Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stealing?, I Mean, Copying a Pattern

Jackets are a good place to start in my opinion, because they can be a simple or as extravagant as you want. It can be as little as 5 pattern pieces for a basic pattern.

Find a good fitting jacket, and one that's un-lined will work the best. so you can see the seams on the inside.

For me the most difficult part of pattern making for jackets is shaping of the sleeve cap and arm hole. I prefer the fit of a two part sleeve so I went with a jacket that had such.

With the paper underneath, stretch and manipulate the jacket to lay flat for the sections you are tracing, taking into consideration the need for seam allowance. I like to make dashes as I go along feeling where the seams are with a pencil.

Then once your done, enjoy the fruits of your labor--sew it up! Keep in mind there might be a lot off about your new pattern so don't use nice fabric, stick to muslim or similar that doesn't stretch so it gives you a good idea of fit.

Pay no mind to the whiskey, I had a good 'ol time getting through this one.

Questions? Bring it.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bow-Tie, Men

I set out to create a bow-tie recently, and it did not come without some challenges, and some insight.

I have a few bow-ties already, and I love the straight shaped ones, so I used one I have and created a simple pattern from it. Just adding 3/8 of an inch to all the sides and making it long and straight was all there is to it. When cutting the fabric, cut on a BIAS! this is very important to the final product, a tie that ties well and stays tied through the night (tie, once more for posterity, tie).

then attach some interfacing, this is where trial and error came in. I found it very difficult to use fusible interfacing, it made the final product rough and ugly on the outside, so for round two I went with the sew in kind; like before cut it out on the BIAS, and only one piece of interfacing is needed if its the sew-in kind.

sew it together, and turn it right side out with a chopstick or similar, give it a really good press with lots of steam, and instead of finding hardware to make it adjustable, I just tacked the ends together with the sewing machine.

Now cut a rug and make girls (or boys) dream of you (or just pretend they are to boost self-confidence on said rug)


Friday, August 26, 2011

Dressing the Irish

hey Shorty, comin back at ya with the dress done. I'll get some pics up soon of it in use, but it was quite the ordeal finishing late last night, "make it work" the lady told me.

Not much time for Jibber jabber (ya, I said it) but I will put some pictures up of the finished dress SOON! (and don't be hatin on my 873 box of crayons, that's a lot of love)


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Most Masculine Way to Say:

Let's make a dress?!

Not really sure of the answer, but that's what I'm doin. 

It's got an open back, with a wide strap that corset ties shut, and a keyhole opening in the front.

Here are the fabrics, although the green is a bit brighter.

It's all generally based on a dress I made a few years back for a charity fashion show, except this revision needs to be slightly more refined and less revealing...

This needs to be wrapped up by tomorrow morning, so expect an update shorty.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Makin' Pillows, yo

Boss lady got an amazing! fabric swatch from marimekko and asked if I could make some pillows to go with her pewter gray couch. Of Course!

Unfortunately there wasn't enough fabric to go all the way around the ikea pillows so I picked up some faux microsuede that was almost brown but woven with a purple that really brought the swatch together.

All I did was cut a square just an inch bigger than the sides of the pillow, and put in an invisible zipper on one edge. 

I think they came out fantastic, and i'll put in a pic as soon as I can get one of them in their new home.

Projects like these are easy and simple ways to get the handle on sewing; straight lines, corners, and zippers.

Need more detail about pillow making? Shoot me an email if there were some parts that didn't make sense.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Projects in the mix (2)!

Right now I have two projects looming over my head with anticipation to get started/complete.

My special Lady friend has this ugly couch:

I think it cost her $50. If you haven't noticed the giraffe print, she is kinda addicted so we picked up teal giraffe print upholstery fabric, and teal textured vinyl.... oh lordy its gonna be great! If i sit in it with a purple shirt and black pants I might teleport back to 1991 and show up in my puffy AStar jacket.

Also on the books, I saw this from a magazine:

and seriously love it, and for some reason I feel that I purchased a pattern for it ages ago. Regardless I quickly sketched up a jacket with the DK thing in mind

An assymetrical back opening that corset-closes in the back. Not totally sure how the front is going to end up.

Check back to see if I actually start any of these projects, and if they actually turn out like we all hope they will.

If you have inspiration how do you get started even though all the details aren't worked out yet?


Why has it been so long Man?

Because I absolutely LOVE my new job.

I was hired a little over 2 months ago as a graphic designer for a small agency that focuses on legal situations, i.e. court rooms, trial, mediations etc.

What's great about it is the sheer conceptual nature of the beast. Taken complex situations or ideas (think insurance fraud, or intellectual property) and distilling them into understandable visual elements. The position is not too artistic, but the thought and conceptual driven nature of the position is inspiring.

Also the job is super schizophrenic when it comes to scheduling. One day I'll be in the office till 1 in the morning, and the next be done at 2 pm. I find out three days in advance if I need to travel, sometimes less, and each day I come to work, there is always a hint of unexpected. It's amazing.

So I apologize for being preoccupied, but I'm learning the ropes, committing to the job and learning how to find time for all my other activities (the sun is finally coming out in Oregon).

Oh and I bought a new motorcycle. 2001 Ducati 748, nope not fast at all :)

Expect more soon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm Sewing A Blimp!?

I have been slightly MIA for a while and, well, it's because I have been inundated with a blimp...

Never really thought I'd say that.

I was approached by a friend I have worked for in the past (aviation related) who had a sewing project he needed help with. Little did I know that the next day I would start construction on a 12 foot by 10 foot blimp!

It's a really unique shape, not traditional in any way and is meant for indoor arenas, sporting events, and if they get enough funding, an outdoor large scale version. I'll post some pics of what I have been working on and as I finish up the project I'll get some pictures of it inflated and flying.

The 'gondolas' (two parts) have been the most difficult part, very similar to designing a tent, just upside down; a lightweight carbon fiber frame supporting a complex shape made of lightweight ripstop nylon. It has compound curves, an awkward shape, lots of zippers, and needs to be able to support motors wires and rotational torque. yuck.

The rear gondola:

The front gondola:

A custom pressor foot I made from an old plastic one for sewing a zig-zag stitch over a carbon fiber rod:

And the immense yardage of ripstop used for the 'towers' that hold the helium bags:

More to come,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Quick Camera Strap

Good friend of mine bought a new camera, that unfortunately came with a lame accessory, the strap.

So it was fairly easy to grab the seam ripper, tear it in two, and stitch in the new fabric. I went with the same fabric I had used for the wallet, mainly because my friend had asked for it, but also because it is a fairly heavy weight, and will withstand the abuse I'm sure it will get in the next few years.

Not much of a tutorial, but I fell it is fairly self-explanatory. Raw edges are turned in and a straight stitch near the edge to finish, then I followed the previous stitches on the ends to finish it.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Tailoring a Dress Shirt

I am a tall guy, not rail thin, but in order to get shirts with long enough sleeves that don't have a parachute of fabric around the mid section, it's nearly impossible. Even 'slim' fit shirts don't cut it.
This was the 'slim fit' style

So why not alter your own shirt, take out an inch or two in the waist and alter your shirt so it flatters your figure instead of take away.

First measure and mark with a light colored crayon on the inside of the shirt. I placed my pleats 6 inches from the side seams.

Using a plaid shirt actually makes things a lot simpler. Make another mark 10 inches above the first mark. Then pin the shirt so it is creased along the 10 inch long line.

Now sew by gradually starting close to the edge and working your way in about 3/4 of an inch and gradually back to the edge by the end of the 10 inch line.

Finish it off by back tacking on both ends. and add a drop of super glue to the thread after you trim is short so it doesn't unravel.

Now wear your now slimming shirt.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Have Left My State

I won't have a tutorial up for a few days. I am actually in New York touring the city, and pretending to look at upcoming trends, although I might be shopping instead.

Upcoming things:

Monday we will get into modifying the fit of a dress shirt and making it more of a slim, fitted shirt.

Then at the end of this week we can dive into a Murse (man purse) of sorts, maybe call it a camera/adventure bag to pass it off.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bleaching My Pants. Is It Still The 90's!?

Ok, today is not going to be a sewing tutorial.

I was cleaning the apartment (cleaning...sewing...ya, I know)  a few weeks ago and got bleach on my new Banana Republic jeans. Instead of getting really disgruntled I went with it.

Hang the pants:
and get a large amount of water, i.e. the bathtub to dilute the bleach, not enough water and it won't dilute the bleach enough.

Mix the bleach:
I went with a 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. 

Protect your hand:
Since I didn't have a latex glove, I put my hand in a plastic garbage bag. Worked really well actually.

Start flicking:
With my protected hand I just flicked the diluted bleach on the pants, in very strategic ways I might add.

Dunk in water:
Wait until it has bleached to your liking (no more than 15 minutes) then dunk the pants in water and swirl it around. This will neutralize the bleach and stop it from eating all the way through your clothes.

All done, now remind people these aren't your fathers' pants.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Finished Wallet

Just some glamor shots for ya'll.

See how nice it folds, thanks to the pleat!

Borrowed dolla bills.
Hit me up if you had questions, trouble, or alteration ideas for future versions.