Sunday's in Albuquerque and some free time, and an obsession for sewing always leaves me guilty of buying fabric and patterns. I have been sewing since I was a kid, but never really go into it till I was married, had kids, and was a stay at home mom. I begged for a sewing machine, and later for a serger. Both of which I use with great appreciation. Over the years, I made a lot of different things. Anything from curtains, pillows, clothes, and crazy quilts. Anyhow, I didn't have a lot of time to sew for a period of about 5 years. I had moved on from my marriage, starting working to support myself and 3 kids. Up until last year, I hadn't sewn much. I had bought a house after living in an apartment for 3 years. So now a year has passed, and I have settled into the house, I have found some time to sew a few garments from patterns I drafted myself. None of which were really successful. So I went back to the fabric store in search of some simple, cute, quick patterns, oh ya, and cheap. I have notice that over time patterns have gotten more creative, easy, and cute. My latest quest has been skirts and tank tops, or camisoles. I personally would rather wear a tank top, and usually don't wear skirts. So, I bought 3 tank top patterns and 2 skirt patterns last weekend. And 5 other patterns a few weeks back.
I have had to rethink my process of sewing. Usually I cut out the patterns leaving every size available. Then I trace them on freezer paper or tissue paper, or interfacing. From there I decide which fabric to use from my stash of 5 boxes. Then I cut out the fabric, and sew the item. I am very impatient and use a lot of short cuts. A few things I have discovered along the way are:
1. On the sides of shorts or a top I sew the side seams, then open the seam, and do a zig-zag stitch right over the middle of the seam. I love the way it looks. Just a cute little touch to a seam.
2. I usually don't finish the bottom hem on anything. I also like the look. But other options for a nice looking edge is to use ribbon, or lace, sometimes just a zig-zag stitch is cute too.
3. I don't bother with cutting out the straps for tank tops. The paper is just so small and a pain to cut out. I use the good old cutting mat, and rotary cutter. Then I can make the straps as thick or thin as I want them. ( I don't like revealing my bra straps, it just looks bad!). Also the advantage to doing this is that you can measure them to your size.
4. I reuse things like old drawstrings, and elastic from clothes I am getting rid of, for new creations that need those things. Buttons would be another good save. I have also thought about using the zippers off of old jeans, for making coin purses. Small zippers are hard to find.
5. Instead of pinning patterns to the fabric, I used scrap fabric to make weights filled with any kind of beans that were lurking in the pantry for too long. I have also been known to use tuna cans, but I haven't bought tuna in a long time. (It gives me heartburn, too much mayo I guess.)
I love the craftster website, it is the greatest place for inspiration. I am sure there are other ones out there, but I use that one the most. There are a lot of great blogs with tutorials out there too. I hope to have the time to continually add to mine so it can be great too.
Well, I am out. Here is a picture of the top I made today. And a few other things along the way.
Here is the top I made today. Of course I made the shoulder staps too long. So I measured how much I needed to use up to make it fit. I sewed a seam across the shoulder stap, then flattened out the loop and sewed on that seam again. I made it look like bows. Pattern # 5389 McCall's
The other ones I got and haven't made yet are:
The rest of these are just some things I have made in the past few weeks.
This shirt was from Fitz patterns website. Its the batwing shirt. It came out way too big for me, but I love it. I wanted a more fitted batwing shirt, just have to redo the pattern to fit.
A few skirts and shorts I have made the blue one (which looks black was from simplicity It's so easy, 3923. It is a cute skirt and super easy to make. I haven't added the drawstrings yet so its not finished.
The rest are just tests, for the real thing.