Crafting Chavs

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Crochet Collar Dress

 This dress was inspired by a necklace.  I was watching a TV show on an airplane and someone was wearing a necklace that looked like a crocheted collar. I thought how nice that collar (not as a necklace) would look on a dress, especially one with a contrasting skirt.  I could not find a ready-made collar at Joann's so turned to e-bay, with success!  That was the first purchase.

Then, the pattern.  Pacific Fabrics was having a pattern sale so I found this one - Simplicity 1715.  It is labelled "Amazing Fit" but it's more like "Amazing how many steps they want you to take to make a dress".  I know it's supposed to lead you to make a dress that will fit every bit of your body perfectly, but I can't take the time to baste everything, fit, alter, baste, fit, alter, final stitch.  I just final stitch and hope for the best.  There were a few choices depending on your measurements and I chose one that was too curvy so had to take off some excess on top.  I was pleasantly surprised at the pleats on top of the arms; I was able to attach the arm pieces without gathering!

I picked and chose my pattern parts, as well.  I needed the round neckline for the collar so chose the short-sleeved view.  I didn't want the pleats for this dress so taped those down.  I wanted the 3/4 length sleeve so added those, as well.  It tended to lead to confusion since the Amazing Fit pattern gives you a lot of steps to make this dress (baste, fit, alter, repeat), plus you have to know which view you are sewing; since I picked bits from each view, that just cluttered my brain even more.  I finally got to the point of just sewing a bit, looking at the general directions, and hoping for the best.

I picked up the fabric at Pacific Fabrics.  The top is woven cotton with a little stretch and a black on black stripe you can't see unless you are close; the bottom is a wool blend.  They both feel and look great.

The unveiling was at the Salish Lodge / Snoqualmie Falls on Mother's Day. It was a gorgeous day but I wasn't overly heated even with the dark color, since the top is cotton.

I'm looking forward, believe it or not, to making this dress with the pleats and the bow at the collar.  All one color this time and using one view.

Buffalo Plaid Shirt

I cannot remember when I finished this, but I do know Matt was able to wear this while it was cold.  He graciously agreed to model it for me for this picture, despite the 80 degree weather.  He had mentioned at one point how much he liked the yellow/black buffalo plaid pattern. I could not find a ready-made shirt in that color so ordered one from  It was more of a light orange but he still wears it.  Then, one day, in Joann's, we were waiting to have fabric cut when we spotted the bright yellow/black you see on him.  Plus, the pink version he his holding (to be made into a shirt for me).  I have included a close-up of the pocket and x-stitched buttons.

The pattern is McCall's (M6613), purchased because it's unisex.  I haven't decided which one I will make for myself; perhaps the one with the roll-up sleeves.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Raincoat Hole

What do you do when you are pulling a rolling suitcase through the airport and your raincoat, so carefully draped across the top, gets caught under the wheel, causing a hole?  Throw the coat away? Oh, my, no; you get crafty.  I went to Joann's looking for some sort of tab to cover the hole but found nothing.  Then, it hit me:  buttons!  Buttons without buttonholes cover quite a bit.  I measured the hole, and surrounding damaged area (shown on the left), and realized I would need at least a 2" button.  The large one, shown on the left in the right picture, measures 2.5.  That would have been enough to cover the area but I added the second smaller button just for flair.  I repeated the pattern on the left side of the coat, even though there were no holes there, just to be consistent.  I'm happy to report this coat will accompany me on many, many more walks through the airport!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pajama Pillow

This is a re-purposed craft: my glow-in-the-dark Paris pajamas met their maker; i.e., a hole and very worn spot appeared on the sleeve.  I didn't want to just toss them out so I used the top to create a pillow, using one that was looking faded.  I used all the buttons so I could put the pillow in easily; I plan to hand-sew that closed as I can toss the entire pillow in the wash.  I kept the pocket, just in case I find something to put in it.  This version of the pillow looks much better on the bed than the one I covered up.  Plus, it still glows in the dark! You can see the Eiffel Towers, which are the bits that glow. I'm happy I didn't have to say goodbye altogether.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jersey Dress

This jersey dress was surprisingly easy to make; I was worried about the faux wrap.  Despite the knit of the fabric, it does not show all my bits and bumps!  I chose this fabric at Joann's some time ago and matched it with McCall's 6163 - here.   It has ruching at the edge of the sleeve and along the side seam.  Both, again, very easy.  The side seam, shown below, called for a zipper - yes, right where the ruching was done!  I could not imagine the thickness I would have to sew through to insert a zipper so I just left it out.  The neckline is big enough to accommodate pulling this dress over my head.

I should have used a lighter interfacing in the collar as it stands up a bit stiffly.  It's a very comfortable dress and I look foward to wearing it quite a bit.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Birthday Apron

Birthday apron!  I made this for my sister, Joy, out of red corduroy (purchased at a fabric garage sale) and trimmed it with the blue and white fabric I used in a dress (here).  The blue button was in my stash and goes very well with the blue and white fabric.  This is an over-the-head apron as she likes to be fully covered when cooking.  She told me after she opened the present that she was jealous when she saw the aprons I made for myself, Anna and Katie out of the Seattle fabric (here).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dad Hat

Fabric from B. Black & Sons and Beverly Fabrics 

I made my first hat! It turned out a little wonky, but ok.

The wool from B. Black & Sons was luscious green wool that felt thick enough for this fedora, but it doesn't have the structure that fedoras are supposed to have.

You can see it looks a lot better on dad than me, and that was the point. I had to wear dad's frat shirt for the picture (from a server I had at a pub later that night: "why are you wearing a shirt in russian?").

I lurrrrve the lining. It's this fantastic silk/cotton blend that was much easier to work with than regular silk. I want it in every color.

Watch out, everyone! Expect more gift hats!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Almost-Fit Shorts

Fabric from Austin Citywide Garage Sale

I believe this is my third attempt at pants. The last pair of shorts I made got about 3 wears out of them before they split. I decided to make these bigger, thinking it was a hip thing. I'm so used to making a-line skirts, which are much more forgiving.

Once I made these up, they still didn't fit just right. It was only then that I came across the Pants Fitting Cheat Sheet and discovered I have a long torso!!

Too bad the shorts were already 95% done.

I'm happy I figured out what the problem is-- and I plan on making another pair of shorts this summer just so I know I can do it. It is a little disappointing, though, because these turned out so cute!

I just have to put up with a smiley crotch.

Next on the list-- an a-line dress.