February 24, 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge

There are some things that I get overly excited about when I discover them.  My elation will change to disbelief when I find out that someone else already knew about said awesome thing and failed to share the info with me (cuz the world can totally revolve around me sometimes, right?).  One of the times this happened to me was when I discovered vintage patterns (uh-oh, story time...).

I was at a garage sale a few years ago to acquire cheap sewing notions (zippers and trims and such) and came across a box of vintage children's patterns.  At the time, children's clothing was pretty much all I was sewing (cuz they have this lack-of-curves-therefore-easier-to-sew-for-thing) so I was pretty thrilled, especially since there were quite a few sizes I knew I could use for the nieces.  Those were my very first vintage patterns.

When I told my mom about them, her response was pretty much, "Vintage patterns? Oh yeah, I have all your grandma's old patterns- at least a couple boxes full."

Wait, WHAT?  You mean she kept me in the dark about the existence of easily accessible vintage patterns all these years?  Don't worry- no grudges were kept (especially if I hope to own those patterns myself some day- mwahahahaha!).  Next time I visited she pulled out the boxes and showed me a whole bunch of vintage patterns from the 60's and 70's, in an array of sizes, children's and adults, patterns my grandma actually used to sew clothes for my mom and my aunts.  My aunt told me a story of how she didn't even go clothes shopping for the first time until she was in Jr. High cuz my grandma made all their clothes.  How rad is my grandma?  

Anywho, looking at all those vintage patterns made me curious about what other kinds of vintage patterns are available or out there somewhere, maybe even from an earlier decade (cuz as my mom tells me, "Nicole, the 50's called, they want their style back.").  I started looking on Ebay at vintage patterns and even bid on some, finally winning a few, then a few more, and a few more on top of that.  I wouldn't say I have an obsession (yet), but I've definitely accumulated a decent pile in under two years.

Alas, as beautiful as they are, I've never opened one.  Not a single one- not even to see what the pattern pieces look like.  I know I didn't just buy them to collect dust, I actually want to use them.  There's even been a few vintage pattern challenges I've considered joining but didn't (call it fear if you like cuz it really was fear).  This year will be different (not regarding the fear- it's still there).  I'm making my public declaration- let it be known throughout all the land (or just a little bit of the internet) that I will participate in this years' Vintage Pattern Pledge.  Ahem-ahem-ahem, my official pledge:

I, Nicole of A Little Fabricated, will sew up at least 3 vintage patterns this year (one or more of them might be children's).

Phew!  The easy part is out of the way.  Now onto the doing part.  That only means different markings, tinier waists to enlarge, weird bust points to fix, fragile tissue patterns to attempt to not rip...  Yeah, I can do it (do I sound scared still?).

Has anyone else pledged to do something scary (to you) this year?  

February 15, 2015

Laziness Woes and Knitting

My laziness has finally caught up with me. I didn't renew my Antivirus on my laptop before it expired and now I'm having difficulty renewing it at all. Sigh... I have pictures already taken and ready for some posts (usually the biggest delay in my blogging- setting up the tripod during the right time of day then uploading the pictures onto my laptop and sometimes editing depending on how productive I'm feeling), but my lack of Antivirus means lack of posts as well. I had to get a new phone lately and decided to see if Blogger would let me upload photos from my phone (I couldn't on my last phone) so I could at least post SOMETHING. Guess what- it worked! And now you get to ignore any typos or autocorrect stuff cuz I'm doing this all on my phone (time for a tablet, yes?).

 My mom and I usually text each other photos of what we're working on. Today she covered some boxes in fabric to go in new cubby hole shelves she has in her craft room. I've been working on knitting (we had a mobile baby/toddler staying with us recently so all sewing had to get picked up for obvious safety reasons- both for the child and the projects). I've been trying to teach myself to knit, off and on, for about a year now, but would always work a few rows of a new stitch and abandon it. I decided to start an actual knitting project, just going for it (and making LOTS of mistakes) instead of trying to learn stitches individually first. While I'm incredibly slow at it, I'm sticking with it for once and enjoying it too. Yay for a project that can go to work with me/travel with me/wait in waiting rooms with me/etc... That's all for now, thanks for being my guinea pigs for testing blogging on my phone, you guys rock my socks off (if I ever wore them besides at work).

Any frustrating things that you totally could've prevented happen to you lately? Haha (my laziness is totally making more work for me).

January 22, 2015

New Look 6587 and 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn

So, I totally admire people who take the time to construct and sew an awesome collared, button down shirt.  There's many examples to oooh and aaah over, like Lauren at Lladybird (I want this shirt), Andrea at Four Square Walls or Mary at Fancy Idle.  Speaking of Mary, she is finishing up her 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn and I declare myself a last minute arrival.  Well, kind of, sort of, maybe...?

You see, I am truly in awe of people who sew collars onto clothes (seems like a lot of work) but I HATE to wear them.  It's like this: my former roommate tells this story of how, when she was little, her grandma let her eat as much cottage cheese as she wanted- no limit.  So she did, she ate cottage cheese until she threw up cottage cheese.  That's pretty much my story with collared, button down anything.  I threw it up.

Ok, so not TECHNICALLY.  I just feel like I could've. I had to wear them as part of my uniform for school, then as part of my outfit while traveling with a performing arts group, then to look professional at my first job that required me to fill out a W-4...  I pretty much threw them up then gave them all away 10 years ago (although I admit to having 3 in my closet for those times I have job interviews or meetings with my boss).  

Even with my total and utter dislike of wearing them, I still wanted to participate in Mary's challenge.  I might have cheated...  I bought a pattern off Ebay that I thought I could dig, collar and all, but the seller couldn't find the pattern and returned my money.  After that I finally found New Look 6587.  It has 3 views with a collar (but a fake button placket, let's be clear about my laziness) OR 2 views without a collar. Yes!  I figured if the pattern itself has lots of options for the (kinda) traditional shirtdress, it counts- regardless of which view I make, right?

Ignore my horrible, crooked top-stitching.  It was late and I didn't care.

I made view E, minus the lasce-on-edges-thing.  I went with a straight size 12 but adjusted the seams to get a little room to eat.  Then I put my buttonholes on the wrong side- it's SUPER awkward (maybe just weird) having to think about how to button my dress when I put it on instead of just using muscle memory.  Fun stuff, huh?

The insides are all finished nicely.  The fabric is a rayon that wants to be lots of loose threads.  Seam finishing was a must and time consuming but I like how neat and enclosed all the seams are (but in my laziness you not only get blown-out, unedited pictures, you also get no inside pictures).

I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this dress when it was finished.  I kept trying it on after each new addition and felt like I had a Harry Potter robe on (I haven't even seen Harry Potter and I still felt that way).  I kept thinking I should shorten the length or what the heck am I doing sewing 12 buttonholes and buttons?  Wanna guess what my final reaction is?

I love it!

I love the slight 40's flare it has and how it twirls and hits my natural waist perfectly.  All the reviews I had read said this pattern had a short waist and many lengthened it.  I know my waist is short or high or whatever so after carefully measuring and looking at numbers, I decided to keep it like the pattern.  I'm glad I did.  And even tho I was unsure about the length (5" longer than most of my dresses), I like that too.

Somehow the neckline is too loose, but I didn't make ant size adjustments there.  I have no idea, it just seemed floppy and big and loose when I sewed the bias tape on.  Anyone know how to adjust necklines that are too big?  I like the fit every where else, but I'm at a loss as to how to fix the neck.

How about you?  Make (or do) anything lately that you were sure you wouldn't like only to really like the outcome after all?

October 31, 2014

My Halloween Horror Story

Hello all!  Happy Halloween to you, especially if you have your costume ready to go (bonus points if you're already wearing it).

I have a tale to tell you.  My favorite 6 and 4 year olds are coming to stay with me this weekend (and their mom).  They're my nieces and I'm especially excited that they'll be here instead of me driving there.  These particular nieces are particularly spoiled, especially by me.  I make their costumes for halloween each year.  And I let them choose what they want, so they tell me all year long what they want to be.  

I enjoy it, but we all know I have this laziness thing that I also enjoy.  So putting these two things together- costumes with a deadline and laziness- never turns out well (only for me tho!).  I thought I would share with you my awesome phone pics of their costumes from the last couple years as I proceed to procrastinate longer on finishing those costumes.  Oh, didn't I tell you?  It's Halloween and my nieces will be here in under 7 hours and their costumes are not finished.  In fact (might be TMI here) I just started them last night.  Yeah, I've had 3 hours of sleep.  Here's to hoping my current Halloween Horror doesn't end up full of blood and gore and stained/ruined costumes!  But on with the cuteness...

This cutie is my older niece who was sooooo into "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" two years ago that she wanted to be a pirate.  I painted the fabric for those pants myself cause I couldn't find anything I liked for pirate pants.  She was truly adorable (and still is).

This cherub is my younger niece who was soooo into princesses...  Wait, she never outgrew that, she's still soooo into princesses.  Anyway, with her older sis being a pirate, she had to keep up but also beat the game.  She wanted to be a princess pirate.  You guys, I had (have) no idea what the heck a princess pirate is!  I totally just made a costume full of pink but hopefully a little edgy-ish (for a toddler) and piratey.  

This is last year.  They were both super heros, but little niece had to up the ante again because she was not only a super hero, she was also a princess (again).  Ladies (and gentlemen?) I present to you The Flash and She-Ra!  

They're definitely off to save the world here, pretty sure that's why we're all still alive.  I mean, who could live without this kind of cuteness in their life?

THIS year, they've actually chosen completely unrelated costumes, which kind of makes me sad.  At first they wanted to be Elsa and Olaf from "Frozen" but let's be real- who wants to sew an Olaf costume?  I tried to be as non-encouraging as possible while encouraging the older niece to choose whoever she wanted to be (I rock this auntie stuff, right?).  Then they wanted to be Princess Peach and Mario from the Nintendo game Mario Bros.  I was all for that- how awesome are my nieces?  But alas, their final unrelated choices are Elsa for the younger and Captain America for the older.  Not complaining or anything but Elsa...

Yeah, every other little girl out there is going to be Elsa too.  Haha!  At least my niece's Elsa will be different than every other Elsa.  I mean, who doesn't take creative liberties when sewing children's costumes?  Or is that just my laziness speaking...?

What do you guys have planned for Halloween?  Any fun costumes?  And are they handmade or store-bought?

October 27, 2014

Running and Dreaming

A few years ago I started running.  I hated it.  I knew it was good for me and I did it, but I hated it.  I started training for a half marathon when I moved to SoCal.  Then I hurt my ankle (like REALLY bad).  That half marathon was no longer happening (yes, I was totally relieved) but I told myself I would start running again after my ankle healed.  Yeah...  I kept telling myself that for the next year and a half.

BUT!  I FINALLY started running again a couple months ago.  And guess what?  I'm LOVING it!  Even while running.  Amazing right?  I ran a 5k at the beginning of October and I'm signed up for a 10k at the end of November.  I'm only up to running 4  miles (which realistically translates to almost 3.5 miles) but I'm following a training plan and am well on track to being able to run 6.2 miles before my 10k (hopefully).

I keep thinking that I should combine my new love of running and my love of sewing.  There are patterns for running clothes so why not?  I admit that part of me is fearful of working with the fabric running clothes use.  But conquering that fear might be as awesome as a running high, right?  

So, some patterns I've been looking at:

Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts

These seem like the most practical of all the patterns I've found.  And what an awesome way to add my own spin with cool fabrics for the stripe down the side.  I'm discovering I like a certain weight of fabric while running and a certain fit, but somehow I can never find both preferences in a ready-made garment.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank

I've been wanting this pattern ever since I saw Ginger Make's version.  I wanted it even more when I saw that Fabletics has a top very similar to it.  One of my friends (she's actually training and running with me) bought a running shirt at Target that also has a similar concept.

Greenstyle Women's Yoga Pants

I wouldn't run in yoga pants (even though that's what I started running in) but I need to start doing some cross-training (cuz I've got the weakest core (read flabby stomach)) and yoga pants would come in handy for say yoga or pilates.

Jalie Sport's Top (#2563)

On my list of to-do-someday is undergarments.  Sports bra seem so much less terrifying than underwire bras.  Also, the running tights/shorts are an added bonus to me.

Fehr Trade VNA Top

The design lines on this top are so cool!  To be honest, I prefer looser tops while running (cuz that breezey-ness they provide is a nice distraction when your lungs and legs are screaming at you), but maybe during the winter (HA! SoCal doesn't have winters) this top would be nice.

Your bonus photo for making it to the end- this is after our 5k (if you couldn't tell, it was a color run).  Our upcoming 10k isn't a fun event run like this, but it is right by the beach (I totally love the beach!).

What patterns are you dreaming of right now?  Any plans towards making those dreams reality?

September 27, 2014

Quick (as in not super long just normal long) Update

I didn't expect moving to keep me away and busy for a month, but I'm not even fully unpacked yet.  Ok- the real truth- everything is unpacked EXCEPT my room.  My books are still in boxes, my craft supplies are still in boxes, my fabric is still in boxes,  my patterns are still in boxes.  The only things I have access to (without digging thru more boxes) are my clothes and shoes.  Honestly, unpacking is even more overwhelming than packing and moving.  It's more than having to just clean up or put things away.  I have to find a place for those things first and I want that place to be established before I unpack so I don't have to rearrange things later (remember that lazy thing- still have it).  I'm working on it, but it's going very  S...L...O...W...L...Y...

The plans for today included photographing that garment I mentioned FOREVER ago but somehow I ended up with two naps instead of a completed To-Do List.  Can I just mention- naps are totally wasted on the young.  Anyway- back to productivity (if writing a post and watching "Call the Midwife" can be called productive- hehe).  I'll take photos tomorrow (unless a fun weekend happens instead) and work on unpacking so I can get back  to the real fun (sewing-duh).

A few days ago I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA.  It was SUPER crowded which I was hoping to avoid by going on a Thursday after school had started.  The park was only open for 8 hours and my roomie (the 1st) and I were there for 7.  We only went on 5 rides, but they were probably the 5 best rides there.  FYI- if you ever go the Magic Mountain- go on Tatsu.  BEST. RIDE. EVER!  I felt like a dragon twisting and turning and flying around the park.

YOU GUUUUUYYYYYYYSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!  Look who I met while there!  I'm a huge fan of SYTYCD (Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" for those who think I just made up some alphabet soup) and apparently the whole Top 10 were at Six Flags.  I saw one of them briefly early in the day and geeked out for a while.  THEN, right before we were getting ready to leave I noticed this huge banana and then noticed who was holding it and I totally became a fan girl and talked way too fast to them while grinning like an idiot and finally asked for a picture.  I present to you Serge (on the left) and Rudy (on the right) of season 11's SYTYCD Top 10 dancers.  Yeah, it'll be like the highlight of my year.

Sorry there's nothing thrilling or exciting in this post (even tho there is- look at the above photo!).  Hopefully I'll get back to a normal routine of life soon, even if I have no idea what that should look like.  Hehe.

So tell me, have you ever met anyone famous and were you a cool-cat or a fan-girl?  Or who would you fan-girl over if you got to meet that person in real life (as opposed to fake life, you know?)?

August 29, 2014

Moving On Up

DISCLAIMER: I was lazy (possibly this post's theme) and used my phone (and it's flash-GASP!) at something like midnight to take these pictures.  Whatevs tho, right?

Soooo, I went to visit my sisters and their little cuties (the nieces and nephew) last week and then took the nieces to my mom's house for their first rodeo (cuz cowboys are hot cute wear tight jeans awesome).  The next day the nieces and I drove to have lunch with my dad, effectively seeing all my family (except my brother- he lives in a different state- boo!) in a 5 day trip.  It was pretty awesome.  When I arrived home I found my living room did not look like my living room.  It looked like a packing factory with assembled and unassembled boxes everywhere.  

Oh yeah, I'm moving...  Bleh!

Dang it, no matter how much I hate packing and keep hoping it'll get done by itself, these empty boxes tell me they're not doing my work for me.  Lazy boxes!  I'm excited for the change I suppose, especially since a friend is moving in with my current roommate and me.  I'm not excited about all the physical labor moving brings with it.  Just think about the word- MOVING- it's implications are that you can not sit on your bum watching re-runs of "Reba" on Hulu or lie lazily on your bed reading your blog feed or continue to keep your crafting mess all over the living room so it's conveniently located for late nights of sewing.  Nope, for MOVING you have to MOVE.  Yeah, I definitely have lazy bouts (not ashamed of it, watcha gonna do?).

I finally decided to get to work on packing my room.  This is my bed.  Apparently if I want to sleep tonight (this morning) I'll have to actually pack these.  The fabric on the right is all washed and ready to sew with.  The fabric on the left needs washed.  Since we're moving to a place with a washer and dryer (goodbye coin laundry) I thought it'd be alot easier to pack the washed/ready separately from the not-washed/not-ready so as soon as we move into the new place I can get to work on washing everything that's been neglected up to now. I TRIED to organize them into cottons, apparels, knits, bottomweights, synthetics, etc...  The piles got unruly really fast, so in the end my goal changed to not letting the piles collapse on top of each other.  It's not settling, it's just changing my mind, you know- being a woman and all (and indulging in that laziness I so enjoy).

This is currently my photo studio, I mean living room.  This also all my roommate's doing, cuz why in the world would I put a printer (of PDF patterns mainly- hehe) in a vulnerable spot like that?  Also, that whole against-physical-labor-call-it-lazy-if-you-like-thing...  Anyway, back to the photo studio- since it's in such disarray and unusable, I can't take pictures of my latest make.  So you'll have to wait to see what my major mistake was that turned out totally cute.

The scariest thing about this move would have to be... we turned in our 30 day notice but don't have a place to move to yet.  Every place we were looking at was ready to rent right then and there, so instead of paying rent on 2 places for a month, we thought we'd turn in our notice then get a place.  It's really nerve-wrecking!  We've kinda found a place that we're not sure we want but are in contact with another place that might work better.  Who knows.  Three grown women who have all been on their own for sooooo long, well, we all have our own opinions and different budgets and lists of must-haves vs willing to compromise.  I suppose I can say it's not boring, so there's a plus!

Anyone actually LIKE moving or have great tips for lazy but neat and organized packing?  Or have a cleaning fetish and wants to help clean our apartment (cuz, you know, deposit and stuff)?