Monday, February 17, 2014

Some more progress...

It's probably about time for an update, I've been very busy with a lot of projects at home, but on the blog end of things I am a bit lacking! I have been working on my pride and prejudice dress  when I have time, which is generally on weekends at the moment. The fit of this dress is important to be because I am creating my own patterns so I decided to by a dress form! I have to say, it was a great decision and makes the fitting process 10x easier! Before I was trying to put pins into the fabric on my back by myself--it didn't work.

Now I am able to fit right on the form and wow, is that a great difference .
 Here is a side view of the outer layer of the bodice. I was able to take in a TON at the darts as you can see.
And here's the front of the single layer.
And finally here, is the two layers! The seams are all finished and turned the right way out. 
As of now, I have fully attached one of the sleeves and fitted it to the right size. In this here picture I was just pinning them on to see how they'd look. 
As I said before, I have a ton of other projects, sewing and not, to share in the future! I am so excited!! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Planning and Progress

For a while now I have been wanting to make a dress from scratch, no altering pre-bought clothes, and no pre-made patterns. So that is what I have set out to do! With my sister, I have been watching Pride and Prejudice  over and over again (the one from 2005). That's where I have drawn my inspiration from for this costume-y dress up dress!

These where my inspiration and my plan. I decided for my first try of from-scratch-dress I would just try to recreate this dress with a few of my own twists.

My next step was to start drafting some basic slopers from which to create the patterns. I used 1 inch graph paper and a big ruler to make to basic outlines of the sleeve, and the front and back bodices.

The resulting pattern was way too big and the sleeve was too puffy.  I sort of expected that. To fix it, I just sort of pinned and sewed the sloper until it fit. Then I unpicked the seams and went over the trail of holes with a sharpie.

I didn't get a picture of this, but I then cut the pattern pieces down to size and re-traced them onto paper.
Now what I have to do is extend the paper pattern of the front bodice to it makes the flaps that button over to the side!
This is the fabric I got from Joanns, it's a linen-y type of fabric, and a little too light/see through for my taste, but that was all there was. I do love this fabric color and the bumpy-ness of it. (apparently that's called slub? Not a very pretty name!) I didn't have a clue how much fabric to get, so I got 4 yards figuring I can always use extras for other projects. So now I am on my way to pretending to be the lovely Miss Lizzie!

Have you ever seen a movie that's so pretty you want to be inside it?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cozy Day Brownies

Finally the days are getting colder and busier with the arrival of autumn! I know I personally have been feeling the strain of school work and band practice and all those things that come with this season. (Also! Things that come with this season! Pumpkin flavored everything! am I right!!) After a long week running around, spinning flags with the marching band, and standing in the cold of football games, whenever I get a spare day with a few things all I want to do is stay  in bed with tumblr or a current book and EAT! These brownies are perfect for just that purpose, or any other time you want them! They are all rich and delicious with chocolate chips or nuts if you want them scattered throughout. Ugh I love these brownies so much! Seriously, make them right now and immediately eat them out of the oven all melty with a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) cut into chunks
5 oz unsweetened chocolate coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cups mix-ins (anything you want! I usually do chocolate chips or nuts)

How to make 'em.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Chop the butter and the chocolate and combine in a saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
3. After letting the mixture cool in a bowl, add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
5.Add in the flour and mix-ins and stir until combined.
5. Butter an 8-inch square pan and scrape the batter into it.
7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (I generally under-bake a little bit so the brownies will be all melty!)

 Alright! Time to snuggle up in bed with one!
Stay cozy my friends.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Red Shift

I need more dresses in my life. Sure shorts and t-shirts are practical and easy to throw on, but dresses really make me feel happy and light. The thing is, in my closet dresses are really lacking! So here is my latest project, a bright red shift dress colorblocked with red and white woolish fabric.

It's nice and cool for summer with colors that will still work nicely in the fall. The design is really simple; no zippers or buttons or darts at all! It fulfills the requirements I set for it to be comfy and wearable. Hooray! The best part?

It's got pockets!

The pockets came from the huge pair of shorts I cut the bottom fabric from. I just cut around the pockets and continued sewing normally. voila! Instant pockets.
I got a bit excited about this dress and drew a picture in photoshop of it. Here it is.

I think it's ok to get excited about new clothes! I am definitely excited about this dress, it's the type of dress you can bring and wear anywhere, it folds up nicely and can be both formal and informal depending on how you dress it up.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Minty Cookie Ice Cream

Finally summer is officially here! 'Round where I am the heat is getting up into the 80's and 90's everyday. It's been leaving me with a major craving for all things sweet and cold. Ice cream making is in order! This ice cream recipe is easy to create with no heating or boiling and is also quick to throw together for an evening treat. The minty flavor tastes wonderfully refreshing and the texture is just creamy enough without being too heavy.

Le recipe: makes a bit less than a quart of ice cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3 or so chocolate-mint cookies (anything can be substituted here, I used the mint cookies that resemble thin mint girl scout cookies)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Then chop the cookies into little pieces (about 1 cm is fine). Set up an electric ice cream maker, turn it on, and pour your mixture in. Let it churn for about 20 minutes and add the cookie bits. Let it churn for a bit more until it is frozen and creamy to your liking. You can serve it soft right out of the mixer or freeze it overnight for a harder ice cream. (perfect for ice cream cones!)

p.s. Thanks a lot to Sara who let me use her fancy dslr camera!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pants, redone

On a recent trip to the thrift store, I got some huge cotton pants for $1 with a delightful texture and herringbone design. I was so excited! I wasn't sure what to make with them right away. I decided to scale them down to make some nice, durable, comfy, sharp-looking, and usable pants to wear whenever I wanted. That was a tall order and yeah I did not exactly achieve everything.
I think I got close enough though. Here they are before I cut into them:
Pretty big, no? They were so comfy though! I mean they may have been men's, they may have been way too big to actually wear, but I put them on with a belt and wore them around the house. My mother laughed at me. 
Anyway, I knew they were far to big to just pinch in and sew up and be done with, so I preformed some surgery. I sliced them at the inside seams all the way up to the belt area. Then I cut off the waistband and saved it for later.
I used some jeans for a pattern to trace, but I wanted my new pants to be loose so I left a lot of seam allowance, especially in the legs. I also kept the pockets rather than sewing new ones. That probably would have been too hard for me to do correctly anyway.
The other pictures I took have been lost somehow, so basically what I did next was sew them together at the crotch and then up the pantlegs. Then I serged the seams.
They were still too big at the top so I cut some more darts.
I tried to make a side zipper using the zipper originally from the pants. I didn't leave enough room for the zipper to do in so it ended up a bit frayed. Oh well nothing a bit of fray check can't handle!
Next I sewed on the waistband again. I just topstitched it over the waist of the pants.
Here is the end result!

I'm glad they turned out because I am truly in love with the fabric, just look at it!
My favorite part? Pockets practically down to my knees!
Baby likes them too, he can go for a ride whenever he wants.

Sunday, June 2, 2013