A piece a Week – A cross back top for the summer, Cotton Candy!

I have this stash of fabric that I just buy not knowing what I am going to make with it, so I finally that I design a pattern from a little top of Holly’s that I just loved. I enlarged the pattern pieces and made a fabric version from the paper that I could modify on my body which I used to transfer back to the pattern pieces I had made and it turns out for me that this is a great way to make a custom pattern!

The fabric I found was from my trip to Portland last year to this amazing fabric store called the Mill End Store. I had such a fun time finding all these treasures from back in the day – the owners had scored a collection of fabrics from as far back as the 1950’s that I could not resist! The justification was I will never see fabric like this again so it has to go home with me 🙂

So the cross back top was a fun and challenging project to make as I had to use lining as the fabric was see-through. After I decided to use lining then came the challenge of sewing the straps together with the seam on the inside. Lucky that I had made bags that are of a similar design and I just crossed the straps at the back and with a bit of unpicking and resewing they came together. There is no zip or buttons on this top as it just crosses at the back and it is flowing. The only thing I will look at for the next version is not to cut the neck too wide as it just sits on the shoulder and may fall down, still I think it looks cute the way it balances on edge of the shoulder.

This is definitely designed for a really hot day as there is lots of space to breathe and you can never have enough cute tops to go with the utilitarian jeans that mammas wear around the traps. I will have to see how this goes with a skirt? Still the challenge of making a pattern from scratch and designing it to customize me was something that I have been missing in my sewing for a while – looks like in future posts I will be playing a bit more with missing pieces for my spring/summer wardrobe!

Flowers outside my craft room

The flowers for the tree above are just so beautiful in the Spring and remind me of fairy floss or what is it called here cotton candy. That’s a great name for the top that I made as the neon of the check fabric against all the other pastels really made this fabric pop. The lining of the top is a vintage feed bag cotton that is of such an incredible quality. They made a perfect pair!

Wearing the top, to see a full shot – I have to work on finding my tripod?!?

The front of the cross back top – with a statement necklace it would be perfect

The cross back that was a bit of a challenge 🙂

A Piece a week – this week an A line skirt, starting off somewhat easy!

As part of a creative exercise this year I plan on getting through my stash of fabrics making a piece a week. I was inspired by a post on meet me at mikes a post about a year of ethical fashion. This pledge about what to wear is what I will try and live by this year.

For the project here is the pledge…

If I’m looking for things to wear I will only:
a) Buy from ethical makers or
b) Buy second-hand or
c) Make it myself  or
d) Wear things I already own or
e) Borrow or swap garments with friends
This is my first attempt at the year of ethical fashion project. This is fabric from my stash a wool suiting I found in Portland and a velveteen fabric sample from FabMo. When I was in Morro Bay there were a couple of cool vintage stores and I found a skirt that I used the pattern to make this skirt. My pattern making skills are a bit rusty I must say but I think the combination of fabrics is pretty cute. The zipper is a bit tricky and it is possible to see some puckering from my lack of practice and fear of the zipper. I promise I will face the fear this year! Practice makes perfect & hope I can see it happen. 
My first project for the year – an A line skirt 
One down and another 51 pieces to go!
The topless skirt wearing ‘lady’ which I will have to wear as an outfit soonish! But this post here is another inspiration for using up fabric in your stash. I cannot believe the amount of fabric and clothes I have accumulated that are not worn and I still love the fabrics so with a bit of deconstruction I can hopefully have some new pieces that I can say I have sewn by the end of 2014.