May 13, 2015

new things

"So, I close my eyes to old ends 
and open my heart to new beginnings."
- N. F. 

A lot has changed since the last time I posted! After eleven years of homeschooling, I began attending a public high school last September. It took a while to adjust to school, but I've learned a lot. At school, I learned to use a DSLR camera and edit images in Photoshop. I learned quite a bit about graphic design, and have experimented with it a lot in the past few months.

I'm graduating from high school this year in June! I combined grades 11 + 12 this year, so I'll be graduating at age 16.

I haven't had much time to sew lately, between photography projects, school assignments, and other things in my life.

In other news, I will not be blogging on here anymore. I do have a new blog, though! It is mainly photography-focused:

Apr 18, 2014

catching up

It's been far too long since my last post! Just to recap on what's happened in the last month: my blog turned 1 year old (woo-hoo!), I spent two weeks with my awesome youth group on a missions trip traveling to Mexico, building two houses for poor families there and traveling back (that was a really amazing trip!), and I've been recovering from a bad cold.  That's my last month or so in a nutshell. :)

I haven't had much time for sewing lately because of all my schoolwork! But as soon as I have more spare time, I have plans for skirts, shirts, shorts, dresses, etc... I'm really looking forward to the next season of Project sewn! I love looking through the outfits people come up with, and I usually sew along as well.

The Mexico trip was a truly awesome experience that I'm really glad I could have. We visited an area where there was a lot of poverty, and seeing that made me all the more grateful for what I have in Canada. Building the houses was fun and rewarding, and the whole trip was something I'll never forget! Here are a couple pictures I took on the trip to give you a small taste of what it was like:

I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend! If you haven't heard Owl City's beautiful rendition of In Christ Alone, you should listen to it now. :) I'll be going to the Easter sunrise service with my youth group (6am!), getting together with family and friends, and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather and flowers popping up everywhere. 

Mar 5, 2014

Perfect fit pajama pants

Recently I decided to make my own pajama pants, because I could never find any that fit me in a way I was completely satisfied with. Don't you hate it when wide-legged pajama pants ride up your legs at night? So I cut out the pants from some plaid flannel I had in my stash, based on some comfy sweatpants of mine. At the last minute I decided to add pockets. Here's a tutorial for making your very own perfect fit pajama pants!

Materials + tools needed:
- aprox. 2 meters of flannel fabric (give or take, depending on how long your legs are)
- spool of thread
- 1 inch elastic (for waistband)
- fabric scissors
- sewing machine
- tape measure or ruler

Note: seam allowance is 1/2 inch unless otherwise specified.

1. Fold your fabric in half so the short ends meet. Grab your favorite pants that fit you well and fold them as shown in the picture below, and lay the pants on the fabric. Cut around them with an extra 1 1/2 inches or so.

2. Take the pieces you just cut, lift them up and place over on the big piece of flannel fabric remaining. Cut right around them, so you have four pieces of the exact same size. If you lay them out right sides facing up, you should have two fronts and two backs:

If you need to, you can mark the front pieces with little pieces of masking tape to tell them apart from the back pieces.

3. Do a zigzag stitch all the way around all four pieces to prevent fraying. I have a serger, so I serged the pieces.

4. If you want pockets like I did, follow this step. If not, just skip to step 6.

With your fabric still folded in half, cut out two pocket pieces roughly in an oval shape, with a straight side that's 7 inches long, see diagram below: (you should have four pieces, because the fabric is folded.) Zig-zag stitch (or serge) around the pocket pieces so they don't fray.

5. Pin the four pocket pieces to the outside seams of the four pants pieces. Right sides of the pocket pieces should be pinned to the right sides of the pants pieces. Sew pockets in place 2 inches lower than the top of the pants, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, then press seams open. Diagram:

6. Now, take one front piece and one back piece. with the right sides together, pin and then sew along the side seam. Here's what that would look like if you had pockets, look at the white line on the image below. That line represents the seam you'll sew. If you don't have pockets, you just sew a straight line.

7. After sewing the side seam, sew the inseam. Do the same for the other leg. Picture:
(if you have pockets, make sure you sew the side seam as shown in the previous image above.)

8. Now you're going to sew the crotch seam. Turn one leg right side out, leave the other inside out. Place one leg inside the other, so the right sides are facing each other and wrong sides are out. Make sure all the seams are matched up as you pin along the crotch seam. Sew according to the white line in this picture:

Then, after sewing along the crotch seam once, do it again with a 1/4 seam this time for reinforcement.

9. Pull the pants right side out.

Hem the leg openings:

Fold + press fabric in a 1/4 inch, pin + sew in place,

then go back and fold + press another 1/2 inch and pin + sew in place.

10. Lay your pants flat on the floor. Measure across the waist, double the measurement, and add one inch. Cut out a waist band that's the length you calculated, with a width of 4 1/2 inches, and then zig-zag/serge around it to prevent fraying:

11. Fold waistband in half so the short ends meet, with right sides together. Sew a seam halfway down the top of the band, and partway up the bottom of the band. Press seam open. Diagram:

12. Fold the big loop you've sewn in half lengthwise so it's now 2 1/4 inches tall and twice as thick.

Pin it to the right side of the pants, with its seam lining up with the center back seam of the pants.

Make sure the open part of the waistband is facing the right side of the pants.

Pin + sew the waistband in place. Then press the seam open.

13. Measure the waistband elastic around your waist so it fits comfortably. Cut it with an extra inch or so for sewing it together. Insert elastic through the slit in the waistband using a safety pin. Push it all the way around, and sew the elastic loop together at the end:

14. You can hand-stitch the slit closed or just leave it like it did. :) You're done! Wear them with pride.

Mar 3, 2014

Olive green anorak

I made an anorak jacket! It's my own design, and I drafted the pattern myself. Olive green anoraks are super popular right now and I really wanted one of my own. This one cost me around $20 in materials. I made a practice jacket out of some cotton fabric to figure out fitting issues first, then I worked on the jacket. It took me about 20 hours to put the whole thing together, and I'm really happy with the result. I wanted something big enough to wear over a hoodie, with a cinched waist, lots of pockets and a hood. 

I drafted the pattern using my measurements and a windbreaker that fits me well. I was inspired by this jacket by Madewell.  I'm really glad I decided to make a practice jacket before I started on the actual jacket fabric, because I made the back way too narrow at first! I used a sturdy cotton twill for the jacket shell, lightweight cotton print for the lining, and some elastic for the cinched waist. 

I managed to bag the lining (sort of) using this tutorial and some guesswork. I got it done, except for the sleeves. Somehow I managed to sew the sleeves in two big loops, so I had to go back, pick the seams for the sleeves apart, and sew them up properly: 

Feb 3, 2014

Navy and white

I made this navy blue and white polka dot skirt about a week ago, as well as the white tank top. I'm wearing it with leggings and a cardigan because of the cold wind. The skirt's waistband is flat in the front, and gathered with elastic in the back. It also has deep side pockets, which are made of the same floral fabric as the front pocket of the tank top. The white tank top is made of knit fabric, and the pocket is floral cotton. I came up with the idea for this outfit after seeing the post on Project Sewn about the themes for the sew-along. This outfit is for week 3, "if the shoe fits." The shoes I'm wearing here are part of my inspiration for the outfit. You can vote for your favorite outfit over here.

You can see the floral pocket above.