Friday, August 21, 2015

...I'm just going to call it being flexible

I love having grand intentions. I don't enjoy it so much when they don't work out though, and I seem to be the queen of that!

Week 2 of  Project Runway was the unconventional challenge, and I did not have the time or inclination, nor the desire to beat up my budget sewing machine, to sew garments out of cardstock. So that week was gleefully skipped!

Week 3 though, I loved that challenge. The designers were paired up via the dreaded button bag and had to pick a destination for inspiration for a look. Oh the button bag, the thing nightmares are made of on that show. I bet they wake up screaming and drenched in sweat for years to come.

To determine my locale I just gave Google Earth a crazy spin and let it stop wherever it may. Where it stopped was the middle of the ocean. I assumed that I'm allowed a real place for inspiration and not, you know, Atlantis or Ariel's underwater fiction or something like that so I set the world aturnin' again. Ocean. Ocean. Ocean. Ocean adjacent to Scotland? Close enough to land, so Scotland it is!

Unfortunately real life and the job that gives me money totally wins out this coming week, and unless I schlep my sewing machine and a whole lot of supplies from airport to airport and hotel to hotel my progress will be minimal. Certainly not a whole look with my slow as molasses process.

I got my place and had ideas instantly flooding through, and knew right away that this pattern was making it into the look.

Isn't that jacket amazing!? Of course it is.

I thought I could get that jacket knocked out this weekend and at least have the big part of the look done. Ran down to Joann's (the only fabric store around) and they had nothing. There were not any fabrics that were anywhere close to what I wanted for this. I had a 60% off coupon with me and still left empty handed. That is just unprecedented, I must be ill.

So I'm hitting up the online stores and am going to hunt down and buy exactly what I want. So now we've got shipping time in on the mix and I will make absolutely zero progress on this week beyond a sketch and a lighter wallet. Awesome...  So who knows when I'll end up completing/posting this weeks look! Way too late is probably a pretty safe answer.

So instead I will be working on other projects this week. Mostly crochet projects that can be done while hurtling through the air at 500mph. I need to start cutting out blocks for a baby quilt, continue work on an afghan for football season, start working on a crocheted baby gown, and begin a baby blanket.

My carry on is going to be bursting at the seams!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Project Runway Sew Along: Episode 1, Part 2

Check here for part 1 of this post.

For my interpretation of the challenge I wanted something comfotable, simple, and easy to wear. That's just what I like to wear. I added a fun little pop with the cutouts
 in the back (that I need to order up some FOE to finish and add stability to the edges so don't curl so much with my big swayback).

And the circle skirt is a separate skirt! The dress is really a sheath.

With a cardigan to survive the air conditioning that gets pumped through my office I am entirely work appropriate.

Bonus, I've got a swingy twirly skirt I can bust out separately if I wish.

And yep, my phone is in my hand for every one of these! My camera has a wi-fi function so I was using my phone to trigger the shots. I have to learn it better so the focus improves. I found a workaround to the photoshoot scheduling conflicts! Now if I could learn how to model (or even stand...I captured some weird gangly poses) I will be all set.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Project Runway Sew Along: Episode 1, Part 1

I can't do the official post until my photographer (I've saddled my husband with the term!) is available, but I just wanted to get in proof that I got things done in the week as I'd planned. Letting the week go by with no post didn't seem like it would be a great start to the season!  (Edit: See Part 2 of this post here)

So poorly lit, evening, phone pics it is!

For the first challenge the designers were given 3 minutes to nab fabrics from around a stadium and then were tasked with designing a garment that shows who they are and fits with their aesthetic.

They couldn't go shopping so I couldn't either, so to the cedar chest for stash raiding I went.

I like easy. On my own time I am ratty worn jeans, a tank top with the bra straps saying hi to everyone, and my beat up steel toe boots. If it's chilly throw a hoodie over that whole mess and call it a day. I'm ready for anything! (As long as 'anything' means trashy casual)  And, yeah...nobody wants to see that!
(Proof: my casual style is horrific)
(I also don't remember why the dog is decorated)

So I had to think nicer, which means things I can wear to the office, non-keg birthday parties, and other events. And that would still be easy to wear and comfortable.

Classic, simple silhouette

So a knit sheath dress is immediately where I went. I wear a ton of pull on pencil skirts, so a dress eliminates a whole piece of clothing. Perfect!

I always need a sweater at work because the AC gets pumped in, and decided that gives me full leave to play with the back since nobody in my conservative field will see it.

Playing with layouts before cutting
Also marked where my bra band sits so that it will stay hidden

Hacked it all up!

And for a second outfit or to change up the silhouette of the dress while still keeping the same ease - a matching circle skirt!

Easy breezy

I was able to eke it all out from 2.5 yards of ponte fino knit from I love this stuff! It's soft and has quite a bit of weight to it.

The dress isn't totally complete (sending an unfinished garment down the runway! Shame on me!) but I didn't like rolling the edges of the cutouts, and binding in bias didn't do anything for me either. I'm going to order up some foldover elastic and finish them with that. Leaving them raw is absolutely not an option now that I've had to unpick 3 lines of stitching from them while making up my mind!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Oilcloth and denim placemats for the patio

....does this mean I can stop cleaning the table?! I'll just slap these bad boys down right on top of the limitless supply of pollen and call it good! Right? Fine. I'll keep cleaning the darn thing.

 But at least it will look prettier when we use it!

The oilcloth is an item Joann's had in stock, I grabbed a cut of it with one of their 50% off coupons and called it a day. I'm not a big paisley person but I like the nice blue and white for this project. It'll wipe up easily, it's not slippery, and it's got a bit of heft to it.

For the backing I knew I wanted denim, there is nothing more relaxing than a great pair of jeans! And it's a sturdy fabric that won't stain easily, so that's a win. For the denim I went to goodwill on their half off day and grabbed a very large pair of men's jeans off the rack for $1 and butchered them for the fabric. I was able to cut pieces large enough to back three of the placemats, and had to piece enough fabric to get the backing out for the fourth. I like the leg seaming running through the middle, it's not overly bulky and is a cute detail. On the one I had to piece I simply sewed them together and top stitched it using the standard gold thread.

To make them I cut my pieces 12" x 18", put them wrong sides together, and sewed the whole perimeter. I whipped up some extra wide double fold bias tape and used that to hide the raw edge and did a simple miter at the corners. Pretty straightforward but it packs a punch!

The bias tape also adds some fun color and throws me unabashedly into the red, white, and blue backyard BBQ, burgers, and beer mood!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Project Runway season 14: Sew Along!

I don't know if this is a great idea or a terrible one. Maybe it will be a poorly executed great idea? We shall see. Season 14 of Project Runway premiers tomorrow night and I have decided I am going to do a sew along with the challenges.

I can't devote 20 hours in a row, nor do I have someone handing me a few hundred bucks on a weekly basis and gleefully sending me to Mood. I have a full time job and a budget, so my challenges will be a bit more different.

My plan is to do my sketches when the designers do theirs, and then do my design and sewing during stolen evening and weekend hours around my job, family, and other responsibilities.  Garment will be finished before the next episode airs.

For materials I am going to try to utilize my stash, repurposing materials from thrift store items, and the local JoAnn's. I haven't decided if I can give myself a percentage of what the designers receive or some other such restraint,  or just make it work (Gunnism!) as best I can. I will probably develop a better system for that as we go along.

I really want to improve my garment pattern drafting and get out of my safe "go to" projects and silhouettes, so this will be a great challenge. Will certainly be pushed out of my comfort zone!

If anyone else plans on doing something similar let me know!