Knocking Off

Retail 'seasons' are so misleading. We're getting in tons of sandals at work, and it's got me all excited about spring clothing, despite knowing I've got a few months before it's really going to warm up. A brief two days of 50 degree weather also helped to fool me! But we've got snow in the forecast tomorrow, so it's back to reality. Oh well, doesn't stop me from making some new things to tuck away for warmer days.

 I've been seeing in a lot of stores a sort of 'jogger style' jeans, like these:

 Which in theory sounds awesome and comfortable. I decided to see if I liked the look with a pair of old jeans I had which weren't getting much wear.

I just popped an elastic cuff on these 511s. It sort of worked, but the pants are pretty tight and close to the ankle so it wasn't quite the look (not that I won't wear these still)

 So attempt #2, I bought a pair of size 42/30 weird acid washed old lady jeans. I recut them to my "loose short" pattern, widening it at the waist a bit. Ripped off the pockets, put new ones on, then an elastic waistband.

 I originally tried to put elastic cuffs on the bottom, but it just wouldn't come out quite right. I think part of the reason is that my calves are pretty large and the elastic gets caught up on it, it doesn't look right. Anyway, I just did a curved hem, a bit like athletic shorts.

So still not quite the look I want, but closer. I think I'm going to have to scout out some yardage, this sort of thing is hard to remake from other clothing because you need to start with a very big garment to squeeze the recut out of. They sort of look like these shorts, which were also on my 'rip off' list, although I think they are knit:

And lastly,

Not exactly an impressive reconstruction, but I did resize that gold lame shirt. Now I have a pretty perfect gold t-shirt. I managed to re-cut the shoulder area so it was less of a boat neck and more of a crew neck. One downside though--the fabric is weirdly warm to wear.

Now I'm back on a Dear Jane kick. Didn't get much done this weekend because it was filled with pro-wrestling, but I have a good schedule this week and my shoulder's bugging me again, so my workouts are cut a bit short, so I should be getting in some good sewing time.

New Materials

So my tacky baroque print shirt is nearly done. All that's left is buttons and button holes...which I've been known to put off for weeks and weeks. Hopefully it won't be that long. At least it's a short sleeve shirt, so I probably won't be yearning to wear it any time soon. Pretty pleased with the fit overall, and my 'fussy cutting' of the pattern worked pretty well.

 A month or so ago, I found a very 70's polyester button down with this amazing print. It was in kinda rough shape, one of the button holes was torn and the cuffs were frayed but it was $2 so I bought it anyway and it's been sitting on my fabric rack since. I decided to try and make a tank top out of it. The two front pieces were sewn together to form the back , and the large back piece (There was no yoke on this, you can see it's a one piece collar too) became the front. Despite no serger access I think it came out pretty well.  It's a little bit of squeeze getting my head through the neck though.

Now that I've got some respectable guns I feel like it's going to be a summer full of tank tops. Well, that and the fact that I'm hot all the time.

 I also got some materials from the thrift store the other day. The gold lame shirt I think will just get sized down, I've always wanted a gold t-shirt! The elastic mom jeans are hopefully destined to become something like the comfy jean/sweatpant hybrids I've been seeing around.

 The bottom picture is, from top left- white sheeting, bird-and-flower sheeting, some misc. fabric I already had in the middle, then two XL collared shirts, a mint and a gray to be cut up for fabric. Hoping out of this assortment I get 3-4 summer shirts. Didn't find any heavier weight fabric for shorts/pants this time around.

New Computer, New (consistent!!) Posting

Well, hopefully consistent. But definitely more than has been going on-my old Lenovo x120e got a whole glass full of water spilled into it, and refused to even power on. I tried to hold out until my birthday/tax rebate time, but not having a computer at all was pretty awful, and I gave in and treated myself to the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, which is a big upgrade from my old one. The screen on my x120e was admittedly pretty awful, which made editing photos for this blog a pain. On this one, however, the screen is gorgeous, and having a touch screen has been surprisingly handy.

But enough computer chat. What have I been up to since the death of my old laptop? Quite a bit, although I was not taking photos very consistently, since I had nothing to upload them to. So the picture coverage is a bit spotty.

Like I apparently have no picture of the making of this shirt? And I made this quite a while back, since there's no weight bench in the background of these pictures. In any case-just using my basic longsleeve shirt pattern, with contrast cuffs, collar and placket. Next time around I may slim down the arms on this pattern a tiny bit, but then again, my arms keep growing, so maybe not.

 I found some plastic canvas at the thrift store right before Christmas, so I decided to make some little needlepoint ornaments. I have plenty of crewel yarn hanging around for it. I charted out some portraits of my two cats. I think they came out pretty well, I just wish there was more contrast in the eye area on Barry (the orange and white cat)
And here's the finished ornaments. I must have used different dark green on Wharton's and not noticed. But they came out pretty cute! And went right on my tree.

I've been really interest in combining sports and athletic wear with traditional 'craft' processes lately. I've also been learning crochet a little more fully, so I got it into my head to make crochet shorts. I started sketching, and decided to stick to a simple granny square pattern at first so I could figure out how to shape it into shorts. I still want to do something with more shaped squares eventually.

So I needed a variety of yarns, as cheap as possible, since this is just a test. The cheapest way seemed to be to just buy an old afghan for a few dollars and pull it apart. I don't really need to buy full skeins of worsted acrylic, it's not very nice for much else. Unfortunately, the only before picture of the afghan I took was this crummy instagram. So apologies for that. Take my word for it, it was very ugly. 
 And a few days later, it became these! The making was pretty simple. Four granny squares to start, then join the front and back halfway down, then made a crotch gusset (may not be necessary if you don't have thick legs/butt like me) then join on the sides.

 Then round and around each leg, and around the waist.

 The is the back view, in the middle back I used treble instead of double crochet, to sort of create a 'yoke' also to accommodate my butt. Honestly, though, it's still a little short in the back, next time I might also add a short row of double crochet just there as well.
And the front. It's lined with a pair of old bike shorts. I carefully tacked it in by hand with lots of separate small tacks so the stretchiness is preserved. There is probably an easier/better way to do this though I imagine a machine zig zag or serger stitch would not look very good.
 I also wondered, "Is it possible to cross stitch on spandex, or would it constrict the four-way stretch too much?" Then I figured, if the cross stitching was done with the fabric stretched the same amount as it would be on the body, it should work. I picked out a simple pattern from an old book I have.
 I had found at the thrift store a while back a cross stitch kit with 'waste canvas.' The idea is you stitch through the canvas and fabric, then 'pull' or unravel the canvas out from underneath. No picture, but I stretched the shorts over some cardboard, and basted the waste canvas onto it. Then stitched through both and pulled the canvas away. 
 When the shorts are unstretched, the stitching does look a little puckered and odd.
 But, once they are on, it looks much more normal. We'll have to wait and see what happens when I wash them though.
I tried to find a bigger piece of waste canvas, and was having a hard time finding any. It turns out that the world has moved on to water soluble canvas! And thank goodness because pulling the waste canvas was a giant pain. No plans for this yet, but I sure I'll think of something.
Last thing for now, I've been making up a neat shirt with some medallion/border print material I found. I was planning on making it long sleeve, but I lost the fussy-cut cuffs, and don't have enough to cut more, so I think it's doomed to short sleeves.