Sunday, 27 October 2013

Shopping Notion

So I went shopping...

I am most impressed with the bias maker and hemmer foot - although I don't think the Thai language instructions are going to be very helpful for the hemmer foot - thank heaven for the blogosphere!

And I have no idea why I bought those buttons. They were to cute to pass up but I cannot imagine them on a garment - ideas anyone?

And since it's Sunday, a gratuitous gorgeous cat photo... Koshka telling me it's time to stop sewing and feed him keeping me company.

Hope you've had/are having a great sewing weekend.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Make a Garment a Month Challenge

Well as you may know from an earlier post, things did not go according to plan. Do they ever? However, I do have a completed garment (and still have hopes for another before the month is out). So here it is..

What should have been a quick, simple make turned much more complicated due to my own stupidity. This simple top was inspired by this tutorial. I intended doing this right with either French or flat felled seams and everything. I started off well enough, I increased the measurements to allow for a woven fabric rather than a knit. And then I forgot to add seam allowances!!!!

So a bit of trickery was called for. I sewed the shoulders using the absolutely smallest seam allowance I could manage and then I used bias binding (where would we be without it?) to enclose the raw edges in a kind of imitation flat felled seam. That's what you can see here in the shoulder seams.

Don't worry the puckering pressed right out.

So far so good, although this fabric 'grew' at a startling rate. This is how much longer it was having only sewn the shoulder seams (and yes, I did check against the pattern and they were both cut the same length).

And as you can see it also frayed like you wouldn't believe.

So that first fix was fine for the shoulder seams but was not going to give me enough extra room for a comfortable fit around the waist and hips. So I added  godets extra bits of fabric. Basically I just worked out how much more room I needed and then tapered it to nothing at the underarm. I don't actually have a pic which shows it clearly but you can just see it here.

Again I realise it all looks a little puckered under the arm but that is because I am standing awkwardly.

So I did manage to save what could have been a disaster, which I am pleased with, but it would have been so much simpler to have just not fucked it up to begin with.

 And yes the neckline did stretch out because of course I forgot to staystitch it. But I can live with it.

I know I am going to be making more garments with similar fabric just because I love it. It is woven by members of a hilltribe community near the Burmese border. I bought this in Mae Sariang a few years ago and had a jacket made from it (by a tailor) and this was the leftover remnant. Photos don't do it justice as the colours are very rich and change according to the light.

Oh and I just used a cheap cotton for the back in purple because (although you can't really tell here) the darkest colour in the print fabric is actually a very dark purple, not black.

I have worn this already and it is really comfortable so I'll count that as a win.

How are you going with your Make a Garment a Month garment?

Monday, 21 October 2013

A little perspective...

So I was all ready to start on a rub off pattern from a RTW blouse this morning. However, this is what my drafting/cutting table looks like this morning

Yes, that is the large (very large) bamboo reflected in the water on the table. Yes it's pissing it down here. Yes my table is outside.

Just a couple more bamboo and rain pictures

Now for a nanosecond I was disappointed by this - no using that table today. However, almost instantly I thought of NSW and the Blue Mountains in particular and those truly devastating bushfires. Oh how I wish I could send this rain to them. Suddenly my completely trivial, minor inconvenience was put into perspective.

Sending all positive thoughts to everyone affected by the bushfires and also a big shoutout to all the amazing volunteer firefighters. I once had the honor of working with some of these people (in their day jobs. I'm way to wussy to contemplate doing anything that brave) and they are truly remarkable people.

Be safe everyone.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Make a Garment a Month

Hi all (warning this a long read and not a lot of fun)

I really hope your sewing (for this challenge or anything else) is going better than mine. You may remember that I am making the Danielle from Burdastyle. Well, I was..

After several tissue fittings and two bodice muslins (muslin bodices?) I am conceding defeat. Well, momentary defeat. I definitely intend revisiting this in the future.

I have realised that the basic problem is that the pattern is just too small. In the front anyway - the back is great. Now I know that I could grade the pattern up - I have even read several tutorials on this. But grading it up plus adding an FBA, forward shoulder adjustment, respacing the under bust darts, etc, etc is just too difficult at this stage of my sewing journey. I really need to start with something that is a closer fit and tweak it.

I have also read  (and reread several times) this post on a Fashionable Stitch. This really resonated with me because I cannot buy patterns locally (I have never seen one here) and compared to the price of fabric here (or tailors for that matter) patterns are expensive and then of course there is the wait for them to arrive. But now I am looking at them in a slightly different light so I am happy to make the investment in some good basic patterns. So I am currently looking at the Amazing Fit range from Simplicity and now just have to choose one. So that will be my garment for next month.

"But what about this month?" I hear you ask. Never fear, I have already finished one blouse and will do a proper post on it shortly when I get some decent photos. But here is a sneak peek.

I also really want to buy the Scout woven tee from Grainline. However, I am concerned about the sizing. The largest size is too small in the bust (by 2"). Will an FBA fix this? Has anyone done one before? Am I going down a familiar path of starting with a pattern that basically doesn't fit?

I am looking for a basic blouse pattern that I can then modify in the future. I am a very apple shape - my back waist is a full 15cm smaller than my front waist. Weird I know, but I have recently recovered from a long illness (4 years long) the cure of which involved taking steroids. This has resulted in the "potatoes on toothpicks" (Really that is what they call it) body shape often associated with taking steroids long term. There are many patterns that I love (Anna by By Hand London for example) that I just can't see working because of my belly (which also starts just under my bust).

So do you have any suggestions? Any and all suggestions would be very welcome.

And thanks for listening to what has basically turned into a whinge.....

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

How did I not know that???

I managed to get my hands on some sewing books recently, one of which is

Now I actually haven't gotten very far into it because I am still reeling from this tip in the Sewing Equipment section

How did I not know that my tape measure was standard seam allowance width? (And yes, I did measure it to check). I know I'm just getting back into this sewing lark but surely I should have  remembered this (if I ever knew it).

Am I the only one that didn't know this? Is this the best kept secret in the sewiverse or am I just woefully ignorant? What else don't I know? (that apparently everyone else does) 

Did you realise/learn/discover something and think "How did I not know that?" Please save me from further embarrassment needless difficulties by sharing your sewiverse secrets in the comments below.

Thanks very much.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Some bloglovin tidying up

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Please note the new address - there is a reason behind which will become obvious in the fullness of time i.e. I'll tell you all shortly!

The bloglovin button will connect the new blog.

Sorry for any inconvenience

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

I nearly forgot...

Well obviously I did actually forget to say hi to my 4 followers. Unfortunately Bloglovin only sent a notification once so I don't actually know who you are. I will sort this out but you'll have to be patient since I'm new to this.

It is quite surreal (and more than a little nerve wracking, but I'm ignoring that) to think that this might actually be being read by others (who are not my Mum and sister).

So thanks very much and I hope that you sometimes find something worth reading.

Make a garment a month challenge

Wow, my first ever challenge and just to make it even more challenging it will be my first completely me-made garment in nearly 30 years. (The sort of sorbetto doesn't count and is already back on the cutting table).

And if that wasn't enough, I am also going to make the Danielle dress from Burdastyle.

I must admit that I have looked at this pattern many times and felt very ambivalent about it. But I kept going back to it - probably because it is remarkably similar to the only dress I have owned in the last 20 years (I'm more of a separates girl obviously) and I did like that dress, a lot. I kept thinking, the right fabric, the right sleeves (because it was never going to happen as per the pattern) it could work.

And then I saw this by Deby at Sew so easy and I was convinced. It is hard to believe it is the same dress.

So I decided the pattern was a go and then I also found this

And no it isn't a great border print, it is a printing error. But it has created a great border effect and coincidentally in the right proportions for a light bodice, dark skirt ending in the light border. And because it is a defect I got it for $1 pm. So I don't have to worry about ruining great (or expensive) fabric and I bought the whole 4 metres so I have some extra to play with.

So the fabric is pre-washed and ready to go. For the first time ever- I didn't even know you were supposed to do this until recently. (In my defence, last time I was sewing they had barely invented the computer, let alone the internet.)

I have downloaded and taped and cut the pattern pieces. So now there is just the small thing of an FBA on this bodice - my first ever FBA, I might add. Should be interesting....

Thank you so much Sarah Liz for organising/coordinating this challenge. It is just the incentive I need to make a well-fitted, well-finished dress. Yay!!

I look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to.