Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alteration - Michael Kors style

So I had picked up a shirt at Macy's from their Michael Kors line.  Softest fabric I have ever felt - thank goodness it was on sale because I just had to have it.  Only one problem I didn't notice until I got it home and put it on to wear it.  The cowl neck has a little too much extra fabric.  If you stood up straight it draped beautifully.  Unfortunately, if you leaned forward or even hunched your shoulders at all it gapped to show way too much.  Hmm, dilemma.

I decided to try taking the neckline up at the shoulder seam.  But only at the neckline.  I did it that way to try and avoid ruining the cowl neck, and because I wasn't sure what to do with the extra fabric.  It would distort the seam at the arm if I took the adjustment all the way across, or so I was thinking.

SO here is the view from the front of the shirt:
And since you can't really see it in this picture because of the pattern, here is a closeup of the shoulder area:
It creates kindof a starburst effect of folds.  Not sure if it looks deliberate or just sloppy.  Can't decide if I want to try and fix this, or try to figure out how, or just leave it as is and brazen it out like I meant it that way.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

Friday, January 27, 2012

More Mending

SO continuing with the mending theme to get some easy projects under my belt, I decided to mend a pair of my jeans.  They're older so the denim is wearing through.  This pair developed holes along the seam where the butt pockets are attached.  Since the holes are small I pulled the fabric over and sewed them closed.  It creates some interesting small pull ripples in the fabric, but I'm willing to deal for a pair of casual pants.  Plus they're behind me so I can't see them anyway!  Yay semi-instant gratification.  Until I can afford to buy more jeans that fit, the ones I currently own have to last.  I'd love to make my own, but my sewing machine isn't powerful enough to sew denim.  So for now I have to rely on the slave machine of industrial clothing to bring me jeans.

Pics to come once I figure out what I'm going to do with the back pockets on these suckers.  They had riveted shank type buttons that came out.  Now there are holes.  Right where I need to sew new buttons on.  I'm considering using fusible interfacing to attach fabric on the inside of the pocket to cover the hole.  Then  sewing the new buttons to that fabric.

Any thoughts?  I've never dealt with this situation before so any suggestions are welcome.

Getting Started - first victim

SO I decided to get started right off with my list, which was longer than I thought it would be and I'm not even done with it yet.  I had some time to kill waiting to take my meds (ear infections hurt!).  Since my sewing machine is still in its box, I decided to hand sew it.  Since I had the time anyway.  And I wasn't entirely sure my machine could get over one part of this seam.

So the first victim was a pair of dress pants I bought a year or so ago.  I've lost a few pounds so now most of my dress pants hang on me in an unflattering manner.  These pants were more urgent than the rest due to the lack of belt loops with which to hold them up.  Since dropping trou at work is considered bad form I decided to start with them to see if altering them would work.

I started by putting them on and pulling out on either side, trying to equalize between each side the amount needed to be taken in.  I decided to use the existing side seam as the midpoint for the dart so I'm just creating a new side seam.  My only issue were the pockets.  I had to shorten the dart more than I'dve liked so as not to impede the pockets.  It creates a bit of a point with the extra fabric below the bottom edge of the pocket opening that no longer exists above.  Not really sure what to do about it.  For now I am just going to bask in being able to wear these pants again without being in danger of showing more than I'd like.  The odd ripples will just have to deal.

Inside seam:
Gotta love my hand sewing skills right?  Where the waistband, the herringbone fabric of the pants, meets the black fabric that is the pocket is a thicker seam that I wasn't sure my machine could contend with.  Hence the decision to just sew it by hand.  I used a backstitch to avoid the stitches stretching out and showing on the outside of the garment while it is being worn.

Outside seam:
You can kindof see what I was talking about with there suddenly being extra fabric below the pocket - to the left in this picture.  I'm just going to leave it as is until I think of a solution that doesn't shorten the pocket opening.  Otherwise I can't get my hands in.  Women's clothes have few enough functional pockets that I don't want to ruin the ones I do have.  Any thoughts are always welcome.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project Roundup

Alright.  So my resolution to actually finish some projects would probably benefit from knowing what projects I have to do in each category.  I'll have to add things as I actually sort through my stuff.

- jeans with a hole by back pocket
- sew up torn side of reusable shopping bag
- hem a pair of my dress pants
- add buttons back to my black wool pea coat
- zipper on my down coat (below-the-knee length coat so a long zipper - replacing it would be a pain)

- tuck neckline on cowl neck top to avoid exposure
- tuck neckline on two shortsleeve shirts for same reason as above (why would I want to flash random people?? More importantly why didn't I notice this when I was purchasing the shirts?  Oh well.)
- embroider black cardigan? (not sure on this one since without embroidery it doesn't call attention if I wear it more than once in a short period of time)
- embroider grey cardigan? (same concern as above)
- figure out if I can alter dress pants since I lost weight (not sure how feasible this is given I've never even made pants before.  we'll see.)
     * one down - herringbone

- ankle-length skirt for my mother
- fall color medley loom knitted shawl (no recipient in mind, I think my longest running project in progress ever)
- skirt for work from some moleskin my mother gave me

How do you guys keep track of what projects you have to do plus the ones you'd like to start if you had the time?  I always seem to forget until I stumble on it or need the item in question for some reason.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Maybe, hopefully.  Too much life going on to focus on crafting lately, or at least that's what I have been telling myself.  Too busy and stressed to work on a project.  But working on projects is often a way to deal with stress.  The small bit of triumph I feel when I've completed something, the satisfaction of a job well done, combats the stress of other areas of my life where I haven't been successful.  Plus seeing those unfinished projects is another source of stress!  Too stressed to deal with my stress.  Ironical.

So I am making a resolution to sort through my unfinished projects.  Everything from mending to refashions to brand new cloth projects.  That way I can try to fit in projects where I can.

What about you?  Are crafts a way to relax at the end of a day or on a day of rest.  A way to get your mind off stress for a while and work on something that gives you simple pleasure?