Weekend Sewing Project: Tan skirt

foggydress_tan_fabric I found this yummy tan fabric at my local fabric store, and thought it would make a great skirt. I always need skirts. I don’t really do shorts much, so when the heat strikes in Cali (which is like allllll the time) I like to throw on dresses and skirts. Now, the big dilemma is narrowing it down to one design. I currently have several swimming in my head…. I threw them together with just pins, to get an idea of what they would look like. Do any of them speak to you? Which is your favorite?

Look #1: wrap around skirt, with sewing where the needles are.

foggydress_tan_fabricLook #2: cinch midi, minus the hanging fabric behind me

foggydress_tan_fabricLook #3: simple loose-fit, high-waist

foggydress_tan_fabricThis is my weekend project, so that’s what I’ll be up to these next few days. I’m going to try and enlist the help of my mother, the former seamstress, to help me get the pattern right. I’ll show you how it turns out next week…

#TGIF

 

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A Guide to Buying Your First Sewing Machine

foggydress_mermaidOne of my readers (and friend) Chrystal recently told me she was in the market for her first sewing machine, and asked me for some tips to buying one. I started to compile a list of tips to give her, when I decided I would share it with you guys, too. Whether you’re in the market for your first machine, or just want to bookmark this for later, I hope it’s a helpful guide for you.

  1. What do you want to do with this sewing machine? This is a good place to start. Knowing what you want to make with your machine can help you in choose the right one. Here’s a little side story – growing up I used to dream up all sorts of alterations and designs in my head, always with the wish of “If only I had a sewing machine and knew how to sew…” Every time I went to visit my Aunt Rachie, I would hand her a bag full of clothing I wanted altered (she even sewed my wedding dress!). Eventually I think she got sick of sewing all my little projects, and she gave me a beautiful vintage Bernina sewing machine for my college graduation. It was probably from the 70’s/80’s, but it worked perfectly for all my little projects (hemming pants, altering clothing, sewing simple pillowcases and curtains, etc.). Yes, there is a point to this story! My aunt knew what I wanted to sew/make so she gave me a smiple-to-use machine to do just that.
  2. What sewing machine should I get? If you are thinking of going far with your sewing skills, you might want to invest in a heftier (and more expensive) machine, like these. If you want to do small projects, similar to what I mentioned above, then you can start off with almost any basic sewing machine. Some common beginner brands are Singer, Kenmore, Janome, Bernina, Husqvarna and Brother, to name a few. If you are a beginner (like I was – and am) and intend on doing occasional to frequent sewing projects, then I would suggest not spending more than $150-$200 on either a gently used or new sewing machine. Like this Brother Project Runway Sewing Machine on amazon for only $129, or this Janome 41012 Mechanical Sewing Machine from Costco for the same price! The important thing to look for is good ratings online. I think a big plus side of buying your machine from Costco is that you can try it out and return it if you don’t like it. Check out Amazon’s list of top rated sewing machines (this includes some really high-end machines fyi) and their top 100 best sellers. You should also check out sewing machines  at local dealers (those little local sewing shops) who have machines that you can try out. They will likely also offer sewing classes to help you get started, and if you purchase from them, might include offers to service your machine when needed.
  3. So I bought a machine, what else do I need? Sewing machine accessories (this list is not all-inclusive, but is a good start)….
  • 2-4 bobbins
  • set of sewing machine needles (depending on what you want to sew, i.e. denim, leather, cotton, will determine what kind of needles you need, however there are also ‘all purpose’ needles. It’s best to consult someone at the store to assist with this)
  • a seam ripper
  • all-purpose machine oil
  • pins and cushion
  • flexible measuring tape
  • fabric scissors (Never use them to cut paper! It will dull them)
  • brush (for the ‘thread dust’ – you’ll see!)

See picture below for materials (except as per usual, I forgot to include something… the sewing needles! Dang it)

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Chrystal, I hope this was helpful! I’m not a sewing goddess or expert by any means, but going from knowing nothing about sewing a few years ago, to now, this is what I’ve learned along the way. Please let me know if any of you have corrections/suggestions to this advice for beginners. And I’d love to hear about all your sewing projects ( like Jessie’s)… hope your weekend is sew amazing. haa.

-hanalei

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Shop Projects Lately

Soon I’ll be opening up a little shop (up there in the right-hand corner ^^) and it’ll feature 5 HObags. I’ve finished three so far, but here’s a peek at two of them:

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foggydress_2hobags^^ After ^^

foggydress_2hobagsfoggydress_2hobagsfoggydress_2hobags

^^ After ^^

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As usual, I want to keep these for myself… good thing I have more of the shirt fabric to make others! What do you think? Do you like them or hate them? It’s okay, I know sometimes I have weird taste. HObags aren’t for everyone, but I hope they appeal to at least 5 of you…hehe. Keep reading for more photos of the bags’ details.

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DIY: Easy Valentine Grams

foggydress_vday_gramWELL. I guess by now the secret’s out! I’m an official “.com-er” thanks to my big bro who is a very helpful web developer. He saw my potential and bought me the foggydress.com domain name, and has helped me design this super clean & simple layout. It took a few days & a big bump in the road (there might still be a few more), but here she is. I also need to thank Jesse Lee for collaborating with me on a really fun photo shoot, and capturing that cool profile picture you see in the upper left-hand corner.

Since the website has been the source of my attention & time as of late, I didn’t get around to posting these super easy Valentine’s Day Grams! I love sending postcards in the mail because they’re quick & informal &…the postage is cheaper (can you tell AKG is rubbing off on me??). I think some of the best gifts or signs of love we can give each other are kind words of appreciation and admiration.

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foggydress_vday_gramI love imperfectness. There’s so much beauty in creating something and just loving it the way it is–flaws & all. Make these grams as goofy, silly, or imperfect as you can, so the person who receives it will know it was not purchased in a store, but made by loving hands.

foggydress_vday_gram Supplies:

  • hard poster paper or card stock (can you tell I used left-over paper from the photo-booth props post?)
  • scissors or a razor & cutting mat
  • a ruler & a black sharpie
  • a postcard (I used our Christmas postcard–can you tell I love postcards yet?)
  • pretty paper
  • gel pens, metallic markers, crayons, whatever you want to use to write with
  • stickers
  • magazines

Keep reading for the full tutorial.

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DIY: Oversized Valentine’s Photo Booth Props

foggydress_Vday Is this kiss big enough for you?? HA. I am in charge of a Valentine’s Party at my church, and I really wanted a photo booth. And you can’t have a photo booth without props! So I made ginormous ones because I think they’re kind of funny and over-the-top, and that’s jus the sort of thing a party needs. These pictures were taken in St. George, UT in the neighborhood where my in-laws live. Those rocks were so pretty, I had to use them as backdrops!

foggydress_Vday Of course AKG thought this ^^ was for tick tack toe…no silly! Hugs and kisses. ^^
foggydress_Vdayfoggydress_Vdayfoggydress_Vday Gotta have a pretty picture frame. ^^

foggydress_VdaySupplies:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Colored poster board paper (I got mine at Walmart for $0.33-$0.95 each). Get the stiffest you can get without it actually being poster board.
  • If you want, you can add glitter or spray paint them …whatever your hear desires :)

Click through for the tutorial!

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