Posts Tagged ‘skirt’

kcw day three [spring 2013]

fairy tale dress: bodice and bow

Hour #3

1. bodice: Here we are at hour number 3 already and there’s hardly been any sewing! Well that’s about to change. The first bit of sewing I tackled was the bodice. That went so fast that I didn’t even photograph it–and I even made two bodices (one for the main dress and one for the lining).

2. bow: The pattern for the bow on this dress seems hilariously huge. Once you’ve folded it over and sewed up it, the bow takes on slightly more normal proportions. Then you have to gather the ends and place it in just the right place on the bodice.

fairy tale dress: skirt

3. skirt: The skirt on the fairy tale dress is a giant rectangle. This make it easy to sew up (and to hem later), but to attach such a large rectangle to the bodice requires lots and lots of ruffles.

fairy tale dress: skirt

4. attaching the skirt to the bodice:  I have to admit gathering ruffles is one of my favorite bits of sewing: pinning two very different lengths of fabric together and gathering the longer one to magically match up just right.  And look, they match!

fairy tale dress: bow

Success! The bow didn’t even get caught all crazy in the seam. I had to pat myself on the back for that one!

fairy tale dress: dress and lining

Day three and I’ve made the main dress and the lining of the bodice. Looks like the dress is practically done, but we’re not even halfway to the finished product!

Tomorrow: more polka dots!

 

painterly skirt tutorial

For my contribution to Skirt Week 2012, I made this little tutorial for turning an old, rather boring skirt into something a bit more interesting. Sometimes you don’t need to make a new skirt, but you need to liberate one from the back of your closet. I had planned on doing a tutorial for a button placket, but then I saw this picture and could not stop thinking about it:

These pants are from a shop in New York that specializes in super awesome Japanese children’s clothes. The idea is so simple and so effortlessly cool that I had to steal it.

painterly skirt tutorial

painterly skirt

materials:

  • 1 unloved skirt
  • a bit of cardboard or freezer paper
  • paint of your choice, fabric or acrylic or even house paint*
  • stamps
  • very small paint brush

painterly skirt materials

 

directions:

1. The first thing I did was carve some starts out of an old eraser. If you’ve never done this before it may sound hard, but I assure you it is not. I carved two stamps from a big eraser and two from the tiny erasers on a pair of new pencils. It took me all of 10 minutes. There are many good tutorials for carving stamps from erasers out there (this one and this one for example). The stamp you make should be quite small, so stick to a simple shape–stars work well!

starting the stars

2. Put a piece of cardboard under where you will be stamping, or you can iron a bit of freezer paper to the back. You need something under your design, so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side.

3. Start stamping! You can be as fussy or as messy as you want. The look we are going for is paint wiped on the side of your skirt, so there aren’t too many rules you have to follow. It looks nice if the stamps are concentrated a bit in one area and then fade out towards the edges.

stars painted

3. After you have stamped to your heart’s content, take a very small paintbrush and go over some of the stamps with more paint. This will make some of the stars stand out better and give the design a little more dimension.

4. Let the paint dry and go over it with an iron to set it.  Waalaa! a new skirt! One that will be loved and worn again!

before after painterly skirt

*a note on paint: I don’t paint on my clothes very often, but when I do (like here and here) I like to use a product called fabric meduim. You mix the meduim with any acrylic paint and it makes it into a fabric paint. A good friend of mine turned me on to it. Another good friend told me to get out of the not-so-great craft acrylic paint aisle and go to the actually-an-artist acrylic paint aisle: the colors and the quality are better.

painterly skirt after

 

kcwc spring 2012: day two

color block pocket

Yesterday’s outfit was very subdued, but today we’re going color block crazy! I am very happy with how this whole outfit turned out. I didn’t imagine the skirt and the top going together when I made them, but they do! Michael Kors would say it’s very on trend (then Nina Garcia would tear it apart) and I suppose it is, but it’s still little kid too.

ayashe shirt

the pattern: ayashe blouse pattern by figgy’s

the fabric: vintage sheet

the sewing: For as complicated as this shirt looks, it wasn’t all that difficult. I did have to wrestle with the collar a bit, but it turned out well enough. My fabric cutting can get kind of sloppy and the collar’s measurements need to be exactly right to work. Next time I’ll pay a bit more attention when I’m cutting it out. There will be a next time, because really this was supposed to be a muslin. I made the 6/7 size for my 6 1/2 girl and it just fits, but I’m guessing it won’t by the end of the summer. The only thing I changed was to finish the sleeves in bias tape. Oh and I skipped the elastic at the bottom too.

color block skirt

the pattern: I didn’t really use a pattern, but kind of used this skirt as a guide.

the fabric: The top part is from an old shirt, the orange is some weird, slinky, cottony stuff I picked up at the thrift store, and the pockets are quilting cotton. Every bit came from my scrap bin.

the sewing: I saw this photo of a color block dress a while back on pinterest and immediately wanted to make a similar skirt or dress for my daughter. I picked through my scrap bin and came across the orange and light blue, which I loved together, but had very little of either. I pieced them together like a quilt and slapped some pretty aqua pockets on top. I fussed with the ratio of light blue to orange for far too long. Finally I said screw it, sewed elastic in, and called it done.

color block details

If you follow me on twitter or facebook you know already, but this is the biggest kcwc yet!  With 640 participants, not only is it the biggest kcwc, but it is almost twice as big as any we’ve ever had! When I ask you get to get the word out, wow! you really get the word out there!  You guys are awesome. The flickr pool is starting to fill up and any minute now it’s going to explode with amazing kid clothes. Here are today’s beauties:

1. me so crazy vintage twirl skirt

2. figgy’s sunki tunic

3. cars board shorts

4. houndstooth cardigan

edited to add: oops, just check the flickr pool and it already exploded.

 

kcwc spring 2012: day one

Welcome to the first day of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge! I am so happy you are sewing along with me and 550 others. If you are new here I want you to know that even though the challenge is to sew for one hour a day, each day, for a week, not everyone sticks exactly to the plan. There are some that work a little bit on one garment all week and others who try to finish a garment every day! It doesn’t matter how many successful garments come out of this week; all that matters is that you sewed, or cut fabric, or traced patterns a little bit every day.

ayashe skirt

I try to use the challenge to have something finished to show you each day. That means of course I’ve been sewing for a few weeks  (and I’m not nearly done).  Don’t think I’m some magically motivated blogger who just sews happily into the night. No, I was very much dragging my feet at the beginning, but slowly I started getting more excited about what I was sewing and then started to think up new things I could make. And in the end I cut out way more patterns than I could ever finish. That’s the beauty of kcwc: just a little bit each day and suddenly this creative energy comes out of nowhere.

linen ayashe skirt

Okay enough already, what about the skirt up there?

the pattern: ayasha skirt pattern by Figgys

the fabric: I used an old linen curtain from ikea that I dyed gray. I dyed it about a year ago meaning to use it to make a summer skirt for me, but I couldn’t resist making matching spring clothes for my kids (the boys got pants).  As I was finishing up the skirt, we put on our Sound of Music record just to make the curtain-clothes-making-ridiculousness complete.

the sewing: The pattern was the just right amount of challenge for me. There were pleats, pockets, a waistband, a button placket, and buttonholes–pretty involved for a little skirt! The instructions were clear and very concise, sometimes a little too concise. There were steps I had to read 8 or 10 times to understand exactly what I need to do, but now I know how to put on a button placket! Funny, the button placket is probably the most poorly sewn bit on the skirt, but it’s the bit I’m most proud of. Everything else turned out great. Miraculously, the buttonholes even came out perfect! I didn’t really change much, except I put a bit of purple in the pockets and used buttonhole elastic in the back. The skirt fits her just right and looks like it will until the fall (if she doesn’t grow too too much).

skirt back

There are a few eager beavers the have some beautifully finished garments in the flickr pool already:

kcwc day one

1. new dress for Mila

2. kcwc day one

3. linen shorts for Amelie

4. birdwing top

What are you doing on the computer anyway? Go sew!

 

the alabama skirt

alabama skirt

I started this skirt right before Easter I think. It sounds like it took a ridiculous amount of time, but there would be weeks that I didn’t even pick it up. I think this skirt is more like a knitting project than a sewing one (not as if I know anything about knitting), but it’s a slow going, watching tv kind of project like knitting is. Sometime the slow rhythm of the stitching would be comforting, but other times it would become tedious as hell.

alabama chanin skirt in pieces

It’s horrible working on something for so long and not knowing if it will fit at all, much less fit and be flattering. To make this skirt (the swing skirt from the Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin) you have to paint the design on the skirt, then hand stitch around each leaf, then cut out the leaf from the top fabric, then only after all of that can you sew the panels together and see if it fits. Whatever expectations I had about this skirt in the beginning were made even more unattainable by what the author tells you to do when you are preparing your thread for stitching:

“Loving” your thread infuses the work with kind intentions, but it’s also a very practical step that removes excess thread tension and prevents pesky knotting…Hold the doubled thread between your thumb and index finger, and run your fingers along it from the needle to the end of the loose tails while saying, “This thread is going to sew the most beautiful garment ever made.  The person who wears this garment…will bear it in health and happiness; it will bring joy and laughter.”

So there is much hope and good intention in my stitches, but it is not the most beautiful garment ever made. Though I feel a little bad saying that, as if I am hurting the skirt’s feelings, because well, I told her she would be the most beautiful garment ever made about a thousand times over as I threaded my needle and began to stitch. Look at that! talking to a skirt! going a little crazy over here. Maybe this skirt is the most beautiful garment in the world, but it’s only the skirt that knows it.

alabama skirt

As I see it, the skirt is a little big. But maybe I’ll take it apart someday and take it in a little, but for now it’s fine–not the best thing in my closet, but the only one I’ve ever had a conversation with.