It started with Spider-pillow

My photo
A while back when i worked at The Comic Book Shoppe (bank st) we had a regular christmas secret santa. The first year i was there i pulled Ted who had a thing for Spider-man. In one of those strange moments of brilliant clarity I whipped up spider-pillow. It was the old Spider-man logo with a round pillow in the middle and 8 3-D legs all made out of comfy fun fur....things have continued in this manner. This is my so called craft

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sewing buddy

So i have a sewing buddy. her name is Kami and she was in teacher's college with me. she expressed interest in learning how to sew and she wanted to make a skirt. so we've been meeting once a week to sew together.

Kami is also experiencing the steep learning curve; luckily i can explain some of it now that i now the "lingo" but we keep finding things on her pattern that make us both go "huh?".

we refer to the sewing bible a lot and talk out ideas which is turning out to be very helpful. plus its incentive to sew at least once a week for a solid block of time. and its fun to have someone to talk to while you work. its also nice to have someone there to help you measure and pin and look at your work when you try it on. sewing buddies rock; thanks Kam.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 5

ok first note to self: these patterns are making big clothes....going
to choose a couple of sizes down for the next bodice. apart from that
it looks right. just a wee bit big.

definately big. look at the overlap.

onwards! skirts what can i tell you... thats why they leave them to
the end, cause they're so easy to sew. straight stich here, straight
stich there....
so here are the two back pieces sewn together

and i'm a good girl so i pressed the seam.

Professor Carly says... I've actually been pressing every seam i sew. going over the fresh seam has a multiple purpose reason. 1) it flattens the piece so you can see what it should look like, now is the time to catch a wrinkle. 2) it evens up the thread tension (i'm told) 3)a flat piece is easier to work with

one completed skirt, front attached to back.

2nd note to self...choose a smaller skirt pattern. lots of excess on
this one too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 4

so after matching up the piece to look like the diagram on the
instructions and pinning and basting it i have my piece matching the
diagram on the pattern.

bad news is that when i try to turn the interface side in, it gets
this lump that won't lie flat....even an iron can't flatten this
puppy. i was pretty convinced that sewing up the sides of the bodice
and back prior to flipping the interface was wrong. so in the great
spirit of an adventurer i'm going to try it my way.

already i'm pleased. sewed the top edge first, then flipped it and
pressed it flat, the hole is there for the strap, it looks like it
does in step 10 diagram and i'm convinced that when i sew up the side
between bodice front and back it will be perfect ^^

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 3

ok today we are going to put the back of the bodice on. here we go,
pinned and basted. so far so good.

step 10 was written by someone who thought this was
english. ......... the diagram is less than helpful

ok i can do this... bring out "the book". ....reading, reading

hey i think i have it.......

ok didn't work....ok still thinking....we'll try again

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 2

ok gathering sucks. its a pain in the butt, thank goodness for the
sewing machine, doing that by hand would have been my end. you can see the gathered section in the upper left of the photo. so here we go, its basted, pinned, gathered, pinned again. ready for sewing onto the next piece

whooohooo!!! it looks like the top of the dress. i'm already to make
the next top's gathers even more even. but not bad for a first go.

you take the interface and you take the back piece....add heat....

interfaced back piece....ooooh stiff.

Professor Carly says...
Interfacing is used to make a part stiffer and stronger. in this case the part i'm stiffening/strengthening is the back where the zipper is going to be sewn into.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sew let it be done - Day 1

Today i officially started sewing. So without further ado a photo diary of how to make a dress.

what i have done here is take 2 pieces of one part of the top and sew them wrong side together and then turned them inside out.

Note: when the pattern instructs you to sew wrong side together they are taking about sewing the material with the pattern together (the side of the dress you want to see is called the right side)

so its pretty obvious now that i have made two of these things and that together they will form the bodice (or front top) of my new dress.

all the basting is done on raw edges and across the center. the long
white threads are my gathers, ready to be "gathered" when i get the
midriff done.

Note: because the top pieces of material are longer than the band that goes across the middle you have to gather the excess. gathering is simply when you loosely sew a straight stitch across a specific length of material leaving long threads at each end. when i gather it i will hold onto the threads at one end and carefully and gently pull the other ends of the thread; the material will pull and pucker along the threads. after you evenly distribute it across the length you will have a gathered edge.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You thought material prep was hard..

So not only do you have to prep your material you also have to prep your pattern.
For those unfamiliar with a sewing pattern, it is a huge huge sheet of onion thin paper with multiple numbered pieces. You first find on your instructions which pieces you need (for example 1,2,4,5,6,7,8) and then you need to carefully unfold the huge sheets and find your pieces. Just to add complications in, each piece is multi-sized meaning the number 8 piece has 6 outlines so you can make it a size 6 or a size 16.

My first confusion came from the internet which said to keep the pieces carefully so you could reuse them. Well if I was a size 14 how was I supposed to keep the size 16 outlines but still cut out my size 14 onto material. The answer is this: if the pattern cost you less than $5 cut out to your size and forget about saving the bigger sizes. You can always buy it again.

So with this in mind I set about snipping out the pieces required for the red and white dress. My mom and my book said to cut them out leaving excess around the edges of the biggest pattern and then do your ironing and then your cutting. Yes you heard me, you have to iron these things.

Take your iron, put it on a dry setting at the lowest temperature you have and carefully iron each piece of paper. You need to get out all those folds and wrinkles. Again I need to stress the usefulness of a good iron…mine spit up some drops of water even though I had drained it. It made the paper kind of wrinkled, hopefully won’t screw me up to much.

After ironing each and every piece you then need to find a safe place to store them flat until you use them so they don't get any new folds. Thank you Blaise for letting them sit in the living room.

Next up...we sew!