Friday, November 9, 2012

the weekend is here!

YAY! The weekend is finally here! That means there's time to make some truly awesome stuff! So this weekend I decided that I need a nice warm top that I can wear every day. So it has to be warm and have sleeves. Here's what I have sketched up and some of the stuff that inspired me.

And that's as far as I've gotten, now it's time to wake up and get the fabrics picked out, measured and cut. The goal is to have this shirt ready to wear by Sunday night. Or a small quilted blanket. It's a bit too early I haven't officially decided yet. It's now time to do some chores and wake up.

Check back later to see the progress on this crazy hand sewn task, I have a lot of sweatshirt fleece to use up from the sheik sweatshirt. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Sewing Project

I was sitting here in my little corner surfing the web about a month ago when my boyfriend asked me, "What are we doing for Halloween?" I said, "I don't know." Then kept surfing the web.

But then I seriously thought about it, what are we going to do for Halloween? I know with my boyfriend's allergies he won't really want to go buy a costume to wear out. I also knew there's costume contests at work and that was about it. Then I thought well, maybe I should get a costume for that so I surfed the net for costumes. Very quickly I realized that Halloween costumes in the store are way too thin and skimpy. I get cold way too easily to dress up in an outfit like that.

A while ago, I dressed up as a fully clothed barbie and it scared my parent's black lab because she didn't recognize me. Success I think! Then the past few years I've just dressed up as a "dark fairy" with a wig, make-up and wings.

So I thought, this year I should do something way different. I love Nintendo games! Zelda Ocarina of Time is my favorite of them all!

"Aha!" I said. "I'll be something from the Ocarina of Time." But what character? I thought to myself.

Then I thought... Sheik! She's an awesome character and her outfit looks like it would be really warm. The only down side is that not many people readily know who Sheik is. Oh well I still thought it would be a great costume project. So I looked online to see what kind of costumes were already available.

For those who haven't heard of Sheik before, or don't know much about the Ocarina of Time. It is a GREAT! Game that came out for the N64 and again for the 3DS. Sheik is a character in the game that teaches Link the songs to play on the Ocarina of Time so he can teleport to the important parts of Hyrule, and this is what she looks like.

I think by saying that I'm not spoiling the game for anybody that hasn't played it.

After a few hours of searching I came to the conclusion that I am going to make an outfit myself. Something that could be a costume, and something I could wear any day for warmth. Because winter is nearing every day and I refuse to freeze my little butt off just to look nice! I pictured a hooded sweatshirt, something that Sheik would wear out if she were a real person today. Something that could be worn with jeans and shoes.

For my very first sewing project I am going to make a hooded sweatshirt, 100% hand sewn! Pretty crazy but can be done!

Considering the only "real" sewing I've ever done up until this point is mending pockets, putting buttons back on clothes that have fallen off, and some embroidery a very long time ago with my grandma. This is very ambitious and requires a lot of patience. I don't even know how to use  or have a sewing machine! My mom tried to show me before but she has a tendency to just take over the project and finish it herself then say, "TADA! That's how it's done!" then I try to sit down at the machine the next time and have no idea what to do, and asking mom for help I get the same results. So that's not an option.

But I do know how to hand sew the basic stitches. I first acquired my notebook and tape measure. I sketched up what I wanted it to look like then measured everything: shoulders, waist, bust, body length, arm length, and arm width. Writing everything down in the notebook. I used the sweatshirt I was wearing as a guide, measuring every inch of it and making notes. Then I went online and searched the fabrics, I wrote down some that I thought would work but would see them in person at the fabric store to make sure.Here's what I started with and took off to the fabric store.

I got some navy and white sweatshirt fabric, red costume satin, and matching thread.

 Now we're off to work! I looked at my sketch and decided to make some modifications, such as the pocket that is normally in the front of hooded sweatshirts. I thought that might be a problem if the red icon is going to have to go over the top of that. So I drew in some side pockets. I need to have somewhere to put my phone and keys!

I machine washed all the fabric before anything else, then cleared off our little table and cut out the sleeves to start with. Then I cut out the main body parts front and back, then started sewing. Very quickly realizing that the sweatshirt fabric is pretty thick and regular sewing needles were kind of tough to use, so I switched to a tapestry needle to sew this.

My big concern at this point was attaching the sleeves to the main part, I kept the sides open so I could easily flip it over to the right side and try it on, making sure there's enough space to get in and out of it as easily as a hooded sweatshirt. I also saw it easier to sew the icon on the front if the sides stayed open.

For the icon, I drew it up on some tag board then traced it onto the costume satin. I quickly realized that costume satin probably wasn't the best choice but I liked how it was shiny. That stuff started fraying all over the place as I tried to sew it down! Panicking I grabbed my clear nail polish and went around the edges.

After sewing the big parts down with quite a bit of fraying. I realized that the little triangles were going to be impossible to sew down by hand just pinning them, at this rate they will fray apart! So I went off to the store again and got an embroidery hoop, and sewed them down that way with minimal fraying. Success! It's going to stay and fray no more!

At this point the sweatshirt was comming together and I was excited! Now I needed to put the sides, pockets, and hood on it, then it's ready to wear.

I looked at my sweatshirt that I was wearing and using as a guideline to measure and cut out the hood. I couldn't find drawstrings for it so I cut a thin strip of the white fabric and used that as a temporary string until I could find a real one.

Now that my sweatshirt was comming together and looking pretty good, my boyfriend decided he would like to be Link. Yay! But at this rate there was no way I could make both outfits in time for Halloween this year sadly. But I started sketching up a Link costume for him anyways.

By the time Halloween came, this is what I had.

It was sewn together and ready to wear! Success! I have hand sewn a hooded sweatshirt and the side pockets are awesome! I was able to carry all of my things with me in this sweatshirt! I also felt very sheik wearing it. hehe!

So there you have it. My first sewing project! It still needs some finishing touches like cuffs on the sleeves and the bottom like a normal sweatshirt has, but I think I did alright! There is A LOT more to come!

The Link costume, and anything else I can make out of the extra fabric I have here so stay tuned!

Hello World! First Post.

When I was a young girl, my grandma would sew a lot. She did a lot of embroidery on towels and quilts, and taught me the basics of sewing. My other grandma did A LOT of sewing, she had 13 kids and made clothes for all of them! I didn't get the opportunity to work with her on any sewing projects, because she lived half a continent away sadly. But I really admired the outfits she made for my mom, they are really neat!

the colorful quiltAfter they died in 2008, about 9 months apart, I was very sad and doing any kind of sewing just reminded me of them and made me even more sad. So I pushed my little sewing kit to the back of my closet, and pulled out one of the colorful quilts my grandma made (in the picture) and put it on my bed. 

Four years have passed. I have moved and in these new surroundings, there is very limited space. There is also a new challenge in that my amazing boyfriend, has some very touchy allergies. Wool, pollen, Tide laundry detergent, and dust, are only a few on the long list. Because of this I had to go through my things and throw a lot of clothes and items out. That acrylic fur on winter coats look really cute but collect a lot of dust and will immediately make my boyfriend break out in itchy hives if he touches it. No hugs if i wear a coat like that. :'( So I now can only wear my leather jacket. I also had to leave behind the colorful quilt my grandma made.

I only brought one small plastic tote of clothes, and two pairs of shoes with me when moving to the city to be with my boyfriend. Because space is so very limited. While sitting here in my corner of the main room surfing the web, feeling as if that were the only thing I could possibly do here with this little space. A lightbulb appeared over my head. I thought, "Hey! I could still hand sew things!" After surfing the web more, watching some Project Runway, and looking at Pinterest, I thought alright I can do this. Sewing supplies are small, fabric is the only concern, trying to think where can I put it? I also can only work with a handful of fabrics and must avoid a few. I could possibly make a new colorful quilt out of fabrics that are "safe" as I call it now because they aren't irritating to him. 

me with safety glassesI've realized that I like building things. Don't think I look too bad with safety glasses on either hehe but there's me in the picture. I work in manufacturing (have been for 5 years now) and yes it is monotonous as a machine operator or line assembler where you are only doing one thing all day every day in one spot on the line, but it is very interesting to step back and see the entire production line. You can see at the beginning of the line raw materials start to form into recognizable small parts. In the middle of the line the small parts are being assembled and more parts added. Then at the end of the line the final assembly and finishing touches are added and you see the finished product, ready to be packaged and shipped out to the customer.

The most rewarding part is leaving work and seeing that very product that your line builds every day, be on a shelf in the store, or seeing it actually being used to fulfill it's purpose out in the field. Every time I see that I feel great, and proud to point it out to my friends and family that ask, "What do you do for a living?"

So I thought sewing is essentially joining pieces of fabric together to fulfill a purpose of covering a table, a chair, a pillow, or a person's privates as clothing. Perfect! I love it already! Now I NEED to do this! I also wanted to write a blog about something but had no clue what to write about. Double score!