Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Sewing Goals

Review of April's goals:

  • 2 activewear pieces - I made one which I haven't worn yet. I'm starting to fit back into my old pieces, so I'm thinking I might wait until I have a greater need again.
  • 2 pieces for work capsule - I had intended to make a top and bottom, but I got hung up on the HP Shirt Tail T pattern and made 4 of those, all suitable for work.
  • Knit 4 more tiers on entrelac scarf - Didn't even look at this one
  • Finish fixing Erin's summer uniforms - Mended one, the others are still waiting. She's now in the winter uniform so I have a few extra months to get back around to this one
  • Fix Marcus' pants - DONE! :-)

May's Goals:
  • A wrap dress (Use up some stashed printed knits)
  • A long sleeved t-shirt (Again designed to use up some stashed knits)
  • Fit a pattern for slim leg pants (Sabrina Slims and/or HP Tummy Taming Trousers)
  • 2 pairs of winter pants (I don't have any pants that fit ATM)
  • A skirt to wear with boots
  • If time, the Jalie or Style Arc pull on jeans
  • Need to get back into the habit of knitting again, too

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Keeping Busy in January

There have been a number of things underway in the sewing room this month.

1: Some general clean up and decluttering: 

I still haven't finished (I'm about 70% of the way through my fabric), but after reading 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' on the holidays, I've been inspired to have a big clean out.

I've released some fabric into the wild that I just wasn't feeling the love for anymore, and did a big inventory of what was left. I also took the time to store my fabric neatly, so that I could access it more easily. I love opening the cupboard doors in my sewing room now!

Some of the overflow - lots of denim and some pretty colourful wovens that I want to tackle this year.
My goal is to have all my fabric fit into the two cupboards. It's an ambitious goal, since that means I'll probably have to reduce the stash by 50%, but what have I got to lose? I realise it's going to take me longer than a year.

2: I made some Boxy Bags for Christmas gifts. 

This decision was initially spurred on by my inability to toss out the pink spotty corduroy. I had originally bought this piece of fabric to make a coat for my daughter - several years ago. Inevitably, as children do, she has grown and I no longer have enough fabric to make the coat. It's too small a piece to make anything for me, but I just love it and couldn't pass it on. So, I'm going to turn it into a series of bags - some for gifts, and a couple to store my knitting projects in.

I used the 'No Guts Boxie Pouch' tutorial from So Chick. It was very clear. The only change I made was to the tabs. There was no way my clumsy fingers were going to be able to make those tiny tabs work, so I cut 2 pieces 3 inches x 2 inches instead. I then made sure to position them correctly when stitching down that part of the bag. It just gave me something a bit easier to hang on to in the previous steps.

Version #1: Pink Spotty Corduroy (lined with blue/pink poly cotton); Clasp from Spotlight

I used a lightweight fusible interfacing for this bag, thinking that the corduroy would have sufficient body to support the boxy shape. It kind of does, but I wanted something with a bit more oomph for the next one.

Version #2: Heavyweight denim (a remnant) lined with Spiderman cotton (not stash, specially purchased for this project!); Clasp from Spotlight

I used a much heavier weight interfacing for this one which made it almost impossible to sew. I won't be doing that again, and am looking for a medium weight fusible interfacing to make the rest.

3: My new dress form
I have been working on getting my new dress form into (or out of, depending on your perspective) shape. 

I have followed the steps outlined in the Craftsy class: Customise your Dress Form. My husband has been such a great helper, and so has my daughter. Neither of them sew, but they both happily support all my crazy endeavours.

I'm almost there - the measurements are nearly spot on, but the proportion is just a little off. I had to put this project to one side while I knocked out a couple of the boxy bags above, but will return to this on the weekend.

Sewing Stats: 

Fabric In: 0.5m
Fabric Out: 5.4m
Stash Used 5.2m

Friday, January 8, 2016

Simplicity 1358: Knit Maxi Dress

Seems like January is the month for blogging for me! Ha. If I post one more time this year, I'll have doubled my posting rate from 2015. #lameblogger

First make of 2016!

View: A
Fabric: Poly Knit from East Coast Fabrics - Teal Peacock Print
Size: XL
Modifications: None

I bought this pattern because Spotlight didn't have the McCalls 6559 that I was really after in my size when I went shopping the other day. This looked close enough and had a few more options as well, although no bolero patterns.

Initial Assessment:

Disclaimer: The dress looks VERY different on the dress form as I haven't had a chance to adjust it to my shape/size just yet. She's very new (to me). 

  • Fits pretty well straight out of the envelope.
  • Weight of fabric is dragging it down further than anticipated, resulting in more bra showing than I'd like (which is none!).
  • VERY EASY to sew! Would love to have a couple more of these in the wardrobe.
  • Shoulder is slightly wider than I'd like
  • I really don't like attaching bands that have been pre-sewn into a circle.
Changes for Next Time:
  • Raise underarm by 1.5"
  • Shave 0.5" off shoulder width
  • Shorten dress before cutting (by 4.5")
  • Take in by 1" at bust, narrowing to 0" by waist
  • Attach bands before sewing second shoulder, side seams, etc.

Ideas for future makes:

  • Maybe try to add an elastic waist?

Finished: 8/1/2016

Sewing Stats: Stash used - 3.0m

I'm hoping that the recent acquisition of a dress form will increase the likelihood of photos being taken (and, therefore, blog posts written). Next step is to pad it out so that it really looks like my shape. I've just finished watching the Craftsy class 'Customise your Dress Form' and am itching to get going. I've got my husband lined up this weekend for a measuring and adjusting marathon, so hopefully I'll be able to move forward soon.