Stitching Spotlights 7.23.2010

This week has been a terribly good week for me. I’ve been able to get some sewing done and go thrifting, which by the way, I made a serious haul. Found a pair of pants, a sweet pink raincoat and a few more sweaters. I’m getting more and more excited for Self Stitched September and have so many ideas to put to use for that month. It’s most definitely going to be a September to remember!

Gertie’s half slip tutorial and Isaspacey’s version

Isaspacey informed me that Mz. Gertie has posted a most useful and perfect slip making tutorial. It’s just like the slip I made, except you make your own personal sewing pattern. Hands down, handmade slips are the way to go. From cut to finish (after having made the paper pattern) you are looking at about 2 hours, if not less time. Best investment I’ve ever made. And just for a few more ideas to throw at you, my pattern also had grainlines for slips cut on the bias. Don’t leave out that option if you are finding you would like to make one of your own.

Here’s a few places online that sell silks, if you are interested in trying your own slip version, but don’t have access to silk in town.

I even thought about that lovely Bemberg rayon lining fabric would work for these.

And did I mention that I’m in love with plush back elastic? If you are going to try making your own slip, definitely give the plush back elastic a try. It’s really soft against the skin and makes it so the slip doesn’t ride up, in fact it doesn’t ride anywhere, but stays right in place without digging into your tummy. It’s also known as plush finishing elastic. Definitely give it a Google search.

I realize I’ve gone a bit slip crazy. And it won’t be ending real soon either as I bought more fabric and trim for a dark colored version. Oh yes, and speaking of trims, definitely look here for lace for that bottom edge. Soon, very soon, I’ll be onto the full-version slip. Just you wait.

Alright, enough about slips already. Have a lovely weekend, friends. Many sewing adventures await you, I’m sure.

  • Abby - How fun! I’m so excited to see your September things! It will be fun to see all the awesome things you have made! I even thought I could do a mini version of it, maybe just 2 or three outfits, but everybody starts somewhere, huh?
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Oo.. thanks for the lace link!
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Ohmygod, Lace Heaven!! That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing!
    One day, I’ll sit down and pump out a ton of slips. You’re totally inspiring me!
    ReplyCancel

Pretty Little Underthings

When I’m out shopping or thrifting I always look for silk, real silk not polyester or nylon, underthings. They are seriously few and far between. I don’t mean a nightie or lingerie either (although, I suppose they fall into somewhat the same category), I mean underthings, you know like slips.  I’ve been in dire need of underthings, aka slips. I have had a skirt slip, manufactured from horrid nylon that has been my standby for much too long. It was high time for something new.

The two camisoles hiding behind the skirt slip were thrifted “nighties” that have since been cut short to be made into camisoles. The skirt slip is a recent stitched up fancy that I’ve long been meaning to do and never got around to. I don’t generally wear skirt slips, but I have two skirts that require them, even though the skirts themselves are lined. And judging from how much wear the nasty little nylon slip got, I apparently wear slips more than I even thought. All of these underthings are 100% silk making them more breathable than nylon or polyester. With the heat around here, it’s a definite must.

I made the skirt slip from this vintage pattern. Really a pattern is not necessary as I didn’t even follow the instructions for this one. In fact, I might just write up a tutorial, because I’ll be needing a black one too. I used a very light pink silk charmeuse, vintage lace for the trim and plush backed elastic for the waist. Ummm…have you tried plush backed elastic? If you haven’t, you really need to. Not only does it hold the thing in place and keep it from slipping all around town, but it feels fantastic compared with other elastic type waists I’ve tried. So fantastic, it’s like it’s not even there.

Do you ever wear slips? Do you have a hard time finding natural fiber slips? What are your secrets for underthings?

PS ~ after two days worth of wear, I’m in love with my silk slip! 100% no cling to skirts, complete breathability and not to mention the luscious feel of the silk against my skin is heavenly. Won’t ever be going back! Highly, highly recommend!

  • Jennifer - This is so funny! I have a blog I read called Conversations with a Conservative that blogged about slips just today. It must be the topic of the day! :)
    I love slips! I don’t wear them too often, but they are so pretty! I would loved a tutorial. I have one and it is nylon and ugly!
    ReplyCancel

  • Hanna - I wear them, too, but I prefer the slip-dress version as the skirt slips always tend to ride up. I have an absolutely beautiful, bias cut, ivory coloured vintage silk slip in pristine condition that I got for a steal on ebay and that turned out to be entirely handmade, even the scalloped hem. I´m amazed everytime I look at the tiny hand-stitching.But, even though it´s wonderful to wear it feels a little precious for everyday, so I feel I should make a new one soon. And yes, silk is just the best.
    Lovely blog, btw!
    Hanna
    ReplyCancel

  • lsaspacey - Your pink slip looks so much like one http://lifeisexamined.blogspot.com/2009/08/feel-pretty.html I made from Gertie’s tutorial! Does your tutorial differ that much from her’s? I’ll have to check out that plush-backed elastic because I now have four skirt slips in various lengths and colors and one full slip, but I want more!
    ReplyCancel

  • Kati - I don’t usually wear them because I can never find them! I look every single time I’m in a department store, they have nighties, but never any real slips. I think slips have been replaced by Spanx and other “shapewear”.
    I think I’ll end up with a vintage lingerie pattern similar to yours so that I can make slips.
    ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Yay! I’m so excited you are using that pattern!
    ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I need to make a slip, so that I don’t have to line everything I make. I’m so lazy when it comes to making practical items – I’d rather buy them, but in the case of slips, as you say, there aren’t many choices, and most are made of awful fabrics. Your slip is lovely!
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - How pretty! I don’t wear slips, but I would love to wear this one! :) I love the lace on the bottom.
    ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - I agree that slips are hard to find these days, I think that spandex has taken over, but think that slips are something that is worth having for skirts and dresses.
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - I don’t own any slips, but I sure wish I did! My problem is that they’re ‘utility’ pieces and therefore always on the backburner of my sewing agenda. Yours is super pretty and I’m freshly inspired to make a slip for myself – eventually!
    ReplyCancel

  • Tamsin - Slips always remind me of childhood and always having too many layers on when it was hot! Now I hate it when unlined skirts ride up when I’m wearing tights! I think a slip could come into play…
    ReplyCancel

  • Ana - I love that pattern. My mother used to make slips from it in the 70s. unfortunately I’m not the right size for it so all I can do is gaze wistfully at it these days. Glad I’m not the only one who has it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Suzie - I have never worn a slip before…but the more I think about it the more I’m surprised I have never realised how much I need one! I have a couple of unlined cotton skirts which ride-up and drive me insane…and slips are the answer! Doh! Thanks for giving me the inspiration!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I’m definitely going to do a dress version soon. I do think they are simply lovely and you can wear them with a skirt and a sweater on top. Fabulous idea.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - This is fabulous! I did not realize Gertie had posted about slips. Her tutorial is just the way I made mine! Definitely have a go at the plush back elastic. I love it!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I know! They seem to have gone into the realm of non-existence. It’s so sad too as I think many women would prefer to have a nice slip these days.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I completely understand. I actually didn’t really want to “waste” my time making one either. I decided that I was finally going to make one for Self Stitched September and was pleasantly surprised at how very little time they took. Start to finish, probably about 2 hours. Easy, easy, easy!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I love it too! I found it while thrifting one day. It was such a find as it’s in my bust size, even though it’s in a junior’s size. I’m off to try the full-version next!
    ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I wear slips often. I only have a few as they are so hard to find in the stores! Yours is beautiful! I’m inspired to make some of my own.
    ReplyCancel

  • Catholic Bibliophagist - I always wear slips, but I hate nylon especially in summer when it’s very hot here in Southern California. I never thought of the possibility of making my own slip from silk. Thanks for a great idea.
    –C.B.
    ReplyCancel

Peachy Pout Sweater

In preparation for Self Stitched September, it was definitely time to start pulling out unfinished projects from the stash. Surprisingly, I haven’t had this sweater in the stash for very long. I really, really should have taken a before photo, but of course was much too lazy to do that at the time. So, this sweater came from some Nordstrom inspiration. Nordstrom’s is probably the nicest and most up-town department store we have here in Utah. And somehow, Mr. S gets their catalog.

This catalog arrived in the mail the other announcing a HUGE sale. I saw this rather dashing working girl outfit and convinced myself that I had to have that grey sweater, because I don’t knit and well, I couldn’t just make that as I could the rest of the outfit. Friday was the beginning of this supposed sale and so after a short day at work, I ran right over to see if I could get my hands on that sweater. Much to my dismay, I found the table of sweaters, no greys were left and then when I picked one up of a different color and handled it in my hands I almost starting laughing uncontrollably. Luckily, I stopped myself before I started. The sweater felt as thin as paper and I immediately knew that after two or three washes this thing would be toast! I had seen enough, right then and there, I gathered up what was left of my pride and stomped out of Nordstrom’s with a very serious chip on one shoulder. I have one phrase for you, “cheap in the disguise of expensive.”

I marched straight home, where I promptly got to work on my cashmere version of this sweater. This sweater was thrifted for $4. I’ll have you know, that I didn’t spend a dime more either, I used what I had in my stash, which makes me feel like a million dollars, maybe even 2 million. It had a small blue dot on the sleeve which has since been cut off. There were, much to my delight, no moth eaten holes in it. I found it in the ladies section, though have since discovered that is was a men’s sweater because it buttons up the wrong way. No matter. It was rather large, so I gave it some shape by taking in the sides. I followed this tutorial of Casey’s for saving the cuffs and bottom edging. I gave it some fresh buttons and with the scraps left over from taking in the sides and shortening the sleeves, I made one of the flowers. The other flower is made from some charmeuse silk that has been cut on the bias and gathered into a roll to look like a carnation.

I’m rather happy with the sweater in general. The color isn’t my favorite, and it isn’t grey, though I will be on the lookout for a grey sweater very soon. However, it shaped up rather nicely. I am completely in love with the medium weight cashmere. Who knew? Cashmere at a thrift store. I’ve never had a cashmere sweater and have always wanted one. It’s luscious and so so so soft. So there you have it! Something for $4 with much better quality than something for $45, thank you very much!

Thrifting much lately? Found any real gems? I want to hear all about them.

  • peter - I cannot believe that is a thrifted sweater! Brilliant job (again), Sunni!
    ReplyCancel

  • Belly - It’s lovely, and doesn’t look at all thrifted or homemade (and I do have the slightest weakness for peach colors: http://ow.ly/2dmYz).
    ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Very pretty! I think that will look gorgeous with your hair color!
    ReplyCancel

  • A Sewn Wardrobe - You might not have many high-end stores in Utah, but it sounds as though you have wonderful second-hand shops, which IMO is even better. There are no decent vintage stores around me, which stinks, b/c this great find of yours is making me want to go thrifting in the worst way!
    P.S. – While it’s pastel, I think you could make this fall- appropriate with a maroon/wine colored skirt (and a white button up underneath?).
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Wow, what a lovely re-fashion! I’m also amazed at the prices charged for store-bought, paper-thin cardigans. Yours is gorgeous and how amazing that it’s made of cashmere too! Love the floral embellishments and I bet the colour will be great on you :)
    Wonderful job!
    ReplyCancel

  • Petite Josette - Very nice job !
    I love to see thrift store pieces transformed into new garments on the cheap !
    I have a few projects from thrifted item in my stash, 2 man’s shirts that I want to turn into women’s tops and a more ambitious trench coat project for which I am considering doing some dying…
    ReplyCancel

  • Angela - AHHHH!!! I LOVE IT!! That’s just way too cute! Hehe.. I need to do some thrifting!
    ReplyCancel

  • Max California - this is so damn pretty! great job!
    were the little welt pockets already on it?
    ReplyCancel

  • kiraph - This is just a lovely re-fashioning job, Sunni. And all the sweeter for being better quality fabric and only $4.00! Well done, it looks great and if it was me I would be living in it!
    The only recent thrifting finds I have had are some fabrics – one of which I have made into a shirt just in the past week.
    ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - So pretty! I have a day off tomorrow to go ‘op shopping’ as we call thrifting here, and have just added cashmere cardigans to my list! Thanks for the lovely inspiration!
    ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Oh La la la la la la la la la!!!! I love this! I just went to the DI today, and found this retro all different colored striped dress! Haha! My husband is scared that he is going to be letting me out of the house wearing it, but I LOVE it!
    ReplyCancel

  • Marie-Christine - Great job! And thanks for the tutorial link.
    As to the color, cashmere is perfect for the easy-to-use acid dyes. Or you could take off some of that aggressive pastel tone with a bit of tea-dyeing, also a bit acidic and perfect for animal fibers. Just make sure to thoroughly soak your sweater overnight before you begin, to make sure you get even dyeing.
    ReplyCancel

  • Carolina - It’s lovely! I would like to made the flowers, where I could find the tutorial? Thank you!!
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I actually just improvised and made up my own patterns and such. The rounded petal flower is a round petal with a “V” cut in the bottom middle. The “V” is then sewn together and that creates the little pouf in the petal. The other flower is a strip of bias cut fabric. I sewed a gathering stitch directly down the middle and then gather it into a roll. Really easy.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I’m growing much more keen on the color lately. It does make a great neutral and goes with so many things.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Fabulous idea and I’ve been experimenting with navy too. It looks rather dashing with all these colors.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh yes! I would love to see a dying project! Fabulous idea. Can’t wait for your remakes.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh yes. I forgot to post about those. This sweater was actually quite a bit longer and had actual pockets. I was going to get rid of the pockets all together, but found that they were actually knitted onto the sweater. So, I just kept them. Gladly they look like welt pockets instead of something strange.
    ReplyCancel

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh thank you for the tips. I’m in love with the idea of the tea dye, giving it that sort of vintage edge stained look. Hmmmm…..
    ReplyCancel

Stitching Spotlights 7.16.2010

I’m thinking sizzingly hot summer days, pink ladies, las vegas, carnivals….you know stuff like that. Gosh it’s hot here, and I love it. I’m a big heat person, though can’t tan worth a damn. You know, it’s all the red hair and fair skin stuff. My freckles are a little more obvious this time of year. For you sun worshipers out there a couple of swimsuits have caught my eye this week:

These come from my sis and Peter! I’ve never tried to make a swimsuit, but these are both great examples of fun in the sun lovelies. I love that pattern my sis, Abby used from Burda Style and Peter is definitely going to get wet in those fun trunks! Fabulous and refreshing splashes you two!

This tutorial from sewaholic.net is fabulous for matching plaids and prints along a seamline. Plaids scare me for this very reason. Perfect timing as I have a load of things to make for Self Stitched September including a double faced wool plaid skirt!

Just in case you haven’t noticed, I’m on facebook now with a fun little page. I didn’t realize how much you could actually do on facebook. I’m very excited for the upcoming sagas I’ll share with you there. And don’t forget about my twitter either. Both places will be featuring updates from here, my shop, coupons, sales and special promotions.

Don’t have too much fun without me now! Happy weekend!

  • Marybeth - Your sister is so CUTE!
    ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Whoa! I am totally in a las vegas carnival mood too! I have been watching Carnivale on netflix and flipping through this book called Pretty Things which is about the last reigning Burlesque queens from the hey day. it has some interesting info on costuming which is fascinating. I started a facebook page for dart and hem but it is still in the works so I haven’t advertised yet. I am loving what all can be done with it too!
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Yay – thanks for the shout-out and link to my tutorial! It was one of those things I wrote up quickly, never realizing so many people would be interested in the info :)
    PS. I ‘liked’ you on Facebook! And that green dress looks fabulous on you :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Oh and your sister’s swimsuit is super cute! What a talented pair you guys are!
    ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Why Thank you for the spotlight!
    ReplyCancel

Public Notice


So, it’s now official. I am making my public declaration that I will be participating in Self-Stitched September. I had been thinking about it ALOT. I really really wanted to be apart of it and have postponed throwing my hat in because

  1. It’s hard for me to take a photo everyday. However, I’m determined so that’s that.
  2. It’s nearly impossible for me to post everyday, but after watching some of the others who participated in Me Made May, it’s a great idea to recap a few days in one day and I have another idea too, which I’ll show you come September
  3. I have quite a few handmade outfits, but don’t know that I have enough. I’ll be working on this big time this month and during August to try and fill out a few handmade staples in the wardrobe.

And there is my public service announcement.

You may now resume your previously interrupted activities.

  • Tasia - Yay! I did Me-Made-May with maybe 7 or 8 garments? It doesn’t take a huge wardrobe to make it work.
    If you focus on making a few staples between now and then, you’ll have no problem at all! Glad you’re joining the challenge :)
    ReplyCancel

  • Alana - Awesome! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
    ReplyCancel

  • Spookygirl - Well done!
    I firmly agree with the recap-post principle for those who can’t get online all the time.
    Happy creating!
    ReplyCancel