Laupre

November 8, 2011

Scalloped Hem Dress

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — laupre @ 11:19 am

I had this dress hanging in my closet, and I loved the print on the fabric, but the something about the length just bothered me.  It fell to a place somewhere between the knee and ankle that just felt awkward to me. Hemming up a dress to make it a little shorter is not a difficult task so I decided to make it a little more interesting by following the bottom edges of the print to make it a scalloped hem.

Luckily, the print could be seen clearly on the inside of the dress (the wrong side of the fabric). All that needed to be done was to fold up the bottom edge towards the right side, and stitch along the scalloped edge from the wrong side. (the edge to the right is the fold, and the original hem is folded underneath)

You can see the original hem at the top left here.  Next I clipped the fabric from the fold up to the point between each scallop all the way around the skirt. I cut as close to the stitching line as I could without cutting the thread.

I used my pinking shears to cut around each scallop instead of clipping hundreds of tiny notches individually.  Trimming it this way is very important though, because a curved seam will not sit properly unless it has been clipped. (You can read more about clipping seam allowances here)

The last steps were to turn the scallops out the right way, press the seams, and finally stitch the hem. I simply trimmed off the original hem fabric close to the scallops and did a simple machine blind hem stitch.

In the end I’m much happier with the length, and I think the scalloped edge just adds a fun touch that works with the spirit of the dress.

May 30, 2011

The finished quilt!

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — Tags: , , , — laupre @ 3:49 pm

It is officially done! I even finished it on time , it just took me a few days waiting on the weather to be able to get decent pictures.

The front

and the back

It’s just as snuggly and comfy as I hoped it would be!

March 31, 2011

Me-Made-March Week 4

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — laupre @ 11:49 pm

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It’s the final Post for my first ever Me-Made-March! I’m posting late this week because it has just been hectic for me and I’ve been spend any and all moments when I could be blogging working on this black and white quilt tutorial. I don’t know why, but it is just being such a difficult tutorial to put together. I’ve retaken photos dozens of times, trying to make the process as clear as possible. My words aren’t coming out very smoothly either. I’ve spent a couple hours writing at it, but it’s still not done. Anyway, I suppose I’ll set that aside and finish out my outfits for the end of the month!
March 22nd

I was told this outfit was a bit “super hero”, but I felt a little like caution tape. The bright yellow dress is one I made last summer that unfortunatly isn’t too flattering around the waist. I threw it on with this new hoodie I made, though, and was really happy to have that bright burst of yellow. It was sad to have a dress in such a vibrant color and a knit that feels amazing and not be able to wear it much because it distorted in the wash. I wish I had thought to just cover up the bad part with a hoodie sooner, bright yellow is just the thing to fight rainy grey Portland winters!
me made:
yellow dress, grey hoodie, grey longsleeve (also worn march 15th)
This is a long post, so the rest of the outfits after the jump:
(more…)

March 14, 2011

Me Made March Week 2

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — Tags: , , , — laupre @ 6:28 pm

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March 8th

I’m not really crazy about this outfit, but it was comfortable. I didn’t really have anywhere to go out to today, so it was just thrown together and worn around the house all day.  The dress is made from a comfortable sweatshirt fleece I reclaimed from a ginormous maxi length skirt.  Adding straps and darts took it from a horribly unflattering skirt to a cute little tunic.  I added the hat and boots to protect me from the rain when I ran to the store.

Me made:

sweatshirt fleece dress, knit skirt and reconstructed longsleeve

purchased: tights, hat

March 9th

another day of a just thrown together outfit.  This sweater skirt is a favorite cozy day choice though.  It’s made from mostly wool sweaters I bought by the pound at the bins thrifting.  It’s just rough and warm and comforting that I’ve worn regularly for about a year.

Me made:

longsleeve knit top, reconstructed skirt from sweaters

March 10th

I love this sweater.  I picked it up as a used, very large men’s sweater and resized it to fit and changed the neckline with some knit ribbing.  It’s a super soft and cozy cashmere in a lovely earthy green (that perfectly matches these socks!), doesn’t leave fuzz on anything, stretches and is the perfect weight to layer.  it started out like this:

Yes, the bottom of the armhole actually fell below my bust! I think it’s quite a bit more flattering now.  The resizing only took about an hour from the first photo to before photo to the after.  There’s something so satisfying for me to sew something up quickly in the morning to wear that day.  The idea of not just putting together and outfit in the morning, but actually putting together your clothes in the morning is exactly the kind of perk that keeps me sewing.

(you can click the images for a bigger version if you like)

I just cut off the sleeves and original collar, reshaped the the body part of the sweater, reshaped the sleeves, and put it all back together with the addition of a 1.25″ strip of green ribbing for the neckline.  You can always trace a well fitting garment of a similar stretch and weight of fabric to get your new pieces, use a pattern, or draft up your own patter from measurements, but I’ve done this same resizing so many times it’s almost automatic, and with a good knit sometimes it just needs to be close.

Me made: Sweater,  knit skirt. and leggings

Purchased: socks

March 12th

I had a dress I loved in a nice pale blue and brown floral print but it was sadly destroyed at a festival last summer when a stranger spilled a glass of beer down the front of me.  I washed the dress but could never get that awful stain out,so I took it apart and used the pieces to recreate it in this black and pale yellow cotton print. It looks so sweet with my cream petticoat, I think.  The cropped sweater shrug is my cashmere one mentioned but not seen on March 2nd.  This shrug gets a lot of wear because it’s just perfect for letting me wear my spring and summer dresses all year round.

Me made: Dress, petticoat, cropped sweater

purchased: leggings

March 13th

Yeah, I spent the a lazy Sunday at home in my pajamas, but at least they’re me made pajamas! The pants are awesome, a super fine baby weight denim with a very thin pink and white vertical stripe.  I made them elastic in the back and drawstring just across the front for what I consider to be the best of both worlds when it comes to comfort and securely keeping pajama pants on. They’ve got nice big pockets at the sides.  The sweater is a white, thin sweater knit, and the design was self drafted.

me made: Tank tops, sweater and Super super wide wide leg pajama pants.

March 14th

It was just another manic monday.  I didn’t manage to get a photo snapped during the day.  I hardly managed to even get dressed, but rest assured that it was a handmade outfit, just not interesting enough to recreate for posting.

So I finished another week of Me Made March and I’m happy to note that I haven’t had to repeat any outfits yet!  It’s actually a bit of a surprise to realize just how much of my wardrobe is handmade, but I think I’m getting close to running out.  I have completed a pair of pants to add to the mix, and a new sweatshirt that I can’t wait to wear.  The next thing I want to sew is a dress from some delightful bright royal blue knit I’ve had sitting in my “just cut into me already!” pile for a couple of weeks.

March 7, 2011

Week 1 of Me-Made-March

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — laupre @ 7:08 pm

Wow, I’ve completed the first 7 days of the Me-Made-March challenge, and so far so good. I’ve made good on my promise to be here on Monday to post my photos, so let’s dig right in!

March 1st

For the first day of the challenge I chose to go with this outfit.  The Me made portions of the outfit consists of the purple knit racerback top (which is a deliciously soft knit, I love it!), the reconstructed pleated skirt, and the legwarmers.  The undershirt and the tights were purchased.  The skirt is the first item I’ve made this month, specifically to wear for MMM, and with this tank.  It used to be a pair of pants that I never wore because the previous owner did a little reconstructing of their own and attempted to make them very skinny pants.  I love the colors of the plaid though, and was perfect for this outfit with the subtle purple stripes throughout.

March 2nd

This outfit actually has four handmade items in it! The grey dress (which is actually a very very fine weave of black and white, but may as well be grey) is one that I’ve made from my first and only tried and true commercial pattern, Simplicity 3673. I love the shaping on the pattern, with six darts on the front and 6 more on the back to shape it into a very full skirt.  I added a lining for the skirt with a ruffle of tulle at the bottom for a little fluff there.  On top there are actually two layers of black, a reconstructed black shrug from a cozy cashmere sweater and a knit fleece cropped hoodie with an oversized hood.  I love these two basic black cropped pieces and they are honestly probably the handmade pieces I wear the most in my day to day.  They’re both warm and cozy, and when I wear them together I can skip the heavy overcoat even when it’s cold!  The fourth item is the purse, but you can’t really see it in the photo.  It’s a mashup of black velvet, white glitter vinyl and lace.

March 3rd

Kind of a blah outfit here, not too much to say.  The skirt is a kinda refashion, but more of an alteration.  I didn’t like or fit the original waistband and the side zipper was broken so the top was remade.  The longsleeve white top, black racerback tank, and leggings were all made from raw material.  I included a detail picture of the tank because I love the texture and opacity of the black top over the white one.

March 4th

Slacks! It was starting to look like a month of dresses and skirts around here!  These are some of the only slacks I have sewn (aside from leggings and pajamas).  I’ve already picked out some fabric to make some more slacks to get me through the month, as I’m starting to miss my jeans. These green slacks have great big wide legs, which I love.  They were my first experience with making front pockets with pocket yokes and sewing a zipper fly.  I was nervous starting out, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought! I made these months ago, and I’ve worn them many times since then.  The longsleeve shirt and the sleeveless overshirt were both made by me as well.  The top shirt was a reconstruction from a men’s polo shirt.  It’s a delightful plush velour that makes this outfit nice and cozy!

March 5th

This black and white ruffle skirt is one of my favorite handmade pieces.  it’s layers of linen, sequin linen, pinstripe suiting, and white cotton eyelet.  It has a fun swing and is great for dancing.The black top has an over-sized white lined hood, bell sleeves, and delightfully long ties.  I’m also wearing a longsleeve knit top I made in dark grey.  I love these tights (my purchased item in this outfit), and in the detail shot you can see my fun houndstooth nails! in my hair I have a matching houndstooth hair bow I made.

March 6th

For a lazy Sunday I chose this comfortable skirt and tank, all handmade by me.  The tank top is a warm and crazy soft sweater knit that I also made these extra long skinny scarves out of.  The skirt is two layers of of woven fabric cut into a square “circle” skirt with a thick drawstring waist.  The drawstring is actually three  very long strings drawn together.  The whole skirt has a rough feel with unhemmed serged edges.

March 7th

This top is another men’s polo shirt reconstruction.  I just really like the wide variety of colors, patterns, and weights and textures available for men’s polo shirts.  They also tend to be the easiest to reconstruct with because they’re just large squares primarily.  I combined the xlrg men’s polo with a woman’s heathered grey vneck t shirt.  The polo shirt’s short sleeves made up the bust portion, and the collar made the underbust band.  the very wide shirt gathered nicely for some detail on the sides of the front and the center of the back.  A little bow sits center back just above the gathers.  The skirt I’m wearing with it is a simple circle skirt of black eyelet cotton.  The leggings and socks were purchased, but I made the earrings myself!

Whew, week one is done.  Now to get going on more slacks!

February 28, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011

Filed under: Projects, Sewing stuff — Tags: — laupre @ 10:38 pm

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‘I, LauPre, of laupre.com/blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March ’11. I endeavour to wear
as many hand made or refashioned clothing items and accessories as I can (at least two) each day for the duration of March 2011. I am excluding underthings, shoes, handbags and a couple of winter coats’

I always enjoy a good challenge! I’ve seen images other sewists have posted when participating in So,Zo…’s other challenges and thought it was a fun idea. you can read all about the Me Made March challenge at So, Zo… What do you know? here It’s not often that I leave the house without at least one hand made or reconstructed thing on me, but I’ve never really made a conscious effort to do it. The idea is for it to be a challenge for you, and I fear that keeping track of everything may be the biggest challenge facing me! I’m thinking I’ll just post a week at a time, Mondays perhaps?

I’m signing up for the challenge at the last minute, but I have already begun preparing. The first step was a good look at my wardrobe. It was time for a good clean out anyway, so I pulled out anything that I didn’t want and added a bunch of new items to my refashion supplies pile. I’ve got a few projects in mind to fill some holes in my wardrobe that don’t have handmade options (time to tackle jeans, maybe?) and maybe by the end of the month I can be in all handmade!

Here’s a good luck to the (many many) other participants in the challenge!

October 28, 2010

Mend It! Replacing A Broken Hoodie Zipper

Filed under: Sewing stuff, Tutorials — Tags: , , , , , , — laupre @ 8:49 pm

Once again I can’t bear to part with a hoodie that still has plenty of good miles left in it but has developed a fatal flaw. This time it’s a cozy oversized hoodie with a busted zipper. I start to zip from the bottom, but I get no zip!

Broken zipper

I think I feel a draft

Once again, it’s time to spend a few minutes and save this sweatshirt. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with the zipper so the easiest solution for me is to replace it with a new one. I just happen to have one almost perfect in my stash. If you need to buy a zipper, be sure to measure the length of the original zipper as accurately as possible. I suggest taking the item with you so that you can match up the color and exact length before you begin.

matching zipper

New functioning zipper

This zipper is just about perfect. The right length, nearly a perfect match, and was dirt cheap. I bought it locally at Scrap, an excellent resource in Portland, OR for Reuse and Recycling. The other important thing is that it is a separating zipper so the two halves of the zipper separate when the zipper slider is pulled all the way down.

3 zippers

Here are three similar zippers. They are all the same size, all have plastic teeth, the only difference is color and how they end. The first on the left (blue) has a closed bottom. The two sides are connected at the bottom preventing the slider from coming off at the end but it won’t come apart. The middle zipper (green) is a separating zipper. It is perfect for jackets or sweatshirts/hoodies that are expected to open all the way. The one all the way on the right (black) is a double separating zipper. It can come apart like a separating zipper, but it has the added feature of a second slider allowing you to zip it up, then unzip it from the bottom, leaving the top zipped if you want to.

three zippers

Now, back to my project! Looking at the inside of the sweatshirt you can see that this zipper is simply attached with just a single line of stitches.

I could easily pick out the stitches and remove the zipper first. I like to leave the old zipper in place when I add my new zipper for two reasons. First, I like to have the old zipper tape to act as a support layer to keep the sweatshirt material from stretching as I sew, causing wavy zipper syndrome. Secondly, I like to have the original zipper teeth to line the new zipper teeth against as a guide to make sure my zipper is set straight (and make it easier to not use pins. Use them if you prefer.)

Place the zipper, and sew it in place.

I started at the bottom and sewed up towards the hood. Then I stopped an inch or two from the top and hand stitched the rest in place, folding the extra zipper tape from the top between the zipper and the sweatshirt fleece to hide it.

Now I have the option of trimming away the original zipper, if it wasn’t removed before sewing on the new zipper. In my experience it works just fine to trim away the old zipper, cutting as close to the line of stitching for the new zipper as possible. anything leftover is hidden just fine by the new zipper and the edge of the sweatshirt on top. I chose to leave the original zipper in place for this, though. I just like the look of the “double zipper” and the shiny brass of the original.

This is a quick and easy repair that anyone can do. It took me under 30 minutes, including hunting for the zipper! 😉

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