Posts tagged ‘sewing’

February 15, 2015

Blue pencil skirt – Sewing a zipper


Today I made a baby blue pencil skirt – an achievement because it’s the first time I sewed a zipper.  I made it by tracing another pencil skirt, and then trying it on and modifying it before I sewed the hem on the top and bottom.

I used this video from Professor Pincushion for the zipper:

And I used this video for the kick pleat, with a modification:

My modification was that I didn’t sew the two L-shaped pieces together at the end – instead, I kind of hemmed them each on the inside, and only sewed the top together.  That way, it will be easier to walk.

January 17, 2015

Blue maxi dress and further adventures in sewing


In anticipation of summer, I made myself a blue cowl neck maxi dress.  It looks (almost) as good as the one above, and fits much better than the one above would.    As a tall person (6 feet), I struggle to find maxi dresses that are long enough.  I ordered a few from Alloy last year, and they were just long enough, but not great quality.

The sewing process

For this one, I followed Meesha’s directions on YouTube, and just didn’t add on sleeves.  For the cowl neck, I traced the front of a cowl neck shirt I had.  The cowl neck actually was an advantage for me as a beginner – because it hangs down inside, you can’t see my uneven stitching at the neckline.

My first shot at making the dress was not successful – it was too big.  I ended up trying it on, pinning it as I did this shirt, and it ended up fitting perfectly along my torso. I may take in the bottom portion a little more later, but I like how it fits right now.

The result was a dress that was ten inches too long.  (As a tall person, this made me very happy.)  Before I hemmed it, though, I threw it in the washer/dryer.  While this didn’t affect the fit of the top, it ended up being five inches shorter than it had been before.  I was very glad I did this before hemming.

I decided to hem it so I could wear it with five inch heels, and I can always take it up more if I want.

Where to buy a blue maxi dress

If you’re not up for sewing or happen to be one of those lucky people who fit into clothes, here are a few options.

If you’re looking for something laid back, this dress from Revolve Clothing is affordable, and this Tommy Bahama dress looks very easy to wear.  Victoria’s Secret also has some good basic maxi dresses, but they have a pretty limited selection right now.  This black dress from Old Navy comes in tall and petite, which is nice.

If you’re going for a formal look, this one is divine for a formal occasion, as is this from the Outnet.

And finally, if you’re going for long-sleeved, this Rachel Zoe dress is fantastic.

December 28, 2014

Adventures in tailoring



After some adventures in learning to sew, I decided to work on some already-made garments.  It seems like most clothes are made for women with no waists, so after purchasing a $12 blue v-neck sweater from the Limited today, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Step 1: I tried on the sweater and found the narrowest part of my waist.  I decided to take in the sweater 1.5 inches on each side.

Step 2: I measured the distance from the bottom of the sweater to the narrowest part of my waist.

Step 3: I took the sweater off and laid it flat.  I put a safety pin at the narrowest part of my waist using the two measurements I had just taken.  (I used safety pins because I don’t necessarily trust myself with the real thing.) 

Step 4: I put safety pins along where I thought I’d like to sew the rest of the sides.

Step 5: I tried it on with the safety pins on to make sure I did it right.

Step 6: I put some blue thread in my Brother sewing machine and sewed up the sides.

And done! Very glad I got a sewing machine.

November 29, 2014

Adventures in learning to sew

After watching too much Project Runway, I decided to learn how to sew this week.  My goal is to make clothes that are nice and long because I rarely fit into store-bought clothes, especially dresses.

I ordered a Brother sewing machine from Amazon because I have a Bother printer that has held up for several years.  It came the next day (love Prime!), and in the meantime, I had watched several videos to get myself up to speed.

This one was helpful in getting me started, having never used a sewing machine before:

This one covers all the basics and was helpful in realizing that I didn’t need a pattern to start:

I started by tracing a sweater that I particularly like, and I just followed the steps in Meesha’s video.  I used jersey fabric because I figured it could stretch if it wasn’t totally tailored.  It came out a little wobbly, but wearable, at least at home or on my motorcycle.    The sleeves are super super long.

photo 1

Encouraged by this relative success, I made another trip to the fabric store, where I discovered the sale rack.  I got some black fabric for $2.99/yard.  For this one, I lay a sweater and a pencil skirt on top of the fabric (all folded in half) and cut around it.  The result was this dress (also a little wobbly but ok).

photo 2
My next goal will be to learn something new, perhaps like how to sew in a zipper or do a kick pleat.