Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Self-drafted abstract dress

First off, let me apologise for the blurriness and quality of the photos. I took these as I was heading off to work this morning and balanced the camera on the front door steps and raced in front of the camera, hoping that the camera was focused in the right vicinity of where I’d be standing and didn’t chop off my head in the pics. The photos are all wrong – wrong angle, wrong composition, wrong lighting. But they show the dress, so I guess that’s all that matters.
I made this dress quite a while ago, but thought I would retrospectively blog it. It is self-drafted, loosely copied from a kimono short sleeved knit dress I bought. I drafted a ¾ sleeve set-in with a slight gather around the sleeve-cap. I’m not entirely happy with the amount of gather at the top and back of the sleeves, and think they look a bit puffy, but no one has commented on them, so I guess they don’t look too ridiculous.
The fabric is an abstract stretch fabric that I found on sale at spotlight. I’m not really a spotlight fan and the fabric doesn’t feel anywhere as nice as the stuff I buy from Tessuti or Addicted to Fabric, but it was cheap and I was attempting to draft a pattern with set-in ¾ sleeves, so I was nonchalant if it didn’t work out and ended up in the bin. I think it’s some sort of polyester blend.

This dress is wearable – I wore it to work today, but as mentioned, I didn’t get the sleeve fit or design right. I’m yet to design or find a pattern with the perfect amount of ease across the sleeve head, especially for knit fabrics (I think Sarai in the Colette blog mentioned that the armscye for the bodice and the sleeve are generally the same measurements for knit fabrics). I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The beginning of my Colette Iris shorts

I didn’t get much sewing done over the weekend, but finished my grey t-shirt with kimono sleeves (I'll blog about this one soon), and cut out the pattern pieces for my Colette Iris shorts. I’m about a year behind every other seamstress in sewing up these shorts as the pattern was released about a year ago, but I think (hope) they will be a staple for summer. My wardrobe is lacking in the ‘nice’ shorts department – I have shorts: the ones that I garden in, exercise and walk the dog … and they are ok to wear to the supermarket, but not out to lunch.
Fingers crossed these Iris shorts exceed (or just meet) my expectations and I can dress them up with a nice shirt and wear them out. I’ve decided to make them in blue linen fabric with a subtle pin-stripe - I picked up the fabric from Addicted to Fabric a while ago with the intention to make a linen dress. I’m a tad worried that the fabric has no stretch in it (I’m pretty sure the Colette website suggests a fabric with about a 1-2% stretch component), but we’ll just have to wait and see. I also cannot be bothered making a muslin for these, which I’ll probably regret.

Talking about the stages of sewing, I recently came across Kathryn’s blog from Yes I like that. It was one of those 'Ah ha' moments where I totally agreed with everything she was writing – the joy of planning a project, the absolutely hatred at cutting the damn thing out and marking darts, notches etc, the excitement when the garment comes together, the demotivation when you realise things are not going as well as you expected, and the high when you’re finished, and you walk out the house strutting your stuff in your newly made garment. It’s no wonder that I have so many unfinished sewing projects as I get to that demotivation stage and think ‘crap, I screwed up the facing/seam/neck-line/zipper…. I’ll just put that aside and dream about the next project or look through my pattern books and plan that dress/top that I’ve been dreaming about’.
I must admit, my favourite bit about being a seamstress is wandering around fabric stores feeling the drape and weight of fabric (oh and picking out buttons... don’t get me started on how much I love buttons). I don’t have to have an idea in mind about what I want to sew, the beauty of the fabric makes me smile and I want (need) to have it in my sewing room for when that perfect pattern comes along that warrants its use. I do wonder if other seamstresses feel the same way? And are there comparisons to other hobbies? Both my partner and my son play video games – does wandering around EB games and picking up the newest game invoke up the same elation in them that fabric does to me? I hope not as I am constantly battling my son to put down that damn PS3 remote and to do something constructive.

Monday, 11 November 2013

The first

What should I write in my first ever blog? Where should I start? There appears to be a myriad of sewing blogs out there and I have no false belief that I have any more to offer than any other sewing enthusiast. I scroll through my favourite handful of sewing blogs each morning and have learnt the tricks of the seamstress trade through my sewing blog friends (hmm, maybe ‘friends’ is a little far-fetched – truth of the matter is they don’t know I exist. I follow them relentlessly, but in the shadows like some weird sewing blog stalker. I have even been known to talk about these ‘friends’ with my real-life friends. Oh dear, now that is sad).

My thinking behind starting my own blog is actually quite selfish – I sew, I alter patterns on the fly to fit my body shape… I rejig the pattern, create a muslin and then once the final outfit is finished, I forget what I modified. Months down the track I pick up the pattern and make the very same mistakes as the first time around! I must have a memory like a goldfish. This blog is my own memory jogger: somewhere to document my sewing journey through each hand-made outfit and somewhere I can look back and remind myself that I moved the bust darts down 1 inch on the Colette Laurel top or that Ottobre patterns do not include seam allowance. And maybe, just maybe my blog might be of interest to other sewing enthusiasts.