Salvaged Vogue 1316

Remember this UFO of the year from 2013? Well, the other day I was rummaging through my dresses and saw it. I never had the heart to throw it out as the shell was a very nice piece of work despite it being waaaay too small. And then something clicked – why dont I just cut out the zipper and add another panel to the back? It wont add the extra girth I need to the front, but perhaps it wont look too bad after all.

And you know what? I am so glad I did! I still had some navy fabric left and I added around 2-6 inches to the back, and tailoring the width of the addition to my body. After adding in one pair of stripe, it looks like I need more room around the hips- I can get in the dress just fine but my butt was pulling the dress to the back, causing wrinkles at the side. So I actually had to add ANOTHER stripe of fabric around the butt area in additional to the one I already have. =_= I suspect it may be an adjustment I need to make even if I cut out the right size.

Well, after all the unpicking and sewing and unpicking and sewing to get the fit just right, the inside of the dress looks like a battle zone with loose threads from all the unsergered fraying edges and unpicked threads. I had no choice but to put in a lining as directed. I used a nice comfortable tan rayon. Now I dont see the loose threads but I suspect I would be shedding them for the next few months whenever I wear/wash this :P . The dress is quite beefy – it weighs a whole 1lb 6oz (~600g for those who lives in a more sensible country). So its nice for california winter.

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Oh yeah, I am also in love with the pockets added, thanks Carolyn for the inspiration! (She has a second amazing version.  I found another one by meggipeg, which I am drooling after as well!)

Now that I am done, I really look forward to making another one at some point with the correct size (I cut a 6 here but I probably should try a 10). I am not 100% happy with the color choices in this one, but everything was made from scrapes so I cant complain too much. Plus, I still love it enough to wear it a lot. I already bought another pattern so I can cut out the right size :) I am thinking about one that is all black, but with different texture – twill, lace, leather, suede. Probably will take me a while to collect that much scrapes – more excuses to stash & make! :D


Sewing Related Children’s Book

I love thrift stores. There are a lot of thrift stores near where I live (I guess when you spend all your earnings on mortgage, you gotta be a little thrifty else where!) and I love getting stuff for little K and little A second hand. I often go when I need to relax and check out some books to read to little K. I’ve had some good luck of encountering some books that has sewing in the story and I’d like to share!

First one is Little Fox Goes to the End of the World:

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little fox tells her mama how she will go to the end of the world while her mama sews an really awesome jacket for her. (The jacket is extremely cute too)

Second one is Something from Nothing:

something-from-nothingIts a jewish folktale about how a grandpa refashions a baby blanket to a jacket, then a vest, then a tie, then a handkerchief, and then a button! To be honest it reminded me of all the resourceful mommies who makes stuff for their kids from worn adult clothing as well as those who refashions old clothing for themselves.

I love those books – little K loves the stories and I get to make her excited about sewing without her touching scissors and needles :) Do you know any cute children’s book that involves sewing? If you do please share!!!

 


Maternity baby doll converted to Breastfeeding baby doll

I had mentioned in previous posts about converting this dress to be able to breastfeed in it. I did it! I wore it once or twice before it got too cold and now the entire family had been struck with a bad flu/cold, so I will not model it here. And sorry for the crappy iphone photos but it looks like this now:

I did these:

  1. separate the bodice from the skirt. I kept the small elastic band at the bottom of the bodice.
  2. even out the skirt from the top to make sure its the same length all around (used to be longer in the front to cover tummy properly)
  3. put elastic band through top of the skirt – now you have a skirt!
  4. put hook and eye on side and back of the waist so that the bodice can connect to the skirt.

This works really well for me -much better than on the dummy. I think its because I am pretty high-waisted and I still have a tummy from the pregnancy- so the skirt elastic band tend to stay right below my bust. When I wear it, it only shows two slivers of skin on the back – actually looks pretty cool. When I need to breastfeed I just pull up the front. When Im done I pull the top down, and it stays there because of the elastic.

Bonus – I can also wear the skirt standalone! The only thing I wish I did differently here is that I wish i made a thinner waistband for the skirt. Having a thicker waist band changes the look of the outfit a little. Other than that I’ve worn this out and successfully breastfeed and look cute at the same time! :)


2014 Sewing Review

2014 has come and gone! This had been one of the most challenging year I’ve had since graduating from college, mainly because its so hard feeling sick so much (pregnancy, then postpartum issues, then the flu season w/ lil K in school) and dealing with the changes in my ever expanding family and work. Luckily, I have sewing to keep me sane. When I was feeling down, sewing made me happier, when I was feeling overwhelmed, sewing calmed me down, when I was feeling tired, sewing actually gives me more energy (well, except that first 3 month of pregnancy)!

I’ve still made quite a lot of things considering how busy/sick I was all the time. Here is the total count:

number made
Coat/Outerwear 3
machine knit sweater 3
hand knit sweater 2
maternity dress 3
pants 2
Shirt (long sleeve) 2
Shirt (short sleeve) 3
Skirt 1
Little K dress 3
accessories 2
dress for friend 1
quilt 1
Refashions 3
 total 28

Project started : project completed/kept : project often worn ratio this year:

 29:27:24

Here are the fails that did not hold up to wearing:

I really cant stand the too-high pocket after wearing it a few times. I am going to have to re-make this =_= again.

The skirt part was just too narrow – so I strained a few seams when walking around. I was “meh” about this dress, so it got donated.

Things I made for others that gets a lot of wear:

Well, she wore it to her wedding, so I assume its got its use out of it! :)

Some basics that I made – they got a lot of wear (or i think they will) but I am not super duper excited about them:

Here are some makes thats frosting – I really like them, but only get to wear them once in a while:

I like this dress, but doesnt get more occasions to wear it after the wedding. I have a friend who LOVES blue and wears nothing but shades of blue. So I gifted it to her.

Here are some of my favorite projects that I wear very very often – they are not quite basics but fit in my wardrobe so well:

All three of them gets a lot of wear – scarf, skirt, and sweater!

(This maternity dress had been altered to be breastfeeding friendly now – so I am still going to be wear it for a bit!) Also I almost forgot the knitted sweater there.

And of course, my FAVORITE make of this year:

I have to thank my hubby for taking  & processing photos without complaint for yet another year. Taking standard outfit photos are pretty boring for him (and we do not have time to go fancy these days, just a quick backyard shoot will do). Its like me altering something for him every other week (which he rarely burdens me with), so I feel lucky that I roped in such a great partner in my blogging! :)

I also have to thank my mom for helping me so much with the babies and house work. Without her, I probably wont have that much time for sewing! Also my dad for all his sewing related garage sale finds :) I am much stocked up on threads and sewing machines these days!

Lastly, I want to thank my readers – thank you for checking out my blog for another year! I love having an audience out there for all my sewing related excitement. I especially thank those who commented on my posts, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback and it gives me much happiness!

I also have some new year resewlution (haha!) – comment more on other sewing blogs! For the past years I’ve been reading blogs on my iphone and its a pain to enter comment there. But I really do love some of the makes out there and to be honest, when I am bored out of my mind feeding little A or putting little K to bed, seeing posts with sewn garments perks me up. So this year, I want to try to make an effort and go back to my reader with my laptop and comment on at least the posts with finished garments that inspires me!


Double Layer Striped Shirt

I’ve been having an obsession with striped shirt. Its hard to find one that fits me well. All the shirts I have are a little too short for my liking, and my bottom is usually too big for the shirt, causing the shirt to ride up. So its time to make one! I had a striped knit in my stash, but it was way too thin and see through for a fitted top. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to make the top two layered. I had cut another layer of thin white knit and sewed the top together as if the two different fabric is the same layer (so its not lined/bagged, but all serged together). I love the end result. The top has the softness of thin knit jersey, but feels heavy and sturdy enough for colder weather. I also did a good job matching the stripes, which I notice even higher end stores seems to fail in doing (like Ann Taylor, yes, my standards may be low).

(see those stripes matching at the side and front? good job me!)

Trying to copy this outfit, I think this calls for tighter pants ;)

Yay, thats the last thing for 2014! 2014 review coming up!


Red Rayon Tops

Quick post of two red rayon tops. They were made before pregnancy and I just cant get it together to model them. Its been too cold here (I know I am a wuss, its california bay area) and I’ve only been modeling for photos if I am wearing that outfit that day.

Anyway, first one was a dress made from burda’s 2011-06-102B. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as it came out. But the end result was not great. Because the dress is cut on bias and there are pleats in the front, it just hung unflatteringly on my body, making a little pouch on the tummy area. I waited until the pregnancy was over and it still looked bad on me, so I just cut it off at hip level and its much more tolerable as a shirt. If I would make the pattern again, I would cut the dress on grain and make the bottom much wider to achieve the same look as the sample sewing.

Second top is a modified Scout Tee. I added pleats to the neckline and plan to wear it with this skirt to achieve this look. I think I did a pretty good job replicating the inspiration. Hopefully in the summer the combo would look great together!


Striped Skirt make over

Hello again! You are seeing a lot of me lately – with my body almost back in shape (well… 10 more lbs) and baby cooperating, I am able to model a lot of what I made! Plus I am trying to photo all the stuff before new years! Here is another thing I made for the office (whenever I go back), it took me only 30 minutes to make!

My favorite fashion blog is Wendyslookbook, and I’ve been wanting to knock off her altered skirt for a very long time! I finally bought a striped skirt from forever21 (did it with 25% sale so it was $7 or $8 dollars, probably cheaper than buying fabric and making it as the knit is thick and sturdy). Then I used the left over faux leather fabric from this project and sewed it onto the side. A simple modification with a really great result! The stiffer side panel allowed the knit skirt to look smoother along the side instead of showing all the bulges and pantie lines. And I love that it adds some chic and glamour to a basic bottom.

One advice for those who wants to do the same – do not do this with a skirt thats already too tight – after adding the non-stretchy panel the skirt will be tighter than before, since you will lose about 6 inches of stretchy-ness after adding the panels!


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