Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That was fast.

I listed three items on my Etsy store, and two sold within 12 hours. That's a utility bill right there. Huzzah!

Side note: I need this shirt, I think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Christmas

I'm naturally contrary, and thus I'm terrible at doing what I'm supposed to do. When I was supposed to be working on a dress, I decided that I'd rather sew a ton of scarves instead:

Ruffled white jersey with black stitching
Available for sale on Etsy.

Black and white striped jersey with black stitching

Light blue linen with black stitching

Grey and black jersey with grey stitching
I am having a crazy good time making these. After a bunch of people asked me if I would make them one, I decided to open an Etsy shop. I just put up a couple of listings for now, but I intend to take more photos to show details, different lighting, and "action shots" of helpful friends wearing them. Anyone need a great holiday gift for a stylish friend or relative?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mann traoch, Gott Lauch.

I have so many plans. However, I'm sure that the universe is laughing hysterically at all of them, because I am so bad at making things just for fun with no external deadline.

Right now I want to make ALL the things. I wake up and feel WICKED energetic and want to make this bracelet and that dress and that other dress and that scarf and that and that and that... and then I get so overwhelmed from all of this wanting that I get frustrated and don't wind up making anything. My other I-make-stuff friends apparently go through this too, so I guess it's normal. Or, at least my friends who have ADD experience this and thus make me feel less crazy.

I've learned that list-making can take the edge off of this manic feeling just long enough for me to start making said things, so here goes:

Minus the boob-bow, probably in another
color. Maybe seersucker with a contrast trim?
Things I Want to Make Next

At least one more ruffled dress like the "accidental lolita dress" that I'm wearing it right now. At first I was worried that it was too light - I always wear black and felt really weird in something that was all rose and white. However, now that I'm getting accustomed to being careful with my black pens and chocolate snacks, I'm discovering that light colors really suit my skin tone. Also, since I'd put ruffles on literally anything I make, ever, I'd like to make more of these fancy girly frill-fests using photos like these for inspiration.

Remove the white high neck part
and I'm all set.
I could totally use the same pattern I've been using for my other dresses to make the pink one above. I'd like to try sleeves like the ones shown, though, because I have enough thin-strapped summer dresses to last me a lifetime and I'd like something that's more of a year-round thing. The blue one to the right would require a new bodice pattern, but I could always use my usual pattern and adjust the neckline, or make the neckline look like the pink dress above instead. Either way, I like the color, the double ruffle at the hem, and the lace at the neck. I am all over everything about that dress like whoa.


Lace bracelets, headbands, and other accessories. I'm getting wicked into lace because of all of this girly crap I've been pinning on my Pinterest page, and I came across a link to some really simple bracelets. I could hit up the bead store today and get the parts to make these after school and finish them within a half hour. This strikes me as a good "I only have an hour but have to make something NOW" days. I figure the speedy gratification would help me feel like I was accomplishing more and thus encourage me to try the more ambitious projects listed in this post.
So fancy. Heck yes.
The biggest obstacle for me is working out when to wear the finished bracelets, because I don't wear many accessories. This is partly because I usually wear hair elastics around my wrist for tying up my massive hair. Also, I tend to feel over-dressed when I wear jewelry, and I'd have to get over that.

These are just so lovely that I could probably convince myself to wear them, and if not, hello to xmas gifts for girly friends. Win/win!

Totally not what I have in mind,
but I wanted to post this anyway.
Evening dresses. This wouldn't require a new pattern - I'd just use the old one and fancy-it-up. I have several ideas and I'm not sure which one to try first. I'll post some sketches later once I scan my sketchbook, but I either want to make an ombre evening dress with bias strips on a long silhouette, probably out of cotton because of all the pattern/color options. How cool would that be? Just the thought of making all those strips gives me a headache, though, so this might be a December break endeavor. I'd need tons of fabric, too, so I'll have to save up.

The other idea would be to make a three tiered skirt out of something light and translucent, like tulle or organza. I'm thinking black tulle so I could get away with something crazy-involved going on with the bodice. Black lace over a contrasting color of a base material? A black base with beads and/or sequins on the top? GAH! TOO MANY IDEAS!

Both of these dresses would likely have the "dark stuff at the waist, bright/light stuff at the boobs and  bottom edge" thing I like. I'm discovering that I'm rather good at slimming the waist of dresses with this stuff. Thanks, years of being a painting major, for teaching me about creating the illusion of depth.


Original image replaced because the
link lead nowhere. Bummer.
Scarves. I never used to wear these, now I'm finally accepting that they can work over my giant rack if I choose the right ones. I found a bunch of images on Pinterest and immediately made plans to cut up some old shirts and make them into something a scarf/necklace/whatever you'd call this. It seems crazy easy. Cut shirt into strips, wrap in fancy ways and/or around a base structure (like a D ring or shower curtain ring), and wear. As Shore Leave would say, boom! Yummy.

Oh ruffles, I love you so.
I might do this one tonight. If it works out, hello xmas gifts for all of my scarf-wearing friends. If it doesn't, I'm sure I can find a use for strips of jersey. I can never get sick of that soft, stretchy, forgiving fabric.

Also, I've been meaning to make a few ruffly infinity scarves for myself out of a pile of white/black and grey/black striped jersey that I have lying around. Thanks to my serger I could whip a few of these up in an hour. More xmas gifts, perhaps? Depends on how generous I feel, because if it's made of striped jersey I'll want to keep it for myself. I'll wear striped-anything.


So yeah, I have plans. SO MANY PLANS. Of course, I also need to complete the green dress I've been farting around with for weeks. I have come to hate this dress. Maritza had to show me how to completely reconfigure the pattern to fit me, because apparently my bust is absurdly huge compared to the pattern. I'm a size 18 dress (we think) and a size 24 bust. I've made 4 different muslins and she thinks the most recent alterations should make me good to go on cutting my real fabric.I'm cutting it this weekend, so fingers crossed. Between this and the unfinished corset pattern I have waiting for me, I should really buckle down before I even think of starting the stuff above.

Man, having ADHD is rough. How does anything ever finish anything with the temptation of new projects constantly getting in the way?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Accidental Lolita dress. How did this happen?

So far I've planned out all of the dresses I've made, and I know (more or less) what I want them to become when I buy the fabric. Not so with the lacy, girly Lolita-looking dress I've been making lately. Seriously, this thing went from "yeah, I have some ruffles" to "OMG I VOMIT PONIES" girly in a matter of one three-day weekend.

I started making a double-layered skirt this summer and never quite finished. I found a pile of white and rose striped shirting and grabbed it while it was on sale. I was very into making this skirt, but it was big and unwieldy, and involved enough pins that I didn't want to cart it around the house for fear of impaling the pets. I eventually got it to a point where it only needed a zipper, and stopped there because it looked absolutely awful on me. I don't have many photos, but below is an approximation I created by hiding the now-finished bottom as much as possible. It's a pretty faithful representation.

Too short, more like an apron than a skirt.
Also, OMG fatty fat fat. Unflattering!
The proportions were weird, and it hit me waaaaay too high in the waist to be flattering with any of the shirts I usually wear. I was really bummed that I wouldn't have a fun, stripy skirt to wear. I scrapped it for a few more months and regretted spending money on that fun fabric that I fell in love with this summer. It became the padding I wrapped around the sewing machine when I carted it to class.

This weekend I decided to give it one last attempt by making it into a dress, and I think I may have saved it. The picture to the left doesn't do it justice, but I didn't want to change into a half-finished dress in the middle of my classroom, even if it was my prep and no one was around. That would totally have been the moment that the principal showed up with, say, parents or school committee people in tow. Oh hai, school committee, no, I normally don't dress in pinned-together rags and/or resemble a frilly, pink homeless person. Don't judge me!
The ruffles cascade much more gracefully
when I actually have it on. Here, the
dress looks like it's pooping fabric.

I worry that it's too "junior" for me, and it's definitely waaaaaay more girly than anything I've ever worn. Also, I never wear light colors like this. I really hope I can make this into something I'll actually wear, because it's been tons of fun to make it and I really like the (nearly) finished result.

I'll post additional (flattering, higher quality) photos later once I attach the straps.  Yay for more clothes!