Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewing a cardigan shrug

So in keeping up with this momentum for sewing I've built up I decided to try following my first shirt pattern! All the McCall's patterns were on sale at JoAnn's for $1.00 a piece so I spent my lunch break browsing the patterns and picking out some of my favorite/most feasible for me to accomplish.

I knew I wanted to make a shirt and I liked this pattern for a number of reasons. First, it says "Easy" right on the front of the envelope. Second, it also says only "1 Hour". Third, the garment itself is versatile enough that you could make it to be worn at any number of different occasions.

I think subconsciously I'm into self-sabotage or something though because despite having many nice knit fabrics to choose from I chose this extremely thin, delicate one instead. The fabric is sheer, dark blue and very pretty.  
So what if I've never made a shirt, the fabric is difficult to work with and I only ever read half the directions?!

I took a little time practicing on some fabric scraps and there were a few slip-ups I had to undo and correct but in the end I did indeed make a shirt. And I learned a thing or two about sewing with sheer fabrics too!

And see, it even came out looking like a shirt too! And really, for my first crack at it that is all I ask. Also, I did not make this thing in 1 hour. More like over the course of 3 days. Lol.

 I totally love how it came out though and think using sheer fabric instead of knit makes it so pretty and chic. I imagine wearing it in the spring and summer or even as a beach cover-up! I don't know what I was thinking making it in the middle of January though :-P Aye...

I might have to work something out though so I can wear it because last week I was given the most awesome pair of boots I have EVER owned. And what color are they? Dark blue and sparkly and yeah sparkly CAN be a color. They go perfectly with my new shirt, just not in the right season! Perhaps if I pair it all together with a scarf and a hat? Haha. I'll definitely need it.

Anyway, my awesome Aunt Mindy surprised me with a pair of sequined UGG boots. Did I ask for a pair of UGG's? No. Did I want a pair of UGG's? Not in particular. I did, however, really want a new pair of boots in general. Until these babies came along I was rocking my $12 Walmart brand UGG knock-offs for the last 3 years or so. This winter I was starting to notice that they were looking a little...well, disgusting. Many a black, dirty slush puddle they have trekked through and they have served me well. I was glad to finally retire them.

I didn't ask for UGGs but Mindy got them for me because that's just the kind of aunt my Aunt Mindy is. AWESOME.
And I gotta admit, I understand their appeal now. They are like fuzzy warm clouds for your feet and who doesn't want that? I love them. 

So, yeah, that's pretty much it for now. Life is good. I'm spoiled. Still sewin'. I'm thinking of either making a skirt or dog clothes next. Something is telling me my smallest dog, Dinah, would appreciate a nice warm doggie sweater. She's prone to getting chilly in the winter. Poor baby sass...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Dress Alteration Project

So for about the last 6 months I have been teaching myself how to sew. It is a frustrating yet rewarding hobby and I have learned A LOT since starting. I've sewn skirts, cloaks, capes, a photo backdrop and even done a couple of dress alterations. 

My latest project was doing some alterations on a Lauren Conrad dress my mom picked up for me. She found it on clearance at Kohl's and thought it was too good of a deal to pass up. Thanks mom!

Here is the dress...

Cute right? A fine dress on it's own but as the holidays were approaching I learned that my job (i work at a children's museum) was going to be having a big holiday party. It was going to be held at one of the nicest (and most beautiful) hotels in town, The Hotel Blackhawk. 

I immediately knew that this was the dress I was going to wear but I envisioned something more personalized, more ME. With that being said, this became another perfect opportunity to develop my sewing skills. 

My hair is red and pink so that became the inspiration behind the alterations. As vain as it sounds I must say that I am going through a hairstyle/haircolor golden age right now. I have never been so happy with my hair. I think that it why it became the inspiration for the dress. 

Here's my red/pink hair to give you an idea...

I wanted my hair and my dress to tie together into one cohesive, totally customized, one of a kind look. I wanted something unique to me and me alone. Ha, I sound like such a brat. Forgive me :-P 

Anyway, with the dress already being red I just needed to find a way to tie some pink into it. 
This is what I came up with

I added a permanent belt with rhinestone buckle, off the shoulder sleeves and some beautiful trim along the bottom. 

The sleeves I added so I would feel comfortable not wearing a shawl or cover-up. I don't usually wear sleeveless pieces alone so I thought this would be a good solution. 

To make the sleeves I used some reddish pink velvet my grandma (a seamstress herself) gave me when I visited her in Minnesota this past fall. Thanks Mimi!

The trim along the bottom I found at the craft store. Some of it was put on with permanent, fusible fabric tape and some of it was sewn on. The only thing I did not expect when doing this part was how much I was going to need of each type of trim I used. 

The skirt of this dress is done like a circle skirt with lots of twirl and flounce. I needed at least 15ft of each type of trim to make it all the way around the bottom of the dress! I had to make a 2nd trip to the craft store and buy out their supply of pink glitter ribbon. lol

It was well worth the effort though and I had it ready in just the nick of time for my work party. 

My husband saw me working so hard on the dress all week and knew how excited I was for us to dress up and go to a fancy party together.  Before we left for The Hotel Blackhawk that night he told me he would be happy to escort me to the party and presented me the most beautiful corsage made of red and pink roses. 

It was just the sweetest thing and I could tell he was just as pleased with himself as I was for coming up with such a thoughtful, romantic thing to do. Good job Honey! You made me melt. lol

I'm sure a lot of you are like "OH, BROTHER. Give me a break from all this CHEEEEESE!" and for that I cannot blame you. Really! For us though it was a big deal getting to dress up and go to this party. My theory is that because we never had a formal wedding with a fancy tux and gown these smaller things (like a holiday party) become a big to-do for us and we get really into it. 

For those who don't know we eloped in Vegas in your stereotypical, spur of the moment, Vegas marriage type of way. That is a story for another day though ;D

Anyway, I thought it would be pretty much amazing to wear fresh flowers in my hair so my husband pinned the corsage in my hair for me, we left for the party and had an amazing night.


Here we are at the party.

And here we are with the family on Christmas Eve. After putting so much work into one dress you know I gotta squeeze as many wears in as possible!

I got a cute family, just throwin' it out there...

And here we are again hanging out during PRESENT OPENING TIME. YAY! And what glorious, chaotic time it was. Kids make it so fun and so crazy. Ha ha. 

That's all for now folks so thanks for reading! Hopefully I'll blog again here sooner rather than later ;)
Peace. <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">