Thursday, 29 March 2012

Reveal! I Match My Garden...Renfrew and Lisette

I have a reveal...Well not one TWO!!! 
Don't you love that my outfit matches my flowers? I was so exited when they all started blooming this week and I had to show you!
Anyway less of the gardening more of the sewings!
This is my first go at Lisette 2211 Skirt using the leftover needlecord from my Small Victory Beignet. I actually like it better than I thought I would I think I might have a go at the version without the pleats but this is definately going to be a wardrobe workhorse!
The buttons on the tabs came from Liberty from my last trip there. The tabs aren't the same length but I can't be bothered to fix it. I'll see how much it annoys me first.
Now onto the Renfrew!
I needed a size down. Its a nice pattern. Very easy and quick, I think I need to buy more medium jerseys and sew up a few. but I didn't stay stitch the neckline and my binding was slightly short. It took a lot of fiddling to get it to fit.
The only medium stretch jersey I had in my stash was one I got from Zoe in a Brighton Swap a while ago. I cut the neck binding and waistband vertically and I like the effect. Its certainly comfy and is a nice top for sunny weather. But I will cut a size smaller next time.
Both of these go together so no orphans here hooray! What do you think?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Versatile Blogger Award!...

Yay! Another Blog award! This one comes from Sorbet Surprise!
Thanks lovely. 
So heres the fine print
The Rules
  • add the badge to the winning blog page
  • thank the blogger who gave it
  • list the rules
  • list seven (7) random facts about yourself
  • pass on the award to five (5) deserving and conscientious bloggers who are nominated for their diligence, demonstration skill, and achievements in the world of blogging and specifically in the sewing related category.
  • contact the nominated bloggers and let them know they are recipients
 The 7 Random Facts
1. Although I don't focus on it much (look at The Dreamstress for a pretty accurate blog on it,) I study Fashion and Dress History and I adore historical clothing! I go through crushes and my last one was 1910-1912, I really get into what i'm studying and I'm hoping to go on and do a masters in it.

2. I used to be a singer (Not of the sewing machine variety); I used to be fairly musical up until I left school and was part of a Chamber Choir doing tours around Europe. Most of my family is musical, my dad plays violin and guitar and my brother is doing a degree in contemporary music at a conservatoire. He plays guitar, drums, piano and sings.

3. I am a big fan of gardening. I love growing stuff! Last summer our garden was overgrown and looked tiny and the front garden was just weeds, Now I have lots of spring flowers in the front and I have started growing fruit, veggies and more flowers in the back garden. I even have a blueberry bush! It reminds me of my darling grandad who past away a couple of years ago, I still miss him lots.

4. I am originally from Somerset, the land of cider and the wurzels. I lived in a small village for most of my life and I sorely miss evenings in a field with cider and a folk band.

5. I collect vintage dress patterns and magazines; Ok so I know a lot of you do this too! Not that random

6.I currently have a thing about wearing grey and yellow together. Hence why I need to get sewing more and save to buy some new fabrics!

7. I once got on local news; when i was about 6 at a country fair, when my grandmother lifted me into a flowerpot behind the presenter so I could wave at her while she watched the news later.

So thats the facts over I'm passing it on to
Alana from Lazy Stitching
Leimomi from The Dreamstress
Erika from Erika Made It
Mikhaela from Polkadot Overload

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Capsule Sewing: Plus more Wardrobe Ramblings...

Do you capsule sew?
With this realising potential project I've been keeping an eye on capsule wardrobe ideas.
I like the idea of interchangeable pieces as thats what makes our wardrobes usable and interesting.
Due to the weight loss I've had to chuck away/ ebay a lot of my clothes and most basics have been worn to rags.
I've been really looking at collections as a whole and looking at the harmonising factors. I also bought the E-Book "The No- Brainer Wardrobe" by Hayley Morgan.
 Its helped a lot because its non specific but in the same vein it doesn't deal with the issue of weight loss and how that can affect things.
I colour coded my wardrobe (Sad I know) and the colours that seem to shine through the most are Pale/acid greens
Royal and greyish blues
Pumpkin Orange/ Red
Ironically its not the colours I anticipated would be dominant. I thought I would have a lot more purple and mustard. Not only that it gets a bit tricky to mix your primary colours without looking like a paintbox or an 80s TV presenter.
( My trousers and cardigans go in drawers but they range in a wide array of colours. But still are mostly in these colours.)

I LOVE Orange but Red washes my pale skin out just a bit too much and because of my slightly red complexion its not very flattering near my face.
(Strong corals and Oranges however look fab!)
My Neutral colours are at the end. The white and cream me-made top is a complete go to and is very comfy, 
I am lacking some serious basics at the moment. Plain block coloured tops, Trousers! Even a white shirt. This has lead me to think it would be great to sew some useful pieces
Sadly at the moment I don't have the time to take part in some of the amazing sewalongs going on in the blogisphere. There is a great basics one floating around from Girls in the Garden and I think I'm going to incorporate that into my Mad Men Challenge from Julia Bobbin.
I'm probably going on a bit for one post so I'll do a follow up later in the week but I wondered
Do you Capsule Sew?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dreaming of Spring...

Is anyone else desperate for Daylight Saving to come?
I have re-started my garden's (front is flowers, back is flowers and veg) We have crocus and our first daffodil.
 I've started planting up my veg and some dahlia's. But I am so impatient for the warmer weather!

Particularly with regard to sewing I have been in a bit of a Spring Fever brought on mostly by Pinterest. (follow me here) I have two projects not quite finished and I have at least three items cut out but not yet sewn. I am finding it increasingly difficult as my jeans get too big, to not go out and buy new. It won't be long until they are also too big and I don't have the mula to go out and get two pairs! I've been sewing a lot of jersey for that reason. The jersey at least won't look so bad for a while.
Heres a couple of things on my wishlist and maybe sewing list.

This top Anthro dress reminds me of Simplicity 2374 which I have in the stash or Kwik Sew 3758 if you narrowed the skirt. This Pink and purple skirt has already inspired me but I'd love to make a replica with New Look 6981. you could do the same for this fabulous yellow Chevron skirt too! (I've been hunting for this fabric!

There have also been lots of lovely chiffon blouses around that look a lot like Colette's Jasmine blouse.

Plus I have some Navy Ponte from the last blogger meetup which could prove useful for making McCalls 5978 with a bit of embroidering.
I could go on forever I think!
Whats been inspiring you for spring?

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Realising Potential: The Sonia Skirt

Here it is as promised! The sneaky peek you got was of my Sonia Skirt! Based on this awesome piece by Sonia Delaunay! 
The colours are the same as my realising potential project! But the real awesomness about this skirt is that its made from two 1950's aprons I got at a vintage fair in Bristol last weekend for £3 each! Making this skirt cost just £6! 
As you can see its also avoided being an orphan! It goes great with my Anthropologie Jumper and I have a lot of orange items I can wear with it as well as a mustard jersey cardi I made a while back!
It looks a bit bulky in the picture due to my jumper being tucked in but it fits surprisingly well! 
I just deconstructed the two aprons and used the strings to make a waistband and facing, stuck a zip in and voila!
I think that although it doesn't count as stashbusting per se, It is taking something already existing on the planet (vintage apron) and making it useful. So I figure that counts.
 I love Sonia Delaunay. She taught at the Bauhaus School in Germany with her Husband Robert and did some amazing fabric and clothing designs!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Realising Potential Project: Cockatoo Blouse

There has only been a tiny bit of guilty sewing going on of late, due to the Uni workload. I'm nearing the end of my degree and so sewing had to take a bit of a backseat.
Thats not to say I haven't been doing any!

I started bra making but getting the supplies was a steep learning curve, plus my machine doesn't want to co-operate sewing zig zag on elastic. Any tips let me know!

I also finished this UFO from LAST YEAR!
Something just wasn't right about this blouse. But I loved the colour too much to let it go It was the length of the sleeves so I chopped them off and voila! Much better!
(The photos are done sans helper so they aren't the best.)
 This blouse is Simplicity 2601 and its one of the pieces I've put in my Realising Potential project. 
As I was going through my stash I started to pull things out in colour order. I wanted some nice pieces to put into a Spring/Summer wardrobe I want things that work together but that are Practical! So i'm limiting the dresses!
(In this picture you can see a sneaky peak of a couple of other projects i'm working on.)
These are the colours I have decided on so far as most of them already feature in my fabric stash.
I am still working out what I want to make but I certainly want:
 a hot pink version of 2601 with a waterfall ruffle on the front, 
a pair of hot pink slim leg pants,
To finish my bombshell dress
A 6922 TnT hot pink jersey top
In the Turquoise/Cockatoo colour I put in the 2601 top above and I have some slightly darker Blue Garberdine that I want to use to make Gertie's starlet suit. (I'd love one in wool this colour but student budget doesn't currently permit)
Finally so far, I have the "Solar Power" Mustard yellow which I'd like 
Slim Pants
A Mini skirt or pencil skirt
Vogue 8701 Jacket
I don't have the fabric for any of these yet.

Plus a little surprise project that I've almost finished (clue in one of the pictures above) I can't wait until I have the Summer off I'm going to be sewing up a storm!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

"How I Started" Feature Launch... Sarai from Colette Patterns!

Sorry for the long absence lovelies! This Dissertation is Kicking my ass.  But something very positive has come out of it. During my interviews I got to talk to some lovely ladies from the Blogisphere and interview them about their views on sewing!
My Dissertation title is Dressmaking:Communities, Motivations and the Historical Importance of the Paper Pattern 1920-2012 
How kool is it that? I get to write about you lot for my degree!!! Once it is finished and marked I am going to publish it on the blog for those that want to read it! Anyway back to the interviews. Some of the questions seem very specific but I have tried very hard to not edit the people I interviewed.
*Please note, These interviews are copyrighted to me and the person I did the interview with.
 If you want to use it for something please email me first!*

Et Voila! Here is the first with Lovely Sarai from Colette Patterns who very kindly spent some time answering my questions!

Who taught you to sew?
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 16 years old. At that time, I really wanted to make my own dress for prom, which turned out to be a bit too ambitious for a beginner. But she helped me make my first few dresses and taught me to use the sewing machine, which I still think is the most challenging aspect of learning to sew.
Before that, I’d been hand sewing as long as I can remember. I’ve always been obsessed by crafts and more generally with “making stuff.”

What type of clothing do you like to make?
I like making things I’ll get a lot of use out of. Dresses are wonderful, because they’re sort of an outfit in one piece. But I wear a lot of pants these days, so pants and shorts have become another staple in my sewing life.

Do you sew alone, if not how do you sew?
I usually sew in the evenings in my studio. I prefer sewing by myself, because it affords some quiet, alone time in an otherwise very busy day. The technical parts of sewing are very much solitary activities for me, but the completed projects give me a chance to connect to other people who sew. I love to share what I’ve made, what I’ve learned from the project, and other tidbits of information that could be helpful to another sewist.

Do you sew just for yourself or others?
I primarily sew for myself, and occasionally for my husband. Caitlin (my assistant) does most of the sample sewing, but we both work on various projects for blog tutorials and things like that.

Do you sew/design from modern patterns, Vintage,Reproduction or a mixture?
I mostly sew my own designs these days. Occasionally, I buy vintage patterns. I have a decent collection of them, but don’t work with them all that much.

Do you feel you are influenced by patterns/fashions from the past?
I’m definitely influenced by the past, and I think that’s true for just about every designer. Like any other form of design, fashion design arises from a specific context. Fashions from the past convey different moods and feelings very well because they have a familiarity, so they’re wonderful tools for any designer to play with. I do think it’s important to balance that with the realities of our modern lives and identities, though. That’s what makes it interesting for me.

Why do you sew from these fashions of the past?
I think patterns from the past have beautiful details that are difficult to find in modern clothing, unless you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars. There is more attention to detail.

What do you think is important about sewing patterns as evidence of past fashions?
Home sewing patterns show the types of clothing that women actually made and wore through different eras.

Tell me about fabric shopping for you.
I buy most fabric locally, at a large independently owned fabric store herein Portland, OR. I really enjoy shopping for fabric in person, and I’m lucky that there are a lot of great options where I live. I find it important to see colors in person and feel the hand of the fabric.
When I buy fabrics online, I usually do so because it seems like a good deal. I view it as a bit of a calculated risk, since you never know exactly what you’ll get. If I have something in mind for a specific project, I have to be prepared to change things up if the fabric doesn’t work out when it arrives.

How do you feel about sewing?
For me, sewing is a way to combine my interest in fashion with the creative process. It gives me a chance to separate fashion from the world of consumerism and all the baggage that comes with that, and enjoy it as a purely creative joy.

Do you have a special attachment to a specific pattern or piece that you’ve made?
I sewed my wedding dress, and feel pretty sentimental about it. I bought an expensive Italian gold 4-ply silk for it, and a seed pearl and organza trim, and made the dress in exactly the way I wanted. It was a non- traditional dress that really felt like me.

How do you feel about blogging and the community within the internet?
Blogging has given me a chance to share with the world. The people I’ve connected with have been amazing, and I’m genuinely excited to share my projects and skills online.

What do you think is important about a sewing community?
Sewing is a complex and challenging practice, and garment sewing in particular had really gone out of favor in the last several decades. Long ago, women had opportunities to share their skills with each other, especially since so many women did sew. With fewer women sewing today, the internet gives us a chance to connect with one another, share our skills, and create a sort of sewing renaissance. By learning from one another and connecting, we’re able to bring this old-fashioned skill back from the brink.

What do you think is important about sewing as a whole?
Sewing connects us more strongly with our clothing and the labor that goes into them. It gives us a true sense of the costs of producing some of the goods we might otherwise take for granted.
It also gives us a chance to reflect on our own identities, to express our individualism and creativity in a really fundamental way. It brings creativity into our daily lives.

Do you feel that you use the clothes you sew to form part of your identity?
Of course. I think ornamentation and dress are a huge part of identity formation, whether we realize it or not. I believe all human beings mark their identity through dress. Making my own clothes is a great way to think a little more deeply about that and about who I am and where my tastes come from.

Gertie did a sewalong for your pattern “The Lady Grey” coat. How did you feel about the different interpretations that everyone participating made?
I think it’s amazing to see different interpretations of my designs. It’s one of the most gratifying parts of designing sewing patterns. Each person has her own style, and it’s great that I can help provide one of the tools she uses to express that style.
As a pattern designer how do you feel about the current resurgence for vintage and retro designs?
I think it’s fantastic that people see the beauty in older styles and designs! I think it’s happened many times before, and it’s always interesting to see the mix of old and new and how they play off each other. For example, I love the way Biba in the 70s reworked ideas from the 30s and 40s. Or the influence of the boyish shapes of the 20s on fashion design in the 60s. To me, those are some of the most compelling and interesting moments in fashion!

Thank you so much for taking your time for this interview and letting me use your images Sarai!
You can catch Sarai on the Coletterie Blog, and buy her fabulous Patterns at Colette Patterns