Showing posts with label stash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stash. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Selfless Sewing Series -Pattern First or Fabric First ?



Not much sewing has been going on around this part of the world even though I am just at the end of two weeks holiday. I have been making some slow progess on a coffee table runner but put that aside when my eldest daughter asked  that I make her a couple of tops for her travels next year. So last week my eldest and youngest DDs and myself  drove to Melbourne to hit the fabric shops. 

First up was Darn Cheap where my youngest found a couple of pieces she liked ( I didn`t know this was a part of the deal - oh well ! ) . She really liked some floral poly crepe which she wants made into a wrap around dress and found some zigzag cozy knit for a jumper . Luckily the latest Burdas here ( August and September ) have patterns for what she wants. 

Next up was The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe where it  was commented on  that we looked like a pack of hunters. I suppose we were stealthily stalking the aisles. Here my eldest daughter fell in love with some green linen knit pictured above . She also found a small remnant -60cm - of Japanese cotton which is absolutely gorgeous . I had to use every last mm of the length to eke out a top for her . We used plain navy crepe to make up the shortfall. The pattern is based on one of her old tops in a boxy loose fitting style. I copied an idea from a German blog and made a tag out of the cute selvage. 

So this year I have been trying very hard to use what I have to make up my unused Knipmodes and Burdas. However as the year progressed I hit some hurdles. For some of the patterns I chose I just did not have the right fabric. More recently I bought some patterns I wanted to make up now but had absolutely nothing so that meant  a shopping trip for me. 


I went to ClearIt in Fitzroy and found some navy/ grey argyle double knit to make a raglan sleeve windcheater . I also picked up some beige cotton lycra to make some camisoles but simply could not leave the spotty / stripey cozy knit behind. I hope to make the patterns below .


And then I received an email from Style Arc about some stretch denim and jeans pattern and did not hesitate to push the buy button. They came with another free top pattern which I really like. 


So this year I have been choosing patterns first and fabric second. Now I have stocked up on fabric  for now I can continue with the patterns first trend but I think next year I will have to have a new approach to sewing. But for now I have a bit of selfless sewing to get through. So how do you approach sewing ? Fabric first or pattern first ?? 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

A Sentimental Story about Super Power Fabric !



Most of my fabric stories read as ` See fabric I like , buy it , put it in my cupboard , several years later think gosh that fabric has been there a while , pull it out , cut out and sew `. The story behind this piece of fabric is very similar except for how I came to buy it.
In April 2009 my then 12 year old  middle daughter had to have back surgery . I was allowed to come into the operating theatre and sat with her while the anaesthetist administered a relaxant . He asked her what the name of her boyfriend was and as she opened her mouth to reply she ` fell asleep` . I was  bundled out of the room and then had to fill in 8 hours while she had her surgery ! I was very anxious and did not want to go far just in case . I could have gone to my family`s houses but it would take about 20 minutes to drive back to the hospital ( In Melbourne terms that is just around the corner the traffic is so bad there ).
Only a couple of minutes walk away there is a main street with lots of good shops. After filling in a couple of hours I found a Vinnies shop. Now at the time I really wanted to sew a pussy bow blouse but there were no current patterns available ( there seems to be heaps now ) . To my delight I found a vintage Simplicity pattern for a pussy bow blouse in my size( the op shop only had about 6 patterns ) . And also two really nice pieces of fabric , the silk of my top and some olive linen . I thought the sewing gods were looking after me and that this was a sign everything would be OK with my daughter. Now my anxiety free state lasted about 30 minutes before I started to think what a ridiculous thought that this was a positive sign.
In the end everything was OK . This was the first of two 6-7 hour surgeries she had to have and we somehow got through it .
Now the sewing gods may have been on my side when I purchased this lovely  fabric but they were against me when sewing it !


I used an Ottobre pattern I have used before , a simple little kimono top . This pattern does not need much fabric but I didn`t have much either - 1.2 metres  , 95cms wide . Add to that , in the middle of one end of the piece was a honking big gold painted advertisement Three Golden Somethings ( I can`t remember what crowns ? rings ? bananas ? )However I did a rough check and it seemed OK , so I cut out a piece , chop, chop , chop and then put the other main piece on but it didn`t fit. Oh that`s alright I just have the fabric the wrong way . Um no ! I didn`t have enough . Luckily I had cut the front piece out first ( just luck not forethought ) so I managed to piece the back and bias binding strips  together with scraps  ( with three golden written on my shoulder ) .


I don`t think it is too noticeable and I can`t see it so that`s all that counts !
Then when I was snipping the curves I cut into  the main fabric of the top . I never do that ! I ironed on some mending patch stuff and embroidered a little leaf over the cut to make it stronger .


I just wanted to include a close up of the fabric too . I really love this material and it has been in the very precious to use category . It has taken a while to work what pattern to use because I thought I would have to buy something else to make up a complete garment. Also  I find that after fabric has sat in the  cupboard for a while it  seems easier to sew it up.


Despite all my sewing mistakes I really love this top which is a good follow up to my last ` blah` project .
It matches lots of skirts , pants and cardigans I own . The top itself is comfy with a little bit of ease for growing room and of course it has a sentimental background  . Does anyone else have sentimental feelings  towards their fabrics or think they have super powers ?
Happy Sewing Janine.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Overthinking Sewing.



Sewing is my main form of relaxation and my only form of creativity ( unless you include 100+ different ways to use zucchini in Summer and pumpkin in Winter ) . Now thinking is of course very important but overthinking or rumination  is a whole different matter . I bought this small remnant piece of knit from the Clegs Remnant Xmas sale a few years ago thinking I could combine with another piece in my stash for a top  but the colours were way out . Then I tried to combine it with some other fabrics to make a pullover but the pattern was a wadder . Earlier this year after making my Burda pullover I thought I had the answer but there was not enough material . Garrghh! Enough ! There is only 70cm of this knit which is a light weight jumper ( sweater ) knit so I pulled out my trusty TNT Kwik Sew 2965 and just sewed it up before I overthought  any more .


And in another case of overthinking sewing I present my new skirt .


This red polka dot fabric is deep deep stash being left over from making a pinafore dress for my then 10 year old daughter ( 20 and a 2nd year medical student now ! ) . It must have been already quite old by the time I acquired it because it was only 90cms wide . It is a really good quality cotton with a smooth tight weave but it just positively screams Minnie Mouse so it has sat in stash all those years . I have thought and thought what to do with it from getting rid of it , to making a Minnie Mouse costume and to making something as unMinnie Mouse as possible. In the end I have made a `wearable` muslin of a knipmode skirt from May 2013.                                                                                                                                                              
   

A plain straight skirt with the front divided with a centre piece and narrower sides . I made the shorter version with cargo pockets .

One thing I don`t overthink with my blog are the pictures .I brush my hair , put on lippy and then convince someone to take pictures . The whole photo bit takes a few minutes . This time though took longer and I used several props to get photos .

Above my camera is resting on a bookshelf and magazines.
Camera propped on the back of a car with a turtle emerging from the ground .
Camera propped on the back of another car with an attractive compost bin in the background.
Up a ladder with the camera on a nappy bucket on the washing machine .
The best photos were the camera resting on the upside down old nappy bucket on the dining room table - must remember that one for future.
I have promised myself that I will wear this skirt for the remaining warm weather and if I still feel like a middle aged Minnie then the skirt will go.
Sometimes I feel a little bit crazy with how much time I think about these things but somehow if you are reading this blog then I know I am not alone .


Thursday, 5 January 2017

2016 Sewing Overview.

My favourite garment of the year. 


For some reason I really love ❤️ reading 📖 about everyone's annual reviews of their sewing and their plans for the coming year. I actually find these musings fascinating and  inspiring. We all have the common denominator of loving sewing but have different perspectives in how we fulfill that love.
My take on sewing is to sew slower so my output is not high. I am not a perfectionist but hate it when things don't go right. However once a garment is completed ✅,  no matter what mistakes , it goes in the wardrobe and I don't seem to care anymore . A few years ago I went through a phase of churning out  more clothes and was a bit slapdash so I have had quite a turn around in attitude. I prefer how I sew now because I have fewer failures .

So in 2016 I sewed 42 items which sounds like heaps. 24 were for me and the remainder of 18 for my daughters mainly but also a friend and Mum.

The 24 items for me included one ☝️ total wadder , 3 underthings, 1 camisole , 1 nightie and 1 pair of long PJ pants. I didn't blog about these but I will have a post about my wadder in the future.
The 18 items for others included 9 short PJ pants , 5 tops and a couple of scarves.
A major goal for me was to use what I had and move a bit more fabric out than what came in. FINALLY after so many years of trying I succeeded with only 9 pieces of fabric in and quite a bit more sewn up. It was also my intention to sew the fabric acquired in 2016 in 2016 ! I almost managed to do this so I found myself have a little cutting out frenzy on the second day of January !


Apart from my one wadder I wore everything I made quite regularly apart from my vintage burda dress which was a special occasion garment anyway ( and my middle daughter likes it so is going to use for a function later this year ) .
 This year I basically just want to continue on with the same theme -  just plodding along really doing my imperfect best and making the most of what I have.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to Use Your Precious Fabric - Just Do It !

My latest project was totally inspired by the board on Pattern Review  discussing using our precious fabric. My coral / red / cream tweedy boucle is with no doubt my best fabric .I love the colours and  the texture and to top it off , it was my souvenir from my one and only trip to France in 2013 . 
I always thought to make a skirt using a TNT pattern but when I laid out the pattern pieces there was so much more fabric than I thought . The fabric was 150 cm wide ( I thought it was 120cm ) and the shopkeeper had been generous with the cut giving me extra ! This was good and bad news because it meant I had to rethink the whole project and make a muslin . 
I already have a handmade winter work  version of a pinafore which I wear heaps and this gave me the idea to make a warm weather one . 

 I chose this pinafore from September 2012 Burda Style ,a ripper of an  issue . So many patterns I want to make from it .  It has a deep V neck with front bust darts and inset pockets . The top part is lined .
I made only two changes . I lengthened the skirt pieces and opted to fully line the garment . 

I was very lucky and found some matching lining fabric at the opshop . It had pura seta printed on the selvedge and when I googled this found it meant silk in Italian - bonus ! 
The pinafore was very easy to sew and as the V neck is deep there is no need for a zip to get it on and off . I love the little bonus front pockets but if I make this again I would make the pockets deeper although I can  store a hanky in them. 

 This was a great project to follow up my coat which took ages to sew . I really do not know why I put off sewing my precious Parisian  fabric for so long because once I cut into it , it was really easy . So if you have any fabrics which you are saving because it is so special then I encourage you to just do it - go cut it out and sew it up.  

I will  finish with another picture of my babies - they are getting bigger .The lamb in the background with the brown head and white body ( I call her ChocTop ) is only 2 1/2 weeks older than the twins ( but twice as big ) . 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Fast Fasts , Fabric Stash Busting and a WIP .

I am participating in two groups this year - Pattern Review`s  Fabric Fasting  Forum  and a Facebook Fabric Stash busting Group.  I have been telling myself I have to get some kind of control over my fabrics for years but have been unsuccessful so far . So how am I doing this year ?
Well the fabric fast is a bit of a snort but only a little one . I have bought four pieces of fabric and been given a few as well from Mum and sewing friends . As per usual all my purchased fabrics were from various op shops and included  a Liberty of London print in some kind of soft twill !

The photo above shows from left to right burnout fabric from my friend ( for a Kimono ) , striped patterned georgette from my Mum ( for Simplicity 1280 ?) , peach-apricot silk for a skirt lining , Liberty of London paisley print ( for an infinity scarf ) , red floral cotton voile and a citrus watercolour cotton voile ( both for youngest DD PJs  ) . I will be using the silk for my next project and I intend to make up that infinity scarf quick smart as well so all in all not too bad . ( I have also been informed that gifted fabric does not count towards stashing  )
In terms of fabric stash busting I have used just over 20 metres,  so more out than in !  A success there .
Now I have been sewing too but not as much because my current project is taking sooo long  . I started at the end of May but the end is in sight . It is a vintage styled coat from Burda Style and has a very interesting different looking flounce at the front . I want to show you the evolution of the flounce .

 The above picture shows the flounce pieces cut out and tacked together with the pleats marked out . I have started making the pleats on the right side. Weird looking pattern piece huh ?

 Next up all of the pleats have been formed .

 Now you bring the two sides together , stitching down the middle and  voila !  It really is a little piece of magic . I do not think I have ever seen another pattern piece like it . I have inserted the lining into the outer coat and just need to sew up the hems and attach some large press studs . Hopefully I can get this done before the end of July and the winter weather ( hey it has snowed near where I live a couple of times which hasn`t happened in about 19 years )

Sewing as also been delayed by my new hobby of bike riding - I don`t think I will ever go down the path of sewing fitness wear though  and  hosting a Japanese student . She will be with us until the end of November . Just as one daughter leaves home we fill up the empty spots . Our exchange daughter gave us some KitKats - sake flavoured !  We have also tried green tea flavoured KitKats   ( yum ) and there is sweet potato as well !!


Vive la France .

Friday, 13 May 2016

Scrap Sewing - Winners and Wadders .



  I might have mentioned I do not like waste and might be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to fabric scraps . Sometimes Mum also gives me little pieces like the blue patterned  cotton voile  fabric above. There was only 80 cms and I accidentally found an even smaller  piece of blue in my scrap bag which matched really well when I was searching for something else  . It was left over stretch cotton from making my husband a shirt for Christmas 2 or 3 years ago .


I really wanted to make New Look 6187 after seeing some versions on the internet and was able to squeeze this  top out using the two scraps . I used the plain blue for the yoke and tunic back and the pattern for the front yoke and sleeves.


I altered the pattern slightly - 3/4 sleeves because I did not have enough material for the full length and I extended the yoke pattern so I could make a button placket instead of a button/ loop closure. Also instead of using a facing for the yoke and tunic back I managed to eke out some bias binding to finish off the neckline.

Always times for pats in our house.




OK onto the next scrap busting project.  One late insomnia filled night I was perusing Pinterest ( not very good for actually helping one to get back to sleep BTW ) and saw a picture of a sewing machine pocket pad . Brilliant ! If I had a dollar for every time I have knocked my tape measure behind my sewing table then I would  have lots of dollars . I was seriously considering making another scrap top with this checked / little Japanese girl fabric but again only had 80 cms . Well for this project I had plenty of material and I also managed to save myself from making a dubiously appropriate shirt and I have a place for my errant tape measure ( and quick unpick /  little scissors/ glasses /secret chocolate stash ) . I was pretty happy with the result so I sewed two more for my Mum and a friend using all stash fabric, wool wadding and bias binding .

Well they are the winners :)
Now for the wadder :(
I had lots of black based scraps ranging in age from just last year to 10 years old . I wanted to use my Knipmode magazines and found a windcheater where the fronts and backs  consist of  3 pieces each  . I had enough of the various scraps but did not have a good feeling from the start of the sewing . I got the point of the hems and adding a neck band but OH in capitals . Gosh seriously ugly.  Too many fabrics  ,  too many differing textures and thicknesses  , too big , sleeves too dropped .  Most of the failure is my fault but the sweater is seriously oversized and the sleeves very low .


This photo does not do justice to how ugly the top is . Oh well  , I gave it a try and no big loss. However Bruna I do think you are right and these scraps should have been in the bin long ago.
I am off to lick my wounds now and have cut out a Kwik Sew camisole pattern - quick , easy, needed  and made before so I know it will be a success .
Happy Sewing Janine. Costings : Fabric remnants free in stash. Pattern - $3.00 . Buttons and thread in stash. Total - $ 3.00

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello Hi-Lo Jumper - Knipmode December 2013.


I am really giving my Knipmode magazines a workout now .  I have been slow to jump on the uneven hem  bandwagon ( which is nothing different from usual ) but I like how the front gently curves out to meet the side seams and a lower back hem hides a lot . 


I used a thin slubby jumper ( sweater ) knit from Darn Cheap bought at the end of 2014 from the $2 table  .  I love the colour but the fabric is a bit delicate so I will have to be careful about snagging . It was also a bit stretchy so I was as careful as possible while sewing it . I was worried the neckline would end up near my navel. 

Knipmode December 2013 . 
The pattern is very simple V neck , slightly dropped shoulder , front centre seam , hi- lo top with pockets . It looked a bit loose fitting on the models so I did NOT add seam allowances to any of the pattern pieces . In retrospect I should have added seam allowances to the neckline but as I will always wear another top underneath I got away with that . I also did not add any hem allowances because I am discovering that Knipmode patterns are quite long . The only other changes I made were to use some navy satin bias binding on the neckline as the pattern uses a facing here  and for the curved hemline. 
I lined  the pockets  with matching scrap satin and finished the pocket tops with more navy binding . Using lining and the bias binding on the pockets actually made it easier to sew the pockets because of the fine stretchy nature of the knit. 


I used steam-a-seam on the sleeve hems , clear elastic at the shoulders but just overlocked and stitched the body hem . I was very careful applying the bias binding to neck line which I think also adds some stability to the stretchy knit as well as a nice contrast. I used a ballpoint needle and the inbuilt walking foot on my sewing maching so making the jumper was not as hard as I worried it would be.
Despite the knit being a bit see through I am happy over all with my new jumper and if the world or I gets tired of hi-lo hems then I can just chop off the back portion. 


So I have now sewn just over 1/2 of all my knipmodes. Just over a year ago I made a resolution to 
sew up garmets from my unused new pattern envelopes and pattern magazines . Unfortunately those pattern piles have increased . 



 Recently Spotlight had a great sale  - all patterns except Vogue were 3 for $9 if you were a member so I bought 6 new patterns . Also the majority of my burdas pictured here were a lucky find -10 for $20 so how could I not be greedy and scoop them up !So lots here to keep me busy for a long long time.  Happy Sewing Janine. 
Costings- Fabric from Darn Cheap $2.60 , Pattern - Knipmode $15, Notions - new ballpoint needles $4.30, thread $2.00, other notions - clear elastic, steam-a-seam, bias binding , pocket lining from stash. Total cost - $23.90