Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just a Few Pretty Things for Spring

The sun is starting to shine a little longer and feel a little warmer and it makes me want to wear pretty little things.  

So I decided to make some!

Remember my Fun With Free Vintage Fabric  post where I scored a bunch of free vintage fabric odds and ends from a neighbors friend?  I already made my son and I matching "hippie" pants with some of this fabric below.  I've been dying to try out a wonderful pattern I have for a vintage style button up dress.  It was a bit of work, but I love the pattern and I love how this dress came out!  I wore it today with my red Toms.  It's a new favorite!  I think it would look really cute with a belt, too.

Here is the pattern below.  I want to make one in every style!

I made yet another maxi dress.  My third now (original link to tutorial in this previous post).  They are so easy to do, I can't help myself!  I found this old, size too big tank top in my fabric scraps and started digging for matching fabric.  I have another stash of vintage fabric given to me by my Mother-in-law, with some of the most beautiful floral pieces.  I love them all and am very careful with how I plan to use them because once it's gone, it's gone!  I didn't get a full picture, but it's a long skirt.  The top is a little loose, but I think it still looks nice.  What's nice is if I get sick of it or the tank stretches out I can just turn the bottom into a stand alone skirt.

I have a print like this in navy blue and peachy florals that I just cut up and am hoping to squeeze it into a dress.  It's even more gorgeous than this fabric print, if you can imagine.  Most of the vintage fabrics I inherited from Grandma Moses are exactly one yard and it's very hard to make a dress with only one yard of fabric.  I'm doing my best to make it happen, wish me luck!

I'm very proud of this next project, even though I made a few mistakes along the way.  Next time I know I will be able to do these right and it makes me sooooo happy because I can NEVER find a pair of shorts I like.  I recently found a pair of high waisted, vintage inspired, shorts and tried them on.  They fit so good I had to buy them.  I am totally feeling this style.  I used some of the fabric that I am using in my upcoming grey wool suiting collection of bags.  I had a lot of this fabric and it looked like it might look cute as shorts, plus I had plenty of it, so great for practice! 

Obviously, these aren't perfect.  I messed up on the top waist band.  It was supposed to be longer on one side, so it would overlap and extend over the waistband on the other side and buckle.  The directions on the pattern were very unclear, but after all was said and done I had an "Aha" moment and realized what the heck the markings on the pattern were trying to tell me.  Next time that won't happen.  I also think I will stick with a matching color for the thread details, rather than contrasting.  I think it would be better not seen, but it works on these.

The other mistake I made is that I made them a a little too short because I didn't read the pattern through all the way to the end before I started.  I had already zig zagged the seams together on the inside leg seams.  You have to roll the bottom up to form a cuff on the and then the inside raw seams show on the sides.  You are supposed to leave the seams apart, press them open, finish them separately, and then tack them down along the cuff where it will be showing out.  I had done a very sloppy job with finishing my seams, not thinking they would show.  I had the idea to cover them with some binding, to make them look a little more finished.

You can see the little pink strip of binding in the side view.  Which seemed like a fantastic idea, except I couldn't get it close to the bottom because I already had finished the bottom raw edge and wasn't about to go to a bunch of trouble ripping out thread over the aesthetics of the tiny little sides of my cuffs.  Long story short, I had to roll my bottom cuff much wider than originally intended to hide the raw edges of the binding, so they became a little shorter than they are meant to be.

What is awesome about this pattern is it has several different styles of shorts to choose from, but they are all made from the same basic pattern.  

I love the two on the girls modeling the pattern.  I want to do those next.  I went for the most basic one on the bottom for my first shot.  I also ditched the belt loops.  Seemed like a ton of work for nothing.  I think the next time I will make the shorts just a tad longer, even longer than these had I done them right.  Not much, just maybe 1-2 inches.  I am seriously considering trying to make pants from this pattern, too.  I don't think it would be that hard and I love the way the shorts fit.  I think once I get comfortable with the pattern I can extend them down into pants and then I'll be able to have awesome high waisted, vintage inspired pants, too!  I finally think I am starting to get a handle on the whole pants - shorts construction.  They are very confusing and tricky at first and different patterns have different ways of assembling them, but I think I am getting the hang of it!

Now I have some pretty little things to wear for spring.  I have a few more planned, but I have to get back to work on my bags.  I am about to start the diaper bag from the same wool suiting that I used to make my shorts and I have wristlet I need to finish up.  

Lots of interfacing to cut and ironing to do .... which happens to be my least favorite part about my craft ...

I hope there is something good on tv too keep me conscious!

Happy Spring!

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