Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Successful pair of Sailor Shorts

I did it!

I made a pair of high waist sailor shorts without the aid of a pattern!

Here’s how:

1. I took a pair of shorts that fit me well, put them on, and measured the distance from the waist of the shorts to my “true” waist line.  The true waist line is the smallest point on your torso and it is usually located about an inch above your belly button. 

Then I took off the shorts, folded them in half, placed them on the fabric and traced around the edges.  I added a 1/2” seam allowance on each side, 2 1/2” (that’s the waist line measurement I took first, plus a 1/2” seam allowance) at the top, and 4” at the bottom because I wanted a 2” cuff on the legs, but more on that later!

2.  I cut on the line I had traced and used this as my basic pattern piece.  It is worth noting at this point that I doubled up the fabric by folding it in half before I started, so every time I cut out a pattern piece I am actually cutting out two pieces.  I did this five times for a total of ten pieces, all shaped exactly the same. 

I sewed these pieces together two at a time along the inner curved edge, leaving the straight part at the bottom open.

002  007 

3.  So now I had five pieces.  After ironing all the seams flat against the fabric I took two of these pieces, right sides together, and sewed them together along the waist line.  This was going to be the back of the shorts.

The front was a little more complicated because I added a layer in the middle.  I took one of the fabric pieces and measured 4” on each side of the waistline.  Then I measured 5” down from the waist line on each side.  I drew a diagonal line from the waist line mark to the side seam mark and then cut along that line.  I used some 2” scraps of fabric sewn to the right sides of these cut lines to hem this part.  This is where the buttons would eventually go. 

Then I laid this fabric piece on top of yet another piece, wrong side to right side, and sewed them both to the remaining pattern piece in exactly the same way as I had done for the back of the shorts.

4.  I turned all of these pieces right side out and put front and back together, right sides facing each other.  I sewed up the seam on one side and inserted a zipper on the other using the Threadbanger.com zipper tutorial.  Then I sewed the crotch seam together to create the legs.

009   011

5.  It was pretty smooth sailing after this point.  I turned the shorts right side out, ironed everything to make it easier to work with, and tried the shorts on.  There was a lot of excess fabric around the waist, so I pinched and pinned the fabric in two places on the back of the shorts above my bum.  I sewed these creases in place and created two darts.  Then I added my 2” cuff by folding the bottom of each leg up twice and tacking the cuffs into place.


sailor shorts   018

There’s room for improvement, but over all I was incredibly pleased with the outcome!  Kind of makes me want to take a trip to the beach...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Working on it: Sailor Shorts

I have recently become obsessed with high waist sailor shorts.

high waisted sailor shorts

I don’t want to buy a pair, though.  No way.  I’ve decided to go the long way and attempt to make my own pair.  Especially after watching this video, he makes it look so easy:

They’re not sailor shorts, but he covers the basics

I figured that with some slight modifications to the pattern in this video I could make myself the perfect pair of sailor shorts, just to my liking!  So far it has turned out to be much easier said than done, but I’ve not given up!  Pattern drafting is still a very new thing to me, so I may fail, but I’ll post the pictures anyway.  Until then, enjoy the music!

Anchors Aweigh–another favorite old movie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All About Bette Davis

Yesterday I watched the Bette Davis classic All About Eve.

In this film Bette Davis plays an actress, Margo Channing, coming to terms with getting older, while at the same time trying to cope with a conniving starlet who is trying to steal Margo’s man and her career.  Of course Bette Davis plays the part well, she played all her parts well.  It didn’t matter if she was Margo Channing, Queen Elizabeth, or a childhood star gone mad, Bette Davis was the best. 

bette davis 3bette davis 1
bette davis 2bette davis 5

Personally, I really love Bette Davis’s creepier movies.  Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? are some of my all time favorite.  But she plays the screaming crazy lady so well you tend to forget that Bette Davis was actually quite pretty.  That’s why I love All About Eve, because you get to see just how beautiful and glamorous Ms. Davis could be. 

bette davis 4

I was inspired:
All about Bette

Now, I did include a fake fur in this collection, which I feel obligated to say I would never actually wear myself.  Not only is it not at all my style, wearing fur just makes me uncomfortable, even if it is fake.  But there was an abundance of starlets wearing furs in this movie, and it just fit so well with the rest of the collection, so I decided not to over think it.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Project: Spice Cabinet Redux

Not too long ago I bought this cabinet at an antique store in Magnolia, Mississippi.

spice cabinet

It didn’t have any shelves and was clearly missing something from the middle of the door – it was perfect!  I immediately saw potential for a project.

For starters I needed shelves.  So I took my measurements and headed to the craft store, where I bought some balsa wood and adhesive contact paper.  Then I moved on to the fabric store where I found some bronze mesh fabric that I thought would be perfect for the door of the cabinet.

spice cabinet 2

I measured out my shelves on the balsa wood and cut them to fit with a box cutter.  Then I covered them with the contact paper, like so:

spice cabinet 3

And to finish it off I cut a piece of fabric to cover the window in the door of the cabinet.  I stapled the fabric to the back of the door with a staple gun, and voila!

spice cabinet 7spice cabinet 8

Super easy, and I just cleared up a whole bunch of storage space in my kitchen!  As soon as I get it on the wall and off the kitchen counter, that is…

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Doggie Rescue–All the cool kids are doing it

It is surprising to me that I have not mentioned my dog a whole lot more on this blog.

Anyone who knows me, even if we have only met for a minute, knows how much I adore my dog, Luc.

Everyone adores Luc!  I may be a little biased, but in my opinion he is the smartest, cutest, most wonderful dog in the world.  In the ENTIRE world!                                      

I found Luc when he was just an 8 week old puppy on petfinder.com, a wonderful pet rescue resource.  They make it really easy to search local animal shelters and foster groups for the right rescue pet for you.   And if you have ever, or will ever, consider adopting a dog or cat, I really encourage you to consider a rescue pet.  There are many wonderful organizations out there trying to save animals from starvation, abuse, and neglect, but these animals need permanent homes and people to love unconditionally. 

It may well be one of the most rewarding things you ever do, I know it certainly was for me.  Luc has been my constant companion for almost seven years now.  I take him with me wherever I possibly can and I know life would be awful without him.                                                                                                                                                         

This video from Treadbanger.com features a rescue group from Brooklyn, NY called Sugar Mutts Rescue.  They work to find homes for rescued dogs, which I take as a sign that they are good people.  There’s also a lovely D.I.Y. doggy treat recipe at the end for those of you who already have a dog that you love and adore. 

anyone who love dogs is A-OK in my book

I need to start baking…

Friday, June 10, 2011

Leave it to Jeeves

If you haven’t ever read a story by P.G. Wodehouse, you are missing out on some really fun stuff.

No deep themes or serious issues, just the comic misadventures of a group of upper class Englishmen and women with too much time and money on their hands, and too little concern for what to do with both.  They’re really quick reads, like a literary snack between novels.

Blandings Castle   Pigs have wings  

Wodehouse’s most popular stories center around Bertie Wooster, the main character and narrator, and his butler, Jeeves.  The basic plotline is always this:  Bertie and his friends have a rather silly problem that they think is incredibly important, and they form an equally silly and elaborate plan to solve said problem.  Something goes wrong, with devastating and hilarious effect, and Bertie runs to Jeeves for help, which turns out to be entirely unnecessary, because it is then gracefully revealed by Jeeves that he has been in complete control of the situation the entire time, always ready to step in and shut things down when he is needed.  They’re really great!

inimitable jeeves   the code of the woosters

So imagine how excited I was when I discovered a television series based on the Jeeves and Wooster stories staring none other than a young Hugh Laurie as Bertie and Stephen Fry as Jeeves!  It’s very true to the original stories with the added visual bonus of beautiful English countryside and 1920’s fashion.  It inspired me to create this:

Jeeves and Wooster

If you read the books, let me know what you think!  I hope you love them like I do.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Table top makeover: the conclusion!

Ok, full disclosure here, I am not completely finished with this project.  It has proven more time consuming than I had originally anticipated, and I have not had the time to get all four panels of the table done.  But I did finish the first one, so you should get a good idea of how it will look.

So here are the final steps in my faux stained glass project!

When we left off I had just finished my paper drawing of the stained glass design.  Just to refresh your memory it looked a little something like this:


Next step: I went to Lowe’s and got four pieces of Plexiglas custom cut to fit the four panels in the coffee table.  It was surprisingly inexpensive.

coffee table1

The next thing was to tape my paper design to one side of the Plexiglas.  I peeled off the protective plastic on the opposite side of the glass and retraced the image onto the glass using gun metal gray acrylic paint.  Then I removed the paper design and touched up any areas that I felt needed it on the glass. 

Once it was completely dry I flipped the Plexiglas over and removed the plastic from the side I hadn’t painted yet.  Then I colored in my image using acrylic paint and a wide brush.

And voila!

coffee table2

And here it is serving it’s new purpose:

coffee table3

No, it doesn’t look exactly like stained glass, but I’m going to enjoy it anyway.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Evolution of Exercise

So I’ve recently taken up jogging. 

My body still seems to be adjusting.  I currently feel as though I’m being punished from within.

Sure, it will be worth it in the end.  I’ll feel better, maybe live longer, and my clothes will fit better, so I won’t complain.  And, hey, at least I don’t have to go through the crazy routines these ladies were put through:

Exercising in high heels and garters. What?!

I wonder who thought up that little bit of “exercise,” and who insisted those ladies wear silk undies and heels.  I must say though, if it were possible to look that fabulous and still get a good workout, I wouldn’t mind it half as much.  In reality things are much sweatier.
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