Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sewing review - BWOF 11-2008-103 B

Finally, some consistent BWOF sewing. I've used November and December. If only I make something out of January, I'll be sort of in the game.

When at my parents a few weeks ago, I traced out BWOF 11-2008-103B. It finally got sewn up over the last week. (The big delay? Adding seam allowances to the tracing. I swear I sat at that step for over 3 weeks. When I finally got to it, it took 10 minutes while watching tv.)

Fabric: Fields Fabrics, in Kalamazoo, over Christmas. What fun I had at that store! (And how much money I spent!) I bought 1.5 yards of this red knit fabric, paying about $4.50 a yard, so about $7 (which is $8 or something in Canadian dollars, but I'm not that technical on this blog.) I'm hoping I have enough left of the fabric to squeeze something else out of, even if it is very tiny.

Pattern: BWOF 11-2008-103B.

Pattern adjustments: I cut a size 38, my standard BWOF top size.

- Omitted the hem allowance, as well as took 1.0 inches on the lower front piece, and the back piece, in the torso area, to petite-size it.

- Omitted the shoulder seam allowance, since this pattern runs very low.

- Finally, I changed the sewing order, as detailed below, to raise the neckline. (Allison did it by raising shoulder seams, but I am petite, and I would have had to raise it even further, hence my method.)

1. Finished the back neckline, as detailed in the instructions.
2. Joined the back shoulders with the front shoulders. Did not finish the neck at this stage.
3. Joined the center seam of the upper front pieces about an inch, to raise the neckline.
4. Attached the lower front piece (with band) to the upper front pieces.
5. Finished the unfinished portion of the front neckline, not by turning under and sewing, but by using bias tape (same as for the back piece.) I was afraid the front, which is on the bias at that point, would stretch out of shape, this way, there is still a tiny bit, but it is very minimal.
6. Finished rest of shirt (I also set the sleeves in flat, as I do with all knit sleeves.)

Cost: Fabric - $7. Pattern, $11, since I've made nothing else from this BWOF. Total $17.

Time taken: I sewed this sporadically over three evenings, an hour here and an hour there. This is a 2 dot pattern, it is easy to sew and there's nothing complicated about it.

Good things:
It fits really well! Plus, I love how bright this print is, and the new, better and more modest neckline.

Bad things: One side of the neckline doesn't lay flat. It isn't super obvious (you can see it in the picture, however.) My parents think that only I'd notice something like that.

Conclusion: I finished it last night, and I wore it to work & out after today, so its safe to say I really like it.

January sewing recap

(Shamelessly copying Carolyn.)

I do love the end of year recaps people do, but I'm never too organized to remember what I've sewn - and when I saw Carolyn's monthly recap, a light bulb went off in my head! 12 Monthly recaps = 1 Yearly recap. Awesome.

(Pictures to follow, for those without, when I get home. Did I mention work is slow? Work is very slow. Thankfully, things will pick up next week.)

- Three quilt tops got made - this red one, this pink one and this green one. None of them got quilted though.

- Four (or five, depending on how you count the twin-set) tops got made, three for me, one for my mom. The red paisley, the black, the twin-set and my mom's BWOF. I'm also very happy to say that all of them got worn to work. (Well, except my mom's top, but she's worn that out too, so she must like it.)

- Three skirts got made. (And one UFO has been created - go buy that damn zipper already, Reethi!) The red suede skirt has been worn, the other two I'm saving for spring. (Thin cotton + no lining? Not for winter.)

- Three UFOs got finished. One blue knit top, which needed hemming, one pair of pants (needs a photo), which also needed hemming. And one brown t-shirt, pictured above, which needed the arm-holes finished. The blue knit top has been worn. I'm trying to figure out how much I'll wear the others. (The top above? Some weird armhole pulling, and serious bunching in the back. Maybe under a jacket, where all of those flaws will be hidden.)

So, grand conclusion? I completed 13 projects this month, and added 9 pieces to the wardrobe. I did go through the wardrobe and pull a bag of stuff I don't wear for the Salvation Army, so clutter was kept to a minimum. However, any month in which I sew 13 things is a month I didn't do a lot other stuff in (like, say, going out). Winter does make me hibernate, but this is somewhat ridiculous.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Wherever there is a quilt...

There's a cat who thinks I laid it there for her to lie on.

Such a good life my cat has.

According to Tim...

I read Tim Gunn's article on wardrobe essentials, and I clearly lack essentials.

1. Little Black Dress - I have, umm, atleast 8 in my closet, none of which get worn because (a) they make me look fat and (b) they are all strapless and summery.

2. Trench coat - I've never owned one. Never. And I'd like one.

3. Classic dress pants - I've many of these, but again, mostly summer versions (or they don't fit, or are a bit too tight, and I'm hoping to lose 10 pounds to fit into them.)

4. Versatile Skirt - finally, something I own. My red suede skirt definitely qualifies, as far as I'm concerned. But I would like a black wool version (I own one I bought a while back at Banana Republic, but keeping with the theme above, its a bit snug.)

5. Fitted Blazer - hmm. I own suit jackets, and one plaid blazer. I think the plaid one qualifies.

6. Classic White Shirt - I own just one, it makes me look fat. I don't really wear shirts a lot, since I don't like tucking in. Do I need one? Probably.

7. Day Dress - I own a few, like this mock-wrap dress. More summery than winter. I'd like a shift dress though.

So, according to Tim, I lack essentials.

Filling in the gaps in the essentials should dictate February and March sewing, so let's commit.

The February & March sewing list:

1. This little black dress, in a black sweater knit from stash.

2. Classic dress pants - I need to experiment with a few pants patterns, but I'm making a commitment here - 4 pairs of lined pants by March. I'm sick and tired of the 3-4 pairs I own that get non-stop rotation in winter. Plus, I tried shopping for them, and couldn't find them anywhere under $80.

3. This BWOF 01-2008 top in white eyelet from stash, which is going to be as classic as I'm ever going to get with a white shirt. Or maybe I'll make this BWOF 12-2008 shirt instead?

4. This 05-2008 BWOF dress will serve as my day dress entry. I've a few fabric choices for this, including a nice brown plaid. This dress is unlined, and I'll have to figure out how to line it (I'd break out into all kinds of hives if the wool-like fabric touches my skin...)

5. This BWOF 12-2008 skirt will be my versatile skirt entry. I've a rust/brown striped fabric that I can make it with.

Which leaves a trench coat and a blazer, both of which involve me being a LOT braver about sewing than I am. Let's see. I'll be pretty happy if I get all of the above list done.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Simplicity 4036 - the gallery

In January, I made 3 completed versions of Simplicity 4036. (And one, waiting for a zipper.)

While I will probably never be fully sold on the TNT patterns, (I like experimenting too much), I do understand Carolyn's point.

A day late...

And a dollar short. Ah well. I was in seriously cranky zone yesterday, and though I did finish the recycle skirt, I wasn't in any mood for pictures.

So, let's document the project.

The before - 2 pillowcases, bought in India, both too small for North American pillows. But with the prettiest print...

In-between - All ripped out, waiting to be cut.

And the end result - this pretty, Anthropologie-like skirt (using Simplicity 4036).

A few technical details:

1. There is a center front seam in this skirt, to take advantage of the border. Also a center back seam, since the fabric wasn't wide enough to cut on a fold. However, my zipper is set into a side seam, since I think back zippers are stupid.

2. I wanted to keep the full border at the hem, so the sides are a fair bit longer than the center. It doesn't look visibly uneven, and therefore works, but a skirt with a flatter hem might have worked better.

And the entries of the people that actually finish contests in time are here.