Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fabricista Refashion: Wide Leg Pants to Skinny Pants!

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I want to wear, but they don't "suit" my needs. They may be too baggy in the crotch, too long, a bit too tight or I'm just not sure what to wear with it. I have had a pair of navy blue trousers for a couple of years that are hardly worn, but hated to give them away. So finally this past weekend I decided I was going to turn them into skinny pants! The pants were already too big so I had plenty to work with in case something didn't work out. 


These are the "before" pictures. The pictures are not that great, but you can see they are a little baggy and definitely too long. They were best worn with heels in their previous life. When doing this yourself, I would recommend picking pants that have some stretch to them. If you look at most ready-to-wear skinny jeans/pants, they have stretch so they move with you. See the following pictures and instructions on how to create your own skinny pants!




1) I put the pants on inside out. It is best to work this way so you can literally pin them on you. Pull on the seam till you feel comfortable. (Depending on how tight your pants are at the top already, you may not have to do this step.) On the right picture, you can see I took in about one inch on one side (I did this also on the other side.) I also took about 1/2 inch in at the crotch. I did not have to touch the zipper or waistband in this step. (Thankfully!) Another tip for this step would be to make sure both layers of fabric lay flat. You don't want puckers or folds created when sewing. 



2) Pin all the way down both legs to the desired width. Sew along the pins. Try them on to make sure they fit you the way you want. Then cut/serge off the excess. If you had to cut off the hem, sew a new hem. I made this ankle length, just like some skinny jeans I already have. 



It is as easy as that! Go dig through your closet and find some pants you're ready to change! It was a lot of fun and it cost $0!!! 




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Made by a Fabricista: The Angel Bootcut Jean




Today I am happy to offer you my feedback about Angela Wolf’s Bootcut Jean Pattern. You can find this pattern on our website.

I have never tried to sew pants. I did not even think about it. Yet I have several difficulties finding the perfect pair in the stores. I go through all of them, choosing the low rise cut, short, skinny but not tight… and so on and so forth. So once I have one pair that fit me, I do not let them go. I would be extremely careful with them. Jeans have a special place in my closet.

When I saw “The Angel Bootcut Jean Pattern” from the Angela Wolf Pattern Collection, I immediately thought I had to try it, whether it worked for me or not. But I had the hunch that this one would be a success story.

Back Pocket Detail
I opened the bag, unfolded the pattern and got my first good impression. I checked out the clear, thick lines of the pattern and then I went through the first couple pages of the instruction book. It is easy to read and a good size font. Instructions included all the fabrics you can use, a diagram of the layout, a size chart and a few suggestions, like sewing a muslin before going to the actual jean.  Suitable fabrics are: Stretch denim, Cotton Sateen, Corduroy. Angela Wolf also has a website where you can see that the same instructions written in the book step by step. 
Coin Pocket
I was feeling very motivated so I started cutting, pressing, sewing and topstitching the coin pockets, which are the first step of putting the jeans together. It is so enjoyable following these instructions that you do not realize how much you have accomplished before your jeans are practically finished! Just keep your book with you as you go through each step. The book does not skip any steps.

Bottom Closures
 I did have to do two modifications on the pattern for it to fit me. I had to sew in a little bit on the sides of the legs since my hips are not very rounded.  I also cut the pants shorter so I would have a pair of cropped pants instead. I had to try my pants on several times and used chalk to help me make the alterations. When sewing I also needed to undo the topstitch on the zipper.

I strongly recommend this pattern. Believe me, you will not be afraid of sewing jeans anymore! This is a mission accomplished! Thank you very much Angela Wolf, I learned a lot using your pattern and your website!

~ Gabby ~

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bilingual: Mujeres en Acción/Women in Action



 “Mujeres en Acción” es una propuesta a todas aquellas mujeres latinas con múltiples objetivos. Mujeres en Acción será en un principio un espacio de encuentro o simplemente artículos para la declaración de sentimientos Hispanos. Un escenario para expresar opiniones o simplemente pensamientos concernientes a mujeres procedentes de países latinoamericanos en Estados Unidos.

  
En 1990 inicié mi trabajo con la organización alemana de cooperación técnica internacional, más conocida como GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, GIZ. Esta reconocida organización del Gobierno Alemán posee oficinas en diferentes países en via de desarrollo, y promueve proyectos de cooperación internacional para apoyar el crecimiento de grupos o sociedades menos favorecidas.
Uno de los proyectos en los que felizmente participé fue Equidad de Género, y cuando hablamos de Género en proyectos de equidad no nos referimos a la igualdad de mujeres y hombres pero sí a una igualdad de oportunidades para nuestro desarrollo. Sin embargo hay importantes consideraciones como el hecho de que las mujeres poseemos una marcada tendencia a la creatividad.



En lo concerniente a la mujer latina se evidencia una capacidad para trabajar sin límites en producción de objetos, ideas, y/o procesos utilizando herramientas y elementos tanto naturales como industrialmente procesados, combinando el uso de antiguos procesos de productividad y modernas tecnologías.
 
Para la mujer latina no hay paradigmas, sinembargo urge la necesidad de apoyo por parte de la sociedad (más mujeres) para poner nuestras creaciones al alcance del mundo para poner en manos de mujeres artistas elementos que faciliten la ejecució de sus ideas. Miles de latinas emprendedoras viven en Estados Unidos, trabajado por su cuenta muchas otras estan desaprovechando oportunidades por falta de información. 
Eva Mendes, Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek y Jennifer Lopez 
Ellas representan un ejemplo de nuestra belleza y talentos!! 
En el año 2000 me trasladé a Londres, Reino Unido. Allí me ví obligada a cambiar mi carrera e iniciar un nuevo curso de acción para mi vida que se mantuvo estable hasta hace 3 años cuando  felizmente me pude radicar en Estados Unicos, con nuevos proyectos pero igualmente productiva como toda latina!. En los lugares de  trabajo y sitios en donde he vivido siempre he encontrado apoyo y confort en la hermandad latina. Hoy, deseo seguir aprendiendo de mis hermanas latinas. Promover la unidad y disfrutar de nuestra compañía. 
En éste espacio espero ponerme en contacto con mujeres que deseen cambiar su propio mundo en cuanto al placer de diseñar (moda, artículos decorativos, accesorios, etc) o por el solo deseo de crear, hacer arte, entretenerse o con propósitos empresariales.
Mi corrreo electrónico es gabby@fabricmartfabrics.com, comentarios, ideas, opiniones, especialemnte necesidades serán escuchados. Mi madre dice, “Una sola golondrina no hace verano!!”

Un abrazo a mis hermanas Latinoamericanas y recuerden asi este nevando la alegria y disposición activa del vernano emana por nuestra piel.
~Gabriela (Gabby) ~


This blog post can be our own Women in Action space where Latin American women can meet to express their opinions and thoughts about Spanish women living in the USA. Let me tell you about myself.
In 1990 I worked for the non-profit, international organization GIZ, known as Gessellschaft für die Internationale Zusammenarbet. This is a German Government-owned organization with offices in different countries that help groups of people in need.
Gender Equality was one of the projects I most enjoyed. In the year 2000 I moved to London, UK. There I had to change my career and become stable in that work until I happily decided 3 years ago to move to the USA and settle down. Wherever I live and work, I always find a Latin American sisterhood  to help and comfort me. I came to America feeling passionate about uniting and creating fellowship among other Latin American women.
I have found that Latin American women use different kinds of resources, including natural and man-made resources to produce, transform and adapt old processes. For example, we do not pay much attention to fashion trends here. We often create our own styles. By doing this we need the support of other women to help and support us when designing and creating. There are thousands of Latin American women living in the USA that work by themselves and in result lose opportunities.

I hope to get in contact with women that want to change their world becoming designers (fashion, accessories, etc), or just for the sake of making art a hobby or for commercial purposes.
My email is gabby@fabricmartfabrics.com. You may ask me your questions about our materials and sewing projects. My mother use to say: One swallow doesn’t make a summer!”
A big hug for all my Latin American sisters. Keep it in mind that even when it is snowing the summer happiness comes out through our skin!
~  Gabriela (Gabby) ~


Thursday, August 8, 2013

DIY Tutorial: Permanent Marker T-Shirt Transfer


Well, this would be the end of small activities with LilG. Soon she will be back to school, so we are getting ready for this coming school year.

We already bought some new school clothes, however she wanted to personalize some of the pieces. She used a white v-neck shirt to transfer a faded white tiger, her favorite animal, onto it. She is crazy about them!

She searched the internet for white tiger images, she chose the one she liked most, which was a very difficult task considering she likes all of them.


She printed the image on normal paper and traced it with sharpie colored markers.


She cut the shirt’s sleeves and placed cloth in between the layers to prevent the image from being transferred to the back.



She then placed the image upside down on the shirt’s face and sprayed it with rubbing alcohol. Carefully using the iron she pressed the paper with her design, spraying repeatedly and allowing time for the ink to be transferred onto the shirt and pressing again.


Once checking the image was transferred, she used glow in the dark paint and glitter to give it a sparkly neon finish.


Her shirt, glows in the dark and looks amazing! I sewed lace sleeves onto it and here it is, her own finished project. We will not forget this summer of fun projects!

~ Gabby ~

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Resource Library: Area Fairs and Farm Shows.

It is Fair Season here and I am super excited! 

When I first learned how to sew I entered my projects into the Lebanon Area Fair each year. I would search the pages of the fair book to find the maximum amount of crafts I could make to enter. I needed to have all of my bases covered! My mom and I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning the day before I had to submit my final entries. I could not wait to get to the fair the following day to see what awards my projects won!

Did you know that fairs are not just for kids?
Adults can enter too! 
So last year I did just that! I entered a few of my sewing projects and drawings. 
And just like I did when I was little, I ran to the fair the next day to see what prize ribbons hung from my garments.

Over the years of sewing and entering my projects I have received a lot of feedback on my work. 
The judges often write little notes on the back of your prize cards to tell you what they liked about your work and what you could have improved. 


Here are a few things that your garments might be judged on:

Creativity: How is your project unique and inspiring? Did you try something new?

Craftsmanship: How well is your project executed? Did you manage your time well and complete your project? Did you finish all of your seams and hand sewing? Does it look well made and polished? 

Difficulty: Did you challenge yourself with the project? Did you opt for a dress with sleeves and fit over a shapeless smock with straps?

Suitability: Did you use appropriate fabric for your pattern? If more than one piece, do they work well together? Does it look natural or forced? 

Attractiveness: Most of the time garments will be judged on hangers. Therefore you will have to think about how your piece looks on a hanger. Does it look sad and lifeless? Or does it look fun and vibrant? Would you pick your dress out in a store to buy just seeing it on a hanger? 

If you have a chance to model your piece, make sure that it fits well! Some fairs allow you to share photos of your garment. Consider taking some nice photos of yourself in the garment to show its fit if it will only be judged on the hanger. Or maybe some photos of different ways to style your pieces. Don't get carried away though. Judges only have a few minutes to spend in each category and will not have time to look through a scrapbook of images of you wearing your suit. Keep it to one or two images.



The fair is about having fun! 
So even if you don't win and you think that the dress that won over you is ugly and you wouldn't wear it bed, do not fret about it! 
Sure there are things you could probably work on to make it better next time. Or maybe you can enter that item into another local fair and try to win a better prize. But don't get discouraged. Remember, there are people judging the work and everyone has a different opinion.
So just because the conservative women at one fair don't understand your colorblocking does not mean that a different group of judges at another fair will not think it is fresh and modern.


Why should you enter your pieces into local fairs? 
Entering your garments into a fair is fun competition. You get to receive feedback on your work from other seamstresses.You can see what others did with the same challenge and get inspired. You can challenge yourself to become better or try harder projects. Maybe do more projects or different categories. And you can win prizes! I mean, everyone likes prizes. 


Didn't get a chance to enter any fairs this season? 
Don't worry! There is always next year! Go visit your area fair and see what categories they have to offer. Look at which projects won and try to be the judge and determine why one skirt won over the other skirt.
Get inspired! You can begin planning your projects for next year!

Not sure how to find out about local fairs near you? Keep an eye out for them in your local newspaper and merchandiser. Or try looking online by searching for area fairs or farm shows.

-Kaitlin

Friday, August 2, 2013

Help Our Buyers Shop!


Comment on this post with what you are looking for right now and our buyers will seek it out!
 I am craving wool gabardines and ponte knits in fun autumn colors.
What about you?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monthly Wrap-up: July!

Wow, summer is flying by! Can you believe we are already in August? We had a lot of fun on the blog in the month of July, especially because it was our one year anniversary! Here's a recap of the month.

During the first week in July we celebrated our one-year anniversary of the blog! We celebrated with you by offering three prize packs. View the prize packs and winner's names now!




Our viewers loved the Stitched Fabric Card Tutorial. It's a great way to use your fabric scraps and send a nice note to someone!



When it's scorching outside, sometimes it's best to stay in the air conditioning! Gabby shared with us a project her and her daughter worked on together during one of our HOT summer days -- Fabric Flowers! (Another great project for fabric scraps.)



We finished off the month with a Flip Flip Pillow Tutorial made from printed cotton fabric. Awesome project for a beach house, teen's room or just for fun!

Did you have a favorite post from July?