August 30, 2011

Skirt Restyle Poll

50s skirt

I'm seeking your advice, dear blog readers. Several months ago I bought this 1950s skirt from an antique store. I loved the fabric (it even has little green sequins in it) and turns out it was hand made and pretty well made, at that.

The problem was it didn't fit. Too small in the waist. However I figured I could still do something with all that fabric. The skirt is full and poofy even without any added petticoats which I'm sure the original owner wore underneath this skirt.

It isn't gathered all the way around, only on the sides, leaving the front and back smooth.

50s skirt under construction

At first I thought I would make a midi length circle skirt design but that was before I snipped off the waistband and discovered that the skirt wasn't a big circle shape and rather a long rectangle. A REALLY long rectangle. In the picture the skirt-sans-waistband is folded in half! It's really double that long! That's a lot of fabric!

So now I can't cut a circle length because that will ruin the lines of the print pattern. Instead I'm asking you, blog readers, to help me out and give me your input as to what I should turn this 4 or so yards into.

I still want to make a skirt from it but I have a couple design options. 1) Midi length gathered skirt, 2) Tea length style pleated skirt which most closely resembles the original design, 3) Knee length pencil skirt, 4) Slightly mini tulip skirt.

With #3 I'd have enough fabric leftover for something else, although I'm not sure what.

Leave a comment with your vote as to what I should do. Oh, and if you have any other suggestions for designs, let me know!

August 29, 2011

Easy Yellow Shirt - Simplicity 1969

Simplicity 1969
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am a lazy crafter. To add to that I could also say I'm cheap. This shirt is a perfect example of what I mean...

I noticed lately that I haven't made a dress in a long time and I asked myself "why?" There's a couple reasons for that. 1) Shirts and skirts are faster to make and 2) shirts and skirts use less fabric than dresses so they cost less!

Simplicity 1969

I found this shirt pattern in the new Sew Simple collection from Simplicity. The designs are all simple enough that they don't take too much time to make and there is only one design per pattern not several variations so the cost of the patterns are less than $2 each.

Simplicity 1969

The fabric is a voile cotton from the Lisette collection - fabric made to go along with the Lisette pattern collection from Simplicity.

Another sign of my laziness - I love the style of these sleeves. They make easy cap sleeves with a relaxed look and best of all - I don't have to spend time sewing set in sleeves!

Simplicity 1969

All in all, I love this top! It has fun little pleats in the front and the back shoulder section reaches up and over the shoulder a little bit to meet the pleats. I really like that design idea.

Simplicity 1969

I loved how fast I could make this shirt - only about 2 hours from cutting the pieces to the final stitch. Not bad! I like being able to finish a project before dinner. I really recommend this pattern if you're looking to build more cute, easy to make shirts into your wardrobe.

August 27, 2011

A sewing first: Leggings!

Gray Leggings

I planned to save this pattern until fall when I thought I'd actually wear leggings (it is 100+ degrees outside right now) but then I decided to wear this dress to Chicago.

Gray Leggings

The problem with this dress is I bought it online and it is uncomfortably short. I've worn it with skinny jeans before but I don't really like that look so instead I thought I'd whip up some leggings with this huge batch of heather gray jersey I had lying around.

As it turned out, I never even wore that dress in Chicago, ha! Oh, well. But that's ok because the leggings were a little big. The pattern package (McCall's M6173) suggested I make a Large, so naturally I made a Medium but I think I actually should have made a Small (a warning to those who are thinking of using this pattern).

Gray Leggings

They were pretty baggy around the knees so I sewed up the inseam and the crotch even more to help alleviate that problem.

Would you believe that this is the first pair of leggings I've ever owned? Well, maybe I had some in the 90s when I was six but that's a whole other story...

Gray Leggings

I won't be able to wear these until at least late October but now I've at last found a reasonable way get this too-short dress out of the closet and back into regular rotation!

August 25, 2011

Changes and Updates

Hello blog readers! I just wanted to fill you in on a couple changes.

First up I'm adding a new page you can access from the left sidebar - a new category for Restyles. I'm doing more of these lately so I thought I'd group them all together for easy viewing.

I'm also caught up on updating my other pages in the sidebar with new projects.

And in other news I'm starting up a Dixie DIY Facebook page!

I've been collecting bookmarks to fun online stores, tutorials, projects, patterns and more sewing related tid bits and I've come to the conclusion that I need to share them with others and in the process clear out my bookmarks!

The new page will be a fun place to share sewing and craft related things I think are cool or useful and you can be sure to get daily content that is worth reading and not just links to my own blog posts.

So go become a fan of Dixie DIY on Facebook! And let's build up a community of sewers.

Oh, and if your blog has a FB page, let me know! I want more sewing related stuff showing up on my news feed, I know you do, too!

August 24, 2011

Pink Scalloped Skirt

Pink Scalloped Skirt

(Hey look! I'm back from Chicago!)

I'm quite smitten with this skirt. I made it by altering a basic skirt pattern that I used as a pattern block to create this kind of a-line shape skirt with darts on the front and back and buttons down the front.

I used corduroy (I was originally looking for a twill of some sort) because I couldn't find anything else in the color I wanted.

I'd like to say this skirt is coral but I couldn't find any true coral colored fabric so I have to admit, it's pink. But I think it's still a really fun pink!

Pink Scalloped Skirt

If you've never worked with corduroy before, let me warn you, it frays. A lot. but I loved the finished product.

I even added little belt loops, a waistband and fabric covered buttons (I think those are my favorite part).

For the scallops I used a dish lid and evenly spaced the circles. Then I cut a facing copy which I stitched to the body of the skirt with a blind hem.

Originally I planned on printing out this pattern from BurdaStyle but Justin moved the printer and I couldn't find it so I was like "Whatevzzzz" and whipped out my scissors and ruler and made a similar design. I certainly don't want to imply that I came up with this idea on my own.

Pink Scalloped Skirt

This Scallop Skirt pattern is a great alternative if you don't want to go through the trouble to do this from scratch. Unfortunately it is only in one size so you may have to grade it up or down yourself. The only major differences in my design are darts instead of gathers and no pockets ('cause I was too lazy to make them).

I wore this skirt in Chicago but I realized I forgot to take a full body picture of me wearing it! Ha!

August 16, 2011

Thanks Collage Card

Thanks Collage Card

I feel that the socially acceptable time frame in which to send a thank you card should be extended by at least a week if you make the card yourself rather than buy one. Am I right or am I just a slacker?

This card was a little experiment in how many supplies, papers and trims I could use in one small card but I like the layered collage-ish look.

August 14, 2011

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Guess what!? I'm going to Chicago for a little vacay in less than a week! And I was thinking about how I don't have a single make up bag that is big enough to fit all of my necessary travel items. I mainly needed a bag long enough to hold my tooth brush and fat enough to hold all my smaller things like eye shadow and mini size lotions.

And since I had plenty of oil cloth leftover from making my wallet I put some to good use for my travel make up bag.

Most beginning sewers at one point or another learn how to make a zipped pouch. This is a variation on that simple concept that allows the bag to stand up on it's own.

Rather than cutting a flat bottom piece for the bag, you only need to alter your two pieces that you would use to make a regular flat zipped pouch.

If you've never sewn a zipped pouch here's my favorite tutorial.

This oil cloth bag is unlined for easy cleanup in case I have a spill.

If you sew this pouch design with regular cloth I recommend you use some iron on interfacing to add stiffness.

First, cut your two rectangles for each side of your pouch.

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Next, cut a small square from each bottom corner of both rectangles. The size of your square depends on how wide of a bottom you want on your bag. In general, the width of the bottom of you bag will be double the length of one side of your cut square.

Now, proceed to sew your zipper on like you would a normal bag. Leaving the zipper open at least half way sew the sides and bottom seams (right sides together).

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Here's the key part - take your square cutout area and squeeze the side and bottom seam together and fold along the corners of the square like in the photo. Stitch along that raw edge. Repeat for the other corner.

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch
Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Now, if you're using this technique to make a lined bag here is where it is different - for the lining you don't want the raw edge of those corner seams showing, right? You'll have to push those edges under and stitch over the top of your seam to seal it. This means you'll see the stitching when you look inside the bag but there's really no way around it.

Turn your pouch right side out (now you know why I asked you to keep it unzipped!).

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

Those square corners have been transformed into a flat bottom for your bag, perfect for digging around in at your hotel bathroom.

Stand Up Oil Cloth Zipped Pouch

I only bough 1/4th yard of this oil cloth and I still have enough left to make another pouch or coin case or something. I'm really getting my money's worth out of this stuff!

August 12, 2011

Stash Bustin' Summer Tank Top

Summer Cotton/Silk Tank Top

I made this new top with fabric leftover from this scarf paired with an altered version of Simplicity 2593. Instead of gathering the front of the top I made a pleat, mostly because I was too lazy to gather this finicky fabric.

Summer Cotton/Silk Tank Top

I also used some store bought bias tape because this cotton/silk blend was too slippery to make self-bias tape. Another lazy thing I did.

I like the fabric and the shirt turned out well, I think, but it still feels a little small. It's weird, I think I just expect woven tank top styles like this to fit differently. I need to remind myself that woven tanks aren't going to look the same as knit fabric tanks.

Summer Cotton/Silk Tank Top

I'll still wear the shirt even though I'm not crazy about the style. I like the shirt more when it is tucked in. Maybe it'll grow on me. Not everything is going to be an A+ but at least it is a learning experience, both in what I like to wear as well as in practicing techniques.

August 10, 2011

Oil Cloth Wallet

Oilcloth Wallet

I've been sewing for how many years now? 8? 10? And I've never sewn oil cloth before today.

For some reason I got it into my head that I wanted to make a wallet today so I went to the store after work and bought some fabric. Ever have those spontaneous needs to create?

Oilcloth Wallet

This pattern is one I whipped up myself although it ended up simpler than I originally designed (my machine kept jamming with too many layers of oil cloth, at least, that's my conclusion).

Oilcloth Wallet

My one problem - I used a magnetic clasp for the closure on the wallet and I didn't position it well - too far away from the edge of the flap. 

Oilcloth Wallet

Now, I blame this partially on how I adjusted my original pattern idea because all those layers jamming my machine. It threw off my perfectly designed closure plan and by that point I'd already punched my holes so I was committed. Oops. But the thing still works so I'm gonna use it.

I like the oil cloth because it's flexible but not floppy and it's pretty easy to keep clean. And this wallet is a little shorter than the last one I made so it fits in my new smaller purse. Cha-ching!

August 7, 2011

Loose Fit Knit Top with Cuffed Sleeves

Loose Fit Knit Top with Cuffed Sleeves

Here's another altered version of the top I made earlier this week, this time in a white, burnout jersey. The fabric is semi-sheer so I have to wear a cami underneath but I really like the fun striped design. Unlike the other shirt, this shirt doesn't have set in sleeves and instead has little cuffs on the sleeves.

Loose Fit Knit Top with Cuffed 

Loose Fit Knit Top with Cuffed Sleeves

***I used to offer a pattern for this top but I've replaced it with the Summer Concert Tee.

August 3, 2011

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

I love t-shirts. So comfy and easy to wear. And I especially like "dressed up t-shirts." It doesn't have to be anything fancy, maybe a different neckline or gathered sleeves or a fun print. Something to make a shirt a little less plain.

I based the design of this shirt on Simplicity 2261 which I used last week to make this green t-shirt. Really, I used the pattern for no other reason than the pieces were still out on my cutting table and not folded up in the envelope. I'm lazy like that. The point is you can make this alteration to any ol' t-shirt pattern.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

See, the way this shirt gets it's flow-y-ness is that I cut the shirt more of a triangle shape along the sides.

I've really liked the oversized t-shirt look lately but whenever I try shirts like that on in the store I just feel swallowed in them. Then I realized it wasn't the "oversized all over" style I really wanted but more oversized, loose looking towards the bottom. When the shoulders and neck are still fitted normally but the rest seems more oversized, then that's the look that I like.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

The idea is simple. Take this drawing below for example. Lay down your t-shirt pattern piece (black outline) line it up on the fold like you normally would. Then tilt the bottom away from the center fold, pivoting at the center neckline point. Next draw a new side seam (pink line) that extends further away from the side edge of the pattern piece. Make sure your side seems are the same length on both front and back pieces. Finally draw a new bottom line, blending into the original bottom line on the pattern piece (green lines).

The end result looks like this when flat.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

As for the other details - the fabric is from Hancock Fabrics, some cool, retro style print poly blend jersey. I made the sleeves from the pattern about 1 in longer and I cut the neckline to be more U-shaped. For the neck opening I made a binding out of leftover fabric.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt

I love this shirt because it's comfortable and loose on these super hot 100+ degree summer days! Now I've made two new tank tops and two t-shirts from knit fabric for this summer's wardrobe rotation. Oh, and yes, that is the actual color of my yard. A nice crisp, Texas shade of brown. Thanks drought! (Can you tell I'm a little tired of this summer heat???)

August 2, 2011

Scarf with trim


I've been gone for while to visit with family but now I'm back! Funny, because it seems like a lot of my blog reader list was on a little break, too.

I don''t have anything fancy to share this time but I did make a cute scarf.

Right now it's tied to my purse.

I bought this fabric (a cotton silk blend) while I was away on Girls Weekend - a little vacay held once a year for all the women on my boyfriend's side of the family. Thirteen women together in one house for several days. Lots of shopping, eating, group picture taking and a whole lot of fun.

Sometime during the trip some of us got the idea to make purse scarves so we hopped over to the fabric store and picked out our prints.


I fly 1000 miles to get away from my day to day life and what do I do? Go to the fabric store. Oh, the irony of my life!

Everyone else made long, skinny scarves but I wanted mine to be more versatile so I made a square. I wanted to used some little yellow trim on the edges of my scarf but the roll of trim I bought was too short so I had to wait until I flew home to finish my scarf using some white trim I had instead of yellow.

This is the first scarf I made but it is a great project for bigger fabric leftovers. My scarf is bout 30"x30" but you can make it any size.

I liked this fabric so much that I bought 2 yards so I can make something else with it!