Monday, 28 February 2011

Finished Object - Pink elastic-waist skirt

This is my second garment in my Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge.

I'm quite pleased with it; it was so easy to sew and took no time at all. I definitely recommend this project for beginners. Unfortunately I can't wear it yet because it's just too chilly for me to wear skirts right now, but as it's part of my spring wardrobe, I'll just have to be patient.

You can see the inspiration board that I put together here.

Stylish Blogger Awards

For me? I was surprised to win an award of any sort, so I am very grateful to the both lovely and stylish Suzie at Su Sews So-So and Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time for recognising me and my little blog.

Part one
So here are seven things which you may not know about me:

1. I want to study history at university, right now I'm doing my A Levels with a mixture of working from home and individual tuition. I really love history, and it runs in my family; my father studied History and my sister is doing a degree in History of Art!

2. This you may have gathered from my previous point: I live at home. I haven't yet flown the nest and in terms of sewing this means that I'm pretty well off; we have lots of space for cutting things out, I get pocket money for buying fabric, and they don't mind the noise from my sewing machine. Contrast this with what it's going to be like living at university where I'll have no space, very little spare money and other students complaining about my sewing machine being too loud.

3. I play the guitar and ukulele, not very well, but I'm certainly passable. I am self taught, I had tried to learn with a tutor when I was 11 and that didn't work, but when I picked it up myself it became fun. I am so grateful that my parents just let me stop when I wanted to as I probably wouldn't be finding the enjoyment from it that i do today.

4. I have an adorable little yorkshire terrier called George. I just find him so cute, all he wants from life is puppy treats and a tummy rub, both of which I provide in abundance.

5.I have never had any sewing lessons; I could have done textiles for GCSE but there were so many other subjects that I wanted to do that it didn't ever cross my mind. When I'm trying to put in a zipper, or I can't sort out the tension on my machine, I think back to and curse the day I didn't choose to do textiles, it would have been jolly helpful.

6. I love to walk, I hated it for years because I just couldn't see the point, but now nothing can help lift my low spirits than a walk in Richmond Park when it's sunny.

7. I am very shy (huge understatement), but having this blog is so good for me in so many ways. It had got me actually meeting complete strangers in an unknown part of London to go fabric shopping, I was absolutely terrified, but I had a fantastic time. I now talk to people about sewing and other people have lovely things to say about my blog and it's contents. I am just overwhelmed at the friendliness of the online sewing community.

Part two
Here are 7 super stylish and lovely people that I want to learn more about

- Mary of Idle Fancy
- Shalyn of ars gratia artis
- Meg of Sew Happy Clothes
- Clair of Sew, Incidentally
- Amanda of Sewin' in the Rain
- Emily of Seymour
- Liz of zilredloh

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Pink elastic-waist skirt

I thought that it would be a good idea to put together a little inspiration board for my next project in the Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge (see my previous posts here, and information about the challenge here).

My next project is a very simple elastic-waist skirt, based on instructions from the Freshly Picked skirt tutorial.

Photo credits: Freshly Picked, Topshop, Habby World

You may recognise the fabric photo from my last post, it was a 80cm remnant, bought for £1.50, and the elastic only cost me 50p. So this project will be a bargain at £2!

But I cant help feeling that my progress is a little slow with this challenge. The goal is to create a small number of garments that go well together in a spring palette of your choosing. And I feel that maybe the quality of the garments that I'm making isn't high enough, or that maybe I chose the wrong colours. I don't know, maybe I should change my plans? I just want to reach a stage where I can be proud to wear the clothes that I make. I think this is something that every beginner goes through, so please tell me I'm not alone in this.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Walthamstow Shopping Frenzy

On Saturday I went to Walthamstow Market for a bit of a fabric frenzy. There were (I think) 13 of us altogether and we battled through the rain in search of bargains. I didn't take a single photo, and I don't want to take one without permission, so go to did you make that? or tilly and the buttons to see some. (On a side note: I am in one of those pictures, can you guess which is me?)

I'll say right now that I went a bit overboard, I really did buy too much fabric. SO much fabric that in order to show you it I'm going to have to organise it into categories. But I do want to point out that I didn't buy any fabric that cost more than £2 a metre.

So lets get on with it.

Dress Fabric

This was very popular, at least three others bought some, I bought 3m.

I love this! It's going to make such a pretty summer dress
Blouse Fabrics

I love this silky soft polka dot, it will make a beautiful blouse

This was just a remnant, but there's enough for a Simplicity 2599

Skirt Fabrics

I bought 2m each of this plain cottons, they will make great pleated skirts

Trouser Fabrics

The one on top is a navy gabardine, while
the other seems to have some wool in it.

Knit Fabrics

It's very hard to see but this is black knitted fabric, perfect for a
cardigan. I have never sewed with this type of fabric before!

A nice thick ponte jersey in navy.

Lovely thick cream ribbing.

So that's it, I just wanted to say a really big thank you to Karen for organising such a great day,she clearly put a lot of work into it and I had a fantastic time buying all this fabric and meeting other people who are interested in sewing.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Finished Object (finally!) - Yellow Pleated Skirt

I have completed my first item in my Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge capsule wardrobe, it's a simple pleated yellow skirt, in cotton. I didn't use a pattern, I just made a mark every three inches along my fabric and went from there.

Overall I'm quite pleased with it, in reality it's a much brighter yellow, but the lighting in these photos is terrible, so awful that my knees look purple!

I feel embarrassed about posting this picture because it looks like I'm flashing or showing my underwear, but really this is just an extra skirt with an elastic waistband that I made to make the skirt more opaque and a bit pouffier. 

But I think it also looks nice flattened down a bit.

Now, I had serious trouble with the zipper:

It sticks out like a sore thumb. Its too long and I put it in by hand, I also don't really know how to put a zip into a pleated skirt and make it invisible. If anyone knows if there's a tutorial out there I would be really grateful for a link.

This is a photo of my new top (it goes with my spring palette), I wish I had made it myself. Maybe I'll try to copy it.

And lastly, it is absolutely essential that I end the post like every other blogger that makes a full skirt; with a twirl!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Colette Patterns Spring Palette

I know that I'm about a month behind with this, but at least I have already started sewing, so I am not as behind as it seems. It you want to read more about the challenge click here.

Sources: Colette Patterns blog, Mango, ASOS, Topshop, A beautiful mess, Anthropologie.

I'm going fabric shopping this weekend, so I'll be able to post exactly what I'll be making. Looking at my shopping list I'm planning more of a 'wardrobe' than 'capsule'.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Look what I won!

I was very pleased to hear recently that I had won a giveaway from Molly of MOLLY'S SEWING AND GARAGE SALE ADVENTURES.

Here's what I won:

Butterick 9906

and Vogue 5205

I can't wait to stitch these up!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Photos of my self-drafted bodice and BONUS mini book review

On my recent trip to New York we headed to the nearest Borders, and I only came away with one book. (My mother bought 6 romances) . But it was a good book.

It was LITTLE GREEN DRESSES by Tina Sparkles, it is heavily focused on reusing materials and refashioning thrifted items such as a coat into a mini-skirt. But the best thing about the book is that it provides you with the instructions and diagrams for making a basic bodice, sleeve and skirt, all using your exact measurements. It then throughout the book shows you how to adapt these patterns into tops, skirts, dresses, shorts, playsuits and leggings. I strongly recommend you buy this book if you want to get into patternmaking, but felt a bit daunted by the more complicated 'Metric Pattern Cutting' or similar.

So I decided to get cracking on the basic bodice as I have had problems in the past getting vintage sewing patterns to fit my narrow ribcage and larger bust.

So here is the first draft with some alterations

I think the main problem is the extra fabric in my upper chest, I'm really not sure how I fix this problem. It might not be a problem when I lower the neckline, but is this just laziness? 

I think this is OK, but i look a bit pointy. Again, I don't know how to solve this issue so any feedback would be much appreciated. It's also clear from this picture that I need to lover the armhole, its far too tight as it is.

There are ripples along the back darts and I have no idea why.

Any advice on these fitting issues would be most gratefully received!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Burda 03/2011 - A Disappointment

Have you seen next month's Burda preview?

I have, and its awful. I have only been buying Burda Style since August 2010, but I have eagerly bought every copy, because every month there is at least three patterns that I think I want to make and wear. But not this month.

So what I'm going to do for this month is post the worst of Burda Style 03/2011. I am very sorry if you disagree with my choices, I'd love to be proven wrong on this issue.

Dress 106

I have a rule for buying clothes online, and I think it applies here as well: 'If it is unflattering on the model, it will be unflattering on me.' I can't imagine anyone on whom this dress would look good, the shape is just so wrong.

Trousers 132

These trousers are so awful that they didn't even photograph them properly, they covered them up with a huge kaftan. I think the worst picture is the technical drawing; look at that strange extra strip of fabric at the back, what is it for?

Top 112

I don't understand this top. I understand that asymmetrical might have been the look that they were going for, but to push it this far is madness, or at least very unwise. Again the technical drawing really shows how odd the pattern-makers were feeling when they sat down to put together the March issue.

I think its wise to stop at three, although I could go through nearly the entire issue. I haven't decided whether I'll buy it, do I really want to spend £4.75 on a magazine of patterns that I'll never use? 

If you want to see the issue in full go to;jsessionid=753EA363EA1EFC427D8C313EBC6C6DF4

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Works in Progress (and ironing woes)

At this moment in time I have one main work in progress and that is a jacket from Simplicity's new spring patterns. I heard loads of bloggers mention the dress of Simplicity 2250, such as Gertie helping to fit the complicated dress in her post California Sewin'.

But the jacket really attracted me because I can wear it in Spring (when it finally arrives!) and the fabric I am making it it fits in with my Colette Patterns Spring Palette sewalong colours. I will be doing a separate post about that particular challenge.

I bought the fabric in Amsterdam a few weeks ago for €10 for 3 metres, which I think was quite reasonable.

It's really crumpled because I stored it in a bag, and I am clearly too lazy to iron it.

It's coming along OK, if a little slow. All I have to do now is put on the other sleeve, bind the edges and hem the sleeves. And iron it of course!

Hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of the finished garment soon.

Another UFO is this skirt from Burdastyle's Linda circle skirt pattern. I have successfully made this skirt four times already, so there really is no excuse for not finishing it.

Can you tell I have an issue with ironing.