Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Dress into a Tunic

I got this dress for about $5 at Goodwill this past weekend.  When I saw it, I loved the print and the colors, but didn't like the plain, A-line look.  So I instantly had the idea to turn it into a slitted tunic.

First thing I did was cut the length to my thigh.

Next, I measured about how far on either side I wanted the slit to go up.  I sliced about 14 inches.

I folded each side of the slit in twice and sewed it down.  It's not the prettiest seam--I should have looked at more tutorials on how to do this before I actually did it.  Either way, it got the job done.

Lastly, I folded up the raw bottom hem twice and sewed it down.

This got tricky.  The seam on the edge was longer--maybe I should have hemmed the bottom first?  So I had to tuck it in and sew it down.

This made it rather thick, but my machine when through it just fine.

And you're done!

I paired it with a dark gray skirt.  It looks wonderful!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lazy Maxi Skirt

I'm going to show the easiest, laziest way to make a maxi skirt.  I call it the "I don't give a f*** maxi skirt."  It's for those emergencies when you need the skirt so fast that you're willing to cut corners to see it done.  Of course, you can always go back at a later time and put a little more effort into it.  Or, just continue being lazy and keep it as is.

1 yard of knit
Sewing machine

Step 1: Fold your material in half hot dog style.

Step 2: Stitch up the long side.  (I used a long zig-zag because that was what I saw suggested for working with knits.)

Step 3: Fold down the top hem about an inch and sew, leaving a two inch opening for inserting the elastic.

Step 4: Thread elastic into the top opening, sew it to itself, stitch the hole the rest of the way.

Step 5: Use scissors to trip the bottom of the skirt to the correct length.

And that's it!  This required two straight seams (along the side and the top hem), and the few short stitches when sewing the elastic to itself.  This is the easiest project imaginable!  It took me about ten minutes.

Now, the down side.  Apparently knits aren't great at bunching.  The extra fabric at the top--since I didn't measure my waist and trim accordingly--doesn't separate on its own.   You need to manually get the gathered parts to spread out along the elastic.  This isn't a big deal to me since I typically wear long shirts that don't show anywhere near the top waistband.

But, I got the job done in time to wear it to a performance that night.  It all worked out in the end.

I case you can't tell, this is an outfit I've assembled for casual cosplay.  It's fashioned after Chihiro from the Miyazaki anime "Spirited Away."


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dachshund Wrist Rest

Buttons, here!  Recently, I stumbled across a Pin that showed a cute keyboard wrist rest in the shape of a cat.  I thought it would be a fun project to try, and I also wanted to see if I could shape it like a dachshund instead!  It was the prefect time to make a present for Father's Day (my husband is a wonderful doggie daddy), so I got to work.

Fleece (or some other easy to work with fabric)
Sewing machine
Hot glue gun

First, I cut out brown fleece into a rectangle for the body of the dog.

I didn't really measure, only guesstimated the length of the keyboard.  Next, to make it look like a dachshund, I cut out two rounded back legs.  Our dachshund likes to lay flat on his stomach with his legs poking out like drumsticks.  I wanted to mimic that here.

Again, I just cut.  I have a lot of left over fleece, so I wasn't too concerned with making mistakes.  Plus, the pieces were so tiny, I was cutting from scrap pieces of fleece anyway.  I cut out a long, slightly curved tail.

Using the back feet as a template, I cut out two front feet.

Next, I had to get the shape of the head.  Dachshunds are well-known for their very pointy noses, so I wanted to make sure the snoot was emphasized.  I also cut out ears, thinking it would add more depth to the project.

Using black fleece, I cut out oval eyes and a rounded nose.

 Now for sewing it all together.  First, I turned the body inside out, right side to right side.

Next, I stuck the back legs and tail inside.  This is going to create a pillow type closure, which we will turn inside out, hiding the seams.

Sew it shut.  This can be tricky if you're using fleece.  My sewing machine occasionally has a hard time getting through all the layers.  Just go slow and hand pedal if needed.

After that, sew up the long side.  That will create three closed sides (two sewn, one the natural fold in the fabric).

Now you can turn it inside out and pull the legs and tail straight.

For stuffing, it's personal preference.  Using polyfill would be fine; I also some some tutorials that used rice.  I had some left over padding that seemed the right fit, so I chose this.  It's not as thick as polyfill would have been, and not as heavy as rice.  I think it'll work for my needs.

Cut off any extra fabric.  I was sad to do this since dachshunds are notoriously long.  But my padding piece was too short.  Then, tuck the seam inside the body and stuff the front legs in too.  Sew it shut.  This doesn't need to be a pretty seam since the dog's head will cover most of it.

I didn't really care for the way my dog's head looked.  Plus, I wasn't sure how to assemble the ears onto the face without it looking weird.  So I used my existing head and ears as a template and re-cut the head into one piece.

Using a hot glue gun, I adhered the eyes and nose.  Then I glued the head to the top of the body, covering the seam and a small portion of the legs.

And there you have it!  A cute, super easy wrist rest!  It took me about an hour total of work and prep.

And here's my inspiration!  They're almost the same length!