Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Pretty in pink-New look 6873

My last New Look 6873 skirt was one of my hits of last year. When doing my hits of 2014 round up post I promised another one would not be long in arriving, and here it is:

Construction details: As before I made version C.  My first version of this skirt fits perfectly but is a bit short to wear to work so on this version I added some length (it's been a while since I cut this out so I don't remember exactly how much). In the first version of this skirt I added an invisible zipper as a) I like the invisible nature of invisible zippers on all garments and b) sewing them is my most mastered zipper technique. However I wanted to push myself this time to sew a lapped zipper. 
It's not too bad as a first attempt. It does actually shut better than it seems in this photo but I couldn't fasten the hook and eye on Rosie. Inserting the lapped zipper was made more difficult by the thickness of this wool. I must have torn it out and redone it at least 3 times. It is now not perfect but I can live with it. One of my aims for this year is to get better at sewing in zips.

The main body is made from a really gorgeous soft wool which I bought at sayeeds on a trip to Walthamstow a few months ago. Although I wear my previous version of this skirt all the time, each time I do, I wish it was lined so as part of my bid to create a wearable wardrobe, I fully lined this version. The waistband is faced with a scrap of cotton which I used to make my Nicola blouse. The lining of the skirt is a cheap satin which was bought on the same trip as the wool. I hemmed it using some bias tape from my stash. It in no way matches but this does not bother me for an invisible hem. What do you think? Are non matching interiors ok or a sewing crime? 

This skirt has been worn lots already and I can count as a first success in terms of my goal for 2015, of making a wearable wardrobe.

I'm sorry about the photo quality in this post (again).  It's official, I am the hand of death for all camera's, so despite being given a lovely new camera for Christmas, I have had to take these on my iphone while my less than 2 week old camera goes off to be repaired!  This is the point where I ask for your advice, does anyone have any good recommendations of camera cases?  The same thing keeps happening to my cameras, the lens attempts to extend when it's inside the case, hits the side of the case, can't go any further and spontaneously combusts!  So it's time to invest in a handbag proof case!  Any recommendations welcomed.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Stash busting

Having spent some time over the weekend tidying my house, I have come to the conclusion that my nearest and dearest might be correct when they assert that my fabric stash is taking over the house!  No amount of 'tidying' has been able to hide this fact.  Specifically I have accumulated a stash which contains a large number of wovens and many, many buttons.  Therefore in addition to the goals set last week I must add stash busting to my goals. This is particularly important as I may be moving house later in the year and will not have as much space as I do now.

Crazy isn't it?  And this isn't even it all!

However this is not just straight forward stash busting for a number of reasons
1) I think I have a stash of fabrics I don't actually want to use. I'm not certain about this but I need to take this year/time until the summer to work out what it is have and why I'm not using it.  I need to decide whether I can find a use for my stash or if I should recycle/gift/donate it . 
2) Part of my stash is clothes which have been donated for refashioning and although this fits with my more refashioning in 2015 goal, I find refashioning some things more difficult than other, so need to decide what I'm likely to ever refashion and what should be recycled in another way. 
3) some of my stash has been gifts from sentimental sources and I'm reluctant to get rid of them so need to find a use for them. 

However, I do need to get a handle on my fabric stash so, therefore, I pledge to not buy any more fabrics until Easter when I will re-assess, the exception to this is if I need a lining fabric or similar to finish a project that is mainly made from stash fabric.  At this stage I need to have used, or disposed of a chunk of my fabric and I can set myself a new stash busting goal.

I do not have an out of control stash of patterns, however I could do with using a few more of them, particularly the vintage ones.  I get lured in by the call of new shiny ones and I really need to stop buying patterns.  So to help with this I have signed up to the Vintage pattern pledge again.  Last year I committed to making 4 items from vintage patterns and I only actually managed 1!  This year I signed up to make 4 again and I vow to do better this year.  

Please tell me some of the rest of you have let your stash get this out of control!  I'm not alone in my fabric hoarding am I?

Friday, 2 January 2015

Hits, misses and reflections on 2014, goals for 2015

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

Hello all and a very happy new year. I know it's been a while so a massive thanks to anyone who's still dropping by. Life got very hectic and although I have actually been sewing and knitting quite a lot, I have not had time to photograph and blog.

I have sewn, knitted or refashioned a total of 31 garments this year, 21 have made it to the blog. 11 Dresses, 3 skirts, 10 tops, 1 pair sports leggings, 1 pair shorts, 5 accessories and lots of UFOs.  It was really interesting doing this list as it surprised me what it was I had sewn, particularly as I was also thinking about my hits and misses.  

I found thinking about my hits and misses quite difficult as the more I sew, the more I learn and the more critical I become of my earlier makes. Also I have been a very lax blogger and lots of my items have not been blogged about (particularly the misses). 

Woven tops: This is the area I have had the most difficulty in when trying to create a handmade wardrobe. I made a couple of Mccalls 6604 which wound up in my scrap pile.  Also the Portrait blouse from Gerties book for better sewing which was a fitting disaster and never made it to the blog. On the other hand I have made a couple of renfews and a plantain which I love and wear a lot. However, I purchased the Archer pattern in the Black Friday sales and received the Mathilde pattern for Christmas so maybe 2015 will be the year I finally achieve a woven top that fits and that I can wear with pride and comfort. 

Although I've taken part in several sewing challenges this year and they have been some of the highlights of my year.  I pledged to make 4 items in the Vintage sewing pledge but have only made 1.  
I have had a lot of misses that never made it to the blog, I made quite a few items which either haven't been finished or once I finished them have been thrown in the scrap pile instantly as I haven't like them.

I was really surprised when doing the count of what it was I had made this year that I had only made 3 skirts.  I probably wear separates most as they work well for work and for casual days.  Definitely my most worn item this year has been this skirt.  It's my most professional looking item and it gets worn at least once a week.  Luckily I have another of these cut out and started so there will hopefully be another in my life soon.

A few of the things I'm most proud of this year are the refashions that I did.  

Lady skater jumper refashion

And especially my Galaxy dress 
I wore this all the time through the summer and won me a prize in Repurpose, reuse, refashion August, hosted by Sew Amy Sew

I took part in Me Made May this year and it was one of the highlights of the year.  I loved being part of something with the rest of the sewing community and it really helped me to see what it is that I wear most.

OWOP! I loved taking part in this for the first time.  It really pushed me to make the most use of of my TNT lady skater pattern 

My favourite item I've made this year was my second Flora:

Actually the area I think I've made the most progress in this year is knitting.  From my first basic scarves that I made this time last year, I have made a jumper, hat, cabled scarves and a shawl.  Obviously none of these made it to the blog but some of them may soon.
Highlights and reflections
2014 was a year of real highs and lows and life got much busier and crazier.  Sewing really helps me have some time to myself and to de-stress but I realised I was putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself with the blog.  The pressure was causing me to sew in a way that is out of line with my other ideals.  So expect to see a bit less of me around here, or at least a bi less of finished object posts.

From participating in Me made may, I realised that I wear separates most of the time and I would like for more of these to be handmade.  I need to think a bit more about what it is I actually wear and how the handmade items will fit into my wardrobe. My boyfriend pointed out to me that before all big occasions I'm really stressed out as I'm trying to get a dress finished.  I am determined not to do this (or at least to allow more time to do it) in 2015 as it leads to some silly mistakes.

It's ok to get rid of stuff I don't like/wear even if I made it. I have items in my wardrobe that I don't wear or when I do I feel uncomfortable.  These items need to go!  Anyone with any ideas about what to do with all these scraps, please let me know. 

Goals for 2015:
I really enjoyed the refashions I did this year and was pleased with how they turned out.  Also it is important to me not to contribute to the textile industry waste and with my frantic sewing, I make a lot of mistakes and create waste.  Also as part of this, when I'm making things from new fabric, I should focus on using quality fabric as they last better.  I have a few items which I made from cheap fabrics and because I wear them a lot, they have become worn out very fast.  

I would like to make myself a pair trousers this year.  I have the bhl Holly jumpsuit pattern and like version 3 for my first trouser dabbling.

Focus on separates!  I have several skirts cut out and ready to go, in fact skirts have been my most common UFOs this year.  I need to sew them up as I'm excited about the idea of them, just for some reason I haven't wanted to sew them up (probably a new shiny dress got in the way).  As I said above, I want to create a woven top that I'm happy with.

Be involved in some sewing challenges this year.  Taking part in sewing challenges have been real highlights of my year and I would like to do this again this year.

Happy 2015 to you all.