Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sewing Patterms purge

I have been purging my huge collection of sewing patterns today. I have been collecting a lot of patterns in the last 15 years. I didn't realize I have lots of patterns that are very similar! How many princess seam jacket patterns does one need? Also, my body has been completely altered after being pregnant and nursing for a year. Some of the patterns just no longer fit my body size or shape. Some of them weren't even cut! Oh well! One has to be ruthless when it comes to pattern purging. A quarter of my patterns have now been purged. The local charity shop will really appreciate it, I'm sure......

Shorts for hubby - Simplicity 3763....Sweatshop now closed!

After all the sewing/refashioning for myself and my son this year, I thought it's time for me to make something for a very very important person in my life - my dear hubby! I started making a pair of pants for him using simplicity 3763 late last Summer. But alas! Morning/afternoon/evening sickness for the first 4 months of pregnancy prevented me from finishing it. So finally I have finished the shorts in time for this summer.

I made 2 pairs of shorts with this pattern, using an Olive cotton/poly twill and a Beige cotton/poly twill in my stash. I made some changes to the patterns for both pairs of shorts.

1. Olive shorts - I made a functional button fly by drafting my own extra flaps for the fly. I added an extra waistband to the shorts because of some miscalculations. I also added a drawstring to the elastic waistband because hubby likes that. The shorts were easy to make. I didn't read the instructions. However, hubby thought the shorts were too long and he didn't like the seamed pockets on the side. The drawstring is a long shoelace in my stash.

2. Beige shorts - The fly this time is pure decorative. I drafted new angled patch pockets for the shorts. Due to another miscalculation of the placement of the pockets, I added an extra elastic waistband with drawstring to the shorts. I also shortened the shorts by 3 inches as per hubby's request. The drawstring is the other shoelace in my stash.

It was tough going because I'm really pregnant and it's really difficult crouch on the floor to pin and cut fabric. But I'm glad it's done and hubby has another 2 pairs of shorts to wear this summer. And it's good that I'm stash busting!!

I think the 'Lovenicky barefoot and pregnant sewing sweatshop' is finally closed for the next few months........:-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nest cleaning

Just some minor contractions today. I guess I'm not giving birth yet! So I took some time to clean up my closet. Boy, do I have a lot of clothes! I have been sewing for myself and my family for more than 10 years. About 60% of my wardrobe were made by me. I find it really hard to part with stuff that I made. They were well loved and used over so many years. But how much clothing does one really need? I'm still continuing to add new clothes that I sewed and refashioned to my closet. I think I should take the advice from those organization gurus: take one out before you put a new one in.

But how does one part with a nice wool suit that one has made and worn at work, and received compliments for? Or that special occasion dress that one made for a wedding and worn a couple more times to various Holiday parties? I can be much more cold-hearted in donating shoes that I haven't worn but clothes/accessories that I have made.......I guess I need some professional organizer help with this!

Do you have any suggestions/ideas for me to purge some of my me-made clothing/accessories? I have already given some of my creations to friends/family whom I knew would enjoy those items. But I still have a lot. What should I do?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Contractions as a sewing motivator

I had some painful Braxton Hicks contractions early this morning. It lasted for about an hour. All I could think of was, 'we are not ready!' We are still in the midst of setting up the new room for our toddler, and I hadn't started making summer shorts for him yet.

So what does a heavily pregnant woman do when she has painful contractions? Race to the sewing nook of course! LOL! I quickly took out stuff from the refashioning pile and started cutting out shorts patterns for my son with the tried and true Simplicity 3765. I just shortened the length of the pants pattern.

For some reason, while concentrating on sewing the shorts, my contractions became less painful and less frequent. And 2 hours later I have finished 4 pairs of shorts (Bermuda length so that if he falls he won't scrap his knees that much) for my son! Woohoo! Funny how some Braxton Hicks contractions can be a real motivator for sewing!From left: 3 reclaimed t-shirts, 2 reclaimed boxer shorts from hubby, and jean shorts made a while back from fabric in my fabric stash.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adult splash pants to Toddler splash pants - Simplicity 3765 Again!

Yep, I did another refashion again, even though I said I was going to stop and take it easy. However, this time it was out of necessity.

The teacher at my toddler's nursery school said that the weather is getting warmer and more rainy. So he now needs splash pants, not snow pants, to go outside and play. I thought I would have to go and hunt for a pair of 2nd hand splash pants for him. But then I remembered that I had a 2nd pair of splash pants that I hadn't worn for a while because I needed to fix the waist elastic.

So I did a simple and boring refashion of my splash pants to my son's splash pants, using the tried and true Simplicity 3765 pattern.

1. Cut off the waistband and the ankle zippers on the adult pants
2. Resew the zipperless pant leg together
3. Cut along the inseams
4. Place the pattern on the pant legs and cut.
5. Sew the pattern pieces together
6. Apply elastics to the ankle cuffs and the waist band

Voila! Another quick and easy refashion for my son. It took less than 2 hours and my son has been wearing it every school day since.

p.s. It's funny how the before after pictures look almost the same!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fabric/Trims/Patterns/Refashion Pile Busting!

I have way too much fabric/trims/sewing patterns and stuff in the Refashion pile that are waiting to be worked on. I'm embarrassed to say that I have 2.5 closets in the house full of fabrics/thrift store finds. From today onwards, I am pledging to myself not to buy any more fabric/trims/sewing patterns or thrift store stuff for 3 months.

This should be relatively easy as I will be giving birth soon and will have no time to sew/refashion anyways! Hahaha! I have given myself an easy challenge! But there are exceptions though. I will buy new underwear, socks, etc. if I really need them.

I had a look at my fabric stash and realized that I have lots of stuff for office wear (conservative wools, cottons, linens, etc) but not a lot of casual wear fabrics that I can launder regulary (e.g. for the baby and toddler to wear, or something for me to wear in case the baby soils herself on me). Even so, I'll really try hard not to buy any additional fabric for the next 3 months.

So how bad is your fabric stash or refashion pile? Did your partner/family members complain about it?

Monday, April 4, 2011

From t-shirt to pillow

I know I said I wouldn't do anymore sewing/refashioning but I just couldn't help myself. This one was super fast and easy though. My hubby gave me a well worn Mickey Mouse t-shirt that's too short on him. And it just so happens that my son likes Mickey Mouse. So I quickly cut out the t-shirt into a 2 small rectangles, sew them together into a bag, stuffed it with recycled polyester filling and that's it! I hope my son likes it. I'm showing this to him tomorrow!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Black turtleneck dress - another simple Refashion

I'm weeks away from giving birth! As much as I love sewing/refashioning, I am just too tired and uncomfortable to do anymore. So here is probably the last sewing/refashioning project before the new baby arrives.
I bought this wool mix turtleneck long dress for a few dollars from a thrift store 2 months ago. I was mighty pleased in finding this dress! The dress is too long for me (down to my ankles) and the turtleneck was too tight (actually all turtlenecks are tight on my short neck). I just want a simple black wool sweater dress that I can wear in the office with my jewelry creations (the black showcases the jewelry very well!).

1. Chop off the dress from the knee down. Hem the bottom edge.
2. Measure and mark the eventual neckline of the dress.
3. Cut a piece from the remnant of a wine colour sweater (from the 3 tone sweater dress project) and attached it to the neckline.
4. Cut off the turtleneck.
5. Voila! Another easy refashioning.I think the wine colour neckline gives the dress a little pizzazz but still keeps the overall look muted.

And I still have lots of fabric left over from this dress for another project.

p.s. It's just so difficult to take a good picture of this dress on me while I'm 9 months pregnant. Perhaps I'll take another picture after giving birth.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dry cleaning - a pet peeve

One of my pet peeve when it comes to clothing is Dry Cleaning. I have thrifted wool, cotton, wool mix, cotton mix clothing that says Dry Clean only on the labels. Why? These items were not like big wool coats that requires special handling. I have machine washed (cold cycle) almost all my clothing (wool, cotton, silk, beaded, embroidered, etc) and have no problems so far. With some delicate materials, I simply put them in a plain cotton pillowcase before putting them in the washer. I hung them to dry and they turned out fine. I hope my 'good luck' with laundering at home will continue without me spending a fortune on dry cleaning.

I once dry-cleaned a light colour linen suit and the dry cleaner actually ruined it. Somehow it came back with blotches of discolouration. I was not pleased. They offered to clean it again for free but the blotches remained. Since then, I decided to launder my clothing at home.

What do you think about dry cleaning? Do you have any tales to tell?