Thursday, March 03, 2011

Mini-Wardrobe in a weekend

Dear readers, I sewed this weekend. In a panic about the fast-approaching Me-Made-March, a realization that I had no good layering self-sewn pieces, and it is winter in Toronto, I pulled out McCalls 5890 and got to work.

The work in advance:

Early last week, I cut the pattern pieces out in my size. (Not fabric, just the pattern. That always takes me forever - Biscuit keeps attacking the tissue paper, and protecting the fragile sheets from her claws takes a bit of work.)

Around the same time (maybe it was Monday evening?) I'd cut out the dress in a reddish orange knit.

Thursday afternoon, I sewed up the dress, leaving the neck and armholes unfinished.

Friday, I had family over for dinner, so I was a cooking fiend. No sewing or cutting happened on Friday.

Ok - here's the mini-wardrobe in a weekend bit.

Saturday afternoon, I woke up and finished the dress. I used the magic Jalie method to bind the neckline, and I just turned the armhole under and stitched, taking care to interface it first. The red dress was done, and it looked good.

Then an extended pause - a friend came over and I showed her how to cook South Indian food. We made 5 dishes in 2 hours, and then ate our efforts. There might have been beer involved as well. Fun times.

Once she left, I pulled out a grey knit that I bought in Fabricland about a year ago, and cut up the pieces to make the cardigan. (It was 10pm at this point.) The cardigan is really simple to make, it took me about an hour.

Piece 1 - grey knit cardigan.

Suitably inspired, I pulled some black knit I'd bought in a warehouse-type store in Montreal during PR Weekend. It was synthetic and inexpensive, but it felt non-yucky against my skin, and I think I bought 3 yards.

I laid it out on the cutting table, and went to sleep.

Sunday morning, a frenzy of cutting. I started at about 11.30am, and cut out, in the black knit, a cardigan, a top and the pants. Then I ran out of fabric. (I wish I had enough for a dress as well, sigh.)

This took me an hour and a half? Something like that. (I cut using a rotary cutter, which speeds it up significantly, but cutting is still one of my least-favorite sewing tasks.)

Lunch interrupted. My parents and brother came over (with food, yay!) and we ate some yummy food and hung out. Once they left, I started sewing.

Roughly 1.5 hours of no-getting-up-from-the-sewing-table later, I'd sewed up almost all the seams necessary before the more fussy work of finishing started. This included:

- all the pant seams except the elastic waistband and the hem
- all the seams on the top except the neckline finishing, the armhole finishing and the hem
- all the seams on the cardigan except the hem

What made it easy? No fitting, very little pressing, and incredibly minimal pinning. I used to sew quilt tops, I know how to sew a seam without pinning it, something I seem to have forgotten while garment sewing. I strategically pinned in a couple of places (the princess seams for example) but mostly, I skipped pinning, and was perfectly fine.

My productivity then took a bit of a hit as I watched the Oscar red carpet show, chatted on the phone with a friend, etc.

Eventually, before midnight though, I did finish:

- hemming the cardigan
- finishing the top (neckline, armhole, hem)
- forming the elastic casing for the pants. (Moral decline alert - I did not hem my pants. You may judge me now.)

It helped that the Oscars were kind of boring.

Piece 2 - black knit cardigan (previewed already in the Me-Made-March '11 - Day 1 photo)

Piece 3 - black knit top.

Piece 4 - black knit pants. - See grey jersey picture above.

And there you have it, dear readers. Mini-wardrobe in a weekend. So much fun!


Shayla said...

Everything looks great! I have this pattern and now you've made me really inspired to sew it up! Did you use a serger for any of it?

Reethi said...

Thanks Shayla! Nope, no serger used.

SewingDragon said...

My goodness you did all that in one weekend?!! I wish I could do that. Everything looks wonderful! Good for you.

anuradha said...

I "LOVE" your skirt!!

AllisonC said...

That is super impressive! These all look like really versatile pieces too, looks like you are set up for MMM now!

Anonymous said...

Looks like so much fun. And all the pieces turned out great. The red dress is a classic on you.

SEWN said...

I am in awe of your productivity!!! Your miniwardrobe is jealousy inducing!

Summerset said...

That's great! I love the shape of the red dress and sewing all knits is a good idea for comfort and versatility.

Clio said...

OMG!! I can't believe how much you accomplished in one weekend!

Gillian said...

Wow! I love you mini-collection, and I'm glad you liked the pattern... I'm looking forward to giving it a shot tonight! I bought a bunch of knits tonight at Fabricland for $3/m, so I've got lots of supplies to play with!