Friday, May 6, 2011

Why I sew

Sewing can be a lot of work.  It can be frustrating and annoying and sometimes I have things I would rather be doing.  I know it may be sacrilege, but my idea of an awesome Friday night isn't sitting at home with my Kenmore and a pile of fabric pieces.  On the other hand, I do enjoy the process of turning yardage into a finished garment.  I like the challenge of taking an idea and making it reality, particularly when I do almost every step myself.

The real reason I sew though, is because I know I can create something myself, exactly the way I want it, for a lot less money than I could buy it.  Yup, I'm cheap, and I'm not ashamed of it.

Let's pretend this picture isn't blurry, ok?

Take this outfit.  I made the corset and the hat, and the skirt and shirt are from the thrift store.  I happen to think it looks pretty darn good, and by making the corset and hat I saved myself easily $200.  Keep in mind, I am not trying to say that sewing is cheap.  For most everyday garments, you can spend more to make them yourself than to buy them off the rack at Kohl's or Old Navy.  Fabric and supplies aren't cheap.  However, if you want a really good fit, you can save money learning to do it yourself instead of paying someone else to do it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An easy fascinator

I made this a while back to go with an outfit I had put together.  Sorry I don't have a picture of myself wearing it, but it is surprisingly difficult to take a picture of the top of your own head.  I did manage to get on ok picture of it, but my nose looked huge and I refuse to post that online right now...

This was super easy and cost me all of $5.  The pink feathers are a pre-made feather pad.  I bought mine at Mendel's in the Haight in San Francisco.  They had them in about 10 different colors for $1.99 each.  They also had multi and natural colored pads for, I think, $3.99.
The Front

The Back

The feathers are glued onto a fabric foundation.  You could totally do this yourself, but for $1.99 I thought it was worth it to buy it ready made. 

The black feather puff is from Joann's

These come in black and white and have an alligator type clip attached.  I used the same feather clip in my little steampunk top hat.  They are cheap and make really cute hair clips by themselves.

The veil is a half circle of leftover glitter tulle that I bought for Halloween a couple of years ago.  It is about a foot across and gathered along the curved edge, then quickly stitched to the clip.  Putting this together took all of 20 minutes and it turned out really well. 

I am seeing more and more fascinators and tiny hats in accessories shops and they tend to be pretty pricey, for what they are.  I don't mind shelling out a decent amount of cash for something like that that has been made by another crafter, but I don't like to spend $30-$60 on few few scraps of feather and tulle that have been mass produced, so I decided to try making them myself and I was surprised by how easily you can get good results.  Mine aren't anywhere near as beautiful as some of what you can find on etsy, though

Check out this comic inspired one

I saw someone wearing one of these at WonderCon, and they are about 100 times cuter in person than they are in pictures, and they are pretty damn cute in pictures.  Janinebasil has lots of fun, glittery, pop culture inspired fascinators.  I think this one is my favorite because of my enduring love to Adam West as Batman.

CorrineONeill on Etsy make gorgeous feathery confections.  She manages to make things that are both elegant and in incredibly bright colors, which is a combination I love!

I think that is it for today.  As you can see I am a bit obsessed with little hats and accessories right now.  I'm really excited that headwear for girls is making a comeback.  What do you think about the trends?  Do you think they will be around for a while?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

6621 just doesn't seem to be happening

I just can't find the motivation to actually start on this shirt.  I don't know why.  Maybe it is because I don't have fabric that inspires me.  Maybe it is my general dislike of working with commercial patterns.  Maybe it is a dissatisfaction with having to wear the 'work mask' and disguise some of my odd ball traits.  Maybe it is the continuing sinus hell I am going through that makes me not want to commit to a big project. It could be a lot of things, but right now it just isn't happening, so instead, I just darned a sock.

I have a deep and abiding love for cute socks.  Luckily so does my boyfriend, so he doesn't think it is weird that I have a big rubbermaid bin, just for socks.  When one gets a hole, I don't want to just throw it out, especially if it is a particularly cute or interesting pair, so I learned how to darn.  It isn't hard and it doesn't take very long.  I usually use a matching color for the darning, and then it doesn't even show up, but I liked the orange on these.