Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Sew-Along Final Update

Last I left off with having the zipper sewn in at the back of the dress. Here is the exciting conclusion of February's project! (If you want to see the finished product and not read through the last few steps just scroll to the bottom of the post.)

18. The final major section to work on are the sleeves. The first thing I did for these was to make two rows of basting stitches on the sleeves (in between the notches). 

19. Next I pinned and stitched the dart s in the sleeves. It is always really important to make sure that your darts are the same length. I measured mine against the pattern and each other to make sure they were all the same. I do this for darts everywhere on a garment. It is really noticeable (to me at least) when they aren't the same length. Another trick with darts is to tie off the pointed end instead of back stitching. It makes them less bulky and helps to avoid the "pointy" dart look. 

20. Once the darts were even I pressed them downwards. Afterwards I pinned the underarm seams together matching the top,bottom and notches. I then went to the machine and sewed them together. I checked that everything was lined up and then pressed open the seam with the iron.

21. The sleeve was then ready to be set into the armhole. This step is one of the trickier ones and I find it is really important to have your notches marked correctly or else the sleeves won't fit properly. I matched the underarm seams, the top and notches. Once these were secure in place with pins I gathered the sleeve in to fit. This sleeve was not meant to look gathered so you have to be very careful not to make puckers when pulling them in. Once I was satisfied with the fit I sewed them in place at the machine.    

22. The last step was to pin up the hem for the sleeves and the bottom of the dress. The sleeve hem was already measured out properly on the pattern (I just made sure they wouldn't be too short on my oddly long arms). The skirt hem though I had to measure out on my mannequin as it was rather uneven. And there you have it folks, another garment completed! 

Here are pictures of the finished product:

What I Wore:
Dress: Made By Me (see pattern here)
Belt: Fairweather
Tights: Ardene
Shoes: Spring

I wore the finished product out to the theatre. We went to see The Last Romance with Jamie Farr (who was amazing) at Theatre Aquarius. It was a very interesting an entertaining show, although the ending was a bit bittersweet. I am pretty please with how the dress turned out, in my opinion it looks better with the belt though. Also these tights are pretty sweet, sometimes it is hit or miss if pairs from Ardene will fit, but these ones were perfect. I also love these shoes and I don't get to wear them often enough. I can't wear them to work because my feet would be a mess, so it is nice to be able to wear them out somewhere. I know this is a long post already, but here is the last thing I promise. The project for next month is:

I am going to make Simplicity pattern 1775 view B (the one with sleeves). The black will be the sleeves and belt and the pattern is the rest of the dress. I think this time around I might just post update pictures with a brief description of what I have done. It is a lot of work doing the step-by-step and I am pretty sure no one is actually sewing these items along with me. If anyone objects let me know and I will post the step-by-step still. If not, I will just post the progress shots and I am always happy to answer questions if someone decides to sew it themselves. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Red Kimono Sleeve

What I Wore:
Shirt: Bealls
Jeans: Old Navy
Socks: Present (???)
Shoes: Blowfish 

I have not been wearing a lot of pants lately, it is really hard to find pairs that fit me nicely. Usually fit in the leg but are huge in the waist and sag down, and if I go the size down they're too small. It is a lot easier to find dresses and skirts that fit properly. However last week Old Navy had a sale on their jeans and I know for a fact that their pants fit me pretty well. I went to check it out and found these sweet black jeans. My last pair crapped out on me at the end of the summer so it was nice to be able to replace them with a relatively inexpensive pair that fit well. I really like the classic pairing of red and black so I thought this shirt would go nicely with the new pants. I like the slouchy fit with the kimono sleeve, and the of course the polka dots at the top. The frilly red socks just make me happy and I thought it would be cute to add them in.   

P.S. It is snowing like crazy here and I really hope that my plans for later today are not cancelled!   

Monday, 25 February 2013

Florida: Miramar Beach

Here is the last set of pictures from our trip to Florida. There were taken in Miramar Beach where my aunt was staying.

White sand picturesque beach. 

Funny but practical sign.

 Colourful restaurant.

A pelican hunting for it's dinner.

A crab claw I found on the beach.

Another (or the same) pelican hunting. They kept flying up an down the beach. 

 Sunset and night fishers.

Winter Blues

What I Wore:
Dress: H&M
Shirt: Smart Set
Leggings: Suzy Shier
Socks: Payless
Boots: ModCloth

I have been enjoying pairing collared shirts with dresses and sweaters lately, anything to liven up my winter wardrobe. It also keeps me toasty warm in our house and at work. It's around this tie of year that I start to get sick of winter. The February blahs I guess. This year hasn't been as bad as others considering we  have had a relatively mild winter. I think I just start to miss the sunshine, February is so grey and white, it's boring. The cold doesn't bother me so much, I like getting all bundled up in socks and sweaters, but the lack of sunshine really gets to me. It was nice to be able to take a break this year and go to Florida, although it was hard coming back to the icky weather again. I can totally sea why there are a lot of people in Canada who live here during the summer, but go South for the winter (Snowbirds as we call them after that Anne Murray song). At least it isn't super hot out, I prefer the cold to heat. Does anyone else get the winter blahs?  

I've got a pretty good week ahead of me to look forward to, which is nice at this time of year. Yesterday was Colin's birthday so we are going to go to his sister's tonight for dinner. Wednesday we are going to visit with some friends that live out of town. We are going to do some shopping and I am going to give them their souvenirs from the Florida trip. I am hoping to be finished a dress I am working on right now by then so that I can wear it for the visit. Thursday will be my final post for the February Sew-Along where I reveal the finished product and announce next month's project. I am really excited for March's project, I can't wait to share it with you! Saturday I have to go to an 8am meeting at work (boourns) but afterwards we are going to go out to breakfast which will be nice. All in all not a bad week. Do you guys have any exciting plans for this week?

Friday, 22 February 2013

Peplum Surprise

What I Wore:
Shirt: ModCloth
Cardi: Walmart
Skirt: Made By Me
Tighst: ModCloth
Shoes: Thrifted (Talize)
Belt: Bealls 

I bought this shirt and tights during the ModCloth sale that happened a few weeks ago. They arrived in the mail while I was away on vacation and didn't get a chance to wear them until this week. I am really pleased with this shirt. I was worried it was going to look weird because the few other peplum items I have tried on didn't fit me quite right. Plus in the description it said it fit a bit large, but there was only one size left (the 14 which I normally wear) so I decided to take the plunge and order it anyway. To make a long story short it arrived, I tried it on and it looked great and fit perfectly! I was initially drawn to the shirt because of the shiny blue collar (big surprise) so I am really glad the rest of it worked out. I am not as pleased with the tights unfortunately. It said they were supposed to fit past my size, but they sit really low and the legs are short. The print kind of gets stretched out when I wear them (it's bows, which you can kind of see in the first picture). They still mostly fit and don't slouch when I wear them, so I think I can tolerate them because they print is really cute. The other item I got fits really well too which is great because it was a size smaller than I would normally wear. I will probably trot that out sometime next week, so stay tuned. The shoes were a great find at Talize. I never find used shoes in good condition so I was really excited when I found this pair. Not much else going on around here, I hope you are all having a happy Friday! 

P.S. If any of you have Tumblr you should check out the Fatshion February blog. I have been participating in it this year and it is super fun! 

P.P.S. I just found out that I won the Vintage Patch giveaway! I am super excited to add the Beige & Cream Housemartins Print (heart shape) to my jeans!   

Thursday, 21 February 2013

February Sew-Along Update III

Last week I left off on step 11 with having sewn the front and back pieces together. Here are the next few steps.

12. The first step of the day was to pin the back facing to the front facing. In the pattern is recommended using lining, but because of the fabric I used I thought it would be better to face it with the same fabric.  I pinned to back facings to the front at the shoulders and then sewed them together. 

13. Next I surged around all the edges. Then I folded the outside edge down 1/4" and zig zag stitched it down. 

14. Once the facing was ready to go I pinned it to the dress at the neck, matching the shoulder seams and centre front. I sewed it together and clipped the curved edge. Then I pressed up the seam allowance and under-stitched it.  It is kind of hard to see, but the upper row of stitching is where I attached the seam to the facing. This will ensure that the facing doesn't roll out and makes it so you can't see it from the outside. 

15. This next step is a little fussy, but I always find working with facings to be frustrating. I turned the facing to the inside of the dress. Then I lined it up to cover the seams on the inside. I pinned it in place from the outside, making sure it wasn't pulling or puckering. Once I was satisfied with its placement I sewed it down from the outside, stitching in between the seams. This is called "stitching in the ditch."

16. This step is pretty simple, I pinned the two back pieces together from the hem to the marked notch (where the double pins are). I went to the machine and sewed it together.  

17. Now it is time to put in the zipper. This one is a  little different than a regular zipper because the left side folds over the right. It is called a lap zipper. The pictures run in order of the steps, so if you need to follow along you can go back up to the top of this section. First I folded and ironed the back right side under by 1/2". Then I folded and ironed the left side under 5/8". I took my zipper and pinned it to the right side. I made sure it was in place then sewed it on the machine. This next part was a bit tricky so go slowly with it. I took the left side and placed it over the right, overlapping it by 1/8" (just covering the stitches from securing the zipper). I pinned it in place and then basted the left half of the zipper. *Tip* when basting use a contrasting colour that is easy to see. I double checked that it was in place, sewed it on the machine and then unpicked my basting stitches. Last but not least I sewed a hook and bar in at the top so that it will stay in place when I am wearing it. 

That's where I am going to leave it for today. All that's left to finish up are the sleeves and hem  Come back next Thursday for the exciting conclusion to the February project!