My First Sewing Tutorial

With the school year in full swing, it is quite obvious that it seems you can never have enough clothes for your child.   They rip them, stain them, color on them.  I've sent my young one to school in brand new pants only to have them stained the very same day.  With money being tight for everyone these days, I decided to put my sewing skills to work and see what I had in our home to create some economical, and very cute, wardrobe options. 

I started with a sweatshirt project.  It is turning quite chilly here is northern IL and she was down to only one that was in reasonably good condition.  I turned to my own closet and realized I had a few sweatshirts that were plain, almost never worn, and in awesome condition.  These would be just the thing to repurpose.

Over the next few days I will recount my process of transforming an adult sweatshirt into a childs size.  Here's what you will need:

* an adult sweatshirt in good shape and preferably without any large ornamentations that will not translate well into a smaller size

* a childs sweatshirt that you don't mind cutting up to use as a pattern

* a sewing machine, hand sewing won't work very well here, with the appropriate stretch needle for your machine

* a serger, this is optional if you don't mind using other seam finishes on the inside of the garment but it will make the process much faster and your life much easier

* matching thread

Start with the preparations.  Here are some tips -

*Make use of everything you have at hand so you need as little as possible at the fabric store

It's a great idea to reuse the ribbing on the original sweatshirt.  With a seam ripper or small scissors, carefully pick out the original stitching and remove the ribbing from the desired locations; neck, sleeves, or bottom of sweater

* Next lay out the shirt to be cut as a pattern and label the front and back of the sleeve before cutting

* Now, carefully cut the shirt apart working as closely as you can to the original seam. Don't try to pick all these seams apart.  They are serged to begin with and will take a very long time to remove.

* Press all the pieces, and as you do so, check for warping in the pieces.  Knit clothing is very easily stretched and you wouldn't want this translated into the new garment.  To check for warping, fold the front and the back in half and press them, matching their shaping on the edge of the garment.  If you were making these pieces into a paper pattern, you would be trueing up lines at this point.

* Prepare the adult size in the same way and don't forget to save anthing that may be used later on or in a different project.

You are now prepped and ready for the next step.  Tomorrow - cutting the new sweatshirt!


A treasury


Check out this link to see one of my gowns featured in an etsy treasury.  I am honored to be included in this lovely treasury.  Thank you!


The Birdcage Veil

Here is my take on the very popular bridcage veil.  This design can be worn any way you choose and has tear drop pearls that give it that little something extra.


Another day in bobbin lace class has produced this lovely swan done in cloth stitch and whole stitch.  It is also the first project to introduce sewings.  I can't wait to get started on some cool stuff like Valenciennes, or Whitof........


The Cha-Cha dress

I LOVE these shots! This was included in the summer photo shoot and I am very happy with the results!  This dress was made from repurposed satin from a forgotten bridesmaids gown and repurposed crinoline.


My fabulous brides

Here is one of my gorgeous clients, Channing, in her custom designed bridal gown.  Channings' gown was an aline style with a chapel train and empire waist.  Her bodice featured a modified sweetheart neckline and off the shoulder 3/4 length sleeves.  The dress was created in matte ivory satin and was embellished with hand stitched alencon lace with pearl beading.  A custom veil of ivory tulle trimmed in satin ribbon completed her bridal look.


Bobbin Lace Class

Today in class I worked on a sampler of stitches. 

I worked ahead a little before the class and made a little sampler first.
We worked on the cloth stitch, half stitch, and whole stitch.


More Lovely Locks

As a continuation of yesterday's post, here are the BFL locks that were washed up and finally looking their best.
Here are the locks after another washing.
After teasing the locks, I started making a fluffy batt on my Ashford Wild drum carder.

And here is the completed batt weighing in at about 1 oz.  The colors are lovely, ranging from pale silver to fawn, much like my cat Punkin.  This batt will be like butter to spin and will make a soft yarn.


Lovely Locks

Every once in a while I find that I need to take a little break from the concentrated efforts I strive for daily and just enjoy my stuff.  More specifically, wool.  Those of you who are spinners will understand what I mean, sometimes you just want to get you hands on some and create a little yarn.

In my modest fiber stash, I have about a pound of BFL that was raw when I bought it and had been a bit difficult to degrease.  I pulled it out  yesterday when I should have been sewing and washed it again.  After drying outside I pulled it out of its tulle pouches and the result is soft and shiny, yummy wool that will not tolerate being sent back to the closet.  I will just have to add an extra project to my day now and card some up into an irresistable batt.


blushing veils

I just love a traditional veil.  So, I designed this one that is a little retro.  It has 3 layers that cascade off each other and a built in blusher. 


Here are some more pictures of my recently finished gowns. 
Lyon lace detail on silk satin gown with tulle trumpet skirt


Bobbin Lace

The bobbins were clicking today as I began my long awaited bobbin lace class. My first lace is a cloth stitch heart in red crochet cotton. The techniques of todays class were surprisingly easy to get the hang of, but I am glad that I did as much reading as I did on the subject.


A fresh start

This is a very inspiring time of the year. Fall is just around the corner (my favorite time of year :)), and with the start of a new school year, it seems a good time to get a few things in order. Although I am no longer in school, this is the time that always seemed like the "new year" to me. And so, I am back to blogging and sharing with you all that I have been up to.

The summer was full of inspiration and I was able to bring some new ideas to life.
This picture is just one of the fantastic shots taken during a photo shoot featuring Gwen Haklin as the model and photographed by the very talented Channing Kari. This shoot showcased my new gowns and accessories. There are lots more to come.......