sewing projects are the cats meow

I made this fun dress out of some fabric purchased at a thrift store.  The fabric was an incredibly lucky find: hand screen printed fabric from 1983, printed in Italy by Ratti for Clarence House, designed by Yozumi.  Unfortunately I didn’t think to look up how much this fabric was worth before cutting into it (hint: a lot)…but lucky for me I now have a dress I love made out of it.

I started with a pattern from 1988 but really didn’t like the direction it was going, so I basically just kept trimming away and re-pinning until I ended up with a dress I really liked.

For the edges I finished them raw with 4 different colored threads from my overlock machine.  I really like this look!  The zipper is a vintage one I dug out of my sewing box, and I felt like the hunter green was a nice contrast on the lighter fabric.

I wore this dress to Guided by Voices last night!  It was comfortable and looked great (if I do say so myself, ha, woops), and this inspires me to make more clothing!  The entire project cost me about $2, not counting the time I spent (about 3 hours total).

All you need to sew:  A couple of machines, some pins, a good sewing box, and a cat to watch your every move.

Click the photos for captions with more detail.

For this project, the band Feather Trade had big ideas and a short budget…Their idea was to create stylized deer costumes for two videographers that would perform synchronized movements on stage while videoing the band and each other.  Chisolm liked the look of expensive ruffled shirts, but we were short on time and money.  I suggested they purchase two shirts from a thrift store and that I would remove the sleeves and turn them into ruffles on the front. The photos highlight some of the steps. 

Next I removed the sleeves. Instead of cutting the sleeves, I seam ripped the edges of the fabric holding them onto the garment.  I did not re-sew the edges of the sleeves but left them open.  This was a clean, yet still edgy look. 

The next step I took was to have the two models drop by my house so I could fit the sides of the shirt to their body (after the sleeves were removed).  I just pinned the shirts a little tighter while they were wearing them to get a fit. I left it loose enough so they could move on stage, but made it tight enough for them to look stylish. I made sure the sides of the shirts came up high enough under the arm.

For the female version: I cut the sleeves into strips and pinned them into ruffles onto another panel cut from the sleeves.  I placed the pins sideways so I could sew right over them to save time.  As long as your tension is not too tight this usually works out, but be aware this can cause you to break or warp needles.  Once the ruffles were sewn into strips onto the panel of fabric, I pinned the panel onto the shirt to get an idea of the look.  I repeated this in mirror image for the other side of the shirt.  I then positioned the two panels onto the shirt and sewed them down.  The final step was to seam rip the collar out of the garment to create a nehru collar.

For the male version: I adjusted the direction of the ruffles to give the shirt more of a tuxedo style, but exaggerated and dramatic.  I pinned these ruffles right onto the shirt itself and sewed them down rather than pinning onto a panel.  They were a bit easier to sew this way because they were going straight down/ vertical on the shirt.  For the female version I created the panels so that I could curve the ruffles a little easier without worrying about the impact to the shirt if I messed up and had to rip some stitches out.

The final photo shows the two shirts side by side.  Chisolm and Natalie were thrilled with the outcome and that it cost them less than $10.  That’s what friends are for! :)

I’ll try to post some photos of the final look whenever I see them. 

Check out the band Feather Trade:

this makes me so happy! :)

this makes me so happy! :)

I am going to make some of these pillow cases for my friends that take lots of road trips.

My niece Zoey is getting a play kitchen for Christmas, so I have been working on a kitchen full of felt food! These first three meals are pretty close to being finished.

Hello, new friend.

Poppy’s baby shower was a blast and the banner was a hit!

The Christmas Stockings are complete!