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TUTORIAL : SUMMER SCARF PART 2

3.29.2012

If you missed yesterday's post on how to sew the basic summer scarf click here.



Today I am going to show you how I simply used fabric paint to give a little personality to the scarf.

After a lot of debate I finally decided to jump on the polka dot trend because it was the easiest and most reliable of my ideas to make something look really professional.

Materials:

-light weight summer scarf
-fabric paint
-1 inch circle sponge (I got mine at the craft store for under $1)
-large ruler or straight edge
-iron
-hairdryer (optional)

Step 1
Iron you scarf so that it is flat.



Step 2
Lay your scarf out flat on a large surface (you may want to put cardboard or plastic underneith your scarf to protect the surface).  You can do it in parts if you want.  I did mine in two halves.



Step 3
Prepare you paint and test on a scrap.  I used pink fabric paint and found it best to water it down by about 30%.  This made the end paint less stiff once dried.



Step 4
Line up your straight edge or ruler to make sure that you paint in a straight line.  Press down with your brush and make a circle every 2 inches.  Make sure that you don't have too much paint on your brush or else may be really thick and stiff once it dries.



Step 5
I found the best technique was to slightly rotate the handle of the brush in order to make sure that all of the edges of the circle apply paint.  I wasn't too worried about if the the circles were perfect.  I wanted more of a handmade, block-printed effect.  Continue to make rows of dots in groupings in whatever numbers that you like.



Step 6
Let your scarf dry.  You can use a hair dryer for speeding up the process.



Step 7
Iron all of your painted polka dots to set the paint and make it washable.



You're done!




TUTORIAL : SUMMER SCARF PART 1

3.28.2012

Today is part 1 of my tutorial for making a very professional looking summer scarf.  It is one of those things that I love to make because it is easy, cheap, and has big results.



Step 1



Get a piece of light weight cotton fabric that is about 25" wide and about 90" long (this is approximately 21/2 yards of fabric cut in half lengthwise.  Cut a small snip about 1 inch from each of the skinny ends of the fabric and tear along the grain.  This will true your fabric or make it on the grain.  This will come in handy when you fray the edges.

Step 2



Stitch a line 5/8" from the edge on both of your short edges.  Depending on the weight of your fabric you may need to adjust your tension and/or needle to accomodate for the fabric being so sheer.

Step 3



If one of your long edges is a selvage like mine is then your need to cut out a small notch beneith the stitch line.

Step 4



Thread by thread start to pull the lengthwise threads all the way to the the stitch line.  This will take awhile, so get in front of a good show.  I really think it's worth it though.  I think the fray is what makes it look professional instead of homemade.

Step 5



On each of the long edges, turn in 1/4" and press.

Step 6



Turn it over another 1/4" and press.

Step 7



Now stitch the folded fabric down to secure it.



Now you are done making the basic spring scarf.  Tomorrow I will show you how I hand painted it.


SEWN : SCOUT TEE MUSLIN

3.26.2012

I finished my muslin for Grainline's Scout Tee this weekend.  I am very happy with the way it turned out. I used Grainline's tutorial for flat bias necklines and it worked out perfectly.  I am just so happy with the way that the neckline and shoulders fit.  I think that this pattern will be great for my looser fitting easy shirts like the green one below.  I decided to use another pattern for my lace shirt.  I want it to be a little bit more fitted and to have a bust dart.  Any suggestions?


I often use old thrift store sheets as my muslin fabric.  I find that it is the cheapest way to get a large amount of fabric.

I am curious, what do you guys use for your muslins?

UPDATE : ON THE SEWING TABLE

3.23.2012

I am working on a few projects right now for my spring wardrobe and will hopefully have more things to show you next week.  Here is what I am working on:

2 spring scarves:

Coral cotton gauze from my stash.



Some amazingly soft tissue weight cotton.  I am not sure what the actual fabric is as I found it in the remnant section, but if I had to guess I would say it's some kind of cotton/silk blend or something.  It is so soft and drapey.   I can't wait to do some fabric painting on it.



I also got this lace from the remnant bin which is great because it is usually about $25 a yard and I got it half off.  It wasn't exactly what I was looking for - less flowery, more modern, but I think it will do.  I am debating whether or not to dye it a color instead of white.  Maybe a kelly green?
What do you think?



And I am working on a muslin of Grainline's scout tee.  I am hoping that it can be the basis for my easy spring tops including my lace one and a couple of other more flowy options.




SEWN : MCALLS 6044 (SEWING FOR MY MAN)

3.21.2012



Pattern: Mcalls 6044


Textiles Used: Plaid shirting from www.fashionfabrics.com.

Sizing: The sizing was suprisingly good.  My husband usually needs a slimmer fit for his dress shirts (which I usually have to take in), but this one already was slim through the torso.  I would say that it fits like an athletic fit shirt.


The Good:  I was more happy with this pattern than I had expected.  Now that it fits perfectly I feel like I can make him multiple shirts pretty fast.  He says it's his favorite shirt now.  It was fun to play with the bias of the shirt for the yoke.


The Bad: I wouldn't say that it makes a super professional style of shirt.  Even the basic shirt on the pattern is more like something that you would get at H&M or Gap not at a high end store.  This is fine for the casual tops we are making, but I wouldn't use this pattern to make a business shirt for work.

Changes Made:  I made a muslin, but the only changes that I had to make were to lengthen the arms by about an inch.

Things I would change next time?  I think I am going to try to make him a couple of short sleeved options.

Conclusion: I highly recommend this pattern. It's nice to finally sew something for my husband.  He is really good about allowing my sewing time (we even have 3 hours scheduled every week where he takes my daughter out of the house so I can sew) so it's nice to finally have something that I can make for him.

SEWN : CHAMBRAY BLAZER

3.19.2012



I finished my first item from my spring sewing list. I finished my chambray blazer. It was my first time to try to make a structured jacket and I must say that it was easier than I thought it would be.

Pattern: Self made pattern from a thrifted vintage blazer.


Textiles Used:  Chambray from JoAnns
 

The Good:  I am pretty excited about the way that it turned out.  I think that I will wear it all of the time this spring.  It's nice and lightweight.  It was easier than I thought to make which is always a plus.


The Bad:  Next time I will make it a big more fitted in the waistline.  I also think that I want to try lining the entire jacket next time too to add a bit more structure.

Conclusion: Even though it's not on my spring to make list, I think that I will make another one pretty quickly.  I am scared that if I don't that I will forget how this one all went together.  Maybe in a thick jersey next time, or a stripe?  We will have to see what I can find.



p.s.  I would be more than willing to give this pattern away for free to anyone who would like it through my blog.  
-First of all, would you be interested in that?
-Secondly, does anyone know that easiest way to transfer a paper pattern to an online one?  Would I scan it and then break it up into a pdf somehow?  Is there a program that does that for you?  Just wondering.



WSJ BRIGHT LIPSTICK QUOTE

3.15.2012

photo courtesy of WSJ
Remember when I did this photoshop experiment with bright lipstick and now have been addicted to wearing it for that last couple of months?  Well about a month ago Elizabeth Holmes from the Wall Street Journal saw the post and asked to interview me for an article she was doing on the bright lipstick trend.  I had no idea at the time that it would be such a big article - front page of the Personal Journal section in this mornings paper.  I feel like such a rockstar!

Here is my little paragraph in the article - not the deepest words to ever come out of my mouth, but fun nonetheless.



Here is the full article if you would like to read it online.  You better believe I will be rocking so bright fuchsia lips today.

SEWN : MADE BY RAE'S TODDLER BACKPACK

3.14.2012

It was my two year old daughter's birthday last week so I made her the toddler backpack with Rae's pattern.




Pattern:  Made by Rae's Toddler Backpack

Textiles Used:  Thick Echino Linen from my stash

Sizing: Toddler
 
The Good:  I love it.  So cute and perfect for my daughter.  I love the piping detail especially.  It was really simple to make.  I wanted something cute, but not overly feminine.  

The Bad:  I wish that I had added interfacing to my outer fabric like she suggests in the instructions.  I thought that my fabric would be stiff enough to hold it's shape, but I think it's just a little too flimsy.

Changes Made: none

Conclusion: Awesome result.  I highly recommend it.

SPRING WARDROBE PLANNING

3.13.2012

So I am going to do something that I have never done before - actually plan my sewing projects out beforehand in order to get the most wear and use out of what I sew.  Here is my spring inspiration board.  I am not going to try and copy these items, they are just the springboard for what I am going for.


1 - Chambray Blazer - I just finished cutting out the fabric, so I will hopefully have something to show you soon.

2 - A Flowy Midi Skirt -  I have been seeing these everywhere and love the flirty, summer feel to them.

3 - A Printed Summer Scarf - I really want to try my hand at fabric printing and I think this will be the perfect project for this.

4 - Easy To Wear Blouse - I am a mom, so I end up wearing skinny jeans and a shirt most days.  I am always wishing that I had more easy to wear tops that are trendy, but still not uncomforable.

5 - Bathing Suit - I made my first two last summer and loved it.  I can't wait to try it again and I am hoping to be able to do something like this awesome version from Anthropologie.

6 - A Lace Top - I love the vintage romance to lace, but wearing it in a top makes it so much more wearable and casual for me.  Have you seen Grainline's version?  I can't wait to try my own.


So what do you all think?

Can I made 6 garments in the three months of spring?

Do you plan out your sewing projects?  And if so does it help you?

SEWN : JADEN BABY SNEAKERS

3.09.2012



I recently made a baby gift for a friend and used the Jaden Baby Sneakers pattern.

Here is my review.

Pattern: Jaden Baby Sneakers

Textiles Used:  Wool from a thrifted mens suit coat for the outside.  I lined it with some black fleece from my stash.

Sizing: Says newborn - fits more like 3 months
 

The Good:  I love the way these turned out.  So cute.  And at $4 I thought that it was a steal and something I can make over and over.


The Bad: The instructions were not the best.  I was confused a number of times.  Also, the shoes are more time consuming than they look.

Changes Made: none

Conclusion: Very cute result.  I would recommend it to anyone who feels confident with their sewing abilities.  I think that beginners may find it hard to follow the instructions.

A FEW RANDOM THINGS

3.07.2012

Here is a little update on what has been going on around here lately.

First of all I am working on my blazer (patterned from an old thrifted one) and finally decided to make one out of chambray after seeing this great version on pinterest.  There was not an original source so I am not sure where it is from, but it looks like Jcrew or BR to me.  I think that it will be a great spring item for my wardrobe.  I just finished cutting out all of the pieces.  I am a little scared to start sewing it together - not sure if I paid close enough attention while unpicking the original.


Secondly I was nominated twice for a Liebster Blog award and wanted to thank these two sweet girls (with awesome blogs) for thinking on me.

Leah from Strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com
Sew Brunswick - www.sewbrunswick.blogspot.comhttp://www.sewbrunswick.blogspot.com/

Third I was featured on A Fashionable Stitch a few days ago for my Darling Ranges Dress x 2.  I was SUPER flattered.


BIG NEWS

3.05.2012

I've got some big news around here that I am excited to share it with you.  This morning my husband accepted a job and so we will be moving to New York city or thereabouts in a few months.  I am really excited although a bit overwhelmed as well.  I am hoping that some of you live there or have lived there and can give me some tips on good areas to live, fun things to do, and especially - best places to buy fabric.


SERGER RECOMMENDATIONS?

3.01.2012

photo courtesy of www.sewingmachineplus.com

I sew, A LOT, and yet somehow I have made it this long without a serger.  We are almost at a point where as a family we will be able to justify the purchase.  And I can't wait!  But I also do not want to make the wrong purchase.  I am hoping you all can help me.  Here are some of the things I am looking for:

- Preferably under $600
- 4 thread (I would love a 5 thread but think that in my price range I would rather have a solid 4 thread than a low end 5)
- Workhorse - Solid mechanics without bells and whistles

What serger do you have and do you like it?

What do you think is a reasonable price?

Do you think a 4 thread is OK or do you definitely think a 5 thread is needed?

What else should be on my radar when looking for a serger?