Round UP

So with the year coming to a close I have been reflecting on my newest pursuit and the second love of my life – sewing.

This year I’ve completed 17 items of clothing and one line of bunting. I also have two genuine WIPs and two truly genuine UFOs (they haven’t had any progress on them in five and two months respectively). And without further ado here’s what I’ve made: Nine dresses, four skirts, three tops and a line of bunting

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This year has been a good year for my relationship with sewing. I’ve started working full time, which has had the reverse effect to what everyone says will happen when you start full time work – I have far more spare time now than I did as a student.

In 2012 I’ve had lots of fun re-learning to sew. I’ve learnt tonnes of new terms selvage, bias binding and kimono sleeves and I’ve even learnt how to insert an invisible zipper. Being part of the blogging community has been immensely helpful with this learning too. There’s such a wealth of knowledge out there and it’s been great to be able to access all that information and experience. The sewing bloggers out there have also been incredibly supportive and encouraging – thank you!

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I started the year sewing on my grandmother’s sewing machine, and a few months ago I bought myself a Janome sewing machine. And to top it off for my birthday mum bought me an amazing Baby Lock serger

So now I, as I look into the next year I’m thinking about sewing goals for the new year. What are your New Years Sewing Goals?

The Super “Boring” Skirt That I Love

Oh yes, I have completed the third of my patterns from the big pattern splurge I had a wee while ago. This may look like a super boring skirt. Plain black. Straight. No waistband. No frills. No pockets.

BUT BEFORE I PUT YOU OFF – let me say that I love my new skirt and let me tell you why.

First – look at that luscious material! It’s 100% wool and 100% machine washable. It’s delicious and warm and has a lovely subtle sheen to it.

Secondly, I love the fit! I sewed a 12 straight of the packet even though my measurements are definately for a 14. Previously I wanted to do things ‘right’ and would always cut a 14 but I always ended up taking it in so I’ve decided that I don’t care what McCalls says I think I’m a 12 – and so far it’s working out well. The sewed the petite (short person’s) version of this pattern as I usually have to take two inches of the bottom of anythign I make! Aside from that adjustment, the only chage I made to the pattern was to install an invisible zipper instead of a normal one.

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Third, I love the pattern. I used McCall’s M5523 and made view D (the yellow one). And without further ado here’s the most exciting part of the shirt – the back (I feel a bit odd posting a photo of my backside to the internet so be kind!)

I think the pleats really make” this skirt if you know what I mean. I think they’re simple but dress the skirt up without being fusy. The material I chose doesn’t hold the pleats in place quite as firmly as I’d hoped but all the same they do stay.

Similarly to Sew Busy Lizzy this was the first project that I used a double needle on. This, along with my new serger, I think, isstarting to make my sewing look a lot more professional than when i started at the beginning of the year. In case you were interested I found this video about sewing with double needles:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m03QoutPNDU]

I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK FILLED WITH LOTS OF SEWING!

Houndstooth Skirt

I made a skirt –

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Here’s a close up:

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And the back:

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I made it using Vogue 7101 c1980 which I bought from the SPCA Op-Shop in Glen Innes. It looks a bit raggedy but it had all the pieces and hadn’t been used! This pattern only went up to a 10 so I added 1cm to either side of the front, back and pocket pieces and 4cm to the waistband. The material is a wool blend houndstooth that has a tiny bit of stretch:

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The total cost in making this skirts was around $25.00 (including material, fasteners and lining for pockets, everything else I already had so that makes it free, right?!)

This skirt was the skirt of firsts – pockets, belt loops (aka carriers!) and pleats. But the most exciting first was that I didn’t have to re-do or unpick anything – success!!

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Have you had a success story recently?

DISTRACTIONS…

So, yet again I have been distracted from my current sewing project. I’m currently making a cape (here for look) however, it seems I have been distracted by another thing I want to make. I am still making progress with my cape and promise to post a WIP update later  this week.

In the meantime let me tell you about my latest distraction – McCalls 6460

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In case I haven’t told you before (we’re all friends here right?) I’m going to a ball! I haven’t been to a ball in absolutely ages. I thought that I wanted to wear quite a simple dress that with any luck I can wear again. So here is my inspiration: 20120716-182325.jpg

Don’t Judge! Yes it’s Taylor Swift, but look at the dress, isn’t is lovely?!

Here’s a similar dress but one with a full skirt:

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Once I started googling I found that most of the images under “black lace dress” had sleeves. I orginally was going to opt for the sleeveless version but after seeing these I think I’m won over by the elbow length sleeves (like Taylor’s).

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Yes I have already bought the fabric and the pattern (danger – what if I don’t get onto this project in time and it ends up on my shelf with the copious amounts of other fabrics yet to be made up!?!?!)

I bought a black floral lace and a champaign-pinky satin to line it with. Upon reflection I’m a tad worried that this will look a bit rude. When I said I’d like something to line the dress with the shop assistant picked up some black and looking at all the photos on google they’re all lined with black too… Please tell me it won’t look rude!

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Hopefully the bodice will look something like this (above)

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And I will look something like this lady – elegant and introspective!

One last note: I despise wearing strapless bras as they are forever cutting into my ribs which is only a tad better, in my book, than being too loose. Anyway, I found this great link giving instructions on how to sew a bra into a dress, I’m definitely going to give it a go!

I’m Making a Cape!

The other day when I was choosing fabric with my sister for her birthday dress (link here) I saw these in the end of roll basket.

I know – white wool – what an extravagance!!! …and how impractical…

A long time ago I blogged about Capes, Yay or Nay? after I first fell in love with Erica’s Camel Cape. Since then I’ve seen some lovely capes that other bloggers have made. The overwheming response was that people in blogland think that capes are awesome. And who am I to argue with bloggers? (A very opinionated lot!) So I guess I’m making a cape.

I think I’ll go with the same pattern Erica used – Vogue 8776. I love that this pattern is loose fitted and has the high collar so snuggle my face into when it gets cold.

So more opinions please – shall I go with this pattern and this fabric?

Blue Dress: Finished!

Here’s a photo journey of the Blue Dress (here’s where we left off from):

I sewed the facings to the bodice:

I pinked the edges around the arm and neck holes:

I finished the side seams:

Shortened the straps by about 3 cms:

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And slip stitched the facing down:

Bodice finished:

I folded and pressed 1cm, then folded and pressed an 8cm hem.

20120626-221521.jpgPinked some more:

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HOPE YOU LIKE IT SISTER 🙂

Pattern Runway 1302

A little while ago I posted about this dress. That’s because I thought I had finished it – How wrong I was!

Let me start by saying I did not make this project easy for myself.

I decided that I wanted to make this dress out of a sheer material. This meant that I would need to line my dress, (I bought some black sheer to do this with). My master plan was to simply cut two of everything, sew the matching pieces together and then sew the dress together as usual.

However I soon discovered that my carefully cut pieces were in fact mega crooked.

But I decided to plough on and sew the pieces together anyway as I figured the dress would be loose and probably wouldn’t matter too much.

I got the dress together and was doing the finishing touches and giving the hem a final press when the electricity shorted, the iron got really hot and burnt a hole in the skirt!

*Sigh* So I removed the elastic, unpicked the skirt, cut a new skirt, sewed the sides together, attached it at the waist, attached new elastic, hemmed it and pressed it again.

And finally it’s done!

 

 

 

With this pattern I found that the top is quite loose and the skirt to be quite tight (despite having the measurements for a size S). If I was to make this again I would definately add about 3-4 inches to the width of the skirt so make it loose fitting all round and less bunchy on the bum:

 

I added a hook and eye at the top of the neck instead of a button.

Overall: I think I made it a lot more difficult for myself by choosing a sheer fabric that needed lining. However once I make the adjustment of adding a couple of inches to the width of the skirt I’ll definately be making this skirt again.

Versatile Blogger Award

Wow I’m so flattered the madebymim nominated by blog for the Versatile Blogger award. What a kind thought!

In order to accept this honour I, first, need nominate fifteen blogs that I enjoy reading. In no particular order they are:

Make MeAn Arty BlogTime and AgainEnchanted by BooksThe Vintage Design ShopWe Heart VintageRepurposed MindErica B’s DIY StyleThe Crockery Blog
Folk HavenDid You Make That?There’s A CouchStacy Sews and SchoolsJulia Bobbin and Beaspoke

And next I have to tell you all seven things about myself.

I have blue eyes, I failed my written driver’s licence the first time, I work at a charity, I have sewn five dresses and two skirts so far this year, I love swimming in the sea, I love Kiwiana (especially the really tacky kind) and my favourite colour to wear is coral.

On a side note I’m so glad to have joined the craft blogging community. Everyone is so encouraging and affirming! It’s so nice to be part of – so thanks!

Mad Men Skirt

Over the long weekend managed to whip up a skirt. I know – usually it takes me about a month to complete any piece of sewing – so yes I am quite pleased with myself.

Last week I blogged about this material (below). I had decided that I wanted to make a nice snuggly-warm, yet sophisticated, winter skirt. I thought with any luck this will look like a skirt from Mad Men. I’m not really sure if it did in the end but I’m happy with it all the same.

I decided to go with the Butterick 6662 pattern (above) as I thought a simple pattern would be best for a potentially bulky fabric like this wool & polyester blend. I went with view A so that the side split would make a potentially boring skirt a bit more interesting.

I only had 0.7 x 1.5 meters as I had bought the fabric on a whim from the end of roll basket at Global Fabrics in Wellington (my favourite shop EVER). This was a five piece pattern so it just fitted on the fabric, though was a bit of squish when it got to the waistband:

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This pattern was pretty straight forward and the instructions were easy to follow. The only hiccup I had was naturally when I was putting the zipper in. The needle snapped in three places when I was sewing over a pin.

However, I got over that hurdle and carried on towards the finish line. Next, I hand over-casted the all the edges as they were fraying in my hands, my sister then measured the hem length for me to just above the knee, and lastly I hand stitched the hem up comme ca:

And here is the finished product:

Upon reflection this was one of the cheapest items I’ve sewn. The material was $9, the zipper was free (from Noeline’s stash), the pattern was $1 from the SPCA Op Shop and I already had the thread. $10 for a skirt isn’t bad!

Have you been thrifty recently?