Sunday, 24 April 2016
My skills and confidence have increased dramatically and I've attempted a few challenging projects in which I've surpassed my expectations, particularly the Sewaholic Minoru Jacket with a fair few pattern hacks (storm flap with poppers, welt pockets, lined hood and a drawstring waist).
My favourite makes are some of my more recent ones; I'm focussing more on fitting at the moment which has involved making multiple versions of the pattern (some might say toiles!). I've made 5 (yes 5!) Sewaholic Granville shirts (and each time they've been different) and now 2 pairs of Ginger Jeans which along with my Minoru Jacket is one of my top favourite projects - another pair are at the top of my list of next makes.
I've also dabbled a little with lingerie making having made several Orange Lingerie Marlborough bras. I think I've got the fitting just about right now for me but it's always edge of my seat stuff when I start making another as I'm so conscious about what a poor fitting bra feels like to wear (and how disappointed I am when it goes wrong!).
So, to finish up this little update before I start blogging proper (I promise) I'm now well into my second Me Made Year, having not purchased any RTW clothing in nearly two years with big plans to focus on... shoe making this year! My sister and I are attending a sandal making course next month at I Can Make Shoes and I can't wait! I've even bought (possibly a little prematurely) a paur of shoe lasts in my size for flat shoes ready for when I know what I'm doing!
Roll on June!
Sunday, 22 February 2015
I was going to apologise for not having posted for several weeks but then I wrote the title of this entry and realised I've been quite a busy bee!
Yes, I've finished 3 pairs of trousers - or rather two and a half as one pair was pretty much done I just needed to slim into them if you remember and rather oddly I managed it without trying (I think I was a bit puffy when I made them!).
So two pairs were a test of the Thinlow pattern from my last post; the first you know about, the second were made from some lovely red Ponte Roma I originally bought to make a jacket from. I decided I wanted some nice easy wear, comfortable but tailored trousers and this fabric seemed to fit the bill. It sewed up really nicely, very warm and with a little stretch for comfort and fit. All great until I washed them (no I didnt prewash the fabric - I'm a buggar for this) and the dye ran everywhere, dying my son's school trousers lining pink in the process... Woops!
The latest trouser make was the Ultimate Trouser from Sew Over It, inspired by episode 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee's third series where contestants were given some ridiculously short time frame to make some trousers. It usually takes me a good two days to make a pair of trousers so I felt woefully inadequate watching the episode and wanted to see what the participants are up against. Well the Ultimate Trouser pattern only has 4 pieces which is a far cry from the usual 12-16 pieces I've been used to recently with fiddly flies, welt pockets and side pocket linings. The four hour time limit contestants are given, seemed a bit more reasonable after all, only a side zip to contend with. I used the same fabric as my first pair of Thinlows, the chambray with no ease, so after sewing the trousers up dead quick I ended up unpicking it all to let the seams out! Having done so though, I was really pleased with the result for a fairly basic pattern, and think I may have found the perfect pattern for my gorgeous teal velvet I've been pondering over what to make.
This weekend I finally found a use for some beautiful dark turquoise baby needlecord I bought in Edinburgh in August last year - The Great British Sewing Bee Series 1 Hacking Jacket. I was instantly drawn to the pattern when I first bought the book; it's an unlined jacket which was most of the appeal as I'd planned for this to be my first attempt at tailoring and couldn't quite stomach the thought of a full on lining. However I actually cut my tailoring teeth on a full blown lined Butterick Jacket pattern which worked out brilliantly (except for the fundamental fitting fail), so I thought this unlined jacket couldn't be any harder... How wrong I was! The instructions are abysmal and whilst I appreciate the pattern isn't for the novice they could have been more descriptive and accurate - references made to notches when in fact there are dots on the pattern , and references to large and small dots when they're all the same size! The upper collar and facing was the upper worst part, I just couldn't sew round the corner and then couldn't fit the facing and fronts together. The collar now has an unsightly pucker and a cut where I slipped with the scissors trying to repair said pucker. All that being said, from a distance the jacket looks fairly respectable if you dont look too closely, and I'm very pleased with the french seams I used to neaten the inside of the jacket seeing as it isn't lined. The fabric is gorgeous as is the colour so puckers or not, I'll be wearing it out!
Monday, 26 January 2015
So, I thought I'd give pattern alteration a go and turn the Thurlow into a Thinlow... scary! I'd done a bit of research on what others had done to thin out their Thurlows other than chop width off the leg (which I'd done a bit of before with my cord pair). I wanted to understand what others had done around the excess fabric around the bottom which might look a bit weird with a slimmer leg. I found a really helpful blog post on Sewaholic's own blog, by Caroline Amanda which explained about alterations to the front pattern pieces. I followed suit (and the instructions) and trimmed down the leg and reshaped the crotch area... so far so good. When it came to the back I was stumped as Caroline's blog post only showed how to alter the front pieces so I wasn't sure how to transfer those changes to the back pieces. It was all a lot of guess work. I did however follow the concept Caroline had demonstrated and overlaid the original front and back pattern pieces over one another, matching notches, to show how the paper patterns work together. I then tried to replicate the same on the new pieces, trimming and slicing off the original back piece so that it touched the new front pattern piece in the same way the original front and back pieces did. Phew. I was feeling really out of my depth at this point, it was total guess work with the tiniest bit of "informed" decision making so just had to roll with it. And so to make up stage...
|Look at this beauty!|
I'm not so chuffed with the zip fly though. I've made five garments with zip flies and so far each one has turned out differently. This one wasn't bad, it's functional and the teeth don't show unlike others I've done, it just doesn't meet my exacting RTW standards (however if anyone stares at my crotch for long enough to notice its imperfections I think I've got bigger problems than just a dodgy fly).
I completed the major construction of the trousers and really liked the shape and width of the leg, they seemed just right and didn't seem to have any big problems with the shape (there was a bottom looking shape in the trousers and nothing looked wonky). So I tried them on.
|I love this fabric, it's Country Basket |
cotton, from my favourite fabric shop,
Waltons and cost £3.99 a metre. I
have a matching shirt too!
|Still very proud of my welts!You can see |
them in all their glory here.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
1. Zip Fly
I'm just loving inserting flies into projects at the moment! In fact I'm seeking out patterns because they have a fly to insert. I think it's a satisfaction thing; they're a fairly fiddly technique to get right and when done well,they look really good.
My first exposure to a zip fly was in the Thurlow Pant pattern from Sewaholic and whilst I found the instructions generally easy to follow I needed some visuals to get it just right. I stumbled across the Thurlow Pant sewalong on Lladybird's blog which is utterly fab and made the whole process straightforward and dare I say enjoyable!
2. Moss Skirt by Grainline Studios
3. Automatic Buttonholes
4. Blind Catch Stitch
5. Pressing Stuff!
Saturday, 17 January 2015
The programme gives me exactly what I need to start my me-made year and I'm really excited to get started. It also gives me something concrete to write about in my blog so - winning!
I've been sewing more and more recently but not really with any sense of pairing in mind. What I mean is, I'll make stuff without necessarily thinking about what I've made before and planning my makes as a big project in itself. That's where the Wardobe Architect comes in!
It's purpose is to encourage the ditching of shop bought purchases in favour of me-made items during the year. This works great for me as I'm currently skint but do have access to a rather brilliant fabric shop near me which sells ridiculously cheap but fabulous fabrics. First obstacle overcome.
I've been thinking about how I'll use this blog and think that my future posts will concentrate on the technical side of the the making and the pages section will offer my reflection on the Wardobe Architect programme. Let's see if that works aye?
I stopped running a while ago and started to pile on the weight and whilst I have a wardrobe of beautiful RTW clothes, they are all now a couple of sizes too small. At the moment my work/life routine dictates that running (or any form of exercise) is difficult to fit in so it's been easier to sew for relaxation in an evening and on a weekend whilst at the same time, functionally creating clothes that actually fit me.
I'm enjoying it so much I've become a little obsessive about it and now rarely go a week without finishing a new make. I'm by far an expert, my finish leaves a lot to be desired and I don't have a lot of confidence in carrying out techniques but I am finding the various sewing bloggers sew-alongs and tutorials an amazing help. I have a thirst for getting better, at dressmaking in general,at improving my finish, at pushing the boundaries on techniques and at dressing myself better.
My biggest problem areas are with pattern adjustment - it scares the bejesus out of me! I can cope with minor adjustments such as reducing shoulder widths, lengthening and shortening but anything beyond that I'm stuffed! I'd also like to have a go at basic pattern drafting but I'm a way off this yet I think.
I'll be using the blog to record my sewing progress, so please feel free to share thoughts and, in particular, improvements on technique,I'll embrace them with open arms!