Thursday, 24 January 2013

Anise - muslin the first

I'm working on my Anise jacket. It was supposed to come after I finish my Cambie, but I just couldn't help myself. I've been watching The Couture Dress and The Bombshell Dress courses on Craftsy and reading the Anise Companion guide from Colette, and since I bought all the supplies that I need for the jacket at the end of last year, before I knew what had happened, I was sitting there with the pieces cut out in muslin in front of me!

I've been taking my time with it, though. I want to make sure that I get a good fit. I love the fabric that I bought - a beautiful grey Lisa Ho wool from the Fabric Store - and the buttons that I got are divine. They are vintage and glossy coppery colour, with some lace-like detailing on the side, in a mint green that perfectly matches the lining. I'm a little worried they might be a little too small, proportionately, though, as they are only about 5/8 of an inch instead of the 1 inch asked for. The lining is something I'm thinking about too, as it's polyester and the more time that I spend on this project the more that I think I should invest in something nicer as a lining fabric. It seems a shame to end up with something that I'm not thrilled about...but it matches the buttons so perfectly! I will keep an eye out and hopefully I can find something the same colour in a natural fabric.

This doesn't really capture the mintiness of the lining - it's a far prettier colour in real life but does not play well in photos.
Aren't those buttons beautiful?

I've been diligently following the instructions from The Couture dress so far and marked all my stitching lines on the pattern pieces and cut widely around the pattern on the muslin. I then transferred all the markings (including stitching lines) onto the muslin and thread traced them all. It's definitely helped in putting together the muslin! I've also been better-than-normal at unpicking the areas that I'm not happy with and fixing them. It's meant that I have a much better idea of how something will look on me than I would normally.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the fit of this - apart from two obvious changes. For this first muslin I made a straight size 4. I definitely need an FBA adjustment, as it is feeling quite tight around the bust and I'd like more room there. My full bust size matches the size 4 measurements, so I'm not sure why it feels so tight.

The other change I'm going to make is to do a sway back adjustment. There is some pooling of fabric at the back and I think that will get rid of it.

I'm so keen to get started on the jacket proper, though. I have sleeve caps, shoulder pads, silk thread and beeswax ready to go! I also decided that instead of interfacing the collar, I'm going to do some pad stitching instead - I'm really excited to try this technique! And my first bound buttonholes! and my first welt pockets! I can't wait to get stuck into all this stuff. SO exciting!

The more I learn about sewing the more I love nerding out about it. If only my skill levels matched my excitement levels!! ;)

I was working on this all day on Saturday at the social sewing. I've done the FBA and swayback and am in the process of marking my new pieces and making up a new muslin. I've been busy the last few days, but hopefully I'll be able to finish muslin v2.0 this weekend!

I also have big plans for my dress to wear to Melanie's Sewcie Tea! I'm finally brave enough to cut into the beautiful fabric that The Chef brought back from the UK and have a pretty stunning pattern ready to go for that too!

Now if only I had the time and space to do more sewing!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tiramisu v2.0

So even though I haven't shown you photos of the first one, is my second Tiramisu! I'm really happy with it, as I've mentioned in my previous two posts, so I won't go on about it here. Instead I will show her in all it's glory. Thanks to Danika for taking the photos! I still haven't hemmed it, I meant to do that today at the Social Sewing day, but didn't get around to it - I was too busy working on my next project! It's a big one, and I'm pretty excited about it!

That's about right with me - no sooner have I finished one project than I'm onto the next one! But in fact the "new" one has been on the go since Christmas time, so it in fact was first!

Anyway, back to Tiramisu: I described the first one of this dress the other day as my Emperor's New Clothes dress - it feels like I'm naked in it in a socially acceptable and well put-together way. I feel elegant and pretty in it, but the dress is so comfy that I don't even notice it's on - it's the first thing I grab when I want to put something on to bum about the house, and yet I can dash out of the house and not feel daggy. It's so easy to wear both dressed up and down and I will probably make quite a few more of them! I plan on making some more in a drapey solid fabric. Can't wait!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Tiramisu sew-a-long progress report

I'm so enjoying making my second Tiramisu. I'm taking my time and it's paid off in a big way. I've pressed every seam down perfectly and finished them all with a pretty triple zigzag. My stripes are perfectly lined up and my top stitching is pretty good for a first attempt. I'm not far off finished- should be done tomorrow bar the hem. I wanted to finish it tonight but I ran out of thread. I added decorative under stitching to my pockets and used too much thread on that. Whoops. Oh well, I love the pattern, so have no regrets!
I just want to be wearing this dress already.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tiramisu sew along!

As you can see by my new badge, I'm participating in Steph C from CakePattern's sew along! I'm really excited. I made a tiramisu dress over the holidays and love it to death. I wear it so much that every time I've had a chance to take photos in it I realise that it's a bit grubby and needs a wash first.

My second tira is going to be striped too, but blues, cream, green and grey stripes. I cut it out last night and today and am all set to add the stabilisers and press the neck and arm binding, as per the day 3 tasks. Woo!

I cut the fabric on a single layer. Steph has you fold the selvages back over themselves instead of selvege to selvege. This meant that the stripes on mine would be different colours. Instead I cut one piece out, then used that piece to cut its mirror image. Time consuming, but I had an unexpected day off work today, looking after The Chef, so had time to do it properly. I knew it would be worth the extra effort now and that I would be cross with myself if I didn't make that effort.

Can't wait to finish this, but I'm being strict with myself and not letting myself get ahead of the sew along.

I have heaps more fabric leftover than I thought I would, too. I bought spare stuff in case of errors (likely with me) and to make a Renfrew. I think I have enough for another Tira! Nice!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Sewing a wardrobe

There's an interesting discussion on the Coletterie website at the moment about tracking your wardrobe using a template that Sarai has made available. It helps you to work out what gaps you have, what you have too many of, and what you're missing.

It's something that I find interesting - mostly because I don't really have many clothes at all. Looking through the template and I can see that the majority of those slots would be empty for me! That was actually one of the reasons that I took up sewing in the first place. I've hated shopping for clothes for years and really hate buying "cheap" clothing that wears apart a few times after you buy it. The other reason I hated shopping was because I always felt so frumpy. I am full busted, with a small waist and huge hips. I can never find RTW clothing that fits me and flatters the figure that I have. I'm also short, so a lot of the clothing was proportionately wrong on me too. I've never been a big reader of fashion magazines, and not having huge amounts of disposable money to spend on clothing means that I ended up saving up for a while and then doing a big splurge that I felt guilty about. And usually most of the clothes that I bought during the splurge were ones that I felt like I should buy, and not ones that I really loved or felt put together in.

In fact, that's one of the reasons that I was so focussed on sewing basics for my summer sewing plan. I'm trying to build myself a new, wearable and rotatable wardrobe that will last. I'm getting there!

It's a daunting feeling though. I can hang all my clothes (apart from tshirts etc which are folded) in a two door wardrobe, with spare room and room for my shoes to hang in a shoe rack (I desperately need more shoes, too).

My sewing plan is coming along pretty well - I haven't deviated from it too much at this stage. As I mentioned in my last post I've made 2 black renfrews and have fabric for two more (a cream one and a striped one made out of fabric from my second Tiramisu dress that I'm making in the sew-along).

My Cambie is still in the muslin stage, as is my Anise, but I'm making progress on them both!

I'll keep chugging away and eventually I'll have a wearable wardrobe!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A year that was

So 2012 was my first year of sewing. I made 8 items...

3 x Simplicity 2152 skirts - two are badly finished and the third is a little short and has some annoying puckers on the waist band
teeny tiny photo. Cute skirt, but terrible finish on the inside and the zip.

progress shot... this needs the lining taken up and the fabric crinkles like crazy. Shame - I love the combination of fabric and waist band.

my favourite of the three - this one is pretty wearable and I did a good job on the finish. Terrible Selfie, though, sorry. 

1 x Beignet - I think this is too big, it feels a bit frumpy on and I'm not sure that the shade of blue is the most flattering on me
Thanks to Rennous-oh-Glennous for the photo!

1 x Crepe - This just didn't work. The fabric was too stiff and heavy and the bodice was badly fitting. I need to take the side seams in and fix the shoulders - it makes me look like a line backer at the moment! I've taken off the facing and am going to see if using bias tape as a facing will help salvage this dress at all. Who knows?

2 x Renfrews (not pictured)- I love this pattern, but I need to take the bands off the second of these and make them (much) smaller. They aren't sitting right at the moment. I also need to take in the arms and the sides a little too. I love the pattern, though, and think that was more due to my crappy sewing techniques / learning to sew with knits than anything else.

1 x Tiramisu (blogpost to come) - I love this dress! It's not totally perfect, but it's pretty good. The bodice was a bit long for me - maybe I needed a smaller size bodice? so I took it up and now it's just a little too high. Whoops! Also, whilst I did a *pretty, pretty, pretty* good job on matching my stripes, they've stretched out a little bit in some areas. Other than that, this dress is perfect and I have barely taken it off. I have fabric ready to go for another one during the sew-a-long! Yess!

So what did I learn this year? SO much. Since these are my first 8 items ever, I'm doing pretty ok for a newbie! I'm learning a LOT and loving the process. I'm trying to not be too hard on myself and I'm getting better at learning about fit and changing patterns to fit me better. I think this will take time. If I can continue to learn and progress like I did this year, I'll be more confident about wearing my me-made-clothing out in public. Hell, if I have a few more projects as wearable as my Tiramisu dress, I'll be happy!

Plans for the new year? So many. I've got quite a few items up my sleve. I'm still working on my summer sewing plan - I've got the Cambie muslin half done, with a few alterations to go, and I'm nearly finished my muslin for my Anise jacket! Another Tira or two to come, MAYBE three. I have two more Renfrews planned - one will be a hoodie! and I want to make at least one Elisalex dress. I also have that amazing bird fabric from Kat, and I have plans for that too. So many plans!

But that's good - I've got my Sew-jo back and am excited about all these projects. I'm loving getting stuck into it all and am learning more by the day. It feels so good!