Me Made March Week 2

March 14th, 2011 by laupre No comments »

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March 8th

I’m not really crazy about this outfit, but it was comfortable. I didn’t really have anywhere to go out to today, so it was just thrown together and worn around the house all day.  The dress is made from a comfortable sweatshirt fleece I reclaimed from a ginormous maxi length skirt.  Adding straps and darts took it from a horribly unflattering skirt to a cute little tunic.  I added the hat and boots to protect me from the rain when I ran to the store.

Me made:

sweatshirt fleece dress, knit skirt and reconstructed longsleeve

purchased: tights, hat

March 9th

another day of a just thrown together outfit.  This sweater skirt is a favorite cozy day choice though.  It’s made from mostly wool sweaters I bought by the pound at the bins thrifting.  It’s just rough and warm and comforting that I’ve worn regularly for about a year.

Me made:

longsleeve knit top, reconstructed skirt from sweaters

March 10th

I love this sweater.  I picked it up as a used, very large men’s sweater and resized it to fit and changed the neckline with some knit ribbing.  It’s a super soft and cozy cashmere in a lovely earthy green (that perfectly matches these socks!), doesn’t leave fuzz on anything, stretches and is the perfect weight to layer.  it started out like this:

Yes, the bottom of the armhole actually fell below my bust! I think it’s quite a bit more flattering now.  The resizing only took about an hour from the first photo to before photo to the after.  There’s something so satisfying for me to sew something up quickly in the morning to wear that day.  The idea of not just putting together and outfit in the morning, but actually putting together your clothes in the morning is exactly the kind of perk that keeps me sewing.

(you can click the images for a bigger version if you like)

I just cut off the sleeves and original collar, reshaped the the body part of the sweater, reshaped the sleeves, and put it all back together with the addition of a 1.25″ strip of green ribbing for the neckline.  You can always trace a well fitting garment of a similar stretch and weight of fabric to get your new pieces, use a pattern, or draft up your own patter from measurements, but I’ve done this same resizing so many times it’s almost automatic, and with a good knit sometimes it just needs to be close.

Me made: Sweater,  knit skirt. and leggings

Purchased: socks

March 12th

I had a dress I loved in a nice pale blue and brown floral print but it was sadly destroyed at a festival last summer when a stranger spilled a glass of beer down the front of me.  I washed the dress but could never get that awful stain out,so I took it apart and used the pieces to recreate it in this black and pale yellow cotton print. It looks so sweet with my cream petticoat, I think.  The cropped sweater shrug is my cashmere one mentioned but not seen on March 2nd.  This shrug gets a lot of wear because it’s just perfect for letting me wear my spring and summer dresses all year round.

Me made: Dress, petticoat, cropped sweater

purchased: leggings

March 13th

Yeah, I spent the a lazy Sunday at home in my pajamas, but at least they’re me made pajamas! The pants are awesome, a super fine baby weight denim with a very thin pink and white vertical stripe.  I made them elastic in the back and drawstring just across the front for what I consider to be the best of both worlds when it comes to comfort and securely keeping pajama pants on. They’ve got nice big pockets at the sides.  The sweater is a white, thin sweater knit, and the design was self drafted.

me made: Tank tops, sweater and Super super wide wide leg pajama pants.

March 14th

It was just another manic monday.  I didn’t manage to get a photo snapped during the day.  I hardly managed to even get dressed, but rest assured that it was a handmade outfit, just not interesting enough to recreate for posting.

So I finished another week of Me Made March and I’m happy to note that I haven’t had to repeat any outfits yet!  It’s actually a bit of a surprise to realize just how much of my wardrobe is handmade, but I think I’m getting close to running out.  I have completed a pair of pants to add to the mix, and a new sweatshirt that I can’t wait to wear.  The next thing I want to sew is a dress from some delightful bright royal blue knit I’ve had sitting in my “just cut into me already!” pile for a couple of weeks.

Me-Made-March: Week 1

March 7th, 2011 by laupre No comments »

Wow, I’ve completed the first 7 days of the Me-Made-March challenge, and so far so good. I’ve made good on my promise to be here on Monday to post my photos, so let’s dig right in!

March 1st

For the first day of the challenge I chose to go with this outfit.  The Me made portions of the outfit consist of the purple knit racerback top (which is a deliciously soft knit, I love it!), the reconstructed pleated skirt, and the legwarmers.  The undershirt and the tights were purchased.  The skirt is the first item I’ve made this month, specifically to wear for MMM, and with this tank.  It used to be a pair of pants that I never wore because the previous owner did a little reconstructing of their own and attempted to make them very skinny pants.  I love the colors of the plaid though, and was perfect for this outfit with the subtle purple stripes throughout.

March 2nd

This outfit actually has four handmade items in it! The grey dress (which is actually a very very fine weave of black and white, but may as well be grey) is one that I’ve made from my first and only tried and true commercial pattern, Simplicity 3673. I love the shaping on the pattern, with six darts on the front and 6 more on the back to shape it into a very full skirt.  I added a lining for the skirt with a ruffle of tulle at the bottom for a little fluff there.  On top there are actually two layers of black, a reconstructed black shrug from a cozy cashmere sweater and a knit fleece cropped hoodie with an oversized hood.  I love these two basic black cropped pieces and they are honestly probably the handmade pieces I wear the most in my day to day.  They’re both warm and cozy, and when I wear them together I can skip the heavy overcoat even when it’s cold!  The fourth item is the purse, but you can’t really see it in the photo.  It’s a mashup of black velvet, white glitter vinyl and lace.

March 3rd

Kind of a blah outfit here, not too much to say.  The skirt is a kinda refashion, but more of an alteration.  I didn’t like or fit the original waistband and the side zipper was broken so the top was remade.  The longsleeve white top, black racerback tank, and leggings were all made from raw material.  I included a detail picture of the tank because I love the texture and opacity of the black top over the white one.

March 4th

Slacks! It was starting to look like a month of dresses and skirts around here!  These are some of the only slacks I have sewn (aside from leggings and pajamas).  I’ve already picked out some fabric to make some more slacks to get me through the month, as I’m starting to miss my jeans. These green slacks have great big wide legs, which I love.  They were my first experience with making front pockets with pocket yokes and sewing a zipper fly.  I was nervous starting out, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought! I made these months ago, and I’ve worn them many times since then.  The longsleeve shirt and the sleeveless overshirt were both made by me as well.  The top shirt was a reconstruction from a men’s polo shirt.  It’s a delightful plush velour that makes this outfit nice and cozy!

March 5th

This black and white ruffle skirt is one of my favorite handmade pieces.  it’s layers of linen, sequin linen, pinstripe suiting, and white cotton eyelet.  It has a fun swing and is great for dancing.The black top has an over-sized white lined hood, bell sleeves, and delightfully long ties.  I’m also wearing a longsleeve knit top I made in dark grey.  I love these tights (my purchased item in this outfit), and in the detail shot you can see my fun houndstooth nails! in my hair I have a matching houndstooth hair bow I made.

March 6th

For a lazy Sunday I chose this comfortable skirt and tank, all handmade by me.  The tank top is a warm and crazy soft sweater knit that I also made these extra long skinny scarves out of.  The skirt is two layers of of woven fabric cut into a square “circle” skirt with a thick drawstring waist.  The drawstring is actually three  very long strings drawn together.  The whole skirt has a rough feel with unhemmed serged edges.

March 7th

This top is another men’s polo shirt reconstruction.  I just really like the wide variety of colors, patterns, and weights and textures available for men’s polo shirts.  They also tend to be the easiest to reconstruct with because they’re just large squares primarily.  I combined the xlrg men’s polo with a woman’s heathered grey vneck t shirt.  The polo shirt’s short sleeves made up the bust portion, and the collar made the underbust band.  the very wide shirt gathered nicely for some detail on the sides of the front and the center of the back.  A little bow sits center back just above the gathers.  The skirt I’m wearing with it is a simple circle skirt of black eyelet cotton.  The leggings and socks were purchased, but I made the earrings myself!

 

Whew, week one is done.  Now to get going on more slacks!

Me-Made-March 2011

February 28th, 2011 by laupre No comments »

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‘I, LauPre, of laupre.com/blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March ’11. I endeavour to wear
as many hand made or refashioned clothing items and accessories as I can (at least two) each day for the duration of March 2011. I am excluding underthings, shoes, handbags and a couple of winter coats’

I always enjoy a good challenge! I’ve seen images other sewists have posted when participating in So,Zo…’s other challenges and thought it was a fun idea. you can read all about the Me Made March challenge at So, Zo… What do you know? here It’s not often that I leave the house without at least one hand made or reconstructed thing on me, but I’ve never really made a conscious effort to do it. The idea is for it to be a challenge for you, and I fear that keeping track of everything may be the biggest challenge facing me! I’m thinking I’ll just post a week at a time, Mondays perhaps?

I’m signing up for the challenge at the last minute, but I have already begun preparing. The first step was a good look at my wardrobe. It was time for a good clean out anyway, so I pulled out anything that I didn’t want and added a bunch of new items to my refashion supplies pile. I’ve got a few projects in mind to fill some holes in my wardrobe that don’t have handmade options (time to tackle jeans, maybe?) and maybe by the end of the month I can be in all handmade!

Here’s a good luck to the (many many) other participants in the challenge!

Mend It! Replacing A Broken Hoodie Zipper

October 28th, 2010 by laupre 3 comments »

Once again I can’t bear to part with a hoodie that still has plenty of good miles left in it but has developed a fatal flaw. This time it’s a cozy oversized hoodie with a busted zipper. I start to zip from the bottom, but I get no zip!

Broken zipper

I think I feel a draft

Once again, it’s time to spend a few minutes and save this sweatshirt. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with the zipper so the easiest solution for me is to replace it with a new one. I just happen to have one almost perfect in my stash. If you need to buy a zipper, be sure to measure the length of the original zipper as accurately as possible. I suggest taking the item with you so that you can match up the color and exact length before you begin.

matching zipper

New functioning zipper

This zipper is just about perfect. The right length, nearly a perfect match, and was dirt cheap. I bought it locally at Scrap, an excellent resource in Portland, OR for Reuse and Recycling. The other important thing is that it is a separating zipper so the two halves of the zipper separate when the zipper slider is pulled all the way down.

3 zippers

Here are three similar zippers. They are all the same size, all have plastic teeth, the only difference is color and how they end. The first on the left (blue) has a closed bottom. The two sides are connected at the bottom preventing the slider from coming off at the end but it won’t come apart. The middle zipper (green) is a separating zipper. It is perfect for jackets or sweatshirts/hoodies that are expected to open all the way. The one all the way on the right (black) is a double separating zipper. It can come apart like a separating zipper, but it has the added feature of a second slider allowing you to zip it up, then unzip it from the bottom, leaving the top zipped if you want to.

three zippers

Now, back to my project! Looking at the inside of the sweatshirt you can see that this zipper is simply attached with just a single line of stitches.

I could easily pick out the stitches and remove the zipper first. I like to leave the old zipper in place when I add my new zipper for two reasons. First, I like to have the old zipper tape to act as a support layer to keep the sweatshirt material from stretching as I sew, causing wavy zipper syndrome. Secondly, I like to have the original zipper teeth to line the new zipper teeth against as a guide to make sure my zipper is set straight (and make it easier to not use pins. Use them if you prefer.)

Place the zipper, and sew it in place.

I started at the bottom and sewed up towards the hood. Then I stopped an inch or two from the top and hand stitched the rest in place, folding the extra zipper tape from the top between the zipper and the sweatshirt fleece to hide it.

Now I have the option of trimming away the original zipper, if it wasn’t removed before sewing on the new zipper. In my experience it works just fine to trim away the old zipper, cutting as close to the line of stitching for the new zipper as possible. anything leftover is hidden just fine by the new zipper and the edge of the sweatshirt on top. I chose to leave the original zipper in place for this, though. I just like the look of the “double zipper” and the shiny brass of the original.

This is a quick and easy repair that anyone can do. It took me under 30 minutes, including hunting for the zipper! ;)

Big Flower Pin Cushion

June 2nd, 2010 by laupre No comments »

I decided to make a new large pin cushion for my sewing desk. I needed one that was big and heavy, one that I couldn’t lose or knock over accidentally.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who tends to lose things in the midst of a project, but I’d guess I’m not the only one with backups.   I’ve got a selection of scissors, multiple packages of needles, a spare pair of reading glasses, and a collection of pin cushions scattered about. (If however, you’re the kind of person with perfect organization who always know exactly where every supply is just play along for my benefit.)  Besides that, A quick and easy pin cushion project is just the thing for a blah rainy afternoon.

This is the cushion I created.  It’s a basic rectangle shape with a big flower on top.  I made it to fit inside this low, wide planter making it nearly impossible to lose!

After the jump I’ll share my technique for making the cushion and give a tutorial to make the petals for the flower.

» Read more: Big Flower Pin Cushion

Origami Bags from Mairuru’s tutorial

March 9th, 2010 by laupre 2 comments »


I saw this lovely tutotial over on Mairuru’s blog here: http://mairuru.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-make-origami-drawstring-bag.html
I had to give it a try the day I saw it. The tutorial was easy to follow, took no time at all, and the final product is adorable! I made this sweet little pouch for my favorite nine year old to hold her little mp3 player. The long ribbon lets her hand the player around her neck keeping the player easy to reach while enjoying her music.

The little pockets on the sides are so cute and clever. I was delighted to find that they were being put to good use when I borrowed the bag back to snap some pics and found tiny flowers she had gathered all dried and precious safely tucked away. Adorable!

Action shot! She loves the little bag so much, and that makes me happy.
I used 8 inch squares to make this bag. the final size is about 4″x4.5″.

I remembered this little pouch last weekend when I was having a minor bag emergency. I needed just a little backpack to tote along a few items on our trip to opening weekend of Saturday market. I had less than an hour to whip something up, and I liked this so much more than just grabbing one of my totes.
I simply altered the design by using larger squares of fabric (33 inches) and folded down the triangle flaps and making the drawstring channel before sewing the sides. I ran the straps through the channels and stitched the ends to the bottom corners when I sewed up the sides.
The final size for this bag was about 13″ x 15″.

It was just what I needed!

Be sure to check out this blog if you’re not already following her. I love seeing the adorable and beautiful little things she sews. Like the tutorial she shared for her little Sarubobo dolls

(This is one I made)

Feeling like Spring

February 25th, 2010 by laupre No comments »

I finally took my camera out with me yesterday. I’ve been meaning to snap some pictures of the lovely blooming trees in my neighborhood. These bright trees are easily my favorite part of spring and I look forward to it every year. I’m thinking it might be time to take a walk through the Japanese garden again soon!  I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from my day, and I hope you’re taking the time to enjoy the scenery where you are.


Blackberry Sleeve

February 12th, 2010 by laupre 1 comment »

I made this sleeve for a friend who lost the case for his blackberry.

I used a sturdy black canvas for the fabric and some heavy weight interfacing to help protect the phone.

The strap that holds the phone in wraps around the back so he can put it on his belt if he wants to.

There’s also a slit on the side to accommodate the charging cable or the headphone jack.

One of my favorite things about the case is the magnetic closure I used for the strap. The blackberry turns itself off whenever the case is closed because it has a magnetic sensor under the keyboard.

He likes it.

Zip-up Earbuds

February 10th, 2010 by laupre 76 comments »

I love to have my music with me everywhere I go, but I hate the tangled mess my wires become when I toss them in my bag or pocket. Last night I whipped up a fun and functional solution by adding a zipper to my earbuds.

This project took me around an hour to do (perfect for catching up on some t.v. from hulu.com). The supplies are few; basic sewing supplies, a pair of headphones, and a nice long zipper. I happened to have this crazy purple and gold nike zipper I found thrifting a while ago, it seemed perfect for this project.

The first step is to pull the earbuds apart, to separate the wires all the way down to the plug.

Next, take one side of your headphones and one side of the zipper tape and start stitching the wire into the tape. Simply fold the outside edge of the tape under to the wrong side (enclosing the wire) and use a running stitch to hold it in place. A little bit of glue could be used at the top to attach the end of the zipper to the earbud, but I found that it wasn’t necessary for me.

It’s as easy as that! Zipped up, I can toss them into my bag or pocket without worrying about tangles or having them get caught on something and breaking.

Then unzip them to the length I want and put them on so much faster than having to untangle the mess!


Working on My Black and White Quilt

January 27th, 2010 by laupre 2 comments »

I took a moment this morning to snap a couple of photos of my black and white quilt. The sun is actually shining today and the quilt was just begging for my attention!

The quilt is officially half way done now.  It measures 70″ by 45″, once it’s done it will be a 70″x90″. There are 54 hand quilted squares there! (and that means 54 more to do, oooh).

I am still really liking the quilt as you go method for joining the squares .  With this technique you never have to have more than one block’s width rolled up under the arm of your sewing machine.  (the blocks are hand quilted, but pieced together by machine). I also love that it is pieced together so that it is patchwork on the front and back, too.  To be honest, I am feeling a bit intimidated with the amount of work left to do.  Each of these blocks takes me 45 minutes to an hour to quilt (I’m slow, but getting better!).  I even toyed with the idea of machine quilting some of the squares just to keep motivated and get some of it done quickly, but a friend told me, “Don’t do it! you’ll never forgive yourself”.  I laughed, but I thought about it and she was right.  I just know I’ll be proud of it when I’m done and know that I put so much effort into it, and didn’t compromise my plan.

Right now I just want it done so I can snuggle up under it.