Friday, February 27, 2009

Knee Socks!

I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the Armani collection featured knee socks. My favorite things! Finally I can be trendy AND warm!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sparkly Skirt Tutorial

This is a semi-tutorial on how to make this skirt. Semi because I played around with the skirt a lot while making it so I'm not sure if I can describe it well enough, but I'll try.
First you'll need to measure your waist. You should also figure out where you want the skirt to fall to on your leg and measure from your waist to that spot.
In total there are only 4 pieces to this skirt, and the front and the back are identical. Everything I describe you'll do twice, once for the front and once for the back.
Now you'll cut out the pieces for the waistband and the body of the skirt.

You should make the length of the body of the skirt the length you want the skirt to be. I'd cut it out a little bit longer originally, you can always shorten it later. The waistband can also be as wide as you'd like, play around with it a little and see what looks best on you.
Next you'll box pleat the skirt until it is the same width as the waistband.

Box pleats are simple, especially in this case because I didn't want them to be structured so there was no pressing involved. The larger the pleats are the more volume the skirt will have. You can measure the pleats to make sure they're even but if they're a little bit off you shouldn't be able to tell.
Lastly you just sew on the waistband by putting the right sides of both sections together and sewing. Do this for both the front and back. Then you'll sew one of the sides of the skirt. Put it around you to make sure it fits, and then sew in the zipper into the other side.
It ends up being very simple to make. Sorry I can't do a better job explaining. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Super Cute Sparkly Skirt

I have been working on this skirt for so long. It was a simple design, but for some reason I just couldn't get it to look right. First the hem was messed up and it was too long. So I cut of the hem, but cut it uneven. Once I evened it out it looked better but was too short to do a blind hem so I just did a normal one. It's still a bit too short, but I can definitely wear it out at night. With tights.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I want to make a quilt

I have an extremely short attention span and am constantly looking for something new to do. Right now its quilting. I really want to make one, but a simple one, not the kind where it takes an hour to make a 4" by 4" square. So I decided I'd make Gonk Droid from lego star wars! It's already square and can easily be made out of smaller squares. Here is my first draft of the grid I'll use to make it.

I want it to be huge because what's the point of making a quilt that you can't wrap around yourself a million times. Plus, its just going to be made out of plain squares so it shouldn't take too long. I'm excited! I just have to go get the fabric and figure out what else I need...

Why London Fashion Week is Awesome

Hats. Seriously, although it's not that surprising considering that England is pretty much the only place where people actually wear hats for anything other than warmth.
Best hat ever from last fashion week, Spring 2009, from Giles:

Giles just showed for Fall 2009 and although it didn't really measure up to the Pacman hat, I think it would be impossible to even do that.

This hat is still pretty cool. Its like a fancy umbrella hat! Although I'm not sure what I like better, the hat or the crazy monster fur arm warmers.
He did seem to pay homage to his past Pac-Man themed show:

It's like a fancy version of one of the Pac-Man ghosts! I wish someone had worn that to the Oscars!!!

I am now obsessed

with making headbands. It's very satisfying to come up with an idea and be able to execute it in under an hour! They're also a great way for dealing with my most recent horrendous bang cut. Sadly I'm almost out of scrap fabric, I guess I'll just have to make a new dress so I have some more extra fabric.
Here's my latest. I'm not completely happy with how it came out, mainly because I tried to sew the strips with only one contact in so they didn't come out as straight as I would have liked. It does look super cute on though!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why Fashion Shows During Recessions Stink

I understand that designers are trying to make more wearable clothes during the recession because people are less likely to spend lots of money on crazy clothes. Still, this doesn't have to equal sad and depressing. An example is Christopher Kane during London Fashion week.
His last show, Spring 2009:

His newest show, Fall 2009:

Michael Kors had the right idea, in my opinion, with his florescent fur coats. Wearable doesn't have to mean gray and black!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Headband

I just finished a headband that I've been planning to make for awhile. I'm happy I did, I love how it turned out!

Here it is on

It came together pretty quickly, the only pain was pressing the pleats flat. Mostly because the iron is on the other side of the house. Totally worth it though.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sadness that is Project Ruway

I am a huge Project Runway fan so this whole legal mess has been very depressing. What made it even worse was that the sixth season designers still had their fashion show, but without showing themselves so no one has any idea who designed these collections. Plus, they weren't very good.
So I thought I would get my Project Runway fix from the fashion shows of past contestants, but this was also a disappointment. I really liked Christian's collection from last season but this season it seemed like he was running out of ideas. Both collections featured lots and lots of skinny pants with one pair of massive wide leg pants thrown in. They both also featured almost the exact same dress.
This season:

Last season:

Tell me that is not the exact same dress in a different color fabric. Can't really blame Christian though, he needs time to mature as a designer and Project Runway puts a lot of pressure on him as he's the only real success the show has produced. And it doesn't look like season 6 is going to give him any competition.

My Guide to Blind Hemming

I recently got a brand new sewing machine with a blind hem foot! Extremely excited to use this new tool I put it on and looked in the instruction manual. What I found was the most cryptic explanation and diagrams I had ever seen. It took forever to even figure out how to fold the hem in the correct way, and afterwards realized how simple it really was! So here is my hopefully simpler explanation of how to make a machine blind hem.
The first step is to fold the hem over first about .5" and then again however large you want the hem to be, mine is about 1.5". You then pin the hem all the way down.

After doing this fold the entire hem the opposite way so only 1/8th of an inch is showing.

This is when you move to the sewing machine. The blind hemming foot for your machine should be easy to pick out as it has a guide to butt the hem up against and ensure that all of the straight stitches go into the correct spot.

Your machine should also have a special stitch just for this, for both stretch and non-stretch fabrics. They'll look similar to this:

Now you sew. Make sure that the needle just barely catches the left edge of the fabric to allow for the least amount of thread showing on the front. You can adjust the stitch width to correct for this, or adjust the screw on the foot itself. Also, make sure that the straight part of the stitch is only on the right side of the fabric. Everything's very close so go slowly and keep a close eye on it. It is a pain in the neck to rip out if you mess up, believe me.

Here is what it will look like when you're done sewing:

The back of the fabric after unfolding the hem:

The front:

Notice that all you see are the small ticks from where the needle caught this side of the fabric. It's noticeable here because I used a contrasting thread but if you use a matching thread it will be barely noticeable. At this point you would also press the hem flat. I definitely recommend practicing on the fabric you'll be using but it is surprisingly easy once you figure it out and makes everything look much more professional and finished. Good luck!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Michael Kors is Amazing

I'm usually not a huge fan of of Michael Kors collections, he usually plays it pretty safe and classic which is great but doesn't make for such an interesting fashion show. But this year, as many designers were going more classic as a result of the recession he started to go crazy with leather, colored fur and crazy hats. I mean come on:

I need this coat. Fur and pink, two of my favorite things.
On second thought maybe he is designing for the recession. I mean, pair that coat with this hat:

and you can get rid of your heat! I'm sure that the money you'll save on heating bills is far less than the price of these clothes.


I covet this bag. I'm thinking that it can't be all that hard to make yourself, instead of waiting for it to come out and paying a bajillion dollars. Hopefully you'll be seeing this project sometime soon! The hats are also pretty awesome even if completely unwearable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Purple Woven Headband

Lately I have become obsessed with making my own headbands. They're a great way to use up fabric scraps, plus I can make the stretchy kind which doesn't give me a headache. It's so hard to find stretchy headbands that are cute and not meant for children. I got the idea for this one after I got a sewing machine with an automatic button hole maker and wanted to practice making button holes. In the end I made 14 button homes on this headband and definitely got the practice!
In total this project took about 1 1/2 hours, probably less if you're already a buttonhole master and more if you're using it for the first time.
The first step was to cut out the fabric for the top part of the headband. I used purple satin. It didn't stretch and I wanted the headband to lay flat so I made the back part, which you don't see since its under the hair, elastic. For this part I cut out a rectangle 18" by 3" so when finished it would be 1.5" wide.

Next I folded it in half the long way, right sides facing each other, and sewed up the edge. After doing this I turned it inside out so the nice side was facing out and all the sewing was on the inside.

After doing this I probably should have pressed it, I'm sure it would have made the button holes a whole lot easier to do but the iron was upstairs and I was lazy :-). So I started right on to the button holes which I would use to thread the ribbon through in the end. I put one hole each inch and made sure to mark where each hole would start so they were even. After using my awesome automatic button hole maker to make all 18 holes I threaded the ribbon through and secured it on each end.

Done with the pretty top part! For the rest I needed 8 more inches to fit my head so I cut out 7" of elastic and a 10" by 3.5" rectangle of black fabric. I sewed the black fabric the same way as the purple and then put the elastic through the middle. I then sewed the elastic onto the edges of the top part and then folded the edges of the black and connected it to the top part as well. This way the top will stay nice and flat and the bottom part with the black fabric will stretch and scrunch up.
Finished Product!

My Blog!

I'm starting this blog to showcase all of my sewing projects and to give tutorials on how to make some of it. I'll also be showing some of my inspirations. I love making my own clothes so I wanted to share! Enjoy!