T-shirt Revamp

So if I get nothing else done I can say I completed my Craft Stash Challenge for this month.

Some years ago I went nuts over t-shirts and purchased a heap of them with the idea to cut and redesign.  Before I even got started I lost interest in it.    Then I bought black tees in every size to make silk screened tees with the LOST logo.  I read up on how to do it and decided that I wasn’t ready to invest in the time and materials at that moment.  No matter because after seeing that finale I would be using that shirt to clean the toilet.

So they have sat, waiting for action or donation and I thought why not wing it and transform it into something different.  No measuring, just cut, pin fit, and sew.  I mean, it’s only a t-shirt.

This was not my first choice for color combo, but I had to work with what I had.   I was not to buy another shirt to add to the collection! These colors together totally remind me of the neon colored surf wear that was popular in the 80s and 90s:  Rude Dog, T and C.  I didn’t live anywhere near a beach, but I remember seeing some of that gear.

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Overall, I wish I did something to stabilize the neckline to avoid stretching it out.  NOW, What am I going to do with the rest of those unsexy tees?

– Nizzy

T-shirt Revamp

Searching for Style

What is good style?

Is it copying what the celebrities/rich are wearing?  Is it doing your own thing based on exactly what you like?  Is it staying true to the current trends?  Is it all about confidence and fit no matter what you have on?  Whatever the definition, I’m trying to find my way one piece at a time.  Depending on just who you ask, there will be hits and misses with any wardrobe.  Not everyone likes the same type of clothing.  Some adopt the less is more attitude while others like to button up to the neck.

Is there possibly a wrong way to style?

I catch clips of these television shows like Fashion Police where they discuss celebrity fashion and how right or wrong they choose to style themselves.  I can’t help but to feel a bit annoyed about how harshly they get judged.  Let me tell you, if I had millions I would wear what I want no matter how crazy, different, odd it is.  And that is exactly the direction I want to head now.  If I wanna go head-to-toe hooch let me do my thing!  Maybe tone-on-tone is how I’m feeling today.

In the meantime, until I figure out what this ‘style’ thing is all about, I’m going to do me and try to have some fun educating myself on what works and what doesn’t!

Anyhoo…this month’s craft stash challenge is brought to you by Stitch and Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.  I wanted a casual little cover up to wear over strappy tanks and dresses when I didn’t feel like showing my arms and back (especially at work).   In the stash I hated this yarn.  I didn’t like the crinkle, but felt guilty parting with it so I chose to turn all that hate into a great.  I’m digging the finished product!

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With it, I’m wearing one of my finished jewelry pieces that was sitting around waiting for a photo-op.  I’m experimenting in the craft room with some different materials, but my current moment with sewing has taken away some of the one-on-one time with my jewelry stash.  Maybe that upcoming Philly Bead Fest will get my mojo rolling again.

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– Nizzy

Searching for Style

Have Dress, No Shoes

No, I didn’t actually go out without shoes on this day, but I wasn’t crazy about them with this dress so I left them out of the picture.  If there is one thing that sewing apparel makes you want to do is shop.  I’m not talking about shopping for fabric and patterns because that’s a given.  I’m talking about shopping for SHOES!  I thought I had enough pairs of shoes that I don’t really wear, but I see the “need” to get a few more to go with the new clothing I make.  Just where we store these new shoes is something that will have to be worked out.   A walk-in shoe room is not an option unless it comes with a brand new house that’s mortgage free.

Anyway, the dress of the month is Butterick 5601 View A.  I made this is a floral print stretch cotton in which the stretch was in the wrong direction.  Here’s to cheap fabric!  It had a little weight and a slight stiffness to it that sewing and smooshing out the darts wasn’t completely successful.  I did the best I could so that it was presentable enough.  I needed to minimize the handling and sewing of this white fabric.   Other adjustments I made were the FBA, lengthened the skirt, and added a little to the waist.

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And the back?  Oh, that back gave me sooo many problems.   I removed fabric, repositioned the button and the pieces themselves so that I eliminated as much of the gap as possible before I lost my sanity.

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Next stop, shoe store!

– Nizzy

Have Dress, No Shoes

Scrap Happy!

I mostly think of shopping for myself when looking for new for sewing patterns.  Many of the items I sew are garments and fitting myself is hard enough.  Once I can master pattern alterations and fit for myself I think fitting others might become a piece of cake.  For the moment I’m perfectly fine with sewing small accessories for friends.

I don’t always feel like carrying a bag, especially since I tend to stuff it full with everything I own.  It get’s heavy!  Gum?  Got it.  Hand Sanitizer?  Yep.  Camera?  All the time.  Floss? Of course.  Q-tips? Maybe.  I’m known to tear a handbag to shreds.  Why do I need to carry all that stuff?

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When I don’t want to carry my life with me, one of these wrist wallets (Kwik Sew 112) will be perfect!

Now, where I carry everything, I have a friend who is the opposite.  No bag, no purse, no wallet, just keys, phone and card in the pocket.  How does she live without lip gloss or lotion at the tip of her fingers?  Her cards and ID are bent out of shape from sitting in her pocket and that is just unacceptable!  I knocked out one of these out (#4)  so that her cards (and mine with #6) could be protected without her getting a girly girl purse or a manly wallet.  Hopefully, I can convince her to carry it.

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The best part was sewing these out using the scraps of fabric I already owned.  No washing or fitting.  Just cut and sew.  I went crazy and made 4 more.

-Nizzy

Scrap Happy!

Challenge Accepted!: Baby Clothes

A coworker of mine just had a baby girl and that fits in perfectly with my personal challenge of seeing at least one baby in something I’ve hand-knit.  So far the last few items have been a bust: baby born bigger than the clothes, parents think the item is wool so they don’t put it on the baby because it was spring/summer, and I have no idea how the booties went over.  Don’t people dress their babies like kids do dolls and change their clothes several times a day? 

Since I like a challenge I went ahead and knitted another dress for baby.

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I used felt buttons because they were different and I went big on size so baby can grow a bit into this one. 

Yarn used: Bernat Cotton-ish in Cotton Gin Colorway.  It’s a soft yarn with a nice drape and…affordable!

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Please, oh please, let baby wear it for just a few hours if anything!

– Nizzy

Challenge Accepted!: Baby Clothes

Giving in to Wearing Dresses

I’m throwing in the towel for a while on trying to find ready-to-wear pants that fit.  A few months ago I went out shopping one day and tried on 17 pairs of jeans!  Different sizes, different brands, different styles, and NONE of them worked for me.  I left that store with my feelings hurt.  To stay positive about the wardrobe thing, I’m going to wear more dresses.  Now, if you don’t already know, dresses aren’t my go to thing.  I love they way they look on the rack and on other people, but I was never a HUGE fan.  Even as a little girl I rolled my eyes when I had to wear one, even though I still cut my eyes with a little envy at the girly girls with their cute dresses.   Funny how things don’t change much sometimes. 

Well, It’s 2013 and I’m going to EMBRACE the dress.  Partly out of necessity and partly because I want to change my look.

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Burda Magazine 5-2007-131

I made a simple dress with shoulder knots (#131)  from Burda Magazine’s 5/2007 issue.   The fabric is knit, but the gold print on greatly reduces the fabric’s stretch.  I made pattern adjustments to account for that, but I ended up taking it all back in plus a little more because it still too large.  I was in love with this fabric when I purchased it years ago, but became lukewarm when I started to manipulate it.  It also has a little sheen to it that I’m not crazy about.

The pattern itself is easy.  The straps are long so you can adjust the fit and cut as you make the dress.  The wide fabric belt gives the dress a little shape at the waist.  I think it looks a little better when it’s bunched up a bit more.

I have to tighten up the straps a little more, maybe take in the belt just a hair, and then check this off as the first (or second) dress of the season.    image

I’m all in! 

But, I still need shoes.

-Nizzy

Giving in to Wearing Dresses

Big Hair Calls for Big Earrings!

I returned my hair to its natural state about 4-5 years ago and I’ve done everything to it: twists, twist outs, puffs, flat twists, curly fro hawk, etc.  Well for the first time EVER I rocked the fro last week.  In celebration, this big hair calls for big, colorful, crochet earrings!

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I don’t know what took me so long to do it.  I guess I just needed to finally feel comfortable with my hair!  I had years and years self-hate to undo, thinking I would be inadequate if I didn’t have some sort of chemical treatment going on.  Chile, I can’t go back to that stuff!

I’ve worn them so much I know folks are tired of seeing them. But earrings are the one thing I hate to leave the house.  Big ghetto hoops, dainty dangles, studs, costume, the real deal: I have to put something in these ears or I don’t feel complete.

-Nizzy

Big Hair Calls for Big Earrings!

And Before You Know It…

June is basically here!  I had my eye on a particular craft book challenge that involved beading,  but I didn’t get around to it.   My completed project is not contained in a book, but is still part of the stash which is a component of my challenge.

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Simplicity 2501 (View E)  and fabric used is straight out of the collection.   The pattern pieces were a tight fit given the limited amount of this fabric after adjustments.  What was different about this pattern is that it comes with multiple sizes according to your bust cup.  Let me tell you that didn’t mean diddly squat and I still had to do my usual bust adjustments. Oh, how disappointing!

After bust, back, and hip adjustments, I ended up with something I’m fairly pleased with.  I love the ruffle detail even though the print is a little busy and hides it.  I’m not pushing any fashion boundaries with this top, but it’s a start for my summer wardrobe.  I just need a pant or skirt to pair it with.

On a knitting note, I have a total of 9 squares finished for my afghan.  Some aren’t working out so well so I’ve changed a few of the square patterns originally selected.

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I was a little misled by the colors on my monitor.  My two blues don’t coordinate as well as I thought, however there is no stopping it now!  Onward!

-Nizzy

And Before You Know It…

Sewing Community

Source: http://babylock.com

I upgraded my Kenmore to a Babylock Elizabeth!  Now, I can easily put the buttonholes on that unfinished shirt that’s sitting in my closet.  I don’t want to deal with that buttonhole contraption on my old machine any longer if it’s not an emergency.

The store I purchased it from gives you a free one-year membership to a sewing club so you can work on planned projects with others who have your machine or similar.   This month’s project was a chicken shaped bun warmer and  a bowl cover.

Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 1135
Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 0104

I thought the bun warmer was cute, but my only option was to make the bowl cover since I didn’t buy the other pattern in advance.

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I got to work with iron on vinyl, which I had no idea that such a thing exists.  It’s a very simple project, not very challenging, but the real fun for me was getting to work on my craft with others.    It made me want to be a part of a sewing community even more.

I’m pretty much a solo crafter.   Only few of my friends craft on limited occasions.    I visit and comment on other sewing blogs, forums, etc.,  but I’m not sure I am keeping up with that enough to say I’m officially a part of the online sewing community.   I am just in the early stages of getting together my sewing-related content so I’ve missed out on some meet and greets.   Once my club membership runs out I think it’s time to push the boundaries and branch out to a few local meetups /groups to meet more new folks who share the love for sewing.

What do you do to connect to the sewing/craft community?

-Nizzy

Sewing Community

Knitting Punishment?

I feel like I’m on knitting punishment.  I told myself not to start any new knitting/crochet projects until I tied up some of the loose ends (literally) on some previously started projects.  I’m so bored with them all.  Part of the fun with crafting is starting something new!  It’s past time to get out of finishing mode and have a bit of fun with starting a few new projects.   I should really stop beating myself up about it the starting/finishing deal.

Speaking of finished projects, for that friend of a friend that just had a baby, I knitted the Baby Moc-a-Soc Booties.  These fall a bit into the ‘UGH’ category because of the twisted, grey yarn.  That crinkly yarn makes the stitches look so messy to me!  I would love to give them another try with something different.

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And I am disappointed to find more yarn of this type in my stash.  I’m going to grin and bear it and see if I can make it into something I like better.   I like a challenge and apparently punishment!

I promise you this is also a sewing blog!  I’ve got a dress waiting to be photographed if only I can get the hem to work out.  I made a mistake in my pattern adjustments which doesn’t look like I can easily fix…without taking something apart!  Say it ain’t so!

I’ll leave you with a jewelry FO.  When I made this some time ago I found inspiration in the Steampunk movement, using gears and copper color.    It’s not all-the-way Steampunk, but it still has a little of that unconventional and irregular feel.

-Nizzy

Knitting Punishment?