Thursday, July 2, 2015

What feeds me?

I have been spending some time in the sweat shop this past few weeks which has been fun and productive! 

It makes me laugh as it is a hobby I screw up in ALL the time. I would like to blame my "Bag Therapy" but I am pretty sure its just excitement, stubborn headed and multi tasking that leads me astray.

It is pretty exciting to actually wear what I create and even more exciting when my beautiful gives her stamp of approval and sports a CaMel creation. 

The beauty of this recent stitching spree is that I am feeling more and more inspired. Renewing a drive within that has been silent for a while. 

Bit by bit my life gets even more outstanding. 

I am grateful I have the ability to appreciate what I have been given.

Even more so for 'feeling' worthy of it!

Thank you Universe.. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer = Sweatshop = AWESOME

So it has been a while since my last installment here. It certainly isn't because we have not been sewing but more so because we have been busy creating, camping and living!

Before our camping adventure we set our sights on making shorts and tank tops from the recipes we had altered.

I have to give Prey credit as she is the most amazing pattern maker and material cutter anywhere.  We had a bit of a problem tho as her back was killing her when she was cutting as we only had our big coffee table. We spoke about raising it up for a few months and finally with the help of the google I found a solution that worked and only cost us $14.00. I used a 4" pvc pipe which fits perfectly over the existing legs and brings Preys table up to a height that I hope will hurt her back less cuz I totally need her to cut and alter recipes for me. She is Brilliant!

We really worked at creating some awesome tank tops from different weights and styles of jersey.  I like my tank tops long so they cover my belly but we have decided that there is a point where we go too long and I look like I am in a little dress. I don't mind dresses but the more material covering my butt on a hot summer day is not the answer to a cool and collected CaMel!!

 We also made some shorts with elastic waists as well as some with pockets and zippers. 
We worked from two different recipes and found a great one that we believe will be our go to for the shorts as we can alter it to make the capris. 
These capris have been known to morph into some cute as heck ruffle bottom pants that have proved to be one of Preys most favorite things.

We have also worked on a few dresses. One that actually fit Prey. Its such a learning process. We discovered the crap part of trying to put a waistband into a pattern material and how if you don't match it up properly it looks like ass. 
What that means is Prey's new dress needs some alterations. I have decided to omit the entire waistband in hopes that if I do some elastic fortified lines in the top of the skirt the dress will be awesome. I got this idea from a dress we got Prey from a store and if it works like I think I will be using this method on future dresses of this nature. This dress has been super popular with our friends. I have made three and two of those have been sold, worn and loved!!  That is a WIN!

Random Waldo pictures .. He is always hanging out when I am sewing.

In trying to expand my experience and learn how things go together I decided to make myself another backpack. You see this CaMel does not carry a purse. I usually have pants or shorts with huge pockets but it seems with these new elastic awesome shorts I need a pack as we have not added pockets to them. 

I carry a moose backpack usually but wanted some variety in my life! 

Prey went into the storage unit and got out her box of stuffies she had saved for gosh knows what. We rescued a adorable orange hippo that was soon to go under the knife.
It took a day but I did it. I didn't make the zipper long enough so its a little more difficult to get my crap in her belly but it works wonderful!
I have done this too small hole situation before in a pair of shorts whose pocket I made pretty small. There is no grabbing anything quick from that pocket just like my new hippo!

It was a lot of fun to create her and I will do more. 
If someone has a favorite stuffy they want made into a cute backpack I am your CaMel!!

I am really proud to be wearing our own designs on a daily. Its been quite rewarding to hear peoples shock when they learn we have made this ourselves. 

The reason I started sewing was two fold.. to create clothes that fit and to get good enough to sell to our friends and suppliement my work from home income.

We have decided to start a little group to showcase what we are making in case someone wants something. I know we cant compete with the walmarts of the world but we can do clothes that are made to order. That fit people properly and are not the same as everyone else has access too!
Our prices will reflect this homemade aspect but we will try to remain fair as we totally understand the cost of clothes. 

We also have come across some wicked plus size dresses that we want to start to bring in for our friends. They are super cute and not so expensive. I imagine in time we could make these designs but it is going to be harder for us to find the amazing materials that these come in!  

We will be doing most of our advertising and selling online. We are going to set up a facebook group where we will post pictures of what we have in stock or can make and people can order from there. It will be a closed group but we will encourage people to have their friends join so we can reach only those interested in what we offer.

We are working on some pictures.. the hardest part of this entire thing as neither of us really like to take our picture! We need to model what we have made to post to the group as these lame pictures I take for the blog simply don't cut it!

I am hoping to have the group up and running by next week so we can start inviting folks and hopefully taking some orders.

I love this sewing gig.. it has such great potential in so many areas! I am so grateful that we can work together on this, even tho at times it makes us so frustrated and cranky! It always works itself out and in the end we usually have something awesome to show for our troubles.

With fall coming we are changing our focus to yoga pants, comfy big leg pants, pretty girl shirts, jeans and some hoodies!  

I can imagine there might be some fun times ahead!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lay, pin, cut, pin, Iron, pin, sew, iron, pin......... take apart and start again!!

You know when you set forth to create a shitload of things it can be rather overwhelming and rewarding all in one. 

We decided we needed to make tank tops and shorts and a pair of pants for our upcoming trip to Mexico. 

This would have been pretty easy had it not been for the passing of my father and the following trip to Nova Scotia that would take up some of the time we had allotted for the hefty menu of items. 

Dads memorial also added to said menu the need for appropriate pants and shirt. Now granted I did have a few weeks to prepare for that and after all was said and done I did manage, with the help of my beautiful Scissor happy Prey ( she has taken on the job of cutter and pattern creator!) to create some really nice black pants and an impressive first try at a button up boy shirt. 

So after these clothes were created and a very very very long drive to Nova Scotia and back we were once again sitting in the "Sweatshop" cutting and sewing!!

I am unsure if I ever mentioned the EPIC trip to Lens Mills where we spent hours.. and I mean hours of frustrating and again rewarding shopping for the materials that would be what everyone see's us sporting all summer long.

We got t-shirt material for tank tops, linen for shorts and pants, some really cute skull stuff for dresses for Prey. It was pretty overwhelming but in the end has already proven to have saved us tons by not having to buy the clothes we are wearing!

Now we have learned a few things in the creation of tank tops. The most important has been bias tape. Its a bit of a racket but when you actually figure it out its pretty simple. Prey has spent hours cutting and ironing bias tape for all the different colors of t-shirt material we got. Upon returning from Mexico we have discovered a youtube video that has showed us some great tips and tricks and will make all bias tape situations easier from this moment forth!! 

I have made a pattern for pants from an existing one I made shorts from earlier on.  It seems I think I am fatter then I actually am! Which in my mind is wonderful but in reality is a pain in the ass when I create AWESOME shorts and pants that are about two sizes too big in the waist. The pants I made for my dads deal I had to put pleats in the front to make them fit. When it came time to make the shorts and pants for MExico I thought I had taken enough off the waist to make them fit but apparently I have not. 

So I have some lovely linen pants and shorts that I believe I am going to put for sale as  it might be too much work to alter them .. I am going to ask the great and wise "Oma" what her advice is as I am thinking I could just take them in at the butt and avoid removing pockets etc. But if I can't do that they will grace the bottom of someone I love.. I can hope anyways.. Or i will just continue to wear them with a belt and all folded up at the top. 
I also might have sewed the zipper in the linen pants backwards and you have to zip them up from the inside!
I actually did it to both of them but managed to catch my mistake before finalizing the shorts and changed it up.

I need in the future to remove at least a inch to two from the waist and at least another inch from the top.  I will refer to this post before embarking on more shorts.

We made two different styles of tank tops in a few different patterns and materials. I believe in the end we made about 8 of them. 

Then we ran back to fabricland a few days before we left and got some material to make prey a cute summer dress and me a cover up for the bathing suit. 

This little dress was so simple. The material was already smushed up at the top and all I did was zip up the side and add a hem. Now we had originally planned to add shoulder straps to it but changed our mind. The material was kinda expensive but I imagine it will go on sale eventually and we will get more of it. 

 The coverup I created from discount fabric and I LOVE it.. I might if I make more shorten the arms and make it a smidge shorter but really its wonderful and flowy. It makes me feel sexy, like a girl should!

It has a belt that goes with it but I prefered to wear it without. The sleeves got in the way when trying to reach for things. Careful over candles!!  ;o)

The material was easier to sew then I thought it would be. I got to put the petal to the carpet on the lonnnnng hems. Another experience with button holes and making belts which both turned out great. I did tho in my excitement to be done with it forgot to sew up the one end of the belt and ended up in Mexico with it undone. I just tied a knot around both of the ends and it looked great.  But again.. lol I didn't end up using the belt I felt it cut me off and looked silly! 

I can make these for my friends easily!! 

Now you might be asking yourself, What really happened while you created your new clothes?

I understand why  you would be pondering this and will not disappoint you.

I will admit there were a few situations per se that came up as we put all this stuff together. 

The best.. I mean best.. involved a pair of shorts, a home made pattern and a really short CaMel creating them!
*Smiles sheepishly*

So settle in and get ready for a little giggle!!

Up to the point of making shorts for this adventure I had only put together a few pairs of pants. Both of them from the same home made pattern I had created a month or so ago. 
I am very lucky and have someone that loves cutting out my stuff so I went ahead and made the adjustments to the pattern I thought necessary to make the waist smaller and to mark and fold the area where the pants would now become shorts! 
Prey did an awesome job of cutting them out for me. All the pieces for pockets and zippers, waistbands and of course the main front and back panels.
The material has a pattern and also a front and back. I have a hard time sometimes figuring out the difference and this was no different. I had my friend Nyx and Prey help me figure out the right side of the fabric and off I went to create the shorts. 
After attaching a pockets I started to actually put the shorts together. Outside seams were not a issue. Then it came time to put it all together and I realized that there was a discrepancy.  When I went to match the inner seams the material was longer than it was supposed to be. 
I couldn't figure it out so I did what any frustrated sewer would do and sewed the darn things up.. then tried to sew the bum part and immediately saw there was a flaw in the system!

The shorts had a tail, like a duck!!! 

They are not right.. I can not have a tail. At least not a tail in the shorts I need to take with me to Mexico. Immediatly I begin to panic thinking I did something wrong with the pattern.. or perhaps I have sewn them together right side wrong.
We are both tired and stressed out as we have been so focused on getting stuff done and have had so many distractions and small setbacks! 
We put the shorts on inside out and pin them in a fashion that tucks the tail in. I baste that and try them on and realize there is no way they will be able to work like that.

Frustrated we put them aside.. unsure of what the hell has happened but needing to move on to other projects. 
The next day I am sitting going over the pattern, holding up the shorts and wondering still what the hell happened when the light went on in my head. I was sad to loose the fabric as it was some of that which we spent so long hunting for in toronto. 
I realized at that moment that the distance between my butt and waist is almost equal to the distance from my butt to my knee and I have sewn the back panels of the shorts on upside down!! 

So with the help of my wonderful friend Nyx, who sat and took apart the shorts and the encouragement of the team, I managed to put the shorts together again. This time I omitted the bottom pockets and back pockets. Both of which were on the first pair and they were done! 

I have to say these are some of my favorite shorts now! They are cool and flowy. 

One of Preys pet peeves is to see pocket gap!! 
So I had to install little velcro pieces to the pockets so they would not bulge open when I sit.  Its a bit of a pain in the ass to have that there as I try to shove my hands in my pockets but if it makes her happy I will adjust! 

I am sad I did not take pictures of the duck shorts. They were funny as hell.  It seems tho my sense of humor at the time was not with me and I did not want to document such a great screw up.

Now.. I know to take pictures of everything. You would not believe the "AWRY" that exists within our world.

A Sense of Humor is required on this Ryde!! 

When all was said and done.. before we finally left  (I say finally because we went to the airport a day early all ready to go to Mexico only to find out we were a day early as we tried to check in!!)  (AWRY)!!!

We made a few sets of poi and cut out some to sew when we returned 

And on the day we were supposed to leave we came home and made a dress.. I forgot to take a picture of it and ended up selling it to a friend yesterday. When she gives me a picture I will post it here. Its really pretty and the second attempt at a great pattern we made a few months ago in a really slippery pain in the ass material. That dress I sold yesterday as well .

I look forward to seeing both of my sexy friends sporting clothes that came from the Sweatshop!! 

It is still fun and even more so now because Prey is so very involved. It makes it easier to accomplish a lot of things in a short amount of time. Its also fun to try to create new patterns for things we really need. 

Things might be a bit slower now as I embark on a new adventure that will see me going outside of the house for a lot of hours a week. 

We have plans to create more poi, scrubs and more tank tops. We have ideas of ways to adjust those tops into sweet sexy dresses so we will be testing that out in the next while.

We also were given some amazing patterns from a friend of ours a few weeks ago. There are some fantastic retro dresses in the pile we are dying to create.

My Aunt from the states sent me a care package that included some patterns. I was thrilled and hope to have my Bear over with the baby and make him some of the little bears from one of the patterns. 

I am super stoked to make some more stuff. Wish more of it would fit us but that will come in time. Prey puts a lot of time into research so I know we will figure it all out eventually. 

 So that is that.. an update of our adventures in the Sweatshop. Its been one heck of a month ish.  In the end I believe we both feel pretty darn proud of ourselves for being able to accomplish so much and have it look good and be functional! 

We are now looking for baby boy patterns which are hard to find. It seems the lil fellas only wear pants and shirts that there are not so many variations of. I forsee a lot of little costumes in my future. Starting with  a few Dragon tails I want to make for my little guys!! 

We are having far too much fun!!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The creation of the Sweatshop!!

 This past weekend was essay weekend.. 
It was also the weekend where we created what we now fondly refer to as the Sweatshop!

I have been making clothes and been frustrated that the only thing Prey can wear is the scrubs I made. I wanted to make her something that fit and brought a smile to her face before I set forth to make myself some clothes to take to my fathers memorial. 

Prey was writing her essay for school and I was asked to help. Which entailed my sitting with her spouting off words and sentences in hopes something would be useful for her.  As I was doing that I was also working in the sweatshop on a skirt for her. 

She has been interested in also learning to sew and has made some panties I will post pics of them here soon to show off!

So like I said my Prey likes to help out. She has taken to the cutting which I love as I am not so fond of that part! We cut out the material to test out a new pattern and off I went to create it for her.  It went together wonderfully and I was so thrilled to have her try it on and it fit. I used a material I had gotten from the bargain bin (my fav place in the fabric store) and it looks great on her!! Certainly a bonus as she will wear the skirt and the pattern was awesome. I might want to add another panel in the skirt to increase the flowy factor for her. What girl doesn't want to twirl and have her skirt flutter around her! 

Next up was the dress. We had gotten the wrong sized pattern long ago and I replaced it with the right size one. I used material I had rescued from value village for $5. My sexy assistant helped me cut it out and commented how difficult this material was to get straight lines!! I knew I was taking a chance with this material as it was that slippery stretchy stuff I had read was really hard to sew. After spending time sewing and cursing and sewing and cursing some more I managed to pull off a somewhat successful dress. It fits her ok.. I am going to take out the waistband entirely or shrink it in half when i make the dress again. I am going to get something a little less slippery so I can redo it as I am not happy with this end result. I found the trim around the neckline a pain in the ass but other then that I figured it all out and am confident we can add this to our summer clothing.

The completion of the essay saw my poor girl spent!! Her poor brain didn't want to focus anymore and she asked if we could make another skirt on her downtime. 

Who am I to say no we can't sew!! lol .. We decided we would risk using good material for what looked like a straightforward circle skirt. 

 Prey cut out the pattern adding a little extra so we could increase the size. I started to sew. I got to the waistband part and asked her to try it on. It didn't fit and we pouted a bit.   After checking it out further we decided we could omit said waistband and just add in an elastic and wanno she would have her skirt! 

That rescue saved my ass as that material was sweet and I would have been so sad if I ruined it! 

I did learn some good lessons with these projects. Slipper fabric sucks. I know I can get some seam tape etc to help and I might just invest in some. I have some of that stitch witchery that I could use as well! I also learned not to try to combine two steps into one. 
I learned that I don't necessarily need to measure everytime I go to make a hem. I am getting to be a pretty good judge of the folding and ironing of them!!

So now we have a few skirts and know a few patterns are going to be what we can work with. I look forward to making them all again in good material!! 

I am soooooo happy with this sewing gig. It might be one of the best things I have in my life as it feeds so many different areas within me and also gives my beautiful and I something else to do together. 

I am a lucky CaMel. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Birth of the Birthday Boxers

I am so very lucky to be surrounded by good people.  One of those folks is my buddy Brad.

I have known him I suppose close to 10 years if not longer. In that time we have not spent a great deal of time together. Really we have not shared all that many conversations that were of any deep meaning.

But we are friends, in fact I would call him my inner circle of family as I know if I ever needed anything he is just a phone call away.  I love him for that and I hope he feels that reassurance when he thinks of me!

He is a crafty fella.  I admire that quality in people and have passed a few things his way knowing he would create fun and feared toys with them. I have NEVER been disappointed !

It was his birthday a few weeks ago and I wanted to create something special for him as I know he will really appreciate it more then anything I could buy.

I have been threatening my male friends since I started sewing that I was going to make them boxers and they would have to wear them at least once so I can get a picture for my chronicles!

I had made a valiant but thwarted attempt in creating a toga out of this wonderful flowery material that happened to be preys bedsheet from when she was a kid. The story goes that she used them for years.. perhaps having an occasional "accident" in bed but I digress.

Brad is huge into recycling so when it came to choosing the material for his panties the bedsheet/failed toga was a perfect fit.

I used a pattern for shorts I had and off I went into the creation of my first pair of Boxers.

They went together way too fast as if they were excited to be being used again! The little flowers looked happy.. I can only imagine how they will feel about me after being on his ass for a day!

Either way the end result was fantastic.

We gave him them at dinner a few days before his birthday. Surrounded by our friends! He LOVED them and I have been waiting to hear if they fit since then.

I just got pictures yesterday of him modeling them and so will begin my little photo album.

Here you only get his bottom but know that he is showing off his pipes to me in the top half!!

I am so happy they fit and that they have such a great history. I suppose I should share their origin with him now that he has worn them!!


Please know I am laughing as I write this.
If it is any consolation I used the top sheet!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pants Pants Pants Pants.. Did I mention.. Pants!

Its all started with this pattern

Those damn shorts were now going to be the base pattern for a pair of pants. 
I have lofty ambitions of being able to make pants that I love. I am very fond of big wide leg jeans. The type with big pockets and a zipper!  I am not willing yet to convert to pull ups so I really need to master this whole zipper deal! I have been avoiding installing one by not finishing either one of those cute burlap dresses.   Sometimes things do come back to smack you in the keester don't they!! lol

So .. I am going to show you some pictures.. and in between those shots you can envision these CaMel moments.... 

  • I cut two pairs of pants out.. the first pair I decided was made from material that was just to thick for me to comfortably sew for my first pair. 

  • In sewing the top flap of the pockets on I acidentically attached the upper pockets to the inside of the leg.. I removed it and guess what.. did it again but not as much this time so if you were to look on the inside of the pants there might be a hunk of cut off pocket adhered!! 
  • The zipper situation was interesting. I didn't make the pattern properly and had to finagle it all by myself. It took me a bit to figure it out but in the end the zipper goes up and down. 

  • Apparently when I cut out the back legs I didn't do them straight. That makes it a little challenging when sewing it all together.

  • Both of our cats like to hang out with me when I am sewing. As you can see Kitty P is nestled between my chair and my back! She does this to Prey all the time but never to me! I was laughing and being totally pushed off my chair!

  • I need to add another inch to the bottom of my pants when making a recipe. I didn't have enough of a hem at the bottom so Prey suggested I add a cuff.. She saved the day as it makes the pants look awesome and ensures my ankles stay warm when I sit down! 

  • I need to keep in mind the pattern of material as even camo has a right way and a wrong way!  If you happen to notice my back pockets.. I meant them to be that way!
  • Basting is important as is measuring. and like the other projects I should try things on before attaching the waistband! 
  • Button holes are a wonderful thing. Automatic button hole makers seem to only work well on practice material. These pants do have a button hole that might be a little wonky but I don't expect many people to be inspecting my drawers so I am not worried about it.
I LOVE them!! 

I am really happy with how they turned out and they are FINISHED! I am going to wash them because I did not wash the material before I created them. 

It would be true CaMel spirit if they shrunk in the process!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The return of the Burlap Bag Dress..

Remember back there when I told you about making the cute burlap dress and how when we bought the pattern we didn't buy the right size. Teaching us to always check for sizes before walking out the store doors!
So we had some cute white material that felt like it would have a nice "fall" to it. the pattern was one that I couldn't screw up to much unless of course I ended up with a flower on each nipple but really what are the chances of that.

I was confident going into this project that I could create it without to many screw ups and it stood a really good chance that in the end it would fit Prey and all would be wonderful.

Off I went, cutting and ironing, recalling as I did these steps the first dress and its challenges.
I adjusted the pattern a bit as the biggest size was still a few sizes smaller then what we need. Finding a true plus size pattern is hard so adjusting them to our chunky monkey butts is my mission.

It was fun to tuddle along feeling confident of what I was doing and looking so forward to the outcome.

I get it all put together up to the point of sewing up the last side and installing the zipper.

It was time to have Prey try it on so if I needed to take it in anywhere I could do it.

Well.......  To continue with tradition the dress didn't fit. Even though I had added on the extra measurements to make the dress fit I did not take into account the BIG Boobs that my beautiful has!! lol
Now please don't think for a moment I believe said Boobs to be a nuisance. Yet as I watch the waistband pop halfway up her boob I might be a little put off~

I get right away the problem and realize how I have to fix it but I am not in any way happy about it or really feeling like removing 1000000000 stitches so I can pull it all apart and start again.

So we agreed that we were done with this dress. That it was simply to much work to yank it all apart.  It was now another project that we would come back to once I finish some of the necessary tasks I have on my list.

Then Jennie came over.. I was proudly showing off my latest projects and she grabbed the dress and put it on. It fit her .. pretty damn good to!

Turns out the dress has found itself a human!
If you note the placement of the flowers in the top.. .*Whistles*

Anyways.. I have a habit of not finishing anything.  This dress was included in that! Seems thanks to my friend I now have to spend a few hours finishing some of these projects so they can be added to her closet!

Its fun to know my friends want to wear what I create. Many of us are plus size girls. One of my inspirations is making us all clothing we can wear that is not the same as everyone elses. Giving us all options and clothes that fit us properly.

My friend adopting these items makes my heart sing.. Proving to me that accomplishing my goals will be possible.

I am grateful to everyone that is helping me make this happen.. everything from material donations, book gifting, helpful advice all so generous and so very appreciated.

I look forward to being able to create a little something for everyone.. :O)