Showing posts with label sewing love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing love. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 February 2018

On Sewing Mistakes ,Sewing Doldrums And Sewing Successes.

  I have been trying to make my first ever pair of jeans. When Style Arc sent an email advertising a pattern/ stretch denim package  for jeans I immediately bought it which is another first and I don`t know why . The mysteries of advertising which tap into the human psyche .
One advantage of making my own jeans was to be able to customise the back pockets .
My sewing machine has an embroidery function which I rarely utilise so a couple of weekends ago I set about relearning how to use this , looked through some folders of designs available to me ( which my late father created for my mother - what a man to spend hours doing this for her ! ) and practised some designs which I liked. I finally settled on one from a Pfaff Creative Card 300, design 27 .I even really liked their chosen colours.

I practiced on some old serviettes and then went to work on the denim of which there was not much to spare. It all went really well.
Now I have discovered that I mainly make mistakes in two situations . One is when I am tired and it is later in the day and I just want to finish up a project. I relearnt this several times and now I just do not go there. Once I am tired or a  bit sick of sewing I just stop even if I am really close to completing something.
The other time  is when I am really excited about a project so I just tend to leap in . I don`t think there is much I can do about this.
So I was in the process of sewing up the pockets and noticed that one pocket was slightly larger than the other . Then I realised what I had done. I cut the pocket out the wrong way so the stretch is going vertically , the pocket size is out and the design is going the opposite way. And here I thought I was so clever by making a see through plastic pocket template so I could centre the design properly !

I was seriously thinking about just making this a design feature but even though I am a bit of a slapdash sewist - a wrinkle here or there  doesn`t bother me- I knew the magic closet would not work with this one .
So last weekend I set up the embroidery function again and redid another embroidery.

Well everything was going really well until I got to the orange colour . Is it my imagination but does that look a bit different to the original ? Sob, no my glasses did not need cleaning , I had picked out the wrong colour. Sigh. So I worked out the correct orange embroidery thread and off we went again. ( very hard to tell in the above photo but the orange colours are different - one is more a bronze ) .

Success ! Finally . ( This saga does not even include the one where the embroidery thread broke and I realised too late ) . Now initially I told myself I was a sewing eejit but does that make me feel better about myself ? No. Does it get the embroidery done ? No . Now I am telling myself that it was all good practice and the wrong colour confirmed I liked my initial choice and I am much quicker at setting up the embroidery part of my Pfaff now . I am still frustrated at the waste of time but I am not putting myself down.
This leads me to sewing successes and how we perceive them. I recently read an excellent post by Diary of a  Sewing Fanatic asking whether we compare ourselves to others in term of how much sewing we get done. A lot of people admitted they did. I have  not  been a joiner inner on sew alongs etc. I joined in MMM and a fabric fast last year . I have always been on the fringe of things all my life and being part of the sewing internet community is one of them. But this is also why I think I am successful. My blog is so small but I have not given up. If I judged my success by the number of followers and comments then I would have quit years ago. I have read people complain about this but IMO this is not a reason to blog. I blog and sew for myself. I have never sewn the trendy indie patterns or the latest fabrics or sewn couture or been artistic  but I wear my home sewn clothes almost every day and keep them for years and years so this is a success. It does seem so obvious to say this but comparing yourself to others does not lead to contentment . Besides we only ever show the best / happiest side of ourselves on the internet.

One last photo - an outtake for my latest sewing project yet  to be blogged . A sewing mistake and success all rolled into one ! .I was using the self timer and my daughter was trying to get past .
Well hopefully anyone in the sewing doldrums can read this post and feel better about themselves.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Sewtistics .

The only Xmas gift I sewed this year . A mug rug for my work Secret Santa recipient. 
This was the year that I finally managed to actually sew down my fabric stash a bit . I have only been making promises to myself to do so since 2008 when I first sorted and documented my material and was shocked by what I had. But it never worked . Some years the stash numbers went down a little but mostly they went up or stagnated.
My stash busting this year  was achieved by trying very hard to avoid going into fabric shops and checking out the crafty section of op shops. If I did purchase something then I tried to sew it up as soon as I could . I also went through my unused knipmodes and burdas and other magazines and attempted to match up what fabrics I had to patterns I wanted to make . I joined a stashbusting facebook group and tried every month to document my fabric figures.
I discovered though that although I really loved the facebook group and its camaraderie, the whole pledging to reduce your stash by a certain percentage ( wholly voluntary I might add ) put on a  pressure which I did not enjoy . However I did find this year that having a goal really helped me achieve a purposeful outcome . I wanted to sew from my unused sewing magazines and finally used all my knipmodes and other European magazines that had been languishing on my bookshelf and made something from almost all of my recently purchased  Burdas.
So this year I will not be joining any pledges but I will make more goals and this year I will try to sew up my unused pattern envelopes as much as is possible and continue the stash reduction .

My favourite and most useful and used sewn item of the year . 

In 2017 I sewed 41 items.
9 were for others - my daughters and  friends.
2 were muslins and I had one wadder ( a skirt )  .
3 were under things I did not blog  as well as hankies and 1 infinity scarf also not blogged.
There is 1 UFO - a table runner which I hope to finish this year .
That leaves 23 main items for myself - 10 tops/shirts  , 5 skirts , 3 dresses, 1 cardy  , 1 jumper , 1 vest  , 1 PJ set and 1 handbag.
I did purchase 7 items of clothing as well which is why I could never do the RTW fast either .

I have enjoyed reading sewing blogs again this year although blogging really does seem to be on the way out. I have also enjoyed looking at instagram and can see how much easier it is . However overall I will continue to try limit my time on devices and just get out and do and live and enjoy !
Happy New Year everyone everywhere !

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome to 2016 And My Corner of Contentedness.

Welcome 2016 - I have been looking forward to you for a long time.
We are hosting a Japanese student for a few months and so I had to clean out my daughter`s old bedroom where my fabric treasures live. Thus my sewing corner has had a transformation .

We moved out an old desk where my youngest daughter used to sew as she has moved the machine I gave her to her own room and prefers it there. We then shifted an old wardrobe that used to belong to my dear husband`s grandmother into that space where I now store my fabrics . 

I managed to get it all in there but the wardrobe is packed pretty full now - the fabric in the shelves is stacked two deep so there is more there than what it looks like . Looks like my New Years resolution this year really should be to sew more fabric than what comes in . I mean I have been saying this for years but all I manage is a sort of status quo . Resolutions never work for me .

The wardrobe is next to the sewing machine table and next to the wardrobe is a cupboard where I keep my patterns . I rearranged my patterns this year and bought two new pretty boxes to supplement my baskets . There are various bits and bobs like bias binding , zips , unused sewing magazines and beading stuff in the glass fronted cupboard and drawers . 

In the opposite corner is Daffy the duct tape model who is really my storage area for clothes to be mended and altered and my Dalek embroidery thread holder . My husband also recently bought a large book shelf  which you can see so I have been able to put my various magazines and books in there . The two dolls in the shelves  were bought for me by my parents when I was a young teenager from San Franscisco . The costumes are handmade and are exquisite although the blue dress includes a real mink muff which I do not feel comfortable about . 

So there is my little corner of contentedness . 

Now I love reading about everyone`s 2015 sewing achievements so I am going to add my 5 cents worth.  I sewed 34 items this year which includes six  for other people / places . I sewed 4 pairs of shorts for two of my daughters and a top for myself was stolen by the oldest DD ( I really don`t mind ). I also made some fitted sheets and pillowcases for work . Not included in my total though is a dozen hat fly nets ( and still counting ) . I have been  making these to sell as a fundraiser for our local sustainability group using all scraps and what is in my collection . 

My favourite garment of the year was my Katherine Tilton top using all scraps. I would also say that my favourite sewing of the year were my scrap projects -my navy flippy skirt and my colour blocked twill skirt . I really did have to think about how to use the restricted amounts of fabric in the best way. 

I was pleased that I used up some fabric that I had had for over 20 years -that was starting to bug me . I have worn my faded denim top lots and the red skirt is lovely to wear , matches with so much and looks good if I might say so. 
The top here is what my daughter took . 
I made up 16 new patterns . I made patterns from all the major companies but the most came from Kwik Sew and Simplicity ( six each ) and then Knipmode ( five ) . I only made the one Vogue but it ended up being my favourite so perhaps I should make more Vogues . 

The most made garments were tops - no surprises there for me - as they are what I love to make the most ! I made 13 . I also sewed 6 cardigan/ jumpers , 4 skirts , 2 dresses  and  3 garments in the nightwear/undergarment type category . I didn`t blog about these . 

I did buy new clothes for myself - a lovely jacket , three  pairs of pants and a jumper .An unexpected event  meant I also bought new pajamas and underclothing .  I also bought a few things from op shops - three shirts and a skirt  made out of silk cotton or bamboo cotton , a woollen short tweed jacket , a twin set, a pair of jeans and a leather handbag . I had a big wardrobe clean out this year and only regret throwing away my Winnie the Pooh windcheater but it meant less came in than out . Almost everything I got rid of was disgusting and not even fit for donating so it was time for that to happen.  
Anyway again I wish everyone a Happy New Year . I really love reading people`s blogs from all kinds of sewers with all different styles  from all over the world .

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Colour Analysis and The Stylish Sew-along.

I have been loosely following along with the Pattern Review Stylish Sew-Along.
The purpose is to basically up our style.
The discussions have covered culling wardrobes,  style sites, hints to feeling more stylish and working out our colours amongst others.
I think this site was linked  in the thread - The Chic Fashionista - but it has an excellent article on doing a colour analysis . I  tried to do my colours many years ago but the choices seemed so limited. You could chose from red , blonde , black or brunette hair. Eye colouring was limited to blue, brown, green and black . So my mother with red hair and brown eyes is an Autumn. My father with black hair and blue eyes is a Winter. But what about their mousy haired daughter with tri-coloured blue/green/hazel eyes . Mousy coloured hair is so common but none of the colour analyses included such a mundane hue .
This site does and finally I have worked out I am a Light Spring.
I had to write this down so I don't forget.

I have done  some sewing - three pairs of shorts for my daughters using New Look 6100 .
I have also sewed a couple of new cardigans as part of the Stylish Sew-along to replace outdated, stained ones in my wardrobe. I have just finished sewing a navy charmeuse top using Simplicity 2418 and tonight cut out my precious Liberty lawn given to me by an English friend using a KnipMode skirt pattern. I hope to post some pictures soon.

Happy sewing Janine.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Stash Busting and Self Care .

Recently I attended a Girls Night Out and included were  talks from a McGrath breast care nurse and a lifeline counsellor. The take home message from the counsellor was the importance of self care.
I absolutely agree . Some women equate self care with being selfish. Self care is important at all stages of our lives whether we are students , new mothers , working women etc.
My husband and children sometimes encourage me  to buy new clothes. Like other sewers my interest in shopping has waned although I appreciate the eye candy and potential inspiration. For me though self care involves not buying new clothes but not feeling guilty in getting rid of old ones. I often keep clothes way past their best.  So with this sage self -care  advice fresh in my mind I did some stash busting and sewed up a pair of  new pajama  pants and a  singlet and promptly got rid of  the  old ones before I could change my mind.
I think as sewers we have a fair idea about self care ( unless we are constantly sewing  for others) and it is just another one of the multitude of reasons why sewing is such a lovely hobby .

 Anyway a brief note about the actual sewing. Here is a bad shot of the PJ pants a one seam pant from Vogue 7645 dated 2002 . I used a green /blue cotton plaid from my mother  stashed for several years . I added a ribbon on the front to make it easier to work out which is the front and back but this was entirely unnecessary since I mucked up matching the plaid at the front but it matched perfectly at the back ( another aspect of self-care - not berating yourself about trivia like matching plaids ) .

For the singlet or tank top I used Kwik Sew 2845 dated 1999  which uses only two pattern pieces. The fabric is a thin soft blush coloured cotton interlock also from my mother and also stashed for a long time. My sewing machine did not like this fabric whilst I was making the original  button hole ( to thread the ribbon through ) but I found by adding tear away stabilizer in both the front and the back of the fabric everything went smoothly the second time. Apart from that hiccup the rest of the sewing was easy and enjoyable.  I have never made this pattern before but it certainly will not be the last.

So here`s to daily self -care . Cheers Janine.

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.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Simplicity 3786-Hummingbirds for a Honey Top .

   Last school holidays my eldest daughter spotted this bird printed chiffon at Spotlight and loved it  and since then has been reminding me to sew this up. This school holidays I have been trying to do 'nice` things for my eldest and youngest daughters as my middle DD is in France with my DH.
So I finally sewed up this tunic - hmmm , top homemade by Mum , trip to France with Dad  - yep that just about balances things up !
   Just to ' quickly ` explain about the trip - my eldest DD went to Japan for three months a couple of years ago on an exchange programme and since then our other daughters have been muttering that this is  not fair . Then my middle DD said ` Just give me the money .` and my eldest DD said ` That`s not fair ` and I said `I am most certainly not just  giving you the money ` and then my husband said he could go to France with middle DD and I said ` That`s not fair ` ( only joking about the last bit ) .

Simplicity 3786.

   Anyway I have now sewn Simplicity 3786 four times so I have it down pat although I have not sewn it in chiffon before. However, soaking the fabric in a gelantine mixture that I previously blogged about , using a walking foot, lots of sharp pins and  lots of pressing ended up helping alot . Once the little pintucks and the mandarin collar are sewn this is a very easy top to sew. I used french seams where I could but otherwise sewed the side seams and armscye with double row of close stitching and then trimmed the excess fabric very closely ( and carefully ) to the stitching. I took in the side seams by several cms and added narrow ties because this is a loose fitting top and she wanted it to be slim fitting .  We added some non - functional buttons to the front which match much closer in real life than the pictures  show  . In case you can not tell I highly recommend this pattern.

Anyway the end result is that my eldest DD loves her new top. While I was cutting this out my youngest DD said that is pretty fabric and luckily there was a sizeable remnant that is already cut out for another ( different ) top for  her.
Cheers Janine.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Not Better , Just DIfferent .

I have been stewing quite a bit in the last few weeks over a comment I read in response to a blogpost on anothers sewing blog. The comment quite dismayed me and I felt discouraged and disparaged ( enough dis`s for now ) .I should point out the comment was not  directed at me personally at all  it was just a generalized comment. I don`t want to say at all what the comment was or the blogspot etc just that the comment was well, not nice. I wish I could say that I totally misinterpreted the comment but there was no mistaking the disdainful/superior  tone .

So everyone is different. We all have different style aesthetics, different budgets, different blogging ethos , different opportunites to sew, different clothing needs, different opinions on the importance of fashion,   etc etc. That doesn`t mean one is better , just different.

That`s all I wanted to say now. I think I feel better for getting that off my chest.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Sewing Mathematics -2011.

Fabric Out greater than > Fabric In = I can shut the cupboard doors ! Yey.

Now I just need to work on those bags/ baskets / boxes of fabric on top.

BTW - that is not a dalek sticking out in the corner.
Next year when we move house my husband and I are sharing a space for his office and my sewing room. I don`t want my husband to realise how much junk - I mean precious sewing stuff I really have.
So my Sew Year Resolution is not to buy anymore sewing supplies unless it is needed to complete a project.

Happy New Year from me and my sewing mate Toby.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Best Wishes.

Writing my small sewing blog and reading others has brought me happiness and comfort .
I thank everyone who takes the time to share their  passion for sewing clothes - whether they are novices or experienced, whether they sew from the finest luxurious fabric or from op shop finds , whether the patterns are old or new. Discovering that others have the same passion has been a marvellous revelation - although I know my sewing  / style / writing  is not is the same league as many other bloggers I do still share the same love . I also thank everyone who has shown me support in this blog - I really appreciate this and  being a small part of this sewing community.

 I am looking forward to 2012 and all the future possibilities it holds . I am looking forward to everyone`s creations and the associated chit chat.
So to everyone everywhere I wish you all safe, happy and healthy holidays .
I hope 2012 brings your wishes to you whether they be small or large.
Cheers Janine.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Punding - not a dirty word ( and the relationship to sewing )

eI was reading an article recently and came across the word punding. I didn`t know the meaning and so looked this up and found the definition to be repetitive useless actions. This led me to thinking about sewing and why I love it. You see I think that probably alot of what I do is punding - gardening. dishes, ironing  , paperwork - all incredibly repetitive but I suppose not totally useless. You do all these things and then not 5 minutes later there are more dishes in the sink and you turn around and all those weeds have snuck back up.
However, it doesn`t matter how long I leave a garment on my sewing table for it doesnt change. I don`t have to keep on sewing seams that have come mysteriously undone or recutting the same pattern over and over  etc so eventually you end up with something hopefully beautiful and /or useful. Hmm not sure this makes sense. Anyway , it has been incredibly cold here even by Victorian standards and after all the hassles of my blue jacket ( that did end well ) I have picked out an easy pattern next.
This is another older style pattern since I enjoyed sewing my recent style jacket so much.The material is a thick plush reddish/maroon knit and I am making the top above -it has a gathered front and rolled draped collar .I had really wanted to make a butterick dress 5523 with a similar collar but Spotlight did not have my size available so until then this is my substitute pattern. I am looking forward to this since this week has a been a case of living to work rather than working to live. I most definitely think if you are able work/life balance is VERY important.
Cheers Janine.