Monday, 31 December 2012

Not Backwards about being Forward - Welcome 2013.

I have enjoyed reading everyone`s sewing reflections and their sewing hopes for 2013.
It seems that although we greatly differ in styles and productivity everyone seemed to enjoy their own sewing challenges and grew in the process. I do think the internet contributes to this a lot-we learn and are inspired by others .

New sewing project.

My sewing statistics were less in previous years because my sewing challenge was to slow down, enjoy the process more , do my personal best  and try new techniques . Therefore although I only sewed 13 items for myself in 2012 I am more than happy with this. I  do not need more clothes but I still want to sew.

Overall I sewed  27 items for the year - 14 for others - mostly my daughters but also my husband and mother-in-law. I sewed 11 new patterns a couple of which I then repeated later on. For my family the fabrics were purchased specifically for their projects   but for myself  I used all stash fabric so my stash is just a tad   smaller than last year - not that my sewing room looks any less cluttered  :)  .

My new challenges and techniques I accomplished this year were learning to confidently deal with chiffon ( If only this could extend to dogs and family and significant others !) , using flat fell seaming including on long sleeves, using french seams in armholes  and making changes to patterns to improve them or suit our needs more. I also finally got around to sewing that handbag pattern that had been glaring at me for probably 8 years. I did not blog about a few projects including a secret Xmas shirt for my husband - he initially thought it was a RTW one and  was very touched by his homemade present  ( which warmed the cockles of my heart ).

So now it is a new year and a new sewing challenge  -

yes that is my cutting table .

I have finally cut out my knipmode skirt - I bought three  magazines back in July 2012 and have been looking forward to attempting this pattern which is from the skirt supplement of the May edition . It is a Michael Kors design knockoff and I have taken a picture to show the  unusual shaped pieces. The above picture shows the skirt front at the  top and the skirt back pieces below. There are also the waist facing pieces and a long narrow rectangle ( which I have not cut out yet ) .
This project will be a challenge for me in several ways and so what better way to start a new year .
It will be a totally different fashion style to what I am used to , the magazine is written in dutch ( and now I know where  the term  It is all Double Dutch comes from ) and I am going to try bound buttonholes and possibly mitred corners. There now I have done it - it is written down in black and white and I can not back away. Wish me good luck.

I look forward to continuing to reading everyone`s sewing blogs in 2013 . I also look forward to hopefully a happy, healthy , safe , interesting and varied  year. Cheers Janine.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Kwik Sew 3637 A Circle Skirt and Farewell 2012.

I have managed to complete the final project for 2012 - a  little thrill that I can start 2013 all afresh . My middle daughter did not forget about the promised skirt she requested that I sew her. So ta da - here it is - in all its live modelled glory -yes my daughter agreed to have this photo taken ( after my youngest tricked her and took a photo anyway !)

I used Kwik Sew 3637 , a yoked circle skirt . The fabric is a Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight - it actually has  a nice hand and is reminiscent of Liberty but without the accompanying $40/metre  price tag. ( I mean it is not as good as Liberty but still a really good substitute ) .Bonus my fabric was on special for only $7.99/metre and there were lots of patterns and colours to choose from   .

The skirt was really simple to sew -it only has two pieces - a yoke- cut out four times  and skirt piece- cut twice .     I did make a couple of  small  changes . I lined the skirt with dark blue cotton voile and surprisingly I found some navy blue ready made piping in my stash which added a nice little touch to the yoke. The only tricky bit of the skirt is the zipper and managing the lining and piping in this area . Also I overlocked the lower edge of the skirt and then made a narrow machine hem .   It does take alot of fabric  - size small uses 2.75 metres  but the resulting  softly cascading folds of fabric look lovely on her .

Well now I am truly ready to start sewing for me again - my pattern is traced  and fabric washed and ironed all ready to go for next year . To everyone have a  Happy New Year . Cheers Janine.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

For a few years now my youngest daughter has pointed out to me that her christmas stocking is somewhat smaller than her two older sisters and I have been able to ignore these mutterings. However as she gets older  it also gets harder for me to put this aside and so finally I decided to correct this injustice.
I bought a chrismassy panel from a local patchwork shop and then trawled my stash to complete the sack. I used some cheap and nasty  dark green and white spotty  patchwork fabric that I have had for at least 16 years for the back and some much nicer vintage red and cream gingham cotton  to line it  and I couldn`t believe it but I found that I already owned a suitable christmassy panel ! ( SewYears Resolution - shop my stash before buying anything else )
Then because it is the silly season I went to town decorating it - using all materials from my bits and bobs box - glitter paint, fluffy sparkly pom poms, gold iron-on motifs, `toy` buttons and charms , lone gilt buttons and little bells rescued from the necks of chocolate Easter bunnies.
Now I hope it doesn`t matter that  this is not a stocking and that this is now much larger than my other daugther`s stockings otherwise I will get to practice my diplomacy skills AGAIN .

With the completion of this ( downright quick and easy ) project my Christmas preparations are done. Presents have been bought, cooked ,sewn and wrapped. The Christmas cake has been baked ( and eaten !) , the tree has been decorated and my daughters are cooking the desserts we need to take for the day. Now I get to sit back and relax and hopefully get to read Anna Karenina and watch the Carols by Candlelight.

Hope you and your families  all have a safe and happy and healthy  Christmas.
I also want to thank everyone for their kind words and awards even during the year. It has made blogging even more fun and enjoyable.
Cheers Janine.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Burda 7372 - A Spotty Dotty Circle Dress.

Bonjour!  This is the second of my projects for my middle DD using some cotton voile from Spotlight ( actually quite alot of cotton voile - four metres !) . The dress has quite a slim fitting bodice which merges into a large waist and a  circle skirt  . It is has a small mandarin collar, decorative only pocket flaps, inseam pockets  and bias bound armholes.  I used size 12 which is for a bust of 93 cm and the finished garment is only 97 cm so you can see there is not much ease at that particular point. However the waist is huge and shaping is provided by elastic .

This pattern uses four metres or 4 3/8 yards of fabric because of the skirt portion which is  a gathered  circle skirt . If you sew this, take my advice and cut out the skirt portions first - I didn`t and almost didn`t have enough fabric . In the end my daughter wanted me to shorten the skirt by about 13 cms so I went through all that angst for nothing . The  other changes were that  I cut out two yokes so it could be lined. I realise that my old cotton shirts always fade first at my upper back which led to a  totally useless thought that perhaps that is the purpose of  lined yokes .
Also I eliminated the outer fabric  casing where  elastic joined  to a narrow  fabric tie is threaded . Instead I made a channel in the waist / bodice seam and inserted elastic in there before sewing on the front bands. My daughter didn`t want the fabric ties but instead will wear this with a belt .

 A close up of the bodice, flaps, lined yoke and bias bound  armholes.

So now my daughter can be all swirly and girly in her spotty dotty dress but unfortunately she just won`t do that for this blog !

Now I admit I am excited . You see I have not sewn anything pour moi in two months - I am going through serious selfish  sewing DTs so once I finish up some PJ pants for my eldest DD I will get going with a skirt which is just a little bit different to the usual. My middle DD also wanted me to sew her a skirt but I think I will just keep quiet for now and not remind her about that ;) .

Cheers Janine.