Saturday, 31 December 2011

Contemplation: Are you Shamed by your Stash?

Fabric/ Pattern stash of course! Or wool, or craft stuff, we aren't craft specific around here!
I've been thinking over this today as I had a massive cleanup of my sewing room this week. (By god it needed it.)

I have to admit one of my favorite things to do is look upon the oodles of lovely fabrics I have amassed and "dream in possibility." ( to quote Emily Dickinson.)

I have noticed a few bloggers, who have been taking stock of their year have mentioned their stash.
Some (probably most) are endevouring to cut theirs down or only use what they already have.
This is completely admirable and there are many different motivations for doing so (from doing my uni course of fashion history we talk a lot about consumption theory and sustainability.)

 However I came across Carolyn's blog post about her year and I was interested to read her part on being a Fabricaholic. I think I feel pretty much the same way as she does. Excuse me quoting you Carolyn:

 "Buying fabric makes me happy, encourages my creative process and inspires me...I hope they (her Daughters) remember fondly my love of my craft and how I adored collecting each piece." 

I too, love every single piece of fabric and I have often pulled out something years after buying it and made it into a favorite piece. This year, I put a lot of thought into the idea of doing a year without buying clothing or fabric and decided why should I need to? I consume in a similar way to most people, but I am usually careful with what I buy. Partly because I am already a student on no income and partly because I believe there i worse things I could collect. I rarely drink, I don't smoke or gamble so how harmless can a few boxes of fabric be?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! I hope everyone has a wonderful evening and a Happy New Year!
I shall see you on the other side!

Monday, 26 December 2011

What Santa Brought Me...

I hope everyone had a brilliant and peaceful Christmas. Ours was great!
I'm sure everyone has spent the day recovering from yesterdays festivities and spent the day admiring their loot... Well thats what I've been doing anyway!

I thought I'd show you some of my prized presents!
 My Anthropologie Shoes are to die for so I had to put them in this picture along with my jewellery box and a selection of my sewing goodies.
Heres what Sewing related items I got!

It was a bit of a Colette Christmas this year, I got a signed copy of Sarai's new book along with 3 of Colette's dress patterns I'd been lusting after (4 but one was a double!) I decided on the Crepe, The Ceylon and Parfait. I think Ceylon might be the first although I was equally tempted by the patterns in the book.
I was unsure that I would like the book in the beginning, I thought it would be a bit of a fluffy copy of the serious sewing manuals out there with a bit of nice photography. But I have to say it is fabulous. Sarai words everything extremely well and even at a intermediate level I felt engaged by what she has to say. Most sewing "handbooks" tend to cater for those that have never sewn a straight seam and I think that this can sometimes lead to them forgetting about those who already enjoy sewing.
I think Sarai did a great job and I'm thrilled I got a signed copy!

 I also was treated to a couple of Kwik Sew patterns I'd asked for. I have never used them before but as so many people wax lyrical about how awesome they are I had to give them a try! I have been lusting after this shirt for ages and I think it would fit perfectly within the Graduate wardrobe theme.
The second one is added to my quest for the perfect wrap dress.

Santa really spoilt me big time! I also got 3 metres of this cute sleeping beauty cotton and some fab Mid Century style Liberty Jersey named Carnaby! I had this in mind for an awesome wrap dress which would slip seamlessly into my wardrobe!
                                                     So what did you get for Christmas?

Friday, 23 December 2011

Contemplation: 2012 Re-Sewlutions...

After looking back at what I have achieved this year I thought it would be nice to have a look towards next year and what I'd like to do.

This is my final year at University which is super scary to say the least.
So, I need to find a full time job. My life could potentially be very different by this time next year.
 I would really like to work in something related to my degree but I have a feeling a Masters may have to be in my future somewhere.

Sewing wise, I have my Blogiversary goals to think about until August which were:

I'd like to make a capsule wardrobe- With this I am not going to go as overboard as I did with the Colette Fall Challenge and I think i'd like to gear it towards "My Graduate Wardrobe" Which I will talk about later.

I'd like to make one historical costume - I'm not sure about this one when I have to reason to wear it at the moment. So I think I might get rid of this

Use more of my Burda Style Magazines. Lets say make 3 garments from Burdastyle/Patrones - My Parisian skirt came from Burda and I loved it so I am determined to achieve this!

Set up a sewing group of my own or take a class to improve my tailoring and master trousersI think I'd like to revise that last one and I'd like to go to some classes this year and finally get my trouser sloper just right.

So about New Years Re-Sewlutions? Well I think I covered quite a lot of what I would like to do in August. But there are a few other idea's I would like to give a try:

Make at least one Coat! I am determined to do this! My Lady Grey was put aside as I've decided I hate hand sewing! I think I'd rather sew the hair canvas in on the machine within the seam allowance. Plus I have a fabulous few coat patterns I would love to get done!

I'd like to make my "graduate wardrobe" too which I have yet to make a concrete plan of. Just a few interchangeable pieces that I can wear in a new work situation and be comfortable, look tidy, professional and hopefully stylish. 
Here is what I have so far. I'd like to make at least half of this. I don't want to overload like I did on some of the other challenges this year. I have made at least two of the things on my list already. The Orla dress and Elphaba blouse and there is two UFO's on the board too. I decided to use a few patterns I've used before so I can cut down on fitting time.

The weight loss situation makes things a little more difficult. 
Since August I've lost two dress sizes and I intend to lose at least 2 more by the summer. This means most of my Me-made garments from earlier in the year no longer fit me. 
I'd like to focus on fit for most of these garments especially the jackets and trousers. So I think the key thing to do is overfit a little so I can make the most out of each garment I make.

What are your Re-Sewlutions?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Contemplation: Christmas Shakeup

After the Disaster with trousers I've decided that I will have a small break from my sewing machine over Christmas. This is partly because we are going to my parents and I know I won't have time to take my machine this time, plus we are coming home pretty soon after to have a second Christmas with Piemaker's family.

Normally a sewing break gives me chance to plan but I don't think I could ever have an intentional blogger break unless it was University related.
I thought I'd use the next two weeks to take stock of what has happened over the last year.
What challenges I have attempted, What ones worked and what didn't and my goals for the next year.

It is funny how much someone can advance in one year. I looked back at how I used to write in the beginning and I seem to have improved in confidence. I'm glad to say I have gained a few followers and some fantastic friends since last year. Plus my quality of sewing has definitely improved. My goals at the start of last year were that I wanted to:
Knit a jumper,
Learn to crochet,
Organise my Sewing life,
Make my patterns digital on my computer,
Make 10 garments including a Macaron and Lady Grey Coat

Well the bad news is I didn't knit, or crochet although I had a go,
Good news is I got organised, all my patterns are mostly up on my laptop for reference,
I made a macaron, I've started the Lady Grey and overall this year I have managed to make
25 fully fledged garments! Thats not including my UFO's!
Here is a few of my favorites


I have to admit i'm surprised its that many! I did 2.5x my target!
Ok, so some of them aren't worn, but most of them are! These are some of my highlight pieces. Both my Beignets are there although I can't wear the cord one as its just too big now.
The weight loss has made a big difference to how much Me Made stuff I wear at the moment but I guess thats just the nature of the beast really. I will definitely make my Liberty cord Beignet this year, as well as another version of the Simplicity 2151 pussy bow blouse in chiffon!
I also have plans for the Vogue 8685 dress at the bottom in a block colour so it shows off the beautiful detailing and seams on the dress.               Perhaps in a double knit! Next post i'll be looking at challenges!
Happy Christmas Sewists!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Sucking it Up...

I started on trousers... Sadly I didn't finish them, I am still doing said trousers and as I anticipated trousers and me do not mix well.
I've spent over two days on fitting and combined with Uni work thats why its been so quiet over here! I warn you this post has highly unflattering angles of my body in.
I tried out the Lisette Portfolio pants. Nice narrow leg. I cut an 18 and depressingly they were way too tight on the hips and top thigh area but baggy at the knee.
I decided to cut a new pair and extend each side seam 2.5in.
Urgh here they are at the side.
The Butt was not much better...
So I set about cutting a new pair increasing by 2.5 on the side seams and lowering the crotch.

You guessed it. They were then too big! So I spent ages tailoring them to my body with lots of jabbing myself with pins.
Eventually I created a new pattern piece from one side and heres the second side! Look at all that excess!
I cut them down and they now fit much better although once they are hemmed they will be a tiny bit short and I need to make the crotch a bit higher again as it was way too low once it was altered. I also had trouble putting in the waistband but I will finish this!
I am determined to have a TnT trousers pattern if it kills me! Which at this stage seems likely...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Fancy Moon are Very Nice People...

Happy Sunday readers! I come bearing Christmas excitement! My tree has been up for over a week but thats a whole other blogpost.
This one is about the lovely people at Fancy Moon who have decided to sponsor my blog! How exiting is that? They have also let me offer everyone who reads my blog 10% off! (Told you they were nice people!)

If you'd like to take up this offer the code is CCBEEBEES

(Think of the kids tv channel)

As a starter they sent me 2.5 m of this amazing Alexander Henry lawn. Its so beautiful I want to do something special with it.
I have two options both Vogue. I did a bit of draping in similar ways to see which I liked best. First up was this Michael Kors.
I really liked the look of this but I have a different purple fabric in mind for it. Very similar to the catwalk version. My draping wasn't really very correct either but I really like the Grecian look of the dress. Second was Vogue 8631. This is a great dress on curvier girls but the illustration has is hanging off of the model if a not so attractive way. So if you fill her out a bit...
You get something like this. I tried to adjust the colour on the photos so you could see the top pleating but I couldn't get it just right.
I like that there is an element of pleating on this one but its asymmetrical so the actual print isn't lost within the detailing of the dress. I think because of the drape the fabric definately lends itself to soft pleated styles.
So what do you think?