Monday, October 24, 2011

Dear Sofa...

Oh, hello there!  Long time, no see, my friend.
Even though I walk by you everyday on the way out the door.

I haven't forgot about you.   No really,  I haven't.  You've been shoved in the corner and seemingly forgotten.  But I'm here to tell you it isn't so.  In fact, I went to the fabric store the other day to check on your would-be new, snazzy attire aaaannndd...

Bad news.  It's gone.

Gone.  No more.  Defunct.  Won't be ordered without a forty yard purchase (crazy!).

I've searched high and low online and alas, it's no where to be found.

There's one more fabric store to check.  But at the same time, it may be fun just to pick out something new.  You know?

We won't be going to the fabric store again until we have the money to purchase fabric.
Pick out and purchase in the same day.  That's the way to do it.
You're going to be an expensive one, by the way.

So don't fret.  I haven't forgotten about you.  

We'll fix you up one day soon.

Even though this little monster doesn't seem to mind you in your current musty, shabby shape.
(She has deemed it her daytime nap spot.  And by 'daytime nap'  I mean sleeping all day long)

Put your mind (stuffing?) at ease, sofa.  We'll make Milton and Geraldine proud. 

Liza Jane
(and J, too, because he has to help)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Feel Special


I'm so pumped!!  Burdastyle featured my stripey dress as the member project of the week
I was having kind of a crappy day, too.  This totally turned it around!

If you are visiting from Burdastyle- welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by!
Is that enough exclamation points?...!!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fashion According to Six Year Olds: Green Stripey Monster

Oh boy, am I tickled with this one!  I giggled the whole time I was sewing this up.   It's been in my head for a long time now.   Back in February, I blogged about an art lesson I was teaching my first graders.  They answered the question, Is clothing art? and designed their own clothing using all sorts of wallpaper scraps.   It's a great lesson.  We designed clothing on a large sheet of paper underneath an oval.  At the end, we cut out the oval and the kids "try on" their creations by holding their face up to the oval.  Hilarity ensues.    

Anyway, last year I had students spend a day sketching ideas first, much like a real fashion designer would.  Six year old fashion designers!  Their drawings were so amazing- I was totally inspired.   I knew I had to try and make something they designed.   I finally got around to it this past weekend.


I had the perfect fabric in my stash for the little green top- this stripey rayon knit.  Don't you love the scallops?  Ha! That's what convinced me to make it up.  It's not exactly like the drawing, of course.  Just my interpretation of it.  The fabric is quite possibly the most difficult fabric I've worked with yet.  It's lightweight, bouncy, super drape-y, clingy and very stretchable.  I fought with it.  Battled with it.  I ended up underlining it with a cotton interlock that was much better behaved.  I was very careful not to stretch out the rayon knit as I basted it to the interlock.  I think it worked out.  I'll be interested to see what happens when I wash the dress.

It's definitely not perfect, but I love it anyway.  I used my favorite Burda 2-2011 long sleeve tee pattern (are you tired of hearing about it?) to make up the dress pattern.  I also used my a-line skirt pattern to help guide me on width and length for the bottom half of the dress.  I wish I had actually made a paper pattern because I'd love to make another tee shirt dress in the future, but I didn't.  I just pinned everything on the fabric as I went.  I had to piece the back because of the direction of the stripes.  We'll just call that an intentional design feature.

Alright, so it may make my butt look big-- I'm okay with that.  It's a tee dress.  For loungin'.

I sewed the scallops first.  I fused tricot interfacing to the hem of the rayon knit and then sewed the scallops with the interlock, right sides facing.   Sherry, your tutorial was mucho helpful.   I flipped the interlock to the inside, carefully poked and pressed the scallops.  It didn't take long at all.  Then I treated the interlock like an underlining and basted all the edges.  At risk of upsetting the sewing gods, I didn't do it by hand.  I used a super wide zig zag stitch and loosened up the top thread tension all the way.  Worked like a charm.   Then I sewed up the rest of the dress with a narrow zig zag, matching stripes.  One sleeve is a tiny bit off.  Luckily I am not a perfectionist.  I love the neck binding and how it looks like two different pieces.

I had an incredibly awesome time making this.  So much fun bringing one of those drawings to life.  I may have to try another soon.  That bicycle tee is calling my name...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Seeing Spots

I may have a problem.

I, Liza Jane of Liza Jane Sews, do solemnly swear to refrain from purchasing and sewing anything else with polka dots from here until further notice. 

Seriously, enough already.

I should also probably give my self-drafted a-line skirt pattern a rest.   I think I have enough skirts in my wardrobe.  It's actually getting pretty ridiculous.  And definitely enough spots.  But I couldn't resist squeezing in one more pencil skirt with this little bit of Hobby Lobby cotton duck.  It's probably meant for home decor but it works well for a skirt, too.   I didn't underline this particular skirt like the others, but I did add a separate lining from a scrap of poly satin I had in the stash.   So I can wear it with tights now that it's finally cooling down a bit.  

Something went awry when I was cutting out the fabric.  I knew I cut it too big but decided that I would just take it in after I sewed up the side seams.  I figured I could straighten out the seams to make it more of a pencil skirt at the same time.  It ended up huge.  I had to add a center back seam to take out some of the width.  I made no effort to match up any polka dots (is that even possible?).  I also added two button tabs that extend from the back over the side seams where they button at the front. They cinch in the waist.  I copied the idea from a rtw wear skirt I own.

Not a whole lot else to say about it that I haven't said before.  I reach for my skirts often, so I know I'll get lots of use from it.  I don't actually plan on wearing it with the polka dot tee, but it was fun for photos ;)  I've had such good luck with my self-drafted skirt pattern that I'm trying to get the nerve up to draft a trouser pattern.  I desperately need some pants- I don't know why I'm dragging my heels so much about starting out.  I just saw an awesome post from Ali on her many adventures in making trousers.  Anyone know of any other good trouser making posts or resources?  Any advice for fitting? Or where to start?

 Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Cowl, a Scarf and a Tee

I had no idea what to title this post, so I went for something creative ;)  This is just a random mix of things.  I finished a couple of projects I had intended to complete during Self-Stitched September, but we all know how that goes.  Just some basic, easy pieces.  Things I plan to get a lot of use from.  

 The green tee is another version of my beloved Burda 2-2011 long sleeve tee pattern.  This time I stuck with the long sleeves.  I've lost count of how many times I've made up this pattern!  I realized during SSS that the easiest items for me to wear to work are knits. I used a pretty green, beefy interlock I had in my stash.  I noticed that this version seems to be a little slouchier than previous versions.  I think it's because the interlock is a cheaper quality- not as much recovery.  I scooped the neck out a little. 

I've had my eye on a silk pom-pom scarf in the Garnet Hill catalog for a while now, but $178 is an insane amount for a scarf.   So when this tutorial from the purl bee popped up in my reader, I knew I had to make it.  Stat.  I had the linen in my stash but picked up the pom-pom trim.  What other situation is it okay for an adult to wear pom-poms?  I love it.

The cowl is pretty self explanatory.  A long rectangle connected at the ends.  But I thought the method of making a double fold on the edges to insert the trim in to was pretty ingenious.  I used a wide zig zag stitch instead of edge stitching.

I used a super sheer linen for the striped version, much like the tutorial (which was really wiggly and hard to sew, btw).  The black version is a leftover remnant, medium-weight linen from my pintuck blouse.  When I connected the ends I realized it was too bulky.   I added the border pieces on the ends to make it longer and called it a scarf.  I love that it's wider.  I can use it as a shawl, too.

There it is.  Exciting stuff, huh?