Category: sewing

week 331

Have been on a bit of a kick of trying to make hats out of red felt because it’s what I bought. This is my way to protest um someone ruining red baseball caps. Also it’s nice to make accessories which take up less time than anything else wearable. Basically, accessories are appetizers and dresses are the main meal. Besides my next huge project is the red velvet suit and it would nice to have a matching but not exactly matching, if that makes sense, something to wear alongside.

First done was a beret. It took a few hours and tried to make the top a heart but it looked awful so, the next day, made the shape a more rounded off triangle.

Sideview of most of the red beret

Second hat was supposed to be something else. Tried to make something else but kept cutting the inside circle of the brim and it became too big so had to scrap that. The pillbox is the leftover from that one.

Pillbox hat with veiling

Thought I was nearly done with this yesterday but the stitches looked messy and picked them all out and basted stitches and will sew it all together then fix the binding to the inside.

After screwing up, bought more felt and trying again to make a trilby or whatever it’s called. It’s in pieces still. The brim is currently wide but the outside edge could be trimmed a bit.

Second hat in pieces.  Outside red felt and the lining is white and brown

Just a hint of Valentines for Dylan’s classroom. I plan on making them paper and felt hearts and making chocolate biscuits plus white and milk chocolate swirled fudge for the adults. I’m not lining the hearts but attaching them to paper.

small and big hearts

Haven’t covered the canvas with black gesso but imagine this covered in black gesso and the lightweight cardboard cutout spaces in variant amounts of yellow, pink and white. I sprayed the canvas back with hot water but it’s still a bit wrinkly on the bars.

Canvas with cardboard cutouts laid out

By the way, Cheap Joe’s sent the cross braces and I don’t think they fit the stretcher bars. Supposedly anything bigger than 24” needs braces in the back and I just need to suck it up and learn how to build my own stretcher frames if I want to paint anything huge.

cross braces with part of the stretcher bars

week 330

Making this dress has been such a pain to get it in the state where I’m completely happy with it. I’ve finally reached that point where the skirts need to be hemmed and it’s completely finished. It looks wider and compared a pullover shirt and it’s just the way it looks. Need to attach something so the dress doesn’t keep falling off the hanger.

Unhemmed lace dress

The cape that sat on a hanger in the closet is nearing completion, also. Need to finish sewing up the collar and put the bottom on it, then cut the ribbon apart.

Gold cape

Continued crocheting this wee thing. I have no idea what it will be so assuming it’s a shawl at this point. It’s too thick to be a scarf.

Orange and variegated striped shawl

Have no idea where this is going but experimenting with shades of green, using blue, yellow and light pink

Green swirls on green paint

I’m still getting more practice stretching canvas and the corners annoy me. Need to spray them with hot water. Would hot water affect the dyed one? Probably.

two stretched canvas

Oh and I finally opened the resin and made this, as an experiment. Used dried old flowers which will eventually lose all its purple and become yucky brown. I need to sand it all over but doubt it will become glass clear. I used the correct measurements but it was around 15C and wasn’t careful about the bubbles forming. Also I sprayed a leftover packaging for banana clips with the mold release spray twice and still destroyed it because I got excited and removed it an hour earlier than I should have.

Resin piece

Week 329

My focus has only been on getting the dress done. For a short bit, I was overthinking it and decided to do something different with the skirt, but decided to revert back to how it was originally, because the skirts would have made it hard to walk.

I’m finally at this stage. Attaching the top and bottom together. Finally.

Bottom inside  while top is inside out

Nothing really else but last Friday I picked up a box from UPS. They decided to hold my package at a different place. Perhaps because last time was a pain in the ass.

But everything I bought with the giftcard, plus just over $2, was in the box. Bit of red felt, small bag of glitter, gold ribbon and stretcher bars. Two pairs of 16”, one 20” and 30”. I might not have measured the dyed fabric correctly so probably be 16×16, instead of the 20×30.

Red felt,  glitter, four sets of stretcher bars and ribbon

week 328

Took a break from the dress and my focus has turned to other things in the meantime.

Finally painted the canvas. Cut out some circles and half circles from cardboard then attached them with tape.

Canvas with tape and cut out circles and half circles

Then painted over all the open space using various amounts of black, yellow and blue paint.

Same canvas,  partially painted

Then removed the circles and added various amounts of red, yellow and the tiniest amount of white. Used only acrylic paint so after two hours, got impatient and removed all the blue tape. It looks nice but feel it needs something else but unsure what. Something between the four middle half circles.

Same canvas with more paint and the tape removed

There was leftover red and yellow paint mixture so just put it on a blank canvas panel. Not sure if it’s obvious that some of the paint is a slightly different shade. It’s intentionally in different directions. Also didn’t care that it was progressively thicker when more paint was mixed in.

Canvas panel covered in red and yellow variants of paint

I used my Michaels giftcard from my sister-in-law’s Christmas present to me and bought stretcher bars, ribbon, glitter and a bit of red felt. Want to make a fascinator and/or possibly a hat from the felt. Waiting on the glitter to finally crack open the resin and make cuff bracelets. The ribbon is for the dress neckline.

One of the stretcher bars, I plan on using the canvas that sat in the flower dye. My embroidery skills are subpar but something will result. For comparison, the dyed canvas is a few shades darker than the original canvas colour.

Bottom part is undyed canvas, for comparison

Have finally started going through the piles of unfinished sewing projects hanging in my closet and finally made a shirt from the kimono that was bought for about ten bucks. Sewn down the open front asymmetrically. Neckline is a bit wonky, after putting bias tape, but a thorough ironing should fix it. It’s cropped but feels good and hits right below my belly button.

It’s surprising I’ve not done any knitting or crochet, but it happens every so often. Also, I’ve been wanting to experiment with black gesso lately so will eventually cave and buy some at some point.

weeks 325-327

Christmas and New Year’s has passed and we’ve rolled into 2020. I planned on posting on New Year’s Day but between December 30 to January 1 was an emotional rollercoaster. If we’re going to continue into the year, from what was happening at midnight, in two separate time zones. According to Brisbane time, I’m going to be angry and it will be full of misunderstandings, and I will definitely be single by the time the days reset to one when 2021 comes. (By the way, him and his family is safe, away from the fires.) According to California time, it will be listening to music and struggling through emails, and not single, maybe. So, I guess it will start off rocky then smooth out towards the end. I just want to be less stressed out about everything.

I didn’t get much done between that limbo space of Christmas and New Year’s because, really, the rare person does. After the year reset, I’ve decided that I need to do things a bit differently. Every month I will start and finish a project. Instead of having multiple projects going on at once and quite a few unfinished, it will be easier to focus on fewer. Three seems like a good number, instead of indefinite. I also need to finish the various other WIPs. So, instead of starting more, I need to play catch up.

I’ve been wanting to make a tulle circle skirt since my son turned nine. And finally got brave enough to pull out a certain fabric that’s been sitting on a hanger in one closet. The end goal has always been a dress. And I’m nearly at completion. I didn’t use a pattern, drafting pieces using my measurements, and it’s coming out nicer than I hoped. Either way, I’m crying at the result. I didn’t feel like fussing with buttons or zippers, so made it slightly larger so I’m not struggling pulling it on and off, because none of the material is stretchy.

Top of lace dress
Skirt, hem trimmed but not fix

I need to fix the neckline then attach the skirt to the top then fix the six (lace, four of tulle, and lining) skirt layers.

The funny thing is a few times, while it was in the closet, I would whisper to it,”Soon, my precious.” This month I saw a hashtag on Instagram #sewtheprecious which is to celebrate the special fabric you’ve bought and stashed, to actually use it so you can wear it.

The next project after this is the red velvet suit, which I want to wear on my birthday in April. Perhaps with a fascinator. Still want to wear a sequin shirt with it but will most likely be something else.

Not much else beyond focusing on the dress, but in the process of frogging the purple pullover. I didn’t make it big enough for my shoulders, which is the widest part of me. Shoulders should not be four inches wider than my hips but my body is my body. Top down evades me, so always start bottom upwards.

Purple yarn being turned back into cake form

weeks 322-324

This blog is turning into the Once a Month project, geez. Not sure why I haven’t been blogging weekly, but it probably has something to do with wanting to do other stuff than looking at a blank laptop screen. Haven’t done much writing either.

One weekend was spent crocheting a long red circular scarf, and finished it quicker than expected. Planned on taking photos wearing it along with various people with me, but didn’t get that far.

Black scarf on left, Red crochet scarf on the right

I’ve made progress on a few other things.

The orange vest needs the button placket done, and have put them on straights.

Using up all the purple yarns in my stash, and some grey to make a top. It’s top down, with the top crochet then the rest is knit.

I counted the stitches and it’s 312 for sleeves and main body.

Purple yarns,  minus the grey yarn

Oh a few more rows of moss stitch (on an odd numbered row) on the blue pullover, so about three inches done. Two more inches before stockinette stitch.

Then there is this future scarf. It will include knitting and crochet. It’s stockinette until that yarn is over then switching colours, then repeat for the other side.

Oh, and I got fabric for a future suit. The outside will be a dark red, while the inside is a heavily pink coral taffeta. I have so many sewing projects that need to be finished ASAP but still want to start this as soon as possible. My goal is a gorgeous dress and this velvet suit; at least one by Valentine’s Day and most by my birthday in April. Still need to buy interfacing and lining for the dress.

Coral two tone taffeta and dark red velvet fabrics

I did a bit of baking over the past weekend and plan on making more next weekend. Just have to remember to buy more Molasses. Icing biscuits has become a bit easier. There is this baker who is local, that basically told me, don’t follow the directions on the Wilton container, but mix the confectioners sugar and meringue powder together then add the water and mix until stiff peaks, then add tiny bits more water, this isn’t including the gel colouring, according to whether it’s for outlining or flood icing.

Badly iced sugar wreath and fish shaped biscuits

weeks 320-321

I’ve come down with a cold this week and it sucks, so posting this from the phone, while forcing myself to rest, although it’s impossible to sit or lie there and do absolutely nothing.

Made a wide cowl, or infinity scarf. Black yarn is a pain to work with but luckily it wasn’t also laceweight mohair or alpaca. I want to make a mohair sweater and add pearls then add a layer of tulle at the bottom but have so many things that need to be done before getting anywhere started on my dream sweater. Don’t have the yarn or any other material for it.

Black crochet infinity scarf

Some progress on the orange vest. Few more rows before binding off for the top, of the second front part.

Orange vest, second front progress

Had some time on my hands and decided to knit a simple scarf with that yarn I got the other week. I originally had it on straights but just reached for a circular pair and just doing regular stockinette

Simple  stockinette stitch scarf

Made another fascinator although it doesn’t exactly lay flat on angle against my head. Still have a load of ribbon flowers that were never used, so attached grey ribbon flowers to a felt base. Should have steamed the base so it was more rounded but it still looks nice.

Selfie with grey fascinator.  So many freckles on my face

week 313

Not sure why but the camera I use is taking rather blurry photos, so that’s why they’ve all been unclear for a while now.

The dress is pretty much done, although I do have to fiddle around with the neckline a bit more.

top part of the dress, showing the neckline with the crochet collar attached

I handsewn on the crochet collar onto the top, but feel I need to sew it all together, because it’s a bit loose. Also, it’s lopsided, and should have done a few less stitches, but it’s not an eyesore. The fact you see black stitching in the back does bother me a bit so need to fix that, then be officially done. Sure. No one will see it but myself, and whoever looks at this picture, but still.

skirt hem lifted to show lining hem

The hems for both are done. Originally was going to sew the main dress over the lining, so it’s one less hem, but sewn them separately, so both are on the wrong side, meaning if you lift the skirt, this is what you see.

shirt with shortened sleeves

I didn’t get much else done, but altered a readymade shirt my mum didn’t want it anymore and gave me, which was sitting in the closet for a while. Should have took in some fabric but like it being oversized. I shortened the sleeves to about half and turned one cuff and some sleeve material into an oddly shaped pocket.

I still have the others to alter, if you’re wondering.

week 312

The dress and lining needs to be hemmed but it’s almost finished. Slightly adjusted the front pocket because one corner was not attached. I’m tempted to add a crochet collar, along with crochet edging along the bottom of the main skirt. Need to buy some black crochet thread, though.

front of the dress
blurry pic of the lining and dress hems

The grey (but reads as blue) and orange painting experiment, in order to see if I liked the colours turned out to be ugly, but the colours mesh well. It doesn’t work because I should have left some space peach-coloured.

orange and grey (I swear it says concrete grey on the tube) paint experiment

weeks 309-311

I purposely didn’t post anything for the past two weeks. First, I was focused on making sure every bit of paperwork was turned in for Dylan’s triannual IEP last Friday. That, and have been working on a dress and wanted to finish it before posting anything about it, but it’s not finished and I’m still going to post about it since I’m nearing the finish line.

Various projects have weaved in and out of my hands.

The knitted vest, I’ve reached the point where I start binding off various stitches for one front panel, and keep calculating how much to bind off on each side.

orange knit vest back, with one of the front panels

While waiting for something to happen, wanted to keep my hands busy. It was circular but the stitches were twisted. Ended up frogging that, only to start this. I’m going to use this yarn and experiment, so unsure what the end result will be.

starting of another knittng project

Yet another thing to use up yarn, I started crocheting a shawl, but have since picked up stitches and want to either make cables or lace. This picture was (obviously) taken before transferring it onto knitting needles.

So..the dress. I’m a very avid Instagram user and post regularly. Sometimes every day, sometimes much less. Peppermint Magazine had a long-running stint with a company called In The Folds and I had one of their free patterns, #peppermintpeplumtop, as something I was following. Of course, myself likes to make things more complicated.

First of all, I prefer sleeves to sleeveless. I wanted to try my hand in making the top. I was using the top as an excuse to relax, and instead stressed out more and just kept adding steps to the whole process, which please don’t do that. I made the top into a dress and made a lining for the dress, which is way more than a simple sleeveless top with a ruffled bottom. I didn’t properly measure how long for the ruffle, and at first it was way more fabric than I can handle, so ended up taking off about three inches on each side, which made it much more manageable. Also, added a really long belt and some belt loops, although one got partially mangled while sewing the skirt to the top. I didn’t add any interfacing so it probably won’t last as long as it possibly can, but it still looks amazing.

This is what it looks like, as it is now. I have to sew the necklines together then the sleeve hems, hang it for a day or two, then hem the skirts separately. There is a picture of the dress, before sewing any of the lining together on my Instagram feed, along with a lot of pictures of the process, and I’m pretty chuffed about it. This is a horribly blurry photo but there isn’t much space between where it hung and where I stood. I’m not a selfie blaster that takes hundreds of pictures at a time, and will take up to five and usually the first one is the good one. In this case, also. It does look like it needs a bit of the lining trimmed but that’ll be after everything is sewn up.

By the way, I have about enough material to make one more top. And maybe that scene from Garden State, which has yet to be done.

dress hanging on a hanger with the inside lining on the outside