Monday, May 31, 2010

Pattern organising and next projects

The jacket I've been making for weeks shall not be mentioned!   Oh dear..... so... so not going well.   My sewing form is really off of late.   I'll post some pics of the jacket when I'm not quite so despondent about it.  It wasn't looking so great on the dressform and then when I tried it on .... oh dear!  How can one jacket highlight every single bad body feature? 

Until I work up the courage to start something new, it is back to basics - organising my patterns!  At the moment I have piles of pattern mags and plastic storage boxes of patterns and can't find a thing.  Nothing scientific in the organising method - I'm copying the pics and yardage details on the printer and putting them in plastic envelopes in a ring binder.  Voila!

While I'm at it, I'm planning what to make next and what to make when my long service leave starts (31 days to go....... but am I counting?).  I've never tried a a Sewing With a Plan (SWAP) wardrobe, but may try one - or actually 2.   Don't think I'd try entering into a SWAP competition as I'd just end up stressing, but the concept sounds great.  From what I understand, a standard SWAP wardrobe is 11 items:
  • 6 tops
  • 4 bottoms
  • 1 other of your choice.
The themes I am thinking of are:
  • A wardrobe of urban casuals (e.g. cargo pants, t shirts and easy to wear but funky clothes).  Currently I have work clothes and ... ummm work clothes. 
  • A wardrobe of dressier clothes made from Vera Wang fabrics.  I bought a ton of Vera Wang fabrics from and haven't made anything out of them yet, though they go together beautifully. 
Meanwhile, I've come across a couple of things I'd like to make next.   I will be making a MUSLIN first given my current crap sewing form!  The first, this cute jacket from Burda - Style 107 of December 2009.

 Or this great coat from Knipmode last year......

Though the Knipmode coat looks a little daunting fitting wise - turning this into a coat for a short person may be a bit of a task.  I'm leaning towards the black Burda jacket given my current lack of form.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The world's most expensive dachshund

It is a cold and rainy night tonight - and I am alone! Which means a bit of sewing time! Bliss...

Back to Vogue 1143 which has been on hiatus while I found the requisite buckle - with no prong and wide enough for a 5cm belt.  I came across this Australian vintage site Button Bower.  Haven't tried ordering from them yet but how cute is the 1940s buckle below?   They didn't have anything wide enough for this jacket, though, so I ended up at Les Bon Ribbon in the US - heaps of different kinds and styles.

These 3 beauties arrived this week.  I'll be using the round black one as it is the best size on the jacket.  The square one is my fave but it's a tiny bit too squeezy for the belt.

In case you were wondering why the heading of this post is referring to dachshunds - I was just looking at the Netaporter site, and came across this... A dachshund clutch bag!   For a mere snip at 4123 POUNDS!  BUT WHY... WHY??   I point out I have nothing against real life dachshunds whatsoever!  I recommend a close up squizz at the detail on netaporter.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Patrones 291 Blouse

Back home and have finished the blouse from the Spanish pattern magazine - Patrones (#291).  I wasn't that keen on this blouse when I first made it as it looked a bit like I had sewn the top and bottom of two separate blouses together .  See the photos from my earlier posts on this and you may see what I mean.  However, washing has done the trick - the fabric has softened up a bit and it all sits better.    

This is a mandarin collar blouse with front bib with curved seam and pleats.   The basic steps for making are set out in my earlier posts.

It has a lot of hanger appeal and looks good on the dress form.  Not quite so great on me but I will be wearing it to work.  It would probably look best on slimmer, less curvy body types (doesn't everything?).  I'm not sure the design lines are the most flattering for a rectangle like me as the curved seam goes horizontally across the mid part of the body and tends to make my waist look wider than it already is.

The top on me - it is a dark, rainy day and this unfortunately was the best pic I could get with the aid a bit of photo lightening.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Iphones, Fabric Stash and Kununurra

Yesterday was my birthday and I got an Iphone!  I'm ecstatic.  I'm still on the basics at the moment, but I've been thinking of all the wonderful and useful applications that I can download to make my life one of order and calm versus my usual state of disorganisation... (I can dream!).

So now being a lucky Iphone owner myself - whilst having my morning coffee and browsing through my list of favourite sites I came across this Threads article.  The Iphone application for me!  A mate of mine with a fabulous wardrobe has her fave - Touch Closet. Is this the fabric version of Touch Closet?  iPod App Tracks Your Fabric Stash - Threads  Posted using ShareThis

I'm not generally a hoarder - unless it comes to fabric. A couple of years ago I sent a huge amount to the Op Shop, only to acquire even more than I got rid of.  Boxes and bags of fabric were stuffed into cupboards until they were bursting.  As I couldn't find anything at all, I finally spent weekends going through every piece and setting up an index card system. I have a card for each piece of fabric with a swatch, length, width, where I bought it where it is in my house and what it is made of. 

I doubt Fabric Stash can replace being able to feel and compare swatches, but hey, it looks fab. A lot more portable. Wonder what other sewing wonders Iphone applications has to offer....

Otherwise, still on my work trip in Kununurra and having a great time.  Kununurra is, by the way, at the very north of Western Australia, near the Northern Territory border. The countryside around here is spectacular, and incidentally is where quite a bit of the Nicole Kidman / Hugh Jackman movie Australia was filmed (minus the special effect kangaroos).

Kununurra is also approximately 3206 kilometres away from my sewing machine!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One Patrones top at high speed

Drum roll.... just (sort of) finished my top from the latest Patrones mag (#291).   Off on a work trip tomorrow and wanted to finish it off before I went.   The sewing was a bit rushed and may tweak this top some more after a few days consideration.   

No more sewing until Sunday.  As I'll be mooching around a hotel for much of the time until then I did momentarily think of taking some fabric and patterns with me for cutting out in the hotel room but thought better of it as -
 a.  Maybe a tad obsessive.
b.  I still remember having to unpack my entire suitcase at the airport counter (oh, the embarrassment!) when I was asked if I was carrying any scissors in my luggage - and confessed to having a pair of nail scissors.   Wonder what they would make of a pair of sewing shears?

Now, the top: 

My limited photography skills aren't quite up to decent photos of a shiny fabric like charmeuse under a light globe so a daylight photo of it worn is yet to come.   

This top is not at all difficult to make.  It is a standard shirt construction, apart from the curved front seam.   Speaking of that seam - it needs something... maybe topstitching... . 

I did take quite a bit off the sides (1.5 cm) and shaped them in a bit over the waist.  The top, made according to the pattern has straight sides and is very boxy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday for sewing

My blouse is underway and I have a blissful evening of nothing but sewing ahead of me - so hoping to actually finish it tonight.   Thus far I have made the bib, attached it to the rest of the front and then sewed the shoulder seams, the latter two steps with french seams.  


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Patrones No. 291 Model 23

A quick project to hopefully get myself re-motivated - Patrones No. 291 Model 23, traced and cut out last night and ready to go. The fabric is a very dark blue silk charmeuse from my hoard. The style looks relatively simple so far.  Cross my fingers for sewing it up tonight or Saturday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The sewing force is not with me

A couple of months ago I had a great run of clothes making - I had a bit of time, everything I picked to make turned out ok and I ended up with a nice little selection of clothes that I loved.  That was then....  I'm now having a bit of a sewing lull.  Ho hum....

This is due to not having much time to sew and my head being full of work at the moment.   But freedom is coming!  One of the reasons I started this blog is that I will shortly be taking 6 months long service leave - OH YES!!!   How much sewing time will I have then!  The countdown is on and if I can survive what at the moment feels like doing 6 months work in advance, freedom will be mine on 1 July.

I did pick up the jacket on Friday but am procrastinating as I have got to fix up something tricky.  One corner of the gusset has a small hole where it was clipped but the fabric is fraying.   I am also using the excuse that my buckle hasn't yet come from overseas.  

Why I know my sewing inspiration has temporarily departed is that I tried a couple of 'quick' projects whilst I avoided the jacket and both were disasters.  One was an Anna Sui dress pattern, but as a top - Vogue 1177.  I was a bit doubtful about this one as whilst I love Anna Sui patterns, they always look kind of wrong on me.  

The first and major problem was my fabric choice - a pale pink crepe de chine.  Bad, bad idea - it looks like a bedjacket!  Believe me, it looks much nicer on the dressform than in real life - and you can't see how see thru it is in the pic. I am not a frilly, boho kind of chick - and this is definitely a frilly, boho kind of top, particularly in this colour.  Totally not me. 

The pattern could be really nice on the right person (just not me).  I'm not sure if I would make it again, unless as a casual summer top with jeans.   It would look better without the bottom band and the tie - they take it over the top frillyness wise.  Those could be easily left off and the top merely hemmed.  It would need to be lengthened though, as I am short and this top would be too short to hem as is. I can't imagine how short this is as a dress.

To add to my feeling of doom about this top, it took ages to make -  those pintucks.....  AND I made a huge mistake.  The pleats are meant to sit flat and folded over.  I must have sewed the seam on the pleats too low as after the basting was removed and I washed the top, some of the pleats undid themselves.  I was thinking of dying it black as a rescue mission but I would have to take apart and resew half the garment to fix this.   Hence... this top is sadly destined for the bin. 

On a much happier note my overdue Patrones No. 291 turned up.   Patrones used to have 2 front pages showing all the styles in the issue but it has mysteriously disappeared this time around.  This is the Fiesta issue which means lots of dresses.  There are some gorgeous styles, but mostly on the skimpy and flesh baring side and I'm a bit too long in the tooth to get away with most.   The pattern that has most taken my eye is this asymmetric blouse.  Maybe in navy silk charmeuse, for wearing with narrow black trousers and heels?

This ruffled blouse is nice but I note that it is double layered fabric.  Don't know who the designer is but the last Fiesta volume had a couple of tops that had an almost identical shell and structure - must be the same brand.  After my difficulty with the previous double layered one (the neck was just wrong), I'll put this on the 'maybe but doubtful' list.

There are some utterly fabulous dresses.  I love them but can't quite imagine them on my body type - they are very 'hourglass'.  This green one is great - love that neckline, but ahem, it must be small as the model looks like she has squeezed into it.  I also love this blue dress but I don't have a waist really which I think would be necessary.   I also love the neckline of the patterned dress at the bottom, in fact the whole dress.


Roll on July 1st!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blog post number one!

My first post on my first blog!

I'm starting this blog as I am a sewing obsessive, who knows very few other people who sew. Here I can chat about my sewing projects, my fashion loves and other fun things without having to bore my non sewing friends too much!

Things have been a bit unproductive on the sewing front in the last couple of weeks, work and social things getting between me and the sewing machine.  My current project is also one that takes a while to make - a jacket, namely Vogue 1143, in a very nice Marc Jacobs wool/rayon/lycra from Emma One Sock.  Vogue 1143.

It has been a couple of years since I last made a tailored jacket and I'd forgotten how much work and time is involved. This started off well enough but progress has been slow since as I have had a few 'issues' with it - mainly the fit under the arms plus the interfacing is a bit dodgy. A buckle is also integral to this design and, as I have discoved I live in the buckle desert of the world, I am waiting on the arrival of one from overseas. Hopefully I'll get my jacket mojo back over the weekend and do some more work on it.

This is how far I have got so far - the jacket is sitting forlornly on my dress form.