26 September 2011

playing with leather

woven leather bracelet

It was almost a year ago that I bought this piece of yellow suede leather, without having any purpose for it, just because it was the softest piece of leather I had ever laid my hands upon.

leather fringe earrings

I finally got brave enough to cut into it and start playing.

leather feather earrings

I started making jewelry because this leather is light as a feather and so soft, that it must be meant to live next to the skin.

playing with leather

But i still have plenty extra leftover.  Any ideas for what to do with the softest suede leather that ever existed?

14 September 2011

the easiest way to measure around curves

I've been drafting a new bag pattern, and I thought I would show how I measure lengths around curves.  It's really quite easy.
measuring around curves 1
Start by pinning the pattern piece to something soft, like a a bed or a large corkboard.  Use one set of pins right on the line you want to measure, and another set a 1/4 inch away or so.

measuring around curves 2
Then run your measuring tape between the sets of pins and gently pull taut.

That's it! You don't have to make square bags anymore!

04 September 2011

Maxi Skirt Pattern

anthro skirt

It's HERE!  It's done!  It took forever.  And I may never make another clothing pattern ever again.  Grading is not something to be taken lightly, and I make no promises that the pieces fit together perfectly (even if there are only 3).  The instructions aren't perfect, but if when there are any questions, I will be happy to try and clarify.
Anthropologie's Lengthening Rays Skirt

Let me just remind you that this is my version of Anthropologie's "Lengthening Rays", but in real silk (silk chiffon outside, and silk lining inside).   The sizing for the skirt is the same as that on BurdaStyle.

pink silk chiffon

A few tips on sewing with silk:
1. use a size 8 or smaller needle.  make sure it is brand new.  the sharper the better, to avoid puckers.
2. be very gentle when guiding the fabric through your machine.  do not pull or tug on it.
3. do all pinning within the seam allowances to avoid any permanent marks from pin holes.
4. when in doubt, sew slowly.
5. use cotton thread when sewing with silk because cotton is weaker than silk, and if there is strain at a seam, the thread will break before the fabric, making future repairs possible.

I may try to put up some photo tutorials of some of the more complicated steps, if they are requested.  Please do let me know if you decide to try it!  I would love feedback!

JANUARY 2017 UPDATE: I've updated the pattern slightly and wanted to include some additional details for those just finding this pattern, to save you the search through the comments below:

Note that this is not the best pattern for a beginner, as silk can be fiddly to work with.  If you have made a skirt or two before and are looking for a new challenge however, please proceed with caution!

Fit information: this skirt is designed to sit approximately 1" below the natural waist with a hem just above the floor. 

Sizes included: 
  • Size 34 = 24.5 inch waist 
  • Size 36 = 26 inch waist 
  • Size 38 = 27.75 inch waist 
  • Size 40 = 29.25 inch waist 
  • Size 42 = 30.75 waist 
  • Size 44 = 32.5 inch waist

You can download pattern and instructions for the silk chiffon maxi skirt from here or on Craftsy or Burdastyle.
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