Archive for March, 2008

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first, there was a yoke…

March 30, 2008

During my heavy crochet phase, I made this yoke with a star motif on the back, intending to use it for a dress or top. I hadn’t decided yet. I also needed some matching fabric for it, which I didn’t have. So I set it aside and almost forgot about it entirely–that is, until Dane decided to do a big spring cleaning of the bedroom yesterday and I found this old polka dot skirt I bought years ago that I don’t really wear anymore. And then I had a lightbulb moment…

I so love the idea of recycling/reinventing old clothing, so I’m particularly proud if this creation.

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orange/white striped minidress

March 30, 2008

Alright, the minidress is done! I did, indeed, use that Built By Wendy pattern (3835) I mentioned in the previous post and will definitely be using it again. Lots. I just love the rounded neckline, raglan sleeves and, of course, the pockets. I had a rare dinner out last night with some old friends I hadn’t seen in, geez, probably over a decade and wore this dress just minutes after it left my machine. I took these photos after dinner, hence the wrinkles because, at this point, I was too lazy to iron them out.

I like the stripes/dots combo that the belt lends.

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new fabric

March 30, 2008

Oh, the possibilities.

The yellow bird and black/white medallion print fabric came from Tonicliving.com. The yellow birds in the design turned out to be a whole lot bigger than I thought they’d be, so I might have to change my original plan to make this into a dress. Cushion covers? A handbag? I’ll ponder it a little longer.

The one I’ve chosen to work with first is the orange/gray stripe fabric — which was a lucky thrift shop find! I got 3 yards of the gorgeous stuff for only $2.99. Methinks the weather calls for a minidress, and I’ve got this Built By Wendy pattern in mind…

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spring tunics

March 29, 2008

I’m glad that tunics are in fashion because: A) they’re flattering to all body types B) they’re easy to sew.

This is a batwing/boatneck that I designed myself and marks the first garment I’ve made by drafting my own pattern. It didn’t come out perfectly, but it was still satisfying to take a project from start to finish on my own.

Here’s one I made from Built By Wendy pattern 3692.

And, of course, I have to talk about the belts. I simply can’t resist a cute waist cincher!

I found this belt at American Vintage in Los Feliz (on Hillhurst). It was a steal at $12:

This one came from Bejon & Deheg, my favorite Los Feliz Village clothing shop.

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vintage pattern jackpot!

March 26, 2008

I love perusing ebay for vintage sewing patterns, and a couple weeks after emerging victorious from a bidding war over a terrific lot of 45 patterns (mostly from the ’60s and ’70s, but some from the ’50s as well) — my package arrived in the mail! I just love the vintage illustrations, the fonts…the yellowed paper and the worn edges of the envelopes. And, of course, I can’t wait to sew one of these! I have my eye on a fab ’70s tunic that looks like something Jane Fonda would have worn in Klute.

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spring jacket

March 25, 2008

I used another free Burda pattern — the “Steffi” — to create this lightweight jacket for spring. The original pattern had a sort of military style collar which didn’t quite look right on me, so I changed that, and I also added these pleated trim sleeves for extra girliness. As you can tell, I love this vintage yellow fabric (I found yards of it at a thrift store over ten years ago!) as I’ve already made a shoulder bag and two mini totes with it.

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Photos by Cici Sutjiono

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sometimes it’s just not meant to be

March 24, 2008


2008 – 2008 R.I.P.

Lest you think my sewing experiences thus far have been all positive, let me introduce you to the garment that was a thorn in my side for a week before I had to finally bid the cursed project adieu.

I hadn’t learned yet how to properly sew on elastic, so one armhole opening was bigger and less stretchy than the other. I also accidentally topstitched one armhole’s edge a different color thread from the other.

But the armholes were the least of my problems. Sure it looks alright from the front. but the back was driving me CRAZY! I messed up when seaming the back yoke to the back, so the gathers were puffing out so much that I looked like I had extra large shoulder blades (see below).

So when my brand new serger arrived at my doorstep mid-project, I thought that I would simultaneously try to learn how to use it whilst fixing the back seams of this top. Big mistake. Behold, if you can stomach it, the result of my hubris:


AAAAAAACK!!!! I have to look away.

Wow, showing this to the world really kills my ego. But, hey, the more mistakes we make, the more we learn.

Alright, so I didn’t really throw it in the bin. I saved it for scrap material.