A summer retrospective, part 1

Since the season’s unofficially over now, thought I’d unofficially start this blog with some of my favorite completed summer projects.

Favorite accessory (not sewn!)

I’ve been making jewelry almost as long as I’ve been sewing, and got really into it during college because it was a lot quicker than most sewing projects so it was great for a small crafty break. But I’m trying to branch out from just stringing. This necklace is seed beads and abalone shell chips, and was inspired by this necklace on Craftster.

Favorite Reconstruction

My day job (well, one of them, since multiple jobs tend to come with my line of work) is teaching flute, and sometimes I get rather random gifts from students. This T-shirt was one of them. I liked the design, but not the size. I’m rather proud of the neckline on this one– I just took the sleeves off and reversed them, so the hems make up the straight part near the front shoulders and the V in the back. And I’m a sucker for corset lacing.

Favorite project that should have been finished last year:

My original plan was to wear this skirt for my masters’ degree graduation, since no one can see what you’re wearing under the robes anyway. But, since drafting my own patterns is a skill I’m still developing, I screwed it up badly and ended up having to order more and didn’t get back to it until this summer. I ended up having to use a pattern for the yoke, and adding the white to the bottom to lengthen it a bit. It’s hard to see, but there’s pocket flaps right under the yoke and trimmed in white piping. And this awesome fabric is from Reprodepot.

Favorite accessory (sewn):

Inspired by Andy Warhol, and because sunflowers are my favorite. I was fortunate to find a foam stamp that was almost exactly what I’d envisioned for the sunflower graphic, and even though I had to go over all of them with a second coat of brushed-on paint, it made it much more uniform. The front is painted canvas, and the rest of the bag is just black cotton. My own pattern.

Favorite article of clothing from a pattern:

This one was all about the fabric. Hard to see, but it’s a metallic tropical print (island huts and palm trees and surfer girls in hula skirts and such.) The pattern was McCall’s 4659. It had been awhile since I’d used a non-modified pattern, so this one was quick to put together and a nice break.

Favorite article of clothing from no pattern:

This is actually the inspiration. It’s the Aegean Tank from Anthropologie. My version is below.

My version was made from some jersey I got on sale at Fabric.com awhile back but hadn’t been sure what to do with it. I dont’ think I would have been able to do this one, if not for the dummy (formerly a store mannequin) that my wonderful co-crafty friend N picked up for free for me! This was the first time I’d ever attempted pattern draping–most of this was literally constructed by pinning the fabric on the dummy and cutting it into approximate pattern shapes, though I did draw things out a little more carefully for the shoulder straps. If I were to do it again, I think I’d make the slant for the front overlap at a sharper angle so it would be easier to hide the end under the waist tie, but overall I was quite proud of myself for this one!

And finally (for now):
Favorite article of clothing for this summer that I didn’t actually make this summer:

I made it back in the winter when I got snowed in for an afternoon. The pattern was from a wrap skirt I already had, with a few modifications to try to prevent it flapping completely open when I walk. So even though it was from several months ago, the fabric’s too pretty not to show off. I did end up making a tutorial for this one for Craftster, so I may post it up at some point.


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