Saturday, July 27, 2013

Red Shorts

One day I decided I wanted red shorts, I think it was some picture on pinterest that did me in. Some cool chick with a black and white striped shirt and sunglasses (note to self: spend less time on pinterst). I found a pair on ebay, I bought them, received them, didn't fit, sent back. Found a pair on, bought them, didn't fit, returned to the store. So I decided that the only way I was getting red shorts was to make my own.

I found a free pattern to use from Owly Baby here, but the pattern is only in a RTW size 4 and I had to make them a few inches smaller. I basically did a slash and spread only the opposite...slash and tuck...or fold? I also made mine about 1/2" lower cut because I prefer low rise pants.

I had numerous issues in making them including but not limited to sewing the waistband on upside down, and then sewing the facing and top stitching before I realized what I had done, a lot of seam ripping there. Then they were too tight, more seam ripping and resewing, then they were to loose...arrrgggg. A little bit makes a big difference with a waistband, I have learned.

I made my back pockets different from the pattern, I basically just traced one of my back jean pockets and then added seam allowances.

My first time making belt loops. I think they turned out okay but I think next time I will top stitch on both sides.

I got all my supplies at Joanns. The fabric is a tango red bottom weight twill, and I got the button, top stitching thread, denim needle, fabric for the pockets and inside waist band, zipper, and interfacing there as well. I had a gift card from my birthday so this cost me like 5 bucks out of pocket.

They fit pretty good, the waist band is still a little big, like maybe 1/4" to 1/2" but not enough for me to take it out again. Just something to change for next time.

 They are also pulling at the front a little bit...I think my fly technique needs a bit of tweaking. Also, my hand is veiny eek.

Yes the legs are the same length, it's just bunched in the picture. I'm not really super thrilled with how the back looks I think it needs a little bit of work. I think next time I am also going to move the pockets down about 1/2" because they feel higher then my normal jean pockets.

All in all I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I got to try a lot of new techniques like making a zipper fly, doing a bunch of top stitching and making belt loops, so a lot was learned. Red is great but I don't feel like I have a lot of shirts that go well with it, I'm thinking about making a striped t-shirt or tank top to wear with it. I think I want to make another pair with charcoal fabric and either orange or lime for the pockets and inside band. Then they would have a bit of pizzazz on the inside but still go with everything.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ultra Cuddle Sweatshirt - Finished

 Well, after slacking off immensely, I did manage to finish the sweatshirt I was making for my boyfriends birthday. And I even finished it in time, almost. I waited until he tried it on to hem the sleeves. As you might know from my work in progress post it is McCall's 5538 and I made a size medium. Some reviews I read online said it ran large but I think the style of it is just meant to be loose fitting. If you want a more form fitting sweatshirt the sizing will be way off. The arm hole in particular seems large, but it was meant to be cozy and I think that's the way it turned out. Also, as usual, unisex really means it's sized for men.

McCall's 5538, ultra cuddle fabric from Jo Ann
Where the yoke meets the front is a little messed up where the inside facing, but oh well.

Some nice fluffy pockets

Disregard the bad lighting, goofy face and unhemmed sleeves.

Aw, people who give hand made gifts get hugs. Again, disregard the lighting.

All that matters is that he seemed to like it, in fact, I had a hard time getting it back so I could finish the sleeves. When the ultra cuddle fabric is brand new it is really plush and soft, over time that diminishes but it seems to last pretty good. I don't really know how much he will wear it out in public, but it seems like the sort of thing that will be good for long car rides and lounging around.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ultra Cuddle Sweatshirt

Have you ever made someone something and had them like it a little too much? Two years ago I made my boyfriend a robe for his birthday (well, he got it a few months after his birthday but that is beside the point). It's made from a blue ultra cuddle (minky) fabric and it is just that, very cuddly and he wears it often.

All well and good, expect that he has also taken to wearing it on long car rights and on rare occasions in public (gasp!). So, I have decided that this year I will make him something that is a bit more socially acceptable to wear in public, a cuddly sweatshirt out of the same material. I considered using a different color so it wouldn't be so matchy matchy with his robe, but I'm not sure he would really like the other colors Jo Ann offers in this fabric. I wanted a pattern that was specifically for fleece type material so I choose McCall's 5538 (also McCall's patterns were on sale at Jo Ann so that may have swayed my decision).

I choose the variation on the top left, only without the sleeve pocket, that just looks a little crazy to me. I read the reviews online and they indicated that the pattern runs pretty large so I am a bit concerned about the fit. My boyfriend normally wears size large shirts because he likes a looser fit, but I don't want him to be swimming in it. I cut a medium, but now I'm having second thoughts thinking maybe I should have cut the small because it does seem quite large. Especially the sleeves.

So far I have the hood done and on, the zipper in the front yoke, the front facing sewed in on the inside and the back piece connected at the neck and shoulders. I also have the sleeves sewed but not on. I think I am going to put it on hold for a week or so until I can measure some of his clothes and compare that to the finished measurements of the sweatshirt. I will have to do it stealthily while he is in the shower or something because I don't want him to find out what I am up to.

One thing I wish I had done differently is I didn't iron the kinks out of the zipper before I put it in and now it is a bit wavy. I know your're not really supposed to iron fleece so I'm not sure what I can do about it now. Being lazy really doesn't pay off in sewing (or most other things).

The other thing about using this fabric is the raw edges shed like crazy. It doesn't really make it that much harder to sew, but I do have little blue fuzz balls on everything now. It's kind of hard to to act like your not up to something when you are covered in blue fuzz balls.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The King Lives

If ever you get the urge to have a dead celebrity themed Birthday party, and then have a sister who decides she wants to be Elvis for said party, do not, I repeat, do not offer to make her a costume.

Now that you have that warning here is the crazy time consuming result of not listening to that advice.

This is how it went down. My sister wanted to be Elvis. All the costumes online looked cheap and unattractive. I said, I can make a white jumpsuit, it won't be that hard. I bought an Elvis pattern and white stretch denim fabric (the only white fabric I could find at the store that wasn't see through). I made the pattern. It did not fit at all.

McCall's M 5734

At all might have been a bit of an understatement  it looked like it was meant for a 6 foot tall 200 pound man, which my sister is not. Picture a very over-sized painters jumpsuit. I wish I had a picture of it, it was so ridiculous  Now, maybe I didn't pay close enough attention to the measurements, but I think calling it unisex and showing it very fitted on a thin model on the front was very misleading. Look at view A on the bottom, does that look like a 200 pound man? No? hmm. I'm pretty sure I walked around the house the rest of the night muttering 'the picture is a lie' under my breath.

Moving forward. The fabric is cut so now I have to fix it. I ended up having to cut the jumpsuit under where the belt is placed to make the torso dramatically shorter, taking the zipper out, putting it back in, taking a large about off the sides and completely redoing the legs to make to crotch look right. In other words, why did I buy a pattern at all? The pattern was good for the collar, belt and the sleeves though.

Yes I bedazzled the crap out of that, just as I feel Elvis would have wanted.

And then of course phase two of the whole thing was gluing on all of those gems. I drew out my eagle design, cut it out and lightly traced it onto the fabric. Then I literally glued over a thousand of gems to it. I don't really recommend this. Why pick the Elvis suit with all the crazy eagles when he had hundreds of jumpsuits, many with simpler designs? I don't know, I guess I'm just a crazy person and once I get started on something I don't do it halfheartedly.

I ordered all of my gems off eBay, because that's the only place I could find all of the colors and shapes that I wanted, including stars to glue on. I used Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive which worked pretty well but not perfect. I think around 10 gems came off during the party, but given that they were over a thousand on there it wasn't that bad.

Me trying to re-glue a gem mid party

Over all I'm happy with how it turned out and I think she was as well. I always think projects are going to take so much less time then they do, so I think I need to work on being a bit more realistic. A bedazzled Elvis costume? Yeah, that's going to take some time to make.