Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shorts and skirts

My blog is really limping along at the moment. I seem to have no desire to take the time to photograph my sewing but at the same time I want to keep a visual record of what I have created. I expect to blog in dribs and drabs again this year and I will be happy if I can photograph most of my sewn items.
First up is this striped ponte skirt. I have always followed the rule of no vertical stripes on my lower half because of my pear shape. However, I just want to get on with sewing this year without overthinking and I thought this fabric (and the amount I had) would make a great skirt.
 I wore it to work and received tons of compliments so I think I did okay with my choice. This is such an easy make but it is so comfortable being a knit. I bought this fabric last year and my aim was to use all of pieces before their next sale. The pattern is an adapted Kwik Sew 3032.

Next up is some shorts for my daughter. I made a huge error when tracing and used my son's pattern size. This is the first time I have ever done that and was not fun to realise when I had spent hours on the topstitching! Ooops. They do still fit her - the funny thing is I traced the exact same size as her other ones from 2011 that I was trying to replace. I am still debating whether I pass these on to a friend's daughter or not. I  had already cut out the cord version so made those a little bigger with a smaller seam allowance.
This yellow linen was another designer sale item. I used my tried and true woven shorts pattern based on an 2005 Burda magazine pattern. The linen was too see through for my liking so I underlined it with a cotton fabric.
 The underlining helped with wrinkling although these photos were taken before I sat down at home.
I made this skirt spur of the moment when my plans for the day fell through. I had bought the fabric online intending it to be a dress but it was more lightweight than I expected and was not really suitable for a sheath dress. I thought it would make a good skirt or tank top. When I was laying out my skirt pattern, I realised a could cut out both, so I did. The pattern is one I drafted myself, with 6 flared panels and a yoke style waistband.
 I have made a couple of other garments, including a blouse that caused me so much grief, but I will need to take those photos again. I forgot to put the memory card in my camera.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Hits and misses of 2013

I am finally getting around joining Gillian in reflecting on my Top 5 of 2013. A little late but our annual beach holiday began earlier than normal and went for longer and I ran out of time to post before we left.
2013 was a challenging year for me sewing wise. Returning to work full-time after only working part-time since having kids was sure to cut in on my sewing time. I did manage to sew 51 garments, only 10 less than 2012.  Surprisingly, I did sew more garments for me (and way less for the kids!).
Here is a breakdown of garments:
Sewing for kids - 13
Dresses - 9
Skirts -2
Pants and shorts - 5
Tops, tees and jumpers - 8
PJs - 4
Undies -10


1. Black sheath dress - I finally had an occasion to wear this. It fits perfectly.
2. Black white and yellow dress - I received so many compliments when I wore this to the awards ceremony at work, it was wonderful.

3. Ponte dress - While not the best quality in fabric, this was my first taste at ponte and I was impressed.
4. Green knit dress - love the colour and a step out of my comfort zone style wise.
5. Blue knit skorts for my daughter -  it feels good to draft a pattern again.


Oops, there are a number of projects I never got around to blogging about, and some of them belong here!
1. Grey linen shorts - Really fabulous apart from the waistband stretching out during the day.
2. Purple printed tee - this worked out okay, but after a year of not that much use, the fabric is becoming limp.
3. Blue and white PJ top - this is a little too big, the straps fall down constantly and it reveals way too much. It would be relegated to sleepwear if it wasn't already a PJ top. I have realised how much I like knit PJs now.
4. Grainline Tiny Pocket tank - I really like the look of this but it just isn't right for me. The dart was way too low and even after raising it for a second go, the bust area just sits funny on me. Kind of pointy-outy. Besides, it is very low cut and I felt exposed when I trialled it at work. I prefer my Sorbetto pattern for my body. I where this tanks to bed now.
5. Grey wool pants - another photo-less garment. The pattern I used was quite loose. I had to take the side seams in a heap and then the pockets were no longer functional. I wore them once and then gained some weight and they were too tight. Blah.
One of my on going goals each year is to use more fabric than I acquire. This year I bought 68.45m, with 68.25m sewn. After cleaning my sewing room, I donated a further 8m of fabric, not including remnants. I sewed 13.5m of fabric from stash, and added back 13.7m. This equates to using approximately 80% of fabric bought being sewn. Last year I converted 47% to completed garments, so maybe I was considering my purchases more carefully in 2013.
In 2014 I will be challenging myself to be more organised with my sewing. I made way too many trips to the fabric store to pick up zippers, thread etc mid way through a project. Not only is it a time waste, it gives me an opportunity to procrastinate (of which I am fabulous at) and also tempts me to buy more fabric while at the store.
I also find that I can over analyse exactly what pattern I want to use with what fabric. This makes me overwhelmed and again wastes time. While I don't want to end up with lots of duds, I generally go with my first idea anyway, so this year I want to just get on and sew rather than over think the planning process.