Thursday, December 23, 2010

End of year post

As we will be busy with Christmas festivities and then going on our summer holiday, I am going to post a bit of a review of my sewing for the year.

I had a number of goals that I wanted to achieve this year. Here is my list, I am happy that I did quite a few of them. I did have a longer list than normal.
  1. Winter coats for both the kids Only sewed Jalisa' coat
  2. Flannelette PJs for both the kids Sewed PJs for Scott only
  3. Sew up something using some ugly fabric
  4. Jacket for me DONE
  5. Sew something from a vintage pattern and post on Sew Retro
  6. Little black dress for me DONE
  7. Black pants for me DONE
  8. Creative entry for the local show DONE
  9. Discharge dyeing DONE
  10. Tray dyeing using thickened dyed DONE
  11. Make 4 pairs of work pants for DH
  12. Make a body double DONE, just need to stuff it
  13. Trial 12 new patterns for me DONE, I managed 16
In 2010, with everything included, I sewed a total of 74 things. 33 things were for the kids (including clothes, undies and bags).

The unwritten goal I was aiming to do this year was to do a lot more 'me' sewing. This year I sewed up 41 items for me.

  • Dress = 5 (including 2 new patterns)
  • Skirts = 3 (1 new pattern)
  • Pants and shorts = 9 (5 new patterns)
  • Blouses, tees and cardigans = 11 (6 new patterns)
  • Jackets = 2 (2 new patterns)
  • PJs and undies = 11 (1 new pattern)

I think I met that goals. Overall I am pleased with all the sewing I have done this year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jalie 2909 - Stretch pants

I love reading sewing blogs. There are some fabulous ones out there. One thing that I don't get, that I wish I could do, is sew something, then wait and get all done up and then take photos. Love it, but I don't have a lot of patience, and I want to show off what I have done to my sewing buddies at Crafty Mamas. See, I finished my Jalie shorts then raced out to snap pictures. No makeup, hair every which way, old top with singlet that is sticking out....I just don't wait. One day I will learn.

There is a lot of love for this pattern, so when CM (see link above") did a Jalie buy, this was the first one I knew I wanted. Simple pants, with rave reviews about a great cut. Now, being summer here is Australia, I knew I did not need pants, but shortened, they would be fab.

I went with a green rayon blend Bengaline from the stash. I knew this fabric was stretchy, but I did not realise that the stretch runs lengthwise (rather than crosswise). I had already cut out and sewn the fly before I realised. Luckily, I had bought enough fabric to cut out another pair. For Jalie bottoms, U seems to be the right size for me.

When I tried them on before sewing on the waistband, I realised that I was going to have to make some adjustments. I had a lightbulb moment when I researched the frowns that were appearing at the front that I might need to reduce the length of the front crotch seam. For some reason, I just was accepting this little extra bit, but having tried on several pants and pinching the front, I could see that the front instantly looked better with a smidge less length there.
The other thing that was bugging me was the extra folds under my butt. With lots of research, I ended up scooping out the crotch (which lengthens) and then taking out at the top of the seam. This works for the moment, since I have made up the pants already and could not recut, but the actual alteration is a little wedge removed from somewhere along the back crotch seam (not right at the top). I have since gone on to make these adjustments on some other pants patterns, so hopefully it is the right one. It is an improvement, and that is what matters to me at the moment.

Ottobre 3-way dress

Gosh, this dress was quick to make. Actually, it was quick to sew, being a pillowcase type dress (Ottobre 3/2009, #18). I had to hand dye the fabric and that took two separate occassions due to storms (and me rushing to get the fabric dyed before it rained down on me). Each piece of fabric wasn't perfect but there was enough between them make a good rainbow dress.

For the front piece, I cut from the graduated rainbow fabric.

For the back, I used the more random rainbow piece.
For the dyeing, I laid it on some other fabric to soak up the excess dye. I think it would work better with a 100% polyester fleece, but I need to buy some because I plan to use what I have on hand. I used procion dye on a stretch poplin, squirting it on and then using a paintbrush to soften where the colours blended.
I have another one cut, this time a plain + print combo, then I am going to make Jalisa a halterneck dress with flared skirt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Burda dress for Summer

While I was trying to find inspiration in the sewing room, I came across this fabric that my SIL gave me many years ago. Despite not digging this print 100%, there was something about the fabric that kept me holding onto it and it was never chucked out in my recent clearout. It's actually a polished cotton. Clear colours with a tropical theme. I thought it would make a good dress to wear while on holidays. This time last year I made a couple of tropical print dresses. Maybe this will be a tradition - my version of those loud hawaiian shirts.

I used #123 from Burda 6/2005. Actually, this way one of the patterns for one of those dresses, but this time I morphed it onto a pattern with a flared skirt (just like I did my last Burda dress).

I like the look of a fuller skirt, especially for everyday wear. Sitting down is so much easier and there is a chance of not flashing my undies when I have to pick stuff up (like Scott's thong at the supermarket today).
This pattern has princess seams and a square neckline. The back is really high, which makes it a little hard to zip up. I really like the straps, which are curved slightly to sit flush with the skin and allow a narrower front than back.