Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frugal sewing – can’t shake it off

For years I was a frugal sewist. Sometimes it was a case of not having much money to throw around. Other times I was saving as much of my money as I could. Anyway, I learnt a few tricks to get more bang for my buck:

• I reused the same patterns over and over. Patterns are pretty exxy in Australia, so if I used the same pattern a few times, I was spending less on other patterns.
• I borrowed Burda magazines from the library to read.
• Refused to pay full price for fabric or patterns.
• I chose patterns that did not use a lot of fabric and laid out patterns to use the least amount of fabric. I used to carry a list so that I only ever bought as much as I needed.

One discovery I made while laying out patterns from the same fabric was that I could cut out a knit top and a tee shirt in the same amount of fabric it took to cut out one tee. You just have to cut out one or two pieces at a time and refold.

While we are no longer watching the pennies so much, I am still careful with my spending and sometimes old habits refuse to die. I was able to cut out a long sleeve tee shirt, a knit shirt (Kwik Sew 3032 Top A) and a pair of undies all from 1.5 metres of fabric. I have just realised that I have made quite a few pairs of undies out left over knit fabric this year!

PS Shannon, thanks for the reminder - I had heard about them. I put in an order with Fashion Sewing Supply last night. Even with a massive postage quote of nearly $28 (yowzers) it works out the same price as the interfacing I have been using with less than stellar results. I think I had been putting it off because of the postage, but it works out if the interfacing is even a little bit better than the whisperweft.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Mulberry Jacket

I fell in love with curved lapels and collars when I made my last jacket. I wasn’t keen to make the exact same jacket pattern again so soon, so I began my search for another Burda jacket pattern.

I found what I wanted in pattern 111 from Burda 3/2009. I love that it is not too long, has princess seams and the sewn in belt was cute too.

I used a stretch cotton twill in a lovely Mulberry shade. It is actually a darker shade than my last jacket. I obviously gravitate towards the same colours. I picked stretch twill since it is fairly casual and comes in some great colours.

I followed Sherry’s RTW Tailoring Sewalong notes again. I think I will be referring to them everytime I make a jacket, because they are so helpful in achieving a lovely result.

I did change the yoke pattern piece. The piece is a combine front and back yoke, so there is no shoulder seam. While I did not mind the look of it I wasn’t sure if my sloping shoulder adjustment would work. So I drew a seam line at the shoulder points and added the front yoke piece to the front, while keeping the back as a yoke.

I just hope I was not too aggressive with my sloping shoulder adjustment. I made the same as I normally do but you can see the diagonal pulls. I wonder if I traced the shoulder point in the wrong spot or something.

Here is a closer view of the collar.

While I cut out the curved pockets and flaps, I ended up not using them. I thought they were a cute feature, but for whatever reason, did not feel like sewing them on at the time.

I am annoyed with the interfacing I chose. I used whisperweft which requires preshrinking. Except a lot of the beads of glue came off. Very hard to bond without the glue on there. Grr. Not sure whether to get textureweft next time, as it requires no shrinking or go for something entirely different altogether.

Here is a peek at the lining. While the lining likes to twist and squirm all over the place when cutting and handling, with the right needle and foot pressure it was a breeze to sew.