practical in the long run.

I ended up leaving my giant loofa costume in the back seat of my car for months until Bruce finally took it to the dump.

Halloween 2011 - Pikachu:

I bought a men's large t-shirt, stuck my shoulders through the neck, and tied the sleeves in the back to make the dress.  (I learned that at college; the sorority girls would do that with their Arizona shirts for football games.  It makes a pretty flattering dress.  I wore a pink version of this dress under my loofa costume from 2013.)  I made the Pikachu ears using bunny ears from a party store.  I cut off the fluff and covered them in felt.

And I even found another Pikachu at the bar!  He said his costume was better because his had a tail but, let's be real, I was way cuter.

Halloween 2009 - Red Solo Cup:

I was a red solo cup and my friend was ping pong balls and together we were beer pong.  This was probably my most labor intensive Halloween costume ever.

I bought a trashcan, spray paint, and a rope at Home Depot.  I got a frat guy to cut off the bottom of the trash can with an electric saw, I spray painted it red, used some white acrylic paint laying around the sorority house for the trim, used Sharpie for the lettering, and tied the rope to the trash can handles.  People threw trash at me all night.  It was terrible.

 Halloween 1999 - Pokemon Card:

I guess I really like Pokemon costumes.  I made this all by myself, hence the terrible artwork.  (Which hasn't improved much in the past 15 years, by the way.)  I wore a sweet poster board sandwich board type thing.  It was awesome.

Halloween 1999 - Clown:

My first Halloween.  To be fair, my mom is the one who "made" this one.  As in, she made a few pom poms and attached them to my onesie pajamas, shoes, and a BIRTHDAY HAT.  Mom...what???  Who just has a spare birthday hat laying around?  And that face paint is truly bizarre.

I wish I had better photos of my costumes, because they were pretttttttty sweet.  I'm not dressing up this year, but hopefully next year Bruce and I will have an awesome couples costume situation going on.  

Speaking of Bruce, my next post contains some exciting news...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blue Wrap Competition Entry

I am the worst blogger ever.  It has been almost two months since my last post.  Although I have been very busy...Details and exciting news in my next post!

So anyway, last spring I entered a competition at school where students had to design and sew a garment using surgical blue wrap from a local hospital.  I won Most Wearable!  The competition entries were on display at the school library for Earth Week.

The blue wrap is a stiff bonded fabric that doesn't fray, which is why I decided to design something with scallops.  I didn't need to worry about facings or anything and the stiffness of the blue wrap held the shape of the scallops well.  The blue wrap can't be ironed, so it would have been impossible to sew the scallops in the traditional way with facings and linings and whatnot.

I used the pattern from my Colorblocked Shift Dress as a starting point for the bodice of this dress.  I took the pattern in at the waist and I drafted a basic two-dart pencil skirt for the light blue underskirt.  For the scalloped skirt overlay, I closed out the waist darts, which added some flare at the side seams to give it an a-line shape.  Here's a shot of Sox with my pencil skirt pattern pieces:

I also used the scallop pattern piece from my Colorblocked Shift Dress as the stencil for the scallops on this dress.

I winged it a lot with this project and it worked in my favor.  I sort of just threw the scallop pattern over the bodice front and traced the shape.  I did the same for the back.  Usually I overthink things and focus too much on details and on doing things "the right way" and I think my projects would go more smoothly if I winged it a little more. I got the scallops on the skirt to line up perfectly at the side seam with barely any work.  I think I would have been unsuccessful if I had worried about the scallops too much.

I used facings to finish the armscyes.  Side note: this is not a perfect zipper because I had to re-cut that back piece and I had to pull out the zipper and sew it back in.  It was a whole thing.

But look at how perfectly the scallops line up at the side seam!

I made a little slash with an exacto knife for the buttonhole on the back and covered the button with the light blue wrap.  The back waist looks crooked, but that's just the way it's sitting on the dressform.  I had issues with the bodice back pieces bunching and sitting oddly and I was on a deadline and didn't have time to fool around with it too much, so they aren't sewn to the skirt.

Sox was adorable - per usual - and made a fort out of the blue wrap:

I just realized I never blogged about my dressform.  I got it a year ago when I was taking Draping at school.  I got it from The Shop Company.  I was going to post about it to let the other sewing bloggers know about the high quality and affordability of the dressforms and then I forgot.  And then a bunch of other bloggers got The Shop Company's dressforms like six months later and there were all kinds of coupon codes on their blogs.  Boo.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Crochet Crop Top

Crochet tops, especially cropped ones, are in right now.  I love myself a good crop top and I know how to crochet, so I've decided to embrace the trend.

For this top I used the left over yarn from my Crochet Scalloped Top.  It's Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight yarn in Rosehip.

Total Cost: $11.96

I knew I had to crochet a second top out of this yarn because I bought a coral bandeau to match my Scalloped Top and it seemed like it would be a more sound investment if I had two articles of clothing to wear with it.

I modified this pattern which is available for free on the Red Heart yarn website:

The construction details and whatnot are on my Ravelry Project Page.

Sox was particularly helpful with this project:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rick Rack Romper + Fashion Show Photos

I am the worst blogger ever.  I finished this romper in April for the student fashion show at school (which I also neglected to post about), didn't take photos until mid-July, and didn't write the blog post until August.  The photos of my garments from the fashion show at the bottom of this post.

This is a self-drafted pattern.  I drafted the pattern and sewed this up in like 4 days in order to have it done by the fashion show.  That's wicked fast for me because I am literally the slowest sewer on the planet.  My mother says I could never be on Project Runway.

The fabric is a mint Symphony Broadcloth, a polyester/cotton blend quilting fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  The polyester prevents the fabric from wrinkling the way that most quilting cottons do, which is why I chose it.  The lining is a rayon challis I ordered online from Hancock Fabrics (the same fabric I used to line my Colorblocked Shift Dress) and there's an invisible zipper in the side seam.

Total Cost: $11.48

  • Fabric: $2.99
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Rick Rack: $1
  • Zipper: $1.50

This romper looks a little tight around the bust, but I didn't notice it until I looked at this pictures.  It also looks a like it's pulling a bit at the seam lines, but it looks better in real life.  I feel like I say that in every blog post, but it's true.

To draft the bodice I took measurements of one of my RTW rompers as a basic starting point and made changes to the fit and style lines from there.  I also used McCall's #6439 as a reference, which is the pattern I used for my Turquoise Striped Dress.  The fit was way off so the pattern wasn't really all that helpful, but I liked having a commercial pattern to look at to make sure my pattern wasn't doing something crazy.

I used the pattern from my self-drafted Black High-Waisted Shorts as a block for the romper shorts.  Since the black shorts were made from a stretch denim and the fabric I used for this romper doesn't have any stretch, I added 1/2" to the side seam and inseam.  I dropped the crotch 1/2" as directed in my patternmaking book.  I raised the waistline 1 1/2" to compensate for the waistband.

The waistband on this romper is attached at the side seam with the zipper.  I used the same method to attach the rick rack to the waistband and hem as I used for my Turquoise Polka Dot TopI used WashAway Wonder Tape to hold the rick rack in place and then I topstitched it on.
I sandwiched the rick rack across the top of the bodice between the mint fabric and lining.

And here is a photo of me wearing the romper in the fashion show.  I had to model this myself - which was terrifying - and I am not a very good model.

There are some fabulous pictures of my lovely Jo-Ann Fabrics co-worker, Lily, modeling my Design Wars/Project Pink Competition Dress:

And my classmate modeling my Colorblocked Shift Dress:

And my other classmate modeling my Floral Skater Dress:

And here is a sneak peek of my Blue Wrap Competition dress, which I haven't blogged about yet.  I made it for a Project Runway type unconventional materials competition at school.  We had to make a garment out of the surgical blue wrap they use in hospitals.  My dress won most wearable, which was very exciting.  But then I had to model it in the show, which was the worst.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fizz Test Knit

Those of you who read lots of sewing blogs have no doubt heard of Andi Satterlund and her knitting patterns. I have knitted two of her patterns myself. (Mint Aiken SweaterNavy Agatha Cardigan) They were both delightful to knit and Fizz was no exception.

This top is knit bottom-up in the round.  There is elastic under the bust, and then you knit the bottom band casing.  The button placket and halter straps are picked up along the bodice edges, so there is no seaming.  The pattern itself is pretty cool; you enter your measurements and a pattern is generated for you.

This is a great pattern for using up stashed yarn, since it doesn't require very much yardage.  It was also quick to knit; not including the bottom band and i-cord edging, the bodice took me about 3 hours to knit up.

I used Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn in Flamingo and White.  (The same yarn I used for my Crocheted Curlicue Top.)  The bow buttons are from Deramores and the back neck button is from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Total Cost: $13.36
  • Pink Yarn: $2.99
  • White Yarn: $2.99
  • Bow Buttons: $5.50 (including shipping)
  • Neck Button: $0.52
  • Elastic: $1.36

All my construction and fit notes are on my Ravelry Project Page.

If one wanted more coverage, I think this top would look wicked cute with a crochet border picked up along the bottom band. Something like this:

I am so honored and thankful that Andi chose me as a test knitter for this project.  It makes me feel like she has faith in my taste and knitting skills to represent her project in a positive way, ya know?