Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finished x2 Jalie 2921

I was originally going to sew a cowl neck Renfrew for my 6 PAC, but Jalie 2921 kept calling to me. I had 3 yards set aside for this project, so I had lots left over to sew a little dress for Laila. I hope to take some better detailed pics soon, but I wanted to get this post up before 2014 :)

Pattern: Jalie 2921

Fabric: Cotton/Spandex knit from Girl Charlee
Notions: Just thread and seam stabilizer.

Size sewn: I sewed a G (size 3) for my DD and for my self: T in the bust, grading to a U in the waist & a V in the hips.

Alterations/Design Changes: I cut DD's top off at the waist marking & added a pleated skirt. This was my original "vision" Don't be jealous of my mad fashion sketching skillz.
For mine, aside from grading out at the waist and hips, I raised the neckline 1/2" and will raise it another inch next time. I also lengthened it 3/4" and did a double fold 5/8" hem.
Likes: The results are so professional!!
Dislikes: I could have stuck with size T all the way through I think. The sleeves are symmetrical, which is a pet peeve of mine. But, they do seem to have a better fit than other symmetrical sleeves I've sewn.

Time to Complete: Not much! I think mine took one nap time to construct (90 minutes?) and another 20 to hem? Fast.

New Techniques: Rolling the shirt into the collar (the "burrito"). Drafted a pleated skirt for DD.

Total Cost: I had all the notions on hand, so.....about $15 for each.
Fabric: $18 for 3 yards 
Pattern:  12.98

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking back on 2013

2013 was a good, solid year for my family and my sewing. I fell a bit behind in blogging, but that's just the rhythm of things, I suppose.

I delved into bra sewing, which was more of a miss than hit, I suppose.  It was a confidence booster construction wise, but it was a bad idea to take it on while I was breastfeeding. Too many fluctuations in size & I've never really loved breastfeeding, so I'm a bit more self-conscious then anyway.

That aside, though, the things I did manage to make this year were more solidly built than things I've made in the past & I'm also getting a knack for sewing what I *need*.  I still carry my Necessary Clutch every time I leave the house and it ALWAYS gets compliments. I've been told more than once that I should make & sell them.

I actually had quite few wadders this year. I'm at an odd place technique-wise. I think I'm a solid advanced beginner, moving into Intermediate territory. But when I come across a technique that I'm unsure of, instead of proceeding with caution & being diligent in my actions I just plow through.That's precisely what happened when I attempted the Bombshell swimsuit. I have every confidence that I'll be able to conquer that this summer. A large reason that one blew up in my face is that I was determined to add a bra to the pattern. Which, in theory should have been straight forward. Because I make bras. Or I did. Then. So I think if there is ONE thing that will help me to advance my skills in the next year it will be to SLOW.DOWN. My Minoru jacket is an excellent example of what I'm capable of when I take my time.

Speaking of which, my pièce de résistance was my version of the Minoru jacket. I just love it. I've got my eye on the Robson coat for this spring. It's rated as Advanced....but maybe, just maybe I can pull it off.

It seems that my sewing projects of 2013 were either raging successes or dismal failures that didn't even make it to the blog. :)  Hopefully 2014 will be a little more consistent. And I plan to start blogging my failures a bit more just for my own personal record.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sewing Space Makeover Reveal

Ages ago I announced my intention of prettying up my sewing corner.  It is in our "office" which happens to be the first room guests walk into when they enter our home.  We've been remodeling our house room by room & for some reason, this room was the last one to get done.

I've been combing the archives for a suitable "before" shot, but can't really find one. This is the room when we first moved in. The blue carpet, unfortunately, remains. We've decided to wait until the kids are done spilling things on a daily basis to replace it. Oh, how I yearn for that day.

The unsightly wood paneled walls adorned every room (except the kitchen) in our house. We've dry walled over it in the master bed, wallpapered & painted over it in the living room and just flat out painted over it in the remaining rooms. I dislike the look of it painted, but I hate the look of it unpainted. And of course, time and cost is always a factor when remodeling.

Just as a reminder, here's my initial inspiration board:

And here is how everything turned out. This is close to what it looks like all tucked away when I'm between projects or in the middle of projects but expecting company. It is incredibly easy to reconfigure. Please note these photos were taken while the kids were napping. Typically the hot and/or sharp objects are far out of reach :)

You can just see a peek of the curtains I made. My fantastic husband and I made the sewing table ourselves using Ana White's Collapsible Sewing Table woodworking plan. We put it on 4 caster wheels so that it's easy to maneuver.

Originally I planned on using one of the leaves as a pressing board, but decided against it since I didn't want to have both leaves out while I was sewing. When I'm cutting or tracing patterns, I fold out both leaves like this

If/when we make this table again I'll make it taller & deeper with thicker legs, but it's working out just fine so far. Once I'm ready to get to the actual sewing, I collapse one of the leaves & voila....

I didn't make a pressing board, but I still wanted to use the green fabric so I recovered my mini ironing board. It fits perfectly underneath when it's not in use.

I'm still trying to figure out the ideal pegboard configuration. Right now everything is just kind of thrown on there willy nilly. The baskets are from the dollar store. 

So that's my sewing space. Or as I like to call it "Where the magic happens" LOL.  I'm really happy with my little corner and I just adore how easy it is to put it all away while keeping it close at hand. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Two Strikes.

I'm off to a miserably bad start with my SWAP. I picked out a cheap, polyester suiting from Joann Fabrics for my Hollyburn & it shows. It just looks all wrong. I'll be saving the zipper but trashing the skirt.

And as for my Red Velvet Dress. Yeah. That was just one disaster after another.

Firstly, had I realized the dress featured facings, I never would have bought it. I have no love for facings, particularly in knits. And throughout the sewalong Steph (the pattern designer) reiterated time & time again how easy this particular neckline was to stretch & distort. Which made me nervous.

I hemmed & hawed and finally worked up the courage to draft my own binding. Which was successful! THEN the pattern designer said some rather ugly things on Debbie Cook's blog & that totally robbed me of my motivation to continue participating in her sew along. Yick.

Then I hated the bust pleats. But I decided they were well camouflaged in the print of my fabric & continued on. Then the "scissor" pleat looked silly (I think this was an issue with me rather than the pattern). Whatever. But now I am blissfully in the final stretch--hemming.

And I've run out of thread. Completely. After hemming one sleeve.  I don't even have "this will do" color. Nearest notions shop is an hour away.

So I think it's time to call it quits. Despite the fact that the dress would have been wearable, I've just got too much resentment built up toward it I think. It will likely end up as a dress for my 3 year old daughter.

So that's 2 wadders in a row. But my Minoru is still fabulous, so I've got that to hang on to :) I keep using that as proof to myself that I can, indeed sew.

On to the next thing, then! I'm going back to the land of knit tops for now. :)
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