I just finished the second of three classes that I'm taking on Japanese sewing.
Here's my first dress:
It's a wrap dress, and it has two snaps inside to keep everything secure.
And I'm proud to say that it's made from a pair of thrifted CURTAINS, which I shamelessly bragged about to my classmates. Anyway, I wanted to show you a picture before I disassembled it, because it's HUGE. It is supposed to be a loose fitting dress, but I could take two friends along with me in this! I like it enough that I'm going to take it apart and take it in the right way.
Here's a slip that can be worn underneath the dress, or over a tee-shirt and leggings:
This was from another thrifted curtain made of cotton voile. I ADORE the bottom of this slip.
I made a mistake by forgetting that the neckline is slightly gathered, so I'm taking this one apart as well to correct it. Am I the only one that never gets it right the first time I sew something?
I'm in love with Japanese pattern books right now. They're really not at all hard to work with once you understand a few basics. The patterns are simple and stylish. I used this book:
I purchased it from this eBay seller (and then ordered two more).
I read a post by Amada over at Little Cumulus and she's also venturing into Japanese sewing. In fact, she's using one of the same books I am. It should be fun to see what she comes up with. She also has some nice links to share if you're interested in learning more about working from these books.
This was a simple project, but one of my favorites of the summer. Bags for our library books.
We are hard-core libraryists (Sarah Palin has given me permission to make up that word), but we've never had one place to keep our books and our cards. My girl's bag is made from a blue piece of an IKEA sheet, and some Heather Ross Mendocino scraps.
fabric: Laura Gunn Poppy
The great thing about these bags are that they are padded with fusible fleece - even in the straps. That's a great feature in the bag that carries things with sharp corners. I used Sandi's book again, Sewing Bits and Pieces: 35 Projects Using Fabric Scraps, as I did in the head scarf project. I added a little pocket to the inside lining for a library card.
I made one for my boy too, but realized at the end that I'd sewed the pocket in sideways, so I had to rip the entire bag apart. I'm good friends with my seam ripper!
The head scarf above is made from the same vintage sheet that I made this dress out of. I made one for me and one for my girl, plus a few to go into the shop. I should be able to post them in a few days.
I have sewing ADD right now. I'm working on three projects for my Japanese sewing class, plus I'm crazily making some great library bags from Sandi's book. Maybe I'll finish them all, maybe I won't...
I'm kicking myself for not having a before picture of this crazy-beautiful dress that I bought at a performing arts garage sale. It was made of this beautiful silk poppy fabric, but like many performance dresses, it was not constructed well and was falling apart when I came across it.
Here's the top I made:
refashioned Eddie Bauer pants
thrifted Mephisto sandals
I'm loving this top now that we finally have some summer in Oregon. The temps were near 100 F today, which was just fine with me.
I used one of my favorite patterns from Diana Rupp's book:
These girls are good friends, but they've never played together without a fence in between them. They remind me of Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble on one of their epic gossip sessions.
This a perfectly acceptable arrangement for them, and on nice days they spend hours together.
Sometimes they just stand and talk, or they might pass a ball back and forth over the fence. I recall a few tunnels and squirt gun fights too. Occasionally, the adults socialize through the fence too. Zucchini and hand-me-down clothes have passed over the fence.
So I guess that fences can bring people together...