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.